Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/20

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Subject: [Leica] Leica is dead; long live Hermes
From: helme at (Arne Helme)
Date: Wed Oct 20 06:15:56 2004

"B. D. Colen" <> wrote:
>I note that Leica will make M7s with .58 and .85 finders available only
>in the "custom program." Otherwise, the cameras will only be available
>with .72 finders. So now even the finder choice they have offered for
>the past several years will cost $1000 extra. 
>Obviously there are serious photographers who want .72 finders. But to
>make something as basic as finder magnification a $1000 accessory makes
>clearer than anything else has that the company views the neck jewelry
>boutique crowd as its customer base, and views photographers as an after
>Sad. The founders of Magnum are stirring the earth.


I agree with you.  It seems like a lot only to get a different finder.

However, from a business point of view what Leica currently is doing by
differentiating their M7/MP products with A la Carte simply makes sense.  The
car industry has been doing this for years.  Leica will now provide
basic/standard products for about the same price as before.  If you want
something that deviates from that you'll have to pay extra for it.  Their new
strategy is designed to increase revenue on the M7/MP by allowing customers 
are willing to pay extra for something out of the ordinary do so.  If this
strategy will generate the extra revenue needd to prolong M7/MP production
while at the same time provide sufficient resources for the company to invest
in R&D for new (digital, yes I said that!) R and M products, then I'll be 
with it.

One could go on endlessly discussing which features that should be in the
basic/standard product and which ones one would have to pay extra for: finder
magnification, paintwork, control handles, etc.  The good news with the 
setup is that the standard/basic M7/MPs are unchanged.  The bad news is that 
you only want a different finder you'll have to order A la Carte.

Arne Helme
Email: helme at (^" at "^@)
Phone: +31534309352 (home), +31646320829 (mobile work)