The Making of the Leica M9 | A Continuous Lean.

The Making of the Leica M9

Dec 27th, 2010 | Categories: Factory Tour, Germany, Photography | by Michael Williams

There are things in this world that one needs and there are things that one wants. The Lecia M9 is most decidedly living in the want category. The below videos show the assembly process of these beautiful German made cameras, showing you exactly what goes into making such a fine machine. Because what could be better than seeing something amazing being made, even if that thing is far too expensive for you to own.

All price considerations aside, there is no doubt that Leica makes the best looking digital cameras in the world. And owning a Lecia camera of this magnitude takes your snob factor to otherwise unprecedented and historic heights — which is a nice added bonus.  Thank goodness for the factory nerds that made this video and for all of the menswear inspiration Tumblrs of the world that allow us to live vicariously through the internets while our bank accounts rest soundly in their beds.  Because for this much money ($6,995.00) I would want a free trip to Germany to take European delivery (a la Porsche) of my new M9. It couldn’t possibly get much more snobby than that. The good news is, it doesn’t cost anything to dream.

Comments: 13

13 Comments to “The Making of the Leica M9”

  1. Kalani
    on Dec 27th, 2010
    @ 11:31 AM

    For a fraction of the price, you could still get a Leica M3 or M4 body for a several hundred (instead of thousand) if you shoot film. No batteries required. However, it’s always the lenses that will stick it to your wallet. Regardless, Leica makes one fine camera with their rangefinder. It’s iconic status has stood the test of time. I just wish I had a little more time to enjoy shooting Kodachrome with my M4.

    Oh, also, I’d HIGHLY recommend the Lumix GF1 or Olympus EP-2 if you can’t afford the Leica but still want to shoot in a digital rangefinder manner.

  2. eran
    on Dec 27th, 2010
    @ 11:41 AM

    Amazing.
    That couple of videos has made my heart go Oooouch! and indeed – it doesn’t cost anything to dream but than reality strikes :-(

  3. MR
    on Dec 27th, 2010
    @ 1:55 PM

    I like film but also have been lusting after the M9 .
    I told myself don’t even consider it until , going forward , I take 10 great photos with my current camera , a Leica D-Lux 4 .
    Leica X-1 Black is also sweet , and only $1995 .
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/736237-USA/Leica_18400_X1_Digital_Compact_Camera.html
    Ok , with viewfinder and grip it’s $2469 .
    Having lots of fun with Hipstamatic in the meantime .
    http://hipstamaticapp.com/

  4. Kostia
    on Dec 27th, 2010
    @ 3:48 PM

    This makes my heart beats for only 1000$ http://www.finepix-x100.com/

  5. MR
    on Dec 27th, 2010
    @ 5:03 PM

    Waiting for this one too .
    Final MSRP is TBA .

  6. MR
    on Dec 27th, 2010
    @ 9:57 PM

    Brassed Leica M3:
    http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/.a/6a00df351e888f8834010536bd4070970b-popup

  7. Andrei Gonzales
    on Dec 28th, 2010
    @ 1:58 AM

    It’s not the snob factor. There IS a difference in the final output when using a Leica. It’s what some people call “The Leica look”. (Yes, even when you compare it to a Panasonic brethren)

  8. Kevin Andreassend
    on Dec 28th, 2010
    @ 3:09 AM

    I visited the Leica factory a few years back in the small German town where it has been since ist beginning. Interesting factory tour and learning some of the history. Traveled there by train from Frankfurt, got dropped off trackside and wandered till I found the factory. When I was ready to return to Frankfurt I went down to the train track — I vaguely recall a pickup sign along the railway and waited their for the train. Maybe it was the Leica rail drop off point..who knows? Eventually it arrived and we traveled thru the countryside back to Frankfurt. I recall some magnificent castles on the hilltops in the distance. I felt a bit naughty wandering the Leica factory with a Canon EOS around my neck.
    I never did find out if the town has a proper train station and had no idea where the town centre was as the track and the factory are on the outskirts and the area was completely deserted…I think everyone had gone to their jobs that day.

  9. JonIndia™
    on Dec 28th, 2010
    @ 2:03 PM

    awesome awesome camera

  10. Duncan
    on Dec 30th, 2010
    @ 7:23 PM

    Dear Michael,

    Thank you for posting these videos. I very much enjoyed watching them. I need to start saving!

    As a brief aside, you probably are aware of, but in case you & your readers aren’t, today (12.30.2010) is the last day that Kodachrome film is being processed in the United States in Kansas at an outfit called Dwayne’s Photo.

    http://www.dwaynesphoto.com/

    I spent a bit of time thinking about this & have very mixed feelings about it. The owner of Dwayne’s says it “isn’t the end of photography, but it is the end of an era”. He indicated that every cell phone now has a camera attached to it, suggesting that prevalence of technology led to the downfall of Kodachrome. I think if anything, cell phone cameras cheapen the experience of taking pictures.

    I suppose I have mixed feelings about it partly because of nostalgia, but also an inner sense that if something has stood the test of time & isn’t broken, why get rid of it? When the car came along we didn’t exterminate all horses did we? I sometimes have a contrarian viewpoint, even though most people think of me as a “geek” & lover of technology.

    I’m not convinced everything is “progress”.

    Maybe you can discuss this at some point.

  11. Henry
    on Jan 21st, 2011
    @ 5:33 PM

    I can’t see the video. It’s blocked……….

  12. Thomas
    on Jan 25th, 2011
    @ 11:01 AM

    This video requires an invitation to view.

  13. Michael Williams
    on Jan 25th, 2011
    @ 11:02 AM

    I’m sure Leica had this taken down.