mbcrutcher

mbcrutcher

Lives in United States Seattle, United States
Works as a Retired lawyer and businessman
Has a website at None
Joined on Mar 31, 2011
About me:

I have owned Leicas and used them for over 50 years, so have personally seen great changes in photography.

My first real job was as a camera and film salesman at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962. I'd just graduated from High School and was very proud of earning $85 a week. This was a summer job before I headed off to Yale.

The principal occupation of a camera salesman in those days was to sell film (we charged an outrageous price, and I would whisper to unhappy customers that they could buy it cheaper outside the fairgrounds.) One also had to be good at changing film, which was a mystery to many people. Often the confused customer had already opened the camera and made an unsuccessful effort to remove the exposed film. I got very good at deciphering how to rewind, properly remove and insert new film in a variety of cameras.

Most of the cameras were box cameras of various sorts, mostly made by Kodak. There were still a lot of Brownie "Hawkeye" cameras in use. We'd see the occasional Rolleiflex, Argus, Kodak Retina and Contax. Maybe someone came in with a Leica, but I had one at the time and would have remembered if that had been the case.

The vast bulk of the cameras used 120, 127 or 620 film, designations which probably mean nothing to most photographers today. Photographers using 35 mm cameras invariably had slide film, an item no longer available. The big revolution was Kodak "Kodachrome II" slide film, which had the amazing speed of 25, up from 10 in the original Kodachrome.

The biggest event of the World's Fair was the visit of Elvis Presley. He was there to film a movie. One of his scenes was done in front of our store (though the store wasn't in it.) We got on the roof of the store and yelled down to Elvis to look up at us. He did and my good friend Ken (not me) got a great photo.

The change in equipment since 1962 is enormous. At that time the single lens reflex camera was replacing the rangefinder. Leica was too slow to hop on the SLR bandwagon. I owned their first effort, a Leicaflex. It was heavy as a brick, had a wonderful viewfinder, but I never thought it took very sharp pictures.

Leica was also slow to hop on the digital bandwagon, as well, but has made great strides. I think the top line Leica digital cameras are the best 35 mm full-frame cameras around. I am disappointed that Leica does not make a lighter weight model that accommodates legacy lens, though. I have an SL, love its picture quality, but its heavy weight makes me dread hauling it around.

I must say I have ambivalent feelings about digital photography. I have no idea what to do with my digital archive, and suspect it will evaporate when I'm gone. I'm in the process now of reviewing, editing and arranging my slide collection, which stretches from the 1950's through the early 1990's. At least slides are tangible. And some of the colors are fantastic.

I'm unhappy with the complexity of digital cameras. It's a relief for me to return to film photography. Set the exposure, shutter speed and focus -- that's it. What a relief one doesn't have to sift through menu after menu, or find your camera is doing something inexplicably weird.

Photography has been an important part of my life. Unfortunately, I haven't seemed to imbue my children with a similar love. They use iPhones to photograph all the time. The iPhone has an outstanding lens (mine is the 6plus, and I understand the 7 is even better.) But almost by definition iPhone photography is haphazard. One seizes the moment -- great. But one does not go out with an iPhone to take pictures, as one does with a camera.

I'm giving two of my children Leicas for Christmas. Maybe they'll find out what a rewarding experience photography can be. (I'm not ignoring my third child -- he gets a canoe!)

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Subject Forum Last post
Suggestions on holding camera with right hand only? Leica Talk 5 months ago
Need help. Leica V-Lux 5 or Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II? Sony RX100VII? Leica Talk Feb 6, 2021
Flying High Leica Talk Feb 4, 2021
Refurbished a la carte CCD Leica M9 for sale from Leica Customer Care Leica Talk Aug 7, 2019
Any SL users care to comment on their experiences? Leica Talk Nov 6, 2017
New Leica M-A or MP? Long term Leica Talk Jul 3, 2017
M10 + APO-Summicron 50mm Leica Talk Apr 26, 2017
SL+50mm SL Summilux at indoor Volleyball! Leica Talk Mar 11, 2017
What do we need a digital Leica for? Leica Talk Feb 6, 2017
Q-Homeless in West Boynton Beach Leica Talk Jan 6, 2017
More candid images, DLUX 5, Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala, pt II Leica Talk Nov 21, 2016
Leica X-E, unsung hero Leica Talk Nov 20, 2016
Should i buy SL with 24-90mm or without? Leica Talk Nov 17, 2016
Brand new MS-Optical 28mm f/2 Apoquaria-G F. MC Leica M *Ultra Thin Gauss Type* on eBay @$1,200 Leica Talk Nov 13, 2016
New leica TL Leica Talk Nov 10, 2016
Holding the SL Leica Talk Mar 11, 2016
SL mea cupla Leica Talk Feb 17, 2016
75mm works best on M cameras Leica Talk Jan 12, 2016
A mountain sunset with the RX10 Sony Cyber-shot Talk Jan 4, 2016
Two versions - your opinions much appreciated Leica Talk Dec 24, 2015
SL: LEICUS GIGANTICUS Leica Talk Oct 24, 2015
Up in the mountains - M2 + Portra400 Leica Talk Oct 4, 2015
Istanbul, a M, three lenses, and good shoes Leica Talk Aug 5, 2015
"To be, or not to be, that is the Q" user review by Thorsten Overgaard Leica Talk Aug 4, 2015
MY QUICK REVIEW OF THE LEICA Q Leica Talk Aug 4, 2015
Swallowtail butterfly against the sky -- Leica C Leica Talk Aug 3, 2015
Impressed with the Q Leica Talk Jul 20, 2015
Is Leica T that slow with poor af Leica Talk Jul 15, 2015
Leica Q - watchouts for potential buyers... Leica Talk Jul 10, 2015
Leica Q photo - apologies in advance Leica Talk Jun 25, 2015
How about a lightweight Leica? Leica Talk Jun 23, 2015
Leica "T" with firmware 1.3 Leica Talk May 21, 2015
Question/Advice needed on sale of older 1930's Leica III with lenses Leica Talk Apr 30, 2015
M9 or M240 Leica Talk Apr 22, 2015
Current State of Leica T - Input Requested Leica Talk Apr 17, 2015
Leica T firmware 1.310 -- What's the fix? Leica Talk Mar 20, 2015
Nokton 50 1.5 and the Asian model. Leica Talk Mar 11, 2015
Leica T & 11-23mm Lens in the Canadian Rockies Leica Talk Mar 11, 2015
For today... Leica Talk Mar 10, 2015
Leica Model III photos Leica Talk Feb 23, 2015
Learning the M2 Leica Talk Feb 19, 2015
Film Leica Leica Talk Feb 11, 2015
One B&W conversion Leica Talk Feb 9, 2015
Tired of stupid nomenclature! Leica Talk Dec 14, 2014
Leica X Vario: At last some sunshine Leica Talk Dec 4, 2014
New samples Leica D-Lux 109 production model Leica Talk Nov 29, 2014
Leica T fill flash intensity Leica Talk Oct 3, 2014
M240 Purchase Thoughts Leica Talk Aug 31, 2014
Some Leica T posts and comments Leica Talk Aug 14, 2014
Leica T issue: help! Leica Talk Jul 22, 2014