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bonatto
09-30-2015, 13:42
I was thinking today about the prices of Leica bodies and lenses today, and the amount of alternatives available that, when pixel comes to pixel, deliver the image.

In 1969, an M4 with a 35mm and 50mm sum micron set would set you back about $700. In today's dollars, about $4600.

The modern equivalent will cost you just under $12.000 at Adorama.

Leica relies today on a heritage built by working photographers of all different walks in order to sell what can only be understood as luxury products.

In doing so, I wonder if they've not completely alienated a generation of photographers who now turn to alternatives?

goamules
09-30-2015, 13:50
But of course, that's exactly what happened.

johannielscom
09-30-2015, 14:00
No need for Leica these days, unless you need an item to show off and to complement your expensive watch, fountain pen, bag and suit. Or maybe if you wanna impress people so you can sell them overpriced workshops. It used to be pros that inspired the 'hobby photographer' to buy Leica, it's the overpriced-workshop folk these days. Pros have moved away, I feel.

Photography wise, there's loads of alternatives that deliver the image just as good or better, with more durability and at a better price. I've taken to DSLRs, none of my clients ask for Leica shots or Leica quality (since it is indistinguishable anyway) and if a camera breaks down, I can at least afford to pick up a replacement while it's in for repair.


If one isn't alienated, it's probably because there is spare money to burn and the pros' requirements don't matter all that much.

Huss
09-30-2015, 14:15
Actually, owning a 1200$ Noctilux when you could own the "super clinically sharp and devoid of any personnality" 50 Lux Asph (again, in this very forum), for 900$.

.


When was the 50 Asph $900??? It came out in 2004 at about $3000

Huss
09-30-2015, 14:19
I was thinking today about the prices of Leica bodies and lenses today, and the amount of alternatives available that, when pixel comes to pixel, deliver the image.

In 1969, an M4 with a 35mm and 50mm sum micron set would set you back about $700. In today's dollars, about $4600.

The modern equivalent will cost you just under $12.000 at Adorama.



The modern equivalent is the MP + Summicron 50 = $7000

But I agree with you, Leica has been priced for what the luxury market can bear, not the market.
Clue that the avg photographer was being priced out was with the opening of the Leica boutique stores.

Antielectrons
09-30-2015, 14:21
I love and own Leica and if anything it has brought me closer to photography but Leica was never the only game in town even in its hay dey. Don't believe the hype.... Photographers have always used a wide range of cameras and brands.

Bille
09-30-2015, 14:59
The M240 is priced in the range of Nikon D4s or Canon 1DX. A new Summicron 50 is in the range of Canons 24-70/2.8 L II. What Leica is missing is a budget line. But of course, who wants a "second best" modern Summarit for the price of a used pre asph Lux?

Baby of Macon
09-30-2015, 16:03
The problem for Leica is that it is under pressure from both sides. High end DSLRs match or beat Leica for IQ albeit at a price in terms of form factor. But simultaneously, mirrorless cameras are cheaper and get close or better on IQ, functionality and form factor. The logical response in such circumstances is to target the luxury goods (as opposed to the pro/serious non pro) market.

mdarnton
09-30-2015, 16:09
Being someone who prefers RF to SLR most of the time, I don't think of Leicas as jewelry, but I've also never bought any piece of my Leica stuff new, so new prices have never meant much to me. My favorite photographers used 50s vintage gear, and so can I, without pain.

There's lots of stuff in this world I can't afford, and I don't resent any of it just because I can't have it. How sick and entitled that whole idea seems!

jaapv
09-30-2015, 16:16
I'm talking used. Sorry for the confusion.

But let's not forget; just before the M8 came out Leica wasin big trouble. They were offering huge discounts on lenses. Bankruptcy was latent, present.

Kauffman's strategy was a price hike to support an extremely uncertain digital adventure. Back then, a Full Frame M was impossible to make. The official story from Leica was that a FF M leica would simply never exist. The director was fired shortly thereafter.

Source please. There was never any statement from Leica to that effect.
Mr. Lee was fired because of his perpetual upgrade program ideas and for clashing with the corporate culture.

CK Dexter Haven
09-30-2015, 16:50
I used to Leika Leica. Now i Hatea Leica.

I started with them when the M7 was released. I was curious prior to that, but always thought the M6's metering system was 'childish.' I bought M7s, and then i met a PJ at the original PhotoVillage location in NYC, and he raved about his R8. I had previously thought the R8 was a ridiculous-looking piece of kit, but i soon after held one, and instantly changed my mind. Bought into that system, as well.

Back then, the prices were high, but they were 'doable.' After Leica went digital, and stopped supporting their older systems and cameras (i had a CM for a while, too), they sorta lost me. I wasn't interested in the digital platform which always seemed like it featured 'last year's sensor.' And, the prices just seemed out of whack for what the cameras could do versus the Canons i was already also using.

They tried to convince us that the DMR was 'magical' in some way, despite specs, and then they stopped making that....

And, now, they're just doing so many silly things, it's hard to take them seriously. They aren't making products for the same people anymore, and i don't want to belong to the 'new club.'

I got into Leica because i loved the look of classic/old images shot with their lenses. Stuff from the 50s and 60s. Completely irrelevant as related to digital.

lukitas
09-30-2015, 16:53
I am alienated.

And prices are out of whack. It's not just leica.

Today prices for a decent new camera range from about 400 to 7000 dollars. Pro FF's are mostly above 2000.

I wonder how that would have looked in 1985. Or 1975. If I remember well, a months' salary would get you a pretty decent set-up, back then.

But then again, I may have my rose-tinted backwards looking glasses on. When pointed at today, they show an ominous blue-green tint.

cheers

Contarama
09-30-2015, 17:11
My first system was a used Contaflex a few years back. It came with original purchase receipts and I was always flabbergasted when I converted that to today's money!! So the further you go back it seems the scale on stuff such as Leica was so weighted towards one side that only kings or someone could afford them.

All that being said Leica new stuff is way beyond my means but I still think they are super duper cool and if I had the dough I'd buy a new one in a heartbeat. Really I might just have to settle for a M2 or M3 someday...lol

Alienated...not me and not in the very least. If anything makes me want a M9 and a decent 50 all the more. Kind of like an old girlfriend that played hard to get or something.

icebear
09-30-2015, 17:18
Lucky enough I am not a professional photographer. I photograph just for my own enjoyment. Everybody has different financial priorities. I never bought a new car in my life and don't plan to change that. I don't smoke and I'm not a lawyer or a dentist either. For all my Leica equipment I spotted good used or demo deals. The only ever new purchase was my MM. Of course stupidly expensive but no other piece equipment has given me so much joy and inspiration to use over and over again. For me personally totally worth the expense.

If you earn a living on photography and there is no particular reasons that screams for you to work with a digital Leica M, then go for some Canikon D1234 Mk25. If you buy into digital Leica M as a pro and can't afford it, get another job or a better tax adviser:rolleyes:

Edit: ... and Zeiss-M lenses work on on a MM too. Doesn't have to be the Apo 50'cron.

Godfrey
09-30-2015, 17:31
According to any of several inflation calculators (google "What is the equivalent value of money today?"), something which cost $700 in 1968 should cost between $4800 and $12,000 today purely due to inflation, depending on which indices are used.

From that, it seems your example of an M4+35+50 lens equivalent costing about $12,000 is right in line with what it should cost, albeit at the high end of the scale.

Not much to complain about there... I remember clearly a Nikon F Photomic FTn selling for about $450-$500 in 1969, which seemed fabulously expensive then, and Leica M and 'Flex cameras being the next tier up price-wise. My brother's new Datsun 510 in 1970 was purchased for $930 out the door.

Today's prices are on a different scale. So are today's incomes, thankfully.

G

uhoh7
09-30-2015, 17:40
Never has Leica Digital been so affordable used:

M9 2400
M240 4k
MM 4K

There is no alternative if you want a FF digital M glass shooter, except the modded Sony A7.

Used lens prices have fallen alot in the last year as well.

It's as close to 'free' as you may ever see, right now. And for my taste, the best option.

Well, OK, once the new M is announced the 240s will drop to 3k.

Price a nice mountain bike, and it's about the same. These tired complaints really no longer apply, if you look around and see how expensive just plain living is these days.

Not that Leica is perfect, but for many of us, the lesser "EVIL" ;)

Contarama
09-30-2015, 17:46
A quarter really? Great...now I must study M9's. I've already been studying M2 and M3 here lately. :)

I'd feel like a person on food stamps who drove around in a Lexus...LOL Just joking gentleman..kind of. :D

Ko.Fe.
09-30-2015, 18:29
Leica is the club. And as any good club it isn't bunch of crapshooters for $50 per year and you are at the camera club.
Even if you are modern crapshooter, you'll be the one with load of money. And it is good filter from cheap crapshooters.
And you have to feel it. If it feels right for you, no SLR will be good.
This is what GW was saying. He took M4 first and used some cheap wide lens before he could afford wide from Leica, I think.
Plus, wearing Leica in public makes you special. I faced it twice in four days as of now :)

goamules
09-30-2015, 19:15
Just as I wouldn't buy a Ferrari, but enjoy my Mazda Miata instead, I would never buy a new Leica. Instead, I bought a new Fuji XE-1. The argument that "if you want a digital rangefinder....if you want FF in M mount...you have to go Leica" is pretty self serving. If I wanted an Italian rear engined sports car, yeah, I'd have to buy the Ferrari. But I don't have to have those things. I have to take good photos, and comparing how I do it with a $500 Fuji or a $5,000 Leica would reveal little difference. It's the photo. Not the "experience".

I shoot a couple very old Leicas, because I like old school engineering, only. Those 60 year old cameras are cheap enough I don't mind. But not anything made today.

giganova
09-30-2015, 19:37
I think the OP starts with a wrong premise. Just check original prices and use an inflation calculator. A Leica M3 in 1954 cost the same as an M4 in 1966, an M5 in 1971, an M6 in 1984 ... around $3,500 to 3,750 in today's 2015 Dollar. Maybe that's 20-30% less than a Leica body today.

When I was a student in 1983 I worked for 4 months and could barely afford a Leica with one of their cheapest lenses. If a student today works as a Starbucks barista for 4 months, the student will make $6,400 which would give him/her an M7 with a cheap (maybe slightly used) lens.

The slight increase compared to "yesteryear" could be explained by 1) Leica having to operate their own stores because almost all camera stores have disappeared, 2) expensive production and labor costs, 3) small production runs, and 4) Leica is fully exploiting their niche market situation, catering to people who don't need but want to own a Leica. That was different in the 40-60s when there wasn't much choice when you wanted to buy a decent camera. Even Cartier Bresson said that the bought a Leica because there wasn't much choice and he admitted that all he could afford was one body and one lens for a long time.

What alienates me are not the prices but their ridiculous special edition models, like the Hermes M9 which was a slap in the face for every serious photographer. On the other hand, they make some of the finest cinema lenses for film makers and do seem to care about professionals.

Instead of bashing Leica, we should appreciate their amazing mechanical devices, acknowledge that they do what they seem to think is best to keep them afloat, which is no easy task in today's throwaway society and overabundance of cheap electronic gadgets. Also, how many companies have three film (!) cameras in their current catalog, have free photo exhibitions in their stores, organize juried exhibitions, publish printed photo books, a fine magazine, and host workshops and photography events right in the middle of your community? Name one other camera manufacturer who does that!

I find it funny that so many photographers complain about Leica's high prices. Have you ever heard a bird watcher saying that he is alienated and offended by the high prices of Leica or Zeiss binoculars? Of course not, they either buy one or they don't and move along without whining about it. ;)

f16sunshine
09-30-2015, 19:55
They surely have attraced many new photographers.
It's always the younger folks that stop me and ask if the camera I'm carrying is a Leica (even when it's often a Fuji x100 :p ).
The brand has awareness for sure. The stores sure help. Leica store Bellevue Square is Faces the apple Store in the Plush Bellevue square Mall.
I'm sure at least a few young photographers pop in there while their GF's and BF's shop.

I've adopted AF for projects that must deliver results. The Fujis are pretty handy beating out the M's I used to carry and the 5D's.
Leica's prices are too high for me but it's not the price as much as what the price brings with it.
The product is premium but the reliability has not been (digital M's ).

I'm very curious about the mirrorless models Leica is bringing.
Technology is mature enough with digital imaging that I could see using a model for a very long time now.
Not like a few years ago where there was hope for a bit cleaner results in low light.
Now we are at a very good quality level.
If Leica brought a few fixed lens models in different focal lengths, I could see making a 10 year investment and go with them until they were beyond service.
my 2c

uhoh7
09-30-2015, 20:25
Just as I wouldn't buy a Ferrari, but enjoy my Mazda Miata instead, I would never buy a new Leica. Instead, I bought a new Fuji XE-1. The argument that "if you want a digital rangefinder....if you want FF in M mount...you have to go Leica" is pretty self serving.

"Self-serving"? Ouch!!!

I can't buy new Leicas either, but I love M and LTM glass and hate auto-focus. Fuji is not in the picture for me. I did note that A7.mod is viable alternative with cost of used body and mod about 1100.

If Leica was priced like Ferrari.....well I think they call that line the S007. Thank god it's too big for me.

To me fuji is toyota. Leica m9 is mini-cooper. :)

I do own a toyota, but my daily driver is mini.

The mehyota has it's uses:

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/356/20468137312_7f0f2b0423_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xbGy8b)
Listo (https://flic.kr/p/xbGy8b) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

and both of those devices cost alot more than a good used Leica M digital.

The last war..."Leica is too expensive" is over. But I'm sure many will fight it forever.

and anyway, I thought all photographers were alienated. :)

thompsonks
09-30-2015, 20:39
Leica has lost me. I never minded the prices, it's the obsolescence. The investment used to last decades, but now they 'last' just a few years.

I owned M2, M3, and M4 from 1973 to the turn of the century, and then I stopped carrying a meter and bought a used M6 from a friend. That's 25 or so years on each mechanical body, and an overhaul for each one every 10-15 years.

Since acquiring an M8 in 2008, I've owned 6 digital Leicas. Though I like the feel of them, they're never very up-to-date in their electronics. I've stayed with them mainly to keep using the lenses. And I've had more defects/repairs on the digital bodies in seven years than on film bodies in 35 years.

I still have an MM and M-E, and probably will keep one of them a long time. But mostly I use WATE and MATE on Sony bodies. I can't see buying a Leica body again.



Kirk

f16sunshine
09-30-2015, 20:49
S007. Thank god it's too big for me.

To me fuji is toyota. Leica m9 is mini-cooper. :)

:)

Yeah Toyota! I love me some Toyota :D

The M5 is my favorite Leica I've owned. The M5 (bmw) was my favorite Car I owned also but... I sold it when I got my lowly toyota SR5 pick up!
Just was not driving it anymore. Too much access.

I guess people change yeah ?

PS. Always enjoy seeing your images of Idaho Charlie :)

jaapv
09-30-2015, 23:17
I think the OP starts with a wrong premise. Just check original prices and use an inflation calculator. A Leica M3 in 1954 cost the same as an M4 in 1966, an M5 in 1971, an M6 in 1984 ... around $3,500 to 3,750 in today's 2015 Dollar. Maybe that's 20-30% less than a Leica body today.

When I was a student in 1983 I worked for 4 months and could barely afford a Leica with one of their cheapest lenses. If a student today works as a Starbucks barista for 4 months, the student will make $6,400 which would give him/her an M7 with a cheap (maybe slightly used) lens.

The slight increase compared to "yesteryear" could be explained by 1) Leica having to operate their own stores because almost all camera stores have disappeared, 2) expensive production and labor costs, 3) small production runs, and 4) Leica is fully exploiting their niche market situation, catering to people who don't need but want to own a Leica. That was different in the 40-60s when there wasn't much choice when you wanted to buy a decent camera. Even Cartier Bresson said that the bought a Leica because there wasn't much choice and he admitted that all he could afford was one body and one lens for a long time.

What alienates me are not the prices but their ridiculous special edition models, like the Hermes M9 which was a slap in the face for every serious photographer. On the other hand, they make some of the finest cinema lenses for film makers and do seem to care about professionals.

Instead of bashing Leica, we should appreciate their amazing mechanical devices, acknowledge that they do what they seem to think is best to keep them afloat, which is no easy task in today's throwaway society and overabundance of cheap electronic gadgets. Also, how many companies have three film (!) cameras in their current catalog, have free photo exhibitions in their stores, organize juried exhibitions, publish printed photo books, a fine magazine, and host workshops and photography events right in the middle of your community? Name one other camera manufacturer who does that!

I find it funny that so many photographers complain about Leica's high prices. Have you ever heard a bird watcher saying that he is alienated and offended by the high prices of Leica or Zeiss binoculars? Of course not, they either buy one or they don't and move along without whining about it. ;)
I don't mind about special models, although I would never buy one (although I regret never getting a M6J set when they were affordable). It is very much a tradition with the brand, the first ones were the Leica "Luxus" gold plated, lizard and snake skinned ones, 100 pieces each in the early 1930ies.
I don't quite see why they would give up tradition when it brings in extra money or is good for marketing.
Like the presentation copies for celebrities and famous photographers do.

Lss
09-30-2015, 23:50
Leica relies today on a heritage built by working photographers of all different walks in order to sell what can only be understood as luxury products.

In doing so, I wonder if they've not completely alienated a generation of photographers who now turn to alternatives?
I personally have a hard time relating to this way of thinking. Leica cameras and lenses have been expensive the whole time I have had interest in them, and it pays no role to me what others have used and what they may have paid.

Leica remains relevant to photographers as long as they build products that provide advantages against competition. If a competitor truly provides the same or better at a lower price point, it seems like the way to go. Leica has been in that boat for a long time. It's anyway a sad fact for many of us that they are expensive products.

johannielscom
10-01-2015, 00:34
"Self-serving"? Ouch!!!

...

The last war..."Leica is too expensive" is over. But I'm sure many will fight it forever.

...

Me? Nah... Don't care, moved on altogether. As I expect many will have. :rolleyes::cool:

Rob-F
10-01-2015, 01:25
I have and use a number of Leica film cameras and lenses. I doubt I'll be buying any more Leica digital, with possible exception of an M9. The prices for the rest of it are completely absurd.

Actually I get really good shots with my Fuji X10, X20, X100. And if want to use extreme wide angle lenses or telephoto, or PC lenses, that's what my D700 is for. I don't know that I do any better with my M8.2.

KM-25
10-01-2015, 01:35
New Leica gear? Nah, no need to spend that kind of green to get into Leica, heck even that silly sale that was supposed to end in May is still on.

Now prices in the used market for Leica have come down a lot, some lenses down to pre-M9 announcement levels. So when I noticed how much the stuff had dropped, I decided to expand past my M3 / 50 combo and build a nice kit I could use for several clients who would appreciate the style of images I could make with the gear. So for not a lot of dough I added a customized M6TTL, clean M240, 28 elmarit asph and 35mm 1.4 FLE to the mix.

Bam!

Big difference in certain kinds of image making, clients love the resulting work, I love the workflow and that nice used M240 I bought in June has seen close to 18,000 faultless clicks through it in my hands.

It's pretty simple, you learn about Leica, you learn what it used to cost, what it now costs and what it could end up costing in the long run and you make your choices.

I'm not going to be one of those folks who can't wait to see what replaces the M240 or just keeps buying lens after lens for it. I have a real simple three lens approach that I love using and find the 240 to be a really solid camera that looks like it will continue to hold up.

I use other cameras in my work but I see no reason to not use Leica if I can afford it and love the images I get from the experience of using it. To me Leica is worth it, especially used.

DominikDUK
10-01-2015, 02:33
Didn't the only real competitor for the Leica market just give up a few days ago.

One may like or dislike the Leica Management and pricing policy but they do seem to be right otherwise they would already be history. Leica always and will be a luxury good, pro cameras no matter the mfg are at a premium and so are the lenses.

John E Earley
10-01-2015, 02:56
This year I bought a 58 year old M3 that was in very nice if used condition for $600. I wonder how an M9/240/MM will fare in 58 years?

newsgrunt
10-01-2015, 05:27
This year I bought a 58 year old M3 that was in very nice if used condition for $600. I wonder how an M9/240/MM will fare in 58 years?


shelf queen

Roger Hicks
10-01-2015, 05:34
"Has Leica alienated photographers"

As the company appears to be doing quite well at the moment, the only easy way to get a "yes" answer is to restrict "photographers" to "people of whom I approve".

Cheers,

R.

jsrockit
10-01-2015, 05:46
Niche product catering to a niche crowd made in small quantities. That type of product is always going to be expensive compared to a mass produced consumer product made in large quantities. Catering to a luxury crowd is just smart at this point... it's about selling cameras to those who can afford them, not those who will use them "right."

DominikDUK
10-01-2015, 05:59
+1 to jsrockit

Keith
10-01-2015, 06:07
I'm sure Leica have alienated less people than Hasselblad did with those re-badged wooden handled abominations they bought out a while ago! :D

Michael Markey
10-01-2015, 06:21
I don`t think Leica has alienated people.
Still selling plenty of cameras and compared to the cost of other pastimes the cost of a Leica is very reasonable.

Yes ,you can buy cheaper cameras ... so buy them and stop worrying about the price of Leica.

Jockos
10-01-2015, 06:30
Has photographers alienated Leica, by getting crap wages and buying poor quality, low cost imports?

Or has aliens photographered Leica?

Mcary
10-01-2015, 06:43
Oh look it's the monthly/weekly Leica is too expensive thread....BRB need to find a dead horse to beat.

Ronald M
10-01-2015, 07:02
In film days, Leica was visually superior in final product.

Not so today as the lens quality gap has closed and digital manipulation has closed it further.

Now there are issues with dead pixels and red line that cost a small fortune to remap and months of downtime. Don`t forget corroded sensors although my M9 is fine. I treat it like a baby. Cosmic ray I CAN NOT HELP.

They need to fix the red line issue either home remap or readout and let PS fix the dead one like all the other cameras.

This stuff is so expensive I am afraid to be in a urban area. A camera and 3 lenses, $20.000 . And it is not easy to hide.

Maybe I`ll keep my M8 and some older lenses for that stuff.

bonatto
10-01-2015, 07:03
Funny how people read what they want to read.

Not a leica bashing thread. Not a price bashing thread.

Some interesting points made throughout. Just curious that's all.

I'm sure one can find quality work made with modern leica gear by photographers who get paid fairly.

It seems that Leica rides on an old heritage, that's all.

airfrogusmc
10-01-2015, 07:03
I was thinking today about the prices of Leica bodies and lenses today, and the amount of alternatives available that, when pixel comes to pixel, deliver the image.

In 1969, an M4 with a 35mm and 50mm sum micron set would set you back about $700. In today's dollars, about $4600.

The modern equivalent will cost you just under $12.000 at Adorama.

Leica relies today on a heritage built by working photographers of all different walks in order to sell what can only be understood as luxury products.

In doing so, I wonder if they've not completely alienated a generation of photographers who now turn to alternatives?

And in 1969 you could buy a Nikon F with a 50 1.2 lens for just a little more than $400. So top o the line Nikon was less than half the price of Leica M. Now Leica digital M is about the same price as top of the line digital Nikons and Canons. So wouldn't that make Leica the better deal. What was once over twice the price is now about equal? All digital stuff is way to expensive but it is what it is.

I remember when I bought my Canon F-1s the new ones in 1983 Leica M was almost twice the price. When I bough my Blads in 1986 they were about 5 times as much as Canon F-1s. It's all relative. Leica has aways been expensive when compared to the alternatives.

HHPhoto
10-01-2015, 07:19
The digital Leicas are probably too expensive for what they offer.
But not at all the film Leicas:
Paying about 4000€ for a camera you can use 50 and more years if you only take a little bit care for it, which you then even can give to your children for using before you pass away.....
Well that is an excellent deal!
A film Leica is a "once in a lifetime" camera, and therefore considering its lifespan a very cheap camera with excellent price-performance ratio.

Cheers, Jan

Hsg
10-01-2015, 08:01
I look at digital cameras the same way that I look at computers.

And that raises a difficult question for me, is there such a thing as a luxury computer?

Lauffray
10-01-2015, 08:21
I got lucky and made great deals on used Leica gear a few years ago and never changed since. What's most important ? My main interest is making picture and having fun doing so, not chasing the most exciting new toy.

Also, for all those doing inflation math, let me know how salaries and purchasing power have progressed (or regressed) over the same period of time.

Ko.Fe.
10-01-2015, 08:30
I look at digital cameras the same way that I look at computers.

And that raises a difficult question for me, is there such a thing as a luxury computer?


My belgium relatives have some Apple Pro Station. Huge price tag and it was needed for work. They are using it as only home PC now and I never seen video so good from Web camera as from their Mac on Skype connection to Canada. It is kind of luxury to use professional computer for home needs.

Mac laptops seems to be luxury comparing to regular laptops. With Macs to be more limited in terms of use.

Leica rebranded Panasonic cameras seems to be in luxury category.
RF aren't, because where is no other digital and film (soon) RF in-production cameras on the market.

jsrockit
10-01-2015, 08:45
And that raises a difficult question for me, is there such a thing as a luxury computer?

Apple Watch Edition effectively is a $10000+ wrist computer.

SuperUJ
10-01-2015, 08:57
I do black and white and now use M246. Below is my math to justified it ... had I stick to 35mm films, it will cost me:

Development: $10 a roll development x 10 rolls a month x 12 months x 5 years (planned) = $6,000
And I can double this price for contact sheets and test sheet printing.

My current iMac handles the files nicely. I have the following new computer related expense:
New external hard drive for file backup: $100
Lightroom on Creative Cloud: $10 a month x 12 months a year.

So, has Leica alienated photographers? Not me!

John

Pioneer
10-01-2015, 09:03
Has Leica alienated photographers?

How would I know?

But this is what I do know.

They appear to be profitable when other companies are losing money.

They continue to make and sell digital M cameras.

They continue to make and sell film M cameras.

They continue to expand their product line.

They worked hard to correct a problem with a sensor from one of their digital cameras that was introduced 5 years ago.

And every now and then they produce a limited edition version that we can all make fun of.

If that is alienating photographers than I think I want more of it. :D

Drago
10-01-2015, 09:06
i actually think it's both ways. why do you think used leica gear is so expensive ? - bcos someone is willing to pay the money. i never understood how a 40 years old summicron is going from 1000-2000, but that's probably just me. and there's always the wonderful zeiss glass which in some cases is even better than leica ( optically speaking ). Leica is what it is bcos it got cult status among the photo market, and they make it to the digital world. Not bcos it's better than anything else and i actually mean it. It's not 50's anymore and the market is full of options. But, ofc a Leica camera is a pleasure to use - that's something you can't ignore :)

John E Earley
10-01-2015, 09:31
"Has Leica alienated photographers"

As the company appears to be doing quite well at the moment, the only easy way to get a "yes" answer is to restrict "photographers" to "people of whom I approve".

Cheers,

R.

If "doing quite well at the moment" is the only requirement for determining a companies customer satisfaction and therefor viability, then you are correct. If not, then a "yes" answer needs little restriction to obtain.

Out to Lunch
10-01-2015, 09:38
Professional photographers moved away from range finder cameras during the 60's.

SuperUJ
10-01-2015, 09:50
Certain types of professional photographers have moved away from SLR cameras during the last few years.

John

bonatto
10-01-2015, 10:05
I remember reading about a PJ who would use two or three compacts, tied together on a lanyard, so that he could operate quickly. 3 shot burst on each one, pick up the next one during buffer and carry on. Her covered Iraq 2 for big publications. May have won a prize. Can't remember the name.

jsrockit
10-01-2015, 10:15
I remember reading about a PJ who would use two or three compacts, tied together on a lanyard, so that he could operate quickly. 3 shot burst on each one, pick up the next one during buffer and carry on. Her covered Iraq 2 for big publications. May have won a prize. Can't remember the name.

Here you go:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/multi_page8c1c.html?cid=7-6468-7844

Story stuck out to me at the time too... I found this article because I remembered the cameras used.

uhoh7
10-01-2015, 10:35
I look at digital cameras the same way that I look at computers.

And that raises a difficult question for me, is there such a thing as a luxury computer?

Oh yes, it's called the RiMac:

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3953/15108909544_db6cabb6da_b.jpg
(https://flic.kr/p/p287qq)L1024524 (https://flic.kr/p/p287qq) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

the 5k retina iMac, and it's worth every penny you pay, just like the 50 APO.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5601/15551012539_03f2d12011_b.jpg
(https://flic.kr/p/pGc1eR)L1024539 (https://flic.kr/p/pGc1eR) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Out to Lunch
10-01-2015, 10:55
Certain types of professional photographers have moved away from SLR cameras during the last few yearsIndeed and those who did investigated new avenues. Very few embraced Leica. See above. Cheers, P

Pioneer
10-01-2015, 12:00
But it is returning to that original Leica ideal. Simple, small, quick, quiet, point and shoot. Anticipate the shot. 8mp file size is good enough. Just build it tough so it holds up and make it repairable.

Emile de Leon
10-01-2015, 12:21
I wish they would make a rangefinder just like my m6..weight and size wise that is..but with fully articulated screen and full vid capabilities..I may end up getting the m240 eventually..maybe..

photomoof
10-01-2015, 12:44
I'm talking used. Sorry for the confusion.

But let's not forget; just before the M8 came out Leica wasin big trouble. They were offering huge discounts on lenses. Bankruptcy was latent, present.

Kauffman's strategy was a price hike to support an extremely uncertain digital adventure. Back then, a Full Frame M was impossible to make. The official story from Leica was that a FF M leica would simply never exist. The director was fired shortly thereafter.

Source please. There was never any statement from Leica to that effect.
Mr. Lee was fired because of his perpetual upgrade program ideas and for clashing with the corporate culture.

Perhaps you are being too literal? There were many statements from Leica, to the effect that even the M8 was impossible. However as you note - Leica never said "never."

Start here for sources: http://www.nemeng.com/leica/004fa.shtml

Lee was fired, for reasons which have never really gone public. But the reason atributed by Ned comes from here: http://www.wired.com/2009/03/leica-wants-to/

Last year the former Leica CEO Steven Lee suggested that the company would be making a full frame M8. Leica fired him.

Roger Hicks
10-01-2015, 13:03
If "doing quite well at the moment" is the only requirement for determining a companies customer satisfaction and therefor viability, then you are correct. If not, then a "yes" answer needs little restriction to obtain.
Dear John,

OK. Enter the restrictions you'd like. Including what sort of buyers you think should be allowed to buy cameras.

Cheers,

R.

giganova
10-01-2015, 13:16
I do black and white … Development: $10 a roll development
Develop them at home and it will cost you $1.8 per film.

johannielscom
10-01-2015, 13:20
"Has Leica alienated photographers"

As the company appears to be doing quite well at the moment, the only easy way to get a "yes" answer is to restrict "photographers" to "people of whom I approve".

Cheers,

R.

That's a bit too quick IMHO. Restricting it to 'people who own a (substantial part of their) income through photography' would also mean a 'yes' answer to the question and that's what I meant.

SuperUJ
10-01-2015, 13:25
Develop them at home and it will cost you $1.8 per film.

Living in New York City, I tried, from bath tub to darkroom rental for years. I still need to print. Adding my time together to develop and print, I found it not worth it any more. Between outsourcing the film development, or digital workflow, I went with the latter. It's a more viable solution for me in the City.

John

mlu19
10-01-2015, 13:35
All I have to say is that I'm glad I'm not into cars, watches, golf, or Air Jordans. Leica, film or digital, as a hobby, is not extremely expensive comparatively.

Has Leica alienated photographers? Leica might have alienated the professionals. But then again, I'm not sure if rangerfinders would even appeal to the professionals nowadays.

Corran
10-01-2015, 13:51
First, please define what a photographer is, in reference to your statement.

If that means anyone who takes pictures, well, 95% of "photographers" have never even heard of Leica.

If that means professionals who earn their income with photography in a commercial setting, then 95% of them use tools that are quicker, easier, and give as high or higher quality images for less money. That's just business.

I'll ignore the category of "artists" as that's a different kettle of fish.

It's no wonder they go for the luxury goods / passionate photo enthusiast market.

I own and use an M9 and while it's my favorite digital camera, my Nikon FF DSLRs totally thrash it in every meaningful comparison except size/weight. I enjoy it for what it is. But I'm not 100% commercial so I can afford to splurge on my passion for RFs. Otherwise, I certainly wouldn't own it.

David Hughes
10-01-2015, 14:00
... A film Leica is a "once in a lifetime" camera, and therefore considering its lifespan a very cheap camera with excellent price-performance ratio.

Cheers, Jan

Hi,

I hate to disagree because I agree with the rest of this post but dare I mention (again) the Minilux 02 Error? I now use a mini 3 for my carry everywhere camera but not as often as I should or would like as I fear it will go the way of the Minilux...

Regards, David

David Hughes
10-01-2015, 14:02
I do black and white and now use M246. Below is my math to justified it ... had I stick to 35mm films, it will cost me:

Development: $10 a roll development x 10 rolls a month x 12 months x 5 years (planned) = $6,000
And I can double this price for contact sheets and test sheet printing.

My current iMac handles the files nicely. I have the following new computer related expense:
New external hard drive for file backup: $100
Lightroom on Creative Cloud: $10 a month x 12 months a year.

So, has Leica alienated photographers? Not me!

John

Hi,

Where and how do you get the free printers (they don't last long) and the free paper and the free ink cartridges?

Regards, David

Timmyjoe
10-01-2015, 14:03
I see value in the Leica M rangefinder design for certain shooting situations. And I am a huge fan of the way a good CCD renders a color image. So for me, I had to cough up the money for a Leica digital full frame camera (in my case an M-E), I bought a new one because I wanted a warranty to fall back on. It was more expensive than I would have liked, but in reality it was about 3/4 the price of the Nikon D4 I use for work.

Prior to the M-E, the last new Leica equipment I bought was in 2000, a brand new M6-TTL and 50 Lux, which coincidentally the package came out to be the same price as the M-E. All my other Leica gear was bought used. I have a Leica shooting package now that I hope to keep for as long as I'm making images. It fits very nicely with the personal projects I love, projects over a longer term where I immerse myself with the subjects.

I just finished a four year project, shot entirely with Leica M rangefinders, that was published on the iBooks Bookstore this week. I believe the project would not have come out the same had I used an SLR camera system, as I believe the Leica became almost invisible between myself and my subjects.

Best,
-Tim

SuperUJ
10-01-2015, 14:17
Hi,

Where and how do you get the free printers (they don't last long) and the free paper and the free ink cartridges?

Regards, David

I don't own a photo printer. For proofing, I now do it on screen. With a monitor, I don't need test prints any more. The final prints were not in my equation for comparison between the two workflows.

John

Roger Hicks
10-01-2015, 14:25
That's a bit too quick IMHO. Restricting it to 'people who own a (substantial part of their) income through photography' would also mean a 'yes' answer to the question and that's what I meant.
Really? I know quite a few professionals who own at least one Leica. Also, who says a "photographer" has to earn a living with a particular camera? Or that it must only be with one camera? I've earned more over the years with my Leicas than my Linhofs. Does this mean I have been "alienated" by Linhofs?

Sure, frame the question (and definition) to suit your own prejudices and it's easy to get whatever answer you like. Which was my point, really. Of course, there are those who would say that there are no "photographers" in Arles -- which makes the number of Leicas there a bit odd, really.

Cheers,

R.

danielsterno
10-01-2015, 14:33
i agree with Helen: As for Moi, I'm still content with a Leica M Film Body, as for digital still looking…..

outside of the M5/M6 though for me the x100 for digital is doing it for me and hoping the XProII was worth waiting for…….D.

vladimir
10-01-2015, 15:10
I don`t think Leica has alienated people.
Still selling plenty of cameras and compared to the cost of other pastimes the cost of a Leica is very reasonable.

Yes ,you can buy cheaper cameras ... so buy them and stop worrying about the price of Leica.
+1! it is all relative is it not.

johannielscom
10-01-2015, 15:27
Really? I know quite a few professionals who own at least one Leica. Also, who says a "photographer" has to earn a living with a particular camera? Or that it must only be with one camera? I've earned more over the years with my Leicas than my Linhofs. Does this mean I have been "alienated" by Linhofs?

Sure, frame the question (and definition) to suit your own prejudices and it's easy to get whatever answer you like. Which was my point, really. Of course, there are those who would say that there are no "photographers" in Arles -- which makes the number of Leicas there a bit odd, really.

Cheers,

R.
I don't have any prejudices on Leica (anymore), Roger. I liked the film M's, until I found out my photography improved by refraining from them. I simply ran into this thread posing the question and I answered it. Yes Leica has alienated me and yes it was due to the price they charge for their digital gear, a price I cannot pay and would not pay considering the quality it gets me. And yes I think I'm not alone. And yes I'm right on all counts and yes your opinions may vary and yes that's okay.

I don't know if you feel alienated by Linhof, do you? Wanna start a thread on it and see what others feel? Your prerogative!

Let's not try to reason a simple opinion into extremes to prove its right or wrong, it's really not worth it. No need to declare absolute truths here, IMHO.

photomoof
10-01-2015, 16:36
I was very active and passionate about it all back then, so I'm very accurate in what I am saying. There's no need to moderate what I am saying. No, Really. The reasons I have attributed do not come from your wired link. This is a bit insulting.

Lee was fired for public BS such as the impossibility of a FF sensor, the infinite sensor upgrade program that was about to be launched, the free iR cut filters and obviously not running the company properly.



Why insulting? Wired just agreed with what everyone was saying, they were not in the least an original source.

We all got our information, and mis-information, from the press and interviews which to this day, seem self-serving on both sides. No way to know where the truth lies, and to top it off Lee never went to court.

This 2008 Wall Street Journal article has always seemed the most balanced to me. But it too, is not nuanced. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122152103387739231?mg=id-wsj

Why Lee was there at all, is the same question Steve Jobs must have wondered about John Scully.

literiter
10-01-2015, 16:50
Leica appeals to everybody, but mostly to those who can afford them.

raid
10-01-2015, 16:55
It could be that the (new) China market for Leica allowed them or encouraged them to aim at ventures that have more to do with being a profitable company than being a cult company alone.

rbsinto
10-01-2015, 17:13
Leica appeals to everybody, but mostly to those who can afford them.
Please don't presume to speak for everyone.
In the 38 years that I have been photographing, I have never, ever had the slightest desire to own any Leica equipment, despite being able to afford it.
Whether or not they have alienated photographers is a question I am unable to answer, because I was, and still am basically indifferent to, and have no interest in, their equipment.

photomoof
10-01-2015, 18:13
Leica appeals to everybody, but mostly to those who can afford them.

As noted -- not to all of us. The black paint M6's I had were nice, but still did not hold a candle to a black paint Nikon S2. :)

Contarama
10-01-2015, 20:22
It could be that the (new) China market for Leica allowed them or encouraged them to aim at ventures that have more to do with being a profitable company than being a cult company alone.

a la Mercedes, Porsche, and BMW? :)

Luxury Goods. Swiss standard of living. We have made it!

uhoh7
10-01-2015, 20:38
As noted -- not to all of us. The black paint M6's I had were nice, but still did not hold a candle to a black paint Nikon S2. :)

I'm on a Nikon binge at the moment. I found a AIS EDIF 300/2.8 for 600 bucks and it is very very fun on the A7.mod. Handheld no problem. My best 200ish is the AIS 180/2.8 ED. I like the 55 micros alot, too. Now I have a AIS 500/4 on the way from japan.

But the famed 28/2 AIS I found dull and in general the leica glass, for me, is in another league entirely. From SEM 21 to APO 135, I never saw anything from Canikon I liked as much.

lucasjld
10-01-2015, 21:04
My first rangefinder was a Bessa R2M (i'm 24). Backpacked around Europe with it. Loved it.

I now work with weddings and always wanted a "digital Bessa". The only option: Leica M.
It is a bit annoying how "old" the sensor technology is, or how ****ty the M9 LCD is, but is the only company that makes the camera I want.

I sold my Sony A7s in Brazil (that I bought to use with my M-Mount lenses) and with not much more I got a used Leica M9-P. Couple months later I sold it in and bought a M240.

I just find obvious that any Leica camera now won't "last for decades". 10 years from now the A7S II ISO will be like "how ****ty is that?".

Lss
10-01-2015, 21:17
No need to declare absolute truths here, IMHO.
Just to be clear: a Leica these days being unnecessary for anything else than showing off alongside a fountain pen or to sell expensive workshops with mostly applies just to yourself then?

Richard G
10-01-2015, 21:41
To the OP: I think the answer is no.

Michael Markey
10-01-2015, 22:04
I just find obvious that any Leica camera now won't "last for decades".

Yes but for some reason people can`t seem to understand that and insist that the worth of a camera resides in its perceived longevity .

As regards cost ; the cost of running a horse in the UK is (at a minimum) 3-4 thousand pound a year or 5 to 6 thousand dollars.
That excludes tack and any vet fees.
I`ve excluded the cost of competing .

People pay that happily because they enjoy what they do.

For every well heeled owner there are those on min wage and some are on welfare.

A horse doesn`t last a lifetime and indeed can keel over in an instant yet I never hear the complaints about cost that I hear expressed in these threads.

I`m actually more curious as to why that should be so.

Pioneer
10-01-2015, 22:29
Yes but for some reason people can`t seem to understand that and insist that the worth of a camera resides in its perceived longevity .

As regards cost ; the cost of running a horse in the UK is (at a minimum) 3-4 thousand pound a year or 5 to 6 thousand dollars.
That excludes tack and any vet fees.
I`ve excluded the cost of competing .

People pay that happily because they enjoy what they do.

For every well heeled owner there are those on min wage and some are on welfare.

A horse doesn`t last a lifetime and indeed can keel over in an instant yet I never hear the complaints about cost that I hear expressed in these threads.

I`m actually more curious as to why that should be so.

Because I can't throw a saddle on my Leica?

Comparing my Leica to a horse makes as much sense as comparing it to my cats.

Comparing it to a Rolex watch is probably a bit more appropriate. If I spend the money for a Rolex and it keels over in 3 or 4 years then I believe I am entitled to feel cheated.

I do feel the same about Leica because they have encouraged me to feel that way. Now I could care less that a Nikon digital dies in 4 years, but my Leica digital is built of stiffer stuff, or at least it should be. It should at least be repairable.

I know this seems a bit OT but this, in my mind, is what will end up alienating Leica photographers. I know that this opinion is not real popular, but if Leica begins treating their digital cameras as disposable electronic goods then they will end up losing their customers to other brands. Not immediately, but when it happens it will happen quickly.

I am not rich, but for me it is not the money. I am spending that money for the reputation of robustness and longevity. I own an M3. I own an M-A. I own an M9. If Leica stays true to its heritage I should not have to replace any of them.

EDIT - Unless of course they are stolen or damaged beyond any hope of repair.

Lss
10-01-2015, 22:58
A horse doesn`t last a lifetime and indeed can keel over in an instant yet I never hear the complaints about cost that I hear expressed in these threads.
A lot of people complain about those costs. Mostly parents whose kids want a horse or at least to compete.

Horse meat is cheaper than beef, though. :cool:

:: Mark
10-01-2015, 23:03
The price/performance/reliability for Leica is definitely not good compared to other contemporary cameras (and I do not see the point of inflation calculations - what matters is what alternatives are available today).

However, what is alienating to me is Leica's fixation on dubious special editions.

Leica's focus appears to be on fashionable repackaging of old or third party (Panasonic) technology in fancy boxes. This takes resource that could be used to improve functionality and reliability. I don't mean fancy video modes, but basic things such as the ability to re-calibrate the rangefinder without a service trip and providing a built-in diopter correction for the viewfinder (even my 35 year old Minolta XDs has this).

It is one thing to use an old quirky system, but if I am going to spend a lot of money on a new camera I want to put it in to a system where the manufacturer is focussed on making better cameras and lenses, and not distracted by 6-monthly releases of crocodile skinned pre-distressed fashion statements.

Michael Markey
10-01-2015, 23:19
Because I can't throw a saddle on my Leica?

Comparing my Leica to a horse makes as much sense as comparing it to my cats.

Comparing it to a Rolex watch is probably a bit more appropriate. If I spend the money for a Rolex and it keels over in 3 or 4 years then I believe I am entitled to feel cheated.

I do feel the same about Leica because they have encouraged me to feel that way. Now I could care less that a Nikon digital dies in 4 years, but my Leica digital is built of stiffer stuff, or at least it should be. It should at least be repairable.

I know this seems a bit OT but this, in my mind, is what will end up alienating Leica photographers. I know that this opinion is not real popular, but if Leica begins treating their digital cameras as disposable electronic goods then they will end up losing their customers to other brands. Not immediately, but when it happens it will happen quickly.

I am not rich, but for me it is not the money. I am spending that money for the reputation of robustness and longevity. I own an M3. I own an M-A. I own an M9. If Leica stays true to its heritage I should not have to replace any of them.

EDIT - Unless of course they are stolen or damaged beyond any hope of repair.


Yes ... agreed.
Perhaps not the best analogy .

Thinking about what you said I guess that the difference is that , I have never really bought into the longevity argument completely (if at all).

It was not a factor in my decision to buy the brand .

My only Leicas are a 1955 M3 and a 1960 M2.
Its remarkable that they are still ticking along after all this time but there is no expectation on my part that they will last for another fifty years.

They may well do but that`s not something I consider.

photomoof
10-01-2015, 23:23
I do feel the same about Leica because they have encouraged me to feel that way. Now I could care less that a Nikon digital dies in 4 years, but my Leica digital is built of stiffer stuff, or at least it should be. It should at least be repairable.

I know this seems a bit OT but this, in my mind, is what will end up alienating Leica photographers. I know that this opinion is not real popular, but if Leica begins treating their digital cameras as disposable electronic goods then they will end up losing their customers to other brands. Not immediately, but when it happens it will happen quickly.


Sadly I do believe Leica encouraged people to believe that by some mysterious magic they could ignore the reality of technology, and their Leica digital cameras would never become antique technology.

Fully digital equipment does not all wear out, in fact the fewer mechanical parts, the longer it may last. I have owned four iPhones, 3 iPods, none wore out. My original iPod from 2001 still works, it only has two moving parts. That digital Nikon you don't care about may last 30 years or more.

I have (until recently) owned Apple, SGI, and NeXT computers from the 80's, they all worked perfectly until I sold them all in 2003, when I moved my studio. Functioned exactly the same as the day they were new. But frankly compared to the newest Apple offerings they are ridiculously slow, and most were B&W, no color.

Leica may choose not to treat their cameras as disposable, but they will absolutely be eclipsed. Only the user can decide when they are "obsolete."

The computer that Berners-Lee at CERN used to "invent the internet" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpT3VVJbolM

Apple computer from 1976: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKiMPCRILpc

David Murphy
10-01-2015, 23:44
I was thinking today about the prices of Leica bodies and lenses today, and the amount of alternatives available that, when pixel comes to pixel, deliver the image.

In 1969, an M4 with a 35mm and 50mm sum micron set would set you back about $700. In today's dollars, about $4600.

The modern equivalent will cost you just under $12.000 at Adorama.

Leica relies today on a heritage built by working photographers of all different walks in order to sell what can only be understood as luxury products.

In doing so, I wonder if they've not completely alienated a generation of photographers who now turn to alternatives?
Interesting point, but I don't think Leica either alienated or particularly pleased any professional photographers then or now - maybe some amateurs. The de facto standard professional 35mm camera in 1969 was not the Leica M4, but the Nikon F (typically equipped with an eyelevel unmetered prism). A few less healed pros made do with Nikkormats or Pentax's. Most amateurs then wanted the F too (and many had to settle for a Nikkormat, which is why it was invented).

I don't know who the typical Leica buyer was in 1969, but I imagine he was typically a very well off person with very good taste - and perhaps even a decent photographer, but unlikely a working professional.

Roger Hicks
10-02-2015, 01:03
. . . Let's not try to reason a simple opinion into extremes to prove its right or wrong, it's really not worth it. No need to declare absolute truths here, IMHO.
The question, as phrased, was "Has Leica alienated photographers", not "Has Leica alienated you personally."

As lss put it, "Just to be clear: a Leica these days being unnecessary for anything else than showing off alongside a fountain pen or to sell expensive workshops with mostly applies just to yourself then?"

Cheers,

R.

David Hughes
10-02-2015, 03:37
Just to be clear: a Leica these days being unnecessary for anything else than showing off alongside a fountain pen or to sell expensive workshops with mostly applies just to yourself then?

Hi,

To be fair/logical you'll have to specify the make and model of the fountain pen. Then we could compare it with a make and model(s) of Leica.

Point being we all know about Leicas as sold these days but the term "fountain pen" covers a multitude of sins; some cheap and practical and some not so cheap. As for the alternatives to fountain pens they are often dear and often don't always work straight away the second time you pick them up...

Regards, David

Keith
10-02-2015, 03:42
What other company has had the balls to produce a camera that costs close to ten grand and only shoots black and white!

Just sayin' ......... :D

David Hughes
10-02-2015, 03:43
Why insulting? Wired just agreed with what everyone was saying, they were not in the least an original source.

We all got our information, and mis-information, from the press and interviews which to this day, seem self-serving on both sides. No way to know where the truth lies, and to top it off Lee never went to court.

This 2008 Wall Street Journal article has always seemed the most balanced to me. But it too, is not nuanced. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122152103387739231?mg=id-wsj

Why Lee was there at all, is the same question Steve Jobs must have wondered about John Scully.

Hmmmm, interesting, I wonder what his opinion of the Leica/Panasonic versions was... It really wound me up.

Regards, David

jsrockit
10-02-2015, 05:07
Leica may choose not to treat their cameras as disposable, but they will absolutely be eclipsed. Only the user can decide when they are "obsolete."

Truth in this for many things...

Tompas
10-02-2015, 05:08
Leica hasn't alienated me -- on the contrary, how cool is a company that makes digital cameras that only do B/W or have no LCD screen?

They cost more than I am willing to spend on any camera, but that's my attitude and not their fault.

rogazilla
10-02-2015, 06:31
If we are talking about M mount Rangefinders, it is really a choice. as mentioned by many, photographers left RF to SLR back in the days. We see to some degrees DSLR users are moving to mirrorless today. Not sure Leica alienated them but rather photographers pick a different tools.

I swear by OVF but don't deny EVF where I can see the result without having to 'imagine it'. Call it lazy but it is effective. The current generation that grow up using cellphones will probably find EVF even more at home and who knows if they will do away with VF in the next 10/20 years when they are able to show on the back LCD in full color even in strong sun light.

back on topic, how many film rangefinder leica sells annually back in say 70's versus the digital ones they sell today? I think that will paint a better picture on whether they alienated anyone.

As far as price people out, that is subjective to individual. Leica has always been expensive, I don't think that's news. For some of my friend who gets a new cell phone every 6 months or someone who gets a new iphone every year, over the course of 6 years they could have bought a m9 or 2? But they dont think chasing that new cell phone tech is expensive... Or my friend who's into cars who buy and sell on craiglist then put work and money into parts, easily spend enough to buy a few M bodies and several lenses.

Like many have said, they all take pictures and you pick the camera you want to use and pay the price you think is fair for the tool. No point in criticize other people's choice or even justify your tool of choice versus theirs.

willie_901
10-02-2015, 07:27
Certain types of professional photographers have moved away from SLR cameras during the last few years.

John

Practically all ....

pechelman
10-02-2015, 07:31
I always thought it was partly\mostly intentional of Leica to alienate people so as to keep up the appearance and brand recognition of being a "luxury camera" with "exclusive clientele". Whatever that means. Maybe Lenny Kravitz or Brad Pitt can fill us in ;)

That aside, I really dont care about any of that, nor even really the image quality (good or bad), and old tech. To me, growing up with other film rangefinders (yashica gsn, various medium formats, etc) and very recently getting back into photography with the digital "rangefinder" fuji's, did nothing more than reaffirm all I wanted was a real rangefinder.

Like any camera, the 240 has its quirks and shortcomings, but it certainly is a very fun and engaging camera to use, for me. When I go out for "results" shooting under pressure, such as going on a big trip with a tight schedule, I'll generally grab the fujis because of the WYSIWYG of the EVF's and generally faster operation, but when I go out to just enjoy the physical act of photography, there's no question in what I take. That's not to say I can't get results with the Leica, it just saves me a few seconds when I hit the play button on the back, change a setting I have assigned to a function key, or when I need to keep things lightweight.

Any digi camera will have a shortened lifespan compared to a film camera, and I really dont think that's a totally fair comparison. However, of all the companies\cameras out there, I might have the most confidence in being able to get a totally new sensor installed in my M240, in 15 years, than anything else out there. Granted it has had its share of issues, but it does sound like there will be a good amount of support for the M9 sensor for a digital camera thats now already 6+ years old. I really cant think of too many other things in the electronics\computing\hardware side of things that has that sort of support, certainly not even Apple feels the same way about their things.

willie_901
10-02-2015, 07:32
....

With Macs to be more limited in terms of use.



Quite true if, and only if, one is seriously involved in computer gaming.

Otherwise this is an out-of-date conclusion.

mlu19
10-02-2015, 07:42
+1 pechelman

Let's hope Leica would never start selling at Walmart.com like today's Apple. Leica is a status symbol to me, in history and now. We buy into the brand.

I'm still waiting for OP to define his term of 'photographers'.

lucasjld
10-02-2015, 07:53
I do find alienating the other Leica cameras though, those compact rebranded cameras or Leica M special editions.

What the hell is Leica M Kravitz? Or that Panasonic stuff? Just like Hasselblad.

Also, comparing to a Rolex? It's "just" a watch.
Leica went digital. And in the digital world of photography, every year we have new ISO performance, megapixels, "backlight" stuff, processing etc.

Out to Lunch
10-02-2015, 08:09
Leica can do whatever they feel is right for them and so can I. I don't see the problem.

Emile de Leon
10-02-2015, 08:26
Wait until you see rappers hangin Leicas around their necks in their videos...
Then you are really gonna see the prices skyrocket...hahaha!

photomoof
10-02-2015, 08:36
My belgium relatives have some Apple Pro Station. Huge price tag and it was needed for work. They are using it as only home PC now and I never seen video so good from Web camera as from their Mac on Skype connection to Canada. It is kind of luxury to use professional computer for home needs.

Mac laptops seems to be luxury comparing to regular laptops. With Macs to be more limited in terms of use.

Leica rebranded Panasonic cameras seems to be in luxury category.
RF aren't, because where is no other digital and film (soon) RF in-production cameras on the market.

That old Mac Pro is much slower than a new, inexpensive iMac. Things change fast. You have just not seen fast video on a 5k iMac.

You might be right about the PC laptop, the Mac only does not run old-fashioned inventory programs (used by small grocery stores and the like), many large businesses now have modern apps running on Apple iPads. Although a lot of those older PC apps, even at mom and pop stores are now on Windows tablets.

Hsg
10-02-2015, 08:52
My belgium relatives have some Apple Pro Station. Huge price tag and it was needed for work. They are using it as only home PC now and I never seen video so good from Web camera as from their Mac on Skype connection to Canada. It is kind of luxury to use professional computer for home needs.

Mac laptops seems to be luxury comparing to regular laptops. With Macs to be more limited in terms of use.

Leica rebranded Panasonic cameras seems to be in luxury category.
RF aren't, because where is no other digital and film (soon) RF in-production cameras on the market.

Apple Watch Edition effectively is a $10000+ wrist computer.

The hardware inside a digital Leica camera and the software running it are the same as any other digital camera, the only difference is the outer shell.

Is the outer shell in a Leica really worth that extra money?

rogazilla
10-02-2015, 09:09
The hardware inside a digital Leica camera and the software running it are the same as any other digital camera, the only difference is the outer shell.

Is the outer shell in a Leica really worth that extra money?

That's like saying the hardware inside a VW diesel and the software running it are the same as any other cars, the only difference is the outer shell. :cool:

Is the VW outer shell really worth that extra money?

BlackXList
10-02-2015, 14:18
In terms of the M platform, they're pretty much the only game in town, so they can almost operate how they like.
Although I'm curious to know what impact the Sony's have had.

But the M's aren't the only cameras they make, and with the other stuff, they do actually have to compete, and I don't really think they do. The Medium format stuff is being hassled by the likes of Pentax, and the Q (the only one I'm really interested in) comes in a couple of years after Sony's full frame compacts, and after the 28mm fanatics have bought Ricoh GRs (I know there's a sensor size difference, but there's also a £3500 difference too).

The M's cater to a specific group of people who choose to work that way. The rest of their range has to stack up against the stuff that photographers use to get the job done, and I don't think they do, even if only in terms of price.

uhoh7
10-02-2015, 14:27
The regard for Leica M cameras among professionals is quite high at the moment.

It doesn't mean they are suited to every task.

But the money factor is a doorway to all sorts of bizarre takes. I am a member over at Mflenses. You should have seen the furor when I bought a 28 cron and showed it to them a few years ago. But the truth is gradually sinking in. They still hate the prices, but no longer deny the quality.

raydm6
10-02-2015, 14:55
As a hobbyist, my last new Leica camera purchase was in 1985 (M6 & 35 'cron v.4). Shortly thereafter, purchased a 90 Tele-Elmarit 'thin' at a local/regional department store with a photo dept. (crazy! I know) - the 90 was either $280 or $380. Since then, I've been retrograding: purchased used in mint condition - M2, Summaron, IIIf-RD, Summitar and various accessories, viewfinders. Couldn't be happier. Their new offerings are interesting but don't attract me much - but I wish them well.

They also make superb binos - glorious to look through. Purchased new in the '90's an 8x32 Trinovid and 10x25 BCA Trinovid. The 10's are great for concerts.

I still own all.

David Murphy
10-02-2015, 15:07
What other company has had the balls to produce a camera that costs close to ten grand and only shoots black and white!

Just sayin' ......... :D
...........LOL!

awilder
10-02-2015, 15:09
I no longer shoot with Leica M after moving from film to digital. Looking back, besides initial ridiculously high cost outlay, my biggest gripe was that they needed more frequent routine servicing than I ever had to do non-Leica cameras. Insult to injury! Besides the added expense, turnaround wasn't exactly quick given the relatively few service techs I would trust to do the job right the first time. To fair, I did find their early SLRs like the SL to be rugged and reliable requiring no more service than my Nikons.

raydm6
10-02-2015, 15:15
Sorry, I just purchased this (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost-classifieds/showproduct.php?product=48198) :):):) Crazy! I love their old stuff!! :D

noisycheese
10-19-2015, 08:36
According to any of several inflation calculators (google "What is the equivalent value of money today?"), something which cost $700 in 1968 should cost between $4800 and $12,000 today purely due to inflation, depending on which indices are used.

From that, it seems your example of an M4+35+50 lens equivalent costing about $12,000 is right in line with what it should cost, albeit at the high end of the scale.

Not much to complain about there... I remember clearly a Nikon F Photomic FTn selling for about $450-$500 in 1969, which seemed fabulously expensive then, and Leica M and 'Flex cameras being the next tier up price-wise. My brother's new Datsun 510 in 1970 was purchased for $930 out the door.

Today's prices are on a different scale. So are today's incomes, thankfully.

G

It's all relevant - everything costs more these days. Why? the value of the dollar is in the toilet. Compare the price of a gallon of gasoline in 1967 to 2015. Like everything else, gasoline is a commodity; its price is an indicator of the relative value of the dollar (or whatever national currency you are looking at).

Regarding those who rage against Leica because of the cost of M lenses and bodies - do they rage against Ferrari because Ferrari automobiles are not being sold at the same price as Toyota Corollas? :rolleyes:

photomoof
10-19-2015, 09:06
It's all relevant - everything costs more these days. Why? the value of the dollar is in the toilet. Compare the price of a gallon of gasoline in 1967 to 2015. Like everything else, gasoline is a commodity; its price is an indicator of the relative value of the dollar (or whatever national currency you are looking at).

Regarding those who rage against Leica because of the cost of M lenses and bodies - do they rage against Ferrari because Ferrari automobiles are not being sold at the same price as Toyota Corollas? :rolleyes:

1967 was the height of the "gas wars" in the US, I bought gas as low as 19 cents that year in the midwest, but the published averages were under 50 cents until the Arab Oil Embargo raised prices to 55 cents. Oil was about $12 a barrel.

At today's price of about $2.30 per gallon it is currently a bargain, it really should be about 2.50

Godfrey
10-19-2015, 09:48
1967 was the height of the "gas wars" in the US, I bought gas as low as 19 cents that year in the midwest, but the published averages were under 50 cents until the Arab Oil Embargo raised prices to 55 cents. Oil was about $12 a barrel.

At today's price of about $2.30 per gallon it is currently a bargain, it really should be about 2.50

I thought the Arab Oil Embargo was in 1974-1976.

The current low price of oil is due to the oil producers/vendors manipulating the market to keep industry hooked on using their products. They're scared ****less that solar and other power sources will obviate their existence, something that I cannot be more delighted by.

As a global civilization we need power, but we need to obtain it without the toxicity and detrimental effects of oil. Keeping the price of oil artificially low has constrained research money for the development of alternative power sources for decades.

G

photomoof
10-20-2015, 18:00
I thought the Arab Oil Embargo was in 1974-1976...

G
It was, but prices remained steady from 67 or so until rising 10 years later.

charjohncarter
10-20-2015, 18:46
I've had two Leicas, the last one for 52 years. But I have to agree with the OP, I see something similar that happened in the US about 10-15 years ago. Then every upwardly mobile male bought a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. I think that is the market now for Leica.

Recently, I had my IIIf at a car show and a guy with a digital Leica asked, 'What kind of camera is that?' My camera even had a Leica lens cap????????????????

gilgsn
10-21-2015, 01:04
Hello,

I owned an M4-P, M2 and IIIc.. Great cameras, and pretty cheap used.. Even had a Summilux 35mm Pre-Asph, which I stupidly sold. Nothing beats a film Leica IMHO. I will get another M2 as soon as I will be in a position to easily develop film again.

The digital models, no way. The prices are way too high compared to the competition. There is the problem of long term reliability as well. You can almost always fix a film Leica. Parts availability for digital models is a problem. Is your camera sensor going to be available in ten years? Would the camera last that long anyway?
There are a numbers of cameras on the market today that are as good or better than a Leica, and you can even use Leica lenses on some with an adapter. Sure, you won't get the rangefinder, so what? EVFs are so good now, it hardly matters. Yes, I would prefer a Leica, but at four times the price? No. As to the new non-rangefinder Leicas, I'd rather get a Panasonic, thank you. The former are no more than overpriced consumer models.

Alienated? By the digital models, yes. Maybe in the sense that I would probably not (never say never) buy a new digital Leica. A used film M though, hell yes!

When is someone going to invent a thin 35mm sensor and data storage system that fits in a film cartridge?

Gil.

ktmrider
10-21-2015, 01:29
Well, I have owned Leica since 1975 (every film M up to the MP) and purchased a used M9 two years ago(for $4500). I am not a professional so I am not constrained by deadlines but six months after the M9 the sensor issue reared its ugly head. Now Leica stepped up as it should have but let's face it, Leica is now jewelry ($3200 for film cameras that would be state of the art in 1960). The new SL looks a hell of a lot like a Sony!

And Leica makes some fine glass but is it worth the price? Objectively, I have to say no with the fine offerings from Zeiss and Cosina. I think the 35f2.8 C-Biogon may have the title as sharpest 35 made and 35f1.2 Nokton is certainly the fastest.

I own two 1958 M2's as well as Leitz bino's and will probably get another M film body. Will I ever spend the money on a new digital (probably not). Presently, I am on a RTW trip with the M9 wishing I had brought my M2's.

Can't say that when one buys a Leica product, one does not know what one is buying. Nor will I fault their marketing strategy as it appears to be working. But as a tool for a professional photographer, there are many other more capable products. Two of my friends shoot for NATGEO and Leicas are not in their gear package but a drone is.

Manuel Patino
11-01-2015, 20:18
I bought my first Leica (M240 silver) used for a bit over the cost of a new Sony FF. I also bought some nice used Leica lenses one at the time. Yes, the Leica stuff costs probably twice of what a DSLR and lenses will cost, But still it's not the end of the world...

I think it's a matter of priorities. No point in complaining about the Leica stuff being to expensive. One could ask, too expensive compared to what? Sure, you can buy a cheap camera and get decent images, but if you really want a Leica (for whatever reason), you can buy a used M240 and 4 excellent coded lenses for the price of a crappy used car which will lose most of it's value within a couple of years.

Some people go out to eat and drink often and spend enough to buy the Leica in a couple of years. Some pay enough in monthly rent to buy one or two Leica bodies.... Sure, not everyone can afford a Leica even at used bargain prices, but they probably can't afford the rent of a studio in Manhattan or a new Lexus. Funny thing is that I don't read people raging against the studio, the Lexus or the price of booze.

I totally enjoy owning and using my Leica stuff. So far there has been no problems with it and it's a lot better and more enjoyable to use than the other cameras I've had and some I still have. All I say is that if you don't like the price of something, simply don't buy it. It's rather pointless to whine and complain about it. I can't afford to own a Bugatti Veyron, but I'm not wasting my time complaining about the Veyron prices.

CameraQuest
11-01-2015, 20:47
A poll has been added to this thread.

Ronald M
11-01-2015, 20:50
Leica is a pro level camera or is supposed to be. I question it often.

Nikon pro cameras are very good. I am falling in love again with my D3 & 700. 800 series for high MP. 750 for low light. None have ever been in for service.

Every Leica I owned needed service except my M9 which has 400 clicks. It did come with a battery that did not make contact in the new charger, but did work in my M8 charger. Do I count that as service.

Photography is about light and composition. That is more important than the brand of box you use.

nickthetasmaniac
11-01-2015, 21:00
To me, 'alienated' woud imply that Leica had a user base, and then alienated that user base by pushing prices out of their reach. Whereas my take on Leica is that they've always been expensive, and have a user base to match.

I do think that Leica prices mean that brand simply isn't relevant to the vast majority of photographers, in the same way that Ferraris aren't relevant to most drivers.

nobbylon
11-02-2015, 03:36
Oh look it's the monthly/weekly Leica is too expensive thread....BRB need to find a dead horse to beat.

superb! love it.

Kent
11-02-2015, 03:41
Pretty interesting read:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/fashion/leica-cameras-favored-by-celebrities.html?_r=2&

Bike Tourist
11-02-2015, 04:24
I left the Leica party when they were late transitioning to digital. When I tried to return after a few years I couldn't afford the price of admission.

Range-rover
11-02-2015, 06:21
I went to Photoexpo, and saw their new SL mirrorless camera and I asked
the price and when they said 7 grand I said really and I'll just stick with
my M8. If I didn't get a great deal on it I would not have one.

David Hughes
11-02-2015, 08:41
Pretty interesting read:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/fashion/leica-cameras-favored-by-celebrities.html?_r=2&

Hmmm, I can remember a similar article, or two, or three, about the Canon IXUS, which was APS. And look what happened to APS and the IXUS...

Alas, it will be a while before the M9's turn up on ebay and don't even get the opening bid made.

Regards, David

RedLion
11-02-2015, 09:20
Compared to 35mm film, a Sony RX100 is all you will ever need. I've sold all of my other digital cameras.

uhoh7
11-02-2015, 13:10
A horse doesn`t last a lifetime and indeed can keel over in an instant yet I never hear the complaints about cost that I hear expressed in these threads.


I've been around all sorts of barns, my whole life, on and off, and deep concern over cost was never absent. Expressing that concern to non-family, that is another matter. It is such a burden with horses, nobody wants to hear any whining because it reminds you of your own issues. It's just low-class to complain about it, and everybody knows this. "Can't afford it? You should not have a horse." The caveat, of course, are those with such means that the expenses do not mean sacrifice. They really have no concern for the rest as wealth destroys empathy in general. Except of course, for pets. :)

I think most photographers with any sense of history are damn glad Leica is still around. The volume of howling about the terrible Leica decisions then and now, only shows people care. Somehow Leica has managed to matter, even to enemies.

We should have a thread: List every Leica mistake! :) the very fact we know so many, and they continue to make epic ones, and we continue to love their cameras and lenses, shows the stature of Leica. They are the founders 35mm photography. Their prices created Canikon. Most of the great shooters of the 20th century shot Leica at one time or the other. Oskar Barnack and Walter Mandler. Tell me more famous designers of cameras and lenses? Look at the modern M lens set. Incredible. Who else will give you a digital rangefinder? OK, RD-1, but they gave up quick, like a footnote. Sad, because the market is prime for a FF RD-X.

And right now, this moment, I would not trade my M9 for any other option. That includes 240 LOL. Of course it doesn't do everything, the A7.mod picks up the slack just fine. Like Roger said, Leica does not preclude anything. Most real pros have more than few bodies lying around, and so do most of those who love photography.

In fact Leica is a glue which helps bind the story of photography. If they ever go out of business it will be a mental catastrophe. But it so happens, this moment they are making 3 of the best cameras ever, S, SL and M...wait 4...add Q, and a bevy of spectacular lenses.

The price of "club" admission, has never been lower because in spite of misintertepations to the contrary, both the M8 and M9 are unbelievably good cameras, warts and all, and quite affordable. Lenses are really low now. 50 Lux can be found as low as 2200, and this is far lower the Leica R 50lux (II), which easily commands 3 grand.

Leica is an intregal part of the culture of photography, and the ability of only the name to fire passion, negative and positive, shows just how strong the "brand" remains. :)

giganova
11-02-2015, 13:20
The investment used to last decades, but now they 'last' just a few years.

I don't understand this statement: Leica lenses will last and be relevant for decades. So will today's Leica film bodies. Digital camera bodies will have a limited shelf life due to the nature and fast pace of digital technology.

giganova
11-02-2015, 13:33
Let me summarize what I have learned from this thread:

1) Before Leica had digital cameras in their product line, people felt alienated that Leica didn't offer digital products. Now that they have added digital cameras (not replaced analogue cameras!), people are alienated that the digital cameras don't last as long as their analog counterparts.

2) People complain how expensive Leicas have become when they have always been expensive.

Pretty absurd, if you ask me. :bang:

dave lackey
11-02-2015, 13:52
I voted "Yes" only because there was no option for "Hell yes!":p

bobkonos
11-02-2015, 14:13
I could not vote because I need the choice: "No, because I did not drink the Leica digital Kool-Aid. As such, I find their digital offerings merely amusing." As for film offerings, the M-A is still intriguing to me.

dave lackey
11-02-2015, 14:18
I could not vote because I need the choice: "No, because I did not drink the Leica digital Kool-Aid. As such, I find their digital offerings merely amusing." As for film offerings, the M-A is still intriguing to me.


^THAT!!!^:D:D:D

giganova
11-02-2015, 14:20
If they ever go out of business it will be a mental catastrophe.
I doubt that this would ever happen:

1) There is a billionaire waiting somewhere who can't wait to step in and feel good about "saving" Leica. This has happened before.
2) Leica Cameras is only a small part of the Leica/Leitz business; they make most of their money with b2b products.

dave lackey
11-02-2015, 14:27
This whole thread is amusing actually. For me, I bought in with the IIIF, moved up to the Leica R4 and R8, then, the Leica X1 and then the M3 and M6 all the while looking for an affordable digital Leica M camera that I would not likely have a problem with...

Just when it looked as if I could afford a used M9, bang! They moved my cheese.:p

There is no way now to consolidate to just a Leica M digital. Alienated me? Sure. But then, as pointed out above, the pricing has always been higher for the name brand and Leica has always alienated people. It was just my turn.:eek: I am irrelevant.

Am I bitter? No way. Am I whining? No way. But I do have a more mature perspective of the Leica Kool-Aid as Bob mentioned. Is there a Leica Digital M in my future? Probably not... I find the D3x and D4/Df much more capable for what I am looking for in performance if I really want to get back into professional work. For hobby/snaps/family photos... like I said, it is amusing and I keep on shooting Acros 100 and Eastman 5222. The X1 is doing fine too.

Those that just have to have digital M's, rock on!! Somebody's gotta keep the mother company alive!:angel: Just be gentle with them as the used market may need your mint cameras for us bottom feeders.

giganova
11-02-2015, 14:35
For the price of one MM or SL body, I can shoot, develop and scan 100 rolls of HP-5 for the next 15 years! Plus I would need lenses. That's why I am not tempted to get a digital Leica. :D

Cameron
11-02-2015, 14:38
Compared to 35mm film, a Sony RX100 is all you will ever need. I've sold all of my other digital cameras.

What do you mean when you say "compared to film"? Just curious to how it relates.

Keith
11-02-2015, 15:38
Aside from price (not that bad IMO) I think the latest move with the SL provides proof that Leica is thinking about actual working photographers and not the camera wearers. I see one group being alienated while the other group applauds.

uhoh7
11-02-2015, 20:45
For the price of one MM or SL body, I can shoot, develop and scan 100 rolls of HP-5 for the next 15 years! Plus I would need lenses. That's why I am not tempted to get a digital Leica. :D

The MM and SL are benchmarks for you. I'd say that's the opposite of alienation :)

Not that you ever claimed to be alienated, but I think this is a measure of the somewhat unexpected vigor of Leica the camera and lens maker today.

Maybe they will even be smart enough to do a Barnack sized M mount EVIL for 2900USD. That would be genius, but they would have to figure out how to make a bunch. Panasonic could help. I'm not sure they are that ambitious, but the clamour for such a camera, the "interchangeable Q" is getting louder. Maybe somebody else, like Cosina will see the opportunity.

jaapv
11-02-2015, 23:52
For the price of one MM or SL body, I can shoot, develop and scan 100 rolls of HP-5 for the next 15 years! Plus I would need lenses. That's why I am not tempted to get a digital Leica. :D
I am more concerned with the amount of darkroom work needed -aka waste of scarce time- and the amount of control in processing the images. That brings the balance down in favour of a digital camera rather heavily.
Scanned film diminishes the film character too much for me. One could just as well -or rather better- use a sensor in the first place and cut out the film bit. A hybrid workflow combines the drawbacks of both film and digital.

Roger Hicks
11-03-2015, 01:15
I am more concerned with the amount of darkroom work needed -aka waste of scarce time- and the amount of control in processing the images. That brings the balance down in favour of a digital camera rather heavily.
Scanned film diminishes the film character too much for me. One could just as well -or rather better- use a sensor in the first place and cut out the film bit. A hybrid workflow combines the drawbacks of both film and digital.
Highlight: That's my feeling too, though it does make it easier to get some "looks".

I'd not call darkroom time a "waste", though.

Cheers,

R.

icebear
11-03-2015, 04:40
...

Maybe they will even be smart enough to do a Barnack sized M mount EVIL for 2900USD. That would be genius, but they would have to figure out how to make a bunch. Panasonic could help. I'm not sure they are that ambitious, but the clamour for such a camera, the "interchangeable Q" is getting louder. Maybe somebody else, like Cosina will see the opportunity.

It looks like the Q is a really smart move by Leica.
I'll find out myself in a couple of weeks or month, not sure how long it takes ...
If they had introduced an M w/o an optical vf everybody and his grandmother would have screamed hell at them.
Doing it the other way around and people are asking for it :rolleyes:

photomoof
11-03-2015, 08:09
Scanned film diminishes the film character too much for me. One could just as well -or rather better- use a sensor in the first place and cut out the film bit. A hybrid workflow combines the drawbacks of both film and digital.

Agreed...

I hate scans, but if I were to return to film, I cannot imagine myself actually scanning chromes. That would be a gruesome experience. I would have them printed as I always have.

Emile de Leon
11-03-2015, 08:17
Leica has successfully moved from film to digital..and that is good..it could have been worse..
But..I just use my Lumix G series cams and Sony A7 series..
Would like a digital M or an SL ..maybe..
..but really..thats a lot of bread to shell out..for what it delivers..
And then..there are the possible QC issues..
But the files look real good...
Maybe that's worth..the price of admission..

ian_watts
11-03-2015, 08:31
Scanned film diminishes the film character too much for me. One could just as well -or rather better- use a sensor in the first place and cut out the film bit. A hybrid workflow combines the drawbacks of both film and digital.

Personally I think a hybrid workflow combines the advantages of both. The superior (IMO) tonality and "character" of film and the post editing ease of digital. I disagree that "one could just as well use a sensor" – it isn't the same thing at all*. If that was the case you might as well suggest that Hollywood DPs and directors still shooting with film are wasting their time – after all, motion pictures film footage is (and has been for decades) scanned and edited digitally.

*it's not as if most of us haven't used both film and digital for years – long enough to understand the fundamental difference and judge things for ourselves.

bonatto
11-03-2015, 08:37
Personally I think a hybrid workflow combines the advantages of both. The superior (IMO) tonality and "character" of film and the post editing ease of digital. I disagree that "one could just as well use a sensor" – it isn't the same thing at all*. If that was the case you might as well suggest that Hollywood DPs and directors still shooting with film are wasting their time – after all, motion pictures film footage is (and has been for decades) scanned and edited digitally.

*it's not as if most of us haven't used both film and digital for years – long enough to understand the fundamental difference and judge things for ourselves.

Not to mention the considerable potential time savings in post-production.

sjones
11-03-2015, 09:29
By the time I switched from digital to film, I had already been converting all of my RAW files to monochrome (at least the ones worth ‘keeping’). I had intended to still use digital 60 percent to 80 percent of the time given the presumed costs and ‘inconveniences’ of film.

However, after scanning my first role through the Nikon scanner, I never used my DSLR again. For what I had to use as a reference—-having never been a darkroom—-the characteristics of the scanned film were notable enough to replace digital altogether.

Now whether these difference are consistent in degree or even aesthetically pertinent in all cases, as I can easily point to countless excellent B&W digital shots in this site alone, are matters of subjectivity and such.

But even if no difference existed between the two formats, I would still shoot film because I love the process alone.

Moreover, one of the major reasons for switching to film, which I was initially reluctant to do, was to be able to afford a rangefinder; the then Leica M8 was far out of my price range. I do recall looking at Zeiss rumors to see if they would be putting out a less expensive digital rangefinder, preferably full frame. Probably good that I didn’t wait.

I started with a Bessa R2M, still a great camera, but after owning a Leica iiif and now an M2, I no longer want, let alone need, any other camera. Purely a tactile consideration. So if Leica is alienating photographers, they have at least left me with the perfect camera.

Anyway, once I relocate up north, I do intend to start making wet prints. The digital image is not the issue with me as much as it is the inkjet—-a purely psychological issue on my behalf, but one that I’ve not been able to shake.

So even if you start hybrid yet feel it inferior to a pure darkroom process or just want to mix it up, you can still use the negatives in an enlarger; they are not contaminated.

ian_watts
11-03-2015, 10:19
The digital image is not the issue with me as much as it is the inkjet—-a purely psychological issue on my behalf, but one that I’ve not been able to shake.

So even if you start hybrid yet feel it inferior to a pure darkroom process or just want to mix it up, you can still use the negatives in an enlarger; they are not contaminated.

Indeed. Nor is anyone restricted to inkjet prints when it comes to printing scanned files. There is also the option of conventional prints – most decent labs will be able to output high quality lambda or lightjet digital c-types at modest cost.

jaapv
11-03-2015, 12:05
Personally I think a hybrid workflow combines the advantages of both. The superior (IMO) tonality and "character" of film and the post editing ease of digital. I disagree that "one could just as well use a sensor" – it isn't the same thing at all*. If that was the case you might as well suggest that Hollywood DPs and directors still shooting with film are wasting their time – after all, motion pictures film footage is (and has been for decades) scanned and edited digitally.

*it's not as if most of us haven't used both film and digital for years – long enough to understand the fundamental difference and judge things for ourselves.
You do realise that you use a sensor to scan your film?

robbeiflex
11-03-2015, 12:27
I don't understand this statement: Leica lenses will last and be relevant for decades. So will today's Leica film bodies. Digital camera bodies will have a limited shelf life due to the nature and fast pace of digital technology.


It won't always be that way. Many of us use 2009 technology and are perfectly happy with it. Not everyone needs night vision iso and print on a billboard resolution. Product cycles are getting longer and innovation opportunities more limited. Look at how long Canon took to update the 7D and Nikon the D700, and then tell me this technology is changing quickly. Leica is not an outlier here, the market now is not what it was when the M8 was announced. (And yet many still use M8s happily.) Meanwhile smart phones are stealing the bread and butter of mainstream camera makers, but not impacting the top end of the market.

I think Leica is not alienating photographers, it is rather preparing for a future where dedicated cameras are in a niche market, and it is lining itself up to cater to photographers in that market quite well. (OK, and rich luxury buyers too, but someone has to subsidize the rest of us!)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

giganova
11-03-2015, 13:03
My wife and I have a deal:

The day we win the lottery, we would go to the nearest Porsche dealer and buy a 911. On the way back I'd drop her off at the most expensive shoe store and I'd drive to the Leica store and get me an M with three lenses. Until that day, every day is like the day before Christmas! :D

Roger Hicks
11-03-2015, 13:13
It won't always be that way. Many of us use 2009 technology and are perfectly happy with it. Not everyone needs night vision iso and print on a billboard resolution. Product cycles are getting longer and innovation opportunities more limited. Look at how long Canon took to update the 7D and Nikon the D700, and then tell me this technology is changing quickly. Leica is not an outlier here, the market now is not what it was when the M8 was announced. (And yet many still use M8s happily.) Meanwhile smart phones are stealing the bread and butter of mainstream camera makers, but not impacting the top end of the market.

I think Leica is not alienating photographers, it is rather preparing for a future where dedicated cameras are in a niche market, and it is lining itself up to cater to photographers in that market quite well. (OK, and rich luxury buyers too, but someone has to subsidize the rest of us!)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You have to be right. Look at Model A, Model B, Model C, Model C standardized register or Standard, II, III, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc, IIIf, IIIg, M3, M2.... The more a technology matures, the longer the "upgrade" cycle, though minor differences can always be introduced: 1/1000 instead of 1/500 for IIIb/IIIa, closer-together eyepieces for IIIb/IIIa.

There's a big difference between trying to persuade people to buy worthless "upgrades", and slowly improving the base camera for new buyers who want a camera that isn't too far out of date, or for people who are replacing old cameras.

The trouble is that a lot of people are so attuned to "upgrades" (cf iProducts) that they completely lose sight of why any sane person buys anything new.

Cheers,

R.

Bill Pierce
11-03-2015, 15:25
In roughly the “sixties” a lot of professional photographers used Leicas as their 35mm film cameras of choice. Those sales weren’t enough to support Leica, but Leica was quite public about those folks using their camera and why they used the cameras - and that contributed to a lot of non professionals choosing to purchase Leicas. As SLRs made inroads Leica seemed to counter with promotions involving celebrity hobbyists, exotically colored leathers, collectable editions and other marketing devices that made the cameras conspicuous consumption items. Conspicuous consumption items are almost by definition expensive, not affordable by the masses.

Sadly the rangefinder is no longer the most accurate way to focus fast lenses (nor is the rangefinder smaller and more compact than other small cameras). But if you give up the rangefinder, it isn’t a Leica. It isn’t unique. It has to compete with cameras that are not conspicuous consumption items. I don’t know a single professional photographer still using a digital Leica. And a lot of them were when the M8 was first introduced. Of course there are professionals using them. But not among my acquaintances, many of whom are well known and respected photographers who still have a couple of old film Leicas that still mean the world to them even if they can’t use them on most of their professional assignments.

Somewhere, a long time ago, with strange “editions” of cameras that seemed to be made for collectors’ shelves as much as taking pictures, Leica let go of the working stiffs and their friends. I can’t tell you how bad I felt when I sold my Leicas or how much I want them to succeed with a modern non-rangefinder camera. But for me and a lot of the folks I know, it will have to be a non rangefinder. A lot of people will say that’s not a Leica.

CameraQuest
11-03-2015, 15:44
In roughly the “sixties” a lot of professional photographers used Leicas as their 35mm film cameras of choice. Those sales weren’t enough to support Leica, but Leica was quite public about those folks using their camera and why they used the cameras - and that contributed to a lot of non professionals choosing to purchase Leicas. As SLRs made inroads Leica seemed to counter with promotions involving celebrity hobbyists, exotically colored leathers, collectable editions and other marketing devices that made the cameras conspicuous consumption items. Conspicuous consumption items are almost by definition expensive, not affordable by the masses.

Sadly the rangefinder is no longer the most accurate way to focus fast lenses (nor is the rangefinder smaller and more compact than other small cameras). But if you give up the rangefinder, it isn’t a Leica. It isn’t unique. It has to compete with cameras that are not conspicuous consumption items. I don’t know a single professional photographer still using a digital Leica. And a lot of them were when the M8 was first introduced. Of course there are professionals using them. But not among my acquaintances, many of whom are well known and respected photographers who still have a couple of old film Leicas that still mean the world to them even if they can’t use them on most of their professional assignments.

Somewhere, a long time ago, with strange “editions” of cameras that seemed to be made for collectors’ shelves as much as taking pictures, Leica let go of the working stiffs and their friends. I can’t tell you how bad I felt when I sold my Leicas or how much I want them to succeed with a modern non-rangefinder camera. But for me and a lot of the folks I know, it will have to be a non rangefinder. A lot of people will say that’s not a Leica.

For those not familiar with my friend Bill Pierce,
read his many words of Leica wisdom in the 15th Leica Manual of 1973 introducing the M5
-- arguably the very BEST of all the Leica Manuals!

Developing and Printing by Bill Pierce
Available-Light Photography by Bill Pierce
Artificial Light by Bill Pierce
Getting the Most out of Black-and-White Film by Bill Pierce

The 15th edition boasts other sections by similar notables including David Vestal, Theo Kisselbach, Ansel Adams, Ernst Haas, Norman Rothchild, Elliott Erwitt, Jacob Deschin, Andre Kertesz, Rolf Fricke, Beaumont Newhall, Bob Nadler and Rudolph Kingslake.

In other words, when Bill talks about Leica, many including myself have the opinion he knows more about Leica than the current management.

Stephen

giganova
11-03-2015, 16:17
In roughly the “sixties” a lot of professional photographers used Leicas as their 35mm film cameras of choice.
...
I don’t know a single professional photographer still using a digital Leica.

With all due respect, Bill, but this isn't the 60s anymore and people have a lot more choices these days. That's why Leica decided to capture the niche market, and quite successfully so. I know a lot of professional photographers who use digital Ms. If you swing by a Leica store, you'd be surprised how many young people are hanging around and are shopping there.

Also, many people argue on this board that no established photographers would trade their existing gear for a Leica SL. I would agree, but people seem to forget that that there are tons of emerging, new and talented photographers entering the scene every single days, and many of them will find the SL system very appealing.

tonal1
11-03-2015, 16:43
Just a few observations:

Yes, many Leica products are overpriced. But Leica has always been a boutique product. Leica didn't sell 200,000 M3's just to press photographers. "Lawyers and doctors" bought a few as well. I think it's always been the case that most new Leica kit was largely purchased full price wealthier enthusiasts and then "trickled down" to working, documentary, etc. photogs on the second hand market.

Modern Leica lenses are, obviously, technically superior to their vintage production lenses. They are more expensive in relation to the competition, but they are arguably higher end than they were at various times in the past. They were always expensive, just more so now.

Aside from many of us being priced out, the real tragedy is
that all the processing and printing jobs and talent that have been lost—the money saved by the shooter is now rolled into the initial purchase price. Those extra thousands of dollars most of us used to shell out for developing and skilled printing now go to the manufacturers bottom line. This is true of most high end digital gear, but especially true of the super-luxury Leica kit.

Bill Pierce
11-03-2015, 16:55
With all due respect, Bill, but this isn't the 60s anymore.

That's exactly the point I was making in my comments. In the sixties the Leica was the working tool of many photographers. Today it is both a tool and a conspicuous consumption item. But it is unaffordable for many photographers who might find it a useful tool and often a piece of prestigious jewelry for those with only a minor interest in photography.

fireblade
11-03-2015, 18:07
Leica is not over priced, only if you don't have the money is it so.
As a company they manufacture a product for a price that meets demand of their customer base (their choosing).
Its futile.

Pioneer
11-03-2015, 18:11
Bill, I think your points are very well made. However, I do think that the current Leica cameras are still surprisingly useful tools.

I was out enjoying Halloween (a rather odd US Holiday) a few days ago with friends and family. I was carrying a Nikon F6 with Delta 3200, a Pentax K5iiS and my Leica MM v1.

Guess which camera brought home the most keepers...by quite a wide margin.

I know this was all done in good fun but if I were asked to put together a newspaper or magazine spread I would seriously consider packing the Leica again. It may not be the fastest focus but when the focus is correct you know it.

Bill Pierce
11-03-2015, 19:13
Bill, I think your points are very well made. However, I do think that the current Leica cameras are still surprisingly useful tools.

I was out enjoying Halloween (a rather odd US Holiday) a few days ago with friends and family. I was carrying a Nikon F6 with Delta 3200, a Pentax K5iiS and my Leica MM v1.

Guess which camera brought home the most keepers...by quite a wide margin.

I know this was all done in good fun but if I were asked to put together a newspaper or magazine spread I would seriously consider packing the Leica again. It may not be the fastest focus but when the focus is correct you know it.

I think you are absolutely correct. It's a good camera and an especially good camera for certain kinds of photography. My Leicas were good companions on some incredible adventures. I regret that a young journalist today can't afford them. (I say "them" because between protection against breakdown on lengthy travels to weird places and fixed focal length lenses, you need more than one body.) I am saddened that some kid who photographs wars and poverty to show how awful they are and photographs a spectrum of people to show how wonderful they are can't afford a new digital Leica and someone who wears it as expensive jewelry can. I know those are extreme examples. The kid probably can't afford a Bentley either. Lack of a either Leica or a Bentley probably does not bother him, but I'm a grouchy old man.

Pioneer
11-03-2015, 19:47
I think you are absolutely correct. It's a good camera and an especially good camera for certain kinds of photography. My Leicas were good companions on some incredible adventures. I regret that a young journalist today can't afford them. (I say "them" because between protection against breakdown on lengthy travels to weird places and fixed focal length lenses, you need more than one body.) I am saddened that some kid who photographs wars and poverty to show how awful they are and photographs a spectrum of people to show how wonderful they are can't afford a new digital Leica and someone who wears it as expensive jewelry can. I know those are extreme examples. The kid probably can't afford a Bentley either. Lack of a either Leica or a Bentley probably does not bother him, but I'm a grouchy old man.

This is likely the worst part, not the grouchy old man part, the part where a lot of upcoming young photographers are not able to experience using a Leica as part of their work.

I know that a lot of the reason that Leica became a luxury item was strictly survival, but it would be nice if they could develop a program for budding pro photographers and photojournalists to help offset the cost of the equipment.

I still think that Leica brings a lot of capability to the table and it would be good for the future of the brand if some young pros who may not be able to afford to, had a chance to experience that.

fad gadget
11-03-2015, 19:53
no, it's the other way around. it's not Leica's fault the average joe can't keep up...

Manuel Patino
11-03-2015, 20:05
I do believe that the RF Leica is a special thing. There is a big difference in the experience of shooting with it and the results when compared with other cameras that I've used. I like it and I'm happy to have it. Anyway, I don't think the intrinsic value of the Leica M240 or MM or the lenses is in question. But it seems that the cost is too high for many. I understand the feeling or wanting something and not being able to obtain it. And arguably, one could say that they are overpriced (although I don't really think so for several reasons).

Anyway, what I don't really understand is why one would feel "alienated" from Leica because of the prices they command. One definition of alienation is: "the state or experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved." Now, I say that feeling that one "should belong" or "should be involved" in owning or shooting with a Leica (or any other camera) presumes a feeling of entitlement. It's kind of silly or presumptuous to feel alienated from Leica since no one is entitled to own or use one.

Simply, either you can afford to buy one if you choose or not. It's not like Leica has drawn away from you or withheld it's products from you that you rightfully should have... Hey, almost anybody can make the choice to buy and own a Leica. It just takes making sacrifices and priorities. Maybe that's not worthwhile and the Leica is not as important as your other necessities or indulgences. It doesn't matter, you can have one or not, but feeling "alienated" just doesn't sound quite appropriate....

Peter Klein
11-03-2015, 23:03
To me, Leica equals rangefinder. I have no desire for their non-RF offerings. For me, the rangefinder is still the best camera for certain types of photography involving people and fleeting expressions. The viewfinder has no delay, blackout, or lack of dynamic range. It focuses where you focus it, not where an algorithm thinks it should.

I also shoot Olympus micro 4/3. It's a much more versatile system, but it doesn't have the same sense of direct connection with the human drama going on in front of me. It's more like watching it on television, a fraction of a second behind the actual action.

I often use the mirrorless for convenience, but I still prefer the Leica. Now, while I'm not quite as old or as grouchy as Bill Pierce :-) I believe I know how he feels. I've got a lifetime of practice using the rangefinder, and I get tired of arguments about features lists and obsolescence. If something works, it works. But if you can't afford it, it doesn't matter to you whether it works or not. As Bill mentions, working pro PJs would need two bodies. And they would be well advised to have another kind of camera on hand at all times.

Since I don't have to make a living with my cameras, I can shoot what I like. I've chosen to shoot with an M8 I've had since 2007, and an MM I recently bought used. Since I already have some Leica-mount lenses, it wasn't as much of a stretch as it would've been if I was coming into the system cold. Yes, I dislike the high prices. I dislike the popular misconception that anybody who shoots Leica is a rich snob who knows nothing about photography. I dislike the QC issues and the finickiness of the digital M bodies compared to the film bodies. But I like shooting digitally, the rangefinder way, with Leica lenses (and VC lenses, and even a couple of Sovietskii optics that have infiltrated my kit). So I do what I gotta do. If one buys used, with patience and with care, it's still possible to get an excellent kit.

jaapv
11-03-2015, 23:52
For those not familiar with my friend Bill Pierce,
read his many words of Leica wisdom in the 15th Leica Manual of 1973 introducing the M5
-- arguably the very BEST of all the Leica Manuals!

Developing and Printing by Bill Pierce
Available-Light Photography by Bill Pierce
Artificial Light by Bill Pierce
Getting the Most out of Black-and-White Film by Bill Pierce

The 15th edition boasts other sections by similar notables including David Vestal, Theo Kisselbach, Ansel Adams, Ernst Haas, Norman Rothchild, Elliott Erwitt, Jacob Deschin, Andre Kertesz, Rolf Fricke, Beaumont Newhall, Bob Nadler and Rudolph Kingslake.

In other words, when Bill talks about Leica, many including myself have the opinion he knows more about Leica than the current management.

StephenYes, Steve, but "not knowing a single professional photographer using Leica" is widely off the mark. At least on LUF there are dozens, if not hundreds. I would guess that a considerable larger percentage of M users is professional compared to, say, 5D users. The difference in perception comes from the absolute number of cameras. Even if Leica were selling their entire production to professionals (and thus being a 100% pro camera) a Leica-pro would be a rare bird indeed.

Alberti
11-04-2015, 00:06
The thread has a strong word in it.
Alienation as I see it is also 'Verfremdung' which for a lack of a quick English equivalent (estrangement? The Thesaurus has more than a page.)
It means then that Leica turns its back on a lot of customers.

Skillfully, the M market base has shifted upwards.
- look at it from a marketing point of view: there is a space for buyers of these incredible camera's at high prices, but (as many observe) there is also a (bigger??) slice of the market where people would buy a cheaper version of the RF. Now they have the likes of the A7. But would prefer a real camera. The M-E at a lower price than the M fills the gap to some extent.

I myself bought a used camera. That did not alienate me.

jaapv
11-04-2015, 01:34
I don`t think Leica has alienated people.
Still selling plenty of cameras and compared to the cost of other pastimes the cost of a Leica is very reasonable.

Yes ,you can buy cheaper cameras ... so buy them and stop worrying about the price of Leica.
Quite right. A decent bicycle costs in excess of 5000 Euro, a friend of mine mine pays 4000 a year for a marina spot and needed a new suit of sails: 12.000, what about golf, guitars, hifi, etc...

David Hughes
11-04-2015, 01:53
Hi,

I seem to recall reading an article about Leica prices in a magazine printed in the 30's. (I have a heap of them that have accumulated over the years.) FWIW, there's nothing new in what I'm reading here...

Regards, David

David Hughes
11-04-2015, 01:56
...The trouble is that a lot of people are so attuned to "upgrades" (cf iProducts) that they completely lose sight of why any sane person buys anything new.

Cheers,

R.

Hi,

Yes, I'm always amazed they don't have the word "upgraded" engraved somewhere conspicuous on the front of them. Like books put "new" into the title...

Regards, David

icebear
11-04-2015, 04:51
Leica cameras and lenses are the cutting edge of mechanical engineering.
Assembling these pieces of equipment with very tight tolerances requires skilled workers and time. These are not assembled at 10 pieces an hours per person. Count in the small numbers they are selling compared to the big guys, there comes your price sticker. Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Of course they are expensive but you won't get that level any cheaper.

You can take an iconic photo with any other camera as well when you know how to use it and you are at the right spot at the right time. No photographer or photo journalist needs to use a Leica to be successful.

Obviously the passionate debate shows that there is something about using a Leica (esp. M) that no other camera manufacturer was/is able to deliver. Since there is no alternative for the original, the bickering about the pricing will go on forever;).

And btw I use a 2/50 Planar on my MM and it is stunning.

Hsg
11-04-2015, 06:12
I think you are absolutely correct. It's a good camera and an especially good camera for certain kinds of photography. My Leicas were good companions on some incredible adventures. I regret that a young journalist today can't afford them. (I say "them" because between protection against breakdown on lengthy travels to weird places and fixed focal length lenses, you need more than one body.) I am saddened that some kid who photographs wars and poverty to show how awful they are and photographs a spectrum of people to show how wonderful they are can't afford a new digital Leica and someone who wears it as expensive jewelry can. I know those are extreme examples. The kid probably can't afford a Bentley either. Lack of a either Leica or a Bentley probably does not bother him, but I'm a grouchy old man.

Perhaps one might reverse that sentiment by saying that its sad for Leica that young ambitious photographers are not using their [digital] cameras due to cost and reliability.

jaapv
11-04-2015, 06:28
Perhaps one might reverse that sentiment by saying that its sad for Leica that young ambitious photographers are not using their [digital] cameras due to cost and reliability.Some are using them, and they turn out to be quite reliable. Especially the M240 is bomb-proof. Cost - yes, but the sad thing is that Leicas are not expensive, they just cost a lot of money, which is something quite different.

Hsg
11-04-2015, 06:39
Some are using them, and they turn out to be quite reliable. Especially the M240 is bomb-proof. Cost - yes, but the sad thing is that Leicas are not expensive, they just cost a lot of money, which is something quite different.

Investing $10,000 for a camera and lens combo is affordable to a very tiny group.

jaapv
11-04-2015, 07:18
True - especially as it is about the worst investment one can make. ;)
However, for a professional photographer it is quite a different story as deductibility against taxes and writeoff are important.

Hsg
11-04-2015, 07:27
True - especially as it is about the worst investment one can make. ;)
However, for a professional photographer it is quite a different story as deductibility against taxes and writeoff are important.

Its a good investment with historical backing. Most of top photographers of film era shot Leica and still do like Alex Webb.

jaapv
11-04-2015, 07:29
A film Leica perhaps - but an investment that is worth 50% in three years time does not appear to be the correct road to riches.

Hsg
11-04-2015, 07:35
A film Leica perhaps - but an investment that is worth 50% in three years time does not appear to be the correct road to riches.

Artists are not good with money. They follow their heart.

jsrockit
11-04-2015, 08:30
There is nothing better in this world than spending the money you make on something you love. Cameras are not investments for most of us, but they are a damn fine way to spend your cash... unless you don't like photography.

RObert Budding
11-04-2015, 09:55
No need for Leica these days, unless you need an item to show off and to complement your expensive watch, fountain pen, bag and suit. Or maybe if you wanna impress people so you can sell them overpriced workshops. It used to be pros that inspired the 'hobby photographer' to buy Leica, it's the overpriced-workshop folk these days. Pros have moved away, I feel.

Photography wise, there's loads of alternatives that deliver the image just as good or better, with more durability and at a better price. I've taken to DSLRs, none of my clients ask for Leica shots or Leica quality (since it is indistinguishable anyway) and if a camera breaks down, I can at least afford to pick up a replacement while it's in for repair.


If one isn't alienated, it's probably because there is spare money to burn and the pros' requirements don't matter all that much.

Titanium and Ostrich skin is amazing with the right outfit!

ian_watts
11-04-2015, 09:58
You do realise that you use a sensor to scan your film?

Either you are being deliberately obtuse or are missing the point entirely?:bang::D IMO (and that of others, including world renowned film directors and cinematographers) there is a distinct difference in the tonality and basic character (look, whatever you want to call it) of scanned film compared with a 'pure' digital workflow. Do you think I'd bother if I didn't think there was a positive difference? It is not as if it is still 2005 and the only option for using a Leica M 'digitally' is to scan film. Frankly, I find it a bit of a pain in the whatsit but the results are worth the effort and I truly wish I hadn't spent so much time over the years using the various M digitals. And, as sjones, pointed out a few posts back, it is not as if the negs are only good for scanning – the option of a 'pure' optical wet print remains for as long as I keep them archived. Truly best of both worlds.:)

MP Guy
11-04-2015, 10:01
I was thinking today about the prices of Leica bodies and lenses today, and the amount of alternatives available that, when pixel comes to pixel, deliver the image.

In 1969, an M4 with a 35mm and 50mm sum micron set would set you back about $700. In today's dollars, about $4600.

The modern equivalent will cost you just under $12.000 at Adorama.

Leica relies today on a heritage built by working photographers of all different walks in order to sell what can only be understood as luxury products.

In doing so, I wonder if they've not completely alienated a generation of photographers who now turn to alternatives?

Its more than just pricing.

http://jorgetorralba.com/2014/11/22/ground-control-to-leica-where-is-your-mojo/

I wrote the above before the SL or Q were announced so some updates will be needed.

jaapv
11-04-2015, 11:25
Either you are being deliberately obtuse or are missing the point entirely?:bang::D IMO (and that of others, including world renowned film directors and cinematographers) there is a distinct difference in the tonality and basic character (look, whatever you want to call it) of scanned film compared with a 'pure' digital workflow. Do you think I'd bother if I didn't think there was a positive difference? It is not as if it is still 2005 and the only option for using a Leica M 'digitally' is to scan film. Frankly, I find it a bit of a pain in the whatsit but the results are worth the effort and I truly wish I hadn't spent so much time over the years using the various M digitals. And, as sjones, pointed out a few posts back, it is not as if the negs are only good for scanning – the option of a 'pure' optical wet print remains for as long as I keep them archived. Truly best of both worlds.:)I don't think I'm missing the point. Quite a lot gets lost in the scanning process. I find both wet prints and fully digital captures preferable over the hybrid way - loss of micro and macro contrast, colour balance problems, grain aliasing, moire,it all comes with scanning. And I doubt whether cinematography is comparable to photographic prints.

Roger Hicks
11-04-2015, 11:28
I don't think I'm missing the point. Quite a lot gets lost in the scanning process. I find both wet prints and fully digital captures preferable over the hybrid way - loss of micro and macro contrast, colour balance problems, grain aliasing, moire,it all comes with scanning. And I doubt whether cinematography is comparable to photographic prints.
Same here.

Cheers,

R.

jaapv
11-04-2015, 11:44
Totally OT, Roger. May I add this link as a comment on your new article regarding your tongue-in-cheek remarks on Artist's Statements?

:D


http://www.artybollocks.com/#abg_full

ian_watts
11-04-2015, 12:14
I don't think I'm missing the point. Quite a lot gets lost in the scanning process. I find both wet prints and fully digital captures preferable over the hybrid way - loss of micro and macro contrast, colour balance problems, grain aliasing, moire,it all comes with scanning. And I doubt whether cinematography is comparable to photographic prints.

I think you are missing the point. That is that I (and others) prefer the look of scanned film (the "hybrid" process) to "fully digital". Whether fully optical is even better (or less compromised) is beside the point. If you are after a certain look, you cannot "just as well use a sensor in the first place and cut out the film bit" – it doesn't work like that.

And why isn't cinematography comparable – it is, after all, a "hybrid" process (when film is used as the initial capture medium)? If there wasn't something to be gained from starting the process with film (which is what I am saying), directors and DPs certainly wouldn't bother doing so.

photomoof
11-04-2015, 12:34
DPs certainly wouldn't bother doing so.

Even with the horrors of "grain aliasing?" :eek:

Mudman
11-04-2015, 13:37
I use the M8 professionally. Just covered the local elections with it last night. 28mm f2 on the M8, 70-200 on my D3. Made for a nice kit. I'm put off by the high prices because I can't afford them new. Same for Nikon. I just wait for the latest and greatest to roll of the shelf, and then buy the model or two older. Let someone else take the resale hit. The M9 is getting to the point where I can afford one for work, and it's very tempting.

sjones
11-04-2015, 14:21
...I (and others) prefer the look of scanned film (the "hybrid" process) to "fully digital". Whether fully optical is even better (or less compromised) is beside the point. If you are after a certain look, you cannot "just as well use a sensor in the first place and cut out the film bit" – it doesn't work like that...


Yeah, for my demands and expectations, a scanned negative picks up enough of the tonal characteristics and grain of the film that, despite whatever loss in comparison to a pure darkroom process, is still preferable over a digital camera’s output. Again, this is just a point in general with numerous exceptions here and there; and of course, it’s subjective.

Would I prefer a silver halide over a scanned negative on a computer monitor; absolutely…I’d prefer an inkjet over a monitor. But if I were to make inkjet prints, as I have done in the past, I would generally prefer a scanned negative as the source. It’s just a subtle preference, and one that in the greater scheme of things is unlikely to make or break a photo.

Reprints of older photography books are now incorporating scanned negatives, and I haven’t heard too much outrage or claims of horrifying image quality. Some might not like it, but again, this only underscores the subjectivity of it all.

The point being, and trying to keep on topic, is that I would not place a universal no or yes on scanning.

if one wants a Leica but cannot afford the digital variety, keeping the hybrid option open could possibly be a worthwhile thought for at least some people on this site; obviously not for others. For me, using an M2 provides other benefits outside the issue of image rendering, and I’m glad that I switched to film despite initial reservations.

Anyway, have yet to be repulsed by Nick Brandt’s hybrid process…

honozooloo
11-04-2015, 16:06
Granted, those ridiculous celebrity-endorsed brassed up cameras, Hermes leather-clad special editions, and boxed sets costing more than some new cars that Leica's been producing as of late are totally indefensible. Yes, some of Leica's products are shamelessly, obscenely overpriced status symbols.

But as far as the issue of the increase in price for Leica's "normal" gear goes, well...let's look at another camera brand as a frame of reference:

The original Nikon F retailed at $183 in 1963 if purchased with a standard prism and the 50mm f/2 lens. According to an online currency converter I found, that's $1,413 in today's dollars.

So, Nikon's latest and greatest in 1963 cost about $1400 in today's money. In comparison, Nikon's current rangetopping D4s with a 50mm 1.8 costs about $5700 ($5500 for the D4s, $200 or so for the 50). That's an increase in cost of almost exactly 4x.

To compare all of that to bonatto's original argument, if the M3 +50mm costs $4600 in today's money, and a modern equivalent M240 and 50mm costs about $12k, that means Leica's modern top of the line only costs 2.6x as much as it's top of the line circa 1969.

Yes, Leica's gear is expensive. Even in 1969, the M3 was comparatively expensive. What I found interesting about this is that while Leica's prices have only about tripled, it would appear that the "affordable" everyman's brand, Nikon, has quadrupled in price, relatively speaking.

I'm not saying that Leica's cameras and lenses aren't ridiculously expensive, and that the extreme cost isn't alienating, because hells yes I wouldn't blame anyone for a second if they told me they were "over" Leica as a brand and they cited cost as the reason. But...perhaps some of the stratospheric Leica prices are simply natural increases in cost that have come with technological advances and increased precision in manufacturing which have been adopted by ALL camera manufacturers. And hey, it would seem that companies like Nikon have actually increased the cost of their cameras even more dramatically in the last 40 years than Leica has. Consider the fact that most Japanese manufacturers' factories are not in first-world countries like Leica's are and the issue gets even more interesting once you start comparing things like the economies of scale at Nikon vs. Leica volumes of production, and the drastically lower overhead in Thailand vs. Germany.

uhoh7
11-04-2015, 18:17
I use the M8 professionally. Just covered the local elections with it last night. 28mm f2 on the M8, 70-200 on my D3. Made for a nice kit. I'm put off by the high prices because I can't afford them new. Same for Nikon. I just wait for the latest and greatest to roll of the shelf, and then buy the model or two older. Let someone else take the resale hit. The M9 is getting to the point where I can afford one for work, and it's very tempting.

There it is in a nutshell.

When the M8 and M9 first came out, there was some reason to cry. Only the RD-1 was an alternative. But today M9 is down to 2300ish, and M8 sometimes cheaper than M6. M240=3800.

People say the prices are too high new, and they are for me too, but Leica cannot meet demand as it is. I'm pretty sure there is alot more margin in the A7r2 than any Leica.

Sure, the M8 and M9 do not like ISO over 800. Neither do film cameras, and I don't hear much complaint about it. If you forget the pixel hype and study the ingredients of a nice digital file, the M8 and M9, for many, are very very nice.

Most importantly all the LTM and M lenses, except a very few, love those cameras. Bottomline: who complains about the price of a camera they don't want? ;)

Roger Hicks
11-05-2015, 06:56
Granted, those ridiculous celebrity-endorsed brassed up cameras, Hermes leather-clad special editions, and boxed sets costing more than some new cars that Leica's been producing as of late are totally indefensible. Yes, some of Leica's products are shamelessly, obscenely overpriced status symbols.

But as far as the issue of the increase in price for Leica's "normal" gear goes, well...let's look at another camera brand as a frame of reference:

The original Nikon F retailed at $183 in 1963 if purchased with a standard prism and the 50mm f/2 lens. According to an online currency converter I found, that's $1,413 in today's dollars.

So, Nikon's latest and greatest in 1963 cost about $1400 in today's money. In comparison, Nikon's current rangetopping D4s with a 50mm 1.8 costs about $5700 ($5500 for the D4s, $200 or so for the 50). That's an increase in cost of almost exactly 4x.

To compare all of that to bonatto's original argument, if the M3 +50mm costs $4600 in today's money, and a modern equivalent M240 and 50mm costs about $12k, that means Leica's modern top of the line only costs 2.6x as much as it's top of the line circa 1969.

Yes, Leica's gear is expensive. Even in 1969, the M3 was comparatively expensive. What I found interesting about this is that while Leica's prices have only about tripled, it would appear that the "affordable" everyman's brand, Nikon, has quadrupled in price, relatively speaking.

I'm not saying that Leica's cameras and lenses aren't ridiculously expensive, and that the extreme cost isn't alienating, because hells yes I wouldn't blame anyone for a second if they told me they were "over" Leica as a brand and they cited cost as the reason. But...perhaps some of the stratospheric Leica prices are simply natural increases in cost that have come with technological advances and increased precision in manufacturing which have been adopted by ALL camera manufacturers. And hey, it would seem that companies like Nikon have actually increased the cost of their cameras even more dramatically in the last 40 years than Leica has. Consider the fact that most Japanese manufacturers' factories are not in first-world countries like Leica's are and the issue gets even more interesting once you start comparing things like the economies of scale at Nikon vs. Leica volumes of production, and the drastically lower overhead in Thailand vs. Germany.
While I completely agree with your price comparison arguments, I simply cannot understand the highlight. Against what or whom do these prices have to be defended?

As for "obscene", I'd say that buying another camera for the fun of it is significantly less "obscene" than buying a second home just for vacations when others are homeless, and a very great deal less "obscene" than currency trading.

You can dismiss this as "whataboutery" if you like (as in "What about..."), but obscenity is in the eye of the beholder, and in the grand scale of things, ten or twenty thousand on a fancy camera just doesn't look especially "obscene" to me. Silly, perhaps. More than I can afford, certainly. But "obscene"? Hardly.

Cheers,

R.

jaapv
11-05-2015, 09:12
Granted, those ridiculous celebrity-endorsed brassed up cameras, Hermes leather-clad special editions, and boxed sets costing more than some new cars that Leica's been producing as of late [....]
Err.. The first Leica Luxus series (gold-plated, Lizard skin) dates from 1929...

photomoof
11-05-2015, 09:41
There are Ferraris and Lamborghinis, it is up to one's parents and mentors to instill the ability to discern the difference.

honozooloo
11-05-2015, 12:50
While I completely agree with your price comparison arguments, I simply cannot understand the highlight. Against what or whom do these prices have to be defended?


Aloha Roger,

I meant that those cameras and their prices were indefensible in the context of the OP's argument that Leica has alienated photographers. The argument could be made that these cameras were clearly aimed at the collector's market rather than the normal photographer. I believe that from that point of view, the argument that those special products aren't alienting IS pretty indefensible.

I may be biased in my opinion because I'm a working stiff who has to make a living from my cameras, and obviously anybody who treats their work as a business would most definitely not see a massively marked up Hermes limited edition anything as a good investment in equipment meant to actually turn a profit, since the "normal" edition Leica product is just as functional.

I don't mean to discount the opinions of others who appreciate their gear as both functional and objects of beauty, and covet those things for those reasons. I just don't share that perspective. My Leicas are the sharpest tools in my toolbox, and it's that simple. No offense intended to the collectors out there. :)

You're also right that many other people spend money in ways that would be obscene, and I totally agree it's a matter of perspective.

Maybe using the word "obscene" was a little bit too melodramatic in this case...but as a working stiff who wished Leicas products were just a little bit more affordable, I can't help but think that by dividing it's production lines into fragments producing limited edition stuff, Leica does end up increasing its overall costs of production in ways that impacts how much ALL of it's stuff costs. And yeah, from that point of view I feel like it doesn't seem like Leica is doing right by the working folks looking for the best tools they can find. This can be a little troubling to working folks who use this equipment, especially since we all know that Leica's success was built on the foundation of working stiffs and their cameras.

Then again, as others have pointed out, Leica is one of the few companies turning the kinds of profits that it is, and of course eventually some of those profits turn into R&D budget so Leica can continue to innovate. And that benefits us all, of course. I'm a photographer not an economist, so I wouldn't pretend to know the business reasons for Leica's decisions with the limited edition stuff. It's just my point of view from the outside looking in. :)

And jaapv, you're right. It's always been a tradition of Leica's to make crazy editions of their cameras. By saying as of late, I meant to limit the scope of my discussion to a few recent examples.

giganova
11-05-2015, 13:15
I (and others) prefer the look of scanned film (the "hybrid" process) to "fully digital".
I'm one of those.

To me, the hybrid film/scan workflow combines the best of both worlds. I get the tonality/latitude/contrast of film with all it's beautiful "flaws" (e.g., grain) and the fast workflow of digital. Two hours after I shot a roll of film, the digital files are ready. Plus the costs are small: for the price of one MM body, I can shoot, develop & scan 100 rolls of B&W film/year for the next 15 years.

jaapv
11-05-2015, 13:23
It is always hard when stuff is not expensive but just costs a lot of money...

photomoof
11-05-2015, 16:08
An ancient Chinese emperor who, being told that his subjects didn't have enough rice to eat, replied, "Why don't they eat meat?"

Pioneer
11-05-2015, 16:16
When did Marie become an ancient Chinese emperor?

photomoof
11-05-2015, 18:19
When did Marie become an ancient Chinese emperor?

Marie probably never said it. More here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_them_eat_cake.

ZivcoPhoto
11-06-2015, 01:05
...her thoughts after she lost her head....

Roger Hicks
11-06-2015, 02:57
. . . I meant that those cameras and their prices were indefensible in the context of the OP's argument that Leica has alienated photographers. The argument could be made that these cameras were clearly aimed at the collector's market rather than the normal photographer. I believe that from that point of view, the argument that those special products aren't alienting IS pretty indefensible.

. . . we all know that Leica's success was built on the foundation of working stiffs and their cameras.


First para: Like you, I've used Leicas as part of earning my living for a long time: around 40 years in my case. I'd say the exact opposite about "alienation", though. I'm delighted that Leica sells a few very expensive special editions, because it keeps them in business. That's about as un-alienating as it gets.

Second para: No, I don't think so. Well, not exactly. Leicas have ALWAYS appealed to rich amateurs who just wanted a good camera. Years ago, a Linhof dealer told me that their sales were about 50/50 to working photographers and rich amateurs. I'd be astonished if sales of Leicas to professionals were proportionately higher than that (or even as high). It's just that Leicas are very good cameras that have been used by a number of very good photographers, and people imagine that if they buy a Leica, some of that will rub off.

"Special editions" I don't really understand, though I've known a few people who buy them. Mostly, as far as I can see, "special editions" are rather like "complicated" watches: a (mildly) collectible reserve of value. In other words, they're bought as much as jewellery as for functionality; and why shouldn't a camera manufacturer make jewellery as well as cameras?

If you want to see a company that's kept afloat by amateurs while pretending to sell principally to professionals, look at Nikon or Canon.

Cheers,

R.

Mcary
11-06-2015, 03:50
No I don't feel alienated by Leica as I don't feel they or any other company owes me anything nor do I feel that I owe them anything. I buy and use things based on whither or not I feel their worth what I get out of them and this includes how much I enjoy using a product and not just the results it produces. As far as Leica prices go well I generally buy used so I don't really feel one way or the other.

Lss
11-06-2015, 04:04
It is always hard when stuff is not expensive but just costs a lot of money...
Is there a price difference worth valuing?

photomoof
11-06-2015, 05:26
Is there a price difference worth valuing?

He is using "expensive" in a pejorative sense (overpriced), which is not common in the US, so it makes little sense to some of us.

"Expensive" is relative however to income, while "a lot of money" is more neutral, in my understanding. Thus a brioche may not be expensive to Marie, but expensive to a peasant, but does it cost a lot of money, compared to say bread?

I guess one's milage may vary when it comes to income vs expensive?

To me a Leica digital, is both expensive, and requires a lot of money to own. Is it overpriced, IMO, not by much (10~15%), but it the current luxury branding strategy of stores, literature, etc does add to the cost of production. However it would be unreasonable for Leica to take a low cost web-only profile.

photomoof
11-06-2015, 06:06
"Special editions" I don't really understand, though I've known a few people who buy them. Mostly, as far as I can see, "special editions" are rather like "complicated" watches: a (mildly) collectible reserve of value. In other words, they're bought as much as jewellery as for functionality; and why shouldn't a camera manufacturer make jewellery as well as cameras?


I owned two, of one of the more tasteful special editions, the Leica M6 TTL Millenium, I got them at cost, with the lenses, and at the time clearly I was demented, and thought I might use them.

Lss
11-06-2015, 08:02
"Expensive" is relative however to income, while "a lot of money" is more neutral, in my understanding.
For me, anything expensive costs a lot of money and anything that costs a lot of money is expensive. They are both relative to (my) income.

photomoof
11-06-2015, 08:22
For me, anything expensive costs a lot of money and anything that costs a lot of money is expensive. They are both relative to (my) income.

Some people transcend those financial relativities, that annoy us mortals.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/driver-rare-920000-ferrari-lost-6775236

jaapv
11-06-2015, 09:43
For me, anything expensive costs a lot of money and anything that costs a lot of money is expensive. They are both relative to (my) income.Ah- if somebody offered you a new Ferrari for 100.000$ that would not be expensive ;)

paulfish4570
11-06-2015, 10:23
looks to me like leica always has been relatively expensive. the stuff is designed and produced in germany, not in singapore or china; labor is much more expensive; engineering is much more expensive. the stuff is very well made (or used to be, to hear some current owners talk). the Ms and screw mounts are way fun to use; lovely instruments. but they are not necessary to make a sound photograph.
if you love 'em and can afford 'em without starving the baby, go for it.

CameraQuest
11-06-2015, 10:23
Please note the OP is questioning whether "Photographers" are being alienated by high Leica prices.

He is not asking if Posers, Wannabes or Blingstars are alienated by high Leica prices.

This is an important distinction as today's Leica is arguably catering not to photographers but to this 2nd group thanks to such truly incredible
(a carefully chosen exact word) gifts from the photography gods as the Lenny Kravitz pre-brassed LEICA M-P 'CORRESPONDENT' SET...

f16sunshine
11-06-2015, 10:41
Leica cameras and lenses have attracted photographers.

It's their long and uncomprehensive service windows that have alienated photographers.
Who can live with a 2-4 month repair window and no loaner program?

Of course some Leica advocate will write in response that if you "establish a relationship" with Leica this will not be the case.
If you are a pro, you work and expect your vendors to work ....for a living!!... not for a relationship! Relationships are for friends and Lovers !
This concept is favoritism it is not a service model to buy into. It's absurd and serves only the brand and a handfull of their celebrity fanbois.
If Leica wants to attract more photographers the need to provide a service parallel to Canon and Nikon pro services.

f16sunshine
11-06-2015, 10:42
I would not buy a new Ferrari even if I could afford 50 of them. Just like some Leica products. They're just too much of a pain I think.

If you live in Seattle you don't buy one because the traffic is so bad pedestrians/bikes will be passing you :p

photomoof
11-06-2015, 10:55
He is not asking if Posers, Wannabes or Blingstars are alienated by high Leica prices.

This is an important distinction as today's Leica is arguably catering not to photographers but to this 2nd group thanks to such truly incredible
(a carefully chosen exact word) gifts from the photography gods as the Lenny Kravitz pre-brassed LEICA M-P 'CORRESPONDENT' SET...

The problem with the "Posers, Wannabes or Bling-stars" is that they are not probably not that taken with the "Hunger Games" -- and likely seldom think of a Leica. I live in a very visible city, everyone on the street, and I have seldom seen a Leica Digital M in the hands of "Posers, Wannabes or Bling-stars," the vast majority seem to be older men (yes there have been a few exceptions, Japanese teens).

Lss
11-06-2015, 11:15
Ah- if somebody offered you a new Ferrari for 100.000$ that would not be expensive ;)
Try $10 000.

jaapv
11-06-2015, 11:24
:D That is close to an SL+lens

jaapv
11-06-2015, 11:27
Leica cameras and lenses have attracted photographers.

It's their long and uncomprehensive service windows that have alienated photographers.
Who can live with a 2-4 month repair window and no loaner program?

Of course some Leica advocate will write in response that if you "establish a relationship" with Leica this will not be the case.
If you are a pro, you work and expect your vendors to work ....for a living!!... not for a relationship! Relationships are for friends and Lovers !
This concept is favoritism it is not a service model to buy into. It's absurd and serves only the brand and a handfull of their celebrity fanbois.
If Leica wants to attract more photographers the need to provide a service parallel to Canon and Nikon pro services.
I have always gotten a loaner without even asking when repair times were long. And I am not even a Pro. In the Pro service it is standard. :rolleyes:

CameraQuest
11-06-2015, 11:28
The problem with the "Posers, Wannabes or Bling-stars" is that they are not probably not that taken with the "Hunger Games" -- and likely seldom think of a Leica. I live in a very visible city, everyone on the street, and I have seldom seen a Leica Digital M in the hands of "Posers, Wannabes or Bling-stars," the vast majority seem to be older men (yes there have been a few exceptions, Japanese teens).

Leica marketing seems to think otherwise with the Lenny Kravitz special.

Kind of like Field of Dreams: "Build it, they will buy."

honozooloo
11-06-2015, 11:33
Please note the OP is questioning whether "Photographers" are being alienated by high Leica prices.

He is not asking if Posers, Wannabes or Blingstars are alienated by high Leica prices.

This is an important distinction as today's Leica is arguably catering not to photographers but to this 2nd group thanks to such truly incredible
(a carefully chosen exact word) gifts from the photography gods as the Lenny Kravitz pre-brassed LEICA M-P 'CORRESPONDENT' SET...

I'm going to agree with these sentiments EXACTLY. My point has been to make the argument about Leica alienating "Photographers" specifically, per OP's original argument. Leica's heritage and cache has all been built on the work of the many professional photographers who used it's gear in the past. Their "street cred" is based on the work of iconic pros. That's why I've addressed the issue from the perspective of someone using Leica as equipment, rather than just an object of desire.

I can totally agree with Roger's argument that at their hearts, all camera brands are actually kept in business by selling to amateurs, as working photographers simply aren't numerous enough to keep anyone in biz. But I do think that the type of amateur Leica is targeting differs, because unlike Canon/Nikon/Sony, who sell stuff like the Rebel line which are aimed squarely at the mass market, Leica does not and will probably never have a product line you can find at your local Costco. Sure, Leica's point and shoots are relatively "accessible" but we all know that soccer moms and dads generally don't buy one of those to take pictures of Junior's birthday. They buy DSLR kits from one of the big names, or increasingly, use their smartphones. Leica clearly has its sights on more exclusive markets. All of which does pull its focus from the needs of actual photographers.

If I'm honest, the non-photographer in me thinks that a gold plated, lizard skinned camera is actually pretty cool. It makes me giggle to imagine a super eccentric billionaire with really weird eyebrows using one to take tasteful nudes of his many mistresses or whatever. And anyone who didn't think that the Jony Ive-designed one of a kind RED M wasn't a thing of beauty must have been blind. :D While I don't get the appeal in a prebrassed camera, I don't buy "distressed" jeans with holes, tears, and bleaching all over them either because the whole concept kind of escapes me. But I can totally concede that others might find this cool.

And whatever my opinions might be about these things, it seems to be working for Leica as a business model so my opinions amount to an uninformed, unqualified opinion about whether or not this is "right" or "wrong" for Leica as a brand. Come to think of it, unless any of us know how Leica's bottom line actually works, I don't think there can be anything other than our own opinions about the matter. I mean come on guys, they've got to pay for all those freebie M9 sensor replacements somehow. If a bunch of oil Sheikhs and Chinese billionaires are gonna help fund my M9's CCD, I'm totally OK with that. :cool:

But that still doesn't stop me from feeling a little like Leica is giving me the finger just a little bit when it puts effort into its "fashion accessory" cameras. My rational mind knows that the situation isn't exactly that simple. But its just how I feel.

f16sunshine
11-06-2015, 11:55
I have always gotten a loaner without even asking when repair times were long. And I am not even a Pro. In the Pro service it is standard. :rolleyes:

Come on Japp.... you are almost a Leica employee !! :angel: Of course YOU get a loaner :)
This is exactly the "relationship" situation I am describing.
There is no pro service like CPS or NPS with Leica.
With Leica and service...You're either in or your out! (out of luck)

andredossantos
11-06-2015, 12:12
There is nothing better in this world than spending the money you make on something you love. Cameras are not investments for most of us, but they are a damn fine way to spend your cash... unless you don't like photography.

I have it on good authority from a shoe store owner in the Bronx that you in fact don't like photography.

Emile de Leon
11-06-2015, 12:19
I hope they have good full length mirrors in those Leica stores...
Got to try on that new M...and see for myself..
Make sure it gets on well with my alligator belt and lizard shoes..and my ostrich hat...
And tilts to the exact right degree..when I walk down the blvd..

CameraQuest
11-06-2015, 13:33
OK, it is not as funny as this one:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=103267&stc=1&d=1446844616

But seriously? The "Correspondent?"

And I remain embarrassed, having bought two Leica M6 TTL Millenium sets. Let he who is without sin -- etc etc.

Some of the Leica sets like the M6 TTL Millenium and the LHSA sets are really well thought out and well done.

Its just the silly ones that make me want to barf on my Hermes hanky.

jaapv
11-06-2015, 22:31
Come on Japp.... you are almost a Leica employee !! :angel: Of course YOU get a loaner :)
This is exactly the "relationship" situation I am describing.
There is no pro service like CPS or NPS with Leica.
With Leica and service...You're either in or your out! (out of luck)

There is a pro service: if you register as a pro with Leica CS Germany beforehand through the excellent Andrea Frankl you will get pro service.
I am not sure whether Leica USA has the same system.
However, Leica certainly offers expedited and express service at a cost, which comes down to the same thing.

Borge H
11-07-2015, 02:04
I guess you never see many press photographers nowadays using rangefinders, like Leica, as back in the 50-ties:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TRv_x-5_UH0/U16lkqFifoI/AAAAAAAB640/RK7uiSXzNq4/s1600/SOUTH+KOREA.+Kaesong.+1952.+International+Press+ph otographers+covering+the+Korean+War.jpg

Now it more looks like this:

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/images/article_images/news/photographers-press-media-journalists.jpg

You can call it alienation of photographers, but I guess many photographers today use a more versatile tool than a Leica. I do not think the cost is the major factor, high end Nikons also cost a lot of money.

I think the reason is:
- usability in different assignments
- pro-service
- quality
- acceptance in the community of users
- tradition

I myself recently bought a M-240, I own a M9 since earlier and several analog Leicas. I am not a dentist, but I guess you can call me a wealthy amateur (I am an old university professor in engineering).:)

I like Leica of sentimental reasons, I have "always" owned one. I also like that it is a German camera with longer product cycles than CaNikon and that it is a company that take care of its customers. If they had left us with-out help with the M9-sensors, I would not have bought the M-240! And I also like the strong Leica-community, like the Leica friends here!

If some-one buys luxury versions of Leicas as "jewelry", I do not care. If professional photographers use the the tool, fine for them, but it will not influence me.

Roger Hicks
11-07-2015, 03:02
. . . If some-one buys luxury versions of Leicas as "jewelry", I do not care. If professional photografers use the the tool, fine for them, but it will not influence me.
Quite. The least edifying posts in this thread are from rich people expressing disgust about how even richer people spend their money.

The arrogance of their subtext is extraordinary: "I am a real photographer, therefore I buy only 'ordinary' new Leicas." Surely some of them must have the self-awareness to see that this is exactly the same argument as "Only snobs buy Leicas."

People buy Leicas for all sort of reasons, including taking pictures. Some go without other things to buy a Leica; some buy them as toys; some (God help them) imagine that they are status symbols, not realizing that a "status symbol" is typically a luxury bought by someone who can't afford it and has no real use for it other than as a status symbol.

My wife Frances summed up the thread perfectly. She asked me "How did it start?" I told her the title of the thread. She said, "Ah... They alienated photographers by making cameras?"

Cheers,

R.

photomoof
11-07-2015, 07:43
Quite. The least edifying posts in this thread are from rich people expressing disgust about how even richer people spend their money.



Disgust with runaway wealth in cities like NYC, is really another discussion. But.

Perhaps "alienated" is a poor choice of words?

Long ago I just lost interest in owning a Leica, the aforementioned Millenniums were my last venture into Leica ownership. Price was a very minor element, but honestly if I could make money using a Leica I would buy one tomorrow. As a pro camera it is not really that pricey when compared to other pro equipment like RED.

I don't really care what others buy, don't understand their choices always, but if you want a Leica buy one. Personally I just don't want to lug any camera around these days, for casual snaps.

A lot of people shoot photos to relax, or enjoy nature for instance, if owning a really nice camera increases that enjoyment for them why would anyone possibly care.

Bill Clark
11-07-2015, 07:52
When I had my business I used for film Hasselblad thinking they would last until I retire. Going digital in 2004 I bought Canon. After discussing with my coach, I completely went digital capture in 2005.

It wasn't until I retired that I bought Leica film only and only used. I don't think of Leica alienating folks but some may differ.

robbeiflex
11-07-2015, 09:42
...



My wife Frances summed up the thread perfectly. She asked me "How did it start?" I told her the title of the thread. She said, "Ah... They alienated photographers by making cameras?"



Cheers,



R.


That is by far the most insightful comment I've read not only in this discussion but in this whole genre of discussions!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ferider
11-07-2015, 09:57
After reading all this I remain wondering:

1) how to register at Leica as a pro Dentist, and
2) if Leica has alienated photographer's wives.

Roland.

icebear
11-07-2015, 11:14
...
My wife Frances summed up the thread perfectly.
She asked me "How did it start?" I told her the title of the thread. She said, "Ah... They alienated photographers by making cameras?"

Cheers,
R.

LOL, good one there, congratulations on your better half Roger ;).
One more typical example that the female part of the population usually has e refreshingly different perspective on things.

And as a sidenote from a non professional photographer:
I value the camera by the pictures I have taken with it so far.

From this point of view, the actual use, my MM is invaluable for me.
And I do not make any money from my photography, just enjoying it.

jaapv
11-07-2015, 14:05
After reading all this I remain wondering:

1) how to register at Leica as a pro Dentist, and
2) if Leica has alienated photographer's wives.

Roland.
1. Just be a regular customer for four decades...
2. Yes.

chikne
11-11-2015, 10:24
Has leica alienated photographers?

" Leica has paid homage to its 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M lens by launching a £110 keyring and a £575 fountain pen.
Read more at http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_14472662750449&key=ebcd42a6fe063fd7c4aedf286a490098&libId=igv4yzs50100noz5000DA9m91zu6d&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rangefinderforum.com%2Fforums %2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D152926&v=1&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amateurphotographer.co.uk%2Fl atest%2Fphoto-news%2Fleica-launches-110-keyring-and-575-pen-65504%23AerRT8l7JwzUgTHm.99&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rangefinderforum.com%2Fforums %2Fforumdisplay.php%3Ff%3D208&title=Unique%20opportunity%20for%20Noctilux%200.95 %20gear%2C%20%C2%A3110%20get%20yours%20now%20-%20Rangefinderforum.com&txt=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amateurphotographer.co.uk...8 l7JwzUgTHm.99 "

Roger Hicks
11-11-2015, 12:57
Has leica alienated photographers?

" Leica has paid homage to its 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M lens by launching a £110 keyring and a £575 fountain pen.. . . [/URL] "
And?

1 What has this to do with photography or photographers?

2 How would it alienate anyone who wanted to buy a Leica to take pictures, i.e. a photographer?

Sure, I think it's silly and in bad taste. But "alienated"? How? Why? How does it make my Leicas bad cameras?

Cheers,

R.

Pioneer
11-11-2015, 13:36
Has leica alienated photographers?

" Leica has paid homage to its 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M lens by launching a £110 keyring and a £575 fountain pen.
Read more at http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_14472662750449&key=ebcd42a6fe063fd7c4aedf286a490098&libId=igv4yzs50100noz5000DA9m91zu6d&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rangefinderforum.com%2Fforums %2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D152926&v=1&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amateurphotographer.co.uk%2Fl atest%2Fphoto-news%2Fleica-launches-110-keyring-and-575-pen-65504%23AerRT8l7JwzUgTHm.99&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rangefinderforum.com%2Fforums %2Fforumdisplay.php%3Ff%3D208&title=Unique%20opportunity%20for%20Noctilux%200.95 %20gear%2C%20%C2%A3110%20get%20yours%20now%20-%20Rangefinderforum.com&txt=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amateurphotographer.co.uk...8 l7JwzUgTHm.99 "

I think this is called branding.

Look at it this way, you have been wanting a Leica for years but you and your wife still can't make ends meet with both of you working. Now you can own a Leica keychain to show your love of Leica for way less than a camera would cost. Meanwhile you can continue to shoot your Spotmatic that your wife's Dad gave you. :D

Roger Hicks
11-11-2015, 13:49
I think this is called branding.

Look at it this way, you have been wanting a Leica for years but you and your wife still can't make ends meet with both of you working. Now you can own a Leica keychain to show your love of Leica for way less than a camera would cost. Meanwhile you can continue to shoot your Spotmatic that your wife's Dad gave you. :D
Oh, you cynical fellow, you.

Not wrong. Just cynical. It also helps if people are too stupid to realize that if they didn't buy things like £110 key-chains, quite soon they'd have enough money to buy a Leica.

Of course, there are those for whom this will be a joke purchase, or (worse still) a joke gift for a friend. See paragraph 2.

I know one or two very, very rich people who might find it amusing and who could afford it easily. Or maybe not. Afford it easily, yes. Find it amusing, no.

Cheers,

R.

Frankd
11-11-2015, 20:38
I guess I'll put my 2 cents in, but I think it has been said before.

I don't shoot jobs with my Leica. I use Canon digital and sometimes medium format film for "fine art" that I sell. I don't think I have ever sold any of my Leica photos. But I love shooting with a rangefinder and shooting film.

I did a project on Chicago commuters with my Leica M4-P and am very happy with the results. I guess I could have used several other cameras and maybe got better results. One of my photographer friends said I should have used an iPhone. NO WAY. I enjoy shooting with my M4-P and am very happy with the results that I got.

I tried an M9 at a dealer a couple of years ago and liked it. Still a bit more than I want to pay. But I don't feel "alienated". Maybe prices will come down and I'll pop for one. No strong pull now.

Alberti
11-11-2015, 23:10
This week I saw a TV ad for Hyundai i-20.
The guy in the da was dressed as a modern gentleman. Walked like he should.
- And he had a Leica M-240, handling it exactly like a habitual shooter does.
One could easily associate with him. (Sociologists have a nice word for that.)

This is branding - and while it is not Spectre,it is still very effective. (Though my wife did not see it)

Now (big laugh) I might have look.

So, if you are involved, thanks Solms!

Kent
11-12-2015, 03:08
Leica has always been a brand for the "top 10.000", for wealthy parts of society - or for some kinds of professionals who accepted the prices as part of the game. There is no doubt about that.

Some photographers bought Leica gear without being rich or professional. Those guys have saved their money for a while to fulfill their dream.

In former days a Leica has set you back for about the double amount of an average wage. Today, it's perhaps four times as much.
But the reason for that it that the wealth gap between rich and poor has widened considerably. Rich persons still can afford the Leica price. Just for the "regular" guy those items have moved far out of reach. You need much longer when you save for a Leica.

Now, has Leica alienated photographers? No.
They perhaps have alienated the average earner. But those have never been Leica's target group.

I have never bought any Leica item new. All the Leica things I own, I have bought used. And I was able to because the rich Leica fans buy new thing more often now and thus generate an affordable used gear market. ;)

David Hughes
11-12-2015, 03:29
Hi,

Could we have a vote on:

A, This thread should be closed now or

B, there is no second choice.

Regards, David

PS I will vote for A once my head stops going round and round from reading it and seeing the same old points made over and over again..

Ronald M
11-12-2015, 05:22
I wish they would quit wasting money on consumer cameras and lower prices on what does work.

Leica Park. Give me a break. I wonder how many square feet I paid for.

They will price themselves right out of business if not careful

jsrockit
11-12-2015, 05:27
I wish they would quit wasting money on consumer cameras and lower prices on what does work.

Sounds good for you, but not for Leica.

Alberti
11-13-2015, 02:15
Hi,

Could we have a vote on:

A, This thread should be closed now


YES !
[we are] seeing the same old points made over and over again..
and it is errant rant unfit for this Forum.

jaapv
11-13-2015, 03:36
I wish they would quit wasting money on consumer cameras and lower prices on what does work.

Leica Park. Give me a break. I wonder how many square feet I paid for.

They will price themselves right out of business if not careful
Last time I looked Leicas were consumer cameras. As most cameras are except mid/large format and similar stuff (mainly)
Btw, Leica rents their premises.

Addy101
11-13-2015, 06:29
Why do people feel the need to have a thread closed when there is no fight going on? :confused:
If you don't like the thread, just don't read it.....

Btw, I'm with Kent all the way.

willie_901
11-13-2015, 06:37
Btw, Leica rents their premises.

Irrelevant. There is still a cost-per-square meter in their lease budget. The more space one leases the more it costs.

photomoof
11-13-2015, 07:36
Btw, Leica rents their premises.

Even Apple doesn't buy, how would Leica even consider such reckless behaviour?