Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/26

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Subject: [Leica] Leica donation to students
From: mail at (Karen Nakamura)
Date: Sun Sep 26 08:33:19 2004
References: <006d01c4a3d2$3c770830$>

>I don't know about your students, but I have students who would sell
>their boyfriend/girlfriend to be able to own a Leica. In fact my most
>"successful" student thus far - he is now signed up with one of the
>agencies, shoots major league baseball, and on and on and on - scrimped
>and saved and bought himself a used M 6 and a couple Cosina lenses. And
>he's not some pie-in-the-sky nutty art student; his main cameras are
>Canon EOS digitals.

My students are pretty cheap -- they steal TacoBell   "salsa" packets 
to put on their 99cent Walmart-brand spaghetti noodles and call it 
spaghetii marinara.  But I think they're typical of 90% of the the 
general undergraduate population.  The *truly* dedicated will get a 
Leica, but that population was already sold. How do you reach the 

I don't think that price is the main problem. After all, they can 
always get an M3 for $900 or an M6 TTL for $1500.  The used Leica 
market is effectively the equivalent of what people are talking about 
here.  I don't think that Leica can sell an M7 for $1500 and survive. 
The same with the lenses.  I have to admit I haven't bought any Leica 
lenses new. Why buy them for $3000 when you can get them near-mint 
on the LUG for $1000?  Or an equivalent Cosina for $400?  The 
economics are truly gloomy for Leica but discounting won't help them.

We're assuming that students don't have access to ebay, where Leica 
prices have plummeted in the past year. This might have flown 5 years 
ago, but I don't see it flying right now.

The example of your student only proves the point. He bought a used 
Leica and bought Cosina lenses. Net profit for Leica: $0.  If he had 
bought a for-cost Leica and for-cost Leica lens, net profit for 
Leica: -$1000 (or so, whatever we decide overhead is).  If your 
student  goes out and buys an M7 and Summilux 50mm and 35mm  within 
the next year, maybe.

But that's just one anecdote (along with Ted's donation of a camera) 
involving the apocryphal super-dedicated student. These are pretty 
rare occasions.  Even if I told my students that they could get a 
Leica + lens for $1500 each, I doubt more than one would sign up. 
Most would shrug. The rather-dedicated would rather get a EOS Digital 
Rebel with lens for $1000. The non-dedicated would get a used Canon 
FD for $100 and spend $900 on an iPod and other toys. That's the 
reality of this generation.

Sorry to be a downer.


Karen Nakamura

Replies: Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)
Reply from jklu at (Jeffrey Lu) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)
In reply to: Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)