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Thread: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

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    Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Erwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica (?)

    https://theonlinephotographer.typepa...-to-leica.html
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Apparently only to the new gear.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Is it just me, or..,?

    I read the link, and I read the short piece in his blog. There is nothing to read other than the fact he doesn't like the direction Leica is heading. What does that mean?

    He laments Leica not going their own way? What way is that? What suggestions does he have for Leica to make a 5-year business plan? A 10-20 year business plan?

    The times they are a-changin'....

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Go to the source he explained himself on his own blog . Leica has made a major shift in its strategic direction . (1) emphasis on firmware /software leading to computational photography ..moving away from precision manufacturing of cameras and lenses (2) profit completely driving investments .eg. Cinema lenses sets at over $200K (3) strategic partnerships as source of income and approach to reducing investments required .

    This has killed Leica s emphasis and investment in unique products . The M can no longer sustain the business ,the S is dead . Only the Q and SL represent professional products and they are not particularly differentiated from Sony,Canon,Nikon .

    Its going to get much much worse for Leica s traditional customer base .
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    It is a tough business for sure. He is not an investor or on the board, or is he? Is he trying to say that all customers should follow his lead and bail out? It seems odd, but what do I know?

    But again, what exactly is his reason for "ditching" Leica? Is the demise of Leica imminent? Or is there something else?

    I guess I just don't understand his "business" or other relationship.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Hey, it happens to companies if they want to stay current. I left Leica about 2 years ago after 42 years (since high school). If was a very tough decision like ripping out a piece of me that I've grown accustomed. I still have a lens, but use it on a different camera. I hold no grudge towards Leica, I'm just going in a different direction. I have other Leica products, but as far as digital cameras, it's not for me.

    Joel

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    I guess I just don't understand his "business" or other relationship.

    If you don't know who is is, perhaps you could try to find out.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Go to the source he explained himself on his own blog . Leica has made a major shift in its strategic direction . (1) emphasis on firmware /software leading to computational photography ..moving away from precision manufacturing of cameras and lenses (2) profit completely driving investments .eg. Cinema lenses sets at over $200K (3) strategic partnerships as source of income and approach to reducing investments required .

    This has killed Leica s emphasis and investment in unique products . The M can no longer sustain the business ,the S is dead . Only the Q and SL represent professional products and they are not particularly differentiated from Sony,Canon,Nikon .

    Its going to get much much worse for Leica s traditional customer base .
    I think the changing market has forced Leica into a position of product diversity. People may not like it but the reality is that the traditional Leica customer is dying off. People in my age demographic (35-44) may have had some film experience but more than likely that was on a Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Minolta Camera... unless someone had a rally nice hand me down.

    You bring up a good point regarding product differentiation and I do believe that Leica still makes products their own way but itíll always come down to the value proposition for most photographers. Most people canít drop $15k+ on their camera kit (itís just the reality) but $5-6k may be attainable for many. Computational photography is here and will he expanded upon. People can fight it if they want but itís going to be a thing like HDR, video in photo cameras, etc.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    I'm much more concerned with getting excellent cameras and lenses than whether a company has "unique products". I choose to use Leica products because they are excellent cameras and lenses, and for me they've proven more satisfactory in use than other manufacturers' offerings.

    The M has been obsolete as a camera design for decades. I find the enthusiast obsession with the M as the premier product a bit odd. Professional photographers have mostly chosen more versatile cameras for a very long time; fine art photographers and hobbyists choose whatever makes them happy since they're not reading the business balance sheet in the majority of cases. The M is still a superb camera despite being an obsolete design, but it's not the tool that much of the audience has picked for a very long time.

    G

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    I don't think "obsolete" is the correct word. While rangefinders aren't leading edge, they still have a strong following and are selling. The thing that makes M cameras relevant is still present, I just don't think it does anything for my photography.

    Joel

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    I don't think "obsolete" is the correct word. While rangefinders aren't leading edge, they still have a strong following and are selling. The thing that makes M cameras relevant is still present, I just don't think it does anything for my photography.

    Joel
    Well, hmm. I don't know what word fits better. Rangefinder 35mm cameras with interchangeable lenses were surpassed in focusing accuracy, framing accuracy, lens versatility, etc, by SLRs in this camera class, and later by AF equipped slim, similar cameras. While there is a niche following that still prefers the rangefinder, its view/focusing system is an obsolete design.

    Whether it's still a good camera, still satisfies users, etc etc, isn't at issue. Obsolescence is a matter of technical verisimilitude, not whether the thing in question is still useful and liked.

    The question that comes to mind is in the phrase you wrote: "The thing that makes M camera relevant is still present ..." What is that "thing" and why don't you think it does anything for your photography?

    G

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Well, hmm. I don't know what word fits better. Rangefinder 35mm cameras with interchangeable lenses were surpassed in focusing accuracy, framing accuracy, lens versatility, etc, by SLRs in this camera class, and later by AF equipped slim, similar cameras. While there is a niche following that still prefers the rangefinder, its view/focusing system is an obsolete design.

    Whether it's still a good camera, still satisfies users, etc etc, isn't at issue. Obsolescence is a matter of technical verisimilitude, not whether the thing in question is still useful and liked.

    The question that comes to mind is in the phrase you wrote: "The thing that makes M camera relevant is still present ..." What is that "thing" and why don't you think it does anything for your photography?

    G
    Actually, obsolescence is when something isn't used, outdated, surpassed, etc. Outdated and surpassed might be a matter of opinion but they are certainly being used.

    One thing that comes to mind is that with a rangefinder, you can see the action coming in and going out of the frame. It makes the "decisive moment" easier to capture. Another thing might be ease of focusing, but that's subjective. These are some of the reasons I loved the Leica system for all those years.

    I have found the last few years that the Sony, and I'm sure most of the others, are doing everything I need for digital. This includes telephoto for wildlife through wide angle for landscapes, including macro. Obviously, Leica doesn't do all this but that's okay as it has its purpose from an age-old design. What can the Leica do that the Sony cannot? For film, I use Canon as I have a bunch of Canon lenses to use with my A7rii. I also have a medium format film outfit.

    I'm certainly not trying to make any sort of argument for or against either you or Leica, but ultimately I feel a loss and perhaps even let down. Not their fault as they need to survive, but after 42 years, it's a loss none the less.

    Cheers,

    Joel
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Are Leica giving up the rangefinder? This is the first I have heard of it. But the idea that Leica is only a rangefinder company is silly--what was the Leica R series? That was carried over with the S. Now they are going forward with the development of mirrorless. It is actually a natural procession for camera companies.

    Puts was always a romantic and I really did not really agree with his characterization of photography (I have never been a fan of mythologizing camera equipment). Still, he could have had more grace in his retirement than using overused cliches to slam the company--I wonder how he would feel knowing that his well loved M optics have been designed with software for a long time.

    But I think this is good news. Leica has been hamstrung by the conservatism of its fans like Puts for far too long. They started as innovators. I am sure Puts would have been critical of the company for abandoning the universality and simplicity of the screw mount for the bayonet and appalled with putting the rangefinder in the viewfinder. The only good thing is he became a Leica fan when the M was in production.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    I doubt abandoning true rangefinders but I have to say that I like my Q2 even with EVF.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    This is a lazy response on my part, because although I have pored over the Leica Compendium, and the Leica Lens Compendium in the course of acquiring of M and R lenses, I found the Leica Lens Saga almost unreadable (I read engineering and scientific papers and this isn't up to those standards of clarity), and I haven't visited his blog in quite a while. The action at Leica recently has been in the rollout of SL lenses and some pretty fine S lenses as well. Has he reviewed those? I suspect he prefers to use M lenses and compare digital to high acutance film images, an approach of limited value as lenses become "designed for digital."

    If you look at the usability of Leica's recent designs, they are different from the competition, with no buttons, or unlabelled buttons and more finely tuned bodies. The Panasonic S1 UI offers everything that their customers said was essential. Leica errs in the other direction, selecting a single way to do everything, or not permitting things that could present conflicts. And Panasonic is one of the better UIs around. So Leica has chosen to differentiate itself.

    Mike Johnston recently declared that Leica had "lost its soul" when the Leitz family exited, retaining their name. The soul currently resides in the institutional memory of Stefan Daniel, Jesko von Oeynhuysen, Peter Karbe and many people whose names we don't know. Dr Kaufmann and his brothers, current majority owners from a modern generation of businessmen, are trying to support that soul by returning to Wetzlar, but internalizing it has been hard. Kaufmann, a Leica collector but not a technologist, was attracted to Leica because Hermes was also an investor. That didn't last and he has improved greatly since then, but I look to the "family" within Leica for preservation of its uniqueness.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    Actually, obsolescence is when something isn't used, outdated, surpassed, etc. Outdated and surpassed might be a matter of opinion but they are certainly being used. ...
    Well, it's kind of a semantic or nomenclatural distinction. Wikipedia says :
    Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.

    The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management - Application Guide defines obsolescence as being the "transition from availability of products by the original manufacturer or supplier to unavailability".

    Obsolescence frequently occurs because a replacement has become available that has, in sum, more advantages compared to the disadvantages incurred by maintaining or repairing the original.

    Obsolete also refers to something that is already disused or discarded, or antiquated. Typically, obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity.
    By that, it's something of a judgement call as to how you interpret the term. I use the first interpretation in this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    .. One thing that comes to mind is that with a rangefinder, you can see the action coming in and going out of the frame. ...
    This often-ballyhooed feature of the rangefinder I have not found to be of any value to me at all, for two reasons. First of all, with wide lenses and most RF viewfinders, and the fact that I have always worn glasses, there's often little to no visibility of anything outside the frame available. In fact, with the 28mm frame lines on a Leica M with .72x magnification finder, I cannot even see the 28mm frame lines without moving my eye around the too-tight exit pupil of the viewfinder ... It's only with longer focal lengths that I can easily see outside the frame.

    And then it's a matter of where my attention is directed: when I'm framing a scene, my attention is on what's inside the frame lines, not on what's outside the frame lines, and I barely notice the latter. I also do not tend to hold the camera to my eye for anything other than a brief moment with an RF, like I do with a TTL viewfinder, so the notion that I'm studying what's inside the viewfinder to see what's moving in and out of the frame lines is false.

    With an RF camera, I always "know" what the lens will see, pick the camera to my eye to rapidly adjust the focus indicator, point the camera using the frame lines as a quick guide, release the shutter, and put the camera down to continue looking around me for photo opportunities. My workflow differs with a TTL camera as then I'll spend more time looking at and around with the camera viewfinder for opportunities. I don't know whether others have this same differentiation between cameras in their workflows, but that's how I do it

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    ... Another thing might be ease of focusing, but that's subjective. These are some of the reasons I loved the Leica system for all those years.
    Yes, very subjective. Some of my Ms have been easier to focus than others, due to qualities and changes in the viewfinder optical system. The best two so far have been my now-departed M-D typ 262 and my first-series M4-2 (same as the M4). My M9 was particularly difficult to judge coincidence of the RF images with compared to my other Ms over the years, due to the lower magnification of its viewfinder image (.68x vs .72x).

    Certainly any TTL viewing/focusing camera has more diverse capabilities with regards to focal length and focusing accuracy, close up framing (due to the lack of parallax issues), etc. The Leica M typ 240 and later with the Visoflex EVF, earlier and other models fitted with a Visoflex ... these devices add more capability to the RF camera and overcome the RF system's inherent accuracy limitations by making the M a TTL camera. But they're nowhere near as convenient and fluid in use as actual TTL cameras can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    ...I'm certainly not trying to make any sort of argument for or against either you or Leica, but ultimately I feel a loss and perhaps even let down. Not their fault as they need to survive, but after 42 years, it's a loss none the less.
    Granted, and note that I'm enjoying the discussion.

    The Leica SL and CL/T/TL series cameras overcome all of the obsolescence of the M's RF viewfinder system, and the SL and TL lens series designed for them are certainly at the same level of quality and rendering as the M and R series lenses. So if you need or want the TTL capabilities, Leica has the solution for you well in hand. If you prefer the RF system, well, the M is still in production (both film and digital versions, and lenses) and continues to work well despite its obsolescence. So I don't really know what there is to complain or be sad about.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    I think the mystic of Leica has always been in their renowned engineering and build quality of their film cameras. That never carried over to digital for me, so only have the M2-R and a 50mm 1.4.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Well, it's kind of a semantic or nomenclatural distinction. Wikipedia says :


    By that, it's something of a judgement call as to how you interpret the term. I use the first interpretation in this discussion.



    This often-ballyhooed feature of the rangefinder I have not found to be of any value to me at all, for two reasons. First of all, with wide lenses and most RF viewfinders, and the fact that I have always worn glasses, there's often little to no visibility of anything outside the frame available. In fact, with the 28mm frame lines on a Leica M with .72x magnification finder, I cannot even see the 28mm frame lines without moving my eye around the too-tight exit pupil of the viewfinder ... It's only with longer focal lengths that I can easily see outside the frame.

    And then it's a matter of where my attention is directed: when I'm framing a scene, my attention is on what's inside the frame lines, not on what's outside the frame lines, and I barely notice the latter. I also do not tend to hold the camera to my eye for anything other than a brief moment with an RF, like I do with a TTL viewfinder, so the notion that I'm studying what's inside the viewfinder to see what's moving in and out of the frame lines is false.

    With an RF camera, I always "know" what the lens will see, pick the camera to my eye to rapidly adjust the focus indicator, point the camera using the frame lines as a quick guide, release the shutter, and put the camera down to continue looking around me for photo opportunities. My workflow differs with a TTL camera as then I'll spend more time looking at and around with the camera viewfinder for opportunities. I don't know whether others have this same differentiation between cameras in their workflows, but that's how I do it



    Yes, very subjective. Some of my Ms have been easier to focus than others, due to qualities and changes in the viewfinder optical system. The best two so far have been my now-departed M-D typ 262 and my first-series M4-2 (same as the M4). My M9 was particularly difficult to judge coincidence of the RF images with compared to my other Ms over the years, due to the lower magnification of its viewfinder image (.68x vs .72x).

    Certainly any TTL viewing/focusing camera has more diverse capabilities with regards to focal length and focusing accuracy, close up framing (due to the lack of parallax issues), etc. The Leica M typ 240 and later with the Visoflex EVF, earlier and other models fitted with a Visoflex ... these devices add more capability to the RF camera and overcome the RF system's inherent accuracy limitations by making the M a TTL camera. But they're nowhere near as convenient and fluid in use as actual TTL cameras can be.



    Granted, and note that I'm enjoying the discussion.

    The Leica SL and CL/T/TL series cameras overcome all of the obsolescence of the M's RF viewfinder system, and the SL and TL lens series designed for them are certainly at the same level of quality and rendering as the M and R series lenses. So if you need or want the TTL capabilities, Leica has the solution for you well in hand. If you prefer the RF system, well, the M is still in production (both film and digital versions, and lenses) and continues to work well despite its obsolescence. So I don't really know what there is to complain or be sad about.

    G
    I agree with the definition you use, but not your interpretation. The Leica Ms are still wanted, which from the definition you posted does not make them obsolete.

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    Re: Erwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Can someone take pity on people with OCD and fix the title of the thread?
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I agree with the definition you use, but not your interpretation. The Leica Ms are still wanted, which from the definition you posted does not make them obsolete.
    LOL! I'm sorry, Will, but the Leica M has not been the preferred camera type for the VAST majority of photographers since the middle 1960s. Sure, there's a niche market for 35mm, interchangeable lens, rangefinder cameras that still exists today ... but there's still a niche market for Daguerreotypes and one could hardly not call that an obsolete technology despite that fact.

    All in good fun, sir.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    LOL! I'm sorry, Will, but the Leica M has not been the preferred camera type for the VAST majority of photographers since the middle 1960s. Sure, there's a niche market for 35mm, interchangeable lens, rangefinder cameras that still exists today ... but there's still a niche market for Daguerreotypes and one could hardly not call that an obsolete technology despite that fact.

    All in good fun, sir.

    G
    I am, in all good fun, have to call you out in your reasoning. You seem to be confusing popularity with obsolescence. The vast majority of people do not use statistics, but that does not make it obsolete.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I am, in all good fun, have to call you out in your reasoning. You seem to be confusing popularity with obsolescence. The vast majority of people do not use statistics, but that does not make it obsolete.
    That's even funnier. I'm a Mathematician by training, with a speciality in Statistics. And statistics are amongst the most widely used mathematics in the world today.

    The Leica M was obsoleted in the 1960s for all the reasons I articulated a dozen or so message posts back. The fact that it still survives and is quite popular amongst a niche market of users despite that obsolesence is quite nice, but that does not in any way make it anything other than obsolete. Many obsolete things remain perfectly viable objects of desire to some.

    G

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    I'm with Will here (still in good humour )

    If you use Godfrey's "first" definition of obsolescence:
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey
    Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.
    (some bolding is mine)

    I think there's still many people who "want" a rangefinder camera. They're still being produced, sold new and 2nd hand as well as used by people who buy them and that would not happen if people didn't "want" them anymore. So while they might be obsolete for some people (who don't "want" them anymore) they're in my mind not obsolete in general.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    My 2p,

    Obsolescence requires a use case as well. Horses are not obsolete, but horses as transportation from New York to Boston are. The Leica M is not now used in many situations where it once was. Counterexamples exist, but photojournalism has moved on.

    By most measures, the only non-obsolescent cameras are found in phones.

    As for statistics, it *is* used, or more correctly, abused by a large and diverse population, but that is still quite small as populations go. And for every 100 people who quote a p-value, only a few understand the hypotheses required for it to have relevance.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    For practical purposes, I prefer to look at it as mind over matter.

    If I don't mind, it doesn't matter!

    I am perfectly happy with a fly rod in hand at break of day, when a video would show the stream and someone else catching fish. It is the experience for me that matters and it is up to me to produce the results and enjoy them.

    So, I guess nothing is really obsolete for me.

    Back to the OP....

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    I did look up the Erwin Puts blog (not Irwin Puts blog). I have heard of his books for years but had no use for such technical literature. I still have no idea what his day job is/was. Nor do I have a stake in his decision to say farewell to Leica. I do find it odd because there is no switching to another brand... maybe he should have said farewell to contemporary and future photographic gear. I presume it was a parting shot at something he didn't like, but he offered no alternative.

    Nothing wrong with sticking with what one loves most.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    My 2p,

    Obsolescence requires a use case as well. Horses are not obsolete, but horses as transportation from New York to Boston are. The Leica M is not now used in many situations where it once was. Counterexamples exist, but photojournalism has moved on.

    By most measures, the only non-obsolescent cameras are found in phones.

    As for statistics, it *is* used, or more correctly, abused by a large and diverse population, but that is still quite small as populations go. And for every 100 people who quote a p-value, only a few understand the hypotheses required for it to have relevance.

    Matt
    Good points Matt. The rangefinder camera might be obsolete for photojournalism (even though exceptions probably exist) but there's plenty other use cases for which is not obsolete and used a whole lot more than Daguerreotypes
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Erwin Puts has always been conswervative and a bit pesimistic. He wrote the article "Death of Photography" back in... 2003? Unfortunately, that article isn't any longer available online. I tend to agree with many of his views, and I absolutely think that most people are not questioning "technological progress" often enough. Humanity seems very satisfied with everything becoming easier and more accessible. But I'm an oddball. I remember scratching my head as a child when a friend of the family had bought a TV with remote control (connected to the TV with a long cable). There was nothing wrong with his legs, and I knew for a fact that all TVs had buttons for all functions on the front panel.

    Nowadays, my children's generation is being relieved from the exhausting button pushing. They have a device in their house with the same name as my ex-wife, fixing anything from TV programs to lights and heating.

    "Strange" cameras like the M Series are becoming rare. I think Mr. Puts is at least partly right. In the future, we will all eat the same porridge and take photos with the same Sony camera.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Erwin Puts has always been conswervative and a bit pesimistic. He wrote the article "Death of Photography" back in... 2003? Unfortunately, that article isn't any longer available online. I tend to agree with many of his views, and I absolutely think that most people are not questioning "technological progress" often enough. Humanity seems very satisfied with everything becoming easier and more accessible. But I'm an oddball. I remember scratching my head as a child when a friend of the family had bought a TV with remote control (connected to the TV with a long cable). There was nothing wrong with his legs, and I knew for a fact that all TVs had buttons for all functions on the front panel.

    Nowadays, my children's generation is being relieved from the exhausting button pushing. They have a device in their house with the same name as my ex-wife, fixing anything from TV programs to lights and heating.

    "Strange" cameras like the M Series are becoming rare. I think Mr. Puts is at least partly right. In the future, we will all eat the same porridge and take photos with the same Sony camera.
    Totally agree, Jorgen.

    Farewell to my old television, though and only buy old televisions? No, there is no real alternative.

    I, too, prefer the older M cameras and lenses. But to say farewell to Leica seems like shooting oneself in the foot. But then, that remote control would come in handy, I suppose.
    Dave (GT)

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Erwin Puts has always been conswervative and a bit pesimistic. He wrote the article "Death of Photography" back in... 2003? Unfortunately, that article isn't any longer available online. I tend to agree with many of his views, and I absolutely think that most people are not questioning "technological progress" often enough. Humanity seems very satisfied with everything becoming easier and more accessible. But I'm an oddball. I remember scratching my head as a child when a friend of the family had bought a TV with remote control (connected to the TV with a long cable). There was nothing wrong with his legs, and I knew for a fact that all TVs had buttons for all functions on the front panel.

    Nowadays, my children's generation is being relieved from the exhausting button pushing. They have a device in their house with the same name as my ex-wife, fixing anything from TV programs to lights and heating.

    "Strange" cameras like the M Series are becoming rare. I think Mr. Puts is at least partly right. In the future, we will all eat the same porridge and take photos with the same Sony camera.
    Perhaps. If we want to...
    I doubt somehow that we all want to.

    Remember, there's no 'master overlord' telling you what to spend your money on. You vote by choosing what you want to spend your money on. And by not buying stuff when what you have is perfectly satisfactory. That sends the clearest message to the companies that produce stuff ... they have to come up with stuff that you want to buy.

    If all the good cameras I like stopped being produced today, well, I have enough good cameras I like to last me for the rest of my life. Both film and digital. My Olympus E-1, first sold in October 2003, is still perfectly happy to make excellent photos for me anytime I want to use it. My 1968 Minox C I pulled out of the closet after not touching it for 11 years, put a battery in, and is working perfectly. So is my 1982 Minox EC... and my 1939 Berning Robot II! So I think most of the later cameras will continue to work just fine until far beyond when I no longer have the ability to pick them up.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    ... nothing wrong with his legs,
    Similarly I'm appalled that there are major technological firms working on how to deliver by drones things bought by clicks on-line --so much is the urgency of this! (While millions struggle in uprooted-from-home conditions, refugees.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Perhaps. If we want to...
    I doubt somehow that we all want to.

    Remember, there's no 'master overlord' telling you what to spend your money on. You vote by choosing what you want to spend your money on. A
    Not entirely so, alas : you might be out-voted, and what you'd like won't be anymore available. (Like the correct use of "reticent" : how is it that so many these recent times seem to have fogotten that "reluctant" is a word and means ... what they want in mis-using "reticent" --"he's reticent to tell us ..." being the paradigm gaff. Enough of these *votes* by usage, and Webster's will suck it into the definition, and ... .)

    -d.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by drofnad View Post
    Similarly I'm appalled that there are major technological firms working on how to deliver by drones things bought by clicks on-line --so much is the urgency of this! (While millions struggle in uprooted-from-home conditions, refugees.)



    Not entirely so, alas : you might be out-voted, and what you'd like won't be anymore available. (Like the correct use of "reticent" : how is it that so many these recent times seem to have fogotten that "reluctant" is a word and means ... what they want in mis-using "reticent" --"he's reticent to tell us ..." being the paradigm gaff. Enough of these *votes* by usage, and Webster's will suck it into the definition, and ... .)

    -d.
    Yes, we're getting , but as a firm descriptivist, I must respond:



    My bugbear is "utilize". It is almost never used correctly. Use and utilize have very different meanings!



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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Use and utilize have very different meanings!
    Literally or figuratively?

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Since this is about a camera design of a bygone era; let me paraphrase from a bygone era too:

    The Leica sage: Ď Where shall I go? What shall I do ? Ď; tearfully.

    The Bedouin: Ď Franky, my dear, I donít give a damn Ď; gleefully.
    And rides his camel towards the sunset and Ayeshaís waiting arms.

    The End.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Unfortunately in our commercialised world products sometimes disappear not because nobody wanted to buy them and sometimes not even because they weren't profitable, but because they weren't profitable enough.

    Leica has so far been a safe haven for obscure, outdated products, and there are others, but will it last? Is it even a problem? In my view, it makes os poorer sometimes.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Literally or figuratively?
    Literally. You use a washing machine to wash clothes. You utilize a washing machine as ammunition for a trebuchet. "Utilize" implies a nonstandard usage. I suppose the usage can change over time. Early on, digital cameras were utilized as film scanners. Now they are used for that purpose.

    My younger daughter (who just turned 18, so I am officially done parenting!) was visiting RIT. The speaker utilized "utilize" roughly three times per sentence (figuratively). "The way we utilize technology company buy-in facilitates student utilization of leading edge technology to... blah blah" I literally wanted to figuratively strangle him. That's when I looked it up.

    (And I do like the "Misuse of literally drives me figuratively insane" T-Shirts. Along with "Let's eat Grandma. Punctuation is important.")
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    You're nuts or your nuts?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Literally. You use a washing machine to wash clothes. You utilize a washing machine as ammunition for a trebuchet. "Utilize" implies a nonstandard usage. I suppose the usage can change over time. Early on, digital cameras were utilized as film scanners. Now they are used for that purpose.

    My younger daughter (who just turned 18, so I am officially done parenting!) was visiting RIT. The speaker utilized "utilize" roughly three times per sentence (figuratively). "The way we utilize technology company buy-in facilitates student utilization of leading edge technology to... blah blah" I literally wanted to figuratively strangle him. That's when I looked it up.

    (And I do like the "Misuse of literally drives me figuratively insane" T-Shirts. Along with "Let's eat Grandma. Punctuation is important.")
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Literally. You use a washing machine to wash clothes. You utilize a washing machine as ammunition for a trebuchet. "Utilize" implies a nonstandard usage. I suppose the usage can change over time. Early on, digital cameras were utilized as film scanners. Now they are used for that purpose.

    My younger daughter (who just turned 18, so I am officially done parenting!) was visiting RIT. The speaker utilized "utilize" roughly three times per sentence (figuratively). "The way we utilize technology company buy-in facilitates student utilization of leading edge technology to... blah blah" I literally wanted to figuratively strangle him. That's when I looked it up.

    (And I do like the "Misuse of literally drives me figuratively insane" T-Shirts. Along with "Let's eat Grandma. Punctuation is important.")
    I am not surprised by the language at RIT--I went there. Still, it is not unique.

    I am not sure I am winning the battle for the serial comma. But I was given patience by my parents, the Pope and mother Teresa.

    Dictionaries are fundamentally flawed devices, they assume you know how to find the word you don't know how to spell in the first place. I am still looking for newmatic (or is that knewmatick? Prehaps Gnumatyc?). Naturally, spell checkers help:

    I have a spelling checker
    It came with my PC
    It plainly marks for my revue
    Mistakes I cannot sea

    I've run this poem threw it
    I'm shore your please to no
    Its letter perfect in it's weigh
    My checker tolled me sew

    Close spellings are bothersome too. In a government report by the DOI, apparently the word public really does need the L. Unless their statutory authority has been somehow expanded...
    Will

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Erwin Puts' blog comment for those that haven't looked...

    For more than 35 years I have been intimately involved in the Leica world, encompassing the history of the company, the analysis of the products and the use of the products, all under the umbrella concept of the Leica World.

    I have experienced and discussed in detail with relevant persons in Wetzlar (old), Solms and Wetzlar (again, new) the digital turn and how the company evolved and changed while adopting the digitalization of the photographic process and the changing world of the internet based photography. The most recent event is the evolution from a manufacturing company to a software-based company. While a commercial success, this change of heart has accomplished a, perhaps not intended, impact: the soul of Leica products has been eradicated. A renewed interest in classical products is the result. The SL and Q are currently the hopeful products for the future. The ghosts of Huawei and Panasonic can be seen all over the campus and while the M-system is still being promoted as the true heir of the Leica lineage, it is now sidelined. Once upon a time, Leica followed its own path, guided by gifted and pioneering engineers and keen marketeers. Nowadays its products are as mainstream as every other camera manufacture.

    The company has sketched a future and follows a path that I am no longer willing to go.
    I'm not entirely sure what the blog is about. For example, Leica are still a manufacturing company - not just cameras and their lenses but also binoculars, telescopes, riflescopes, microscopes, etc. The adoption of software development into the business seems a no-brainer for any high tech company. Is he referring to in-camera software that corrects image 'errors'?

    What is meant by "the soul of Leica products"? Film? Quality with no compromise? Rangefinders? ????

    What does he mean by the "ghosts of Huawei and Panasonic"? I assume he's referring to the new 'co-ops' where Leica produces the optics for these companies products - surely a good thing for Leica financially.

    Did Leica ever follow its own path? Yes, it wanted to produce the best products possible and I guess to a degree Leica did follow its own path but only because a good number of people also wanted to follow Leica down that path. It's a two-way thing - always was and always will be. People will always want and/or admire quality. If Leica veer away from that then they will lose custom.

    Yes, some products (as third party product producer for other camera/phone camera manufacturers) are mainstream but if a company is to survive nowadays, they have to branch out (as if binoculars, telescopes, riflescopes, microscopes, geosystems etc, wasn't enough branching out way back when), and that doesn't mean dropping the high-end gear such as the Leica S series and the lenses (as an example). In this case, as Puts has written himself a while back, he considers the S lenses to be the best in the world (and having been a bit promiscuous myself with lenses over the years, I cannot disagree with that). These products are hardly mainstream and I have not heard of Leica dropping this side of things any time soon, although Puts is clearly in a better position than me to judge that. Leica is just moving with the times but hopefully they will still produce a section of products that are superior in quality than the rest. To me that quality is still there and has to be for the company survive. I dabble in other areas of Leica products (through other interests) and can attest that their products are regarded as amongst the best, if not the best, in the world, e.g., binoculars, telescopes, microscopes where they compete with the same companies as in the camera world along with a few others such as Swarovski and Kowa.

    I think Puts is just having an off-day or maybe Puts is being too much of a traditionalist which I can understand.

    If Puts is commenting on the growing lack of native quality in lenses (for example), i.e., no software (in-camera or otherwise) needed to correct distortion, colour aberration, ugly people, or whatever, then I would entirely agree with him. I'm a fan of lenses that are just damn good and don't need post-processing to 'improve' the image. If he's lamenting the increasing electronic and software control of lenses, then I would entirely agree with him. I just had to send a high-end Nikon lens in for a replacement SWM unit at the cost of a very decent Leica lens (secondhand of course), a not uncommon issue with Nikon AF lenses (so, as an aside, Leica are not the only company to have AF problems with their lenses, but unlike Nikon and others, Leica have actually solved them!!). This is an issue I will not have with my Zeiss ZF lenses or an older Leica 560mm Apo-Telyt-R. More technology in lenses and cameras means potentially more stuff to go wrong and a consequent increase in cost of ownership and use. Very relevant these days where finances are becoming increasingly tight - yes, I know high-end Leica products are expensive but once owned and looked after they should not cost in terms of repair and/or servicing (at least in principle) and will often be less expensive than Nikon, Canon, Sony etc. in the long term (issues with the first versions of the Leica S and M aside) - a bit like buying a pair of £200 hiking boots that will last 10 years compared to a £50 pair that will last 1 year, sort of. Maybe I'm over-egging this side of things but I do speak from bitter experience

    ...and yes, I am a fan of getting up out of the chair and switching the off button on the tv set, my tv having just failed because the 'stand-by' wotsit thingy failed (there is no off-on button on the set)

    Obviously I'm not familiar with Leica long term business plan but I would hazard a guess that while they are entering the 'mainstream' they will still be producing a small section of products that are a level above the rest or a level occupied by very few. With reference to the latter I don't think they will do a Hasselblad, at least I hope not.

    With apologies for the overly-long waffle,
    Duff.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    It seems fitting that a discussion of Erwin Puts has transitioned into one about grammar. They seem to be in the same wheelhouse.
    By the way, that old English is getting hilariously close to Icelandic. I have a feeling if we keep going, I could get back into the conversation again.

    As far as I recall, Erwin Puts has always had it out for digital...I am surprised it took him this long to say goodbye. I am not sure there is anywhere else to go, however, except back in time. Other than a handful of view camera makers, I am not sure anyone is making film cameras anymore, are they? I say this as someone who loves film and still shoots medium and large format on a very regular basis.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Other than a handful of view camera makers, I am not sure anyone is making film cameras anymore, are they?
    The only one I can think of is Nikon with the F6. They even make some of the AiS lenses still. Many are still hoping for an F7 with the latest AF technology and compatibility with the newest lenses.

    Then of course there's Leica. They still make the MP, and the M-A is a relatively recent addition. It's unfortunate that they discontinued the M7, but I suppose it was impossible to compete with the large number of second hand M6 bodies out there, a camera that essentially offers the same kind of functionality.

    The Hasselblad H6D can take film backs, can't it? The backs are not in production anymore though, at least not as far as I know.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Lurking somewhere in this conversation is a larger issue, that of how to undertake revamping traditions. Itís a tricky business, to be sure, and evermore so in a world with significant, high paced, and constant technological change

    Leica has, as have others, to make changes, while at the same time, tried to stay true to their core values. The problem becomes more difficult as there is a lack of clear consensus on what those core values are.

    Looking back over Leicaís efforts over the past say 10-20 years, one can readily see a number of mis-steps or approaches that didnít work out. But one can also see some that did, surprisingly so - each of us will have our own list. I suspect the M9-M10 dwould be on most, and not the M8. Iíd pick the MM and even todayís CL as special examples.

    What is admirable about Leica is that they are still trying - having both misses and successes. One has to give them points for a willingness to try, to explore, and for engaging the issue of what makes them special if we step back, the list of approaches tried is rather long, and quite interesting. It includes fashion, boutiques, quality manufacture, T and S models, among others.

    Putsí departure clearly signals some sort of internal struggle going on, probably related to future business models, focus and direction; itís likely that core manufacturing (Putsí favored approach) is under revision. Maybe itís necessary to change, maybe itís a mistake (remember Hasselblad?). Weíll see over time.

    But I for one am heartened by those in the company who have good design values, and a willingness to make a product with some core values I share -which include a focus on ease of use, refinement, build quality, and lens excellence. They are cameras made for thoughtful shooters. Letís hope they continue to have success and remain in the game. The world needs smaller companies charting out a different path.
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Puts hasnít been relevant in years, so who cares?

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Obviously, the analogue vs digital debate thrives over his comments. I think he's right. I had the M9 and although, liked the look of a CCD, it was, at launch a really outdated camera. Most digital cameras today share the same technology and parts manufactures, so why overpay for tech that is not cutting edge or innovative? Leica's reputation was built on its film heritage and quality and that seems more diluted with each new digital model. Irwin Puts has a respectable reputation for those who agree with him.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrew View Post
    Puts hasnít been relevant in years, ...
    Neither have I. I'm one of those dinosaurs who believe that technology should be my servant, not my master.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
    Leica's reputation was built on its film heritage and quality and that seems more diluted with each new digital model.
    I don't see this, compared with the M9 the M10 has a better sensor with less reliability issues and the body is a lot thinner, thereby resembling more to the film M's. And I also don't see the SL2 being a step back from the SL, allthough it's early days.

    Re. Puts, I think sour grapes are never an elegant farewell.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Are Leica giving up the rangefinder? This is the first I have heard of it. But the idea that Leica is only a rangefinder company is silly--what was the Leica R series? That was carried over with the S. Now they are going forward with the development of mirrorless. It is actually a natural procession for camera companies.

    Puts was always a romantic and I really did not really agree with his characterization of photography (I have never been a fan of mythologizing camera equipment). Still, he could have had more grace in his retirement than using overused cliches to slam the company--I wonder how he would feel knowing that his well loved M optics have been designed with software for a long time.

    But I think this is good news. Leica has been hamstrung by the conservatism of its fans like Puts for far too long. They started as innovators. I am sure Puts would have been critical of the company for abandoning the universality and simplicity of the screw mount for the bayonet and appalled with putting the rangefinder in the viewfinder. The only good thing is he became a Leica fan when the M was in production.
    Great post Will
    No - Leica are absolutely NOT giving up on the rangefinder (or the M of course).
    And itís more difficult to mythologise camera equipment in the face of deluges of technical specifications.
    Maybe itís just that they donít (canít) listen to him like they used to, and theyíre much bigger than they were in his heyday (I caught the tail end of the charming Ďcottage industryí at Solms [which never made a profit]) - and it was lovely going there and seeing your name on the notice board!

    I guess he has talked himself into a corner and thereís no way out!

    All the best

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    As a grumpy old man I realise that the most important thing left for me to do is to try to avoid sounding like a grumpy old man . . .
    I guess that Erwin is embracing his inner grumpy old man.

    Just this guy you know
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    As a grumpy old man I realise that the most important thing left for me to do is to try to avoid sounding like a grumpy old man . . .
    I guess that Erwin is embracing his inner grumpy old man.
    With the launch of the SL2, I think I see the reason for his sorrow. The M is not any longer the ultimate Leica. That title now belongs to the SL2, a camera with an electronic viewfinder, professional level video and other features that traditionalists love to hate. While the M is not being sidelined, it's becoming even more irrelevant than it was, and there's clearly no way back.

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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    With the launch of the SL2, I think I see the reason for his sorrow. The M is not any longer the ultimate Leica. That title now belongs to the SL2, a camera with an electronic viewfinder, professional level video and other features that traditionalists love to hate. While the M is not being sidelined, it's becoming even more irrelevant than it was, and there's clearly no way back.
    SL2, with its IBIS and higher resolution, may give new life to M-lenses, though. Leica may decide to redo a couple of older designs to be able to handle better +100Mp resolution.

    On the other hand, the M cameras and the mirrorless are so different that I do not think they compete against each other. If you need/want a rangefinder, SL2 will not do.
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  50. #50
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    Re: Irwin Puts Says Farewell to Leica?

    I'm squarely in the last third of my life, and feel empathy toward Erwin Puts. It is hard not to find much in the future of one's affiliations, and consequently feel only nostalgia for a world that's well past. Sad he seems to see little value and continuity in Leica's new mirrorless bodies and lenses.
    --Mike

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