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

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Subject: [Leica] Leica donation to students
From: leicagalpal at (Kit McChesney)
Date: Sun Sep 26 09:21:14 2004

Well, what would be really interesting is to examine Leica's consumer survey
results that we hope people send back when they purchase cameras and lenses.
Who IS buying? Are there youngish folks buying? My experience with my sales
is that the majority of buyers of M and R gear, and the Digilux 2, are
between about 35 and 65, are male, and have relatively substantial incomes
(doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc., a demographic not unlike that of the
LUG-list). Yes, there are a few women in the bunch, a few photojournalists,
a few younger-than-30 men, but not many. If I were Leica, I'd be looking
hard at those statistics and trying to find a way to reach the younger set.
At some point, you're going to run out of 50-ish men to sell to! 


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
B. D. Colen
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 9:03 AM
To: 'Leica Users Group'
Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica donation to students

Well you are definitely a downer - BUT - you may also be the realist at
this party. For all my cynicism about Leica the company, the future of
film, etc., etc....I am a romantic at heart, and, when all is said and
done, am as attached to the mythology as the rest of you lug(ers). Were
that not the case, I would have sold my M gear at least a year ago. But
thus far I just can't bring myself to do it.

But your students and mine, and everyone else's for that matter, lack
the romantic ties to Leitz, Leica, Ms, or, for that matter, to film! 

I am still convinced, however, that selling the Digi back as a loss
leader WOULD revive the R line and could well be the move that could
keep Leica alive long enough to develop a digital SLR from the ground up
that would take the R manual lenses, and a new line of Leica R autofocus


B. D.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Karen Nakamura
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 11:33 AM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica donation to students

>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
Leica Users Group.
See for more information

Leica Users Group.
See for more information

Replies: Reply from bkhinderks at (Barry Hinderks) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)
Reply from philippe.orlent at (Philippe Orlent) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)
Reply from wlarsen at (Will) ([Leica] LUG Demographics (was Leica donation to students))
In reply to: Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)