The day the music died.....
Old 08-23-2010   #1
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The day the music died.....

"Leica Camera has already ceased production of film cameras."

<http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201008220143.html>
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Old 08-23-2010   #2
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Old 08-23-2010   #3
J J Kapsberger
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Wasn't there a thread about this recently? Hasn't Leica simply paused, not abandoned, film body production to use up accumulated parts inventory?
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Old 08-23-2010   #4
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No need to fret.
There are plenty of good used Leica cameras on the market.
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Old 08-23-2010   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J J Kapsberger View Post
Wasn't there a thread about this recently? Hasn't Leica simply paused, not abandoned, film body production to use up accumulated parts inventory?
This. I thought that, being a small company, they can't continually produce all lines at once, so they alternate. Of course, digital gets more production time as there is more demand.
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Old 08-23-2010   #6
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Wasn't there a thread about this recently?
Yes, there was! Here.
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Old 08-23-2010   #7
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Old 08-23-2010   #8
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There was a thread about this quite a while back. Basically the reason they gave is beacause they had heaps of stock, so they have temporarily ceased production to maximise the digital M production line.. which is running behind. An interview later with leica said that production could be started up in an instant.

For example... you can still buy A La Carte can't you. So no, they have not ceased production for Film M's entirely.
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Old 08-23-2010   #9
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I heard their production line was busy with sub contract work ... assembling Bessas and Ikons for Cosina.
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Old 08-23-2010   #10
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I thought the ones wanting less repairs were ZI and Leica...

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Old 08-23-2010   #11
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Maybe Canon made them stop?
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Old 08-23-2010   #12
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It fun to see how often rumors about Leica stopping production of film camera comes up.

No offence to anyone, but I feel it's a bit like if some people are waiting for Leica to stop building film camera too announce the final and total triumph of digital and have the final word.

Just my opinion.

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Old 08-23-2010   #13
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I sometimes muse about how much crap Leica would be in if they hadn't developed and released the digital M!

Dead and gone I suspect!
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Old 08-23-2010   #14
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The Asahi story is based on an alleged quote from May. Wouldn't it be rather easy for someone to telephone or email Leica and ask if they've left the film camera business?
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Old 08-23-2010   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristopher View Post
It fun to see how often rumors about Leica stopping production of film camera comes up.

No offence to anyone, but I feel it's a bit like if some people are waiting for Leica to stop building film camera too announce the final and total triumph of digital and have the final word.

Just my opinion.

K
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Old 08-23-2010   #16
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The Asahi story is based on an alleged quote from May. Wouldn't it be rather easy for someone to telephone or email Leica and ask if they've left the film camera business?
Sigh! Someone did, they haven't, and it's very old news that the OP only just seems to have come across. It's not the Apocalypse -yet!
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Old 08-23-2010   #17
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The Asahi story is based on an alleged quote from May. Wouldn't it be rather easy for someone to telephone or email Leica and ask if they've left the film camera business?
Somebody has. This is from "Leica Rumors" a few weeks back:

"I contacted Christian Erhardt (Vice President of Marketing Photographic Division, Leica Camera USA) and this is the answer he gave me:

“Your questions comes timely, in fact just earlier this week I was in our factory where I saw the production of Leica’s M product lines. While we do not have a constant production of certain lenses and cameras, we have the ability to produce batches of those products. For example: Certain exotic lenses & cameras are produced in batches to be able to produce an economically feasible number of products.

In this case the M analog production line is just next to Leica’s M9 production line to which we have shifted our focus to better manage the backlog and reduce the wait for our customers.

As you might be well aware from the past, we have always stated that as long as it makes sense for Leica Camera AG to produce M analog cameras we will do so. At this time we are reaching our targeted numbers for M analog cameras and do well with the offering of Leica M a la Carte cameras. Just recently Leica Camera AG offered a special Leica M7 Hermes Camera. This camera was quickly sold out and is a sought after collectors camera.

At this time I have no indication that the Leica M analog cameras will be taken out of Leica’s product offering.”
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Old 08-23-2010   #18
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There you have it. Long live film.
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Old 08-23-2010   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
Somebody has. This is from "Leica Rumors" a few weeks back:

"I contacted Christian Erhardt (Vice President of Marketing Photographic Division, Leica Camera USA) and this is the answer he gave me:

“Your questions comes timely, in fact just earlier this week I was in our factory where I saw the production of Leica’s M product lines. While we do not have a constant production of certain lenses and cameras, we have the ability to produce batches of those products. For example: Certain exotic lenses & cameras are produced in batches to be able to produce an economically feasible number of products.

In this case the M analog production line is just next to Leica’s M9 production line to which we have shifted our focus to better manage the backlog and reduce the wait for our customers.

As you might be well aware from the past, we have always stated that as long as it makes sense for Leica Camera AG to produce M analog cameras we will do so. At this time we are reaching our targeted numbers for M analog cameras and do well with the offering of Leica M a la Carte cameras. Just recently Leica Camera AG offered a special Leica M7 Hermes Camera. This camera was quickly sold out and is a sought after collectors camera.

At this time I have no indication that the Leica M analog cameras will be taken out of Leica’s product offering.”

Read: ... We'll shut the door when we think it's time!

That statement does have a certain inevitability about it to my ears!
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Old 08-23-2010   #20
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Leica will be like alll those rock bands from the sixties and seventies that won't go away ... there will be come backs with the associated celebratory tours!
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Old 08-23-2010   #21
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They're a commercial enterprise with shareholders, it's their primary responsibility to produce what makes most money.

Film Leicas outlast their owners. Buy a used M3, shoot with it for 30 years, pass it on to your son in your will. How much money has Leica just made? zero bucks.

Digital Leicas - buy an M9 this year then an M10 in 3 years time then an M 11 in 6 years time. (aha! Leica have just sold you 3 cameras in 10 years.)

It is not from the benevolence of Leica that we expect our photographic equipment, but from their regard to their own interest

best,
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Old 08-23-2010   #22
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I heard they gave the last Leica off the line to Steve McCurry to shoot on the streets of NY.


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Old 08-23-2010   #23
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With the last roll of APX25, no doubt.
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Old 08-24-2010   #24
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No to say that Leica has or is benevolent, but it is not a public company. Andreas Kauffmann is the owner now, no shareholders anymore for Leica since he's been in the picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexnotalex View Post
They're a commercial enterprise with shareholders, it's their primary responsibility to produce what makes most money.

Film Leicas outlast their owners. Buy a used M3, shoot with it for 30 years, pass it on to your son in your will. How much money has Leica just made? zero bucks.

Digital Leicas - buy an M9 this year then an M10 in 3 years time then an M 11 in 6 years time. (aha! Leica have just sold you 3 cameras in 10 years.)

It is not from the benevolence of Leica that we expect our photographic equipment, but from their regard to their own interest

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Old 08-24-2010   #25
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Maybe we could combine this w/ the "Film Is Dead" thread, and add a "Kodak Sells Film Business: Plans To Open New String Of Yellow Coffeehouses" thread on the side.
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Old 08-24-2010   #26
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^ Fuel to the fire.
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Old 08-24-2010   #27
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I have worked in audio recording since 1975. The first commercial digital recordings were in 1978. It was a big topic in my youth. The first digital camera was about 1988. There are the same problems, advantages in both fields, photography is just a little less mature. At the same time the August Mix Magazine just ran a cover story on analogue recording and we are shipping more vinyl records than we did in 1998. It's a little early to sing "Bye, Bye Miss American Pie"
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Old 08-25-2010   #28
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Look at it this way. You make cameras in batches. You've enormous demand for a digital camera that takes three hours less to assemble than a film camera, and good stocks of film cameras (built up, probably, in anticipation of demand for digtal). I suspect (I don't know) that there's more profit in the M9.

That makes for a really difficult decision on what to make at the moment, doesn't it?

Incdentally, has Dr. Kaufmann now acquired all the shares? I though there were still a few holdouts - less than 10%, but still making it a public company.

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Old 08-25-2010   #29
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Quote:
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I heard their production line was busy with sub contract work ... assembling Bessas and Ikons for Cosina.
Yes I had heard that too, so that must be true ...
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Old 08-25-2010   #30
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Incdentally, has Dr. Kaufmann now acquired all the shares? I though there were still a few holdouts - less than 10%, but still making it a public company.
It's a public company if it's listed on a share exchange (where its shares are traded publically), which it is: G.LCC on Frankfurt/Main exchange.
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Old 08-25-2010   #31
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It's a bit like old cars. First they're new and modern, then as time goes by they're considered junk....then as more time goes by, they're considered "collectibles" and everyone tries to get theri hands on one (often for a great deal of money. (The Edsel comes to mind).

Think it's gonna be the same with film. Don't think it will die out completely, although most people will consider it an "Edsel." But in a few more years, it will have retro chic ( i.e., the "vinyl records" movement), the fine art crowd and the hipsters of the day will get into it, and it will become an "in" thing with the cognosceti...
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Old 08-25-2010   #32
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While Econ 101 says that a publicly traded business has an obligation to the shareholders to make money, that doesn't mean they will continue to sell a product as long as it returns a profit.

Maximizing profit is about putting resources against the most profitable areas. So, it doesn't necessarily follow that Leica will make film cameras as long as the line is profitable. It would be rational for Leica to stop producing MP's and M7's if they thought they'd get a larger return by applying those resources to the digital side. And, vice versa.

If, as we hear, Leica makes cameras in batch runs, I think it's safe to assume they keep a close eye on demand, via data from their dealers. I.e., production needs to ramp up early enough to meet expected future demand. That mode of production might easily morph into a "build on order" mode. That doesn't seem to be far removed from their current a la carte offering for the MP.
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Old 08-25-2010   #33
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I'd be way more concerned if I saw this headline:"DAG and Sherry Krauter retire."
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Old 08-25-2010   #34
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I think the biggest concern Leicaphiles should have is that the company and its products will be discussed to death.
It's like everything other prediction: first we'll see. And then we'll know.
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Old 08-25-2010   #35
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Originally Posted by wgerrard View Post
The Asahi story is based on an alleged quote from May. Wouldn't it be rather easy for someone to telephone or email Leica and ask if they've left the film camera business?
Which Asahi story do you refer to ? The one published in "Asahi Camera" (issue from June 22nd, in Japanese) or the one from news-service "Asahi.com" ? (The author of both stories is the same guy, BTW)
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Old 08-25-2010   #36
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Which Asahi story do you refer to ? The one published in "Asahi Camera" (issue from June 22nd, in Japanese) or the one from news-service "Asahi.com" ? (The author of both stories is the same guy, BTW)
my twitter is overwhelmed by this asahi link - http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201008220143.html

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Old 08-25-2010   #37
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I'm sure this makes good business sense. But speaking for myself: even if I could afford it, I'd never buy a digital M. I don't see the point. If I go digi, I might as well buy a proper digi: an SLR!

I'll stick with film Leica Ms, thank you very much. Happily for me, half the world's Leicas are right here in Japan!
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Old 08-25-2010   #38
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I'm sure this makes good business sense. But speaking for myself: even if I could afford it, I'd never buy a digital M. I don't see the point. If I go digi, I might as well buy a proper digi: an SLR!

I'll stick with film Leica Ms, thank you very much. Happily for me, half the world's Leicas are right here in Japan!

The Leica Police are tracking you through your IP adress as I type ... don't open your door no matter what happens!

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Old 08-25-2010   #39
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I'm sure this makes good business sense. But speaking for myself: even if I could afford it, I'd never buy a digital M. I don't see the point. If I go digi, I might as well buy a proper digi: an SLR!

I'll stick with film Leica Ms, thank you very much. Happily for me, half the world's Leicas are right here in Japan!
Well, yes: an SLR is a proper digi.

And an M9 is a proper camera.

Cheers,

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Old 08-25-2010   #40
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