Oct 032012
 

Leica Consumer Behaviour 101

By Louis Stevenson

Hi Steve,

These must be exciting times for you and a lot of us out there are waiting with bated breath on your upcoming reviews. Amidst all the hype from Leica’s new products, I’ve developed some thoughts on the responses by most people and I thought it would be interesting to look at the general feelings towards the release of Leica’s new products. In my observation, the new Leica Monochrom, M and ME have caused much joy and disappointment all at the same time, depending on what type of user you belong to. Here is an attempt to list a few groups:

1. The Conservatives. These are very experienced users who believe that film can never be replicated digitally and hence no amount of new technology can ever put the digital M on par with film. So anything new that Leica introduces to the Digital M would never impress them one bit, in fact, it goes directly against their philosophy of the M. Film is timeless, au natural and soulful. Digital is clinical, impatient and artificial. To them, the Leica Monochrome makes absolutely no sense and anyone who tries to artificially replicate digital files to look film-like gets shot down instantly. In fact there were several Monochrom shots that I find simply amazing, yet they were so quickly dismissed to be “plasticky”.

My very 1st time pressing the shutter release of a film camera, only to realise that I did not advance the film after loading. Leica M6TTL/ 35mm Lux Asph/ Kodak Tri-X 400

 

Shot in Film or Digital?

2. The Pragmatics. These consumers look for the best price/quality balance in a camera. They often compare specifications head-to-head, dollar-to-dollar and choose the camera base on their price-quality preference. Comparing across the market is common. It does not matter to them that Leica produced the first digital RF that is capable of shooting video, but it matters that Leica is the last to have video function in the industry. Hence, again Leica is seen as a failure for being the last. Leica will never meet their expectations in price vs quality terms. It’s common to hear them commenting that such an image shot by a Leica could have been easily shot with a cheaper camera or lens.

I ended up liking the iPhone shot more.

Iphone 4S shot (edited with Tadaa App) vs Leica M9/ 35mm Lux.

 

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3. The Minimalists. They like the fact that Leica has kept to the essentials… Up until now. To them, each new upgrade should focus on image quality and functionality, that’s it! No more, no less! Hence, better sensors, ISO performance, weather sealing, LCD are very important to them. To introduce video into Leica M baffles them since more effort could’ve been focused towards improving image quality rather than wasting time on the video function. To repackage the M9 into the ME is almost insulting their intelligence. Leica fooled none of them with cosmetic updates for the ME/ M9P and should have introduced a M9.2 instead. I share their disappointment with the ME too. However, there are those who celebrate the marketing gimmick of the ME that would inadvertently drive down prices of used M9. Those who were waiting for the chance to upgrade would find this excellent news, and I’m happy for them!

4. The Enthusiasts. The RF experience is highly regarded by these users. They appreciate the characteristics of film and digital and are open-minded enough to make the next jump that Leica M has to offer. As long as the additional bells and whistles do not hinder the RF experience, then its good. These users are also open to new ways of using the RF. Using the new M to shoot videos RF style is a welcome addition but remains to be seen. Leica has got these bunch excited, but now Leica has to deliver. I hope for the best!

I have to say that this categorization is somewhat extreme. You may be one of them, caught in between, or you may have your own category! So what purpose does this article serve you may ask? Well, nothing, if you are looking for a review. Whats interesting here are the dynamics between these groups that result in diversified views that can be very informative and enlightening. Sometimes, disagreement may arise when different groups argue from a different perspective and that’s where the fun begins, until it gets ugly. But there is one thing that we all have in common, that is our love for capturing moments, and sharing them to people who matter.

End of the day, it’s the memories I’m after. A fellow pilot trainee who just cleared his 1st solo flight with a splash! A tradition practised by many.

Leica M9/ 35mm Summicron Asph

Thanks Steve for this website.

Sincerely,

Louis Stevenson

 

Here’s my Flickr as well as my other article contributions:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanlouis/

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/03/26/taking-the-leica-m9-off-the-streets-and-into-the-wild-by-louis-stevenson/

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/02/24/tasmania-overland-track-with-the-leica-m9-by-louis-stevenson/

 

  63 Responses to “Leica Consumer Behavior 101 by Louis Stevenson”

  1. The last image made me LOL! :)
    I’ll stay with my M9P ;)

  2. Group 2 here, I shoot a Sony NEX though!

  3. I think I will just make a bag of popcorn and sit back watch the fun!!! The only dog I have in this fight is I’m a big Leica glass fan now. I have seen the glow!

    BTW Louis as a fellow pilot what are you flying?

  4. Loooooool. I dont recall ever enjoying reading an article in long time like this one. Straight to the point, very humourish and does more or less summarize all the hype going around these days with these new release and confusion that people are into.

    For me is simple, I am keeping my M9 and none of the new products makes any sense to me. Especially the Monochrom. I am sorry, I know alot of you would go on and on about its uniquness, I have been a photographer for a long time now, and to wash out the big bucks for a black and white, that only the pixels peepers would make a difference between M9 color converted to BW to that of Leica Monochrome just baffels me and doesnt make any sense.

    Than again thats me

  5. I must be a minimalist, then :-)

  6. How about:

    THE PATIENT WANNABIES – somewhere between enthusist and pragmatist.

    I am one, as I bought beat up M2 with 50 V3 Summicron in 2001, and then an M8 + Summicron 28 in 2012. I would love an M9, M-E, M-M, M or M and will buy one once the price drops to the €1650 I paid for the M8. I am guessing that the M9 will still take great photos in 2016 when I get one.

  7. Unfortunately, Leica makes a Pragmatic out of an Enthusiast. The barrier to entry is too steep and beyond the means of just too many people.

    • And most people would have it no other way, they wouldn’t feel as elite and special if anyone could afford their precious red dot.

      • I just feel fortunate to have an M3. I don’t need a camera to feel special. My mom tells me I’m special all the time. :-)

  8. I am waiting for one of the “other manufactures” (sane price) to come out with a small full frame B&W only Mirrorless camera then I am on that! I would even take a Mono OMD or a Nex.

  9. In the end, what matters most is the image. Is the image good or crap. If you are even capable of producing a good image, then I think you can start talking about how YOU prefer to capture images. Some people prefer paint and canvas to make an image.

    Just shut up and make an image!

    • Photography is about “taking” images, where as painting is about “making” them. There is a big big difference. There are no “masters of light” in photography because nature makes the light, the camera captures it, the only thing the person does is place the camera and press the button. The painter has to make something from nothing by his own hands and paint , a good painter makes something, a camera is just a photocopier of light. The line isn’t fine between the two mediums, it’s drawn out and it’s about a world’s apart. Photography is very limited in what a person can do, where painting is limitless in comparison.

      • I do not agree and think that is a simple way of seeing it. There are so many ways of manipulating light, adding and subtracting light, knowing where to go when and where to stand to get the picture you want. Photography is just as limitless as you make it. And to draw it even further, additional manipulations can be done in the computer, which takes it even closer to painting. I think the big difference is that a bad photographer can take a good picture by chance, but a bad painter will never make a good painting (maybe this can be argued, but I think most people have taken a few good pictures without consciously creating the image).

        • No, photography is not limiteless…it is not painting, let’s not go that far, there’s no need to insult painters. When you use PP in the dark room or PC, you are doing a kind of painterly manipulation, but it is an “instant painting” done by a program. and if you go further and use the PC to draw, than what you are doing is no longer photgraphy but a computer graphic art, so then why not just go and do that instead?
          How much light can you or can you not let in before the picture is black or white? The camer machine does that , does it not? The film, the senosr, those are the devices that do the work. Even in a bad painting you have to respect that it been done from scratch by hand. If you think photography is hard you shoudl try to pick up a brush. You put a photographer and a painter in a pure white room, give one a camera and film, give the other brushes, canvas and paint and see what happens. The photographer can only shoot a photo of himself that’s all, where as the painter can paint from his memory and imagination. So photgraphy is very limited, always has been, it is a coying art. Even Bresson called BW photos a kind of “instant drawing” which is is. Emphasis on “instant.” It’s not so instant when you have to paint it. In the realm of visual arts, the king is and has always been painting and second drawing .Photography is nowhere nearby.What is hard is where and when to take the photo, as Bresson is a prime example of. Painting hs total control, where to put the lines, the texture, the dot, the colors. Aside from your vantage point, you can only change the lines of the suject you are taking so little. You “take” the best you can in photgraphy, in painting, you can “make” what your mind or skill allows…big big difference. I laugh at those who think they deserve full credit for makig a landscape photo. It is our maker or the universe that makes almost everything on that photo…only by the press of a button do you determine if the photo is put into film or the sensor, that’s all.

          It’s a photocopier of light, made possible by film or a digital sensor,and if you disagree, then go out and try to take a photo on a camera without film or a sensor and see what you get.

          • :)
            I do not think real painters are so sensitive or insecure they would get offended by my proposition. I have a great respect for good painters, just as I have for photographers who are good at working with both natural and artificial light. I am not saying one is better than the other, but your examples are a bit limiting for the sake of giving the painter all the advantage.

            With your comment “the only thing the person does is place the camera and press the button”, you simplify everything you can do in photography to make an image stand out, and I would say you are offending artists such as Man Ray more than I am offending painters by saying that photography is more than pointing and shooting.

            You laugh at landscape users wanting to take credit for their photos? Ok, it seems to be important for you to show people the pecking order in the art world. Landscape pictures may look dull just like a painting may. I do not care if it is a painting or a photo or a sculpture I see, I will appreciate each according to the effect it has on me. What would the painter’s imagination create if there would be nothing created by the maker or the universe… ;)

            True creativity will be expressed in whatever medium one elects to use, or a combination of them. The limitlessness of photography is being obscured by how easy it is to take a very realistic representation of reality, but there is really no limit to what you can do during the shot and in PP. Again, I am not saying I think it is as hard to become a skilled photographer as it is to become a skilled painter, but to continuously produce artistic output in either area, it takes vision and skill, where photography is not limited just because it can start with a close representation of reality already “on paper”.

            I do not understand why there is a need to put one medium down. If more people were busy promoting good things instead of slagging off what they see as inferior, the world would be a better place. What we want is more good photographs and paintings, and less poor images by snappers or fresco restorers… ;)

            • You’re too sensitive, and as a result dont understand what different types of art is…and in the end, you wont learn anything. All i did was merely give you an explanation of what painting is compared to photography, the truth is what it is. Photography is not painting, don’t go around telling people that because all you are doing is trying to blur that big huge line that seperates them. Sadly, you just look at painting and any visual art as just that, an image..you have no idea or education on what is what, if that’s the case, why dont we just rename everything as photography? Let’s all call painting ” camera painting” and drawing ” camera penciling”.

              Sorry, I need to lay down the facts so children in the future dont go around telling everyone else that paining is the same thing as photgraphy…it is NOT. Try to understand that, and if your feelings are hurt, it is because you refuse to accept what is obvious. You may live in a world where everything is the same, everything is great, the world is far from being the same, same as with the arts.

              It is not a question of skill, it is a question of what the medium is. i never said all paintings were good, but even to know what good painting is, you need to know what painting is. to understand photography, you need to know what it is. You clearly do not understand, but worse, you clealy do not want to.

              So the next time you go out with your camera and think of yourself as a painter, as the master of light, remember to thank the ones who gave you your image, the universe, the camera machine and the film and sensor. But, listen, if you dont believe me, go out and take a photo without film or image sensor and see how far you get.

              If you dont understand that is fine, but do not confuse the youth of tomorrow about the facts. Painting is not photography, there is a big big difference, always has been, always will. Photography is a taking art, the machine does all the technical work…and please dont tell folks you “painted your photograph.” I’m sure folks inthe future dont want to go to a painting exibition only to come upon photos…lets not try and blur that big fat line, shall we? i use a camera too, but if I know it’s limits and what it is, why can’t you?

              Sorry, you cant call yourself a farmer if you dont farm. you cant call yourself a cook if you cant cook, and you certainly cant tell other people that you “made” a photo when the reality is that the machine and chemicals made it. My friend, the shutter release on the camera is no more than a trigger. You pull the trigger and the picture is made..period. A person who pulls the trigger of a gun is called a shooter, sometimes they are refered to a murderer or assasin…but they are not never called a “fighter” A fighter uses his body to fight, it’s an art form, man vs man, it’s done by the body, not a machine with a bullet. There is a fighter and a shooter, a painter and a photgrapher, they are two very different things, if you dont know or want to know the differences, at least try not to confuse the young and impressionable and uneducated.

              BW photography is like “instant drawing” and color photography is “instant painting” the KEY word is instant, my friend…INSTANT. Who makes that instant? You as a photographer chose when and where you pull the trigger, that is all. You are not there with your easel and canvas and paints, day after day, putting on paint, taking it off, over and over. You take the camera and pull the trigger. Why is it hard for you to get that? Friend, alot of folks who paint do photography on the side, as well as graphic designers, drawers,sculpters, but even a scuplter will tell you there is a huge huge difference between making a sculpture and taking a photo of a sculpture. It;s not always about your “feelings”….it’s about the facts. that’s why one is called “painting” and the other is called “photography”. It’s no secret, It’s all there definded for you and if you wish to read about what they are, all you have to do is go to any library or search online.

            • Woah, i’m trying to retrace the point here.. Perhaps we established that painting is painting and taking photos is well taking photos. I think our youth is Far from the dangers of misunderstanding these 2 things. May god save the souls of those who dont.

  10. Proud to be a ‘Conservative’!
    :)

  11. We-ell, you got me with the seagulls: looked (still looks) like film to me, till I looked at the (..I presume non-fake..) EXIF file.

    But that must have taken some perverse tweaking (in Aperture, the EXIF file says) to unsharpen and to add pseudo-grain ..unless it was just an unsharp photo to begin with!

    There are other “categories” of Leica-philes and -phobes, I think, but I won’t mention them except to say that some (many?) people get annoyed at the prices of new Leicas (and especially at the ‘special editions’, saying “why couldn’t they make the cameras better, instead of just charging silly prices for rich people’s baubles?”). It’s just a manufacturing company which happens to make cameras ..but might just as well make supermarket trollies; the idea of the current owners is that – like any other outfit – it should give them back more cash than they’d earn if the same money was just sitting in a bank.

    The more ways that they can earn fancy money from the company, the more satisfaction they’ll get from owning it! ..And others wouldn’t blame them if they, too, had shares in the company, I dare say.

    Mr Kaufmann’s idea is, I think, to keep the brand alive and to make enough money from it to give him fun and delight, and to keep the employees in jobs, and enhance the brand further. There have been a lot of false starts or weird directions over the years, but he now seems to be building a sustainable path for the company.

    Leica also makes professional cinema lenses for Hollywood (and Bollywood), and don’t forget that the very high quality zooms and fixed focal length R-series lenses which they made for their big, old SLRs are now at rock-bottom prices ..almost giveaway prices here in Sauter’s second-hand department in Munich at the moment.. and these should work great on the new ‘M’. Now’s the time to buy a 50mm f1.4 for peanuts ..except that the ‘M’ itself won’t be peanuts.

    In summary, don’t begrudge those who can afford – or have saved – to buy a Leica, but don’t forget, either, that a Leica isn’t the be-all-and-end-all for making photos. Never mind all that myth stuff surrounding Henri Cartier-Bresson and the others: think of all the brilliant photos taken by Don McCullin (not with a Leica) or any sports photographer you can think of (ditto): a Leica is only one brand of camera, and though many Leica lenses are great, so are many Contax, Zeiss, Canon, Nikon (I’m thinking screw-thread), Cosina/Voigtländer and Russian (Jupiter, Russar, etc) lenses.

    Dedication to Leica, with the presumption that a Leica will automatically make you a better photographer, is like not wanting to drive anywhere unless you’ve first bought yourself a Rolls-Royce. Daft, eh?

    • Shutter speed is a clue. Digital can snap a very high shutter speed with its ISO capabilities whereas small format film beyond ISO 400 really starts to show it is film.

      • Yes, I saw that it was 1/4000th, but that doesn’t rule out film (..though agreed that not many film cameras go up to 1/4000th).

        But I don’t understand “..Digital can snap a very high shutter speed with its ISO capabilities”.

        I thought that ISO 400 is ISO 400, whether you’re using film or using a digital camera, or using a piece of plywood painted with ISO 400 photo-sensitive emulsion. Why might a digital camera shoot at a faster shutter speed at ISO 400 than a film camera? ..I’m really keen to read the explanation!

        • ..and for clarification: the EXIF file shows that the seagulls were shot at ISO 400.

          • At first sight I straight away said ‘Digital’, and zooming in to the larger image, and seeing the pseudo noise, it still looks like digital…to me.
            But I may be wrong, it might be Film.

        • I’m not saying the shutter speed is different for film vs digital at the same ISO. I’m saying you can shoot that seagull scene at ISO 1600, for example, with digital and have no significant “noise”. Then apply your simulated grain of say 200 or 400 film. Small format film at ISO 1600 on the other hand would not look so clean most of the time. It is developer dependent, of course.

          I never looked at the EXIF metadata of the shot. I did look at the larger size. Having scanned huge amounts of BW film I can say that the effect here really looks like what you get in a scan. But there is always cleanup to do with BW film converted to digital.

          I do medium and large format film so grain on that scale in proportion to the image size I only get with ISO 3200 film. And on a personal note, someone who knows how to get DR out of there BW film ( which means developing it yourself) could easily got more DR out of that scene (better clouds) but at the expense of a lowering your ISO.

          • “..I’m not saying the shutter speed is different for film vs digital at the same ISO..” ..Ah, I misunderstood, mike. I didn’t quite understand what you meant.

            You meant that freezing the seagulls’ flight meant fast shutter speed (in this case 1/4000th), therefore possibly high ISO (..but in this case only ISO 400; and perfectly achievable with film and without much noise).

            “..you can shoot that seagull scene at ISO 1600, for example, with digital and have no significant “noise”..” ..Agreed. So that’s partly why the “noise” (grain?) in the picture made me think “film”.

            “..Then apply your simulated grain of say 200 or 400 film”. That’s the bit I can never understand. Why would one want to “apply your simulated grain”? ..If I wanted the grain of film, I’d just shoot film!

            “..grain on that scale in proportion to the image size I only get with ISO 3200 film..” ..really? ..But then, as you say, you’re shooting with medium and large format, so I quite understand. But in 35mm format, I’d easily get that size grain at ISO 400, though it depends on what film I’d’ve used, and what kind of development.

            So to me, at any rate, it looks like ISO 400 b&w film – when viewed at full size on my 13″ laptop (MacBook Pro) screen. That’s why I was surprised to find that it’s ISO 400 shot on an M9 (with a 35mm lens, but I don’t know which one or at what aperture).

            My M9 shots at ISO 400 don’t look so grainy, and usually look far sharper, which is also why I was surprised to see that it’s an M9 shot. But maybe Louis put it through all sorts of ‘digital development’ to make it purposely look like film.

            But whatever, whether film or digital, I like the picture! ..So how it was shot is really immaterial!

            Thanks for your response, mike.

            • Thank you for liking the shot despite it being shot in digital rather than film. Saw a buncha seagulls on the beach, ran towards them and fired.. Yes! Its a fake! Shot with m9/ 35 lux at 1/4000, iso 400. I processed it with silver efex pro and used film simulation, i think it was the tmax 400 one, applied colored filter and this is the result. Hope u guys enjoyed guessing them!

  12. Excellent article Louis. The quality of camera sensors has made it very difficult to determine one picture from one camera or lens from another. At the end of the day, what’s important is what the photographer enjoys using and as you said, “the memories” you make.

    gage

  13. You forgot one category, that of “The angry young Man”. But is he protesting about the collapse of the Western Banking system; nope. Or is he on the streets demonstrating about the human rights abuses in Syria, um well no. OK he must be apoplectic about the future problems that climate change will bring, well actually no again. In fact what makes the Angry young man really angry, what makes his blood absolutely boil is the colour of a Leica button on the new Leica M described recently as being “Sino Japanese”. Crikey, it’s hardly manning the barricades is it.

  14. I really do like the article and… it’s like looking into a mirror when you realize to which group you belong…
    I am of the first group – the conservatives- although I own a M8 with which I take B/W images. Even then I try to apply the unmistaken film-look through various software. My favourite being TrueGrain.
    My IIIc loaded with Fomapan has led me to believe that film will never be matched by digital, though I have to admit that yesterdays post ” My first month with the Leica Monochrom by Gage Caudell” gave me some doubts. Many found the images dull and grey, but that’s exactly how my negatives look when they come out of the soup. A good print technician can however add contrast and effective gradation in the darkroom process. A good wet print is clearly different from a digital print and easily identified. Which is nicer or better? Well, that’s a personal preference which we all have to respect.

    I personally feel the seagull image is a good attempt but it’s to ‘clean’ imho for it to be an anologue shot printed in a wet darkroom…

    And David’s remark : ‘unless it was just an unsharp photo to begin with!’? ,- unfortunatly I beg to differ, analogue doesn’t automatically have to mean ”unsharp”.

    P.s. ‘like your open and frank way of writing!

    Regards, Piet

  15. Bought a M9 this spring and took it on vacation in July. Camera started front focusing half way through the trip. Sent to Leica for rangefinder re-calibration mid-August. 6 weeks later called them and I was told that they are waiting for parts and they need another 4 weeks before camera is returned. Result is several hundred out of focus shots on vacation before I realized a problem existed (where DOF did not hide the problem).

    I will welcome the M where one is not dependant on a rangefinder mechanism but has other options. As a photographer who has shot Nikon and Canon for 30 years, I have never been left without a camera in a system before as I have always had 2 or 3 bodies in a system just in case one breaks. Leica pricing makes this impossible. With Leica, I love the palate of the glass and the low weight, but, hate the fragility of the rangefinder. If you read the Leica blogs and forums, all you hear about is rangefinder front and back focusing. And then there are us older folks whose eyes are no longer perfect and can’y focus a rangefinder like we could in our 20′s.

    The rangefinder is the weakest part of the Leica M and in today’s world is crap. 40 years ago, the world was different and the rangefinder was great. My dad’s M3 never has had any issues in 50 years. To the people who resist change, I hope their cars are still carburated and not fuel injected, they heat their house with coal and not gas or oil and cool their house with big blocks of ice delivered by donkey cart. Can not wait to get a new M and sell my M9.

    • Love driving my Morgan

    • Folks like a mechanical camera, and Leica delivers. Sounds like you should have done more research before you bought your M9 Ivo. Maybe you got caught up in some hype machine and didn’t realize it. I have a turntable that I love using. it is way more fragile than my ipod. The fact that it is doesn’t make it “crap.” Given your comment it seems you are an older photographer, so I’m a bit surprised that you can’t appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into these. Electro-gadgets have their issues too. Actually if you frequent forums the comments about front/back focusing are less than 1%. I guess you like to see the glass half empty that way but so be it. I’d sell your Leica straight away and get a NEX or something. Don’t buy a new M. It’d be a waste on you…

      • Jonny, you’re always telling people to sell their Leica’s. I wonder why?

        • Cheers Michiel! I have an M9P and a D800E and I love both of them. I don’t complain about either one. If someone doesn’t like their camera then they should sell it and stop complaining. No one wants to hear exaggerations based on personal anecdotes. There’s always dpreview for that.

          • Ha ha, see what you mean! I’ve got a D700, FM2n, FE2, FA, Contax RTS, RTSII, RTSIII, S2, 139Q, all with appropriate primes in the 24 to 85 range, and they’ve all got their particular sometimes frustrating shortcomings. Learn them and the camera, learn to livevwith bthem, use them. ‘Nuff said.

    • My m9 has marks on the sensor that i could not get rid of with wet cleaning, i don’t know what it is and it appears everywhere around the border when o shot at f8. Have to retouch image all the time. I’m still trying to see if i can live with it as i have no means to pay for repairs. Its a love hate relationship!

  16. Leica won’t get rid of RF in the M. RF coupled lenses are their cash caw products. I don’t think they will design a camera with new technology only(focus peaking, magnufy focus). Otherwise they won’t sell any M, ME, M9.

    It may worthwile to wait until the review of the M become available. Then make a decision.

  17. I personally like and use both digital and film formats. I wish i could afford a m9 but will have to stick to my nikon d700 instead.

  18. Both digital & film are great. Hell if you like photography why would you not shot with whatever you can experience. Film, digital, medium, large, etc. I own an S95, X100, D5100 & M3. I shoot mainly with X100 & M3. The problem I face at the moment is simple. I would love to pick up the Leica M9-P but I can’t see spending that kind of money when product life-cycle is so short. You basically spend $7,000 and in three years from now you get trumped again. I honestly don’t know if Leica’s pricing model is sustainable in light of what Fuji is doing and more recently Sony (dummies just needed to add EVF to FF). I think the writing is on the wall. Within the next couple of years full frame mirrorless cameras will be relatively affordable. Then what will Leica do? Will they be able to justify the price. Put it in perspective for second…You purchase an M9 and Summilux 50mm and you spent 10k. Thats the price of D800, X-pro1 and one lens for each. Then top it off with the new Sony RX P&S with the spare change. Of course Leica is not a purchase based on logical but passion. If we purchased based on logic, we all be driving Toyotas and Honda’s.

    • You are right! I am someone who enjoys the journey as much as the destination, the experience of shooting as much as the image itself. I’m cursed that Leica is the one who can fulfill that experience. Sigh..

  19. I don’t get the ‘RF’ thing. I always have to check Wikipedia to remember what it was about again (ah yes, a certain kind of focusing system). And then I still don’t get it.

    I doubt if I would ever pay Leica money for such a thing as a camera. That would probably put me into category #2. But then without the reverse snobbery of ‘any camera can do that’. I simply don’t know.

    So what about a category #5, something like ‘open-minded ignorant’?

  20. Not sure just yet……..we’ll find out what I am over next 12 months, particularly if rumours grow of a FF Fuji XPro2!! Baby steps from x100……

    • I am waiting on X100 upgrade. It does not need to be FF. I have my wishlist. 1.4mm, x-pro1 sensor & menu system, improved MF, X-E1 viewfinder and don’t touch the build quality or look and feel.

  21. very bias article from a Leica Fanboy…

    Not fooling anyone with that seagull pic, it’s all black or white (look at the beak of those birds…) no nuances. Clearly digital with a pseudo-grain added.

    • Why bias and why fanboy? I remember i made a remark that i did not like avengers movie and i liked dark knight better, and was labelled as a “nolanite” and “troll” by a marvel fanboy, who was unable to accept that the avengers was not the best movie in the world. I’d like to think i’m not that fanboy.

  22. Skip the Leica, get a Contax G2 instead – problem solved! i suppose that makes me a heretic?

    • Adding, to my above comment, I think the M system is wonderful, but the rengefinder is the weak link. Remove emotion from it. I sold a whole bunch of Canon primes to buy into the M system and its primes. I did so on the basis of lens and sensor quality and less weight. If I could get the DOF control and look of a Leica Lux lens for less elsewhere, Let me know. Now, after, less than 2000 exposures and 150 lens changes, the rangefinder is in need of surgery. My point above is that if the new M has a sensor like the M9, then we should embrace the live view and focus peaking as redundant ways of focusing when the rangefinder is not perfect. Embrace the technological advance in this area.

      Second, I am frustrated that it takes 10 weeks to fix the rangefinder when they charge so much for the gear in the first place. They can air freight the stupid 50 gram part from Germany. No matter what the camera brand is, it should not take 10 weeks. Its the same with a car, If it breaks, it should not be in the repair shop for 10 weeks (except maybe a Morgan). Its poor customer service. Period.

  23. I think the seagull shot is digital edited to look like film. I am probably wrong but the grain just doesn’t look the grain I get with the films I use.

    • It’s not, but it’s not supposed to be. The look you get from digital and its PP programs dont look quite like film, but then again, film doesnt always look like other types of films and film doesnt look like digital. But they all have one thing in common if you look hard enough…you will find that they make what we all refer to as a.. ” PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE” Is that not enough to satisfy you? LOL.

  24. If the new M works it will be brilliant covering all aspects of modern photography and the ability to put other glass on it cause if it works well with M and R lenses why not nikon canon rangefinder and on and on if this new sensor does whal they say it does it will be awesome I can’t wait

  25. well.. nice reading .. good thougts

    I think.. I will be

    The Spectators :)

    One who appreciate and understand..
    but not yet afford one..

    I ll be cheering up and learn from the all other category :)

    Sincerely
    William

  26. Thank you Louis !!! What a wonderful article!
    I guess many of us already know about all these, but have not seen anyone to put it down in words.
    It is so true and so funny to read between the line .
    By the way , How many of you out there are like me , I am all of the above category person !
    Life is just getting very interesting …………

  27. I’m a cheap wannabe.. I shoot the X100 :p

    nice article.
    and the last image.. REALLY NICE :D

  28. Reading some of the responses to the question of whether the seagull photo was taken using digital or film really makes me chuckle.

    At the end of the day IT DOESN’T MATTER. The thing that is important is the image exists.

    I find it difficult to belive there are people who cannot enjoy an image they know was taken using digital. More likely, they are trying to appear discerning and informed. In reality, you just come across as narrow-minded.

    I’m also willing to guess that given a selection of images, and not allowing pixel peeping, they wouldn’t even be able to tell whether an image was film or digital. All the posturing about digital being so inferior to film is just pretentious. The medium is of little importance, its the message that we should care about.

    Unfortunately forums regarding photography attract quite a large number of the pretentious types. The sort that would rather talk about the gear than the images, the types that are all to happy to tell people that real photographers only shoot film.

    I prefer to think of it this way, if digital photography had been invented first film wouldn’t even exist.

    • Hi Rob,

      i very much agree with you that the end image is the one that matters. To me personally, the end image matters when my friends enjoy a photo, when it makes them smile or remind them of a “moment”, then i have achieved some satisfaction. In addition, the medium and gear I use are for selfish reasons. I love the simplicity of the RF experience, it is therapeutic.

      As for the “pretentious”, we need them. They are useful in pushing the boundaries of discussion. They remind each of us on whose side we belong to.

      However, i would not discount the lure of film. To me its like Rock & Roll music, there is a certain raw quality of the 70s era that today’s R&R music is severely lacking, though it does not mean that I don’t like it.

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