Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/05/05

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Subject: [Leica] Ten years behind? I think not.
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Wed May 5 17:42:26 2004

On 5/5/04 3:06 PM, "R. Clayton McKee" <> wrote:

>> I'm not really disagreeing with you. Forget about 4.5 fps vs 8 fps,
>> simply the lack of autofocus makes the R series DOA with 90% of
>> PJ's. 
> If I may....
> As a full time freelance PJ I DO have the odd idea (okay, maybe
> several odd ideas) on the topic.
> Why is the R series DOA for me?  Several reasons:
> 1.  I own six EOS bodies and lenses covering the range from 14-400mm,
> plus flashes, cords, other mount and camera specific accessories. Off
> the top of my head we're talking about a cash investment on the close
> order of, say, 25 grand? 30?   Cost to switch to R?  double, maybe?
> If I WANTED to, I couldn't.  The economics aren't there. (Same thing
> applies to staff:  Those few staff jobs that still supply pool gear
> supply N or C; never seen one supplying R.)
> 2.  Finding someone who can repair R's,  in the Western Hemisphere at
> least, is problematic.  Yeah, I can ship them off, if I want to trust
> somebody and have my cameras out of my hands for 2 weeks or more.
> This ain't gonna happen either.
> 3.  I've never yet seen an R in the hands of a professional PJ at an
> event.  This matters not from a lemming reflex but because there's an
> element of "cover me" here -- if in the middle of something a cable
> croaks or a flash dies, I can frequently bum one from the guy beside
> me (or cover his butt if needed).  Obviously this only works if the
> gear's compatible.  (yes, I carry spares, and no, sometimes that's
> not enough.)
> 4.  Every workshop/pj convention/course I've ever been to was
> sponsored heavily by, among others, Canon or Nikon or both.  This
> tells me these guys WANT my business, and they want it SERIOUSLY.
> The top end cameras in the Canon line were designed FOR working pj's
> on several levels; I'm told the Nikons were too.
> It matters.  I don't have time to think about my cameras, I'm busy
> thinking about my pictures... and I want a camera designed by someone
> who knows what I need.  I don't know that Leica's ever even thought
> about the marketing on that level.
> This isn't to take anything away from the R, but ergonomics be
> damned, the guy who designed the 1n got inside my head to do it.
> First camera I've ever used that grew into my hand in a matter of
> about four seconds.  (And the F1N's I used when I started had
> something of the same thing...)
> The only advantage Leica would have would be the quality of the
> glass... and in the PJ world, that's somewhat secondary.  The
> elements of the publishing process downstream from the photographer
> have a great deal more effect than the absolute quality of the image.
> I can shoot with anything from an Olympus Stylus to a Canon to a
> Contax to a `Cron, on anything from Velvia to 1600 press. It'll look
> pretty much the same when it hits page 1.  Okay, for the magazines
> you MIGHT see some difference, but... think I'm going to get paid a
> dime more because the shot's got `cron bokeh as opposed to Canon
> blur?  
> Leica abandoned the PJ SLR market probably sometime in the 60's and
> due to installed base and the realities of publishing, it's not worth
> their while to go after it again.  PJ's tend to be willing to
> sacrifice cutting edge fancy for old reliable, and although the M has
> mystique, the R doesn't.
> Deborah Copaken covered it pretty well... The Leica is the Porsche of
> cameras... if you have one, it means you're serious, you're
> dedicated, you're not screwing around... but you probably don't use
> it to go grocery shopping.
>              Albest,
>                       Clayton
> ---
> R.Clayton McKee      
> PhotoJournalist         
> P O Box 571900                 voice/fax 713/783-3502
> Houston, TX 77257-1900        pager 281/510-3588

About 14 points made all off base or certainly diametrically apposed to the
obvious feelings on this list. What's the point?
Why is a Canon user who has no interest what so ever in Leica trolling on
this list? I believe this his first post.

I clicked on the URL and finally got his page or a page about him with this
quote on the front page
"Independent News and Documentary Photographer who would wish to call
himself a Photojournalist someday."
I clicked on the first picture I saw a cityscape and the grain made it look
like an Arabian sandstorm hit Philadelphia.

Go troll somewhere else sonny!

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon


Replies: Reply from phong at (Phong) ([Leica] Ten years behind? I think not.)
In reply to: Message from leica at (R. Clayton McKee) ([Leica] Ten years behind? I think not.)