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Saturday, 28 February 2015


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I have long believed that there is a conservation law for intelligence (a theoretical maximum in the world, independent of population size). Perhaps the same is true of good taste. If so and if disposable income is distributed randomly enough, then it stands to reason that there are enough customers in the world to justify the creation and marketing of Leikravitzes, Peter Lik prints and anything else discerning folk might find questionable.


Are you sure that is not gold under the black paint?

And a lovely old thing it is.

I think that maybe the Kravitz special is paying homage to it, rather than mocking it. But then I tend to see the world as a glass half full ...

I'm still using an M2 and that same lovely flaring collapsible 50, also thanks to Sherry Krauter. My M2 started life silver and still is. It spent some time underwater before i bought it in the 1970s, but Sherry fixed that when I finally had to face up to a balky shutter years later.


I can envision the type of photographs made by an old camera by just looking at it. Doesn't work with newer stuff though. Here's to good old stereotypes.

Not as pretty as the black paint brassing, but this is one of my M3s.

Comparing the two, it's interesting how much tougher the chrome is than the black paint. The only place where it gets worn is where the photog's hands repeatedly touch it (body acidity may have something to do with it as well).

(Honesty forces me to mention that I'm too young to have done all that myself. I bought it second-hand, but I've certainly added to it by now)

I agree that the pre-brassed Leica is absurd, if not insulting. But it might also say something interesting about the conflict between the desire for, as Mike says, things that can wear beautifully, and the eye-blink obsolescence of most all digital products. I imagine you'd have to use your Leica M-P pretty hard to get it as brassed as this during its normal service life. Maybe this is partly Leica's (typically expensive) solution to that "problem."

Mike wrote, "I need to admit that the product upon which we enthusiasts heaped scorn is indeed, manifestly, generating buzz."

Mission Accomplished.

Today's digital cameras have such a short lifespan, including the mighty Leica. that they don't last long enough to gain the proud patina of use and age. Leica struggles with the electronics and sensor problems and repair parts. Within a few years the cameras seem to have problems that are no longer able to be repaired. So the life long Leica camera/friend with the brassing and a long history is not likely to happen anymore.
I really like Leicas but those days are gone.

If I flew in as a surprise for your birthday, I'd expect more than a day at the Accura dealership.......
I'm just sayin'.....
All the best

I was planning that for the big 6-Oooh, I'm scrapping it now ; -))

So USA Today weren't scorning it Mike? there's buzz and there's buzz.

I've been trying to figure out why, apart from phoniness, the Leikravitz just doesn't appeal, even visually, like Kryn's camera does. Then I looked at the two side-by-side. Kryn's camera is worn all over. Every place his fingers touched shows wear, and the dents, though not huge, are a part of the overall look. The Leikravitz is worn in places, and pristine in others. It screams newness from every spot that hasn't been purposely hand-scraped. To fake the look of Kryn's camera, you'd need to carry it with you for 20 or 30 years, let it bang against other cameras you're carrying, and make a ton of photos. But having done all that, it wouldn't be a fake.

It's funny - Leica selling something for a fortune that a large portion of the world would have absolutely no interest in because it doesn't look like it was made by Apple... personally, yes please, I'd be happy with ANY kind of Leica (wish I could afford it), but the pre-brassed take is a whole different aesthetic to the raft of 'innovations' my 16 year old son tried to show me yesterday, any one of which could have come straight from Jobs' drawing board. Generally, if anyone makes something that isn't smooth, white/chrome/black and touchscreen, then I say bravo and good luck to them, but I agree with your general sentiments on this particular one, though. Apparently it has to be i-generation, or definitely look pre-i-generation, even if it isn't... but it must be new... fake is the new real indeed. We definitely live in 'interesting times'.

Re: the Kravitz Leica: as a longtime Leica user, I am appalled by them, but I am equally offended by the obscene amounts of money people ( men usually) spend on cars, watches and the like. A Timex will tell time as well as a Rollex, yet I rarely hear moaners go on about that. Don't get me started on MBenzes, über cars and the like.
As a soccer fanatic, I don't think buying an overpriced jersey will allow me on the pitch. Instead I know it is paying for the obscene salaries players( entertainers) make. If my little jersey purchase helps Arsenal buy a defensive midfielder then it's money well spent! Likewise I hold my nose and hope Leica is in business next yr this time. Hopefully the distressed cameras will help. But I will not be buying one even if I won the super lottery.

Erwitt camera is crazy beautiful and thanks for the photographers name. Wasn't familiar w his work. Looks wonderful.

next up
a Mercedes Benz direct from the factory with dents and bullet holes added for an extra $10000

I read somewhere that Gary Winogrand's M-4 not only had the paint worn away but even some of the actual brass had been eroded by constant use. Talk about a compulsive shooter; he died leaving more than 2,000 rolls of exposed but undeveloped film.

Kryn Taconis's departure from Magnum was painful and preceded by Magnum's controversial refusal to publish his work on the war in Algeria -he had joined an FLN unit to document the war from their point of view. The full story here: "Magnum: Fifty Years at the Front Line of History: The Story of the Legendary Photo Agency" Paperback – October, 1999 by Russell Miller

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