Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/03

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Subject: [Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Sun Oct 3 16:51:44 2004

On 10/1/04 6:38 AM, "B. D. Colen" <> typed:

> Hey, Simon...The statement anyone makes with branded accessories
> is..."Look at me"...If one owns a Ferrari, and one really owns it
> because one loves fast, hot cars, one doesn't need all the branded
> accessories. On the other hand, if one owns it to make up for some
> deficiency, then wants to yell to the world, "Look at me! I am really,
> really hot shit!! I can afford to own a ...Ferrari/Leica/Rollex/case of
> Budweiser... ;-)"
> I have always avoided branded stuff...Either I like and need the item,
> or I don't...
> This really is one of those amusing, ironic, LUG moments...Because I can
> remember all the discussion over the years that could be summed up with
> the line, to paraphrase James Carvil..."It's the glass, stupid!" People
> on this list have always told us that a body is just a box onto which
> one mounts the incomparable Leica glass. So if some other manufacturer
> can give me a really good quality M mount body, which will take my 35
> Summ ASPH, or my 28 Summicron ASPH, great! I'd rather save $500 or $1K
> on the body and be able to put it into film or glass.

>amazingly large snippet<

The argument that a camera is a life support system for its glass is an
argument for the Leica M camera.
Or a Hasselblad CM; a Swedish cube with a mirror in it.
Or any other ultra simple camera..... Box.
And goes against the high tech feature ridden stuff which is out there now
dominating the market and harts and minds of the American people.

The Leica cameras are magical marvels and marvels to a large extent of

I have equal respect for people who are into the Leica M system because of
the cameras and don't care so much about the glass at at.
I don't practically agree with not caring about the glass at all but I can
see how someone can be mainly swept up by the marvels of Leica M rangefinder
shooting. Your statement last night that Nikon rangefinder cameras were
superior or more innovative I think most right minded people would find
They are selling CV L cameras new for 125 bucks while they last I'm grabbing
one. I'll put my 21mm f2.8 Elmarit M ASPH on it with a viewfinder and
guess-toe focus myself to happy oblivion.

On the other hand this week I got for 140 USD my first third party lens.
A 55-200 sigma digital lens for my D100.
It's gorgeous. But I don't twist the lens shade off before putting it in
manual. The sound of plastic crunching against plastic.....
The images so far seem to be right on the money. There were no 1st party
options in the short tele department from Nikon. I'm not bringing a wide
angle lens onto my white backdrop with a tulip lens shade.

And I find myself racking all the way out to 200 which translates to 300 for
a high percentage of my shots. Who'd a thought I'd see that way? I'd have
had a 50-135 lens made to order to translate to 75-200. 55-200 is close
enough and for the price of a Leica lens cap I can give it some leeway.
It may need much.
The finish on the lens makes the finish by the way on my D100 look like
cheap spray-paint. 

So my point is sometimes you go for glass and other times its the cameras.

I think James Carvel got his "Its the glass" from Harold Robbins "The
Betsey". Where Sir Larry in the flick says in impeccable Detroit-ease
"It's the Caaaar".

He sometimes I'm sure he said "its the windshieeeeeld". :)

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon

Replies: Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon)
In reply to: Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon)