If you want to see something interesting go to KEH and use there quote machine to "sell" Leica cameras to them. The price->condition curve is like no other camera out there. A bargain grade Lecia is almost worthless while a Ex+ one is through the roof.
Those who know, shoot film
It depends on whether one is a collector or a user; and Leicas are bought by both. I fall into the latter category. My M4-2 and M3 were not particularly expensive, as I bought them used at a good price. I bought the M6 new, and yes, it was a bit of a splurge, but no more than a comparable Nikon or Canon pro level camera would have been.
I did not buy Leicas for the "mystique" of the brand; I bought it because it was the ideal tool for the work I do, which is dance and theater photography. It it silent and unobtrusive, and lasts forever. I consider them excellent investments. I can't afford, nor am I interested in owning, "mystique."
Maybe I should have used "reverence" instead of mystique. But it could be construed to be one in the same depending on how much price tag shock & awe one can tolerate versus "its the tool to do the job I need it to do and the price is right."
Originally Posted by eddym
I suppose it comes down to: Do you NEED a Timex, or a Rolex.
The Timex will do the job but not like that Rolex.
I can still see those John Cameron Swayze tv commecials now: "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking"
Photography is composed of a number of niche markets: digital, SLR, Holga, large format, medium format, rangefinder, Japanese cameras, German cameras, junky cameras, expensive cameras.
I think that Leica occupies that niche that attracts different people for different reasons. Some feel that Leica continues to hew to a very traditional approach to photography while offering the best quality that money can buy when it comes to bodies and lenses.
Others buy Leica purely as collectibles with no intent to ever use them.
Some buy because they're curious about the brand and have the money to do it. Some buy because it's cool or it will make them look hip or serious.
Some buy Leica as status symbols for the same reason that some people buy full-frame SLRs.
Some buy because of the brand's durability and perhaps because their parent, relative or best friend owned and used one. Some use a Leica because they believe it's better made than something coming off of a mass-production line in China.
And some or many buy a Leica in the belief that they will become a better photographer.
I don't think it's possible to put all Leica users in the same bucket.
And Leica knows this as well, because in addition to the standard model, they've also produced a number of limited-edition collector's models.
And even though I no longer own a Leica M, a Leica can be a one-time purchase and will last a lifetime -- several lifetimes.
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Last edited by Vilk; 12-27-2010 at 07:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Like Chris Crawford and Eddy McDonald said: Do you want a Leica to use or to collect? In the second case, you'd appreciate these astronomical prices as they show a market holding and increasing in valuation.
In the first case, get a M6, M7, (new) MP or even a Voigtländer or Zeiss Ikon (they're fine, initially, perhaps won't last as long) and spend that kind of money on Leica lenses. That is where the quality really is and that is Leica's justification for any kind of mystique.
Mind you, Leica knows it is producing lenses on a level above everyone else (with the exeption of Zeiss Cine lenses, perhaps) and these days asks astronomical prices for them, too. But there are the Summarits and the used market.
Last edited by phaedrus; 12-27-2010 at 10:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The Zeiss Ikon has now been on the market since 2005, and its track record is good in terms of mechanical reliability and durability, although five years certainly doesn't compare with decades for the Leica.
However, I don't think that you can say that it's more or less reliable or durable than a Leica at this time until we hit the 10-year mark and see how many of them are still in service and whether we begin to see widespread problems with the shutter, the rangefinder system or the electronics.
which reminds me--hasn't cosina's whole business idea consist of peddling the same old copal click-clack for decades? i googled it briefly, but didn't find anything conclusive. if so, we'd have way more than 5 years of track record by now
Originally Posted by elekm