New Leica Silver Monochrom, 28 Summilux SE and 90 Macro set!
Most of you gave probably seen all of this already but Leica introduced a couple of new items this past week, which some of you may be happy about and some of you may not as they all cost a pretty penny. First up is my fave, the silver chrome Monochrom camera. Up until now the Monochrom was only offered in a matte black finish, which I feel is beautiful. When Leica released the special Ralph Gibson edition of the Monochrom I was in awe of the beauty of the camera in chrome as it closely resembled an MP ousted of an M. I secretly wished that Leica would release the standard Monochrom in silver chrome and they just did. Coming it at the same $7995 as the standard, the chrome should start shipping anytime now. I may even have one to check out and if so I will do a new video on the Monochrom and my thoughts on the camera today. Sure it is damn expensive for a B&W camera but Leica has been VERY successful with this model and one thing rings true..all who own this camera adore it and say it is their favorite camera ever. I have many friends who own it and will never get rid of it. I know of a couple who have bought TWO so in case one dies of gets damaged or lost they have another. Crazy huh? There is something to be said for an all B&W camera that is optimized for B&W. Especially when it is in the form of a Leica rangefinder.
There has been rumors and evidence of a new version of the Monochrom coming for Photokina, the M type 230. Could this be a new Monochrom in an M 240 body? Possibly. Also, the M Monochrom silver chrome edition below is said to be a limited run.
You can pre-order the silver chrome MM at B&H Photo HERE. Ken Hansen also is taking pre-orders as is PopFlash and The Pro Shop.
Leica also announced a new 90macro adapter that is best used with the 90mm f/4 lens they sell. Gone will be the old Macro kit and in its place the new macro adapter. Will start to ship in June. This will allow macro photography with the M, which is pretty damn cool considering this was never really possible (in any easy way).
Finally, Leica introduced an all new limited edition kit, metal suitcase and all! A combo of the new M-A film camera (which is basically based off of the MP), a special edition Monochrom and the new 28 f/1.4 Summilux, ALL MADE FROM STAINLESS STEEL. Yes, a 28 summilux! The new lens is not released on its own yet but it will be within a few months (My prediction) – For now, the only way to get it is in this limited edition kit, of which only 101 have been made. This will set you back around $30,000 USA. INSANE! Stainless steel must be pricey these days 🙂
Starting Price: € 22.000 (or $30,000 US)
This year, Leica Camera AG is celebrating 100 years of Leica photography. On the occasion of this special anniversary, a uniquely special highlight will be presented in the course of the official opening celebration for the new Leica headquarters in the Leitz Park complex in WETZLAR on MAY 23, 2014: the Leica M Edition 100. The first set will be auctioned at the WESTLICHT SPECIAL AUCTION “100 YEARS OF LEICA” on May 23rd in Wetzlar.
As the first Leica special edition of its kind, the Leica M Edition 100 brings together a purely mechanical rangefinder camera for film photography – the LEICA M-A – with a digital Leica M (LEICA M MONOCHROM) in one set. The combination of these two cameras is unique. Its symbolic character as an homage to the beginnings of Leica 35 mm photography and, in particular, to black-and-white photography makes the centennial edition truly special. This applies, above all, to its high-quality construction and finish: for the first time ever, both Leica cameras and the lenses in this set are made from solid stainless steel.
Both cameras stand as symbols for the origins of Leica photography and the present day. The Leica M-A, with technical specifications based on the currently available Leica MP film camera, is a direct descendent of the Ur-Leica. Alternatively, the second camera, a Leica M Monochrom, is the contemporary variation of the theme composed a century ago by Oskar Barnack.
The set also includes THREE SUMMILUX-M LENSES with focal lengths of 28, 35 and 50 mm. Renowned for their combination of extremely compact size, speed and exceptional imaging quality, they ideally reflect the characteristic performance criteria with which Leica lenses contributed to the establishment of the brand as a legend.
The M centennial set will be supplied in a black anodized aluminium case constructed by Rimowa especially for Leica. Inside, the case is subdivided into compartments precisely tailored to the individual components of the set and lined with real leather in black.
The set also includes Kodak TRI-X 400 black-and-white film for use with the Leica M-A.
SPECIAL ENGRAVING on the top plate of the body commemorates the centennial, as do the unique serial numbers that end with the four digits of the years between 1914 and 2014.
The Leica M Edition 100 is strictly LIMITED TO 101 SETS for the entire global market. The cameras and lenses will be available exclusively as sets from Leica Stores and Boutiques from June 2014; none of the items contained in the sets will be available as separate items (For example, there will never be a stainless steel 28 Lux made available for sale separately, but there will be a black 28 Lux sold separately – I imagine the same will go for the M-A as I bet they will release it to replace the MP in black or chrome eventually)
Anybody know what is the difference between M-A and the MP besides M-A is without electronic meter?
Lol can’t wait for Seal’s pictures and post on the subject 😉
$3,650 for the new 90mm f4, seems quite a lot for a relatively slow lens
Leica’s limited editions serve two purpuses: to generate cash and to generate attention, the latter in particular during times of no real, technical innovation. In the past, many limited editions took long to actually sell out and second hand prices never made it above list price plus inflation or even plus interest.
Real collectors’ items are those that were not planned to be one and that require more effort in acquisition than just pay an escalated subscription price. The story about how you found it is more important than the item itself.
Perhaps it is different in the Asian markets, but in Europe and North America there is an abundance of used, cheap M2 and M3 to serve the need for classic, non-electrified M.
“Real collectors’ items are those that were not planned to be one and that require more effort in acquisition than just pay an escalated subscription price. The story about how you found it is more important than the item itself.”
Precisely. And well said.
Steve, do you think when Leica will launch a 135 digital body which has 16bit color depth like DMR back?
No clue. I have no inside info. I do think they will release a new M in 2 years with all kinds of new features not previously seen on any M.
Thanks for the info Steve, I was looking for a present to my wife, this set seems perfect. For me, I’ll keep my OMD EM1 with the Voights 17.5 and 42.5 f0.95.
Can I use the macro adapter also on m8?
You could, but would be a bit tougher to see what is in focus without the liveview of the M typ 240.
For those who may mock these limited editions, here are some hard facts:
1/ Leica is a business. Their goal is to create a product that results in profit for the company.
2/ These limited edition sets sell out immediately
3/ Leica’s M system is extremely profitable
4/ Leica as a company is profitable
5/ Most of the other camera mfgs are bleeding money. Sony, Fuji, Olympus etc lose money selling cameras. They are kept afloat by their other divisions.
So.. the correct observation should be – if you don’t like Leica, buy a camera from a different mfg. While you still can.
There’s no denying it: you’re absolutely correct in your assessment. Only Leica, Canon, and Nikon are currently profitable.
Although, I have heard Leica’s financial situation is not as rosy as it might seem at first blush, with lots of leverage in the wings.
I think all the camera manufacturers are feeling butterflies in their stomachs right now. Difficult times in the industry as a whole.
Cameras as a spectator sport …
Leica makes truly wonderful cameras – they always have. I used to own and shoot them, regularly. Still, it seems a shame that these beautiful cameras probably will be the objects of worship and speculation for investors rather than the amazing photographic tools that they could be in the right hands. Thankfully, we have many affordable, super-high quality alternatives to satisfy the desire for picture taking.
Hopefully, Leica will never feel the need, financial or otherwise, to go the way of Hasselblad with their Lunars, etc. I hope the profits that these new offerings bring to Leica will be used to support their real photographic mission. Long live Leica!
The 28mm summilux looks heavy. Interesting when this lens will be become available as a stock lens and its price point.
Is this the start of leica limited editions like they did with the m6?
They have done this with the M6, M7, M8, M9 and now this one. They haven’t done an M 240 limited edition yet (that I am aware of) but the Monochrom LE Ralph Gibson sold out in one hour.
Wow. It’s a lovely bauble, but when you stop and think what you could do with the kind of cash that this limited edition kit fetches…
– A complete and really nice (non-Leica) kit
– A brand new state-of-the art computer + tons of extra storage
– A variety of post-processing software suites
– A series of workshops you could take around the world with famous pro shooters to further improve your own craft and vision
…but then this limited edition kit isn’t for photographers, it’s for rich collectors, so no point kidding oneself.
But hey, if Leica can move this stuff, more power to them.
Leica has been selling limited edition kits such as this for MANY years and they always sell out fast. The Monochrom Ralph Gibson LE set sold out in an hour. So if Leica can make a hefty profit by selling these LE kits then so be it. They are a business after all. A normal Joe is not going to but this set, and someone like me, I would not even want it. I’d rather have the stock models any day. But they have been doing it forever, even with many special limited editions of the M6.
Many companies,including those making products other than cameras, sell limited edition, “collector” models. They are often very appealing but make no sense for serious users. I am not sure most of them make that much sense from an investment standpoint. No collectible camera ever made has equalled the return generated, for example, from investing $10,000 in Berkshire Hathaway 30 years ago. They pay no interest, can be lost or destroyed if used, and probably won’t pay off on average better than investing the money in a S&P 500 Index Fund. They are irrelevant to most people who take pictures every day, even those who could afford them.
I agree with Steve. Because I think Leica is a wonderful company that makes great products, I want them to be profitable (and dominant as well – I want them to be the no.1 camera manufacturer). So I’m grateful to those who would happily spend that kind of money on a camera.
But here’s the thing: almost no other camera company can do this. Maybe the people who buy these things are being silly. Maybe. However, they won’t buy collectibles from just any camera company. That says so much about Leica.
“…I want them to be profitable (and dominant as well – I want them to be the no.1 camera manufacturer).”
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your perspective), I think that ship sailed decades ago.
Macro photography and Leica? Seems so wrong.
Just adds that option for those who want it. Slap an adapter on and get closer focus. Just adds versatility.
By the way, the M-A has no meter (just like the limited edition MP Classic made for Japan).
I would have digged a titanium version, but steel they must be insane 🙁
I have great respect for Leica, but these new limited lenses costing $37,000 just shows how they are becoming more stagnant in their innovation.
There is not a lens that cost $37k. It is two cameras and a lens, all made form Stainless steel. Basically a collectors investment set. They will sell out immediately as they always do. Then in 10-15 years they will be sold for a profit. Not for me, but there are those who eat it up.
It’s two cameras plus three lenses — the Summilux 50mm, Summilux 35mm, and the new Summilux 28mm, all in stainless steel. Again, the 22K price was the starting bid price at the auction for 1/101; the MSRP price has not been announced.
Thanks, Steve. Price aside, given that I only have 2 (ab)used kidneys to sell, they really are works of art. Everything is a value proposition and at that price, they don’t hold enough value for me but I can sure see why they do to a lot of people. I have never held or used a Leica, so can’t really relate to the user experience that folks wax lyrical about, but I do admire excellence and sublime design and these have both in spades. And the quality of the photos I have seen on your site from the Monchrom are in another league, even to my unrefined eye. Thanks for the chance to covet them vicariously via your post.
Thanks for the info Steve… I believe the macro adapter is designed for use with the 90mm f/4 not f/2… However can be used with most M lenses… Given this, a quick question, can the bar codes be read with this adapter attached? Or does a manual lens setting need to be applied when using this adapter?
The 22K Euros for the special edition kit was the starting price at the 100 Year Anniversary auction for 1/101; the hammer price was 120K Euros. I don’t believe that the MSRP price for the set will be 37K USD but who knows.
Well the kit is 22k euros which equals $30k. I think I calculated wrong 😉