Speaking to Hong Xinyi of Singapore Tatler, Leica chairman Andreas Kaufmann confirmed that Leica will continue to move with the times…..
In reference to the continued production of film cameras, he said “we are not a museum and we are not state-funded. If customers don’t want these cameras anymore, we will stop producing them. There’s a reason things change. If you look outside today and see only horse carriages, that’s going to be a problem.”
We are hoping that this is just a statement of fact – if no one buys, there’s no point in manufacturing. However, demand appears to be there for the two current Leica film cameras, the metered MP, based on the M6, and the unmetered M-A which takes Leica cameras back to their roots in the 1950s and early 1960s. Modern film cameras are not cheap (except, perhaps in relation to an M digital) but they are likely to stand the test of time and will be in demand as long as someone continues to manufacture film.
Still, even at £3,700 for the MP and £3,600 for the M-A, these hand-built cameras are no more expensive, in real terms,
One for the road
The Singapore Tatler article gives some interesting background on Leica’s chairman, from his early left-wing politics (he was a founding member of the Green Party), his career as a teacher, to his inheritance of the family pulp and paper company. It makes a fascinating biography. It was the pulp-paper fortune that enabled his family investment company to rescue the ailing Leica company and achieve the remarkable turnaround in fortune over the past ten years.