I say this out of deep respect for Leica, all the folks who have helped me (Christian, JJ, Ebhi, etc). Truth be told I can only speak good things about Leica, people who work at Leica and for Leica. This critique is out of respect.
But I go to the Leica Website now; and it feels really lame. Why? Some of my honest thoughts and feelings:
Leica is now really just for old rich dudes?
If you look at the new Leica marketing and stuff.. all these guys who are using Leica M cameras are a bunch of random people. I have never heard of these folks. Perhaps they are uber-rich in some sort of avant-garde circles; whether Silicon Valley, Hong Kong finance, architecture, or places I don’t know. None of these names are weighty. The sense I get:
If you are a rich professional, buy our products.
Certainly the marketing is geared towards rich dudes. Either rich Silicon Valley folks, rich entrepreneurs, rich doctors/lawyers/dentists, or rich finance folks.
How to make Leica cool again?
Truth be told I am a Leica fanboy for life. Why? Apex quality, craftsmanship and durability. But the problem:
Leica is more about increasing corporate profits than having the soul of an artisan.
- Invest in the youth: You gotta make Leica cool again for high schoolers, college students, etc. If it ain’t cool, nobody will aspire to buy one.
- Legacy: You buy a Leica not because it is the best camera, but you got the soul and spirit of Henri Cartier-Bresson flowing within you. To buy and shoot with a Leica M camera is to somehow be indirectly connected to the old master HCB himself.
- Make it sexy: Let us not be fooled; we don’t buy products for performance or whatever. We buy products because they are sexy. We gotta add the sex back into Leica products — not to just make them some sort of techno-nerdy stuff for rich tech folks or finance folks who don’t really have much of an artsy soul.
What is cool now?
Pentax is cool
If you wanna flex, Pentax 645z is major. And Pentax-Ricoh is the same company. It seems that Pentax/Ricoh actually designs cameras for photographers, not just for nerds who like to play with tech for the sake of playing for tech.
In praise of film Leica Cameras
I got nothing but respect for Bellamy Hunt (http://japancamerahunter.com). Film Leica cameras are cool (Leica M6, film Leica MP as the apex film camera). Buy your film on https://camerafilmphoto.com (shout-out to my homeboy Vishal).