Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/10/07

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Subject: [Leica] Leica Niche Market share - was An American Yankee in Herr Leitz' Court
From: cummer at (Howard Cummer)
Date: Sat Oct 7 16:01:04 2006
References: <>

I think Leica (Steven Lee) is very aware that the company needs to  
broaden its customer base. They have teamed up with Panasonic and  
indirectly with Olympus to design lenses for the 4/3rd system and to  
market a series of Luxes based on the cooperation between Leica and  
Panasonic. I learned at Photokina that the agreement between Leica  
and Panasonic has been extended for another five years so that should  
continue to be a source of a greater variety of product and hopefully  
a widening customer base. Leica hopes that M8's will start showing up  
in the camera bags of the pros again as film M's used to in addition  
to the Cankon SLRs in the old days of film. If the pros have kept  
their old film M's and lenses I think there is a good possibility  
Leica may be right about sales to Pros. The hard nut to crack is new  
rangefinder users. Coming to an M8 plus new Leica lenses is just too  
expensive if you are not already addicted to the rangefinder shooting  
experience. And, of course, there is the question of the R series.  
The digital R back is just a stop gap, in my view, while Leica gains  
time to develop an integrated digital R body. Hopefully the Sinar  
purchase will provide a source of expertise in this regard. And  
regarding R lenses they can be used on the 4/3rd system with an  
adaptor and with good focusing results using the magnified LCD  
screen. Of course, the decisive moment becomes very theoretical due  
to the time it takes to fiddle with the focus. In sum, my impression  
is that Leica is moving forward on several fronts and hopefully  
enough cash flow / even profit will be generated to get them to a  
more financially stable place than they have been. Certainly the  
success of the M8 is crucial to that but is not the only success  
(Back in Hong Kong jet lag subsiding)

On 8 Oct 2006, at 6:14 AM, wrote:

> Message: 25
> Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 14:33:52 -0700
> From: Richard <>
> Subject: Re: [Leica] An American Yankee in Herr Leitz' Court
> To: Leica Users Group <>,  Leica Users Group
>       <>
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
> Nah, you don't need to attract 100% of the new customers to buy a  
> M7 or M8,
> you only need to attract large number of customers to buy the  
> "cheaper"
> d-luxes, c-luxes, etc. and if 10% and 20% of the new customers buy  
> the M7
> or M8, then might be sufficient.
> At 02:21 PM 10/7/2006, Nathan Wajsman wrote:
>> John,
>> I agree that the M8 is an excellent product, based on the reports  
>> we have
>> seen here on the list and on my own fondling of it at Photokina last
>> weekend. I am speaking purely from a marketing point of view: the  
>> crowd is simply not big enough to sustain the company. The  
>> challenge is to
>> get new customers, people who have not previously used Leica.  
>> Whether they
>> will be able to do that at the price point they currently are at is
>> another matter.
>> Nathan

Replies: Reply from at (Douglas Sharp) ([Leica] Leica Niche Market share - was An American Yankee in Herr Leitz' Court)