Beforehand, we explored matters like which Micro 4 Thirds system held up higher over time, which line of Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras is hottest, or which DSLR system held extra of its worth. This month, let’s take a look at which Leica M-mount movie gear is the fastest-moving off the cabinets.
This story is a part of KEH’s Tilt-Shift Report, the place the corporate shares unique knowledge and distinctive insights into the most recent traits in digital camera gear shopping for, buying and selling, and promoting.
There’s a little context I want to present across the storied Leica M-mount. Principally, it was launched in 1954 with the launch of the Leica M3, changing the M39 screw-mount for a positive new bayonet design that made switching quicker, whereas locking within the lens to the physique extra exactly and securely.
“M” stands for messsucher, or “rangefinder” in German, and it’s a design nonetheless in use with digital Leica-M cameras right now. The rangefinder has certainly proved to be an everlasting type, as many photojournalists, documentary and avenue photographers favor it for its simplicity, measurement, reliability, and fast operation.
The unique M3 bought round 220,000 items earlier than manufacturing led to 1966, making it Leica’s hottest rangefinder ever, and it led the best way for a protracted lineage of M-mount our bodies, all notable.
Whereas costs are steep, Leica remains to be producing movie cameras to this present day — the MP and M-A — however has largely shifted to manufacturing digital M-bodies since its first foray with the M8 in 2006.
Though a brand new, cheaper movie physique is rumored to be launched in 2021, probably the most smart strategy to get into the Leica M-mount rangefinder system remains to be to purchase used fashions from yesteryear.
After all, Leica isn’t the one producer who makes M-mount gear — Voigtlander, Zeiss, Rollei, Konica, and Minolta, amongst others — have made each M-mount our bodies and lenses by way of the years, after which there are newcomers like 7artisans or TTArtisan who lately began providing a bevy of fantastic, moderately-priced M-mount glass as properly.
With practically 70 years-worth of substances, the M-mount has had loads of time to develop, evolve, and cement itself as one of the crucial sought-after programs in the marketplace.
As a result of we promote extra M-mount gear than simply about anybody, we all know how powerful it’s to maintain sure gadgets in inventory. Let’s take a look at which our bodies and lenses have the shortest shelf-life in our warehouse—in the event you’re eyeing this gear in your personal assortment, you higher be capable of pull the set off fast as soon as you see it on the positioning.
For M-mount our bodies, it’s no shock as to who takes our primary spot.
The Leica M6 is throughout our chart. On our listing of the top-20 fastest-selling M-mount our bodies, the M6 takes up 9 spots, as a matter of reality.
There are fairly a couple of variations on this traditional, however none promote quicker than the M6 TTL (.85x finder/35-135mm) model. On common, from the time it goes reside on our website, it takes simply two days for it to discover a new proprietor. The M6 TTL (.58x finder/28-90mm) is in second place, averaging simply two-and-a-half days on our cabinets, adopted by the M6 TTL (.72 finder/28-135mm) at three days.
Not far behind that cluster of M6 our bodies although, is one other widespread possibility—the Voigtlander Bessa R2A. The aperture-priority R2A often sells inside three days of hitting our website, whereas the all-manual R4M and R3M take about 4 days.
One other notable non-Leica M-mount physique is the Zeiss Ikon, which sells on common inside four-and-a-half days of hitting our cabinets.
Different Leica our bodies on the listing are the aforementioned MP, which often strikes inside every week, and the O.G. M3 double-stroke, promoting on common on the slower tempo of eleven-and-a-half days.
At two weeks apiece, the Leica Minolta CL sells simply as quick because the an identical Leica CL, whereas the Minolta CLE takes three days longer. Branding, it seems, does make a bit distinction, and the Leica title nonetheless pulls some weight.
So far as lenses, there are a couple of classics tied for the primary spot.
It’s simple to see the attraction of this cluster of lenses on the prime spot, and why they’re all gone inside three days of going reside on our website. The Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux Wetzlar is a traditional from the Nineteen Sixties, maybe the quintessential classic lens to be used on an M3 or M2 physique. Being that it’s an older M-mount lens, it’s extra inexpensive than later variations, whereas nonetheless delivering a great deal of character and Leica attraction.
Then there are three 35mm lenses that run the gamut from small and inexpensive to quick and sturdy. The Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 Shade-Skopar (P II) is mainly a pancake lens, excellent for many who worth a low profile whereas making no sacrifices on picture high quality. For these wanting a brighter aperture, the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Nokton Traditional II MC VM matches the invoice, whereas nonetheless sustaining a low profile. Lastly, the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon ZM T* is prized for its refined design in addition to its top-notch development.
Closing out the bunch on the prime spot, promoting inside 3 days, the Minolta 90mm f/4 M-Rokkor could be a stunning consequence, however contemplating its low worth and wonderful high quality, it makes all of the sense on this planet for it to be a fast-seller. It may be had for simply $200-300 relying on situation, so it’s a pure decide to spherical out an M-mount equipment on the brief telephoto finish.
One other traditional not far behind the main pack, is the Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-M, 6-bit which often sells inside 4 days of arriving in inventory. A advantageous, inexpensive copy of that design, the 7Artisans 35mm f/2, sells virtually as quick, inside seven days.
The merchandise which wins the excellence of “slowest-moving, fastest-aperture lens” on our listing is the mighty Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux, which due to its complexity, measurement, exorbitant worth level, and restricted viewers, averages simply over 10 weeks in inventory earlier than discovering a cheerful new proprietor.
What’s clear from this knowledge is that M-mount gear remains to be extremely fascinating, and due to its rising shortage — particularly for mint classic items — it most likely gained’t lose its luster for fairly a while.
Concerning the writer: Luca Eandi is a Brooklyn-based avenue photographer, artistic director for KEH Digicam, and a board-certified human individual. He lately printed “Indicators of Japan,” a long-term images mission documenting illustrated Japanese avenue indicators within the Tokyo space. He posts his each day avenue images work on his Instagram profile.
This text was additionally printed right here.