Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/07/16

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Subject: Re: Leica's USA price list
From: "C.M. Fortunko" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 23:19:48 -0600

I don't agree with your applause of Leica. They have been pretty stubborn
before with well-known consequences. They were late in the SLR market,
because of this stubborness. 

On the M5, we have a poor-man's aperture priority or shutter priority. Take
your choice. 

In a recent Viewfinder, one of the Leica designers narrates the story of
what happened between Leica and Minolta in the early 70's. Sad story.

I am more and more coming to the conclusion that Leica is living off the
past. I am sure that there should be an M7. Otherwise, Leicas will go the
way of the various Zeiss cameras. Wonderful optics, but the cameras were
mechanical phreaks.

At one time, Leicas were much faster to operate than other cameras. Today,
that advantage has been lost. It can be regained, without AF.

I will only change my mind when I see some new lenses for the M camera.

Best regards,


At 09:50 PM 7/16/96 -0700, you wrote:
>You wrote: 
>>This misses my point.  I was replying to someone who used the M6-J's
>>scarceness to prove that Leicas were in high demand.  Substitute "M6" 
>for "M6-J" and the point is still the same--the fact that Leica "can't 
>make M6s fast enough to meet the demand" does not prove that their 
>sales are sufficient to support the upgrading and technical innovation 
>Leica needs to take up--let alone make any money.  
>My point was that Leica is not interested in becoming another me too 
>camera company.  Instead of not being able to make M6's fast enough to 
>fill the demand, IMHO they are not interested in being able to 
>rubberstamp punch out M6's.  A good friend of mine who is a Leica user, 
>wrote to Leica and suggested that they introduce an M7 with aperture 
>priority.  They responded that there market research shows that, that 
>is not what there customers want, I guess when they did the research 
>you weren't contacted;)  As I stated before, Leica makes cameras much 
>more so as a labor of love, than as one of profit.  (Much the same as 
>BMW making motorcycles.)  If my premise is true then you can not apply 
>BIG BUSINESS logic to Leica's marketing and manufacturing decisions.  
>    And while there have been many discussions on the quality of 
>Non-European ( a Politically Correct Phrase:)  made equipment.  I also 
>own a Mamiya 6 and Some Canon AF stuff. And, I use the AF for all the 
>advances that it gives me when I need to shoot fast PR,  or other 
>related stuff (when the highest level of quality is not necessary).  I 
>have even read someone on the group who said he could not tell the
>difference in quality between Leica and images that he produced with 
>other 35mm cameras.  As I have said many times before, I wish I caould 
>excited about NIkon or Canon or Minolta stuff, but I can't.  I still 
>get a thrill from using a Leica.  I own both M and R's.  I try to carry 
>at least one of them with me everywhere.  In conclusion, if you need 
>all whiz bang gadgets, and the latest me-too camera satisfies you needs 
>then enjoy them.  But, I stil revel in being able to excerise complete 
>control over my photography and will continue to use Leica equipment 
>for as long as I make photographs.  I personally applaud Leica for not 
>following that Me-too attitude of the major manufacturers. 
>Thanks, ( and that's one Leica-phreaks opinion)
>John N3BVH