The Working Photographer’s Leica
With great quality and no compromise manufacturing, comes cost. Leica, who don’t cut corners and use the best materials, making by far the best lenses in photography, also have to charge a premium for these non mass-produced products. With photography being so undervalued, the professional photographer often struggles to get into the Leica system . Naturally some enthusiast photographers also fall into the category of struggling to buy a Leica camera.
With tonight’s Photokina announcement, there is good news. The Leica M-E, which will be available for £3900 including VAT! Don’t misunderstand the price though as the M-E resembles the excellent Leica M9; a camera I have been shooting with professionally for around three years.
The camera comes in a rather attractive dark grey finish with a silver shutter speed dial and shutter release button, is a full frame, 18 megapixel rangefinder camera.
One thing with Leica is that practically every lens made from the 1950s will work on the camera as will a range of Leica screw mount lenses going even further back, using an adapter. Once an investment is made in Leica lenses, they stay with you for life. With the more affordable body, a doorway into Leica digital M photography is now open, bringing with it what I consider to be the best photographic lenses ever made.
Leica Press Release
Leica announces M-E: The essence of rangefinder photography
Photokina, Cologne, 17 September 2012: Leica Camera AG today presents a new model in the Leica rangefinder portfolio: the Leica M-E.
Together with the new Leica M and Leica M Monochrom – the world’s first digital black and white camera in 35mm format – the Leica M-E joins the latest digital generation of Leica M cameras, now comprising three rangefinder models. Offering rangefinder technology perfected by Leica over decades, the Leica M-E represents the essence of rangefinder photography. Concentrating on the essential photographic functions and renowned dependability for all typical ‘M’ fields of use, the Leica M-E makes an ideal entry- level model for photographers wishing to experience the fascination of M-Photography in its purest form.
Featuring a proven, high-resolution, 18 MP CCD sensor in full 35 mm format, the Leica M-E offers exceptional image quality combined with the distinct advantages of rangefinder photography, and a minimal, discreet design in an unobtrusive anthracite grey paint finish. The application of an attractive new leather-style trim, which also provides enhanced grip for steadier shooting, ideally complements the camera’s classic design.
About the Leica M-System
Since 1954, the Leica M system has stood for an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style. This is because, with a Leica M, the photographer becomes a part of the action in the process of capturing challenging and creative images. The rangefinder allows the photographer to frame the shot precisely, while providing a clear view of what is happening outside the viewfinder frame lines. This allows the user to predict the decisive moment and capture it discreetly and reliably at the right moment – in all fields, from photojournalism and ‘available light’ exposures to discreet and aesthetic fine-art images.
The functions of the Leica M rangefinder camera are consistently constructed for extreme durability and robustness. The highest quality materials, meticulous manufacturing processes and precise manual assembly guarantee functional reliability for many years to come. Full backward system compatibility – almost all lenses in the Leica M range built since 1954 can still be used with the latest M camera models – is an important factor in the enduring value of the Leica M series.
Pricing and availability
The Leica M-E in anthracite grey paint finish is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £3,900 inc VAT from September 2012 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk.
Leica warranty and added value services
The Leica M-E comes with a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary accidental damage cover). UK customers are also welcome to visit the Leica Store and Akademie in Mayfair, London, for a complimentary demonstration or training session on the features of the camera. Technical support by telephone or in person is available via Leica’s London-based Client Care department.