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The price of Leica photography

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Sure. (But it is fine to see that the Americans 'are complainin' but they are buyin'...)

 

And how is the Leica sales if you go further back, say to the nineties, seventies, etc...? Leica is an anacronism that should have died long ago, but that survived thanks to 'very good sales in USA'.

 

why dont You go check the figures?

I'm sure if you look long enough you can find something to back up your point of view, might just be a completely different time, place and company, but hey what the heck

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Leica is an anacronism that should have died long ago, but that survived thanks to 'very good sales in USA'.

I fail to see how a company that succesfully launched a state of the art digital rangefinder, a wide angle tri-elmar, 4 new 'low price' lenses, now 4 primes, the S2 with 8 new autofocus lenses, a very exciting looking digital projector, and is expected to launch the a digital R and FF digital M in the not too distant future, could be counted as an anchronism.

 

This statement says more about the eye of the beholder than the company.

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why dont You go check the figures?

I'm sure if you look long enough you can find something to back up your point of view, might just be a completely different time, place and company, but hey what the heck

 

Æhum. If you look over all my posts here I did my stunt of figure hunting. Further; I am sure you agree that the figures you dug up proves that 'Leica is gone' without the American market.

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I fail to see how a company that succesfully launched a state of the art digital rangefinder, a wide angle tri-elmar, 4 new 'low price' lenses, now 4 primes, the S2 with 8 new autofocus lenses, a very exciting looking digital projector, and is expected to launch the a digital R and FF digital M in the not too distant future, could be counted as an anchronism.

 

This statement says more about the eye of the beholder than the company.

 

The beholder answering. All the achievements you mention is a result of Mr. Kaufman's efforts. No little achievement - and risktaking. My compliments.

 

Leica expects to produce a loss, or hopefully produce a result at break even in fiscal year 2008/09 - according to a statement written well before anyone knew that Wall Street was about to crash. Leica's equity is reduced from 21% to some 18% and now a consumer spending melt down is upon us.

 

If we want Leica to survive we must buy their gear. Having recently bought a M8 w/WATE & Frankenfinder, I feel I have done my share.

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At the moment I think that buying as much Leica gear as possible is a better proposition than suffereing even more losses on the stock market.

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HELLO, IS ANYONE HOME?, SUMMARIT!!!

 

So let me think, Summilux, Summicron, Elmarit, Summarit, that looks awfully like a tiered product line to me.

Take the blinkers off, other than 3 expensive new lenses there is a whole world out there that you're just not seeing!

 

First off no need to shout. That's not going to help your convince anyone of your position.

 

Second I have been shooting several Leica bodies for more than 10 years and have owned everything from a Noctilux to a vintage Elmar,

so I'm quite familiar with the line up.

 

It's not so much the lenses. Leica has always had a tiered product line in this category.

 

It's the bodies that are the problem and even this is a recent development. Back in the screwmount days the body line up was tiered.

 

But even in the lens line up there may be trouble. You may have noticed that while the Summarit and new 3.8/24mm that was just introduced, are cheaper, they are also slower. Who wants an f3.8 lens as their main piece of glass? So you have a $4500 gap between the 3.8/24mm and 1.4/24.

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Quite right (IMHO), Haris (And nice to see you posting again )

 

 

 

Why not? Lots of other companies do. I don't see any entry level Rolexes, or Louis Vuitton bags, or any one of the millions of top end products out there that most people can't afford.

 

Life's like that.

 

Actually you do see a tiered product line with these brands.

 

A basic stainless steel Oyster Rolex is a lot cheaper than their top of the line models.

 

You can spend anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars on a Louis Vuitton product.

 

But Leica is supposed to be a camera company, not a maker of luxury goods.

 

I'm lucky. I could afford to purchase a new M8.2, if I wanted to, but I am not going to do it for several reason.

 

I still feel it is a work in progress and not quite ready for prime time, although the 8.2 is an improvement.

 

The M8 lacks proper weather sealing, which is imperative for a $6000 digital camera. I routinely shoot in the rain and this is a risk I am not willing to take.

 

The price demanded has exceeded the perceived value. This is the same reason why I would not purchase a $600 designer sweater.

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Having spent a lot on Leica over the last 18 months I have decided to miss the upgrades and the M8.2

I'm waiting for the M9. For that camera, I will also not be an early adopter, see what problems arise, might even wait for the M9.2?

 

I keep my Canon cameras for 3-5 years so I'll do the same with my M8s assuming they will still work.

 

Jeff

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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.

 

Message here is to buy insurance that would cover your losses if you have any. Like any other piece of expensive gear (Cars, furs, etc) we need to protect our investments and that is why there is an insurance industry in the first place.

 

Whether to sell your Leica gear is a personal choice of price/value. Just don't do it based on robbery risk. JMHO

 

Woody

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You guys can twist this any way way you want, but it doesn't change the simple fact that Leica has priced itself out of the reach of 90% of the people, who would otherwise buy their gear.

 

Having read this list for quite some time it is obvious that there are a lot of well to do people here, for whom dropping $6,000 on a lens is not a big deal and seem to lack perspective on how the rest of the world lives. It is that or some of us here are living way beyond their means.

 

Ultimately Leica can't survive on sales to a small and financially elite group. They need a tiered product line like everyone else. 'Cheaper' doesn't mean 'crap' and even a $3000 dollar body can hardly be described as a bargain.

 

I think and hope that Kaufmann understands this, but only time will tell.

 

Hello thrid,

I don't contribute to this forum very often but like to occasionally read what's going on and being said. I've learnt over time that there are some people (mostly the ones that contribute frequently) who would defend Leica with their lives and would be willing to spend anything and whatever Leica asks. Maybe this adds to the prestige of their association with Leica or something, or maybe they just have too much money. I don't understand it.

I remember chatting with you on this forum way back in the earlier days of the M8 when I was raising the problem of the awful framelines. You taught me something about the M6's framelines not being as accurate as the earlier Ms for middle distance work. I didn't realise this having only used M2/3s. Well, I think you said something along the lines of not considering a digital M until they fixed the frameline problem of the M8, so I thought you might now be itching for an M8-2? It now seems that you're put off by the ridiculously high price? I can completely understand this and understand your frustration. The pricing is just getting silly. I'm a documentary photographer, and as I don't do war photography, nor have any interest in adjusting my style to suit different picture editors, I don't earn a fortune. I don't even own a second M8 body, and quite enjoy the discipline of working with one lens at a time. I don't use new lenses, just older Summicrons. Of course, I would like an M8-2 which I would find very useful, and because it is the camera that the M8 should have been from the beginning. I just don't want or need to spend that sort of money. I will be upgrading my early M8 with the corrected framelines and shutter because this is necessary; I can't decide about the sapphire glass which doesn't bother me so much, but is obviously cheaper while having the other things done, and would make the camera stronger, which does get banged about at times. So, this all totals up to enough money directed to Leica which will hopefully give me a camera which I will use for years. The image quality is superb and more than adequate for magazine publication and exhibiting. I'm therefore not particularly interested in this M9 that seemingly many of this forum are eagerly awaiting. And anyway, what the hell will that cost? Whatever it's price many will buy it and no doubt enjoy talking about it on this forum. When I've updated my M8, it will then be the camera I've waited a long time for and I will be satisfied. I'm hoping it will (for the first time) be like using my old M2 and M3 again. I will be satisfied and get on with taking photos.

Best wishes,

Jeffrey.

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Message here is to buy insurance that would cover your losses if you have any. Like any other piece of expensive gear (Cars, furs, etc) we need to protect our investments and that is why there is an insurance industry in the first place.

 

Woody

 

Hope your policies are not with AIG.

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Just remember to engage the assailants mouth with the top plate, that way, while he's searching for his teeth, you'll have plenty of time to remove the SD card and the bottom plate won't be covered in blood.

 

BTW, I have the same fantasy.....

 

LouisB

In an interview showing on YouTube, the interviewer asked light heartedly about self defence with the S2. The response was something like 'oh well we always say a Leica is a camera for life. our cameras are nearly undestroyable'

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First off no need to shout. That's not going to help your convince anyone of your position.

 

Second I have been shooting several Leica bodies for more than 10 years and have owned everything from a Noctilux to a vintage Elmar,

so I'm quite familiar with the line up.

 

It's not so much the lenses. Leica has always had a tiered product line in this category.

 

It's the bodies that are the problem and even this is a recent development. Back in the screwmount days the body line up was tiered.

 

But even in the lens line up there may be trouble. You may have noticed that while the Summarit and new 3.8/24mm that was just introduced, are cheaper, they are also slower. Who wants an f3.8 lens as their main piece of glass? So you have a $4500 gap between the 3.8/24mm and 1.4/24.

 

Please forgive my shouting, its a result of frustration. Frustration that post after post in this thread keeps banging out the same old line that Leica photography is getting too

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Hello thrid,

I don't contribute to this forum very often but like to occasionally read what's going on and being said. I've learnt over time that there are some people (mostly the ones that contribute frequently.....

Jeffrey.

 

Hey Jeffrey

 

I'm glad to see that Leica has listened to it's users, when they tweaked the 8.2.

 

The framelines, loudness of the shutter release, body covering etc we're all high on the list of complaints. If you already are the owner of an M8, getting the frame mask upgraded is almost a given. In believe that in return you will have a camera that is a lot more functional and closer to the ideal it strives to be.

 

For me personally it's a catch 22 situation. They fixed what was in my eyes the most glaring problem (the framelines), but hiked the price up beyond a point that I am willing to meet.

 

 

My complaints are mostly born out of frustration.

 

I am mostly a Leica shooter doing street photography and documentary work.

See my work here

 

ELAN FOTOS

 

I've sunk a lot of money in to Leica, owning 6 x M bodies and 3 x R cameras, along with an LTM and lenses etc. Most of these are older models, but three bodies and some lenses were purchased new, so I am more than willing to put my money were my mouth is.

 

I like my Leicas. I really do. They have become an integral part of my photography and I can't really imagine working without them. So, I do worry about the health of the company and get frustrated, when I see the problems we are encountering.

 

But for all of my criticism I do think that Herr Kaufmann is a smart fellow and believe that the company is in a better position than it has been in a very, very long time.

If they can get the pricing issues worked out and come up with a comprehensive product line that targets a broader range of customers, they can survive as a small and healthy company.

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Please forgive my shouting, its a result of frustration. Frustration that post after post in this thread keeps banging out the same old line that Leica photography is getting too

 

No problem.

 

Believe me, there are days when Leica makes me want to tear my hair out.

 

;-)

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Leica has always been expensive you actually do know this when getting into the Leica game. Overdone pricing? ... when my father bought his M4 in 1968 he surely paid a lot more than other camera's on the market then, but 40 years later (Today) I still use the same camera and taking it's condition into account could sell it for 1200€ at least, now thats what I call value for money.

As for digital Leica components I tend to agree that different value assertions apply here, I also think that Leica glass on a digital body can be replaced by cheaper Zeiss or CV glass for the shere quality of Leica lenses is in my opinion only valid in combination with film bodies, 5K€ for any lens does seem a trifle steep.

Marketing wise I hope they know what the>'re doing, but with a business man like Mr.Kaufmann heading the company I trust that they do. Anyone willing to purchase an M8 for 4K will also purchase the M8.2 5K or more, a K here or there doesn't make a lot of differecne for most M8 users be it current or future, and if it did they would of purchased a cheaper system all together.

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Leica has always been expensive you actually do know this when getting into the Leica game. Overdone pricing? ... when my father bought his M4 in 1968 he surely paid a lot more than other camera's on the market then, but 40 years later (Today) I still use the same camera and taking it's condition into account could sell it for 1200€ at least, now thats what I call value for money.

As for digital Leica components I tend to agree that different value assertions apply here, I also think that Leica glass on a digital body can be replaced by cheaper Zeiss or CV glass for the shere quality of Leica lenses is in my opinion only valid in combination with film bodies, 5K€ for any lens does seem a trifle steep.

Marketing wise I hope they know what the>'re doing, but with a business man like Mr.Kaufmann heading the company I trust that they do. Anyone willing to purchase an M8 for 4K will also purchase the M8.2 5K or more, a K here or there doesn't make a lot of differecne for most M8 users be it current or future, and if it did they would of purchased a cheaper system all together.

 

I disagree totally. I have 2 CV lenses, a 21 M mount and the new 28 f/2, and have or had Leica glass of the same FL. The Leica glass is better in both FL'th. And the 21 Elmarit I had was the older version, Non ASPH. Now whether the price difference is worth it, that is up to the individual. For me as I don't use the 21mm FL much and my CV copy is very good I sold the 21 Elmarit. But I still have the 28 Elmarit ASPH and will not sell it.

I might even sell the CV 28 f/2.

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Leica has always been expensive you actually do know this when getting into the Leica game.

5K€ for any lens does seem a trifle steep.

 

5k Eur is indeed steep, its actually very steep, but the point that so many seem determined to ignore is that 5k is not the price tag on all of Leica's lenses....

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I disagree totally. I have 2 CV lenses, a 21 M mount and the new 28 f/2, and have or had Leica glass of the same FL. The Leica glass is better in both FL'th. And the 21 Elmarit I had was the older version, Non ASPH. Now whether the price difference is worth it, that is up to the individual. For me as I don't use the 21mm FL much and my CV copy is very good I sold the 21 Elmarit. But I still have the 28 Elmarit ASPH and will not sell it.

I might even sell the CV 28 f/2.

 

Yes I do agree with you .... but you would need perfect insight and a great loupe to immediately spot the difference.... which for pure professional use might be worthwhile, but for (extended) amateur use, I doubt the difference will be noticeable in most cases, the processing engine has become a much larger factor to the end quality of the image, it's not only the lens anymore like in the film days.

And after having said all this, I doubt if anyone would spot the difference between Zeiss and leica glass on M8's at all, at first hand.

Noticable might be the build quality after say 10-15 years or so, and certainly the resale value at all times.

One can rumble and ramble on about Leica and good it is... it is good, the lenses are very good too, but as noted the in-camera processing has become a big part of the end product quality (the image that is) and although I might be kicking the shins of some right now, Leica doesn't have the best in-camera processing methodology right now, partly this might be made up by the lenses used, but this statement is also very shallow taking into account what I have mentioned earlier.

I am not able to provide test grounds for this statement making use of web-quality imagery

but being a professional "imagist" or creator of professional images (no idea what it is called is english) I can clearly state that the M8 with Leica glass, or whatever glass for that matter is in anyway better than the (dslr) competitors at this moment. Don't get me wrong now, I know I kick, but very much so unitentionally, Leica is good (I use it!) although you can get better if it's perfect images you are concerned about, and this for less money let that be clear. It's all a matter of taste, perception and personal preference, but please don't mistake this for quality. And I am only talking about the end -result, not the format, or the size and weight.... purely the end result being a 30x40 professionally printed poster.

 

The reason I use Leica is very much similar to the reason why I have Gucci handbags.... but perhaps women are more comfortable with the idea of spending money and not needing to justify it to the end.... ;-)

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... sorry but I might want to add "technical imagery" which is often very much different than personal-home use sort of imagery which just and only boils down to personal taste and recognition amongst friends, family and fellow forumists

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