Old 05-08-2012   #41
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Well said. Leica is mostly irrelevant for serious photography. Its become a fashion statement, and thats how Leica wants it, because as "fashion" they can charge exorbitant prices.
Honestly, I have never met someone who owns a Leica just to show it off (without making any photos). I think this is an internet (and RFF) myth. People who are trying to flaunt their money know that cameras are not the way to do it ... there are way better objects in the world that people will actually recognize. Leica is not as well known as you think...most non-photographers do not know the brand exists.
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Old 05-08-2012   #42
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Well, I'm certainly not a serious photographer. In fact, I suck on most levels... But I have so much fun with my M6. It's just a glorious experience. That experience lacked a bit with the M8 that i owned and wasn't ideal with the M9 that I borrowed.

I have a fuji x-pro 1 now and have just as much fun with it as I had with the m9 for far less money... Neither can touch my M6. And I'm not all together sure why. I'm not a film snob at all... The m6 just feels so much more in hand.

In a dream world, they'd come up with some kind of digital back for the M6, sell it for like 6k, and then I'd be in heaven.
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Old 05-08-2012   #43
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I'm not a film snob at all... The m6 just feels so much more in hand.
I'm all digital these days, own a M9 and the Fujis, and can seriously say that I feel the same way as you. There is just something special about the film Ms. That said, I think there is something special about the M9 too...just not as much so. You have to hand it to Leica for getting close to the film m with the M9. I mean they had to stick a computer in nearly the same form factor.
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Old 05-08-2012   #44
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AF, yes, & the accessory shoe, yes, but not the hot shoe (I think that was Bell & Howell for their Foton in 1948).

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+1
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"It was Leica that invented the auto focus since 1960 (and also some unnamed Leica executive who said nobody would want it why they sold the rights), and it was Leica that invented the hot shoe for flash. And the list goes on..."

I didn't know that the auto focus and hot shoe were Leica's contribution to the photography world.
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Old 05-08-2012   #45
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quote from Overgaard :
What about the M10 then ..?
"The Leica M9 is quite perfect, so why bother?" you might say. At least that is what I am thinking. I am not in need of a Leica M10 anytime soon.


I took the plunge and bought a used M9 from one of our sponsors and since my old desktop is running on XP I can't use the LR4 download right now.

Just downloading the JPG fine files and saving the DNG's for later, I am already truly amazed by the almost 3D like effect of these files. My wife looking over my shoulder "...if the pictures were moving, you'd believe to be in there"

For me this is way ahead of any amateur film result being dependent on a service lab for development and printing. Any scientific comparison might squeeze a little more resolution out of a low ISO film but in MY real world ... this little M9 just rocks. I'll post some of my first pics later.

I totally agree with Mr. O.
For me this M9 is more than sufficient. I'll still have a lot to learn to push it to its limits. It's a tool for taking pictures and it's a hell lot o' fun to use. I don't care about the investment value if a M10 is released anytime soon. Spending so much money on a camera is totally stupid - but heck, I'm enjoying it .
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Old 05-08-2012   #46
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Quote:
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quote from Overgaard :
What about the M10 then ..?
"The Leica M9 is quite perfect, so why bother?" you might say. At least that is what I am thinking. I am not in need of a Leica M10 anytime soon.


I took the plunge and bought a used M9 from one of our sponsors and since my old desktop is running on XP I can't use the LR4 download right now.

Just downloading the JPG fine files and saving the DNG's for later, I am already truly amazed by the almost 3D like effect of these files. My wife looking over my shoulder "...if the pictures were moving, you'd believe to be in there"

For me this is way ahead of any amateur film result being dependent on a service lab for development and printing. Any scientific comparison might squeeze a little more resolution out of a low ISO film but in MY real world ... this little M9 just rocks. I'll post some of my first pics later.

I totally agree with Mr. O.
For me this M9 is more than sufficient. I'll still have a lot to learn to push it to its limits. It's a tool for taking pictures and it's a hell lot o' fun to use. I don't care about the investment value if a M10 is released anytime soon. Spending so much money on a camera is totally stupid - but heck, I'm enjoying it .

Cool.

IMO, it would take a lifetime to approach truly mastering most any camera, let alone the excellent M9. There aren't many people in the contemporary world that would stick with a single camera/system for, say, 40 years like many older photographers who are still using their early M film bodies. Always looking for the next greatest thing with yet more bells and whistles.

Me? I still love my M3 and, please, all of you with M9s, please take care of them because the one you discard today could be mine in a few years.
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Old 05-08-2012   #47
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I'm all digital these days, own a M9 and the Fujis, and can seriously say that I feel the same way as you. There is just something special about the film Ms. That said, I think there is something special about the M9 too...just not as much so. You have to hand it to Leica for getting close to the film m with the M9. I mean they had to stick a computer in nearly the same form factor.
I have to say that my X100 feels more like my M2 than my M8 does. Though, with my sensor dying, both the M2 and the M8 are pretty much all-ISO 320-all-the-time now.
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Old 05-08-2012   #48
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There aren't many people in the contemporary world that would stick with a single camera/system for, say, 40 years like many older photographers who are still using their early M film bodies. Always looking for the next greatest thing with yet more bells and whistles.
While what you say is true Dave, perhaps it is because much of digital image technology is still evolving... and perhaps is still in its infancy. It remains to be seen which cameras become classics in which people keep them as their main camera for more than 5 years or so.

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Always looking for the next greatest thing with yet more bells and whistles.
Many of us here are searching for the perfect digital camera WITHOUT any bells or whistles. :-)
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Old 05-08-2012   #49
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While what you say is true Dave, perhaps it is because much of digital image technology is still evolving... and perhaps is still in its infancy. It remains to be seen which cameras become classics in which people keep them as their main camera for more than 5 years or so.

Yes, but it seems "classic" is a term that is changing with every generation, and I cannot see 5 years as being but a mere blink of an eye.



Many of us here are searching for the perfect digital camera WITHOUT any bells or whistles. :-)
Sounds like me! Give me the BW M9/M10 with NO bells and whistles, no screen. Just let me turn it on, set the aperture, speed, ISO, focus and shoot!

Why in the world is it that with all the computer power in the world today that we have to screw around with ISO, WB and screens? Eliminate that and I would be happy. And, btw, give me a heavy metal digital barnack with a similar body as the IIIf/g with no bells and whistles.
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Old 05-08-2012   #50
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The other thing is T.O. is involved in Leica early access program I think, so what is he telling us ? A new M that isn't a M10 but a derivative like the CL ?

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Old 05-08-2012   #51
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Not sure about others but I bought my M9 because I love using Leica rangefinder cameras and I wanted a digital camera option. If it has become fashionable while I own it I am fine with that. If Leica want to position themselves with Cartier, Rolex or whatever to distance themselves from the 2 big Japanese DSLR brands and ensure their survival again I am happy with that. Not sure my photographic efforts qualify as 'serious photography' but i spend a large chunk of my day thinking about it so is serious to me. Love my M9 and really enjoy how Thorsten writes about it and uses it. To call people insecure morons because they can afford to pay for what they like might be taking it a little far.
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Old 05-08-2012   #52
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If Leica could make a b/w M body that outperformed a film Leica shooting something like Tri-X in terms of dynamic range and tonality I would probably give in and finally go digital. We're talking 14 stops of range and 14-16bit color. I really don't care about high iso noise since it's black and white I would add grain anyway. If It could shoot a clean 3200asa I would be besides myself.

I am struggling to find the time to sort through dozens of rolls that are consumed on a project. I shot 22 rolls last night for a project and I am not looking forward to spending the next few days in front of the scanner.

Also recently I've had to shoot in locations with almost no light and was having fond memories of my now sold D700 that could practically see in the dark...
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Old 05-08-2012   #53
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a mono M9 for more then the standard version, no thank you
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Old 05-08-2012   #54
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It would be nice if they would concentrate on camera QC and ergonomics rather than novelty and hiding consumer electronics behind the tradition that the Leica of yesteryear's lenses AND cameras established. It seems like they've done a good job improving their lenses over the years, but when it comes to cameras they've been pot boiling since the mid 70s.
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Old 05-08-2012   #55
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It would be nice if they would concentrate on camera QC and ergonomics rather than novelty and hiding consumer electronics behind the tradition that the Leica of yesteryear's lenses AND cameras established. It seems like they've done a good job improving their lenses over the years, but when it comes to cameras they've been pot boiling since the mid 70s.
Again, Leica has been making record profits, they do know what they are doing. If Leica changed their strategy as you suggest, IMO, it would be the end of Leica.

Why should it bother you anyway? If you don't like their products, buy something else. That is what I do, but I happen to like their products and buy the used ones down the road when they are affordable to me. YMMV but one has to understand that Leica is doing just fine and they know their business better than anyone on this forum or anywhere else.
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Old 05-08-2012   #56
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Again, Leica has been making record profits, they do know what they are doing. If Leica changed their strategy as you suggest, IMO, it would be the end of Leica.

Why should it bother you anyway? If you don't like their products, buy something else. That is what I do, but I happen to like their products and buy the used ones down the road when they are affordable to me. YMMV but one has to understand that Leica is doing just fine and they know their business better than anyone on this forum or anywhere else.
I agree with everything you're saying. I suppose I am just wishful for something that existed in another time. Leica seems like the only company close enough to the old ways to have the potential to bring back what seems missing in modern equipment. Maybe it is just nostalgia that people feel, but I think it is more than that. That might be why others get so easily riled up about it too.
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Old 05-08-2012   #57
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I agree with everything you're saying. I suppose I am just wishful for something that existed in another time. Leica seems like the only company close enough to the old ways to have the potential to bring back what seems missing in modern equipment. Maybe it is just nostalgia that people feel, but I think it is more than that. That might be why others get so easily riled up about it too.
Yes, I understand...

Seems the older I get the less I really think I do understand about anything, though, so it's good to have these dialogues. We all are one passionate bunch when it comes to photography!
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Old 05-08-2012   #58
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If Leica is not commited to make the best tool, or at least a good tool, they can just shut their R&D department down and keep pumping limited editions. At the end of the day, the quality of the product has to somewhat match the price that's being charged. As I said, the buyers know exactly what they are buying into. The people who can afford it are not some uneducated average person on the street.

Saying that the prices will remain high just means that the quality of the products will remain high. Lower prices mean lower quality glass and lower production cost.
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Old 05-08-2012   #59
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Honestly, I have never met someone who owns a Leica just to show it off (without making any photos). I think this is an internet (and RFF) myth. People who are trying to flaunt their money know that cameras are not the way to do it ...
Well ... from my experience of living in Japan I would tend to argue against that.
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Old 05-08-2012   #60
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Thor's nuts. The M10 will be a film camera.

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Old 05-08-2012   #61
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hopefully the M10 will be a mirrorless, shutterless camera in an M7/MP sized/shaped configuration ala the Fuji XP1. it can be made thinner (therefore back to the M7/MP form factor) and they can make the otherwise quiet "shutter" release sound just like the old cloth shutter cameras (no more M8/M9 grinding).

if this is the M10, then wow. otherwise, it VERY hard for me to see why a would replace my M9
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Old 05-08-2012   #62
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If Leica is not commited to make the best tool, or at least a good tool, they can just shut their R&D department down and keep pumping limited editions. At the end of the day, the quality of the product has to somewhat match the price that's being charged. As I said, the buyers know exactly what they are buying into. The people who can afford it are not some uneducated average person on the street.

Saying that the prices will remain high just means that the quality of the products will remain high. Lower prices mean lower quality glass and lower production cost.
What "R&D" department? If R&D means choosing body colors and limited-edition themes, then Leica's R&D department have been working overtime. If we are talking about technical innovation, Leica have not been up to much. The M9 had no "groundbreaking" features to mention, other than its record price tag. I love Leica cameras, but they are becoming less and less relevant to real-world photographers, mainly do to ever-increasing prices, or "exclusivity", as Leica might term it.
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Old 05-08-2012   #63
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Are you making the best tool possible, or are you making jewelry?

Leica's major decision-maker has now explicitly said that the latter goals are explicit drivers at Leica.
It's not either/or. It's both. And that's the brilliance of their marketing.
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Old 05-08-2012   #64
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And that, right there, is the antithesis of Art. From Hell's heart I stab at thee, Leica.

This might be the best thing I've read on RFF!
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Old 05-08-2012   #65
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I could not finish reading the article.
It felt like I was read a section from "The Leica faithful fluff girls handbook".
Getting the faithful good and woody for the May 10 event.
It's just a damn camera company !
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Old 05-08-2012   #66
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What "R&D" department? If R&D means choosing body colors and limited-edition themes, then Leica's R&D department have been working overtime. If we are talking about technical innovation, Leica have not been up to much. The M9 had no "groundbreaking" features to mention, other than its record price tag. I love Leica cameras, but they are becoming less and less relevant to real-world photographers, mainly do to ever-increasing prices, or "exclusivity", as Leica might term it.
This is funny because the M9 is still the smallest full-frame camera in the market. Maybe it's not "groundbreaking" but there's nothing better in this regard. And if I understand correctly, some of the profit from M9 actually is used to subsidize the development cost for the lenses. Someone can correct me if that's not true.

As for being irrelevant to "real-world photographers". Why does that matter? Why should I care what "real-world photographers" use?
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Old 05-08-2012   #67
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It's not either/or. It's both. And that's the brilliance of their marketing.
The assertion, straight from the top, is that Leica won't make superb products at reasonable cost even in cases where it's technically feasible to do so.
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Old 05-08-2012   #68
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What "R&D" department? If R&D means choosing body colors and limited-edition themes, then Leica's R&D department have been working overtime. If we are talking about technical innovation, Leica have not been up to much. The M9 had no "groundbreaking" features to mention, other than its record price tag. I love Leica cameras, but they are becoming less and less relevant to real-world photographers, mainly do to ever-increasing prices, or "exclusivity", as Leica might term it.
"Leica Camera AG" is not only producing M-mount cameras / lenses ... There is some other stuff, Leica S2 and lenses for example, which are quite innovative. Also, the M9 is the only FF-sensor equipped camera that can be used with true wide-angle lenses (except for the Hasselblad SWC with digital back), quite some novelty.
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Old 05-08-2012   #69
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Wrong.

The assertion, straight from the top, is that Leica won't make superb products at reasonable cost even in cases where it's technically feasible to do so.
It's a free market economy. If someone else can make a superb product at reasonable cost where it's technically feasible, it would be done. The fact that there's no directly comparable product in the market implies that it's not something that can easily be done at reasonable cost. If Fuji could make an identical M9 for $1500, they wouldn't have made the X-pro.
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Old 05-08-2012   #70
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If Fuji could make an identical M9 for $1500, they wouldn't have made the X-pro.
That's not right. It's not even wrong.

(Apologies to W. Pauli.)
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Old 05-08-2012   #71
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It's a free market economy. If someone else can make a superb product at reasonable cost where it's technically feasible, it would be done.
18/4 Biogon.
21/2.8 Biogon.
25/2.8 Biogon
50 Planar.

For a start.
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Old 05-08-2012   #72
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If Leica could make a b/w M body that outperformed a film Leica shooting something like Tri-X in terms of dynamic range and tonality I would probably give in and finally go digital. We're talking 14 stops of range and 14-16bit color. I really don't care about high iso noise since it's black and white I would add grain anyway. If It could shoot a clean 3200asa I would be besides myself.

I am struggling to find the time to sort through dozens of rolls that are consumed on a project. I shot 22 rolls last night for a project and I am not looking forward to spending the next few days in front of the scanner.

Also recently I've had to shoot in locations with almost no light and was having fond memories of my now sold D700 that could practically see in the dark...
Harry, i hope for your sake you are right, but I have my doubts about this. I just can't imagine a business model that would make this work financially for Leica. That being said, it is Leica making the decision on the supposed M10 and while in the past business often seems to take a back seat to Leica's decisions, I don't think that will be the case this time..
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Old 05-08-2012   #73
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18/4 Biogon.
21/2.8 Biogon.
25/2.8 Biogon
50 Planar.

For a start.
Germany has one of the highest wages in the world. Sure, Leica can move the production to China or Vietnam and cut the prices by 50%, but why should they do that? I would not want Leica to become another piece of crap like Wal-mart.

As to whether the Zeiss lenses you listed are really the same "quality", I've only used the 25mm 2.8 myself and didn't like it. But assuming that they are absolutely as good as the Leica equivalent, why would the Leica pricing strategy bother you at all? You would just be a happy Zeiss shooter. The fact that people are mad at Leica for the high prices indicate that they themselves would want to be Leica owners and they believe that Leica products are superior.
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Old 05-08-2012   #74
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18/4 Biogon.
21/2.8 Biogon.
25/2.8 Biogon
50 Planar.

For a start.
And the two ZM lenses that are made in Germany, 85mm sonnar and 15mm distagon, are priced way above $3K at the same price range as the Leica equivalents. I haven't heard anyone accusing Zeiss of making an outrageous profit there.
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Old 05-08-2012   #75
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Germany has one of the highest wages in the world. Sure, Leica can move the production to China or Vietnam and cut the prices by 50%, but why should they do that?
That's adorable.

You do realize that Leica does as much work in Portugal as possible, and then does enough final assembly work in Germany to stamp that country as the country of origin, don't you?

And it's not as though Japan has low wages.
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those who are interested in what a particular camera can't do,
and those who are interested in what it can do.

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Old 05-08-2012   #76
Ryan1938
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At the end of the day what it comes down to FOR ME is that for the first time since I've been into photography, I'm actually distracted from my typical "I want a digital Leica M at any cost" drive. I think that distraction comes from not only the cost to entry continually and ruthlessly rising, but the company's admitted and announced goal of edging the fashion world.
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Old 05-08-2012   #77
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I think the M9 does have ground breaking technology.

Somehow Leica shoe-horned a modestly competent 24x36 mm sensor into a camera that is faithful to the M body aesthetic. I personally don't find this to be important for my photography, but I do resect Leica for their determination and engineering prowess to succeed at such a difficult task.

Why is important or even desirable for the body had to be indistinguishable in size to a film M camera is a completely different matter. I mean would it really matter if the camera was a bit thicker than the thickest M film camera? Would the Leica faithful rather have a state-of-the art sensor or a camera body that is slightly thicker than the M7? How many M8 owners would have tolerated a marginally thicker camera in order to avoid the necessity for IR filters for color work?

No matter. Leica made it happen and that is ground breaking in my opinion.
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Old 05-08-2012   #78
Harry Lime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victoriapio View Post
Harry, i hope for your sake you are right, but I have my doubts about this. I just can't imagine a business model that would make this work financially for Leica. That being said, it is Leica making the decision on the supposed M10 and while in the past business often seems to take a back seat to Leica's decisions, I don't think that will be the case this time..

As much as I love film I've basically talked myself in to the inevitable transition to digital. I'm not worried about getting my Leicas serviced 5-10 years from now, but the Nikons and Rolleiflex bodies are going to be a problem. Scanners are a whole other story.

The money is going to be the hard part. There is little doubt that Leica will bend us over and have it's way with us, no matter how much we squirm. $7000-9000 is a lot of cash for just a body. Two bodies, which really is what anyone doing serious work is going to need is pretty insane, unless you are rolling in cash or can recoup that outlay through work.

Who, knows. Maybe I'll just have to keep shooting Tri-X until Kodak goes to the big darkroom in the sky or I hit it big. That or I'll just buy a Nikon.

PS: Anyone want to take bets on the status of weather sealing for the M10? After all it's supposedly a professional camera. I hope that Leica realizes that their new BFF at Magnum can't just retreat to the golf course clubhouse if a shower should appear. In the case of the Magnum shooters that clubhouse could be on fire.
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Old 05-08-2012   #79
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The M8 and M9 are thicker than the film bodies. It's not really a problem but it does alter the experience of holding the camera. For my hands, film bodies just seem to "fit" really well.
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Old 05-08-2012   #80
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Originally Posted by semilog View Post
That's adorable.

You do realize that Leica does as much work in Portugal as possible, and then does enough final assembly work in Germany to stamp that country as the country of origin, don't you?

And it's not as though Japan has low wages.
I doubt that the Cosina manufacturing process in Japan involves much manual labor at all. And Leica did make the budget Summarit line, although not as inexpensive as the Zeiss ones. The bottom line is that the margin is probably comparable between the two companies. Leica's net income was only about 10% of revenue, far less than Apple's 40% or 50%. Somehow Leica gets blamed for its high prices when Apple makes a lot more profit but is treasured as a National darling.

But oh well, people who don't like the prices will always not like the prices. I personally don't care what the prices are. I just pick the lenses I like and shoot with them.
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