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Roger Hicks
02-23-2011, 13:42
Many of the TV ads I've seen in the last 24 hours are for cars costing 20,000€+ ($27,000+, sometimes lots plus). I almost never watch television, so it hadn't occurred to me before, but my wife was in hospital for a caratact operation (done at 10:30 and looking good so far), so I had a lot of waiting time.

Now, a lot of these cars are going to be in the scrapyard in 10 years, especially the 'hybrids', where after a very few years, battery replacement is going to cost more than the cars are worth.

At this point, a $7000 Leica M9 looks like something of a bargain, even if it lasts only a decade (and I'd expect a lot longer). Why is this a comparison so few people draw? Don't tell me a car is something you 'have' to have and a car isn't -- the opposite has often been true for me, and for many photographers I know in cities such as London, Paris or New York.

Cheers,

R.

mwooten
02-23-2011, 13:55
I'll think some on your comparison of cars & m9's, but all the best to your wife. I know when my mother had her cataracts removed the world became a more vivid place.

--michael

Andy Kibber
02-23-2011, 13:56
If you compare an M9 to a new car it doesn't seem that expensive. If you compare it to other cameras it does. Why would I go around comparing cameras to cars?

P.S. Best wishes to your wife for a speedy recovery.

kshapero
02-23-2011, 14:02
Well if someone bought an M3 on issue he would certainly have gotten his money's worth many times over. My SS M3 is circa 1967. Seen any, say, '67 VW's that we loved so much back then, still around?

batterytypehah!
02-23-2011, 14:14
You live on a tax-happy continent, Roger... Cars are much cheaper over here. VW just announced the new, US-only version of the Passat. It's going to start at around $20,000, or less than 15,000 euros (btw I refuse to put a currency unit in the singular, as Brussels would have us do), which is causing a bit of a stir back in Germany.

I haven't run the numbers lately but I remember that the US price of a top-of-the-line Leica plus lens back in the fifties would also buy a modest new car, say a Chevrolet. Things haven't changed at all, from that perspective.

bolohead
02-23-2011, 14:19
I buy used cars and immediately take them in for a CLA.

Best to your wife.

taskoni
02-23-2011, 14:38
Certainly my cameras cost more than my car, but not as much as my wife's car. My saxophones does :D

gdmcclintock
02-23-2011, 14:45
I purchased my 2001 Dodge in 2003 for $5000; it already had 63,000 miles on the odometer. Today the odometer reads 142,000 and so far so good. I just purchased a M9 and hope to get at least as many miles out of it!

Best wishes to Frances for a speedy recovery.

sig
02-23-2011, 14:45
Why is this a comparison so few people draw?

Why, first of all there are a lot of other cameras you can compare the price etc against, and for most people it makes sense to compare cameras to cameras. Second the usage of the 2 items you want to compare is in general quite different (of course you can fondle both if you feel like it)

Why not compare you non-expensive camera to a castle? or a space ship? Of course if you compare it to a disposable camera it is very expensive, and the similarities between a M9 and a disposable camera is bigger than with a car, castle or a space ship.

kully
02-23-2011, 14:47
Nothing is expensive in comparison to something else.

Good thread though Roger, it reminds me of a show Tommy Boyd had on Talk Radio UK in the late 90s :-)

MartinP
02-23-2011, 15:12
Best wishes to Frances and both a speedy and complete recovery after the op(s).

sevo
02-23-2011, 15:19
Why is this a comparison so few people draw?

Because cars and cameras, at least in Europe, have developed in a very different direction. Cameras have been electronified and greatly simplified, with software taking the place of the majority of the former components. Cars at the same time have grown quite dramatically bigger, heavier and faster - the original Range Rover, in its time the biggest car on European roads, now looks pretty average when parked among compacts.

You might as well compare cameras and Irish housing standards - that one thing has grown irrationally, disproportionally and sometimes disastrously merely makes it a poor measure for the other.

wgerrard
02-23-2011, 15:34
Roger, I'd love to move someplace where a car isn't a necessity. Laziness and inertia have a lot to do with my lack of effort. However, if you eliminate the northern regions due to winter weather, as I do, there are precious few urban areas in the U.S. that provide some sort of public transport and can be called affordable. Urban areas in the south and southwest are prime examples of sprawl. Their answer for transportation is to build more roads. San Francisco, on the other hand, is an obvious example of a place where a car isn't absolutely needed. It is also extremely expensive.

ferider
02-23-2011, 15:46
Dear Roger,

it's a very normal comparison, in particular if you consider what typical additions (like leather seats, air conditioner, sun-roof, custom metallic paint, etc) cost. BTW, changing the batteries on a Prius, per my car mechanic, costs more than an M9 as well :) And it's due at around 80k miles if I remember well (about 2-3 years of average driving where I live).

It also means, that most people indeed can afford an M9; in other words, if they don't have one, it's probably because they don't want one. ;)

Roland.

masterkin
02-23-2011, 15:53
Roger, why do I feel you're simply trying to justify an m9 purchase? :)

best wishes to your wife.

jmcd
02-23-2011, 15:55
Here's wishing all the best to your wife, including superb vision. What type of lenses did she select?

Wlodek
02-23-2011, 15:58
The only difference is that car prices are bound to go up (with increasing metal, labour, shipping etc. costs), while camera prices are going down; just compare what you can by by now vs for same amount 10 years ago. I think I will wait for the M9, or equivalent, a little longer.

Brian Sweeney
02-23-2011, 15:59
Speedy recovery for Frances. A friend of mine just had this procedure done, and his vision is better than it ever was. I've known him to wear glasses all his life, now - gone.

In 3 years, a $20,000 car will depreciate more than a new M9 cost.

I've at least been breaking even on $4,000 of camera gear sold in the last two months. That includes recouping the cost of the CLA that went into them. Lose a little on some, make a little on others.

Keith
02-23-2011, 16:18
Many of the TV ads I've seen in the last 24 hours are for cars costing 20,000€+ ($27,000+, sometimes lots plus). I almost never watch television, so it hadn't occurred to me before, but my wife was in hospital for a caratact operation (done at 10:30 and looking good so far), so I had a lot of waiting time.

Now, a lot of these cars are going to be in the scrapyard in 10 years, especially the 'hybrids', where after a very few years, battery replacement is going to cost more than the cars are worth.

At this point, a $7000 Leica M9 looks like something of a bargain, even if it lasts only a decade (and I'd expect a lot longer). Why is this a comparison so few people draw? Don't tell me a car is something you 'have' to have and a car isn't -- the opposite has often been true for me, and for many photographers I know in cities such as London, Paris or New York.

Cheers,

R.


I think that's really optomistic ... keep up the faith! :D

benlees
02-23-2011, 16:39
The real question is why do people buy $70,000 cars to go to work when an old Toyota will do the job? For the same reasons people spend thousands on new cameras: ego! They want the "best" and they want others to know that they have the means and the inherent good taste to allow them to procure the "best". Simple, really.:D

If you worry of depreciation; well, then, you might as well be part of the Toyota drivin', Pentax snappin' hoi polloi!

maddoc
02-23-2011, 17:02
All the best wishes for fast recovery of your wife`s eye-sight !

About cars and cameras, I still can`t understand why somebody would spend a huge amount of money for either buying a - new - (and / or exclusive) car or an expensive hobby gadget (Leica M9) ... (My last camera purchase was $120, works exceptional well and has "Leica" written on its top-plate ...)

If it is for work, I fully support the idea that only the best tools are sufficient enough.

ferider
02-23-2011, 17:07
Conversely, I have wondered why somebody would be driving an old clunker ("they don't make them as they used to, anymore") but insist that MP and M9 are the best way to go for rangefinders, "if you can afford them".

All the best to Frances, Roger. All in good humour, of course.

PS: my favorite car and camera (see my avatar) are from 1965. So am I :)

Roger Hicks
02-24-2011, 00:45
First, thanks for all the good wishes to Frances. This is her second cataract operation, and on her (very) dominant eye, so although she was worried about it, she was basically looking forward to it.

To return to the question of cars, well, I live in rural France, so I do need a motor car (one bus a day). But when I lived in London (Chelsea, use the tube) or Bristol (Easton, walk, bicycle or motorcycle), I didn't.

My real question was more along these lines: some people denounce Leica buyers as 'wasting money'; of buying out of sheer ego, etc. But they don't say the same thing about buyers of quite ordinary cars: we're not talking about Ferraris here, or even Porsches.

Of course there are cheaper cars than 20,000€ around -- a Dacia is about half that -- but the fact that 20,000€ cars are widely advertised on television leads me to suspect that many people do, in fact, buy them.

Is it not more irrational to watch 5000€ evaporate as you drive your new 20,000€ car out of the showroom, than to put that towards an M9? In other words, isn't it just that we are conditioned to throw money away on cars, and indeed on consumer electronics, which are often replaced as 'obsolete' long before they break?

As for why I have old cars and Leicas, well, I don't care about cars very much, as long as they work and here we run into more cultural conditioning. Well-maintained 'old clunkers' may well be at least as reliable as a new car, but more importantly (to me) if they do go wrong, I can usually fix them myself without having to wait half a day for a breakdown vehicle to arrive, and then pay a fortune to have a new computer chip installed. Bear in mind how many of today's airliners are 20 and 30 years old. The secret is (a) maintenance of (b) something that is designed to be maintained.

Cheers,

R.

sevo
02-24-2011, 01:39
Of course there are cheaper cars than 20,000 around -- a Dacia is about half that -- but the fact that 20,000 cars are widely advertised on television leads me to suspect that many people do, in fact, buy them.


They do. Indeed, they do not seem to want really cheap cars. A Dacia is considered the cheapest of the cheap - but by eighties standards it amounts to a large middle class family car with plenty of luxury car gadgets (servo steering and ABS) thrown in, and its price reflects that.

What was a middle class family car in the seventies now is a micro compact (the original VW Golf was about the size of the "new Panda"), and the current middle class family car is the size of an 70's oversized military transporter for one squad in full battle dress (the current Golf VI Plus is barely smaller than the initial Range Rover).

al1966
02-24-2011, 02:46
First, thanks for all the good wishes to Frances. This is her second cataract operation, and on her (very) dominant eye, so although she was worried about it, she was basically looking forward to it.

To return to the question of cars, well, I live in rural France, so I do need a motor car (one bus a day). But when I lived in London (Chelsea, use the tube) or Bristol (Easton, walk, bicycle or motorcycle), I didn't.

My real question was more along these lines: some people denounce Leica buyers as 'wasting money'; of buying out of sheer ego, etc. But they don't say the same thing about buyers of quite ordinary cars: we're not talking about Ferraris here, or even Porsches.

Of course there are cheaper cars than 20,000 around -- a Dacia is about half that -- but the fact that 20,000 cars are widely advertised on television leads me to suspect that many people do, in fact, buy them.

Is it not more irrational to watch 5000 evaporate as you drive your new 20,000 car out of the showroom, than to put that towards an M9? In other words, isn't it just that we are conditioned to throw money away on cars, and indeed on consumer electronics, which are often replaced as 'obsolete' long before they break?

As for why I have old cars and Leicas, well, I don't care about cars very much, as long as they work and here we run into more cultural conditioning. Well-maintained 'old clunkers' may well be at least as reliable as a new car, but more importantly (to me) if they do go wrong, I can usually fix them myself without having to wait half a day for a breakdown vehicle to arrive, and then pay a fortune to have a new computer chip installed. Bear in mind how many of today's airliners are 20 and 30 years old. The secret is (a) maintenance of (b) something that is designed to be maintained.

Cheers,

R.

I could not agree more, when I was driving I bought old bangers. It was post having to give up driving for health reasons that was a revelation. We spent less on bus tickets than fuel by a shocking margin let alone the insurance and so on. Also I found myself a whole lot less stressed not having to deal with all the people on the road.

Roger Hicks
02-24-2011, 03:25
They do. Indeed, they do not seem to want really cheap cars. A Dacia is considered the cheapest of the cheap - but by eighties standards it amounts to a large middle class family car with plenty of luxury car gadgets (servo steering and ABS) thrown in, and its price reflects that.

What was a middle class family car in the seventies now is a micro compact (the original VW Golf was about the size of the "new Panda"), and the current middle class family car is the size of an 70's oversized military transporter for one squad in full battle dress (the current Golf VI Plus is barely smaller than the initial Range Rover).

Though I've not looked at it closely, I am reasonably confident that you are 100% correct. I wonder if the reason for this is that it's easier to add gew-gaws (such as power steering and ABS) than to make a car that (a) lasts and (b) is worth keeping. The parallel with cameras is exact: 2 dozen modes, 33-point autofocus and 117-point metering don't actually give you any more than a camera with a shutter speed dial, a diaphragm control ring, a shutter speed dial and a simple meter -- as long as you know what you're doing.

Cheers,

R.

Soeren
02-24-2011, 04:10
Best wishes to Frances
I do 170 +km a day and very soon we need to buy a new car since fuel economy really matters these days and our othervise nice Renault Scenic refuses to do better than 7.5L/100km some years ago Ihad it do 5.9L/100km but its getting old and tired it seems.
To tell you the truth I'd rather spend the money on photo equipment :)
Best regards

SR1
02-24-2011, 05:25
First, thanks for all the good wishes to Frances. This is her second cataract operation, and on her (very) dominant eye, so although she was worried about it, she was basically looking forward to it.

To return to the question of cars, well, I live in rural France, so I do need a motor car (one bus a day). But when I lived in London (Chelsea, use the tube) or Bristol (Easton, walk, bicycle or motorcycle), I didn't.

My real question was more along these lines: some people denounce Leica buyers as 'wasting money'; of buying out of sheer ego, etc. But they don't say the same thing about buyers of quite ordinary cars: we're not talking about Ferraris here, or even Porsches.

Of course there are cheaper cars than 20,000 around -- a Dacia is about half that -- but the fact that 20,000 cars are widely advertised on television leads me to suspect that many people do, in fact, buy them.

Is it not more irrational to watch 5000 evaporate as you drive your new 20,000 car out of the showroom, than to put that towards an M9? In other words, isn't it just that we are conditioned to throw money away on cars, and indeed on consumer electronics, which are often replaced as 'obsolete' long before they break?

As for why I have old cars and Leicas, well, I don't care about cars very much, as long as they work and here we run into more cultural conditioning. Well-maintained 'old clunkers' may well be at least as reliable as a new car, but more importantly (to me) if they do go wrong, I can usually fix them myself without having to wait half a day for a breakdown vehicle to arrive, and then pay a fortune to have a new computer chip installed. Bear in mind how many of today's airliners are 20 and 30 years old. The secret is (a) maintenance of (b) something that is designed to be maintained.

Cheers,

R.

Roger,

I'm not sure about the reference to cars. I like most, have become addicted to the ease with which a car allows me to get around. A car can save me hours each week over using public transport and so it could be said the car improves the quality of my life/time with loved ones etc.

As I do about 20,000 miles a year I want a car than is reliable and so I change it every 5 years or so because unreliability is something I can't afford to live with.

That can't be compared to a camera unless you're a professional and then you would most likely have 2 bodies with you. No one tows a spare car with them just in case!

With the post above, I thought you were moving the discussion to the perception of value and here I ageee wholeheartedly.

If I told a work colleague I had spent nearly 3000 on my M8 they would look at me like I'd gone mad, yet one has just announced he has spend 18,000 on a caravan and no one bats an eyelid. He'll use the caravan perhaps 4 times a year and sell it is a few years for the latest model. This attitude seems to be based on size mokre than anything else.

Buy an expensive watch for 3000 (which will last a lifetime) and people think you're nuts. Buy an kitchen for 20,000 and that s fine.

Hope Frances recovers quickly.

Jamie123
02-24-2011, 06:19
My real question was more along these lines: some people denounce Leica buyers as 'wasting money'; of buying out of sheer ego, etc. But they don't say the same thing about buyers of quite ordinary cars: we're not talking about Ferraris here, or even Porsches.

Well the answer to that is simple. One could say of people who buy a Leica that they are wasting money because they could get something that gives similar results for much less money. You cannot say the same about a $20k car. Sure, you could get something cheaper but you're still on the lower end of the spectrum. Leicas, on the other hand, are at the upper end of the spectrum for 35mm digital cameras and if you want to compare them with cars it's more apt to compare them to Porsches (as Leica does). And people say all the time that Porsches are a waste of money or that people buy them out of sheer ego, etc..

Buy why fight this? An M9 is somewhat of a luxury item. Nothing wrong with that. Is it well made? Probably. Is it useful? Sure. Can you use it every day and take it with you anywhere you go? Yes. But the same can be said of an expensive hand bag.
But it's useless trying to compare values of different luxury items. A lady friend of mine has a closet full of hand bags that probably equal ten M9s in worth, yet she would never even spend $1k on a camera. And why should she? The hand bags are much more useful to her than any camera ever could be.

jsrockit
02-24-2011, 06:30
Don't tell me a car is something you 'have' to have and a car isn't -- the opposite has often been true for me, and for many photographers I know in cities such as London, Paris or New York.

Well, most people would rather have the car than a camera. I'd rather have the M9, but I'm just saying.

Roger Hicks
02-24-2011, 10:17
Roger,

I'm not sure about the reference to cars. I like most, have become addicted to the ease with which a car allows me to get around. A car can save me hours each week over using public transport and so it could be said the car improves the quality of my life/time with loved ones etc.

As I do about 20,000 miles a year I want a car than is reliable and so I change it every 5 years or so because unreliability is something I can't afford to live with.

That can't be compared to a camera unless you're a professional and then you would most likely have 2 bodies with you. No one tows a spare car with them just in case!

With the post above, I thought you were moving the discussion to the perception of value and here I ageee wholeheartedly.

If I told a work colleague I had spent nearly 3000 on my M8 they would look at me like I'd gone mad, yet one has just announced he has spend 18,000 on a caravan and no one bats an eyelid. He'll use the caravan perhaps 4 times a year and sell it is a few years for the latest model. This attitude seems to be based on size mokre than anything else.

Buy an expensive watch for 3000 (which will last a lifetime) and people think you're nuts. Buy an kitchen for 20,000 and that s fine.

Hope Frances recovers quickly.

Yes, thanks, she's getting better all the time. Eyesight already better than it was before the operation and it's generally 2-3 days before the after-effects of the operation wear off.

And yes, I was talking about value and the perception of value. A fitted kitchen is an even better example of an expensive item that will have (for most people) a very limited life. It was just that I'd seen all these car ads, and as Sevo pointed out, people don't seem to want cheap cars.

What struck me was that the difference between a new Dacia and a new (modest) Peugeot or Toyota is a good deal more than the price of an M9. People think in relative terms -- car A is twice as expensive as car B -- rather than in absolute terms, car A is car B plus an M9.

In other words, "If I'm going to spend 15,000 I might as well spend 20,000". This neglects the point that while that's only 33% more for the car, in absolute terms it is still a lot of money.

Of course, there are always those who are puzzled at others' priorities (I often am) and those who are unable to understand that anyone else COULD have different priorities (or opinions, or ways of expressing themselves...)

Cheers,

R.

Mongo Park
02-24-2011, 10:36
Most people cannot afford an M9, Ferider.

Roger's comparison of the price between a camera and a car does not make sense to me. Either is required for completely different reasons.

If you can splash out several tens of grand on a car without wincing then why not buy an M9 - that's just about all that makes sense to me but, what if you don't want or need a camera?

Buy an M9 if you want one or can afford one or both. They are expensive but if you want one ... why not, unless it means your family goes without the necessities of life.

Gabriel M.A.
02-24-2011, 10:56
Many of the TV ads I've seen in the last 24 hours are for cars costing 20,000+ ($27,000+, sometimes lots plus). I almost never watch television, so it hadn't occurred to me before, but my wife was in hospital for a caratact operation (done at 10:30 and looking good so far), so I had a lot of waiting time.

What channels were you watching? And I hope your wife recovers soon. Must not be fun at all.



Now, a lot of these cars are going to be in the scrapyard in 10 years, especially the 'hybrids', where after a very few years, battery replacement is going to cost more than the cars are worth.

At this point, a $7000 Leica M9 looks like something of a bargain, even if it lasts only a decade

You are wrong. WRONG! There's this Ford Model T I saw last year. Running. Being driven. It cost, what, a few hundred dollars new? The M9 is over 10 times that, and it's only a few years old. So THERE: shame on Leica, for making cameras not priced like a Model T.

user237428934
02-24-2011, 12:38
If I could afford it I would like to have a new car every 3-5 years. I simply hate it when things are not so smooth anymore, the seats are not that good anymore or something starts to squeak. Because I can't afford it I buy cars that are 1-2 years old so they are almost new but lost the most value and drive them 5-8 years.

Roger Hicks
02-24-2011, 13:34
If I could afford it I would like to have a new car every 3-5 years. I simply hate it when things are not so smooth anymore, the seats are not that good anymore or something starts to squeak. Because I can't afford it I buy cars that are 1-2 years old so they are almost new but lost the most value and drive them 5-8 years.

Best seats I ever had were Recaros. Even in the 15-20 year old Rovers in which I had them, they were every bit as comfortable as the new Recaros in a friend's 911. When he found out how much Porsche leather cost, he ordered it without front seats so he could have Recaros fitted. When Porsche asked how they were supposed to deliver it without seats he replied that it was their problem, not his.

Good quality cars stay astonishingly smooth and squeak-free. Most of my experience is with old Rovers (pre-1970) but I've also driven Bristols, Daimlers and Bentleys. Very few cars are of that sort of quality.

Cheers,

R.

Moto-Uno
02-24-2011, 13:49
HI Roger
This sounds rather similar to a post I made a couple of days ago under the heading
"Expensive cameras"It's a good thing though that you haven't seen the old "LeCars" I used to love driving.Speedy recovery and great vision to your wife!

SR1
02-25-2011, 05:01
Yes, thanks, she's getting better all the time. Eyesight already better than it was before the operation and it's generally 2-3 days before the after-effects of the operation wear off.

And yes, I was talking about value and the perception of value. A fitted kitchen is an even better example of an expensive item that will have (for most people) a very limited life. It was just that I'd seen all these car ads, and as Sevo pointed out, people don't seem to want cheap cars.

What struck me was that the difference between a new Dacia and a new (modest) Peugeot or Toyota is a good deal more than the price of an M9. People think in relative terms -- car A is twice as expensive as car B -- rather than in absolute terms, car A is car B plus an M9.

In other words, "If I'm going to spend 15,000 I might as well spend 20,000". This neglects the point that while that's only 33% more for the car, in absolute terms it is still a lot of money.

Of course, there are always those who are puzzled at others' priorities (I often am) and those who are unable to understand that anyone else COULD have different priorities (or opinions, or ways of expressing themselves...)

Cheers,

R.


Roger,

You could take the kitchen example and extend it to whole houses. As I'm sure you know, in the UK, many people buy houses not on the basis of what they need, but on how much it will impress their friends/familiy/colleagues. Whist they could once have relied on it rising in value, no one seems to have learned from the negative equity problems of the mid 1990's and UK property is now highly over valued.

I think we all have our own "limits" which are often set with no reference to logic. There are those who's limits are well above their actual means and they spend their life going from one financial crisis to the next. Of course many have limits set in the opposite direction and will spend a life living in near poverty, only to leave a fortune when they die.

Getting back to cars and cameras, I too don't understand the need to spend twice as much for a car that does the same thing. In fact during the early days of DVD players when they cost thousands, I bought a cheaper car than I was planning so I could buy a DVD player.

My personal "limit" on cameras allowed me to buy an M8 new but I wouldn't buy an M9 at 5000. For me it's too much money. That's not to say I think they're expensive though. In fact it could be argued that in the UK it's too cheap as Leica dealers have only just managed to begin to hold them in stock. 18 months of backlogged orders suggests Leica could have easily charged more.

Regards

Simon

John Camp
02-25-2011, 12:11
The real comparison is not $20,000 cars vs. Leicas, but Porsches vs. Leicas...the comparison that Leica itself makes. Both are unnecessary luxuries except for a very tiny sliver of users (and I can't even think of what that sliver of Porsche users would be. Celebrities who, for professional reasons, need to demonstrate their status?)

Very few serious photographers, pro or amateur, have chosen Leicas as their only camera, because they are too limiting; they are, essentially, a luxury item, and you pay extra for the luxury of using them, just as you do with a Porsche. Both machines, of course, may also provide a very high function for some very limited number of people.

I drive Porsche Panamera, because I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford it, and while it's a fine car and extremely comfortable and agile, it really is not as practically functional in a number of ways as a well-made station wagon. In fact, when I finish with the Panamera, my next car may *be* a well-made station wagon.

I recently sold off all my digital Leica gear and most of the lenses, saving only a M7, and fast 35 and 21m lenses (the latter for a 35mm "look" on my Epson RD-1.) I did that for generally the same reasons that I probably will not buy another Porsche -- the practicalities were beginning to wear me down, and the status benefits are not great enough. I now carry either a Panasonic GH2 or a GF1 in place of the Leica, and I'm better off. For the size I print (no bigger than 13x19), not many could tell the difference.

(One major difference, though -- when I sold the Leica gear, I got nearly as much back, even after deductions by the consignment seller, as I paid; if only I'd invested in a whole pile of Noctis back in '05, instead of stocks. When I sell the Panasonic gear...well, I probably won't be able to. Nobody will buy them.)

In addition to people who buy these machines as luxury items, I think there are also a fairly large number who buy them because they simply like mechanical devices...which is why on Leica forums, you often see people talking about Porsches, and fine watches and fine pens, etc. A fine watch will not keep time as well as your cell phone, and a fine pen won't write much better than a fifteen-dollar fountain pen, but the fascination with mechanical function, in the eyes of some, justifies their purchase. Not so much for the status of them (how many people would recognize a fine fountain pen?) but for the pleasure of extreme mechanical performance.

JC

Gabriel M.A.
02-25-2011, 12:31
"unnecessary luxuries" -- a bit like "dark nights", "wet water", "exterior found outside", "money value", and my favorite, "redundant redundancy".

As Nikon, Panasonic, "luxury" and "expensive" have already been mentioned, allow me to add: Canon, X100.

Tompas
02-25-2011, 13:17
I'm buying both used cars and used cameras. And, yes, the cameras should be far less expensive than the cars. About 500 grams of material, carefully formed into a camera should cost a lot less than a ton or more of material, carefully formed into a vehicle.

So, I'm likely to buy Leicas only when I'm ready to buy Porsches, too. Might never happen. No problem.

MC JC86
02-25-2011, 14:20
Any EMI/EMP blast and all these nice new digital cars and cameras are all good for the scrap.
And RFF as well !


Film Vs. Digital discussions always reach their logical conclusion: Nuclear Holocaust. ;)

tbm
02-26-2011, 11:26
I bought a new 1995 Toyota Camry in December of 1994 and still have it. The odometer shows I have driven it only 65,000 miles and it still drives like it did the day I bought it. It has never presented any problems and, since it is so completely, delightfully reliable, I will never sell it and I will always continue to use it. I wish I could afford a Leica M9, but I still love shooting and developing film and making prints in my wonderful darkroom and I still love using my M6 TTL and my R8 with dozens of lenses for both cameras.

Good luck to Frances, Roger!

Terry Maltby

MIkhail
02-26-2011, 11:56
Many of the TV ads I've seen in the last 24 hours are for cars costing 20,000€+ ($27,000+, sometimes lots plus). I almost never watch television, so it hadn't occurred to me before, but my wife was in hospital for a caratact operation (done at 10:30 and looking good so far), so I had a lot of waiting time.

Now, a lot of these cars are going to be in the scrapyard in 10 years, especially the 'hybrids', where after a very few years, battery replacement is going to cost more than the cars are worth.

At this point, a $7000 Leica M9 looks like something of a bargain, even if it lasts only a decade (and I'd expect a lot longer). Why is this a comparison so few people draw? Don't tell me a car is something you 'have' to have and a car isn't -- the opposite has often been true for me, and for many photographers I know in cities such as London, Paris or New York.

Cheers,

R.

Dear Roger,
This is probably the most ...whats the right word... unfit comparison I have heard.
I live in Detroit, US. Car here is just as much a necessity as bread and milk on a table, there is no public transportation whatsoever. So car is the thing that my family cannot live without. True, it does not have to be BMW or Volvo, but even Ford Focus costs 15-16K.
Digital camera to begin with, a especially Leica M9, is the last thing that my family needs. More on this: none of the families of my friends or people that I know need digital Leica. SOme go to Sears for "family portrait", some are quite happy with Digital Rebel. 99% of them don't know about existance of M9 and would be quite shocked to find out the price of it.

True, if I was a photographer by profession... I still would get Canon Mark 5 with 24-70 L lens. But, if you are talking about the cost of Canon - yes, expencive, but I can write it off, and who cares if that's what put's bread on my family's table.
But a toy for the cost of 7K plus lenses? There is no financial justification, who are we kidding?! You want it and can afford- more power to you!

With respect.
Mikhail

Nikon Bob
02-26-2011, 12:10
Try taking a photo with a car, any price range will do, and then try driving a Leica, any model will do, on an 8000 km road trip. I dunno, seems like a pretty valid comparison to me.

Bob

gdmcclintock
02-26-2011, 12:18
A M9 is NOT a luxury item. It is an expensive tool of very high quality.

sevo
02-26-2011, 12:38
True, it does not have to be BMW or Volvo, but even Ford Focus costs 15-16K.

You know, 25 years ago a Mini or Panda was five to six thousand DM. By now inflation will have brought the current $ to parity with the then DM, but that still means that the perceived entry level price into a new car has risen by 200%. Arguably for much more car - but the Mini has not suddenly stopped being a suitable means of getting from here to there. And arguably there are cheaper new cars than a Ford Focus, but you'll usually have to import them to the US, and you'll be considered a alien freak for driving one.

Sevo

Roger Hicks
02-26-2011, 12:43
A M9 is NOT a luxury item. It is an expensive tool of very high quality.

This cuts to the heart of the perception of value, which was the idea of the thread.

It's not about whether you need a car or not (though quite a few people IN CITIES -- not suburbs -- don't). It's about the idea that people surprisingly often prefer an expensive car to a cheaper car and something else. The 'something else' could be almost anything.

Compare a 10,000€ Dacia and a 50,000€ luxury car (a cheap Porsche at 5x the price) in terms of ABSOLUTE cost. Sure, a 6000€ Leica costs 5x more than a 1200€ X100. The difference in one case is 40,000€, and in the other, 4,800€.

A very ordinary middle-of-the-range car costs 20,000€, but many people seem far more willing to blow an extra 10,000€ over the price of the Dacia, but not 4,800€ over the price of the X100.

Not many people seem to understand this point about spending an extra 4,800€ on a camera as against an extra 10,000€ (or indeed 40,000€) on a car. EDIT: Sevo is among those who see what I'm saying about the worship of the motor-car, and how our sense of values has been distorted.

Cheers,

R.

MIkhail
02-26-2011, 15:53
You know, 25 years ago a Mini or Panda was five to six thousand DM. By now inflation will have brought the current $ to parity with the then DM, but that still means that the perceived entry level price into a new car has risen by 200%. Arguably for much more car - but the Mini has not suddenly stopped being a suitable means of getting from here to there. And arguably there are cheaper new cars than a Ford Focus, but you'll usually have to import them to the US, and you'll be considered a alien freak for driving one.

Sevo

Funny you should mention MINI...

My MINI Cooper
http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc251/mikesht_photo/IMG_6319.jpg


http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc251/mikesht_photo/IMG_6322.jpg

Brian Sweeney
02-26-2011, 16:24
Bottom Line Up Front. Leica is selling M9's as fast as they can make them, and hired more workers to meet demand.

The Leica M9 has created jobs. Somebody is happy.

charjohncarter
02-26-2011, 16:26
I don't know what a Leica IIIf cost in 1952 but I bought mine for $50.00 in 1964, and still use it. My 1965 Ford Galaxy 500 ($1500/1967) has long been junked and the Leica finished a roll a couple of days ago.

Brian Sweeney
02-26-2011, 16:46
I miss my '72 Mustang. Long gone. I still have my Minolta Hi-Matic 9 bought in '69.

It took less room to keep and move around.

sig
02-26-2011, 17:12
I think it reflects the price of any camera if you have to compare it to a car and not other cameras to justify cost.

Spyro
02-26-2011, 18:08
Ι dont know Roger... I just bought an australian made tank (http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dragtimes.com/images/16007-2003-Ford-Falcon.jpg&imgrefurl=http://queensland.inetgiant.com.au/Gold/AdDetails/03-XR6-FORD-FALCON-UTE-Gold-Coast/2568407&usg=__gUhjy5-EEkaFyo7wMBWyKioek3U=&h=1200&w=1600&sz=305&hl=en&start=30&sig2=IqVsvyh-IdTaTOe5fgvvIg&zoom=1&tbnid=gl2C-IduXBva0M:&tbnh=129&tbnw=171&ei=mLBpTej3D4_IvQPui-3pDA&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dford%2Bfalcon%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa %3DN%26biw%3D1366%26bih%3D572%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C11 80&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=1066&vpy=121&dur=1139&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=219&ty=76&oei=jLBpTbzlJs3QcP-n9JUL&page=3&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:19,s:30&biw=1366&bih=572) for $7k. It has a few km on the meter but these cars are known to do a million km with min maintenance, ask any aussie taxi driver or cop. Considering it's about the size of your average student accomodation in London, a leica for an extra grand seems a little silly to be honest, no matter how much I love cameras and hate cars. Something to do with the sheer size, amount of materials and technology that has gone into each product.

Ben Z
03-09-2011, 06:24
I'm not getting the equation between $35000 (20K euros) cars and $7000 cameras. $7K is at the high end of cameras, not in the stratosphere with the 45MP Hasselblads but far above the "serious amateur" range. I'd equate a $35000 car (like a Lexus IS350) with a Canon 7D ($1500). I would equate a Leica M9 with an $85000 car (like Merc S-Class).

At one time perhaps the depreciation percentage on cameras was less than on cars, but digital cameras depreciate faster than cars.

True, some people live where a car is non-essential, but a camera is non-essential for everyone but professional photographers.

Most people who own cars use them daily. Most people who own cameras don't.

It boils down to personal priorities. Just as Roger considers a $7K camera a worthy expenditure but is satisfied to drive an ancient Land Rover, I'm certain you could find at least one Bugatti Veyron owner who would gag at the suggestion of spending more than $500 on a camera.

nex100
03-09-2011, 06:55
when i was making a decision to buy a car the choice was a sports car or a sedan. eventually i chose a sports car which. 5 years have gone by and i am still enjoying the drive, the rush it gives me and the smile on my face whenever i take a high speed corner around the bendy road.

it all comes down to whether you appreciate the 'value' which you perceived on the item you have bought and over the years how does that 'value' change. I think the same goes to the M9. I don't think i will change to another camera and it doesn't matter if the value of it dips after a year or two. it will comes down to how i enjoy using it everyday making it worth the price i paid for now.

so yes the m9 is like buying a sports car. enjoy it while it last. doesn't matter how much you paid for it or how much value it retains. ultimately if you appreciate it then it is worth it! if you don't buying any other camera or car is just fine.

damien.murphy
04-19-2011, 07:25
Missed this thread the first time round.

Peoples perceptions of value and what they consider affordable often amuses me. I remember ten years when restaurant culture in Ireland was not as popular as it is now, how some friends would recoil in shock upon discovering I spent approximately 100 on a nice meal for two on a Saturday night.

They just couldn't fathom how someone could afford to spend such money on something they considered a flagrant luxury. Oddly enough, they didn't see anything strange about the fact they'd spent the same if not more, on poor beer, late night fast food and a taxi home.

I had another friend who would constantly complain of being broke, although it was several years before I realised being 'broke' to him meant he simply had limited discretionary funds, after money was ploughed into savings, pensions, and other investments each month. Needless to say he could have afforded plenty of the things he proclaimed to be too poor to be able to buy, simply by re-aligning what were priorities to him.

Most people I think, divide most things into basics and luxuries. When deriding others for what they view as spending on flagrant luxuries, people often neglect to mention that the 'basics' in their world includes plentiful pints with friends and designer labels.

The most hilarious example in Ireland in the last decade, were the tween's who born of affluent parents still lived at home, and often up until their early thirties, because housing was too expensive. Needless to say, the ability to afford wardrobes of designer labels, run a brand new car, and maintain a hectic social life, seemed to be overlooked.

Needless to say, I agree with the previous comment, that for most items, many people can afford them, but have often made a choice that the requisite necessary sacrifices in order to do are not for them. Needless to say also, I am counting those who have a moderately decent job, while at the same time excluding extreme luxury items, such as multi-million euro yachts, for example.

jsrockit
04-19-2011, 07:30
Well said Damien.

Roger Hicks
04-19-2011, 07:48
Both Nex100 and Damien have got the point. It's all about how much enjoyment you get out of something, and whether you've actually costed the alternatives (Damien's beer-drinking chums). The latter also brings up the question of marginal costs; how much more A costs than B.

I suspect that quite a few people who buy new cars could save the price of a new M9 by buying a less expensive motor car, but because they 'have to have' a motor car, and because they think people will judge them according to their choice of car, and because they're borrowing the money ayway, they blow an extra $10,000 on something that will be in the scrapyard in a decade.

After all, an extra $5,000 on a car is a far smaller percentage (over a cheaper car) than an extra $5,000 on a camera, but it's still the same $5000. Thinking in percentages is the basic flaw here: think in absolute terms, of $5000, and the extra $5000 spent on an M9 (assuming you want one) is likely to bring far more pleasure than an extra $5000 spend on a slightly less boring car instead of a slightly more boring one. And let's face it: for $30,000 new, you're probably going to get a fairly boring car.

Cheers,

R.

rogerzilla
04-22-2011, 23:11
One point is that you don't also need a bag of $2000 bayonet-mount accessories to make your car work, although over its lifetime it may easily consume that much in fuel. Petrol (95 RON premium) is 1.37 GBP a litre* now over here, and on average people are probably getting through 1800 GBP worth a year. I only drive once or twice a week so it makes little difference to me, but some people in our office commute 100 miles a day.


*I won't quote it in gallons because of the UK-US gallon size difference

Yhbv24
04-22-2011, 23:45
I don't really understand the comparison.

A Leica M9 will certainly last a long time - but so will a D700, which is about 1/4 the price, and arguably a better camera. Both, however, won't last that long. They can likely be used for the next five or so years, as they will still produce nice images, but by that time, one or maybe even two generations of camera will have left them in the dust.

You can't really compare a digital camera to a film camera when it comes to longevity, as only recently have digital cameras become the standard. An M3, for example, will only become "obsolete" if film production stops.

A car is different, and the higher prices are more for luxury options or using the car as a status symbol.

viv
04-23-2011, 00:12
The comparison between cars and cameras is problematic, since they are designed to fulfil completely different needs.

That said, and in general terms, an expensive car will give more satisfaction than a cheaper one, even if the cheaper one fulfils the same basic need (transport). There are exceptions. My current VW Scirocco is a far nicer car to drive than my previous Porsche 944.

The same is true of cameras. A Leica M will give more satisfaction than many cheaper cameras (although, personally, I prefer the Zeiss Ikon to the Leica M film cameras; the M9 is another matter).

It is difficult to explain this to someone who has never used an expensive car or camera. If you have never tasted a banana but are familiar with the taste of an apple, no amount of words will convey adequately the difference.

250swb
04-23-2011, 00:29
Depreciation, insurance, fuel, tax, tyres, servicing

vs

SD card, and perhaps a spare battery.

If you wanted to make it an equal fight between car and camera in running costs you could buy another M9 body or a very nice Summilux to balance it out. Otherwise in the short, medium, or long term a car will continue draining cash where it is theoretically possible to stop spending money on lenses etc.

But I once spent yearly more than the overall running costs and depreciation of my car on film and processing for my Leica's, so an M9 looks darned cheap to me.

Steve

AndySig
04-23-2011, 00:46
I think it depends where your heart lies. You are less likely to begrudge spending money on something which brings you great pleasure than on something you just need. For instance I have gone top end (not necessarily in terms of money spent as I have been lucky enough to get a couple of real bargains thanks to the financial crisis) in the following areas:

a. Cameras and associated gear incl. ZI, M6, R7, G2 and LF cameras.
b. Bicycle.
c. Guitar.
d. Espresso machine.

I need a car for commuting to work and bought an 8 yr old BMW 3 series. It's now 14 yrs old and although it is a decent car, I begrudge every penny I have to spend on it. I'll use it until just before I retire and will then perhaps buy e.g. a one year old Smart car or similar. I wouldn't mind an Aston Martin but only if I won the lottery and so didn't care about the cost.

It has occurred to me in the past that the material possessions which I value are all in some way connected to production of something as opposed to use (with perhaps the exception of the bicycle although using it generates pleasure and fitness for me). A car is just a tool but unlike a hammer it never stops demanding money.