During my stay in Germany last month, French magazine Focus Numérique published an interview with Dr. Andreas Kaufman, Chairman of the Board of Leica. Unfortunately, the interview cannot be republished here, so here are some of the main points.
Probably the most interesting response was in regard to further developments of Leica cameras and lenses. Dr. Kaufman was asked that the company has introduced a lot of new products within a short period of time, namely the Leica Monochrom, M, S, and X series of cameras, if this pace can be maintained. Dr. Kaufman answered that they do not intend to interrupt the development of new products, that they have a lot of new items in the pipeline. He went on to say that Leica will have something new this fall and in spring. He also said that it makes sense to further develop monochrome devices because is the best way to shoot in black and white and more and more photographers use black and white.
He reiterated that Leica has no intention to introduce a DSLR camera. He sees no need for this because the current Leica M is perfectly capable to utilize any of the Leica R lenses. He sees no further need for SLR viewfinders because the newly developed electronic viewfinders are perfectly capable to take their place.
When asked about the current one year waiting period for the Leica M, Dr. Kaufman said that this they hope to be able to reduce this to three months by the end of the year. He went on to explain that the main reason for the delays is the fact that demand far outstrips the manufacturing capacity at the current plant in Solms.
It should be interesting to see if the rumor mill will begin to guess as to what new products we might expect to see this fall and next spring. One thing is for sure, Leica is riding a wave of success, and they will certainly do everything possible to assure the continuation of this.