“Why Do You Pay More for a Picasso Than for a Regular Artist” — A Visit at Leica Manufacturing Headquarters

Cameras and lenses individually assembled and tested by hand in a clean room. Hand-made cameras so to say. That’s what sets Leica apart from the rest. At a price, as we all know, but here’s an interesting video report by Bloomberg’s Nejra Cehic on a visit to Leica headquarters in Solms, Germany, giving some interesting glimpses of Leica’s manufacturing process and philosophy.

This is where the world’s most wanted cameras come from. Quite a feat for a company that teetered on the brink of the abyss not even a decade ago. In the past two years alone Leica operating profits have been increased by a factor of 8.

By now Leica opened over 100 stores around the world. Right, sounds like a page out of Apple’s marketing book. As Apple Leica is confident of the haptics, feel and look of its product, warranting the exclusive solo approach that seems to pay off handsomely.

The Leica-approach teaches the market that a camera can cost up to $20,000 and still survive in the digital era. Just stand for uniqueness and professionalism and ignite that unique kind of passion.

Leica’s main challenge? Keeping up with technology, says Leica Camera CEO Alfred Schopf.

What makes Leica different, asks reporter Cehic.

“It teaches you,” says Schopf, “how to see.”

  • Jo

    “Why Do You Pay More for a Picasso Than for a Regular Artist”

    Because Picasso had talent. His production costs were the same as any other artist. As long as Leica has “talent”, it will sell. When the likes of Fuji and Sony can match that talent, Leica will have to depend on marketing the mystique. Perhaps it’s already happened.

  • Still, there’s something to that mystique, and if it’s only the distinct sound of the shutter… The marketing of the mystique is already in full swing. It’s hard — if not impossible — to tell a good Leica photographer’s work apart from a good any-brand photographer’s work. But there is so much more to photography than what meets the eye.