Why Do You Never See a Beatle Use a Leica?

Their hero Elvis used one. That’s obviously Elvis, above, with a Leica M3. I can’t help notice that there are no photos of any of the Beatles holding or using a Leica; usually a Nikon F, or a Pentax, but never a Leica. Any ideas why that would be?


For that matter, you never saw the Stones with a Leica either:

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5 thoughts on “Why Do You Never See a Beatle Use a Leica?

  1. Gavin Lowe

    But…in that last photo surely Ringo is holding a camera with an external viewfinder? It looks like a wide angle one. Must be a rangefinder of some sort. Can’t be many alternatives if that is the case (contax? Could be Nikon or Canon I suppose). The lovely Rolleis seem to sneak in there a lot.
    My father had a 6×9 then Rolleiflex, then Kodak retina II, then Leica iii – didn’t like M3 as too heavy for climbing use- then Pentax spotmatic and canon A1. Arguably, each one is ‘worse’ than the next (well maybe not retina and iiif m. Convenience trumped quality.

  2. Rob Campbell

    Yep, the slr was king of the castle.

    My last boss ever had an M3 as well as a Nikon F; a Sinar and a Rolleiflex as well as a Mamiya tlr. The only outings the Leica had was for shooting BBBC TV roomsets: it had the best 21mm lens around. It was simply not an accurate device, but ideally suited to what it did best: pre-set focus shooting, not precisely focussed shots. Even the viewfinder was a pita, though yes, for snatched stuff ( which we never did) I can accept that showing a bit of the area outwith the frame is a good thing.

    I suppose the Beatles saw the inside of so many studios that they couldn’t help picking up on the gear that was always on show. They seem to have avoided the Hassies… too much like weight-lifting?

  3. Slow Joe Crow

    There’s also a possibility the Beatles were influenced by Paul’s younger brother Mike McCartney who was an avid photographer and used a Rollei and later a Nikon F.

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