on 9 July 2012
If this is your first book on Leica equipment, then it is a good starting point. I say starting point, as it is primarily concerned with camera bodies and lenses; if you wish for information on the full range of equipment comprising the complete Leica system, you will need to look elsewhere. There is no mention of the range of darkroom equipment or close up copying devices such as the Visoflex etc, nor the vast range of accessories. This is not to negate the value of the book, but to merely point out to first time buyers that it is not a complete compendium of Leica gear.
The book itself opens with, and covers, all cameras and model variations right up to just before Leica announced the monochrome only M9-P, and ends with all the digital compacts up to the X-1, again the X-2 being announced subsequent to publication. So, at the time of writing, it is the most complete record of every camera body and lens produced.
Items are listed along a time line, with the screw bodied cameras first, then the M models followed by the R, and finally, the digital models.
Lenses are categorised into field of view, starting with the wide angles and moving towards the telephoto models, so it is fairly easy to locate a specific lens one may be interested in.
The book is printed on quality gloss paper which allows for high quality images and whilst it is true each lens gets its MTF curve, this would not be very helpful if one didn't know how to read and interpret the graphs. Fortunately an explanation is provided, but one needs to turn to the section commencing on page 110, Introduction to Lenses, to find it.
The lens section is extremely useful as one can get an idea of which lenses perform the best, and unless one is a collector, a few to avoid (my opinion) and therefore not worthy of your hard earned money. It gives the lie as to why some Leitz lenses are fetching a lot of money for what are, in some cases, merely ordinary, not exceptional optics. This alone could justify the cost of the book.
Given the quality of the book, I believe the price represents very good value.
on 25 October 2013
This latest edition of the venerable LPB is superb, and includes details on some fairly recent releases (eg the 35 Summilux M FLE)and of course all other products back to the year dot.
The addition of lens performance diagrams by Erwin Puts is a nice touch.
This is the go-to reference for many Leica fans and is much more wieldy than huge coffee table type Leica reference books, of which their are many.
Buy without hesitation if you love Leica.
on 24 December 2001
Often the cost of this type of guide is not reflected in the quality of information or presentation but in this case it is.
Just about the only thing that the Author does not include, on all matters Leica, are prices but if combined with the, somewhat cheaper and cross referenced, Price Guide a collector will be fully equipped. The only thing the collector might require is a cut down pocket versions to match the Price Guide for use when "out on the road" and the Author does, indeed, produce them
on 4 February 2009
Like most others, trying to choose a unit is really hard, and I also followed the advice on a higher specification model, but did not need EU maps. Now been using it for two months and wonder how I ever managed before. This is simple to use, clear and capable of getting me into large cities without getting lost. However, I use it most on regular runs because it tells me - to the minute - when I will arrive, and warns me of traffic problems ahead, and even offers avoidance routes. Brilliant!!