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Grim times for Leica

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Heh, this is like Clint Eastwood in 'Unforgiven' when you think he's a goner because he's too old and he doesn't have it

anymore and he's down for the count. Then all of a sudden he rises up and in a few blinks of an eye all the villains are dead on the


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It's going to be grim times for many and not just Leica. Apart from Leica's specific problems there will be many on this forum who will put out of work as a result of the international debt problems. It's easy to blame the banks and the bankers but it is all founded on personal "greed" for want of another word. The market supplying the best of anything is usually the last to feel the pinch as the incomes of the highest earners or richest people are the least affected. So Leica can perhaps gain some comfort from that fact. They have superb products, not just cameras, and history has shown that such companies , normally operating on a small scale, can survive economic turmoil. The people I feel sorry for are the 'normal' hardworking ones who will suffer whilst the bosses who allowed such profligacy will walk away relatively unscathed.
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Yeah, it is easy to blame the bankers and the banks for the current crisis. Those greedy creeps caused it. While

thousands of people will lose their jobs the CEOs will escape financial ruin on golden parachutes.


How will the meltdown affect Leica? I am sure that a lot of used Leica gear will suddenly on the market. But beyond that

my crystal ball grows cloudy. With the new S2 system Leica may get a new lease on life. Who knows, they might even

come out with a trouble-free M8.

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S series/format.

Reminds me of the old Pentax 6x7. Of course, an amatuer that was not rich could afford that one.


Technically kind of interesting.


Back in those days, I went with the RB67, not the 35mm on steroids layout, like the old Pentax or S format.


Not being a high-end working photographer, or a rich amatuer, just another roadside attraction in the world of Short Attention Span Theatre.

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Well Andy pixel overkill is a relative term - I am just about to get a 10 foot by two foot panorama printed up - took 30 overlapping shots on a 39 megapixel machine to make it. You can stand two feet away and look INTO the thing - it is 3 dimensional because of the amount of detail. which is all about resolution which is all about FAT PIXELS. This Leica S2 will sell very well - purely on ergonomic considerations - apparently it is the size of a Nikon D700. So I guess you could take it along with you - for street etc. I mean if you are still into all that jazz<p>


anyway - enough gearhead talk for me. The thing is a year away from being on market.<p>


Regarding the big meltdown - it wasnt like it wasnt flagged a long time ago..as soon as a central banker says there is no problem ( last July actually as in July 2007) - well ...thats all I needed to hear and shorts started dominating my book. People shouldnt worry too much - the biggest losers out of all this are already the tens of thousands of Wall St employees and over the next couple of years - hundreds of thousands of Financial service industry jobs gone around the world. I guess the knock on effects on the accounting and legal professions will be large as well.<p>


Happy snaps all.

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Imagine if Leica made an affordable line of M cameras, with an affordable line of lenses, and not a Panasonic knock-off, but a real Leica. Instead they're going in the opposite direction with the S2. The S2 would make sense, for this foundering company, if they balanced the ridiculous with the sublime, but instead it's just all ridiculous. From one blunder to the next. Maybe the US Treasury will bail 'em out.
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The Leica S2 looks like a cool camera. It reminds me of the Mamyia ZD and Digital back that was introduced back in Sept 18, 2004. The Mamiya ZD was supposed to take accept the Mamyia 645 lenses. I saw the prototype at PhotoExpo in NYC back in 2004/2005. I waited, but never saw it come to market. Not sure why it never took off. It took two years from announcement to hit the market. Here some links to the Mamiya ZD:












Reading the old posts in light of the Leica S2 announcement is interesting. Hopefully, Leica will fair better.

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<p><i>Nope. I'm referring to El Fang, the troll who in a recent thread posted a poorly-focused in-camera jpg from

his camera and posited that showing photos such as his on the web was how to determine if Camera A's image

quality was better than Camera B's.</i></p>

<p>Not poorly-focused, but technically lacking because it was shot at <b>1/90s handheld at the equivalent of

300mm</b>. You're a bird photographer, aren't you? Don't you know what happens to photographs when you shoot

telephoto lenses handheld at low shutter speeds? Come on, that's Photo 101. The picture was also taken at <b>ISO

1600 on a bottom-of-the-line Japanese dSLR</b>. The picture wasn't intended to showcase how great the photograph

is. I posted it to show how in such adverse lighting conditions, a lowly $350 (today's used price) Nikon D70

produced a usable, publishable picture straight out of the camera while the $5,000 M8 would have fallen flat on

its face.</p>


<p><i>Exactly correct. Speed to the wires is all and image quality is a distant second.</i></p>


<p>Professional photographers don't just need speed, they also need reliability and a professional level of

service if something goes wrong. Name the things that a professional working photographer needs, and Leica fails

on almost every single point.</p>


<p><i>I'll bet the likes of Ted Grant and TIna Manley would be very surprised to hear that they are amateurs.</i></p>

<p>Amateurs or not, I'd be far more inclined to take seriously the opinions of people like New York Times

photographer Michael Kamber:

<p><b>"I have found the Leica M8 to be unreliable, poorly designed, and to deliver

substandard results in most of the situations in which I have used it. I can’t think of any camera--or for that

matter any electronic device I have recently used--that so thoroughly fails to live up to its potential and its



<p>and recent Magnum nominee Peter van Agtmael</p>

<p><b>"I agree completely with your assessment. I

bought an M8 last year before heading to Afghanistan, and was disgusted with its performance, especially in high

ISO’s. I sold it immediately upon my return."</b></p>

<p>than a couple of no-namers who hang out on a gear-related

mailing list.</p>

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<i>Hey Fango - looks like Leica has been listening to you and are announcing a new camera and lens range - check it out baby and let your eyeballs bleed!</i>

<p>Don't get too excited; nobody's seen any files from it and I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers the fanfare to which the M8 was announced a couple of years ago, only to have the bubble burst when the IR issue and other problems came to light, leading to thousands of written apologies personally signed by the Leica CEO.</p>

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<i>It's probably not the camera for me ($$$$$) but DANG the thing SERIOUSLY ROCKS.</i>

<p>Once again you allow your emotions to get the better of you. First, we need to see the files to be certain the "dang" "thing" "seriously rocks;" and second, the S2 will be completely useless "seriously rocking" in the glass display case in the lobby of Leica Solms. They need to actually sell some, and almost a year's lead time from announcement to release (summer 2009) is a very long time in digital terms. Time will tell... we'll see.</p>

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so what you're saying here mr fang, and correct me if i'm wrong here, is you have never used an m8?


you continue to spew stuff like "a lowly $350 (today's used price) Nikon D70 produced a usable, publishable picture straight out of the

camera while the $5,000 M8 would have fallen flat on its face." yet you are REALLY just making this up now aren't you?


"than a couple of no-namers who hang out on a gear-related mailing list" this one is the icing on the cake. you have never used the

camera (and i mean USED. not taken snaps of the fella at the local camera shop), you base your merits solely on the reputation of

others, you continue to sight examples that CLEARLY indicate you have no experience with the camera in question yet you have the

audacity to call into question the credentials of folks who do use the camera and produce work at the professional level!?!


and how exactly are we to view this as anything BUT trolling?

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Fango, here's a tidbit from Ted Grant's website, who you've described as a no-namer:


"<I>In 1999, Ted Grant and Yousuf Karsh were both presented Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Canadian Association of

Photographers and Artists in Communications.</I>"


You really need to get out more.

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<i>"Fang, having compared the DMR's RAW files with the files from my father's D70 I'll concede that there are a limited set of circumstances where I'd rather use the D70. For example, when rappelling down a cliff over the ocean while holding the camera in my hand with no strap."</i> <p> <b>Dang</b> Doug - that has to be one of the funniest lines I have read in a long time - thanks, made me spurt my coffee all over my screen! and I am still laughing... LOL
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<i>yet you are REALLY just making this up now aren't you?</i>

<p>It's unbelievable, I know, but I kid you not. <a href=" _DSC4491 target="_blank">Look at the file for yourself</a>, straight out of the camera, unprocessed. Look at the EXIF data. D70, 1/90s, focal length 170mm (about 255 equivalent due to 1.5x crop), ISO 1600, white balance AUTO. It's all there. I'm not even going to embarrass you with a file from a 2008 digital Rebel or a 5D.</p>


<p><i>"In 1999, Ted Grant and Yousuf Karsh were both presented Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Canadian Association of Photographers and Artists in Communications."</i></p>

<p>Having your name mentioned next to someone recognized the world over as a master, or even standing next to said master in an awards ceremony, does not a second master make. Karsh's portrait of Winston Churchill, for example, is iconic, and Karsh himself is a known pioneer of portrait lighting technique. Ted Grant, on the other hand, is virtually unknown to anyone outside of the Leica User's Group. Besides, it's not like Canada is a major player in photographic awards these days. Personally I'd be more impressed by the Robert Capa Gold Medal, World Press Photo award, NPPA Magazine Photographer of the Year, ICP Infinity Award, heck even the Leica Medal of Excellence - all far more prestigious and well known than some obscure Canadian award few have heard of.</p>

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