Actual live Leica users

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by albert_smith, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. I went out this week and shot a lot in Daytona for Bike Week. I was surprised to see many Leica shooters in the crowd. I always see Leica Ms, but this year there were none, however there were more Leica Rs than I ever saw before at this event. I also ran into an individual named Shawn Reed (or Sean Reid, or some combination) who is reviewing and field-testing the new Digilux. He spent several minutes talking to me about how he like it, and says there will he post a full review on the Luminous Landscape site. Take a look at the configuration he uses… two V’lander finders on a two-shoe adaptor. He likes that better than the camera’s finder. He was using the camera like a zone-focused M. Oh yeah, that R7 user has a similar shot of a gray haired balding guy.
  2. Cool, lets put out 1850 so we can pay another couple a hundred for viewfinders because the regular viewfinder is what, unuable? Nice. Why would anyone want to buy the thing? I read his review. I've yet to hear a good reason to get this camera over better cameras that are already out there. He liked the picture quality, but he didn't do summersaults about it being clearly superior or anything, just was like a good 5 megapixel camera. Geez, those are going for what 550? 600 bucks. It seemed to exhibit similar lag time that the prosumer cameras have, so there really isn't anything special about that. I know the lens is nice, but it seems to wash out in the mix with all the other stuff. Am I missing something here?
  3. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    I'm trying to figure out how the Leica D2 would be a better choice then the up coming Canon Powershot Pro 1. With 8mp with a 28-200mm effective *L* glass zoom. It also has an EVF but dosen't rely on it for focusing as it is an AF but then Canon AF does pretty well. B&H is taking orders for the Canon at $999.00 I make that almost half the price of the Leica with the Canon having 1.6 times the image file size.

    Not trying to sell Canons but how the hell is Leica expecting to sell these. And how is Panasonic with no fancy name going to sell them at all. Even at a $600.00 (I'm just using this as an example it could be much less)discount off the Leica versions price they are still way above the price curve for a camera with this size file capture. And if you and I can buy the same lens on a Panasonic for $600.00 less how stupid would we have to be to buy the Leica version??

    Does anyone at Leica or Hermes have even a BA in business I know they seam to have more BS they they know what to do with.
  4. Those images confirm what i thought all along: Leica targets old people :).
    I dont see anyone under 30 in the pics. Are they not the target audience or is it that they cant afford or dont care that much about the brand value?
  5. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    PS. I drive truck for a living and I can figure this out! WHY the hell can't Leica.
  6. Bring on the bikes!
  7. Mark, the answer might sound strange. But this exactly IS the reason why you find this out. The nonsense that marketing departments and business schools spill out is beyond any reason and has no connection whatsoever with reality. Dilbert's pointy haired boss is a genius compared to the average manager..
  8. The D2 is a very interesting camera. The problem is the price. I can only speak for myself, but what I dislike about digicams are all these buttons, gadgets, fumbly controls, and in the end lack of control over what the camera is actually doing and when. It's natural, since digicams are built for geeks and nerds, not photographers. A digicam that has the simple controls of an analog camera - now, that is something I really want. Not at $1600, but I'm positive this will change.
  9. I have to agree with that desire for analog controls on a digicam. It must be possible to create a camera where callibrated knobs, exactly where you expect them to be, control ISO and shutter speed. It's a lot easier to count clicks than to squint at an LCD screen. The older M cameras had a notched shutter speed dial to couple with the add-on meters. You could soon learn to tell what speed was set by feeling where the notch was with your finger nail.

    Over all, there have never been a lot of Leica users out and about. Even in the days before the SLR revolution Leica was an expensive camera, and there were many more Arguses and Retinas and various other mid priced cameras from the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, Japan, etc. than there were Leicas, Contaxes, Nikons and Canons. In the 1960's Leica didn't carry any significant price premium over the other three top name pro grade camera systems. They were all within a few dollars of one another, both bodies and lenses.
  10. I'm looking hard at the D2/LC1 because I don't much care for my D100 and lenses/flash
    (the SLR viewfinder is really poor wiithh a tiny dim image). I keep hearing people talk
    about other digitcams out there that are better and cheaper, but I'll be darned if I can find
    them? Almost all the fixed lens digicams start at 35-38mm and go longer. To me, that is
    unacceptable. I need at least 28mm, 24 would be better. I need a fast lens because I
    shoot indoors all the time, and I sure don't want to pop a flash. I need controls that don't
    require major menu navigation and that stay the same when I turn the camera off and on
    again. I need a camera that is reasonably ccompact so I can carry all the time. I need a
    camera that I can flip on and shoot the first frame without any noticable lag.
  11. Albert Smith, where are your fine bike week pictures, not of the bikes!
  12. ...where are your fine bike week pictures, not of the bikes!
    I'm working on it. I need to edit better than in the past, so I am not rushing.
  13. "Those images confirm what i thought all along: Leica targets old people :).
    I dont see anyone under 30 in the pics. Are they not the target audience or is it that they cant afford or dont care that much about the brand value?"

    An unwarranted statistical inference. Florida is particularly full of old people.

    The R7 user is Jay's wife.
  14. "...I need to edit better than in the past..."
    Spectacular picture, as usual, thanks very much. It's snowing up here, and just having her on the screen is causing it to melt! No need to edit, all your stuff is great!
  15. Here is a small group of shots from Bike Week in Daytona. This year I used a Nikon, but shot in the Leica style, such as using a zone-focused wide-angle to grab shots from the hip.
    Link to folder
  16. nice shots Albert.
  17. Sean Reid is a good street photographer who has studied with Helen Levitt and Ben Lifson, among others, and was once an active member of the street photography list at Topica. Too bad his personal work isn't online anymore.
  18. The second photo looks about your average Leica user (or owner) anywhere outside of New York City, where there are lots of fashionable young things running around with old or expensive cameras doing double-duty as chic urban neckware.
  19. "In the 1960's Leica didn't carry any significant price premium over the other three top name pro grade camera systems."

    I don't want to pick nits here but I think that Al is mis-remembering when he says that. In the Wallace Heaton Blue Book for 1965-66, a Leica M3 with a Summicron is listed at £209-11-10d against a Canon 7 with a f1.8 at £136-8-2d or, if you prefer, roughly 50% dearer. By this time, the Contax had gone out of production as had the Nikon rangefinders so I can't answer for their relative prices. I believe that, whereas in the 'thirties the Contax had been a significantly more expensive camera than the Leica, in the 'fifties that relationship had been reversed. A Nikon F with a f2.0 lens would have set you back somewhere in the region of £160.

    The point I'm trying to make is that the M series has always been promoted as a luxury item, even while Leitz were still aiming at the professional market. There's nothing wrong in that but it does limit your options as shown by Leica's market share.
  20. Prices in England and the United States may not be directly comparable. In the early 60's you could buy either a Nikon F or a Nikon SP for $329 with a 50mm f/2 lens or $375 with an f/1.4. A Leica M2X (no self timer) body was $200, the M2S (with self timer) was about $250. When the M4 came out in 1967 I think I paid $329 for a body, the same price as the still cataloged M3. A couple years later they made a civilian version of the military M2, which had the M4 loading system, the M2-R. These were packaged with the last of the Dual Range Summicrons and sold for $375 for the set. A 90mm Summicron in the 60's listed for $199. I picked up a used 90mm M mount Elmar which still had a $108 sticker on the box, the price when new. The first 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit in the 1970's listed for $199. The "long" Elmarit was less.
  21. Dang; I remember the LTM II and III series bodies with a lens being only about 100 bucks once; in the 1970's. The dang IIIg was expensive then; at many hundred. Once I bought an old obsolete 5 cm f2 Nikkor at a swap meet for 12 bucks. I bought another last fall for abit over a hundred; it was listed as an enlarging lens; it went the full 7 days on Ebay.
  22. Thank you Andrew.

    I think I said about all that I could say about the Digilux 2 in the review but let me clear up a couple of misconceptions.

    1. As I said in the review, shutter lag time is very short - much shorter than seen in most small-sensor cameras.

    2. I am much younger, thinner and better-looking than I look in that picture...<G>

    3. As I said in the review, the Digilux has the best file quality I've yet seen from a small sensor camera. The lens in particular is exceptional.

    Now, as for the reasons why a person would buy this camera...I discussed that in both sections of the review so I won't needlessly repeat that here. Many of the people who have bought these so far are professional photographers who already have full DSLR systems that they use to earn their bread. I work primarily with a 1Ds and a 10D. The appeal of the camera to that group is that it is light, silent, well made and has analog controls for key adjustments as well as excellent image quality.

    It is expensive for sure and not everyone will want to spend that kind of money on a small-sensor camera. But many of us are quite willing to, despite its weaknesses. If anyone is reading this is interested in the camera, I'd recommend reading both parts of the review as many of the concerns discussed here are covered within it.


    Sean Reid
  23. I am much younger, thinner and better-looking than I look in that picture...
    Sean, You should be glad I used that candid and not the shot you posed for when I had my 24mm lens on the camera. Oh what the heck...
  24. It's a good thing I'm already married. <G> It was good to talk with you last week.



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