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Old 12-21-2013   #81
Richard G
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I think JSU hit the nail on the head: a Leica is not a Rolex. Expenses for individual items are all relative.

I don't think that the OP's concern about an expensive camera predicting the ruin of the state is valid. If I pay my taxes and feed and clothe and educate my children I should be allowed to own a Rolex if I want to. I know a frugal man who collects Rolexes. It is his one hobby.

But the utility of a Leica is beyond merely owning the best or having others noticing it is what it is.

Some people inherit a little money, others have investment dividends to fund recreational activities and others forego certain available recreation to fund others. I have a step brother in law who early in his marriage with small children and a large mortgage was allowed by his wife to regularly disappear overseas surfing for ten days. Others join golf clubs and pay hefty annual fees, buy new putters and are always losing balls. Photography for me keeps me healthy in body and sane of mind and satisfies my creative desire. It has led me here and to a group of marvellous fellow photogrpahers in my city with whom I meet once a month. Showing my pictures there and here is a great and humbling education.

I also have a more expensive car than I need which will depreciate more than the most sensible, smaller Japanese car. My Citroen C5 is not as expensive as a BMW and I did not pay $15000-20000 more for the top of the range model. It was my first new car, and one of my justifications was the safety features. Two years later in my first one of these, in 2011, the whole family was in a highway accident. The curtain airbags certainly saved two lives and the undeformable cabin saved a third. We all walked away. I do not justify my expenses to anyone. A Leica, in the big scheme of things, is a trivial expense which is completely justified if it is put to good use. I have more than one. And I immediately bought a second C5 Citroen.
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Old 12-21-2013   #82
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Lets face it , people are generally odd.Always comparing the 'mana' of ownership. Though I have never had a comment about using a Leica, probably because I do not own one, i get many comments about using 'old' technology, something along the lines of " why do you still use a film camera" to which I usually reply
" why do you buy Apple products when you know the conditions they are manufactured under"
That always ends the conversation, which is always the goal.
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Old 12-21-2013   #83
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I saw a guy with an M9 in the Apple store in London today, and said "Nice camera!" Hopefully he wasn't offended.

I also say a guy in the Getty museum in L.A. a year ago with an M9 (Monochrom I think, were they out then?). He complimented me on my IIIG which I thought was pretty fun.

Compared to lots of other hobbies, photography is pretty cheap. Car racers spend thousands on tires in a single weekend. Not to mention boats, airplanes...
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Old 12-21-2013   #84
Roger Hicks
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Originally Posted by DouglasLHagerman View Post
I saw a guy with an M9 in the Apple store in London today, and said "Nice camera!" Hopefully he wasn't offended.

I also say a guy in the Getty museum in L.A. a year ago with an M9 (Monochrom I think, were they out then?). He complimented me on my IIIG which I thought was pretty fun.

Compared to lots of other hobbies, photography is pretty cheap. Car racers spend thousands on tires in a single weekend. Not to mention boats, airplanes...
Eminently true. On the other hand, this is a "first world" debate. One of my very poor friends (in India) wrote one brilliant piece on whether a poor man can justify owning a dog and another on the dilemma of owning three instead of two pairs of trousers.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 12-21-2013   #85
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Eminently true. On the other hand, this is a "first world" debate. One of my very poor friends (in India) wrote one brilliant piece on whether a poor man can justify owning a dog and another on the dilemma of owning three instead of two pairs of trousers.

Cheers,

R.
Photography is, on the whole, a "first world" pursuit. Practitioners of the craft have disposable income, and the ability to spend time in pursuit of "fulfillment;" the block on the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Need.
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Old 12-21-2013   #86
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I don't like when the whole "first world problems" debate comes up. It's like a trap that gets set to make people that live in more affluent countries "feel bad".

Being born into a different world sets you up with different life problems and that's the reality.
Interesting... I don't see it so much as a "first world problems" debate as it is an explanation of the reality of who has enough wealth to be able to make images. Since the invention of photography, it has been used to bring the daily realities of the poor to the attention of those who are in a position to help them.
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Old 12-21-2013   #87
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Excuse me please, but I'm from the Third World and they're definitely people down here with very expensive gear. It just takes a bit longer to save up to acquire things for the most part. No need to feel badly.

Capturing memories by some photographic means is something that transcends poverty. Not that everyone is interested in buying expensive cameras to do so, but it's amazing how people afford $1000 mobile phones to do the job we do with a Leica.
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Old 12-21-2013   #88
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. . . Being born into a different world sets you up with different life problems and that's the reality.
Some life problems are less important than others. It's hard not to feel bad when I think of Tibetan refugee friends dying in exile, never seeing again the house they owned and lived in.

I completely agree that it's of very limited value to dismiss something as a "first world problem", but I'd also suggest that we should all remember just how lucky we are to have access to something like RFF. And not to be refugees.

And indeed, as Snowbuzz points out, it's not so much "third world" as "rich".

Cheers (if that's the right word),

R.
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Old 12-21-2013   #89
Richard G
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I didn't mean to imply that I don't feel bad for people that are in bad situations or that they don't need or deserve help. That's not it at all.

And just because a person lives in the "first world" (antiquated term as it is), doesn't mean that every problem is frivolous. I have problems in my life that are very important. I obviously am not going to share them on the interwebs but they are real.
I agree. I read recently, on Mike Johnston's The Online Photographer site, his quote of the day from, of all people, Gloria Vanderbilt:

"Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
Gloria Vanderbilt, quoted by her son Anderson Cooper on Late Night with David Letterman, Nov. 19th, 2013
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Old 12-21-2013   #90
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. . . No one has to "justify" the cost of their camera to any other person. . . .
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Try telling that to a tax inspector.

Also, unless you are so simple and impulsive that you just do whatever you feel like, when you feel like it, and don't bother to think about it until later, you have to justify things to yourself, balancing acquisitiveness and instant gratification against income and other ways to spend the money.

Cheers,

R.
@ Roger,
You have either entirely missed or intentionally ignored the point of my comments.

Unless a person has mastered the art and science of defecating gold ingots, it seems pretty obvious that a Leica M camera or lens is not an impulse buy item - that's pretty much a given.

My point was that a person does not have to explain/justify/rationalize/account for/ whatever the cost of their camera to the first douche who runs up to them, demanding, "how much did that thang cost??" because it is quite simply none of their freaking business. Only an intrusive putz would ask such a question.

Why not ask how much money they have in savings? Or what their hourly pay rate is? Or how much money they spent on lunch today? Or what their net worth is? Or how much their underwear cost? Or how much money their wife makes? Or how much her underwear costs?? There are some questions that only an idiot asks another person.

In the end, the things a person spends their money on is their business and theirs alone. Provided that a person is paying their bills, meeting their obligations and commitments, taking care of their loved ones in a responsible manner, making their own way in this world and trying to leave it a better place for others, if the want to buy a Leica M camera or a motorcycle or a fly rod or a sailboat, no one has any business judging them - but apparently holding that opinion makes me "simple and impulsive."
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Old 12-22-2013   #91
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@ Roger,
You have either entirely missed or intentionally ignored the point of my comments.

Unless a person has mastered the art and science of defecating gold ingots, it seems pretty obvious that a Leica M camera or lens is not an impulse buy item - that's pretty much a given.

My point was that a person does not have to explain/justify/rationalize/account for/ whatever the cost of their camera to the first douche. . .

In the end, the things a person spends their money on is their business and theirs alone. Provided that a person is paying their bills, meeting their obligations and commitments, taking care of their loved ones in a responsible manner, making their own way in this world and trying to leave it a better place for others, if the want to buy a Leica M camera or a motorcycle or a fly rod or a sailboat, no one has any business judging them - but apparently holding that opinion makes me "simple and impulsive."
Missed. I seldom deliberately ignore things. Perhaps I missed it because you overstated (and continue to overstate) your case. Or perhaps I missed it because I have indeed encountered surprising numbers of people who are "simple and impulsive". Ask any camera store owner and they'll tell you the same thing. And among those who have lots of money, there are those who do buy Leicas and other expensive toys on impulse, or at least, with the bare minimum of reflection.

Perhaps I missed it too because of your persistently angry tone: "...the first douche..." Why call 'em douche? (Actually I thought the expression was "douche bag" but never mind.) As you say, it's a question that only an "intrusive putz" would ask. So feel sorry for them, rather than getting angry.

As for its being no-one's business how anyone else spends their money, are you familiar with the phrase "mindless consumerism"? Endless consumer-fuelled growth and personal greed is an unsustainable model, so in that sense, it's everyone's concern how other people spend their money. This is, I think, what kennylovrin and I were agreeing about.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 12-22-2013   #92
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... Endless consumer-fuelled growth and personal greed is an unsustainable model, so in that sense, it's everyone's concern how other people spend their money. This is, I think, what kennylovrin and I were agreeing about. Cheers, R.
Yes.

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Old 12-22-2013   #93
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The only people recognizing my leicas are the japanese and Chinese tourists on the streets of helsinki,some of them actually carrying a leica.. It`s then just a small nod and thumbs up. no silly comments...
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Old 12-23-2013   #94
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Citroen XM Jukka? Enjoyed your site.
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Old 12-27-2013   #95
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With the exception of a now ex work colleague, all the comments I have had with the M9 have been positive. I have even had the thumbs up from people in the street in Vietnam where its cost probably represents several years earnings. Until recently all my lenses were from the 70's which triggers many an interesting conversation.
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