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Leica All Day
06-22-2016, 09:10
Today I went to one of the major Leica stores in Bangkok and I met 3 lovely / cute Thai girls that were in the process of buying Leica "special edition" digital cameras with some very nice lenses. I talked to them a little bit and one of the girls was talking about my M6ttl millennium that was hanging around my neck so I handed her my camera for her to check it out. In Thailand there is a common term that is called "hi-so" and it refers to the high society "upper class" Thai people that have a lot of money. These girls were "hi-so" and were in the process of buying some very nice Leica cameras and some really nice lenses. I am a "regular" at the camera store that they were at so I didn't try to get too involved with the whole process, but I did take a couple of photos of them and briefly talked to them.

Long story short, Leica cameras have become some sort of a "fashion accessory " here in Bangkok and it is strange to see "newbies" walking into a camera store and buying the "best " Leica cameras and lenses. I am not going to lie, I am trying to find a way to help these cute Thai girls in understanding and using these cameras that they have just purchased. I know the guys at the camera store and they basically explain the basics to them , but I would love to find a way to go out street shooting with these new Leica owners. That said, I hope this post doesn't come across as "sexist" in any terms, I am always available to take people around Bangkok and show them how their camera can work on the street and explain the basics.

I was really surprised by what I saw today.

cheers, michael
https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7433/27737931482_8465bd7702_b.jpg[/url]Cute girls with Leicas in Bangkok (https://flic.kr/p/Jg79DY) by [url=[/IMG]

furcafe
06-22-2016, 09:16
Here in the U.S., they're mainly fashion accessories for middle-aged dudes.

Out to Lunch
06-22-2016, 09:19
Interesting. So far in Saigon it's handbags, couture and the odd Bentley. When I lived and worked in the Great Lakes Region of Africa the "hi-so" where known as the "wabenzi", or the Mercedes Benz clan. In Saigon, the people stopping me in the street when I have a Leica rangefinder around my neck are older people and they tell tell me: "I used to own this camera"! "Number one"!

kshapero
06-22-2016, 09:21
When I go to the malls (which I never do), butt cracks seem to be the fashion statement.

Emile de Leon
06-22-2016, 09:23
What a truly weird reality..

robert blu
06-22-2016, 09:34
Nice cameras, beautiful girls! If this helps Leica to make a profit...and maybe at least one of the girls will try to use it and becomes a photographer!
robert
PS: where I live a dealer told me once that first digital Leica he sold to a gentleman who wanted "that camera" on his desktop but to take photos used a different camera (I prefer not to mention) set on auto because it was to difficult to use the rangefinder...

Leica All Day
06-22-2016, 09:41
Sweet Young Girls... What Fun !!


As for me
I am slightly cringing thinking about how I am 'perceived'
walking aBout shooting my M5... A fashion victim or a ?

Dear Helen, we have never met in person, but to me, you are a complete rock star and an amazing photographer. You are one of the people on this forum that I have not met yet, but I am so excited for the day that we meet. I really hope the day we meet you bring your male friend (I am sorry but I forget his name at this moment) but I can't wait for that day that we meet in a bar (or coffee shop) in New York and we can have a good chat.

cheers, michael

raid
06-22-2016, 10:50
I recall that during Saddam Hussein's reign, the Womens' Union used Hasseblad exclusively.

kshapero
06-22-2016, 11:00
Dear Helen, we have never met in person, but to me, you are a complete rock star and an amazing photographer. You are one of the people on this forum that I have not met yet, but I am so excited for the day that we meet. I really hope the day we meet you bring your male friend (I am sorry but I forget his name at this moment) but I can't wait for that day that we meet in a bar (or coffee shop) in New York and we can have a good chat.

cheers, michael
Hey Michael, you still owe me a meet up. And Helen you are a Photog Rockette.

Huss
06-22-2016, 11:08
Sweet Young Girls... What Fun !!


As for me
I am slightly cringing thinking about how I am 'perceived'
walking aBout shooting my M5... A fashion victim or a ?

A user of an M5 is never a fashion victim, but a trend setter!
:D

Out to Lunch
06-22-2016, 11:09
camp...big time.

Huss
06-22-2016, 11:11
I was really surprised by what I saw today.

cheers, michael
https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7433/27737931482_8465bd7702_b.jpg[/url]Cute girls with Leicas in Bangkok (https://flic.kr/p/Jg79DY) by [url=[/IMG]

If they really wanted them as neck baubles, they would have bought film Ms... Maybe the Lenny Kravitz version.

Are those cameras white, or is it just the way my monitor makes them look?

YYV_146
06-22-2016, 11:17
If they really wanted them as neck baubles, they would have bought film Ms... Maybe the Lenny Kravitz version.

Are those cameras white, or is it just the way my monitor makes them look?

They are Thailand special editions. i toyed with the idea of getting one...the white finish looks great in person. The red covering is an extra option

nikonosguy
06-22-2016, 11:20
those are fugly leicas ---- with the white body and the colored leatherette....

rhl-oregon
06-22-2016, 11:34
Michael, I hope they run into you again with questions and images and and greater interest.

While there are plenty of examples of conspicuous consumption to make skeptics of any of us who worked and scrimped for what we valued, one can hope for the best with young women taking interest in gear that may change their lives and how they see the world. Who knows, maybe one or two will join rff and add their counterweight to the, um, prevailing gender imbalance.

nobbylon
06-22-2016, 11:53
looks like the shop in mbk michael?

Huss
06-22-2016, 12:15
those are fugly leicas ---- with the white body and the colored leatherette....

Well it's a good thing that those girls who are buying them disagree!

FYI I use and love my two Nikonos V cameras - one green, one orange.
To call a white Leica fugly while having those hand barnacles at home is a bit of a stretch...

giganova
06-22-2016, 12:17
Leica a fashion statement? :eek: Haven't they been for decades?

You clearly have to give them private tutorials how to properly use them. :D

nikonosguy
06-22-2016, 12:21
Well it's a good thing that those girls who are buying them disagree!

FYI I use and love my two Nikonos V cameras - one green, one orange.
To call a white Leica fugly while having those hand barnacles at home is a bit of a stretch...


my nikonos5 is a thing of beauty along with the waterproof brownish canvas bag

jsrockit
06-22-2016, 12:27
Long story short, Leica cameras have become some sort of a "fashion accessory " here in Bangkok and it is strange to see "newbies" walking into a camera store and buying the "best " Leica cameras and lenses.

It's a luxury store... it happens in the SOHO store here in NYC too. Leica has positioned itself as such, so I'm not surprised.

I am not going to lie, I am trying to find a way to help these cute Thai girls in understanding and using these cameras that they have just purchased.


Would you help a seemingly clueless Thai boy/ guy do the same? ;)

Bille
06-22-2016, 13:24
These girls were "hi-so" and were in the process of buying some very nice Leica cameras and some really nice lenses.

They are buying unboxed Leicas with random lenses and custom straps?

Huss
06-22-2016, 13:27
my nikonos5 is a thing of beauty along with the waterproof brownish canvas bag

Best part of mine is the prophylactic rubber lens hood that covers the entire lens. It just screams out safe photography!

Huss
06-22-2016, 13:31
I am not going to lie, I am trying to find a way to help these cute Thai girls in understanding and using these cameras that they have just purchased.

Mother Theresa aint got nuthin' on you!

;)

nobbylon
06-22-2016, 13:33
It's a luxury store... it happens in the SOHO store here in NYC too. Leica has positioned itself as such, so I'm not surprised.



Would you help a seemingly clueless Thai boy/ guy do the same? ;)

If it's the MBK store that I go to it's not a luxury store at all. It's a goldmine of second hand bodies and lenses. Not the cheapest prices but an amazing selection with friendly helpful and knowledgeable guys in there.

Dralowid
06-22-2016, 14:25
I don't have a problem wit this at all, after all, what else is a 'LUXUS' apart from being a fashion accessory?

If sales like this can help support a niche business so well and good.

Richard G
06-22-2016, 14:59
Great. I missed the release of the 'Polar-Panda' Leica. With that analogy the red one is disturbing.
Good on these girls. They could have done a lot worse that day. Maybe they've already joined RFF. I'm not worried they'll eclipse Helen anytime soon.

Emile de Leon
06-22-2016, 15:27
Leica should sell em with no guts inside and any color imaginable...for 2x's the price..just the empty body..and fake glass in the lens too..with the Leica name on front..thats enough..

nobbylon
06-22-2016, 21:24
I sometimes don't get why some seem to think that just because someone can afford something that they shouldn't have it because of none interest in purpose or lack of knowledge etc.
It always comes across as envy or jealousy.
If these 3 girls had been famous artists or photographers I'm pretty sure there would be a lot more positive posts above about how it's so marvelous to see our favorite brand being used as intended.

Huss
06-22-2016, 21:48
I sometimes don't get why some seem to think that just because someone can afford something that they shouldn't have it because of none interest in purpose or lack of knowledge etc.
It always comes across as envy or jealousy.
If these 3 girls had been famous artists or photographers I'm pretty sure there would be a lot more positive posts above about how it's so marvelous to see our favorite brand being used as intended.

More to the point it is great seeing young people buying Leicas.
That's where the future is.

Not just old crotchety farts who opine about the good old days when 100ASA film was considered fast and they don't need a Leica because they made a pin hole camera out of a shoe box and some electrical tape and it is just as good...

aizan
06-22-2016, 22:21
it's nice to know that there is a non-internet based leicaphile culture out there, and that it's composed of young women. very cool.

Vincent.G
06-23-2016, 00:08
Michael, you need any help to convert them to film lovers? :D

nobbylon
06-23-2016, 00:18
Michael, you need any help to convert them to film lovers? :D

there's a line and i'm before you ;)

Rayt
06-23-2016, 00:29
It is refreshing to see more young people getting into photography and not just snapping away selfies. I haven't been to Bangkok in two years and it is time to visit this camera shop.

Leica All Day
06-23-2016, 00:54
Would you help a seemingly clueless Thai boy/ guy do the same? ;)

Haha jsrockit, I think I've lost count of how many Thai males I have helped, taught, given advice and loaned one of my cameras for them to "try before they buy" a Leica.

I'm in a Leica photo group here in Bangkok that is made up of a lot of passionate enthusiasts who are crazy about Leica cameras. They have all the cool lenses and special edition models that come out. I try to get them to come 'street shooting' with me in the streets and all, but they are still in that 'shy phase' of street shooting , and not very comfortable yet out on the streets and in the thick of all the madness, but slowly they are coming around.

I am always down to take people out and around Bangkok shooting, I've done it a lot with some members of this forum and other photographers that I've met in other places. It just so happens that they are always male photographers. It would be nice to have a couple of female Leica photographers to go out with shooting every once in awhile, and it's a bonus if they just happen to be cute :p

When one of the girls was holding my camera and looking at it, I mentioned to her that it's a film Leica and then made a joke in Thai language to the sales assistant (who I know) telling him how much cooler film cameras are.

I should try to be more active and try to get something together like monthly Bangkok photo walks, small type of magazine / fanzine , etc... I like what some of the people I follow on Instagram are doing in Japan and I think it would be cool to try to do something similar .

Cheers, michael

Rayt
06-23-2016, 01:08
I am always down to take people out and around Bangkok shooting, I've done it a lot with some members of this forum and other photographers that I've met in other places. It just so happens that they are always male photographers. It would be nice to have a couple of female Leica photographers to go out with shooting every once in awhile, and it's a bonus if they just happen to be cute :p

Cheers, michael

I look forward to meeting you Michael and do some shooting together. By the way I am very cute.

Leica All Day
06-23-2016, 01:10
I look forward to meeting you Michael and do some shooting together. By the way I am very cute.

Haha, I hope you can bring that horse in your profile photo to Bangkok with you, that would be awesome.

David Hughes
06-23-2016, 02:48
I don't have a problem wit this at all, after all, what else is a 'LUXUS' apart from being a fashion accessory?

If sales like this can help support a niche business so well and good.

Hi,

And don't forget the ETKAL and EPOCH which date back to 1930 or 31. Nothing changes.

Regards, David

dave lackey
06-23-2016, 05:12
Michael,
It is so refreshing to hear about your teaching and mentoring so many people. I find few people willing to spend the time with new photographers. Wonderful!

Fashion accessories...not here in my little world. It is odd but over the last decade or so, I have never had anyone comment about the Leica I was carrying, except for one older gentleman at a parade in a very small town near our home. He was indigent, but he saw my M3 and said, "Now that is a real camera, I always wanted a Leica." A short discussion followed and I realized he had fallen on hard times years ago but he was always interested in photography.

It is a rare thing here to see young people interested in "real cameras"... I only wish things here were similar with excitement as shown in your image. For that matter, I wish the older people I know got excited about anything!

Down South, here, it seems to be a rarity. Your days seem to be filled with excitement with the people around you. :)

zuiko85
06-23-2016, 05:52
Hey, if you really want a white camera B&H still has the white Holga 120N in stock, and the price of admission to that club is within reach for most people.

In fact, just an idea for the wealthy, get a white Leica and a white Holga and carry both. I'll bet that 90% of folks won't know the Holga is a plastic toy.

Vincent.G
06-23-2016, 07:20
Michael, I am sure there are online photography forums in Bangkok. Maybe that is a place you can reach out to more fellow photography enthusiast.

kuuan
06-23-2016, 07:44
passing through Bangkok ( if I had more time sure I'd have contacted you, Michael, hoping for a meet up ) I could not help but notice that a new Leica store just opened, I believe April 2016, at the Gaysorn Plaza, a luxury departement store:

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/kuuan/DSC09657.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/kuuan/DSC09661.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/kuuan/DSC09659.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/kuuan/DSC09660.jpg

and now they get free adverticing by me right here :)
There is a section with used gear too, a handful of bodies and some 20+ lenses, but no price tags. No tags nor descriptions at all, which, as I am not up to date with Leica bodies, I'd have appreciated.

giganova
06-23-2016, 07:55
Michael, you need any help to convert them to film lovers? :D

Each time I visit Tokyo I am amazed how many girls are dangling film Leicas around their necks. Its the antithesis to cell phone selfies. I love it!

giganova
06-23-2016, 07:58
passing through Bangkok ( if I had more time sure I'd have contacted you, Michael, hoping for a meet up ) I could not help but notice that a new Leica store just opened at the Gaysorn Plaza, a luxury departement store.

Gotta give it to Leica: while other camera companies like Nikon are at the brink of bankruptcy, Leica is posting record sales. They must be doing something right!

Timmyjoe
06-23-2016, 08:02
I've been out of the digital Leica fold for some time now. Just wondering, do they have a smart phone app like Nikon and Canon do, where you can take a picture with your Leica digital camera and send it to your smartphone (for Facebooking, Snapchatting, Twittering, etc.)?

I would think that would bring more young people into the fold.

kuuan
06-23-2016, 08:41
Gotta give it to Leica: while other camera companies like Nikon are at the brink of bankruptcy, Leica is posting record sales. They must be doing something right!

believe me I am anything but a nationalist, but now I can't help but note that it was a countryman of mine, an Austrian, Mr. Andreas Kaufmann who had bought Leica, saved it from bankruptcy and made it prosper..oh, and he is an Andreas too ;)
cheers, andreas

ReeRay
06-23-2016, 08:57
Just wait until they try taking a selfie or asking their mates to snap a shot off with an RF patch to focus! Most of the Thai girls I see never venture beyond that level.

Vincent.G
06-23-2016, 08:57
Each time I visit Tokyo I am amazed how many girls are dangling film Leicas around their necks. Its the antithesis to cell phone selfies. I love it!

I saw quite a number of female film camera users on John Sypal's blog, "Tokyo Camera Style" too.

Leica All Day
06-23-2016, 10:21
passing through Bangkok ( if I had more time sure I'd have contacted you, Michael, hoping for a meet up ) I could not help but notice that a new Leica store just opened, I believe April 2016, at the Gaysorn Plaza, a luxury departement store:

and now they get free adverticing by me right here :)
There is a section with used gear too, a handful of bodies and some 20+ lenses, but no price tags. No tags nor descriptions at all, which, as I am not up to date with Leica bodies, I'd have appreciated.

Yes, that store just opened. They had a really big grand opening June 15th and one of our RFF members (LeicaShot aka Kristian Dowling) had his photos up and conducted a talk and a special workshop the following day. I was just at the shop yesterday to meet up with some of my friends, the prices are a little higher than the other stores in Bangkok that carry Leica, that said, it is nice that they opened up the store.

I spoke to a good friend who is well connected to the store, the owners and the official Leica distributors in Thailand and I asked my friend how can they survive when there are other stores in Bangkok that sell Leica gear for cheaper. My friend explained to me that they cater to a special market in Bangkok. He explained to me how the business works and I sort of understand it now. I guess the same could be said for most "official Leica stores" worldwide, I imagine that there are other stores in the same cities as official Leica stores that offer slightly cheaper prices.

I am not one of their "target customers", and I don't really get involved in that whole business aspect, nor do I understand it fully and I am OK with that. I am more of a shooter and I am not willing to go into one of those stores and pay the prices that they are asking. I prefer to spend my money on traveling, film and good times.

cheers, michael

YYV_146
06-23-2016, 10:44
Yes, that store just opened. They had a really big grand opening June 15th and one of our RFF members (LeicaShot aka Kristian Dowling) had his photos up and conducted a talk and a special workshop the following day. I was just at the shop yesterday to meet up with some of my friends, the prices are a little higher than the other stores in Bangkok that carry Leica, that said, it is nice that they opened up the store.

I spoke to a good friend who is well connected to the store, the owners and the official Leica distributors in Thailand and I asked my friend how can they survive when there are other stores in Bangkok that sell Leica gear for cheaper. My friend explained to me that they cater to a special market in Bangkok. He explained to me how the business works and I sort of understand it now. I guess the same could be said for most "official Leica stores" worldwide, I imagine that there are other stores in the same cities as official Leica stores that offer slightly cheaper prices.

I am not one of their "target customers", and I don't really get involved in that whole business aspect, nor do I understand it fully and I am OK with that. I am more of a shooter and I am not willing to go into one of those stores and pay the prices that they are asking. I prefer to spend my money on traveling, film and good times.

cheers, michael

I was at Leica Store NYC the other day with my fiancee and a young Chinese couple was buying an enormous amount of gear (M-P 240 with evf, grip, case and thumbie, Noctilux and 35lux FLE in Silver, 90 APO cron, Oberworth bag).

Now I've owned these lenses but only after soul-search and haggling extensively for the best deals and going for demo copies...and certainly not paid NYC-level sales taxes for them.

With one of these sales a day I think official stores are going to do just fine...

Hern
06-23-2016, 11:09
I was at Leica Store NYC the other day with my fiancee and a young Chinese couple was buying an enormous amount of gear (M-P 240 with evf, grip, case and thumbie, Noctilux and 35lux FLE in Silver, 90 APO cron, Oberworth bag).

Now I've owned these lenses but only after soul-search and haggling extensively for the best deals and going for demo copies...and certainly not paid NYC-level sales taxes for them.

With one of these sales a day I think official stores are going to do just fine...

I wonder, will Leica stray too far from the path of providing good functional practical cameras for the photographer or will they resign themselves to mere producers of rich-people bling?

Then again, a rangefinder isn't the most practical camera to start with...

nongfuspring
06-23-2016, 11:46
I wonder, will Leica stray too far from the path of providing good functional practical cameras for the photographer or will they resign themselves to mere producers of rich-people bling?

Then again, a rangefinder isn't the most practical camera to start with...

I don't think functionality and bling appeal are mutually exclusive. Cost might be proportional to luxury but luxury is arbitrary to practicality.

I've seen a lot of Leicas lately, all of them touted by young Chinese with mainland accents at tourist sites. I would imagine the demographic has changed a lot. Yet to see anyone actually take a photo with one.

Doug
06-23-2016, 11:47
Interesting, Michael, thanks for your observations. Good to think the young ladies will learn their new gear and make some photos.

Before this week I'd not been in a Leica store, though I've bought online from Leica Store Miami. This past Monday, however, I found my way to the Leica Store in an upscale suburb of Seattle, next door to the Apple Store. Interestingly, it looked just like Kuuan's pics of the Bangkok store!

I had some gear for them to send to New Jersey for service, and they were helpful and surprisingly knowledgeable about the technology, more detailed than usual for salesfolk.

Huss
06-23-2016, 11:58
In Los Angeles the Leica Store has the same prices as the regular camera stores, but it is a much nicer experience, with very friendly staff who know what they are talking about and will bend over backwards to help.

David Hughes
06-23-2016, 13:34
I wonder, will Leica stray too far from the path of providing good functional practical cameras for the photographer or will they resign themselves to mere producers of rich-people bling?

Then again, a rangefinder isn't the most practical camera to start with...

Hi,

It's the other way round; the rich people's bling becomes the good functional camera for the photographer about 6 months to a year later on. Well, that's how I get mine and it's a system that works even better six years after the rich buy them.

Regards, David

Bille
06-23-2016, 14:32
It is a rare thing here to see young people interested in "real cameras"... I only wish things here were similar with excitement as shown in your image.

That image looks completely staged to me.

Huss
06-23-2016, 15:18
Hi,

It's the other way round; the rich people's bling becomes the good functional camera for the photographer about 6 months to a year later on. Well, that's how I get mine and it's a system that works even better six years after the rich buy them.

Regards, David

You're welcome David!

:p

jaapv
01-16-2017, 16:26
Didn't anybody notice that they were holding those cameras properly? I'd say good luck to them. If I were younger I would be asking for telephone numbers.