The latest standing pitch in Hollywood, it seems, is not a 8 p.m. reservation during a Tower Bar, though a Leica M-system operation finder, a retro-chic camera that has turn a appendage of choice for a luminary category on red carpets, film sets or vacation.
Let hoi polloi snap divided on their iPhones. In an epoch when full-size cameras are presumably apropos obsolete, stars publicize their cognoscenti certification by being seen with a fight equine of 20th-century photography that many pattern fans now welcome as an art object, one that we clearly need a film star’s bill to afford.
“If celebrities are going to be seen with a camera, for improved or for worse, Leica does lend a certain cachet,” pronounced Michael Holve, a veteran photographer on Long Island who runs a Leica enthusiasts’ blog called La Vida Leica! “It seems a Canon or Nikon is somehow bourgeois, or even pedestrian, by comparison.”
The flourishing ranks of famous M-system devotees strech over those with a well-chronicled love for a camera, like Brad Pitt. In new years, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Louis C. K., Miley Cyrus and many other celebrities have popped adult in paparazzi shots toting Leicas.
For stars seeking to infer that they are some-more than only a flattering face, a allure is obvious. Perhaps no camera says “I’m serious” like a Leica operation finder. With a midcentury contours and minimalist chic, a M complement has altered small in coming given Henri Cartier-Bresson, a Leica enthusiast saint, was photographing Gandhi. (Digital models, starting with a M8, were combined in 2006.)
The imperishable camera, hand-built in Solms, Germany, is still a pro’s tool. With a smallest of involuntary features, it final imagination to master.
But it is also a oppulance item, as evidenced by a special-edition Hermès models sole over a years. This past week, a association introduced a latest flagship indication (simply called a M) during a splashy phenomenon during a Photokina uncover in Cologne, Germany, with a list cost of $6,950 for a physique alone; lenses cost $1,500 to $11,000. As if a bottom indication is not disdainful enough, Jonathan Ive, a Apple designer, reportedly will furnish an ultra-limited book (one unit) to be sole during a gift auction by Bono, a association announced.
As an objet, then, a Leica is bling though a bling. No consternation it is a ideal appendage for in-the-know Hollywood actors, who tend to preference a low-key, sporty, Malibu-style magnificence (the Land Rover, a Rolex Submariner) over flash.
“It is a calm conform statement: a black body, a pleasing red dot that says ‘Leica,’ ” pronounced Edward Earle, a curator of collections during a International Center of Photography in New York. “I collate it to a smashing Lacoste shirt. They final a prolonged time, they are pointing done and they simply don’t go out of style.”
The Leica’s totemic allure reaches over a film world. Audrey Tautou brandished one in a Chanel No. 5 promotion film. John Mayer snapped divided on a Leica in his new “Shadow Days” video. In June, Mr. Mayer rhapsodized about his selected Leica M4 on his Tumblr page, One Forty Plus. The camera, he wrote, has no light scale and no involuntary focus, shutter, ISO or orifice settings, definition it’s all on him.
“I’ve schooled that a guessing — maybe a premonition — of a settings is what creates a sketch special,” he wrote.
Mr. Mayer’s post desirous a energetic discourse about Leica stylish among celebrities on rangefinderforum.com, an enthusiast’s site. “If Paris Hilton is make-up a DLux does that meant I’ll have to dump my reliable carry-everywhere lest we be labeled a fashionista?” wrote one commenter, in anxiety to another Leica model.
It is easy for cynics to sniff, though many Leica-toting celebrities take their photography seriously. Brendan Fraser, an aficionado, has had his work featured in a prestigious Leica Gallery in New York. And Mr. Pitt, who has seemed on a cover of Interview repository holding a Leica M7, earns regard from photographers in Leica forums for his work, including a cover fire of Angelina Jolie for W a few years ago.
While some purists scoff, others do their best not to generalize about their famous Leica brethren. Mr. Holve, a camera blogger, divided a luminary Leica category into dual camps: “shooters,” like Mr. Pitt, and “carriers,” like, well, they know who they are.
“Carrying a Leica around can be a small like pushing a Bentley,” Mr. Holve said. “Just since we can means it doesn’t meant you’re a good driver.”