Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/10/18

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Subject: RE: [Leica] M camera parts
From: "Frank Filippone" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 07:27:50 -0700

I agree that it CAN be done.  The question is whether it is something Leica
WANTS to do.

Remember the Null series, Modern LTM, and all the commemorative cameras?  In
my opinion, they should not have been made.  It was a waste of resources
that would have been better served in a new R or M camera or an improved
50mm Lens design.

Leica makes money on the optics, based upon the absurdly high prices they
charge.  They are 3-10 times the price of a Japanese lens of similar specs
(take the 50/1.4 lens for example.... Nikon = $265, Leica = $1900).  I
believe they can make little money on small quantities of camera bodies,
which sell for only a small multiple or even less than their Japanese high
end cameras ( R8 vs Nikon F5 for instance), also produced in small

If they were to sell cheap lenses, they would not necessarily make as much
money as high end optics.  Remember there are 50 years almost in leica M
mount lenses offered for sale, used, at substantially lower than new prices.
This is a pretty saturated market.  By offering improved optics, the user
has no choice but to purchase new, at those ridicuously high and profitable
prices..  Competing with 50 years of lenses already sold and offered used at
1/2 to 1/5 of new prices, and trying to do so with limited resources, will
be a different game.

Frank Filippone

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