Leica in financial troubles
As a Linhof Technika photographer I admire range finder camera's and M Leica's offers the best quality possible in 35mm.
(all the people who says that this is not true, never saw a negative produced by a M Leica or can not handle a camera properly)
The reason I will continue to take pictures the analog way is the quality I can get from film. Digital is just another technique and will never produce the same product you can make with film and vice versa.
I hope Leica will find a way to survive and will produce their fine camera's for ever.
Originally Posted by janké
Interesting statement, not that I agree with, but interesting.
Last edited by Dave Parker; 02-22-2005 at 10:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
May I present a slightly deviating view? In my time, I have owned a Leica IIIa (2 examples), IIIb, IIIc, IIIf (two examples) and M3 (two examples), not to mention a British Reid III and two Voigtländers which I still have.
Originally Posted by janké
What made me give up on Leica was this - I acquired an M3 in good working order, but as it had never been serviced, decided to get this done. Leica UK charged me Ł400 to replace shutter curtains and carry out a general service, when I received the camera back it seized after 3 exposures. It went back, on its return the shutter was "tapering". It went back again, on its return, the shutter was not lightproof when changing lenses (even in body shadow). I finally got this cured by an independent repairman, was by then feeling very negative about Leica, and in the end decided I did not like the modern iterations of the Summicron lenses (very contrasty, great if you want your slides to look snappy on the screen, murder for b+w work). I actually preferred the 43 mm f1.9 special edition lens on my Pentax, although I did consider spending a lot more money to find good examples of 1960s Summicrons, which I personally prefer.
Through numerous conversations with acquaintances and friends in the trade here in the UK, I learned that I was not the only one to fall foul of this service department. Leicas are in any case hard to service, unlike modern products which are modular and where the offending module is simply removed and replaced. There may be some appeal in using a "good old" camera, but many would rather have a "good new" one.
awe gee all the good bokeh will have to find a new home LOL.
Although it's sad to see it happen, you gotta know it was coming.
Leica has been competing with itself for a number of years. The company builds a fine rangefinder camera but the initial new price is too high for most photographers to consider. Then there are lots of used Leicas out there on the market that cost less and, thanks to the plethora of Internet opinions, are often considered to be better built than the new cameras. They make outstanding lenses but they cost so much most photographers consider it to be an abstract concept to consider owning one. Again, there's a lot of used Leitz lenses out there with sterling reputations to compete against the new Leica lenses.
Compound this with the digital thing, the general pessimism surrounding film cameras, rising labor costs and God knows what other factors specific to Leica The Company, your market is sure to shrink.
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Can't say I am surprised that any of the highend cameras are going. Just too expensive. Nice to look at but the vast majority of the world would never be able to afford them. I wonder if Sinar will be on the block soon too.
I don't see Leicas decreasing much in value on the used market. Their reputation will keep their resale value pretty high.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
I would certainly disagree that M Leicas are "hard to service" Perhaps the distributor in Britain didn't have the experienced craftsmen needed.
Regarding the "modularity" of newer equipment I guess it is easier to replace a shutter than repair it.
That doesn't neccesarily make it better.
He certainly didn't - and this is a situation I find truly alarming!
Originally Posted by Shaggy
Leicas up to and including the M6 are essentially produced to a 19th century philosophy in which parts are standardized but machined to less than perfect tolerances. Assembling or repairing a Leica requires a skilled craftsman who will try numerous examples of small components to fit a best fit and will then fettle his chosen component to make it work perfectly. This may be part of the mystique of Leicas, most working pros would like a camera where, if it breaks, it can go into a workshop where the broken module is removed, a new one fitted and the camera is back in the mail the same day. For me, this is better by a mile! A fair analogy would be with auto-making - a modern mass-produced car built by robots will not have any of the aura of a Ferrari or Aston Martin but will have better panel fit and be much cheaper!
Originally Posted by Shaggy
Odd, the panel fit on my hand assembled Jaguar is a lot better than I have seen on the cheapo robot assembed cars.
A fair analogy would be with auto-making - a modern mass-produced car built by robots will not have any of the aura of a Ferrari or Aston Martin but will have better panel fit and be much cheaper!
I think that the modern car industry has gone modular, simply because its easier to assemble, and thus cheaper. Not necessarly cheaper to repair, but that cost isn't borne by the car maker, and cars are designed to last the warrenty period so the car maker doesn't have to fix them at their cost.
Judging by the last CLA that I had done at Leica.
If I had kids, I would pull them out of Medical School and encourage them to pursue careers in in Leica repair.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.