PDA

View Full Version : Collectors and users


Roger Hicks
10-08-2010, 00:25
Few of us can resist buying a interesting camera at the right price, even if we know it will receive little or no use: I never put a film through my 127 Gallus, for example. In other words, most of us 'collect' to some extent. It's just that few of us can afford to collect new, limited edition Leicas. So why should we denigrate those who do?

From about 1969 to about 1975 I used to collect (screw-mount) Leicas. Sure, I put a film or two through all of them, and lots of films through some of them. I quit when I realized I had well over £2000 (maybe £15,000 in current money) in substantially unused cameras and lenses in my toy cupboard: 'unused' in the sense that I wasn't really using them. Selling them gave me more than enough money to buy cameras and lenses I preferred to use: another M-body, my first 35 Summilux, etc.

Selling them, though, was a purely financial decision. If I'd been able to keep them, I would have -- and I'd probably still have them, as do some of the friends I met (and still value today) through Leica collecting.

So how much of the sniping at collectors is simply sour grapes?

Cheers,

R.

Arjay
10-08-2010, 00:38
Hm - I guess, individuals' spending habits are nothing that should be criticised. I think we all have our quirks.

What worries me more is that there's a company out there that sees its business model more in catering to collectors than to keep an interesting camera system alive and affordable for those that actually use these things. Have they run out of R&D steam?

Roger Hicks
10-08-2010, 00:48
What worries me more is that there's a company out there that sees its business model more in catering to collectors than to keep an interesting camera system alive and affordable for those that actually use these things. Have they run out of R&D steam?

Who, Rollei?

Would you rather have the option of insanely expensive TLRs and Rollei 35s, or NO Rollei TLRs and 35s?

How much 'R+D' can you apply to something you got right years ago? This is akin to arguing that a go-ahead manufacturer would re-examine the concept that bicycles have only two wheels. Or any wheels at all, instead of being maglev, hovercraft or anti-gravity.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Legge
10-08-2010, 00:50
My main frustration with collectors is how much it drives up prices. Those with 10 Ms are pushing up the demand, making it harder for people on tighter budgets. When the cameras just go into storage, its difficult to not be a little annoyed.

Big picture, no one is doing anything wrong. Supply and demand and all. Doesn't mean I wish half of them would stop so prices could drop more naturally. And I'm aware I'm a complete hypocrite on this point as I have about 2 dozen cameras in the $10-50 range.

Keith
10-08-2010, 00:59
This whole collectors and users discussion has as much potential for resolution as the film verses digital argument IMO ... which is not much! :p

I have more issue with the companies that deliberately market items aimed at collectors than the collectors themselves. Buying a camera like the M9ti to stash away is about as hollow as buying a reproduction antique and no real collector with genuine interest in rare or exotic items would do so in my book. More likely it's fodder for some tosser with too much disposable income who wants bragging rights to compensate for no genuine taste or class!

Roger Hicks
10-08-2010, 01:15
@ Brian: I'm not sure it does drive up prices. There aren't many collectors, as compared with users, and most of the cameras they want aren't the everyday 'cooking' Leicas that most of us use to take pictures. Besides, the ones that buy 'collector' editions that most of us aren't interested in anyway, especially the Titan, are buying NEW Leicas (not second-hand ones) and thereby helping to keep Leica in business, unlike those who buy second-had 'user' cameras.

@Keith: Of course you're right about the impossibility of resolving the question, but what puzzles me is why there's a question at all. I personally know only one person who has almost certainly bought a Titan, but he's certanly not bragging about it and he is extremely generous in allowing historians access to his collection. If you re-read your own post, doesn't it come close to sour grapes? "Someone else has more money than I, and they shouldn't have, but I am consoled by the fact that unlike me they have no taste or class."

Cheers,

R.

Arjay
10-08-2010, 01:17
Roger, I wasn't aware that Rollei still exists. I'm actually thinking along the line with Keith: Leica still exists, but has stopped innovating a long time ago. The M9Ti isn't an innovation, but rather an artificially 'rarified' collector's item.

It's ok to collect for a customer, but it is a shame for a company to focus on reproducing the past instead of working on the future.

The fact that per se, new Leica cameras are out of my reach financially, doesn't make me angry or jealous of those who can still afford them, but highlights a serious marketing problem for Leica: They sell so little cameras that the per-item manufacturing setup & tooling costs have to be distributed over an excessively small number of cameras.

If their cameras were innovative, they'd be able to sell more of them, which would bring them economies of scale. These would not only be beneficial for Leica, but for the eintire community of Leica users.

lxmike
10-08-2010, 01:20
Over 35 years I have drifted from user to collector and back to user. I sarted my journey with two cameras in the late 1970[s in my teenage years a Olympus Trip 35, (the advert with david Bailey at a wedding influenced me), and a 126 Kodak x77 Instamatic. I was then given for Xmas 1981 a pentax MV, at this time I only wanted what I could use and then roll forward tens years and I had a collection and used to 'fondle' the cameras more than use them. Then a leaking roof and failed heating system forced the collection to be sold. Now I am back, full circle, armed with some knowledge of what I like I'm slowly building a collection that will remain small, only cameras that will get regular use are allowed in. I'm a big scale fouc fan hence I own a few rollei 35's, Minox etc. I can see and have experienced both side of the coin, collector and user

Roger Hicks
10-08-2010, 01:27
Roger, I wasn't aware that Rollei still exists. I'm actually thinking along the line with Keith: Leica still exists, but has stopped innovating a long time ago. The M9Ti isn't an innovation, but rather an artificially 'rarified' collector's item.

It's ok to collect for a customer, but it is a shame for a company to focus on reproducing the past instead of working on the future.

Leica makes a lot more 'user' cameras than 'collector', so I can't see how they're concentrating on collectors rather than users.

What innovations do you want to see? The S2 looked pretty good to me. So did the first ever full-frame digital rangefinder. Most of the things people ask for are personal preferences rather than actual improvements, e.g. opening back (I like the removable base). Others are difficult or impossible to get into the small, svelte M-body. For example, the parallax-compensated, frame-size-compensated finder of the Linhof Technika 70 is lovely but it's about the size of an M.

Cheers,

R.

btgc
10-08-2010, 01:29
Collection can be tool, almost same as a camera. When someone is interested in photography, [s-]he may not be aware of nuances, and thus quickly acquire lots of gear (which isn't collection by itself). Using many cameras and lenses, one can come to certain conclusions, what fits, what not.

Questions is what happens then - after arriving to dream kit, is rest of gear sold or just lays around home, distracting from using dedicated kit and sparkling new waves of acquisition?

Arjay
10-08-2010, 01:46
Leica makes a lot more 'user' cameras than 'collector', so I can't see how they're concentrating on collectors rather than users.

Hm - The steps between each of Leica's new models and its immediate predecessors have never been revolutionary but rather evolutionary. That's not how one lures away users from buying used cameras.

Admitted - Leica product quality is superb, and that in part also explains why used Leicas are competition to new ones.

I think Leica failed in its marketing, not so much in its technology: They just rested too long on their laurels. Why isn't there a serious, technologically attractive OVF camera line below the M series? Why did it take Fuji with its X100 announcement and its hybrid viewfinder to stir up Leica, and why isn't Leica working on concepts to strategically draw new generations of users to its product lines?

I love RF and OVF cameras as they're so much easier to use than SLRs, but I personally want to use a camera, and collecting is not my cup of tea. Currently, Leica has no offering for me, neither in terms of technology, nor in terms of economy.

Spyro
10-08-2010, 01:57
What worries me more is that there's a company out there that sees its business model more in catering to collectors than to keep an interesting camera system alive and affordable for those that actually use these things. Have they run out of R&D steam?

Who, Rollei?


Nah, I think he probably had sth else in mind :p

http://www.kpraslowicz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/hellokiity-m6.jpg

Mongo Park
10-08-2010, 01:59
People collect all sorts of things and have always done so - and so, why not cameras and lenses. I consider myself a user of these objects but I do collect photographs - quite simply for the pleasure they bring (when I get the odd good one) and for the memories they spark. Have no beef against collectors of Leica gear - if you can afford it, why not.

Doug
10-08-2010, 02:02
...I have more issue with the companies that deliberately market items aimed at collectors than the collectors themselves. Buying a camera like the M9ti to stash away is about as hollow as buying a reproduction antique and no real collector with genuine interest in rare or exotic items would do so in my book. More likely it's fodder for some tosser with too much disposable income who wants bragging rights to compensate for no genuine taste or class!
I will agree with this, Keith... though some (or perhaps most) collectors study and enjoy the history and related stories regarding the specific items in their collections. They also preserve specimens that have some notable characteristic in the field.

I used to collect semi-auto pistols produced around the world, with sub-collections for certain types or calibers. This was a "black hole" to fall into, as the specimens got ever rarer, more expensive, and harder to acquire. Some categories, Lugers in particular, were so heavily infiltrated by fakes that even experts could often be taken in, one hazard of popularity and the money to be gained.

In regard to automobile collecting, I heard once that the best values were not so much the rare ones, but the cars that were recognized in their own times as outstanding and desirable. Restoration was much more acceptable for cars than for guns.

So it's always amazed me to see items made specifically for collecting, that have no useful value, like decorative display dinner plates and such. Some of these things are made in limited-edition numbered sets. No offense but I have a hard time seeing this as other than tacky and wasteful.

If we lump special-edition Leicas into this last, then I can see how they could be offensive. But in as far as the special Leica is truly functional, does it really fit there?

Further... Anything MADE to be collectible, in my view, therefore has little actual collector value anyway. A cutaway model would be more interesting for its educational aspect.

Keith
10-08-2010, 02:34
@ Brian: I'm not sure it does drive up prices. There aren't many collectors, as compared with users, and most of the cameras they want aren't the everyday 'cooking' Leicas that most of us use to take pictures. Besides, the ones that buy 'collector' editions that most of us aren't interested in anyway, especially the Titan, are buying NEW Leicas (not second-hand ones) and thereby helping to keep Leica in business, unlike those who buy second-had 'user' cameras.

@Keith: Of course you're right about the impossibility of resolving the question, but what puzzles me is why there's a question at all. I personally know only one person who has almost certainly bought a Titan, but he's certanly not bragging about it and he is extremely generous in allowing historians access to his collection. If you re-read your own post, doesn't it come close to sour grapes? "Someone else has more money than I, and they shouldn't have, but I am consoled by the fact that unlike me they have no taste or class."

Cheers,

R.



I have no class at all Roger and I don't have any money either ... so who am I to judge indeed!

oftheherd
10-08-2010, 02:52
I have bought a lot of cameras in the last few years due to RFF induced GAS. But not Leicas. They are more expensive than what I want to pay for a camera I wouldn't use much. I have cameras I do enjoy using. Leica just wouldn't be one of them. For all that want Leica for collecting or use, or both, good for you. I really don't care. I don't dislike Leica buyers and users, nor envy them. Nor do I care why they buy them.

Now if you want to talk about Super Press 23, that is a whole different story. :D

D.O'K.
10-08-2010, 03:03
Were a given type of camera uniquely able to take better pictures than its rivals, and if hardly any examples of it had been made or existed, the "moral" argument against the collector depriving the photographer of it might be strong.

But in the real world is that ever the case? Either collectable camera X produces no better pictures than other types less collectable; or if it does, it will doubtless have been produced in sufficient quantities for the photographers to acquire one--if they really want one.

Equally I don't see how--again in the real world--collectors drive up prices. They don't usually want ordinary copies in "user" condition, leaving the photographer free to buy the latter, which will also be far more numerous than "collector" examples anyway, at the lower (non-collector) market rate.

If this is correct, there should be no reason for collectors and photographers to encroach on each other's territory at all, still less for the collectors to be resented.

I declare my interest however--like many here I suspect, I've a foot in each camp...

Regards,
D.

Neare
10-08-2010, 03:11
Roger, do you think that there is a difference in collecting cameras that were built to be collector models as opposed to collecting rare or expensive cameras for the sake of a collection?

I don't have a problem with Leica's current 'turned fashion accessory' direction, I think what most people are upset about is that they have not added the new features into a camera that your average Joe Blog can use.

But then that raises another issue with collecting. Collecting digital cameras now will be a far different issue to collecting film cameras. Why? Because a year later something better will come out. M9ti's are great now for the collector, but 10 years down the line they will seriously look at it as being obsolete. Whereas film cameras don't share that quality - cameras made 80 years ago take photographs the same as any new film camera made in the same format. Therefore it's is more of a collecting based on rarity and history rather than digital collecting which is based on prestige.

MCTuomey
10-08-2010, 03:27
People collect all sorts of things and have always done so - and so, why not cameras and lenses. I consider myself a user of these objects but I do collect photographs - quite simply for the pleasure they bring (when I get the odd good one) and for the memories they spark. Have no beef against collectors of Leica gear - if you can afford it, why not.

well put

no beef here. i kinda like the entertainment value of the "mine is best" threads that show up from time to time.

does buying more than one needs qualify as collecting? if so, then i have a large foot in the door myself.

surfer dude
10-08-2010, 03:35
Is that hello kitty camera for real? I want one!

wlewisiii
10-08-2010, 03:58
I leave collectibles for the collectors - I find it very easy to leave something in the case if it's not something I'll use. No value judgment for me, I just have too small a toy budget as it is.

naruto
10-08-2010, 04:19
This whole collectors and users discussion has as much potential for resolution as the film verses digital argument IMO ... which is not much! :p


Keith, are you hinting that we have a Collector's Forum?

*runs* :D

Pickett Wilson
10-08-2010, 04:30
I wonder how much "collectors" actually have effected the price of used Leicas in the marketplace. During the 1980's and early 1990's, I did a lot of the big buy-sale-trade shows that were popular then, and there were numerous Japanese buyers at every one them, with brief cases full of cash, buying every decent Leica that came into the place. I talked to a number of these guys, and basically they were buying up every nice Leica they could get and storing them in vaults in Japan.

Now, you can argue this was not a great investment strategy, but I wonder if most of them have found their way back into the market place by now, or if there has been some artificial scarcity (although, Leica's don't really seem to be scarce in the second hand market) because of their actions that has affected the price of these cameras.

januaryman
10-08-2010, 04:41
Nah, I think he probably had sth else in mind :p

http://www.kpraslowicz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/hellokiity-m6.jpg

Please God, let this be a Photoshopped image! No one wouldreally do this to a fine camera, would they?

Brian Sweeney
10-08-2010, 04:45
Iinvesting in cameras, investing in comic books, investing in real estate. That is a lot different from collecting and using them. I have a number of collectible cameras, and I use a lot of cameras.

"Collector/User" is what we run across here at RFF. An investor would never load a roll into a near-mint Nikon SP and use it. A collector would never buy a Leica M3 with meter marks across the top. A "collector/user" does both.

Nikon Bob
10-08-2010, 05:02
"So how much of the sniping at collectors is simply sour grapes?" Most of it I suspect as it is only human nature to be jealous. You can try and justify it by the mental gymnastics of supposed reasoned arguments but in the end it goes back to simple jealousy. No big deal and very normal.

Bob

umboody
10-08-2010, 05:04
I tend to go in and out of collecting cameras purely for the sake of it. I only use three cameras max, but have over twenty. When finances dictate, I have to sell some of them, but generally this makes room for others in the long run. Strange habit when I think about it...

TheHub
10-08-2010, 06:18
I like Japanese collectors. They only want mint condition equipment - which means cameras with sometimes only minor wear can be had cheaply by me! :)

ederek
10-08-2010, 06:57
Roger - nothing wrong with collecting. I think you may be interpreting some of the Leica bashing or other comments as "anti-collecting".

What annoys me about Leica's approach is the branding and product positioning. Nothing to do with collecting, but rather being repulsed by overt association with conspicuous consumption, etc..

For decades I've avoided having a BMW. Are they great driving machines? Yes they are, but it is the large volume of posers who buy BMW's solely for the brand that keeps me away.

Is a Mont Blanc a nice writing instrument? Yes, but their branding and public perception means I carry a Pelican or Namiki (probably a more innovative pen than any Monte Bianco).

Do I like Ostrich skin? Very much, and have carried the same Ostrich wallet every day since 1994 - only possible with the highest quality materials. BUT, vulcanite will do just fine, thank you very much.

Do I like Titanium? Very much, and have some camping items that benefit from it (including a Ti spoon, no silver for me!). Worked in aerospace a time ago and some jet engines benefited from Ti, but in Leica's case the motivation is probably just the marketing / branding positioning over true weight savings for the system. Did they once state how much weight was saved through the use of Ti? Sadly, no.

So I scrape off the white Leica model identifier and tape over the logo. I say "it's a rangefinder" when people ask, not "a Leica". I think if someone asks me "Is that a Leica", I'll respond with "What's a Leica?" from now on to see what their perception are of the brand. Will report back on the responses...

<snip>I have more issue with the companies that deliberately market items aimed at collectors than the collectors themselves. Buying a camera like the M9ti to stash away is about as hollow as buying a reproduction antique and no real collector with genuine interest in rare or exotic items would do so in my book. More likely it's fodder for some tosser with too much disposable income who wants bragging rights to compensate for no genuine taste or class!

Exactly.

Roger - I don't see a single sour grape there. Sour grapes would be if Keith wished to be in their position but wasn't able. I see quite the opposite, so maybe Keith is more a Case of Fine Wine?

The fact that per se, new Leica cameras are out of my reach financially, doesn't make me angry or jealous of those who can still afford them, but highlights a serious marketing problem for Leica: They sell so little cameras that the per-item manufacturing setup & tooling costs have to be distributed over an excessively small number of cameras.

If their cameras were innovative, they'd be able to sell more of them, which would bring them economies of scale. These would not only be beneficial for Leica, but for the eintire community of Leica users.

Yup. While the market for current M systems at current prices isn't so large, the photography market itself is substantial and likely still growing today (don't have numbers to back that up, but seems that way). [More] innovation by Leica would open the system up to more of that growing market.

What innovations do you want to see? The S2 looked pretty good to me. So did the first ever full-frame digital rangefinder. Most of the things people ask for are personal preferences rather than actual improvements, e.g. opening back (I like the removable base). Others are difficult or impossible to get into the small, svelte M-body. For example, the parallax-compensated, frame-size-compensated finder of the Linhof Technika 70 is lovely but it's about the size of an M.

Seriously? The M system is at the pinnacle of engineering and there is no where left to go? Hogwash, there are numerous useful innovations left to be ideated, developed and delivered. Consider how much of the M9 is still analog and not digitized. Do we need a new M10 thread? Maybe the X100 (or X200, 300) will just pass them on by..

If we lump special-edition Leicas into this last, then I can see how they could be offensive. But in as far as the special Leica is truly functional, does it really fit there?

Doug good points, but on this matter - do we really know if the new Titan innovations are functional?? Does the new LED frameline illuminator really work in the real world, or should they have left the window and augmented it with LED's? How does the holster grip function in practice? How do these things hold up over time? We'll probably never know based on the results of Titan field use..

But then that raises another issue with collecting. Collecting digital cameras now will be a far different issue to collecting film cameras. Why? Because a year later something better will come out. M9ti's are great now for the collector, but 10 years down the line they will seriously look at it as being obsolete. Whereas film cameras don't share that quality - cameras made 80 years ago take photographs the same as any new film camera made in the same format. Therefore it's is more of a collecting based on rarity and history rather than digital collecting which is based on prestige.

Agreed, and this may be a good thing, in that it will force Leica to actually focus on value-added innovation in their product to survive.

I'd like Leica to "get it right" because there's more money tied up in glass than any particular body, and I'd like that value to last. I like the machine, but not the brand positioning.

BTW, I think the new 35 lux looks great. I like the innovation that fixes focus shift problems. It would have been nice if the focus and aperture ring had rotary encoders built in and were "future ready" for the M10 and onward though..

No sour grapes, but plenty annoyed. Ok, waaay to long of a rant!

sazerac
10-08-2010, 07:06
Please God, let this be a Photoshopped image! No one wouldreally do this to a fine camera, would they?

There's got to be a matching lens to make this one desireable! ;)

newspaperguy
10-08-2010, 07:12
I think some of us are inadvertent collectors... we see something we like,
or always wanted, get it and try it... and then it just sits.

My wife refers to my "dust collection." I'm not sure she's wrong.

sepiareverb
10-08-2010, 07:15
Are there really that many people who know we are snobs because we carry Leicas?

Brian Sweeney
10-08-2010, 07:24
I use a J-8 on my M8.

Let's count the heart attacks to find the snobs.

sig
10-08-2010, 07:49
People here are not fed up with the 'collectors', the latest leica bashing is due to the products they showed under photokina. Nothing new except wrapping, on top of that Leicas flagship, the M9 is turned into a overpriced* fashion accessory. Then you have the new M9 with 10 000 dollars worth of bird leather attached, new fashion accessory.

To make things even worse Fuji came in from the left with the X100, the camera everybody wanted leica to bring to photokina.

* Yes I know, it is not overpriced because somebody out there are buying it.

ebino
10-08-2010, 07:58
The important question is if its at all possible for any digital camera, no matter how preciously built to be a collector's item?

In my view a photographer has no reason to resent collectors because he can achieve whatever he wants quite cheaply and he has thousand of options. If he frets over Leica and such, its his inner collector more than the photographer in him... But at the same time the said photographer has every right to be angry at Leica for abandoning being a company for photographers and instead focusing mainly on collectors. But even that anger is mostly out of naiveté because he/she is after Leica heritage than the Leica itself -HCB and so on shot with a Leica so must I...

Damaso
10-08-2010, 08:21
Personally I feel like cameras are meant to be used but hey, if you've got the money and the fetish more power to you!

chris000
10-08-2010, 09:03
Each to their own of course, if it's your money you spend it how you want.

But for what it's worth I regard a 'collection' as being of things that you appreciate but do not use in the usual sense e.g. art, books, music, etc.

To me a camera is a tool and I can only admire its design by using it for what it was designed for. I may own a number of tools but I would not regard them as a collection as I would my collection of music.

A personal view.

I seem to have missed all the Leica 'sniping', I'm obviously not reading the right threads (or should that be wrong threads?)

maddoc
10-08-2010, 09:18
Here in Japan price for everything that is labeled "Leica" or - worse - "Leitz" are ridiculous high compared to prices in US. On the other hand, I have not seen so many Leicas actually in use as here in the streets of Tokyo or the other large cities. So a lot of collector / user types here ...

John Lawrence
10-08-2010, 10:17
Personally I feel like cameras are meant to be used but hey, if you've got the money and the fetish more power to you!

Plus one.

John

damien.murphy
10-08-2010, 10:27
I would argue that many of us users have the potential to be camera-rescuers, and think the motivation in doing so is a little different from camera collectors. There is a difference between misguided desire to rescue and use a camera (even if only to ever shoot lightly), to that of a pure collector who is more of a trophy hunter.

I've nothing against collectors, who have actually been the source of several of my most used cameras, but many people (myself included) find the practice to collect a little perverse. I'm not going to postulate that the practice of collecting should be banned, but equally I cannot understand the desire to render something a mere trophy or showpiece.

Different strokes for different folks, and to be honest in the case of Leica, I appreciate the role of collectors, who pre-M9 were probably keeping Leica afloat :)

keepright
10-08-2010, 10:53
It's just that few of us can afford to collect new, limited edition Leicas. So why should we denigrate those who do?

I wonder if this is triggering the same gene that also responds to people who drive large military-inspired vehicles across beautifully asphalted roads to the suburban grocery store.


From about 1969 to about 1975 I used to collect (screw-mount) Leicas. Sure, I put a film or two through all of them, and lots of films through some of them. I quit when I realized I had well over £2000 (maybe £15,000 in current money) in substantially unused cameras and lenses in my toy cupboard: 'unused' in the sense that I wasn't really using them. Selling them gave me more than enough money to buy cameras and lenses I preferred to use: another M-body, my first 35 Summilux, etc.

I think this is the key part of the question - the idea of collectors driving up the price of used cameras. Certainly, the fact that I was the high bidder for a film camera (that largely sits on a shelf, appreciated but unused) means that someone else didn't get it for less money. Perhaps I kept it out of the hands of a deserving but underfunded artist who would cherish it and use it forever - probably not, but who knows?

What I do know is that the money I've spent on used cameras has gone to other photographers who have used it to buy something else that they need. Hopefully, as in Roger's case, it's camera equipment that will better suit their needs - but if it's a set of golf clubs, that's none of my business. The important point is that cameras and money are traded between photographers in ways that make everyone involved happier.

bob338
10-08-2010, 10:58
What annoys me about Leica's approach is the branding and product positioning. Nothing to do with collecting, but rather being repulsed by overt association with conspicuous consumption, etc..

Is a Mont Blanc a nice writing instrument? Yes, but their branding and public perception means I carry a Pelican or Namiki (probably a more innovative pen than any Monte Bianco).

Do I like Ostrich skin? Very much, and have carried the same Ostrich wallet every day since 1994 - only possible with the highest quality materials. BUT, vulcanite will do just fine, thank you very much.

Do I like Titanium? Very much, and have some camping items that benefit from it (including a Ti spoon, no silver for me!).

So I scrape off the white Leica model identifier and tape over the logo. I say "it's a rangefinder" when people ask, not "a Leica". I think if someone asks me "Is that a Leica", I'll respond with "What's a Leica?" from now on to see what their perception are of the brand. Will report back on the responses...


Are these examples not conspicuous consumption?

I think there is another kind of conspicuous consumption, one where we're obtuse about having the 'most expensive item in the world that you've probably never heard of,' and in my humble opinion this is what's really behind taping over logos and scratching out model numbers.

I, for one, am quite proud of being able to afford what I want to buy. When you grow up without much it's quite a thrill to point at something and say 'I'll take it.'

As for collectors, there wouldn't be any museums or historical societies without them.

Bob

ederek
10-08-2010, 11:51
Are these examples not conspicuous consumption?

I think there is another kind of conspicuous consumption, one where we're obtuse about having the 'most expensive item in the world that you've probably never heard of,' and in my humble opinion this is what's really behind taping over logos and scratching out model numbers.

Bob, I do not believe I'm trying to practice an obtuse form of conspicuous consumption. I think you mean a case where not just anyone would notice the "x" item, but "only the people I really care to notice", or something along those lines. It's an assertion that is probably valid, and one we should be on guard against when weighing the motives for our actions (e.g. purchases).

I truly enjoy quality. I also think the M9 is the best tool, the best machine available today for the type of photography I want to do. In hindsight, an M8 probably would have been fine. Interestingly, I treat the M4's with greater care than the M9, and am far more concerned about them than the M9, which is quite utilitarian. I think taping over the logo makes the camera more invisible, and that's my primary motivation. The thought of getting a 'Black Dot' had crossed my mind, but indeed I question if that doesn't border on the "obtuse" form you refer to!

I was trying to use examples of items that are a) truly of high quality; and b) also common objects of conspicuous consumption by [some] people who don't care about the quality so much as the social perception created by having the object (or a certain Service even).

A roomate in college had an M5 (BMW, not a Leica!). It was an awesome machine. He also struggled with the social perceptions versus just wanting to own and drive something of the best quality.

I've carried a cheap nylon wallet with velcro at times (camping, rafting, etc.) and certainly don't feel 'inadequate' using it. It would probably even suffice for every day use, as quality is less important for wallets than other 'tools'.

I write with a Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen every day. Not because of branding, but because it's the best writing instrument I could find (tried many pens). It's not the most money, but it's the best. The Mont Blanc writes well, but not necessarily better, and it carries the negative aspect of association with Conspicuous Consumers.

From Conspicuous Consumption on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspicuous_consumption)

Conspicuous consumption is a term used to describe the lavish spending on goods and services acquired mainly for the purpose of displaying income or wealth. In the mind of a conspicuous consumer, such display serves as a means of attaining or maintaining social status (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_status). A very similar but more colloquial term is "keeping up with the Joneses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_up_with_the_Joneses)".
Invidious consumption, a more specialized term, refers to consumption deliberately intended to cause envy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Envy).
Conspicuous consumption is antagonistic to sustainability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability) because it greatly increases resource use and environmental impact.

or this is nicely put on a blog post by Seth (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/04/revisiting-conspicuous-consumption.html)


The reason you have a front lawn? It's a tradition. Lawns were invented as a way for the landed gentry to demonstrate that they could afford to waste land. By taking the land away from the grazing sheep, they were sending a message to their neighbors. We're rich, we can happily waste the opportunity to make a few bucks from our front lawn.
Conspicuous consumption has a long history. Wasting millions of dollars on a shark in a tank, or on $50,000 platinum stereo cables that sound an awful lot like $2000 stereo cables (which sound a lot like $200 stereo cables). And on and on.
In fact, the origins of the luxury goods industry lie in this desire to waste, in public. 350 years ago in France, Jean-Baptiste Colbert dreamed up the idea of bespoke, rare goods as a way of improving France's balance of trade. LVMH and other huge corporations collect brands that telegraph scarcity above all else. Not that they're better at performing the task at hand, merely that they are expensive and rare.

There will come a time, perhaps soon, where our front lawns will be converted to gardens. Hopefully..

I, for one, am quite proud of being able to afford what I want to buy. When you grow up without much it's quite a thrill to point at something and say 'I'll take it.'

That's great! It does feel good, especially when you've worked hard to be able to do that, as I'm sure you have. It is the motivation for 'why' you want what you want that needs to be questioned (I'm not at all suggesting you in particular need to question, this, but in a general sense that we all should).

As for collectors, there wouldn't be any museums or historical societies without them.

I have nothing against collectors whatsoever. Tried to separate this in my statements - I think Roger in his initial post infers that people have a problem with collectors. Often they don't, and in this case it is likely the obvious peddling by Leica to Conspicuous Consumers, which is absolutely sickening!!!!!

wlewisiii
10-08-2010, 12:18
Now that is :cool:

Brian, you win this round ;)

Brian Sweeney
10-08-2010, 12:21
The look on her face was wonderful when I put it in front of her and asked for an autograph. "Where the hell did you get this". Around 1980, giving the famous nano-second talk at our school.

Brian Legge
10-08-2010, 12:36
I like damiens distinction. Half of my cameras were heading for either the dump as were non functional only worth a small fraction of what that repair would have cost. Some of those cameras I later sold. Once that aren't totally functional I'm more likely to have kept as I don't like offering cameras in an unknown state for sale.

Roger Hicks
10-08-2010, 12:45
Are these examples not conspicuous consumption?

I think there is another kind of conspicuous consumption, one where we're obtuse about having the 'most expensive item in the world that you've probably never heard of,' and in my humble opinion this is what's really behind taping over logos and scratching out model numbers.

I, for one, am quite proud of being able to afford what I want to buy. When you grow up without much it's quite a thrill to point at something and say 'I'll take it.'

As for collectors, there wouldn't be any museums or historical societies without them.

Bob

Dear Bob.

That brought tears to my eyes. Not floods, it's true, but YES!

God bless our fathers and the education they made sure we had. Even if we didn't appreciate it at the time. And even if 'God bless' implies more belief in a Supreme Being than we can readily muster.

Cheers,

R.

wlewisiii
10-08-2010, 12:50
Heh, Brian, I can only imagine. Similar, but not nearly as cool, I have is a 1st edition of "The Traveller Book" for the 1st edition with two of the three primary author's autographs.

FrankS
10-08-2010, 12:58
With about 50 cameras, I am a collector/user. None are rare, super valuable, or in mint condition, and they do get used, but it is clearly more than I "need".

matthew J Shaw
10-08-2010, 13:01
Interesting debate...
I'm a user by profession, and a collector by passion, as I type this Im sitting in my office and there is a display cabinet next to me with some 30 odd cameras in it :) (luxury)

All of them are useable with a couple of exceptions, 127 cameras are useable, but its getting harder and harder to by film. Some I have to admit are worth some serious money and others probably aren't worth the recycled bicycle clips they may of been made out of. But each has a personnel value to me, I buy cameras that I feel an affinity to, I pick them up and the just feel "right".

In my time I have been offered some great camera's, at even better prices, but I have walked away as they don't feel right for me. And to me, that is the whole crux of the argument, collecting of any form is a subjective thing, one of my favourite camera's I own is an old Edixa, practically worthless, but I would never part with it as it just feels totally perfect to me.

We all have our foibles, and some people I know think I'm mad as I actually use all of my collectables, but I love them as cameras, not objects, if they are not in use, what use are they?

As I say, that is my choice, and it's no more right or wrong than someone who collects limited edition Leica's purely for display. I'm very blessed that I can afford to indulge my interest, but as Roger originally said, it is all dependant on finance, and one day it may all change, but until then, I for one will enjoy been a collector AND a user.

emraphoto
10-08-2010, 13:01
Leica makes a lot more 'user' cameras than 'collector', so I can't see how they're concentrating on collectors rather than users.

What innovations do you want to see? The S2 looked pretty good to me. So did the first ever full-frame digital rangefinder. Most of the things people ask for are personal preferences rather than actual improvements, e.g. opening back (I like the removable base). Others are difficult or impossible to get into the small, svelte M-body. For example, the parallax-compensated, frame-size-compensated finder of the Linhof Technika 70 is lovely but it's about the size of an M.

Cheers,

R.

have to chime in with a hearty 'indeed'

that S2 seems easily forgotten but man o man, i'd collect a few of those if i could.

damien.murphy
10-08-2010, 13:05
Please God, let this be a Photoshopped image! No one wouldreally do this to a fine camera, would they?

If you feel this bad at just seeing the camera, imagine how the Leica camera techs who had to assemble it must have felt, lol

bob338
10-08-2010, 13:53
The thought of getting a 'Black Dot' had crossed my mind, but indeed I question if that doesn't border on the "obtuse" form you refer to!

I honestly have no problem with black dots and taping up cameras for whatever reason, I only object to people being coy about it. Let's be honest, black dots look cool and taping up your camera makes you(i mean 'you' in a 'we' sense) feel like Jim Marshall.
edit--just wanted to add that I traded a nice M7 for a Black MP Classic for the sole reason that it was so pretty! The M7 is miles away better on every level but that MP is just gorgeous.

I have nothing against collectors whatsoever. Tried to separate this in my statements - I think Roger in his initial post infers that people have a problem with collectors. Often they don't, and in this case it is likely the obvious peddling by Leica to Conspicuous Consumers, which is absolutely sickening!!!!!

I will agree that there is a cringe factor with some of the special editions, but someone else may like it, and If their money keeps Leica afloat for another round of R&D, we get to benefit, we get to buy the new lenses and bodies that were funded by their money!

If I could buy a new ostrich skinned Leica, I probably would. And if I could buy the M9Ti, I would do it in a heartbeat!

Bob

bob338
10-08-2010, 13:56
Dear Bob.

That brought tears to my eyes. Not floods, it's true, but YES!

God bless our fathers and the education they made sure we had. Even if we didn't appreciate it at the time. And even if 'God bless' implies more belief in a Supreme Being than we can readily muster.

Cheers,

R.

Nice of you to say that, Roger, thanks. I really wanted to impart that many of us have ended up with some nice things after a lot of hard work and I don't think we should feel lousy about it.

Bob

Tom A
10-08-2010, 14:54
In the case of the M9 Titanium - it will give Leica a net cash infusion of about 5 Million Euros - which will be used to make the M10 ( Electronic finder, full frame sensor, M and R lens capability etc). This is not speculation, Stefan Daniel (Mr M @ Leica) stated this at the LHSA meeting last week in Wetzlar. Probably will show up at Photokina 2012.
As for collectors pushing up prices. yes, if it is something rare or "mint in box" - the prices are high, but for the run of the mill stuff - sellers might think that because it is a Leica, it should be worth a lot - but as a buyer you have plenty of alternatives.
As a rule, I dont buy "collectibles" - occasionally I pick up lenses that fall into this category, but not for collecting, but for using (Nikkor 25f4, Nikkor 105f4 Rf mount and various M lenses). Yes, sometimes they cost more than I really want to pay - due to their collectibility - but if I want it - thats the price I have to pay.
The "Franklin Mint" type of cameras (gold-plated, over-engraved or somewhat far-fetched designation like the Year Of The Rooster M6 ( I still call it the Kentucky Fried Chicken camera) - have no interest to me - unless it's price is the same as that of a stock model.
One advantage of Nikon's Millennium S3 and 2005 SP is that the original versions of these cameras dropped enough to make them affordable to mere mortals. Case in point : a S3 Nikon with a 1st version 50f1.4 (#5005xxx) for $650 and a Olympic S3 for about $1500 - and, yes, both are being used.
Nikon had the fortitude to put limited edition lenses on these two cameras, the Millennium 50f1.4 is one of the best 50's ever - and the SP 2005 35f1.8 with modern coating rivals any other medium speed 35.
For those who collects as a retirement plan - good luck - and for those who collect as historian's - good for you.
Oh, the Titanium M9 was designed by a non-photographer - and it shows. Very clumsy to hold and way too slippery. Nice frame lines though (LED). Titanium is just a fad - not very good for regular use, very good if you are re-entering the atmosphere at Mach 5 or beyond - or if you are in highly toxic environment. It is good to know that at least the camera will survive - even though you are burned to a crisp or dissolved into a organic puddle!

DNG
10-08-2010, 16:26
I wonder how much "collectors" actually have effected the price of used Leicas in the marketplace. During the 1980's and early 1990's, I did a lot of the big buy-sale-trade shows that were popular then, and there were numerous Japanese buyers at every one them, with brief cases full of cash, buying every decent Leica that came into the place. I talked to a number of these guys, and basically they were buying up every nice Leica they could get and storing them in vaults in Japan.

Now, you can argue this was not a great investment strategy, but I wonder if most of them have found their way back into the market place by now, or if there has been some artificial scarcity (although, Leica's don't really seem to be scarce in the second hand market) because of their actions that has affected the price of these cameras.

I hope they take them out for some exercise :p

But, I don't think buying up for collections has a big effect.
I think the "Users" have more of an effect when there is a fad on a model, M5 for instance. they could be had $500.00 around 10 years ago, now, they sell for around $700.00 to $1000.00 for a 2/3 lug model in great condition. And, if they had an M6 VF upgrade, maybe more.

It may be just that 10 years added value also. But, regardless, they sell for more now.

So, the heavy buyers user, will, IMO, help drive up price more.

As far as me collecting.... Na, I don't mind paying more on a Leica than other RFs. Because the quality/support in 20 years out, or more is important for a "Leica user". And Leica does this very well form the Original 1954 M3 to present. That is added value worth the added cost IMO.

I don't buy "Collectible" cameras. But, I buy cameras I will use on a regular basis. Now, the model may be collectible, but, it if has what I want, and I can find a " good condition user" or less than perfect one, I will get it. As a side note: I don't need but a few cameras, so, I won't buy a camera to display.

Tony Rose
10-08-2010, 17:02
In the case of the M9 Titanium - it will give Leica a net cash infusion of about 5 Million Euros - which will be used to make the M10 ( Electronic finder, full frame sensor, M and R lens capability etc). This is not speculation, Stefan Daniel (Mr M @ Leica) stated this at the LHSA meeting last week in Wetzlar. Probably will show up at Photokina 2012.
As for collectors pushing up prices. yes, if it is something rare or "mint in box" - the prices are high, but for the run of the mill stuff - sellers might think that because it is a Leica, it should be worth a lot - but as a buyer you have plenty of alternatives.
As a rule, I dont buy "collectibles" - occasionally I pick up lenses that fall into this category, but not for collecting, but for using (Nikkor 25f4, Nikkor 105f4 Rf mount and various M lenses). Yes, sometimes they cost more than I really want to pay - due to their collectibility - but if I want it - thats the price I have to pay.
The "Franklin Mint" type of cameras (gold-plated, over-engraved or somewhat far-fetched designation like the Year Of The Rooster M6 ( I still call it the Kentucky Fried Chicken camera) - have no interest to me - unless it's price is the same as that of a stock model.
One advantage of Nikon's Millennium S3 and 2005 SP is that the original versions of these cameras dropped enough to make them affordable to mere mortals. Case in point : a S3 Nikon with a 1st version 50f1.4 (#5005xxx) for $650 and a Olympic S3 for about $1500 - and, yes, both are being used.
Nikon had the fortitude to put limited edition lenses on these two cameras, the Millennium 50f1.4 is one of the best 50's ever - and the SP 2005 35f1.8 with modern coating rivals any other medium speed 35.
For those who collects as a retirement plan - good luck - and for those who collect as historian's - good for you.
Oh, the Titanium M9 was designed by a non-photographer - and it shows. Very clumsy to hold and way too slippery. Nice frame lines though (LED). Titanium is just a fad - not very good for regular use, very good if you are re-entering the atmosphere at Mach 5 or beyond - or if you are in highly toxic environment. It is good to know that at least the camera will survive - even though you are burned to a crisp or dissolved into a organic puddle!

Tom, your are the Cat's Meow!

sepiareverb
10-08-2010, 17:17
People here are not fed up with the 'collectors', the latest leica bashing is due to the products they showed under photokina. Nothing new except wrapping

Considering they've barely managed to make enough M9 bodies to satisfy demand I don't see how they could be working on an M10.

In the case of the M9 Titanium - it will give Leica a net cash infusion of about 5 Million Euros - which will be used to make the M10 ( Electronic finder, full frame sensor, M and R lens capability etc).

Which will only create more complaints. :bang: When will they ever learn that the people who don't buy new want an M3 with a digital sensor in it that costs only $1000? ;)

Gumby
10-08-2010, 17:26
Nice of you to say that, Roger, thanks. I really wanted to impart that many of us have ended up with some nice things after a lot of hard work and I don't think we should feel lousy about it.

Bob

AMEN!


(and Alelluia since "AMEN!" was less than the 10-required characters)

Tom A
10-11-2010, 21:46
[QUOTE=sepiareverb



Which will only create more complaints. :bang: When will they ever learn that the people who don't buy new want an M3 with a digital sensor in it that costs only $1000? ;)[/QUOTE]

Oh, you mean something like the Fuji X 100!

ChrisLivsey
10-12-2010, 11:35
Considering they've barely managed to make enough M9 bodies to satisfy demand I don't see how they could be working on an M10.

A number of UK dealers are now listing the M9 as "in stock".

sepiareverb
10-12-2010, 13:21
A number of UK dealers are now listing the M9 as "in stock".

Yep. One year later.

David Murphy
10-12-2010, 14:02
What worries me more is that there's a company out there that sees its business model more in catering to collectors than to keep an interesting camera system alive and affordable for those that actually use these things. Have they run out of R&D steam?

Who, Rollei?

Would you rather have the option of insanely expensive TLRs and Rollei 35s, or NO Rollei TLRs and 35s?

How much 'R+D' can you apply to something you got right years ago? This is akin to arguing that a go-ahead manufacturer would re-examine the concept that bicycles have only two wheels. Or any wheels at all, instead of being maglev, hovercraft or anti-gravity.

Cheers,

R.

You gents haven't seen insanely expensive Rollei's yet. The company that was making them (Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik und Optik) went bankrupt last year and new ones are not available. The prices of used ones are skyrocketing now.

Vince Lupo
10-12-2010, 15:37
Funny, but I've been toying with buying a Hasselblad '20 Years in Space' 500 EL/M camera - not because it's collectible, but because I like EL/M's, and this edition looks really neat (in gray!). No box, no papers, but I don't really care -- is it terrible to think that way????

sepiareverb
10-12-2010, 16:07
Funny, but I've been toying with buying a Hasselblad '20 Years in Space' 500 EL/M camera - not because it's collectible, but because I like EL/M's, and this edition looks really neat (in gray!). No box, no papers, but I don't really care -- is it terrible to think that way????

Apparently so. You're not worrying about what others will think of you, so something is definitely wrong.

Roger Hicks
10-12-2010, 23:45
You gents haven't seen insanely expensive Rollei's yet. The company that was making them (Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik und Optik) went bankrupt last year and new ones are not available. The prices of used ones are skyrocketing now.
Dear David,

Sorry, you're wrong on two counts (Insert smilies, etc., to soften the harshness of that statement). Yes I have seen insanely expensive Rolleis -- and new ones at that, at photokina.

Franke and Heidecke was wound up and reconstituted (because that's the only easy way to shed staff in Germany) as DHW, who had a stand at the show. Quite a big stand. They are making the SLR, the full range of TLRs, and Rollei 35s, all in Germany. The Rollei 35s are 4300€ each, call it $5800. The TLRs are, predictably, even more expensive. The site is www.dhw-fototechnik.de, aber Die Seite befindet sich im Aufbau if you go to it (Under Construction).


Cheers,

R.

FrozenInTime
10-13-2010, 00:32
A few years back I bought a 0-Series replica collectable with the intent to use it as a travel camera.
It had a great lens and was super compact - like nothing else around at the time.

I did use it and continue to do so when the mood takes me.
I'm proud to have significantly reduced the value of this camera to the point where I will never be tempted to part with it.

However I guess what also differentiated the 0-Series was that it was cheap for a Leica special edition - even cheap compared to the X-1.
Most specials are just too expensive to be desirable in any way.

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 01:13
You gents haven't seen insanely expensive Rollei's yet. The company that was making them (Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik und Optik) went bankrupt last year and new ones are not available. The prices of used ones are skyrocketing now.

Also, given the prices those used ones originally sold for, that they are not 'sky-rocketing' as opposed to returning to their natural price level :)

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 01:35
Dear David,

Sorry, you're wrong on two counts (Insert smilies, etc., to soften the harshness of that statement). Yes I have seen insanely expensive Rolleis -- and new ones at that, at photokina.

Franke and Heidecke was wound up and reconstituted (because that's the only easy way to shed staff in Germany) as DHW, who had a stand at the show. Quite a big stand. They are making the SLR, the full range of TLRs, and Rollei 35s, all in Germany. The Rollei 35s are 4300€ each, call it $5800. The TLRs are, predictably, even more expensive. The site is www.dhw-fototechnik.de, aber Die Seite befindet sich im Aufbau if you go to it (Under Construction).


Cheers,

R.

I think its a very real issue for companies like Rollei and Leica, who have produced such well-built cameras in the past, that their current production is now competing with the old, and also that with their reputation developed on overbuilt cameras, the bar of judgement in their market is pretty high. I bought a Rollei 35T recently in perfect condition for €100, and am probably the worst possible prospect to buy a new Rollei 35 for €4300 from Rollei.

When twinned with the reality that the film market is a vastly reduced one, and probably served by existing cameras in the used marketplace, one wonders what the path for Rollei and Leica as camera companies is.

Is the reality, that we simply wish for the likes of Rollei and Leica to endure, so we may look fondly on them, as if they were in a glass exhibit case ?

LeicaTom
10-13-2010, 01:39
I'm still waiting for Leica's digital version of the IIIG so I can wear the chrome down to bare brass LOL!!!!! :)

Tom

Roger Hicks
10-13-2010, 02:03
Dear Damien,

Both Rollei and Leica make digital cameras and are doing rather well with them. The film bodies can remain in production as a sideline for as long as anyone wants them.

Cheers,

R.

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 02:04
I'm still waiting for Leica's digital version of the IIIG so I can wear the chrome down to bare brass LOL!!!!! :)

Tom

The only thing that would make me buy a digital Leica would be upgradeable electronics, and like you Tom, knowing that the body shell would last as long as any of my film M's which are older than me!

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 02:10
Dear Damien,

Both Rollei and Leica make digital cameras and are doing rather well with them. The film bodies can remain in production as a sideline for as long as anyone wants them.

Cheers,

R.

True, but Rollei in my eyes is just a me-too digital player, and I know quite well what happens to companies without a distinct selling point when the waters get choppy.

As for Leica, pre-M9, I think Leica was in trouble. The M9 seems to have been the magic digital formula for them, but with more companies entering the RF-space in the future, I suspect Leica could be in danger of getting lost in the crowd. At the moment, they're effectively the first to market - not an advantage that will last forever.

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 02:15
Actually (and elaborating on my above point), I would like to see Leica offer upgradeable electronics, whereby upon plonking down your $7k for an M9, you could upgrade the shell to M10 electronics for say $3k- $4k when the next model comes along. I think were Leica to go down this route, it might be the best fit to continue the Leica legacy, and also a way of tempting existing film M shooters into the fold. At present, I see a two-tier market; that of exclusive film M shooters, and digital M shooters (many of whom were/ are film M shooters too)

LeicaTom
10-13-2010, 02:40
Taking the M to digital was a great idea and it (SAVED) Leica from going bust.......I think that the M Film camera should be sold alongside with the M Digital, just Leica should really look at what the Japanese did with the Retro Nikon's and sit down and make a IIIG Digital or a New M3 film camera and not just make 125 in black paint and 125 in chrome, but make a nice run of them, (a few thousand) enough to get another new generation of people into shooting film, not just always thinking digital.....

Now I love my M8 and Leica is being so nice and replacing the sensor and other parts within my warranty, (I'm hoping to add on another year to the warranty and get my monies worth out of it and the work for sure)
I think the "instant" fun of digital photography is great.......but it still won't ever replace that feeling of a M3 winder in my hand, or working a collapsible Elmar out of a IIIC K body and peering through a OKARO filter before you snap the picture! :D

Collector/Historian/Photographer ~ I feel I'm all three, it's fun doing it all and thankfully I don't have a open money pit/or GAS/sickness, I really have found almost everything I've ever wanted or feel I could afford at the time and or have made trades for it......what's left on the want list, isn't so bad afterall and it's STILL practical gear that will all be USED dispite it's rarity factor.

It's not fun staring at gear in a china cabinet, I did that the FIRST time around in the 1980's, (I was a serious MINT ONLY 1950's Leica Screw Mount collector) but since I traded/sold away all of that, got a M6 and then started my Photography business in the 1990's, it's been alot more exciting shooting collectible/and modern Leica cameras and really seeing what all the rare lenses can do, that's the fun I get out of collecting stuff :)

Tom

Roger Hicks
10-13-2010, 02:53
True, but Rollei in my eyes is just a me-too digital player, and I know quite well what happens to companies without a distinct selling point when the waters get choppy.

As for Leica, pre-M9, I think Leica was in trouble. The M9 seems to have been the magic digital formula for them, but with more companies entering the RF-space in the future, I suspect Leica could be in danger of getting lost in the crowd. At the moment, they're effectively the first to market - not an advantage that will last forever.

Dear Damien,

What do you mean by 'the RF-space'? For example, I don't see the X100 as being in 'RF-space' but some do.

Cheers,

R.

MCTuomey
10-13-2010, 03:06
The only thing that would make me buy a digital Leica would be upgradeable electronics, and like you Tom, knowing that the body shell would last as long as any of my film M's which are older than me!

At the time of the introduction of the M8, didn't Leica indicate its commitment to the concept of upgrading the camera's electronics, sensor, and firmware? If I recall correctly, the commitment was referred to as obsolescence prevention, or something close to that phrase.

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 04:33
Dear Damien,

What do you mean by 'the RF-space'? For example, I don't see the X100 as being in 'RF-space' but some do.

Cheers,

R.

Hi Roger,

By RF-space, I mean any camera that positions itself as a digital RF/ RF-replacement option to RF shooters. Personally, regardless of whether it has an optical rangefinder, the X100 is very much in this space for me, and would replicate the fashion in which I shoot with my M4, ie a wide angle, scale-focussed shooter,

Damien

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 04:37
At the time of the introduction of the M8, didn't Leica indicate its commitment to the concept of upgrading the camera's electronics, sensor, and firmware? If I recall correctly, the commitment was referred to as obsolescence prevention, or something close to that phrase.

Yes, but the implementation was terrible, if it has not been dropped altogether by Leica now. For it to work, upgrading needs to be a financially viable option for users, ie the cost to upgrade is less than the cost of buying the new model outright. For me, that upgrade price point is about 40% of the cost of the new model, but could probably live with 50%.

Brian Sweeney
10-13-2010, 04:45
At 50% upgrade cost, it is about as cost-effective to sell the old camera and buy a new one. Noise isolation, heat dissipation, component size makes it difficult to design a housing that will be optimal for current and future technology. It either ties the hands of the engineer designing the next-generation of electronics, or forces "what-if Over-Engineering" into the current packaging. The latter usually means bigger and heavier bodies. If someone took apart an M9 and M8, laid the body and electronics out side-by-side, it would be interesting to see what small changes were required for the new generation of components.

David Murphy
10-13-2010, 05:30
Well if they came back, that is really, really good. I like the Rollei 35, but not to the tune of 4300 Euros!. New Rollei cameras are not stocked anywhere in the USA that I can find at the moment. On eBay damaged Rollei 2.8C's are bidding up to $800 and good a decent 2.8F will sell for well over $1000 - big money to most of us, and much more than they were 2-3 years ago. Mind you these are 50-60 year old mass produced cameras, not rarities, and they usually need servicing. In reality though everything on eBay is getting more expensive lately since the fees there take about 10% of a sale (experienced sellers know how to pass these fees along to the buyer - tribute to eBay/PayPal).

Dear David,

Sorry, you're wrong on two counts (Insert smilies, etc., to soften the harshness of that statement). Yes I have seen insanely expensive Rolleis -- and new ones at that, at photokina.

Franke and Heidecke was wound up and reconstituted (because that's the only easy way to shed staff in Germany) as DHW, who had a stand at the show. Quite a big stand. They are making the SLR, the full range of TLRs, and Rollei 35s, all in Germany. The Rollei 35s are 4300€ each, call it $5800. The TLRs are, predictably, even more expensive. The site is www.dhw-fototechnik.de, aber Die Seite befindet sich im Aufbau if you go to it (Under Construction).


Cheers,

R.

jsrockit
10-13-2010, 05:32
http://www.kpraslowicz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/hellokiity-m6.jpg

This is the best special edition ever... I want one so I can use it... :D

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 05:40
At 50% upgrade cost, it is about as cost-effective to sell the old camera and buy a new one. Noise isolation, heat dissipation, component size makes it difficult to design a housing that will be optimal for current and future technology. It either ties the hands of the engineer designing the next-generation of electronics, or forces "what-if Over-Engineering" into the current packaging. The latter usually means bigger and heavier bodies. If someone took apart an M9 and M8, laid the body and electronics out side-by-side, it would be interesting to see what small changes were required for the new generation of components.

You could argue the same about film M development, and how remaining true to the classic M film body hampered Leica's efforts to add new features such as metering to later M's.

I think your argument, while it might make economical sense to your average camera buyer, is a little different to the mindset to the average M user, for whom durability for one is an important characteristic. Also I feel the disposable character of most digital cameras, typified by the 'if it breaks, just buy a new one' philosophy, is a little alien to film M users at least.

Personally speaking, I could handle a little over-engineering, even if it increases the size of the body over a film M. It gives me a great kick to be shooting with cameras that are older than me, and dare I say a little pride of ownership.

Brian Sweeney
10-13-2010, 10:31
Leica did this with the DMR, and that approach would lend itself to a camera with upgradeable electronics. The shutter mechanism, viewfinder, etc in one unit with the digital system implemented as a back. That would allow the design to accommodate upgrades in the future.

A number of people complained about the greater thichness of the M8/M9 body. A digital back would probably be thicker. If future electronics allowed a return to the thickness of an M3, I am sure it would be a popular move even if it was not upgradeable.


It gives me a great kick to be shooting with cameras that are older than me, and dare I say a little pride of ownership.


I should add- I have used Digital Imagers since about the time you were born, ~1981, they were extremely big and required a rack of electronics. The oldest Digital camera that I have that is in operating condition is a 17-year old Kodak DCS200.

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 17:02
Leica did this with the DMR, and that approach would lend itself to a camera with upgradeable electronics. The shutter mechanism, viewfinder, etc in one unit with the digital system implemented as a back. That would allow the design to accommodate upgrades in the future.

A number of people complained about the greater thichness of the M8/M9 body. A digital back would probably be thicker. If future electronics allowed a return to the thickness of an M3, I am sure it would be a popular move even if it was not upgradeable.





I should add- I have used Digital Imagers since about the time you were born, ~1981, they were extremely big and required a rack of electronics. The oldest Digital camera that I have that is in operating condition is a 17-year old Kodak DCS200.

I take your point Brian, but fear we're drifting off-topic :)

Brian Sweeney
10-13-2010, 17:15
I'll pull us back on track.

Collectible and usable. Nikon E3, full-frame Digital camera, 1997. This is SN67, probably less than 100 made.

http://www.ziforums.com/picture.php?albumid=118&pictureid=1755

I still use it at work, great for macro work as it takes the SB-29 made for Nikon's film cameras. one-point-three million pixels. But good enough for a report.

damien.murphy
10-13-2010, 17:23
I'll pull us back on track.

Collectible and usable. Nikon E3, full-frame Digital camera, 1997. This is SN67, probably less than 100 made.

http://www.ziforums.com/picture.php?albumid=118&pictureid=1755

I still use it at work, great for macro work as it takes the SB-29 made for Nikon's film cameras. one-point-three million pixels. But good enough for a report.

Lol, I suspect it has its work cut out to topple the Hello Kitty crown :)

On less trivial note, are digital cameras regarded as collectable ? I'm curious

Brian Sweeney
10-13-2010, 17:30
A few of the earliest ones are collectible. Go figure. I bought the Kodak DCS200ir new, in 1993 for "A LOT" of money. They go for $50 on Ebay. The earlier DCS100 goes for more, it was "first". The Nikon E3 was originally $7000, I picked it up for $200 about 5 years ago. Some are going for over $1000 now. If you want a cheap, early Digital camera to play with Ebay Search "Fujix".

Ben Z
10-16-2010, 07:24
It's just that few of us can afford to collect new, limited edition Leicas. So why should we denigrate those who do?


So how much of the sniping at collectors is simply sour grapes?

Cheers,

R.

Whether it's sour grapes or just being a sour person, IMHO sniping and/or denigrating anyone for doing anything that isn't causing harm to anyone, only reflects badly on the person doing the sniping/denigrating. Billions of people collect things. Baseball cards, stamps, coins, art...and scads of utilitarian items which (like the typical anti-camera-collecting "argument" goes) were "meant to be used". I sometimes wonder though if there's something specific about Leicas that triggers certain people's rage, or do they hang around stadiums denigrating guys for collecting sports memorabilia. I suppose not...too much chance for a poke in the nose, unlike the safety of their computer ;)

Roger Hicks
10-16-2010, 07:59
Whether it's sour grapes or just being a sour person, IMHO sniping and/or denigrating anyone for doing anything that isn't causing harm to anyone, only reflects badly on the person doing the sniping/denigrating. Billions of people collect things. Baseball cards, stamps, coins, art...and scads of utilitarian items which (like the typical anti-camera-collecting "argument" goes) were "meant to be used". I sometimes wonder though if there's something specific about Leicas that triggers certain people's rage, or do they hang around stadiums denigrating guys for collecting sports memorabilia. I suppose not...too much chance for a poke in the nose, unlike the safety of their computer ;)

Probably the price. As a schoolboy I collected matchbox labels. As far as I know, there aren't any that sell for vast sums (at least, there weren't then, though there may be now) so it's regarded as a harmless eccentricity: 'poor fool'. People have much more of a problem with 'rich fools', even though they aren't necessarily all that rich or all that foolish.

Cheers,

R.

mynikonf2
10-16-2010, 07:59
Whether it's sour grapes or just being a sour person, IMHO sniping and/or denigrating anyone for doing anything that isn't causing harm to anyone, only reflects badly on the person doing the sniping/denigrating. Billions of people collect things. Baseball cards, stamps, coins, art...and scads of utilitarian items which (like the typical anti-camera-collecting "argument" goes) were "meant to be used". I sometimes wonder though if there's something specific about Leicas that triggers certain people's rage, or do they hang around stadiums denigrating guys for collecting sports memorabilia. I suppose not...too much chance for a poke in the nose, unlike the safety of their computer ;)

AMEN!!! could'nt agree with you more. :cool:

ferider
10-16-2010, 08:15
Whether it's sour grapes or just being a sour person, IMHO sniping and/or denigrating anyone for doing anything that isn't causing harm to anyone, only reflects badly on the person doing the sniping/denigrating. Billions of people collect things. Baseball cards, stamps, coins, art...and scads of utilitarian items which (like the typical anti-camera-collecting "argument" goes) were "meant to be used". I sometimes wonder though if there's something specific about Leicas that triggers certain people's rage, or do they hang around stadiums denigrating guys for collecting sports memorabilia. I suppose not...too much chance for a poke in the nose, unlike the safety of their computer ;)

Agreed.

Probably the price.

Don't think so. Some people collect cars and are at the worst considered excentric.

However, no car collector thinks of him/herself as professional race car driver.

What makes Leicas special is the frequent/wrong association of Leica with "good photography", that owning a Leica makes you belong to some kind of elite. "You buy a Leica, you are a good photographer." It's arrogance that p*sses people of. Either by the person who bought a Leica, by the person who doesn't think it's worth the money, or by the person that tells others that you have to have one, for whatever rationalized reason.

What makes it worse is that "professional" or "good" photography is impossible to define.

Now take a proud Leica owner and have him brag about eating caviar for breakfast and see what you get .... :rolleyes:

Roland.

ampguy
10-16-2010, 08:43
well one interesting thing about collecting is you often find that the most effective tool is the least rare or collectible piece in the collection.

Roger Hicks
10-16-2010, 09:02
Agreed.



Don't think so. Some people collect cars and are at the worst considered excentric.

However, no car collector thinks of him/herself as professional race car driver.

What makes Leicas special is the frequent/wrong association of Leica with "good photography", that owning a Leica makes you belong to some kind of elite. "You buy a Leica, you are a good photographer." It's arrogance that p*sses people of. Either by the person who bought a Leica, by the person who doesn't think it's worth the money, or by the person that tells others that you have to have one, for whatever rationalized reason.

What makes it worse is that "professional" or "good" photography is impossible to define.

Now take a proud Leica owner and have him brag about eating caviar for breakfast and see what you get .... :rolleyes:

Roland.
Dear Roland,

That's not the same as collecting, though, is it? Buying a Leica to take pictures, even if you are a completely useless photographer, is exactly like buying any other camera to take pictures. 'Collecting' implies rather more than just one Leica, or even two or three, and it doesn't imply taking pictures.

Besides, what's wrong with caviar for breakfast? I've only ever had it for breakfast twice in my life -- real sturgeon caviar, that is -- but I'd do it a lot more often if I could afford it. Well, and if sturgeon weren't in serious danger of decline from overfishing.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
10-16-2010, 09:19
I wonder how many collectors also work on the equipment themselves?

Most of the camera equipment that I buy is in "less than pristine" condition, some of it is inoperable. I take pride in using a piece of equipment that I fixed, or improved. Users, Collectors, tinkerers. It's fun. Collectors tend to preserve state, users tend to sometimes break things, tinkerers try to improve things.

Roger Hicks
10-16-2010, 09:30
LOL :D

Didn't understand but did a Google search and found the breakfast menu (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=875350#post875350). Wow. :eek:


Way to go Roger!

.

Well, I'd quite forgotten about it. But

(1) I'd not call it bragging -- the point was to compare a 'luxury' breakfast with a $2.99 cheeseburger (and I know which I'd rather have). Perhaps the 'bragging' is in the eye of the beholder?

(2) Calling me a 'proud Leica owner' is a bit weird. Happy Leica owner, yes, but I don't really see it as 'proud'. I'm no more proud of my Leicas than I am of the boots I wear or the computer on which I'm typing this: I need cameras, boots and computers, and I choose to buy Leicas. I'm quite proud of earning a living as a writer and photographer for some decades, though.

(3) Lumpfish 'caviar' is not expensive stuff (about 4€ for a 100g pot). In fact I had some for breakfast this morning (about 1/3 pot), with two hard-boiled eggs, some Hellman's mayonnaise (honestly!) and a glass of white Bordeaux. Total cost less than 3€.

True caviar is another matter. As I say, I've had it for breakfast twice in my life, but I'd do it a lot more often if I could.

I should add that when I say 'breakfast' I really mean 'brunch', i.e. the first meal of the day, which I typically take around 11:00 -- I don't normally eat a separate lunch.


Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-16-2010, 09:50
I didn't.

Not me either.

Bon appétit! :)

Sorry, Carlos, I didn't mean to imply that you did. It was your rediscovery of the breakfast menus -- which as I say, I had quite forgotten -- which led me to reply to your letter, not Roland's. Once again, my apologies for not being clearer.

Cheers,

R.

MCTuomey
10-16-2010, 10:14
I'm hungry now - something like smoked fish and eggs and some toast - yum.

Back to the topic, I often perceive in myself and a few others the use of the value-by-association or value-through-ownership syllogism. I'll use Leica as an example, but any higher-end brand works:

1. I have a Leica.
2. Leicas are wonderfully capable/valuable/exquisite.
3. Therefore, I am wonderfully capable/valuable/exquisite.

Sound reasoning, but invalid as to conclusion.

Roger Hicks
10-16-2010, 10:23
I'm hungry now - something like smoked fish and eggs and some toast - yum.

Back to the topic, I often perceive in myself and a few others the use of the value-by-association or value-through-ownership syllogism. I'll use Leica as an example, but any higher-end brand works:

1. I have a Leica.
2. Leicas are wonderfully capable/valuable/exquisite.
3. Therefore, I am wonderfully capable/valuable/exquisite.

Sound reasoning, but invalid as to conclusion.

Dear Mike,

An omitted middle, I think.Unlike mine, given the way I eat. Just off to make some skorthalia to accompany lamb croquettes and steamed vegetables...

Cheers,

R.

MCTuomey
10-16-2010, 11:32
Roger, sounds delightful. May the garlic be brilliant with the croquettes. Bon appetit!

--Mike

kevin m
10-18-2010, 08:16
Collecting is no worse than any other human peccadillo. The particular trouble with the M-Leica is that the company quite obviously caters to the desires of collectors and nostalgists rather than the needs of photographers. In the short term it makes sense to do so as there's a loyal, if dwindling, market ready to buy. The shame is that there's an even bigger market ready to buy a bold new design (as with the S2) that Leica hasn't made yet.

Here's Jean Renoir's take on collecting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgOXBc5zmRU

Spider67
10-18-2010, 08:44
A good example for collectors value drying up the market of user Leicas was the policy of many Camera shops in Austria to brand any screwmount Leica as collectible to be sold for a premium. Due to that fact I got my perfectly affordable IIIc from Keith/Australia as they are still an expensive in Germany and Austria.

Ben Z
10-19-2010, 10:14
Probably the price. As a schoolboy I collected matchbox labels. As far as I know, there aren't any that sell for vast sums (at least, there weren't then, though there may be now) so it's regarded as a harmless eccentricity: 'poor fool'. People have much more of a problem with 'rich fools', even though they aren't necessarily all that rich or all that foolish.

Cheers,

R.

That's a good point and price undoubtedly plays into it, but then how do you explain why art collectors, who sometimes pay in the millions for a single painting, are respected for their taste and savvy? I don't think it's just because art appreciates in value, because there was plenty of Leica-collector-bashing on the internet at a time when Leica collectibles were going up in value rapidly as well.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 14:01
That's a good point and price undoubtedly plays into it, but then how do you explain why art collectors, who sometimes pay in the millions for a single painting, are respected for their taste and savvy? I don't think it's just because art appreciates in value, because there was plenty of Leica-collector-bashing on the internet at a time when Leica collectibles were going up in value rapidly as well.

Dear Ben,

Because it's self-selecting. The ones who buy ONLY rubbish are never heard of again. The ones who buy 10% good stuff (10 good paintings and 90 bad ones) are remembered only for the good stuff. By the time you're paying millions you're seldom buying art for art's sake, but art as an already validated investment.

Cheers,

R.