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New Leica M6 Film Camera


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26 minutes ago, Danner said:

I believe that Canon or Nikon could quickly develop and build an SLR if they chose to.

The problem is that Canon and Nikon are both phasing out their digital SLRs in favour of their mirrorless cameras.  This means they are also phasing out their SLR lenses.  Neither is going to keep producing SLR lenses to go with a niche SLR film camera that they have not yet developed.

And that is Leica’s advantage.  With the M line they made sure that 1. they kept building them and b. they never stopped making M mount lenses.

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52 minutes ago, Danner said:

I believe that Canon or Nikon could quickly develop and build an SLR if they chose to.

Nikon spent a lot of money on the reissue of the S3 and SP in 2000 only to be left with soft sales and not a lot of interest from other than the hard core fans. The idea of retooling to enter the film market while your current camera sales are slumping isn't likely to happen. Leica has a loyal base for it's film cameras and the M6 is to attract the next generation.

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The trouble with cameras like the M6 is that Leica are serving a niche within a niche. There are a lot more people interested in shooting film than will ever consider forking out for a current Leica and its lenses. The next generation of new film camera users is going to be very small unless someone else steps up at a more reasomable price point. Luckily there are a lot of old cameras around, many of which remain serviceable (at least for now) and most of which are affordable.

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20 minutes ago, Anbaric said:

The trouble with cameras like the M6 is that Leica are serving a niche within a niche. There are a lot more people interested in shooting film than will ever consider forking out for a current Leica and its lenses. The next generation of new film camera users is going to be very small unless someone else steps up at a more reasomable price point. Luckily there are a lot of old cameras around, many of which remain serviceable (at least for now) and most of which are affordable.

Who is going to step up? Cosina seems to be moving on from making camera bodies so who's next? TT Artisans? Light Lens Lab? There was mention somewhere in this thread Light Lens Lab was working on a version of a Leica 1F but that's a long way from a functional SLR. The target should be the K1000 in a polymer body. We would all like to think film  is going to last far into the future but no company seems to be sure enough about it, other than Leica, to introduce a new product.

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Has the thought crossed anyone's mind that the M6 reissue is not actually a good sign about the future of film photography? It's an MP with cosmetic changes, right down to the meter.

I need to look up the video, but Leica themselves said something like "we're not doing this for the money, we could be making more profit by doing other things."

That sets a bad precedent for other companies. The only niche left is for luxury cameras with the most heritage you can ask for? And then there are plastic toy cameras. I doubt we'll see anyone else make high quality, mechanical cameras for a long time, if ever (not including large format cameras, well-crafted pinhole cameras and things like that).

This is why it galls me that Leica banned the sale of spare parts to independent repair shops and has a software lock on calibrating M6 TTL/M7/MP/M6 reissue meters. The real future of film photography is the used camera market. Leica's policy should be to support the used market, their so-called entry-level cameras, to the fullest extent.

Edited by raizans
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1 hour ago, madNbad said:

Who is going to step up? Cosina seems to be moving on from making camera bodies so who's next? TT Artisans? Light Lens Lab? There was mention somewhere in this thread Light Lens Lab was working on a version of a Leica 1F but that's a long way from a functional SLR. The target should be the K1000 in a polymer body. We would all like to think film  is going to last far into the future but no company seems to be sure enough about it, other than Leica, to introduce a new product.

I suspect nobody is going to step up any time soon, especially if suitable shutters and perhaps other components that were supplied by third parties aren't readily available. I wonder what happened to the Seagull production line in China? They were one of the last companies making manual SLRs, using designs licensed from Minolta and sold under various names, including some models with K mounts.

Edited by Anbaric
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There are so many old serviceable film cameras out there why all this talk about somebody needing to step up at all?

if push came to shove, it’s the film manufacturers who have an incentive to make affordable film cameras. The business model is well established in the ink jet printer domain.

 

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5 hours ago, Anbaric said:

The trouble with cameras like the M6 is that Leica are serving a niche within a niche. There are a lot more people interested in shooting film than will ever consider forking out for a current Leica and its lenses. The next generation of new film camera users is going to be very small unless someone else steps up at a more reasomable price point. Luckily there are a lot of old cameras around, many of which remain serviceable (at least for now) and most of which are affordable.

Leica is, and always has been, it's own niche.  It is because of that, that they have been making film cameras continuously for over 100 years.

All that matters to Leica is that people want to buy Leicas.  And they do.  If someone wants a cheap camera, well, not their problem.  Go complain to the companies that used to make cheap cameras.  And ask yourself why they don't make them anymore.

In the mean time I bought a very fun Kodak Ektar H35 film camera.  Brand new, $50.  Which is really expensive considering it has fixed focus and fixed exposure!  But that gives you an idea how expensive a regular film camera would be!  The only other player is Lomo with the LC series, ranging from $300 to $500.

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8 hours ago, Mr.Prime said:

There are so many old serviceable film cameras out there why all this talk about somebody needing to step up at all?

if push came to shove, it’s the film manufacturers who have an incentive to make affordable film cameras. The business model is well established in the ink jet printer domain.

There are plenty for now, but will the interest in shooting film outlast them? We'll have to wait and see. I can't imagine the film companies bothering to make anything decent. Fuji probably has the resources and expertise, but seems to have the least interest in film. Kodak is now fragmented and the company that makes film is separate to what is left of the original megacorporation (which produces a few toy cameras). Ilford today is a lean and specialised company that is concentrating on doing one thing very well.

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5 hours ago, Huss said:

Leica is, and always has been, it's own niche.  It is because of that, that they have been making film cameras continuously for over 100 years.

All that matters to Leica is that people want to buy Leicas.  And they do.  If someone wants a cheap camera, well, not their problem.  Go complain to the companies that used to make cheap cameras.  And ask yourself why they don't make them anymore.

In the mean time I bought a very fun Kodak Ektar H35 film camera.  Brand new, $50.  Which is really expensive considering it has fixed focus and fixed exposure!  But that gives you an idea how expensive a regular film camera would be!  The only other player is Lomo with the LC series, ranging from $300 to $500.

I'm not seeing this from the point of view of Leica, who obviously have a formula that works for them, but from the point of view of photographers. A new Leica is about as relevant to most people who want to shoot film as a Rolex is to most people who want an 'analogue' watch, but for film cameras there is no Seiko. There's a huge gap between $50 and $5000, or between $500 and $5000 (though even in the film era, the Lomography stuff was always ridiculously overpriced compared to the far more capable cameras from mainstream companies that were still in production). A new, high quality camera wouldn't be cheap, but it needn't be Leica-expensive any more than a TT Artisans or Cosina/Voigtländer lens needs to be the price of a Summicron. That doesn't mean it will happen, though, mainly because the film market is currently being adequately served by affordable secondhand cameras. If Seagull were to make a $1000 SLR or Cosina a Voigtländer-branded $1500 SLR, it would still be a tough sell compared to a classic secondhand SLR for some small fraction of the price. But the longer this situation continues, the more difficult it will be to revive any sort of high quality film camera production, especially now we are moving away from even digital SLRs. Probably if it were going to happen, it would already have happened, and the window of opportunity has been missed. Few people predicted the resurgence of interest in film that its manufacturers are now struggling to keep up with.

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The thing about Lomography cameras being ridiculously overpriced - but are they?  The LC series and Leicas are the only mainstream film cameras left.  Lomography is selling NEW LCs while everyone else has checked out.  Everyone else has given up, if the Lomos were over priced they would not be in production.  I am with you in the fact that I would not spend $400 on a new one, but I have bought an LC-Wide for $200 for its extremely unique features that is not available anywhere else.  It really is a super camera for its purpose.

I wanted Leica’s all new film camera to not be the M6, but a Minilux/CM.  That is what I think a mfg should bring out - a nice P&S camera that gives significantly better results than the $40 new reloadable plastic cameras available now.

I wouldn’t pay $1000+ for a new film Seagull when you can buy a Nikon F6 for that! Or a couple hundred $ more a used Leica M3.

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1 hour ago, Huss said:

The thing about Lomography cameras being ridiculously overpriced - but are they?  The LC series and Leicas are the only mainstream film cameras left.  Lomography is selling NEW LCs while everyone else has checked out.  Everyone else has given up, if the Lomos were over priced they would not be in production.  I am with you in the fact that I would not spend $400 on a new one, but I have bought an LC-Wide for $200 for its extremely unique features that is not available anywhere else.  It really is a super camera for its purpose.

I wanted Leica’s all new film camera to not be the M6, but a Minilux/CM.  That is what I think a mfg should bring out - a nice P&S camera that gives significantly better results than the $40 new reloadable plastic cameras available now.

I wouldn’t pay $1000+ for a new film Seagull when you can buy a Nikon F6 for that! Or a couple hundred $ more a used Leica M3.

Browsing earlier, I found it's pretty easy to get NOS Seagull SLRs for under £100 from places like Alibaba, though you can pay a fair bit more for the slightly absurd DF5000, the same basic Minolta design dressed up in a Luigi Colani jelly mould shell. I wonder how recently they were all produced?

The Lomo prices are almost more defensible now than they were when a couple of marketing students started the 'Lomography' business back in the 90s. Back then, it seemed absurd to spend a three figure sum on a camera you could have picked up just a few years earlier at your local Zenit dealer for £25. Some people like 'Lomo Joe' bought LC-A cameras in Russia where they will still cheaply available and resold them in the west for much less than the Lomography price, apparently leading to this response from one of the Lomo founders:

'You won't believe it but it is true that we already have invested a big amount of money to make a trademark and a photographic philosphy known. It is true that we negotiated with Mr. Vladimir Putin as a Vicemajor of St.P. in 1996. It is true that because of our engagement more than 100 workers at the Lomo factory had the chance to return to there jobs. It is true that meanwhile our friends Putin and Klebanov (ex director of Lomo) are the leading people in Russia and it is true that we and our Russian friends do not like our business to be disturbed. After consultation with our US lawyer, our Russian lawyer and the reponsible sales manager at Lomo PLC I want to ask you in a friendly way to stop selling LCA cameras within this week. If the matter is not settled until Sunday we will take action against you in Russia and in the US. We will claim damages, we will start investigation of fraudulent selling of stolen goods because we have evidence that the cameras are stolen in the production and we will claim all possible profits back.'

Which doesn't fit terribly well with the freewheeling artistic image of Lomography, and is probably not a letter the author would like to be reminded of today.

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17 hours ago, raizans said:

Leica's policy should be to support the used market, their so-called entry-level cameras, to the fullest extent.

Agree, and Leica should make it profitable for themselves.  Otherwise it will not be sustainable.  

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7 hours ago, RayD28 said:

Agree, and Leica should make it profitable for themselves.  Otherwise it will not be sustainable.  

It’s incredible that people expect from Leica that they would not expect from ANY other business.

 

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21 hours ago, Huss said:

...In the mean time I bought a very fun Kodak Ektar H35 film camera.  Brand new, $50.  Which is really expensive considering it has fixed focus and fixed exposure!  But that gives you an idea how expensive a regular film camera would be!  

I was going to buy one of those off amazon:  two shots per frame - fun.

 

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Just now, cj3209 said:

I was going to buy one of those off amazon:  two shots per frame - fun.

 

Taken w my Kodak H35

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