Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/21

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

Subject: [Leica] Vapourware Leica M7 vs Existing M6
From: (Alan Sircom)
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 09:06:37 +0000

Ted Grant wrote (about the proposed M7):
…I see it as a great thing from the stand point of the M6 price will
probably drop and 
I can buy a couple of new ones! :) So bring on the automation ! :)…

Dear Ted,

I'd love to believe this would happen, but I fear the reverse is true.
If Leica produce an electronic shutter based around an existing shutter
design, it is likely to be cheaper and easier to produce than the
mechanical one as exists on the M6. If it custom-produces an electronic
shutter mechanism for the future, it would be designed as much as a
cost-saving exercise as an outright improvement. Remember, cost-cutting
is why Leitz swapped from the M4 to the M4-2; improvements between the
M4 and M4-2 are hard to find and even harder to justify. But the
changes were made to keep the Leica competitive in an increasingly
dumbed down world.

By its very nature, an all-mechanical shutter is expensive to produce
when compared to an electronic one, whether on not the electronic
device uses OEM parts. The best analogy is with watches; disregarding
the luxury straps and shells, the mechanism for a mechanical watch is
far more expensive to produce than a quartz model. If it were not so,
all those Swatch watches would have wind-up mechanisms in them.

IMHO, one of two things are likely to happen. Either Leica would
introduce the newer device and phase out the existing M6 and M6HM, or
the M6-series would slip entirely into 'collectable' limited edition
runs, with the attendent price tags.

However, I am more of the opinion that Leica will produce a sort of M6
'plus', sporting TTL metering and a few other concessions to make it
more 'competitive' with the Contax and the like. In other words, it
could be a motordriven CLE in an almost M-series body. We shall see…


Alan S