LEICA PRICE HIKES! The M7 and MP now $5k…OUCH!


Well it appears Leica has raised the prices on their film cameras..at least B&H Photo and even a couple of other shops have already made the price increase. Looks like the new price is up about $400. If you want a new Leica MP or a new Leica M7, be prepared to pay $4995. OUCH!!! I just hope Leica isn’t planning another increase with their lenses or their digital line.

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  1. Leica has proven many times that their customers would pay any amount to have a red dot on their camera. The M9 put their core product line at a new high and they can barely keep up! Thankfully there seems to be a infinite supply of people who can rationalize any expenditure so Leica will keep on keeping on. I’d bet the boys in the boardroom were slapping themselves in the heads for not starting the M9 price at $9999.99! As long as they sell all they could make it doesn’t matter who else wants one.

    • I think that $7K for an M9 is not unreasonable. Nikon and Canon’s best full-frame cameras have been around $5K-$7K for years now. Plus, it is a Leica, and will allow you to shoot Leica lenses at their proper angle-of-view, and no film costs, and there are no competitors yet for a top-quality rangefinder-type camera.

      $7K M9=OK with me.

      However, $5K for an M7 is purely for those wealthy semi-collectors (they are collectors but maybe they think they are potential future shooters) who will never touch another man’s castoffs, even for $1600 for a near-mint M7 on eBay. These men’s wives put their names on a waiting list to buy a $18,000 Hermes Birkin bag, when you can buy a very well made copy for $250 and get it right away. Nor do they buy their Porsche Cayenne Turbos off lease after 3 years, for $50,000 less than new. Only the riff-raff stoop to such demeaning economizations.

      Ken Rockwell has a funny piece about the “Leica Man.”


      “When seen in brochures, the Leica man almost always is seen shooting out of the open top of a convertible. You’ll see the Leica man wearing a suit shooting nature from his convertible in the 1954 Leica M3 instruction manual, and see him, much younger and less well dressed, doing the same in the Leica 2009 product catalog.”

  2. Leica’s price increase doesn’t take effect until 1/1/11. It looks like BH decided not to wait. There are other dealers who have them in stock at the current MAP as well as dealers who have MP and M7 in stock from previous years. In 2005 the M7 net was 2571.40. The MP was 2439.30 in 2003. Make a good offer to one of those dealers who bought in at that price and you both will benefit.

  3. $5000 for a hand made in Germany precision photographic tool is cheap. Think the profit margin on these jewel boxes that capture light is fat? Think again. Thin…very thin.

    • Viewfinder of the Ikons are bigger and brighter. But for some odd reason, the ranger finder patch moves left and right as you focus, and you have to have your eyes totally flush and square on the middle of the viewfinder to be able to see the focus patch. Otherwise, it goes invisible on you. I tried a M6(72), Ikon, and a M7(85), and decided to stick with the M7.

    • In case someone is looking to order one in Europe: Fotologisch has the wonderful Zeiss Ikon as a bundle with the Sonnar T 1.5/50 available for EURO 1447, which I think is a great deal. FYI, I have no relation to Fotologisch or their sales team whatsoever. However, I have bought one from them 2 years ago and have been very happy with (i) the camera/Sonnar and (ii) the service.

  4. Just to translate this, if the M7 came out at $2500 that was about 2778 €. The new price is $5000, or 3846 €. This means that since 2002, the US price has gone up by 1068 €, a not insignificant amount, but less than it sounds if you only look at the prices in USD.

    As a point of comparison, a German shop I just checked has the M7 listed for 2600 €, so it hasn’t really moved since it was released. I wonder if this is really a US price hike, a hedge against their expectation that the dollar will fall, or what.

  5. I don’t think people should be blaming Leica. The problem is the US economy is in trouble, and the Fed is deliberately pushing the dollar into freefall.
    You can hardly expect Leica to pay for US economic mistakes, previous and present.

    • Read currency charts. Don’t repeat stereotypes. The Euro depreciated significantly versus the USD. Leica products can be bought cheaper in Euroland since about a year. Leica benefits from the US buyer. Leica is not do be blamed for the Euro disaster. By the way, German exports are booming because of the weak Euro currency.

      • No, the Euro has fluctuated quite a bit around the dollar recently, but looking at the 2002-2010 time period, it’s gone from around 0.9 USD to around 1.3 USD. Meaning it’s gotten quite a bit stronger.

        • Look at 100 year charts and you will see that the USD depreciated against any other major currency. My point being that historic 10 year charts are not relevant for Leica’s pricing strategy. Neither is a strengthening of the Euro relative to other major currencies making price increases necessary. Leica is benefitting from a weak home currency. US, Russian, Chinese, Swiss etc based customers meanwhile pay significantly higher prices ( excl VAT) for Leica products than Euro homeland based ones. In contrast to e.g. German cars which are priced quite a bit lower in the US than in Deutschland. Competition was needed – see Steve’s other blog about a new Epson digital RF (dreaming is allowed). 🙂

          • OK, got your point. Let’s wait for the Fuji X100 and others…
            (well, a Sony Nex EVF and some fast(er) glass would do it for me…).

  6. Leica is part-owned by Hermes — maker of $5000 leather handbags, not really any different than $450 leather handbags. There is a large new swath of potential MP and M7 buyers from emerging markets like China or Russia. These sorts of people are not that price sensitive, and don’t buy used. It’s not like they actually take pictures with the thing.

    If you don’t like it, buy a Zeiss Ikon. Better camera for shooters than an M7, $1400 new. Or the “real mechanical perfection,” aka the M3. Go back and read Steve’s review of the ZM Sonnar 1.5 50mm, $1100 new. He traded his 50 Summilux ASPH to own it. The point is, real photographers have plenty of options. For the “gotta have a Leica” people, you’re being priced out by people with more money than you. Just get a poster of a Leica, to go with your poster of a Ferrari, and then go take some photos with your Canonet QL 17 or GF-1.

    • you are right about china. yesterday i was at wukesong, beijing. there is the biggest shop or better hall for photo equipment. two years ago i saw one leica shop. this year i saw ten. everything new from leica is available. everything. i went in one of the stalls and asked for a x1. fifteen boxes were on display. the price was 13800 yuan, around 2000$. used leicas are available in masses. from leica IIf to m6. all in good conditions. especially the m6 is everywhere. from 1000$ to 2000$. btw. there is an m9 ad covering half the wall above the entrance. unfortunately no m9 was available in the shops. they were sold out. i asked why and they said that the chinese bought them because it was the most expensive camera. he showed me a long waiting list. price is something that doesn’t matter in china.

      • Regarding the blind buying of ‘the most expensive things’ in China, I am told by people in Hong Kong that it is the same with every other expensive brand. Cashed-up Mainlanders walk into a Hong Kong Louis Vuitton boutique and quite literally ask for the most expensive items, and they proceed to buy a whole set. I can’t imagine them having much appreciation for the quality or design of these things.

        I’m just glad that I bought my recent M7 secondhand. About half of what I’d pay for a brand new one, and while it was several years old, it has been very well kept, and had all the boxes, papers and a mint condition strap. I bought it because I wanted a ‘camera for life’; as much as I love my M9, it is difficult to imagine that it will still be repairable in 20 years time. And who knows what a new one will cost then???

        • Reminds me of the TV program where Michael Jackson was interviewed and kind of followed around for a day in Las Vegas (?). He went into some exclusive, hyper-expensive, boutique and walked around and “shopped” by pointing and saying, “two of those, one of those, that, that, three of these”, on and on. He didn’t really even look closely at the items. I thought to myself, “how sad — there’s no joy in this”.

    • Leica is by no means part-owned by Hermes.Your “knowledge” is out-dated since 2006, when Dr. Andreas Kaufmann’s ACM Projektentwicklungs GmbH purchased the respective shares. Probably your further impertinent ranting, e.g. about certain people buying cameras for not using them, is based on the same fantastic “knowledge”…! It is time that you change your old posters.

      • Wow, a real Leica geek! Everyone knows that 90% of them are sold to wealthy people who mostly leave them in the original packaging in the bottom of their closet for about ten years, which is why there are so many barely-used Leicas in their original boxes for sale. It has probably been that way for fifty years. Some people — like Steve or Ashwin or Max — use their cameras but I sure see a lot of 20 year old M6s in pretty damn good shape. Which is fine with me. Keeps Leica in business and eBay full of EX+++ bodies for (relatively) cheap.

        In general there is way too much Leica lust at this site. Not Steve H. himself, who is busy playing with a Ricoh, but among posters. I would rather see someone taking photos with a Yashica Mat 124 or a Fuji GW670 or a Pentax 645, all which would kick sand in the face of Leica’s best, and are available for $300-$800 including a lens. A $5000 M7 is nothing but camera porn.

        • A simply, “oops, I have been wrong at least regarding the Hermes-misinformation” would have been classy. Instead of feeling humbled, you draw biased conclusions and call people “leica geeks”. Just do not talk about what “everyone” knows, because YOUR personal knowledge is apparantly not so well founded, see above. By the way, I do not like your notion according to which collectors are not worth the wonderful tools they buy, but only real photographers like you (?) (and others that you name in order to beg for their kudos) are entitled to and can really appreciate this great gear. Grow up, shoot with and lust after whatever you want, as does everyone else here I assume – nothing else to be said. I am done.

    • Yes, as I was reading the comments I was thinking, geez, people could buy an M2 or M3, have it CLA, recovered, shutter and seals replaced, painted black, etc. all for about $1500, and have the same camera as the MP, just without a meter.

      Leica’s film camera pricing makes me think that they are just treating them as collectibles or “special editions” at this point.

    • and hand signed by Bresson, and touched by Avedon and sat on by Mapplethorpe as a cushion.

      even then… its ugly.

  7. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/800740648-USE/Voigtlander_45AA119A_Bessa_R3A_Camera_.html

    You can buy a used (but not used) in the box Bessa R3A at B&H for $489.00. It’s easier to load, got a film window, and a 1:1 finder with quite lovely 50 & 40mm frame lines.


    Then you can donate the $4506.00 dollars you just saved to this great arts based charity for needy kids in NYC, while at the same time making the exact same quality pictures (assuming you use the same lens) that you could with the M7/P.

    • Bessa R3A = Better finder + easier loading + 1:1 + works with the splendid CV 40mm/1.4 + can buy for the price of the M7 markup alone. With the money you save, you can buy an M6 and an M8 to go with it.

  8. Believing Leica Rumors S2 lenses will also get more expensive. (see below)
    The S2 stuff is already crazy expensive but hiking it up even more is borderline insane. Hasselblad’s H4D-40 looks better and better …..

    (from Leica Rumors)
    Most S lenses (some of them not yet available) will get an aprox. $500 price increase:

    Summarit-S 1:2.5/70 ASPH (E82) – Adorama still has the old price
    Summarit-S 1:2.5/35 ASPH (E82)
    APO-Macro-Summarit-S 1:2.5/120 CS (E72)
    APO-Macro-Summarit-S 1:2.5/120 (E72)
    APO-Tele-Elmar-S 1:3.5/180 CS (E72)
    APO-Tele-Elmar-S 1:3.5/180 (E72)

  9. $400 price hike!!! WOW!! This is unheard of in the every changing, quick pace, what’s next hype of the digital world. Good for them.

  10. So, Leica is effectively killing off their M7 and MP in making these unreasonable price hikes. Who is buying these cameras new anyways? They are abundant on the used market for almost half of the new asking price…Why does this make any sense? It’s sad, and may suggest the beginning of the end of Leica’s film camera line. There’s very little left to justify paying $5K USD for a film body these days….

    Silly, I tell ya…I agree with you Steve, that any substantial price hike to lenses would not be welcomed, but funny thing is, if they hiked the price of lenses, they’d still have to make the lenses and get them to paying customers, and there are very few new Leica lenses out there for people to buy in the first place. The used market will continue to rock n’ roll, I suspect..

    • Honestly, If i was a semi wealthy person looking at getting into film leica (by semi wealthy lets say 250k income and up a year) I would want it factory new, with the seals even if it meant a few more thousand.
      Also to consider, as demand goes down, price must go up to maintain a profit. Leica wouldnt keep making film bodies if they stop making money and they are most likely selling a lot less film bodies. I rather have inflated prices then have leica stop making them all together.

      • Hiking prices on a product not already in high demand is not what most would consider a smart move 🙂

        Also, lens prices are going up too from what I’ve read?

  11. Glad I got my mint collector MP for half of the new price last year!

    I noticed the configurator for a la carte still has older pricing. Get your custom job for a better price!

  12. USD 5k for an all mechanical 35mm film camera. Am glad I don’t have to buy one. I bought my black paint MP two years ago from a collector who never had put a film into it for USD 2300.

  13. So long as demand as high as it is, Leica can comfortably raise prices. When 35mm 1.4 lenses walk out the door in 10 mins, they could probably charge another 1K. Crazy.

    What they have to be careful of though is alienating their potential clients. There will always be the diehards yes, but eventually, the market WILL become saturated (there are only so many M buyers) – and that has the effect of driving prices down. Leica has to excercise a fair bit of fine tuning here.

    • Sad but true when the price of the new 35 1.4 came out , I gulped but then went to my dealer and made sure I got one of the first to arrive in the UK. Having said that I would rather pay the price for the lens that the body and fortunately its a taxable expense for me.

  14. No need to blame Leica. Blame the FED instead for devaluing the dollar. Leica’s prices at home in Euro have remained unchanged.

    • Pull up a USD/Euro exchange rate chart and learn that the Euro has substantially weakened against the USD (and will continue to do so).
      Courtesy of the Euro weakness, a M9 excluding VAT, can be had for about USD 1000 less from a Europe based dealer than from a US based one. This is how I bought mine.
      Yes, you are right, the USD is weak, but the Euro even weaker. It’s all relative. And Leica tries to benefit.

  15. I remember when the M7 came out and it was around $2499 and that was high. Amazon had it on sale during the first months and the new one was around $2199. At that point it was too much and I didn’t buy it. Today that would be a deal.

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