Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/11/21

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: Light, portable camera, Rollei Prego? A Con?
From: (David Morton)
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 13:38:51 GMT

> Are we being conned? Is a Leica M really worth $4000? I personally doubt
> it. It sure says Leica on it, it sure is a nice camera, but in terms of 
> functionality there are plenty of cameras selling for an eighth the 
> money that will produce indistinguishable results.

The question of 'worth' in this context is extremely subjective of course. 

From the POV of a working photographer the M6 has zero additional revenue 
generating potential over something like the Nikon FM2n at 1/4 of the 
cost. In fact - as Oddmund implied - the Leica has *less* potential if 
you're obliged to back off from a situation out of concern for its value 
(or more pertinently, the difficulty of replacing a vital working tool), 
when you wouldn't feel so concerned about a more workaday model.

All other things being equal, no picture editor will be bothered about the 
difference in image quality (if they can detect it).

Here in the UK at least, the cost of equipment is becoming an issue as the 
rate paid for pictures is tumbling. One mass circulation UK tabloid just 
*halved* its budget for bought in pictures (from UKP7,000 a week to UKP 
3,500), while staff smudger posts are being cut just as ruthlessly. So the 
return on equipment investment by freelancers is a crucial issue.

Over here anyone with enough capital to splash out on expensive gear is 
going digital as soon as they possibly can: the payback time on an AP 
NC2000e and a Mac PowerBook is calculable, and relatively short, nothing 
sells pictures like getting them on the editors desk within the hour 
(especially when his staffers deliver more than an hour later), and of 
course the film & dev cost vanishes.

I spent a day with the UK's leading digital PJ last week, and my opinion 
on the future of digital imaging *for press work* is confirmed: film will 
be utterly extinct in that field within two years (the launch of the 
digital version of the Nikon F5 is in 18 months, and that will be the