Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/03/28

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Subject: RE: [Leica] was leica marketed as a professional camera or a hobb iest camera?
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 11:22:42 -0500

Kyle, you should get a copy of the 15th edition (I think), the one published
in 1973.  Some really good articles geared toward the at least advanced
amateur level.  And some excellent photos as well, with a great
photojournalism section with PP winning photos from Vietnam taken with
Leicas.  Borrow it from the campus library, or pick up cheap at a swap meet.
Sell the earlier version on ebay as a rare collectable for a tidy profit.

As for who Leica markets to, since the early 70's when I started looking at
the sales brochures in camera stores, it was never clear that it is either
pro or am.  Certainly never like Canon or Nikon that used the "system" angle
(multiple screens, motor drives, various prism options, bulk film backs,
large lens selection, etc.), which did appeal to the pros, I think.  So I am
guessing it was a subtle message that the well healed amateur could shoot
like a pro with a Leica (the brochures did have some marvelous photography).
I can say that in my hometown in the 70's all the young photojournalists
used Nikons with the huge multi-colored guitar straps for neck straps.  The
older PJs used Rolleiflex.  Not a Leica in sight.  I bet it wasn't very
different in most other places.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kyle Cassidy []
> Subject: [Leica] was leica marketed as a professional camera or a
> hobbiest camera?
> I was in Ye Olde Used Bookstore about two weeks ago and found 
> a nice fat
> heavy Leica book (The Leica Manual 14th edition) in lovely 
> hardback for $15
> so i snatched it up and took it home to read about the fantastic new
> developments made by the M2 leica camera and it's pal the M3.
> Reading the book I was struck by a) how elementary it was and 
> b) how bad the
> photos in it were -- mostly vacation shots and kids fishing. 
> my thought had
> always been that the M3 was produced and marketed as a camera for
> professional photojournalists, and i was expecting it to be 
> filled with news
> tips and doccumentary photos. reading this book, it struck me 
> that perhaps
> it was not (marketed thusly), and the status it has achieved 
> as the choice
> of pro's came much later; that this was just a well 
> engineered german camera
> targeted at hobbiests and weekend snapshooters and later 
> picked up by pros.
> it's very common today for a camera company to have a "pro" line and a
> "consumer" line. I'd assumed that the leica, since the M3 had 
> always been
> marketed as a "pro" line of cameras, with no consumer version till the
> CL.... I'm sure there are a bunch of LHSA people out there 
> who know all the
> ins and outs of this. My question asked, I'll settle back to 
> listen to more
> knowledgeable voices.
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