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Monday, 27 January 2014


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; - )


Since the music awards show was last night, I'd add Jim Marshall to the esteemed list of Leica photographers.

[Done. --Mike]

Last week I bought an used M6 with a Nokton 40mm. After 14 years taking photographs I have realised that my work is not remarkable in any sense, so there's no reason to pixel peep or use a 36Mp DSLR. My decision is using whatever makes me smile while I'm taking photographs... and that's a traditional film Leica.

This is one of the neatest things I've ever read about the Leica M. Thanks, Mike. Hope you're feeling much better now.

Henry Wessel, I believe, also uses a Leica.

A finely written piece, Mike. You did justice to the camera in a remarkably concise style.

Welcome back, but please take it easy and look after yourself first. You don't owe anyone here anything.

Best regards, Rod

I am glad you are feeling better.

It was good to read this article about cameras that have been my constant companions for over thirty years. No complaints - perfect, small, quick, discreet. One can be blazing fast with a film Leica M (I don't have any experience with the digital M). Indeed I have only missed a shot when I, stupidly, have not been prepared.

There are many great cameras available now, if one needs to do something that the M is not suited to, I advise people to get the camera that suits their needs.

May I suggest a Leica user from the past: Sam Tata. He was a good friend to HCB, Kertesz, Gisele Freund and many photographers, painters, writers and poets. I knew him well, and was asked to write a short appreciation upon his passing:

Thank you
Sam Kanga (site not live yet)

It is nice to see you back with this cool Leica eulogy.

I'm currently enjoying the new book about Sergio Larrain, 'Vagabond Photographer'. Another notable Leica user, I believe.

Saul Leiter is another name for the list.

Fine piece Mike. My pockets aren't deep enough for the red dot and looking at the used ones on eBay can make my head spin since I don't really know what's what - from $800 to $90,000.-, ummmm, OK. After picking up a used vintage Voightlander VITO CLR for the handsome sun of twenty dollars and giving a rangefinder a try, I have to say I quite like it. Some of my favourite pictures of my daughter were from that camera. The 2.8 lens, 500th shutter speed and with the focusing being stiff enough my fingers hurt after a half dozen frames would keep me from using it as a 'regular' camera but it is very fun to use once in awhile.

After reading and rereading and rereading your Leica for a Year piece, I am in the process of ordering a Bessa R3M and 40mm 1.4 SC and will do something similar. Can't say it will be strickly a film year, but it will be heavily represented.

Welcome back Mike.

"although the earliest prototype Ur-Leica has a 40mm lens, according to the British Leica technician Malcolm Taylor, who was engaged by Leica to clean and restore the priceless relic"

A 42mm lens (i.e. normal as in the same as the film diagonal) according to Erwin Puts in his Leica Lens Compendium book.


He suggests a 6 element 42mm f/4.5 Leitz Mikro-Summar lens. Both were already in production at that time. Others have suggested a similar Zeiss 42mm f/4.5 (as Barnack used to work for Zeiss).

And I wondered about the Tri in TriX. It appears the sequence was Super-X Pan then Super XX then Tri-X. The Super is for Super Sensitive at ASA 100 (before the "Big Change", I think).

Very timely. DAG says my M4P should be back from the hospital this week. I will be analog instead of digital for a day or two.

My problem with the digital Leica bodies is a combination of the high price and the inevitable obsolescence. I seem to be on a 3-5 year upgrade path on digital bodies. With a D7100 or my aging Olympus E-PL2, I believe that the cost of new bodies are a substitute for film and processing cost. I can't quite make the case with the price of a digital Leica.

I really miss the times when a photo mag could publish such a magnificent text...

Connecting the artist to his tools, I can think of Snap-on as having anything similar of a place in the market. They don't tighten bolts any tighter, but they do "feel" better in your hand. They have an iconic shape and there are even collectors out there who buy but don't use them (though I think they mostly collect ad's).

There's considerable debate about if/why they are better than Mac, Craftsman, Matco, etc. but really a look at who uses them is probably evidence enough.

Hi Mike: Yep, I am another one of the Leica users. Wherever I go, they go with me. I don't collect them, but I guess, I never sell the older ones, and I keep them in pristine condition; ready for the next time I squeeze the shutter-on my film or digital Leica. I use both, but do prefer a real negative. And I would love my name to be added to your list of photographers that you originally published. Arnold

In 1954 I bought my first Leica, a IIIf with a collapsible Elmar 50mm/f3.5, for about $150 in the PX when I was a US Army cinematographer in Europe. Although I have used LF and MF equipment I've never been without a Leica, currently an M8 and an M6/0.85. An ample supply of original Agfa film is in the freezer.

A very enjoyable read. Thanks for the wealth of information. As a new 'Leica' owner, I truly get it. Never has a camera simply been there, out of the way, all the while allowing me to capture what I see. Simply beautiful!

This article rhymes with my psyche. I still use an M6 surrounded by digital enthusiasts many of whom have never touched a roll of film. A photo travelogue I recently compiled into a photo album made eyes pop because almost nobody now takes the trouble to make prints. Amazingly, they all like the feel of an album. I am resisting buying an M9 cos it will put my M6 to rest.

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