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JCM in Berkeley
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I agree with the thrust of John Camp's arguments. For that reason I am now in the Nikon camp with several bodies and a ton of glass. But every day I miss my old IIIg that I used for 25 years. It was small. I could hold it pressed against my forehead and minimize vibration. After 15 years I could tell where it was focused by the position of my finger on the focusing knob. Half the time I never focused. I looked at the lines on the aperture scale to set the hyperfocal distance. (How do you do that with a Nikon DSLR? Press the preview button? Forgedaboutit.) I just finished scanning 50 years of Leica color slides. I was astonished at the resolution of the film images blown up and displayed on my computer screen. I never owned or borrowed a slide projector that was as good as the Leica lenses. So I never knew. I carried two IIIg bodies and five lenses in a Benser case. It was smaller and lighter than my current Tamrac case with one D700 and one lens. Enough nostalgia! I do not miss the chemicals and worrying about film fogging. I have learned that post processing can add snap and interest even if you got the exposure right the first time. On the whole, the overall quality of the photos you take depends on your understanding of what you are trying to communicate to the viewer and why - not on the equipment. The average technical quality of the photos I am taking now is better than my Leica days. But I am still working on the question of what am I attempting to communicate and why. Comparing the Leica system to what I use now is like comparing my exotic and exciting college girlfriend to the steady, responsible, mature, girl that I married. I would not change, but I still miss the Leica.