On December 8, 2022, I sent the following email to Leica Germany:
Dear Sirs/ Madams:
I write a blog about Leica cameras: www.leicaphilia.com. It’s been active for over 8 years, has a very loyal following (over 20 million page views) and, if I might say so, is one of the more thoughtful and unbiased Leica sites on the web.
To this day, I’ve never asked Leica for anything. Not my style. But there’s always a first time. What I’d like to do is borrow a new M6 for a few weeks and put it through its paces so I can do a number of unbiased write-ups about it. I do currently own both a M9M and an M240 and am a dedicated B&W shooter. In particular I’d like to use the M6 to do comparison tests between the Monochrom and the M240 and the M6 in respect to various film stocks. Obviously, Tri-X might be a good place to start.
As an aside, I bought one of the first M6’s produced in 84 and loved it, but unfortunately sold it in 2004. I’d love to see how it’s evolved, how its feel and use compare to the old one and to the newer digital M’s. I can envision doing a number of linked posts about the M6 – its history, its current iteration, Leica’s admirable decision to re-introduce a film Leica now, how analog Leica processes compare to digital M usage.
If you agree, I can promise you that I’ll be even-handed in evaluating the camera and my experiences with it, but will not be emphasizing negatives given your generosity in trusting me with a loaned camera. I’m a 50 year lover of Leica, having bought my first Leica, an M5, in 1977 at age 19. I’m now 64, and terminally ill, with a cancer diagnosis that gives me maybe a year. I’d love to cap off my Leicaphilia blog with an extended series on the new M6. Thanks for considering.
With Warm Regards, Tim Vanderweert
Leica never responded. Any Ideas why not?
This will probably fall flat but…
1. You dissed their spokes model, Lenny Kravitz.
2. They’re afraid you will find a way to take it with you.
3. You used up your one wish getting your monochrome bumped to the head of the repair line.
These were meant in jest, just in case.
P.S. thanks for posting again, please do it as often as you like, without embarrassment. I will be sad and miss you when you stop.
December 8th… well, the wheels turn slowly; maybe the festive season and all those Leica ambassadors – or whatever they are called – are taking up a lot of office time. I can imagine some decision makers may be off skiing while the snow can be found: it’s been a remarkably hot year in Europe with records set.
Anyway, I would suggest that a letter might go down a lot better than an e-mail. Who knows where e-mails end up; those AI junk inspectors are not the smartest cookies on the tray. Remember, there must be hundreds of folks trying the same route just to get their hot little mits on a machine.
Best of luck!
“In particular I’d like to use the M6 to do comparison tests between the Monochrom and the M240 and the M6 in respect to various film stocks. ”
I would have left that out, it leaves too many possible open questions that they wouldn’t be able to figure where you would have landed with it. Better to just start with a M6 test first and do the rest later.
Not to mention you dissed Lenny Kravitz and Von Whatsisface and burned down their marketing department. Aside from that you’re golden.
If you wanted to bench test a new MP I could help you out.
The M6 not so much.
Glad to see you fingers type some more.
My experience with Leica in Wetzlar is that they are quite slow in communication. I also could imagine that English is slowing the whole process as well. Two direct contacts from my last communication with Leica that might help: Kirsten.Kaulbach@leica-camera.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. I would give it another try. In my case they were very kind and helpful. Good luck!
Like others commented, they MAY have had their feelings hurt once or twice when you gave honest feedback about some of their questionable choices. Having said that, it could be just down to being slow around the holidays. They must be inundated by requests coming from all these “influencers” who have never seen a REAL film camera – and possibly have no clue how to use it – but have milliopns of “followers” and they need to brag about the latest shiny object.
Maybe reaching out to the nearest Leica store would be faster and more effective?
My experience with camera manufacturers has been that they are very selective about those who they choose to represent and promote their products but are somewhat paranoid about those who seek to do so. They avoid those who could be considered in any way loose canon. They value loyalty to the brand and their influencers. They seem less paranoid about those who they believe use their cameras to good effect, often publishing their images, a picture worth a thousand words perhaps and certainly less risky? Although I supplied images for promotional literature it was the images which were left to do the talking rather than me, which felt far more comfortable and less open to accusations of bias.
You’re likely in queue behind about 12000 others.