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TimF

Michael Reichmann on the Safari M8.2

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The other day, there was a documentary about the Sultan of Brunei in german tv. They mentioned and showed a special boxed set that he ordered 25 (?) units of: a gold plated set of 35 and 50 mm Summiluxes.

 

It's supposed to be a "give away" for guests.

 

I wonder how many of his guests are actually M users?

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Here's the text of the ad. And jaapv, you're right it is the King of Thailand edition:

 

"This beautiful Leica M6 body was made in 1996. Only 700 were made, and this particular one is #304/700 (as on the certificate). They were made to commemorate the 50th, Golden Jubilee Celebration, of the reign of His Majesty King Bhumiphol Adulyadej of Thailand. The body and special 50mm 2 Summicron lens are 24-carat gold plated. Camera comes BRAND NEW, in wooden collectors box, with Certificate of Authenticity. Would make a great collectors piece! $8000.00 or best offer. "

 

I was offered one in Bangkok last month. Same as above. But "only 5000usd". This one had a double digit number. I'm not a collector and would never buy this piece. All I was thinking is that 5000USD would buy a couple of lenses for my M8. What would I do this with a collectors camera?

Leo

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The other day, there was a documentary about the Sultan of Brunei in german tv. They mentioned and showed a special boxed set that he ordered 25 (?) units of: a gold plated set of 35 and 50 mm Summiluxes.

 

During a tour of Rolls Royce Crewe work I was allowed access to their 'Special Products' workshop. There they make custom vehicles that may, or may not, bear any resemblance to their standard product range. For example, a $1,000,000, 4x4, 150 mph, off-road vehicle with shooting platform at the rear. Who for ? The Sultan of Brunei and his like.

 

The orders for these high profit-margin vehicles have been extremely important to RR to keep them afloat in difficult times. In particular, the Sultan's generosity in placing orders when desperately needed by the factory was appreciated.

 

Maybe, the relationship with Leica and it's collectors is similar.

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During a tour of Rolls Royce Crewe work I was allowed access to their 'Special Products' workshop. There they make custom vehicles that may, or may not, bear any resemblance to their standard product range. For example, a $1,000,000, 4x4, 150 mph, off-road vehicle with shooting platform at the rear. Who for ? The Sultan of Brunei and his like.

 

The orders for these high profit-margin vehicles have been extremely important to RR to keep them afloat in difficult times. In particular, the Sultan's generosity in placing orders when desperately needed by the factory was appreciated.

 

Maybe, the relationship with Leica and it's collectors is similar.

 

Interesting analogy. I have always regarded RR as rich man's toys and special editions even more so. Serious car enthusiasts would perhaps prefer a Porsche to a RR.

 

It depends how 'visible' you wish to be. Personally I prefer to be invisible and using the best camera than visible and with my best looking toy safari camera.

 

Jeff

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Personally I prefer to be invisible and using the best camera than visible and with my best looking toy safari camera.

 

How is a black or chrome camera less visible than an olive green one?

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Well, use it comes to mind.

Well indeed. At least this special edition is practical.

 

Not all have been - take this Bruckner edition. How pointless was that, and did they ever sell all of them? (although it must be said, the camera is a thing of beauty).

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Well, use it comes to mind.

 

Not sure I would want to be seen with a gold-plated camera. The safari is a different matter. Leo

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Guess it has to do with the persons. We have some categories of Leica owners:

 

- Some persons collect vacuum-packed cameras. Might as well be elephant penises, point is they are rare and unused.

 

- Some persons have one or more Leicas which they inherited and hold onto believing it's worth a lot one day.

 

- Some persons collect cameras for fondling and admiring, and probably have some stuff in their collection they can tell interesting stories about, as well as items that can take their visitors breath away (the M6 Gold for example). Or the number of cameras and lenses and/or the worth of the collection, is the impressing factor. But they do love the cameras and Canon or Pentax wouldn't be the same.

 

- Some persons buy Leicas and fondle them while taking pictures. The pleasure to own and hold a Leica, being in the identity of a Leica photographer, is equal to eventually taking a great photo. Having the camera on the shelf wouldn't do alone. And having and fondling a Nikon wouldn't be the same. It has to be a Leica, and it's in the moments of using it, it's great.

 

- Some persons buy Leica because they want (what they consider) the optimum in photographic quality. The teenage dream of getting a Leica one day, the Leica great photographers through history used might play in as well.

 

- Some persons found Leica gives the best pictures per their personal reference (be it simplicity, sharpness, colors, look, handling, sound or whatever) and might admire the camera itself. But basically, if Hasselblad or Nikon worked better for them, they would use that instead.

 

 

The Safari could go in any category, though not a real collectors item (none of the Safari ones ever were?). But if you're a hunter, it would fit in with all the other green and brown stuff and would be considered some kind of good taste. And less visible than a chrome or black. But it could also fit in if you're a gardener or simply has a period where all your belongings are green. Whatever.

 

I guess it's the same for a M6 Gold. If you're driving RR and flying helicopter and nightclubbing with people who have telephones with jewels on them, it would fit in. A black M8 would actually seem more odd because it's a photographers tool and not rich mans toy that happens also to take pictures.

 

We will be laughing about the white C-Lux 3 in 10 year. But today, together with a Mulberry bag in white and white leather jacket, white glasses and all, it's in style.

 

So I se the Safari as a funny camera for the moment, not an investment item. I don't for one second believe it will hold a lot of value in the future.

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Bearing in mind that most photography is digital and most Leica cameras by far are film:

 

Would you agree that 90%+ of Leica M cameras are not being used at all today ?

 

If non-use defines a Leica collector, there's a lot of them around.

 

Steve has one in his "collection". What difference does it make if it's green ?

 

Rolo

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How is a black or chrome camera less visible than an olive green one?

 

Obviously black, chrome or green are all visible to more or less the same extent. But black or chrome are normal or expected finishes for a camera. Safari green, I dont think so, thus it becomes 'visible' and is likely to prompt a question, which then needs an explanation thus revealing that it is a fashion toy.

 

Jeff

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Not sure I would want to be seen with a gold-plated camera. The safari is a different matter. Leo

 

Obviously you don't hang around with the Sultan of Brunei...

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So I se the Safari as a funny camera for the moment, not an investment item. I don't for one second believe it will hold a lot of value in the future.

 

Although people are already out there collecting the earliest consumer digital cameras such as the AGFAs. When it comes to the Safari M8 I expect it may have to be mint and remain working into the future.

 

We dont yet know whether digital cameras as collectors' items will really retain their value.

 

A whole new mini-industry may well spring up in spare parts and servicing for these cameras.

 

Jeff

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Bearing in mind that most photography is digital and most Leica cameras by far are film:

 

Would you agree that 90%+ of Leica M cameras are not being used at all today ?

 

If non-use defines a Leica collector, there's a lot of them around.

 

Steve has one in his "collection". What difference does it make if it's green ?

 

Rolo

 

True, there's actually one more category, which is:

 

- Ambitious amateurs who at some point decided to get a Leica but never got to actually use it. Or perhaps used it, then gave up or found other interests. But their Leica(s) are lying in the closet as their postulate about doing some serious photography is still alive. And if the eventually give up hope one day, they will find the value (of usually their M6) has decreased dramatically (and that they will need another - a digital - Leica to become serious about it again)

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Although people are already out there collecting the earliest consumer digital cameras such as the AGFAs. When it comes to the Safari M8 I expect it may have to be mint and remain working into the future.

 

We dont yet know whether digital cameras as collectors' items will really retain their value.

 

A whole new mini-industry may well spring up in spare parts and servicing for these cameras.

 

Jeff

 

Perhaps along the line of the "first" Polaroid cameras. Not a huge value, though sought after and of some value. The Digilux 1 should be one of those, given it's design and "love-appeal" but they don't go over 300$ even today, though they have raised a little in price since they went from "older digital camera" to "historic digital camera" (though I saw one at 1,200$ some months ago, but that must have been a thief who thought, "Oy! it's a Leica, must be wort a fortune" ;-)

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Maybe some Leica special editions have been a bit OTT but the M8.2 Safari has good vibes IMO. I saw a BRG Jaguar XK M6 last weekend and consider it one of the nicest looking cameras I've seen and handled. It would be a sad world if cars were available only in silver or black so why the anti-green comments about cameras? If green is ok for the German army then why criticize it for civilian use? Do all the critics here only wear white shirts and black shoes? Do they paint their houses with only magnolia? Do they only wear drab NHS spectacles? A few might even use a bit of Grecian 2000 to add a bit of colour to their lives. Some M8.2 Safari cameras will no doubt only be bought as collectibles for display only but others will be used and enjoyed.

 

Live and let live ... Wo'eva ... Na' wo' I meeen ... Yeah?

 

Cheers

 

dunk

Edited by dkpeterborough

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Perhaps they could just make safari green one of the standard options for the M8.2. It does look very good. A bit late now I know but perhaps it would have generated more sales (bodies and lenses) than this limited edition.

 

Jeff

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Cannot help but add my $.02 worth. 1. Michael R. writes before he thinks things through. 2. The Safari edition is terrific. 3. If I owned one I would use it.

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I've considered every Leica camera and lens I ever owned to be works of art. Much as the art I have on the walls of my home, I can derive pleasure from just looking at and holding a Leica. The bonus is that they are also functional, unlike what I hang on my walls.

 

I think the M8.2 Safari is beautiful and if I needed another body and lens right now, I'd seriously consider buying and using it. I fail to see why a black or chrome M8.2 is just another piece of photo equipment, but a green one is an extravagance.

Edited by fotografr

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