why Leica !
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Old 11-27-2013   #1
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Default why Leica !

every time I hear that Leica is special and because of that it is expensive !
my question is what does the word " special " means from photo graphical point of view to make Leica very expensive cameras

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Old 11-27-2013   #2
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Default Re: why Leica !

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Originally Posted by MNS View Post
every time I hear that Leica is special and because of that it is expensive !
my question is what does the word " special " means from photo graphical point of view to make Leica very expensive cameras
Hope this helps:

This Is Why Leica Cameras Are So Damn Expensive
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Old 11-27-2013   #3
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is it enough !?
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Old 11-27-2013   #4
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is it enough !?
For who?
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Old 11-28-2013   #5
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Default Re: why Leica !

It's the Leica name and the big red dot logo.

Leica has endured despite being slow to the SLR realm (Leicaflex and the mostly ill-fated R series) and slow to the digital realm; to do so, Leica became an exclusive luxury brand.

The price is worth it to somebody, just like a Patek Phillipe or a Ferrari.

If one likes it and can afford it, all the more power to them.

On paper, Leica makes no sense in most aspects. They're seriously behind the times in many aspects. One still has to take the bottom plate off of the camera to change batteries or memory cards. In contrast, even film cameras have had hinged doors for decades to facilitate replacing rolls of film.

As a small format film camera, they were targeted towards enthusiasts and professionals needing a smaller camera- photojournalists, military photographers, etc.

They were superseded as professional small format cameras by the first modern SLRs like the Nikon F. Two years before the F, Nikon had already beaten Leica in the features game in their home court of small format rangefinder cameras with the Nikon SP.

Rangefinders themselves are finicky to focus and many find them difficult to operate. SLRs offered a much quicker and easier method of achieving precise focus, and one no longer needed a ground glass and a dark cloth to do it.

Leica lenses are considered legendary. Walter Mandler's lenses offer a unique nearing unlike any other; it's sort of a take it or leave it thing. His lenses are often far from optically perfect, and they tend to be prone to flare, but many love the rendering of out of focus areas and the "Leica glow". The "character" of how the lens influences image rendering is what is often discussed when it comes to Leica lenses.

The Mandler lenses all have a relatively consistent look from lens to lens. Of course, take a group of Nikkors from the same generation and you'll see the same thing.

Mandler's successor, Peter Karbe, currently designs lenses that strive for optical perfection while still preserving some of the old Leica character. Some like it and some don't. I don't have enough experience working with Karbe's lenses yet to comment on which is better, or rather, which I prefer.

I noticed that many photographers now post process their digital Nikon and Canon images into something approximating what you could get out of the camera from a Mandler-designed Leica lens. Maybe he was onto something after all.

Ironically, back when Leica was still the choice of working photojournalists (the Korean war era), they often preferred to use lenses produced out of a small shop in occupied Japan that would later become a company called Nikon.

(Also, interesting personal fact: my grandfather traded his motorcycle for a Leica M3 and some lenses many years ago.)
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Old 11-29-2013   #6
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Default Re: why Leica !

Leicas are durable. I've used my M4 for 43 years, and it has never let me down. Leica optical performance is superb. To me, a Leica handles better than any other camera. Rangefinder focus is quick and accurate for lenses from wide angle to short telephoto. My Nikon outfit is more suitable for macro photography and long telephotos. Leicas are expensive, but so is the film we may run through one in its lifetime, and the other costs of photography. If I was restricted to only one film camera system for everything, a Nikon would be the logical choice for its versatility, but I'd certainly miss the M4.
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Old 11-29-2013   #7
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I forgot to mention the part about durability. My grandfather's Leica M3 is in the service for what is probably its first service trip ever, and this was a camera that was produced from 1954 to 1967. It does need a CLA, but it did yeoman's work for him many, many years ago.

We already have the 35mm Summaron (with goggles) and 90mm Elmarit back from the shop; they passed inspection and didn't need any work.

I've also got a Leica screwmount 85mm Nikkor lens that is probably close to Korean War era, and the thing is still ticking. I bought it second-hand so I don't know its service history.

Honestly, if I wasn't a professional photographer, a Leica rangefinder, warts and all, would be near the top of the list as my only camera. After all, I'd be doing it for fun, and they are fun to use.

"User condition" Leica equipment, if one wants to shoot film, is actually not that much more expensive than other top quality 35mm format equipment on the used market. A number of years back, I scored a beater 50mm f/2 Summicron for $300; won't win any beauty contests, but it'll get the job done. Of course, this was before Leica digital rangefinders became viable products.
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Old 01-12-2014   #8
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test

I tried pasting in some text here but I keep getting "you don't have permission" errors. Just two paragraphs of plain text I typed here - no links.
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Old 01-13-2014   #9
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Leicas are expensive to buy, but very economical to use. The purchase cost divided by the service life of my M4 body comes to about $5 per year. That's a tiny fraction of the film it exposed.
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Old 01-15-2014   #10
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Default Re: why Leica !

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNS View Post
every time I hear that Leica is special and because of that it is expensive !
my question is what does the word " special " means from photo graphical point of view to make Leica very expensive cameras
I think the answer to your question "Why Leica !" is "Why not Leica." No doubt it's excellent equipment and well-made. The Leitz lenses are incredibly sharp and precise. I shoot with M4 and M6's. The rangefinders are razor sharp as long as your vision is.
A camera regardless of manufacturer is only as good as the person using it. It's a tool, a machine, a piece of equipment designed to record images. In a real sense, it's just the same as an artist's brush.

In the long-run though, no one is going to remember you for the equipment you use any more than we remember Edward Hopper or Rembrandt for the brushes they used. In the final analysis, I think it always always comes down to personal preference and budget constraints and the fact you'll be remembered for the images you made. That's what really counts no matter what camera you record them with.
Take it light
Mark


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