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The price of Leica photography

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"Oooh, walking out for the first time with my (insert here* Rolex, gold medallion, bulbous Liberace ring, M whatever.) was scary."

 

No it's not scary once you realise it's YOU looking at yourself, not other people.

 

And what does that have to do with whether the equipment is overpriced or not?

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"Oooh, walking out for the first time with my (insert here* Rolex, gold medallion, bulbous Liberace ring, M whatever.) was scary."

 

No it's not scary once you realise it's YOU looking at yourself, not other people.

 

And what does that have to do with whether the equipment is overpriced or not?

 

Because the orignal post reads '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.'

 

Leica stuff is very expensive - but by no means overpriced.

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I have had my M8 for about a year. The only few people who have recognized it are pro photographers (wedding), a few with large Cannons, and one other Leica owner.

 

No one else seems to care. I think if they were to be asked it would come off as a P&S.

 

With that said... when I travel I take the camera with me... I dont leave it in my room and I did purchase an pretty unobtrusive A&A camera bag... looks like a "metro" type bag.

 

If I was content to take "snaps" the prices would be silly and the next generation of kit have price tags that are well beyond the nose bleed level. For me, I find the process of makeing a photograph with the M8 to be sublime... thoughtful... and an evolving estetic. Its an amazing tool that I am continuing to grow into, For me well worth the price of admission.

 

Todd

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I think there are two points worth considering when taking a Leica out with you, if you are concerned with its value and the dangers on the street.

 

I believe the stopping power of the all metal body, pushed with enough force into the face of an assailant is greater than these plastic cameras from Canon and Leica.

 

On the other hand, have you never heard of all risk insurance? I don't leave home without out it. Frankly, if someone wants to relieve me of my camera then they can have it and I'll give them instructions because it really belongs to my insurance company.

 

LouisB

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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.

I feel like I get more attention when I'm carrying my Canon 40D with battery grip and an L lens. When I carry a Leica (M8 or M6TTL) it generally goes unnoticed.

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I spend a good deal of time on the streets with the M8 - I agree that most people don't recognize the M8 as an expensive camera - what tends to get second looks are the big DSLRs with big (white)

lenses. A large camera bag stuffed full is more likely to attract attention than a small (non camera bag) with a couple lenses. Most of this is just up to you and how you carry yourself and the equipment.

 

As for cost; the Zeiss lens offering is excellent and keeps getting better for a third or less the cost of Leica lenses.

 

The Summarit (I have two) are amazingly good and again at about a third of the cost of their Leica cousins.

 

The CV lenses are outstanding value and generally less than half the cost of Summarits. The recently released CV 28mm F2.0 is looking pretty good @ around $500.00. Sean Reid @ www.reidreviews.com is worth the subscription cost if you are willing to use non Leica lenses.

 

There is always the used market and other M lenses such as Jupiter, etc. I was given an almost new - in the box a Konica Hexanon Dual 21-35 F3.4/4. It is an excellent lens on the M8. There is plenty of less expensive choices out there. I think this is a point that is often missed by many nay-sayers and Leica. The nice part is there are third party solutions to coding these non Leica lenses for the M8.

 

IF you are willing to shoot film you can pick a user Leica M for under $1000.

 

Best to all. Terry.

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I believe the stopping power of the all metal body, pushed with enough force into the face of an assailant is greater than these plastic cameras from Canon and Leica.

 

 

LouisB

 

I like this one. Yet, you might get one shot only, so you better practice.

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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.

 

Most of the time no one knows what the Leica M is. Once while having breakfast a guy sitting next to me said "Oh that's a Leica, great optics". I asked if he was fimilar with Leica cameras, he said no but I do use Leica/Leitz microscopes.

And then there was this time playing golf with some travelers from Germany who worked for DHL. I said well I own a german camera, a Leica, They had never heard of it.

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I also used to be a it worried taking the M8 out until I dropped it one day and put a few dents in it....now I chuck it around as I do my other cameras...feels much better...

 

Advice

 

....walk outside, hold m8 at arms length, close eyes, let camera drop onto ground (preferably concrete)..pick up camera and continue with life...

 

andy

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Well I sold my 5D as it couldn't match my M8. None of my Canon lenses can match any of my Leica lenses.

 

Stephen, I did just the opposite of canlogic for the reason you cite. Leica prices were not justified in my mind and appeared to be facing endless escalation. The Canon new 24 1.4L II will list for $1,699. The 5D II is priced at about what I paid for my old one.

 

No question, I miss my M8, which is why I pop in here once in a while. Certainly the glass and the files are better. But I never really looked at it as which is better. There is always something better. The fact is, they are both superb and more than enough for me.

 

I do get a little wistful when I see an M8, but I'm glad I let it go. The M8.2 and new lens pricing, and S2 release only reinforce my comfort with that decision.

 

John

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Long time ago, on this forum (but on one of previous versions of forum) was simillar discussion.

 

I remember someone said next: Leica user is one who can buy second body or lens if first was stolen, broken, etc...

 

If one can't afford to do that, one should not to go to (new) Leica equipment road...

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I routinely carry my M8 and one or two lenses around NYC.

I've carried it through the streets of Buenos Aires, Paris, Madrid, San Francisco, etc.

The M8 never draws any attention.

Last year I was using the M8 during my sister's wedding and the professional crew noticed and asked me about it. While at Yankee Stadium last weekend another M8 user and I ran into each other and chatted for a bit.

Otherwise people seem to barely notice.

Cheers,

J

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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. In the meantime I am happy with my lot.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

You drive an XKR then ?

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I categorically refuse to live my life scared of my own shadow. It's a CAMERA for goodness' sake, not a Mondrian. It is not unique. It is not priceless. It is a tool. Insure it. Use it. If you can't justify the spend, don't buy it. I guarantee you won't drop dead on the spot as a result.

 

There is nothing elitist about owning a Leica, by the way.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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My stuff is also insured for all risks. As a result, tho I don't worry about the gear (unless you think about replacing the stuff in time for the shoot NEXT week!), I often fantasize about asking the mugger if he minds if I take the SD card out before he takes the camera.

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Back to the thread starters point. Is 6,000 $ a lot of money?

 

Well, no. It was once when the dollar's value equalled that or the Euro 1:1 or something like NOK 9,95. This was back i 2001. Then 6,000 $ was the value of small car. Today it is the value of a rusty wreak. At best.

 

Back then the median income ('typical' income) of people in California was something like 57,000 $ - far more than any 'median' income of any European country, - but before taxes, mind you. Equaling 57.000 euros or 580.000 NOK - it equals the gross salary of people in managerial positions here in Europe, back then. The median income in Norway was something like 280.000 NOK in 2001 - but AFTER taxes, with health care, education for kids through collage and lavish pension funds etc. covered. the 280.000 NOK (28,000 $ in 2001) was for spending - 'consumption' on all the rest.

 

In 2007 the median income in California had sunk to 55,000 $ and the dollar has decreased to € 1,46 (has been a low as € 1,64) and NOK 5,50. I have no idea what the purchasing power of a median Californian can be after health care costs, a pension securing you 66% of your salary etc. will be. It can't be much. Health care cost has soared in USA. The 'California median income' - before taxes, equals something like NOK 302.000 - which equals the gross pay of a governmental pensionaire here in Norway today. Or € 37.700 - a pay of a qualified nurse in Germany. - Or 2/3 of the workers at the Volvo factory in Gothenburg. At the same time the median income here in Norway has increased to 339.000 NOK (ca 62,000 $) AFTER taxes, that is health care costs, lavish pension funds, kid's education through collage etc.

 

Back in 2001 6,000 $ was a lot of money. Today it isn't all that much.

 

Further....

 

I have never felt uncomfortable going out with my camera gear, be it my 1Ds III or the M8. But I frequent places with 'law and order', like Europe and the Far East.

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Back in 2001 I always put £20's worth of petrol in my car. Today I put £20's worth in - a trip to the garage still costs £20. What's all this about prices rising?

 

Graeme

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Here in Norway, the price of a liter of 95 octane gasoline has risen from - about NOK 7,45 in 2001 to NOK 11,75 today - 57%. This should equal $ 2,85 per US gallon in 2001 (with the NOK 9,95 to the 2001-dollar) and $ 8,09 per gallon today in today's dollar - taxes included. In dollars, an increase of 284%.

 

Americans will find our petrol prices very high. But they forget that they come with 'health care for all' included. Then it's cheap.

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Back to the thread starters point. Is 6,000 $ a lot of money?

 

Well, no. It was once when the dollar's value equalled that or the Euro 1:1 or something like NOK 9,95. This was back i 2001. Then 6,000 $ was the value of small car. Today it is the value of a rusty wreak. At best.

 

Back then the median income ('typical' income) of people in California was something like 57,000 $ - far more than any 'median' income of any European country, - but before taxes, mind you. Equaling 57.000 euros or 580.000 NOK - it equals the gross salary of people in managerial positions here in Europe, back then. The median income in Norway was something like 280.000 NOK in 2001 - but AFTER taxes, with health care, education for kids through collage and lavish pension funds etc. covered. the 280.000 NOK (28,000 $ in 2001) was for spending - 'consumption' on all the rest.

 

In 2007 the median income in California had sunk to 55,000 $ and the dollar has decreased to € 1,46 (has been a low as € 1,64) and NOK 5,50. I have no idea what the purchasing power of a median Californian can be after health care costs, a pension securing you 66% of your salary etc. will be. It can't be much. Health care cost has soared in USA. The 'California median income' - before taxes, equals something like NOK 302.000 - which equals the gross pay of a governmental pensionaire here in Norway today. Or € 37.700 - a pay of a qualified nurse in Germany. - Or 2/3 of the workers at the Volvo factory in Gothenburg. At the same time the median income here in Norway has increased to 339.000 NOK (ca 62,000 $) AFTER taxes, that is health care costs, lavish pension funds, kid's education through collage etc.

 

Back in 2001 6,000 $ was a lot of money. Today it isn't all that much.

 

Further....

 

I have never felt uncomfortable going out with my camera gear, be it my 1Ds III or the M8. But I frequent places with 'law and order', like Europe and the Far East.

 

Are You sure about the figures for Norway?

I checked

 

http://www.ssb.no/emner/00/00/20/nos_samer/nos_d384/tab/tab-37.html

 

These seem to be the most recent figures from the ssb and indicate an income AFTER taxes of about 233,000 NOK (appr. 42000 US$).

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