Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/30

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Subject: [Leica] Photokina - Film Dinosaur Button
From: Thinkofcole at (
Date: Thu Sep 30 08:28:42 2004

Everybody here seems to have covered most of the  problems facing Leica 
    As we now can see clearly, I believe, Leica has decided  to concentrate 
largely on producing the finest lenses money can buy and to turn  over the 
production of Leica cameras to proven Japanese camera manufacturers --  of 
with Leica engineering. 
   That brings up Hermes, the fashion company -- and one-third  owner of 
Hermes must believe is the best camera in the world. Why  else would Hermes 
see promise in Leica, a camera used by dinosaurs like us?  Why else would it 
buy a third-interest -- not enough for control but enough to  exercise a 
voice in the future of Leica. 
   Up to now, the full Leica line has been available  only from 
Leica-franchised dealers [if you don't count grey marketeers and used  
camera dealers]. 
That will still be the case, I believe, but if Hermes has its  way, wherever 
Hermes scarves and ties and perfume and whatever else Hermes sells  to 
people with 
Real Money, Leica cameras will also be displayed-- and widely  sold for lots 
of money. 
   When a woman goes into a Hermes store, which seem to be almost  
on the planet,  she may buy her husband or boyfriend a few  ties at possibly 
$50 or more each and then order a $5,000 Leica in red  octopus skin, for 
delivery at Christmas, an idea that must have come from some  genius in the 
design department. After all, people who shop in places  like Vuitton, 
Givenchy, Cartier, Loewe and Hermes, to name a  few, don't really care what 
things cost; they  just pull out their  credit card and sign on the dotted 
At least, that's how how I see  it.
   Who else but a designer at a place like Hermes would conceive  of an idea 
to promote a custom-made Leica -- just like custom-made shoes, hat,  
gloves or attache case. What difference if it costs a lot of money and,  
getting back to the red-leather Leica, who cares if it just lies in the  
drawer most of the time; nobody else has one like it and it's "just  
beautiful.'' [Moreover, custom-made Leicas are not a new idea for Leica; we 
all  know 
that several famous Leica photographers in the Thirties, Forties and  
had Leicas and Leica lenses made to their individual specifications,  
probably none with any unusual covering other than black. Like Henry  Ford's 
Model T.]
          (1)  Leica will  be with us for a long time. 
          (2)  Leica lens  mounts will become standard throughout the 
          (3)  Regardless  of what the major film makers decide in Britain, 
Germany and the United States,  35mm film will be available everywhere, most 
likely largely from Fuji and other  Japanese producers. 
          (4)  Leica  cameras will become available more widely and, 
gradually, more dealers will  spring up throughout the world.
          (5)   Zeiss-Ikon will be there, too, along with Voightlander, 
Rolleiflex and, it seems, others. 
          (6)  Digital  cameras will grow rapidly and become en even larger 
          (7)   Competition will decide what system dominates.
          (8)   Newspapers, magazines and television will get advertising 
allotments -- and,  therefore, promote Leica and the others more often.
          (9)  Most  important: We'll all be here until we join Sal DiMarco 
Jr. -- bob cole

Replies: Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Photokina - Film Dinosaur Button)