A Guest Post by L. T. Gray
I'm afraid our friend Lloyd Chambers has stepped in it. Stepped square in fresh poop with a great big squishing sound. He's written a commentary about the Leica M9 that's not totally over the moon about that august device (which Mike actually quite likes, we hasten to add—even though he can't figure out how to get the Tri-X in).
I can't find the post Mike wrote on the Leica User Group (LUG) many years ago now called "The Leica Rules" or something like that, but I do remember one of the cardinal rules, which is that you're not allowed to criticize current Leica products. Only once they've been replaced can you talk frankly about the flaws of the earlier versions. Until it is replaced by Leica, every current Leica product is by definition unimproveable. That's a fact of life—a Universal Truth. Axiomatic.
For instance, if you'll remember, Mike wrote a review of the Leica M8 (in separate "Pro" and "Con" sections) that now looks quite sane and balanced. But it wasn't at the time, because, when he wrote it, the M8 was still a current product. Big mistake. Leica fans let him know in no uncertain terms what an irredeemable shit he is. And they were right to do so.
He should have learned his lesson long ago, when he wrote a review of the 35mm Summicron (4th version, now called the "Pre-ASPH") that was only mostly glowing. He said the lens had excessive vignetting with thin-emulsioned B&W films such as 100 Delta. He duly got raked over the coals by aficionados for daring to say such a thing. Later, when Leica introduced the 35mm Summicron ASPH, it mentioned that one of the improvements is that it vignettes much less than its predecessor version. You see, only then did the earlier lens start to vignette; before that, it never did.
Lloyd, your review might look perfectly reasonable...someday. Once the M10 has come out. Until then, though...well, your timing is very poor, and you've done a bad thing. Very bad. Go sit in the corner and think about what you've done until you're ready to play by the rules again.
(Important Note: I had nothing to do with writing this post. Don't blame me. I am not the author. L. T. Gray is a former columnist for the now defunct English Darkroom User magazine. —Mike)
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Ed Buziak, Founding Editor (ret.) of Darkroom User magazine: "El Tigre, huh? My lips are sealed!"
Featured Comment by Erlik: "I saw Lloyd's rant. I don't mean it pejoratively, but it is a rant. I had two questions.
"One: if you can find so many things wrong with the camera, what have you been doing with it for two years?
"Two: the camera is too expensive? Wasn't it too expensive when you bought it?
"Besides, for all his expertise and experience, I wonder whether he thought everything through. I'm not talking about the reactions. Couldn't care less. But we all know that Leica is a boutique manufacturer. He must have known that.
"So where does he think that Leica is going to find manufacturing resources for increased numbers of cameras and lenses should they lower the prices? And why does he think that Leica wants to raise the numbers of its cameras and consequently lower its prestige and margins?"