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What's so wonderful about Leica?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by andrew markworthy, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. andrew markworthy

    andrew markworthy Well-Known Member

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    I promise this isn't meant to be a confrontational sort of question, but I'm genuinely baffled as to why Leica cameras carry such a huge premium. I should say that I have a Leica D-Lux and my dad used to have a Leica SLR film camera that I used quite a bit, so this isn't motivated by sour grapes, etc. [And before anyone tells me, I know the D-Lux is a rebadged Panasonic, but it was a gift from my dad just before he died].
    In their favour, Leica produce superb, well made products. The pictures are excellent, and generally the cameras are an ergonomic joy. BUT: I can get equally good results from cheaper cameras, which, furthermore, generally have a lot more features. And although this isn't necessarily a clinching argument, a lot of camera publications don't consistently rate Leica as being any better than other products.
    I could understand if Leica cost e.g. 20% more than equivalent products, but their prices are stratospheric. The X1 (a fixed lens that IMHO is of limited use outside reportage work) is £1500/$2000 for goodness's sake, and by the time you get on to the serious cameras, you're in excess of five grand for the body alone. I just cannot understand how Leica can command these prices, unless, like very expensive watches, people are buying them just because of the name and to show off.
    Please restore my faith in human nature and tell me I've got this all wrong.
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    The only Leicas I've ever seen were rangefinder cameras, and I hate rangefinders. Always have. So, there's no way I'd buy one, especially at their prices. If they have more than rangefinders, I wouldn't mind checking one out, but still doubt I'd pay their prices. For the folks that like them............. enjoy. :)
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Leica is proof that some people have way more money than sense =)
    The are beautifully crafted gear for sure, but not worth the price premium, to me anyway.
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but I haven't been around in a while

    Well, post WWII Leica was common for photojournalism, since Ernst Leitz basically "invented" 35mm still photography by taking 35mm movie film, turning it horizontal and building a camera around it. If you are judging Leica by current Panasonic digital cameras, you are missing the boat. The reality is, the fundamental concept of probably every still camera you have ever used (film or digital) descends from the Leica. It really was the first compact camera that produced good images. The cameras were always remarkably well designed and built and had remarkable optics. Yes, they are insanely expensive. It like asking if a Rolls Royce is REALLY 10x better than a Mercedes. For most people, no. but, it's a Rolls Royce.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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