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  1. #11

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    You can focus you Leica faster than a unskilled user can focus their Holga?

    You will be hard put to use a Leica camera and a Zeiss lens to secure the type of result that is so certain with a Holga.

    Say what you want but only Holga and Lomo produce negatives that are deserving of Rodinal. This combination which will give an unexcelled redition of mush with grit.

    Well I guess if you are the kind of low-life photographer the prefers the beauty and clarity produced by a highly skilled photograher using Zeiss, Leica
    with all (3) entities having much experience than so be it. I can not find it in my heart to have any pity for you whatsover.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  2. #12

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    A guy I worked with at a camera store long time ago said "If you take a Nikon, a Canon and a Leica to the top of Mt Everest, the only one that will still be working is the Leica. Now, whether that's true is to me a moot point. What I think he was saying is that the Leica is just one the most well made machines of any kind, ever. I have never owned one, but have always respected the craftsmanship of the camera bodies (many years of innovation) and of course the legendary glass, which as I understand comes from one unique deposit somewhere in East Germany (Wetzlar?).

    And last but not least is the very long list of great photographers who have chosen to work with these cameras, and the remarkable results they have acheived.
    Robert Hunt

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhphoto
    A guy I worked with at a camera store long time ago said "If you take a Nikon, a Canon and a Leica to the top of Mt Everest, the only one that will still be working is the Leica. Now, whether that's true is to me a moot point.
    Perhaps he's citing Leica's higher machinist standards. I once saw a documentary on a German machine shop for some product that was renoun in that industry (might have been BMW or something lesser known). The interviewer was asking the machinest what "high quality" machining meant, and why the price of their widgets were so excessively higher than the competition. The machinest took a piece of metal he was working with and slipped it through the mouth of a vice. Then he held it in his palm for about 5 seconds and slipped it through again and it stuck.

    On a personal level, I finally figured out what all the hubbub was about with BMWs when I got in one and the door closed: sounded like I was being locked in a vault. A very satisfying "thunt".

    Leica probably holds its machinests to a very high standard, and accepts a very low variance on their parts.

    Hmm, now that I re-read the above and match it with the Mt. Everest story, they seem out of kilter. But for some reason I still believe the point it right on target.

    Whether it's worth the price or not is another matter, but there is a palpable difference between high quality and over-the-top quality items of the luxury sort. Pens that are perfectly balanced, suits that feel like pjamas, gloves of hand-cut leather fit to order, cameras that give you exactly what you asked for when you pressed the shutter.

    A friend said that there are so many things that can go wrong in photography; if you're doing serious work, why not put the money down to eliminate the variables you can and purchase some peace of mind.

  4. #14
    127
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhphoto
    "If you take a Nikon, a Canon and a Leica to the top of Mt Everest, the only one that will still be working is the Leica."
    Prompted by this thread I did a biot of searching: The cameras which actually did go up Everest first were a Contax, a Kodak and a Rollei (of course!).

    Ian



    Shooting in Everest

    (image and text, excerpt from 'Alfred Gregory's Everest'. by Alfred Gregory)
    . . . . . .

    My 35 mm cameras were a Contax and a Kodak Retina 2. The Contax, with 50 mm and 125 mm interchangeable lenses, was my main camera for colour but when I went high on the South-East Ridge, to almost 28,000 feet, I carried the more compact Retina up to the highest camp. Throughout that day I only shot Kodachrome from which excellent blank and white negatives were made later.

    I also took a twin-lens Rolleiflex which I used for black and white. Despite being more bulky than the Contax and Retina it was extremely easy to use and with its superb Zeiss lens it was capable of producing pictures of exquisite qualityl I took it as the South Col and the final results made the extras effort well worth while. When in recent yers these three cameras were stolen I felt I had lost a very real part of history.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127
    Retina. . . from which excellent blank[sic] and white negatives were made later.
    hmm, remind me not to take a Kodak then.


  6. #16

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    The Leica is the result of a fine design, proper materials and first rate manufacturing.

    The Leica M is designed so that the winding and shutter mechanism is good for an easy 250,000 exposure and wear is nearly impossible to measure after 100,000 exposures. Whether tthe Leica M makes economic sense to the photographic user who purchases it will depend on is if he has the funds, will get good use out of it and can resell at some point in the future with a reasonable return and what value is to be placed on the joy of ownership.

    For the same amount one can purchase more than one of most film cameras that have a higher level of technology.

    It is sort of similar to buying one Mercedes vs several Chevorlets.

    The right answer is determined by the purchaser. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

    Quite frankly, I much admire Leica cameras. I used to own 2 M5 bodies with a visoflex and 21 f4, 35 f2, 50 f1, 50 f2, 65 f3.5 black, 90mm elmarit, 135mm f4, 180mm 2.8 Tele Elmarit and a 280mm 4.8 Telyt in foco-rapid mount and some accessories. I found no reason for dissatisfaction thru several years of regularly using the camers and lenses. The products are of good quality.
    The recession of the late 70's and early 80's bit me on the ass hard enough
    that I was forced to sell by my foolish desire to be a responsible husband, father and a greedy desire to eat. At that time I made more use of my camera for people pictures..perhaps 30% with the remainder being static subject matter.

    These days I have switched to a Contax RTSIII with 9 LENSES... 8 Zeiss and 1 Leica. I have found no reason with regular use to be dissatisfied. The products are of good quality. These days perhas 2% of my photos contain moving subject matter or find me so lazy as not to use a very heavy tripod. Anal is as anal does.

    I know of no other cameras as likely to be satisfactory to me for the way the cameras were applied to the tasks I wished to tackle.

    GOOD STUFF WITHOUT A DOUBT.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  7. #17
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    On the Mt. Everest thing:

    I've heard this as well. IIRC, this was in reference to standard issue SLR cameras, and dated to the late 60's and through the 70's. If you wanted to take a Nikon or Canon up, you needed to send it in for winterizing; lighter and lower viscosity lubricants, etc. Leicas were said to be ready from the factory. I've shot with a factory standard R3 in Minnesota winters with no problems for many hours on days that had highs of -20 F. The camera was kept exposed to the air for hours at a time with no warm-ups (causes condensation problems), and electronics, metering, and mechanicals all worked perfectly, shooting Kodachrome 25 so you'd know if you were off a significant portion of a stop. I've also shot with the R3 and R4s in 110 F degree weather all day with no problems.

    Shot a job for Amhoist outside (the river flats in St. Paul) in -20 F with a Hassleblad 500 C/M(?), and after a short while 1/60th second became about 1 second, then longer.

    Lee

  8. #18
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    I'm about to buy a M4-P. My negs keep getting smaller and smaller.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L
    The Leica marque pushes some hot buttons because of expense, the people who hoard them rather than shoot them, and because of the snotty behavior of some who own them. I could name several other brands some of whose owners fall into that last category. Both Canon and Nikon intimate in their advertizing that you're not a real photographer unless you use their equipment.

    I took the initial post as a factual representation of why one might choose a Leica, with a bit of humor thrown in. It comes on the heels of remarks in other threads about why the Leicas are not worth the money (to some folks), and I interpret that as an attempt to start a neutral new thread instead of a flame war.
    Please note the part I took liberty to put in Italics.

    I looked at those "other threads" - I assume it is the recent ones that are being referred to - and I see that I, myself, may be the sole voice of financial restrictions being a thumbs down for Leica.

    I thought long and hard about posting in this thread, writing what I am about to write. I really, sincerely hope it is taken as an explanation and further elaboration of my initial position - NOT a confrontational move, etc.

    I resent the comparison of what many of us choose to buying "421 Holgas". And this is perhaps were the conflicts usually arise - assumption that not purchasing a Leica puts one in the category of an absolute moron who is basically cutting off his or her nose to spite his or her face.

    It is simply a matter of the prices of this equipment being so astronomical that most either flat out can not afford it (myself in this category) and others are very hard pressed to justify it - a case of paying exponentially more for an incremental, and often very small, improvement.
    I personally love Leicas of all shape and iteration - I am also a doctor certified Porschephile (can't afford one of those either), and I can spot a suit tailored on a certain street in London from across a room. I know and respect the value of these things - to me, they are worth every penny for their unfaltering devotion to excellence which exceeds anything in their field, even if by a small margin. There is a reason why these names are legends - and a big kudos to them for earning that status.

    But tell me this: I can not afford a Leica of any sort - the closest I can come is an old Leica SLR body... but no lens. Please advise me: should I just quit? Should I give up photography? Or at least not embarrass myself with my meagre failures until my piggy bank allows me to buy a Leica and so it "properly"? Have I been a giant moron for running around with my Lubitel SLR, when it was the only camera I had, and attempting to make the best picture I could using what I had?

    Also - tell me one more thing: lets say I can buy that Leica SLR body (which really is not to other SLR's what the Leica RF's are to their ilk, excellent though I am sure they are). Now lets say I have enough money to buy a 50mm f2 lens, but just barely, maybe if I skimp on gorceries. Would I be better off doing that, or using that money to buy an excellent, reliable SLR from (you insert brand here) along with three or four lenses that will allow me to take the picture that the 50mm, no matter how miraculous it is, simply couldn't? Am I still an idiot converting Holgas to Leicas?

    Owning a Leica is a pleasure and a luxury - not a necessity. One day, I really hope I can have one of these legendary cameras - but it will only be, and I mean ONLY, after I have no other needs to assign that money to. And frankly, if you need to know that you are holding x thousands of dollars (not that anyone will actually admit to this) in your hands to "rediscover the joy of photgraphy" then... nah... I stop here.

    Peter
    (hopefully, a future Leica owner)

  10. #20

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    Unless one is making a living with a camera all of them are a luxury item

    You need a camera that is worth your investment that will accomplish what you wish to do. If you can do that with a Lubitel or Holga then either one would make a good choice.

    If you want a good camera with a minimal investment then I would recommend a manual focus Pentax or Minolta with 3 or 4 good lenses. I would shop carefully for a clean used camera and clean used lenses. This I believe will do more for your photography then a used Leica R camera with a 50mm f2 that requires such an onerous use of available funds. In choosing such a camera I would hope you can get a 2 week rerurn priviledge from a vendor of good reputation. Be careful that you choose something that will cause you gno rief when trying to find batteries that meets the camera's requirements. Be very careful that the lenses choose are built with sufficient durability.
    Last edited by Claire Senft; 10-31-2005 at 08:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

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