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Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

“Our autobiography is written in our contact sheets,  and our opinion of the world in our selects”  

"Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."  

 

Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


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Drifter
Old 06-02-2019   #1
Bill Pierce
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Drifter

Limited to just 125 sets worldwide, the M Monochrom “Drifter” by Kravitz Design carries a price tag of $23,950.

Yeah, and the weird camouflage finish makes it invisible when your street shooting.
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Old 06-02-2019   #2
xayraa33
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Bill, it is just a trophy camera for rich folks.
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Old 06-02-2019   #3
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I think the consensus reached was..
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=168586
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Old 06-02-2019   #4
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Money and taste are often not seen together! I'm sure it will look nice sitting on the passenger's seat of an Audi. (apologies to Audi owners who aren't dicks)
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Old 06-02-2019   #5
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'Premium vegan leather' aside (can't they just say plastic??), it's a standard M with no extra functions. Even the Cinematographer's limited edition had cinema framelines and film like presets. The accompanying lenses are nice, though.
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Old 06-02-2019   #6
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I think it's pretty sad witnessing how a brand goes from creating the worlds premier cameras for photo journalists, to producing rich folks poser cr*p.

They ride their brand history, all the way to collapse.
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Old 06-02-2019   #7
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I think it's pretty sad witnessing how a brand goes from creating the worlds premier cameras for photo journalists, to producing rich folks poser cr*p.

They ride their brand history, all the way to collapse.
Leica has been doing this stuff for decades now.
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Old 06-03-2019   #8
emraphoto
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Leica has been doing this stuff for decades now.
And presumably it works? Little cash influx and back to the standards everyone loves.
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Old 06-03-2019   #9
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Considering what you get for the exorbitant price other than an ugly design, it should be called "The Grifter".
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Old 06-03-2019   #10
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Das ist Krapitz.
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Old 06-03-2019   #11
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Quote:
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Considering what you get for the exorbitant price other than an ugly design, it should be called "The Grifter".

Very good!
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Old 06-03-2019   #12
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Celebrity cameras... who would have thought?
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Old 06-03-2019   #13
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Very good!

Thank you. That was my joke 4 days ago...

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...4&postcount=63

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Old 06-03-2019   #14
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Money and taste are often not seen together! .....
Let us not forget some alcohol and perhaps non-prescription pharmaceuticals added to the mix.

B2 (;->
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Old 06-03-2019   #15
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Maybe Leica will release the Miroslav Tichy ‘drifter edition’ some day, made with authentic premium cardboard.
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Old 06-03-2019   #16
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It should be a hit with the digital nomads/nomadic New Rich. And the look is perfect for matching your Burning Man outfits.

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment...19-gdns58.html

Here's your guide to becoming a nomadic capitalist!

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Old 06-03-2019   #17
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Does Lenny Kravitz preform a set at your house when you buy one?
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Old 06-03-2019   #18
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Thank you. That was my joke 4 days ago...

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...4&postcount=63

Hi, Huss. I didn't see your post. But I guess this proves great minds think alike.
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Old 06-03-2019   #19
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Hi, Huss. I didn't see your post. But I guess this proves great minds think alike.
You do have an extremely sharp wit and I assume u are
very good looking too.

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Old 06-03-2019   #20
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I just realized that I don't want to cover my cameras I'm fixing in Aki Asahi, I want to make a one-off Warhol edition with labels from Campbell's soup cans.
I'll do that either to a Konica T3 or perhaps my Pentax MX. Maybe my Leica M4 once the vulcanite completely flakes away.
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Old 06-03-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
It should be a hit with the digital nomads/nomadic New Rich. And the look is perfect for matching your Burning Man outfits.

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment...19-gdns58.html

Here's your guide to becoming a nomadic capitalist!


Sweet! I have one of the four! Can you recommend something so I can nurture some ruthless ambition? Or is that in the guide?
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Old 06-03-2019   #22
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I just realized that I don't want to cover my cameras I'm fixing in Aki Asahi, I want to make a one-off Warhol edition with labels from Campbell's soup cans.
I'll do that either to a Konica T3 or perhaps my Pentax MX. Maybe my Leica M4 once the vulcanite completely flakes away.
Phil Forrest

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Nice idea! I think Leica Ms look great in the raw w no
covering.
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Old 06-03-2019   #23
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If I had the money (okay, guys, quit laughing), I think I would buy one of the 125. Personally, I like the looks of the combo. It probably wouldn't make me a better photographer, but who knows?
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Old 06-03-2019   #24
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Some good biting humour in this thread ... it's enjoyable and harmless!
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Old 06-03-2019   #25
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I think for the cost of this new Leica combo one could HIRE one of your living photography heroes to take you out for a few days of private toutelage to make you a better photographer with your: Leica M_, Pentax K/Spot, Nikon F/D_, Canon 1wxyz, Sony, Fuji, Minolta, Mamiya, Hasselhoff, Seagull, Diana, Holga, Argus... You get where I'm going.
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Old 06-03-2019   #26
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It should be a hit with the digital nomads/nomadic New Rich. And the look is perfect for matching your Burning Man outfits.
Burners don't take their own cameras to Black Rock - they rent someone else's: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...o-burning-man/
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Old 06-03-2019   #27
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It is all about influencosity. Costity.
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Old 06-04-2019   #28
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I think for the cost of this new Leica combo one could HIRE one of your living photography heroes to take you out for a few days of private toutelage to make you a better photographer ....
Oh hell, with that kind of money you could just hire one of them to take the pictures for you and then claim them as your own. Who needs skill or ability when you've got lots of money?
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Old 06-04-2019   #29
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Leica has been doing this stuff for decades now.
Decades? Which non photographer celebrity had their own model in the 80s or 90s?
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Old 06-04-2019   #30
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I'm split on these editions.

Obviously they are for people with far too much money and I'm going to live it at that to be polite. Unfortunately that image rubs off on the rest of us serious shooters who have used Leica's since long before they became a luxury brand.


On the other hand it's bulls*it like this that helps keep Leica in business, because the profits have to be obscene.


So, it's a catch-22 situation.

I would never buy one of these myself, but if they can fleece the suckers for their money and keep paying the bills so I can get my cameras serviced etc, what do I care?
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Old 06-05-2019   #31
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..but if they can fleece the suckers for their money..
You're looking at this from a photographer's perspective; and this camera is apparently not aimed to you. But who's to say that it doesn't make perfect sense for the target buyer? It may even be a rational and justified decision from their point of view, able to turn into a profit somewhere in the future, depending on the status of the owner.

This reminds me of a biography that I recently read about Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Because of his status as prince consort to Queen Juliana, he could order Ferrari's in a custom color. He'd use them for two, three years and sell them at a profit, given that they were in a unique color and had a prince as first owner.

This special edition M lives in jewelry price territory, and maybe we should judge it as such. You can hang it around your neck, and it actually can do something way cooler than a mere piece of gold..
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Old 06-05-2019   #32
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I recently seen a guy with a special Leica and 24mm lens..
Everybody was saying how wonderful and sharp..?
I once used a new, unused Leica wide that although 21mm,
was totally UNSHARP>>.
It reqd. a repair.
The Drifter version quite strange to me, being from South Africa,
where no dark person would wear a brown leather strap on watch!!
Brown was NOT beautiful..

Last edited by leicapixie : 06-05-2019 at 05:03. Reason: left out a few lines..
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Old 06-05-2019   #33
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I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait for the Henri Cartier Bresson custom Fender Stratocaster with gold plated strings and baby rhino leather strap. I mean, that is going to make me one hell of a guitarist! Who cares if it costs 30 grand. When I am up on stage at Lollapalooza I will be king i tell you, king!
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Old 06-05-2019   #34
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"Make Leica great again" ;-)
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