Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/07

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Subject: [Leica] RE: iconic shape
From: lowiemanuel at (Emanuel Lowi)
Date: Tue Sep 7 15:48:48 2004

Don Dory wrote

> I think there are two trends in the iconic thing. 
> For people
> photographically aware in the fifties to the
> millennium, the M shape is
> what a Leica is supposed to be: the M5 bombed
> largely because it did not
> look like a Leica.  Even the M3 is very closely
> related to the LTM's in
> shape and use although somewhat larger.  The
> leicaphiles were not sure
> of the M3 as LTM's were not discontinued until what
> 1961 or so?
> The M3 shape became an icon because that is what the
> professional users
> used and the shape was out there for fifty years in
> a loose sense.
> Think about Nikon, the iconic shape is the F with a
> Photomic on top.

The thing about true icons is that they defy age and
forever elude association with a particular moment.

An analogy. Fifty years from now, I'll bet no
red-blooded male will watch "Some Like It Hot" and
say,: "Man, that Marilyn Monroe, she was a real icon
of 1950s female beauty."

Marilyn will be deemed gorgeous a thousand years from
now, no matter what kind of world people live on.

For me, the Leica M design is the same. From the M2
on, the cameras are timelessly iconic for their (yes)
sexy perfection of form and function.

If Leica AG is able to make a digital M some day, I
sure hope they retain the size and contours of the
classic M, no matter what electronic guts it houses. 

Marilyn with a different brain would still be Marilyn.

Emanuel Lowi

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Replies: Reply from buzz.hausner at (Buzz Hausner) ([Leica] Iiconic Names)