Leica M-P 240 Lenny Kravitz Edition “Correspondent” Special Edition – Let’s get dead serious here!
By Dirk Dom
When I saw that camera, I thought it was pretty cool. Until I discovered the price. This was the first camera that made me feel sick to my stomach.
I happen to own the most brassed Canon F-1 in existence:
This is just so totally different from this Leica. It belonged to a pro sports photographer who shot 400,000 images of soccer through it, with a motor drive attached. I bought it for 200 Euro’s, and it didn’t even need a CLA! It just worked and light metering was spot on. He had changed lenses so often and so brutally fast that the bayonet connecting groove had worn a millimeter.
After a year or so I got the idea of sanding off the black paint from the viewfinder and polishing it:
For a while I was tempted to give the entire camera this treatment, but then I would take all the character away.
I also have a completely mint F1:
Not even the tiniest scratch. I decided to shoot it. After two years, shock!!! – I found a trace of brassing at the strap connection. I must say I felt real bad about it, but I got over it and continued using it, after all, that’s what a camera is for.
I’d sell my Canon for that price. But not for $ 10,000; my Canon is unique. It’s more a work of art than a utensil. No one has a camera that went through 400,000 shots and I have it. Maybe I’ll put another 50,000 shots through it.
The Leica craziness to get to the purest photographic experience plus their limited series thing made me think. I’m an experienced machinist having 3D design programs, computer controlled machines, CAM and fast prototyping to my hands. I work together with the Product Design department of the University of Antwerp. Maybe I could design the unique, ultimate camera for the Leica man.
It proved both very tough and simple: A Leica Man discovers images, recording them is already below him, that’s for other people. He doesn’t need film or silicon to convey his vision.
So I came up with this design:
Most importantly: the red dot.
No lens. The Leica man’s eyes are sufficient.
No film or sensor.
One hole to look through, superfluous, because the leica man needs no aids for composition. The hole is carefully crafted round because roundness is perfection, like the round red dot.
One hole for the strap.
316 stainless steel for thousands and thousands of years of non destructibility. Carefully partially deburred by hand by a dedicated, experienced craftsman while still showing the roughness of the initial machining. The 45 degrees angled edge is a very personal artistic statement and the only give to brutal functionality. The ultimate limited series of only one!
Price: if you want to know it, you can’t afford it, of course.
Sorry, I just had to get it out, this is what the Lenny Kravitz Leica does to me.