Leica cameras and lenses are renowned for their superb craftsmanship and excellent optical performance. Based in Germany, Leica have always stressed product quality ahead of cost and this has resulted in some of the best performing and most beautifully crafted cameras and lenses ever made. Their equipment has always been well-regarded and highly sought after by pros and top-name photographers, as well as anyone lucky enough to be able to afford the best.
In today’s highly competitive photographic marketplace though, there are more choices than ever and buyers seem to be driven more than ever by low prices made possible by cheap Asian mass production. Because to this ever-increasing trend, Leica have seen their marketshare dwindle, especially with the move to digital. While they have recently started producing some equipment in Asia to better compete in price, there is still a lot of vintage Leica equipment around, much of it unused and collecting dust or in the hands of only a few die-hard traditionalists. Vintage Leica equipment, I have come to find, is one the the great treasures of the photographic world, and still has that fanatic attention to quality, craftsmanship, ergonomics and tank-like durability that Leica is famous for. And the best part is that some of these excellent and previously very expensive optics can be mounted and used on today’s Nikon SLRs, and better yet, you can buy them for very reasonable prices on the used market !