LEICA

by Volker Weber

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The new Huawei has a prestigious Leica badge. And if you know Leica, you also know that Summarit is the least prestigious sub-brand within the Leica brand. But let's start from the beginning:

Leica basically invented the modern camera. Instead of carrying around a big bulky camera that would shoot a single frame, Leica used the same material as movie cameras. You could shoot a whole roll of film before you needed to reload. Whether it was reporters or what we call street photographers today, a Leica was the camera to get. Light, ubiquitous, always ready. Does that sound familiar? I believe the modern version of a Leica is the iPhone. It dominates photography.

Leica, the company and the M series rangefinder camera, is a legacy. Since my late friend Thomas was always fond of Leica rangefinders, I got to handle them a lot. What a beautiful piece of engineering. And the shutter sound, shivers. But by today's standards they are not light, they are not ubiquitous, and certainly not always ready. People buy those cameras because they love cameras, not necessarily because they are photographers. Professional photographers shoot heavy Canons and Nikons. They are extremely fast and versatile. And kids who want to keep up with the Joneses, they also like SLRs, even if they never leave full automatic mode. Fashion bloggers, anyone?

So what has Leica got to do with Huawei? It's a marketing play. And it has been played before. Remember Nokia and Zeiss. Zeiss is actually known for great lenses. Hollywood uses them, and their prices run into many digits. Does Zeiss make smartphone lenses? Of course not. They only "co-develop" and certify them. BlackBerry/Schneider-Kreuznach? Huawei/Leica? It's going to impress the tech and the fashion press. Huawei faked it all the way to the sound of the shutter.

I never wanted an M ragefinder. But if you are wealthy and think I deserve a treat, then please buy me a Leica Q. Not because I like cameras. But because I like photography. Did you know my birthday is coming up next month? :-)

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Comments

Unfortunately Leica started far too late with the digital part with the R8. All the perfect lenses are now just collecting dust. The new system is nothing for the “normal” user. I always loved the R-series.

Wolfram Votteler, 2016-04-07

I have never seen anybody using an R8. I have only seen an R3. Oh, yes, digital backs. That never materialized. Otherwise I would have some 70s Canon A-1 and AE-1 to play with. But I can't go back to film. That's too impractical.

There are of course other options than getting a Q. The most popular one is the Sony RX1R. I'd still prefer the Leica.

Volker Weber, 2016-04-07

oh the Q. oh my.
If someone here never heard about that camera:
http://craigmod.com/sputnik/leica_q/

---

"Not because I like cameras. But because I like photography."
That resonates with me.

"People buy those cameras [meaning Leica M] because they love cameras, not necessarily because they are photographers."
You are right.

Some also buy them because they like cameras AND love photography.
(And the Leica Q is not around that long...)

Matthias Welling, 2016-04-07

Hi Volker,

my dad is convinced that his Nokia N90 has a better camera than the iPhone 6s because of the Zeiss badge...
I can't find any literature on the web that acknowledges that Carl Zeiss never actually did anything on this phone, and that it was only a marketing move.

do you have any link to help my dad see the light ?

thanks
Gaston

Gaston Annebicque, 2016-04-26

2MP (photo light, 20 digital zoom)" VS. 12MP with f2.2 (and possibly a bigger Sensor)
(source: wikipedia)

Only the optics make a better pictures than the iPhone 6s?

I think a link to any site will not help your dad to see the light. Sorry.

Matthias Welling, 2016-04-26

2MP (photo light, 20 digital zoom)" VS. 12MP with f2.2 (and possibly a bigger Sensor)
(source: wikipedia)

Only the optics make a better pictures than the iPhone 6s?

I think a link to any site will not help your dad to see the light. Sorry.

Matthias Welling, 2016-04-26

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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