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Special Edition: Leica CL ‘100 jahre bauhaus’

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Leica press release:

Limited special edition for the 100th anniversary:
The Leica CL ‘100 jahre bauhaus’

 
Wetzlar, 17 May 2019. Leica Camera AG celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus with a special edition of the Leica CL ‘100 jahre bauhaus’. The set comprises a silver version of the Leica CL, a matching Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens in silver and a carrying strap. The leather trim of the camera and the carrying strap are embossed with the Bauhaus logotype. This was created in 1929 by Joost Schmidt, one of the earliest students of the school, who defined the distinctive typography of the Bauhaus more than any other, for the title of the quarterly magazine of the same name. A further special feature of the Leica CL ‘100 jahre bauhaus’ is the restrained execution of the Leica logo in black on the camera body. Together with the subtle Bauhaus-embossing, the special edition ideally reflects the concept of plain and simple design advocated by the Bauhaus school in accordance with the principles of ‘form follows function’.
 
The Leica CL ‘100 jahre bauhaus’ is on sale from 27 May. The edition is strictly limited to only 150 examples.

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The Leica CL is a synthesis of iconic design and advanced camera technology. As a compact system camera, it stands as a versatile tool for photographers who appreciate faultless image quality and an outstandingly intuitive handling concept. A 24-megapixel sensor, fast autofocus and a continuous shooting rate of up to ten frames per second make the Leica CL the ideal companion for spontaneous photography. Its outstanding features include an EyeRes® electronic viewfinder with a latency time below the threshold of perception and a resolution of 2.36 million pixels that offers its users numerous advantages. As the final image is visible in the viewfinder before the shutter release is pressed, users have complete control over the composition of their subjects.
 
The Leica CL impresses not only as a still picture camera, but also with a video function with a resolution of up to 4K. Thanks to seamless connection to the Leica FOTOS App, pictures can be quickly and easily sent to a smartphone and shared in social media networks.
 
On top of this, its handling concept is extremely user-friendly. All the essential controls of the CL are located on the top plate of the camera. In addition to the electronic viewfinder, there are two dials for setting the aperture, shutter speed, ISO value and the exposure mode. An additional display on the top plate instantly provides information about all relevant settings and exposure parameters.
 
In addition to the Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens from the special edition, an extensive range of other lenses is also available for the Leica CL. Thanks to the ‘L-Mount Alliance’, recently established with the partners Panasonic and Sigma, the Leica CL is also perfectly equipped to take advantage of coming lens developments. The camera is fully compatible with all current and future lenses constructed in accordance with the L-Mount standard.

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Interesting that there have been no "special" editions of the SL, unless of course, I missed them. Does that mean that the sort of person who buys and pays extra for a special edition of a camera is not the same sort of person who buys an SL. I am always amazed at the figures folk ask for various M special editions, which are often no more than an engraving on the top cover or at best a different paint job or plating. The Red APO 50 is a prime example. It's just anodising folks. The optics are no different to the regular one. 

Wilson

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The risks of numerous specials editions are self evident in other high ticket consumer goods categories. The marketing people should be the ones stopping this nonsense, not encouraging it. The damage you do to your brand can be calculated: volume of regular models drops, resale pricing drops, brand value drops, churn in your user base. And on. Sad to see Leica throwing their brand away...

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I don't understand the negative attitudes here. So Leica put a few bucks into a special style for a camera for those that might like it and charge a premium for the pleasure. Big deal. ???

Leica has made many special editions and most have been tasteful and sold well. The only people who moan about it are enthusiasts who descry that this is "destroying Leica." The people who buy them to use or collect couldn't care less, and most seem to enjoy (and profit) from their purchases. 

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11 minutes ago, ramarren said:

I don't understand the negative attitudes here. So Leica put a few bucks into a special style for a camera for those that might like it and charge a premium for the pleasure. Big deal. ???

Leica has made many special editions and most have been tasteful and sold well. The only people who moan about it are enthusiasts who descry that this is "destroying Leica." The people who buy them to use or collect couldn't care less, and most seem to enjoy (and profit) from their purchases. 

I am just puzzled by people who pay extra for a special edition digital camera unless it is particularly aesthetically attractive, which I would agree a few of the titanium editions have been. Most of these are not actually titanium body cameras or even titanium outer panels but just a coating.  I even less understand why people pay massively over the odds a few years after these special editions  have come out, to buy an item that is functionally the same as the base camera. I do not criticise Leica, who if they can persuade people to part with their cash for tarted up digital cameras, good luck to them - it all pays for extra R&D. 

Wilson

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1 hour ago, ramarren said:

I don't understand the negative attitudes here. So Leica put a few bucks into a special style for a camera for those that might like it and charge a premium for the pleasure. Big deal. ???

Leica has made many special editions and most have been tasteful and sold well. The only people who moan about it are enthusiasts who descry that this is "destroying Leica." The people who buy them to use or collect couldn't care less, and most seem to enjoy (and profit) from their purchases. 

Yes - it’s a big deal if you understand what happens to brands when they do this. 

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Leica has been doing special editions for decades, so nothing really new here.

To be a better bauhaus edition camera, they should have deleted the logo and the bauhaus lettering.  On the other hand, it’s much better looking than a gold M4-2 or that hideous Leica X Edition Moncler!

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I may be mistaken, but unlike other special editions, this one I believe is priced the same as the regular CL with 18mm lens. I also don't think in this case a CL2 is near. It's too soon in the product cycle.

Dave (D&A)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Le Chef said:

Yes - it’s a big deal if you understand what happens to brands when they do this. 

What "happens to brands when they do this"? Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. 

What's happened with Leica is that they make a few people happy and maybe make a little money on the special. What's the big deal? 

4 hours ago, wlaidlaw said:

I am just puzzled by people who pay extra for a special edition digital camera unless it is particularly aesthetically attractive, which I would agree a few of the titanium editions have been. Most of these are not actually titanium body cameras or even titanium outer panels but just a coating.  I even less understand why people pay massively over the odds a few years after these special editions  have come out, to buy an item that is functionally the same as the base camera. I do not criticise Leica, who if they can persuade people to part with their cash for tarted up digital cameras, good luck to them - it all pays for extra R&D. 

Wilson

That's because you, like me, aren't really buying cameras as 'objects of art'. Some people, lots of people, do. :D Many special editions are not designed to be pretty but to commemorate something that the maker deems worth commemorating, like the 60 years of M cameras that the M Edition 60 honored. 

Now, personally, I don't really know what's so 'Bauhaus' about this edition of the CL, and I prefer my CL to be black. So I'm happy with what I got already. 

Edited by ramarren

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The Leica 1 (etc), M, X series, CL, Q, T already are Bauhaus in their basic shapes. Minimalist designs comprising parallel or orthogonal planes combined with cylindrical curves. There's no need to pretend this is something different - unless you're just trying to part collectors from their cash, of course.

The S (organic curves) & SL (angled planes and non-cylindrical curves) are the exceptions.

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9 minutes ago, LocalHero1953 said:

The Leica 1 (etc), M, X series, CL, Q, T already are Bauhaus in their basic shapes. Minimalist designs comprising parallel or orthogonal planes combined with cylindrical curves. There's no need to pretend this is something different - unless you're just trying to part collectors from their cash, of course.

The S (organic curves) & SL (angled planes and non-cylindrical curves) are the exceptions.

Paul, 

I believe it's called "Gilding the lily". I personally feel the most aesthetically pleasing of all my Leicas is the 0 series replica, because it is pure form follows function. 

Wilson

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2 hours ago, ramarren said:

What "happens to brands when they do this"? Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. 

What's happened with Leica is that they make a few people happy and maybe make a little money on the special. What's the big deal? 

That's because you, like me, aren't really buying cameras as 'objects of art'. Some people, lots of people, do. :D Many special editions are not designed to be pretty but to commemorate something that the maker deems worth commemorating, like the 60 years of M cameras that the M Edition 60 honored. 

Now, personally, I don't really know what's so 'Bauhaus' about this edition of the CL, and I prefer my CL to be black. So I'm happy with what I got already. 

Form your comments it’s pretty clear you don’t understand marketing. I’ve spent 30+ years doing this for Fortune 100 brands around the globe, and smart brands don’t do what Leica is doing. If you’re happy not understanding it that’s fine too. For sure I wouldn’t offer an amateurish opinion of what you do for a living.

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12 minutes ago, Le Chef said:

Form your comments it’s pretty clear you don’t understand marketing. I’ve spent 30+ years doing this for Fortune 100 brands around the globe, and smart brands don’t do what Leica is doing. If you’re happy not understanding it that’s fine too. For sure I wouldn’t offer an amateurish opinion of what you do for a living.

That is interesting.  What exactly do you mean?

8 hours ago, Le Chef said:

The risks of numerous specials editions are self evident in other high ticket consumer goods categories. The marketing people should be the ones stopping this nonsense, not encouraging it. The damage you do to your brand can be calculated: volume of regular models drops, resale pricing drops, brand value drops, churn in your user base. And on. Sad to see Leica throwing their brand away...

I understand when you say “nonsense”, “damage” and “throwing brand away”, but I don’t understand why.  Your criticism of Godfrey may be justified, but hard to know.  It’s a bit like saying I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story.

If we look at the Leica brand, it was historically in optics and refining existing technologies to produce immaculately made, well conceived photographic equipment for keen photographers - largely well heeled amateurs as the cost of production (compared to the mass-produced alternatives) were hard to justify for the working professional.  I know I generalise, but you get the picture.

Leica has always embellished its core business of fine photographic equipment with special editions - some of them stunning, like the Zagato version of the M10, the M Edition 600, the M6J etc.  That has always been part of its marketing strategy, back to the garish Luxor version of the Leica III.

What Leica hasn’t done is to destroy its brand like Hasselblad almost did with the repackaged, and very average, Sony cameras.

If anything has damaged Leica’s brand, I would have thought it’s the overpriced and rebadged Panasonic cameras (aimed at the middle market, like the rather odd Aston Martin Cygnet) and the disappointing quality control and customer service when it comes to repairs.  If you look back at Leica’s history, when has it got into trouble - real trouble?  Not responding to the shift to SLR soon enough in the 1960s, and when they did producing something average and expensive compared to the Nikon F; the M5; the R system ...

What saved them?  The M9.  I don’t understand why wringing that market with special editions and variants is damaging their core brand - they’ve been making good money, and it seems to be working for them.

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1 hour ago, IkarusJohn said:

That is interesting.  What exactly do you mean?

I understand when you say “nonsense”, “damage” and “throwing brand away”, but I don’t understand why.  Your criticism of Godfrey may be justified, but hard to know.  It’s a bit like saying I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story.

If we look at the Leica brand, it was historically in optics and refining existing technologies to produce immaculately made, well conceived photographic equipment for keen photographers - largely well heeled amateurs as the cost of production (compared to the mass-produced alternatives) were hard to justify for the working professional.  I know I generalise, but you get the picture.

Leica has always embellished its core business of fine photographic equipment with special editions - some of them stunning, like the Zagato version of the M10, the M Edition 600, the M6J etc.  That has always been part of its marketing strategy, back to the garish Luxor version of the Leica III.

What Leica hasn’t done is to destroy its brand like Hasselblad almost did with the repackaged, and very average, Sony cameras.

If anything has damaged Leica’s brand, I would have thought it’s the overpriced and rebadged Panasonic cameras (aimed at the middle market, like the rather odd Aston Martin Cygnet) and the disappointing quality control and customer service when it comes to repairs.  If you look back at Leica’s history, when has it got into trouble - real trouble?  Not responding to the shift to SLR soon enough in the 1960s, and when they did producing something average and expensive compared to the Nikon F; the M5; the R system ...

What saved them?  The M9.  I don’t understand why wringing that market with special editions and variants is damaging their core brand - they’ve been making good money, and it seems to be working for them.

It should be self evident, but obviously not. The point here is not Leica’s history of product excellence but what diminishes that intent. You add value to a brand through enhancements that consumers see as valuable, not diminish it. Functional improvements add value, flimsy special editions are hooey. If Leica paid more marketing attention to growing it’s consumer base with real product enhancement - even why Leica eschews complicated interfaces for example - this would make the brand more appealing. There are easy enough tests for brands to establish when they should do special editions and what those special editions should align to, but with Leica this seems to be more along the lines of “someone had an idea, let’s run with it” rather than asking the question as to how does this increase value, grow the customer base, or retain customers. The challenge is today, not what Leica did in the past.

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Well, not really as applying your thesis built on 30+ years experience with Fortune 500 companies around the globe, Leica would have failed completely by now, wouldn’t it?  They’ve been making variants and special editions for ages.

More critically, your opinion seems to be built on the assumption that Leica is huge (it isn’t), that there are massive technological advancements it could make in leaps and bounds to meet the whims of its adoring and faithful customer base(there aren’t).  It’s a relatively small and careful company developing its core products - the S, the SL, the M, CL & TL.  This is a large gamut, for a small company when you also consider the lens development. If people wish to buy variants of the M & CL cameras, produced at minimal additional cost to Leica and extracting further life out of its existing designs, who cares?  I fail to see the cost to those of us who just like taking pictures.  

Interestingly, there have been no vanity special editions or variants of the S or SL.  I doubt the variants and special editions slow the next iterations - planning of those seem to start immediately following the release of the previous model  

The S3, SL2 & M11 will be refinements of what we have already, and the special editions will have helped to fund those refinements - they will be driven by Leica’s understanding of the needs of their photographer client base.  It seems to me that none of the development cameras - the S2, 006 & 007, M9, M(240), M10, TL & CL have suffered from the development of special editions.  I looks more like they have been profitable for Leica and have funded the development of the new cameras. More critically, they seem to attract customers to the brand.

I find it interesting that the prices of SL cameras and lenses seem to be dropping, S lens prices not holding up (second hand) - these are Leica’s most difficult cameras to make.  Yet, the M prices seem to either hold or keep climbing.  I’d love a 75 Noctilux-M, but over $20,000 in my currency is just too rich.  I just bought my 75 Summicron-SL at a significant discount.  A new lens, apparently one of Leica’s best, and part of it’s L mount future.  I can’t see that this latest special edition CL has anything to do with that.  Why would an SL buyer be put off by a consumer, APS-C offering?

You seem to be disappointed with what Leica has to offer, or is it just their product cycle?  Perhaps you should tell them?

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35 minutes ago, IkarusJohn said:

Well, not really as applying your thesis built on 30+ years experience with Fortune 500 companies around the globe, Leica would have failed completely by now, wouldn’t it?  They’ve been making variants and special editions for ages.

More critically, your opinion seems to be built on the assumption that Leica is huge (it isn’t), that there are massive technological advancements it could make in leaps and bounds to meet the whims of its adoring and faithful customer base(there aren’t).  It’s a relatively small and careful company developing its core products - the S, the SL, the M, CL & TL.  This is a large gamut, for a small company when you also consider the lens development. If people wish to buy variants of the M & CL cameras, produced at minimal additional cost to Leica and extracting further life out of its existing designs, who cares?  I fail to see the cost to those of us who just like taking pictures.  

Interestingly, there have been no vanity special editions or variants of the S or SL.  I doubt the variants and special editions slow the next iterations - planning of those seem to start immediately following the release of the previous model  

The S3, SL2 & M11 will be refinements of what we have already, and the special editions will have helped to fund those refinements - they will be driven by Leica’s understanding of the needs of their photographer client base.  It seems to me that none of the development cameras - the S2, 006 & 007, M9, M(240), M10, TL & CL have suffered from the development of special editions.  I looks more like they have been profitable for Leica and have funded the development of the new cameras. More critically, they seem to attract customers to the brand.

I find it interesting that the prices of SL cameras and lenses seem to be dropping, S lens prices not holding up (second hand) - these are Leica’s most difficult cameras to make.  Yet, the M prices seem to either hold or keep climbing.  I’d love a 75 Noctilux-M, but over $20,000 in my currency is just too rich.  I just bought my 75 Summicron-SL at a significant discount.  A new lens, apparently one of Leica’s best, and part of it’s L mount future.  I can’t see that this latest special edition CL has anything to do with that.  Why would an SL buyer be put off by a consumer, APS-C offering?

You seem to be disappointed with what Leica has to offer, or is it just their product cycle?  Perhaps you should tell them?

Never mind - you’ve gone off on multiple irrelevant tangents which shows you don’t understand - not my problem.

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