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The price of Leica photography

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I am finding it increasingly difficult to justify the ever increasing price of Leica equipment. I love working with my M8 and although it gives me a great deal of pleasure to handle, there is no way I am going to pay $6,000.00 and up for a 24mm 1.4 lens and I cannot imagine the price of the eventual M9 let alone the new S reflex. As it is I feel uncomfortable nowadays working in the street and travelling with an M8 body and just one lens worth together around $8,000.00. There surely needs to be a limit to Leica elitism. The brand name is just not worth it to me. The competition from Canon and Nikon reflex bodies is too great and the Cosina/Voigtlander M lenses too good. I cannot imagine that Leica has a great future in the face of the present technological onslaught. Now I am being invited to upgrade my M8 body to a quieter shutter for what ?,,,,, another mere $1,000.00. This is beyond a joke. I have been a Leica user for over 20 years and this year's Photokina is too little, too late and too expensive I'm sorry to say.

Best,

Stephen Goldblatt asc

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Stephen,

I hear you and agree; Leica's pricing, whether driven by costs or profit objectives, is simply silly. I, too, enjoy using their cameras and lenses but, as an owner of several Zeiss and C-V lenses comparable to my Leicas I realize I can get that enjoyment for less.

 

But that's a marketplace issue that will become balanced over time.

 

Good photography does not depend on the cost of the equipment. In fact you'd be at a tremendous disadvantage trying to establish any such relationship historically. So if, as you say, "The brand name is just not worth it to me. " sell it and move to something else. If you cannot bring yourself to do so then you have a different issue that you're not facing.

 

Enjoy your photography.

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I'll bet your Leica lenses that are a few years old are worth much more today than your Canon or Nikon lenses.

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Stephen, I read what you say about the value of gear and what I understand you to believe to be a risk in the street and travelling. The answer is simple, based on what you have said. Unload the gear in favour of much less valuable gear that you are comfortable with. Quality close to Leica is available for much less money. The gear will not work for you if you are unconfortable.

 

I am going down the other path. I shoot regularly in the street and will be travelling next week for an extended time. I will take most of my Leica gear. 5 lenses, 2 M8's & 1 M7. It is just working tools for me. Without it, I would not travel. Risk? Probably - but that is the definition of life IMHO. Risk free is to be dead.

 

Overriding all that, you must be comfortable with what you do. Be decisive and enjoy the outcome.

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Stephen:

 

Well stated. I tend to agree with your point of view. Love Leica (R8/DMR user) and have both Leica and Nikon equipment.....I was hoping for an R10 that I could transition to, but that is not to be so I will be moving back towards Nikon for near future purchases as the S2 system will definately be too expensive for my hobby. However, I will not be giving up my R system, just spending my future photography money in a different direction for now. I was waiting this year before I re-invested in newer equipment and was ready to spend some serious money (for me) on an upgraded R system.

 

I share your point of view and only hope Leica will fill some of the middle ground in the near future.

 

John Hunter

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There are a lot of Leica used lenses on the market for much less than new. Also I have a hard time complaining about the cost of all my lenses when their current worth is way more than when I bought them (negative cost?).

 

Jan

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I am finding it increasingly difficult to justify the ever increasing price of Leica equipment. I love working with my M8 and although it gives me a great deal of pleasure to handle, there is no way I am going to pay $6,000.00 and up for a 24mm 1.4 lens and I cannot imagine the price of the eventual M9 let alone the new S reflex. As it is I feel uncomfortable nowadays working in the street and travelling with an M8 body and just one lens worth together around $8,000.00. There surely needs to be a limit to Leica elitism. The brand name is just not worth it to me. The competition from Canon and Nikon reflex bodies is too great and the Cosina/Voigtlander M lenses too good. I cannot imagine that Leica has a great future in the face of the present technological onslaught. Now I am being invited to upgrade my M8 body to a quieter shutter for what ?,,,,, another mere $1,000.00. This is beyond a joke. I have been a Leica user for over 20 years and this year's Photokina is too little, too late and too expensive I'm sorry to say.

Best,

Stephen Goldblatt asc

 

For me the way of justify my leica equipment is to calculate how happy I am with it. I prefer to have a cheaper car than my friends but my m8 make me happier than they are with their expensive cars. I have to say that my M8 and my three leica lenses are the cheapest things I've bought If I divide between happiness per euro.

cheers

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I am finding it increasingly difficult to justify the ever increasing price of Leica equipment. I love working with my M8 and although it gives me a great deal of pleasure to handle, there is no way I am going to pay $6,000.00 and up for a 24mm 1.4 lens and I cannot imagine the price of the eventual M9 let alone the new S reflex. As it is I feel uncomfortable nowadays working in the street and travelling with an M8 body and just one lens worth together around $8,000.00. There surely needs to be a limit to Leica elitism. The brand name is just not worth it to me. The competition from Canon and Nikon reflex bodies is too great and the Cosina/Voigtlander M lenses too good. I cannot imagine that Leica has a great future in the face of the present technological onslaught. Now I am being invited to upgrade my M8 body to a quieter shutter for what ?,,,,, another mere $1,000.00. This is beyond a joke. I have been a Leica user for over 20 years and this year's Photokina is too little, too late and too expensive I'm sorry to say.

Best,

Stephen Goldblatt asc

 

I take it you already own a M8 and some lenses. So why do the prices of the NEW Leica gear bother you, you've already got what you wanted.

If for some reason what you have now is not working for you then move to something that does.

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The only sensible answer to the OP's assertion is to take account of economics.

 

I'm not about to do the calculation now, but I've seen plenty of purchasing power and inflation adjusted calculations that suggest Leica cameras cost about the same as they always have.

 

"Ah don like when ma beeer costs more", is an emotion we all share but it's meaningless as a statement.

 

Historically, goods have been a lot cheaper for Americans than for other nations because of the dollar's strength. Watch the news and you'll see a couple of reasons why that may change.

 

The outlook for the dollar suggests things are going to get a lot more expensive the US. Not just Leica cameras, Stephen.

 

Peter Schiff's analysis of the factors affecting the global economy - and specifically the US and UK economies - explains this

 

FSO Transcription - "Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse" with Peter Schiff 03/10/2007

 

"They’re basically taxing their own citizens to prop up our currency so that we can afford to buy things that their own citizens do without. But I think once this happens – once the Asian central banks stop this practice and allow the dollar to sink, which it will, what’s going to happen is as the dollar loses purchasing power these other currencies will gain it. It doesn’t evaporate from the planet: whatever goods we can no longer afford to consume will simply be consumed by other people who cannot afford them now, but will be able to afford them when their currencies gain value.

 

"And so this is how Americans will see their standard of living lowered. Their currency will buy a lot less, things will be a lot more expensive for Americans, and so we will be doing without things that many people around the world are doing without right now. And they are doing without them because we have them. You know, there is not an unlimited amount of goods – they’re scarce; and everybody can’t have everything. And so it’s going to change. And so what Americans have to understand is recognize this.

 

"We’re still consuming as if we were producing everything, but we’re not. And when it changes, if people have investments denominated in the currencies that are going to gain the purchasing power that the dollar loses, they can at least preserve their relative standard of living."

 

Regards,

Mark

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Risk?

 

That's what insurance is for.

 

Absolutely.

 

Plus, it's discretionary spend. You won't die if you don't have the latest and greatest from Leica. Your current equipment deteriorates not one jot or iota when something new comes out - it can still take as good an image today as it did yesterday.

 

I'd like an Aston Martin but I can't justify the expense. I don't go on about it on the Aston Martin forum. In the meantime I am happy with my lot.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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...I'd like an Aston Martin but I can't justify the expense. I don't go on about it on the Aston Martin forum.....

 

 

Oh stop telling lies,

a quote from another thread

 

I just wanted to let you all know that I have just made my very first post on the Aston Martin Owner's Forum. I have pointed out to anyone that will read it that the DBS is far too expensive, and if they dropped the price they could sell many more of them.

 

I have never driven one, but I have always wanted to becuse I just know it would make my journey to and from work and to the garden centre and municipal dump at the weekends so much better.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Oh stop telling lies, a quote from another thread

 

 

Glad to see someone's paying attention

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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funny, I could have sworn that Leica recently introduced a whole new range of less expensive lenses

 

Ah yes, but that's positive news...

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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funny, I could have sworn that Leica recently introduced a whole new range of less expensive lenses

 

they did , now if there was a body to go with them:eek: ......

 

andy

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On the one hand we advise our ladies not to wear expensive jewelery in certain parts of the world and on the other hand we walk around with camera gear whose replacement cost is easily north of USD15k. A little inconsistency, I guess. Yeah, insurance can cover gear loss, but not protect from other inconveniences.

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You pays your money and takes your choice. If Leica is too expensive choose something else OR buy secondhand.

 

There was a thread some time back from a new M8 owner who wanted advice on what other digital camera to buy for a holiday as he was too worried about travelling with his new Leica.

 

Be rather like buying a new car to keep in the garage and an old banger for driving.

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The first couple of weeks walking around with 7000+ euros hanging round my neck was scary.

 

By now I find that no-one notices the thing & no tape on the red dot either. Why spoil the looks of a beautiful camera?

 

I think in the past year it was noticed by 2 people & they did not know what it was exactly.

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