Leica surprised the world once again.
The recent release of the Leica M Monochrome, has raised a few eyebrows, mainly due to it’s price tag and the audacity of elitism that rings through. The Leica Monochrome is beautiful, classic, minimal and solid. As always, it symbolizes perfection. Made in Germany.
Not for the Everyday Shooter
Clearly, the Monochrome isn’t for the everyday shooter, it’s not for the many DSLR entry photogs that want to make it big and become the new rich with their photographic art. Its not really for the working photog either, – like the news/sports/wedding/shooter, where speed and gear and quick deadlines are dictating the workflow and stifling creativity.
No, the Leica Monochrome, like all Leicas, is made for the Image-Artisan, the Artist, the Time-Rich. Those whose highest priority is Quality, Design, Essentialsm – das Wesentliche. Those that want to focus on the image and the Art of taking it. Those who think and see differently, who create in their own time & space and with their own creative agenda.
Daring to simplify, to go monochrome and thus to reject the hype and distraction that colour brings, to force the photographer to focus on subject matter, light, composition and to be of a certain single-mindedness about each shot, is what this camera stands for. Leica stripped back, the quality of the camera and the pieces of art made with it, are now judged by the most subtle differences, and the finest details in shades of grey. And all of that makes this camera so appealing.
Have a look at this video (and enjoy some fun german accent, too .-)
A Critical thought about the Appeal of the Leica Monochrome
If you think about it more critically,
Leica built into a camera-body the essence of that, which we imagine to be “pure” photography – envisioned in the decisive moments of Cartier-Bresson, the art and vision of Helmut (Neustädter) Newton, the emotion and realism of Dorothea Lange.
It is this imagining that is part of the attraction, that owning a Leica Monochrome is proof that one is in this league of legends. It is appealing then, one might argue, to the creation not only of images but of self-image, positioning oneself as a “true creative” in the photographic landscape. It is, in a sense, vanity technologically justified – and suddenly it makes the camera not seem that expensive anymore. This is very targeted branding and positioning, the price tag making sure the dream remains a little more unattainable for the everybody. (Which is not unlike how Apple positioned their products before the switch to Intel)
I have no doubt the Leica M Monochrome will be very successful.
What do you think? Any thought’s on this? Show us some love and leave a comment below.
The 1.26 Million EUR Vintage Leica
PS:If you think this the Monochrome is expensive, a Leica might be the best investment you’ll ever make. This 1923 0-Series Vintage Leica, was sold at a Vienna Auction for €2.16 million (US$ 2.79m).
It was one of a series of 25 made 89 years ago, of which there are only 12 remaining. It apparently carries the unique number 116 – which I would assume refers back to the total number of cameras made to that date.