The Leica M7 Hermes is one very special limited edition camera
At last! A camera more beautiful than the all white Special Edition Leica M8 that I can spend my future children’s college savings fund on! Collaborating with parent company Hermes, Leica has dropped another stupid expensive camera in the form of the M7 Hermes Very Special Limited Edition. For a mere 8550, or almost $14,400 (the price of a used Honda Civic) you can be the proud owner of either an orange or etoupe (read: brown), silver chrome and calfskin leather adorned 35mm film camera. Beyond that, that original design of the camera hasn’t been fiddled with too much; there’s just been a few color details changed around to match sure everything matches perfectly. Features wise the M7 includes a Leica SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. wide-angle lens, lens hood, and LEICAVIT M winder. And lest you think the camera might get scuffed up while traveling in your purse, Leica thoughtfully included a matching carrying case.
Only 200 of these will be available in the UK starting in December. I expect to see one in my stocking this Christmas.
Photography worked hard to become recognized as an art form in the first half of the 20th century. Along with fellow documentary photographic pioneers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans, Helen Levitt‘s style married composition with spontaneity. Known for her ability to capture the lives of children on the streets of New York, Levitt’s work is marked by a juxtaposition of playfulness and poignancy. Like her female photographic contemporaries (like Dorothea Lange) Levitt’s images provided a social commentary on and called attention to the lives of children in the city, particularly her work in some of the poorer neighborhoods like Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side.
Though not concerned with technical skill, Levitt’s pictures nonetheless contain a studied, almost painterly elegance, which Levitt gleaned and honed with frequent visits to museums and galleries. She worked as a press photographer in the 1930s and 40s, while at the same time producing an impressive collection of her own work with her Leica camera in black and white as well as color. In addition, Levitt worked as a film editor and director, collaborating with good friend and artistic influence James Agee, on the short film “In the Street.”
Helen Levitt’s legacy lies in her ability to seek out and translate visually the subtle beauty of seemingly mundane daily activities of American youth. She paid tribute to their place in society and gave insight into their worlds in a respectful, almost reverent way.
Listen to an interview with Helen Levitt on NPR’s “All Things Considered” here.
German camera maker Leica is back with another limited edition version of their M8 digital rangefinder. After dropping the special Safari M8 earlier this year, Leica looks to release this striking all white version (which I’ve tentatively dubbed the “Ice Box”) sometime around the summer.
Like the original black M8 (and the other special editions out there), this camera takes 10.3 megapixel shots and is compatible with all of Leica’s M series lenses. Users can snap pictures in either “snapshot” mode, which adjusts all settings for you and is great for amateur photographers, or go completely manual if they want more control over their shots. Either way you’ll end up with some beautiful photos, as the cameras CCD sensor is specifically designed to deal with the high requirements of the M series lenses and customized to help users take exceptionally great photos.
There’s only going to be an extremely limited number of these bad boys released, and if past special edition prices are anything to go by it’ll probably cost you several arms and legs to purchase…maybe even a few kidneys and your first born child. But if you’re in the market for a gorgeous camera that’ll take equally gorgeous pictures, then start stacking that paper now.