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Would a NEW Leica Society be a Good Idea?
Old 07-04-2016   #1
CameraQuest
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Would a NEW Leica Society be a Good Idea?

With Leica's popularity and a wide range of fans, users, owners and collectors, I think there is room for a new Leica Society (name yet to be determined) which aims to be more responsive to rank and file members while also being more demanding of Leica for better and improved products.

Things I would like to see

1) A major Society goal would be providing Leica input for new and improved products and services.

2) $25 annual dues.

3) Democratic election of officers. Any member can receive votes for any office in every election. Power to the membership. Stalin style elections with only one candidate per elected office used by some groups have no place in a modern society.

4) While Leica dealers can be members, Leica dealers would not be eligible to hold any office as their Board membership would be a conflict of interest for Board Duties as well as being prejudicial against Leica dealers not on the Board or holding any other office.

5) No dealer may have dealer set ups and displays in the meeting room while society meetings are taking place.

6) Board Members responsible for Society property must be bonded in case of loss. "Oopsy daisy" missing Society cameras or property should not be possible.

7) Expenses can not be paid or reimbursed for anyone to attend Society meetings or functions. Likewise there will be no paid speakers or instructors. All attendees must pay their own way.

8) Society finances would be an open book to all members. Members deserve to know how their dues are being spent.

9) While articles and photos submitted to the Society would be on permanent use loan to the Society, authors and photographers retain 100% ownership and copyright of their submitted work.

Suggestions? Comments?

Stephen
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Old 07-04-2016   #2
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I'll pass on paying $25 a year for the privilege of providing Leica input for new and improved products and services.
yep. Considering you apparently don't own Leica gear, that sounds like a good plan.
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Old 07-04-2016   #3
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Old 07-04-2016   #4
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yep. Considering you apparently don't own Leica gear, that sounds like a good plan.
Joseph Vissarionovich would have been proud.
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Old 07-04-2016   #5
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Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
yep. Considering you apparently don't own Leica gear, that sounds like a good plan.
I hear the kids call this "savage".
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Old 07-04-2016   #6
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No I can't see the need myself and yes I do own and use both film and digital Leica. I stopped going on Nikonians site when they started charging subscription.
Call me a cynic if you like but this sounds more like an idea for an earner. Seriously, why would I pay someone $25 to be a society member? What am I funding apart from your main objective which should be the job of the R&D dept' at Leica. I think they are already well versed on what Leica users would like by reading sites such as this and LUF.
Here's an idea...everyone send me $25 and I will send Leica an email of collective thoughts I pull from the net every month
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Old 07-04-2016   #7
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Two thumbs up on the idea.

The internet has LOTs of different groups and RFF is unique in quality, breadth, depth, and professionalism. I think it could be a great channel for Leica to tune-in-to augmenting what they have currently.

I can't be a member currently, but expect as employment issue turn around that I would be.

Good idea.

B2 (;->
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Old 07-04-2016   #8
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[quote=nobbylon;2628602....I stopped going on Nikonians site when they started charging subscription.....[/QUOTE]

I did too, really sad they wanted to profit from other folks info and experience. It was a fun place to see and learn a lot. I wonder how many other folks dropped out that would have stayed if it was say $5 per year?

This is different though. It's not a web-site, it's a group with a goal, objectives, and opinions focused on Leica Products. Not just a users group, but a group lending their ideas, talents and experiences.

B2 (;->
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Old 07-04-2016   #9
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25 bucks for Leica owner? I'm offended, it must be at least 50!
And would be dealers of competitors allowed?
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Old 07-04-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
I did too, really sad they wanted to profit from other folks info and experience. It was a fun place to see and learn a lot. I wonder how many other folks dropped out that would have stayed if it was say $5 per year?

This is different though. It's not a web-site, it's a group with a goal, objectives, and opinions focused on Leica Products. Not just a users group, but a group lending their ideas, talents and experiences.

B2 (;->
Can you explain then why we should pay to lend our ideas, talents and experiences so that others can profit. Leica is a business not a club run for a user group. They receive enough support through the prices charged on their products.
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Old 07-04-2016   #11
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Leica of late seem to be reasonably good at perceiving the desires of their traditional customers e.g. the desire for minimalism : M-A, M-D and M.262.

How to break out beyond that group into the wider market seems less clear, but is clearly getting considerable design and development effort at Leica.

A society representing the former group adds little new - V,Q,X,S and SL user desires pull every direction possible from the M anchor point.

Even a new distinct Leica forum is a difficult proposition - many already post the same question/idea/images on RFF, Leica Forum, GetDPI and DPreview
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Old 07-04-2016   #12
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I see no value in yet another Leica society, neither for subscribers nor for Leica.

G
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Old 07-04-2016   #13
David Murphy
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The proposal seems quite reasonable to me. I would consider joining.
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Old 07-04-2016   #14
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I would consider joining.
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Old 07-04-2016   #15
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sounds like a good framework, though i don't know the purposes of other camera societies, how they operate, and what sorts of issues they have. what are we dealing with here?

and does leica really consider the input of leica societies when they plan and design new products? i'd pay $25 to have more of a (totally biased and uninformed) say.
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Old 07-04-2016   #16
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I belong to LHSA. It's my last year. It's lost with so many other venues now offered.

Facebook has a bunch of sites for Leica enthusiasts. "Groups make it easier than ever to share with friends, family and teammates." It seems Facebook has a successful model, advertisers, free to members. Look it over and see how they do it!

There are many others, blogs and other web sites.

It's a different world now.
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Old 07-04-2016   #17
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Folks,

For those who have never joined such an organization and see no reason for it, no prob. No one will try to talk you into joining.

For those who are, or have been, members of such organizations, it should be instantly obvious to you this framework offers members much more for much less than any Leica group that I am aware of. Then, those who never bothered to read the fine print might not be aware of the differences. Perhaps the biggest differences would be an involved democratically led membership with a purpose - appreciation of better Leica products and services.

A money earner? I wish. Its a money loser for sure. It will be financial battle just to pay expenses. This project would be a non profit that really is a non profit.

Stephen
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Old 07-04-2016   #18
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Give it a try.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained as the old saying goes.

LHSA charges $85.00 dues per year. They have a nice publication called "Viewfinder," published four times per year. They have a new website and a FB page.

They offer two events per year. Nothing local, at least here.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 07-04-2016   #19
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I'm sure dentists' can afford much more than $25 per annum.
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Old 07-04-2016   #20
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Originally Posted by jbhthescots View Post
I'm sure dentists' can afford much more than $25 per annum.
Dentists? Oh I get it. Dentist = elite = well off = fondler = Leica fan boy.
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Old 07-04-2016   #21
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I have been a member of many organizations in my life.

Based on your outline, it isn't instantly obvious that your proposed society offers anything, much less much more for much less.

Just what does it offer?

Would you consider that the owner of the Voigtlander distributorship in the US, which sells products to Leica owners, would have a conflict of interest in serving as a member of the Board of Directors of such a society?
1) All organizations are not the same. If you have not paid dues in a Leica organization, join one and then come back and join this one. Then you will be able to see the difference.

Each item 1 to 9 in the opening post is a different take on those issues than some organizations. If you don't happen to agree with most of 1-9, joining probably would not be for you.

2) If this idea does take off and becomes fact, I would hope it will present similar venues and services for its members as other Leica organizations, only better and more refined. Exactly what will be offered and how remains to be seen.

3) I am not elected to the Board yet. Were I elected, I would make a point of not having a dealer display at meetings. I was well known as a Leica fan long before I ever sold a new Voigtlander product.

Stephen
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Old 07-04-2016   #22
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The proposal seems quite reasonable to me. I would consider joining.
Same here.

The comments posted thus far have been... Revealing.

I never would have suspected that a modest membership fee of $25/year would cause such fear, loathing and disgruntlement from people who (supposedly) have thousands of dollars invested in Leica M cameras and lenses.

Perhaps a membership requirement should be a photograph of the proposed member that has been notarized and a signed statement that reads something along the lines of "I hereby certify under penalty of criminal perjury that I actually own and use the Leica M cameras and lenses with which I am shown in the attached photograph submitted for verification of M camera and lens ownership; I further certify that I am not a small-minded, spiteful and ill tempered wart on the ass of humanity."
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Old 07-04-2016   #23
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How would such an organisation differ from what the Leica Forum (www.l-camera-forum.com) does -- or tries to do?
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Old 07-04-2016   #24
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I dropped my membership to LHSA years ago, so, yeah, I'd be interested in what you're talking about.

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Old 07-04-2016   #25
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I'm kind of new to this whole Leica thing, having recently kitted up a small R3 outfit. I should hope it would be a society not focused only on the rangefinder side of the business. You see, I'm not a dentist, but a retired railroader.

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Old 07-04-2016   #26
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Context: I've never been a LHSA member. I regularly shoot a film M and have a variety of lenses from different manufacturers including Leica. I haven't purchased any new gear from Leica primarily due to price though I do have a couple of modern Leica lenses.

From this perspective, I don't know that my input would be of any interest to Leica. That the value I see getting out of #1. Items #3-#5 are interesting if I was heavily involved in an organization but not a big point for someone coming in; it doesn't provide value directly to me in any way. #5-#9 are important practical points but again don't provide direct value to me as a user/shooter/community member.

As I haven't been a member of a similar organization in the past, I can only read what was laid out directly in your proposal. The only direct value to me for my money is the ability to express my priorities to Leica. I assume there is more to it that wasn't directly expressed but it would be good to see other 'benefits' explicitly stated before I'd consider spending any money.
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Old 07-04-2016   #27
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Count me in...$25 bucks a year = 5 coffees. I can afford it.
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Old 07-04-2016   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Ouch....Seems to be some rather harsh Tones discussing an 'Idea' and it's Possibilities ...
I guess that's the World of the Internet.

Makes me think I would not like to meet various people anymore
What's happened to Charm, keen Wit & Civility, oh well

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Helen,
I've re read this thread and the first harsh tones as verified by subsequent supportive posts came in at post number 3! I can't see that anyone here is hiding behind internet anonymity at all, far from it. Stephen has asked others opinions and I believe is receiving candid replies. Isn't that the idea or am I missing the point? Some will support it and others will not,
regards john
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Old 07-04-2016   #29
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I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.
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Old 07-05-2016   #30
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Stephen--an excellent idea! I'd join for sure. The LHSA is simply not worth it.
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Old 07-05-2016   #31
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I guess it really depends on what the club offers. At the end of the day $25/yr isn't gonna break the bank but I wouldn't just give money to something just to say that I'm apart of it. There has to be a perceived benefit aside from flying somewhere for a meeting and rubbing elbows with other people. A magazine that comes out twice a year with articles and photos similar to "M" magazine, exclusive forum that maybe the Leica executives or someone apart of their design team or something that can view and exchange ideas for future products or how to better the experience of their current ones, maybe even some small trips or organized photo meetups in different places and better rates on new products for members? And for these voting meetings or something it would be cool to livestream it to those of the club who can't make it for whatever reason. Those are just a few things that I think would be really cool and help with engagement and building a community.
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Old 07-05-2016   #32
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I would join if there would be clear benefits for its members other than given Leica the benefit of unsolicited advice. Member benefits could be regular meetings, workshops, talks by famous photographers, museum curators, etc, a newsletter, Leica representatives visiting and showing new products, etc.

The $25 membership seems to be too low; I doubt that you would be able to run an organization on such a small fee. But generally speaking, a fee is necessary to discriminate between people who care and want to be an active part of such a club, and other who don't. So yes, I think there needs to be a fee, but maybe $50/year instead of $25. I would even go so far and make it $100/year to include a "free" subscription of LFI magazine (which is stellar!), which could have a monthly society column and club announcements.

I am not a member of LHSA because I couldn't care less about the history of a brand and because most members seem to be collectors, not shooters. I'm interested in the future.
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Old 07-05-2016   #33
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"Stalin style election" ? Wouldn't it be better FSU Camera Society then?
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Old 07-05-2016   #34
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I'd join if it would assure me no more than 2 week turn around times on repairs and loaner gear if it needs to go beyond that.

In fact, I would pay $100 a year for that service...
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Old 07-05-2016   #35
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I am unfortunately on the naysayer side,

I really do not see the value, plus that's 30 cold beers here in the Mit.

I also bailed on the Nikonians site, and have been keeping low on NHS.

The fact we charge each other to talk about our similar interests is beyond me.

The day RFF charges dues, is the day I'll say goodbye to online camera forums.
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Old 07-05-2016   #36
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As long as it's not on facebook.
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Old 07-05-2016   #37
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I'm in.
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Old 07-05-2016   #38
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Problem is that everyone thinks information should be free, so nobody is willing to pay money, even if it's only $25/year.
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Old 07-05-2016   #39
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Information is free

The beauty of our digital age, just about anything is available at our fingertips via our smart devices.
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Old 07-05-2016   #40
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Information has value because it drives eyes to webpages. It's difficult to keep information people want to see from becoming free. And with publication taking minutes, for-pay info can become free quickly.

People pay for the promise of information they wouldn't get elsewhere, for curated information to reduce the time needed to consume it and for time sensitive information.
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