Leica and Photography Market in 2012

Posted by: Classic Connection

At the end of 2011 Leica’s CEO Alfred Schopf and Dr. Kaufmann gave an interesting outlook to the 2012 Photokina and for growth and expansion in several areas:

The long delay supplying Leica lenses to the market is due to a massive demand, according to Dr. Kaufmann Leica Co. managed to double the production of lenses and is working hard to deliver even more. He talked about Leica to keep the high level of quality even with the higher production numbers of lenses. Not an easy task; let’s hope Leica is successful in the task!

We know how frustrating it is to a user (and us as dealers) not to be able to choose from an inventory and variety of options. What makes it even worse is that some people purchase the lenses for re-selling on places like e-bay and other forums for higher prices, and by doing so, affecting the New and Used Leica market.

It is all about market supply and demand; we hope Leica will be able to solve the back order issue a.s.a.p.

Dr. Kaufmann didn’t make any new product announcements, however he promised more than one surprise for next year. Let’s hope so!

Here are some ideas that come to mind: built in diopter correction to the Leica M9 digital rangefinder cameras; g-d knows I need one!! It could make the Leica M rangefinder life easier and simpler especially for us “older” people….. , Leica can maybe add a focus confirmation to the M9 cameras no ?? I am sure Leica RF users will find these simple features as important as the sapphire crystal back on the M9-P camera. Maybe with the New Leica M10 camera Leica may add those features and some others, large high resolutions back screen maybe.. ?!!! New lenses Leica 50/2 Asph Summicro-M Lens or New 28/1,4 Summilux-M Asph lens , or Maybe lower price entry level M rangefinder camera to attract new younger users .

How about New Leica Reflex camera and lenses? Most of our Leica reflex users (and many Nikon & Canon users) asked us to convert their Leica lenses with Leitax mount for their full frame DSLR cameras , I am sure they would love to just leave it on Leica reflex / R/ DSLR camera original mount…

The completion for the Leitz Park II is planned for late 2013. The park will become the new home of the Leica Camera AG. In the plans, the Leica plant in Portugal will be completely rebuilt.

Leica is planning to expand the Leica Akademie into a worldwide network starting with UK and North America in the next year and Russia as next milestone.

Leica is planning to further develop a worldwide network of retails stores. They are planning to increase the number from 50 to about 200.

With the latest deal with financial investor Blackstone, Dr. Kaufmann explained that Leica can now deal with many new projects such as : development of new Leica products , expansion of lens production, Leitz Park , worldwide Leica Akademie, Leica Store network with a strong partner. Dr. Kaufmann however assured that his family will play an important role in Solms.

Regarding the development of new Leica products, The S system users would love to have a wide angle lenses & maybe zoom travel lens.

It would be nice to make the S2 system more versatile with more than 4 or 5 lenses.

The New 30mm f2,8 Asph. Elmarit-S lens is a step in the right direction. For more info regarding the new 30mm S lens, please check our web site for more info regarding this lens:

Leica 30/2,8 ASPH. Elmarit-S Cat #11073 NEW

In recent months delivery of cameras and lenses from most manufacturers has been slow due to the Far East disasters. Here are some updates as reported regarding the various manufacturers status after the Earthquake and Tsunami:

“Japan Photo Industry Affected by Earthquake and Tsunami”

The following is an updated run-down of how the quake has affected manufacturers of photographic and other related products.

Epson announced that the Color Imaging Exhibition trade show, which was planned for March 19-21 in Tokyo, has been cancelled due to the crisis. Epson reports that while no casualties were reported at its facilities, one of its factories was hit by a one-meter tsunami, while three other facilities have been temporarily shut due to rolling blackouts as a result of the quake. Two buildings that are within 16km from the Fukushima nuclear plant have sustained some damage and are being shut for now.

Sony was hardest hit. Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, and a growing player in the still photography world, was forced to stop operations at ten factories and two research centers due to quake-related damage and power outages caused by emergencies at nuclear power plants. 1,000 Sony employees reportedly took shelter on the second floor of a nearby chemical products factory.

Nikon has confirmed light injuries to some of its employees but no serious or fatal injuries. Nikon’s Sendai factory, which manufactures the D3S, D3X, D700 and F6, has been forced to close due to damage to equipment and buildings. Work at at least three other facilities has been temporarily suspended so the company can assess damage.

Canon has suspended operations at eight factories located in Northern Japan, and reports at least 15 employees were injured. The company said it may move some production to other factories that weren’t damaged.

Olympus’s photographic division was not affected by the quake, but some employees at other locations sustained minor injuries, possibly in the company’s endoscopy-related business. Japanese-language press releases indicate that a repair facility is expected to resume operations in 2-4 weeks.

A Sigma employee tweeted that there has been some damage to machinery and the building at Sigma’s Aizu factory, but no injuries. Due to the rolling blackouts, Sigma has decided to suspend operations in two of its facilities.

Ricoh reports no injuries. Five of its facilities have stopped operations and four have no set plan to reopen.

Fujifilm reports that its Taiwa-Cho factory, which is located 20 miles from Sendai, was damaged by the quake, but fortunately none of the workers were reported injured. Production of the FinePix X100, which was being done at that factory, has been temporarily stopped and delays can be expected for this highly-anticipated camera. The company says the rest of its operation is not affected.

Hoya Corporation, which owns Pentax, reports that several employees were slightly injured but none seriously. Some production facilities were damaged, although the company is still trying to assess. It isn’t known how the camera and lens facilities have been affected, but due to traffic problems and blackouts, production has been disrupted.

Casio reports no major injuries, and the company is currently trying to ascertain the condition of its facilities. In the meantime, business activities are expected to be disrupted due to rolling blackouts.

In a statement, Tamron reports no structural damage or injuries, but the rolling blackouts and severely curtailed train service have caused the company to close its facilities for days.

Panasonic reports minor injuries in one of its northern Japan factories, in Fukushima, where production of Lumix digital cameras has been suspended. The company is evaluating damage and says the long-term effect is still being determined.

Sandisk, whose facilities are 500 miles from the epicenter, appears to have escaped unharmed. The factories were shut immediately after the quake, but resumed operations by Friday morning.

Now almost a year later with flooding in the far east, a fragile global economy, rising oil prices, the “heated middle east events” and the troubles with Iran “nuke” we should hope that our life in the “global village” settle down a bit for people to re-build and come up with more creative NEW products.

The market place received the following new products: The Nikon 1, Sony Nex7, Nex-5N, Fuji X-S1, Panasonic Twin Lens Lumix DMC-3D1, Lumix DMC-GX-1, Lumix DMC-GF3 Photo/Video Capture, Olympus Pen E-PM1 and the following new items as well:

Introducing the Nikon D4

The next-generation flagship Nikon digital-SLR camera with the ultimate in versatility and functionality:

  • 16.2 effective megapixel, full-frame sensor (16.6MP total)
  • 10fps shooting with AF and AE, 11fps with focus and exposure locked, 24fps 2.5MP grabs
  • 91,000 pixel sensor for metering, white balance, flash exposure, face detection and active d-lighting
  • ISO Range 100-12,800 (extendable from 50 – 204,800)
  • MultiCAM 3500FX Autofocus sensor works in lower light and with smaller apertures
  • Two sub-selector joystick/buttons for shooting orientation
  • 1080p30 HD video at up to 24Mbps with uncompressed video output
  • New EN-EL18 battery (21.6Wh capacity, CIPA-rated at 2600 shots)
  • Twin card slots – one Compact Flash and one XQD

Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the Nikon D4, a Nikon FX-format camera that serves as the new flagship model in Nikon’s lineup of digital-SLR cameras. The D4 is equipped with a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 3, the latest image-processing engine specifically optimized for digital-SLR cameras, making it the next-generation flagship Nikon digital-SLR camera with the ultimate in versatility and functionality that offers superior image quality rich in detail along with excellent high-speed performance.

The D4 offers superior image quality under a broad range of lighting conditions with its 16.2-million pixels image sensor supporting an incredible range of sensitivities from ISO 50 to ISO 204800.
Advanced Scene Recognition System recognizes human faces and offers significant improvements in the AF, AE and i_TTL flash control as well as improved Auto White Balance.
The Multi-area Mode Full HD D-Movie movie mode allows full 1080 HD movie shooting at 30 frames per second.
More information can be found on Nikon’s webpage.
Delivery expected to begin early March 2012

NEW! Nikon 85mm f1.8 AF-S G

Fast aperture, medium telephoto portrait lens for exceptional stills and HD video

  • Internal Focusing
  • Silent Wave Motor
  • M/A Focus Mode
  • Nikon Super Integrated Coating

Designed for use on Nikon’s FX-format D-SLR cameras, this updated medium telephoto f/1.8 lens is great for shooting stills or HD videos. The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G features Nikon’s Internal Focus (IF) system providing fast and quiet AF and produces sharp and clear images at all apertures. Its fast maximum aperture is ideal for taking stills or HD videos under ideal lighting, in low light, head and shoulder portraiture, weddings or concerts. When mounted on a DX-format D-SLR, the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G has an effective field of view of 127mm.

Canon announces the Powershot G1X

  • A newly developed Canon 1.5-inch, 14.3 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with the DIGIC 5 Image Processor creates Canon’s HS SYSTEM for outstanding low-light performance up to ISO 12800.
  • Full range of shooting and recording modes including 14-bit RAW + JPEG, as found in Canon DSLR cameras for the ultimate creative control.
  • Shoot beautiful 1080p Full HD video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button; zoom while shooting and play back videos on an HDTV via the HDMI output.
  • 4x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer, plus a 28mm Wide-Angle Lens delivers exceptional image quality and allows you to capture more in your frame.
  • Intelligent IS automatically chooses from six different modes to optimize image stabilization for the shooting condition.
  • Bright 3.0-inch Vari-Angle PureColor System LCD with 922,000 dots for shooting at a variety of angles plus an optical viewfinder.
  • High-Speed Burst HQ allows for continuous capture at a maximum of 6 frames* while maintaining superb image.
  • Compatible with Canon Speedlite flashes for additional creative lighting options.
  • Mode Dial and Front Dial provide intuitive manual adjustment.
  • High Dynamic Range scene mode combines multiple shots into one picture showing greater image detail.

The Pinnacle of PowerShot.
Bright, fast and more creative than ever: advanced technologies come together for an exciting new camera that moves beyond anything the G-Series has seen before. The PowerShot G1 X digital camera will inspire advanced amateurs who have embraced the G-Series to explore new realms of photographic expression, and give pros an excellent camera that complements their creative demands. The new 1.5-inch High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor approaches an EOS DSLR’s APS-C sized sensor, with a light-sensitive area that’s approximately 6.3 times larger than that of the PowerShot G12 digital camera. The new 14.3 Megapixel sensor, combined with a new lens and DIGIC 5 Image Processor, creates the HS SYSTEM that delivers image quality previously impossible in a compact camera, with beautiful blur, lower noise, and extraordinary resolution in low-light shooting and can shoot at ISOs of up to 12800. The PowerShot G1 X also has 14-bit RAW capabilities for even greater creative control and Full HD Video recording. Manual settings and operability inherited from EOS cameras impart a high-level shooting experience, and open the door to new creative possibilities. Substantive luxury defines the design: a neatly clarified sculpture with a firm grip, huge Vari-angle LCD and optical viewfinder.

Fuji Announces the X-Pro1 Interchangeable Lens Camera!

The X-Pro1 is an APS-C sensor camera that is styled after a classic rangefinder, much like its fixed-lens X100 camera. Fuji will release the camera and three Fujinon XF lenses: the XF 18mm F2 R, XF 35mm F1.4 R, and XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro first quarter 2012. In addition to the rear LCD panel, the viewfinder incorporates a Hybrid MultiViewfinder which adjusts to the lens attached.

Fuji has redesigned the 16MP CMOS sensor by deviating from the standard 4×4 Bayer pattern and utilizing a Fuji exclusive 6×6 pattern allowing the camera to mimick several “film” looks including Velvia,Provia and Astia. The X-Pro1 captures 1080p HD video and even has a HDMI video port allowing you to show images and movies directly on your HDTV.

This camera should start arriving this March however we don’t expect them to stay around long. Want one? Call/Email us to add your name to the waiting list!

NEW! Leica V-Lux 3 (IN STOCK!)

Flexibility has a new name…..

Leica has released its new V-Lux 3 DSLR-Like camera featuring a 12.1MP CMOS sensor that is capable of shooting up to 12-frames per second at full resolution. Video is captured at 1920×1080/60p Full HD. Should you need speed, you can also capture 60 frames in one second at 3.5MP The V-Lux 3 incorporates a 24x (25-600mm) lens and has a 3-inch LCD screen. Stills are captured as JPG, RAW and MPO (3D files). The camera comes with a 2-year warranty and a full version of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements.

All this for only $949

Hope you find this information useful and interesting, check with us again for future info and opinions about the LEICA WORLD and photography market.


Sam Shoshan
Classic Connection