I love rangefinders and film. If you’ve been reading this blog periodically you would be well aware of the fact. I dare say it rivals my love for bananas and any dessert or confectionary involving it’s participation as an ingredient. I’d probably make very good friends with the monkeys of Monkey Island.
Think “rangefinder” and the one thing that comes to mind is Leica. It’s only natural that it’s become a name associated with the camera type, just as Canon and Nikon are the brands you think of immediately when DSLRs are mentioned. Granted, there are lots of other companies that have released RFs back in the day but the only real digital rangefinders (i.e. not form-factor but operation) released has been by Leica and Epson, the latter growing exceeedingly rare.
While I would love to own a medium-format film camera, practicality has me placing rangefinders in the lead. And while I probably might own a Voigtlander Bessa first, instead of a Leica film body, as my second rangefinder (and my first with interchangeable lenses) it very likely won’t be for anytime soon. It is, after all, simply a casual hobby and I have a million and one other things to throw my money at — I’m still waiting for that fifty I planted in the neighbour’s pot to grow.
Leica justifies its prices by having exquisite craftsmanship on its cameras. Handle one and you can immediately tell, whether it be made in the 1940s (provided it wasn’t kept in the hands of a possessed toddler for the past half-decade) or just last year. In line with their collaboration with Hermès, they’ve released a video showing the process behind making them. Stalwart houses of quality collide. Minds explode and wallets cry at night. The preposterously rich scrawl on a piece of paper with their magic pen. Diablo III early-adopters curse Error 37.
Dim the lights, put your headphones and sexy undies on. This is the USD $50,000 (100 copies) Leica M9-P Edition Hermes – Serie Limitee Jean-Louis Dumas.
I may have just wet myself.