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mgrinnan
01-01-2016, 03:34
HNY everyone

Over the course of 2015 I acquired a couple of Leica lenses and an M3, all of which I use and enjoy. Yet since obtaining these tools, I've also developed a strange obsession with other lenses, bodies, etc. The 28mm summicron ASPH, the noctilux, the M-240, etc. Although an objectively low-earning type, I could probably afford buy an M6 and a 35mm lens, or whatever, which I would also use and enjoy. But my real question is whether or not the fixation on Leica merch and glass, tools if you will, is a fetish.

Does anybody else spend large amounts of time looking at pictures of cameras and lenses that they'll probably never buy, even if they could? Is it a fetish? When I was a mechanic, I remember snap-on tools had a huge pull, but for whatever reason, maybe the marketing/ad dept, they never captivated my desire and imagination to such a profound level.

While I must say these tools have fostered a newfound interest (and ability to pursue) in composition, the darkroom, B+W photography, and I have educated myself the best I know how, something about the desire for more gear and the fascination with expensive glass feels oddly perverse. Sometimes you're up at four AM and reading Overgaard or looking at the classifieds here and it just feels a little off.

In any case RFF is great and it's always good to see everybody's pics, and everyone on here has been extremely generous with feedback and help whenever I've had a question.

Godspeed

Antielectrons
01-01-2016, 03:40
If it involves sexual desire then its a fetish. If not, then its just obsession.

btgc
01-01-2016, 04:25
If it involves sexual desire then its a fetish. If not, then its just obsession.

In African mythology (from where this word originates) fetish has no sexual context....as far as I know....but probably sexual desire is better than substituting it with acquiring material objects!

Bisakok
01-01-2016, 04:25
My understanding is that if you use a feather it is erotism. If you use the whole chicken, it is a fetish.

sara
01-01-2016, 04:52
My understanding is that if you use a feather it is erotism. If you use the whole chicken, it is a fetish.

Haha!!!!

Or maybe it's passion, not a festish? 🙃

mfogiel
01-01-2016, 05:05
GAS has many faces. As long as you want to stick to film, first class mechanical cameras are a must now, because they promise to function for years to come if well cared for. Leica has also a fondling factor and definitely a reliability allure superior to most other brands. Perhaps only the best Nikons can compare mechanically, but the glass is not anywhere near the same league (that's why I use my mechanical Nikons with leitaxed Leica R lenses). In medium format, a nice Rolleiflex or Hasselblad V can also spark a GAS attack, but the fondling factor is not there.
In digital I find Leica bodies as desirable as a smartphone or any other appliance destined to be consumed within a few years.

mdarnton
01-01-2016, 05:10
What are you thinking while you look at this stuff? When I browse ebay, I think of the possibilities. If the possibilities are something I'll NEVER do (sports photography, for instance), then I move on very easily. I get stuck on equipment that will help me do things I haven't done, but want to do. Then I have to sit and think if I really think having that piece will help, or is it just fantasy talking. The only place I really get out of control is with 50mm lenses and giant expanses of large format glass, but I'm learning to deal with that.

lynnb
01-01-2016, 05:29
My understanding is that if you use a feather it is erotism. If you use the whole chicken, it is a fetish.

fell over laughing.. thanks for that :)

Larry Cloetta
01-01-2016, 06:29
[QUOTE=mgrinnan;2567963
something about the desire for more gear and the fascination with expensive glass feels oddly perverse. Sometimes you're up at four AM and reading Overgaard or looking at the classifieds here and it just feels a little off.
[/QUOTE]

It's natural, not perverse; just go with it and enjoy yourself. The puritanical, hair shirt spirit is ever alive in the world, that little voice always saying "no, no, your Instamatic is good enough for you." Ignore it:) If it's not putting you in debt, it's fine.
Things can't bring happiness, but they can bring pleasure, and usually that's enough.

All the magnificence in the world is the result of someone's obsession. (Though I must add that my similar behavior hasn't improved my results. Yet!)

Ko.Fe.
01-01-2016, 06:34
I was interested in Leica M cameras and lenses, initially. Yes, I read about Leica gear.
I like to be educated technically. I also have tried dozen or so RF lenses.

My "fetish desire" is to have Canadian lens on Canadian Leica RF camera.
Even more, I want made in Canada watches, to wear it at the same time I'll use Canadian camera.
It will not increase my libido, might not make my pictures better, but it will be nice.
O, Yes, Baby!

Hsg
01-01-2016, 06:54
Its a fetish, if you have no rational reason to own Leica gear... So, as Yoda said:

"“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

– Yoda

“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

– Yoda

farlymac
01-01-2016, 07:11
For a long time, I aspired to become a Leica M system owner, but mainly because of the bayonet lens mount system. The lenses and bodies however are expensive, so that tempered my enthusiasm.

I'm now into the Nikon rangefinder system. Much more reasonably priced, and not as gimmicky as the Leica M's.

PF

Rayt
01-01-2016, 07:32
Sure Leica is a fetish. It tickles me in the right areas.

lxmike
01-01-2016, 07:53
My understanding is that if you use a feather it is erotism. If you use the whole chicken, it is a fetish.


a very valid point:D

zuiko85
01-01-2016, 08:33
Could be just an interest in things mechanical. From wind up clocks to old cars before all the onboard computers to.......well anything that uses gears and levers and springs and such to accomplish it's function. I would want to have the new Leica MA more than the latest digital offering for that reason.

rscheffler
01-01-2016, 08:57
I think it depends on how you approach Leica gear. If you buy it because it's expensive and therefore the best and will make you a better photographer simply because of this, and you continue down this path, continuing to believe that the gear will make you and your photos great, then that is how I would interpret it as a fetish.

If you approach Leica gear as providing a specific set of tools that are right for your needs, your style of working, then I feel it is logical. IMO, the experience of using gear is as important as the technical features it offers. It's an intangible that I believe Leica does very well, but is definitely a very subjective thing. There are cameras I consider ergonomically poor, yet are extremely popular (Sony a7 series). Conversely others hate the RF approach, yet it works well for my needs.

Looking at Leica glass objectively, pretty much all of their lenses perform technically at a very high level, at or near the top of their class. Yes, it may be possible to find similar performance for less money in other systems, but constantly across other systems? Or providing the 'entire package' that works best for you? This is where subjective needs creep into the equation.

Without doubt 99.99% of excellent current photography is not done on Leica cameras for one reason or another. But I don't believe that is an argument against using Leica and liking what the company has to offer.

RedLion
01-01-2016, 09:19
It's called "commodity fetishism", and it is at the very core of how consumption works today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_fetishism

It's what drives prices and it's largely why Leica is able to charge what they do.

Larry Cloetta
01-01-2016, 09:33
It's called "commodity fetishism", and it is at the very core of how consumption works today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_fetishism

It's what drives prices and it's largely why Leica is able to charge what they do.

Some people believe this, yes.

Vics
01-01-2016, 09:52
My understanding is that if you use a feather it is erotism. If you use the whole chicken, it is a fetish.
OK, that's going out to my entire address book.

Archlich
01-01-2016, 10:04
Oh well, who don't live off some little fetish nowadays. Nothing to be shame of. Nothing to be reckoned with. Just treat it like a distant friend...else you'd truly become its slave.

aizan
01-01-2016, 10:58
read this, especially the second section:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinction_(1979_book)

B-9
01-01-2016, 11:46
It can indeed become an obsession,

Ive found myself in the position you've described for many years now, lusting, looking, saving, paying.

None of it has really made me better at taking images, but a lot of it has given me materialistic joy. Ive had my experience with Leica, and ive found that the romance is starting to wear after a decade.

Maybe ive grown bitter from all the web time and fantasy, but I'm tired of the Leica stigma.

I'm moving on, more gear for you guys ;)

FrankS
01-01-2016, 11:48
Is the Leica obsession a fetish?

Only if you want it, or allow it to be.

fergus
01-01-2016, 18:03
My understanding is that if you use a feather it is erotism. If you use the whole chicken, it is a fetish.

What if it's a frozen chicken? :o

Antielectrons
01-02-2016, 02:25
In African mythology (from where this word originates) fetish has no sexual context....as far as I know....but probably sexual desire is better than substituting it with acquiring material objects!

African mythology is not the first thing that comes to mind. In western culture at least the word fetish involves sexual desire.

RichC
01-02-2016, 05:03
I did a photographic project on collecting and obsession - and its ultimate futility. I explored natural history collecting, but my project applies equally to Leicas!
http://www.richcutler.co.uk/photography/insecta/
http://www.richcutler.co.uk/photography/insecta/about/

Nick R.
01-02-2016, 14:07
African mythology is not the first thing that comes to mind. In western culture at least the word fetish involves sexual desire.

Maybe in the popular culture, but in academic writing it doesn't. A fetish is a belief occurring in primitive cultures of man-made objects having supernatural powers.

In this sense, the OP is correctly using it as a metaphor for the seeming supernatural draw of Leica products

Antielectrons
01-02-2016, 15:07
Maybe in the popular culture, but in academic writing it doesn't. A fetish is a belief occurring in primitive cultures of man-made objects having supernatural powers.

In this sense, the OP is correctly using it as a metaphor for the seeming supernatural draw of Leica products

I realise RFF/photographers can be a bit dense at times but they hardly can be classed as "primitive culture".... In 21 century America (where the OP made the observation) the term involves sexual desire.

steelheart
01-02-2016, 15:45
Fetish? No. Not according to http://www.hypersexualdisorders.com/hypersexual-disorders/dsm5-understanding-fetishistic-disorder/

Passion? Without question.

The above applies to yours truly. YMMV.

Elliott Erwitt: "Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times… I just shoot at what interests me at that moment."

Nick R.
01-02-2016, 16:16
I realise RFF/photographers can be a bit dense at times but they hardly can be classed as "primitive culture".... In 21 century America (where the OP made the observation) the term involves sexual desire.

I didn't know the internet and America were synonymous.

kshapero
01-02-2016, 16:18
of course, so what?

traveler_101
01-05-2016, 14:27
HNY everyone

Over the course of 2015 I acquired a couple of Leica lenses and an M3, all of which I use and enjoy. Yet since obtaining these tools, I've also developed a strange obsession with other lenses, bodies, etc. The 28mm summicron ASPH, the noctilux, the M-240, etc. Although an objectively low-earning type, I could probably afford buy an M6 and a 35mm lens, or whatever, which I would also use and enjoy. But my real question is whether or not the fixation on Leica merch and glass, tools if you will, is a fetish.

Does anybody else spend large amounts of time looking at pictures of cameras and lenses that they'll probably never buy, even if they could? Is it a fetish? When I was a mechanic, I remember snap-on tools had a huge pull, but for whatever reason, maybe the marketing/ad dept, they never captivated my desire and imagination to such a profound level.

While I must say these tools have fostered a newfound interest (and ability to pursue) in composition, the darkroom, B+W photography, and I have educated myself the best I know how, something about the desire for more gear and the fascination with expensive glass feels oddly perverse. Sometimes you're up at four AM and reading Overgaard or looking at the classifieds here and it just feels a little off.

In any case RFF is great and it's always good to see everybody's pics, and everyone on here has been extremely generous with feedback and help whenever I've had a question.

Godspeed

Don't worry you'll either (a) acquire the new equipment or (b) move on to something else. Though I've been at this for a number of years and bought a Leica IIIf (LTM mount) right away, I have yet to acquire a Leica M. At first I thought I would, but despite a lot of looking I've not done it, at least not yet. It's partly out of loyalty to Oscar Barnack's purist vision :D, partly because it costs too much money to buy a M camera and to have it repaired constantly :eek: and partly because there seems to be some commodity fetishism :p around the Leica brand that I would rather not participate in.

Now I seem to have moved on to the possibility of moving to a medium format camera, which I think would actually be a more dramatic improvement in results with film or even simply leap frog to a large format - and when I get tired of looking at those options I have recently developed an interest in old aircraft. How about a 1944 C47 transport on sale for 250.000 US? Too bad I can't work on the engines.

Antielectrons
01-05-2016, 14:47
I didn't know the internet and America were synonymous.

Well you learn something new every day... Its mainly USA and western Europe. Certainly not a primitive african culture!

CK Dexter Haven
01-05-2016, 17:36
Back in the film days, when I began with the M7, I used to buy Japanese publications can't remember what they were called.... "Mooks?" Something like that. Magazine/book. They had lots of lovely pictures of Leica products historical stuff. Plus some sample imagery and a photographer profile maybe. The gear is beautiful. As a designer, I respect and admire the industrial design. And got caught up in the legacies. Kind of a fetish. Digital essentially erased all of that appeal, though.

bmattock
01-05-2016, 18:13
When I was a kid, we would spend hours pouring over the tools in the Sears catalog; we couldn't afford most of them, but it was fun to look at them and dream.

We didn't consider it an obsession nor a fetish. We didn't think there was anything wrong with it. And there wasn't.

Seriously folks, get over yourselves. It's just stuff. Obsess away, who freaking cares? All this naval gazing has me thinking RFF has turned into an Emo crying pit.

Nick R.
01-06-2016, 12:43
Well you learn something new every day... Its mainly USA and western Europe. Certainly not a primitive african culture!

I don't get your argument. Primitive african cultures don't use the term 'fetish.' We use the term to describe their religious beliefs which fits perfectly with how the OP is using it as a metaphor for his Leica lust.

Even in the USA, words have more than one meaning and the OP means 'fetish' in that (non-sexual, academic) sense. Why do you have such a problem with that?