Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/22

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Subject: Re: [Leica] [Partly Relevant] The Economical Leica and Future Film
From: "Bryan Willman" <>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 19:13:31 -0700

I worried about film getting replaced by digital for a time.
I don't anymore.

Why?  Because people still *paint* with brushes, and
print with Platinum.  Because B&W film is still sold.
Because Tube Amplifiers appear to be making a come-back.
Because you can still buy a turn-table for vinyl records.

And because in some parts of the computer market
people are simply exhausted by the rate of change.

I'm sure common cases and economics will change.

Just as most portraits are now photographs rather
than paintings, and passport photos are now polaroids
rather than "standard" photos, some parts of the market
will become standardized on new technology.
So portrait studios, newspapers, passport photo shops,
etc, may become very digital.

But the total number of film sizes has declined over the
past decades (try to buy 110 or 126 film lately?)  That's
good for the long term because it means more market
mass is concentrated behind common formats.

So, you'll likely be able to get 35mm, 120, and 4x5 film
for a very very long time (maybe forever)  Some consumer
only sorts of films will disappear with their market, some
exotic films will disappear if their numbers decline.

Happily, Leica's use the hyper standard and very widely
available 35mm film, which gets added market mass by
being one of the sizes used for movie film.

I expect to be using my M's (Eos's and Linholf, for
that matter) for decades.


- -----Original Message-----
From: John McLeod <>
To: Leica-users <>
Date: Friday, May 22, 1998 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] [Partly Relevant] The Economical Leica

>Thanks for the interesting thoughts Mr. Segawa.  I hesitate to "waste"
>everyone's bandwidth with a thank-you post, but you make many thoughtful
>posts that don't necessarily require reply, so I thought I would in this
>I agree, by the way, regarding the pleasures of owning this well made,
>simple equipment -- though many of us probably wonder from time to time
>will ultimately "happen" to film in the digital future.  I love my Leica
>stuff, and I love keeping it working (Sherry Krauter loves it too, right
>Sherry?).  I only hope that I can pass it on to my now 19 month old son to
>be used later as a picture taking machine, rather than admired as an
>artifact of the mechanical age.
>John McLeod
>From: "Jeff S" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: [Leica] [Partly Relevant] The Economical Leica
>Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 22:17:46 -0600
>I like recreational computing: The personal computer is, I think, about the
>closest we've ever come to the General Purpose Toy. Prices have never been
>lower than they are now--or have they? While browsing at a $1300 Compaq
>Presario, I marvelled at how that money bought a 266 MHz Pentium II
>processor, digital video disk, modem, substantial hard drive, and lots of
>software. But how long will it take before a person feels downright
>frustrated with the darned thing, because none of the really interesting
>software runs too well on it? Cottage cheese, I thought, it has the shelf
>life of a carton of cottage cheese. Certain bits, such as the housing,
>really wouldn't figure into the equation, save that the housing is some
>custom affair, not designed to be greatly updated with new innards from
>other makers, so when it's time is up, you deliver the whole to the digital
>equivalent of an elephant graveyard (where *did* all of those Sinclair
>go?). You might reuse the keyboard and mouse, but why bother? You can
>buy a new system without getting (and paying for) a brand-new set, whether
>you like it or not.
>Leica ownership has been more relaxing, and over the long haul, I think it
>might turn out to be much cheaper due to the relatively slow rate of
>obsolescence. Not just cheaper than high tech items, but other camera
>systems as well. It's refreshing to hear of folks still refurbishing 30
>old Leicas, yet still be able to take advantages of modern optics as the
>budget allows. Hard to imagine that a person could've purchased a new M6
>Macintosh 512K not far apart. The Macintosh cost around $2900 by the time
>you indulged in a second floppy drive and a printer; The Leica is still
>genuinely useful!
>-If it were to need $150 worth of repairs tomorrow, which would you
>fixing, and which would you turn into a fish bowl?
>(Then again, had it evolved at the same pace, today's M6 would probably
>Just a thought,