Bottom line- $250 off of a $5,000 lens is not a bubble burst.
Pick it up for $1500, that's a bubble burst.
Residual value? If the job is paying 20x what the equipment cost, residual value of the equipment is not a big concern. If the cost of the lens is a large portion of your checking account at the end of the month, you think twice.
Rich or not, I'm just glad that I'm fortunate enough to have at least experienced the M9. And finally, I get to be perceived as rich for once in my life. I think different people have different priorities, that's all. I'm perfectly willing to eat off the $0.99 value meal lunch menu for the foreseeable future for the chance of getting my hands on some legendary gears. I once characterized this as being my mid-life crisis
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Exactly there are too basic paths to follow . One is to stay current with the upgrades that represent a material differences m8 to m9 . To make this work you need to buy as early as possible in the model life cycle . But also avoid intermediate upgrades like the m8 to m8.2 .
The other is to pick a product you are really happy with and only trade up when it either burns out or you feel compelled . To make this work you need to hang in there like starting with an M8 in 2006 and using it until 2012 . Film cameras of course had deferent life cycles . I road the R4 until digital as I could see no really advantage in trading up .
The largest part of cost of ownership in a digital camera is generally depreciation . The biggest financial mistake is trading too frequently or at the wrong time in the life cycle ...but its not really about money is it.
FYI I was a pretty good accountant .
I think there are some facts that are being ignored in this conversation. Pre M8 and pre M9, used Leica glass had fallen in value significantly, and represented a very good buy - I am PO that I missed that one... Anyway, the advent of the M8 stopped the decline and reversed it somewhat.
Enter mirrorless with its high pixel counts, and a Leica lens was an absolute bargain. Used prices were driven partially by this market. Along comes the M9, and it was a game changer for Leica. It singularly drove lens sales at an unprecedented rate, and it continues to attract new photographers to the Leica fold - myself included. Like me, these newbys have been frustrated at the unavailability of new glass, so we bought used and learned about Mandler, karbe etc...
The m10 will sell in droves, I fully expect 2 years worth of production to be essentially sold out. More pixels, means newer glass and live view will breath more life into older glass. The M10 will allow other new Leica shooters to enter the brand via a used M9 at a lower price point. These buyers will also look for used glass and increase sales in the lower priced lens segment. The M10 will bring more newbys, more sales, and a further tightening of the lens supply chain, I expect used prices will firm up then.
My links to the aforementioned Leica MP and 0-series cameras notwithstanding, I think it's healthy to be skeptical about some of the hefty prices for today's Leica gear and to question how sustainable they are: Buy into the Leica M mythos if if amuses you to do so. But also listen to that inner voice which questions whether paying $8K for a 17 MP camera body might, just might, be a little dotty. Because like gold, "Paul Newman" Rolex Daytona wristwatches and diamonds, the intrinsic value of these things is limited, and current prices may have little to do with actual scarcity and a lot more to do with a shared belief in their worth.
Admittedly, my own attitudes towards the the Stuff in my life has been changing: I used to subscribe to the notion of "Own less but own the very best". But more recently I've been questioning what "The Best" actually means.
2. 'Make sacrifices in other area's ( sic..areas )' !! I make sacrifices only to provide for the most critical necessities of life. Else, for me, it boils own to allocating available resources amongst various non-essentials.
3. Using credit to purchase something non-essential, to me is an alien concept ( my bank hates me for this ). Besides, I do not intend to pay more than the MRSP; which is what one does when using plastic to defer payments over a length of time.
Lower income groups, do not usually have this facility avaiable to them.
Having traveled extensively during the last 30 or more years, lived amongst the most affluent of societies...I know that Leica gear is not made nor marketed for the low income groups.
I do not earn any part of my living through photography. My current Leica gear was bought in cash by the money I made buying and then selling Leica gear. A big thanks to the Leica lovers.
In the markets that operate today, there is no such thing as a high or low price. It is up to the buyer to decide. To me, If I can, I shall buy high only if I can sell higher. And, as in the case of my Leicas, make images that for me shall last for very long..the price paid for the equipment is irrelevant.
Lower income groups do not have that option. My views here relate only to
non-essential items in life.
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In January its was the Sony Nex 7 ....in February it was the Fuji XPro 1 ..in March it was the D800 . Money aside ...it takes a heck of a lot of work to learn the different systems and make them second nature . Mix in that post processing is typically months behind and there is a big effort to absorb a new system .
I am as big a Leica M fan boy as you will find and I am having a hard time getting excited . If the ISO performance isn t great at 1600-3200 ..my transition maybe slow . Especially if they get up around $10K with pricing .
Agree completely that its unlikely that the M10 will be game changer that the M9 was.
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A few years ago many people predicted that Leica would not be around for much longer. The M9 has been the most successful Leica cameras since the M4. Leica just set up a new factory to increase production. In this day, with this economy, it's nice to see a company creating jobs.
My prediction- if the M10 goes CMOS, the price point will be the same or lower than the M9 is now.
I made my new D800E sing within 2 days, as I have shot several other Nikon DSLRs in the past - D1, D100, D200, D3, D700 and now D800E. So that learning curve was zero.
In the moment I do not shoot any M digital, but also shot an M8 for 3 years, so I am sure I can be back pretty soon in this system as well.
In parallel to the D800E I am shooting an OMD with several M43 lenses and also no issue.
And sometimes I even take my H3D39 of special requests and also here it is just turning on and go shooting.
And I am really looking forward to the new M10 with hopefully CMOS, that one will be a fix starter for me!
IMHO the Leica price bubble is not bursting, it is still not completely filled. It might take another 2-4 years before prices could go down.
But thinking back 5 years from now, one could get really cheap R and M lenses, just because the Leica management of the past had done so much damage to this brand - this was before Kaufman. Now since he took over the situation has stabilized and this is due to the success of the M9 and the M lenses. So if they manage to keep the fire burning (speak M10 and a new mirror less Leica) then prices will not go down over the next years in general.
ANY hobby, "done right" is expensive. Same with sports. Consider this. You decide one day you want to get into camping, jetskiing, regular skiing/snowboarding, hiking... Add up all the crap you need to be reasonably outfitted... Cha-ching.
Just like all those, photography is no different. You have the "bargain gear" and you have the "top shelf" stuff. You have to decide for yourself how much money you want to dump into the endeavor.
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It's funny that on the one hand everyone is crying out for a FF mirrorless camera . . . and on the other hand nobody seems very inspired by the idea of an M10.
Various sources seem to say that it'll have a CMOS sensor, and Stefan Daniel has implied it and also talked about having got over the video difficulties. It doesn't seem to me that people have thought through the implications of this very thoroughly.
Personally I feel the M10 might be even more of a game changer than the M9.
We shall see!
Just this guy you know
But Thomas you have enormous talent . I still have to check my settings with the D800E.
And ..it depends a lot on what type of shooting you are doing . I received my first M when I was 15 and I m now 65 ..that should be long enough to become proficient with a rangefinder . But when I put my M s down for a few weeks it can take a day to starting nailing the appropriate number sharp well composed images . The M is all about hand eye coordination if you use it to shoot subjects that move .
The Nikon is easier in many ways but it still takes a little time to establish the best practices for AF etc . The issue with the Nikon is post processing and again this depends on your goals and objectives . Few subscribe to my view that consistency in the final images is in any way important . In short I would like the signature to reflect my aesthetic ..not the manufactures idea of proper rendering . I had this with leica lenses and kodachrome or tri x . Mix images from a lifetime of work and they need to compliment each other . If I produce a portfolio ....I don t want people to sort out the Nikon files as inferior to the Leica IQ. Like mixing in a bunch of Ektachrome 400 slides with my KR64 . Purely a personal requirement .
My goal in shooting is to reach that place where everything is without thought . I am looking and scanning constantly ..trying to anticipate the moment . You can't see it through the viewfinder ..its too late . To achieve this I need about 200-300 images to warm up . I need great familiarity with my equipment to get in the “zone” . This is why I love my M9 s .
Now try this with this years cameras of the year or switch from Sony to Canon or Canon to Nikon. The Sony Nex 7 felt so different that I knew it would take some effort . The results didn t match the hype . Same feeling about the fuji X Pro1 , But sure if you are coming from a Nikon D700 or d3 etc ..the D800 is a straightforward transition .
The one camera that really clicked for me was the S2 . I used every R body from the very first SL with the external meter . When I picked up the S2 ...closed my eyes and fired off a few shots ... I could feel it s DNA . You can process M and S files in LR4 and with the proper presets get a very similar look . I am determined to get there with the Nikon NEF files but I may need some help .
So in my case ..there is a significant time commitment required to change gear and the benefits of any new gear better be sufficient to justify time as well as $$.
You could very well be right . Getting ready for the Olympics I found my images from the women’s team gymnastics (1996 Atlanta ) . Was able to capture the gold metal winning vault ..so proud ..then I watched NBC s coverage ....I was right next to the NBC camera ...how great would this have been on video ! Never satisfied .
But I don t need my M to shot video or have live view ..just the way I apply the kit to my shooting . Live view on the S2 ...wow ..big advantage . I want a color version of the MONO .
Video pales in comparison to what the M needs (1) better ISO performance (2) a battery that lasts (3) fast transfer speeds on large raw files (4) a decent LCD .
But I fear that the move to CMOS will change the aesthetic/look of the images . When it comes to my M s I resist change with the best .
Roger - I agree with you regaring the S2. A little out of my price league but it really is a camera which appeals to me.
all the best
Just this guy you know
I think predictions for Leica are predicated on old models of marketing. Their new strategy is even more aimed at exclusivity and rarity while trading on a rich legacy of image making. The Leica value proposition isn't based on the same "values" as other systems, and never has been.
The D800 is not a rangefinder. Nor is the NEX, and the Fuji is not full frame nor simple like the M.
The M is the only game in town for high-end rangefinder image making and the whole aesthetic that accompanies it.
How the M10 will fit that model remains to be seen, however Leica is very slow to erode their own positioning just to accommodate short term trends.
IMO, the M10 may not go beyond 24 meg as it would defeat the portable, hand-held, ambient light nature of traditional rangefinder work where 36 meg or greater may not be realized even with the fab lenses.
Like Roger I am holding judgement to see how the image performance of a CMOS M compares to the M9 ... and whether the ISO performance improves to allow a good 1600-3200. Odd as it may sound, a built-in diopter will be an important factor for me ... I'm sick of dealing with diopters on the M camera.
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I admire what Leica has done recently with their product positioning . The exclusivity is clearly there but I hope they stay focused on the enthusiast as well.
The Mono was an excellent product launch IMHO and they tied together the new product with the leica stores and a number of black and white gallery exhibits. I used to enjoy visiting the camera stores but no more . Who wants to go into shabby surroundings and see a few beat up used pieces and nothing new ? merging exhibitions ,product demonstrations ,education etc with the retail creates the excitement that an enthusiast seeks . Assuming Leica addresses the capacity limitations with the new plant and can stock the stores ... they will be unique .
I can still remember when Nikon had there store next to the skating rink at Rockefeller Center in NYC. You could take a new lens out and shoot a couple of test shots of the golden statue . Instant gratification. LOL
L'Odyssée de Cartier - YouTube
The new CHANEL N°5 film - YouTube
Although my rational self tells me that this camera will perform no differently from my standard-issue M9 with the worn paint, I am totally a sucker for the way they've presented this thing:
The Making of the Leica M9-P »Edition Hermès« -- Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas - YouTube
The Hermes video is like a litmus test: some people no doubt respond positively, while others cringe. Does it come with the white gloves so you can remove the camera from its presentation box?
for guilt-free fondling!
My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com
I just prefer shooting with a rangefinder - the D800 is clearly splendid - but it doesn't have the slightest effect on me and my rangefinder fetish.
Leica won't survive by producing hermes/cartier/chanel kit (they already failed to do that). IMVHO they can only survive by producing stuff which is very high quality, and which is used by real photographers. . . . and competing in the mainstream would be almost as fatal as becoming a 'boutique company'.
Just this guy you know
My wife, after listening to some Apple Fanatic preaching about the wonders of Macs told him "Not only don't I like Macs, I don't like the people that use them either." It was fun to watch her walk into a computer store, hit three buttons on a Mac II, and then tell me we had to leave because they needed to unplug their computers.
The battle between Apple users an PC users make Leica vs Canon/Leica look trivial.
My wife was in charge of computers at a Research Hospital, MAC II's had been put in before she got there. Used to monitor medical equipment hooked up to patients. The Virus Scanner was spreading viruses on the MACs, and an Animated Einstein running in circles popped up on the MACs, rendering them unstable for monitoring the patients. That was bad. She replaced the MAC's. She used to debug compilers on the Cray.
And people thought the Sandisk SD UHS-1 card problem was bad.
Last edited by Brian S; 28th June 2012 at 16:11.
My point is that other equipment like the D800,the Fuji x pro 1 etc don t need to compete directly with the Leica gear . If you get excited by new gear and use up your funds ..then you are less likely to switch again for something better (This is a characteristic that is foreign to much of GETdpi ). The D800 fits a real need for may photographers ..once filled the perceived value of a new better Leica maybe lessened.
I bet y'all still complain about how Canon screwed ya when they dumped the FL/FD lens mount and brought out the EOS lens mount, eh? ;-)
To quote Seymour Cray when he heard that Apple had a Cray and was using it to design circuitry for the new line of computers, "How ironic is that! I am using the Macintosh to design the next Cray."
..."The gods are tricksy, malicious, and swift to thwart."...
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My wife met Seymour Cray, very unassuming man. The world lost a genious to a damned car crash.
I preferred the Apple IIe, it had expansion slots. Apple lost me with the Mac 128, closed box- no expansion slots, could not do anything with it. Had 30KBytes of memory left for use after loading BASIC. My 64KByte CP/m machine had more user-available memory.
What loses me about Apple users today- Basically, Apples are just PC's ever since going to an Intel processor. At least with the PowerPC they had a very interesting processor. But to listen to some of the Mac Fanatics: anyone not using one is a moron. Worse than some of the Leica fanatics that anything compared with a Leica lens is shooting through a coke bottle.
I tinker with lenses for fun. My profession is computer engineering, design custom hardware and do the embedded programming. I know a number of people that use Macs, they treat them like computers and not a religion. But then you run into the zealots. I don't like the zealotry that some attach to any name brand, whether Leica, Nikon, Canon, or Apple.
I'll be using an uncoated CZJ Sonnar 5cm F1.5 that I converted to Leica mount with the M9 Monochrome. I spent the morning writing assembly language code for a custom computer. It's about the same mentality.
And- for SLR's, I shoot primarily Nikon. I have an N->F adapter, and can use my 1952 25cm F4 manual focus lens on the latest Nikon cameras. First long-telephoto ever made by Nikon. Never used a Canon autofocus.
To me, a computer is all about the software; the hardware is irrelevant and transitory as long as it provides a useful environment for the software I use. I prefer OS X to Windows—OS X does what I want in an operating system and I understand it well.
Application software, well, Lightroom's pretty much the same on either platform and in the context of doing Photography that's about 98% of what I use nowadays.
The rest is off topic for this forum and not worth talking about here. ;-)
(I use a Nikon F and an Olympus E-1 - two of the nicest SLRs ever made IMNSHO. I don't use them as much as I once did nowadays.)
Technically the Apple hardware platform is the same as a windows PC, chipset-wise, but I would buy an Apple even to run Windows as I much prefer the superior build quality and aesthetics of the hardware.
commodore > apple
For me it is simply a matter of practicality. As an art director, I was initiated into computer work on a Mac ... the overwhelming choice of tool in the graphics business.
Now it is fairly essential because the software I work with is usually Mac exclusive with the PC version coming later, or never. With some exceptions, most photography studios are Mac based. The Phocus software I use for tethered work with the H4D/60 is always released as Mac version first.
While PC based systems are just as good, or even better and less expensive in some cases, Macintosh has been brilliant in integrating their various forms into one mind-meld (you will be assimilated ). iPhone, iPad, Lap-top and towers all integrated into one no-brainer system the user can do without a degree from MIT.
In the end we use what is familiar, and practical ... like cameras, the best computer is the one that doesn't get in the way of the work ... which is not exclusive to Mac or PC.
On the other hand, I agree that one need not be wealthy to own or use a Leica product. That is a myth propagated by the cost of the newest items bought new and disparaged by those who either don't have the money, or don't see the value.
One can buy used and not the last thing offered ... but still get the benefit of a traditional rangefinder experience. Or, as suggested, one can make it a priority and forego extensive gear or other uses of discretionary income and focus it on getting the camera they want ... in this case a Leica.
It took me years to save the money to get my first Leica M. I made do with an old beater Canon until I could finally get the camera I really wanted. Did the same to get my first Hasselblad V camera (which I bought on time).
I drive an eight year old Volvo because I wanted a M9P more than a new car ... which means far less to me as long as it keeps running.
I'm no longer even close to wealthy, I'm retired ... and the only bubble that burst was my home value and my retirement account
I still shoot for money just to buy lighting gear
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Very well said Marc! I am in a similar situation to you and feel many others would be as well... It is not only the rich or wealthy who own Leica.
The price may not be bursting but availability is certainly getting better.
There are new Leica lens available at the GetDPI.com sponsors web sites. Retail prices and full warranties with the purchases, a much better deal then a lot of the re-selling that has been taking place the last couple of years.
Who needs a car when you can sit in your empty living room and clean your gear?