Anthony Lane and the Cult of Leica


Good ol’ Michael Surtees pointed our way over to the latest issue of the New Yorker for a story that’s been making its rounds across the interweb lately, “Candid Camera,” an ode to Leica, the camera and lens manufacturer, whose 35mm M series is in the collection of any photographer in love with the medium. What’s more, the story is by Anthony Lane, who everyone in the world has a crush on even if they don’t know it yet, so going into it you automatically know it’s going to be stellar and have more than a few blindingly clever lines. What we’re saying is that, even if you’ve never held more than some crappy digital point-and-shoot camera, you’re going to have a good time. Here’s some:

If you simply want to take a nice photograph of your children, though, what’s wrong with a Canon PowerShot? Yours online for just over two hundred bucks, the PowerShot SD1000 will also zoom, focus for you, set the exposure for you, and advance the frame automatically for you, none of which the MP, like some sniffing aristocrat, will deign to do. To make the contest even starker, the SD1000 is a digital camera, fizzing with megapixels, whereas the Leica still stores images on that frail, combustible material known as film. Short of telling the kids to hold still while you copy them onto parchment, how much further out of touch could you be?