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Would you buy a limited edition digital Leica?
Old 04-29-2019   #1
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Would you buy a limited edition digital Leica?

Let's just suppose you were able to easily afford a limited edition digital Leica, like the Hermes M9-P, the Neiman Marcus M9, or a titanium M whatever. Put cost aside and just think of the camera and its accessories like matching Summilux and Summicron lenses as the case may be.

I'm not looking for 'if I could afford it, I'd buy a 35K limited edition then sell it ten years down the track'. This is about the camera, the cosmetics and materials, and accompanying pieces. Would you buy one? And if so, which one?
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Old 04-29-2019   #2
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No, it's too much trouble finding shoes and a belt to match.
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Old 04-29-2019   #3
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Sorry but for me there is no logical answer to this question ... but I'll keep thinking!

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Old 04-29-2019   #4
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There are a few that I'd consider, if I put money aside and just thought of the cosmetics, materials and accessories.


- the 'Your Mark' Monochrom 246, which has black Horween leather covering, black paint finish, and black paint vintage style 35mm Summicron. Not some daft 'pre-brassed' camera, but a camera that will brass with your own wear. I think that's pretty cool, and would probably buy it if I could easily afford it.


- the M-P titanium set - the camera is milled from titanium and coated with a clear lacquer finish, and it comes with a APO Summicron 50 and Summicron 28. It looks amazing, and isn't something you could have made a la carte because of the titanium parts.


- cosmetically, I quite like the Neiman Marcus M9, which had a silver chrome top plate and brown ostrich covering. The didn't come with a silver chrome top plate until the M9-P came out, so it would be unique in having the M9 engraving and red dot. It's very attractive, although I'm not sure I'd buy it. Would rather get a stock silver-chrome M9-P and put brown ostrich on it.
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Old 04-29-2019   #5
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There is nothing classical about a digital camera. I view such cameras as practical solutions.
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Old 04-29-2019   #6
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I might like an edition that meant something to me, like an LHSA edition, or an anniversary one. But Hermes would mean nothing to me.
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Old 04-29-2019   #7
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I own a "limited edition" Leica M: the M-D typ 262.
Why? Because I like it. Others may not.

Same goes for any other limited edition thing. A group of people like them, collect them, and pay a premium price for them. Others do not. And not all limited edition things are valued the same to all folks who like a limited edition something.

I have a few other limited edition things. I bought them because I liked them, I liked the intent of the limited edition, felt the limited edition added value to the base model for some reason, etc. I felt they were worth the price premium to me.

What was the point of the question?

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Old 04-29-2019   #8
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The Titanium M-P set, but only if it was bargain priced. Old habits die hard. Besides, I plan on using it.


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Old 04-29-2019   #9
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Not me, I own cameras to make images, and a limited edition digital Leica won't make any better images than the base model it's created from. Wouldn't waste the money, even if I had it.

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Old 04-29-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
There is nothing classical about a digital camera. I view such cameras as practical solutions.
A limited edition thing has little to do with something being "classical" or archetypical, or anything like that. Even "collectible" is a question mark.

It simply means that the edition has a limited run for some reason, some intent ... whether to commemorate an event, to honor a particular style or stylist, or because they only intended to make a small number of a particular variant, or whatever.

G
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Old 04-29-2019   #11
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I bought the limited edition Leica M100 M240. Fantastic kamera and the feature set over the pedestrian common and garden variety Leica make it worth every penny.

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Old 04-29-2019   #12
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Only if it looked like this:



One day, they'll get it right...
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Old 04-29-2019   #13
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Old 04-29-2019   #14
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I don't care if I had "eff you money", I would never buy a limited edition digital Leica. I wouldn't buy any digital Leica, for that matter.

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Old 04-29-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post

What was the point of the question?

G
It's about whether individuals here would value certain cosmetic, material or accessory changes that you can't get with an a la carte model. I'd like to know what floats people's boats, and why.

The M-P titanium is the closest I'd come to 'yes, I'd buy it' because it's a fully functional M-P 240, but made of titanium. It's lighter than the stock M240, looks beautiful, and comes with matching 50 APO Summicron and 28 Summicron. And yeah, I'd use it.

By the same token, I'd buy a titanium or anthracite MP if I could easily afford it. I've seen the anthracite MP on two or three occasions and it's incredibly attractive. You can't get that as an a la carte option, either. But my question revolves around digital Leicas because there are a few here and on LUF who have bought limited edition film bodies like the aforementioned anthracite MP, but I haven't seen anyone who has bought, say, a titanium M9 from way back.
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Old 04-29-2019   #16
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My favourite limited edition Leicas are the ones with the Hammertime finish.
Can't touch those. (uh oh, uh oh)

Seriously, those are 2 legit 2 quit.
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Old 04-30-2019   #17
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Yes, I'd be interested if the enhancements were of a functional nature, but not solely for special cosmetics.
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Old 04-30-2019   #18
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I'm a user, not a collector...more an accumulator. I wouldn't buy anything I couldn't use.
If the price was low enough and the camera could fit within my uses, yeah I'd buy it.
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Old 04-30-2019   #19
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These days any digital Leica is special edition. Any Leica is self priced to be out from regular cameras sales. It is boutique style product. I was getting my M-E from special location with mostly boutique stores. Something like luxury shopping center in prestige part of Moscow.

On top of it I'm not aware of any special edition which will give me as photographer some additional and useful functions.
To be honest, modern digital special editions demonstrate excentic taste and nothing else. They are all White Russians to me.
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Old 04-30-2019   #20
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I suppose if you phrased the question to "Which limited edition digital Leica would you pick if you could choose one as a gift to yourself?" or something along those lines, that would take away the issues of cost, white elephants and resale value.

I'd choose something I would use. You mentioned the Titanium M-P. I'd definitely have that on my list also because of the lenses it comes with. It isn't a flashy colour and the lighter weight is welcome. I haven't been able to verify this myself in person but I've read the Titanium M9 is under 400g. That is quite impressive.

Any limited edition with a 35mm summilux would appeal to me - the Titanium M9, the M60, the M10 Zagato all have pretty cool variants of the 35 summilux FLE, which is my go-to travel and street lens.

The M Monochrom Your Mark and the M Monochrom Stealth edition are also pretty appealing..but there are places that can do that finish for you on film (and digital) leica and lenses, so there's less appeal there. You could also re-skin the regular versions.

And definitely no faux brassing. I almost bought an M Monochrom (M9) last year but the deal fell through due to issues with shipping. It was well worn with a gunmetal look...a beautiful camera. Makes me wonder what could have been. My M240 is pretty brassed up now too because it's been my only (primary) camera for 4 years. I think even the standard editions can look really really good. And if you wear them "authentically", that's the truest limited edition. I can't stop looking at my M240 when I bring it out (I suppose I have issues).

If i could choose one limited edition digital Leica...I got to think about this. Titanium M9 or M-P 240 probably.
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Old 04-30-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasdfg View Post
I suppose if you phrased the question to "Which limited edition digital Leica would you pick if you could choose one as a gift to yourself?" or something along those lines, that would take away the issues of cost, white elephants and resale value.
Why would you exclude those factors?
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Old 04-30-2019   #22
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No, but I do buy LHSA raffle tickets every year for limited edition this and thats. That probably doesn’t count.
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Old 04-30-2019   #23
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Why would you exclude those factors?
I guess without these factors you'll think about the limited edition cameras in terms of what appeals to you purely in terms of aesthetics and usability (the colour, finish, leatherette, weight, the lenses that it comes with, for example).

If you take cost into account...well to me the cost of any limited edition is prohibitive. I'm too practical and as a user wouldn't consider them at all. Likewise resale value would definitely be a consideration if i were to pick one to try out for a couple of years and sell. Also some limited editions are made in too low numbers to ever acquire (tied to cost and resale value as well). Removing these factors allows me to focus on what catches my eye and what I would bring out daily...and allows me to fantasise a little.

(Maybe disregarding these factors is not the OP's intent)
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Old 04-30-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archiver View Post
It's about whether individuals here would value certain cosmetic, material or accessory changes that you can't get with an a la carte model. I'd like to know what floats people's boats, and why.
...
Well, cosmetics is the least of why I might pick a particular camera, although a good looking camera is always a nice thing.

I might pick a special edition because I appreciate the intent of the special edition, sometimes despite its cosmetics. For instance, the Rollei 35 Silber Anniversary Edition was, I thought, somewhat ugly with its silver-all-over finish, but it celebrated the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Rollei 35, which is one of the cameras I have always liked. It was also available only from selected dealers as a special bonus to good customers, so there was a level of exclusivity and 'specialness' to having one. I bought one, enjoyed its 'specialness' for a time, and sold it to a collector a decade later.

My Minox EC Special MHS Edition is another special edition which I liked enough to buy because it was specifically made for Minox Historical Society members in a limited run of 100 cameras. Since I helped found the MHS, back in the day, and I liked the EC as a nice snapshot camera for casual picture taking, I bought one and obtained the number 100 camera, theoretically at least the last Minox EC ever made. I still have that one, it's somewhat special to me although it has no appreciable value as a collectible that I'm aware of. I've even made photographs with it.

The Leica M-D typ 262 appeals to me much the way the Leica M Edition 60 did: It is functionally the most minimal digital camera ever made, and it's even more special to me than the ME60 because it is sans any special finishes and fancy packaging. It is simply and cleanly the essence of a Leica M transported forward in time to being a digital camera. I bought one as soon as they were announced because I knew they would not be in production for very long, and it proves to be functionally and cosmetically exactly what I want in a Leica M: simple, easy to use, only drive mode and AE option other than the traditional exposure and focus settings to use. Absolutely my favorite Leica M now, film or digital. I have used it quite a lot. It may well be my last Leica M, I like it that much.

I've never bought an a la carte model camera. The only reason to buy one of them, for me, might be if they would allow me to option it with only the frame lines that I wanted to use, in order to reduce viewfinder clutter. That was the reason I bought a Leica M4-2 over the M4-P as my last film M: the M4-2's simpler frame line set made it a functionally better choice for me. But, as far as I'm aware, that option isn't available.

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Old 04-30-2019   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
A limited edition thing has little to do with something being "classical" or archetypical, or anything like that. Even "collectible" is a question mark.

It simply means that the edition has a limited run for some reason, some intent ... whether to commemorate an event, to honor a particular style or stylist, or because they only intended to make a small number of a particular variant, or whatever.

G
Still, it is in my opinion not suitable to do. Digital camera become outdated.
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Old 04-30-2019   #26
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I wouldn't buy any digital camera new as there are enough around much cheaper but, on the other hand, if someone was to give me a Hermes Leica in the film version I'd say TVM and run away quickly before they changed their mind...


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Old 04-30-2019   #27
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No, I would not.

If my disposable income was appropriate for purchasing a limited edition digital Leia camera. and if I wanted to own a Leica camera, I would rather donate the difference between the standard and limited edition models to charity.
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Old 04-30-2019   #28
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Yes, this:
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Old 04-30-2019   #29
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Quote:
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Yes, I'd be interested if the enhancements were of a functional nature, but not solely for special cosmetics.
I dunno. If the cosmetics are as awesome as this, I'm in.


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Old 04-30-2019   #30
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No. or maybe yes? Depend on how heavy my pockets are on the right moment. I don't dislike special/limited sets and may buy one if it appeal to me on the right moment. (example, I got the Bessa 101 anniv special set).

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Old 04-30-2019   #31
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No !

However, I would buy a limited edition film leica (such as the Leica MP Hammertone LHSA).
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Old 04-30-2019   #32
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By purchasing something that is "limited edition" you supposedly(?) getting something unique, something that guy next door cannot get?
It is my strong belief that nothing that is mass produced (even a limited run of lets say 300 pieces) is not unique. To me more valuable thing would be camera that used by particular person, worn in a certain unique to him/her way, and carries a character of that person. Mass-engraved signature of, let's say, Ralph Gibson does not make it unique. It's just makes it lesser volume mass production still.
So, of course not.

P.S.
The argument that digital camera is somehow inferior in ability of serving as a heirloom to a film camera just does not hold water.
Makes me want to say: wake up, my friend, this is 21st century. Paradigm shifted 10 times already while you were out testing summicrons :-)
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Old 04-30-2019   #33
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When Leica goes out of business..they will all be limited editions..every last one of them..lol..
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Old 04-30-2019   #34
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Quote:
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I don't care if I had "eff you money", I would never buy a limited edition digital Leica. I wouldn't buy any digital Leica, for that matter.
I think I'm with you... but then again I do like the Leica CL (Digital). If I had F U money I might buy one.
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Old 04-30-2019   #35
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I think I'm with you... but then again I do like the Leica CL (Digital). If I had F U money I might buy one.
Given the excess of money, i would buy Leica Q. Why not, it's a camera just like any other.
I really like the hood on it's lens though.
I wish i could get that hood for Sony lens :-) And not for $300 or something.
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Old 04-30-2019   #36
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Hi, regarding your enquiry.

No, never
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Old 04-30-2019   #37
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I really don't care for limited-edition anything for the preciousness of it all. Hell, I don't really like buying anything brand new for fear of that first scratch. I want to use whatever I own, and the cameras I display on the shelf have sentimental value to me from their past use.

After my race bike was stolen a few years ago, my family pitched in to buy me a new SSCXWC commemorative frame (which was sold as a fundraiser for the organization, not a marked up collectible) and it was very, very hard to take it out for its first race. I was devastated when I mangled my chain in the last race of the season. Meanwhile, a friend of mine has the previous year's edition and covered it in stickers as soon as he got it... Just like cameras, it's a tool to be taken good care of, but used nonetheless.

Besides, I feel like most of Leica's limited editions, especially the past film models, are kind of ridiculous. Jag XK 50th Anniversary Edition M6? Why..? There's no personal connection to me. If it were my own customized camera....maybe. But then that gets back to the preciousness aspect. Digital or not. I do have a fountain pen with a custom ground nib, my own little 'limited edition,' that writes a dream, but rarely leaves the house.
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Old 04-30-2019   #38
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I'm glad Leica sells these so they can stay in business and I can keep buying cameras that will actually see use. However, I wouldn't buy one given all the money in the world.

I don't get collectible anything. It takes all my willpower to not turn over a curio cabinet of LLadros when I encounter one. The limited edition Leica's rank about the same. Silly at best, ostentatious displays of disposable income at worst. They feed all the stereotypes of Leica buyers as rich, hobbyist dentists.
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Old 04-30-2019   #39
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Still, it is in my opinion not suitable to do. Digital camera become outdated.

I was thinking about this Raid and I've come to the conclusion that in spite of the perception of a digital camera being outdated it's more to do with the constant need for people to have the latest and greatest.

In my opinion sensor performance hasn't changed much in the last ten years and all they offer us now is improvements in the stuff that most photographers don't use. So called faster focusing, moving controls around the camera and adding more of them and a lot of endless pulp that people convince themselves they need.

They did the same with film cameras ... once they realised that the strip of light catching material inside the things had reached it's limitations they started making more complex bodies and we eventually finished up with cameras the likes of the F6 and it's Cannon equivalent.
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Old 04-30-2019   #40
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Keith, I wholeheartedly agree. I used to work at a camera dealer when the current crop of cameras was always 'good enough,' but we all waited for the latest to come out—for full frame, better low light, lower noise, etc. After around the Nikon D3/D700 and that generation of cameras came out, it seemed to me that digital cameras reached an apex of image quality for most users, and those haven't become obsolete in the intervening years: they took good photos then, and still do. Everything since then has been unnecessary niceties—live view (and AF in live view), video, smaller and better mirrorless, etc. Video has been a boon to content creators and amateur filmmakers and looks amazing compared to 1/3" camcorders, but I personally don't use it, and nothing else makes me say 'wow'. So in a nutshell, like you, I don't think digital cameras in the last decade are really functionally obsolete.

All that said, my biggest worry is support and repair. And that goes for later-model film cameras, too, with ICs and miniaturized circuit boards long since discontinued. I've posted a lot about it, but my M8 has had at least two shutter replacements in its life, and the last one was a bit of a gamble if Leica could find the appropriate part (which reminds me, I ought to send my F6 in for a CLA while Nikon's still making them).

I already mentioned my aversion to limited-edition anything, but specifically with regards to digital, it would be even more of a disappointment for something to become non-functioning and unrepairable, especially for a personal-use camera. As a sometimes-professional, my work has shifted away from journalism and commercial work (where a camera is more or less a disposable expense) and I value mostly mechanical, manual cameras where things can be repaired and increase the return on my investment.

but I'm getting away from the topic at hand of collectible digital cameras. Still think collectible anything is kind of pointless, but truth be told, I'd totally buy and use that Sanrio M3 Huss posted.
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