Friday, February 6, 2015


Some Leica oriented blogs and websites seem to be an irresistible magnet for the Leica haters.  The moment a new post appears, they come out in droves, only to spew forth their venom.  I have decided to report on this here from time to time.  This is not an attempt to whitewash any valid criticism, however, it is meant to highlight how ridiculous some of these comments are.

A while ago one of the Leica blogs reported on the Leica Gallery in Salzburg showing works by Leica photographer and Jazz trumpeter Till Brönner.  Because of the severe negativity of the comments accompanying this article, I will refrain from posting a link.

The article reported about the exhibition and accompanied it with one of Bönner’s photographs.

Leica Gallery Salzburg shows works by Till Bronner Leica Gallery Salzburg shows works by the photographer and jazz trumpeter Till Bronner
 From the exhibition "Faces of Talent"

Here are some of the comments:

Oh come on leica, what a joke! another wannabe photographer. give your camera to a true pro photographer and not to musicians who wear your cameras like rolex.

That title photo is really disturbing.

Agreed. Looks like an assh*le. Literally.

Oh yes brother, that's exactly what came to my mind as soon as I saw it.

Yeah except that 'disturbing' would be an's gross...ugh.
The comments below about assh*le is spot on.
What were they thinking?

I'm usually much too much a gentleman to comment on one like this...but it does remind me of the view of the south end of a north bound Pug.

It takes one to know one, I guess.

One might argue that these comments are in regard to the photo, that they have nothing to do with Leica as such.  However, I have been following the comments of this and many other posts on a regular basis.  They usually accompany articles about Leicas.  While these comments were mostly in regard to the photograph, they are generally just as severe when it comes to the Leica company and cameras.  For instance, a while ago several Nikon owners criticized Leica for making some of their equipment in their plant in Portugal instead of in Germany.  One even went as far as saying that all Leica equipment is made in Portugal and that they package and ship it from Germany in order to be able to say that it is made in Germany.  These people totally ignore the fact that much of their camera equipment is not made in Japan but elsewhere, like China and Laos.  When it comes to Nikon and Canon equipment, the comments usually are much more professional and on topic.

I can’t figure out why people need to be so hateful about the Leica.  After all, many of their cameras of choice are made by a company that that got its initial start by blatantly coping the Leica in the first place.  To me it shows a good dose of an inferiority complex that seems to create the need for these negative comments, the photographic equivalent of penis envy.  What do you think?


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  1. Of course the comments on that site had to come around to attacking Leica and Leica owners directly:

    "Check that 400x80 canvas print of Salzburg 360 panorama, asking price "only" Eur 7800.
    Oh my...they probably think Leica crowd is mad when it comes to money."

    "Priced right...for idiots that is...and those unskilled Leica owners that don't believe they could produce this 800x40 print on canvas by themselves for about ~US$250"

  2. It is obvious that these haters are unable to look at the picture beyond their infantile imagination.

  3. They might have chosen a somewhat more attractive photo.

    1. I fully understand that the photo is not to the liking of everybody. But any critique should be made at a level that is above the gutter. Obviously, the niveau of the above comments leaves a lot to be desired. I happen to like the photograph. I think it was taken in the tradition of Cartier Bresson's decisive moment. It shows a direct, intimate interaction between the subject and the photographer.

  4. These people must have a gigantic inferiority complex that makes it necessary to react in such an infantile manner.

  5. Ketil Are Haugsand commented on the LEICA Barnack Berek Blog site on Facebook: "....the most common projection in the world: envy."

  6. Roger Yip commented on the LEICA Barnack Berek Blog page on Facebook: "The last paragraph just about to sums it up."

  7. Some of the criticism is absolutely not warranted, but some is def understandable:
    if Canon or Nikon appealed to the aspirational consumer, and marketed ostrich leather models selling for tens of thousands of dollars in boutiques located in exclusive shopping districts, they'd probably get flak too: Blogs celebrating Leica snobbery like "We Shoot Leica", with their emphasis on "bling" reinforce the negative image. And frankly, there's a lot of well-heeled Leica owners making photos not worthy of a cellphone, let alone an M.
    Bryan Adams is a high-profile musician and Leica user: his photos are very good.
    Best to stay out of the fray and concentrate on the photography, not the controversy.

    1. There are two ways of looking at this. If Nikon or Canon were to try to sell their wares through exclusive stores of their own, they would miserably fail. So if someone else actually does it, of course they are subject to criticism, after all, they are different. And frankly, there are a lot of Nokon and Canon owners making photos not worthy of a cellphone, let alone a top model Nikon or Canon. It is not the criticising of Leica as such, it is the venomous manner which is often applied that I object to.

  8. No other brand of camera has a near-fetishistic cult amongst some owners like Leica does: They bring a lot of criticism on themselves.

    1. As I said in my article, it is not the critique of Leica, but the manner in which it is often put forth.

  9. Reader Luis Chico G Padrela commented on the LEICA Barnack Berek Blog page on Facebook:
    That comment regarding Portugal... I am portuguese, and i know that we do have hi-tec industries, since a long time ago in our country. And if Leica keep that factory, its because they have been able to stand to high quality standards from Leica. That sounds to me a little bit predjudice... And since when that factory exists? Not since last year, i bet.
    (I am terribly sorry for my english mistakes) ((And the photo is great!!)

    1. The comment of all Leica equipment being made in Portugal is totally false. I have toured the Leica facilities in Germany many times. Unless the hundreds of people working there are all employed to package Leicas and to perform fake tasks, there are a lot of their cameras and lenses being made in Germany. It is also a fact that Leica employs a lot of very skilled workers in their plant in Portugal. Ultimately, it doesn't matter where the equipment is being made, as long as the manufacturing process assures the tolerances and quality of the product. In this regard Leica exceeds any of their competition.

  10. Reader Stephan Christoph Weber commented on the LEICA Barnack Berek Blog page on Facebook:
    Interesting read. Beside a camera, Leica is also an attitude, that don't suit everyone, or more so to say: That many see with a negative eye. Just a sign of bad education, after all. Interestingly it comes often from america, but i might be wrong

  11. Ketil Are Haugsand's comment, that we are seeing a lot of envy here hits the nail right on the head, I think. The fact is that Leica virtually invented 35mm photography, not Nikon, not Canon, not... Furthermore, a large number of camera brands outside of Leica got their start by copying Leica, including Nikon and Canon. None of them can point to anything like this for themselves. Some of them might not even exist without Leica. So Leica owns a number of exclusive shops throughout the world, Nikon, Canon... do not. Apparently that is reason for criticism? These stores are successful, so the concept obviously works. None of these companies are non-profit organizations. Leica has found a way to renewed success. That obviously bothers a lot of the non-Leica owners. It is also a fact that some of the most iconic photographs over the years have been taken with Leica equipment, just as some of the most successful photographers use and have used Leica equipment. No other camera is collected to anywhere near the extend of the Leica, and for good reasons. Used Leica equipment traditionally is demanding substantially higher prices than any other camera. So, yes, envy is a very good analogy.

  12. I just read your post about Leica getting an Oscar. These haters must be foaming at the mouth.