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Elliott Erwitt: What equipment does he use?

David Enzel , May 26, 2002; 09:16 a.m.

I recently discovered Elliott Erwitt's work. I gather he uses Leica for at least some of his work. Some photos look like they were made with short range telephotos. Does anybody know what camera bodies and lenses he uses? I am curious.


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David Carson , May 26, 2002; 10:24 a.m.

In his book, "Personal Exposures," he states he usually uses a Leica with a 50mm, occasionally a 90mm.



David Carson , May 26, 2002; 10:38 a.m.

Whoops, I forgot to mention Leica "M" cameras. He didn't specify what version, but I strongly suspect an M3.

Glenn Touger , May 26, 2002; 10:48 a.m.

Don't know exactly what he uses, but when I recently saw him showing his work at a show in Seattle, he had a great comment about that. After showing several photos from a series he did on nudist colonies, someone asked him what *he* was wearing on the shoot. Erwitt's response was: "A Leica."

Patrick Garner , May 26, 2002; 10:52 a.m.

In his early career he used a IIIF, then a IIIG w/ 50mm. He switched to an M3 in the mid-50s. No idea of what he's using now!

Andy Piper , May 26, 2002; 01:43 p.m.

For his personal/B&W stuff he has always used Leica RF - but at least in the 70's for commercial assignments he also carried a couple of large cases loaded with almost the full Canon F-1 line (every lens from 16mm to 300mm, mutiple bodies, motors, prisms, etc.), and he's also worked with 6x9 (and larger) view cameras. He's also made at least one motion picture documentary.


cf. "Elliot Erwitt: the personal image" - Alskog books, c. 1976.

Rei Kwan , May 26, 2002; 04:20 p.m.

Erwitt's recent book "Elliot Erwitt Snaps" indicates that most of the photos in the book were taken with a well-worn Leica M3 with 50mm lens and Tri-X or HP4 developed in Microdol.


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0714841501/qid=1022447816/sr=8 -1/ref=sr_8_1/102-4020188-4103350

David Carson , May 27, 2002; 10:24 a.m.

And since we're talking about Elliot Erwitt, I should mention I think his book "Personal Exposures" is by far his best one, with "Snaps" second. Other Erwitt books I've looked at are "To the Dogs," his museum shots book, and his lovers book.


He might have a beach theme book too, but the photos in "Personal Exposures" just feel, well, more personal.


My 2ยข.

David Enzel , May 27, 2002; 10:51 a.m.

I have Erwitt's book called "Between the Sexes." It has many wonderful images, of which quite a few are quite funny.

David Carson , May 27, 2002; 11:25 a.m.

Yes, "Between the Sexes" is his lover's book I was thinking about.


I first saw his work in a little gallery in Bath, England, during a vacation. I was blown away...I slowly started laughing, and by the end, there were tears in my eyes as I was trying to to laugh too loud.


And since my last post, I was thinking why I thought "Personal Exposures" was his best book, since some of the images from that book are in his others. I think partly it's his funny and sad commentary in the front, and partly the rhythm and juxtaposition of the images.


He really has a saddness in him, and also a real tenderness and wit. I think he must have spent much time alone to get the shots he has. He is unique, and one of my favorite photographers.

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