Why Leica made a mistake

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by leon chang, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. So there it is. The Leica M8. The camera we've all been curious for to see. To
    me it's no real Leica though. Leica products are made to last forever and
    retain their value. Many of their cameras even increase in value as the years
    go by. I just don't see that happen with the M8. Can't imagine that even the
    most solid and beautiful digital camera, is going to retain its value in the
    age that we live in. When something better hits the market, the old will be
    forgotten. I know Leica HAD to bring out the M8 to survive but I'm afraid it's
    not going to be a succes. In a few years sensors quality will increase,
    megapixels will increase and some cheaper mass produced camera will outpeform
    the M8. After all, would anyone today still use a 2 MP digital camera from
    say, 1998? You can surely get something better at a lower price.

    I guess this is a development we can't stop. We are not in the analogue age
    anymore......sniff... . So even if the M8 is fantastic and superb today, will
    it still be so tomorrow?

    With a film camera you would care about the evolution of film, not the whole
    camera. You would use your camera for many years and use higher quality film
    as it was introduced. I sure love the philosophy of Leica, I just don't think
    it is valid anymore for the digital age. A Leica M8 will have a much shorter
    lifespan than a film based Leica-M.

    What's your opinion?
     
  2. Absolutely with you. They should have brought out one of these instead. Lasts a lifetime.
     
  3. Bob, wonderful response.
     
  4. In the digital age, the notion of using a camera forever is unheard of. Will users be willing to pay the Leica premium for cameras that will be replaced every few years? We'll have to wait and see.
     
  5. m_.

    m_.

    i hear they developed a replacement silica so that you can do-it-yourself at home to upgrade and keep the value. but then m8 owners rejected the idea because they think by then the camera will have a few scuffs from genetal fondling at midnight in the dark. so leica scratched out that idea.
     
  6. Leon, I am afraid you are missing the most salient point... Your Leica body is not the key to th story... the lenses are! So what if th body changes every few years, the "glass" lives on...
     
  7. I guess a lot of people just misunderstand the main concept: Leica is just an instrument to make pictures, nothing else.
     
  8. "A Leica M8 will have a much shorter lifespan than a film based Leica-M."

    I'm not sure I agree. Unless (a) the imaging system of the M8 is just lousy or (b) the user
    just has to have the latest thing, I don't know why an M8 wouldn't be just a useful in 10
    years as it is today. 10 megapixels with a good imaging system and outstanding lenses
    can produce outstanding photos. And they will still be outstanding photos after the 20
    megapixel M9 comes out and even when the 40 megapixel M10 hits the street. How many
    people will really ever see what the image might look like at 20x40 inches?
    It's the same as film cameras themselves. The first IIIf I bought was the most lovely thing.
    It took wonderful photos and I shot thousands of photos with it. After the M3 came out, I
    rarely used the IIIF, and the beat goes on. And while I love Leicas and still shoot 100 rolls a
    year or so with them, one of my Canon 10Ds, three years old, just turned over to 32,000
    exposures. Digital is seductive that way.
    Yes, the electronics in the M8 will likely one day become irreplaceable. Sadly, the same
    thing can probably be said about film. Modern times.
     
  9. So why not just quit making $5000 worth M8 body and let Panasoic do it for $1000? Leica can just keep making the lenses. I don't see the point of making or having an expensive body that the major technology in it only lasts 3 years. Sure 10mp is enough, as today a lot of people are happy with their 6mp's. But i am sure within 3 years there will be cheaper full frame sensors, better image processors, better anti-dust technology and etc. Does this new leica means leica is a reglion now? :) I just don't see any point to make a hi-tech digtal products 'build-to-last'.
     
  10. So what if they change models every 2 years, how else will us peasants be able to afford them if we dont get other peoples update leftovers!
     
  11. Photographers buy Leica because its perceived to be of the highest quality. Today no camera model will be made to last 20 years, such as the M3 did.

    Times change and in order for Leica to continue as an on-going entity it too has to change. Hopefully they will update the digi as needed and continue to produce mechanical cameras for the niche market, or particularly explorers of extreme climates.

    Many people will pony up for high quality. We all know the Corvette for example will shut down the Ferrari, even though people pony up 4X more for the custom Ferrari.
     
  12. With no upgrade capability, I think Leica missed the boat. The M8 should have included
    clear, planned, and easy sensor and firmware upgradeability. We are all used to
    technological obsolesence nowadays and would have more faith in the longevity of the M8 if
    it were upgradeable. My 50-odd year old M2 is still going strong. What will the M8 be in 50
    years? Does it make sense for a $5k investment? The glass is great and really makes the
    Leica line worthwhile. Too bad, but the M8 is likely to have a detrimental effect on Leica's
    fortunes. Personally, I don't intend to buy the M8 or Leica stock right now.
     
  13. Your Leica body is not the key to th story... the lenses are!​

    And that's why Knapp shoots with an RD-1!
     
  14. I just can't rid myself of the notion that the cropped sensor sort of makes the M8 too prone to replacement in the coming years. I understand that a full frame RF sensor is still a ways away but I believe we'll see one eventually at which point the 1.33x M8 will seem fatally compromised to users such as myself.

    If the M8 were full frame, I probably would buy one. The Canon 5D is now a year old and is probably looking at an upgrade come PMA in the spring but I could care less. It's full frame, it takes beautiful pictures, its 12.8 megapixels are MORE than enough for what I do, and it's built well enough for how I use it. If I could say the same about the M8 regarding the sensor size, I'd feel the same way about it as I do the 5D.

    I hope Leica gets into bed with Canon for the M9. I see no reason why Canon would consider Leica to be competition if they limited their deal to the M-system and not the R-system.
     
  15. "A Leica M8 will have a much shorter lifespan than a film based Leica-M."
    I'm not sure I agree. Unless (a) the imaging system of the M8 is just lousy or (b) the user just has to have the latest thing, I don't know why an M8 wouldn't be just a useful in 10 years as it is today.

    Film Leicas only have a 10-year lifespan? Thanks for clearing that up for us.
     
  16. Look at the beautiful shutter and sensor assembly on the M8. Now imagine they made the camera so in a few years I could buy the assembly (or have it installed) with a new 18 or 24Mp version, being able to use the same camera shell. That would make the M8 as timeless as other models.
     
  17. The Canon 5D is now a year old and is probably looking at an upgrade come PMA in the spring but I could care less. It's full frame, it takes beautiful pictures, its 12.8 megapixels are MORE than enough for what I do, and it's built well enough for how I use it.​

    The 7D, a more affordable full-frame 12.8MP model, is expected to come out at PMA, selling for $2100 street price. This time next year it will under $2,000. Given howlong it took for Leica to birth the M8, and the necessary time to recoup costs (not to mention the upheaval of its new reign under new owners), how likely is it that it can compete? Or is Leica simply depending on a certain percentage of its existing-yet-dwindling base to jump onto the M8 to maintain cash flow?
     
  18. If Leica makes money from the M8 and is still solvent in a couple of year's time and still has a future; no mistake.

    If most of the people who spent 5000 dollars on it, enjoy it and continue to be loyal to Leica and plan to to buy more product; no mistake.

    The market will decide if it is a mistake or not.
     
  19. "What will the M8 be in 50 years?"

    An M8. Unlike many or most of us who will be worm food.


    "Does it make sense for a $5k investment?"

    Hell no. But neither can you take pictures with a plot of real estate.

    "Too bad, but the M8 is likely to have a detrimental effect on Leica's fortunes."

    how do you figure the 30-45 million they've got in pre-orders before the first M8 goes on sale is evidence you're on the right track?

    "Personally, I don't intend to buy the M8 or Leica stock right now."

    So far that's the only irrefutable statement you've made.

    "I know Leica HAD to bring out the M8 to survive but I'm afraid it's not going to be a succes."

    Contradiction please. It's success is already a done deal.
     
  20. "Film Leicas only have a 10-year lifespan? Thanks for clearing that up for us."

    Leicas? Nah. They can last forever. But I suspect the grandkids will be asking in 10 years,
    "Granddad, what's film?" But my analog crystal ball gets a little cloudy at times. :)
     
  21. Well, you could just show your future grandkid a slide or negative strip if you need to explain what film is. Much easier than trying to boot an old CD or DVD on Windows Playa2030.

    A 7D for 2k sounds doable for me, I can't handle an M8, though it sure looks attractive.
     
  22. In general I agree to some extent. But Trevor's point is important- as
    long as it keeps Leica around, it's a good move. The days of building most things to
    last forever are over- look at any kind of technology.<p> But in the case of the M8,
    look at it this way. If a
    professional photographer buys an M8 (or a 1DSmkII, or D2X for that matter), they
    spend $4000-$8000 for a tool. It's a tax write-off; and it helps them to earn a living.
    Even if it's trash in 5 years, they will buy another and not worry about it as part of the
    cost of
    doing business. <p> I shoot weddings, among other things, and I still shoot film,
    since my love for photography is tied to fine tradtional prints and darkroom craft.
    But this is 2006. In
    moving towards integrating digital technology in my workflow, I'll consider the M8,
    since it will allow me to carry lenses and
    accesories for only one system, which is a big bonus for me. I charge between $2000
    and $8000 per job typically, so how many jobs do I need to shoot to pay for this
    camera, and for how many jobs will it be viable as professional tool? Not such a bad
    deal when you look at it that way. It's the only reason I will consider it.
     
  23. When the Digilux 2 came out with 5mp many said it would be a flop. When they saw the incredible pictures it produced they kept quiet, Now it is the only camera with a Vario-Summicron a marvellous lens. The Digilux 3 only has a Vario Elmarit. The Digilux 2 is holding its price. I will bet that in two years it will be come a collectors item ans still take better pictures than most digital cameras.
     
  24. Leica have probably timed things just about right : The rate of improvement is slowing
    down as the equivalent to typical film use threshold has been crossed. Future
    improvements will be Incremental and nowhere as extreme as a 2Mpixel to 10Mpixel
    transition.

    Leica does not design the main line cameras to primarily 'last forever and retain their
    value' - they are valued by us because the are exceptionally useful tools.

    The development of a digital M 'platform' for the M8 will certainly make the cycle time to
    the M9 shorter and easier. So yes, the M8 may only be in production for a couple of years,
    but the M8 will still take just as good ( if not better - with software upgrades ) pictures in
    5 or 10 years. Conversely Film development in many areas has declined in some minority
    areas - witness the demise of Techpan, Ektar 25 etc.

    There is even apparently a shortage of Tri-X in the UK at the moment ( Jessops - not that I
    primarily shop there, but it's sometimes handy, has none in the 6 nearest shops to me and
    700 rolls on back order with Kodak ).

    We are all used to replacing computers every few years: some last longer than others, my
    relatively expensive Apple 500MHz G4 cube is still in use as my Unix/OS X workstation at
    work but 2 PCs have passed by in that same time. Similarly the M8 will last longer than
    most cameras, because mass market offerings, will never have the features that
    Rangefinder users so cherish - large clear optical viewfinders, manual focus and superb
    handling and build etc.

    I don't want ( and can't afford ) a M8 just at the moment, but It seems inevitable that
    pressures of film availability, X-ray and travel restrictions etc., will force an increasingly
    large number of us to decide we cannot afford not to pay up and adopt a M8 ( or the next
    DRF ).

    Overall, I suspect that, if the M8 acceptably good, in 2007 it will out sell the MP/M7 10:1
    and by next Photokina, it ( or it's upgrade ) will cost no more than a new MP/M7.
     
  25. You're right: the M8 will become obsolete far quicker than any other Leica model. But that's not the only consideration for someone contemplating buying one. I think it's also important to consider how much film you shoot now.
    Anybody who gets through a lot of film probably has substantial processing/scanning costs. If you currently shoot 80 rolls a month and buy E6 or B+W processing, and perhaps spend a few hours each month scanning, then it will pay for itself in about 14 weeks. If you're a prolific film user with a penchant for Leica then it's a no-brainer. And even more so if you have an existing investment in M lenses.
    Naturally, this profile doesn't fit everyone. But there are a lot of people for whom the M8 makes perfect sense even on a basic economic level. Issues of longevity may not be uppermost in their minds.
    Regards,
    Neil
     
  26. Why would a company make a product so that it will last forever? That's not a very sound
    business plan. Yes, you want to sell high quality product so your customers love it, but
    then you will upgrade those products with new features and capability (e.g. M7
    automation, asph lenses) so the customers keep on coming back for more.

    I agree buying a M8 is not a sound investment, but people should only buy it so they can
    enjoy using it, and take pictures with it. Why do people buy luxury cars knowing they will
    loose a big chunk of the value the next day? If I want to invest, I'll go buy some stocks. If I
    think the sensor technology still has a lot of growing to do, I'll stay with film a little longer
    and perhaps even buy a M7. If I think the M8 is my digital range finder dream comes true,
    I'll buy a M8.
     
  27. the M8 comes with a USB 2.0 connector. even if the M8 sensor remains adequate for your needs come thirty-years, your computer most likely won't be able to swallow its data.
     
  28. " I know Leica HAD to bring out the M8 to survive....."

    Survival is a mistake?

    So far as I'm concerned, any camera I buy becomes worthless the moment I walk out the
    camera store door - EXCEPT for any return from the pictures that come out of it.

    I pay for performance and handling.

    To some extent build-quality has an influence on handling, and to that extent I'll pay for
    build quality. Elegance (in the scientific sense of "the minimum required to do the job, with
    no excess") has an influence on handling, and to that extent I'll pay for elegance.

    A hand-built, hand-calibrated RF/VF performs better than a mirror-and-plastic-screen
    viewfinder - for my photograpy - so I'll pay extra for a rangefinder, and a brass skin to
    protect it.

    But none of those attributes have ANY value in and of themselves - only in what they offer
    in performance.

    My M8 will become 'obsolete' when the first critical part wears out that is no longer
    replaceable, and no sooner. If a full-frame Leica digital comes out, I will ADD the full-
    frame body for wideangle use (I'll get my 15mm FoV and 21 f/2.8 back).

    If and when my M8 'dies' forever - then it will get a nice retirement on the shelf as a
    museum-piece of pretty industrial design. Until then, it will work its butt off, and probably
    pay for itself in two years, and pay for itself 5 times over in 10 years.
     
  29. Al Kaplan & I had the same debate in 1954 when the M3 came out. I was right -- but then I'm 9 days older then he is & so much wiser!
     
  30. The M8 makes sense to me for only two types of Leicaphiles.
    a. Those taking presently hundreds of rolls of film exposures. They will eventually recover the $5k in a couple of years.

    B. Professionals who like Marc Williams who have been waiting for a lightweight alternative to the Canon 1dsMII. They earn enough and also can amortized the expenses fast enough to pay for the camera in a pretty short time.
     
  31. Where is it written, or how have some detemined, that the M8 cannot be upgraded via sensor replacement and firmware? With the quality of the typical Leica body it would seem like this could be done and would have been part of the plan, although from a financial standpoint it wouldn't make sense, but from a marketing and consumer loyalty standpoint it would.
     
  32. Daniel: Say "card reader".

    Will SD cards eventually disappear? Someday. Anyone bought any 620 film or quarter-
    plate glass recently?

    35mm and 120 film have had an extrordinarily long run as technological standards go, for
    whatever reasons of historical contingency (consider: 70 years before the Leica was 1856,
    and how many 1856 technological standards, especially in photography, still existed in
    1926?).

    645 or Disk film or APS COULD have killed 35mm - but didn't. And that would have ended
    the useful life span of an M3 in 1970, or 1980, or 1993.
     
  33. It's success is already a done deal.​

    How are you defining success? Sales? Profit? Increased market share? Fanboi raves?
     
  34. Yup, Paul was right! He predicted that in 3 or 4 years Leitz would come out with the M2 so we'd no longer need a seperate finder for the 35mm lenses.
     
  35. If a professional photographer buys an M8 (or a 1DSmkII, or D2X for that matter)​

    If Leica is hoping that anything other than a tiny percentage of its digital sales go to pros, they're delusional.
     
  36. 120 was so common you could buy in gents toilets once...
    00I3yN-32400284.jpg
     
  37. While I don't necessarily agree, I am in concurrence with the thrust of the post. The original Barnack Leica concept anticipated that the Leica could be updated as improvements to the design were implemented. There is no good reason that principle cannot be instituted with the introduction of the digital M Leicas. In my most arrogant opinion a digital adaptor unit that would simply be a substitution for the 'back door' with certain internal adjustments and connections and leaving the basic M returnable to film use, would be a more practical approach. In any event the updating principle should be effected in the design to protect the purchaser's investment for a reasonable time.
     
  38. As some of you know I work at one of Western Canada's largest photo retailers. The M8 has garnered more information requests from both existing Leica useres and people who've never owned anything with the red dot than any Leica product I remember in the last 10 years...along with a number firm orders. I think it is truly a winner for Leica.
     
  39. I suspect the grandkids will be asking in 10 years, "Granddad, what's film?"​

    Probably true. Today's college freshmen probably never used an electric or manual typewriter, or carbon paper, or a rotary phone. Most today don't (or won't) use a film camera. Most have cameras embedded in their phones. Kids born today will probably look upon film like most people today look upon the telegraph.
     
  40. Pros will use it as a tool today. Hobbyists will follow. Pros will use it for all the advantages
    of the rangefinder, and now they can meet the digital quality and speed demanded in
    photojournalism. The M8 appears to be a professional tool and meets that mission well.
    Pros make money when they sell their photos; Hobbyists make money when they sell their
    cameras.
     
  41. 120 was so common you could buy in gents toilets once...​

    Kodak would've sold more if they'd included condoms. Maybe they still could today, though I wonder at film fanatics' ability to get a date.
     
  42. "In the digital age, the notion of using a camera forever is unheard of."

    That's quite a pronouncement for an age that's scarcely a few years old. Please, as long as
    you have your crystal ball out, will you tell me the Powerball numbers for next week?

    "Photographers buy Leica because its perceived to be of the highest quality. Today no
    camera model will be made to last 20 years, such as the M3 did."

    Another person with a crystal ball. Please, tell me when and why my digital cameras with
    far less moving parts than a film camera will fail.

    All these pronouncements and pontifications about the digital age seem to be enough to
    inflate the worlds largest balloon. Fly around the world, gents!
     
  43. "Hobbyists make money when they sell their cameras."

    No, they lose money for the most part, unless they are very shrewd.
     
  44. So there it is. If we're going to lose money, we might as well take some photos along the
    way :)
     
  45. "the M8 comes with a USB 2.0 connector. even if the M8 sensor remains adequate for your needs come thirty-years, your computer most likely won't be able to swallow its data"

    Couldn't agree more.
     
  46. BTW - I'm a 35-year-old photo editor. At a conference recently I met a photo editor in her
    20s who said she has never looked at a slide on a light table. I aged decades...

    Oh well, I'm going to go lupe some 4x5 Velvia now ;)
     
  47. I guess I agree with what some people said here: if you're a professional photographer, the camera will eventually pay itself back. That's very true. Problem is I don't see any professional photographer use an M8.... . Apart from wedding photographers there is no real professional market for it IMHO, even if I hope that photo journalists will be using it instead of their bulky d-slr's. Still, I'm happy for Leica and I really hope it will be a succes. I just don't think so.
     
  48. Why do people insist on complaining about the depreciation on a digital
    camera when, if you use the damn thing, that depreciation will be covered,
    and probably more, by the savings in film and processing? <p>The argument
    about depreciation just doesn't hold water, plain and simple. If you're a
    professional, and can reclaim the VAT or tax on your M8, you could almost
    certainly sell the thing after two years and make a small profit on the deal.
     
  49. ""the M8 comes with a USB 2.0 connector. even if the M8 sensor remains adequate for your needs come thirty-years, your computer most likely won't be able to swallow its data"

    Couldn't agree more."
    it's one th
    What is wrong with you people? When you've tallied up the amount of money you haven't spent on film and developing and it equals what you paid for the M8, every shot you take from then on it's putting money into your pocket. Or if there's something on the market you want better, put the damned M8 out with the trash, and it hasn't cost you a dime. Is the math so hard, or are you just arguing for arguing's sake? If you're looking for something to sell to fund your retirement 30 years from now, it's not an M8, that much I'll agree, but neither is/was any other camera. I've got many collector's item Leicas that are worth more than what I paid for them, but also many that are worth less. In the net, it's a hobby and a labour of love, not an investment. Buy stock, buy real estate, buy diamonds and gold, but stop talking about these cameras as if they were investments. They are consumer items, even if people do collect the old and rare ones.
     
  50. Guitars aside, can any of us think of any digital/electronic items that we cherish and love?
    TV sets? Microwave ovens? I really like old typewriters, even though I can use them to post
    on photo.net ;) Is the real issue that it's just impossible to get emotionally attached to
    electronics? Will kids today cherish their first iPods 30 years from now? Any psychologists
    out there (c'mon, all you Leica-owning doctors...)
     
  51. ...can"T use them to post on photo.net...
     
  52. <Look at the beautiful shutter ,,, assembly on the M8.>

    Question: Did Leica make this shutter? Or is it from Copal or
    C/V?
     
  53. "In a few years sensors quality will increase, megapixels will increase and some cheaper mass produced camera will outpeform the M8."

    Hold everything! Emergency! Stop development! Stop production! The M8 will be obsolete in a few years! Extra! Extra! Read all about it! M8 to become obsolete! Get your papers! :)
     
  54. sorry Vinay, it has nothing to do with collecting/investing. it's simply a matter of using the darn thing in the long-term. the M8 looks to be a beautiful camera, albeit a candidate for upgrading already. I can't wait for the M8mkIIIds ... though I am not sure they can fit all that onto the front faceplate. might have to dismiss the red-dot logo perhaps.
     
  55. It's a Copal. The Sensor's from Kodak, the image processing is from Imacon, the body's
    from Portugal, etc.

    They did box the thing up in Germany, though, which apparently is all you need to do to
    print 'MADE IN GERMANY' on your camera.
     
  56. "It's a Copal. The Sensor's from Kodak, the image processing is from Imacon, the body's from Portugal, etc."

    How 'bout we send you a shutter assembly, sensor, processing software, and body and you assemble it, adjust it, and quality test it. After all, these things must be trivial, right?
     
  57. "these things must be trivial"

    Putting all the parts together into a useful and attractive camera isn't trivial, but there are many outfits around the world who could certainly do it. If Leica sold its viewfinder assemblies, then Cosina could probably put together a similar camera.

    Leica have, of course, more reasons to bother trying the exercise than most anyone else.
     
  58. Don't we all love to live in the 40s.
     
  59. There are a number of good reasons to buy an M8, many of which have been touched
    upon above. One bad reason to buy one is as an investment. I've preordered an M8; by the
    time the M9 comes out, I expect to be (a) dead, or the camera to be (b) worn out. You
    think I should wait for the M9?

    Another reason, not necessarily a good one, that many M8s will be sold is for the same
    reason that Rolex is a thriving concern...

    Talking to dealers, you find that they already have so many orders that Leica may not be
    able to fill them for a year. Just think, under your scenario, is possible that some people
    won't even be able to get the camera before it's unusable. :cool:

    JC
     
  60. Leicas? Nah. They can last forever.
    especially if you only take a few or no photos with them -- which I suspect is the case with most of the denizens here in the Leica forum. Leicas wear out just as fast as other similar cameras given the same amount real world use and abuse.
     
  61. I've been hearing that leica is having trouble keeping up with demand. Sure it won't last as long as a film camera. But as long as the camera works I don't see why you wouldn't still want to use it. I know lots of people with older digital gear. I have a 2mp HP camera from 1998 that I let little guys in the family use still. And how is it not a leica? It looks like one. Its built like one. It uses leica glass. Its a rangefinder (one of only two on the market in the digital world)
     
  62. I think this is all hilarious...6 mos, a year ago or more...people were insisting that Leica needs a digital M, remember? and Leica kept saying it was too technically difficult because of the lens distance to the sensor etc....and many on this forum said it was essential etc..

    Now Leica pulls it off, after all the clamouring from its "base" and people are just whinging about it...

    I find that both curious and funny.
     
  63. Screw Leica - Leica should stick to making film cameras. The M8 should have been a new film body with swing back film loading, same shutter they put in the actual M8, adjustable diopter viewfinder, a built-in grip like the Hexar RF and matrix metering. Basically they should have built a better Hexar RF.

    Perhaps Canon will see the wisdom in a digital rangefinder and build one based on the 7D or the 9D or whatever number they're at by that time and using the M-mount. I won't buy one, because film rules, but maybe Leica has just shown the way for the other camera manufacturers.
     
  64. "sorry Vinay, it has nothing to do with collecting/investing. it's simply a matter of using the darn thing in the long-term. the M8 looks to be a beautiful camera, albeit a candidate for upgrading already."

    All this naysaying about a camera that a final production sample has yet to be delivered to a single customer sounds like a bowlful of sour grapes to me.
     
  65. I've been hearing that leica is having trouble keeping up with demand.​

    What was the predicted sales level, what is the actual sales level, and what is their production capacity?
     
  66. M8- M9 , good investment, bad investment.
    The bottom line is digital blows, and Leica is contributing to films
    demise. Why can't they just be 35mm specialist in film. The problem
    is that we have a society where everything is done for the buck,
    and forget about good work. Not to mention that some experts say in a few years from now the digital capture of today will be
    obsolete,and that tommorrows new software won't even be able to read todays cyber bits.

    It seems to me that there are some leicaphiles on the forum who are
    already lusting for a digital leica. Why? why not just use a different camera? I don't think that leica glass+digital will be the
    same as leica glass+tri-x , neopan, or any film for that matter.
    It appears that some people are more concerned with the image behind the camera than the image in front of it.
     
  67. I don't understand why people buy ANY consumer product other than a new home appliance w/o a "test drive", much less, sight unseen. Recently, I bought a $40 27" TV/VCR combo at a pawn shop and had them turn it on and played a tape.
     
  68. It's funny. When the M8 was still just a rumor the bashing was fairly calm. Now that the M8 is a reality, even though neither the specs nor the price are anything unexpected, the bile and venom volume suddenly turns to "full on". Is it that for some people, not being able to afford one has gone from hypothetical to reality?
     
  69. "Recently, I bought a $40 27" TV/VCR combo at a pawn shop and had them turn it on and played a tape."

    The phrase 'tighter than bark on a tree' comes immediately to mind. Then again with the mindless drivel on TV I feel sick to my stomach when I think of how much I paid for a plasma, but the family took a vote and I lost :-(
     
  70. Tight I am not. I've yet to file my expense report for the two-months in Yokohama, Japan June, 2005!, and Paris, six-months ending December, 2005. BIG $$$. I live on the road. All my local furnishing are "disposable" and get donated to charity when the next job (planning for Trinidad and Tobago) comes up. I wish the many Rice U. students I live by would have the same philosophy with their daddy's money. I've found perfecly working appliances in the parking lot. I clean them up, if necessary, then take them to the Salvation Army.
     
  71. ...ending June, 2005!...
     
  72. "How 'bout we send you a shutter assembly, sensor, processing software, and body and you
    assemble it, adjust it, and quality test it. After all, these things must be trivial, right?"

    I could do it for a lot less than Leica. Could I still put "MADE IN GERMANY" on the back
    plate?
     
  73. Now that the M8 is a reality, even though neither the specs nor the price are anything unexpected, the bile and venom volume suddenly turns to "full on".
    What bile and venom??? The only thing going to "full on" is Vinjay's imagination.
     
  74. Never mind all this nonsense.

    Has nobody realised there hasn't been a new M8 thread started for at least a couple of hours!

    Quick, hurry!!
     
  75. Why can't they just be 35mm specialist in film.​

    There are such companies, and some of them, like Cosina, are profitable. I don't think anyone who understands the market, however, believes that Leica-priced film gear has much of a future in the overwhelmingly digital marketplace. Low-priced gear has a better shot, but as film-gear becomes less desirable and people sell, the lowered prices of used gear begins to impose on the profitability of companies selling new gear....
     
  76. "If Leica is hoping that anything other than a tiny percentage of its digital sales go to pros,
    they're delusional."

    I know half a dozen wedding pros who are ordering one. I'd wager that more pros will buy
    this camera for their work than did the M7.
     
  77. I already addressed this issue in a previous post.....

    turn your M8 into a Leica Webcam when it becomes obsolete (next year).

    You will still be able to use your lenses, and you will have one badass webcam!!

    (i am assuming the M8 has a A/V output like the digilux 2, and every other digital camera in existence..)
     
  78. Audio output?
     
  79. Digital is the name of the game. Besides they can update the electronics easy every year and use the same body or change it a little. This is just the first model with more to come. Just wait and see what happens. I don't think they will drop the film camera line for a year or two. (due to the lack of profit)...It's all interesting watching the development. Myself I am a retro type and will just use film. It's my hobby. If I was a pro then I would purchase what was required, but I am not...Nolan
     
  80. The signal-to-noise ratio on this thread is pretty poor.
     
  81. <It's funny. When the M8 was still just a rumor the bashing was fairly calm. Now that the M8 is a reality, even though neither the specs nor the price are anything unexpected, the bile and venom volume suddenly turns to "full on". Is it that for some people, not being able to afford one has gone from hypothetical to reality?>

    My, my, arent we a presumptuous elitist!!!

    You assume the negative reaction is based on one's inability to afford the M8? i can ssure you I can afford one. I just don't WANT one. Get it?
     
  82. i can ssure you I can afford one. I just don't WANT one. Get it?

    I get it, and I don't care, Mr. Metaphor. :)
     
  83. "Guitars aside, can any of us think of any digital/electronic items that we cherish and love?"

    But that's just the point, Steve. My M8 is gonna be my AXE, man! My instrument. My stone
    age/bone age/digital age hand-tool. I'm ready to play digital the way Jimi played "The Star-
    Spangled Banner". Twelve-strings are lovely, but I wanna Rock 'n Roll!
     
  84. "The signal-to-noise ratio on this thread is pretty poor."

    Is cheerleading considered signal or noise on this forum?
     
  85. Bodily fluids tend to short out digital cameras after a short time anyway, so I wouldn't worry about obsolescence.
     
  86. Andy,

    You must know I respect you more than "Jay", but, why did you buy sight-un-seen, untested? Faith with Leica, or a stipend?

    No Offense Intended.
     
  87. If Andy buys the M8 and it's junk, he'll have plenty of (local) company with which to commiserate. But it won't be junk. I've got an M8 reserved out of the second shipment (first shipment is completely spoken-for in my region)
     
  88. Steve:

    No offense taken.

    Last Nov. I bought a $900 Sony R-1. One test shoot in RAW against my M6 with Leica
    lenses and Velvia 100 at Arches National Park, and the Leicas started sitting on the shelf.
    Not a big difference in resolution (the Leicas were even a little ahead at times) but in terms
    of shadow and highlight range, color accuracy without doing back-flips in
    Photoshop...that was it.

    But the R-1 has clear limitations itself - f/4.5 at the 120mm end of the zoom (and a bit
    soft compared to the 24mm end), noisy above 400 ISO, rather nasty bokeh. Plus it's big
    and lumpy and plastic and has an EVF. Extremely nice for $900 - but it was always a
    stopgap until something in the same Mpixel range arrived for my M lenses.

    In Dec. my Leica reps were able to release the basic info we've all had since then: Digital M
    by fall '06, 10+ Mpixels, DMR quality or better, crop 1.33x, target price $5,000.

    So - underlying image quality equal or better than the Sony? With Leica f/2 primes? For
    less than a DMR alone?

    I placed my order the next week. I've been shooting with a DMR every Leica day I could
    since, just to get primed.
     
  89. Guess I'm getting Steve and Stephen confused here - but the previous still stands.

    Stephen: I'm a GREAT beta-tester. The perfect fool to find any flaw in "foolproof"
    mechanisms.

    Besides which, I've also shot with the DMR a lot at Leica Days (figuring it was the REAL
    prototype for the Digital M) - my assumption is the M8 must be at least equal to the DMR,
    and that's good enough for me.

    I'd much rather shoot 1,000 shots in November - and have to send the camera off to have
    a bug fixed in Dec. - than wait until June to shoot anything at all.

    "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want "the rest
    of your life" to start as soon as possible." - Harry (Billy Crystal) in "When Harry Met Sally"
     
  90. Of course, within a few years more sophisticated sensors will be avaible, DSLRs with >10Mpixels will become even cheaper.
    But two things won't become cheaper:
    Build quality of the body and lens quality - you cannot surpass the image quality even with 22MPixels-full-frame when the lens cannot match. this resolution

    "It's a Copal. The Sensor's from Kodak, the image processing is from Imacon, the body's from Portugal, etc.
    They did box the thing up in Germany, though, which apparently is all you need to do to print 'MADE IN GERMANY' on your camera."

    THe shutter is from Seiko, that's right, the sensor from Kodak (where do they produce them?) - some ICs, LCDs etc. from other countries.

    But most parts are from highly specialized suppliers from Germany (soe of them even produce for the space industry).

    Imacon is no longer part of the game.
     
  91. "Steve Larese , sep 15, 2006; 04:32 p.m.
    ...I really like old typewriters, even though I can['t] use them to post on photo.net"

    ---

    Sure you can! Type, scan, filter through OCR, spell-check, post. What could be easier? Wasn't it William Gibson who said that to go low-tech these days you have to be a very high-tech guy?



    As for the M8, Leica has had the advantage of watching the fate of the RD-1 before presenting the M8, a lot of people want this kind of camera, at least enough for Leica to consider it worthwhile to make one.


    I can see the M8 being popular with photojournalists. First-off they're gear-heads as much as the rest of us, and secondly, unobtrusive - quiet cameras are as valuable a tool in that line of work as they ever were. Unobtrusive is good if you are a professional fly on the wall.

    There's also a lot to be said for going to work carrying your whole kit in your pockets. Leica glass is't just as good as anyone else's best, it's also a lot smaller.

    The third big advantage for the best known PJ's is that they won't have to worry about the cost of the camera, Leica will give them away, I believe they (and Nikon and Canon too) have always done that.

    I think Leica's trying to cultivate PJ-panache for their brand (which has always been such a big part of the Leica thing), and I think they have a good chance as long as the camera is highly usable and highly reliable. It is being recognized as the camera that is used by "elite" photographers that has always driven Leica sales, not the sales to those photographers themselves.

    --
    David Dutchison
     
  92. "If Leica is hoping that anything other than a tiny percentage of its digital sales go to pros, they're delusional."
    I know half a dozen wedding pros who are ordering one. I'd wager that more pros will buy this camera for their work than did the M7.

    If Leica or anyone else is expecting that anything other than a tiny percentage of its digital sales go to pros, they're delusional.
     
  93. Take up another hobby...like flyfishing.
     
  94. Bailey Seals, if you or anyone else think that you know better than Leica AG, you're delusional.
     
  95. "A Leica M8 will have a much shorter lifespan than a film based Leica-M. What's your opinion?"

    You are of course right. But still I think Leica did the right thing by developing a M8 for a fairly affordable price.

    The alternative would be a completely modular camera, which allows to exchange the electronics whenever some new technolgy becomes available. Everyone would love to have such a camera but who would be willing to pay a hefty premium for it?
     
  96. "What bile and venom??? The only thing going to "full on" is Vinjay's imagination."

    I'm not imagining a dozen threads started the day the M8 is officially announced, with people I've never heard before crawling out of the woodwork to bash the camera and belittle everyone who intends to buy one. Although in your case "Brad", Leica-bashing bile and venom are like air and water, judging from your many archived "discussions" with Mr. Kaplan.
     
  97. Timber, if you paid attention to what I wrote, I never claimed that Leica thought that more than a tiny percentage of digital sales would go to pros. I said that they'd be delusional if they did.
     
  98. Thanks, David D., this was posted using a 1926 Underwood. It took me 15 hours to do,
    but I think the text has a different quality than from my Powerbook, that Underwood
    "glow." ;)
     
  99. Although in your case "Brad", Leica-bashing bile and venom are like air and water, judging from your many archived "discussions" with Mr. Kaplan.
    VinJay, you now seem to be sufferring from CDD, comprehension deficit disorder. I've never bashed the camera or film, but have had a ton of discussions and taken issue with those not familliar with digital technology, but spouting disinformation like it's firsthand experience. Leica makes a fine camera; as does canon, nikon, and sony.
    It is amusing to watch people change their tune over time. For example, it used to be a huge issue to many to not be dependent on a battery-driven camera. Cuz you never know when you might be shooting in Fallujah on a moment's notice or something. Seems with the M8 that requirement has mysteriously gone by the wayside.
     
  100. Yes, there was much ado over this until just recently. This forum has many, many years' worth of archived posts by zealots, now either gone or amusingly silent, over this issue once used to bash anyone who used a camera with a battery in it.

    It was always a silly argument, but I remember big dustups bashing the Nikon FE over the FM by zealots in the 1980s, and bashing of cameras like the Pentax 645 by Hassie owners.
     
  101. When the downsized flyweight FM FE etc came out, many Nikon purists called them not really Nikons. A friends first flyweight jammed twice, this added to the infant mortality horror stories. Today these early problems are usually forgotten about. The F2 had some early problems too, torn shutters.
     
  102. Camera manufacurers have a difficult road to tread. They must convince the buying public that their product is the best and a year later have to convince them that they have a new and better product that the buying public "just must have." Leica has a doubly difficult problem. It has to market its product on the basis that it is the best of the best and can be kept forever. (A bit like DeBeers marketing diamonds ) Then it must keep doing this year in year out or go bust. Unless the market is growing (a hard ask at the top end) then they have to achieve a very tough balance indeed. I would love it if leica could maintain the cachet of its name but I suspect it may have to change and place more emphasis on its lenses. (The electronic bodies are just not going to go on forever like the hardware ones.)
     
  103. The irony is that people are blaming for Leica for responding to the market - isn't it the
    market that's changed? Why blame Leica for trying to respond?
     
  104. I don?t agree with the author. First, you need to account for the cost and convenience of capturing an image on film in today?s world.

    A roll of Kodak Ultra colour, 36 exposures cost $5. Developing this film and scanning it in Photo Lab adds another $15.
    So, that?s 55c for each image. Every week, I shoot at least 250 exposures. Some of the shots are for the colour management, to test exposures etc. Often, I make 2 shots of the same object. Every week I will be spending $137.50. I may get discounts occasionally and pay only $100 for 250 images but it is still expensive. I could buy another $1000 gadget,
    CoolScan, scan the images myself and save a little bit in a long run. The quality of the scans won?t be the same for two reasons: Photo Labs are using better equipment, their scanning skills are better.

    Also, the fact that the big companies are ceasing the production of film and I think Kodak announced they will stop producing film at some time in future; the cost of capturing images on film will be increasing.

    Where does this leave companies such as Leica with its legendary film cameras? With dinosaurs and enthusiasts. In other words, a toy for some people, a very expensive toy too. Is this the end of the era for Leica? I don?t think so. First, Leica?s optics is still top notch and will be top notch in the future, I guess. Leica can continue manufacturing digital rangefinders, a niche product, and sell it at higher price.

    The point here is that some people just have to accept film is the thing of the past. Just like the video types, audio tapes, vinyl etc.
     

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