Leica Schmeica

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Thomas Bertilsson, May 26, 2014.

  1. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    http://leicaphilia.com/leica-photography-is-dead-leica-killed-it/

    "That was “Leica Photography.” It wasn’t about sharpness or resolution, or aspherical elements, or creamy bokeh or chromatic aberation or back focus or all the other nonsense we feel necessary to value when we fail to acknowledge the poverty of our vision".
    I am faced almost every time I photograph, with humility, because of how much I feel I should attempt to improve what it is I want to say with my pictures. Probing inwards is so difficult.

    This will be my last post on APUG for a while, as I'm trying to work on said vision and try to work on making more interesting photographs.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Sums up well what many forget a Leica is just a tool to make images.

    Good luck with the working on the said vision, I'm in a period of reworking my own thought after quite a lull in creativity.

    Ian
     
  3. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Yes, I remember this article :smile: - it is great. From one side you have Leica fanatics, from another side you have people who think Leica is only status symbol for dumb rich people...
    But on the end Leica is just a very fine tool that one can use for decades to produce images.
     
  4. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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  5. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I think the bottom line is the bottom line. If Leica continued as just a tool they would never have competed effectively enough against all the big players and "good enough" camera makers and would be gone now. Many lament what they have become, a luxury provider of high-end image and lifestyle than focusing on the fundamentals of a photographic tool. So what? I find it amusing and a great success story but lament none of it. I'm a non-exclusive Leica shooter and love their cameras and lenses but have never in my entire life bought a new Leica product and likely never will.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yep, me too.
     
  7. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    I have owned and used professionally various cameras from 4x5 to 35mm; one that took 2 1/4 by 7 inch photos on 120 film, two Leicas, a Rolleiflex and many Nikons including the original F. I also own a large number of tools for fixing things around the house, and repairing cameras and cars. I have no idea what the names of the firms that made the tools are, and I do not care. I made many thousands of dollars more with a Yashicamat than I ever did with my Rolleiflex. But I could have easily used the Rolleiflex instead of the Yashicamat. But the YM, five times cheaper than a Rollei at the time, was just fine and no magazine or newspaper ever said to me "get a more expensive camera." And it never failed me, either. My Rollei fell apart after a few years of moderate use. Perhaps a one-of-a-kind fluke.(I just bought myself a 60-year-old Rolleiflex after not having one for 40 years. I love it and adore my two Yashicamats, too.)
    A Leica -- the right one -- can be a fine tool for the job at hand. But not hardly the only one and not necessarily the best in every situation.
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Enjoy your work Thomas!

    Last weekend my shutter for my 4x5's lens died in the middle of what was turning out to be a very special shoot.

    Replacing the lens and shutter brought up all kinds of thoughts and variables and worry and weirdness in my head. In the end I just got the same old lens again, not because it's the best whiz bang this or that, instead it was just because it works for me. I simply like it's personality.
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    well articulated,and if you already know what you want to say with your pictures,you are a step ahead of most of us.:wink:
     
  10. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    It's just a self-inflicted complex. Inferiority complex.

    I am this close to book a trip to india and use 2 holgas and 100 rolls of film. My keepers would be near 100%, i'm sure.

    I'm back from europe where I did a similar exercise: 50 4x5 ektar/portra pinholes. In a few days i'll see the results. I am expecting 48 keepers. This experience was extremely liberating. Certainly beats all the Bull about "quality". Especially beats all the digital crap.
     
  11. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Hmmm... I don't see why anyone would get worked up over it.

    Back in the day there were two basic pieces of kit for serious photographers, a Hasselblad MF and a Leica 35mm. They were expensive, but would last an entire career.

    For that money you got realiabilty and as good image quality as you ever needed.

    So it was a wise investment and not very expensive if you divide it by the number of years they would last.

    Today a lot of hobbyists buy into the legend of these brands and think that their photos will be all the more serious if you shoot them with a Leica or a Hasselblad.

    Clearly for hobbyists, there are far more economical choices. But if you don't want to be economical, that's your own choice.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Giggle, I was in Professional Photographers of America a few years back and they published averages/benchmarks for the costs of running a successful studio. Depreciation costs for a digital studio ran about 10% of gross sales, film studios were under 1%.
     
  13. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I'm not sure you got that much reliability either, or at least more than with Japanese cameras. The Hasselblad in particular is known for being not only finely engineered but a bit finicky in ways. Far from delicate but needing more adjustments and care than some others.
     
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  15. Jerevan

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    I think there is often too much outward talk of optics and mechanics and magic film bullets, and too little of the certainly nebulous thing that is the inward. The best way I can put this is "fare thee well, Thomas". May the journey be fruitful.
     
  16. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Enjoy the journey, Thomas. I'm interested in seeing where this takes you, as I find your work both technically, and aesthetically, pleasing.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Thanks, guys. I appreciate the kind words.
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Just to be contrary......
    No Thomas, we won't let you go!
    But if you insist, I wish you wonderful light.
     
  19. Pioneer

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    Likewise, may good light be with you in your search. I hope you do find your path and realize your vision.

    However, in a final selfish note, I will certainly miss your interesting viewpoint and observations
     
  20. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    The thing is, optics and mechanics and film and darkroom techniques etc. are easy to talk about, and make sense when we do, or at least we can make sense. Talking about vision and art and even composition becomes so vague, they just are not inherently verbal and don't lend themselves as easily to verbal expression.

    Have fun Thomas, make some awesome images as I'm sure you will, and check back in when you can!
     
  21. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    +1

    When I see you've posted, I always know it'll be well-written and thought out. Please don't stay totally gone - keep us updated on what you've printed.
     
  22. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Right you are. And those things can be "solved" by buying new lenses, using a different or new film or developers! Great excuse! Can't buy a new vision or quickly implant compositional or artistic skill into your brain.
     
  23. NedL

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    So very true, and yet what matters and what we feel about our photography is just that non-verbal part. For a long time I've wanted to hear more about art and vision and composition on APUG, but you're right Roger, these are topics that are difficult to discuss.

    Good luck Thomas, I hope you make photographs that you feel wonderful about.
     
  24. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Yes Roger, I agree with you - but sometimes even a vague and roundabout discussion can lead on to something new. If not for the whole of the community, then maybe for a single person.
     
  25. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well nope, of course not. For that we get out and shoot and stop flapping our gums...or pounding our keyboards. :wink:

    EDIT: Oops, I assume you literally meant "can't be solved by" and wasn't be sarcastic by saying "can be solved by.." My mistake.
     
  26. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    leica shmeica... just one more sale and i'm legally leica-free! :laugh: