Sunday Musings: photography isn't expensive, even for Leica owners

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by Karim Ghantous, Jan 15, 2022.

  1. "My dream Leica is a Leica Q3. I do regret selling all my Leicas" Robin.

    I save. I wheel and deal. Love's about the anticipation ,and wheeling and dealing; I own a Leica M240, the silver one, with the brass top plate, not the black with the zinc top plate Cost the same as a Sony something or whatever.. Love it to bits, all that history, and the rangefinder thing really works for me. Slows me down.
  2. Some time ago, there was a question about what camera one would want if it was being given to you.

    (Consider the "Get one camera free" card that they don't (yet) have in Monopoly.)

    I chose the Monochrom. I know I would never buy one for the actual price, but
    still wouldn't mind having one. (I don't remember it in the question, but assume
    you are not allowed to immediately sell it.)
    Karim Ghantous likes this.
  3. Some treat all the attendees to the party:

  4. I guess the question is- are you willing to spend the money, and what you will spend the money on.

    I have not bought a new DSLR since the Nikon Df, or a new Digital RF since the M Monochrom in December 2012. Bought the M9 in 2011 new, got a deal from a camera shop almost at cost. Picked up an M8 in 2010 for $2500. Had the CCD's replaced on the M Monochrom and M9. I don't want newer cameras, I like these.
    I have about 125 lenses in Leica mount, most of those have gone up in value. Selling a Canon 85/1.5 paid for the Voigtlander Nokton 50/1.0 and the APO-Lanthar 50/2. My newest Leica lens - Type 1 Rigid Summicron. It sells for 5x what I paid for it.

    Is photography expensive? You can make money on it selling photographs (I do not), working on equipment for others (I used to), or buying and selling equipment.
    Digital Leica cameras depreciate at a slow rate than most cameras, but they will not be expensive collectors items that increase in value. So buy them to use them. Lenses- buy them to use them, and they will probably increase in value over time.
    Karim Ghantous likes this.
  5. Yes- vintage lenses are getting especially popular and prices are way up. Most of the ones I've picked up are four to five times more expensive than they were 20 years ago.
    Some are down- like the Canon 50/1.4 in LTM and some very uncommon ones like the Canon 50/2.2. Many Canon lenses suffer from damage to the glass, makes them unusable. Clean ones- take a fall as well. Other lenses, like the Nikkor 5cm F1.4- way up from $95 that I paid for mine.
  6. Dropping $26K in one shot is probably beyond the capacity of most wage earners, but spread over 20 years is not unreasonable. Three of my lenses were purchased in 1964, and work perfectly well on an M9P, which I purchased, used, in 2014. I have a few other legacy lenses, purchased before the used market became so insanely competitive. If you can make money with a camera, it's much easier to justify a purchase. Unfortunately a Leica M falls outside that umbrella in the modern world, dominated by mirrorless miracles and video.

    Photography for fun is another matter, and more often than not I walk about with a Sony and a single prime lens (or three). That's a role easily filled by a Leica M, and I plan to do just that once the weather is kinder.
  7. I have the Canon 50/2.8 LTM that my dad bought when I was one (new), and more recently,
    the 50/1.4 LTM that I got on a Canon P from Goodwill. (Haven't used the latter yet.)
  8. I collect old cameras, use old and new cameras, and love cameras, lenses, and other photoapparat.

    I love 'em all, but I do have to say that there are a few cameras that really "feel" great. Despite all the "fanperson" flutter - real fetishism - about Leica, one of the best "feeling" cameras is my Leica M3. Other Leicas, not so much.

    The "ergonomics" of the Leica III and sech make the Rollei 35 seem sleek....

    I now shoot Canon digital when I want the best images, but that solid Leica M3 feel is unbeatable.
  9. You left off the $500,000 that I had to save for my sons to go to college.
  10. Depending on what they're studying, it is probably well worth it.
  11. My father bought a Canon VI when it was new, and understood it as an improvement over Leica.
    (Among others, stainless steel shutter instead of pinhole liable cloth.)

    Then when he wanted an SLR, he got a Pellix. When that got stolen, he bought an AT-1.

    Then when DSLRs came, out, he bought a Canon. Then one for my mom, and another one or two for him.

    You can't talk him into anything that isn't Canon.

    While using his Canon rangefinder, I decided to buy a (then new) Nikon FM. Others that I knew were
    buying them. Except I bought it with the AI 35/2.0 instead of a 50mm lens. (Also, black to match the
    Canon rangefinder.) He doesn't mind that I have a Nikon, and will buy things for me, but only Canon
    for him. (He also like Tamron lenses, and mostly not Canon lenses.)

    He hasn't been interested in anything Leica since the Ic.
  12. "Photography for fun is another matter, and more often than not I walk about with a Sony and a single prime lens (or three). That's a role easily filled by a Leica M.

    Fun, is not that the serious side of photography?
  13. $21,000 for a Leica kit is not an significant cost for most anybody. Great if you can afford it though. Good for you, but don't say it's not an expensive hobby. Don't forget you need a computer, external drives not to mention a printer if you bring. It's strikes me as a little insensitive to make light of the costs which are out of reach for most.
  14. "
    $21,000 for a Leica kit is not an significant cost for most anybody" cool Barry.

    But for us with lesser coins. My,X Leica cameras are fantastic and do not live in the shadow of the M ....really don't, My M240, cost me very little, compared with the latest and greatest Sony or whatever. Half the price, and a lot less, than the latest Fuji full frame.

    Many serious, commercials photographers ,love their M cameras, for personal photography, as a break from all that commercial stuff.

    If you buy the latest and greatest,. But if you wait. My M240 immaculate (silver with the brass top plate) virtually as new 2,240 .

    Why throw money away? if you have it, or not.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2022
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  15. Leica X 113
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  16. Zeiss 50mm f2 on Leica M240

    copy 4.jpg copy 5.jpg

Share This Page