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Thread: New owner of Leica

  1. #1
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    New owner of Leica

    As the european lottery jackpot is this week standing at 77 million euro and of course i have bought the winning ticket... I have decided to buy Leica... .not the camera... the whole damn company

    any suggestions on what changes i should make.. Apart from dropping the silly S2 project and telling them to make the x-1 with an m-mount?

    yours in jest... or maybe not

    K

  2. #2
    meilicke
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Would giving the x-1 an M mount not that make it a bigger camera with the required range finder mechanisms?

    -Scott

  3. #3
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    what... bigger like an e-p1 or GF1? m-mount lenses doesn't mean it has to have a rangefinder

    K

  4. #4
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    The biggest issue is actually the easiest to understand... abandon trying to manufacture everything in Germany. Produce two cameras lines in Solms ..the M series and the S series. Focus those two product lines on best in class performance and "SERVICE". Keep working on the lens lines to always have the best . New products every two years keep current with technology. Establish a Leica "certified program" for used equipment including lenses and expect to make money on service. Build the X1 and other high end compact cameras with a partner in Japan to Leica standards. Come up with a $2500 M mount camera and a line of lenses like the summarits designed for an APS-C sensor and priced like the zeiss zm line but made in Japan or maybe Portugal or heres a wild thought how about the USA. We would give you everything and pay you to come..the Euro is $1.50 .

  5. #5
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    How about stop pretending everything is made in Germany... they admit the bodies are made in Portugal and are then taken apart to add a US sourced sensor.

    Maybe take a leaf from the apple playbook where they proclaim as you open the box "designed in California". Olympus have done this on the e-p1 as i discovered the other night... there is a little plate on the bottom that says "Designed in Tokyo Made in China"

    Making stuff is easy... designing is the difficult bit

    K

  6. #6
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    First off buy everyone on the forum a X1 to have than do what you will. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    OK guy... sounds like a plan

    Do you want this pile of S2 stuff... seems like all the lenses are made.. the cameras all seem to work fine.. apparently the delay in shipping is due to a spelling error in the red dots.. and apparently the only officially sanctioned red dot maker is on holiday

    :-)

    K

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    First off buy everyone on the forum a X1 to have than do what you will. LOL
    M9, Guy, M9.

  9. #9
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    First off buy everyone on the forum a X1 to have than do what you will. LOL
    Uncharacteristically modest Guy - what's wrong with a complete S2 kit?

    I'm sure Kevin would be up for it if he won 77 mil . . . after all, he could buy . .. erm . . is it 5 full kits?

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Vivek

    I was planning a special edition M9 for you that comes with a unique soft rubber mount that allows you to attach any lens ever made.. and a special set of marker pens in a variety of black and dark metallic tints to colour coordinate the lenses to the body.

    :-)

    K

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Very thoughtful, Kevin!

  12. #12
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Tell them to improve their sales and marketing department so that they achieve to make more people understand how good (some= of their products work.
    Produce more M9s now before people get tired of waiting and buy something else.
    Tell them to bring a digital R10 to the market now. Just stick a good sensor in a R9 and dont put any further R&D cost in it.
    Bring the price for the Nocti down to 4000K.
    Thats it.

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    As the european lottery jackpot is this week standing at 77 million euro and of course i have bought the winning ticket... I have decided to buy Leica... .not the camera... the whole damn company

    any suggestions on what changes i should make.. Apart from dropping the silly S2 project and telling them to make the x-1 with an m-mount?

    yours in jest... or maybe not

    K
    As the new owner of Leica, I ask ... no, implore ... well actually, beg you to reconsider the abandonment of the R10 with select AF lenses, but the ability to use current R optics.

    The S2 if a fine tool I'm sure ... but my first priority was the M9 and newer fast M ASPH lenses ... so money IS an object, and the spare $50K I usually have scattered around the studio floor in small denominations is somewhat depleted.

    A multipoint AF R10 with a nice 20 or so meg sensor @ $8 to $9K .. a AF-R 19ASPH, 35/1.4ASPH, 85/1.4APO (the current manual focus 100 macro is fine as is), and a 180/2.8 APO will do fine for a start.

    May I place my order with you today? ... (sorry, no deposits until you have the camera in hand. )

    Thank you so much for doing this,

    Marc

  14. #14
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Tell them to improve their sales and marketing department so that they achieve to make more people understand how good (some= of their products work.
    Produce more M9s now before people get tired of waiting and buy something else.
    Tell them to bring a digital R10 to the market now. Just stick a good sensor in a R9 and dont put any further R&D cost in it.
    Bring the price for the Nocti down to 4000K.
    Thats it.
    Good grief, DON'T reduce the Nocti price ... I sold a Kidney for it and can't get it back.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Good grief, DON'T reduce the Nocti price ... I sold a Kidney for it and can't get it back.
    hmmm... a kidney rebate promo for the Nocti..... interesting idea :-)


    K

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    $4,000 for the new Noct is a fair price.

    (Marc could be compensated by the new Leica owner. )

  17. #17
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Uncharacteristically modest Guy - what's wrong with a complete S2 kit?

    I'm sure Kevin would be up for it if he won 77 mil . . . after all, he could buy . .. erm . . is it 5 full kits?
    Well I forgot to add all admins and mods get S2's also.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    ...Come up with a $2500 M mount camera and a line of lenses like the summarits designed for an APS-C sensor and priced like the zeiss zm line but made in Japan or maybe Portugal or heres a wild thought how about the USA...
    This is a brilliant suggestion, IMHO. A 12-megapixel APS-C sensor would be unlikely to cannibalize M9 sales but would be a surefire way of introducing a large number of potential M9/M10 users to the Leica gestalt. I would buy an APS-C M-mount Leica and a couple of lenses in an instant.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Jonathon.... you can buy one of these today.... its called a pre owned M8 :-)

    Now a 1200 dollar Digital CL with electronic rangefinder might be a better idea


    K

  20. #20
    nei1
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post

    Making stuff is easy... designing is the difficult bit

    K
    I think you have this the wrong way round and anyway what difference does it make who makes it,germans are expensive.As to how to improve the M9,...waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,waterproof it,etc,etc,etc,.......and then make it out of something happy.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    neil

    so you would be interested in a waterproof camera then :-)

    how waterproof?... RolexDivers watch waterproof or just wont go fttzzz in the rain water resistant

    without design there is nothing to make... making something is easy if it has been designed and engineered properly.

    K

  22. #22
    nei1
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    "or just wont go fttzzz in the rain water resistant"
    Kevin,Id be happy with your anti "fttzzz"treatment.You see I grew up on the north cornish coast where one of the pensioners favourite activities was watching the cars slowly dissolve with rust.Now I know that cars are now galvanised against such evils and your modern day oldie has had to find other less energetic diversions but the thought of a beautiful M9 slowly having its circuits crossed by eating too much salt literally stops me in my tracks....... .....Neil

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    Now a 1200 dollar Digital CL with electronic rangefinder might be a better idea

    What to do with the X1 then?

  24. #24
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    sell it at 900 bucks

    K

  25. #25
    wbrandsma
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Designing and producing is the easy part Kevin. The thinking prior to producing is the more difficult part. Lets plan a weekend in the Netherlands and finish some deals with some wine Better yet, lets do it this weekend

  26. #26
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    sounds like a plan... I'll make it number one priority... Netherlands is north of Paris ? yes?

    K

  27. #27
    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    Jonathon.... you can buy one of these today.... its called a pre owned M8 :-)
    Kevin, if I'd wanted an M8, I would have bought a used M8 already -- it's not as though there's a shortage of them.

    It's the combination of M-mount lenses and an APS-C sensor that attracts me. I'm after a usable 1600 ISO, a decent viewfinder (electronic is fine), and the 42mm EFoV that I'd get with a 28mm lens on an APS-C sensor.

  28. #28
    wbrandsma
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    sounds like a plan... I'll make it number one priority... Netherlands is north of Paris ? yes?

    K
    Make sure you drive at daytime or use TomTom

  29. #29
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    jonathon

    was confused by by your insistence on a APS-C sensor which i thought was in the M8... but i now realise that the sensor in the M8 is actually bigger than that...

    your wants are better ISO 1600 and a crop factor that makes a 28mm into a 42mm

    understood

    Understand in my Digital CL proposal I would keep the traditional viewfinder... just replace the rangefinder mechanism with something electronic that would show focus confirm

    cheers

    K

  30. #30
    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    jonathon

    was confused by by your insistence on a APS-C sensor which i thought was in the M8... but i now realise that the sensor in the M8 is actually bigger than that...

    your wants are better ISO 1600 and a crop factor that makes a 28mm into a 42mm

    understood

    Understand in my Digital CL proposal I would keep the traditional viewfinder... just replace the rangefinder mechanism with something electronic that would show focus confirm

    cheers

    K
    Yep, the M8 has a 1.33 crop factor that turns a 24mm into a 32mm EFoV, a 28mm into a 37mm EFoV, and a 35mm into a 47mm EFoV.

    I don't care at all for the standard 35mm and 50mm fields of view on an M-series film camera or an M9. A 42mm field of view sits halfway between and is perfect. For me.

    Of course, the traditional viewfinder with electronic focus confirm would be preferable -- I suggested an EVF as a compromise.

    Any estimate as to when the Digital CL will ship?

  31. #31
    neiltsubota
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    This is my first "post" here.

    I have been reading (lurking) about Leicas and the "Dream Machine".

    I guess someone sold a 'kidney for a camera' . I guess this was like the "Cash-for-Clunkers". I hope his kidney was in good health. 'Cause if it was a Leica Camera and Lens you are talking about $ 11,000.00 according to my estimates, $ 8,000 for the body and $ 3,000 for the 21mm F 1.x, and 50mm F 1.x......

    Does this qualify for a government bail out program that I can get the "tax payers" to pay for my Leica Equipment ?......hmmmmm


  32. #32
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    welcome neiltsubota

    just remember around here some of the threads are not too serious... we are a friendly bunch on the whole and do tend to kid each other around...

    This thread came about late one night when realising that the european lottery was a ridiculous amount of money, I kidded my Leica M8 owning partner that I would buy her more than an M9... I would buy the whole company.

    The joke is that I am probably the last person to own/run Leica .... as I don't actually think they make good cameras... lenses yes but digital cameras no!!.... and I get a little tired sometimes of the 'magical/legendary/mystic' myth of the Leica

    Anyway as I didn't win the 77 million euro jackpot... I invested the 20 euros I did win on more tickets for this weeks draw where the prize is 100 million euros...

    So when I win I will be able to buy Leica AND Voigtlander.....

    Muhawawawa

    Kevin
    Stroking a white cat in his secret volcanic base

  33. #33
    coolfotog
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Dying to see a special edition Hanna Montana M9.

  34. #34
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    think there is an internal debate between the Hanna Montana and the Hanna Reitsch special edition :-)

    K

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    As the european lottery jackpot is this week standing at 77 million euro and of course i have bought the winning ticket... I have decided to buy Leica... .not the camera... the whole damn company

    any suggestions on what changes i should make.. Apart from dropping the silly S2 project and telling them to make the x-1 with an m-mount?

    yours in jest... or maybe not

    K
    Cut prices in half which create sales more than twice the price cut and you get your investment back in a few years. For the life of me I cannot understand why lenses are 3 to 5 grand for m, and approaching the stratosphere for the S2. It forces a robust used market and restricts new sales. Cut prices and sell more, profits increase, r&d creates more value because you can invest more, everyone is happy, and you get a client base that will carry you into the future. This is not rocket science. Hanging on to the past will only give you great memories and a bankrupt company as technology changes pass you by. I get the elite status of leica. The lenses are incredible. But the elite status was built when the world population was half its current size. You need more customers to keep the brand going. Otherwise, in the long run, they will be selling m lenses for 10 grand just to make next week's payroll.

  36. #36
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by wolverine View Post
    Cut prices in half which create sales more than twice the price cut and you get your investment back in a few years.
    I think you forgot to factor in the actual cost of the object. At half the price, the S2 would likely be sold at a massive loss. Half the price, double the volume works well for things like software, but not for cameras as expensive to make as Leicas. And this is even forgetting to mention that Leica has limited production-capacity.
    Carsten - Website

  37. #37
    nei1
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by coolfotog View Post
    Dying to see a special edition Hanna Montana M9.
    We now have the "black pope" edition of the olympus ep2 so leica will have to top that with the "GOD" limited(just the one presumably)edition.

  38. #38
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    (...) Tell them to bring a digital R10 to the market now. Just stick a good sensor in a R9 and dont put any further R&D cost in it. (...)
    Check

    I'm completely with you on this, Tom. Keep it simple and affordable.

  39. #39
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I think you forgot to factor in the actual cost of the object. At half the price, the S2 would likely be sold at a massive loss. Half the price, double the volume works well for things like software, but not for cameras as expensive to make as Leicas. And this is even forgetting to mention that Leica has limited production-capacity.
    Its the cost/method of manufacturing that seems to me to be the area they really need to address. There was a factory tour video recently that gave an insight into the process. It seems like the bodies are made in portugal, shipped to germany, taken apart, sensor added, then endlessly tested and adjusted. They were quite proud of the fact that it took 8 hours to make a camera.... 8 hours at probably 50 euros an hour in labor costs thats 400 euros per camera.

    Even with all that they still don't always come out right. I know someone who got his M9 home to find that the sensor was cracked in the corner.

    K

  40. #40
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    To me it looks like Leica has deliberately chosen to be a luxury brand, so to say the "Mont Blanc among pens", the "Cartier among watches", the "Bentley among cars" etc.
    And if Leica earns a lot of money that way, it definitely makes a lot of sense for Leica to take that position and follow that strategy.

  41. #41
    Super Duper
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Cutting prices in half would speed up the elimination of Leica IMO. It would work only if all cost aspects of production were cut in half, including labor. Otherwise someone would have to make up the 50% short fall for years while sales ramped up (sales demand they can't even meet now). I can't imagine who that investor would be in this world economy.

    I may be wrong, but I'm not sure Leicas made by 12 year olds in some remote 3rd world village would fly with Leica buyers.

  42. #42
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... I can't imagine who that investor would be in this world economy ...
    That would be Kevin, of course


    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... made by 12 year olds in some remote 3rd world village ...
    you mean like Cosina ...

  43. #43
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    That would be Kevin, of course




    you mean like Cosina ...

    You're on form today Steen

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    thanks Jono, hey how much did you pay for that red Super Duper dot in your signature, I want such a one too ...

  45. #45
    nei1
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    I may be wrong, but I'm not sure Leicas made by 12 year olds in some remote 3rd world village would fly with Leica buyers.

    I think it might be interesting to have a starving childs finger print right in the middle of the screen of every new M9 .

  46. #46
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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    I think it might be interesting to have a starving childs finger print right in the middle of the screen of every new M9 .
    No, the finger print could be that of the Quality Control person back in Germany after eating a Bratwurst sandwich ...

    Better a test photo on every M9 SD card ... the starving child with their dependent extended family in the background snapped by Sebastiano Salgado.



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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Too many serious responses to a tongue in cheek response to a tongue in cheek original post. But alas, life is way too short to worry about whether leica will survive or not. Got too many photos to take.

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    While my fingers still have life... As the treasurer of a billion $ plus corporation, I have forgotten more about the economics and calculus of supply and demand, inputs, production, micro and macro factors, marginal this and marginal that, than most people will know in a lifetime. I would certainly love to debate whether leica can cut cost and prices on lenses and grow market share. But that is a conversation for another day. I also understand that increased market share may not be leica's motive and certainly not the motive of some leica officianados. As a finance exec that thought deeply troubles me. Probably why corporations need more than just finance execs making decisions. Over the past number of years leica has had its share of financial issues and senior management turnover even before the recent economic meltdown. Will they survive with their current model? The opinions are across a very wide continuum on that one. Based on my limited outsider, current understanding of their model, it is an investment I would not make make. $77 million may not be enough. Though I would love to study their model and see what they really are about. In the meantime, I expect my m lenses will still be providing incredible results 20 years from now. To quote a mentor of mine when discussing a friend of his lamenting over the cost of owning a private jet. "If you are worried about the annual cost of flying in a personal jet, you can't afford it!" Perhaps the allure of owning leica. If you are concerned with price, you probably can't afford it, but want one. A gross generalization, I know. But there is some wisdom there. A lot of us just suck it up and pay to have the quality. I really do hope that 20 years from now leica is not just a memory. Which begs the question: what will a digital camera look like in 20 years and will lenses even be an issue? I may not be able to use an m lens. Shudder that thought! We will be wearing 20x zoom lens glasses with a 100 mp mini cam in the frame wireless linked to a cray supercomputer wrist watch!!!! Holy radiation, Batman! Enjoy your leicas while you can.

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Despite Wolverine's "tongue-in-cheek" 'plan', I detect the respirations of a true Texas capitalist and it's nice to see that kind of writing nowadays.

    Obviously, that plan would only work if Leica's products were more commodity oriented. They're not, and that's by Leica's choice; though a choice borne of necessity. Herr Kaufmann wouldn't risk the investment necessary to bring their products into that category, even if he could afford it.

    Leica exists, and always has, as a niche company catering to those who are willing and able to write the necessary checks. I'm sure that they studied the market and its demographics with tools and economists far beyond my ken, but I remain convinced that they made the wrong decision in dropping further R development in favor of the S2.

    As my pappy used to say, "son, that's why there's chocolate and vanilla".
    It'll be facinating to watch Leica's choice of flavor play out!
    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

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    Re: New owner of Leica

    Hi There
    Quote Originally Posted by beamon View Post
    Leica exists, and always has, as a niche company catering to those who are willing and able to write the necessary checks. I'm sure that they studied the market and its demographics with tools and economists far beyond my ken, but I remain convinced that they made the wrong decision in dropping further R development in favor of the S2.
    If that actually was the case, then I would agree. But I think that events (the world depression) intervened. As I understood it the S2 was supposed to be the proving ground for technologies which would flow down to the R10. When they decided to stop developing the R10, the S2 was already developed enough to make it worth while continuing. (of course, I could be wrong

    So they didn't drop the R in favour of the S2, they simply dropped the R because circumstances had changed (and the S2 was basically finished).

    Just this guy you know

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