Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Recently I came across a small pamphlet with the title “Meisterwerke berühmter Leica Fotografen” (Masterworks of famous Leica photographers).  It is in reference to an exhibition in memory of Ernst Leitz II as the pioneer (besides Oskar Barnack) of the Leica.  The photographs appear to be from the collection of Dr. Knut Kühn-Leitz, but no date or location was given.

The back of the brochure makes reference to a relatively new book about Ernst Leitz II, titled “Ernst Leitz – Pionier der Leica” (Ernst Leitz – Pioneer of the Leica).  It is publisjed by Heel Verlag, Königswinter, 208 pages with more than 200 photographs.  ISBN: 3-89880-551-4


The brochure has a list of the Leica photographers whose works were shown in the exhibition.  They are:

Gianni Berengo Gardin
Werner Bishof
Henry Cartier-Bresson
Rene Burri
Elliott Erwitt
Ernst Haas
Thomas Hoepker
Franz Hubmann
Hanns Hubmann
Barbara Klemm
Stefan Kruckenhauser
Robert Lebeck
Ulrich (Bernhard Gerhard Antonius) Mack
Will McBride
Inge Morath
Hilmar Pabel
Mark Riboud
Fulvio Roiter
Sebastã0 (Ribeiro) Salgado
Erich Salomon
Emil Schulthess
Paul (Heinrich August) Wolff

That is certainly an impressive list of photographers, but many of them are no longer alive.  That reminded me of the many Leica haters that claim the Leica to be irrelevant these days because nobody uses Leicas anymore, that its very existence is supported only by collectors and individuals that see it as a status symbol.  Many even announce the imminent demise of Leica.

Leica S
Leica S

Leica T
Leica T

Leica Q
Leica Q

Obviously those are silly arguments, especially in view of the fact that Leica these days is doing better than ever before.  The company is on solid footing, the new multimillion headquarters in Wetzlar, Leitz Park is going to expanded, the Leica S system has gained an impressive following during its relatively short presence on the market where already it claims over 25 percent market share, and there are several new cameras like the Leica T, the Leica Q, which is doing very well with over 40% going to customers that never owned a Leica, and especially the Leica SL.  The Leica SL presents a camera which is new to the market, a camera that we have never seen.  It is the first professional caliber mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera.  Nobody else has anything like it to offer.

Leica SL

Besides these, The Leica M system remains the flagship of Leica.  No other manufacturer makes a camera that is comparable.  The Leica M cameras present a market segment all its own.

Leica M
Leica M

This criticism made me think of who among the world’s leading photographers is using Leica equipment.  So I set out to make a list.  I certainly cannot claim for it to be complete, but I think it definitely dispels the notion that nobody is using Leicas any longer.

Here is the list:

Abbas - 1944- b.Iranian, based in Paris
Michael Akermann - 1967- American b.Tel Aviv, based in Berlin
Nubar Alexanian - 1950- American
Neil Ambrose - British
Evgenia Arbugaeva - Russian
Bernd Arnold - 1947- German
Eve Arnold - 1912- American
Jane Evelyn Atwood - American
Ragnar Axelsson - 1958- Icelander
Ivan Azzopardi - Maltese

Lee Balterman - 1920- American
Micha Bar-Am - 1930- Israeli b.Germany
Bruno Barbey - Moroccan
Johannes Barthelmes - German
Letizia Battaglia - 1935- Sicilian
Nomi Baumgartl - German
Harry Benson - Scottish/American
Louis Berk - British
Julio Bittencourt - 1980- Brazilian
Philippe Blayo - French
Philip Blenkinsop - Australian, based in Thailand
Pep Bonet - 1974- Spanish, based in Bangladesh
Vieri Bottazzini - Turkish
Eleanor Brown - American
Rinze van Brug - Dutch/American
René Burri - 1933- Swiss

C - D
Debbie Fleming Caffery - 1948- American
Tomeu Coll - 1981- Spanish
Anton Corbijn - 1955- Dutch
William Coupon - American
Bruce Davidson - 1933- American
Frank Hallam Day - American
Roger Deakins - 1949- British
Reza Deghati - 1952- Iranian/French
Nick DeMarco - British
Raymond Depardon - 1942- French
Claudine Doury - 1954- French
David Douglas Duncan - 1916- American
Conrad Duroseau - Spanish, based in Haiti
Jeff Dunas - 1954- American

E - F
Nikos Economopoulos - 1953- Greek
Claudio Edinger - 1952- Brazilian
William Eggleston - 1939- American
Elliot Erwitt - 1928- American b.Paris
Hans Georg Esch - 1964- Germany
Jason Eskenazi - 1960- American
Valeriy Evenkov - Russian
Benedict J. Fernandez - 1936- American
Donna Ferrato - American
Martine Franck - 1938- Belgian
Robert Frank - 1924- American b.Zürich
Bill Franson - American
Jill Freedman - American
Howard French - 1957- American
Lee Friedlander - 1934- American
Paul Fusco - 1930- American

G - H
Giammi Berengo Gardin - 1930- Italian
Ralph Gibson - 1939- American
Bruce Gilden - 1946- American
Nan Goldin - 1953- American
Jan Grarup - 1968- Danish
Stanley Greene - 1949- American
Ara Güler - 1928- Turkish
David Alan Harvey - 1944- American
Lois Hechenblaikner - 1958- Austrian
Douglas Herr - American
Thomas Hoepker - 1936- German
Hubertus Hohenlohe - 1959- Mexican
Sander van Hulsenbeek - Dutch

J - K
Frank Jackson - American
Ciril Jazbec - 1987- Slovenian
Sam Jones - American
Jonnek Jonneksson - 1974- German
Richard Kalvar - 1941- American
Michael Kamber - American
Klaus-Peter Kappest - German
Paul Kay - British
Mike Kirkinis - World
William Klein - 1928- French b.New York
Barbara Klemm - 1939- German b.New York
Mark Klett - 1952- American
Gary Knight - American
Michael Koch - 1973- German
Josef Koudelka - 1938- Czech/French
Antonin Kratochvil - 1947- Czech/American
Birgit Krippner - based in New Zeeland
Imants Krumins - Latvian

L - M
John H. Langmore - American
Jens Olof Lasthein - 1964- Swedish
Robert Lebeck - 1929- German
Saul Leiter - 1923- American
Ben Lieberman - American
Jesse Lirola - American
Liz Loh-Taylor - 1979- Australian b. Singapore
Kadir van Lohuizen - Dutch
Alex Majoli - 1971- Italian
Guy Mancuso - American
Tina Manley - American
Constantine Manos - 1934- American
Mary Ellen Mark - 1940- American
Jim Marshall - 1936- American
Peter Martin - Canadian
Charles Mason - American
José Antonio Martínez - 1950- Mexican
Will McBride - 1931- American/German
Don McCullin - 1935- British
Seve McCurry - 1950- American
Susan Meiselas - 1948- American
Jeff Mermelstein - 1957- American
Joel Meyerowitz - 1938- American
John Lou Miles - American
Daniel Milnor - American
Kai Müller - German /Icelandic
Tomas Munita - 1975- Chilean

N - O - P
James Nachtwey - 1948- American
Sven Nieder - 1976- German
Chris Opel - 1966- American, based in Switzerland
Bert Otten - Dutch
Thorsten Overgaard - 1965- Danish
Tim Page - 1944- British/Australian
William Palank - American
Gilles Peress - 1946- French
Sylvia Plachy - 1943- American b.Budapest
Mark Power - 1959- British

R - S
Jim Rakete - 1951- German
Marc Riboud - 1923- French
Eugene Richards - 1944- American
Norbert Rosing - 1953- German
Jean-Jacques Ruchti - Swiss
Sebastião Salgado - 1944- Brazilian
Nanni Schiffl-Deiler - German
Wolfgang Schmitzberger - Austrian
Craig Semetko - American
Fazal Sheikh - 1965 American
Jonathan Slack - 1952- British
Klavdij Sluban - French, b.Eastern Europe
Emmanuel Smague - French
Andy Spyra - 1984- German
René Staud - German
Chris Steele-Perkins - British
Guido Steenkamp - 1973- German
Bruno Stevens - 1959- Belgian
Thomas Stoffaneller - Austrian
Mikhael Subotzky - 1981- South African

T - U - V - W - Z
Kenneth Tanaka - American
Edmond Terakopian - 1969- British
John Thawley - American
Guy Tillim - 1962- South African
Larry Towell - 1953- Canadian
Christopher Tribble - British, based in London
Victor Ben Tzvi - Israeli
Nick Ut - 1951- Vietnamese/American
Riccis Valladares - American, based in Miami FL
Florian Wagner - 1967- German
Alex Webb - 1952- American
Stewart Weir - British
Wim Wenders - 1945- German
Gary Whalen - American
Johan Willner - Swedish
Vanessa Winship - 1960- British, based in Istanbul
Piotr Zbierski - Polish


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  1. There certainly are a lot of very famous photographers among the Leica users.

    1. Other than some camera types not offered by Leica, I have never used anything else for my professional work. I also feel strongly that the number of less expensive camera systems in use is diluted by the fact that there are a lot of individuals that call themselves professionals without having the knowledge and skills necessary to offer professional photography.

    2. Isn't also the case that many Leica photographers are less than accomplished photographers, leave alone professional?

    3. Of course you are right. But to claim, as many of the Leica haters do, that no professionals use Leica is definitely false.

    4. Yes, I wrote an article about that.

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