Collectors Should Be Shot (or at least, they should learn to shoot)
I have to occasionally say this: Leica M collecting talk makes my blood turn to half-curdled cheese. I think it's a BAD THING FOR PHOTOGRAPHY and has probably prevented a lot of terrific photographers from ever buying good equipment :/
Damage is already done, though.
As long as products are sold, people will collect them..
Why do you think that terrific collectors need good equipment?
And why do you think using a Leica M is necessary, if perhaps not sufficient, to be a good photographer?
Couldn't disagree more. Collectors pay huge sums of money for (a) new Leicas, thereby helping keep Leica in business (b) Rare Leicas, thereby enabling those who buy e.g. a black paint M3 cheap to buy something more recent/useful (I like 35mm frame lines) and (c) completely weird junk like the tri-lens turret on the from of my A History of the 35mm Still Camera which as far as I recall I swapped for a new 90/2 Summicron.
Originally Posted by bjorke
I think more precisely those quasi photographers who write an excessive amount of Leica reviews on some monthly amateur photo magazines deserve that. They are the driving force for the market for the collectors.
They sell their obsessions and imaginations about the cameras and lenses, but not (the subjects of) the photos they take or anything that means a lot to our societies.
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To be honest, can't see the problem. Leicas have basically one professional function, which is as the 2nd or 3rd camera of photojournalists, spending most of its life in the corner of the camera bag and taken out when there is a need for near-silent operation. There are of course the odd devotees like Salgado, but as Leica realized years ago, not nearly enough to make a viable business, which is when Leica decided to major on the rich enthusiast/collector market. It's good for the company and keeps the target customers happy. I can't think of a reason why this should be bad for photography or hamper terrific photographers in the quest for good gear - if you are broke and want a great camera, buy a Kodak Retinette, Afga Silette, Voigtländer Vito, etc. - a mint example can be yours for £25 or even (much) less, they're almost as quick to use as a Leica M, and, given a reasonable skill level, you can produce pictures with your £25 wonder which are (almost) indistinguishable from Leica shots! Collecting Leicas is a harmless pursuit and the cameras don't smell nearly as bad as cheese labels!
Originally Posted by bjorke
Not quite that simple. The magazines LOVE reviews. I am fond of eating and drinking and fiond life easier if I pay my bills. Ergo, I review things. Sometimes, too, I find stuff I really like: the 75/2 Summicron for example, generally heralded as one of the most amazing lenses of all time. Most of the time, I'd rather take pics with my existing kit, but there's some interest in most of the RF kit on the market and half the LF kit. SLRs I almost never test unless they're something unusual.
Originally Posted by firecracker
Now, why do the magazines love reviews? Because they are very similar to advertising. What they tend to be frightened of is 'Op/Ed' which makes people think. Some are a lot better about this than others.
But the advertising hegemony is one reason for the existence of www.rogerandfrances.com. We have no advertising. We can't do the site for nothing, so part of The Photo School is subscriber-only. The other half (roughly) is free.
I really don't think that reviewers drive up the collector market, not least because editors will often say, "Not another Leica piece" or "Not another Voigtlander piece." At least, that's true in the mainstream mags. Can't answer for collector comics.
Buying a fine camera to make you a better photographer is similar to buying a fine rifle to beccome a marksman,it doesn't work. You have to practise .
At the shop I worked when I was 'back in school', we kept track when doctors, lawyers and others bought fancy new equipment. When it came back to the shop a couple months later when the guy ( like Toad in Wind and the Willows ) went on to his next thing, we had a list of students and real photographers to be called ... a late model, low miles Leica or Hassie was always a good thing.
Collectors were similar: they just subsidised the business for the rest of us.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
Maybe not your case as well as some others'. But in Leica-obsessed Japan, things may be different from where you are. How some cameras become collectable with the high price-settings, seems to be very much rooted in the ideas that come from a couple of well-selling photo magazines. And that first hits the used camera shops in Tokyo, and it starts to spread out throughout the country.
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
This could be said about a lot of other things over here such as old electric guitars, etc.
I mean reviews are reviews, but there are a bunch that don't really have a content or any useful information about the products. Yeah, advertising may be the cause for the market to be driven in such a way.