Further to my last post about what equipment I would buy if I had a load of spare cash here is something that I wouldn’t buy. This might prove a bit controversial but I will give my reasons why!
See I told you this could be a bit controversial, after all isn’t owning a Leica what every photographer aspires to? Even I used to dream of having an M3 or M7 (see my post here) but I have changed my mind and the reasons are these:
- Leica’s are a luxury item, a status symbol, an object of desire, and they are extremely expensive. If you are going to spend all that money on a Leica and accompanying lenses surely they would have to have to be in superb condition? How do you keep them that way? Every time you get the camera out you would be nervous about scratching it or dropping it. You would even be unhappy if the strap rubbed against the body and caused a little brassing. Even when getting the camera out of the bag and putting it back in you would have to take great care. You certainly couldn’t leave it on the table while the kids are in the room. I don’t want this, all I want to do is see something I want to take a photo of and grab my camera before the shot disappears. Of course I still take care of my equipment, probably more so than most people, but if there is a little scratch on the base plate or a bit of brassing it is not the end of the world. I wouldn’t feel that way if I had a Leica and hence I would miss shots by having to be extra careful.
- They are ridiculously expensive. I know this is because of their astounding build quality and optics but are they really worth that much more? Is a photo taken on an M6 with a 50mm Summicron lens 20 time better than the same shot taken on a Nikon FE with a Nikkor lens? Of course not, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I’m not saying there wouldn’t be a difference but not that much. My Nikon FE cost my £2 from eBay, if it breaks I go and buy another one, if I broke an M6 I would need to go to the bank manager.
Leicas are a rich man’s toy for someone who wants to have the best equipment rather than someone who wants to get the best shots. As I am sure you have read before – having the best equipment has nothing to do with taking great photos.