Musicians, and all creative types really, often cross over into other creative endeavors that may or may not have anything to do with the field they’re famous for. It was only a few weeks ago that we featured a video of musician Moby talking about how much he loved photographing LA architecture. And today Leica has put together another of their “Leica Portraits,” this one on soul musician — and, of course, photography enthusiast — Seal.
The video does have the necessary Leica plug (around 2:30) but besides that everything that Seal talks about — from trading photo time for play time with his daughter, to the emotional connection he feels is necessary for great street and portrait photography — is interesting and relevant to anybody who loves the art of picture taking.
With most camera companies moving towards robotic assembly lines and online storefronts, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the one company resisting this revolution is Leica. Not only do they still make many of their products by hand, but they also recently released plans to increase the number of worldwide Leica retail locations from 37 to 200 by the year 2016.
This announcement comes alongside the grand opening of their first US store in Washington DC, and will mean two more Leica stores in the United States by the end of the summer — one in New York and another in Miami.
In a recent interview with Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine dived into some pretty intense financial conversation. Much of what was said didn’t pertain directly to photography — discussions about Fuji’s involvement in the medical field and cosmetics for instance — but certain parts of the interview were very interesting indeed. Read more…
It’s strange to think that cartography laws could somehow affect the functionality of your camera overseas, but a recent article on Ogle Earth points out that just such a thing has been going on with GPS-enabled cameras as far back as 2010. The whole “investigation” into the matter began with the release of the Panasonic TS4 earlier this year. For some reason the press release cautioned that the GPS in the camera “may not work in China or in the border regions of countries neighboring China.”
But after doing some digging they discovered that these restrictions are not limited to the TS4, nor are they even limited to Panasonic. In fact, many major manufacturers go to great lengths to conceal or toss away the location data captured by GPS-enabled cameras when you’re taking photos in the People’s Republic of China. Read more…
There are already options available for those people who want to use Leica lenses with their Fujifilm X-Pro1, but for those of you who prefer to use only equipment from your camera manufacturer themselves, you now have that option as well. The new M-Mount adapter from Fujifilm, priced at $199, will be available sometime in June and brings with it compatibility with Leica’s wide range of high-end M Lenses. Fuji will also be releasing a firmware update alongside the M-Mount adapter in order to maximize compatibility with Leica lenses. The adapter and the lenses it “adapts” for don’t come cheap (then again neither does the X-Pro1), but if you’ve been wanting to shoot digital images with Leica lenses without a pricey Leica digital rangefinder, this option is certainly attractive.
Have you ever wondered how Leica chooses its pricing for its high-end cameras? J Shin has written up a great post over at Leica Rumors that offers a geeky and lengthy explanation of the economics behind the company’s pricing decisions:
Every time there is any kind of a product-related announcement here and elsewhere, there are a number of invariable comments complaining about and/or defending Leica’s price strategy. In making these comments, people make references to various economic and noneconomic reasons why Leicas are priced the way they are. This essay is an attempt to show that, basically, almost everybody is right, at least when it comes to Leica’s profit motives. Rather than nefarious greed, devious psychological warfare, and, as some often mention, Dr. Kaufmann’s ignorance of Leica fandom, Leica prices are basically a function of mathematical inevitability.
Want to see how the world’s most expensive camera was auctioned this past Saturday? The video above shows the 1923 Leica O-Series going up at the WestLicht Photographica Auction and being sold at the record-breaking price of $2.79 million after auction fees and tax. WestLicht points out that these cameras have been appreciating like crazy in recent years: the first sold in 2007 for $440K and a second sold in 2011 for $1.9M before this most recent auction. Each of the auctions set a new world record for “most expensive camera”.
Yes, that camera you see sitting on the table is the actual camera being auction. The model at the end is holding a very expensive piece of metal and glass in her hands.
If you’re the kind of person who hates expensive collectors items then you may want to look away; because a 1923 Leica O-Series just set a new world record and became the most expensive camera ever sold. The price? Approximately $2.79 million after tax. The funny thing is that the exact same model (there are 12 of the original 25 left in existence today) set the previous world record of $1.89 million last year at the exact same WestLicht Photographica Auction. And when you consider that the first O-Series to be auctioned back in 2007 went for only ~$435,000, you have to marvel at that rate of appreciation.
Hidden in-between all of the camera announcements from Leica at their May 10th event, was a lens that made quite a stir. At 50mm and f/2.0 the new Leica APO-Summicron-M ASPH lens doesn’t seem like anything to write home about; and with a price tag of almost $8,700 it falls a bit outside most consumers’ price range.
Leica’s justification of the price, however, has to do with the craftsmanship that goes into each of these lenses, and the quality that this leads to. Like all of Leica’s lenses, each one is hand-made: the optics are inspected and assembled by hand, the casing is put together by hand, even the numbers on the lens are painted by hand; and the catch phrase for the lens on Leica’s website, “Anything but a standard lens,” isn’t off the mark. Read more…
Having released three (count em’) newcameras yesterday, you’d think Leica would be spent; but it looks like they had one other camera up their sleeves, a special edition of their M9-P called the “Edition Hermès.” If the name sounds familiar that’s because it is: every few years Leica announces an “Edition Hermès” of one of their cameras in collaboration with Parisian house Hermès — only this year they’ve also decided to include a making of video to go along with it. Read more…