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Thread: How much beating does your Leica take?

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    How much beating does your Leica take?

    I was browsing Flickr and ended up looking at a picture showing Joichi Ito, the new MIT Media lab head and an investor who flies several times around the earth each year and usually seems to drag his M9 along. Take a look at the lens (or is it a shade?).

    The picture's by Mohamed Nanabhay

    Original picture:


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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    A heavily used camera. Obviously been through the wringer, but it's being used for what it ought to do.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    ...but it's being used for what it ought to do.
    Unplugging drains?

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Yeah I'm all for not babying cameras but that looks entirely deliberate/retarded. I put mine in a bag, the camera was $7k, the bag was $80. Just seems insanely pretentious to think that wearing down your camera is going to score points. Is this Joichi Ito taking decent photos at least?
    EDIT: Nevermind, found his flickr. Still don't think this degree of 'wearing' is reasonable. Seriously, unless it's bouncing around in a case with sharp/rough metal objects that isn't gonna happen, even if I wore mine every day it'd be bumping into wooden doorframes and maybe walls at a far too infrequent rate to do anything serious. What about rangefinder alignment and viewfinder clarity? All this 'legitimate wear' has to deteriorate that somewhat?

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    I admit that if I was dropping that kind of money on photo gear (which I never will), I'd try to keep it a bit more secure. But admittedly in addition to flying around crazy miles, he also seems to take A LOT of stuff along. Lately even scuba diving related stuff. So perhaps it is possible for the lens to take that kind of beating even though one tries to prevent it.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    So perhaps it is possible for the lens to take that kind of beating even though one tries to prevent it.
    I am not sure he really needs to pack the camera with the air tanks...

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    I don't exactly baby mine, but its nearly two years old and shows very few signs of wear. The 'black paint' of the M9 is a tough powder coating and I can only think that some of the extremely worn M9's that get paraded on the internet are done with sandpaper and to make their owners look 'hardcore'. That said undoubtedly there will be some that take a hammering in genuine use, but then the owners of those are less likely to be showing off on camera forums, but out making photographs and doing business with them.

    Steve

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    I sincerely doubt he's shooting the M in those scuba shots, there isn't an underwater housing for the M8/9 is there? If he's using one of those 'bags' then he is a braver man than I.
    As for camera mileage, 90% of his shots are taken in boardrooms/restaurants/hotel-rooms. He's not shooting in Afghanistan.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Joi shoots several other cameras in addition to his M9. Sometimes Canon 5D mk II, the underwater ones are from a m43 I think.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    I guess it depends on many things...one of them the question if you get a heavy damage on your lens if you get it repaired or if you leave it like this (inlcuding the question if you get insurance for your equipment or not).
    One other question could be if you buy heavily used lens on purpose (maybe) just to make it less attractive to thiefs/rubbery or if you know you will heavily use it anyways that you buy a heavily used lens anyways.
    I assume it also depends if one uses a M9 in "normal life"or if you are a reporter who is using it in areas of crisis and wars were maybe in some situations you just dont have time to put the camera back in a bag. Or where you maybe want to be ready for shooting without delay.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    It doesn't look that bad to me. Maybe he's taking the smart approach and just using a sacrificial lens hood/filter ring to take any beating. A Summilux isn't going to work well if you impart that abuse on the lens itself.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 31st July 2011 at 00:33.
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    You can see in another photo that the filter is what is messed up (or at least appears to be), and the camera doesn't look so bad either.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/4660.../photosof-joi/

    If you don't use a bag, or use a bag with harder edges, the paint will come off the M9. I carry mine every day in a (nice and soft) bag, and it is still brassing in the corners. It does not bother me, but I do not find it cool either, so it is not something I have been trying to have happen.
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    bought mine used with some wear and small scratches, I will not add a scratch to it. My previous camera (canon 5d) did not have scratches and looked new after 4 years.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    I have been shooting professionally for 18 years (had a main street studio for the last 12),
    I have always treated my gear with care probably due to the money spent. From the days of my Nikon F3's and f4's, Hasselblads, 1 series Canon film and digitals etc etc etc, nearly all my gear was sold in A++ nick. OK.... I might be a bit obsessive but I just like to look after my hard earned possessions.
    During the 4 years I worked at Canon, I saw equipment come over the counter in pretty poor shape. The worst were the units operated by the press guys. Given that they did not own the gear they just chucked it around without a care. I probably would be a little less careful in their position but I reckon any camera I used on the job would look 90% better than theirs.
    Anyhow, my Leicas will be well used, but I would think that the day a new owner acquires them they will most likely look pretty well mint.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    I don't baby my cameras (no cases) but I would be very reluctant to allow that kind of beating unless somebody else was going to foot repair or replacement bills. I wonder whether Mr. ito treats his cars or his house the same way? Why should beating up a camera be a point of pride?
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    As little as possible.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Mine has a few small marks and slight brassing around the corner of the finder. Not heavily used, but I do carry it around 5-6 days a week. The "steel gray" paint is a softer finish than the M8's chrome plating, and the M8's brass base metal in turn dents more easily than the M6's die-cast zinc top.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    I usually have a camera with me every day - let alone for travel, etc. I don't baby the gear, but I don't use it recklessly either. When I'm done shooting, sure - lens cap on and in the bag. But I have no problem with it over my shoulder all day, either. It is a tool after all. If anything, I care about my lenses the most since they'll likely be in my bag 'til I'm worm food. But bodies, especially digital - are far more transient.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Looks like he was driving nails with the lens..

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramosa View Post
    As little as possible.
    Same for me, but sometimes stuff happens. If I wanted to keep my equipment in perfect condition I'd keep it in airtight, de-humidified padded case which means I'd never carry it with me and I'd never make any photos. For me the pictures are what's important so I risk some boo-boos. Personal choice, YMMV.

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Same for me, but sometimes stuff happens. If I wanted to keep my equipment in perfect condition I'd keep it in airtight, de-humidified padded case which means I'd never carry it with me and I'd never make any photos. For me the pictures are what's important so I risk some boo-boos. Personal choice, YMMV.
    I'm with you on this one Doug. I always try to keep my gear in pristine condition, but wear is part of the normal process when you are using it. Still, to get an M9 into that "beater" category this guy simply does not care how badly he beats it up. I know press shooters using their M's every day for over two years that don't have a quarter of that damage showing....

    Clearly, he just uses a neck strap slung over his shoulder most of the time. I always use a bag for transport, and when not in the bag the body is securely in my hand. I want to KNOW that when I pull it out, it is going to function as it is supposed to. I would have to wonder if his does?

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    ... to get an M9 into that "beater" category this guy simply does not care how badly he beats it up. I know press shooters using their M's every day for over two years that don't have a quarter of that damage showing....
    What we don't know is where and how he uses his camera, what environmental conditions he regularly encounters, and whether this was the result of an unfortunate accident or from ordinary everyday use. My 280mm f/4 APO (+ Leicaflex SL2) has looked worse (an accident) but it was still functional and I had it repaired soon after the accident.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    What we don't know is where and how he uses his camera, what environmental conditions he regularly encounters, and whether this was the result of an unfortunate accident or from ordinary everyday use. My 280mm f/4 APO (+ Leicaflex SL2) has looked worse (an accident) but it was still functional and I had it repaired soon after the accident.
    Absolutely right Doug, if it was an accident. I was responding though to the overall condition. Either those boardrooms he shoots in are real Fight Clubs, he accidentally left his Leica in his pants pocket at the dry cleaners, or he is unusually hard on a piece of kit that is known for taking a beating.

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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    Absolutely right Doug, if it was an accident. I was responding though to the overall condition. Either those boardrooms he shoots in are real Fight Clubs, he accidentally left his Leica in his pants pocket at the dry cleaners, or he is unusually hard on a piece of kit that is known for taking a beating.
    I don't see that the appearance of anyone's camera should matter to anyone else.

    Thanks Chuck, you've helped me realize what a complete waste of time Internet forums are.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: How much beating does your Leica take?

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    I don't see that the appearance of anyone's camera should matter to anyone else.

    Thanks Chuck, you've helped me realize what a complete waste of time Internet forums are.
    I find myself agreeing on both counts.

    On a more serious note, I agree with Doug that you never know how a camera ends up looking like it does. I know that in my own case my last M9 had some love marks on it caused by unfortunate bumps between items in my bag but nothing else. It wasn't mistreated in any way but did lack that pristine condition that others seem to cherish and somehow maintain. You don't necessarily have to treat your camera with complete recklessness to get dings, or maybe in this case more serious looking wear & tear - all it takes is one unfortunate event and you've got "patina" or worse.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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