There’s a Lenny Kravitz Joke Here Somewhere

A week ago, Leica released a new special-edition M Monochrom rangefinder named after late rock ‘n’ roll photographer Jim Marshall. Jim Marshall photographed The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash and Miles Davis, among others, presumably with a Leica. Marshall died in 2010.

Jimmy Page and Bob Dylan, photos by Jim Marshall

The Leica M 246 Jim Marshall Edition Leica M Monochrom shoots only black-and-white. It comes with a 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens. Both the camera and lens are finished in brass with Jim Marshall’s signature on the camera’s top plate. There will only be 50 models of the Marshall Edition available, each at the cost of $12,950 (about £10,050 and AU$17,400).

Here’s what you’ll get for your measly $12,950 (excluding tax) when you purchase your Jim Marshall Edition Leica:

  • Leica M Monochrom (Type 246) in brass
  • Summilux-M 50mm f1.4 ASPH brass lens
  • Brass lens hood
  • Brown leather strap
  • Jim Marshall Limited Edition Estate print of “Thelonious Monk at Monterey Jazz Festival 1964′
  • “Jim Marshall: Jazz Festival” book with a special dust jacket
Jim Marshall

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8 thoughts on “There’s a Lenny Kravitz Joke Here Somewhere

  1. Andrew

    No real price premium over a regular black M246 and 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH, making this a very good deal.

    1. Leicaphila Post author

      To do what with? Put in a display case? I’d be embarrassed to be lugging this thing around actually taking pictures with it. A brass digital Leica M with some unidentifiable guy’s signature on the top plate? Really? Given you can get a normal M246 and Summilux for a bit less, something you might actually use without blushing every time you pull your camera out of your Billingham, I’m just not seeing it.

      1. Andrew

        I’m not a collector, but many are, and Leica special editions historically go up, WAY UP in value.

        Just like buying gold, a stock or any other investment, there is risk, but with very limited run Leicas (50 units) the risk is quite low and the returns quite high.

  2. Rob Campbell

    Indeed; I’m so against the whole idea of being an unpaid walking advertisement that I’ve black-taped both the digital cameras and have obliterated the logos from the straps.

    But in fairness, at least it appears to be without oversized red dot! Of such are small mercies made.



  3. Wayne

    Everything else aside, the brass covers do seem to add the impression of extra bulk to the kit. Maybe it is just the small size of the signature.

  4. Wayne

    I have never done this before, but I just went to Cameraquest for the purpose of looking at the list of “investment” grade Leica hardware. Viewing the list, it seems the idea of commemorating specific photographers has never been that prevalent: mostly places and times.

    I will likely never part with the scratch it takes to buy one of these special editions, but if I were to be tempted, there would have to be some real connection with the person/event/time heralded by the camera. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to offer an MP if you are going to make hay with the memory of a film photographer.

    I mean, there are examples of product manufacturers capitalizing off of past greats, but at the same time addressing (in a practical manner) a need in the customer base. Fender routinely celebrates past greats with signature models. For the most part, the guitars are purchased and used, but yet, still accumulate value by virtue of the fact they do commemorate a particular artist. In fact, if anything, the fact that these guitars have been used- and show the use- seems to add value. Hey! it may not be Muddy’s Telecaster, but at least it looks and feels like Muddy’s Telecaster.

    I have to go with the author on this one……. With MP in the current model line, Leica could have created a great commemorative to an individual who played a significant role in Leica photography; instead, they have turned it into a joke.

    Personally, I can forgive the Lenny Kravitz camera release. What greater way to photograph your Lenny Kravitz 1967 Flying V when you put it up on Ebay to capitalize on your initial investment?

  5. ATP

    The lens may have increased its value in the far future, when the original owner have died, and their grandkids don’t even care about the lens anymore. The camera will die and become a useless paperweight. Electronic will never be a good collectible item.

  6. Ashley

    All the ‘special edition’ nonsense aside I’ve often wondered what an all brass M would look like and I actually quite like the look of this.

    I shoot a chrome M2 worn enough in places to actually see the brass underneath. With all this customisation I see going on with repaints etc, and the obsession with real (and manufactured) wabi sai, I’ve never actually seen a brass M that’s been stripped to its brass and left at that.

    Still a bit ‘blingy’ for my practical tastes but nice on my eye all the same.

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