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  1. #21
    arigram's Avatar
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    The current state of Leica was importand enough to be featured in the news service my newspaper subscribes to.
    Here's a couple pictures that they gave:
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  2. #22

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    There is still a market for real fountain pens and non-quartz clocks so I would see no reason, why there should be none for mechanical cameras.
    Yes, new Leicas are rather pricey, even as Demo unit, which cuts the price by 20 %. One gets at least two serviced M3/M4 for the price of a Demo MP. If you consider the Leica as a tool, you are better off buying second hand and have a CLA done. A lot of M6 are out there at good prices. It is hard to justify buying a new Leica. Which is a problem for Leica.

    Lenses, the latest lenses are really good, I had the chance to test the new 50/1.4 M Asph but again you'll find yourself asking is it worth 2250€? (You can get the old 50/1.4 below 1000€) There are lots of used lenses out there, which have hardly seen any use or if they have seen use, they are really cheap, got a 50/2.0 M, latest version at 310€ from a dealer, because tiny nicks on the lensshade! New 1200€.
    In Hamburg (Leica by Meister) I picked up a 35/2 goggles for M3 so I longer think of a 40/1.4 to fit my M3, so used market here in Germany competes with new Voigtländer.

    Service:
    Sending to Solms ain't cheap at all. But I always received excellent service, when I went to Solms myself, having arranged an appointment with a little help from my dealer. Like setting up M3 with Noctilux - just to be almost being driven over by some bloody §$%& Polo driver 200 m later and bike riding with rain dripping thru the damaged skin does not really feel good - the aligment was still o.k. - Crampler bag.

    These Leicas are build to last so are people less likely to replace working units and right now people, at least here in Germany, are less likely to part with their money. In Hamburg they told me that 3 out of 5 A la Carte Leicas actually see use and are not collectors item. And silly me thought these are for display only, because leica only sells 1.3 lenses per body (4 million lenses versus 3 million bodies, rough count). So maybe a limited dummy edition could rescue Leica. All other Leicas would have a box sticker "For use only - no display unit!"

    Wolfram
    Colour? We can always use an airbrush later...

  3. #23
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janké
    I hope Leica will find a way to survive and will produce their fine camera's for ever.

    JanKé
    I do too. There's nothing else quite like them. No machine of any kind is better built.

    There will always be a market for fine things. 30 years ago the Swiss watchmaking industry was devastated by quartz technology. The makers of really fine wris****ches went through some lean years, but today every Patek Philippe watch made is sold before it's even manufactured. You can buy quite a few Leicas for the price of a Patek chronograph. So I'm sure Leica will survive, as long as they don't compromise their quality in any way, no matter how badly they're hurting financially.http://www.alanfurman.com/noframes/patek1.html#mpatek

  4. #24
    rbarker's Avatar
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    As a part-time Leica user, I certainly agree with the sentiment of wanting Leica to stay in business - even though it is unlikely that I'll need to buy another M in my lifetime. I have two bodies (M6 TTLs), and all the lenses I'll ever need, so I'm pretty much set, personally. But, I'd still like others to have the opportunity to own and shoot a Leica M in the future.

    The problem Leica continues to face, and (like many other older companies) has yet to find a solution for, is that they need to "contemporize" the company, while maintaining quality. To a large extent, they are fighting a market-share, mind-share problem in a world where "good enough" has a majority position. It's just another facet of the analog vs. digital issue. The problem is, I think, that it's tough for the engineer/artisan types to multitask.

    And, while there are some parallels with the fine watch market, I'm not sure the parallels hold true far enough through the purchasing cycle. A $12,000 watch may have appeal to a newly-rich twenty-something video-game mogul, but that person may be more likely to buy a digi-whatsis than a Leica.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  5. #25

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    I agree with Ralph and his assesment of the problem. For years I have seen Leica refuse to make an autofocus 35 mm camera, which I thought it was dumb specially with their R line. I always thought the R7 and now the R8 was the most beautiful SLR in the market, and lets face it, while as photographers we use these cameras, a great part of their market, similarly to Hasselbald was doctors and lawyers.
    Also, to borrow Jim's example they refuse to make different "grades" of their cameras. For example, I own 5 Omega watches, and while not cheap, the ones that are battery operated with quartz movement are much cheaper than the perpetual automatic movement that are all mechanical. I dont see why Leica cannot so something similar, design a camera that is easier to manufacture but still allows it to use their wonderful lenses. As it stand lets they are just digging a bigger hole, to put it bluntly, what would you buy for $3000 and R8 or a Nikon F6?....To me this is a no brainer, the F6 is a far better camera, but I still love the look of the R8..

  6. #26

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    Join LHSA and you will find repairpersons who will keep your Leica ticking like a clock for 20 years or more. I just had an M4 and 2 CL's done, a little over 200 ea.
    Mark
    Mark Layne
    Nova Scotia
    and Barbados

  7. #27
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Jorge - you probably noticed I didn't mention the Rs, but I agree. If Leica had made the R line their state-of-the-art product, keeping even reasonably close to the innovations in other SLR lines, they would not be in the position they are. While the Rs have a dedicated base, and lots of great glass, most people who buy SLRs want all the current features.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  8. #28
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge
    Also, to borrow Jim's example they refuse to make different "grades" of their cameras. For example, I own 5 Omega watches, and while not cheap, the ones that are battery operated with quartz movement are much cheaper than the perpetual automatic movement that are all mechanical.
    My analogy only applies to very high end watches, and while Omega makes very good ones (I own a quartz Constellation which I wear quite often) they're not in the class I'm talking about: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lange & Sohne, Breguet and certain Cartiers. Hip-hop stars and Silicon Valley nouveau riche don't wear those. They're purchased by people used to the smell of oiled walnut and Lafite Rothschild '45.

    Lange & Sohne is an excellent example of a company resurrected to produce a product of the finest old world artistry of manufacture using the latest technology. Maybe Leitz can pull it off, too.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    My analogy only applies to very high end watches, and while Omega makes very good ones (I own a quartz Constellation which I wear quite often) they're not in the class I'm talking about: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lange & Sohne, Breguet and certain Cartiers. Hip-hop stars and Silicon Valley nouveau riche don't wear those. They're purchased by people used to the smell of oiled walnut and Lafite Rothschild '45.

    Lange & Sohne is an excellent example of a company resurrected to produce a product of the finest old world artistry of manufacture using the latest technology. Maybe Leitz can pull it off, too.
    Yeah Jim, but you dont see a comercial line from Patek, Cartier etc. My example was used to explain a different marketig approach. I assure you, Leica will not survive if they try to follow the same marketing approach by the watch makers you mention. Those are status sympbols, cameras are rarely a status symbol...at least among rich people.

  10. #30
    NikoSperi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    A $12,000 watch may have appeal to a newly-rich twenty-something video-game mogul, but that person may be more likely to buy a digi-whatsis than a Leica.
    Hehe... you're probably correct in that assesment. Except with $&12,000 you're not coming even close to a Patek bottom of the line mechanical watch, new out of Geneva.

    The principle may be correct. After all, Alpa still exists and is selling (presumably) some cameras - in the $20k range if I'm not mistaken.
    If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.

    - Walker Evans on using color



 

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