For many years, Leica cameras have been spurring strong emotions, both positive and negative. Some people are dying to have a Leica, some actually have it, while others view it merely as a toy for the rich. Why should anyone buy a Leica in the first place?

The first Leica camera was made in Germany in 1914. It was the world’s first compact camera using a 35mm film. At that time, it was quite a revolutionary product – Leica came with a device that could fit into your pocket. Until then, landscape and street photographers had to carry huge cameras, so it was really one of the most important moments in photography. Leica cameras were used to take the first professional reportage photographs around the world – in war conflicts or while travelling – and Leica became a true legend of documentary and travel photography.

For many years, Leica cameras have been spurring strong emotions, both positive and negative. Some people are dying to have a Leica, some actually have it, while others view it merely as a toy for the rich. Why should anyone buy a Leica in the first place?

So why should you buy a Leica?

Quality

The vast majority of Leica models sold today is still manufactured in Germany, many of them by hand. The craftsmanship is stunning – take the latest model, Leica T, a small compact camera with replaceable lenses, for example. This video nicely shows Leica’s mission and uniqueness. http://vimeo.com/92073118

Design

If you love design, you’ll love Leica. The details, simplicity and shapes that remain almost unchanged for over 100 years. It’s a camera you want to hold in your hand. I can’t say why. It’s not super ergonomic, not the lightest or the biggest camera. But you simply want to hold it in your hand.

Viewfinder

Leica’s most famous model line is Leica M – viewfinder cameras with replaceable lenses introduced in 1954. Now we’re talking uniqueness again. A viewfinder camera is something completely different than what you’re used to from DSLRs or compact cameras. With this device, you’ll just love taking pictures. You’ll have to set everything manually, you’ll have to focus manually but that’s exactly how you’re supposed to enjoy photography. 

Lenses

Can you imagine a lens with f0,95 aperture? You think it can’t be done? Make no mistake. Leica lenses are easily among the world’s best lenses. They boast immaculate craftsmanship and high aperture. Plus, they are really small. A 35mm, f1,4 lens will fit in your pocket. Given the brand’s reputation and utmost quality, you can use lenses that are several decades old, both on analog and full frame digital cameras, and you’ll love the results. Leica lenses offer unparalleled quality and give your photographs a very unique atmosphere.

Discretion

Discretion is the reason why reportage and street photographers love Leicas so much. The cameras are very compact in size and have great small lenses. Besides, when you trigger the shutter, no one around will probably notice.

Price

Leicas are expensive. So darned expensive. You can get a Leica in an auction for tens of thousands of dollars. Yes, there are people who collect Leicas or buy them as an investment. Leica is the only camera manufacturer that increases prices every year.

Functions vs. photographs

Leica doesn’t compete for megapixels, number of focus points, speed, card slots, etc. Leica is all about the pure joy of photography. A Leica camera moves you forward, makes you think and lets you create.

Why am I using a Leica?

When I started with photography many years ago, I had my first Canon compact camera, than I switched to DSLR. I went from Nikon D50 all the way to a professional Nikon D3. DSLR is great for many things. But why should I have to carry 20kg of equipment when I can do the same with a 1kg Leica? Photography is a hobby and I want to enjoy it. With Leica, I can. I am currently using an analog Leica M7 and a digital Leica X (113) and every time I hold one of these cameras, I feel pure joy.

Leica’s model lines
D, V, C – the most affordable compact cameras. Great design, premium craftsmanship and decent picture quality. This is not the true Leica, though, and you will get similar quality from other manufacturers.
X – compact digital cameras without replaceable lenses. Excellent optical quality, design and craftsmanship.
T – compact digital cameras with replaceable lenses. Breathtaking design and decent picture quality.
M – these are true Leicas, viewfinder devices (both analog and digital) with replaceable lenses. A totally different world that you’ll enjoy.
S – professional digital cameras for studio photography. Combined with superior lenses and premium pricing, they are pretty much just a dream for most photographers.

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