Why do people pay so much for Leica Lenses?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by claude_batmanghelidj, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. My first Leica was a second hand M6 with an old Canadian summicron 50
    and a 35mm summilux, that I coughed up $2800 for. The next time
    around I paid out $4000 for another M6 (I sold the original outfit,
    unable to reconcile myself to the cash tied up in my gear), with a
    35mm aspheric 2.0 and a new 50mm summicron and a 90mm elmarit. All
    were like new. And again, I sold the bunch, unable to reconcile
    myself to the cost. I know the gear is good, but I am curious, do you
    guys get the value out of the gear to justify the outlay?

    I would need to take a huge hell of a lot of pictures to feel like I
    was getting my money's worth. My current bag of lenses were all
    either around 90(90mm minolta cle) or 150 (50mm Canon 1.4) or 200
    bucks (minolta 40mm cle) each, max. I would not feel justifed in
    getting some kind of stratospherically expensive lens, unless I was
    totally pushing the limits of my current gear. I can't see how
    forking up the extra cash is going to make me a better photographer.

    The only reason I can see is that people are either so good they need
    the best, or they are simply connosieurs of good equipment. I think I
    would be in the latter category, if I bought a $1000+ lens at this
    moment, even if I did have the money.
  2. "Why do people pay so much for Leica Lenses?"

    Because some mistakenly believe that buying expensive equipment is a substitute for actually learning the craft side of photography.
  3. do you guys get the value out of the gear to justify the outlay?

    do you???
  4. I didn't have anything else to spend the money on at the time,
    and I can always get it back again with resale value. Until I
    decide I'd rather have a different primary box to take pics with,
    Leica lenses are the best fit for it, and I know I don't have to worry
    about them lacking in any way regarding quality.
  5. I went overboard and simply craved the best when I got my Jupiter 8 in black. I haven't gotten to taking a picture of it yet.
  6. i shoot with a beat up m2 and a cl. cost: under $1000 combined. lenses: 15mm heliar, 35mm 1.7 ultron and 50 cron collapsible. cost: under $1000 combined. is it justified? you betcha!
    i also have a small nikon f3 package which i also feel justified. i take pictures and i enjoy using good gear. would i notice a difference if i shot with a fancy new m7 and asph this and that lenses? nope.
  7. oh and life is too short to be worrying about these 'non-issues' - use what you want or what you can afford and have fun.

    if any of you are thiking about plunging $3000+ into a fancy leica kit, consider an old user cam and a cv lens. then spend the rest of the dough and go on an overseas adventure and shoot some cool pics!
  8. "Why do people pay so much for Leica Lenses?"

    Because, unfortunately, unless someone gives you one, it's the only legal way to get them.
  9. Actually, long term, Leica cameras and lenses have been quite inexpensive, if not damned near free. I have an M2 body I picked up used for $100 in 1972, a fair amount of money back then. It's seen periodic maintanance, and last year I replaced the vulcanite with new vinyl from Cameraleather. I've put thousands of rolls of film through it and made tons of money with it. An M2-R body I bought new in the same era came with a 50/2 Dual Range Summicron for a total investment of $375. It's still shooting film and making money. The same is true of my other Leica M cameras. Same thing with the lenses ~ first edition 28/2.8 Elmarit, one of the few made in Germany, I recently swapped even for another mint M2 body and 21/3.4 Super Angulon. My 35/2 Summicron cost me $125 when I bought it used 30 odd years ago and I paid about the same for a 90/2.8 Elmarit. I recently sold a 135/4 Tele-Elmar for over $400 that I'd bought second hand for $100 years ago.

    Sure, you buy a new lens or body now, and you're likely to lose money if you soon decide you want out. Holding it 20 or 30 years has been a money maker.

    How much was a 27 inch color TV 10 years ago? Today? How about your investment in computer equipment? Leicas are free!
  10. At all times I want the camera I use to be more expensive than the car I drive.

    Makes me feel less stupid about spending my money on useless things (and it helps my photography somehow as well).
  11. rj


    I generally don't buy expensive lenses. The most I have ever spent on a lens was for a schneider 110xl and I sold it precisely because I wasn't using it that much. It was a great lens, but I decided that I could put the money towards something that I use more. (In actuality the wife took the money and bought a dining table and chairs that I dislike, so in hindsight I would rather have the lens). I have two lenses for my leica and neither of them cost much, but they aren't the newer lenses either. I like them both and use the camera quite a bit so I feel I have bought a good deal.

    For me, the camera equipment isn't that expensive. I have had other hobbies that have cost so much more than photography so I kind of justify it that way. If I was going to shell out a bunch of money for a new leica lens, I would have to justify it by how much I was going to use it. I could see myself shooting with a 35f1.4 a lot, so I think a summilux could be a good purchase for me, but I will probably buy used but in great condition. So in other words, future lens buying will be on a "will I use it enough" basis and if I do, I will buy the best I can afford.
  12. Surely a question you can answer, Claude. Why did YOU pay for Leica glass, not once but twice? If you can answer that, you will have the answer YOU seek grasshopper.
  13. I think that you need to refine what you mean by "getting my money's worth."

    When I started taking photographs a few years ago I bough a new consumer grade Canon
    SLR. I was pleased with it, but it didn't call to me from the closet it was stored in to go take
    photographs. I took it with me when I went out, but it didn't call to me. Later I upgraded to
    an older, but nicer SLR which handled more nautrally to me. I started to hear that camera
    calling me. As I developed as a photographer I learned what it was that I wanted out of a
    camera and a lens.

    So, when I investigated the world of rangefinders I decided to do it the right way. I started
    with a Bessa R2 and a couple of CV lenses. I learned how to use the equipment to the best
    of my time and abilities. But it didn't call to me. I upgraded to a Leica body and lens in a
    focal length that I didn't have once I was sure that I both enjoyed using a rangefinder and
    would continue to do so for a long time. I've since sold the Bessa R2, bought another Leica
    body, sold the CV lenses, and bought a couple of other Leica lenses. This equipment calls
    to me.

    I'm never going to "get my money's worth" out of this equipment if I try and justify it from
    a fiscal point of view. I'd have to sell a lot of photographs and that doesn't interest me
    right now. I do get my money's worth everytime I stop my busy life, look through the little
    glass window and a take a good picture for myself. For that retreat, I'd pay a mint.
  14. My guess is that, as with every other expensive brand for which there are less costly alternatives, 90% or more of Leica purchases are made by (1) connoisseurs of "good" equipment or (2) people seeking prestige.
  15. yes. it's a lot of money. I get cash for programming from time to time and the money is there to be spent. I buy used stuff. My first purchase was M6 body. I had too many Canon EF lenses so I sold them (20mm,35mm,85mm,50mm) to buy the body. Some programming money got me into 35mmSummicron. It was about 4 months before I got some cash for 50mm Summicron and about 9 months before I got a 90mm Summicron. I got some sentimental family shots with the equipment that keep increasing on value that can not be measured in dollars.

    The Leica equipment holds it's value pretty well. If there ever is a Digital M then the lenses will keep it's value for sure. The body is a crap shoot.

    On the other hand I have not upgraded my Canon D30 body as I can't justify buying such quick depreciating toy for picture taking when I already have many cameras (M6, D30, Yashicamat, Konica T1, Canon EOS 650)
  16. This is like asking: "Why do people pay so much for a BMW? After all, a Volkswagen will get you from A to B just as well".

    Whoever made the rule that purchases must be 'justified' by some supposedly rational, practical argument? If that was truly how the world worked, it would be a very dull place.
  17. One forum member just bought an MP and 35 and 75 Summilux's. He shoots weddings at $3000-$5000. He can write off the gear and if he has enough work can easily recover the $$$$.

    I have done what you have in the past. I recently went through 30 years of slides and dammit, the ones taken with Leitz glass stand out.

    My FM2 was subsequently stolen. I bought an MP and older lenses. I will not sell this body. I can't afford the new $$$$ lenses, but they are not needed to make great pics. I just enjoy using RF cameras.

    Don't feel guilty Claude, lot's of people have jet skis and motorcycles that they never use.
  18. I feel bad for posting the question now. to be honest, I have been trying to avoid going to bed for the last hour, and felt like starting a discussion.

    There is some measure of truth to my point, which was that the gear does not the photographer make, but in rereading my final two lines, I feel like I am simplifying a very complex world, by splitting us into two groups. The truth is, who cares, how much anyone paid for their gear, and why they bought it?

    I guess in the final analysis, you appreciate what you have and do your best with it.

    Grant, to be honest with you, I don't. That is kind of the crux of the matter for me. It is using what you've got to the nth degree. I think I will make that my philosophy from now on. I pormise everyone here, that I will use my current equipment and push it to its limits. No new gear, just photography. Kind of my own version of the Dogma film school. With one caveat. I do not have a wideangle, so I permit myself one wideangle, either a zoom or a 24/28mm lens.
  19. what made you go out and spend a shytload of cash on a camera in the first place? and, whats changed from then til now..? sudden enlightenment?
  20. I suppose you're going to get flamed for this question, since it - or at least the way it was asked - could be well interpreted as trolling :) Anyway, Leitz glass is expensive, if you don't count vintage glass - end even that is expensive compared to the prices of similar vintage lens. But, if it's worth to YOU, then it's OK, I guess. There are many fine photographers - both amateurs and pros, who happily shoot away with much cheaper equipment and/or lens. And they often produce very good photos. It's not like anybody is FORCING you to buy expensive gear... If photography is your hobby, and you don't make any money with your equipment, then I agree that it cannot easily be justified, unless you've got money to burn... OTOH, if you are looking for specific quality in lens, and you know that only certain Leitz glass can provide what you're looking for, well - who's to say that you're wrong shelling out loads of cash in order to get what you want, if it makes you happy. I would need to take a huge hell of a lot of pictures to feel like I was getting my money's worth. If you're an amateur, and if you're happy with cheaper lens, then I don't see what's the problem here... Buy cheaper lens and shoot away. And, besides, what does it mean "getting my money's worth"? You want prize-winning shots just because you're using expensive equipment? What exactly is the "worth" you want from your equipment? Let me propose an analogy: we all use computers (obviously)... If your business/boss/whatever FORCES you to use MS Windows, although you'd prefer using another (better, cheaper, etc.) OS, you could scream bloody murder and blame everything on Microsoft and its predatory business practices. But, I don't see anybody forcing you to use Leicas... Or, to put it another way - you're buying a Ferrari in order to drive kids to school and back home... Did you really buy it for the purpose of taking kids to school and back and doing the weekend shopping, or just because you want to show off and say you drive a Ferrari? Maybe you'd be better off with a more spacious and practical family wagon or something. And it would also be cheaper... Don't blame Ferrari for being expensive. So, in short, if it's too expensive, and you're not getting your money's worth, the obvious solution is to sell it and buy something cheaper. And you're doing precisely that, as you say. So, what's all the complaining about? Those who buy Leica gear probably know why they do it - one way or another. The gear is too expensive to be justified as an "impulse buy". I know why I bought what I did. Do you?
  21. Well, kind of stepping laterally for a minute. I understand that Cartier Bresson used a 50mm for most of his shots, and he used, what, an M2? For me, I am more interested in producing images that will stand out in 100 years. That is the true judge of whether what we are producing is art or not. Will it stand the test of time. Cartier Bresson, Capa, and others were able to create images that stood the test of time. When we take pictures, should we aim for anything less?

    What are your thoughts?

    My M4 and Canon 50mm are at least equal to what Capa and Bresson were using, so I have no need to be concerned about owning the latest summicron or whatever.
  22. Claude,

    Here is something you can feel guilty about. After reading you post about the Bessa R3A, I ordered one. Thanks for the post.

    I'm sure I will enjoy using it too.
  23. now youre just being an egotistical greedy fool..
  24. Sounds like you made having high-price gear an issue. And now you're
    making having low-priced gear an issue. Neither is an issue. <p>
    I've found this forum fantastic for finding how I can get small, handy cameras
    with lenses that seem to make nice pix for not too much money, and I always
    enjoy looking at people's work. Plus I enjoy some of the senseless arguments.
    But there comes a point when you gotta stop rationalising and start taking
    photos. And not ones of the paint job on your latest acquisition!
  25. You didn't mention the M4 before. Why do you own that instead of a less expensive Bessa or Hexar?
  26. Honestly, I noted a guy selling his 75mm summilux for $1350 dollars, and the light bulbs started flashing. WTF? Why would anyone need that lens, and why would they pay so much for it? It is huge and heavy, with no depth of field. Sure it is a cool lens, but would one use it that much. I forgot about the old deal where you can sell your Leica gear for as much or more than you paid. That is why I posted. If it is trolling, well sorry, but you know what they say, the only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask.
  27. you gotta stop rationalising and start taking photos. And not ones of the paint job on your latest acquisition​

    Aother heretic.
  28. rj


    Nice personal attack, grant. Isn't it written somewhere in the photo.net rules that these attacks shouldn't be written?
  29. The Ferrari analogy doesn't really fit. People regognize Ferraris. 99% of the people I meet see "an old film camera". Every rare occasion somebody's eyes bug out and they ask something like "Is that an M2?" Nobody else cares.
  30. I am more interested in producing images that will stand out in 100 years

    what is that if not the greed of an ego? just tellin it like it is man....
  31. It's a reflection on consumerism. I was born and raised to be a consumer. We were taught since we were kids that consuming is the path to happiness, but what is the key is creativity. At what point does one overtake the other?
  32. No Grant. It is true and you know it. The only point is to be the best at what you do. That is not egoism, it is the search for beauty, truth and goodness. Anyone can make mediocre pictures, but do you want to be satisfied with that? Not saying your pics are mediocre, I have not seen them, but I disagree that wanting to make stand out pics is egoism.
  33. There are some folks here for whom the money is not an issue. Me, I use the
    gear I have professionally, and it has earned back for me what I have spent
    on it several times over, in most cases. Certainly anyone who thinks better
    gear will make them a better photographer is a fool- no one here seems to
    dispute that. But pride of ownership is no great sin, and if one can afford good
    equipment and derive some pleasure from it's use, maybe even make some
    great pitcures with it, it's well worth it. Even if it's not used to make money, if
    we use it well enough and keep it long enough, as Al pointed out, it will more
    than recover it's value through high eventual resale value or sheer durability
    and longevity. It seems to me you should think more before you spend the
    money and enjoy the gear more once you have it.

    All that said, buying carefully on the used market, you can put together a very
    nice kit for much less than you might think, as illustrated by a few responses
  34. "Why do people pay so much for Leica Lenses?"

    Because they are lucky enough to be free to do as they wish with their own money.

    I only have one Leica lens - a 50mm Summicron from the early '90s.
    FWIW, I have never used any 35mm format lens that gave results I perceive to be significantly better than my first lens, a 50mm F1.8 Pentax.
  35. What's a CV lens?
  36. For me, I am more interested in producing images that will stand out in 100 years. That is the true judge of whether what we are producing is art or not. Will it stand the test of time.

    sounds like you desire a legacy more than anything...
  37. Negatory one more time Grant. You are totally missing the point. The image has value in and of itself. When I am dead, I am dead, end of story. But the image lives on. I have never seen or heard Cartier Bresson nor Robert Capa, although admittedly Capa's life was enviable, and so to was Bresson's. These two men were giants of their ages. But the fact is that they left something, a record that will live on and create value and happiness for later generations.

    What the hell is a "legacy" anyway? I am talking about finding fulfillment. It is precisely in the way that one transcends one ego through the creative act that one finds eternal life. It is in somehow exploding the bonds of ego by creating something great that one finds true freedom. It take mountains of effort.
  38. Creative act is because you find it cool doing it. Worrying about
    what you leave in the way of "art" (as if anybody's going to give a
    shyt) is a dead end to nowhere. Live in the here and now, that's
    all you've got.
  39. Eternal life bull. Eternal life is in the memory of those who knew
  40. It's not actually a lot of money for many people. $3000 for a lens is a pittance compared to $150,000 for a Porsche they drive only in congested traffic. Fortunately, they make it possible for the rest of us to purchase used stuff at much less crazy prices.
  41. Nice pics Ray. Do you actually raise the camera to your eye? It appears that no one notices you shooting.
  42. Yeah, Bill, that was actually the argument that would have silenced me. I figured it out after I posted! ; )

    Damn right. I live in Tokyo, where I have been able to furnish my entire apartment with everything you can imagine almost for free. Camera gear, cars, everything I ever owned was used. I like it like that, but it means someone has to pay for the new stuff, so I better not make a fuss. I don't want to jinx my luck!

    Viva the Consumer Society!
  43. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "At all times I want the camera I use to be more expensive than the car I drive."

    and the stereo. don't forget the tunes...
  44. In the strict economic sense the only camera I ever got my "money's worth" out of was the second or third hand Leica III and ancient Elmar I scrimped for and took to college with me. Quite frankly it didn't pay my expenses but it made the difference between poverty and comfort, and from it I learned that the intrinsic value of fine things far outweighs their monetary value. I have had the good fortune to own at one time or another a significant cross section of the photographic gear available over the past sixty years. In most instances I traded one acquisition for the next, but I always kept a private battery of Leica gear that satisfied my hobby aspirations while trading afforded a small profit on each transaction that eventually amortised the personal Leica outfit. I've owned and used other brands and systems-- Linhof, Rollei, Graflex, etc. but always have known that the quality of that old Leica III far surpassed anything else in its class.
  45. Al, think what you'll get for your Leicas 27 years from now, or 54 yearS from now!!!
  46. Re your comment about the 75mm:

    I use one. It practically lives on my camera. I find 75mm offers more interesting picture possibilities than 50mm, and the 1.4 aperture is useful in all sorts of situations, whether it's plain-vanilla low light shooting or when you want the unique low-depth-of-field effect.

    And to your original question - yes, Leica stuff is very expensive. But whether an individual buys a Leica or something cheaper is also a question of what better uses the person has for the money, not just the absolute price. The look-and-feel of the M-system suits me better than any other camera I've had, and when I bought it, I was lucky enough not to need the money for anything else.

    That the lenses are among the best in the world is just kinda an added bonus.
  47. Compared to my 35mm manual focus cameras and lenses, Leica equipment is more fun and keeps its value. I don't have any AF cameras except the Hexar and I don't have any digital camera either.
  48. I understand the desire to make great images, but we live in very different times to HCB and RC. We are saturated with images, both still and moving day in- day out. <p>I see some really great work in the photo.net galleries, some of it is taken with a Leica, but much of it is digital or medium format. Some of it is a original and worthy as that made by some of the "greats", IMHO <p>

    Bill Brandt made images that are as recognizable and timeless as anybody, using more than one type of camera. Did he use a Leica? I think that much of was done with an old style Rollei or a large format "forensic" camera.<p>

    Leicas are fine, but I guess I feel that it is not necessary to pay for very expensive lenses to do great photography.
  49. I'm always, truly amazed at how concerned people are on this forum as to how others spend their money. WTF cares!
  50. You are all right. You only live once, so why not enjoy it? Photography is great hobby. Just imagine if the US had sent an army of photographers, musicians and artists over to Iraq instead. We would have won the hearts and minds of the people there, instead of their eternal hatred and enmity.

    I think the next country we invade we should send over peaceful Americans armed with cameras, musical instruments and smiles. Why do we live in a world so filled with animosity and hatred when it could be so different?
  51. rj


    I agree with Bob above. I read all these posts about leicas costing so much more, attacking leica for being expensive, attacking leica users as being pretty much pompus asses and I just think to myself, why do you care so much about other peoples motives?
  52. ....until they're dead, too.
    What was that bible verse, "...meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless."
  53. Please excuse me for answering my own question, but it is why wars are always fought, greed, anger and stupidity. Can't we just apologise to them and declare it all a horrible mistake? Then we can use all the cash it will cost to keep occupying them and give it to them to rebuild their country with, and using their own construction companies, not Dick Cheney's.
  54. Oops, I was responding to Ray's earlier post.

    Really, you want to bitch about what people spend, go to the EOS forum and tell 'em your 10d is just as good as their 1ds MkII so 'they must be crazy to spend that kinda dough.'

    Except that you wouldn't do that, because in our culture, technology is 'good' and requires no justification, whereas any other interest must be rationalized.
  55. By being patient (and not too fussy about the cosmetics) I have gotten some fine Leica equipment for much less than I'd have paid if I was the impulsive sort. I got an R8 and 28-70, 70-210, 50 Cron and 90 Cron for less than $2000 earlier this year. A small-town store was ready to wholesale them for $1800 and the owner was happy to get another $200 for the stuff that had been sitting for a couple of years without a taker. The whole shebang cost me about what a demo R9 body alone would run. I picked up a mid-80s 50 Summilux-M with perfect glass and only a very little outer wear for around $600. I wouldn't have even entertained the idea of paying $1000 or more for the "latest" one with the 46mm filter, let alone $2500 for the ASPH version. But I know for a fact there are lots of people for whom $4000 equates to $4 in my economic scale. And I thank my lucky stars they're out there, because those bargains have to come from someone cavalier about their money. Does owing a (even) $600 50/1.4 lens make me a better photographer than a $60 50/1.4 lens? My answer to that question would be "why is that important to you, I didn't spend your money did I?"
  56. Jesus! OK, you guys win. I am sorry for questioning what people spend their money on. I get like this every now and then. Didn't you see my post about the M6 Classic, or was it deleted?
  57. The best bodies and lenses from Canon or Nikon are going to set you back thousands of dollars also; I don't think there's much difference in price when you're talking about gear of similar quality.

    There are several people on this forum who've spent far more money on their non-Leica gear than have most of the Leica users they criticize as spendy prestige-seekers.
  58. like who?
  59. Holy mackerel!

    I have issues with money, I guess. So there! Anyway, I like being in the consumer society, because a lot of people do make impulse buys, thinking they will be happy if only the have (fill in the blank), and then when they find out that X item does not bestow happiness or greatness on them they abandon it for Item Y. Then I can score item X, and probaly Y too a bit later for a pittance.

    Hey, the more people buying expensive Leica gear the better. It will keep the elves in Wetzlar, or Solms busy, pumping out their wonderful treasures, and I can grab them when they are dumped for the latest model. It works for me. Hence, I retract my original statement.

    I now say, why don't more people buy expensive Leica gear? If you have not done so yet, now may be the time!
  60. rj


    I have spent more on my pentax gear than my leica gear.
  61. i've found that spending the money i would have spent on gear on things like printing, film and flights, far more rewarding.
  62. I have more money in Canon EF lenses than my Leica stuff
  63. i was hoping beau could enlighten us, since he apparently knows everyones finances here...?
  64. Hi Claude,

    I've had a leica M for around 3 years, an M6 TTL which just recently I?ve added an MP, and an ASPH 35/2 & Voit 15/4. When I first started taking photos with the M6 TTL I was ashamed that I had spent so much on it, my friends would ask what the camera was and when I told them, they hadn't a clue. So when they asked how much it cost, and I gave them the astounding price, just for the body (!), they were stunned. They laughed, how could something that was so basic be so expensive, I tried to explain about the build quality and that the optics of the lenses were second to none, and, and, ahhh.... but they smiled and we then spoke of other things, probably the weather as we're English.

    But over the last 3 years my mates have hardly seen me without it, they are all use to taking charge of it when I go to the toilette in a restaurant or look after it when I get a little too pi??ed. I use it, a lot, my M6 TTL which I?m about to sell is lovingly used, it doesn't have the plastic on its bottom plate, I?ve had the red spot changed for the limited black one, the white 'LEICA M6' is black, its almost invisible.

    Its because of this that when you step out of a crowd and take a photo, every one looks at it as a little old camera, its not going to go flash, werr, clunk and shout 'I'M HUGE!', you can easily ignore it. People don't feel threatened by it; they don't even hear it click. So in this world of wall to wall digital, they don't really take it seriously, which in turn does affect the final image, and so surely that?s the point, the photo, the moment.

    I've gone off on one, sorry, the point is, I don't get distracted by the camera, as a result I have seen a massive improvement in my photos. Friends and family see the results, as the images flick up on my laptop as the screen saver, people actually now ask me for copies; well actually the first thing they ask is who took those. So many things these days are quantified, dpi, MHz, bit depth and so on but the lens quality coupled with the handling of the body does result in something unique. I'm very lucky to be able to afford one but I do think it has been worth the expense.

    Last thing, Claude didn't you appreciate the camera or find that the way you took photos was very different to any other camera? oh and whta sort of photography do you use the camera for?

    Kind Regards,

  65. After buying a lot of lenses Ive realized that I work best with a normal lens (wich for me is a 50mm). Even in other formats, a normal is all that I need. I have other lenses and will porbably buy a 35mm for my M6, but I could get along with just a 50mm. If I had known this years ago I could have saved quite a bit of money.

    As for Leica glass, Yes its top notch. I have a 50mm Summicron, bought a year or two ago and it is great, my other two lenses are Voigtlanders (21 and 90) and they serve me very well, albeit slower than the equivilant leica glass. I shoot mostly larger formats these days and I have some good 4x5 lenses that cost much less than Leica lenses. I also have an F100 with 5 lenses that only gets use for paying jobs. I simply can not afford to buy new Leica glass!

    Just some random thoughts.
  66. Paul. I checked your snaps and the girl photographed while loving snow storm is absolutely awesome. Great picture IMHO
  67. "I sold the bunch, unable to reconcile myself to the cost"

    "I would need to take a huge hell of a lot of pictures to feel like I was getting my money's worth"

    Claude, this "justification" of a leica purchase is at the root of the problem here.

    "Justification" of a Holga is easy, however at the end of the day, it may not do the job!

    Most people buy what makes the most sense for them. People also buy products that are more expensive because of reasons that possibly only they can relate to.

    I would say that anyone who tries to "justify" every purchase, not only to themselves but everyone else, has lost sight of what is important......in this case just making images that they enjoy.
  68. Paul, to answer your question, I suffer from a rare disorder known as Camera consumeritis. I don't think I have ever owned a camera long enough to really get to know it. I have taken some really nice pics, especially with my Bronica, which I have owned the longest, but I have never given Leica a chance (or the Nikon F3, FM, FE, FE2, Contax RTS, Contax G1, G2, Mamiya 6, Fuji 645, Moskva, 8008s, N90s, Canon A2, 630, F1n, Ae-1, Minolta XG-M, Yashica FX3, Nikon FA, F, F2, OM-1, 2, 4, and the list goes on).

    I am a wizard at scoring deals, and the wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, gets in the way of taking pictures. From here on out, it is over. I am clean and sober, and no more consumer binges!
    I now have the M4 and the SL, and the Bronnie, so they will be the cameras I use for film from here on out, plain and simple. So check back with me in a few years. I can answer you better then.
  69. Claude, there's a major flaw in your analogy to Cartier-Bresson & Capa: when they were shooting w/those old Leicas & Contaxes they were using the highest-tech cameras of their time, not trying to live the "simple life." Accounting for inflation, etc., a new Leica or Contax body w/50mm f/2 "high speed" lens (especially the Contax as it was a higher-end system) back in the 1930s-50s cost roughly $2000-3000 today.
  70. Claude, trying to argue with Grant is like trying to explain to somebody why they shouldn't be pissing into the wind. If they can't see it all over their own face don't concern yourself with it. The rest of us can see it.
  71. "i was hoping beau could enlighten us, since he apparently knows everyones finances here...?"
    Well Grant, just to throw out two names: Al Feng and Scott Eaton. Both of them have advertised their ownership of state-of-the-art DSLRs and pro-level lenses. Meanwhile, they ridicule certain Leica users here who, I happen to know personally, own one decades-old body and a couple lenses.
    Whether or not you know someone's finances, you can do the math -- the price of a 10-D and an "L" lens buys a fair amount of older Leica gear, does it not?
  72. Scott's just as attached and enamored with the name Nikon as
    anyone I know here is with Leica.<p>
    "...does it not?"<p>Cross examination time there Beau? ;)
  73. Well....another very loooooooooooooooooooooong thread with no photos! Let me see if I can do anything to change that! :)
  74. <Why do people pay so much for Leica Lenses?>

    To get to the other side.
  75. What's a lot?
  76. "I would not feel justifed in getting some kind of stratospherically expensive lens, unless I was totally pushing the limits of my current gear. I can't see how forking up the extra cash is going to make me a better photographer. " and. . ."The only reason I can see is that people are either so good they need the best, or they are simply connosieurs of good equipment. I think I would be in the latter category, if I bought a $1000+ lens at this moment, even if I did have the money."

    So don't :) Thanx for sharing..confession is good for the soul.
  77. I could easily have justified the cost. But I'm afraid I'm not a rangefinder kinda guy, at least not naturally.

    I really wanted some kinda M and a couple of lenses. The only gripe I have about my Nikons (F3HP, FM2N) and even my OM-1 is they're just not quiet enough for some places. (Try a hospital room with all tiled or otherwise noise reflective surfaces.) And my Canonet isn't sharp enough.

    Yeh, I'd consider a decent M body in the $1,000-$1,800 range, depending on condition, warranty, etc., and a Summicron in the $400-$800 range (ditto) to be reasonable for what you get in return: a top quality camera and lens that's also discrete, relatively compact and quiet. A good tool costs money.

    Unfortunately I just can't get the hang of the rangefinder focusing. I spent quite a bit of time in the shop fondling a NIB M6 with a late model Summicron and really nice M3 with some kinda 90mm (I'm not familiar enough with the Leica lens lineup).

    Disappointing to want a nice toy and find out that you can afford it but it doesn't fit. Like being too fat to squeeze my butt into a Lotus.
  78. I remember, after I got my leica, I felt almost guilty for it, like
    carrying a gold bar, and hated to admit to anyone how much I paid (it
    was a used m6). <br><br>I found out that the reason for this is that
    the average person considers it an obscene amount of money for a
    simple camera. While of course I could pretend to be indefferent to
    what the average person thinks, truth was that it took me a while to
    get used to the shock and awe that my new toy produced.<br><br>
    The average person, however, is full of crap himself, and considers
    it perfectly resonable to mortgage whatever is available to buy a
    car. He considers it perfectly reasonable that that car (he's drowned
    in debt now) becomes obsolete in 12 months, and is ready to sell it
    at huge loss and get the new one. Everybody does this in germany, and
    no one would consider this insane or at least unreasonable.<br><br>
    And btw, a set of tires cost more than my leica, and a mandatory
    check at the garage equals all my lenses.<br><br>
    So, in the end, it's only a matter of your value system. In the
    world it's normal to spend a years salary for a car, and a camera is
    considered to be very expensive at $1000, but should have a huge zoom
    and all bells and whistles then.<br><br>
    Who cares.. If I could afford it I certainly would drive a classic
    280SL and enjoy my trip to the grocery. But I could afford that
    leica, made a lot of pics, and now I really give crap if anybody
    considers it unappropriate ;-)
  79. Yes, And most all of the above. Investment in business and in pleasure.
  80. "The average person, however, is full of crap himself,..."
    Interesting thought.
  81. Simple question ==> simple answer. Today, almost everything (especially cameras) are so programmed that everything is automatically automatic. Portrait, sport, action, and all that sh*t. So if I (like almost all of us here) want to be the boss, and not the camera, you still have to pay for it. If Leica gets even more expensive, I'll always buy it just for that reason. And chuck all of that "usual" sh*t out of the window. Even -- or, again, especially -- since it is always offered as an "bargain". I am not sorry here, but this is a really old story. The cheapest sh*t is often the worst sh*t.
  82. >"What's a CV lens?"

    Cosina Voigtlander
  83. Edmo - It is safe to assssume that all of us are full of crap at least every two days.
  84. "So if I (like almost all of us here) want to be the boss, and not the camera, you still have to pay for it."
    Pure BS but if that's how you have too justify it then it's fine. People use what they want or need too and that's fine too. Actually the way it should be. They also have the right to pay what they want and it shouldn't matter to anyone else.
    To say that a Leica is the only cam that gives you full control is a load of crap. Especially if your goal is a final image for viewing. Two prints hanging on the wall one shot with a Leica and the other shot with something else, whose going to know the difference and what does it matter? I've never looked at an image and wondered what they used.
  85. Rene, if we are talking about bowel movements absolutely.
  86. Because they can afford them, you would do the same thing when you get there.
  87. "...you would do the same thing when you get there."
    More crap...
  88. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'm with Edmo on this. It's nonsense to think that an all manual camera makes better photos or gives more control. Virtually everything other than a point-and-shoot gives full manual control, and the vast majority of photographers I know and have workied with use the full control capabilities of their cameras. It's time to get over this ridiculous justification for choices that you get more control with a non-automatic camera.
  89. People pay the money for Leica lenses because of the incredible way that they "draw"
    space. If you can't see what that is about, then you probably don't need the lenses. The
    same picture taken with five different lenses is going to look different. Period.

    As far as the economics go, it all depends on the photographer. I have a friend who is a PJ
    who carries three M7's with him. He trashes them, loses them, drops them and gets them
    stolen. They are all with insurance. He wins awards shooting with them. Everyone is happy.
  90. Why does it come down to putting a dollar value on everything and having to justify spending the money you spent?

    Every camera and lens I own was bought to use to take pictures. I didn't buy a Leica for ego-boosting or bragging rights, I bought the damn thing to use. And it works fine. I'm not into the "Leica mystique" of the lenses--they just fit the cameras. I bought all of them used and none of them cost nearly as much as some of the Canon EF lenses I own.

    There seems to be two warring camps on this forum. Camp One believes Leicas were forged on the throne of heaven by God's own chosen camera makers and are, therefore, God's gift to photography--absolute perfection. Camp Two believes anyone who owns a Leica is a member of Camp One and should be ridiculed. I'm in Camp Three with the lepers and other outcasts, befuddled by the whole affair.
  91. People pay the money for Leica lenses because of the incredible way that they "draw" space.
    Aric, got any examples?
    Also, if you don't mind could you look through my pics here at PNet and differentiate which lenses were used for which shots. Too make it easier (or harder) all the pics were shot with either Leica, Contax, Konica and Canon glass.
  92. I think I understand. This whole conversation can be reduced to two comments, both made earlier by wise men:

    " ...if we are talking about bowel movements ...."


    "...Leicas were forged on the throne."
  93. Edmo, Jeff and others here: it is what YOU say that is bulltweed: I never said that Leica cameras make better photos or
    give more control. All I said (and still say) is that I myself prefer the possibility that a Leica M allows me to make more decisions myself. Many other cameras today try to do all the decision making themselves, and I don't like that type of manufacture. You understand??
  94. People pay the money for Leica lenses because of the incredible way that they "draw" space. If you can't see what that is about, then you probably don't need the lenses.
    OK, I'll bite - what's that about? Please explain. You are right about the last part.
  95. If owning a Leica represents your only one, "expensive" hobby, then in my view it is cheap relative to some other pursuits; golf can end up being more expensive when you factor in membership prices and clubs; cars are more expensive (owning a vintage car for example).

    Notwithstanding the above, I do think Leica products are marginally overpriced, and this may be a function of paying for the Brand Name rather than the product being instrinsically better than say, a Zeiss lense or even a Nikkor. I will say however that my Leica gives me more pleasure to use than any other camera I have owned.
  96. Seems we have one side saying the lens 'makes' the image, and the other side saying the lens doesn't matter. Seems to me both sides are wrong to a degree.

    I like Peter's attitude. But then, Aussies take their beers to the dance floor, don't they.
  97. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I myself prefer the possibility that a Leica M allows me to make more decisions myself.
    What decisions can you make with a Leica M that you can't make with any dSLR?
  98. Jeff asks: "What decisions can you make with a Leica M that you can't make with any dSLR?"

    Or, for that matter, with any camera, film or digital, slr or rangefinder, capable of being used in manual mode?
  99. Last night I had supper with my wife and sister in law at a small Russian restaurant here in Tokyo. Starters, main, dessert and a cheap bottle of wine came to about $100. Two hours of good company and happiness. (And no, I don't usually spend that much on supper.)

    In light of that a Leica doesn't seem so bad does it? I'm not suggesting dividing the price of the gear by the number of hours of use and comparing it to other forms of entertainment/hobbies, just adding to the voices here that have pointed out that we tend not to need to justify the cost of certain things like cars etc, so why worry the need to justify a Leica. If you derive pleasure from using one why not. Its not that expensive in the scheme of things (assuming you buy second hand).
  100. Well, you could 'decide' to capture the image on a 'full-frame' sensor and not worry about the bloody 1.6 crop factor...
  101. Michael, my apologies somehow I construed "So if I (like almost all of us here) want to be the boss, and not the camera, you still have to pay for it" to meaning you have to pay to be in control of the camera...go figure.
    I also think Peter has the right thinking, if he likes the way it works and feels that's all that matters and there's no need to justify anything else.
  102. What decisions can you make with a Leica M that you can't make with any dSLR?
    Camera finishes. But that's been made easier with their let your imagination go wild a la carte program.
  103. Expensive? Yes bloody so. Im glad I recovered what I spent on an M6 and a 35/2/asph bought at obscene prices. IMO, you don't need modern lenses or modern bodies to get into Leica. I'd say again. You are ONLY AS GOOD as your camera.

    But people can use what they want and spend as they like. It's their choice. It's a waste of time arguing that part. imo.
  104. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You are ONLY AS GOOD as your camera.
    You've got that backwards. grant takes great photos with an old Russian camera with a scratched lens, a piece of trash. The photos get rave reviews here. For a number of years, I used an old Olympus camera with a lousy lens and off-speeds, I've sold a number of photos from it.
    It's probably worth pointing out that when the Spanish arrived in Mesoamerica, they were amazed at the cities, larger and more elaborate than the ones at home. They had been built with stone tools and without the wheel, yet awed the Spaniards who had metal tools and sophisticated wheel-based transport.
    I'd say that you are no better than how well you visualize an image. Period.
  105. what lens/camera combo was this pic taken from? Do you know from here? You probably won't know from a 11x14 too. So you see, it doesn't matter what you are using, as long as you like using them to get what you want. And spend whatever you need. As long as you are happy, why do you care what others think? ;)
  106. wild guess..."M6 and a 35/2/asph"
  107. Jeff, what I mean is you cannot be better than your camera or that your camera cannot be better than you. Yes, provide the vision, your camera just records it. You cannot ask your camera to do things beyond it's spec for example and likewise, your camera can't compose for you.

    As to how good you are as a photog, well, that's not my problem.
  108. ed, wrong.

    Jeff, you can't ask a leica M to do a 1/8000th for example. In that sense, your vision about stoping a F1 car in action is just that, a vision.
  109. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I can't stop it, but if I was there with a camera, I'd find a way to take a photo, something that I would find interesting. And maybe others.
    As to how good you are as a photog, well, that's not my problem.
    Well what is your problem?
  110. shorter huh? hmmm....a 28cron?
  111. Yes, Im sure you'll find ways to do it. You can even do it with a pinhole if you try. AT 1/8000th..yes Im sure you would.

    I have no problems with what people uses to do what they want. I have no problems with whether one is a good photog or not based on what he uses, like yourself, using whatever gears.
  112. Sorry, wait, you said you can't stop it! ok. Forget the 1/8000th thing.

    happy finding another interesting image then with 1/1000th.

    ed, wrong!
  113. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Dude, I didn't say I could do it at 1/8000, but I would find something interesting, regardless of the camera. I've shot boxing with a medium format camera, talk about a tool that doesn't fit the job. Looked more like portraits, but I got them published anyway.

    Otherwise, I have no idea what you are saying.
  114. travis, why do YOU care what others think?
  115. You said it doesn't matter what one uses but it's the vision. So I give you an M to shoot a 1/8000th and you said you can't with that one but need another interesting pic. SO are you or are you not limited by the gear in some instance?
    Im not doubting what u can do with the same camera otherwise, but why not just admit at times we are only as good as what the camera can provide? in the F1 case.
  116. tell us o travis what a leica m can do that a d70 that goes to 1/8000 cant? since you care so much all of a sudden
  117. Warmer or colder?
  118. like who???
  119. I didn't say the M was better or worse than the d70 if that's what you're asking. I said you can't go 1/8000th with an M if you had an M and wanted to stop a F1 car at that speed.

    like who?
  120. thanks guys for the entertainment. I have no idea why any of this
    is important enough to you to argue. Just a nice IM chat around
    the campfire I guess. Edmo, what's happening to Pedro, my
    favorite pitcher?
  121. like who what...wtf are u talking about travis...get off the sauce
  122. hmmm...35 cron?
  123. Ray, don't know...didn't read anything today. Think he'll probably stay in Boston but if not they got cheese to spend on someone else. Thought what they (sox) offered was fair. If he signs with the Mets we wont be hearing about or from him after July...
  124. rj


    I'm not quite sure why people try to compare a d70 or any other digital slr to a leica m. It makes no sense. One camera is an slr and the other is a rangefinder, one is digital, the other is film, one has a viewfinder that is like looking towards a light at the end of a dark tunnel, the other is large, bright and shows things outside of the frame. There two completely different types of cameras, why compare them?
  125. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    In the end, both produce pictures.
  126. Jeff asks: "What decisions can you make with a Leica M that you can't make with any dSLR?"

    shoot a scene with a 12mm lens at 1/8 second, without a flash at 3200 iso with the options of pushing?
    enough decisions for ya?
  127. just to re-state my facts. i'm not an rf defender, i use slr and tlr as well. i'm just joining in the conversation...a little late i see.
    for the record, i would love it if a dslr satisfied my wide angle and high speed film needs. up to this day, it can't. 2 more years maybe? ...3?
  128. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    What are you reading? It was about whether or not you could pick your settings, not which lens. Every time there's a discussion about taking photographs, you reduce it to what lens on what camera. That's not photography, that's equipment fetishism, and it has nothing to do with photography. Put me in that same location with any camera, from a pinhole (with a tripod) to a dSLR, and I'll find a photo and I'll make all the decisions myself.

    If you read the discussion leading up to that and still asked that question, you're just trying to flame. If you didn't read it, I suggest you go back and read it.
  129. digital can do that as well matt...
  130. rj


    Of course they both produce pictures, at least I would hope since they are both cameras. Thanks for stating the absolute obvious.
  131. I think that postings about such topics take away energy from really interesting topics [for myself] such as illustrating techniques or lens qualities with posted photos or share with us some information on older Leica bodies or Leitz lenses.
  132. gotta be the 35 cron...
  133. grant. with all sincerity, how can digital do this? i'm really interested.

    "That's not photography, that's equipment fetishism, and it has nothing to do with
    photography." jeff

    BS jeff, if i see a scene with 12mm eyes, i want to be able to shoot that and not be limited. equipment fetishism is talk about colour of lens and model no. etc.
  134. well many ways, one can get a 1ds, or kodak, and us a 12mm lens...or one can use any new dslr and use an 8mm lens...seems simple to me...
  135. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The guy was talking about manual vs automatic, not what lens. Like I said, reading would help. And you can use a dSLR with a 12mm lens, not that it matters.
  136. I know the gear is good, but I am curious, do you guys get the value out of the gear to justify the outlay?
    Speaking only for myself, yes.
  137. ok, maybe not model #, as some have been known as 'dud's, but you get my point.

    yes, you're a god of a photographer. you can create a beautiful image with a shoe box, some string and a piece of bubble gum. all you need is your brilliant vision...macguiver
  138. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'm sure I'll take a better photo with my pinhole than you will with your 12mm lens in that situation, also. No big deal, just looking at the scene for possibilities rather than making a big deal about the equipment.
  139. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    love the 35 cron...
  140. hey, dont mess with macguyver!!
  141. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    mac who? before my time?
  142. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The guy was talking about manual vs automatic. You seem to want a fight by taking my response out of context, which I've learned is something you like to do. Try reading, it starts in second grade classes.
  143. how about you holy one's try educating us peasants without the attitude...seems simple enough....not that that should need mentioning.
  144. heh, just cant admit you were wrong huh.....friggin canuks... :p
  145. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You aren't responding to what was said, you're on your own trail. He posted about manual vs automatic, I responded. You decided to make a silly little point by taking it out of context, which, as I've said, is your standard flame technique, and here we are.
  146. I'm sure I'll take a better photo with my pinhole than you will with your 12mm lens in that
    situation, -

    this sounds like talk from 2nd grade. mind giving me a reading lesson jeff?
  147. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'm not educating anyone, especially not you. Either you read what was said and make an intelligent response, or go post on usenet.
  148. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You going to respond to what was said in the original situation or are you going to continue to try this little intentional misreading tactic?
  149. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Hey, lets shut up and go post some pics. Sing along now...
  150. jeff. you asked a question about what decisions couldn't be made with a dslr that could be with an rf. all i did was answer. if there is a dslr out there that will shoot with a 6400 iso and with a 12mm lens as grant pointed out, than i'm wrong. if not, all i did was answer a question that you posted.
  151. get a d100 and an 8mm lens, have fun
  152. d100's ability to shoot low light? how about black and white final output? again, maybe basic questions to you guys who 'know' , but i don't and the examples displayed at the local store don't really justify. cheers
  153. you don't need a d100 and a 8mm. You need a Russian and something interesting.


    what sauze?
  154. whoa, you guys sure love talking about camera gear...
  155. Interesting fixation you have with shooting 6400iso with a 12mm lens. Maybe you need to expand your horizons a little. Anyway, I'm back from Thanksgiving and I'm waiting for you. Are you coming to LA with your 6400iso/12mm secret weapon or not?
  156. fang i do not have a 12mm and i use the 15 very rarely. i was playing devils advocate. i do however love low light shooting.
    i'm still wanting to come down. unfortunately, last week was a dead week for me, schedule wise. this week and next seem not possible. are there any events coming up that you'd like to cover?
  157. As I said earlier someplace here on the forum, but now more than one person is doing it, they're just pissing into the wind with their wise cracks. Everbody else pays no attention to what they're saying, but we can all plainly see what it is that's getting them soaking wet. I can't understand what kind of masochistic thrill they get from having the wind blow it back in their faces.
  158. Matt, well, there you go again... You pick a corner of the photographic spectrum and
    attempt to make a litmus test out of it. I could do the same, picking a different corner
    where you can't operate. What's the point?
  159. brad, maybe there is no point. silly on-line discussions maybe? what's the point of responding with arrogance or attitude? (not you)
  160. Claude,
    I admit it, I can't justify buying a Leica or lens right now. I read this forum because you guys are fun to read.
    I would love to have a Leica though and maybe some day I will. I recently bought an old Kodak Retina IIIc to satisfy my 35mm rangefinder envy. Not as easy to handle as an "M" but the lens is superb and it folds up small!
    I do shoot my more serious stuff (if anyone takes my photos seriously, I don't know) with fuji 6x9 rangefinders. I love the quality of these lenses/cameras, but they don't handle like a Leica M.
    I can see why many would want to own these cameras even though they are expensive. They are just really fun tools for photography that are capable of high quality results when used as directed.
    For me, I've shot some of my favorite stuff with a Canon sure shot so I'm no snob...Enjoy your Leica's in good health!
  161. Al, need a towel?
  162. <What's a CV lens?>

    CV stands for Cheaper Version--of a Leica.
  163. Because Leica is not selling as many lenses as they want to. If Leica can sell four times or eight times as many, they may be able to lower their prices. They just can't.

    There are also very expensive lenses from the other major manufacturers. They are not the major sellers but the point is, there are expensive lenses and there are people who are buying them, Leica or not.
  164. My Summicron 50 makes prettier pictures than my Nikkor AI 50/2. This assertion I will defend, pistol in each hand and a knife clenched between my teeth.
  165. That last bit should read "...this assertion I will defend, to a certain extent, perhaps until someone challenges me in a slightly threatening way..."

  166. Mani, careful with that knife. It won't be much use if you've already got a pistol in each hand. You could end up with an extended smile, like a kid I once knew. Still a favourite punishment meeted out by police informers and mafiosi in some countries.
  167. Matt, after years of waiting for the right DSLR and wide-lens combo I think I've
    finally found it in the D70 + new Tokina 12-24/4. The D70 will give stunning
    results up to ISO 1600 (with proper post-processing) -- much better results
    than film at comparible ISO's. And the 12-24 is all this wide angle lover could
    every hope for in a DSLR lens.

    Well, actually I was dreaming of a 2.8 max aperture but since I can boost the
    ISO whenever I want, f4 works in almost every case.

    BTW, what are you doing with 6400 ISO, surveilance work?
  168. rj


    I have shot with a d70, my friends, for a bit. I can't stand the viewfinder so I would not personally use one. That and the fact that it is not a rangefinder is why I have chosen not to use one. That is why I can politely talk about my choice in camera equipment and the decision process I used to pick a certain system. After all, this is really an equipment thread, isn't it? It seems that their are a few people who show up on most equipment threads and like to preach about how it doesn't matter. I find it quite weird. If it doesn't matter to you, why even bother with an equipment thread?

    Another thing, everybody here has made concious decisions about buying and using whichever gear they have, even the people who claim its not the gear. Even one person has claimed that another is shooting with a piece of gear that is kind of crappy, as if that in and of itself makes somebody a better photographer??? For me, gear is an important piece of the image making process, and I choose my gear based on what will do the job and what makes me happy and gives me the connection to the process that I want. It is a personal and selfish reason, one that I do not have to justify to anybody except my wife.
  169. Edmo,

    I took your challenge and looked at the work in your gallery. Very nice, gritty, high
    street work in New York City. It's a tough place to shoot and you have done very well at it.

    In looking at your gallery work, I am looking at
    images that are small on a digital screen recreated by a lot 1's and 0's. There are still clues
    there as to what lenses made the images. I see some vignetting at times that makes me
    think of my Canon lenses when I push the contrast as far as you have. Other times an even
    illumination would indicate otherwise, but it would be a very inexact science beyond those
    issues to guess at the lenses used while looking at small digital files on a website.

    However, if we were going to sit down with a box of negatives, or 11x14, or even better,
    16x20 prints
    that had been printed on the same enlarger or scanned on the same high end drum
    scanner, we would start to be able to differentiate. With your work it would still be tough
    because there the high contrast and the sometimes motion blur tends to mask some of
    of the lenses.

    I shoot Canon and Leica in
    35mm. At the 11x14 and 16x20 sizes the difference becomes apparent. The two lenses
    resolve differently. The Canon is crisp, the Leica somehow is sharp and smooth at the
    same time. In fact, with my Leica lenses, the out of focus areas are so smooth that I find
    digital files tend to band more than the Canon .
    The gradient transitions in out of focus areas that are neutral/flesh colored can be smooth
    enough that output devices can have a hard time
    reproducing the tonal shift, especially when being separated for 133 line screen print

    As I said, if you can't see the difference, you don't need Leica. If your output doesn't
    utilize or even show the unique qualities of the lenses, you don't need them. I'm sure that
    someone is
    going tell me that I am full of doo doo, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    In all
    fairness I must also include that some of my favorite images I have ever made were made
    in a 20"x50" large format pinhole camera directly to paper. That kinda kills the whole "you
    are only as good as the price of your camera" argument.

    ps. check out the Joel Meyerowitz show of vintage prints in NYC right now. A killer show of
    Leica work made in the late sixties. All 11x14 and larger.
  170. After all, this is really an equipment thread, isn't it?

    Is it? you must be on the wrong forum.There are actual photographers here who's interests extend beyond just gear. The first word is Leica, the other word is Photography. Photography being the longer word.
  171. Interesting that Zeiss addresses the question of high cost directly on their website. While they don't address issues of price point decisions, sales volume vis-a-vis price, or other marketing considerations as they relate to price, here is what they say re what you are getting for all those dollars (pounds, Euros, yen, etc.) that you pay. I imagine that Leica would say something similar.

    Q: Why are ZEISS lenses so expensive?

    A: Carl Zeiss uses a large amount of car in developing sophisticated optical calculations which deliver high performance even for large apertures. this often requires using extreme optical lenses that can be more expensive than gold. Carl Zeiss uses high-quality, long-lasting materials (e.g. brass & dural alloys) and multifaceted optical lenses with selected charges (e.g. with high optical homogeneity).
    - During assembly, Carl Zeiss adjusts every single lens to achieve maximum performance.
    - Carl Zeiss lenses undergo more than 100 different quality inspections & Carl Zeiss does not use only random sampling.
    - ZEISS lenses can be maintained for decades.
    - Carl Zeiss guarantees replacement part supply for decades.
  172. The only rational reason to buy a Leica lens is as a personal experiment. You pay your money, see what you see, and if you don't see any difference you sell it and you're out maybe a hundred bucks. Maybe.

    The real problem is what if you (and some objective other) DO see a real difference? Well, then you're really in trouble because THEN you've just got to keep the damn thing and you're out the full price!

    Strictly as a scientist mind you, I've been considering carrying out this very experiment. In the name of science mind you. What's a thousand dollars or so for the sake of science? Hmmm...I'd better start working right away on that grant proposal for the wife! I'm sure she'll understand the importance of this research.
  173. "what a leica m can do that a d70 that goes to 1/8000 cant?"

    Use film?
  174. The whole concept of value is a subjective and relative thing. For instance, many people will spend thousands of dollars on a two week vacation and consider it money well spent. Yet spending the same amount on a camera system that will provide pleasure for many years would be unthinkable. Clearly, such an analysis contains a large element of irrationality.

    In the same way, there is a measure of irrationality involved in the decision to buy an expensive camera system when a less expensive one would serve nearly as well. From a strictly utilitarian point of view, this makes no sense. But human beings do not function in a purely utilitarian mode. We have wants that do not always coincide with our needs. Hence our penchant for luxury items, such as Leica cameras. Within limits, I see no problem with this behaviour other than the guilt of knowing that some of the money could have been given to a worthy charity.
  175. My entire, well-used Leica kit of two bodies and six lenses cost substantially less than a year worth of depreciation on an average new car. I get more satisfaction and use from the camera equipment than I would from an average new car. I don't understand all the fuss.
  176. guilt of knowing that some of the money could have been given to a worthy charity.
    The only guilt I can see is if you're just not capable of getting the potential out of the camera. A rank beginner in photography certainly doesn't need a Leica, but if he's got some experience and is talented and progressing in his craft, and knows why he prefers it, then why not?
    If you had to ask this question and sell your camera system before because you felt you had too much cash invested, then maybe you don't have enough confidence in what you're doing with it, and should have something less expensive. You can do a hell of a lot of good photography with a $400 Hexar AF.
  177. Any adults still posting on this thread?
  178. <...My M4 and Canon 50mm are at least equal to what Capa and Bresson were using,...>

    Using an M4 does not mean one will produce what Capa and Bresson did.

    Consider: My chainsaw is at least equal to what W uses on his ranch,...
  179. rj


    Michael Bridges, I was talking about this thread, not the forum. This thread is about equipment costs and the justification of it.
  180. You guys should really seriously consider getting out and like meet some women or something. Don't worry, it's not the size of your lens it's what you do with it.
  181. My m4p/summaron cost LESS than a brand new d70 body alone.Yes, both produce pictures (for d70, stick a lens on). Claude, go to the Nikon forum and ask the same question.
  182. Cool pic, Randy.
  183. Michael Bridges, I was talking about this thread, not the forum

  184. Canon EOS 1DS MARK II--------$7,995.95
    Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L --------$1,429.95
    Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L --------$1,119.95

    Total ------------$10,545.85

    Leica M7 .72--------- $2,795.00
    Leica 90mm f/2.0 Summi M Asph--------$2,395.00
    Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summi M Asph--------$1,949.00


    Having a camera that stands the test of time.... priceless.
  185. Easy choice...

    Assuming I was interested in spending the money, given a choice between the above two
    systems, I'd pick the Canon.
  186. Yes, easy choice: the cited Canon lenses are much faster than the cited Leica glass, and the Canon has film and development costs of $0. And the film-based cameras will not stand the 'test of time' in a few more years.
  187. Yeah, and painting is dead.

    Does the Canon have shutter lag? Sorry, but to me there's something essential about having a cam that responds instantly at the milisecond you want the snap.
  188. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    My D70 has less shutter lag than my F100...I can't believe it actually.
  189. My 20D is dead instant - sure beats my sony at around 1 second for AF + shutter lag...
  190. I'll take both, please, and a side of mayo.
  191. rj


    Given the above two systems, I would choose the leica system. What I would do is trade the m7 for an mp, then I would shoot all the black and white film I could. I am quite thankfull for the differences in camera equipment.
  192. This reminds me of another question. Why do people spend over a year photographing the
    same project?

    And then, amongst the people who do, however they get their funding, what kind of
    equipment do they use? Usually a camera that's durable, that's still in production and
    replaceable. Film that's not about to be discontinued or changed. A single lab for
    developing, who you know you can count on. A lens or two. Simple.
  193. Cool pic Randy.

    I would take both of the systems. I do own the 85mm1.2. It's a sweet lens but it is probably 3 times the size of the 90mm summicron. I have the EF 24 1.4 (similar sizewise to the EF35L) and it is about two times the size of the 35 Summicron. After you've shot with the Leica system you will realize that for walk around camera it is perfect. The Canon System is great too but if you tried Leica you won't want to tote the Canon around. It's just too big and heavy.
  194. This is the funniest thread I've read maybe ever. My hats off to to the jokers, esp those with wit. The pic of the girl sucking the red Leica dot was frosting on the cake. A little magenta on my screen though. Still . . .
  195. It's always a black & white debate here on the Leica forum ... colored by agendas of
    justification one way or the other ; -)

    Leica gear IS expensive ...if you don't have the money. Not so expensive if you do. Nothing
    wrong with not having the money, any more than having it. I've experienced both (prefer
    the latter over the former : -)

    What's wrong with actually using the gear to make thousands of photos AND being a
    connoisseur of a finely made tool? Not having a finely made tool isn't justification for not
    shooting is it? Why assume the opposite?

    What's the issue with liking the results from a Leica lens any more than liking images from
    a $15 Russian gem? The cost difference? So what? Are we bankers?

    "I would need to take a huge hell of a lot of pictures to feel like I was getting my money's
    worth." -claude

    What about taking a great one? Would you be getting your money's worth then? Would
    that opinion change if the lens cost $15.? Or is "a billion served" the justification for
    paying top dollar? 10 fps must be worth many thousands more than a manual single shot
    camera then, huh?

    "My Leica can do this and your DSLR can't OR "my DSLR can do this and your Leica can't".
    kinda sounds like an extension of "my father can beat up your father."

    There are some pretty good photographers on this forum. You could give them an oatmeal
    box and a sheet of photo paper and they'd make an interesting photo. Give them a Nikon
    D100 and you'll still get an interesting photo. A Leica or Hasselblad, same result. Different
    levels of image quality to be sure. However, it's nice that there are certain qualities from
    each and different things to appreciate with each.

    So, it all comes down to money, not photography. Hmm, oatmeal box or a Leica?
  196. Funny . . . I got into a conversation with a prominent Leica repair service a few days ago. We got around to talking about the cost of Leicas. He muttered "Leicas have always been overpriced." "Why?" I asked. "That's the way they do things in Germany," he replied. "They expect to get more."

    I was surprised to hear a man who has looked into the guts of the camera disparage the cost. I expected him to speak more like another techician I spoke with last year who called one Bessa "a piece of junk" & criticized it for not having Leica quality parts.

    It's amusing to see that even those who are expert on the internal workings of these cameras disagree about these things just as we do. It's nice to know that the last five years or so have brought increasing choices into the RF market & that people are finding cheaper ways to get the same job done. That's called progress. As much as it's nice to admire a piece of precision equipment, it is a very expensive tool for a job that can be done just as well for the most part by a piece of equipment that is more efficiently produced at lower cost. It's great to have Leicas & to know that someone "still builds them like they used to," but it's also terrific now to have an increasing number of alternatives at a variety of price points. Continued competition will only lead to increasing innovation.

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