Two Weeks ago Leica donated a Leica M Monochrome to a Japanese teenager whose family was displaced by the Fukushima disaster. She had just graduated from high school where she was a member of the photography club. She had planned to go to university, but her family’s problems prevented her from doing so. Instead she took a manufacturing job to save up enough money to enable her to attend university after all and to continue with her chosen profession.
Leica chairman Andreas Kaufmann heard of her problems and decided to present her with a Leica M Monochrome camera to enable her to continue with photography. At a press conference they presented the camera to the happy new owner.
Immediately afterwards the internet was full of criticism about Leica’s donation of the camera to her. Complaints went from criticism of the price of the camera, the fact that it is a black and white only camera and that Leica instead should have made a general donation to charity. Leica made a philanthropic effort, besides all of the other donations they have made, to help a student to continue with her chosen profession, not Nikon, not Canon, not Fuji, not Sony, nobody but Leica. Instead of heaping criticism onto Leica, criticism should have been directed to the other major camera manufacturers who chose to remain silent.
Had this been the only philanthropic donation that Leica made recently, the criticism would have been justified. But the fact is that Leica has made substantial donations to a variety of causes. So once again we have Leica being criticized for the sake of criticism, but ultimately without any justifiable cause.
What do you think?