Moderator Note: Supportive/Positive Contributions and Constructive Criticism ONLY

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by rowlett, May 13, 2009.

  1. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    I and other moderators and administration have been discussing an issue that I believe is unique to the
    Leica and Rangefinder Forum, and most likely unique to the internet: that of people making comments that are
    unsupportive and/or critical of others' enthusiasm with the apparent intent of egging people on or to show how
    really dumb we can be about our excitement for our cameras. These sorts of remarks are often so subtle in their
    design and implementation that they not only fly under the radar, they approach being evil; they are hard for
    moderators to address because they (mostly) lay within the forum rules, yet they are uncomfortable and really annoying to many.

    I don't want "You have to have a thick skin to participate here," to be a fall-back response anymore.

    It is not my intent to stifle honest, supportive, and useful criticism. It is not my intent to weaken exciting
    debates about issues or service or the industry or camera features or 20M other things.

    I am not lobbying for this forum to become a mutual admiration society. What I want is a zone to where Leica and
    rangefinder enthusiasts can freely come and show their enthusiasm and zeal for their hobby or profession without
    fear of a pigeon swooping in and crapping on their keyboards. That may sound like, "I want this forum to be a mutual admiration society," but there has to be some good, friendly, middle ground here.

    No, you don't need to own or use a Leica (or RF) to participate, but if you're not totally excited about
    Leica/RF photography, if you're not in Leica Nirvana most of the time, then please keep that fact to yourself!

    Our Leica/RF community is like a yoga class. If you want to be here or participate, you can't stand on the
    sidelines like a thug and issue cat calls to the ones on the mats. You have to put on your sweats and get out
    onto the floor and practice yoga.

    You have to be respectful of those who call this place a home on the internet.

    Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment.
  2. Um, "most likely unique to the internet", is that supposed to be satirical?
  3. Well... i understand your concern, but honestly I never felt what you say.
    About criticism, some people are more suble, some are more "sharp", but i always felt in a way one could live with it.
    After all, there's always good that comeone pulls us - leica/RF fans - back to earth and say "hello, it's just a camera!" ;)
  4. What's this all about?
  5. Tony - some of us who have been around awhile kinda know how it works and adjust accordingly. The 'unfortunates' are the new folk who come in here looking for advice either having just bought a Leica or are thinking about. The vultures are waiting and they pounce. We wince. The newbies will probably not ask another question. And pity the poor fool who actually says he really likes his new M8 or dares to say it's better than his Nikon dslr or Canon P&S. There's little room here for much enthusiasm. It use to be with some of our old friends - Jay & Al come to mind - that we'd have some pretty heated debates but they usually revolved around different lens choices or whether the M4 was the last really "good" M that Leica built. Today it seems that are those who (apparently) do not own Leica and are overly defensive about that fact. I'd like to get back to when we use to have discussions about which 50mm is best or even better about photography and how using the Leica "can" effect your photography (YES - it can). I bought my first Leica in 1966 as a teenager. I still own that M2 plus other M cameras. I keep returning to the forum to see what's going on. In my opinion light moderation might be helpful. Also, the users of the forum can be a big help by NOT responding at all to any perceived baiting or trolling. Just ignore it. Don't get sucked into it. Thanks, Tony, for your note.
  6. Tony I know what you are talking about. I've not seen anything really bad for a while. But maybe I've just become street-wise about where to stay away from.
    One think you need to watch for is ganging up. First one person says there is something bad about an image or a statement, then someone else chimes in until you have a chain of attacks, with people who think otherwise staying away.
    I think current policy is wise in that it urges victims not to confront the bullies but to contact the administration. I've felt compelled to do that only once in the last few years.
    The problem discussed here may be unique to our forum on (I don't get around that much) but it is certainly endemic to the Internet. Usually it's the political forums that are foul.
    Anyway, Tony, thank you for this posting. I'll be seeing you in Kyoto is just about a week.
  7. Moderator's note: Please do not copy and re-post comments that you think are inappropriate into a thread on the forum. If you see a problem, email a moderator; don't try to spread the negative comments further.
    The post you mentioned was removed as soon as I saw it, but the moderators can't monitor every thread every minute of every day.
  8. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Steve, no, I meant no satire, I was dead serious. In all my life, in all my face-to-face photography circles, I've never personally witnessed the same thing that has happened here on the internet, here, on this very forum. I'll check your wiki link, though.
  9. I don't know if anyone else feels like myself, but this forum has become so dry and stifled since disrupters have been banned, that it's become a rather dry and boring place. We're no longer feisty. That is ok, it's not my site, but what you are commenting on occurs on most of these forums, and that makes them interesting.
    If we want, we can (and do) go to the Leica forum for generic posts. This forum seems that at one time was the most interesting on PN, most fun, even with a few insults thrown in. Jay, Al (and Monkey) made the Leica forum fun, even it were to be 7 years later that I actually used a Leica as my main camera I hung out here and posted even though I was shooting a MF Contax 645. Only because the guys were enjoying photography and their cameras
    On the Street forum, us, our community (you only host it, remember that or you're doomed) break the rules, and PN is a richer experience for it. Sure, you can have good conversations about ver. III or IV whatever Leica lens, or IIIc or IIId, but as a community, is that what we want? Here as in real life, we're all individuals, with the same faults and qualities as in "real" life.
    Being "evil"? You're on drugs or out of tough with reality, both, none, or writing laws in Massachusetts. Does that sentence qualify to get me TOS'd? You call some posters here "evil"? Give an example!
  10. I hope this is the beginning of some real moderation activity in the Leica forum. It's been so poisonous here that I've generally stayed away and have given no thought to contributing financially. Maybe things are changing.
  11. Good on you Tony, you are 100% right, and about time!
    I AM a Leica enthusiast and it seems there are nearly as many comments from those who delight in dissing the brand as there are from those who actually own and like Leica. There are too many outright rude responses to legitimate questions -- which is why I know some Leica fans have migrated elsewhere.
    Why bother when you will just be shot down in flames? Once the forum used to be full of courteous, knowledgeable responses, and I have made some good friends through it. People, I am afraid, will vote with their mouses.
    Actually, there's no point to bang on about this indefinitely. It's very simple: Just consider whether your post contributes anything useful BEFORE hitting the send key.
  12. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    A good point that was brought up with me (via email) is that it is not like the "dissers" are charging into the forum looking for trouble. I agree with this, and I also know that the forum has been relatively tame in recent times, much tamer than it has been.

    Another good comment I received and totally agree with was, "It's not a matter of being thick skinned; it's a matter of NOT being vindictive and NOT actively trying to take offense just because you haven't agreed with someone in the past."

    The result I am looking for, above all else, is that I want those who are really enthusiastic and excited about our topic to be able to post their thoughts and their work and their questions without fear of being trampled.

    I think I should make it clear that this is not to say that we shouldn't have thoughtful and constructive criticism here, which I think is often vital to a useful dialog. Leica, in all its glory, is one of the most criticism-worthy cameras, after all! There is a difference between that and what this forum has suffered from time to time.
  13. When I first joined (circa 2004) I was stunned to see how vehement some of the responses were. I never understood this because at photography school I had met so many cool photographers of all ages and genders. After a couple of postings I thought about voting with my feet and leaving. But I decided to stay and weave my way thru the cr_p. I check in once in a while to see what's up. I think its gotten a little better.
  14. I am very appreciative of the good sense and good manners Tony suggests should be the standard. The often vulgar and abrasive comments and insults so frequently seen here have nothing to do with civil discourse. I want to be able to express an honest opinion or factual information with the security of knowing that someone who may disagree will treat me in a polite manner. I support the moderators in rules of decent discourse, and kicking off quickly and permanently those who can't control their ignorance and hate, and smart attitudes. One warning, then out the door might be good, and publish the warning, and the action is giving them the boot to demonstrate what is unacceptable. Thanks.
  15. I think maybe a rearranging of the forums may be needed. I do own a Leica RF but my main interest at the moment is a range of other cameras (largely 35mm), including auto focus, auto exposure point and shoots, some viewfinder (no RF, no auto focus cameras), all too new to be in the classic camera forum. I also see M8's being discussed here instead of the digital forum. There may be others like me who are interested in some of these forumless cameras. (I also miss Frank.)
  16. FWIW, I'm a recently (~Nov 2008) joining lurker from the Canon EOS forum, and I don't see much difference in the tone between here and there -- most of the time. I do remember one thread a few months ago about the M8 that made me say “wow…ugh”, but that’s the only one. There is some one-off ugliness and vulgarity, but I personally filter it out. Perhaps I tend to not read the threads where it gets ugly.
    Maybe it's more "bare knuckled" here, but not an order of magnitude than the EOS forum, IMHO. More feistiness is perhaps appropriate here in some cases, since this forum is de facto much of the time really not about gear but about philosophy. Rudeness, on the other hand, I agree should be kept in check – and I think that’s the point -- thanks Tony for reminding us that we're a community and should act like one -- and that needs to be said whether it happens 100 times a year or just once. We all see what happens here and have an opportunity to write that it isn't appropriate.
    There are certainly merits to Charles’s point that a re-arranging of the forums might be due. I could see a dividing of RF in general vs. Leica M film vs. Leica R vs. Leica M8 vs. people like me who use R lenses on a Canon 5D. Personally, I like this forum as it is. In general, the group shares a certain sensibility about photography that I want to learn from. Me, my 5D, and my 10 R lenses like it here.
  17. Thanks, Sam, for a different perspective.
    I don't support the thought of breaking up a forum into film vs digital simply because the same rationale would apply to most of the other manufacturer forums - Nikon, EOS, Olympus, Pentax, and so on. Even Medium and Large formats, depending on the back being used.
    I'm not exactly sure why the Leica forum was combined with rangefinders in general. (Has Nikon or EOS been combined with SLR's in general?). But there it is, so that's fine. The point is not the badge on the camera, but the community. After all, probably just about all of us have or do practice with multiple brands of equipment anyway.
  18. The rangefinder tag was added to the Leica forum because there was already discussion of newVoightlander/Bessa, Zeiss, and Contax rangefinder cameras here, as well as some talk about older Canon and Nikon RF cameras. It was a natural and reasonable grouping of interests; the name of the forum was changed to reflect that.
  19. Tony you're two or three years late with this entry. And yes, the "dissers" used to enter into this space precisely with the intention of making mayhem, and they usually succeeded. Then mass deletions & evictions occurred & this place got pretty staid & harmless. Now there's no motivation for trolls to enter this forum; most of the interesting wierdos & opinionated gearheads have long since ventured elsewhere. All in the past now. Time for all of us to learn & use some new E-tricks.
  20. Discussions about the New Bessa; Zorki's; non Leica LTM and digital bodies that use LTM and M are old topics here. The New Bessa really is not all that new; I got mine about 9 years ago!
    Some of the same optics marketed for the Nikon RF were marketed in LTM too. Thus asking performance of a 10.5cm F2.5; 8.5cm F2; 13.5cm F3.5 or 5cm F2 Nikkor has users with Nikon RF and Leica LTM and M users; since all frour lenses were made for both cameras.
    One will find a bigger body of knowledge about the performance of those 4 nikkors in the Leica forum than the Nikon Forum. In fact sometimes in the past before there was a classic forum; asking about a LTM Nikkor one got fiesty you in the WRONG forum comments. At one time in the Leica forum back in the Greenspun board; just mention of a non Leica LTM got one massive flack. Old farts with depends got to mud slinging; one having a dialog about a poor mans Noctilux say a Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM; you have broke the cults sacred "do not talk about non Leica equipment" dogma.
    The whole dogma of "can only talk about Leica" preaching always seemed to be oddball. My own LTM and M bodies hold non Leica and Leica lenses; thus I really do not care if an old fart gets his knickers in a wad if I mention I use a 5cm F2 LTM on my RD-1 , Zorki 3C or Leica M3. I also use non Milwaukie and Mllwaukie saw blades on my Milwaukie sawsall and wormdrive saws; I also own a J C Penney, 2 Skill; 1 Hitachi, 1 Craftsman, 1 Harbor Freight, and 2 Ridgid circular saws. I mix saws and blade vendors; I use what works.
    Instead of using my Leica M3 and Noctilux; I use my Zorki3C and Canon 50mm F1.2 in a rougher working environment. It does not not bother me that a Leica purist has his/her blood pressure higher with mention of what one said of a "lowly garbage" non Leica LTM lens. It bothers me that their ignorance preaches that all Russian LTM miss focus; that non Leica lenses are crap; etc etc.
    One had a tad of this bitchness back in 1969 when LTM was considered obsolete; but it grew alot worse as folks tended to collect lenses; than use them.
    The whole resursurgence of LTM came out 10 to 18 years ago; NEW LTM lenses came out. The 15mm VC lens here was bought about 9 years ago; after the Bessa R. Just mentioning that one used a rig like this on the Greenspun Leica (pre Leica board) got one attacked; one is havign dialog about a non Leica LTM lens and body
    The anti-Russian LTM camera attitude was so great that long ago many folks from the old Yahoo groups Ruissan boards just stayed there; if the ventured to the Leica board (now here) they got flack. One might have a great Jupiter 8 5cm F2 that tracks/focuses well on a Leica M3; Bessa R or Zorki; one still got flack since it was not a proper LTM lens; ie a Leica. I actually like how the older evil crowd has passed on; folks who inject deep hatred; canned dogma. Here I have many fine NON LEICA LTM lenses too. It is oddball how with a hobby or job ; folks worship brand names versus what works for you application. It is like if one found a great Harbor Freight blade that works 95 percent of a name brand blade; one has commited a sin by talking about it.
  21. I for one am very glad this new policy has been stated up front. Some of you will remember that I used to be a frequent contributor here. I gave up about the time the M8 came out and all the lurkers came out telling us how crappy it was, and how much better X,Y and Z cameras were. Part of me agrees with Tony, that for many of them it was just a case of 'I can't afford it so I'll rain on their parade'.
    So I've been spending my time at the L-camera user forum, though in truth it is a little dry. A bit of disagreement is healthy. Even in the days of Phil Kneen...he could be abrasive in his wording, called a spade a spade if he thought it was deserving, yet at the same time let everyone know that he had used, and still used Leica...just didn't like what it had become. Totally different than some of the crap of late.
    Now, off topic. Got rid of all my M and SM gear 2 years ago to replace with a Digilux 2, which I'm quite happy with, especially the 25mm F1.4. But I've been itching to get back into film for the esoterics of it. So when Leica announced their reproduction Prototype II camera (limited to 1000 cameras) for well under $1000...well I just had to spring for it. For those who haven't seen it, it is the '0' camera from a few years ago, with a leather case and reproduction packaging for about $800. I'll use if for those days when the 'journey' is more important than the destination (print).
    Anyways...with this new 'mission statement' I think I'm back.
  22. Nice to hear from you again, Bob. I agree there are times when the journey is a significant part of the experience. Sometimes you need to take I-5 straight from SF to LA - no stops, no time, no horsing around. Other times you just need to take US 1, take days to do it, smell the roses along the way, and enjoy the scenery, like winding down the Amalfi coast. When the equipment gets in the way and becomes a burden, it's time to try something different.
  23. Good move.
  24. Remember the PLUG and it's rules of photography that everyone had to take to heart to be part of the in crowd?

    The place is much friendlier than it used to be. You still get extemist, Leica Fanatics and Leica Haters and Leica Fanatic Haters.

    But you can post a picture of your kid without being jumped all over by the trolls.
  25. Evil? That's rediculous and if you look on many other forums here on you'll find many of your statements unsupported. People snipe on all the forums. And Brian's right, for the most part no one dis's other's work, though maybe a little more critical, if positive discussion of pictures would be helpful to some of us.
  26. I quite agree with you, Tony. I was going to get an M3 and still might. But I'd have to sell all my carefully collected Nikon mf gear to do so, and I don't want to do that. I mentioned that once and was flamed from both sides. There are Leica-envy and Leica-is-perfect lurkers out there, just like there are those who lurk on the Canon and Nikon forums, ready to pounce on any criticism, rather than offer constructive advice. Woe betide you if you suggest that you might switch brands. The "i told you so" camp is as strong as the "you're mad" camp. Its worse sometimes than Ford vs Chevvy car nuts. Get a life, I say.
    The Street forum suffers also...but in reverse. There are those there who do not like non-rangefinder or digital shooters making comments. Like they don't qualify. But I guess its all in the nature of forums. Someone once said it was passion. Its not. Its bigotry. There is not much anyone can do and I'm sure moderators don't want to preview every post.
    Perhaps it might be better to separate the Leica bit from the Rangefinder forum.
  27. Chippy posts deleted.
    Keep your personal vendettas against other users to yourselves or between you and moderators via email. I'm not going to put up with "crapping on the other guy" either directly or via veiled reference. It's pretty childish and has to stop.
  28. Perhaps it might be better to separate the Leica bit from the Rangefinder forum.​
    That isn't going to happen here. Very few people talking about Bessas or Ikons or Hexars aren't interested in Leica stuff as well.The Leica & Rangefinder topics are too intertwined to make a useful split.
    Not to mention the fact that there are too few RF shooters in general these days, we don't have the numbers to support splitting stuff up. Sitting here in 2009, there is no good reason that anyone can present that would justify splitting the forum.
  29. I am not in Leica Nirvana most of the time :), but I do like to frequent this forum because of Leica's obvious place in photography, and since I do have a couple RFs that I fiddle around with from time to time. I am interested in a lot of cameras that I don't own and never plan on owning, but that doesn't mean I should only comment only about the cameras I like/own in the Classic Manual Cameras forum. If I (or anybody else) don't like something about any camera/feature I should be free to write about it on any forum on this site, it makes for interesting discussions. What you are asking does indeed sound like a mutual admiration society. That said, I do completely support civil discussion and think that flame-baiters, particularly known and frequent ones, that do nothing but egg on negativity should be booted from this site. I don't think you need a new moderator policy for that, you already have the power and should exercise it as soon as needed.
    The other thing is that those in Leica or RF Nirvana should realize that those not of the same disposition also frequent this forum. So, please refrain from following every positive statement about whatever you like with a disparaging statement about something else. For instance, from a post just yesterday, "it is amazing that in all these years, of all the cameras the Japanese manufacturers have conjured up, they have not been able to make anything stick". Most people choose to ignore such ludicrous generalizations, but if you are indeed wanting those on the sidelines to be respectful, then you should also return the favor.
    I want to reiterate that I understand the motives for the policy, just making a contrarian argument to make sure all sides are considered so this forum remains of interest to all photographers.
  30. Most Leica's are rangefinders; how could one separate Leica from rangefinders?.
  31. To be fair, why not ask the same of every forum? Leica/RF users are not the only ones who go through the whole "my system is better than your system" debate.
    A lot of the reason why there seems to be so much hostility stems from the prevalence of blanket statements asserting that one system is unequivocally better than another. Film vs. digital, SLR vs. RF, Canon vs. Nikon, 35mm vs. 120. Why single Leica users out for "protection" (for lack of a better word) when this sort of thing happens everywhere?
  32. Sasvata writes:
    So, please refrain from following every positive statement about whatever you like with a disparaging statement about something else. For instance, from a post just yesterday, "it is amazing that in all these years, of all the cameras the Japanese manufacturers have conjured up, they have not been able to make anything stick".​
    This is exactly why there's so much animosity going around. Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
  33. I think photographers as a whole need to lighten up a bit :)
  34. I have found this on many of the pnet forums. A newbie posts their first question. Then, they get some sarcastic remarks. It has happened to others who have been members for several years, too. It can also be comments about their English, spelling, anything seems to be fair game.
    this might not be what this thread is about. But, I thought I'd throw it in.
  35. it sure is an interesting read all those comments above. I can see the point of the OP but still, all should realise that people are the same all over as was already hinted at. The fact of the matter is that most people are very civil and stay on topic in varying degrees. But some have long toes and it's all too easy to step on those, some are frustrated for whatever reason and react accordingly, and some get real defensive while others are just opinionated sods (like me) who tend to be very direct. Point is that all those are very harmless and in fact contribute to spirited discussions.
    On the other hand there are a few that display obnoxious behaviour. Those are easy to deal with, give them fair warning and if they don't respond get rid of them. But there also those who act merely childish. One of the first comments I wrote on this site got me a few e-mails that I guess would fall in the mods category of getting flamed. To be honest I found them very amusing.
    A few weeks ago someone put up a post that was insulting and childish and directed at one of the mods. I reacted to that and as a consequence received an e-mail because said poster was clearly under the impression that I had closed his account. The mail stressed that he would be back anyway because he was able to switch his IP a few times a day and what not, I would be found and dealt with. I think you would agree that such is the response of a spoiled child and nothing to worry about. Again, quite amusing.
    So why am I telling you all this? Simply because there is a big difference between erratic behaviour and a lively and spirited discussion. I think the mods tend to err on the cautious side which is perfectly understandable but it shouldn't be forgotten that a lively and heated discussion can be very interesting and lead to a great read for all and lastly that all here are adults (or seemingly so). True, you shouldn't be in need of a thick skin but there are a few that are oversensitive as well.
    It's great that these forums are moderated and it's obvious that sometimes it's a hard call whether to step in or not but heated discussions can be great fun.
  36. Strange... Occasionally, I see people reacting to postings in an aggressive, churlish manner, and I always wonder, who are they really? My profession leads me to write a lot (emails these days, letters before that) and I have noticed that very often mild-mannered and civil people can turn into lions when they write. It's as if their inhibitions disappear the moment their counterpart is a computerscreen (or a sheet of white paper) rather than a live person. Wonder if any of you ever noticed that. Then there's the breed of people who totally master the language, and can cut someone up with just a few carefully chosen words, and seem to actually relish the destructive power they wield that way. Again, knowing that the other party is not physically present, but can only react by email. Nasty people, that...
    That being said, I've asked my share of dumb questions on, and always got helpful and friendly advice, that was always useful. I have never felt intimidated into not coming back, or keeping the next stupid question to myself. As a result, when I stumble onto a question that I think I can answer (even if only partially), I feel duty-bound to offer whatever snippet of information I can profer.
    And now for something (maybe) unfair to many... I see most people on don't use an alias, but just their own name. I have to confess I'm a bit weary of mails or postings signed with an alias. It makes me feel that person wants to remain anonymous (OK, it's a free country), but also that they (ab)use that anonimity to hide behind it, and hurl all sorts of invective and meanness at the world at large without risk of being identified. And some aliases are so strange, one has to wonder what drives people to pick them in the first place.
    Ah well, it takes all sorts...
  37. It is really good to hear from Mark Williams and Bob Todrick. I hope these folks, along with many others, will come back as regulars and share their wisdom with us.
    To test the waters I think I'll start a thread called something like "The M8 is a wonderful camera" and see if I can survive a week without being flamed :)
  38. Interesting thread, but is it confined to the Leica forum only? I think not, whatever you use, I'm a Nikon user myself and have never owned or used a Leica; - Canon, Pentax, Zenith, Rollei, Fuji, and many others - yes, but never Leica. BUT the point is you get many arrogant and rude people on the net in all forums. You also get many manipulative and mean people. I've met them in Nikon forums on many web sites. I think the purpose of all the various Photography Forums is to learn and help others to learn, and to share the pleasure that so many of us get from Photography. Also to help and encourage all beginners. If you cannot give helpful, constructive criticism - don't reply. If you cannot accept criticism, don't post. The answer to my dumb question might just be the one that helps me solve a problem or enable me to take giant steps forward. We all had to start somewhere, let's not look down on the ladder we are all climbing, rather remember we were all on the bottom rung at some time or other.
  39. This opens up lots of territory. Take anonimity: I'm anonymous because a poster once launched a major vendetta against me on this site. If this policy had been in place then, perhaps I wouldn't have felt the need to lower my profile. I hope I've not abused the anonimity that pnet has granted me and that I've been able to provide some help to others. After my previous experiences, though, I'll keep under the radar on the basis of "once bitten, twice shy".
    I'd also like to comment on the "positive attitude". In the past, this was heavily abused by a small coterie that would carefully massage one another's egoes. One manifestation of this was that if one member of the charmed circle posted an image, the others would praise it, excessively. If anyone dared, however mildly, to demure from this assessment, they would be flamed mercillesly, if they were lucky. This tended to encourage an ascerbic stance in those of us on the receiving end, so I'm not going to claim to be without sin. as a whole has become a friendlier place. I hope that Tony and his colleagues can keep it that way.
  40. I'm not a Leica owner and don't post on the Leica forum, but I do participate actively on, and several other internet fora, including a guitar forum and a gun forum. Nowhere else have I seen the kind of vindictive, baiting attitudes I've noticed here on the Leica forum.
    As much as I don't like to stereotype, I wonder if this doesn't have something to do with the demographic that buys a Leica or comparably-priced camera system (I own a pro-level Nikon, so I include myself). The internet is a great place to belittle people about their gear because you don't have the talent/drive to actually use your own.
    Freedom of speech doesn't apply on a private web site. I hope the mods will strike a balance between stifling the rude folks and maintaining interesting discussions.
  41. Look at the diverse collection of lenses one can place on a LTM body or a M compatible body.

    One has Leica, Canon, Nikon, Astro Berlin, Meyer Gorlitz, Eastman Kodak, Voigtlander, Kyoei Optical Acall's, Spiratone, Cambron, Komura, Carl Zeiss, Steinheil Munchen, Russar, Minolta, Tower/Sears, Angenieux, Accurar, Pentax, Zunow, and a handfull of Russian/Fed LTM Jupiters, Industars, Orions made in the many millions over about 1/2 century. I probablly left a few brands out; thus I place the flame suit on.:)

    A lucky person who has a rare 47mm F2 Eastman Kodak LTM lens should post his/her results on this forum; because the lens works on LTM and M with adapters.

    If one wants to buy a 35mm F2.8 Canon LTM lens; there is a greater chance of finding somebody with knowledge about this lens on the Leica forum; than Canon FD or Canon EOS forum. Placing the question on the classic section is often done; this bugs me abit; since a Canon LTM is used on Leica and its fellow cameras that uses the same mount.

    Since the LTM is so old one is going to have a greater range of answers on lenses. Many old lenses are stiff; or have been dropped, fogged, or fiddled with during a CLA and ruined. This old stuff pops up on Ebay; another then says the ultra fast say 85mm F1.9 Canon is crap (poor sharpness) and a mud sling starts.
  42. Tony, you are absolutely correct and what you say is true throughout all forums here at It's gotten to the point where I will no longer ask a question and even think twice about making a constructive comment. I believe that as you suspect, this is an internet phenominon because on the internet people are anonymous and will therefore say things they would not dare to in public face to face meetings. Another related observation I have about this community is that they are mostly male. Looking at the first names of those who commented on this thread I found that most (if not all) are males. I find it very interesting and sickeningly obvious that whenever a female asks a question in any forum on the males in this community are sickeningly sweet, accomodating and flattering in their comments. I have considered opening a new account with a female's name, asking a legitimate question using the female name and then later asking the same question using a male name. I am absolutely certain that the responses to the female question will be caring, helpfull and loving - while the responses to the male question will be curt, hurtfull and mean-spirited. Maybe we should all go with female names on this website??? If we did, it would likely clear up all of Tony's concerns about civility immediately?
  43. I'd also like to comment on the "positive attitude". In the past, this was heavily abused by a small coterie that would carefully massage one another's egoes. One manifestation of this was that if one member of the charmed circle posted an image, the others would praise it, excessively. If anyone dared, however mildly, to demure from this assessment, they would be flamed mercillesly, if they were lucky.​
    That's a very valid concern, although the problem was broader than just a few people blowing smoke about one anothers' images. The deeper problem was people treating any kind of disagreement or criticism as a personal attack and responding in kind.
    It can be a tricky balance to maintain a positive, supportive environment without making it a mutual admiration society where people are afraid to disagree for fear of reprisal (from moderators or other members). No, you shouldn't need such a thick skin that you're not bothered by nasty comments like "you suck" or "you're just a talentless dilletante with an overpriced camera." On the other hand, you shouldn't have such a thin skin that civil disagreement or critique is treated as a mean-spirited personal attack.
    If people are a making their points in a civil, respectful manner (consistent with having a productive discussion), they should also be treated with civility and respect, even if you don't agree with what they're saying. I'm not going to have any more patience for people who "play the victim" in order to justify their nastiness than I am for anyone else who intentionally tries to create a negative, mean-spirited atmosphere.
  44. >A lucky person who has a rare 47mm F2 Eastman Kodak LTM lens should post his/her results on this forum;
    >because the lens works on LTM and M with adapters.

    I have that lens on a Retina II. I would certainly post the results here now that the forum encompasses "and Rangefinders" into its name. Results with an SLR will go on the appropriate forum. Results with a Rangefinder -Leica or Not- will go here. Even from my Polaroid 180.
  45. I find it very interesting and sickeningly obvious that whenever a female asks a question in any forum on the males in this community are sickeningly sweet, accomodating and flattering in their comments.
    Not so in my experience. can be an ugly place for women.
  46. Mike you're right of course. But there is something else as well. On this site it's all of us that should make clear what is unacceptable behaviour. Far better than just rely on the mods. Social control and confrontation does actually help.
    In a lot of cases problems arise if ego exceeds talent.
  47. On this site it's all of us that should make clear what is unacceptable behaviour.​
    True. But some folks don't seem to understand that engaging in unacceptable behavior is not the appropriate way to make clear what is unacceptable behavior.
  48. Once long ago the mention of using a Canon 50mm F1.2; a Bessa R; a Nikkor 10.5cm F2.5 LTM was considered " unacceptable behavior"; one was not having pure Leica dialog; it ruffled the purity of the site. One committed a sin; dialog about a non Leica item. :)
  49. I have no problem with the negative that is specifically directed my way, I can deal with it, and frankly there isn't that much of it or more than would be expected. The issue I have had all along and have already stated is the fact that so many Leica/rangefinder people have been driven away from here because of the useless noise that has clouded reasonable and knowledgeable discussions of Leica and rangefinders. The same goes to some extent for other topics on other forums. The evidence for this is abundant judging by comments on this thread and the recent threads on the topic, and it's apparent to me also from emails I've exchanged and from conversations I've had with people. I commend Tony for this post; it seems a very well thought out and reasonable approach to changing the situation.
  50. Kelly, I remember those days and they are gone. I quit posting for years, and went elsewhere for discussions about cameras. Too many "Evangelist" and not enough unbiased discussions. There is a new attitude here. It's more open and more accepting. I believe a combination of "and Rangefinders" for the forum and Adult Supervision by the Moderators has a lot to do with it.
  51. Brain: I got a negative email 2 months ago about using a 15mm VC lens on my RD-1/s; an image I posted on the Leica board. I remember those days; less than 60 days ago! :)
  52. Tony --
    Thanks for your Moderator Note. I appreciate your encouragement of positive and respectful comments on this forum.
    I visit this forum because I enjoy Leicas and rangefinders. For what it's worth, I own and use several rangefinder cameras (Leica M2, Canon P, Canon L1, Olympus 35SP, Kodak Signet 35) and various Leica M and Canon and Nikkor LTM lenses, as well as a couple of old SLRs (Nikon F, Canon FT-QL) and a digital camera (Canon G5). While I've been taking pictures for many years, I've never had any formal training. I'm an amateur rather than a professional, and don't flatter myself as being especially talented. I just like taking pictures, and I enjoy rangefinders in general and Leicas in particular. It's nice to be able to share knowledge and experience with other photographers who are interested in some of the same things.
    While the great majority of postings on this forum are positive, and interesting, I have occasionally seen some that didn't fit that description. Most of the negative ones have been directed at other people, rather than at me personally, but I have sometimes seen postings directed at other people that struck me as going outside the bounds of vigorous discussion, and that made me either upset or angry. I don't get too fussed by the DSLR users deriding film RF cameras, or the harsh critiques of the M8, or even the acerbic comments about Leica users having too much money and too little talent as photographers. What does bother me, though, are harsh and dismissive rejections of reasonable though naive inquiries by newcomers, offensive putdowns by advocates of one particular style of photography of photographers who prefer other styles, comments casting aspersions on the talents of other photographers, or comments expressing racial, religious or ethnic animus. I'm not talking about vigorous discussion of issues or images, but rather about personal attacks on other participants by trolls who seem to feel that they can only build themselves up by tearing other people down. That gets old fast.
    I am glad to see your comments addressing this issue in a positive and constructive way. I have kept coming back to this forum over time, and I hope that others will as well.
  53. Brian I post this 15mm image shot with a RD-1 about 2 months ago; when another said the 15mm was garbage. Knocking non Leica lenses not gone at all.

  54. Finally, there's light at the end of the tunnel.
    Here're my suggestions if you want to keep this forum healthy:
    1. Be more aggressive in closing non-paying accounts that are full of crappy and caustic remarks and ban those email addresses. Those trash are the ones that made me leave this forum. I have better use of my time than to mingle with trash!
    2. May be one should join the Leica Forum over at ( to see how different types of enthusiasts can exist in one website.
    3. Perhaps a finer grain break up of the forum might help: Leica (film bodies) and Leica Digital. If you didn't already realize this: there's certainly a different culture between the two.
    4. Moderator needs to moderate! I do not see that in this forum --- it's total anarchy. Please join the Nikon forum and see for yourself. It is nicely moderated.If moderator has no resources to moderate, get more moderators.
  55. O.K., I've heard enough. RayRay, lock the door :p
  56. Yep, it’s time to drive the Clanton’s and McLaury’s out of town, or, bury their miserable bodies on Boot Hill. I’m in...cough,cough,spit,cough,spit.
    “Those trash are the ones that made me leave this Forum. I have better use of my time than to mingle with trash!”
  57. Kelly- let me just say that it is much tamer than it was 5 years ago. I remember someone posting a picture of his kid using his new Leica and getting the PLUG quoted to him by 10 different members with lots of cursing mixed in. And then there was Jay.

    Someone is always going to Knock something. If you do not have any good points, downgrade your competitors good points (Peter in B.C.). Someone that can't judge quality for themselves will sign up to a Brand name and then swear by it. It's easier than actually thinking. "Brain's, turns out- YOU DON'T NEED ONE!" (Bob the Blob).
  58. Without some spirited discussions, the place will become a mutual hair combing society.​
    I seriously doubt that any leica forum anywhere will ever be without spirited discussion. But anyone who equates "spirited discussion" with "acting like a d--k" can be shown the door. Yes, we're all adults here. And while many like to use that phrase to mean "crybabies not welcome" it is more accurate to say that it means "Act like an adult and learn to carry on a reasonable debate without namecalling or childish attacks."
    I fail to see how that is bad advice for anyone.
  59. Tony Rowlett and Josh Root:
    Hear hear!
    Those who feel they are being bullied can email a compaint to the moderator of that forum. All non-civil responses will not be posted on that forum by that moderator. It's that simple.
  60. There are lots of way to look at this. I enjoy participating in forum discussion and being part of this community, and I had to eat humble pie and more than once. I thought I knew a lot after 40 years of photography, but soon discovered that I didn't and any inaccuracies were usually met with merciless criticism, which I admit hurt, and made me feel devalued. There are polite ways to say "no, you're wrong", like "well, another way to look at it is...". But the enlightened amongst us would know that.
    The only residual disappointment for me is feeling the disrespect shown to myself and others who have enjoyed a lifetime with film and are now struggling with the cost and complexities of digital. We are made to feel less worthy of issuing an opinion if we grew up in the 50s and 60s when a photographer was seen as an artist and even a magician, and for whose services people paid handsomely. I keenly feel my heritage from both my grandfather and great grandfather running a portrait studio and landscape photography business using 8x10's and being allowed to sit in a corner to watch them at work. My only wish was that they could have passed the business on to me. Now I get to visit their heritage of glass negatives in our National Archives and a couple of museums. But few appreciate what went into their work. People new to photography, having only started with digital, just don't get it.
    There was a post here the other day of someone who took 400 digital shots of his kids birthday party over a two hour period, and he wanted a workflow solution. It stunned me. I went out the other day for an entire afternoon to take some shots with film of lovely sandstone buildings in the pm sun. Three hours later, I had my work done...I took 7 exposures. It will be another two to three weeks when I have used up the roll. Is that equally unbelievable to the current generation? Probably.
    So I am with Tony and Josh in this. The issue is about respect or the lack of, for others' opinions.
  61. Without some spirited discussions, the place will become a mutual hair combing society. The only sounds to be heard will be the gentle clinking of knitting needles.​
    So, Leica Forums are meant to be a place for deep smashing of bones and plucking of guts? I am sure that's why's Leica forum is so famous world wide. Those who own new Leicas and are enjoying their equipment seemed to be sticking with the Leica Forum in Germany and avoiding this one. That much I know.
    Those who feel they are being bullied can email a compaint to the moderator of that forum.​
    Do you guys see what I mean now? So, you intentionally seek to bully others in this forum?
    Yes, this forum is better than 5 years ago when hooligans and orcs were swarming the place. However, it is still not clean ... yet ... some remnants remain.
  62. Why so much anger?
  63. The real problem............
    Is simple to understand... is the claimed superiority, by some, that the Leica camera is the ultimate photographic tool. All other cams fall far short of this ultimate tool, which is not just a cam but possesses a soul, which passes on to users special magical photographic abilities. The proof being that HCB and others used it. Now you don’t get that sort of arrogance from Nikon or Canon users do you.
    Therefore, logic would dictate that those superiority assertions would be challenged by users of other cams. Sort of how the world,cool it people.
    It’s really that simple to understand.
  64. So... let me understand. I am welcome to participate in this forum because I own a IIIC, but it is best not to mention that most of my work is shot with an M8?
  65. Roberto,
    No admin or moderator has said anything on this thread that would support your statement. All rangfinders, digital or film, are welcome on this forum.
  66. How do you say it in English I think.... "my tongue was in my cheek"
    Sorry if I offended you with a small jest. I guess that was part of the discussion, was it not?
    English is not my first language and for that I apologize also.
  67. Let me define one thing that "positive criticism" is. It is analytical. It is free of cheap snide asides ("Just like Uncle Charlie trying to shoot the Sunday school picnic") and it is, above all, something you can engage. That is, it is something you can discuss and debate intelligently. "Critiques" like the following are not only not "positive criticism" but also useless because they cannot be intelligently discussed:
    "It's just a snapshot."
    "Who cares about this image?"
    "That's a terrible photograph."
    "Yer pathetic."
    "There no point of you arguing with people" (directed at the target of the attacks).
    How do you respond to "critiques" like this? All you can say is "Yes," or "No." Or, "But it was shot in New York / Paris / Rome." ("Well, that's different.") I'm joking about the last, of course. Sort of.
    In short, "positive criticism" is something that is logical as well as civil.
    Having said this, I have to add that there are appropriate and inappropriate places for extensive "positive criticism" or discussion of an image or a comment. One inappropriate place is something like Photo of the Week. Why? Because such a thread normally has a larger number of participants, all limited to posting a single image, and extended discussion of one image or comment would divert attention away from everyone else, thus going against the purpose of the thread. If a person posts a thread asking for a critique it would be different.
    But "positive criticism" need not be extensive. It most cases it would probably be a short statement. For example to the person who says that the Color Heliar 15/4.5 is a bad lens, one could politely point out that is has received good reviews, including from Leica Photography (if I recall correctly) and is used by professional photographers like Ted Grant.
    Finally, there is no point in engaging bullies in civil discourse. This is to say there is no point in engaging them at all. Rather, it is best to erase whatever they say and get rid of them. On Flickr you simply edit them out and block them, and if they get too many blocks they are likely to be deleted from the website. Here you contact your friendly neighborhood moderator, which takes longer, but in the long run may be more effective in keeping bullies off the website.
  68. How do you say it in English I think.... "my tongue was in my cheek"
    Sorry if I offended you with a small jest.​
    That's fine. I just didn't want anyone to be confused.
  69. I guess I have just not seen what you guys have seen, or I'm stinking dense or blow off nonsense as nonsense.
    Alex, respectfully, I feel that your list 1 thru 3 is ok, while probably a rather inarticulate opinion, a valid opinion none the less. I never saw your number 4 here.
    My opinion of the thread is that it's a shame us Leica and RF lovers can't get a thread this long ABOUT ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHY! YES I was shouting.
  70. Don't worry Michael, its the same on the Nikon or Canon forums if you mention that you think earlier models with manual lenses take better photographs than the lastest digitals. I have the battle scars to prove it.
    Mostly it boils down to this: If you admit to owning Leica gear it either intimidates or puzzles people who don't understand. But in truth, today, its cheaper doing that with carefully selected used Leica gear, than shelling out for the quality equivalent digital DSLR and say three top lenses. This fact reflects on those who made their purchase decision and now that the cost difference is largely out of the argument, it boils down to the old film vs digital argument. It polarises people and once a person has publically adopted a position, its hard for them to retreat. And so we come full circle in the argument. Then it starts again, but on another level of unpleasantness.
    Allen touched on it, but its more subtle. Leica people are not arrogant about the quality of their gear. But they do see a difference and they like to talk about it. And why not? But not all Leica gear is better than the rest. Everyone knows that. And the prices do drop, unlike what some would say. But just by a whole lot less. We should be encouraging Leica owners to do justice to their gear, not knocking them. The whole "aura" thing about Leica is emotional and subjective. We need to let people enjoy their purchase decisions. The price you pay for gear does not translate into art quality images, unless you are really really good. And not many of us are.
    Have a look at the editors choice pics today for example...images that I would never expect to emulate. Most of the cameras used are average, and often at the cheap end. There is also a lot of PS in them. But the eye of the photographers was where it mattered. And that's something a lot don't like to admit. After 40 years I still don't "see" a potential image as easily as some. I accept that, but I try, and thats what matters.
    So lets see some posts like "Hey I took this shot with a Summi 50. Would it have been better to go with the 35?"
  71. reading all these comments one wonders if there really is such a big problem.
    "Leica people are not arrogant about the quality of their gear. But they do see a difference and they like to talk about it"
    that's why there is a dedicated forum. I'm not a gearhead myself but then you don't have to be a descendent of Oskar to discuss Leica's do you? The problem isn't Leica or any other RF. Last year I started out in the Street and Doc forum and was actually warned off beforehand by a few people because the regulars there were supposed to be a touchy and arrogant lot. Actually I found the opposite to be true.
    The point is merely this. Images are easily created and traditionally hard to correct. In this case however it's a mod who brings the problem to the table and that makes a difference. And yet the solution is simple. If there is a problem deal with it. I rather suspect though that those who are deemed to be the problem are not to be found anywhere near this thread. They never are.
  72. The problem, and I see this with photographers all the time, is a lack of sense-of-humor and playfulness. Most photographers seem to behave as if photography akin to finding a cure for cancer. It's not, not even close, and Leica users seem to be especially prone to this exaggerated self-importance mindset. It's okay to enjoy photography and love your Leicas, but when this overly serious enthusiasm becomes nauseating to readers it's only natural to try to add a little balance to the discussion, but it sounds like Leica users want to try to insulate themselves from any semblance of reality so they can all just support each others delusions, without having their bubble burst. JMO.
  73. I completely support the remarks of the moderator. Unfortunately, the sort of behavior that has been identified is widespread in internet forums of all sorts.
  74. I've written this before, but here goes again:
    If there was a forum about wooden canoes, what would be the point of stating there that your motor boat is faster and better than a wooden canoe? Or visiting a bicycle forum and and slamming everyone there for riding bicycles because you know your motorcycle is so much more modern and so much faster? Or arguing on a Lexus forum that your Mercedes is just sooo superior?
    What is the point of doing that?
    We've seen plenty of that behaviour here over the years and I find it no surprise that it turns people away from using this forum. If you are sure that everyone here is a "silly Leica fan boy" just keep moving until you find a forum that suits you. Go there and talk about your favorite camera. Your on-line existence will be lots more fun for everyone.
    There is no gain for anyone from tearing down other's fun by trying to enforce your version of the truth or reality upon the poor suckers who are having fun while being so, so wrong in your mind.
  75. Henry A, thank you for that. Well said.
    The great thing is that anyone with a Kiev or a Zori has the same rights and privileges as the person with an M8.
  76. Yes Henry well said.
    I find this overly protective attitude sad. What about freedom of speech issues. Now I understand how imperfect the written word can be and when you have the nature of the Internet well things just get missinterpreted then bam the flaming starts. I see this all the time then people start re reading the posts and if things haven't gone too far the apologies start. Why cant we just let the offenders hang themselves, instead of a new rule or rules for all. If we have a member or members who cant behave send a warning and if it continues or they have a history for this get rid of them. I for one want to be treated like an adult and while I'm on the subject of adulthood, I find some photographers/artists to be such raw nerves that any criticism is too much to bare. Frankly I have no idea how some people get through the day, this goes for the tormentors and the tormented. The thing that I see on this forum is the quality of questions have gone down, maybe its me but I see a real difference in the questions asked a year ago and the ones asked now. This especially true in the category of optics.
  77. "Leica people are not arrogant about the quality of their gear. But they do see a difference and they like to talk about it"
    I also find that about Hasselblad and Rollei users as well.
  78. Todd says "What about freedom of speech issues." Todd, you have no freedom of speech or right to express yourself on this website. First, you (like me) are not even a subscriber or member. You are only able to post here because of the good will of the owners of this site (Josh Root etc.). They own this site and it is their private property, like a home. They can filter, censor or delete anything you say without reason or justification. Moderators here are very forgiving. But maybe they need to toss out (or at least suspend) more of the bullies than they have in the past?
  79. "...and there's a subset of Leica owners who are determined to make themselves laughingstocks"
    to be more exact this is true of all costly brands. A friend of mine owned a camera shop in the past and he sold camera's like the afore mentioned to people who just bought it for it's name sake. It's as simple as that. There are those that just want to have opposed to those that know what to do with it. Nothing new really but still beyond me. Why spend an awfull amount of money if you can't take a photo worth a damn but just want to show off. That however is still a far cry of being proud of owning and using high quality gear that most need to save up for.
    Personally I don't care what people shoot with. I'm more interested in what they shoot but I've never felt inclined to mock someone who owns better gear than me and is proud of it. Hell, my first camera was an old 35 mm Mamiya RF that I got from my father. It's kept in good working order, used on occasion and something I'm very proud of.
  80. The moderators are correct to attempt improving the image of this one forum. It has been the main source for several good people to leave PN with bitterness and bad feelings about being here. There is no need to act in an uncivil/unfriendly/unsupportive manner when a constructive crtique can be used instead. "This suxx" or similar do not count as being constructive.
  81. This forum used to be really amazing back in the days before the street shooters and the "no-words" contributions were split off. Guys like Jay, Al Kaplan, Dennis C, Mike Dixon, and many others made this forum required daily reading. Yeah it often would degenerate into a Michael Vick style dogfight but it was sure fun. Yet for a forum to survive and still tolerate debate, moderation is essential. I wouldn't have the time or brains to do it. I'm glad someone does.

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