Leica Monochrom scoop!
I was contacted recently by a chap who said he had some info about the new Leica Monocrom, specifically how it came to exist. Well, I was certainly interested. So after a meeting in a darkened car park basement, the swapping of briefcases and stealing into the night (e-mail chat), I found out the scoop.
So, I got a mail from a chap by the name of Jeff Cloutier (website) who had some information for me. Jeff works for Godecs Camera Supply, a Leica dealer based in Colorado. It seems that Mr. Godec has some sway with the chaps in Germany. Jeff took all of the pictures you see here on the Monochrom, it seems they managed to get theirs before everyone else too!
In Jeff’s own words…
“About one year ago, we received a phone call from a major research laboratory here in the states. They had been calling Leica dealers across the country searching for a camera with specific functions. They found out this camera did not exist, but we could help find a way to making that happen. Mr. Godec made a call to Leica and made the initial inquiry.”
“With the requirements and specifications collected, Mr. Godec spoke to Leica and the design stage started.”
“A monochrom only camera was needed and had to be fitted in the M9 body style. The camera had to be portable, light-weight and compact. The M9 body style met those requirements.”
“After progress was made with the camera design, Leica had made the decision to market the camera to its customers.”
That was the scoop, the origin of the conception of the Monochrom. I am not sure if there is anyone at Leica reading this, but if they are and they would like to confirm this I would be even better.
Thanks for sharing the info with us Jeff, it is nice to hear stories about cameras, especially when we find out something that we didn’t know about them. Are there any more details you can share with us?