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Stephan Daniel M9 Interview - from Reichmann


Bo_Lorentzen

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I really recommend watching this video. I love it when several of us crack up when Stefan mentions the manual lens selection manual.

 

There's been a lot discussion lately about the Leica press trip being some kind of exotic enticement, etc. The reality was that it was a lot of meetings with Leica, detailed tours of the plant and some time shooting the new cameras. (I then continued testing the M9 here in the States). It was a very productive trip and I'm glad Leica decided to organize it. I think it gave all of us a better sense of Leica as a factory but also as a group of people.

 

MR also has an interesting video of the M8 and M9 being assembled/tested.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Sean,

 

I really enjoyed the hour long presentation / banter about the M9. the little chats really put a lot of texture on my understanding of the cameras roots.

 

Along with that another very enjoyable video is An Interview with Leica's Peter Karbe on Vimeo

about 30 minutes of chat with Peter Karbe, very candid and seemingly agreeable fella. he is very candid about problems and solutions and work-arounds. He seem to be rather proud of the S2 lenses. (probably rightly so)

 

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Sean,

 

I really enjoyed the hour long presentation / banter about the M9. the little chats really put a lot of texture on my understanding of the cameras roots.

 

Along with that another very enjoyable video is An Interview with Leica's Peter Karbe on Vimeo

about 30 minutes of chat with Peter Karbe, very candid and seemingly agreeable fella. he is very candid about problems and solutions and work-arounds. He seem to be rather proud of the S2 lenses. (probably rightly so)

 

.

Bo,

It looks like the video was removed from Vimeo.com. Do you know what happened with the Karbe interview? What was discussed there?

Thank you,

Yevgeny

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Yevgeny,

 

That would be a big pitty. Michael had posted it there and linked them into some of his articles, I found the interview by searching for Reichmann on Vimeo

 

OK Michael's Vimeo account is at Michael Reichmann on Vimeo

 

The Stepan Daniel int seems to be live at... Leica M9 Stephan Daniel Interview on Vimeo

- strangely the entry number have changed.. go figure..

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From a public relations standpoint, inviting Sean, David, and Michael over and allowing Michael to video the interview and the factory tour was very smart.

 

I'm not trying to rekindle the conversation on "press junkets" and all that nonsense.

 

Sean, David, and Michael have communicated with the Leica community a very significant degree of information about the company. Between Stephan's interview here and the press event in New York, as well as the photos taken around Wetzlar, as well as the video in the factory, it *feels* like Leica is trying to break down some of the walls that have surrounded the company, and to welcome the Leica community (many of whom participate on this Forum) inside, whether or not we could ever get to Solms.

 

An adjunct benefit of letting David et al walk around Wetzlar with an M9 is that now many of us have a better sense of the milieu in which the M9 and S2 were created.

 

When a corporation is trying to take the world by storm with a new product, there's a clamp down. Walls have to be up and distance kept and communication stilted when secrets need to be kept. The surprise of the M9 has in some ways added to the appreciation we feel for it. Holy @$#$! we said, slapping our foreheads. But once they sprung the surprise, they've opened up, humanized the company, and in many ways educated us. I would venture that more information about Leica and its culture has been published -- websites, videos, etc. -- since 9/9/9 than in the previous five years.

 

The M9 and S2 are being handcrafted by a small company in Germany. Okay, I understand both the cost of the product and why it's taking a while to get more M9s out the door, etc. I appreciate Leica as an institution more because of this strategy of openness.

 

As a communications strategy, it is working, and I tip my hat to them all -- to Dr. Kaufmann, and Dr. Spiller, and to Stephan and all involved in the marketing. [Edit: I should add, a tip of the hat to Sean, and David, and Michael et al for good reportage, as well.]

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John,

 

agree entirely, and both the Stephan and Peter Karbe interview goes long in that direction, I found Peter appears to be a guy with high integrity and genuine interest in creating cutting edge optics, I would buy a lens from that guy if he told me it was good and he liked it...

 

.

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From a public relations standpoint, inviting Sean, David, and Michael over and allowing Michael to video the interview and the factory tour was very smart.

 

I'm not trying to rekindle the conversation on "press junkets" and all that nonsense.

 

Sean, David, and Michael have communicated with the Leica community a very significant degree of information about the company. Between Stephan's interview here and the press event in New York, as well as the photos taken around Wetzlar, as well as the video in the factory, it *feels* like Leica is trying to break down some of the walls that have surrounded the company, and to welcome the Leica community (many of whom participate on this Forum) inside, whether or not we could ever get to Solms.

 

An adjunct benefit of letting David et al walk around Wetzlar with an M9 is that now many of us have a better sense of the milieu in which the M9 and S2 were created.

 

When a corporation is trying to take the world by storm with a new product, there's a clamp down. Walls have to be up and distance kept and communication stilted when secrets need to be kept. The surprise of the M9 has in some ways added to the appreciation we feel for it. Holy @$#$! we said, slapping our foreheads. But once they sprung the surprise, they've opened up, humanized the company, and in many ways educated us. I would venture that more information about Leica and its culture has been published -- websites, videos, etc. -- since 9/9/9 than in the previous five years.

 

The M9 and S2 are being handcrafted by a small company in Germany. Okay, I understand both the cost of the product and why it's taking a while to get more M9s out the door, etc. I appreciate Leica as an institution more because of this strategy of openness.

 

As a communications strategy, it is working, and I tip my hat to them all -- to Dr. Kaufmann, and Dr. Spiller, and to Stephan and all involved in the marketing. [Edit: I should add, a tip of the hat to Sean, and David, and Michael et al for good reportage, as well.]

 

Thanks. And you know I definitely do get the sense that Leica is trying to be as open as they reasonably can be, frank about their decisions and the reasons, responsive to suggestions, etc. That doesn't make them perfect but to me the gang there seems more like a bunch of perfectionist photography enthusiasts than one might expect to find in a camera corporation.

 

Also on that trip, BTW, were Phil Askey and Andrew Westlake and they've contributed some good info. on DPReview. (Phil, you're probably reading this, why don't you chime in?)

 

Stefan, during that interview, was not evasive at all - he was quite straight shooting and was even willing to criticize the speed of review functions on the M9 (which have since improved though not perfectly). But he wasn't afraid to talk about that.

 

BTW, the American voice on the right side of the frame was David, the quieter Brit was Andy, the other Brit was Phil, Mike's voice came from the camera and I was the voice on the left side of the frame (the guy who was so thrilled about the lens selection menu and who asked about frame lines, weather seals, etc.)

 

It was a very productive trip made up primarily of factory tours, meetings and test shooting. Those who worry about the "lure" of the exotic press trip might consider that the hotel (in classic European style) had no A/C and temps hit near 100 F most days there. I didn't mind but I stress this because the trip really wasn't about trying to spoil and influence the participants. Dinners were all with Leica leaders and they were a great source of information, listened to feedback on the cameras, etc.

 

I'd do a trip like that again in a heartbeat and I wouldn't worry at all about the conspiracy theorists pointing fingers.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Thanks for the video link! I'm definitely planning on purchasing the M9, but just not now. I'm hoping that Leica will later introduce upgrades and such to the M9 which Sean mentioned in his review about min focus distance, etc...

 

As for these press trips, I've been on many... some large some smaller scale ones, and they're not as luxurious as some people might think. (I'm not in the photography business full time btw). Companies of course would like you to have positive reviews on their product but in the end these companies usually pick out who they think are the most knowledgeable and will provide the most fair coverage.There's always people that will get left out and that's the nature of any business. Sometimes its not really about being the first to report things, but the one that provides the best in-depth and fair coverage.

 

In the end, we should be thankful that Leica opened its doors to the public through these reviewers. Thanks guys!

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you had mentioned how the M9 has optimizing focusing distance of 1 meter and M8.2 has focusing distance of 2 meters. i'm not saying that you said leica will introduce this feature, but i just hope they will, based on M8 and M8.2 history. apologies for not being more clear...

 

it's not that i'm waiting for these features before purchasing the M9 but it just seems that with any product line, there seems to be minor tweaks and upgrades introduced later in the product life cycle due to improved technologies and R&D. i'm just hoping leica will roll out upgrades and improvements based on user feedback and what i mentioned in the previous sentence.

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Also on that trip, BTW, were Phil Askey and Andrew Westlake and they've contributed some good info. on DPReview. (Phil, you're probably reading this, why don't you chime in?)

 

Apologies for not having mentioned Phil and Andrew. I think Phil's review is the one I read first...

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