As you may know I have been watching Leica for a while. I have nothing but admiration for their optical designers and factory workers. Contrary to some, I think the company is really going somewhere now.
Lately a big part of my Leica-watching involved tracking the used-equipment market on FredMiranda and GetDPI forums. After 6 months of daily forum-scraping I could tell you which lenses come up most often, which are most rare, and what a ballpark asking price is for each of them. Which are rare? The 75mm APO-Summicron ASPH is up there on the list, with the 21mm Elmarit ASPH and 35mm Summilux ASPH not far behind. The 50mm Summilux ASPH is noteworthy in the trends, because it is both relatively common and yet its price premium holds because it’s also in high demand.
One of the big surprises for me was to see how heavily-discounted pre-owned Leica gear can be (overall) as compared to Nikon and Canon gear. You’re not going to find a current-model professional Nikkor lens for 50% less money than new (more like 20-30%, usually) but you will find several Leica-M lenses with that kind of discount. Particularly there is a cultural backlash against lenses that haven’t been updated with 6-bit coding from the factory, and so really good deals can be found for those lenses that are current and in good condition but not “factory fresh”.
It’s also the case that there are a few individuals in the Leica community who will try every single lens that Leica makes, through purchasing new or like-new lenses and then dumping them on the used market with very little wear. Some of these guys depreciate their lenses by 5% per week, so far as I can tell. If you hang around the right forums you can snatch up one of these gems for 30-45% less than they cost from the store, and most of them are even still under warranty.
The happy ending to this market observer’s story, is that now I have my first body and 2 lenses coming to me in the next 2 weeks. Which Leica lens made it to the top of my chart, to become my first Leica lens? You might be surprised. Stay tuned…
Not Really Leaving Nikon
Although I do think I’m “done” with Nikon for now, my D700 isn’t going anywhere. It’s a trusty sidearm that will not fail when the pressure is on and there’s only one chance to take the shot. I unloaded the heaviest and least used piece of my Nikon kit to make financial room for my Leica lens and I’m freezing spending on Nikon.
What could get me to spend again (if you’re listening Nikon)…
A 24-100mm f/4G VR zoom in a weather-sealed internal-zoom/focus metal barrel. For sure I’d buy this.
A 17-40mm f/4G zoom in a weather-sealed internal-zoom/focus metal barrel. There’s a good chance I’d buy this.
A good 70-200mm f/4G VR or 200mm f/2.8G VR or 300mm f/4G VR prime. Maybe I’d buy one of these.
A D700x with a 25+ MP sensor. I’ll only buy this if you have an upgrade/trade-in program from the D700.
An EVIL version of the D700x with a mount register not to exceed 2.5cm. I will beg on my knees so you’ll allow me to buy it from you.
Yep, I’m on record saying I could buy automagic zooms again. Believe it.
With the ZF lenses and upcoming ZM and Leica lenses… I’m getting close to being all-primed-out, and all-manual’ed-out. I’ll start taking some automation back eventually, for balance, sanity and other people’s comfort with my camera (which is going to hit bottom soon).
More to come...