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Thursday, 02 November 2023


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Currently scanning some FP4 from my M6. I would love to see a video or even some photos of the plant making the Leicas!!

I don’t have the link handy, but a Leica executive interview, maybe 10 or so years ago, indicated that the largest market for M film camera sales was Japan. It was a significant percentage, by far.

Smoke 'em while you've got 'em. The long period of free money is over. Consumer cash is tightening. Capital investment money is becoming -very- expensive. Film is a very expensive business. Spending $10- +++ for a few photos today is not a sustainable business platform today. Leica can, and probably will make a film body indefinitely. Their customers are not mainstream.

Your comments about the "old", i.e., Leica M film cameras, reminded me about the "new": what happened to the long-promised Jack Mack comments on the iPhone 15?

You will know that Ricoh are planning to bring out a whole range of Pentax film cameras, not quite the same as continuous production of course but …

Interesting and good to hear.

There are still plenty of reasonably priced old film cameras out there. However, there is one issue that is only going to get worse and that is the deterioration of coatings on old lenses. Separation is a big issue.. It's making it more and more of a lucky dip if you buy on something like eBay.

You need to examine an old lens very carefully. I have been caught out many times in the past. This morning, I bought a really lovely Voigtlander 50mm f2 Septon. I collected it in person and from a dealer I trust. Caveat emptor....

"I think it's 11 or 12,000 (cameras) per year..."

I really wonder what the true cost of each camera is, plus the infrastructure of the physical buildings, supply chains, salary costs for the employees and all logistical costs of getting the completed cameras into the market. And then divide that monetary outlay by the profit from each of those 12,000 cameras and any additional items like lenses and it's kind of amazing that they are so optimistic.

I'm just hoping Pentax deliver the goods with an affordable film camera!

A couple of months with an Olympus X-A2 and I am enjoying shooting a film camera for which I have no or few expectations. But if I was going to get something a little spiffier, I wonder what it would be? I have a Nikon FE that I haven't touched for years, and a Super Silette - and I yearn (a little bit) for a camera with a small format and a knockout lens. And of course I think about Leica (heavy though, aren't they) and I wonder what you or your readers think might be a good choice?

might concern fashion or status
I hate to tell you this but I walked past a Leica store in Manchester (UK) a few weeks ago and they are definitely being marketed as ”exclusive” fashionable status symbols. Rather like jewellery. The kind of folk who live around that city and can afford a Leica would almost certainly be buying them for posing value.

There's probably a story here about other devices that people actually want to use, but barely manage to stay in production.
The only example I can think of, though, is the 1954 MG-TF; an upgrade of the MG-TD that only made it to market because its intended successor, the more modern MGA, was not ready. There must be more stories like that...
Since I bought a 19-year-old M3 in 1978, and a new M6 in 2000, I raise my glass to the continued success of the Leica M, accidental or not. Even though my 50/2 dual range Summicron will not fit on an M digital body.

I got a kick out of learning that the French word for "film camera" is "appareil argentique," which translates artfully as "silver machine." I'm sure that refers to the silver iodide emulsion that goes into the film, not to the silver that comes out of your pocket to buy a Leica.

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