Let me start this by telling the truth, I own a Leica M2. I do not own a Leica M6. Even if I had the cash, I probably would not own a Leica M6, either an original or one of the new re-issues. I like fully manual mechanical cameras. If I had cash burning a hole in my pocket, I’d probably get another M2. Or maybe an M4. If I had stupid money literally coming out of my ears I’d spring for an MP. Not that I need any of those.
The day the M6 reissue was released, my Twitter feed was full of rage. How dare Leica! They don’t support the film community! Where is our inexpensive film camera we somehow believed was being announced? Don’t they care about the future of film? Leica is only for the 1%!
A new production affordable film camera would be a good thing. Would I spring for a brand new manual SLR in the $200 to $600 price range with no meter? In a heartbeat. Am I ever going to see one of those? Doubt it.
I could blame any number of things. Competition from older cameras still available. Skinny jeans. Whether demand would be sufficient for economies of scale to be effective. Decaf coffee. The list goes on.
I think the real problem here is shutters. Remember that kickstarter SLR, the Reflex? It never got in to production because they could not find a source of shutters. Cosina was probably the last producer of mechanical shutters at scale. The mechanical shutters Leica uses in its film cameras are low production devices.
Thinking Leica will put out an inexpensive film camera using a bespoke mechanical shutter is insane.
The film community can be very toxic. After 4 days of watching nothing but foaming hatred over the new M6 release by a very vocal number of people I started blocking. I have a Leica, but I am not a Leica fanboy. Leica did not promise anyone an inexpensive film camera. Leica does not exist to grow the film community. Leica did what corporations do, they made a choice to make money. That’s capitalism. Problems with capitalism are legion and beyond the scope of this rant.
People somehow felt entitled to something that does not exist, then got very angry when they did not get the thing that does not exist that they were not promised. We need to do better, or manufacturers will stop supporting us. It’s a hard sell to get someone to take a financial chance on a group that will treat you like crap for what you did.
Now if you will excuse me, this member of the 1% will drive over to the shop in his 20 year old truck and figure out how many rolls of film he can afford this month.