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Thread: Monochrom to cease?

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    Monochrom to cease?

    A dealer in Melbourne just informed me that he had been told that production of the Monochrom would cease from next March. I know there have been some earlier threads on whether the camera would have a limited production run. Has anyone else heard anything similar?

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Cease production after less than one year? I seriously doubt that.

    Unless there is some disruption in the supply chain (i.e. Leica can no longer get sensors) it would make no sense to cease production when demand is still there, and with the limited number of units in the field it's impossible to imagine that engineering costs have been recovered on this project.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    At introduction Leica said it would have a longer production run than the usual three years. Of course anybody can change his mind, but as Stephen said, why should they, especially as it appears to be selling far better than expected?
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    If Leica are in any way consistant they will drop the Monochrom, and introduce the Monochrom-P, or called some something similar. It could be black paint (or whatever) and everybody will want one because they always wanted black paint just as they did a chrome option. This is how Leica work, they start out giving you less than they could, improve it to what it should have been like in the first place, and then discontinue it.

    Steve

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Wait! The current monochrome is less than what people want?

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Wait! The current monochrome is less than what people want?
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    If Leica are in any way consistant they will drop the Monochrom, and introduce the Monochrom-P, or called some something similar. It could be black paint (or whatever) and everybody will want one because they always wanted black paint just as they did a chrome option. This is how Leica work, they start out giving you less than they could, improve it to what it should have been like in the first place, and then discontinue it.

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    The externals of the Monochrom are already spec with the "upgrades" offered in the M9-P and M8.2 (sapphire lcd screen, unmarked top plate, etc.)
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Why not? Leica produces cameras and lenses in batches. Probably they will produce enough MM cameras in the last batch to cover the market requirements for a couple of years. Nothing unusual about that.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    They'll need to manufacture some kind of M body. The M9, M9P and (reputedly) M-E are finished, the M 240 still seems a world away from serial production. Good job for Leica that the Monochrom is proving so popular.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Why not? Leica produces cameras and lenses in batches. Probably they will produce enough MM cameras in the last batch to cover the market requirements for a couple of years. Nothing unusual about that.
    Oh I seriously doubt that. The inventory carrying costs and tax burden alone would have the bean counters turning white. I expect batch manufacturing at a level below demand, with as little component inventory as possible in house, to remain SOP, especially now that there are new investors looking over the financials.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Why not? Leica produces cameras and lenses in batches. Probably they will produce enough MM cameras in the last batch to cover the market requirements for a couple of years. Nothing unusual about that.
    That would be a loss. I am not sure about Leica, but Japanese manufacturers would produce a run of about a projected six-month stock. It is better to run out faster than six month and start up another run, than to have stock sitting in a warehouse losing money. A product that sits for a year or more is really expensive. Generally you are talking about very expensive and exotic items like a 600mm f/4 lens retailing at $10,000+.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Stephen and Shashin, what you say makes sense and I won't argue with that. I just wonder what kind of MM quantities Leica expects to sell until the next model, and whether it would be feasible economically to produce these quantities in several small batches. I think there is always a balance between the cost of keeping stock and the cost saving by producing larger batches. I don't claim to know much about Leica strategy, but Zeiss for instance seems to prefer larger batches more spaced in time for its lenses, but cameras may require different strategies.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsie View Post
    A dealer in Melbourne just informed me that he had been told that production of the Monochrom would cease from next March. I know there have been some earlier threads on whether the camera would have a limited production run. Has anyone else heard anything similar?
    As others have said, sounds doubtful. Was he trying to get you to buy an MM?

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Nope. I'd already committed by then. Picked it up today. He said again that it was what the guy in the Leica boutique had heard from Leica. Who knows. It's academic for me now!

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    If Leica are in any way consistant they will drop the Monochrom, and introduce the Monochrom-P, or called some something similar. It could be black paint (or whatever) and everybody will want one because they always wanted black paint just as they did a chrome option. This is how Leica work, they start out giving you less than they could, improve it to what it should have been like in the first place, and then discontinue it.

    Steve
    I'd consider Black Paint to be a down grade. I was thrilled that the MM came in Black Chrome with a sapphire LCD screen since I plan on keeping this camera for some time and I'm sick of babying black paint cameras ... which is why my M9 is now the Chrome M9P version with sapphire LCD, not black or grey paint.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Why would ceasing production of the MM surprise everyone?

    Even though demand has been good, it is still a limited appeal camera and those interested in it, and have the money, are probably front loading that demand.

    Leica are a small company, and they have a brand new camera coming that has a broader appeal even beyond traditional M users ... including higher ISO M performance that is part of the MM's appeal compared to the M9 ... a new offering for which I'm sure they are comparatively forecasting enormous sales. People are lining up for the new M like kids in sleeping bags at a rock concert

    The real driver for Leica is the M, and nothing can get in the way of it, and all the diverse do-dad accessories that will swell Leica's coffers with cash. I pre-orded mine and the new base and EVF the minute it was announced.

    Plus, correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not think their new production facilities will be fully up and running by the launch date of the new M, so it seems something will have to give.

    However, it wouldn't surprise me if they kept the MM in production either. Leica is Leica ... rumor ridden and inscrutable.

    -Marc

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Apparently demand for the MM has far exceeded in house expectations - and production (which was due to end in 2012 ) has been extended till March (2013) at this stage when the resources will be switched to help cater for the expected demand on the new M.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    If it gets discontinued after a very short run, it is a big win for Leica and those who have bought the camera.

    If there is enough demand they can always bring a better version with live view and all. Just imagine if the old Kodak CCD can do so well in high ISOs what the new CMOS can do.

    That would be superb!

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    As Marc says above, we do know a new facility will come online to increase capacity, and we also know that Leica set up a production line for a run of products (not sure if we know what products can go in parallel). Clearly they've done a run of M-E's delivered since Photokina, so presumably it's time to get cracking on the M.

    Anyhow, isn't this thread refreshing, I remember after getting my order in on May 10, sitting anticipating the camera arriving, reading the various forums of people claiming it was crazy, why do it, it'll be a financial disaster for Leica, etc.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    Anyhow, isn't this thread refreshing, I remember after getting my order in on May 10, sitting anticipating the camera arriving, reading the various forums of people claiming it was crazy, why do it, it'll be a financial disaster for Leica, etc.
    What? People were wrong??? I am just not going to believe anyone anymore.


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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Why would ceasing production of the MM surprise everyone?
    Because Leica still makes both the M7 and the MP, and I would venture sales of both of those two combined are a tiny fraction of MM deliveries in the last two months.

    In spite of all the marketing hoopla about what a different camera the MM is the bill of materials and assembly technique is nearly identical to the M-E, and so having batches of Monochrom cameras flow down the M-E line would hardly sap resources from the new wunderkind M.

    By the way, where is the new M? Christmas is coming and it has certainly been quiet the last few months...

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    The will probably do a Hermes MM with bright orange leather and a matching neck strap for only $5000 more than a standard MM.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Buncha cynics and curmudgeons around here, I see. ;-)

    I have no idea when Leica will discontinue the Monochrom. Hopefully, not until after I can justify the expense of buying one, but likely just before.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Seems to me ridiculous that rumors about the end of the Monochrome are flourishing well before the current batch of orders can be fulfilled.

    On the other hand............this is Leica LOL

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Rumors are just that...

    The MM is selling well, with a backlog on orders. It isn't going anywhere anytime soon...

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    As Marc says above, we do know a new facility will come online to increase capacity
    I'm trying to remember what I heard, at a recent Leica Akademie, about the timeframe for bringing the new plant online.... it's going to be maybe a year, perhaps a bit less, til production will begin there??
    Ed

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Buncha cynics and curmudgeons around here, I see. ;-)

    I have no idea when Leica will discontinue the Monochrom. Hopefully, not until after I can justify the expense of buying one, but likely just before.

    G
    Agree with you. My mind is saying to spend the money on the new M but my heart is saying stick with the M9-P for now and just add the MM. My heart is slowly winning. I've always been curious with the Apochromatic Phase One camera but it was way too rich for my blood to even think about. This is the best alternative so far I think.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Interestingly, Leica calls the MM "The future of digital black-and-white photography" on their website. Can they discontinue the future
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Interestingly, Leica calls the MM "The future of digital black-and-white photography" on their website. Can they discontinue the future
    Or an ominous sign?

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Btw, does anyone have any gauge on delivery times for Monochrom orders? I placed an order about six weeks ago or so and I'm just wondering how long folks, other than the very early orderers, were having to wait for their cameras?

    Leica can stop production right after I've eventually got mine. (yes, I know, it's all about me)
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Hi Graham, MM's seem to be coming in at a slow trickle. I would suspect that a 3-6 month wait would be typical... just a guess though...
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    The price has gone up a bit. I would like to see it come down a bit (unlikely) and with an availability notice so that I can think about getting one. If they stop production before that, oh, well!

    It is quite likely that I would get a live view monochrome camera that can do UV/Vis/IR before the Leica purchase.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    No plans to discontinue in the near future.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    The externals of the Monochrom are already spec with the "upgrades" offered in the M9-P and M8.2 (sapphire lcd screen, unmarked top plate, etc.)
    But it hasn't got black paint and it hasn't got a Red Dot, yet.

    Steve

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'd consider Black Paint to be a down grade.
    True for some, but at the end of a run Leica start the collectors editions as well, so expect an MM with black leatherette with white top and bottom plates (or visa versa), or a 'HCB' version of a chrome body covered in black tape.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    One day they will make a monochrom that can take pictures in a different color than gray...

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    They'll need to manufacture some kind of M body. The M9, M9P and (reputedly) M-E are finished, the M 240 still seems a world away from serial production. Good job for Leica that the Monochrom is proving so popular.
    How is the M-E finished?

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    The M-E's finish is less textured, more plasticy (though it isn't plastic). I think they went to mag alloy rather than brass for some elements, or so I was told...it feels different in hand, probably due to the paint job/materials used for the top/bottom plate.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    M-E will continue.
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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    But it hasn't got black paint and it hasn't got a Red Dot, yet.

    Steve
    I've got a paint brush and can help out there ... ;-)

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    The M-E's finish is less textured, more plasticy (though it isn't plastic). I think they went to mag alloy rather than brass for some elements, or so I was told...it feels different in hand, probably due to the paint job/materials used for the top/bottom plate.
    Exact same metals used in the components of the M-E as the M9/M9P.

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    Re: Monochrom to cease?

    Few considerations :

    - MM demand is really up there ; example, in Portugal, only 1 MM has been delivered. I know of at least 20 on pre order and at the very least a dozen with deposits paid;

    - new Leica Portugal factory is nowhere to be finished, construction is getting back but is a bit offrails, or so I've heard / seen. the new M will be Leica next bread/butter for sure, so one thing that perhaps makes sense is to halt MM production for a bit and get that new M pumping. Halting MM all together doesnt make sense - at least to me. But then again, I'm not Leica

    - ME production is at full speed. perhaps they are stockpiling so the new M takes all the production lines ?

    - Leica has its own pace. Noctilux 0.95ASPH, they are still in demand and still they are done at Leica own pace - couple per month.

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