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Reader Comments on Leica Lens Availability

Reader Douglas S writes:

Marvellous images proving the high quality of this camera and lens combination.

It's almost exactly what I need to be able to continue my photographic journeys around my country, I'm finding the Canons and all the lenses a bit heavy on my aging back.

The perfect camera indeed, but the lenses seem almost impossible to buy, nobody has stock and the waiting lists are so long who knows what can happen as I wait.

Maybe the new Fuji X Pro 1 will fill the bill for me, how often do I really need full frame sensor and 3040 images? I'd rather be out taking pictures than working out what not to put in the backpack in case it's too heavy.

Love your site, marvellous insight to so many cameras and lenses, plus the Mac, keep up the great work, one day I'll find my high definition camera and be able to purchase it this side of Hell.

DIGLLOYD: the camera and lens referred to are the Leica M9/M9P + Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH.

On January 1st 2012, Leica USA raised prices by about 7% on Leica M lenses.

The price increase follows similar price increases the past two years, yet the near-unavailability of lenses speaks to insatiable demand. In fact I have not seen certain lenses ever be in stock at B&H for two years now! I had to resort to a European source to get my 50/1.4 Summilux, but even that source now seems to have dried up.

However, a spurt of Leica M lenses appeared recently at B&H Photo, so for in-stock status at a glance for the entire Leica M and Zeiss ZM lens lines, watch my Leica gear page. Blue prices mean in stock, red means out of stock.

With a few concerns (lens correction, focusing) that I discuss in my Guide to Leica), the Zeiss ZM lenses offer some very fine optics and these are a great choice for Leica M shooters. And if later one obtains an equivalent Leica M lens, the Zeiss ZM lenses resell at near their original price. While the ZM lenses are also in high demand, they are generally more available.

As to the Fuji X-Pro1, it holds great promise, and might out-Leica Leica in the camera body area. While it is doubtful that the lenses will perform to the level of Leica M lenses, I expect they will outperform or equal high quality DSLR lenses, and they will be 1/4 to 1/6 the price of Leica M lenses, so an entire X-Pro1 kit should cost about as much as a Leica M9 camera body.

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