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View Full Version : Leica owners are just showing off!


Roger Hicks
04-22-2010, 12:45
To whom? Who is going to be impressed by "I own a....'?

Most people don't even know what a Leica is. Of those who do, relatively few care, or realize how much new ones cost. Very few can tell an old one from a new one. If you're rich enough that a Leica is a plaything, you're not going to be impressed, even if you do know and care.

Do they buy it to impress people at their local camera clubs? How many even belong to a local camera club? If they do, how many care what the others think? Or would spend thousands just to impress them?

Maybe you can pretend to show off on line, but as most people hide behind pseudonyms, they could just as easily lie. And who would care anyway?

Of course there are lots of really incompetent Leica photographers. And incompetent Nikon and Zorkii and Canon and Yashica photographers. And? Being able to afford a Leica doesn't automatically make someone a bad photographer, any more than it makes them a good one.

So who are the intended targets of these smug rich bar stewards who want to boast about their Leicas? Whom do they hope to impress? The more I think about it, the more this puzzles me. EDIT: To clarify, I'm not sure they exist, at least in significant numbers. But I am sure that surprisingly many people think they exist. Why?

Cheers,

R.

bwcolor
04-22-2010, 12:51
Don't you think that the smart smug folks have moved on to brag about the latest digital gear. After all, the few folks that can even identify that the camera around your neck is film based are smart enough to know that you are an idiot retrograde for shooting film.

Most of the I own this and that on this site seems to just be more of a shared enthusiasm for the hobby and the intrinsic beauty of the tools of the trade.

Having said that, many here do earn respect for their abilities/talents as seen in their images and others through their knowledge and willingness to teach others.

Roger Hicks
04-22-2010, 13:03
Is someone been "rattling your cage" Roger.:D

Not sure. Actually it seems to me that standards of civility in this forum are (broadly) going up rather than down. It just struck me that addressing this one question in a dedicated thread might be more interesting than submerging it in the "What is it worth to you?" thread (among others, where it is sometimes the elephant in the room).

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
04-22-2010, 13:05
I've been using a Leica and have been stopped by a few that recognize it. One was in Williamsburg, by a gentleman probably in his mid 60s. "Oh! A Leica M3!, I have one of those!" I asked him where was it, as he was using a Digital Point and Shoot. "Oh, at home. It's too nice to use".

He did not impress me.

batterytypehah!
04-22-2010, 13:35
Gosh, not a question that's been keeping me awake at night but since you asked, I can think of two scenarios:

They like the act of buying, and the attention they get from the dealer. Preferably in a real store in Manhattan or Tokyo or Berlin. If they stoop so low as to buy on Ebay, why then of course it needs a CLA with all the bells and whistles. Read, buyer needs his ego pampered by technician.

My other theory is that many times, having the money and inclination to show off with a Leica is one thing, and realizing how few people know and care is quite another. They may think their consumption is conspicuous, but it's not!

FrankS
04-22-2010, 13:44
There seem to me to be some people who, in a form of reverse snobbery, assign the motivation to buy a Leica to a desire to show off. This is off the mark in my opinion, because there are many much more conspicious purchases that could be made which draw greater attention to the buyer than a Leica. As stated, most others do not even know what a Leica is.

shimokita
04-22-2010, 13:45
Questions of this ilk are sometimes cause for self examination, as in "why did I purchase my Leica". And to be frank, not many would admit to being being a show-off. Pride of ownership maybe or self satisfaction etc. Is it a matter of the high end goods driving excessive consumerism?

Of course, if it can be afforded, why not use what is available at the higher end of the quality spectrum and many live by the creed that "a few good items is a more appropriate choice than many items of lesser quality". Maybe in this we are speaking about the average joe, not either end of the bell curve. It's easy enough to get emotional about the excess of some of the boys and girls on Wall Street with their deep pockets.

Self examination can be a good thing for the individual and it also adds bricks to the shared emotional medium - "we are in this together and/or I am just one of the boys".

To paraphrase Carlos Ruiz Zafon, "[photography], at least good [phogography], is science tempered with the blood of art. Like architecture or music." From which I understand that (a) since there are at least two elements (science and art), some technique/tools are required and (b) our choice of activity is also a shared activity that by nature is viewed by others. In photography (as in other activities) there will be excess. Self examination is a positive (required and deeply appreciated) activity... good, great, next...

Casey

bobkonos
04-22-2010, 13:45
Hmm...the more I think about this thread the more it puzzles me. Since when is it a crime to enjoy owning something and sharing that joy? I do it all the time, with my cameras (yes, many are Leicas) and my bicycles. I do not care if my friends or strangers "get it", but I am always greeted with a smile and appreciation that I appreciate these objects. But ultimately my photography is what they discuss at my exhibits, which is great, too. Apprently Roger, "your mileage may vary."

Roger Hicks
04-22-2010, 13:46
Gosh, not a question that's been keeping me awake at night but since you asked, I can think of two scenarios:

They like the act of buying, and the attention they get from the dealer. Preferably in a real store in Manhattan or Tokyo or Berlin. If they stoop so low as to buy on Ebay, why then of course it needs a CLA with all the bells and whistles. Read, buyer needs his ego pampered by technician.

My other theory is that many times, having the money and inclination to show off with a Leica is one thing, and realizing how few people know and care is quite another. They may think their consumption is conspicuous, but it's not!

This is entirely possible. Frightening, isn't it, that someone as stupid as that can earn enough money to consume (as they hope) conspicuously. The first scenario is depressingly possible too. Thanks for two great analyses!

Cheers,

R.

johannielscom
04-22-2010, 13:48
Never got this.

I feel I have some pretty nice gear (I'm on the verge of sharing what it is here) but it's mostly taped up as to not attract any attention when shooting.

Tonight I stripped the old vulcanite off my IIIa and after reading this I might just put gaffer tape on that as well, instead of that sweet brown goat skin cameraleather.com sells...

Dave Wilkinson
04-22-2010, 13:50
Maybe you can pretend to show off on line, but as most people hide behind pseudonyms, they could just as easily lie. And who would care anyway?



R. I believe that on line there is a lot of showing off, bragging and airing of alleged knowledge, and it is pretty pointless when we are never going to meet the majority of people we are addressing and attempting to impress.

Roger Hicks
04-22-2010, 13:53
Hmm...the more I think about this thread the more it puzzles me. Since when is it a crime to enjoy owning something and sharing that joy? I do it all the time, with my cameras (yes, many are Leicas) and my bicycles. I do not care if my friends or strangers "get it", but I am always greeted with a smile and appreciation that I appreciate these objects. But ultimately my photography is what they discuss at my exhibits, which is great, too. Apprently Roger, "your mileage may vary."
Dear Bob,

That's my point. You don't buy them just to show off. My suggestion is that hardly anyone does, and that those who accuse Leica owners of doing so have a curious and ultimately indefensible agenda of their own. Most people buy them to take pictures with, and whether they're good or bad photographers is irrelevant.

Cheers,

R.

Doug
04-22-2010, 13:54
Roger, have you just run into one-too-many smug rich snobs? I rarely encounter any myself; where are you finding them?

I think most folks with a little familiarity with the name often assume anything that resembles a Leica may be a Leica, and I've had people ask me if my Hexar RF is a Leica. And assume my M8 is a film camera and therefore passé, and I don't disabuse them of that. I tend to be reticent in discussiing all this unless the other party is clearly well-informed.

Now a richly-dressed guy in a bar knocking back a few with a Leica S2 over his shoulder in prominent view... I don't know who would be impressed except by the cost, if only they knew. I ran into a gent yesterday who owns one but he didn't have it with him.

In this same vein, a professional landscape photographer mentioned that he usually covers his camera nameplates with black tape. He made the interesting point that this usually deflects curiosity about the gear, so in speaking with others in the field the conversation then goes toward photographic matters instead.

J. Borger
04-22-2010, 13:55
I only want to impress myself. Holding a very good and beautiful camera that also is a joy to use in my hands makes me feel good. Just as looking at a Tag Heuer or Breitling watch 30 times a day to verify time. Yes i know: a Seiko would also do but looking at it would not make me happy ;).

retow
04-22-2010, 13:56
"One does not show off......". A very European concept, rooted in history of Socialism.

Steve Bellayr
04-22-2010, 14:00
Roger,
Don't be so negative. People know a good camera from a p&s even if they do not approach you. They may not be able to articulate the price but they know the quality.

David 11084
04-22-2010, 14:01
"stooping so low as to buy on Ebay." Outrageous! I did and use a 1A because of intrigue, romance, history and the characterful pictures I sometimes get. I love that it is a Leica but it isn't badged as such and I love the quizzical looks that I get but would still use it if I didn't. Without Ebay I couldn't have afforded it (and yes, I am aware of the pitfalls of using this auction site).
Outrageous!
David

Roger Hicks
04-22-2010, 14:01
Roger, have you just run into one-too-many smug rich snobs? I rarely encounter any myself; where are you finding them?

Dear Doug,

The opposite, rather.

I often hear, "Leica owners just want to show off," but I've never understood how they are supposed to do this, and only very, very seldom have I met anyone who boasted about any brand of camera -- though our biology lab tech at school in the '60s was inordinately proud of his Praktica.

This is why I wanted to find out where these 'Leica snobs' are trying to impress people. Like you, I almost never meet any. Yes, I've occasionally met rich twits with Leicas (or Hasseblads, or Canons, or...) but (a) they'd be rich twits with any camera or with no camera and (b) except at camera clubs I've never seen anyone trying to impress anyone else with his camera.

Cheers,

R.

sevo
04-22-2010, 14:04
Most people don't even know what a Leica is. Of those who do, relatively few care, or realize how much new ones cost. Very few can tell an old one from a new one. If you're rich enough that a Leica is a plaything, you're not going to be impressed, even if you do know and care.

The same goes for many other prestige fetishes. Few people know the difference between a real expensive watch and a $20 imitation. Even if you own a real one, chances are that you'll be counted among the gazillion of plebeians with an imitation picked up on vacation at some Thai street market.

Nonetheless people do buy them - and positively not for their timekeeping quality (any $10 radio controlled watch beats them by magnitudes). I guess some people do love solipsistic showing off merely for the purpose of impressing themselves...

Sevo

Steve Bellayr
04-22-2010, 14:06
Let me clarify one more thing: High quality camera does not guarantee quality results but demonstrates that people are serious about their experience. I don't think people are showing off as much as pride of ownership. It is not the very wealthy that are showing off their objects but middle class people who are saying: I am serious. I have invested a large part of myself into this experience.

kshapero
04-22-2010, 14:14
The only type of folks that comment on my rigs are butt crack rednecks (by the way everyone is a Democrat here so I guess they are, too)at the mall who ask me why they can't see the photo after I take it and when I tell them I am shooting film they ask me, what is that? And I tell them its the latest new thing. So in this case, I am the damn snob and rather proud of it.

StillKicking
04-22-2010, 14:20
Dear Doug,

The opposite, rather.

I often hear, "Leica owners just want to show off," but I've never understood how they are supposed to do this, and only very, very seldom have I met anyone who boasted about any brand of camera -- though our biology lab tech at school in the '60s was inordinately proud of his Praktica.

This is why I wanted to find out where these 'Leica snobs' are trying to impress people. Like you, I almost never meet any. Yes, I've occasionally met rich twits with Leicas (or Hasseblads, or Canons, or...) but (a) they'd be rich twits with any camera or with no camera and (b) except at camera clubs I've never seen anyone trying to impress anyone else with his camera.

Cheers,

R.
I own a Leica Iii.. why? Because I enjoy using it. Simple really.

I bought it on a whim and at a fraction of the cost of my Nikon DSLR (which I use 90% of the time).

Dave Wilkinson
04-22-2010, 14:21
It's another kind of 'show off' that amuses me - like the man I encountered a year or so back, shooting architecture in the old part of my town with an ancient Zenith. He insisted on giving me a mini lecture on the foolishness of paying lots for a camera, and about how his was evey bit as good as my Nikkormat - all that was required, and that he had no time for camera clubs, because the idiots there could not understand this!.
Dave.

maggieo
04-22-2010, 14:27
I've only met two other Leica owners in person and both of them were really nice guys. One of them might have been wealthy, his coat was nice, and the other one was an ex-newspaper shooter like me who just likes the little buggers. On the rare occasions when someone has recognized that I have a Leica, I'm always mildly embarrassed, because they probably think I'm a dentist. ;)

Brian Sweeney
04-22-2010, 14:36
I was at a local Fall Festival, listening to a Scotsman in traditional garb playing the Bagpipes for a group of us. He sighted my camera, stopped, and came over to look at it. Told me his Father had always wanted one. The gentleman had at least 10 years on me, and suddenly I felt very old.

But he was impressed.

Renzsu
04-22-2010, 15:15
Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of proud of my Leica.. just that I have one and appreciate the quality of the thing :)

Showing off, well that would be silly, I prefer tshirts that are about to fall apart and my pants and shoes are often in worse state than what they send over to third world countries.. so who would I be kidding by showing off my camera :)

sjw617
04-22-2010, 15:20
use a 1A because of intrigue, romance, history and the characterful pictures I sometimes get.
The light tight box should not add character to your pictures, the lens yes.
I am wondering about the intrigue, romance and history part.

Steve

aizan
04-22-2010, 15:24
they're showing off to people who can't afford it, or can't justify the expense to themselves.

"being in the know" is also snobbish, and probably plays a part in covering up engravings and red dots with tape.

swoop
04-22-2010, 15:52
Most comments about my camera are about how old it is. Most people assume my M7, M8, M9 are 30-40 years old.

The next most frequent comment I get is that it's small. Hanging out in a press pool with a bunch of guys carrying D3's and 1Ds', the Leica seems like a toy. A lot of them like it. But most would never get over not having zooms and manual focusing. I had a girl from the Daily News and a guy from the New York Times taking turns holding my M8.

The least often comment I receive is from people who actually recognize a Leica and ask how I like it.

The most insulting comment I've ever received was covering some benefit dinner and the official event photographer had a Nikon D3. While I, working for the paper had my Leica M8. Some guy asked me to take his photo. And then when the event photographer walked by, he said "wow, that's a real camera, you take my picture." Ass.

Brian Sweeney
04-22-2010, 15:56
I was at an event with my M3 and Collapsible 9cm f4 Summicron. The official event photographer walked up to me, knew the Leica name, but asked about the lens. He liked it, thought it must be a "rare collectible". No- just old, and a great user.

nobbylon
04-22-2010, 16:02
I think most of us Leica users probably spend more time trying to be invisible with their cameras rather than showing them off. A lot of people apparently even tape over the name and any red dots:)
I only personally know one other person who uses one, my mate Ben, a pro fashion (mainly) photog.
When people at work see me taking pics with mine they always ask when i'm going to get a new camera! does it take good pics they ask? Maybe a couple of the guys have heard of them but no one gives it a second thought.
The only person who recognised I was using one was the local newspaper photog at my son's school fete, who just said it was nice to see someone still using one. Apart from us on here I don't think anyone knows or cares what camera you're using. As far as showing off goes, I don't think even on here people are. We all know what they cost, there's a few on here with some nice expensive glass and some nice black paint M2's, 3's etc but I think when pics of gear or discussions on high end desirable stuff is posted it's always done as informative and as reference. We learn by our own experiences and through the information given by others. If I was (and i'm not) looking for say a Noctilux then I would ask on here for opinion as to which to try out. Does it then mean that those that reply through ownership are showing off by giving opinion? of course not. Even collectors are not usually show offs as they are actually only satisfying themselves by having desirable objects.
I remember a poster on here from Hong Kong who had a serious collection of Leica and some Nikon. Can't remember his rff name, sorry. Was he showing off when he posted pics of his collection? No, he was sharing his enjoyment and passion with a bunch of people who could appreciate it.

kermaier
04-22-2010, 16:05
Someone once approached and asked me if the camera I was using was a Leica. When I said "no, but the lens is", he lost interest. Go figure.

Ari

CameraQuest
04-22-2010, 16:16
SOME Leica owners probably do try to show off their cameras when shooting or carrying them.

That just doesn't work too often because most people just don't recognize what a Leica is or recognize it as a status symbol.

Stephen

elmer3.5
04-22-2010, 16:22
Hi,

After having m3, m4, m6, m7, iii-f and iii-g, i just kept the latter (the best one), i´m better off with the minolta cle and zeiss zi than with the Ms.

Only because it`s digital i purchased an M8.

Many times, ladies asked me about my camera bieng a leica, but at the same time other kind of people, less charming, left me in peace with my cle and zeiss.

Bye

Juan Valdenebro
04-22-2010, 16:52
Most comments about my camera are about how old it is. Most people assume my M7, M8, M9 are 30-40 years old.

The next most frequent comment I get is that it's small. Hanging out in a press pool with a bunch of guys carrying D3's and 1Ds', the Leica seems like a toy. A lot of them like it. But most would never get over not having zooms and manual focusing. I had a girl from the Daily News and a guy from the New York Times taking turns holding my M8.

The least often comment I receive is from people who actually recognize a Leica and ask how I like it.

The most insulting comment I've ever received was covering some benefit dinner and the official event photographer had a Nikon D3. While I, working for the paper had my Leica M8. Some guy asked me to take his photo. And then when the event photographer walked by, he said "wow, that's a real camera, you take my picture." Ass.

That's what 99,99% of people and photographers think... A real shame sometimes...

Juan Valdenebro
04-22-2010, 16:52
My opinion is very few people buy a Leica to show off, but perhaps there are some... (They are not on RFF...)


And those buying a Leica because they know -as good photographers- it's a great camera and also a very durable one, are just a few too... (They are on RFF...)


What I think -but I may be wrong- is that a certainly more crowded category is that of those amateur photographers who never became good from a technical point of view, those who never made outstanding photographs with cheaper equipment, so they buy more expensive gear trying to get better images... (They're all around...)


Honestly -no cinism here- I respect all of them (because we all like good photographs and nice cameras) even those snobs who shot just three rolls in 30 years with their M3, M6 and MP, and almost never used their M8 and today feel happy with their M9... In the other hand, about those making great photographs with any camera...I love them!


Cheers,


Juan

JohnnyT
04-22-2010, 16:56
Show off ?

Yeah, so what ? :)

When we have something we care, we can use it the way we want... For me, it's to use it and having fun. But, anyway, very few person in Montreal knows what is that black and chrome heavy thing around my neck...

I'm not impress when I see another Leica, it's just curiosity...

JohnTF
04-22-2010, 20:51
Years ago when I worked at a serious camera shop, there was a much greater difference in equipment between the haves and have-nots. I used a Pentax and a Rolleiflex, both purchased used, after a lot of saving, or many small payments, truly in the middle when most people really shot a few rolls a year with a Brownie.

There were a number of well to do folks, and others who craved the status of owning the most expensive equipment, and I knew several who carried Hasselblads and Leicas as accessories , almost always in their never ready cases around their neck. Some sported a Minox on its chain.

They rarely shot any photos, certainly knew little about photography, and some formed clubs where they would shoot the odd roll of a model hired for the club, essentially for the opportunity to see a nude woman.

Since, there certainly has been an explosion overall in serious interest in photography, with the cost of very good cameras and lenses dropping relative to folks' incomes, allowing almost anyone to obtain results limited by their talent, not equipment.

Lots of those early expensive cameras came back to the shop as trade ins years later, often in the original boxes, never used and shutters slow.

Today, there are so many cameras everywhere, the status symbol camera of note to most people might be the iPhone. ;-)

Average people today do not even recognize what we appreciate as classic gems, especially if it does not record video and download MP3 files.

Through all of this, the pros of journalism and commercial photography danced to their own tunes, a very small percentage of the whole of popular photography by the masses, who most likely would see a significant investment in a camera as an excessive waste of money, and truly did not want a camera they had to "set".

Regards, John

Doug
04-22-2010, 22:37
John, I too worked in a serious camera shop, in my case part-time in the mid-1960's. I'm put in mind of one youngish man who benefitted from a sizable inheritance, so he drove various fancy cars, dressed well, and fancied himself a photographer. With the best equipment of course, and I could sympathize with that, as then one is talent-limited rather than gear-limited.

He was perceptive enough to see his results were not up to expectations with the current kit, so he would trade the whole thing in on, say, a Hasselblad kit with the right selection of lenses and accessories, all in a nice fitted case. He would shoot with it, get guidance from the store owners who were both pro-level photogs, but ultimately the kit didn't suit him and he'd trade it all in on, say, a complete Leica M kit. And so it went, and the store made a pile of money from him. He liked the best, and swaggered a bit over it, but sadly the gear never brought the joy he was after.

He was a pretty decent guy; the most annoying were the USAF aircrews from the airbase who came in to "shop" and get expert suggestions on what gear would suit them best, and get to handle it at leisure. Then a few weeks later they'd stop in and tell us what a great price they'd gotten that very gear for on the latest trip to Taiwan or Tokyo.

sara
04-22-2010, 23:01
Erm, I bought a Leica because:

1. It was a confirmation to everyone that I was serious about photography and that I was going to do it till the end.

2. It was the first big thing I spent on with my own earnings; I was saving for at least half a year.

3. When I take photos, I never tell people which camera I use. If they do ask, I just say "oh, and SLR or a rangefinder"

but it's just the same as those who spend loads on super long lenses and very expensive digital stuff and shove it at your face (especially amateurs) and go "HEY LOOK I HAVE A DIGITAL CAMERA IMMA PRO NOW INNIT".

Not.

parsec1
04-22-2010, 23:35
Hi Roger,
Over at Stansted airport Wenesday photographing returning stranded travellers.
Weights a bit of a problem now carryng loads of metal. Heaved a D700, a 70-200 2,8 and a 24mm in pocket.....and a Leica with black tape over the logo's with a 28.28.

D700 'packed up' after about 20 frames.
Thank the Gods for the Leica !

Everybody asumed I was a pro because of the D700 and the frackin (Apologies for the BSG expletives but INMH opinion the best Sci Fi TV show since JLB invented 'The Tube' ) great 70-200 with that huge lenshood.
Nobody really noticed the Leica but maybe the might have seen the published pictures from it next morning.
Very Best,
Peter

nobbylon
04-22-2010, 23:39
Peter,
why did the D700 pack up? Sorry, I know it's off topic but i'm interested,
regards john

Roger Hicks
04-22-2010, 23:54
Nice little story from a Fleet Street friend:

He was shooting a scene-of-crime (or aftermath-of-crime) pic, one of six or eight press photographers there. The policemen said, "Why haven't you got a proper camera like those other blokes?"

There was a long silence, then one of the other blokes said, "Because he bought it himself. We'd love it if the newspapers allowed us to use them too, instead of insisting on these bloody things." (waving a huge SLR).

He was one of the first to buy an M9, too. But then, something like 16 out of 20 of his various press awards have been won with Leicas.

@Sara: Point 2: Nice story.

@ John and Doug: Yes, in the 50s and 60s, the gulf between good kit and lesser kit was far greater. I think it began to close fast in the late 60s.

@ Peter: Nah, you were just showing off... Seriously, it always amuses me that the Leica is simultaneously held up as unobtrusive (which I've always found it to be), and derided as ostentatious. As noted below, some people seem just to WANT to be offended by Leicas.

@ Aizan: but how are they showing off? Who actually notices these cameras? Sure, there are people who would like a Leica but can't afford one, and happen to notice that someone else is carrying one, but these people are vanishingly rare, and it's more a case of their thinking the Leica owner is showing off, when in fact he's just taking pictures. In other words, 'showng off' requires, to coin new words, a 'show-offer' (one who shows off) and a show-offee' (one who thinks they are being shown off to). My thesis is that the former are vanishingly rare while the latter are just waiting to be ofended by someone they think is showing off.

Another anecdote. A few years ago I at at a county fair. I'd not had the MP long, so it was unbrassed, and a kind friend had lent me his Noctilux because 'd always wanted to try one. In one room there was a photo exhibition and competition. Seeing I was carrying a camera (and presumably seeing what it was), the fellow in charge came over and asked if I'd like to enter the competition. I declined, because I've judged a few, and success is at least as much a matter of luck and the judges' whim as (aesthetic) image quality. You could practically hear him thinking, "Flash git! Probably never takes a picture in his life!"

Cheers,

R.

parsec1
04-23-2010, 00:11
Peter,
why did the D700 pack up? Sorry, I know it's off topic but i'm interested,
regards john

Hi John,
Took it round to Nikon in Richmond yesterday and they said their were some 'issues' with the battery pack. To their credit they fixed it straight away.
Had I have realized I would have removed it and carried on using the camera but you really don't have time to 'Frack about' with your gear in that sort of situation.
Regards'
Peter.

nobbylon
04-23-2010, 00:16
Hi John,
Took it round to Nikon in Richmond yesterday and they said their were some 'issues' with the battery pack. To their credit they fixed it straight away.
Had I have realized I would have removed it and carried on using the camera but you really don't have time to 'Frack about' with your gear in that sort of situation.
Regards'
Peter.

Thanks for the reply Peter. I'll reference that one in my head, just in case!
regards j

flip
04-23-2010, 00:34
I've been using a Leica and have been stopped by a few that recognize it.

...

He did not impress me.

Similar recent situation. I went to an evening Hanami party with M3 and 50/1.2 lens. Wasn't worried about the shots as I was concerned that my bulk roll film had problems and wanted to blow through a roll. A guy at the event accurately recognized the camera and went gaga. I figured that I'd encourage his interest and gave him the camera to shoot for a bit. Next week I developed the roll and not one of his shots showed any effort to focus. He said he wants an M3, but had no notion of how a rangefinder works. I guess he was happy to be wearing it. And that in spite of the fact that I'd stripped off the vulcanite. Go figure.

Personally, to the extent that I'm concerned about aesthetic, I'd rather the M3 internals fit into my Nicca. :p

yanidel
04-23-2010, 01:03
My suggestion is that hardly anyone does, and that those who accuse Leica owners of doing so have a curious and ultimately indefensible agenda of their own.
I think that is spot on. I have met a lot of Leica users here in Paris and 99% were passionates instead of people wanting to show off. And sincerely, if I want to show off on Les Champs-Elysées, a Porsche is not enough anymore, I would probably need a huge Bentley. So my Leica won't help ;)
More seriously, to show off, you need something that is recognized as premium good by most of your peers. A Leica does not fall in this category. It is unknown to most and its look actually causes the reverse effect (poor guy, can't buy a real camera).

historicist
04-23-2010, 01:40
I once got arrested in Japan because it turns out foreigners have to have their passports with them at all times.

Anyway, I got taken off to the police station by four plain clothes detectives, one sitting either side of me so I couldn't jump out of the police car, which was very exciting. They were asking me what I was doing walking around, and found it a bit hard to believe a tourist would spend a day strolling and taking photos.

They asked me if I was taking pictures of military bases (seriously! this was in the middle of Fukushima city) and were very disappointed that my Leica didn't have a screen on the back to check. They then proceeded to tell me my camera was out of date and I should buy a new one, one of the detectives went and got his 8 megapixel Casio point and shoot to recommend. I was very offended having spent all that money and not getting at least some recognition...

In Europe, in my experience a lot of people recognise a Leica, and most young people at least seem to think it's pretty cool.

oftheherd
04-23-2010, 02:03
Dear Doug,

The opposite, rather.

I often hear, "Leica owners just want to show off," but I've never understood how they are supposed to do this, and only very, very seldom have I met anyone who boasted about any brand of camera -- though our biology lab tech at school in the '60s was inordinately proud of his Praktica.

This is why I wanted to find out where these 'Leica snobs' are trying to impress people. Like you, I almost never meet any. Yes, I've occasionally met rich twits with Leicas (or Hasseblads, or Canons, or...) but (a) they'd be rich twits with any camera or with no camera and (b) except at camera clubs I've never seen anyone trying to impress anyone else with his camera.

Cheers,

R.

I note a lot of people here in RFF talking about their Leicas with apparent pride. Pride of ownership isn't a bad thing. Some do seem to speak out of al little more than just pride of ownership of a great tool. That may or not be from snobbery. I have commented many times that I don't own a Leica, and doubt I ever will. I can't afford most bodies, and fewer lenses. I don't mind. I am proud of what I have.

And there I have to take exception to your comment Mr. Hicks. I have often bragged about my Fujica ST 901 and my Fujinon lenses. Unfortunately, most here in RFF don't appreciate the ST 901. In 35 years, it has yet to fail me. I expect it will some day, but not yet. So I brag about owning one. For those of you who only have Leicas to brag about, I am sorry. :D

parsec1
04-23-2010, 02:16
Roger,
Heaven knows what some might think of many of Magnums photographers who use maybe 3 Leicas at a time and they ain't exactly known for producing 'rubbish' . Although I fully understand that this is not a professional forum the ' buzz' of leaving a 'Fleet St Newspaper office at 2 am with a copy of the paper under your arm with your picture and byeline on the front page shot with your Leica was allways more than enough for me.
Peter

parsec1
04-23-2010, 02:20
I note a lot of people here in RFF talking about their Leicas with apparent pride. Pride of ownership isn't a bad thing. Some do seem to speak out of al little more than just pride of ownership of a great tool. That may or not be from snobbery. I have commented many times that I don't own a Leica, and doubt I ever will. I can't afford most bodies, and fewer lenses. I don't mind. I am proud of what I have.

And there I have to take exception to your comment Mr. Hicks. I have often bragged about my Fujica ST 901 and my Fujinon lenses. Unfortunately, most here in RFF don't appreciate the ST 901. In 35 years, it has yet to fail me. I expect it will some day, but not yet. So I brag about owning one. For those of you who only have Leicas to brag about, I am sorry. :D
Not too sure about 35mm but their large format lenses are very well regarded indeed.

FrankHarries
04-23-2010, 02:32
Well, I must admit, that I am a pretty lousy photographer - only one or two pictures out of a roll of 36 exposures which I like (which doesn't mean that other skilled photographers like them too). And I have more cameras than I need. One of them is a Leica. My pictures don't get much better with it in comparison to pictures I take with other cameras. I tested one a few years ago which needed some CLA, but was pretty cheap in comparison to other offers. At that time I went to Leica - Solms to get an estimation, what the repair costs would be, got an answer taht was beyond my budget at that time. I posted a question in the Leica-forum about alternative repair-shops with may be moderate prices, thinking that there might be some difference in price, not in quality. The answer I got right away was like: "If you are not able to pay the CLA price Solms askes, you shouldn't buy a Leica. This is for people who can afford that!" I didn't buy the Leica then - not only because of the CLA price, but because of this reaction - a little over-emotional: but I didn't want to belong to a group of photographers, who identify gear with the status of a certain income. Well - there are a lot other people out there who understand the attraction not only to a brand, but the functionality, the haptic, the sound, the solidity which comes with something like a Leica (I also drive old metal Vespas, which are a lot slower than new ones, but which make me just smile even looking at them). Now using a Leica, beiing able to afford one, is a joy - I also enjoy peaple, who can also appreciate this excellent craftsmanship - and I stay away from those who try to get involved in price discussions or who want to but me in a corner, that only those are allowed to use gear like that, who's pictures are as good as some famous users.

Keith
04-23-2010, 02:46
I think Juan's comments before about amateur photographers choosing what they perceive as the best to make up for a lack of their own ability is true ... but it's also human nature! I don't have a problem with that behaviour and actually think it's fine.

As for a Leica being a status symbol for some people why not if that's their thing ... but the funny thing is the Leica camera itself is a pretty unassuming looking piece of gear and not really likely to attract much attention in public at all aside from other Leica users or people who have owned one at some time!

I had a lot of fun recently strolling around with my Crown Graphic hanging off the end of my arm ... now that really grabbed a few people's attention ... all for three hundred dollars! :D

Strangely I dont feel that comfortable walking around with a Leica M visible and tend to keep it shut away in the Domke until I'm actually ready to use it.

04-23-2010, 03:39
I read this thread with much interest.

Somewhat related is the whole Leica Mystique thing.

I sold off 5 of my Leicas this past week, advertising in a local camera forum. All 5 were snapped up within the day of the listing. The Leicaflex SL took another 48 hours before it was sold off.

My Olympus 35SP only got one enquiry, and not even a serious one. That was 72 hours ago.

Prof Robert Ciadini who wrote a book about persuasion wrote that people could be persuaded to buy something simply because it was scarce.

Face it, everyone wants to own a Leica. Even if they can't tell the difference between a IIIC or CL or SL or C3 P&S. The Leicas are so rare and precious that there is a certain mystique (and negative stereotype of Leica Owners) around it. Schadenfreude perhaps ?

raytoei

sjw617
04-23-2010, 03:52
And then when the event photographer walked by, he said "wow, that's a real camera, you take my picture." Ass.
Wow !! Sounds like he was complimenting you.

Steve

sjw617
04-23-2010, 03:59
Erm, I bought a Leica because:

1. It was a confirmation to everyone that I was serious about photography and that I was going to do it till the end.

2. It was the first big thing I spent on with my own earnings; I was saving for at least half a year.

3. When I take photos, I never tell people which camera I use. If they do ask, I just say "oh, and SLR or a rangefinder"

but it's just the same as those who spend loads on super long lenses and very expensive digital stuff and shove it at your face (especially amateurs) and go "HEY LOOK I HAVE A DIGITAL CAMERA IMMA PRO NOW INNIT".

Not.
Probably 99.99% of the world does not know what a Leica is, so it is not a confirmation to the world.
Not all digital users think there are more of a pro than someone who bought a Leica to impress the world,

Steve

Matt White
04-23-2010, 04:03
but the funny thing is the Leica camera itself is a pretty unassuming looking piece of gear and not really likely to attract much attention in public at all aside from other Leica users or people who have owned one at some time!

Yep, that's a real problem for us show-offs. Too many people just don't recognise the damn things. I find that making a little speech usually helps. Something along the following lines usually generates public attention and admiration:

'I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire thirty six shots or only thirty five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a 35mm Leica, the sharpest camera in the world, and is very unflattering to wrinkled faces, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?'

jsrockit
04-23-2010, 04:20
Only other camera geeks are impressed by Leicas. I even walk around NYC and see other people with Leicas and they don't give a crap about me and my Leica.

Nikon Bob
04-23-2010, 04:38
I tested one a few years ago which needed some CLA, but was pretty cheap in comparison to other offers. At that time I went to Leica - Solms to get an estimation, what the repair costs would be, got an answer taht was beyond my budget at that time. I posted a question in the Leica-forum about alternative repair-shops with may be moderate prices, thinking that there might be some difference in price, not in quality. The answer I got right away was like: "If you are not able to pay the CLA price Solms askes, you shouldn't buy a Leica. This is for people who can afford that!" I didn't buy the Leica then - not only because of the CLA price, but because of this reaction - a little over-emotional: but I didn't want to belong to a group of photographers, who identify gear with the status of a certain income.

When this sort of thing happens it does not take long for a group to get the reputation of being snobby. I have not met many Leica shooters in person but the few I have do not seem to be too snobby. A small number of people can ruin it for the whole group. Leica users are not the only ones capable of this sort of crap, I have seen this on forums dedicated to Nikon gear.

Bob

raydm6
04-23-2010, 04:45
I was recently stopped in the street by a nice gentleman (and fellow Leica owner as it turned out). We chatted a bit - cordially. No snobbishness or showing off detected on either side as we spoke casually about our cameras. I came away from the conversation as two Leica enthusiasts who enjoy casual picture-taking using wonderfully engineered equipment.

icebear
04-23-2010, 05:19
I don't think that there are too many people own a Leica or buy a Leica to "show off".
Last week on a vacation in Lisbon I only saw two other people shooting film. One had a Nikon FM anther a Canon AE-1. All others were carrying large digital SLR's with zooms and the shade mounted in storage position :D. I felt only one single time a person recognized my MP passing by with his girl friend because he was directing her to look. So with film nowadays you are totally old fashioned, no questiones asked. And basically no one recognizes a Leica, at least seriously too few people to use it as something to "show off". During the night in Paris we had to stay because of the no fly zone over Europe and after a 15hrs train trip and 11hrs by bus from Lisbon to Paris, I was walking around there and obviously it takes an Aston Martin pushing the pedal to the metal at a traffic light to make some heads turning, no one cared about my M3 - I didn't mind though;). I hope some pics of the 17 rolls I shot, will come out nicely and these I will show off after scanning :D.

jonmanjiro
04-23-2010, 05:32
I once got arrested in Japan because it turns out foreigners have to have their passports with them at all times.

Anyway, I got taken off to the police station by four plain clothes detectives, one sitting either side of me so I couldn't jump out of the police car, which was very exciting. They were asking me what I was doing walking around, and found it a bit hard to believe a tourist would spend a day strolling and taking photos.

They asked me if I was taking pictures of military bases (seriously! this was in the middle of Fukushima city) and were very disappointed that my Leica didn't have a screen on the back to check. They then proceeded to tell me my camera was out of date and I should buy a new one, one of the detectives went and got his 8 megapixel Casio point and shoot to recommend. I was very offended having spent all that money and not getting at least some recognition...

In Europe, in my experience a lot of people recognise a Leica, and most young people at least seem to think it's pretty cool.

Truly bizzare story. Fukushima is not exactly a big city, so maybe the police didn't have anything to do that day other than hassle a foreigner...

Steve M.
04-23-2010, 05:33
I've certainly checked myself in the mirror before heading out to see how the camera looks. Stupid, but I have worse habits believe me. Let's face it, if we're talking about M3's or other silver cameras (black ones blend in) they ARE pretty, and rare to see on the streets. People generally do notice them. They may or may not know exactly what they are, but they know they aren't normal cameras. Fellow photographers go to these types like bees to a flower, unless they're the DSLR zoom crowd, who probably think they're quaint. That's the really fun part, when someone who has a DSLR in their hand peers at your gear and walks off w/o a comment if they see it's a Bessa R that LOOKED like a Leica.

And have you ever noticed how the DSLR shooters hold their cameras? Either clutched tightly by the lens at all times, or w/ their arm over it to shield it from view? Are they afraid someone is gonna see it says CANON and run over there and grab it? Makes you just want to slap them. Then they go to their cars and you get to listen to their alarm go off for ages, then when they get out of their yuppie SUV you get to hear the alarm again. If they're out w/ their kids, they clutch them tight and look around like they're sizing up everyone as a kidnapper or something. Those people seem to live their entire lives about acquiring something, then live in constant fear some one will take it away. Miserable way to live if you ask me.

I've been fortunate to strike up a lot of friendly conversations when out and about, and it isn't only Leicas. Use a folder or a TLR and you'll attract attention, and usually smiles. People in general really like them. As for trying to disguise my gear so no one recognizes it, it seems like a real waste of time. Hey, it's an old heavy camera w/ sharp edges. Just whack someone w/ it if they try to steal it, which by the way has never happened to me in any city. That generally happens when people leave them in cars.

Keith
04-23-2010, 05:35
I think a lot of people buy a Leica purely out of curiosity ... just to see what all the fuss is about! A percenatge of them will sell them again without ever really puting them to any serious use. There's been a fair few M8s go through the classifieds with only a couple of hundred acuations on them and you have to ask yourself why did they buy the things in the first place?

rbsinto
04-23-2010, 05:51
To whom? Who is going to be impressed by "I own a....'?

Most people don't even know what a Leica is. Of those who do, relatively few care, or realize how much new ones cost. Very few can tell an old one from a new one. If you're rich enough that a Leica is a plaything, you're not going to be impressed, even if you do know and care.

Do they buy it to impress people at their local camera clubs? How many even belong to a local camera club? If they do, how many care what the others think? Or would spend thousands just to impress them?

Maybe you can pretend to show off on line, but as most people hide behind pseudonyms, they could just as easily lie. And who would care anyway?

Of course there are lots of really incompetent Leica photographers. And incompetent Nikon and Zorkii and Canon and Yashica photographers. And? Being able to afford a Leica doesn't automatically make someone a bad photographer, any more than it makes them a good one.

So who are the intended targets of these smug rich bar stewards who want to boast about their Leicas? Whom do they hope to impress? The more I think about it, the more this puzzles me. EDIT: To clarify, I'm not sure they exist, at least in significant numbers. But I am sure that surprisingly many people think they exist. Why?

Cheers,

R.


I've read and re-read this post a couple of times, and don't for the life of me understand what point you are trying to make.
Leica???? Who cares anyway.
It is not now, nor has it ever been about what you've got, but only about what you do with it that counts.
To quote Mendelson Joe, a very wise Canadian,
"The name of the game is results. Not Schmaltz"

Juan Valdenebro
04-23-2010, 06:04
I've read and re-read this post a couple of times, and don't for the life of me understand what point you are trying to make.
Leica???? Who cares anyway.
It is not now, nor has it ever been about what you've got, but only about what you do with it that counts.
To quote Mendelson Joe, a very wise Canadian,
"The name of the game is results. Not Schmaltz"

What Roger says clearly, is that it makes no sense thinking people use Leicas to show off, because almost no one apart from the owner can distinguish them from bad cameras. An opinion most of us around here share...

Cheers,

Juan

gns
04-23-2010, 06:21
If nobody buys them to show off, what's with "Hermes Edition" and such?
Is that just a stealth version for the jet set crowd?

Cheers,
Gary

Keith
04-23-2010, 06:26
Well no one needs a Jag or a Beemer to do the shopping or drop the kids off at school ... but I see plenty of both brands in supermarket car parks and drop off areas at the local schools! :p

People with money like to spend it ... and advertise the fact that they can!

oftheherd
04-23-2010, 06:29
Not too sure about 35mm but their large format lenses are very well regarded indeed.

I have the sense that their bayonet mount 35mm lenses weren't quite up to the quality of the M42 mount lenses. I'm not sure why. It may be that I read some reviews back in the day. I have a couple in bayoney mount that I intend to test and see. They don't feel as well built, but may be optically as good.

But their M42 mount lenses were quite good. I realize part of it is that it may be not as many were made as say Nikon or Canon, but you will have a hard time finding them today, at least on ebay. And when you do, they don't go cheap. I have a hard time justify buying them now. Of course part of that is that I have a 135mm, 35mm, two 50mm, and a 28mm, as well as a 50mm macro. But I would like a 24mm or the 19mm. I just can't afford them.

Keith
04-23-2010, 06:30
What is the Leica "equipment`s level" ?


Somewhere between point and shoot and large format! :D

maddoc
04-23-2010, 06:39
Somewhere between point and shoot and large format! :D

Great ! Then I can continue showing off ! :D

nobbylon
04-23-2010, 06:44
I think a lot of people buy a Leica purely out of curiosity ... just to see what all the fuss is about! A percenatge of them will sell them again without ever really puting them to any serious use. There's been a fair few M8s go through the classifieds with only a couple of hundred acuations on them and you have to ask yourself why did they buy the things in the first place?

I agree Keith and my original kit a Bessa R2 was a purchase out of curiosity to see whether I actually liked using them after I'd got used to my Leica R4 and R8. I foolishly:bang: picked up an M6 in a shop just to look at, big mistake for my wallet as I just had to have one. Quite a few down the road now along with some nice glass. Left, sold up, went D700 and then came back and finished up with what I actually use along side all my film and digi Nikons. If you love taking pictures then it's likely at some point you'll want to try them. It's not showing off, it's an appreciation of something so simple yet beautifully engineered which accepts some great lenses and ultimately has rewarded me with some, I think, great pics. Same could be said for my Nikon F's though!

wgerrard
04-23-2010, 06:49
It isn't unusual for people who suddenly come into a lot of money to purchase a lot of high-end items. I'm sure Leica sold, and sells, many cameras to that market. Whether or not going on that kind of spending spree is showing off is, i think, a matter of perspective.

I agree with Roger that the Leica name is widely unrecognized outside photographic circles. That means that carrying one is a poor way to show off, since photographers won't be impressed, and everyone else won't have a clue.

Two people have recognized a Leica in my hand. A few others have remarked on the "old" camera. The latter seemed most interested that I was using film.

dazedgonebye
04-23-2010, 06:58
For pure show off value, I find a Polaroid Land 250 can't be beat. I actually had a car of college kids stop to comment how cool old school is (on a college campus).
I agree with others who have said that a Leica only has show off appeal to other photogs and a small group of others. Certainly, it's a poor investment if that is your intent.

I understand they can be made to take pretty decent pictures by some people though.

rbsinto
04-23-2010, 06:58
What Roger says clearly, is that it makes no sense thinking people use Leicas to show off, because almost no one apart from the owner can distinguish them from bad cameras. An opinion most of us around here share...

Cheers,

Juan

I've never seriously questioned peoples motives for using any particular brand of equipment (other than gooning my Canon-using photobuds) or photographic format, and frankly don't see how it is anyone else's business anyway, so on a personal level, I still don't "get" the original post. It's not something I've ever given even a moments thought.

"Everybody does what they do.
I do what I do. You do what you do. And he does what he does."
RBSinTo's Law

telemetre
04-23-2010, 07:04
Like the other said, my guess is that, the number of people buying Leicas just to show off would be small. And these people probably would be quite unsuccessful at showing off.

As much as I like my Leica, I find it hard to understand why anyone would think they can impress others with something which is mass produced, especially with a camera.

micromontenegro
04-23-2010, 07:12
I must live in a different world than most here, because I find that the Leica brand is very recognizable, even between the non-photogs. Hollywood filmmakers and such seem to agree, as they often try to portay "artsy", "classy" or even "adventurous" roles as Leica users. Big Fish, Blood Diamonds and the Chanel No. 5 add come to mind. They producers of such didn't pick Leicas because they were incospicious- quite the opposite, they picked them to make a statement about the characters. And I do think there are some Leica users out there that do the same. I woulnd't call it showing off, but "making a statement".

On a personal note, I find it almost impossible to use any rangefinder during a whole day without someone asking "Is that a Leica?" Which nowadays is not, as I don't own Leicas anymore for the time being.

furcafe
04-23-2010, 07:25
I think there are people who buy/own Leicas to "show off" (not that there's anything inherently wrong with showing off) & impress people, but the intended audience is the small world of other Leica snobs, a subset of the slightly larger universe of brand-conscious camera gearheads/nerds/ geeks, or the slightly larger still subset of photographers & non-photographers who don't know much about Leicas but recognize them as "serious" cameras, not the general public. I put those folks in their place by carrying something truly rare & cool, like an Ektra or Foton, not some commonplace tool like an M3. ;) Like micromontenegro, I get quite a few people who assume any old RF camera is a Leica, but I enjoy taking the opportunity to correct & bore the hell out of them by pointing out that there were other companies that made nice RFs.

As a photographer who also happens to be a collector, I'm personally more annoyed by the reverse snobs, fortunately of an equally small #, who look down on any shooter who cares or talks about gear, no matter the brand, as if that somehow makes them a bad photographer.

Sparrow
04-23-2010, 07:38
I wonder if train-spotters have an elite brand of notebook they argue about? Obviously they would all use the blue series Lakeland H2 compound pencil …


;)

furcafe
04-23-2010, 07:40
Don't know about train-spotters, but there is a whole world of Moleskine afficionados.

I wonder if train-spotters have an elite brand of notebook they argue about? Obviously they would all use the blue series Lakeland H2 compound pencil …


;)

parsec1
04-23-2010, 07:48
I must live in a different world than most here, because I find that the Leica brand is very recognizable, even between the non-photogs. Hollywood filmmakers and such seem to agree, as they often try to portay "artsy", "classy" or even "adventurous" roles as Leica users. Big Fish, Blood Diamonds and the Chanel No. 5 add come to mind. They producers of such didn't pick Leicas because they were incospicious- quite the opposite, they picked them to make a statement about the characters. And I do think there are some Leica users out there that do the same. I woulnd't call it showing off, but "making a statement".

On a personal note, I find it almost impossible to use any rangefinder during a whole day without someone asking "Is that a Leica?" Which nowadays is not, as I don't own Leicas anymore for the time being.

So so right. I dunno where all this 'Icould never recognise a Leica stuff comes from. Although I have a pretty good 'idea':- The makers of DSLRs for a start. It seems you can fool all the people all the time if you bombard them with incessant advertising. " The sheep remain inside their pen until the shepherd leads them all away".... Genesis-'Suppers ready' Foxtrot 1972. Bye heaven aren't we all a flock of sheep.( Well most of us)

Anyway post Armageddon and the mass of EMP all the current digicameras will be just a heap of useless plastic and those of us that still have analogue cameras and made it to the shelters will become the 99.99 % who will still be photographers.

Nothing like being positive.. hehe.

BTW saw Eric Clapton the other day, what an affront he actually had an MP round his neck and a few cassettes of film in his pocket (and he had paid for it himself) .

Dave Wilkinson
04-23-2010, 07:52
BTW saw Eric Clapton the other day, what an affront he actually had an MP round his neck and a few cassettes of film in his pocket (and he had paid for it himself) . ...he allways did like the 'Cream'! (:o sorry!)

gdmcclintock
04-23-2010, 08:15
For years I cared less about what camera I had as long as I had one that worked: my mother's Brownie and Instamatic, the Voigtlander my sister sat on, a Mamiya Sekor, Nikon, Rolleiflex, Pentax. I developed my own black & white or shot color slides. Eventually, when I could no longer afford the time and space for a darkroom, I ended up with a Canon EOS 10D. Digital cameras and Photoshop rescued my passion for photography. Now I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark II when I need to produce JPGs quickly (my daugher's softball games or school plays for the Parent Teachers Association), otherwise I use old folding or rangefinder cameras including a Bessa R2C and a M6. Recently I obtained a M8 to see if I would like shooting digital with a Leica, with the thought of selling most of my collection of old cameras in order to afford a M9! (I'll keep the M6!) Ultimately, I know it's not the camera, what counts are the photographs. -George

Juan Valdenebro
04-23-2010, 08:25
I guess Leicas' look is important: the only Leica I've ever wanted, a III, I wanted for its looks...

JohnTF
04-23-2010, 09:02
John, I too worked in a serious camera shop, in my case part-time in the mid-1960's. I'm put in mind of one youngish man who benefitted from a sizable inheritance, so he drove various fancy cars, dressed well, and fancied himself a photographer. With the best equipment of course, and I could sympathize with that, as then one is talent-limited rather than gear-limited.

He was perceptive enough to see his results were not up to expectations with the current kit, so he would trade the whole thing in on, say, a Hasselblad kit with the right selection of lenses and accessories, all in a nice fitted case. He would shoot with it, get guidance from the store owners who were both pro-level photogs, but ultimately the kit didn't suit him and he'd trade it all in on, say, a complete Leica M kit. And so it went, and the store made a pile of money from him. He liked the best, and swaggered a bit over it, but sadly the gear never brought the joy he was after.

He was a pretty decent guy; the most annoying were the USAF aircrews from the airbase who came in to "shop" and get expert suggestions on what gear would suit them best, and get to handle it at leisure. Then a few weeks later they'd stop in and tell us what a great price they'd gotten that very gear for on the latest trip to Taiwan or Tokyo.


Right, or got it through an ad in Pop Photo, but wanted you to show them how to use it? ;-)

One of those types actually worked at the shop, bald guy who hated anyone under 50, and on Saturday's when a wedding party motored by with horns blowing, would say "Nother woman's got it easy". I did hear he talked a different story around the house.

Lots of characters. Owner of the shop always had the best, did some good work, but he swapped cameras and cars like baseball caps, which is OK, he knew and knows the "score".

His son is still a very good friend and recommended dealer, not too many serious shops left. Best ones had terrific "junk" drawers of stuff you were looking for.

Enjoyed your post.

Regards, John

JohnTF
04-23-2010, 09:12
I must live in a different world than most here, because I find that the Leica brand is very recognizable, even between the non-photogs. Hollywood filmmakers and such seem to agree, as they often try to portay "artsy", "classy" or even "adventurous" roles as Leica users. Big Fish, Blood Diamonds and the Chanel No. 5 add come to mind. They producers of such didn't pick Leicas because they were incospicious- quite the opposite, they picked them to make a statement about the characters. And I do think there are some Leica users out there that do the same. I woulnd't call it showing off, but "making a statement".

On a personal note, I find it almost impossible to use any rangefinder during a whole day without someone asking "Is that a Leica?" Which nowadays is not, as I don't own Leicas anymore for the time being.

I think they are chosen for films because some camera tech advisor (Roger, are you heading to apply in Hollywood?, sound like a well paid gig) tells them to use that camera, and few folks at the theater recognize the camera so it draws their attention.

Those dubbed in motor wind sound effects from the 70's kind of spoil it though. ;-)

Regards, John

gb hill
04-23-2010, 09:21
Somewhere between point and shoot and large format! :D

Aaahh! so that's why Leica came out with the snapshot feature on the M8.2!:D

arseniii
04-23-2010, 09:26
Leica is just a sweet camera to use, that is perfect for me. I came a long way to realize this. As for "showing of" I do not think this is the reason, the more likely one is that one thinks that if he/she will buy a Leica M9 and Nocti one will become a better photographer(I cannot deny, I feel partially driven by that too).
I actually hate when people notice my leica and make awkward comments. On the other hand, I do feel superior to all DSLR, Bessa, Contax users heheee :-) being in possession of the best camera in the world!!!

JohnTF
04-23-2010, 09:30
I had my black M8 on my shoulder at an opening reception of work from the local Newspaper photographers, nice stuff.

One of the exhibitors walked up to me and asked if it was an M3, so they do attract attention. ;-) Really nice guy, but those youngsters need educating. ;-)

Regards, John

ItsReallyDarren
04-23-2010, 09:31
I spent a lazy afternoon with some painter friends and sat in confusion hearing all of their "gear talk" various paints or materials. I even heard one or two gasp when talking about a particular paint brush, don't remember the name. No one seemed to give a damn when I took a picture of them with my Leica, but I'm sure if I started sketching them with the "Leica" of pencils I would turn some heads.

gb hill
04-23-2010, 09:34
Roger I haven't seen any snobbery around here! There are several that think Leica is the best & that's it. I kind of feel you are a member of this catagory, but I wouldn't consider any of you as snobs, just proud owners! & heck you might be right for all I know because I never owned a Leica. The few really snobbery folks I've run across were Nikon DSLR users & belonged to strobist groups.

HuubL
04-23-2010, 09:38
I do like showing off ;)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/huubl/sets/72157594225941403/show/

CK Dexter Haven
04-23-2010, 09:46
Of all the Leica owners i have ever known, not one has been even close to being "rich." Not sure what even constitutes 'rich' anymore. One can be "very comfortable" making USD$100,000/year, if you live in West Virginia. Or Costa Rica. Especially if you're single. But, that same amount of money in Manhattan doesn't go nearly as far. And, if you have a mortgage and two kids, it's a pittance.

The people i've known who have owned Leicas, myself included, have done so because they've been obsessed either with 1) ultimate image quality [the lenses]; 2) the heritage/history of images and they appreciate a particular 'aesthetic' attributed to Leica glass; 3) the 'portability' aspect; or 4) the 'gadget'/gear fetish aspect.

Yes, a Leica is a prestige object. But, that's as much of a negative to some people as it is an attribute to others. If one wants to 'show off,' you don't choose something both inconspicuous (valued for 'stealth') and so uncommon that the target won't recognize it. The only people who know it's not "just an old camera" are other photographers who are likely to already have some experience with them. The ones who haven't had the experience probably haven't because they have no interest in them. I actually don't remember ever seeing one in the wild (in New York City) until i had decided to buy one. I just didn't pay attention before. And, now when i see them, half are owned by 30-ish year old hipsters and half by 60-year old EuroTourists.

yoyo22
04-23-2010, 10:08
The M9 has just won the TIPA award "Best Prestige Camera" ==> link (http://www.tipa.com/english/award-details.php?iId=1779&sAward=Best+Prestige+Camera)

bob338
04-23-2010, 10:12
i was at the Discovery Museum with my kids a couple of weeks ago. i had my M8 and MP around my back, the baby was in the baby bjorn in front.
i saw a hipster type guy with a CL shooting his kid and said something like 'hey, that's cool. is that a CL?' he very snottily responded 'yeah. it's a leica, ever heard of it?'
i just turned and walked away. kind of a bummer, it was the first time i have ever seen another person with a film camera at the Discovery Museum.

bob

Turtle
04-23-2010, 10:13
I have never met a Leica photographer actually shooting. Once a gentleman of about 65 or so came to an exhibition of mine with a mint Leica M7 around his neck but he was dressed to suit the Leica and I very much doubt if he was trying to show off.

I have met a number of PJs who have told me that they wished they were still shooting their Ms instead of the huge SLRs they now use. Nothing pretentious, just commenting on the state of their backs!

I think all the snobbery is largely on forums, but I have hear stories from cameras clubs... which I have never been to.

Just finding a Leica user actually in public is hard enough. As for the snobs, I think they are private creatures....

raydm6
04-23-2010, 10:23
I also own "the other Leica glass" - 8x42 and 10x25 binoculars (fantastic binos BTW) and I'm now wondering if this type of comparison occurs on the birding forums :p not being a birder myself :cool:

Brian Sweeney
04-23-2010, 10:30
The only person that you need to impress with a Leica is yourself, otherwise why use it?

I'm impressed by the Viewfinder of the M3, it's like they used an exacto knife to place the RF patch. No RF patch flare, ever. I wish my M8 had the M3 finder in it.

David Murphy
04-23-2010, 10:34
On the occasions where I have used a Leica III (a, c, or f) for an extended period of time in public places I have frequently encountered unsolicited interest and knowledge in the camera coming from total strangers (I was not trying to "show off" - these are still damned effective and reliable 35mm cameras, which is why I favor them). Leica maintains it's widespread allure for a large variety of reasons, for me it's the performance and quality aspect.

David Murphy
04-23-2010, 10:39
I once owned a pair of Leica 7x50 Mareseptits, a brand that went out of production in about 1960 or so. They were the finest 50mm binoculars I've every used, better than recent Zeiss or Nikon production. Leica quality is not hype - it's the real deal.


I also own "the other Leica glass" - 8x42 and 10x25 binoculars (fantastic binos BTW) and I'm now wondering if this type of comparison occurs on the birding forums :p not being a birder myself :cool:

oftheherd
04-23-2010, 10:40
I have never met a Leica photographer actually shooting.
...



Interesting. I only remember one, about 35 years ago. I think at the time all I had was my Yashica TL and a couple of Yashikors. A Korean gentleman had one and I asked him about it. He didn't know (or so he professed) anything about it, but had just had it lent to him by a friend for his vacation to the mountain temple area. I never saw him do any more than look at it. I am not sure he felt he knew how to use it.

I admit I had an attack of GAS, but couldn't do anything about it then, and don't want to now.

furcafe
04-23-2010, 10:55
What a jerk. Perhaps he was employing hipster irony, since "everyone" knows that the CL is a Minolta.

i was at the Discovery Museum with my kids a couple of weeks ago. i had my M8 and MP around my back, the baby was in the baby bjorn in front.
i saw a hipster type guy with a CL shooting his kid and said something like 'hey, that's cool. is that a CL?' he very snottily responded 'yeah. it's a leica, ever heard of it?'
i just turned and walked away. kind of a bummer, it was the first time i have ever seen another person with a film camera at the Discovery Museum.

bob

Al Patterson
04-23-2010, 11:00
Hey, I'm not a showoff I just own a Minolta with a Leica nameplate on it....

Al Patterson
04-23-2010, 11:30
Don't know about train-spotters, but there is a whole world of Moleskine afficionados.

Here in the USA, "railfans", AKA train spotters need to use a Moleskine notebook to record the time and date of their roster shots...

Juan Valdenebro
04-23-2010, 11:39
I do like showing off ;)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/huubl/sets/72157594225941403/show/

Beautiful... Yet I want a III with a 50 elmar... Someday!

maggieo
04-23-2010, 11:39
Here in the USA, "railfans", AKA train spotters need to use a Moleskine notebook to record the time and date of their roster shots...

All the cool kids are using a dedicated, GPS-tagging iPhone app for that now! ;) (I don't actually know, but it sounds like an opportunity for a developer!)

Sparrow
04-23-2010, 11:43
Here in the USA, "railfans", AKA train spotters need to use a Moleskine notebook to record the time and date of their roster shots...

here, in the UK, moleskins are pants

Al Patterson
04-23-2010, 11:46
All the cool kids are using a dedicated, GPS-tagging iPhone app for that now! ;) (I don't actually know, but it sounds like an opportunity for a developer!)

I was being funny, but it wouldn't surprise me. I'm not an iPhone or Android user yet, I still have a "dumb" phone. I do go on photo charters a lot, and have seen a few Leica users over the years, and a bunch of folks who write all the shot details by hand into notebooks, but nobody I've seen uses the Moleskine, although I use a small Moleskine day planner I bought at Amazon late last year.

JohnTF
04-23-2010, 11:51
Roger I haven't seen any snobbery around here! There are several that think Leica is the best & that's it. I kind of feel you are a member of this catagory, but I wouldn't consider any of you as snobs, just proud owners! & heck you might be right for all I know because I never owned a Leica. The few really snobbery folks I've run across were Nikon DSLR users & belonged to strobist groups.


There's still hope for your salvation and maturation. ;-)

Leigh Youdale
04-23-2010, 14:02
I think we make too much of all this sometimes. Take a different example - Jaguar cars. (Probably more relevant to some than others but the analogy holds true).
Jaguars have always been regarded as a bit special, and many people driving 'ordinary' cars have, at one time or another thought it would be nice to own one. Some in fact make that decision.
Jaguars have been produced since WWII and the company has changed hands a couple of times but it has always kept the philosophy and allure of the marque alive. So there are old Jags, not-so-old Jags and new Jags. There is a certain cameraderie amongst Jaguar owners whether they are members of owners clubs or not. Some of the models were renowned for unreliability of one sort or another; some were not regarded as pinnacles of design either, but people still buy and love them.
The common factor seems to be a certain pride and pleasure in owning and using them, and restoring them. Nothing wrong with that. Are they for everyone? No. Are they the 'ultimate' in transport? Not really but people who own them love them and are prepared to accept any shortcomings for the other benefits they enjoy. Sure, there are a minority of owners who have this "look at me" attitude but they're largely ignored by other owners who like the cars for what they are and not for how they think it makes them look. A bit the same with Leicas I think.

FrankS
04-23-2010, 14:05
Right on, Leigh. Same with BMW R series motorcycles.

bob338
04-23-2010, 14:26
Right on, Leigh. Same with BMW R series motorcycles.

same is true of Triumph motorcycles.

bob

kevin m
04-23-2010, 14:38
Wow. Yet another 'question' from Roger with an absolute straw-man premise: There are people out there - others! - who hate us for our swanky cameras!

#1. You made it up. #2. As if. Not one person in 1,000 could identify a Leica camera. Those who can are usually time-wasting, nostalgia junkies who slow me down while I'm trying to shoot. :p

nobbylon
04-23-2010, 14:43
Right on, Leigh. Same with BMW R series motorcycles.

Coincidently I got my r90s out this morning for a quick blast. There's just something about the R bikes.

gb hill
04-23-2010, 14:49
There's still hope for your salvation and maturation. ;-) I kind of doubt I'll ever make it to that big red dot in the sky! :DI'm really enjoying the Bessa experience! Ever seen the Photo Village ad with the hip young girl wearing the long coat with a Bessa around her neck, holding up a crocodile? Very cool:cool:I wanna stay that way even at 75. Maybe then I'll get a Leica!;)

KenR
04-23-2010, 15:20
If you want to be noticed, as Keith says, buy a bigger camera. When I had my Mamiya C330 I was stared at A LOT. Whether on a hike in a park or on the street, people were looking at that camera from a long way off. I found it very disconcerting. At first I thought that I was being paranoid, but even my wife noticed it - eventually I sold it when she told me that SHE was getting freaked out by the people staring at the camera. Certainly not a Leica in cost or in build, but it was noticed by everyone. If you want serious attention, that's the way to go, not those little stealthy cameras with a red button on them.

Stelios
04-23-2010, 15:23
Leica owners are just showing off!

Yes we are

parsec1
04-23-2010, 17:22
...he allways did like the 'Cream'! (:o sorry!)

Most certainly no apologies required.
P

parsec1
04-23-2010, 17:33
Coincidently I got my r90s out this morning for a quick blast. There's just something about the R bikes.

I got my M16 out this morning.
Shame about the 'hairhead takin a leak in the John':D

Keith
04-23-2010, 18:24
"Whenever I look at it I realise that these pictures could only have been taken with a Leica!"

I realise this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mwrlb4_tL0&feature=PlayList&p=FCD14757E04CCE98&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=5) Leica promotional video is typical of the advertising industry's approach to spin ... never let the facts get in the way of a good story! :p

It still made my eyes pinwheel though! :bang:

sig
04-23-2010, 18:40
The price on Leica equipment makes it a showoff item.

I guess in the same way a lot of people here at rff thinks that people with big expensive dslrs with big white lenses are pretenders/showing off, a lot of people other places thinks leica users are pretenders/showing off (in both cases: expensive equipment but nothing more)

JohnTF
04-23-2010, 20:16
If you want to be noticed, as Keith says, buy a bigger camera. When I had my Mamiya C330 I was stared at A LOT. Whether on a hike in a park or on the street, people were looking at that camera from a long way off. I found it very disconcerting. At first I thought that I was being paranoid, but even my wife noticed it - eventually I sold it when she told me that SHE was getting freaked out by the people staring at the camera. Certainly not a Leica in cost or in build, but it was noticed by everyone. If you want serious attention, that's the way to go, not those little stealthy cameras with a red button on them.

You certainly needed at least a Mamiya C330 size camera with big flash for wedding photography, if you did it for money. ;-)

Regards, John

Doug
04-23-2010, 21:14
On reflection, I do recall an incident a few years back when attention was brought to my old Leica in a public way. A guy who did custom B&W processing for the local camera shop/lab put on a photo workshop. All had film cameras, and he asked that we run a roll of slides for discussion later. For this I brought my Bessa-L with 15mm Heliar, and had some fun with dramatic perspective shots mostly of the other workshop folk doing their thing. This drew the attention of our leader. Done with the slide film, I switched to my old Leica M2 with B&W film. This riveted the attention of the workshop leader, and he exclaimed about it to the group, making me rather self-conscious. So (as he said), you were earlier shooting with a super-wide on a camera lacking a viewfinder, and now you've got a LEICA, with... yes... a first-version 35 Summicron!!!???!!! (Yeah, could have said I'd gotten the whole rig, used camera and new lens, $314.50 total... some 40 years before.) I'm not sure just why he was so astounded, as he clearly recognized what it was. Then I was forgotten as one of the other "students" upstaged me by setting up his Calumet 4x5!

Robert Hooper
04-23-2010, 23:01
Roger,

I don't agree with your premise. Certainly some people buy Leica to impress, but I believe the vast majority of us buy Leica because of its quality.

However, I must admit to a recent incident which inspired ownership pride. I was walking on a trail in Volcanos National Park in Hawaii with my wife when a group of Japanese tourists approached from the opposite direction. The group leader interrupted his tour narrative when he noticed the Leica M2 hanging from my neck.

"Excuse me, my grandfather had this camera and someday I will inherit it." The rest of his troupe were all looking puzzled. The tour leader spoke something to them in Japanese and suddenly my leica was the center of attention. The tour leader continued talking to them and there were a lot of oohs and aahs. My experience with Japanese tourists is that they are very polite, but some could not resist invading what I consider personal space to get a much closer look at the M2. Several were bowing and speaking Japanese I didn't understand, but my general impression was that they were very impressed. The tour guide said, "thank you", and, "very nice camera". Then the group continued on.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2010, 23:11
I don't agree with your premise. Certainly some people buy Leica to impress, but I believe the vast majority of us buy Leica because of its quality.


Dear Robert,

Re-read what I wrote -- not just the headline -- and you'll see that my premise is exactly the same as yours. Buying a Leica to impress someone is pointless and silly not only inherently, but also because no-one is likely to be impressed by it -- apart, it seems, from the occasional Japanese tourist (lovely story).

I find it amusing that this thread has had over 3000 views and 130-odd replies in 36 hours, despite at least one protestation of 'I don't get it'. Looks like quite a lot of people do get it.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2010, 23:22
I think we make too much of all this sometimes. Take a different example - Jaguar cars.
Dear Leigh,

A friend of mine was a founder member of the Jaguar Owners Club, and owned every model up to the 1960s including the pre-war SS models. The trouble was that by the 1970s or even 60s, when I fancied one, you normally had a simple choice with old Jags: superb bodywork and clapped mechanicals, or strong mechanicals and bodywork you could poke your finger through as a result of the tin-worm. In those days I wasn't brave enough to attempt a sort-and-merge of one of each.

Then again, the car I really wanted was a Bristol, preferably 401-402-403. That is the double-stroke M3 of cars (roughly contemporaneous, of course). Or maybe a Daimler DE36, as the Gandolfi of cars.

But cars are too much work and too bulky, so over the 70s I lost interest. It strikes me as interesting, though, that next to a half-decent Mk. II Jaguar, let alone an E-type, an M9 is a bargain. As I said at the end of the M9 review on my site, the M9 only looks expensive because it's so small. What would a good piano cost you?

Cheers,

R.

250swb
04-24-2010, 00:01
In the wider world than seen from the confines of this or any other forum Leica M's mean nothing other than 'what?' or 'old camera'. This is fine by me, I can invisibly walk amongst Canon and Nikon users.

But if any evidence of a desire to impress is present in ownership, its precisely amongst forum members (not all obviously). And its evidenced by the extra cloak of invisibility that is perceived as possible by the black tape brigade. To all intents and purposes they are invisible in the world already, but the addition of black tape on the red dot transforms the situation. It is no longer 'how can I get away with photographing a stranger on the street', but 'look what I'm doing to my expensive camera'. Without come backs, permanent damage, de-valuing, or loosing 'street cred', its 'look at me, I've got an expensive camera, I don't care what it looks like, I'm hip'. To be true, they'd be wearing frayed Levi's, sandals, with rats in their hair, but driving daddies new Ferrari in another life :D

Steve

Dave Wilkinson
04-24-2010, 01:24
As I said at the end of the M9 review on my site, the M9 only looks expensive because it's so small. What would a good piano cost you?

Cheers,

R. Digital or analogue?

Jodorowsky
04-24-2010, 01:53
My grandad loved taking pictures, and so did my father; I inherited my grandad's camera, and when it gave up the ghost, I decided to buy a 'rangefinder'. I didn't even know what a 'rangefinder' was- I just thought it sounded cool. And distinct. Like my narcissistic self image.

Then I started drooling over internet pictures, and reading endless posts on forums..... No change there. As I've 'progressed' I've realised that the image is everything, but that the route to the image is greatly facilitated by having something with you that you're comfortable walking around with (as well as something appropriate to most conditions). If the feeling of comfort is brought about by a feeling of coolness because you own a great camera, so what?

Ultimately, though, the camera needs to be able to do what you want it to, so you need to know vaguely what you're hoping to capture.... I just bought a Hexar RF, but I regard it as a 'Leica' because I can use my Leica lenses on it. Obviously, if it ever needs mending.....

Frontman
04-24-2010, 02:40
I didn't buy a Leica in order to show it off. After using many types of cameras over the years, I eventually picked one up. I simply think they are good cameras. Most people around me don't know the difference between one camera and another, and the few who do tend to be kindly, bespectacled old fossils who walk around in camera-clad groups at the weekends.

I do enjoy having nice things. I have suits which cost more than a new M9, and shoes which cost many times what I paid for my first car in high school. I'm not sure if it's really showing off, few people (if any) can tell the difference between an $8000 suit and one bought at a Men's Wearhouse. But I like to wear such things, and I will so long as I can continue to afford them.

Like any man, I am somewhat egotistical.

Leigh Youdale
04-24-2010, 02:42
Then again, the car I really wanted was a Bristol, preferably 401-402-403. That is the double-stroke M3 of cars (roughly contemporaneous, of course).
R.

Ah yes, the Bristol! Lived there from 1958-62. Glorious straight six engines described as "making the sound of tearing silk". Aluminium bodies streamlined like no other and (I think) with a BMW/Frazer Nash heritage behind them.
Went to a hillclimb at Prescott and watched them, along with Romulus, (or was it Remus?) the twin rear tyred supercharged ERA. And the smell of Castrol R!

cidereye
04-25-2010, 06:15
Ah yes, the Bristol! Lived there from 1958-62. Glorious straight six engines described as "making the sound of tearing silk". Aluminium bodies streamlined like no other and (I think) with a BMW/Frazer Nash heritage behind them.
Went to a hillclimb at Prescott and watched them, along with Romulus, (or was it Remus?) the twin rear tyred supercharged ERA. And the smell of Castrol R!
Quite fortunate in the village where I live as it seems to be on Bristol cars regular test drive route. Often see the latest model coming through with trade plates on it or indeed older models. When I was younger I used to live close enough to the old factory at Filton I could hit it with a stone too which was a treat, beautiful cars with so much character. :)

Anyway back to the subject at hand, I think there's a case for Leica's being a status symbol or a camera to brag over but as Roger initially stated most people don't even know what they are so point of for such? I think more people are impressed by a whacking big DSLR like a D3 than they ever would be by a Leica. Then? the Leica S2 is reasonably large itself, but again would most people even know what that was compared to the sight of a Canon or Nikon badge?

maggieo
04-25-2010, 16:59
The price on Leica equipment makes it a showoff item.

I guess in the same way a lot of people here at rff thinks that people with big expensive dslrs with big white lenses are pretenders/showing off, a lot of people other places thinks leica users are pretenders/showing off (in both cases: expensive equipment but nothing more)

But my M4-P and Jupiter-8 rig only cost me $50.00 more than a Canon Digital Rebel with the kit zoom! :eek:

Obviously, I'm not doing it right. ;) :D

I'll get me coat.

ramosa
04-25-2010, 17:30
i agree with roger. one of the things i like most about leica is no one knows what it is. no? what percent of americans have heard of sony, leica, nikon, and canon? ok, point made--and i really feel this when i'm out on the streets.

FrankHarries
04-25-2010, 19:10
The point of showing off is that not everybody knows about the things you have. No need that anyone from the street recognizes what a Leica is. IF you want to show off you only would like to be recognized as a Leica owner by people, who at least know something about photography, take pictures with a small budget camera and THEN there is what showing off is all about: when you see the eyes lightening and getting longing....

Leigh Youdale
04-25-2010, 21:00
Alright - there's a test here that I've seen applied in the domestic arena and it can be readily applied.
If you want to show off your camera, leave the price ticket clearly displayed on it. You can still use it of course, but the ticket must be visible so that people notice, and are shocked into asking if it really cost "that much". Then you can disingenuously claim to have forgotten to remove it. That's for the show-offs.
For those who don't want their wives to know how much they paid for it, or who don't want to be mugged, or who have a personality disorder that makes them compulsive-obsessive or even perfectionist-reclusive the answer is to remove the price ticket, cover the red dot and name with black tape and hide it under your jacket most of the time.

FrankHarries
04-25-2010, 21:39
...and if you are still afraid that someone could think you are only showing off: get some of that vulcanite off, get your keys or other tools and make some nasty scratches on the body (which wouldn't affect picture taking) - make a ding here and there (but careful so that it doesn't harm the cameras technical performance) - they won't think that you are showing off any longer but might think that you have some severe problem of some other kind...

anu L ogy
04-25-2010, 21:52
In all of the times I've pulled out my camera in public, I have had one person comment. I was climbing Picacho peak and some one on their way down the mountain was like "Sweet camera dude! Still shooting film?" As they patted their holstered film camera. I said something like "Tri-x and rodinal 1:25 for 7 mins at 68 degrees!" We had a laugh and went our separate ways.

Doug
04-25-2010, 23:11
The point of showing off is that not everybody knows about the things you have. No need that anyone from the street recognizes what a Leica is. IF you want to show off you only would like to be recognized as a Leica owner by people, who at least know something about photography, take pictures with a small budget camera and THEN there is what showing off is all about: when you see the eyes lightening and getting longing....Frank, I think you're onto something there!

Roger Hicks
04-26-2010, 01:03
The point of showing off is that not everybody knows about the things you have. No need that anyone from the street recognizes what a Leica is. IF you want to show off you only would like to be recognized as a Leica owner by people, who at least know something about photography, take pictures with a small budget camera and THEN there is what showing off is all about: when you see the eyes lightening and getting longing....
Dear Frank,

Point taken, but how many people buy their Leica for that purpose? As distinct, say, from taking pictures with it?

Chreers,

R.

Lilserenity
04-26-2010, 01:17
Definitely not in my case. I wanted a small, rugged, interchangeable and relatively light camera system. I was all set to buy a Bessa R2 or 3, and then an M2 came along. Sealed the deal.

If I was showing off with it, then I'd have probably not done this on Friday:

Hanging some pictures for an exhibition of mine, and had the M2 on the floor by my rucksack. One of the security staff came along and looked at the pictures and made chit chat about how he was going to start a photography course at the Open University, and bemoaned the cost of a DSLR etc. I said he needn't spend a fortune and said that the pictures on the wall I had taken were with a normal camera, that one on the floor, he was surprised and said he'd have to look at the non SLR cameras again in that case!

It's a tool for me, just like my Autocord, just like my OM. Twice people have recognised what the camera is, and if anything it bugs me, the first time was fine as the chap was a nice fellow, but the other time someone shouted it out from a cafe and I just felt awkward you know.

Showing off isn't in my nature and I'd certainly not buy a material possession to do so.

Vicky

torchiam
04-26-2010, 01:39
it is interesting to know that someone dose not care but spend time to write this to show to people.

have you ever heard that some real headbangers seriously tell you"i do not listen Britney spears"

grow up man

varjag
04-26-2010, 04:04
How often people ask headbangers if they listen to Britney though? :)

Leigh Youdale
04-26-2010, 04:22
it is interesting to know that someone dose not care but spend time to write this to show to people.

have you ever heard that some real headbangers seriously tell you"i do not listen Britney spears"

grow up man

Oh dear! Only two posts and already giving lip. What can we expect when he becomes more confident?

feenej
04-26-2010, 04:37
I have no problem with somebody making a fashion statement or trying to show off a little. Fine by me.

literiter
04-26-2010, 05:33
The human is like this, all of us. We like to make a statement by the things we own. We will hang objects like cameras from our bodies to suggest to others certain things about ourselves. Quite normal. The fact that we may actually use them for a purpose not withstanding.

The type of clothes we wear, the car we drive and the camera (etc.) we use all suggest to others (in our minds) what type of person we may be. It should not make anyone self conscious as it seems to do sometimes.

If you hang a camera or a turnip around your neck in public you are often interested in some kind of feedback. I think a person would stand out a bit more by wearing a turnip.

ferider
04-26-2010, 05:59
The question has such an obvious answer on RFF (see for instance http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30362 with > 4000 posts and > 600k views) that I keep wondering why it was asked.

IMO, there is nothing wrong with being proud of your toys, and it has nothing to do whatsoever with one's photographic skills. The only way bragging (on-line) about your Leicas affects your photography, is that it takes time away from shooting.

furcafe
04-26-2010, 10:51
A-freakin'-men. As I've written before, I'm annoyed by anyone who thinks there's an inherently inverse relationship between a photographer's interest in gear & his/her ability to take a good photo.


IMO, there is nothing wrong with being proud of your toys, and it has nothing to do whatsoever with one's photographic skills. The only way bragging (on-line) about your Leicas affects your photography, is that it takes time away from shooting.

Roger Hicks
04-26-2010, 11:45
A-freakin'-men. As I've written before, I'm annoyed by anyone who thinks there's an inherently inverse relationship between a photographer's interest in gear & his/her ability to take a good photo.

This is, I think, the most succinct summary yet (in this thread) of why I started the thread.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-26-2010, 12:14
I don't understand it. Well you are annoyed by anyone who thinks... different from you? so you made this thread to complain?

Re-read the thread, or at least, the first post. The original question is, how and to whom are Leica owners supposed to be 'showing off'? Is that complaining, or trying to discover an answer to a question I've never understood?

Yes, I am annoyed by people who accuse Leica owners of 'showing off', apparently without considering the possibility that they might actually buy the cameras to take pictures. Again, if you see that as complaining, this is your problem rather than mine.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-26-2010, 12:19
So will we all. Meanwhile, have you anything to say except personal attacks?

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-26-2010, 12:50
Yes.
I think I will start a new thread with a list of things that annoy me.:D

I shall look forward to it. Especially when it hits 4000+ views and 160+ replies in 4 days.

Cheers,

R.

kevin m
04-26-2010, 13:13
I shall look forward to it. Especially when it hits 4000+ views and 160+ replies in 4 days.

Cheers,

R.

The McDonald's defense? Umpteen billions served, and all that? Sheesh! :p

"Appeal to the mob" is another logical fallacy anyway, isn't it?

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 14:46
You can't show-off with a Leica as no one cares enough to be impressed. I suppose it is possible that someone thinks that they have something to show off just because they spent a lot of money on it, but they would be mistaken.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3052/2641113924_2250836ed5_o.jpg

I bought this pair of Leica's for $30, with the lenses. That is showing off.

To me, they are both impressive.

ferider
04-26-2010, 14:52
IMHO, there is no difference, Brian, as long as there are toys and $$$ involved. But, like I wrote above: either way it's part of RFF's charm, isn't it ?

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 15:03
I take more pride in restoring cameras and lenses to working order. The two shown are no exception to that, they were a mess when found. Just as happy to show off a Kodak Signet 80 that required repair.

RFF has a long history in showing off gear, ie Camera and Coffee. I believe it is balanced by the Gallery and the W/NW forum. A place to show off photography as well as the gear.

Maybe we need a thread entitled "Photographers just like to show-off" or "Prints and Coffee Tables".

Juan Valdenebro
04-26-2010, 15:07
You can't show-off with a Leica as no one cares enough to be impressed. I suppose it is possible that someone thinks that they have something to show off just because they spent a lot of money on it, but they would be mistaken.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3052/2641113924_2250836ed5_o.jpg

I bought this pair of Leica's for $30, with the lenses. That is showing off.

To me, they are both impressive.

Oh, Brian, the left one makes me feel envy!

That one would make me show off! I don't remember seeing any better looking camera in my life!

Amazing!

Cheers,

Juan

Dave Wilkinson
04-26-2010, 15:09
If this thread comes out in book form - can I order the hard-back version?

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 15:12
If cameras could talk- I'd love to know that one's stories. It WOULD fill a book.

Right now, it has a Canon 35/2.8 on it most of the time. Youxin Ye did a full CLA on it, and it works well. It had a lot of use, and a lot of wear. The one to the right- clockwork, and a new beamsplitter. I polished down some of the front surface marks in the Summar myself, and it does well.

I guess some Leica owners do show off... (sorry Dave, I'll try harder)

ferider
04-26-2010, 15:13
Maybe we need a thread entitled "Photographers just like to show-off".

Here's a pic that would fit in there:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Picture-a-Week/PAW-2007/021207/c1/131856874_BYDyH-O.jpg

OK, OK, it was shot with an M6, but who cares ? :)

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 15:20
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3239/2287586452_1041a705d8_o.jpg
Canon 50/1.5, wide-open.

Subject Moved During Exposure.

Viktor Sebastian
04-26-2010, 15:27
Nice shot :)

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 15:27
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3525/3843801281_5cf3b87030_o.jpg

Nokton (1950s version), at F4 on the Nikon S2. Nikon user showing off.

And yes, the camera got wet, really wet... Worth It. Cleaned up just fine.

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 15:29
Nice shot :)

Thankyou!

What's the point of having a camera if you can't show off the results.

FrankS
04-26-2010, 15:36
Leica IIf with Summaron f3.5, shutter speed about 4 sec.

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 15:38
Your subjects moved during the exposure, too!

At least you did not end up with a soaked camera!

FrankS
04-26-2010, 15:48
Another blurry one, same camera.

JohnTF
04-26-2010, 15:52
I take more pride in restoring cameras and lenses to working order. The two shown are no exception to that, they were a mess when found. Just as happy to show off a Kodak Signet 80 that required repair.

RFF has a long history in showing off gear, ie Camera and Coffee. I believe it is balanced by the Gallery and the W/NW forum. A place to show off photography as well as the gear.

Maybe we need a thread entitled "Photographers just like to show-off" or "Prints and Coffee Tables".

Where were you when mine needed fixing? ;-) I even had two lenses for it, but something came loose in the VF. Was an upgrade from my Signet 50.

Regards, John

FrankS
04-26-2010, 15:54
And just to show that not all my pics are blurry.
Focused on cup.

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 15:57
Where were you when mine needed fixing? ;-) I even had two lenses for it, but something came loose in the VF. Was an upgrade from my Signet 50.

Regards, John

The hard part was getting the Exposure Dial back on and Calibrated! It has to come off to get the top plate off, and into the viewfinder. Fixed the vertical alignment problem in mine: put some thick foam on the mechanism so the top plate would press it down into place. There was no adjustment for it, and 50 years caused a little warping. The RF was off, and out of vertical and horizontal alignment. The exposure counter was not working- replaced a broken spring.

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 16:01
http://ziforums.com/picture.php?albumid=235&pictureid=2452

Leica M3, Type 1 Rigid Summicron at F4.

Subject Refuses to Stay Still.

Juan Valdenebro
04-26-2010, 16:08
Brian, considering the time and effort you've put in making that beauty a shooter, I offer myself to buy it from you for a bit more than $15...:D

Cheers,

Juan

Brian Sweeney
04-26-2010, 16:10
I will keep that in mind...

Juan Valdenebro
04-26-2010, 16:22
Thanks! For a moment I thought I was going to get a no as answer...

Now seriously, congratulations! It must be a real pleasure working beautiful equipment in such depth...

Cheers,

Juan

JohnTF
04-27-2010, 09:42
The hard part was getting the Exposure Dial back on and Calibrated! It has to come off to get the top plate off, and into the viewfinder. Fixed the vertical alignment problem in mine: put some thick foam on the mechanism so the top plate would press it down into place. There was no adjustment for it, and 50 years caused a little warping. The RF was off, and out of vertical and horizontal alignment. The exposure counter was not working- replaced a broken spring.

My repairman glued things together as best he could, and I decided to give up on Kodak's "modern" design. I could easily have bought a better design used camera, my brother did use it in Vietnam.

I do not think I was well advised in those days at the camera shop.

I saw one used as a prop in a movie, and the guy did not wind it right, and of course you could hear a motor drive in the sound track. ;-)

There were more than a few times I wondered about Kodak's design crew. Was this an American camera?

Regards, John

Brian Sweeney
04-27-2010, 11:16
The Kodak Signet Series were American made cameras. It was in the $100 price range, as expensive as the contemporary Kodak Retina Auto III. The Auto III is better made. However, the Signet 80 has some interesting features such as the "Spool-less" take up chamber, double-stroke thumb wind, and quick-release bayonet mount. I find the latter to be well thought out. The viewfinder is 1x, and accurate. The lenses are "okay". I've thought of hacking some better lenses onto the mount.

Roger Hicks
04-27-2010, 11:21
http://ziforums.com/picture.php?albumid=235&pictureid=2452

Leica M3, Type 1 Rigid Summicron at F4.

Subject Refuses to Stay Still.

Dear Brian,

Although I have to admit that despite the undoubted beauty of your model, I occasionally think, "Not her AGAIN," I also have to admit that this picture is GORGEOUS.

I even called Frances to admire it and she said, "Wow."

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
04-27-2010, 12:17
Thanks, Roger.

Yes, her again. Cross between the only child, the sickly child that modern medical surgery saved, and the child of an older parent. And a Dad that collects cameras. You do not stand a chance...

Roger Hicks
04-27-2010, 13:23
Thanks, Roger.

Yes, her again. Cross between the only child, the sickly child that modern medical surgery saved, and the child of an older parent. And a Dad that collects cameras. You do not stand a chance...

Dear Brian,

When Frances first moved to Bristol in 1982, she was lonely and homesick. She wasn't allowed to work (a FOREIGNER, an IMMIGRANT!) until it was proven that ours wasn't a marriage of convenience. The UK and USA immigration services are about equally paranoid/ arrogant/ vicious.

Early on, Frances made a friend, Julie, who had several miscarriages before Holly was born, the second-smallest baby ever to survive at the Bristol Premature Baby Unit. The earliest picture of Holly is beside a popsicle stick. It was as tall/long as she was. She was/is an only child. She was (and is to this day) blind in one eye, and one of her little fingers is withered.

A few months ago, Holly had a perfectly healthy son of her own (she's 26 now). I was moved to tears. This tiny, premature baby is now a mother... I'll quote another friend from my fencing club in about 1980, when I said last year about his daughter, "Antonia can't have a baby. She's only eleven!" His reply: "She lied about her age" [She's 37 now]

Your daughter is beautiful. Of course, all daughters are beautiful. Especially (from my point of view) my 'adopted daughter' Aditi, daughter of a very old friend, born on my 40th birthday. Frances and I never had children, but neither of us can imagine a better daughter.

Cherish your daughter (not that I need to tell you to do that!). And give her a kiss on the cheek from me, a total stranger (anything else might be seen as a bit kinky). But be warned: you'll be a grandfather before you know it.

Cheers,

R.

parsec1
04-27-2010, 16:00
Roger and Brian,
Before I new where I was I became a Grandfather. Mine is 'Piglet' and now 13 years old.
She calls me "her piglet Grandad"...............just about 'does me in'.

Regards
P

JohnTF
04-28-2010, 21:59
The Kodak Signet Series were American made cameras. It was in the $100 price range, as expensive as the contemporary Kodak Retina Auto III. The Auto III is better made. However, the Signet 80 has some interesting features such as the "Spool-less" take up chamber, double-stroke thumb wind, and quick-release bayonet mount. I find the latter to be well thought out. The viewfinder is 1x, and accurate. The lenses are "okay". I've thought of hacking some better lenses onto the mount.

Brian, am pretty sure they were more than that, I recall we paid more. The lens mount had some sort of release and then the lens pulled out as I recall, I think they had three lenses. I may have a manual somewhere if you are without, just don't hold your breath. ;-)

The Signet 50 had no RF, and a blazing fast 2.8 lens, plus linked aperture and shutter speed, with EV numbers on top, so if you wanted to know the f stop and speed, you had to turn the camera over.

Still, you learn distances, and it was my first camera that could be adjusted.

The viewfinder was very clear, and said "wind" when the film was not advanced.

As these were made in the 60's, looking back, you could easily have bought a used S2 Nikon or Leica SM, and Kodak always seemed to make stuff that matched nothing else, and did not have a long production run, both of which made them difficult to service.

I did pick up some S2 Nikons for $125, sold them, and had seller's remorse, so I replaced them in the 70's for not much more.

+1 on your shot BTW.

Regards, John

ps- found a link on Camerapedia on it: http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Kodak_Signet_80

Interesting it was the last interchangeable lens US 35mm camera, was $130.

lngu81
04-28-2010, 22:25
At last someone spoke my mind. However If I'm on the other end of spectrum, there is no doubt that I will purchase Leicas, why? because I have the money and Leica is pinnacle of craftsmanship. Obviously I will be very proud to own a Leica or rather obnoxiously believing that my wallet is fatter than the rest, since majority can't afford the Leica price tags.

Quercus
04-30-2010, 09:26
I haven't read all the post on the thread so I may end up say what others have said but hey does it matter. Most people who enjoy the process of taking photographs probably enjoy using what ever camera they use. I ahve an affection for voigtlander and late rollei 35mm slrs including the sl35e. I use both a rollei 2000 and 3003 (now and again) when they came out I was a lot younger and could never have afforded one. But times change. When I look back it was not that they were expensive and cult'ish' that I liked about them it was that they intrigued me. The sl35e even more so the last germany slr but actually not.

30 ish years later and having gone through me supers and mx's (still the worlds two greatest cameras - and why not) and aperiod of not really having time to take photos I now use a ZI all the time and came back to photography with a Bessa R2. The Bessa is still unbelievable (what a great camera) the ZI is so easy to use both do what I want. have I ever considered a Leica - not really, but not because they are not great cameras but because I have just never ever actually wanted one. never really could see haw it fitted with me - I had no excitement. But then I get the most excitement using a 3003. Heavy noisy and actually awkward to use other than in waist level and then there are batteries oh Rollei and batteries.

What I get from the Rollei is just fun, plain and simple fun - not frivolous fun but enjyment and interest. It lights a spark that even the Bessa or ZI do not quite do. Do I use it often - no - it is not a practical camera. Both the Bessa and ZI are and more so my now out off date istD (the me super never really went out of date the mx certainly has never).

I guess it may be the same for people who actually like using a leica - they are not perfect cameras. The have things that would drive me wild even without the price tag - film loading for instance. But they are beautifully made, should last for ever and maybe link back to a different artisan time. but I bet people that use them rather than just collect them get a real joy from using a leica.

So do I not use a yashica/contax instead of a rollei because of a snobbery - no. Just there is no spark using a contax that i don't get with a K-mount pentax. would I get more of spark with an M7 instead of a zi - no. The ZI and Bessa both do what I want and I enjoy them. Is there any camera that gives me the spark that a Rollei 3003 does - well sorry people but to me I never understand why nobody else "gets it"

So leica photographers just carry on using and enjoying a camera that works for you. If you don't get a spark maybe you do need to try something else - nothing wrong with that.

Now lenses and glass that is a different matter :)

dee
05-03-2010, 14:17
I think it's quite simple really - those who accuse , have serious inferiority complexes and have to sneer at someone .
Leicas are exquisite objects in their own right , add the history of a camera made in 1932 or 1933 , or the Wallace Heaton sticker on my 1947 ' 60th Birthday ' camera and the awe is electric and irresistable .
However , my mint Mika-mouse [ ex Moscow Photo - Mika ] Leica pretender attracted the most admiration when used on holiday !
I just love that , as these are the most denigrated cameras in the USSR mythology
and mine works exquiaitely !
dee

literiter
05-04-2010, 06:37
I like stick pens, I like typewriters, I like stick shifts (and clutches), I like pencils, I like light meters, I like wood stoves (especially in the morning) , I like well water, I like leather shoes.

I like Leica M2s, I like Leica IIIfs. My Wife tells me my M2 is a babe magnet. I like my wife too!

Dave Wilkinson
05-04-2010, 10:29
I like stick pens, I like typewriters, I like stick shifts (and clutches), I like pencils, I like light meters, I like wood stoves (especially in the morning) , I like well water, I like leather shoes.

I like Leica M2s, I like Leica IIIfs. My Wife tells me my M2 is a babe magnet. I like my wife too!.... How do you like your eggs in a morning? :cool:

Soeren
05-25-2010, 06:56
To whom? Who is going to be impressed by "I own a....'?

Most people don't even know what a Leica is. Of those who do, relatively few care, or realize how much new ones cost. Very few can tell an old one from a new one. If you're rich enough that a Leica is a plaything, you're not going to be impressed, even if you do know and care.

Do they buy it to impress people at their local camera clubs? How many even belong to a local camera club? If they do, how many care what the others think? Or would spend thousands just to impress them?

Maybe you can pretend to show off on line, but as most people hide behind pseudonyms, they could just as easily lie. And who would care anyway?

Of course there are lots of really incompetent Leica photographers. And incompetent Nikon and Zorkii and Canon and Yashica photographers. And? Being able to afford a Leica doesn't automatically make someone a bad photographer, any more than it makes them a good one.

So who are the intended targets of these smug rich bar stewards who want to boast about their Leicas? Whom do they hope to impress? The more I think about it, the more this puzzles me. EDIT: To clarify, I'm not sure they exist, at least in significant numbers. But I am sure that surprisingly many people think they exist. Why?

Cheers,

R.

Well I have never owned a leica, a Rolleiflex, A Hasselblad or a Linhof. Still I have been aproached by people asking is that a (insert brand) my father ( or other relative) used to have one like that or by people who have read about those cameras on the web, when out shooting a Yashica 124, a canonet QL17 or the Bronica SQA-i. I think most people interested in photography and many others do recognize a Leica or a Rolleiflex from the common DSLR and know a little about what they stand for.
Best regards

Jim-st
06-24-2010, 02:34
To whom? Who is going to be impressed by "I own a....'?

Most people don't even know what a Leica is. Of those who do, relatively few care, or realize how much new ones cost. Very few can tell an old one from a new one. If you're rich enough that a Leica is a plaything, you're not going to be impressed, even if you do know and care.



So where will your Super Elmar be safer - or your M or here?

http://leicarumors.com/2010/06/23/leica-adapter-for-e-mount-sony-nex-again.aspx/


Which camera will be the better thief-magnet, I wonder?
;)