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Leica creates M9-P Hermès 18MP rangefinder special editions

By dpreview staff on May 10, 2012 at 20:36 GMT

Leica has combined with luxury fashion house Hermès to create the M9-P Edition Hermès. The camera is coated in ocre-colored calfskin leather and features a matching shoulder strap. The camera also features a redesigned, smoother top-plate and control points, designed by the automotive designer, Walter de’Silva, previously responsible for the M9 Titanium. Only 300 of the cameras will be made. A yet more exclusive series of 100 'Edition Hermès – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas' kits will also be sold, in honor of the former president of Hermès. These kits will include a 28mm f/2, 50mm f/0.95 and 90mm f/2 lens, and a exclusive Hermès camera bag. The limited editions will cost $25,000 and $50,000 respectively.

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Press Release:

NEW LEICA LIMITED EDITIONS: LEICA M9-P “EDITION HERMÈS” / LEICA M9-P “EDITION HERMÈS - SÉRIE LIMITÉE JEAN-LOUIS DUMAS”

Solms, Germany (May 10, 2012) - Leica Camera AG presents a new limited edition: the Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès”. Following the highly successful Leica MP “Edition Hermès” (2003) and the Leica M7 “Edition Hermès” (2009), this camera is the third in a line of premium special editions of the Leica M-System to be created in collaboration with the renowned Parisian house. The Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès” is being offered in a strictly limited edition. The exclusive numbers, unique product design and premium finishing with numerous extras make this a truly special edition in every respect.

The highlight of the Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès” is the “Veau Swift” calfskin leather in “ocre,” supplied by Hermès for the leathering of the silver-chromed version of the Leica M9-P camera. This extremely fine and supple leather is applied not only to the camera body, but is also used for the shoulder strap included in the set. The camera also sports a special design, created in collaboration with the automotive designer Walter de’Silva. Furthermore, various features of the camera body have been redesigned, including the top deck, the base plate, the shutter speed dial, the multifunction wheel and the shutter release. These details distinguish the cameras from the standard version of the Leica M9-P and emphasize the unique status of the limited edition. In addition to a dedicated serial number, each camera also bears one of a series of consecutive limited-edition numbers.

The Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès” is offered in two different sets, with either one or three lenses. When compared with their standard versions, the design of all the lenses incorporates numerous differences in their details, ensuring a perfect harmonization of the cameras, their lenses and accessories.

This first of the Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès” sets is available from June 2012 in a worldwide limited edition of 300. In addition to the camera, the set includes a silver-anodized Leica Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH.

Following this will be a very special set available from July 2012. The Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas” is a celebration of the friendship and collaboration between Jean-Louis Dumas, the former president of Hermès, who passed away in May 2010, and Leica Camera AG. A strictly limited edition of only 100, the camera in this set is accompanied by three lenses: a Leica Summicron-M 28 mm f/ 2 ASPH., a Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. and a Leica APO-Summicron-M 90 mm f/ 2 ASPH., all featuring a silver-anodized finish.

This unique collection of photographic equipment finds a fitting home in a hand-finished Hermès camera bag that is available exclusively as a part of the Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas.” The camera bag is the first Leica camera bag ever to have been created by Hermès, a company world-famous for its manufacturing excellence. As an homage to Jean-Louis Dumas, a Leica photographer, this second set also includes a book with a selection of his pictures. The photographic work in two volumes shows an entertainingly diverse portfolio of 200 black-and-white images on 190 pages, all captured by Jean-Louis Dumas with his Leica M camera.

In the limited edition, the frame selector lever, accessory shoe and Leica script on the top deck have been omitted in favor of its unique design. In all other technical details, the cameras and lenses of the special editions are identical to those of the standard versions.

The Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès” and Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas” are available exclusively through Leica Stores and Leica Boutiques, including the Leica Store Washington DC.

Additional images

Comments

Total comments: 207
123
canadaone
By canadaone (Aug 23, 2012)

Cant wait!

0 upvotes
photokandi
By photokandi (Jul 8, 2012)

Try explaining that purchase to the Wife!

0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (May 21, 2012)

Beautiful concept!

0 upvotes
electric eel
By electric eel (May 21, 2012)

Looking at these cameras is like looking at an exotic car, they are beautiful to behold in person and in photos. The craftsmanship is unique amongst camera and manufacturers in general. Thanks Leica for being unique and providing excellent cameras and optics, some say jewelry because of their beauty.

0 upvotes
UPImage
By UPImage (May 19, 2012)

Perhaps a little off subject, but not entirely. A Leica O series camera from 1923 did just sell for $2.79 million ($2,790,000.00). Will one of these ever fetch that kind of price? I have no idea, but I do suspect they will appreciate, not depreciate, over time. After all, those O series Leica cameras were fetching a mere $1.89 million a year-or-so ago.

0 upvotes
nwsphto
By nwsphto (May 18, 2012)

Am I the only person who noticed the lack of an accessory shoe? So where does one attach a Leica external viewfinder? Obviously, Leica placed more emphasis on fashion than function with this camera. Oh, well.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 18, 2012)

This camera is a collectors item meant to be put in a display case and admired. It is not meant to actually be used. The normal M9 and MP are the cameras that are supposed be functional.

0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (May 21, 2012)

Blue tack! ; )

0 upvotes
Gergob
By Gergob (May 15, 2012)

I wish Leica created radioactive Marie Curie special edition for the same elite.

2 upvotes
wb2trf
By wb2trf (May 15, 2012)

This is perfect and where Leica belongs, as a frank fashion statement. As cameras, Leicas have been irrelevant since the ascendancy of the slr in the 1960s. As fashion statements, they are up there with lots of other baubles.

In fact it would be great if DPR could launch a sister site: Digital Photo Fashion (DPF) where everyone on DPR could move to who has ever cared in the least what anyone else thinks about the camera they are wearing. A feature of DPF would be that every posting would auto insert an opening "cred" or status statement listing the poster's equipment so everyone else would immediately know how seriously to take their comment. Then the poster wouldn't need to write that every time they post, as those people do here.

This would leave DPR with people who would accept as a potentially interesting photographer, a potential future MOMA exhibitor, a person would write: "I'm trying to decide if I need more than my Android 3 smartphone for my trip to NYC?"

1 upvote
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (May 15, 2012)

A standard $25 Casio quarts watch is a more accurate timepiece than the most expensive mechanical $100,000 Rolex. People buy luxury items because they induce the user into a state of glorious euphoria (if you can afford it).

If your complaining about how horrible this camera is or how much you hate Leica, you likely have never taken a micro economics course and do not undersand the economics of a free market or a luxury based business model.
I'm sorry you can not afford this camera; neither can I for that mater but grow up and stop complaining.

4 upvotes
wb2trf
By wb2trf (May 16, 2012)

The point is that the degree to which Leicas achieve their objective for the buyer is not within the scope of the topics DPR can examine. Maybe Vogue can. All the usual DPR analysis is irrelevant because Leicas are fashion statements first and foremost. Analysis of high ISO performance is as topical as a geneticist at a creationist convention.
Cameras are fashion statements, not just Leicas, but many cameras. This fact infuses the entire DPR discussion with an incommensurable element, an unwarranted reverence for the more expensive that regularly impedes analysis.

1 upvote
Jonathan Siegel
By Jonathan Siegel (May 15, 2012)

If these cameras were made entirely by a cheap labour factory in some rural village, then I would take issue with their pricing and simply tag their wealthy consumers as sheep. If in fact these are all hand made in Germany as these photos imply, and the video that has been circulating showing how they refine each piece and paint the numbers on the lens by hand, then these cameras are absolutely worth the money. In my line of work, you might come after me and say the same thing, but if you sat there and watched just how long it takes me to do it, and the sheer amount of time, perfection and technique I pour into each project, you would understand my pricing as well. Besides, if these things were cheap then everyone would have one and it would lose it's magic. Work hard, save up, buy one when you are ready. That is what I intend to do.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (May 15, 2012)

The problem is that Leica has entered into an endless loop of limited editon boutique items which are very nice yet have nothing in particular to do to with photography. Leica has caught a break more than once, being saved from extinction, and people who are new to photography are discovering that wide angle lenses for RF cameras are usually better and always smaller than SLR lenses. Of course this was true for Nikon and Canon RF lenses as well and it wasn't long ago that everybody engraved and painted the numbers on even the cheapest lenses. But to people who haven't seen this before, it's impressive, I guess. Anyway, a fine product made by hand, by people who get 6 weeks vacation and that's what you're paying for.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Atomez
By Atomez (May 16, 2012)

Well, Leica cameras are actually 90% hand made in a rural village called Famalicão in the north of Portugal... Then they are shipped to Germany to get the "Made in Germany" logo.
Check here if you care to -- http://www.jornaldenegocios.pt/home.php?template=SHOWNEWS_V2&id=543817
It's in Portuguese but the video is self explanatory.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
chooflaki
By chooflaki (May 15, 2012)

I have always liked Leicas and appreciate the quality and crafsmanship that has gone into making them and the fine optics. But whats irks me is the arrogant notion propagated by Leica and many Leica users that their cameras are somehow on another level of superior IQ far above the better offerings by Japanese makers. Which is total nonsence and insulting to anyone who can appreciate good pghotography.

1 upvote
donthasslethehoff
By donthasslethehoff (May 14, 2012)

The hatred being thrown at Leica on this thread is profound. They are a for profit company. They apparently know who their customer is. They are a small but profitable company competing with much larger companies, and have found a niche that works for them.

Those who quip that this story should not be posted on DPR, kindly note that DP stands for 'digital photography' and that this is a digital camera.

Those who complain that it's too expensive will simply not buy it, but saying Leica is bad or evil or hates poor people or whatever else you're saying.... well, you're not thinking. This is a supply/demand thing and if your customer will pay $40k or $50k for a camera, you'd be a fool to not sell it to them.

Leica is not a mass producer. You ought not think of them that way. They are Tiffany, Ferrari, Gucci, etc.

3 upvotes
Harrison Cronbi
By Harrison Cronbi (May 14, 2012)

I think the hatred you refer to is largely the result of the situation the world finds it in, and Leica is bearing the brunt of the negative feelings being felt by those who are frustrated that individuals exist who are wealthy enough to afford such extravagances. Inequality will always produce such bitterness.

Personally, I feel no grievance over the existence and price of this camera, but I do feel that the perceived relative value of lesser Leicas on the second hand market will be affected, acting against normal devaluation forces on used M9s and M8s. I have previously owned an M8, but I'm not sure I will ever be able to afford an M9.

What I do find joke-worthy is that a $50k camera should only include a 230k dot LCD from c.2005. But how many of these cameras will be actually used?

Your brand analogy might be accurate today, but perhaps people are protesting over how it has evolved. A Leica in the M3/M2/M4 era was not a luxury good. It was just an expensive, well-built camera.

1 upvote
SDPharm
By SDPharm (May 15, 2012)

> What I do find joke-worthy is that a $50k camera should only include a 230k dot LCD from c.2005.

In a few years, all the LCD screens on the current crop of expensive DSLR will look ridiculous. However, people will still drool over the supple leather on this Leica.

This is a Hermes leather product that happens to take pictures, not the other way around. (You don't even see the Leica name on the front or top of the camera.)

0 upvotes
mpbrada
By mpbrada (May 15, 2012)

I neither hate Leica nor do I believe they are bad, or evil, or hate poor people. I just believe that it is worth pointing out the absurdity (in my humble opinion) of asking what for many people would be the price of a home for a camera. I don't begrudge Leica in any way, and if there are 300 suc^H^H^H customers out there fortunate enough to be able to spend this kind of money on a camera, then more power to them. I just happen to be of the opinion that this kind of luxury item is absurd on the face of it, and I am happy that DPR is shining a light on this item.

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (May 15, 2012)

> I just believe that it is worth pointing out the absurdity (in my humble opinion) of asking what for many people would be the price of a home for a camera.

Somewhere in Africa, you can probably buy a home with US$3000. Does that make the Nikon 800D absurd now?

In New York City, you can easily find a 2 bedroom apartment that costs more than a million dollars. Does that make this Leica an affordable toy?

0 upvotes
nanoc
By nanoc (May 15, 2012)

SDPharm: a Hermes leather product that happens to take pictures? Come on! This is just a tiny glorified piece of cow being strapped to a camera that isn't as good as it should for the price they ask! I would definitely not buy if, even if I was sitting on a mountain of gold. But, then, I wish digital cameras resembled more a rangefinder than a huge dslr. Too bad fuji decided to charge too much for their x1

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 14, 2012)

THE HIGHLIGHT of leica: the extremely fine and supple leather, applied NOT ONLY to the camera body, but is ALSO used for the SHOULDER STRAP INCLUDED in the set!

"The highlight of the Leica"........"This extremely fine and supple leather is applied not only to the camera body, but is also used for the shoulder strap included in the set."

What an utterly sad and tasteless story.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
mpbrada
By mpbrada (May 14, 2012)

I sold my house and pre-ordered my Hermes edition M9. I'm hoping to get some good shots from the box under the bridge that I live in now.

4 upvotes
angeloscy
By angeloscy (May 14, 2012)

youtube.com/watch?v=JSFy6yebMJ4 and you thought Hermes edition was expensive!

0 upvotes
doctor digi
By doctor digi (May 13, 2012)

DPRevew: if you have to tell us the price then you really shouldn't be showing this on your website. (to reverse a well-known phrase)

1 upvote
daviddavid_007
By daviddavid_007 (May 14, 2012)

What is wrong with stating and sharing facts?

0 upvotes
doctor digi
By doctor digi (May 14, 2012)

what's wrong with a sense of humour? Lighten up!

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (May 13, 2012)

I think the world is finally waking up to how ridiculous and borderline offensive 'products' like this are, since they exist solely to titillate the very uppermost financial elite, who acquire them as status and fashion statements rather than put them to any practical or functional use.

Rather than spending who knows how many tens or hundreds of millions in corporate resources on 1%-er (or higher) masturbatory icons for old white banker/oil money men looking for that one additional glass case bauble, you'd think Leica would 'focus' on making accessible tools for actual photographers, or help a charity of some kind. They could have given away thousands of cameras to needy arts schools for the money it took to reinstate themselves as Panderers to the Rich.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (May 13, 2012)

You might have a point. From the hands of elites and aristocrats to the bank accounts of German aristocrats in Solms with "von" as a prefix.

0 upvotes
CAClark
By CAClark (May 13, 2012)

It's a simple case of the have-nots having a grudge against the haves. It's like the Bugatti Veyron which is extreme enough, and even more so in the Hermes special edition. Get over it. Even the money these companies invest in products hardly anyone can afford can't make a dent in all that needs fixing in this world.

0 upvotes
jadmaister2
By jadmaister2 (May 14, 2012)

Sorry CAClark. Rubbish. I happen to be a have, and somehow I still have enough discernment to know a good CAMERA when I see one. Your implication that the 'haves' are wealthy fools is offensive and wrong. The point is NO-ONE who is serious about photography will buy one.

2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (May 14, 2012)

There is a wide range of "haves", all the way from sensible have-enoughs thru never-have-enoughs to havitalls... as there is a twig for every bird, as the saying goes. And everyone has own logic as to why that is so. It is a pure loss of effort to think about it.
500 rich people will have one of those cameras, they'll make about 5000 pics all together, and then forget about them until such time as these cameras appear in some antiquity shop or at some auctions. No big deal.
It should be remembered that it is people like Jean-Louis Dumas who make names to manufacturers - and not the other way round. He could've had used, say, a Kodak Retinette instead... and the wheel of fortune would have turned in other direction.
So, whatever the price; a camera is just a tool, as it aways was, and always will be - nothing more. Many excellent works have been made with less expensive tools, and no price of any tool will ever guarantee the quality of any product.
Best use well what you have.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
CAClark
By CAClark (May 14, 2012)

@Jadmaister2, I never said the 'haves' are wealthy fools, I said that the 'have nots' have issue with the 'haves'.

@OldArrow It's all marketing. I know this does nothing any better than the regular M9. It is however exclusive, and adds to the brand in the process. I don't give a monkeys about Leica making a 50 grand camera that should cost 9 grand or whatever the normal one costs, as ever, the purchase is an option some can and will choose. Most of us, it's not option. It's all good.

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 15, 2012)

CAClark:"It's a simple case of the have-nots having a grudge against the haves."

Right. The haves have a D800 and shoot happily the best images, and the have-nots have to try to get by with their foolish leica cameras.

1 upvote
jadmaister2
By jadmaister2 (May 13, 2012)

You see Leica don't have camera stores now, they have 'boutiques'.
So, you are a photographer and you fairy godmother hands you $50,000.
Do you: Go buy a complete pro camera system with lenses, tripod, flash etc etc capable of taking the finest images of anything anywhere, or
Do you go buy one not so good camera wrapped in brown leather (I assume by eastern maidens, trained in lotus scented rooms to do this one job for 12 years under the eye of master craftsmen, all of whom are over 80 yrs old)?
Yup, it's a tough choice.
I guess it's down to; are you a photographer, or just a wealthy fool?

4 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (May 13, 2012)

It really is beautiful, though something more in the realm of jewellery than photography. Similarly to diamond-encrusted iPhones, if there's a market, people will make it and you know, if the money made leads to exciting product development that filters down into other products, perhaps made with Panasonic, who am I to complain?

0 upvotes
Richard Franiec
By Richard Franiec (May 13, 2012)

Limited editions, if perfectly executed, could be a good investment on behalf of grand grand kids:
http://news.yahoo.com/1923-leica-camera-fetches-2-16-million-euros-185156596.html
Why so many posters find it upsetting is mystery to me. If you cannot afford Hermes Edition, grab your d-Lux5 or M something and have fun with it. No need to stress yourself out. Leica is known for successfully pulling stunts like this one, unlike rare wood edition of Sigma SD1.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (May 13, 2012)

So people should not be allowed to express their distaste for such excess in a world where corporate power and greed has caused more harm than good? Where kids starve, productive hardworking people die without benefit of exorbitant health care?

Things like this are rightfully coming under increased scrutiny, as are the people who would throw money away on them. We're not talking about something truly artful and beautiful like a rare painting of even a well crafted bit of jewelry. This is a tribute to useless, mindless excess.

3 upvotes
hc44
By hc44 (May 13, 2012)

Mechanicals pass the test of time. Do you think the microelectronics and battery will still be working in the year 2100?

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (May 14, 2012)

> Things like this are rightfully coming under increased scrutiny, as are the people who would throw money away on them.....

Everything is relative. Luxury goods have always existed. The only difference now is that internet is here and the mere mortals can easily see how the rich spend their money. But I doubt these things are coming under increased pressure as you speculated. In fact, I think more people are into consumption than you would like to believe.

So what do you think is appropriate? Do you think the Nikon D800 is ok? Why would anyone spend $3000 on a camera body so that he/she can take excruciating details of trees? On the other hand, some think it's a bargain.

Be careful how you judge others. One can spend whatever they earned as long as it's honest money, but telling others how they can or can not spend their money is just arrogant.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (May 14, 2012)

Defining "honest money" today might well equal opening Pandora's box. IMO, not much of it changing hands in deals like that.
As to the expressions of disgust, or searches for universal justification... there are myriads of things more deserving of scorn, way before one stops to think about any one manufacturer who, by merely adding a known name, raises some product price tenfold.
Think of football players trade, where million such cameras are shifted in one contract... think of military budgets, where meagre percentage would feed a continent... think of drug and armament trafficking... and imagine how comes all that dare exist in 21st Century...It's "business", and it was never meant to be mentioned in the same breath with "honest money".
If someone is successful in selling vials of "Waters Where Titanic Sank", it's good marketing. And it is only good because there's enough of those ready to buy, right? ;)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
36hike
By 36hike (May 13, 2012)

Can conspicuous consumption be offensive? Yes. Should DP Review be reviewing fashion statements? No.

My comment would be that Leica is beginning to look a little desperate and the panache is wearing off. They court the consumer level buyer with a Panasonic clone with an inflated price and then market silliness like this. It's sad, because my guess is that they are hurting and really have nothing new to bring to the market place.

Do I appreciate the emphasis on quality? Oh, god yeah! It's desperately needed in an industry of shoddy build qualty. But what are the margins on a $50K camera without even a hot shoe?

Where's the cosmetic department?

4 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (May 12, 2012)

although you'd figure hermes would have done a better manicure job for the press photos on the guy assembling it...

Does no one care about details anymore these days?

1 upvote
jpmac55
By jpmac55 (May 13, 2012)

I think he is a she.

0 upvotes
JimWongyyz
By JimWongyyz (May 12, 2012)

It's a bargain compare to my wife Chanel Limited Edition handbag.

1 upvote
vFunct
By vFunct (May 12, 2012)

So, to all the complainers, this isn't a camera. It's jewelry.

It's the reason luxury watches have no competition from LCD watches, even though they both tell time.

Again, this is jewelry.

3 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 12, 2012)

Who would actually buy this and use it? Maybe a few people but I doubt most of them will ever leave the box and even then leave their shelf.

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (May 12, 2012)

> Who would actually buy this and use it?

I know. Like, who would buy a watch that's more than $50?

On the other hand, $13000 for a pair of used amplifier is totally justifiable: http://app.audiogon.com/listings/convergent-audio-technologies-c-a-t-or-cat-jl3-mono--3

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (May 13, 2012)

If something is truly rare or sought after for something it does so well that nothing before or since can really equal it (or similar), then the market value of the item may reflect that, even if the 'going price' seems especially high. It will ebb and flow with demand.

This is nothing like that. It's meant to be a status symbol representation of the act of photography, not an actual tool, intended for a target market they neither really understands nor possesses any talent for - otherwise such folks would buy real photographic equipment for tens of thousands less that allowed them to fully express that ability.

The only ability this 'tool' expresses is the ability of the buyer to fork out a small fortune on a metal toy camera with a bit of leather.

0 upvotes
Bob Coulter
By Bob Coulter (May 12, 2012)

It's 4 Asians. I'm sure I'll see all 300 of them by summers end, round the necks of their owners, searching through their NY tourist books.

0 upvotes
Archiver
By Archiver (May 13, 2012)

More like packed away in a bank vault, never to be used. That's where the Japanese tend to keep them. Although some LE Leicas find their way into real user's hands, like the surprisingly high number of expensive titanium and anthracite M7's and MP's which turn up in the Leica forums. Seal reportedly uses his M9-T. So does the customer who bought one from the dealer I frequent.

0 upvotes
OptimaMoving
By OptimaMoving (May 12, 2012)

Leica has great lenses, i like also they cameras, but everything they make cost way over my budget to afford. it is just made for different audience of ppl, that's all.

1 upvote
OptimaMoving
By OptimaMoving (May 12, 2012)

Nice toy.

0 upvotes
Apewithacamera
By Apewithacamera (May 12, 2012)

Baby cows were killed to adorn this piece of photographic jewelery! Shame on Leica!

3 upvotes
Koolpep
By Koolpep (May 12, 2012)

I had the pleasure to meet and talk to a few of the Hermes Artisans who create handbags, scarves, saddles, shirts and watches. It changed my view of Hermes completely. These guys are truly master craftsmen and -women and do an amazing job. These guys are trained for many years and most of them work for Hermes until retirement. Their skills are incredible.

Leica has settled to be the "luxury" camera company. Hence they do everything right in regards to the critical "over-engineering" required to play in the luxury league. They produce amazingly well (hand-)made products for premium prices. This Leica is so much more than just a camera, especially for the people who buy them. Some will use them to show off, some will just use them as intended and some will collect them.

I am currently not able to afford one of these, but I truly appreciate the beauty and work put into these products. There is something very special to it and I guess it will feel very special in your hands...

0 upvotes
jadmaister2
By jadmaister2 (May 13, 2012)

I think we are missing the point here. People are sad because Leica USED to make superb cameras and lenses for the pro market. Those cameras were responsible for some of the worlds most iconic images. The lens quality still exists, but the bodies now have been left far behind by the likes of Nikon and Canon. Why? Where the heck is their dignity? I appreciate beautiful things too, but surely function comes first! At least a Breuget keeps decent time!

2 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (May 13, 2012)

We no longer expect function over form. And even the form needn't really be of substance or quality... As long as someone somewhere says it's chic or status. Then corporate dolts like those at Leica will spend millions to pander to the elite, like butlers polishing the brass.

The rest of us (not just 99%, here we're talking more like 99.9%) are getting increasingly fed up, I think. This isn't just a diamond-crusted iPhone, which at least has value in the sum of its parts, but a construct that winks at being a real thing without providing any of the true function of a decent photographic kit. The rich banker with this on their mantle can say he owns the most expensive Leica without snapping a single shot.

1 upvote
angeloscy
By angeloscy (May 12, 2012)

As with the Bugatti Veyron Hermes I will just admire, respect and go on!

2 upvotes
alexmmx
By alexmmx (May 12, 2012)

Anyone Remember the company Argus?? It looks like a Retro Argus C44 Camera, but still this model loses the name Leica which it does not look like a traditional Leica camera, from this angle that it looks like a small camera with no name, and no Hot shoe, and I could say that it looks like a Leica CL on Steroids. I like the idea of a B/W Digitial camera, called the M10BW.

0 upvotes
yappymike
By yappymike (May 12, 2012)

It's all about status concious. Hang this metal
around your neck and wait for ooh's n aah's
n whoa's.... ! Just a brand name!!!
All money talk ...

2 upvotes
James C. Murray
By James C. Murray (May 12, 2012)

It would probably be easier just to wear the price tag on the Hermes shoulder strap.

1 upvote
jkokich
By jkokich (May 12, 2012)

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

0 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (May 12, 2012)

So the human race has come to chit like this now.
I'll pray for all the dumb bastages with more money than brains.
Anyways, Murphy's law states that it's a crime to not part a sucker from his money, so I guess all is in order in the universe.

I do wonder how those folks that run that company in Germany sleep at night though. Surely they don't think they make much of a real contribution to the world - do they?

5 upvotes
Koolpep
By Koolpep (May 12, 2012)

They sleep as well as any luxury goods or services company, I guess. The people who handmade these amazing products for which others are willing to spend a fortune for. I would feel good. If you think about the watch industry, or jewelry, cars. you can make the case for all of them...

1 upvote
Archiver
By Archiver (May 13, 2012)

In an episode of The Simpsons, the action star McBane tells The Critic about his new overpriced and mindlessly derivative blockbuster. The Critic says, 'God, how you sleep at night?'

McBane grunts, 'On a huge pile of money with lots of beautiful women.'

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (May 13, 2012)

We can laugh, but this money came from us. Maybe not as clearly with Leica, but all the world's big corporate entities today got their money from the masses. Oil, cheap Chinese made clothes, imported food, you name it. The Transfer of Wealth is a real thing.

0 upvotes
djmm
By djmm (May 12, 2012)

Say if I were billionaire now and reading this, I'd ring my bell to summon my butler, and I'd point at this camera and did a little grunting and he'd contact my personal buyer and he then would make a call and I'd get this camera by this evening.
If he forgot to pre charge the camera before he passed it to me, I'd slap his face with a wad of 100 dollar bills.

1 upvote
kiet
By kiet (May 11, 2012)

I almost placed an order until I found out it doesn't do videos. Maybe they'll do it in the Louis Vuitton version.

1 upvote
mauro paillex
By mauro paillex (May 11, 2012)

Toy for stupid people!

3 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (May 11, 2012)

great shi*

1 upvote
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (May 11, 2012)

Buy this Leica today and keep in to your grandson. Give his present at his 30th birthday.

He remembers you very good for all times ;)

0 upvotes
Peter KT Lim
By Peter KT Lim (May 11, 2012)

Rich man toy....today's Leica no difference than the Swiss handmade watches, the function of the camera is show off, who care about the quality of the photo ?

2 upvotes
jsis
By jsis (May 11, 2012)

You know what's really a shame? These cameras are going to collect dust rather than be used by someone who really loves to take photographs... these are more like art or collectors pieces than photographic tools.

2 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (May 11, 2012)

They won't collect dust - no-one's going to take them out of the box! I wonder if the boxes have a transparent window on the front so that people can make doubly sure the camera's actually there?

1 upvote
Damo83
By Damo83 (May 11, 2012)

Guys, I will happily sign your Leica M9's with a gold pen thus increasing it's value by $1000, if you wish.

1 upvote
Kirppu
By Kirppu (May 11, 2012)

I do not and I really mean, do not understand Leica products or fascination and addiction to these kind of producs. + I will never spend this amount of money to camera :) I can buy remote and liveable house with that kind of money :D

2 upvotes
moving_comfort
By moving_comfort (May 11, 2012)

nt

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (May 12, 2012)

Some people draw pleasure in possessing things that (almost) nobody else has. It's pure hedonism, but hey, it's paying someone's bills... or their dividends.

0 upvotes
MDwebpro
By MDwebpro (May 11, 2012)

"The limited editions will cost $25,000 and $50,000 respectively."

Leica has completely lost touch with reality. It's one thing to produce a market-advancing product of superior quality that commands a premium price. It's another thing altogether to stand tall in the face of a shaky world economy and fast-shrinking niche audience and scream, "We are being knowingly pretentious and completely without shame, simply because we can."

And in doing so this once-revered manufacturer has lost the respect of many of its most ardent fans and patrons (myself included).

3 upvotes
moving_comfort
By moving_comfort (May 11, 2012)

Google "Veblen Good". This camera actually fits Leica's business model very well. The fact that most folks like you and I can't afford it is part of that business model.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Joel Pimenta
By Joel Pimenta (May 11, 2012)

One body and 3 lenses, 25000? Not expesive (for Leica), incluides a 10000 50/0.95...

The extra 25000 for a "limited" serie, now thats expensive!

0 upvotes
sieem
By sieem (May 11, 2012)

I think it's 25 000 for the camera and 50 000 for the kit with the three lensens :)

1 upvote
Absolutic
By Absolutic (May 13, 2012)

Yes I was not sure on that. I thought the whole kit was $25K and $50K was for super pupper kit. 50mm itself costs $10K, the camera costs $7K, so I am not sure that much more for the 25K kit. And the fact that these lenses are hard to find anyway.

0 upvotes
Peter Bendheim
By Peter Bendheim (May 11, 2012)

Lots of derogatory remarks here - by people trying to be too clever. Yes it's really expensive, and no I will never own one. But I can look it the same way as I look at a Supercar or the finest handmade Swiss watch - as the pinnacle of design and craftsmanship - not made by underpaid people in a Chinese or Phillipines sweatshop, but by people who get paid for their skill and go home to their families at night with money in their pockets. That's why craftsmanship costs more, because labour costs more. And sure there is the Veblen factor, which adds to the price. There is an irony here in that in days gone by, when watches were automatic and cameras had film, people bought things to last. Now all those here that criticsize the rich are probably the same people upgrading their DSLR's every year and spending their lives on forums saying they are going to jump ship cos there has been no new Dxxx or mark24 for 18 months. Just appreciate the craftsmanship and design! No need to be ugly!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
13 upvotes
UPImage
By UPImage (May 11, 2012)

I agree. I do have a Leica -- a Leica IIIf-Red Dail, 1953; it was my grandfather's and it works perfectly. Some of the best images I've ever taken have been with that camera. I wonder where most of the cameras (including my Nikon) will be 60 years from now? I suspect these Leica's will still be working (but who knows if there'll be anyway to print the images?)

1 upvote
Sunny15
By Sunny15 (May 11, 2012)

Pinnacle of design? Lol....not even close.

4 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (May 11, 2012)

You racist.
I do not think those unfortunate sweatshop workers won't have the skill to build a Leica with appropriate training.
They are just born in the wrong place, and had no choice.

2 upvotes
MaikeruN
By MaikeruN (May 11, 2012)

Well said Peter.

0 upvotes
Peter Bendheim
By Peter Bendheim (May 11, 2012)

To qwertyasdf (only)
Don't be an idiot. I'm not racist at all. I think its awful that people are so underpaid in the east, and it is that way only because of the insatiable appetite of the wealthier west for cheaper and cheaper electronics that drives the prices down and results in people being paid less. Who said anything about inferior quality or skills?? - all I said is that one pays more for goods made in the west because people are paid fairer wages and that drives up production costs. I'm all for fair trade and decent wages and less obsolescence and more sustainability.
You REALLY REALLY should think before you write, with respect!

Oh, and the other thing is that Leica's increase in value. So this is a collector's item-no more, no less. I had a small collection of ordinary Leicas I sold a few years ago - I admit to missing the smooth feel of the film winder, the coldness of that metal body, and the soft click of the shutter. Redundant - maybe, yes. Beautiful - most definitely!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Stan LS
By Stan LS (May 11, 2012)

Sounds like their marketing ploy has worked. By using words such as "legendary" and "authentic" and by including a few photos of their cameras being put together (most likely by a model in a studio setting), they have convinced you that charging an astronomical price for their product is reasonable.

I think most of us here are just looking to buy a quality piece of an equipment that will take great photos. If you are willing to pay extra for a story that will make you feel warm and fuzzy and make your camera into a conversation piece - that's fine. Just know what you are paying for.

As for the sweatshops - given options, people tend to take the better ones. The workers have elected to work in them because the alternative is worse. But you probably don't consider things like that...

1 upvote
tarkovsky
By tarkovsky (May 11, 2012)

Calling someone a racist is completely misplaced, and should be awarded a warning from moderation, or similar.
About the camera: Great item, but somehow, when the sensor isn't a novelty, it somewhat makes it less exotic.

0 upvotes
odyk
By odyk (May 11, 2012)

Peter ,I agree with you about craftsmanship and being paid well for it, but Leica has also a factory in Portugal where wages are much cheaper than Germany and according to this article ( http://www.spiegel.de/karriere/ausland/leica-portugal-deutsche-arbeitskultur-in-der-kamera-fabrik-a-829826.html)
most parts are made there and then assembled to Germany.

Still you can not measure an object's quality by origin or by price.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 13, 2012)

"But I can look it the same way as I look at a Supercar"

No, you cannot. At least without deluding yourself. Supercars drive faster than other cars. The $50,000 Leicas are significantly worse than even some P&S like Canon G1X, not to mention system cameras. Like old Beetle at the price of Bentley. That is the cause of indignation here, not the price itself.

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (May 11, 2012)

One thing I credit Leica with - I can't think of any thing else that could possibly cause Nikon and Canon shooters to occupy common ground.

And possibly even make the original/early Sigma SD1 purchasers feel good about the orignal SD1 "value proposition".

Now anything that can do that is an amazing bit of kit.

2 upvotes
gavlis
By gavlis (May 11, 2012)

Getting one for my up and coming trip to Africa. Going to be doing an article of the slums around Jo'burg. This is just what I needed to document it!

9 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (May 11, 2012)

Sometimes people don't get jokes, it's alright.

3 upvotes
SDhar
By SDhar (May 11, 2012)

@Rage Joe... What the hell is wrong with you? Dumbass in Africa? What are you a racist!!!!!???? I am not African, but I am certain I have seen enough American and European dumbasses (like Bush, Blair and maybe you). That said, I do agree with you that Leicas are like heirlooms, you get what you pay for!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SDhar
By SDhar (May 11, 2012)

@Gavlis... Don't mean this to be a flippant comment, but you'll also be inadvertently documenting the stark contrast between the quality of your Leica vs. the quality of life of the poor slum-dwellers. A quality of life forcefully brought on to native South Africans by unwelcome British and Dutch colonizers. Hopefully you can publish your photos and keep reminding us how some of our ancestors screwed others for their personal gains. Good luck!

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
gavlis
By gavlis (May 11, 2012)

Hmm I think humour sometimes gets lost in translation.

7 upvotes
Stan LS
By Stan LS (May 11, 2012)

SDhar, what was the quality of life there before the colonization? Great mention of Bush and Blair. Extra points! If only all our leaders were as smart, sincere, and not at all corrupt as those in the 3rd world. Excellent, excellent point.

1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 11, 2012)

My beautiful mother once (that I know) bought a Hermes scarf, and I must say it was on of the most tasteless scarfs she has ever worn. This camera would go well together with that ugly scarf.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 13, 2012)

Documenting slums in South Africa? You would need black and white version for that.

1 upvote
glossywhite
By glossywhite (Dec 24, 2012)

I just bought a mint, used Praktica LTL 3 from eBay + mint Pentacon multi-coated 50mm f1.8... ALL for £17!

I think that between me and an owner of one of these ridiculously over-indulgent rich kid toys, I'll get the most pleasure and *use* (because I am actually USING it, yes, AND it only cost me £17) - I'd rather feed starving people than pamper my over-pampered self in the height of selfishness, were I that rich.

This just demonstrates how self absorbed and vain people are nowadays.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
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