Just be curious: where does the name "Texas Leica" come from?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by sliu, May 21, 2004.

  1. I did a search on photo.net, most people call some Fuji rangerfinders
    "Texas Leicas" but some people also call other medium format
    rangerfinders "Texas Leicas". My questions is not what is "Texas Leica"
    but where the name comes from. Since I am not a American, perhaps I
    missed some culture background meaning of the word "Texas". Google
    search is not very helpful for question like this.
  2. Texas = big

    The MF rangefinders are like big Leicas.

    A mickey of alcohol = 375 mL

    A TEXAS mickey = 3L
  3. Just like their former governor which happen to be the current US of A President, BIG LIAR! :).
  4. There are old expressions, "They grow them big in Texas." and "The best is from Texas"

    A MF rangefinder is big compared to a 35mm Leica rf. If you believe that old Texas expressions, that big MF rf must be from Texas. If you believe Texas only produces the very best and that the very best rf is a Leica the camera must be a "Texas Leica".

    However everyone know the very best rf is a Contax II and New York is where you find the biggest and best. So really it should be called a "New York Contax".

    What do you expect? I live in NY. I am not going to say Texas! :)
  5. A Kodak Medalist I or I is BIG too.<BR><BR>So is this a "New York/BIG Apple" Leica? <BR><BR>
  6. Interesting explanation. I did a search on onelook.com, Texas is the second largest state, the largest is Alaska. So perhaps it should be called "Alaska Leica" ;-)
    If measured by the size of the governor, it should be called "California Leica" ;-)
  7. such as "Texas Apple"?
  8. Speaking as a Canadian, they should rename the Texas Leica's to
    Nunavut Leicas!! It's even bigger than Alaska.
  9. Kinda like my Great Dane, a 'West Pecos Chewowa'.

    tim in san jose
  10. "Texas Leica" usually means "big RF camera". I've heard the term relate to Fujis,
    Mamiyas, and even the Bronica RF645. "Texas-sized" usually means "bigger" or
    perhaps larger than usual. Texas is sometimes considered it's own country within the
    50 states partly because of its size and incredible variety of cultures it holds. It was a
    popular practice to compare sizes and many Texans believed "bigger & better"
    traveled together. Fujinon makes a GW690 or 670 with a great lens, it's labeled a
    "Texas Leica" by some . . . usually meant to be descriptive & not derogatory. Don't
    fret about missing this cultural term. You probably have descriptive terms for things
    that I would not understand. There may even be a few we could laugh about! :)
  11. What is the smallest and most portable "Texas Leica" (made by Japanese or German)?
  12. Even though Alaska is bigger I believe over-sized objects are referred to as Texas-sized in America because Texans are regarded as liking things that are very large. They supposedly buy the most gigantic cars (I think that one is true), wear the biggest hats, serve enormous meals and the women are well known for having really big hair. So it is more the size of things within the state than the size of the state itself, if I am correct about this. New Yorkers are known for finding that type of excess to be distasteful, as I understand it, so a too-large anything will not be called a New York anything.
  13. New Yorkers are fast though. A "New York minute" = 16.876 seconds.
  14. Texas became a part of the US in 1846 or so, Alaska in 1958 or so. So for 110 years, Texas was THE largest state. And not just the largest, but a LOT larger than a lot of the states (and larger than many countries). But I suppose that phrase is slowing going out of style.

    I still have a postcard that reads- "The sun has riz, the sun has set, and here we is, in Texas yet."

    Drive from El Paso to Texarkana sometime, and you'll understand better.
  15. I live in Austin, Texas which is pretty much in the center of Texas. My partner and I drove 2 hours (each way) today just to have dinner with a close friend of mine from college that I hadn't seen in a while -- and by Texas standards that wasn't a particularly long drive. When I lived in Boston, that much driving would have gotten me through three states!
  16. I assume that the rangefinder system is common to the Leica
    and the Fuji?

    For what it's worth, the dealer in Sydney, Australia, from whom I
    bought my second hand Fuji GM 670 was aware of the 'Texas
    Leica' expression.

    While 'Texas' is understood in Oz as a reference to large size, of
    course we don't take it seriously as a geographic term because
    we live in a wider brown land.Texas would fit into one small
    corner quite comfortably!

    regards - Ross
  17. because - with the exception of the brain of the current president
    - everything is bigger there?
  18. As a European, I've always thought this comes from a cultural reference: everything is big in Texas: the land, the steaks, the hats, the gestures etc. (here everything is smaller) But interesting to hear explanations...

    I use an Olympus XA RF, which is small. Many places in the far east have high population densities leading to small spaces, maybe a Hong Kong Leica?-)
  19. In popular culture accuracy is unimportant. It doesn't matter who or what really is the biggest, fastest or loudest: it's who lays claim to those characteristics that matters.

    Texas grabbed the concept of Everything Big early on. By the time California and Alaska came along it was too late - they'd have to stake their claim to some other characteristic.

    The fact that you've heard the term "Texas Leica" proves the point - it's the first thing someone might think of upon seeing these oversized rangefinders. If it had been dubbed the "California Leica" we'd be wondering whether the term indicated a varied geography, confused political identity or smoggy viewfinder.

    Lex Jenkins

    Moderate sized Texan
  20. So what then, is a TexMex Leica ...?
  21. Interstate Highway fun fact:The half way point between Los Angeles,CA. and Houston,TX is El Paso,TX!!My 2nd favorite term is "cardboard Leica",refering to those ubiquitous disposables that wedding guests seem to love so.
  22. "smoggy viewfinder"

    Ah, Lex. Isn't Houston the most polluted city in the US? It was a couple of years ago.

    Another geographic fact: Texarkana is closer to Chicago than it is to El Paso.
  23. Chewowa

    do you mean "Chihuahua"?
  24. Ike Kamaruddin wrote: "Just like their former governor which happen to be the current US of A President, BIG LIAR! :)."

    Heh heh, clever, man. You write this stuff yourself?
  25. I thought the original rangefinder referred to as a Texas Leica was the Graflex
    70mm KE-4 Combat model? According to McKeown's, it was also nicknamed
    'Gulliver's Contax'.

    Just a guess...
  26. Our president, George Bush Jr. is from Texas and pretty much everything he does he does in a Big way, today he fell of his bicycle and fell on his face, got all scraped up, yesterday he said it time for the Iraqi people to the the training wheels off, big irony, big mistakes, big problems, think Texas, think big.
  27. My GW690III is one of my favorite cameras, sharp simple solid and very sharp.

    The "Texas-Leica" thing always reminds me of a joke from where I live. It's not too far from where they filmed "Local Hero".

    Good Texan boy is staying with a local farmer, every chance he gets he's telling the old boy how much bigger everything is back home. After breakfast one morning he's spouting forth on how back home, after his grits and hash browns (whatever they are), he gets in his car and he drives and he drives and he drives and no matter long he drives, he's still not left the family farm.

    Our hero, the canny old farmer, looks him dead in the eye and says "Aye, we used to have a car like that."
  28. You're all on the right track (except the foreign dolt hiding behind American military protection and American financial support bashing our President. That's an American right, you foreigners bash your own leaders--if you have the freedom to do so without being put in front of a firing squad).

    Actually the Texans self-parodying running joke is that they always exaggerate about everything in Texas being bigger than anywhere else...like that Texas cockroaches are as big as rabbits, Texas rabbits are as big as dogs, Texas dogs as big as horses, etc. etc. So a Texas Leica is as big as...a Fuji GW690 or a Mamiya 7.
  29. "Ah, Lex. Isn't Houston the most polluted city in the US? It was a couple of years ago. " (Seems like it was Texas City actually, but it's close).

    But the thing is, California LAID CLAIM to smog, even though it is no longer the smoggiest place!
  30. ELLIS,

    Of course. I can't ever remember how to spell Chiulllaaalaa but Chewowa gets the point across jist fine.

    tim in san jose
  31. i hope that doesnt get me in trouble.

    what is a Tex/Mex leica?

    a holga?

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