Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/03/30

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: WAS:The Canon Challenge [Macro-Micro Stuff]! no brainer!
From: David Prakel <>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 09:09:31 +0000

on 30/3/2002 5:27 am, the eminent Ted Grant at wrote:

> I was the only Leica user, the others were Canon or Nikon and I think one
> guy was doing Pentax. Anyway the chief designer could walk through the
> tables and pick out Leica slides as easy as picking black & white jelly
> beans. He could do that whether he knew which shows I'd been working on or
> not.

I had a similar experience last week. As a college tutor teaching the first
year of a new syllabus I was asked by my college to be a student on my own
course and do all the course work to find out how things went. I had been
shooting the B&W assignment with my M6 Classic with a 35mm f1.4 Summilux. I
printed up and mounted 14 shots and decided, because of its content, to add
one I'd taken on my R8 on the same film at the same location but using a
35-70 Vario-Elmar f4.

I spread out my 15 boards (full frame images with oversize borders on 10x8)
for a colleague and asked him to choose the best 10 images with print
quality and tonality and important consideration. I was pleased with his
first comment that he'd rarely seen such sharp images (and this from a lens
the Leica rep try hard to persuade me not to buy because it was 'soft' in
his opinion). He soon reduced the field to 11 but seemed to be having
trouble over one print. 'Seems like it was shot on a different lens or
system' he said. 'It's sharp but not the same kind of sharp' - he was of
course referring to the one image shot on the Vario-Elmar zoom. Well I was

To go back to the origins of this thread I owned both Leica 60mm
Macro-Elmarit and 55 f2.8 Micro Nikkors at the same time and one could
easily see the difference between chromes from the two lenses. The Leica
chromes have what I would term 'colour integrity', the Nikon chromes show
spiky micro contrast yet in terms of lpm resolution I guess they'd be the
same of similar.

By the way I think Nikon last the plot when it first redesigned the 55mm
f3.5 Micro Nikkor and made the f2.8 computation which though optically fine
was mechanical not up to the quality of the original. I had two and one was
repaired three times always for sticking iris problems - wrong lubricants
and not enough room in the barrel! The 60mm Micro Nikkor D is one hell of a
lens but still doesn't match the Elmarit's colour qualities.

David Prakel

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