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Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Hi Mike - this was always going to get a lot of comment.
In the UK antique furniture business they call it distressing.
Back to cameras - I do remember back in the 60s/70s actual photojournalist pros "accelerating" and "improving" the look of the brassing of their genuinely pro black paint Ms, Fs or Spotmatics.

This reminds me of the lines of many years before that from the great Irish writer Flan O'Brien writing newspaper pieces under one of his several other n de p's Myles na Gcopaleen (sp?) on a special service he was launching for a those with a good library but no time to read the books - he would do that, make some erudite scribbles, thumb the important pages, etc - but you really shoiuld read the original which will be in books of his collected works. A ***** highly recommended for a journalist such as yourself.

The sharp definition between the enamel and brass.....is not the way a camera "brasses" in actual use. Has Leica no shame? I'd be interested in knowing who buys these bits of precious nonsense and what they do with them.

I ate in this falafel place in Paris a few years ago:


It has a sign outside proclaiming Lenny Kravitz thinks it sells the best falafels in the world. I thought they were just OK. For this reason, I will not buy this Leica. Also, because I'm not completely stupid.

I seem to recall this idea coming up before?(grin) - but this Kravitz thing trumps that easily.

+1 for the Flann O'Brien book-handling reference in another comment!

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I think it's a brilliant idea: Take a slow selling camera (the MP is a film camera, after all), scuff a few of them up, give them the imprimatur of a popular artist, put them in a snakeskin leather box, and charge more than for a pristine version. Complain all you want, but I bet they'll sell every one of them.

It's a camera. A tool. It will do the job. If it wasn't so expensive less attention would be paid to it.

A new Lieca designed by Lenny Kravitz.

Often times, in the guitar world, the artist will be part of a video to introduce and explain their signature guitar. Sincerely, I hope Leica will come out with a video of Lenny doing the same for this camera.

It's been a long hard Winter. I welcome all entertainment.

"Did one of the best-ever covers of The Guess Who's "American Woman."

Boy, that's damning with faint praise.
You were far too kind.

You know what would make this insanely collectible? If each one was individually "brassed" by some very famous celebrity, who would also include their signature or personal note along with a certificate of authentication. Even better is if you don't know which world famous person handled your Leica until you opened the box.

What I find ironic is that some people want their $$multi-thousand Leica gear to look like it's been through a war, while other people put camera armor on their $500 cameras and cell phones, not to mention screen protectors, cases, bumpers and any other imaginable protective device so that when it's obsolete in a few years, it still looks like new.

I can't wait for the Don McCullin Nikon F that have all been pre-shot by someone with an AK-47!

I just checked my calendar and see it is not yet April 1st. Hmmm...

In defense of guitarists: since guitars are made of wood, the sound they produce can and do change with age. The same is true for the vacuum tubes that are used in guitar amps. It is also necessary to account for the different manufacturing practices and materials of 1965 when compared to 2015. Add it all up and this "aged sound" is the reason that vintage instruments are sought after by musicians. Of course, pre-aged new guitars and amps are cosmetic only and are (rightfully) laughed off.

Cameras, to be sure, are a completely different animal. Are there really people who say their pictures are inferior because the camera hasn't been physically broken in? (Knowing photographers, probably yes...)

Gah. They've been churning out this nonsense since what, at least the glut of "special edition" M6's? We groan every time something like this comes out, but we're never totally put off from the brand. Why? Because they're still the only ones making a proper digital rangefinder, and at the end of the day that's worth something to a small group of photographers.

It's unfortunate that the camera market in 2015 dictates that foolishness of this sort is more profitable than, oh I don't know, designing a digital rangefinder that more people can afford.

Leica's attempt to get their collectors to actually use the camera? In any case it is a great publicity stunt...

Jim Marshall did a much better job, for lessmoney....

They missed something. You can't get a camera to lose that much paint with getting a few scratches, dents and dings.

Because it's a limited edition, most will go to collectors. And then you get the absurdity of a distressed camera kept in a glass case, forever looking Minty.

The devil began his work in the early 1970s when us teenagers would repeatedly wash our $5 Levis to achieve a certain worn look.

The truth, of course, is that those old jeans (the denim is no longer made in America, nor is it of the same quality) were never meant to be washed.

And thus may have come about the notion of the dirty hippie.

Dam kids and their long hair and rock 'n' roll. Get off my lawn, and take that relic'd guitar and faked camera with you. And buy some new jeans that aint worn and faded. Dam kids.

It's not only that the wear is fake, it looks fake. For those sort of dollars I'd expect my fake to look real, not authentically fake.

Lenny Kravitz was photographed by Jim Marshall. The nicely used/aged cameras of Mr. Marshall's must have left a lasting impression on the musician.

I don't agree that scratches, dings, dents and brass are something you "earn". It just takes some careless handling and casual banging around and you will "earn" plenty of that pretty fast, and what's so noble about that? A camera is not a uniform or badge. It's mainly a tool. And this particular one is stylized by a musician/photographer. It doesn't actually look like a photojournalist's well-worn camera because the non-brassed parts look pristine new and shiny. So think of it as a distinctive paint job. Rather than being something fake (like a fake Oscar), it's a real Leica with 2 great lenses. We photographers employ a measure of stylization and artifice in photography, so why are we so critical when someone does the same to an object?

Perhaps it could come pre-loaded with photos you didn't take either!

Every day, I carry my Fuji X100t to the gym (used to carry a Digilux 3 but it's too big to stash in my gym bag)...

I work in Beverly Hills and stopped to pick up lunch. A very nice woman (a customer) at the counter asked "Is that a Leica?"
Me "No - it's a Fuji X100 - it's digital"
Lady "It looks like a nice camera"
Me "It is thanks".
Lady "Have you been to the Leica Store?" (It's about 1.5 miles east of where I'm standing).
Me "No I haven't"
Lady "Oh you should go"
Me (trying to be thoughtful). "I've been shooting for about 40 years. My uncle gave me his Leica (a IIIf) when his eyesight failed. That camera is in my office along with a newer Leica that I still use a lot because it has a meter. I don't need a new Leica - they've kind of lost me as a customer."
Lady "oh"

She was very nice and just trying to start a conversation and I regret not being more friendly. When I spoke to her, I had not seen Mr. Kravitz's 'design' so, I was a little subdued. My comments to her have worried me since - until I saw 'The Correspondent'.

This just sums up why I have ZERO interest in today's Leica despite toying with the idea of an M9 so I can use my lenses with a digital for 'more everyday' use. Now leaning towards an A7ii.

If 'poseurs' want to spend $10k for special cameras - maybe it will help Leica stay afloat until LVMH buys the brand.

Dunno if someone made this comment before (maybe several people, if so, my apologies).

Looking at Kryn's camera - you can see the wabi-sabi, er, wear, is in specific places. The very essence of wabi sabi is the visualization of the forces of nature - and the habits of the photographer - in action over time. That is what is truly beautiful.

The ersatz pre-brassed version has the fake wear in implausible places, and taking implausible forms.

Wabi-sabi it ain't. Now, if they had managed to _replicate_ faithfully the wear pattern of a truly used camera, THEN I'd be really impressed.

Mike C

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