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Iron Flatline

My M8 is all out of whack...

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Where else do you gather your statistics? If it's internet forums, you've got a skewed perception because a younger demographic dominates on the internet...although on Leica forums despite the odd outliers, the majority are over 40 (which, at not quite 42 admittedly might bias my definition of "older" If you look at the Leica clubs, their membership is primarily age 60+. Those are verifiable facts. Will that change? I certainly hope so, and Leica has to be banking on it because otherwise their customer base will erode from under them. However to do that Leica is going to have to make some concessions to modern technology that will send some of the old guard into a vein-popping rage.

 

I don't gather any statistics, but I have a different perception than you do. I was asking if you had statistics to back up your claims, or if it is a personal opinion with hand-waving, only. I can see just as well as you, as can anyone here. I thought maybe, since you sound so sure, that you might have access to knowledge, rather than personal estimates.

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I dunno about older gents, that seems like some kind of odd characterization, but pursuing a wealthier, more successful clientele that also is more discerning in its buying choices seems like a good idea to me. Why not? It works in every other business segment. You EITHER go low-end (that's covered by the Japanese in the camera world) or you pursue the high-end. Leica has that market to itself! I've never understood where this egalitarian working-class ethic comes from that somehow the camera needs to be primarily a tool for a working photographer to have any credibility - and that all other owners/users are poseurs and wanna-bes.

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Jim I was thinking more like 20 years from now. When I used film a lot of my cameras were 20 or 30 years old. A lot of photographers bought a Hassy/Leica/Nikon at the start of their career and where using the same equipment when they retired. I still keep Mac system 9 installed on one disk on a Mac to run the software for my 7 year old Scitex Jazz scanner but the OS and software are no longer supported and it's a pain have to keep a legacy rig running for one device.

 

I'm always hearing a certain sort of Leica user talking about passing their MP down to their children as if it was a Swiss watch. While you don't have to upgrade with every new digicam introduced it's not likely you will be passing your M8 down to the kids.

 

i'd agree with the 'legacy' camera notion. electronics seem to be much less durable than mechanics. i suspect for that same reason, most of the current film cameras will fall into the same category. unfortunately, i suspect very few children of the future would appreciate that MP being handed down, given the increasingly 'gadget-oriented' the world is becoming

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It's true Carsten - you've no idea how many free drinks I've had in the past six months crashing dentistry conventions with my M8 around my neck.

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Yes, but they will pass on the lenses.

 

And don't expect the digital pace to continue like this for the next thirty years. Consumers will demand quality and longevity again at some point.

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Guest tummydoc
I don't gather any statistics, but I have a different perception than you do. I was asking if you had statistics to back up your claims, or if it is a personal opinion with hand-waving, only. I can see just as well as you, as can anyone here. I thought maybe, since you sound so sure, that you might have access to knowledge, rather than personal estimates.

 

If you want the exact numbers, you're as capable as I of making the inquiries. If I go to the trouble I fear you'll only trot out some other tactic to make it seem like I'm "hand waving" since that's what you want to believe. LHSA reported in one of their magazines (read it, don't belong) that their membership is (from memory) around 700 strong, with the average age (again, from memory, I could be off a year one way or the other) 61. Go to their website (lhsa.org) and send them an e-mail and ask if you want the exact numbers. UK Leica Society is smaller but their membership is older yet. Send Jem Kime an e-mail and ask him if you want the exact numbers. The auction houses and Leica stockists are obviously not going to give out details of their customers such as age, occupation, etc. for obvious reasons of privacy. You can dismiss what they've told me in casual conversation, as hearsay. It doesn't really matter. Even chairman Lee has stated in interviews that a pressing goal if Leica is to survive, is to appeal to a younger demographic. Read them, they must be searchable.

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Guest tummydoc

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I've never understood where this egalitarian working-class ethic comes from that somehow the camera needs to be primarily a tool for a working photographer to have any credibility - and that all other owners/users are poseurs and wanna-bes.

 

Where? Internet Leica Forums, primarily p.net, primarily from people who don't own Leicas, primarily just an excuse to relieve their inferiority complexes by abusing others, from the safety of their computers. I've never witnessed anyone saying it to someone's face.

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LHSA reported in one of their magazines (read it, don't belong) that their membership is (from memory) around 700 strong, with the average age (again, from memory, I could be off a year one way or the other) 61

 

Hi Vinay, that describes the membership of the LHSA rather than the general body of Leica uses as I'm sure you'll agree. 700 people, what's that as a percentage of Leica users? Perhaps the demographics of a society that appears to be geared to the needs of collectors rather than users will be twisted away from the average of actual users.

 

I can only say that my personal experience of meeting Leica users through the LUG, casual meeting on the street, and this forum doesn't support the idea that the average Leica user is of pensionable age.

 

If you can make it to Berlin next month for our get together you'll be able to see for yourself.

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If you can make it to Berlin next month for our get together you'll be able to see for yourself.

I look forward to finding out, too.

 

... and seeing as I'm organizing the Photobloggers Meet-Up this weekend, I will have lots of good suggestions for the One Challenge.

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Hi Vinay, that describes the membership of the LHSA rather than the general body of Leica uses as I'm sure you'll agree. 700 people, what's that as a percentage of Leica users? Perhaps the demographics of a society that appears to be geared to the needs of collectors rather than users will be twisted away from the average of actual users.

 

I can only say that my personal experience of meeting Leica users through the LUG, casual meeting on the street, and this forum doesn't support the idea that the average Leica user is of pensionable age.

 

If you can make it to Berlin next month for our get together you'll be able to see for yourself.

 

"I can only say that my personal experience of meeting Leica users through the LUG, casual meeting on the street, and this forum doesn't support the idea that the average Leica user is of pensionable age."

 

On an average Leica owners and 'users' are not very young!

 

When you are young you don't have the money to buy a new Leica and lenses!

 

A few months ago I was introduced by the Leica importer of the Netherlands for a Leica demonstration in the The Hague. 90% of the customers and visitors were older than 55 years!

 

Many young people nowadays have no idea of what Leica is....

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Guest tummydoc
I can only say that my personal experience of meeting Leica users through the LUG, casual meeting on the street, and this forum doesn't support the idea that .

 

If you read back, you'll see that I never said 'the average Leica user is of pensionable age'. Firstly, my remarks centred around buyers of new Leica equipment, not Leica users as a whole, which would necessarily include people using $600 beater M2s with former USSR lenses. Secondly, I mentioned that older fellows represent a significant percentage of those buyers of new Leica equipment, never that they are the majority. And today people are living longer in better health, so in no way am I implying that those people are doddering. They are mostly quite dynamic people really, and tend to travel quite a lot.

 

What I did say is that the average (or majority) of buyers of new Leica equipment have substantial disposable income. That includes people of all ages. I believe, though I will admit I have no hard evidence, that the number of people who buy new Leica equipment (M8 included) whose annual incomes are less than (in US $) six figures or whose net worth is less than seven figures, are in the minority. I would be interested if anyone has any verifiable figures to dispel that belief.

 

And you're a luckier man than I, because in fifteen years of Leica collecting I've yet to happen upon someone using one on the street of any city anywhere in the world, and I've travelled extensively.

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Vinay, all I said was that, I don't believe members of the LHSA are typical of Leica users as a whole, and that my personal experience is that Leica users are younger than the 60+ years you say the LHSA members are. Now I'm not saying my experience is that they are all in their early 20s, but at a guess I'd put the average somewhere around 40.

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What I did say is that the average (or majority) of buyers of new Leica equipment have substantial disposable income. That includes people of all ages. I believe, though I will admit I have no hard evidence, that the number of people who buy new Leica equipment (M8 included) whose annual incomes are less than (in US $) six figures or whose net worth is less than seven figures, are in the minority. I would be interested if anyone has any verifiable figures to dispel that belief.

 

Vinay,

 

You made the original statement about Leica demographics, Carsten asked you to back up your claim with evidence, and now you require that he (or someone) disprove your claim by submitting evidence to the contrary. I think you may have a future in Washington -- but not with any high school debate team.

 

Larry

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My 35/1.4 has just come back. I handed it in to the retailer on March 13

 

The 20mm is the sharpest lens I've ever owned.

 

BTW, I intend to sell the M8. Enough is enough. The lenses are really nice, but the camera is not up to the quality of the lenses. I hope the next model will be full-frame, IR proof and debugged.

 

Edmund

 

 

I can't beleive Leica could continue to sell cameras at the clip they have if 'most' buyers or even a large minority of buyers had the problems some have described here. I certainly would not have stuck with the system (I have not had any problems) and I am pretty sure most are like me, pretty intolerant of equipment that can not be depended on. If cameras were dying left and right on new owners the sales would have gone right off a cliff (which quite a few trolls and naysayers predicted). Well pretty much the opposite has happened. I've owned a lot of cameras, computers and cars and on rare occasions I have gotten a stinker or had a new product fail, it sometimes happens with the best equipment and will happen quite often if you are first on line for new model introductions.

 

So I hope you get your camera and lens back soon. I am incredibly happy to have the M8 and not have to be dependent on DSLR's to shoot digitally. Small footprint, range finder focusing and an incredible collection of lenses at every price point and taste (from Leica, CV and the used market) and a simple interface that uses analogue controls like aperture rings and a dial for shutter speed. What's not to like?

 

Lest I give the impression I am minimizing the problems and failure that have been related on this forum I am not. Those who have put up with the headaches and are still here. You are more patient and better then I.

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I didn't know Leica had a professional care dept. Good to know. I'm really not a professional since I don't make a living as a photographer but I do have a registered photography business: Benitez Rivera Fine Art Photography, and sell the ocassional print, so I guess that may qualify me.

 

Iron,

 

I would hate to part with my M8 even for a lttile while so I understand how you are feeling.

 

Cheers,

Wilfredo

http://www.BenitezRivera.com

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I didn't know Leica had a professional care dept. Good to know. I'm really not a professional since I don't make a living as a photographer but I do have a registered photography business: Benitez Rivera Fine Art Photography, and sell the ocassional print, so I guess that may qualify me.QUOTE]

 

Yes, Wilfredo. This should be enough. I suppose there must be a contact person at Leica in NJ as there's one in Solms and at Leica France.

 

Saludos

.

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Digital cameras are not really collectibles they will be junk in a few years while your M3 will be still as functional as the day it was made. Leica's

 

Hank, please explain why my M8 would fall to pieces, rot and corrode in a few years time? (Or my Canon 10D for that matter?)

 

As a matter of fact, the original Canon 1D is still sought after, despite a 4Mp sensor of 5 generations back because it produces quite unique pictures and the Digilux2 is up to 750/1000 $ on e-bay, because there is no successor. I think we have reached a point in digital photography qualitywise where the camera is starting to count instead of the electronics. The product of the sensor is very close to another -unbreakable-limit: the biological one of the quality of our eyes.

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I am hopeful that my M8 will have an upgrade path and that in a few years, I can send it to Leica (with a large cheque of course) to have the sensor and electronics upgraded. This would in effect be like changing from ISO 10, fades in a few years Kodachrome, that would have been one of the early films in my IIF to the superb range of films I can use in it today.

 

Wilson

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I'd like to see that too Wilson, but I doubt that it'll happen. Apart for the early Kodak DSLRs I don't think that's ever happened. So much tends to change with a new model, new sensor, new PCBs of differing sizes to support the sensor that it may not be practical to offer the service - the 'bits' may well not fit into the older body shell.

 

Even if it were offered it would probably be cheaper to sell the old camera and put that money towards the new one <grin>

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