Wednesday, January 12, 2011

LFI Master Shots

I finally made it into the Leica Fotographie International (LFI) Master Shots gallery on the LFI site and iPhone app. I'm not sure why the powers that be at LFI chose the particular shot they did. It's a good shot, but I think some of my portrait work is better.

LFI Gallery

I get the feeling that Leica wants to portray the X1 as a camera only capable of landscape, vacation and family photos. Kind of like the way the M is only portrayed as a gritty street camera good for shooting soldiers in battle or homeless people. They also never show the S2 shooting anything except fashion.

In a way I feel like the X1 is the unwanted stepchild of the Leica brand. While it's referred to as a reporters camera and it has a better sensor than the M8, it's still not eligible to compete in LFI's "picture stories" competition. I'd dare say that the X1 probably has better built-in glass than most people can afford to put on their M8s as well, yet the M8, which isn't even in production is still considered an upgrade. Let's not forget that most photographers that could afford the X1 can't afford to buy a new M. By maintaining M system exclusivity with things like the picture story contest, Leica is sending potential customers to the second-hand market, which makes absolutely no revenue for the company.

Meanwhile, it has been over a year since the introduction of the X1 and we still haven't recieved the promised firmware update whereas the S2 has been updated. Could I see a spreadsheet comparing the number of $30k S2s sold versus the number of $2k X1s, please? If you're going to entice me to buy into the more expensive M system, it's going to be through excellent customer service and support, not by treating me like a second-class customer. Porsche does not treat Boxster owners any differently than they do 911TT owners and for good reason -- they sell a hell of a lot more Boxsters than they do turbos and many of those Boxster customers eventually become turbo owners.

I won't even go into the lack of X1 product and accessory availability. It's next to impossible to find a 36mm Brightline viewfinder, the six-months-ago-soon-to-be-available digiscoping adapter is still MIA, and if there were decent macro and teleconverters being produced, I wouldn't be logging the hundreds of click per day to my DIY instructions on this blog.

That being said, if you want to enjoy my gallery (and some horrible German-to-English translation) on the LFI web site, you can visit it at http://gallery.lfi-online.de/gallery/index.php?cat=19235
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