Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/06/19

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Subject: [Leica] An R series question R8 - pretty ?
From: DouglasMSharp at (Douglas M. Sharp)
Date: Sat Jun 19 05:42:09 2004
References: <>

Hi Frank,
I can't disagree with your viewpoint either but couldn't help thinking
of something I read
a long while back . " A camel is a horse designed by a commitee" (which
probably has nothing to do with
this thread at all)

Putting a 135/2.8 Tele-elmarit (with the specs) on the front of an M6
Titanium makes for the ugliest Leica set
I can think of, but the performance is quite exceptional.

My great heroes of the past, Brunel, various Stephensons,
Trevithick,Abraham Darby,Barnes Wallis , were all
engineers, visionaries and to a certain extent, artists working with the
new media of cast iron, steel, copper and brass.
They all had the touch of breathing life into inanimate objects,
something which has very nearly got lost in the past 50 years.
Take a look at a steam engine - stripped  down to the very basics an
ugly machine - add a bit of fluting here, a doric column there,
a little more polished brass and copper, a touch of colour and you get a
living entity, no wonder the old engineers and mechanics
were proud of their machines.

I don't have to, and unless there is no real alternative,still will not
accept personally perceived ugliness as a product attribute, regardless
of the desirability of the products' function(s). We all have to make
compromises at one time or another, but I'm not YET ready to
do it in the direction of a Leica R9. If I was to find that this camera
body would increase my "success-rate" or "quality" of my shots
to an enormous extent I might just, if my income was dependent upon this
factor, consider buying one the basis of economics.
As it is, for the present  I'll stick to what I've got and what it does
- my eyes still work, I've got some reasonable lenses, and the camera
bodies I use
do what I want them to. Above all I'm still mobile enough to get to some
nice places or events to cater for the all important "being there" factor.


>Hi Douglas,
>as an engineer I make a clear distinction between
>design - which I see as fitness for purpose and
>functionality, that normally done by the engineers.
>And styling - the aesthetics, sometimes by engineers,
>sometimes by "designers" and sometimes the management.
>In a camera the functionality is far more important
>IMO than the looks. Having the controls fall under my
>fingers and that viewfinder make up for the hideous
>(IMO) styling for me. I find the M5 ugly but it is IME
>the best M camera.
>I feel the same about most things. A beautifully
>styled car which is overweight and/or handles badly is
>of absolutely no interest to me, though I would prefer
>it to look nice, mind you there are almost no cars on
>the market today which appeal to me.
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information

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Replies: Reply from s.jessurun95 at (animal) ([Leica] An R series question R8 - pretty ?)
In reply to: Message from frank.dernie at (FRANK DERNIE) ([Leica] An R series question R8 - pretty ?)