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"2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"

  
 
tri_fin
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


Sorry for not understanding the joy at Leica’s profits. I have such a hard time seeing Leica as anything other than greedy. Please note I am not saying I am correct and I am open to seeing it differently. What I see is: Leica giving cameras to stars, not actual artists, to sell product. Leica creating collaborations to charge more for an already available product. Leica offering different colours at eye watering markups.

At the same time I see Cosina paying Japanese wages, whilst they make lenses very similar to Leica at a 10th of the price.

What am I missing here?



Feb 22, 2024 at 06:26 PM
flash
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


tri_fin wrote:
Sorry for not understanding the joy at Leica’s profits. I have such a hard time seeing Leica as anything other than greedy. Please note I am not saying I am correct and I am open to seeing it differently. What I see is: Leica giving cameras to stars, not actual artists, to sell product. Leica creating collaborations to charge more for an already available product. Leica offering different colours at eye watering markups.

At the same time I see Cosina paying Japanese wages, whilst they make lenses very similar to Leica at a 10th of the price.

What am I missing
...Show more

Of course they're greedy. They're all greedy, if they're smart.

None of these companies are in it for you. None. Nil. Nada. They are there to serve their shareholders and they position themselves to maximise profits. Cosina wouldn't sell any lenses if they charged Leica money or half Leica money. They charge what they think the market will bear and then adjust production volumes to attain projected profits. Leica do the same. they have positioned themselves as a luxury and lifestyle brand. They charge what people are willing to pay.

If any of the other camera companies thought they could, they would. But as of now only Leica and Hasselblad have the street cred to charge what they do. The others would love to and some are pushing prices up. But there's only two luxury camera brands. You want to play? You got to pay....

Gordon



Feb 22, 2024 at 06:50 PM
retrofocus
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


tri_fin wrote:
Sorry for not understanding the joy at Leica’s profits. I have such a hard time seeing Leica as anything other than greedy. Please note I am not saying I am correct and I am open to seeing it differently. What I see is: Leica giving cameras to stars, not actual artists, to sell product. Leica creating collaborations to charge more for an already available product. Leica offering different colours at eye watering markups.

At the same time I see Cosina paying Japanese wages, whilst they make lenses very similar to Leica at a 10th of the price.

What am I missing
...Show more

First, Leica nowadays performs under a luxury brand label. Big markup in pricing for the brand is the result. It is what it is - if we like it or not. It was one strategy to keep Leica afloat in difficult times and I admit it has worked so far. I don't applaud it because I myself suffer from these exorbitant price tags, but seeing it from a company perspective it makes Leica Cameras profitable. No corporation or private company is interested per se in a give away - they want to make highest profit possible. And even if you and me are not paying what Leica is asking for, others obviously do. Leica has a huge collector base which adds to this strategy. Special camera and lens versions made in low numbers and sold in the middle or higher five digit US dollar range still sell like hotcake.

Leica has improved in recent years getting more younger influencers on board to market their products. This can be clearly seen on YouTube related to Leica camera content. This is a deviation from the past when Leica really had in the large majority only famous photographers or icons representing their gear. I give Leica that they try to get into a younger (rich?) customer base.

Well, and comparing Voigtlander (CV) lenses in price vs. similar Leica M lens products only shows that similar optical and built quality can actually be obtained for much less than what Leica is asking for. Official and often repeated reasons are work performed in Germany (by "virgin" hands maybe, just kidding...), better quality control, etc...In the end it is again the luxury brand name and lower quantities produced which drives prices up. Advantage for buyers of new gear is that Leica lenses tend not to depreciate much over the course of years to come. This is e. g. not the case with CV lenses which are more mass-produced with no or very limited collector value. I have to give Leica also that their lenses look really nice - has nothing to do with the taken image but just the look of some lenses is very nice (saying this I don't make purchase decisions on the look but many others do).



Feb 22, 2024 at 08:38 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


tri_fin wrote:
Sorry for not understanding the joy at Leica’s profits. I have such a hard time seeing Leica as anything other than greedy. Please note I am not saying I am correct and I am open to seeing it differently. What I see is: Leica giving cameras to stars, not actual artists, to sell product. Leica creating collaborations to charge more for an already available product. Leica offering different colours at eye watering markups.

At the same time I see Cosina paying Japanese wages, whilst they make lenses very similar to Leica at a 10th of the price.

What am I missing
...Show more

I understand where you're coming from. From my point of view, it's a necessary evil for Leica's survival. They've 'sold out' on one hand, but on the other, it funds their technically great products that are actually useful for photography (if one's budget allows). IMO it would be a completely different story if they didn't reinvest in the company and instead offered products that were smoke and mirrors. Remember the Hasselblad Lunar series? I hope Leica never goes that low...

For rangefinder cameras they're virtually the only option and have the benefit of minimal competition in this space. Lenses are a little different, but if Leica hadn't survived their lean years, hadn't made a resurgence with the M9, it's possible there would be no digital M system now that created a market large enough to also sustain companies such as Cosina and the various new lens companies in China. Leica is apparently healthy in an environment that is otherwise very challenging for the mainstream brands as the overall camera market continues to shrink under smartphone photography pressure. While we certainly pay to play if we want to operate in the rangefinder space, at least we still have the option. And also the option to choose new lenses from brands other than Leica.



Feb 23, 2024 at 12:49 AM
1bwana1
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


rscheffler wrote:
Leica is apparently healthy in an environment that is otherwise very challenging for the mainstream brands as the overall camera market continues to shrink under smartphone photography pressure. While we certainly pay to play if we want to operate in the rangefinder space, at least we still have the option. And also the option to choose new lenses from brands other than Leica.


Rising tides float all boats. Pretty much all the brands saw strong growth in 2023.



Feb 23, 2024 at 01:59 AM
tri_fin
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


Cheers for the replies and for not jumping on me as a hater of Leica. So the consensus is that if their business model keeps them afloat then it’s good for us. I guess that’s true! If it wasn’t for Leica then would Cosina be making m lenses? And no one is forcing me to buy to Leica!

Thanks guys.



Feb 23, 2024 at 04:49 AM
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


tri_fin wrote:
Sorry for not understanding the joy at Leica’s profits. I have such a hard time seeing Leica as anything other than greedy. Please note I am not saying I am correct and I am open to seeing it differently. What I see is: Leica giving cameras to stars, not actual artists, to sell product. Leica creating collaborations to charge more for an already available product. Leica offering different colours at eye watering markups.

At the same time I see Cosina paying Japanese wages, whilst they make lenses very similar to Leica at a 10th of the price.

What am I missing
...Show more

For me, the OP not so much "joy" about Leica's financial success rather a rare insight into which products are selling well.

It's not every day we get some view into Leica sales data and while the article's comments are still very high level, it is interesting to see which Leica products are leading their sales.

I do however feel some joy when I use some of their products, but of course not so much joy when I crack the wallet to pay for these products 😉



Feb 23, 2024 at 08:01 AM
RustyRus
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


LBJ2 wrote:
For me, the OP not so much "joy" about Leica's financial success rather a rare insight into which products are selling well.

It's not every day we get some view into Leica sales data and while the article's comments are still very high level, it is interesting to see which Leica products are leading their sales.

I do however feel some joy when I use some of their products, but of course not so much joy when I crack the wallet to pay for these products 😉


I love Leica is profitable and doing well- I love using there gear and it puts a huge smile on my face- I know its a luxury brand and I pay for it. Who wants a company that you love their products to be failing? Such an odd comment-

I just bought an Audi R8- Should I think they are greedy that they took my pile of cash for that car? Nope. I want the best I can get for my money- I think Leica does that as well as other brands in a similar spectrum.



Edited on Feb 23, 2024 at 09:20 AM · View previous versions



Feb 23, 2024 at 08:32 AM
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


RustyRus wrote:
I love Leica is profitable and doing well- I love using there gear and it puts a huge smile on my face- I know its a luxury brand and I pay for it. Who wants a company that you love their products to be failing? Such an add comment-

I just bought an Audi R8- Should I think they are greedy that they took my pile of cash for that car? Nope. I want the best I can get for my money- I think Leica does that as well as other brands in a similar spectrum.


Apparently, Leica/Leitz Camera has always been expensive or what we now call "luxury"

And not the first person to be angry/perplexed about Leica/Leitz Camera price:

"1933-1936 The Birth of Canon"

"Leica and Contax—— two great brands for the most advanced 35mm focal-plane-shutter cameras——.The “Leica Model II,” was introduced in 1932 followed by the debut of the “Contax Model I” in 1933. These cameras, the pride of Germany, the camera kingdom of the world, were considered super grade cameras satisfying the needs of camera fans throughout the world, and receiving enthusiastic support.Goro Yoshida (1900-1993)

In those days, the average starting salary of a graduate of an elite university in Japan who was hired by bank, the best-paying job, was around 70 yen per month. In contrast, the price of the Leica camera was 420 yen.This high-end camera was considered to be a “takane no hana (something far beyond reach)” for ordinary people. During those years, there was a Japanese man who attempted to make the first domestic 35mm focal-plane-shutter rangefinder camera (hereafter called as the 35mm rangefinder camera) by disassembling and studying the inner workings of a “Leica Model II.” This person was Goro Yoshida (1900-1993).

When asked about his motives in disassembling a Leica to produce Japanese made high-grade 35mm cameras, Yoshida explained in later years:“I just disassembled the camera without any specific plan, but simply to take a look at each part. I found there were no special items like diamonds inside the camera. The parts were made from brass, aluminum, iron and rubber. I was surprised that when these inexpensive materials were put together into a camera, it demanded an exorbitant price. This made me angry”.

https://global.canon/en/c-museum/history/story01.html



Feb 23, 2024 at 09:04 AM
Desmolicious
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


RustyRus wrote:
I just bought an Audi R8- ..


Please tell me you got one with the manual transmission!



Feb 23, 2024 at 11:18 AM
 


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RustyRus
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


Desmolicious wrote:
Please tell me you got one with the manual transmission!


They don't exist- Have to go back to 2015 or earlier if you want a manual.

I've had my fair share of manual transmission sports cars- Its fun to have a car that is full auto or paddle-




Feb 23, 2024 at 11:41 AM
Desmolicious
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


I guess the only 'high end' sports car mfgs who still offer manuals are Porsche and Lotus.


Feb 23, 2024 at 11:45 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


Desmolicious wrote:
I guess the only 'high end' sports car mfgs who still offer manuals are Porsche and Lotus.


For 2025 BMW is also adding a manual transmission option to the Z4 M40i, which give some of us manual transmission aficionados hope that manuals still might be available for awhile.



Feb 23, 2024 at 12:33 PM
Desmolicious
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


Steve Spencer wrote:
For 2025 BMW is also adding a manual transmission option to the Z4 M40i, which give some of us manual transmission aficionados hope that manuals still might be available for awhile.


It's why I bought my Mazda Miata instead of a Ferrari 296 GTS. The manual transmission.



Feb 23, 2024 at 12:54 PM
SlowDriver
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


rscheffler wrote:
I understand where you're coming from. From my point of view, it's a necessary evil for Leica's survival. They've 'sold out' on one hand, but on the other, it funds their technically great products that are actually useful for photography (if one's budget allows). IMO it would be a completely different story if they didn't reinvest in the company and instead offered products that were smoke and mirrors. Remember the Hasselblad Lunar series? I hope Leica never goes that low...

It is a very thin line though...

Hasselblad was rightfully slaughtered for the Lunar which was a rebadged Sony NEX-7 with a huge markup.

But is rebadging Panasonic lenses and selling them for 4 times the price so much different?



Feb 25, 2024 at 02:24 PM
1bwana1
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


RustyRus wrote:
They don't exist- Have to go back to 2015 or earlier if you want a manual.

I've had my fair share of manual transmission sports cars- Its fun to have a car that is full auto or paddle-



No one not even the very best drivers on the track can shift with the speed, precision. and smoothness of the new transmissions. They are very different than the automatics of even the very recent past.

This absolutely results in faster lap times.



Feb 25, 2024 at 03:41 PM
Desmolicious
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


1bwana1 wrote:
No one not even the very best drivers on the track can shift with the speed, precision. and smoothness of the new transmissions. They are very different than the automatics of even the very recent past.

This absolutely results in faster lap times.


Yes but no but yes but some of us like the sound of grinding gears and the smell of a burning clutch.

The modern dual clutch transmissions are insanely good. Manual transmissions now are for the satisfaction of use. Kinda like using a film Leica M...



Feb 25, 2024 at 05:18 PM
1bwana1
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


Nostalgia is one thing, but I don't ever want to return to driving race cars with straight cut gears, no synchromesh, and heal & toe to match revs when downshifting into corners. It was entertaining at the time, and part of the job.

You are correct, that is also kinda how I feel about film.



Feb 25, 2024 at 05:54 PM
stgrove
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


I am all-in on Leica gear (M, Q and SL) until the new S comes out. After using Phase and Fuji MF gear I doubt a MF Leica will get me excited.


Feb 25, 2024 at 06:20 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · "2023 will be the best year [sales] in Leica’s history"


rscheffler wrote:
I understand where you're coming from. From my point of view, it's a necessary evil for Leica's survival. They've 'sold out' on one hand, but on the other, it funds their technically great products that are actually useful for photography (if one's budget allows). IMO it would be a completely different story if they didn't reinvest in the company and instead offered products that were smoke and mirrors. Remember the Hasselblad Lunar series? I hope Leica never goes that low...

SlowDriver wrote:
It is a very thin line though...

Hasselblad was rightfully slaughtered for the Lunar which was a rebadged Sony NEX-7 with a huge markup.

But is rebadging Panasonic lenses and selling them for 4 times the price so much different?


And the SL cameras vs. the options available from Panasonic.

Then just buy the Panasonic. The Leica branded versions are for those who want the Leica branding, IMO similar to those who want a special edition camera/lens (though I think the Leica SL cameras do have some minor differences compared to the Panasonic equivalents). At least there is the option.

If someone starts a discussion about Leica with me, my initial thoughts are always M system. And AFAIK, all M lenses and cameras are in-house (even if some might be made by Leica in Portugal instead of Germany). IMO SL is a semi-peripheral system that allows Leica to cover more options when someone walks into a Leica Store without having to send them away to a competitor, though I do think Leica's in-house SL lenses (the APO Summicrons, for example) are really excellent.



Feb 26, 2024 at 12:04 AM
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