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The Leica digital M's are like Morgans

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One thing that irritates me is the old incorrect bugaboo of "Morgans are made of wood" which is a false assertion. The chassis is made of steel and the body (as any coachbuilt body) are an ash frame with steel or aluminium plating. It is like saying " BMW cars are made of plastic" because parts of the bodywork are made of plastic.

You are quite right Jaap; but the original ones were, at least their bodies were. American wood if my memory serves me correctly. Two years ago I met a man who still makes replicas of the early Morgans and he uses a lot of wood. Here is a picture I took on my Digilux 2 (I didn't have an M8 at that time)

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I agree with this at the low end. Obviously not at the upper reaches. Leica finances are severely stressed.

 

Actually that's true. It is not obvious that there are a great deal of rich amateurs or not so rich amateurs willing to pay a great deal to indulge in their hobby.

 

But its hard to say if Leica's finances are severely stressed when they are coming out with oodles of lenses and the new S2 system. We cannot really tell until a few years down the road.

Edited by lxlim

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I agree with this at the low end. Obviously not at the upper reaches. Leica finances are severely stressed.

 

How should they not be stressed - they haven't brought out a significant new product for 3 years . . . and they seem to be in the process of bringing out two very significant products within the space of a month or so. That ain't a recipe for relaxed finances, but if they have the new products right . . . .

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re: the Morgan metaphor. The only point I am trying to make is that while the product may be good it is not very competitive in the mainstream or professional marketplace. At one time Leica was a premier reportage and pro camera that has drifted slowly to the thinner marketplace of amateur auteur.

 

I get it now...Leica used to dominate reportage just like Morgan used to dominate the...Uh...Er...Well -- you know what I mean. I remember back in the day when Morgans swarmed the highways of Europe and North America -- as common as gnats in a peach orchard. Now? Well, you just don't see them except a few flitting about Long Island and Beverly Hills. Sad.

 

Idea!! Maybe someone should convince Morgan to offer a fitted compartment for a Leica M9 -- and the camera to go in it. That would bring the cosmic forces into balance.

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I get it now...Leica used to dominate reportage just like Morgan used to dominate the...Uh...Er...Well -- you know what I mean. I remember back in the day when Morgans swarmed the highways of Europe and North America -- as common as gnats in a peach orchard. Now? Well, you just don't see them except a few flitting about Long Island and Beverly Hills. Sad.

 

Idea!! Maybe someone should convince Morgan to offer a fitted compartment for a Leica M9 -- and the camera to go in it. That would bring the cosmic forces into balance.

 

ROFL

 

I believe there's no need for the M9 compartment in the Morgan. The M9.2 special edition camera comes in a $25,000 bundle with it's own custom built BMW 2002 retro, finished in a beautiful brushed Safari finish and M holders throughout the cabin.

 

Sorry, it's obviously time for me to take the meds again tonight ...

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You are quite right Jaap; but the original ones were, at least their bodies were. American wood if my memory serves me correctly. Two years ago I met a man who still makes replicas of the early Morgans and he uses a lot of wood. Here is a picture I took on my Digilux 2 (I didn't have an M8 at that time)

Ash from Belgium. They still have some trouble with shrapnel from WW I embedded in the wood. When I was at the factory - quite some time ago-, they had a secret workshop where they were experimenting with bonded aluminium and carbon fibre bodies. No photography allowed...

 

 

But here is the current Aero body frame (factory photograph):

Edited by jaapv

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I get it now...Leica used to dominate reportage just like Morgan used to dominate the...Uh...Er...Well -- you know what I mean.

 

Try Le Mans 1962 ( and 1938)

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I had this one in mind. It's the M(odel) 9.

 

But I am a rather ancient old bat.

 

No old bat, Nicole !!! One simply has to look at "Hollywood Party" ... great Peter Sellers drove a 3 wheels Morgan in that hesilarating picture

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I get it now...Leica used to dominate reportage just like Morgan used to dominate the...Uh...Er...Well -- you know what I mean. I remember back in the day when Morgans swarmed the highways of Europe and North America -- as common as gnats in a peach orchard. Now? Well, you just don't see them except a few flitting about Long Island and Beverly Hills. Sad.

 

And when did pros ever prefer Morgans? You never saw many of them serving as rep's cars, taxis, delivery vans, limousines, Jeeps.

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I remember back in the day when Morgans swarmed the highways of Europe and North America -- as common as gnats in a peach orchard.

 

When was that? I can count the number of Morgans I've seen on one hand and the number of MGTDs on the other... well maybe I'd need a few toes as well for the TDs. I'm talking college on the East Coast in the late 60s. Never saw any back home in Santa Fe or out here in Hawaii. But most everybody who was serious about photography had a Leica in their kit.

 

Tom

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When was that? I can count the number of Morgans I've seen on one hand and the number of MGTDs on the other... well maybe I'd need a few toes as well for the TDs. I'm talking college on the East Coast in the late 60s. Never saw any back home in Santa Fe or out here in Hawaii. But most everybody who was serious about photography had a Leica in their kit.

That's the point (oh, elusive internet irony...).

OP tries to make this comparison between Leica and what (for most North Americans) is an extremely elusive automotive marque. If I was to compare a Morgan to a camera, it certainly wouldn't be a Leica -- at ANY stage of the Leica product lineage over the years. (An Alpa -- perhaps?)

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As the owner many years ago of a Morgan +4, I take the comparison, while highly inaccurate, a great complement to Leica. I also own and use a M8 in preference to my excellent Nikon D300 for general use.

I find the results spectacular probably due to the lenses which Leica most certainly does make.

 

Inaccuracies noted:

 

Morgan was not and is not a kit car, anymore than GM and Ford products are kit cars. Both of those companies frequently used drive trains and engines, not to mention suspensions from other products in their supposedly U.S. autos. Prime examples include Ford with Jaguar, and Volvo, as well as GM with Opel and most of their domestic product lines. Morgan? Damn fine car. They are a small company which builds by hand and uses drive components from the ones best suited to their anachronistic but wonderful sports cars. Current choice? BMW. Now beat that.

 

Leica may use parts and components from other manufacturers. I doubt it, but if so, they are no different from Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Canon to mention a few. Components that I have in mind are lenses, shutters, electronic circuitry and in the case of Sony, Minolta for the whole damn body which they inherited after buying the company. Oh, we can't forget Fuji's wonderful line of DSLR's which use bodies by Nikon. I even suspect their lenses are outsourced as well, considering that Fuji Heavy Industries probably has better things to do than to manufacture their own glass. And how about Zeiss which uses body and mechanics by Cosina and even has their excellent lenses made in the Orient?

 

Any more Leica M8 put downs before we move on?

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And how about Zeiss which uses body and mechanics by Cosina and even has their excellent lenses made in the Orient?

 

Some of the Zeiss lenses are (were? - assuming they're still being made at all) made in Germany.

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Well I am glad that my M8.2 is not made of wood especially with the challenging British Summer we are once again faced with.

 

On the other hand, here is an image that I took of a Morgan recently - the owner had purchased it 40+yrs ago and it was in pristine condition and sounded great.

 

So we do have a combination of "Morgan shot by Leica"- (sounds like a news headline!).

 

Now that is a great shot of a Moggie Trike. Morgans always looked best in BRG (British racing green for the uninitiated). It was shot with your M8, I presume.

 

From a former +4 owner who never got over it.

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One thing that irritates me is the old incorrect bugaboo of "Morgans are made of wood" which is a false assertion. The chassis is made of steel and the body (as any coachbuilt body) are an ash frame with steel or aluminium plating. It is like saying " BMW cars are made of plastic" because parts of the bodywork are made of plastic.

 

It might as well be made of wood, but you are quite correct. The steel chassis of the trike and the +4's have so much flex that it could be considered a suspension member. Good thing too, since the suspension didn't move much at all. It had (has) great road holding, though. The new one, whose styling is not all that universally appreciated has a very stiff chassis, excellent road holding and, I believe, no ash in the body frame.

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You are quite right Jaap; but the original ones were, at least their bodies were. American wood if my memory serves me correctly. Two years ago I met a man who still makes replicas of the early Morgans and he uses a lot of wood. Here is a picture I took on my Digilux 2 (I didn't have an M8 at that time)

 

WDA,

Where is that man located who makes the replica Morgans?

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Ah...that looks rather much like my father's Plus-4 in BRG. Loved that belt on the hood, oops 'bonnet'. You definitely knew you were driving a car; could not just "phone it in" with the aid of automatic/power assisted this-and-thats. Kind of like a nifty Leica M3. Great memories!

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And when did pros ever prefer Morgans? You never saw many of them serving as rep's cars, taxis, delivery vans, limousines, Jeeps.

 

No, but we raced them like crazy back in the days. Nothing stayed with them in the corners (at least mine), but the straightaways were another matter. Morgans were never a common car. At peak production they made, perhaps 20 cars a week or less. They had a man who painted then by hand with a brush producing a glass smooth finish, but as he got older, they limited him to the black cars. All other's were sprayed as a concession to modernity. If he were still alive he would be at least 140.

 

Like Leica, Morgan is a small company which produces a limited production at a high price. Neither product is everyone's cup of tea, but those who own them for the most part would not have any other.

Edited by jevidon

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