You have to think there are enough people in the world with special characteristics: (a) they know and love Leica cameras, (b) they have a very full wallet, (c) they have a special relationship with their local camera store and with Leica Camera AG so they get wind of specials before the rest of the world.
Case in point: The announcement by Leica of a special limited edition Leica M-P, called the ‘Correspondent,’ and created by Lenny Kravitz. Yes, that Lenny Kravitz, the musician, actor and designer.
The set is the digital rangefinder camera and two fast classics from the range of Leica lenses – the Leica Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH and the Leica Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH – delivered in a bespoke case.
The special edition is strictly limited to 125 sets worldwide and will be available in March.
What we have is an intentionally aged items. The glossy black enamel of the camera and the two lenses has been aged in homage to a well-used camera system, showing a distinctive patina that would usually point to many years of constant use. To achieve this look, every item was ‘aged’ entirely by hand.
Another characteristic feature of the edition is the unusual trim of the camera. How do you feel about holding snakeskin? Leica is quick to point out the snakeskin is from controlled sources that are not subject to species conservation regulations. This material in premium glossy black is also used for the camera strap and wrist strap.
The custom case also picks up the product design theme and is covered with the same material as the camera.
How about that special version of the 50 mm lens? This lens has been constructed in the classic design of its ancestor from 1959 and reflects the typical features of its predecessor – for instance, the scalloped focusing ring and knurled aperture ring.
The camera and lenses in the set are otherwise identical to their series production equivalents in performance and technical specs.
Price? If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Got a spare 25 grand? Or more . . .
If that’s a little out of your ballpark, take a look at the Leica M-P Set ‘Safari’ at somewhere north of 10 grand. This set consists of the Leica M-P (Typ 240) Safari edition, Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH with round metal lens hood, and a full grain cowhide carrying strap.
The camera has an olive lacquered top cover, leatherette and bottom plate. The shutter speed dial, the on/off switch, the release button, the hot shoe, and some other details have a silver finish. The engraving on the top cover is reminiscent of the first safari camera in 1960 and has the classic Leica logo inscribed on one line and the wording ‘Wetzlar Germany’ on the second line. The 35 mm f/2 ASPH has a silver chrome finish with a matching classic round metal lens hood. This set comes in a new packaging including a presentation box.
There are 1500 sets available worldwide.
The technical data of the camera and lens are identical to the serial versions.