Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/19

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

Subject: RE: [Leica] Critical test reports by CDI
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 16:49:51 -0400

> IMHO magazine tests, whether photography, audio, automotive, appliance
> or anything else are useless as t*ts on a boar hog.  All they do is
> mislead people.
> How do you test or describe what a unique experience it is to drive a
> BMW or to listen to music using high end tube gear or to observe the
> subtle but quite obvious beauty of Kodachrome slides taken with Leica
> lenses?
> How do you quantify the investment value of something?   I've owned
> several
> versions of the Nikon F and about 20 Nikkors.  I no longer have any of
> that stuff and it cost me a fortune to own it.  My M3 was expensive when
> I bought it in 1966 but it, like my 1976 SL/2, has proven to be an
> incredible bargain.
> Best Buys are almost always lousy investments.
> Bud

Yes and no.

While I think my M6 and its lenses are fabulous, I also think that Leica
equipment is over-priced compared to other excellent photographic equipment.
In fact, I would say that, with exception, much of the equipment is priced
at least $500 per lens and body above where it should be.

One of the reasons for this is, quite simply, that the M is the last real
interchangable lens rangefinder. If you want a camera of this type, you have
to pay what ever Leitz demands.

Also, because the equipment is the last of a breed, and because it is so
expensive, it is also extremely collectible. The prices in the used market
are kept up by the fact that so much of the early equipment disappears into
collectors cabinets, rather than into users camera bags. Thus one is forced
to pay what ever the manufacturer demands for new equipment.

I wonder just how pricey Leica RF equipment would be if Nikon and Canon were
still in the game. Expensive? Yes. But as expensive? I doubt it. It would
have been interesting to see what would have happened to Leica prices had
the G1/2 been a "real" rangefinder. There certainly is not a
value-justifiable difference in the prices of its lenes - for instance, the
21 2.2, and the Leicas.

But that's just my very humble opinion.