Leica Discussion Forums?
There are a number of places to discuss Leica equipment online…
- Prior June 2006 it was the Leica Customer Forum on the main Leica website. Reasonably courteous and good quality discussion, but at times threads can be overwhelmed by photo attachments. If you wish to skip these, set your browser's Adblock filter to "l-camera-forum.com/attachments/*.jpg". Another feature is being able to create "Ignore Lists", which help shield you from useless contributions by trolls.
- The conversations are obviously skewed towards RF cameras and photography, but it also attracts a lot of quality discussion and news. Unfortunately a lot of the contributions are made under phoney names, so it can be susceptible to "photo.nut" abuse and mischief (see below).
- Leica Reflex Forum
- A good place to talk mostly about Leica SLRs, along with DSLR related issues such as the DMR, or using Leica lenses on Canon (and Olympus) digital bodies. Archives of past discussions can be found at <freelists.org/archives/leicareflex/>.
- Leica M Users Group
- A reasonably active Yahoo-based M-rangefinder forum since 2001, so it has accumulated a sizeable archive of discussions and advice.
- Flickr: Leica
- Like the rest of "Flickr", it is more image than discussion oriented. But if you like looking at lots of photos, along with the occasional discussion thread, then it's pretty good. Again almost everyone posts under pseudonyms, so it can be a haven for flakes and cranks.
- You have to register and there is a lengthy personal info page to fill out. It claims 2000+ members, but obviously it's only a low traffic list (maybe five new posts a day).
- Leica Users Group
- AKA the "LUG" — great-grand-daddy of all Leica mailing lists. Not so long ago it was the only Leica forum online, so they have perhaps the best archive of Leica knowledge from yesteryear. They also have an excellent search engine to help you explore it — when it works. Be warned though, the LUG is notorious for its cliques, WASP snobbery and way-off-topic chatter.
- Photo.net Leica Photography Forum
- AKA "photo.nut". An okay place to check for quick news and discussion, but it's often spoiled by flippant remarks by anonymous posters. In case you are wondering, this is the successor to the old Leica Photography Forum at greenspun.com. It was transplanted to photo.net in June 2002 when greenspun/lusenet ran out of money.
Just looking for links?
Here are a few Leica portals:
There is also a Taiwanese Leica portal called the "Leica Fan Club". Looks like a lot of fun but it's all Chinese to me — <leicafanclub.org>.
Then there's the collection of online articles from the Leica Historical Society of America "Viewfinder" magazine at <lhsa.org/viewfinder.html>
Unfortunately the LHSA Viewfinder articles became inaccessible in March 2004 when their site underwent an overhaul. You can only view them now if you're a paid-up LHSA member.
I have a sneaking suspicion this "policy" will eventually be revoked when the level of complaint becomes loud enough…
In closing, there is a master www page containing links to over a 100 photo-related mailing lists, including Leica, Rollei, Canon, Nikon etc. See <rit.edu/~andpph/photolists.html>.