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  1. #1

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

    See link to article in Mike Johnson's "The Online Photographer": http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...rs-it-was.html

    {Sorry if this is "old news" search here didn't show anything.]

  2. #2
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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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
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #3
    rphenning's Avatar
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    wow now that's a shock. loved my m4 when i had one.

  4. #4

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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. #5

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    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...7&postcount=18

    I contacted Christian Erhardt (Vice President of Marketing Photographic Division, Leica Camera USA) and this is the answer he gave me:

    “Your questions comes timely, in fact just earlier this week I was in our factory where I saw the production of Leica’s M product lines. While we do not have a constant production of certain lenses and cameras, we have the ability to produce batches of those products. For example: Certain exotic lenses & cameras are produced in batches to be able to produce an economically feasible number of products.

    In this case the M analog production line is just next to Leica’s M9 production line to which we have shifted our focus to better manage the backlog and reduce the wait for our customers.

    As you might be well aware from the past, we have always stated that as long as it makes sense for Leica Camera AG to produce M analog cameras we will do so. At this time we are reaching our targeted numbers for M analog cameras and do well with the offering of Leica M a la Carte cameras. Just recently Leica Camera AG offered a special Leica M7 Hermes Camera. This camera was quickly sold out and is a sought after collectors camera.

    At this time I have no indication that the Leica M analog cameras will be taken out of Leica’s product offering.”

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    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
    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. #7
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Indeed. I found a beautiful M6 for a grand...not cheap but not out of the question, if one is patient.

    I'm a Leica newbie but was interested to see how similar it (M6) is to the M4. Anyway, here's hoping film production goes on for a long time to come.

    A related article:
    http://blog.leica-camera.com/intervi...ica-tradition/

  8. #8
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    This is a pretty epic announcement...
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  9. #9
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Another rumour. I'll trust the quote straight from a Leica employee rather than a blogger.
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  10. #10
    lns
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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

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