I smell "publicity stunt".
They irritate me. They usually aren't weather sealed whatsoever, and they cost a FORTUNE. For what? Leaf shutter? Other cameras have that. Good build quality? Other camera have that too. Good (expensive) glass? Other, again, have that.
They were once the "known good" rugged option for photojournalists- small, light, durable, high quality- so they were a default. But that era is LONG gone, and I just don't see much of the allure.
Actually, I think I have an excellent idea of what's going on: they've become cultural shorthand. They send a very clear elitist message that you can afford a wildly expensive camera that takes pictures exactly as good as the other cameras out there that cost less.
And that's fine, I suppose. Everyone is entitled to spend their money their way. But recognize what it is. This isn't about a camera- this is about snobbery and exclusivity.
You could apply this standard to most luxury goods.
Absolutely true. And I feel just as frustrated about those, much of the time.
I don't what weird tick of mental weakness it is for me, but I hate that I find myself wanting these things even though I know they're nothing more than symbols of status. Is it because it becomes difficult to mentally separate the status of an object from it's function?
I like cameras. I own too many cameras. I want a Leica, but I'd never let myself pay Leica prices. Instead I spend my time and money digging up the underdogs- the cameras that were as good as Leicas but don't have the status or cache- and those are what I end up getting into. It's like I'm a contrarian status seeker.
Is it necessary, I wonder, for the illusion here to work, that the seller approach this from the perspective of the item being an especially good camera? Rather than just admit it's a rare bauble to sit on your shelf....
FOMO maybe? I mean I get it -- I love luxury goods and in many ways they are superior in tangible ways to their more plebeian counterparts. You can debate whether such extravagance is worth it (in my experience sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't), but it's definitely desired.
I can (and do) wear some moderately expensive jeans (ahem- I mean denim). They cost more, but in ways that are definitely tangible are superior to less expensive Levis. So I get that part.
But Leicas, because they are technology, don't bring anything to the table that's technologically better than other offerings- even other offerings from the same time period. And that, for some reason, irks me especially. They are exactly like watches- there is a point of diminishing returns, and watches beyond that are more complicated and expensive and serve only as symbols.
I don't really like expensive watches, either. Especially expensive watches that don't offer tangible design benefits. For example: a gold plated Rolex will bug me. A Rolex Milgauss worn by somebody in a power plant? Not so much. Weirdly.
Precisely. It's why, for the period when Leica compacts were effectively just rebadged Panasonics, you paid a premium for the version with the red dot.
Badge engineering is just ick. You're paying for the nameplate and design versus any tangible benefits.
Leica Visovflex EVF2 - $499
Olympus VF-2 - $120-216
Technically identical. Can be used interchangeably.
Explanation: Uhm, quality control?
Artisinal virgin unicorn tears went into the adhesives used on the Leica.
Leicas had cloth focal plane shutters. They were also expensive when photojournalists used them - a 3f or 3g cost around a quarter of a journalist's annual salary, but they got results.
They are now cheaper in real terms than they were then. The trouble is, the rest of the world has benefited from the enormous cost reductions of mass production.
It's different for the Cygnet as it was "built" to lower Aston’s average CO2 emissions.
Sure they had a reason for doing it but it was still a Toyota iQ with some leather and fake hood vents sold at a gigantic markup. It's no different than @mrtut's example of an Olympus viewfinder sold at 3x the price after slapping a Leica badge on it.
Though when it comes to expensive rebadgings of cheaper cameras, Leica's got nothing on Hasselblad.
Being it is (was?) US Government property they may be able to get it for nothing.
What a deal! At $43K, it's only slightly more than a regular Leica.