Each time you think Leica has gone completely off the rails, something comes along to whisper, "It can always get worse."
What is it this time? Well, watch your gag reflex. It's the "Leica M-P ‘Correspondent’ Designed by Lenny Kravitz."
You can't make this stuff up:
Many Leica cameras are unique. But now, all 125 examples of the strictly limited Leica M-P ‘Correspondent’ set are all unique, each in its own way. An elaborate wearing process completely by hand has carefully rubbed, scuffed and scratched the black enamel finish away in several places on both the camera and lenses to let the bright brass surface shine through. The look changes every time the camera and lenses are touched and begins new, personally written chapters in the story of their design.
That's right. It's a special limited-edition pre-brassed Leica, with a name calculated to taunt every actual photojournalist who has ever actually used a Leica hard enough to put real wear on it. (Especially those of them who are now out of work.)
As for the, um—aaack!—designer: "Lenny Kravitz is famous around the world as an exceptional and very successful musician. But he treats photography with his Leica with exactly the same passion."
"Exceptional and very successful musician." Did one of the best-ever covers of The Guess Who's "American Woman."
"Exactly the same passion." Steals classic-rock guitar riffs then proclaims rock and roll is dead.
May I just bring to this post exactly the same passion as Perez Hilton? "Bitch, please!"
(I swear I have never actually spoken that phrase—I'm a grown man, after all—but I did warn you to watch your gag reflex.)
I knew BMW had finally gone off the rails when I learned they were piping fake engine noises into the cabin using the stereo system. Perhaps the "Lenny Kravitz M-P Correspondent" marks the official Jump the Shark moment for the new revived digital-era Leica?
Your thoughts? (And does this post go into our category "Cameras, New" or "Cameras, Old"?)
(Thanks to O.G.)
Original contents copyright 2015 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Ting-li Lin (partial comment): "[Leica has created] a new category of camera condition: 'NLWU' or 'New, Like Well-Used.' Imagine when these cameras go onto the used market, how would a seller describe their conditions? 'Like New, and also Like Well-Used'?"
emptyspaces (partial comment): "Lenny Kravitz is one of the most overrated musicians of all time. If it weren't for the hair and the leather pants, the snakes, the full-length mirrors, the white pianos, and so on...would we care? Do we care? He dresses and acts like a rock star, and that's pretty much it."
Eric Brandon: "While I completely agree with you about the absurdity of the new Leikravitz 'M-P Correspondent,' I'd like to stand up for Lenny Kravitz as a musician. His first album, 1989's Let Love Rule, is a genuine classic and you know as well as anyone that standing on the shoulders of giants doesn't mean you're 'stealing' anything. His most recent album, 2014's Strut, is the best thing he's done since Let Love Rule, and some of the best rock and roll released in the last year. As an audiophile, you should appreciate that both those records sound great too."
Norm Nicholson: "Something is happening out there. First Lady Ga Ga covers Julie Andrews with reverence and sensitivity, then Leica covers Leica with this!"
William Lewis: "I've recently started playing electric guitar. My axe of choice is a Squier Telecaster. Squier is the 'budget' brand of Fender and is better in many ways, these days, than the low end Fender guitars from Fender proper. Yet go over to the Fender Custom shop and look into buying a reproduction of, say, a classic 1952 Telecaster and you'll have the choice of making it look 'New old stock,' 'Closet Classic,' 'Light Relic,' or 'Heavy Relic' aging. By these standards, the pre-brassed camera would be a 'closet classic' or 'light relic' while the 'heavy relic' would look like a guitar that served someone like Keith Richards or Eric Clapton on the road for decades. An example of a heavy relic Telecaster that is for sale can be seen here. It's just as ugly in guitars as it is in cameras and, frankly, just as stupid. Harsh word I know. But I really can't think of one more appropriate for the precious pretentiousness of a pre-aged tool."
Herman: "It goes to show that Leica has the brass."
Alan B. (partial comment): "Sorry, but you can’t buy real street cred."
Len Salem: "And then there could be the super extra unique versions with dented bodies, dinged filter threads, and very artistic scratches on the lens outer element. Also, to special order only, fungoid growth inside the lens and light leaks from the base plate. Regrettably all these extras will triple the normal unique price point."
igor: "Does each 'example' come with a large number of unique, artistically made, critically acclaimed shots? If not I am not buying."
Jack Foley (partial comment): "I'm a lifelong newspaper photog, so I've brassed my share of camera bodies the legit way."
toto: "How can I restore one to its untouched mint condition?"
Mike replies: You know how you drive an OCD-afflicted collector crazy? Casually suggest that he didn't get the best pre-worn Leikravitz.
"They're all different, you know. And they did a much better job with the brassing on some than on others. Some of them are really beautiful. Yours is...well, it's...okay. I guess."
Gabe (partial comment): "When I was involved with Leica clubs and groups and history I always made sure to read Tina Manley's advice, adventures and experiences. Seeing her comment in the Comments Section here reminds me that she always embodied the classic Leica world-roaming journalist/photographer. Very much worth a look."