Photokina 2012: Leica M for R Lenses

Photokina: Leica M for R Lenses

At last Leica made the long expected move to satisfy owners of R-Lenses who have been left out in the rain for years now as no Leica R DSLR body was available. Since Leica stopped the  R SLR development and never moved on to a DSLR R series there were many rumors out there about a new digital Leica solution for the use of R Lenses.

Leica M with R Lens Image

New Leica M for R-Lenses

While insiders, observers and other Leica freaks expected a Leica M 10, the new flagship is simply called Leica M and it will be released early in 2013. A cheaper and somewhat simpler version, reminding in many points of the M9 will be launched as well. However only the Leica M is equipped with that new sensor capable of handling M and R lenses whereas a special adapter will be required for the use of R Lenses.

Leica M front view

Technicalities and Price

Get all the technicalities directly from Leica and while you are there, have a look at the two promotional videos.

In as much as price is concerned, it’s as usual: the eternal complaint about Leica’s exorbitant prices, at least if you follow the mainstream photo press. I have never heard of an auto magazine complaining about the price of a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari, even if both of them may not be the best cars in their class. In photography it’s different: Leica has that label of selling its products at outrageous prices, way beyond the outrageous prices of its competitors. Yes,have you noticed when looking through online reviews, most quality cameras are perceived as being too expensive by those reviewing them.

It’s either that those reviewers are cheap guys, miss-guided by the common idea prevailing online, that everything has to be free, or the millions of consumers buying a quality product are just fools. Or may be both ?

Leica M back image

In any case, my Dads 60 year old Leica still takes great pictures …. how many of the current plastic cams and lenses will still be able to even take a picture in 10 or 20 years?

The $7000 price label is discriminating, sure. But then, a Leica is not a mainstream cam and if Leica has managed to sell at these price levels a product of which the main parts are crafted in Europe or USA, then they must be doing something right. Wonder who envies them more: the reviewers, those who don’t have one or the competitors.

Leica alternatives

Let me be clear about this: for a Leica freak, there is just no alternative, for his valet there may be one. If you like the image quality, or may be the rangefinder technology or the look and quality or the lenses or the rather minimalist approach to building photo cameras, then you may want to look at some new products which can bring you quite close to the touch and feel of shooting with a Leica.

Read my next post about it.