Leica ceased production of M7 and MP in 2009, per owner

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by SWphoto, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I'd like to get a new Leica, but I can't afford one. I'd settle for a used one, but I can't afford that either. Thirty years ago I could afford a new one even less. Or a used one even less. My 83-year-old mother told me my late father really, really wanted to buy one in the early 1950s, but he couldn't afford one then or even later in his life. He died being unable to afford one. I will suffer the same fate.

    When the inability to purchase something - or even just to dream of purchasing something - becomes a generational thing, it rather softens the "blow" of being told that manufacturing of that thing has ceased. At least my son will not have to suffer a third generation of frustration...

    Ken
     
  3. rphenning

    rphenning Member

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    wow now that's a shock. loved my m4 when i had one.
     
  4. russelri

    russelri Member

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    That's a shame. The Leica M3 & Leica MP IMO the are classic mechanical Leica's. I've always lusted after an MP, although they hardly ever appear on the used market. Craftmanship at it's finest. Hopefully, they will continue this high standard with their digital models.
     
  5. PatrickOneill

    PatrickOneill Member

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    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1399117&postcount=18

     
  6. PatrickOneill

    PatrickOneill Member

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    Ken, it doesn't have to be like that. last year, I started a coin jar, and filled that baby up a few times. every time I skipped a coffee, or a meal out, I dropped a few buck in the jar.

    just got an M6 in the mail last week....
    now for a lens...
     
  7. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    This is a pretty epic announcement...
     
  9. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    Another rumour. I'll trust the quote straight from a Leica employee rather than a blogger.
     
  10. lns

    lns Member

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    I saw that Ashai article a few days ago and didn't interpret it as Mike Johnston did. I took it to mean that Leica was no longer developing new models of film cameras, not that they were no longer manufacturing and selling new (by which I mean, new to the buyer) film cameras.

    Dr. Kaufmann seems to say that it would be too expensive to develop a successor to the MP. That is, a new model film camera. That would have been a reasonable question to ask him at a Japanese camera symposium, since Japan appears to be the healthiest market for new film cameras. The article specifically acknowledges that Leica is selling what they call "a la carte" film cameras, which are one-off cameras manufactured to a purchaser's specifications. These are prominently featured on Leica's website. And the stock M7 and MP cameras are still listed too.

    It's reasonable to believe Leica isn't running a regular manufacturing line for the MP and M7 cameras. Leica cannot make enough digital cameras and premium lenses to fill demand right now. If I were in charge at Leica, I certainly would devote current manufacturing capacity to those items. But when sales were slower -- that is, before 2009 -- they probably stockpiled a good amount of MP and M7 cameras. (Just as Nikon still has new F6 cameras for sale when we know Nikon cannot be running an F6 line.) When and if Leica's stockpile runs out, will Leica manufacture another batch? That's a different question, and one Leica will be able to answer only when it occurs. But I don't think that was the question addressed by Dr. Kaufmann, at least as I read the article. And as long as Leica has, or can get, the parts, and as long as it still has the trained assembly workers, it doesn't make sense for Leica NOT to make film cameras to order. There is no r&d for the current models, just manufacturing costs.

    This "Leica abandons film cameras" spin, while titillating, seems to be from the headline of an English translation of a Japanese article written by a correspondent who attended a lecture and news conference, given in Japan, by the majority owner of Leica, who is a native German speaker. I think there are multiple ways the meaning could have been obscured or misunderstood in this scenario. Presented like it is, it seems like a nice scoop, but I'm skeptical. I would have called the company for confirmation or clarification.

    Anyway, I hope it leads to a nice spike in sales for the MP and the M7, and even for the F6. These are all great cameras, and more people should appreciate them before they really are gone. But seriously, when Leica does finish making these, I can't believe Leica would be able to resist selling another high-priced collector edition, like "the last MP" or "the golden M7". The death of Leica film cameras will be announced not with a whimper but with a giant, and expensive, bang.

    -Laura
     
  11. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Erwin Puts has not posted any news to this effect on his site and such a development would certainly "rock his world".
     
  12. Galah

    Galah Member

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    It is truly amazing that people will long for a "flawed" product, that is, one which has an enormous design fault, when far cheaper, and far more available, products (which have far more flexibility of application and an insignificant difference in the quality of performance) are within easy reach.

    Talk about having bought "the myth":tongue:
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Galah-
    What is the enormous design fault of which you speak?
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I cannot believe that the M9s are selling like hotcakes at that price...or made-to-order M7s. Who can afford that $$$hit?
     
  16. E76

    E76 Member

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    I personally spoke with a Leica representative last year (around the time the M9 was announced) at a small trade show. He had several models available to show including the M8, M7, and MP. I asked him about the future of analog Leica cameras. He said what others here have said: that Leica had no plans to develop new analog models ever again, but that they would keep making the M7 and MP. He felt that Leica would probably be the last company to stop producing 35mm cameras.
     
  17. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    Can't speak for Galah, no idea what he/she meant, but having a light capture device with an innate aversion to light has always been an interesting proposition (if you don't care to engage in etymological research tonight, just change lenses in the sun or leave the camera on the window sill for a minute pointed towards the said star).

    My perfectly functional M3 is also my most revered shelf queen. I tenderly nicknamed her "Flimsy".

    :cool:
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Maybe, and I am just guessing, the wonderful M8 with the advanced feature of throwing magenta unevenly across the image.


    Steve
     
  19. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Spoke to one as well two months ago and he said that film camera sales are just non existent at this point. Leica is trying to stay in business and let's face it, film is not going to cut it, for as much as I don't like to say that. The M9 gave them a new lease on life and has brought them new and badly needed blood. Now, it is very possible that it may have a little halo effect on analog cameras but not enough for Leica to devote any resources to it. Can't re invent the wheel..they produced their best camera ever in 1954 and everything after that has barely been evolutionary (and that is even a stretch). Can't stay in business that way.
     
  20. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    I like Leicas, up to M4, MP the rest of their M line is transcendentally overpriced and I will not loose any sleep about them not making new 35mm designs, just like you have companies making paints and canvas, someone will make film and film cameras - just look at the Holga story, so in time some of the newcomers will get to build a quality camera, look at the following on some nikons and olympus/minolta cameras, back in the 80s, meanwhile, there is plenty of old Leicas to go around as most everybody happily marches into the digiland.
     
  21. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Anything straight from Leica?
     
  22. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Well, simply, that it is a rangefinder -with all the limitations in usefulness/convenience that involves :smile:

    (Of course, the reflex and (some?) digital models have avoided these issues.)
     
  23. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    But isn't it often the case that one photographer's definition of "limitation" may conceivably be another photographer's definition of "convenience?"

    And were that not the case, would we not all happily be using the exact same camera type in every photographic situation?

    Ken
     
  24. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I love people with the attitude that if it isn't good for them then it isn't good for anybody. A Leica does exactly what it is designed to do, nothing more or less. If you don't like Leicas that is fine, but to say that a Leica has design flaws is just absurd. I can compose and focus my M3 faster than you can focus your wonder af camera, guaranteed. Is that a design flaw? There are still many people who make a living using a Leica, perhaps alongside another camera, but they still are in use. I am not a Leica worshipper, but the camera has a specific function. To me it excels at that function.

    Leica will only stop making film cameras when they are out of business. I get tired of these internet rumors. There should be a policy here that any "rumor" has to be verified before it is posted. Time and time again I hear about another film being discontinued when it is not true. Now Leicas are being discontinued? Use your brain if you have one left before you post rumors like this.
     
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  25. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    Not true.

    Doom and gloom
     
  26. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Galah-

    I thought maybe that was what you meant.
    Well, everybody's entitled to their opinion. I consider yours rather shallow and narrow-minded, possibly just ignorant. I certainly would not call it a design fault- it is the design. I have never used a Leica but I have used rangefinder cameras. To characterize a rangefinder as a design fault makes little sense. It is simply a different design. It is perfect for some people's way of working.

    Usefulness depends on the user. Convenience? The characteristics of a rangefinder are what make them easiest for many people to use. SLR's are very versatile, with the ability to handle long lenses and macro, to allow previewing depth of field, etc. But they have their own shortcomings; "design faults" of their own. For example, wide angle lens design is complicated and compromised by the presence of the mirror.

    Consider medium format SLR's. Which "design fault" would you like, because you're going to end up with something no matter what. A leaf shutter has low vibration and flash sync's at any speed. Along with that comes a limited top speed and no instant-return mirror. A focal-plane shutter MF camera will have a higher degree of shutter-induced vibration and a low flash sync speed.

    How about view cameras? Versatile and useful in many situations and just the opposite in others. Not convenient compared to the other types but there's stuff they can do that nothing else can.

    To call an intrinsic element or characteristic of a design a "design fault" makes no sense. These days a lot of people would say that a camera that needs film has a "design fault".