Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
hassiman

The beginng of the end for Leica

Recommended Posts

Most M8 users are not interested in 21 Mp, or 64000 ISO, lightning fast AF,smile recognition, etc because that has no meaning in the majority of rangefinder photographs. If I wanted that I would by a D3 - and lose all the Leica RF advantages. So I won't.

Having said that, a sensor with (even?) more dynamic range and somewhat improved high ISO capabilities would be a nice thing.

 

I can only think of one parallel to this comment:

 

Back when Macs ran on G3 and G4 processors at 400 mhz, we used to say "well, Windows machines that run at THREE times the processor speed are still WORSE and megahertz don't matter as much as the interface and *feeling* of using a Mac."

 

Now that Apple Computer uses Intel processors at blazing speeds, we adapted PRETTY well to the technological advances and scoff that we ever had to settle for anything less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't take the micky out of misspellings on the web. It can be a ghost that comes home to haunt you <grin>.

 

Right, micky

 

OK, you're right. Or should I say, your right? < mind blown away >

 

Seriously, I get it: when pointing with one finger, three are pointing back.

 

Or two, if you're Mickey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gus, I agree that the rate of sales growth is slowing rapidly - FY 2006-2007: + 38%, Q1-3 2007-2008: + 31%. Guesses for FY 2007-2008? Q4 2006-2007 was a spectacular €49m - first full quarter of M8 sales - so if Q4 2007-2008 was €30m, FY 2007-2008 would be just +8%.

 

Big increase in R&D spend, HR costs under control but that rise in COGS is alarming. I wonder how much of that is going to Panasonic.

 

Their crisis is lack of product. The initial M8 sales rush and lens drag-along business is over, the R9 and DMR are dead and gone and another full year before the numbers begin to reflect any replacement, the Digilux 3 is a disaster, sport optics are sluggish; the cute D-Lux 3 seems to be hanging on but it's an antique by P&S standards.

 

Then, along comes some bright spark talking about M8 futures (real or imagined) and ill-thought out upgrades which just creates uncertainly and a wait-and-see attitude. M8 sales hit a wall. Not good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stnami

I reckon that I will be still shootin my mouth of in 10 years time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, along with some film, an old digital.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right. There are still people using wet plates too. The Leica is a street camera. The professional DSLR is a wedding camera.

 

Like OMG, thanks for setting me straight on this! I've been using *the wrong camera* all this time, dude! No wonder my clients always totally pick the 5d and DMR pictures!

 

D'oh!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it is "fun" to write about the future.

 

I have 2 M8's which I exepct to use for many years - it's just that I like the pictures I get from the M8 and my lenses, and don't really need more. I also have a Nikon D200 for those times where an SLR is the best "tool". I've tried out Nikon's new and improrved

D300.

 

The D300 clearly produces less noisy images than my D200 at high ISO's. My problem with images from the D300 is they look "plasticy" to me. I prefer the D200 images, even though it is said to have the "inferior" sensor. My inference is that technical improvements don't always improve image appearance for everyone. sometimes just bigger numbers. M8 images may just be more interesting for some people even vs. the eventual giant megapixels FF SLR.

 

As for the D3 - great camera, but too large for me - as are large format film cameras. I can slip an M8 plus a lens or two into a very small shoulder bag that certainly doesn't look like a camera bag.

 

As for Leica's future - that may be problematic. But then again, if well financed, a strong mnaagement team can usually find a way to prosperity. Leica does have the potential financial backing for success - now let's hope it will have a good management team. I don't know the specific decisions or management style of Steven Lee. However, errors have showed during his leadership - including the stupid decision to ignore the IR problem with the M8 before it's introduction, poor communications, etc. So maybe the future can be ok. The next year should be interesting for Leica.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depends on WHAT they're shooting. If they're shooting still-lifes, probably not. If they're shooting weddings and debutant balls, etc., they definitely will be at a disadvantage. Of course, anyone trying to shoot a wedding or a debutant ball with a rangefinder these days already is at a disadvantage.

 

What????? I just shot a book on breakdancers, most of which was done with Mamiya 6 and 7 MEDIUM FORMAT rangefinders (the rest with a Hasselblad SWC). Breakdancers ain't exactly still lifes.....

 

There's a long history of reportage with rangefinders, even before slrs were invented. IMO they're great for weddings (esp the silent Leica M7 and the Mamiyas).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice theory but the economical and sales numbers of Leica proove that the theory is not true.

cheers, Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Lee offered a Nikon D3 to his wife for Xmas.... and this is how he got fired :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depends on WHAT they're shooting. If they're shooting still-lifes, probably not. If they're shooting weddings and debutant balls, etc., they definitely will be at a disadvantage. Of course, anyone trying to shoot a wedding or a debutant ball with a rangefinder these days already is at a disadvantage.

 

Lots of bashing concerning this comment. But as with all generalized comments there's some truth to it, just as there is some truth to the answers.

 

Of course a rangefinder can be used for wedding photography, and it totally depends on the style and vision of the shooter to what degree it is used.

 

However, a wedding assignment can be filled with diverse challenges that can place a person using JUST a rangefinder at a disadvantage.

 

Like being relegated to the balcony or back of the church during the ceremony that's taking place 200 feet away. Having a DSLR and a telephoto is then an advantage.

 

Or shooting a f/1.2 lens of the first dance to isolate the subjects ... with the lights down to almost nothing ... having a high ISO DSLR with multi-point cross type AF is then an advantage.

 

Conversely, I can't think of a single wedding shot I've done with a rangefinder that I couldn't have done with a DSLR.

 

I love rangefinders and use them all the time at weddings as just a personal preference ... sometimes using them as the primary camera ... but I wouldn't go to a wedding with just a rangefinder, nor do I think what I shoot is better or worse because of the gear.

 

My personal style and vision isn't dependent on the gear in my hand. It comes from the heart and a curiosity concerning people. Nor is "stealth" dependent on equipment. I've shot some of my best candid work with a MF AF camera ... and they never knew I was there.

 

I also don't think a single client has ever asked me what camera I used to take a photo. They only care about the photo ... wether it's shot with a rangefinder or a DSLR or a MF camera is not relevant to them in the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
{snipped}

I also don't think a single client has ever asked me what camera I used to take a photo. They only care about the photo ... wether it's shot with a rangefinder or a DSLR or a MF camera is not relevant to them in the least.

 

Thank-you Marc, for saying this. I actually think the camera, as Riccis said, is a means to an end, so if a talented photographer is comfortable with it, then that's what works.

 

And FWIW, which isn't really very much, I personally don't agree with you about the benefit of AF at 1.2 in low light shooting dances. Give me MF anytime (oh, and not wonky MF made to kinda work on an AF system).

 

But the OP deserved some flak just for saying things so categorically, and for comparing using RFs (or anything else, like SLRs) to shoot weddings with people who shoot glass plates! And for missing the fact that the photographer, not the camera, makes the difference (and the pictures!)

 

We've all seen plenty of fabulous wedding photography shot *exclusively* with rangefinders. Not to mention MF film. And, FWIW, if you're the kind of photographer who doesn't get relegated to the balcony, then 90mm is fine (I'm not that kind of photographer, so I still use a dSLR or two).

 

And there are other points of RF advantage, IMO, particularly about the glass quality in adverse conditions. So I'm not sure the dSLR has all that many advantages. They're just different means to an end, and consequently have their strengths and weaknesses. Neither is an anachronism, though, or plain stupid, like shooting wet plates at a wedding would be...

 

Heck, don't you shoot, um, film still?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Their crisis is lack of product. The initial M8 sales rush and lens drag-along business is over, the R9 and DMR are dead and gone and another full year before the numbers begin to reflect any replacement, the Digilux 3 is a disaster, sport optics are sluggish; the cute D-Lux 3 seems to be hanging on but it's an antique by P&S standards.

 

I have no idea what was behind the firing but you can be sure that if Leica's product introduction plan was firing on all cylinders they would not be making a change at the top so close to Photokina. I'd say whatever they have got planned for the future if they don't make a big splash at Photokina with some major new product they are in serious trouble. The initial success that the M8 brought must be followed by new products that can expand on that success. I expect a kink in the product pipeline now would be very bad news for the company's viability.

 

I hope once they sort out what exactly they are doing short term they lay out a sort of bare bones map for clients. Just to keep interest up and perhaps convince some to keep their powder dry until they see the new products. It's not like there are not a lot of tempting alternatives especially for R users.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Robert Belasario

There will always be a market for Leica cameras, wether state of the art or not, therefor I think I can be pretty sure Leica will "always" exist. They will/do not have the cash at hand to develop trendsetting technologies but they didn't do that in their film era either, they were always years behind and despite that fact one of the most sought after brands. The M8 will have a similar effect, in ten years time an m8 (upgraded) will still be the preferred shooter for most of the m8 shooters now, these users don't really mind that there will be 136.000 iso double or triple frame cameras in the market at the same price as the m8 or perhaps, very perhaps the m9, they just love their Leica's for one reason or the other.

Best bet would be to take Leica of the stock market, develop small m8 upgrades from time to time and keep the current user group happy, which isn't a hard excersize judging by what I read on this forum.

In all honesty why would anyone buy an m7 while he can get an FM3a at a fraction of the price, and in all honesty again nobody would be able to discover the difference in the images taken by both at a normal 24x36cm print ..... perhaps in a larger print, but if one wanted to only do larger prints a Mamiya 7 would be a better bet .... so one can establish that Leica user love their gear over everything and will support the Leica company whatever they do, and their market will expand for there are young professionals leaving university every year whom eventually will have the capital to purchase Leica gear and will do so, it might not be a fast growing market but an expanding one at least.

 

Before this shoots in the wrong "lug-hole" of the firm LUF resident group here, I am not dumping you, I used and still use my '68 M4 frequently, fully aware of the fact that there are cheaper and just as good alternatives out there, the same goes for my M8, I wouldn't even try and argue that the images from my M8 are of a higher quality than the N and C offers for I don't believe they are, I just like my M8 thats all, and if somebody tells me what idiot I am for I could be doing this, that or the other.... fine, they are right, 100% correct, but it's still my money, which I make in a respectfull manner (I do have to work for it) and I will spend it however I please without having to justify the why's and what's, the if's and but's, what is perfect imagry anyway... if not boring that is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like OMG, thanks for setting me straight on this! I've been using *the wrong camera* all this time, dude! No wonder my clients always totally pick the 5d and DMR pictures!

 

D'oh!!

 

 

Well, I'm glad you're straight on that now.

 

What????? I just shot a book on breakdancers, most of which was done with Mamiya 6 and 7 MEDIUM FORMAT rangefinders (the rest with a Hasselblad SWC). Breakdancers ain't exactly still lifes.....

 

There's a long history of reportage with rangefinders, even before slrs were invented. IMO they're great for weddings (esp the silent Leica M7 and the Mamiyas).

__________________

Charles Peterson Photography

 

You probably ought to try the breakdancers with an 8 x 10 view. Think of the improved resolution.

 

Yes. Back in the late fifties, sixties and early seventies I did weddings, deb's balls, dance classes, etc. etc. with rangefinders: M2 and M4 mostly, because that was what was available. I also did financial calculations with an adding machine because that's what was available. Nowadays DSLRs and reasonably fast computers are available. I could still use a rangefinder on a fast-moving shoot. I also could still use an adding machine to do financial calculations. Oh, by the way, I also used to drag race with a Model A when I was in high school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why all the concern. Short term I doubt anything will change in Solms. Who knows why Lee got canned. It might be for something completely unrelated to the operation of Leica Camera AG.

 

I have owned Leica in one form or another for almost 40 years (stress almost), and during that time it has been on the edge - and will likely be that way for the foreseeable future.

 

To debate rangefinder versus single lens reflex seems counterproductive. Leica made some of the best SLR cameras ever in direct competition with the M cameras. Frankly I believe they should NOT have started down the SLR path but they felt they had no choice - not unlike the BETAMAX versus VHS situation. Perhaps and I speculate here - Lee decided rangefinder only bodies and lenses - and no dslr and that got him punted, but I am guessing. I don't think they can afford two competitive directions.

 

Notice the big guns got out of the rangefinder world long ago and have concentrated on one core direction. Nikon is much smaller than Canon outsources their point and shoot line - a wise decision on their part, and has no interest in video cameras, etc. In other words they are sticking to their core competency - with success. Canon on the other hand is a giant company who can afford to play on many many fronts, with great success.

 

Which camera format a pro, amateur, etc uses is really a matter of choice, need, skill and has nothing to do with much more than that.

 

I am pretty darn sure a number of M8 owners - own slr or dslr cameras and use them effectively. Last weekend I shot a Serbian protest at the Vancouver Art Gallery with the D3 and just two lenses (24/70 and 70/200) and spent the rest of the week with sore shoulders, this week I will shoot the same protest - with the M8s. So in my case it is about sore shoulders

I will miss the long lenses but will use the Leica for it's strength and shoot wider up to my 90 mm APO.

 

There so many good shooters here using the M8 but it is not in my opinion the be all and end all.

 

Best To All. Terry

 

PS. It is a beautiful sunny day on the West Coast of Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bear in mind that demographics and economics are workingin Leica's favour. World population is booming (yeah we're all fucked...) and the number of really rich people is booming right along with it.

 

Think China.

 

This means an ever-growing crop of people with money interested in photography. If only a small percentage of them become infected with Leicaphelia, the company will have a sustained and potentially growing market.

 

What Leica has to do is create a stable model for development and production of high-end digital cameras in relatively low volume. It's a challenge, but they did it with their lenses, and appear to have the makings of the model with the M8. As making digital RFs of this calibre become less cutting-ede, their task of achieiving economic equilibrium should become easier.

 

If managed competently (not necessarily brilliantly),Leica will be around for a long time.

 

- N,

 

ps. of course, they could always appoint some ex-GM executives to lead them into the future :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...er... I think you are wrong. Have you heard of Miele? Washing machines, dishwashers etc that literally last a lifetime. Lots of people buy them because of that promise.

 

 

Not really very good examples. The Miele one doesn't work because the general washing machine market hasn't experienced a technology revolution. The state of Miele today is like the state of Leica 20 years ago - prestige brand, significant penetration in the luxury market, leading the market in quality and engineering.

 

If you wanted to make the comparison work you'd have to imagine for a moment that in 1996 a revolutionary means of washing clothes was invented and later widely adopted by all volume manufacturers and the vast majority of the consumer market. And in 2008 Miele were still transitioning from their 'lasts a lifetime' brand based on washing with water while market leaders have been offering dry washing with sonic waves for over a decade. Suddenly Miele realises that products lasting a lifetime aren't that useful if they're based on the wrong platform for the market.

 

The Rolls Royce example is closer, but won't be directly comparable to Leica until they leave the general market and reposition themselves as an unobtainable luxury brand, intending to sell only a limited run of products per year to a handful of purchasers. It's possible they might do this, but I don't personally look forward to the day that a Leica will cost 160,000 pounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...In all honesty why would anyone buy an m7 while he can get an FM3a at a fraction of the price...

Maybe because it's a (nikon-mount) SLR?

 

My name is 'Peter D Lux 2' and I chose this name because that was the only 'Leica' I had when I became a member of this forum a while ago.

 

Back than I didn't know that in the next two years I'd be buying a new M8, MP, M7 and a few lenses

 

As a former cinematographer shooting film and video having to move to a new career for health reasons, I'm happy I chose Leica as the camera brand that I invest all my (and my wife's) money in.

 

Having worked with Arriflex, Aaton and Panavision on film, and Sony and Ikegami on video, I think I know quality when I see it, and Leica is the best option for me right now, and I'm more than content.

 

All the new Leica equipment I bought works flawlessly. And I have a feeling I belong to the 'silent majority' on this forum who are just happy and satisfied with the equipment we have and use.

 

During these past weeks, since PMA, and even before that, there has been a lot of complaining on this forum. I regret this very much.

 

I do feel sorry for everyone who has focussing issues, or any other problem, and who is in his right to be dissatisfied. I hope things get sorted out as quickly as possible.

 

Right now, I just wanted to let everyone here know that I'm getting bored with reading all this nagging and hostility, lately.

 

I say: Long Live Leica! And may we all take wonderful pictures with Leica cameras and lenses for many decades to come.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

 

Don't forget:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/customer-forum/45189-leica-day.html#post476027

 

There's a very positive impulse on this forum I do like

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depends on WHAT they're shooting. If they're shooting still-lifes, probably not. If they're shooting weddings and debutant balls, etc., they definitely will be at a disadvantage. Of course, anyone trying to shoot a wedding or a debutant ball with a rangefinder these days already is at a disadvantage.

 

What an extraordinary claim. I shoot plenty of weddings with nothing other than rangefinders. A Leica M has significant advantages: consider choice of lenses, fastest primes anywhere, smaller form factor, far lighter than any SLR with equivalent lenses, superbly discrete for documentary photography, and faster and quieter than any SLR I've used for focusing in low light.

 

Perhaps you mean than *you* would be at a disadvantage if using a rangefinder? Which may of course be true. Each to their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...