Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/29

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Subject: [Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon
From: bdcolen at (B. D. Colen)
Date: Wed Sep 29 13:55:19 2004

IF that's Leica's response to an entire line of new Zeiss t-star lenses,
a film rangefinder body, and what will undoubtedly be a digital body,
then we most assuredly have the answer to the question. Because if Leica
survives as the Hermes of cameraland, it might as well not survive.  

And there's another point to think about here, folks - Leica is still
around today for only one reason:

In the early 1960s, Zeiss/Contax and Nikon abandoned the pro-rangefinder
playing field. Nikon, which made what was definitely the best body at
that time - the SP - decided to put all its eggs in the SLR basket, a
decision which was a loss for those of us who love rangefinders, but was
obviously a winner for Nikon. And Contax must have decided that there
wasn't going to be enough rangefinder business to keep them going.

So that left the barren playing field to Leica, which, other than
improving it's lens line, hasn't done anything truly innovative since
bringing out and abandoning the M5. And, when you think about it, really
hasn't done anything innovative since the "O."

But because there have been enough photographers committed to using
rangefinders, and enough dilitants committed to owning Leicas - and a
scarf company willing to buy up a grand old brand name - Leica's limped
along to the present day.

Now, however, we are on the downward slope of the technology range
taking us into the next age of photography. Any company that wants to
survive in the new age is going to have to be a real part of that age.
And up to this point, Leica has, as usual, limped along at the back end
of the parade.

So this time Zeiss - well the Zeiss/Kyocera/Hassleblad/Contax coalition
- has decided to stick around and pickup  the pieces. Unless Leica is
prepared to move, and move very quickly - perhaps by talking Nikon,
Canon, or Olympus into a rangefinder partnership, Leica's days are,
sadly, very much numbered. I say "sadly" with total sincerity, because I
am enough of a traditionalist to be touched by the Leica heritage - I'd
rather be shooting in a new age with a grandchild of HCB's M3s, than
shooting with a Kocerstein's monster patched together with parts from a
washing machine, a high-milage care, and a disposable camera. :-)

B. D.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Dan C
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 4:33 PM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon

Leica has responded in part by offering the a la carte Leica.  But have
seen the prices?    Do I really want to spend upwards of $4,000 USD for
privilege of picking the colour of my camera?  Are there enough people
out there willing to do so to keep Leica afloat?

-dan c.

At 04:26 PM 29-09-04 -0400, B. D. Colen wrote:
>Emanuel says..
>"The old era of Zeiss - Leitz rivalry was a heady time
>for 35mm design," and asks...
>"Now, in these days, how will Leica respond?"
>As they, sadly, always have ... With too little, too late, and at too 
>high a price.
>These are not the heady days of the Zeiss/Leitz competition - which, if

>we recall, were actually the days of the Zeiss/Leitz/Nikon competition.
>These are the days of the Zeiss/Kyocera/Cosina/Hassie consortium moving

>in to clean up the remaining scraps from the rangefinder table - scraps

>that could have been Leicas had Leica moved 18 months ago, or even 
>further back, when the Cosina handwriting was writ large upon the wall.

Leica Users Group.
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Replies: Reply from s.jessurun95 at (animal) ([Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon)
Reply from banacloj at (Juan Gea-Banacloche) ([Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon)
Reply from luisripoll at (Luis Ripoll) ([Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon)
In reply to: Message from bladman99 at (Dan C) ([Leica] Re: New Zeiss Ikon)