Leica at Photokina 2016

Leica did not impress their fans at Photokina like they have done in previous shows. Many M fans did not get what they have hoped for, but we have to understand the situation the camera industry is today: product life cycles are getting longer, budgets are cut and this is the case with many other companies, not only Leica. Either way - a new M and TL cameras are coming for sure and so is the new Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 lens.

Here is the list of new products Leica announced at Photokina:

Next are few videos, interviews and pictures from the Leica booth at the 2016 Photokina show:

leica-booth-at-photokina-2016-show4 leica-booth-at-photokina-2016-show3
leica-booth-at-photokina-2016-show1 leica-booth-at-photokina-2016-show2
Pictures credit: Photokina, www.rangefinder.com.hk, (Photo Yodobashi also has a nice report with photos from Leica @Photokina)

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  • Al

    you know, I’m reminded by something told to me by a friend of mine who happens to be a regional Leica agent a couple of weeks before Photokina when I visited his showroom. We were discussing our plans to travel to Cologne and the subject of the participation of Leica came up (naturally!), and I speculated that its going to be biggest participation of Leica – ever. His reply was: “not so, its going to be a small affair”. When I reminded him that along with Hall#1 (used in the 2012/14 events) along with the additional space at Hall #2.1, his response was Hall #1 will be the companys artistic venue, while everything related to the products would be relegated to a small booth at Hall 2. It turned out he was right, and unlike the previous 2 photokinas when each product had its own booth, this year it was a single booth for literally everything.
    How did he justify his prediction? He says the company now wishes to stress to its customers that the company wouldn’t bind its products release cycles to trade shows, and instead would encourage those who choose to travel to Germany to drop by the Leitz Park Wetzlar campus instead.

    • For decades, Apple had MacWorld, where Steve Jobs would make the keynote speech and the press and Apple customers would come and cover it. Then they abruptly stopped going, because Apple’s stores and their own purpose-designed events were working better to promote their products. As you know, Apple has done just fine financially after this decision :).

      I think it’s fair to say that Leica is copying Apple’s approach, stores and all, and I think they are right to do so. If they release products on their own schedule, there will be less deadline pressure, and the products will get more attention than if they are overwhelmed by one huge event and its endless press releases.

      And of course whenever I want to try out the latest Leica products, I just visit Leica Store Miami, and there they are. Well, except for the 90-280 lens, since demand still exceeds supply for it. But they had the Q and it was so lovely I had to buy one of my own. So the stores are effective in ways Photokina was not.

      • DouglasGottlieb

        Agree: the stores vs trade show comparison between Apple and Leica seems spot on

        • It also removes the number of trolls and general gear enthusiasts from real company/brand fans. Good idea to make those that care attend an event rather than touch/try and then rail about your stuff.

  • Erlend A. Glømmen

    I am only too happy they did not release a new M, maybe they plan to finally take care of their current customers. My 240 has been in for rangefinder adjustment and sensor clean for 4 months now!!! And no respons except every three weeks to report no work in progress. I cannot express my dissapointment in words and would not recommend any serious photographer to buy into this system unless they can afford two bodies.

    • ZMWT

      So you are an athlete that has no spare running shoes? A plumber that has no spare wrench? An engineer with only one screwdriver? An artists with only one pencil? Oh, well …

      • Erlend A. Glømmen

        You probably know as well as I do that leica prefer to receive all lenses to check rangefinder alignment across body/lenses. I cannot afford a second complete Leica set. When my main set of gear is away for >4 months I do get dissapointed with their lack of customer support and limited communication during this period even if I do have a spare camera of lesser image quality.

        • ZMWT

          It’s similar story across the board. Leica is no exception. Nevertheless, all working photographers have a few spares of crucial equipment and are ready for such mishaps.

          • El Aura

            Whether you have a spare or rent a replacement, having such extremely long repair times makes very expensive Leica gear even more expensive. And regardless of how such a long repair time affects you, it simply is a sign of gross incompetence and/or complete disregard of their customers. It cannot really be that they are out of parts, the M240 is a currently produced and shipping camera.

            Unless they have done the equivalent of having forgotten the camera in a drawer (gross incompetence), their repair team/hardware likely has hit a bottleneck (problems with some machinery, lack of personal), maybe even the production side or prototype testing of new cameras is consuming resources. But if that is the case, they either tell their (repair) customers to take a number and wait with sending in their camera until their time slot comes up or if the delay incident happened after the camera was sent in, they send the camera back and let the customer keep using it until a repair time slot opens.

          • Erlend A. Glømmen

            I agree with your views El Aura. Unfortunately Leica has not even communicated how long it still might take. Do I have to wait for days, weeks or another few months, i dont know. I logged in to my leica customer support service (where all the gear is registered) 10 days ago to see if someone there would care to inform me what has happened, but no response except an automatic reply w confirmation that they received my mail. Not very professional on their side. I have seen from other forums that this is unfortunately not a one-off case.

          • ZMWT

            You are whinging in the wind and wasting words; you know too well you are unprepared for the task at hand, do not understand the situation, and then somebody else is guilty. A true photographer is ready for unexpected situations and risks. So breathe in, and grab a spare camera and continue your work.

      • CHD

        Well what if it’s your hobby? Whether you are an amateur or a pro it’s not acceptable that there is 6 month waiting lists just to get a simple rangefinder adjustment.

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