Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/03/28

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Subject: [Leica] The thing
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Sun Mar 28 19:27:14 2004

Snip snap
> You can get on the wrong side of him by questioning the superiority of Canon
> EOS cameras, by telling the list that you don't use UV filters, by
> If you're at all familiar with Ken
> Rockwell's "Seven Levels of Photographers" you know where this places him:
> the Equipment Measurebater.  Tread carefully or prepare for battle with him.
> Take care,
> Doug Herr
> Birdman of Sacramento

In a perfect world I'd never say anything bad about anybody which I'm known
to do and get caught and either would anybody else.

As to the issues put up for grabs all of which I've snip snapped but here
they are:
I seem to be the other side of the coin from  where this fella is coming
from.. Every single one of the ideas just mentioned. Amazing.
Here they are. Numbered.

1. I have gone on record on the LUG many of times for my dispisement of
Canon EOS cameras. I find them despicable beyond all recognition. Their
owners treasonous lemmings who could not envision a nikon F5 when that time
came and it sure did. I love Nikons. I'd wait five minutes before I'd sell
out the cameras I used all my life. Although some people I like use Canon's
I try not to hold it against them. I don?t let them drive or spend the
I love Nikons. Leicas more. I'd take a Pentax or Minolta or just about
anything over an EOS anyday. A Canon F1 was or is a real camera - system.
Despite flairy glass. A real hockey puck of a camera and wonderfully
I think the idea that Canon has stolen most of the market share from Nikon a
myth. And that they are better envision a lunar fantasy from the 8th

2. UV filters are for anal retentive idiots. Sorry folks this is not my
opinion this is a hard fact. Take it or leave it.

3. The concept of "Bokeh" is the most significant concept to come around in
our approach to our glass in decades. Certainly since super multi coatings.
At first some old guys scoffed at why you'd care about what's out of focus
anyway but just about all of them have come around.
Good Bokeh and good lens design seem to go hand in hand.
Certainly now glass with bad Bokeh is getting a lot less respect amongst
discerning shooters. And discerning shooters know.
It seems to be that it is a matter of priorities in a lens designers
parameters. As I understand it German designers have been more keyed into
this parameter for quite a while. Which explained why top Japanese
photographers veered toward German glass in such a very high percentage of
cases. For well over a decade now if not longer. We found this out from them
in the past few years. Japanese designers who are just now plugged into it.
Over the past 2 years not much more. It's now mentioned in their marketing.

4. I have great faith in Leicas product planning evidenced but the
burgeoning success of the D2 but on many other fronts. Because of my
involvement with LHSA I've been able to have long discussions with these
impressive people over drinks or dinner or breakfast. Believe me the D2 is
going to be an elephant in the elevator of the photographic market. I think
Leica will make just as smart choices in it's choice off  CCD types as in
it's choice of materials for shutter design (cloth in the case of the M
They have been making smart choices so far.

5. The R system my mouth waters over and I intend on getting into it despite
my also burgeoning Nikon digital system. I love the 8, 9, Leicaflex and most
everything in between. I'd kill for a 60 macro. Would love to shoot with a
15 SA. And a 180 2.8. And the 100 macro. And the new 50 Summilux despite its
closeness to in focal length to the 60. And a lot of the old inexpensively
attained glass.

IF I thought otherwise about Leicas future I'd not be else wise involved
with Leicas present.  I'd sell my  Leica M system.  For Nikon digital stuff.
A D2H. A 5000 AND 8000 scanner. And even more Nikon glass which I love.

6. The LHSA is the only "Group" of any kind I belong to period. Not being a
"joiner" in a big way. I am a citizen of the United States of America and
that's it. I'm going to the LHSA shoot in Victoria in 25 days which I
suspect will be the highlight of my year. My friends from LHSA are my
closest friends. This may sound overblown and I can't come up with an
explanation.  People who think cloth shutters are cool just happen to
somehow be my favorite people.. I'm tempted to name them but dinner is also

7. I believe in put up or shut up. Upload or perish. Show yourself or be
filtered. Few exceptions but they are there.

It's often the case that when something off the wall gets said I have no
clue as to what their work looks like as I am curious and there is no way to
If their work was good an off center statement could be much more easily
overlooked. If their work is stupid I find SMART statements made by them
If Doug Herr or Henning Wolf said it's best to stand on ones head against a
tree which shooting chipmunks I'd try it out first before I'd say it was
Why? I've seen their chipmunks.

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon


Replies: Reply from jerryleh at (Jerry Lehrer) ([Leica] The thing)
In reply to: Message from telyt at (Doug Herr) ([Leica] off list Re: Jay)