LEICA AG doesn't just produce
photographic equipment. Its core businesses mainly is focusing on 3 major sections
in design and manufacturing various photographic, laboratory and field observation
(Micro system/Geo system) equipment. With current headquarters currently located
in SOLMS, Germany as well as a second location in Portugal. LEICA products are sold
all over the globe. Despite had its listing through an Initial public offering (IPO)
of Leica Camera AG in Frankfurt/Main in 1996, other than US and a few selective
countries in EU, Leica AG still has not been too aggressively in opening direct marketing
offices in other major regional sales areas and prefers to adopt a normal path that
major oriental labels used to practice a few decades ago. So, basically although
Leica products are sold throughout the world - but only through authorized dealers.
For those who are a little observant in this area, there was a change in tactical
global strategies by of the major brands from Japan, for an instance, Canon and Nikon
etc. where each of them were preferred to sell directly by "removing" the
middlemen in the business. One good example was the Hong Kong based Shriro International with who used to act as Nikon's sole distributor
in the Asia Pacific region for the last few decades, had its difficult relation since
Nikon was opening many direct Nikon offices in various countries in the same region.
Today, minus the NIKON association, Shriro International is still doing the same
business, representing other established brands such Hasselblad, Imacon, Pentax,
Carl Zeiss and other accessory labels such as Gitzo etc.
LEICA AG used to have a very powerful representation as regional distributor in Schmidt
Scientific Marketing ASIA, the Company
has a long history which stretches back through decades in the photographic sectors
in the Asia Pacific region, in particularly representing LEICA line of products.
Even if Leica has slightly changed in regional marketing strategy today, although
you can find direct representatives in many countries now, Schmidt Marketing is still
actively conducting their usual business activities as well as servicing a LEICA
distribution network covering China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand
and in my country, Malaysia. So, just a distributor, huh ? what the hell has these
info got to do with LEICA camera ? Oh .. first of all, with decades of experience
and an established pool of royal customer base here in this region, Schmidt group
had in previously released a couple of LEICA special edition model in their own specified
technical configuration. One of which and probably the first of their attempt into
this new venture was the LEICA M6 Year of the Rooster Limited Edition rangefinder
camera model which was released in 1993.
Unlike many of the LEICA official releases, the LEICA
M6 Year of the Rooster Limited Edition which consists of a reconfigured LEICA
M6 Classic body chassis was supplied with a matching SUMMICRON 1:2 /50mm with special
engraving as a kit set.
Presumably, the kit which carries a very strong Chinese culture and tradition was
mainly introduced to satisfy localized demand for a LEICA camera with oriental flavor.
|Probably it may be difficult for Westerners to understand
the relation of "ROOSTER" in a camera so I will just use plain explanation
to give viewer an introduction of what is the term. Unlike the classic 12 Greek Signs
of the Zodiac (Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra,
Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn); Chinese Zodiac has Rooster as one
of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac which relates
directly to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Rooster is represented by the earthly
branch character. The twelve Zodiac has an important influence that relates directly
to Chinese astrology . The 12 zodiac are:- Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake,
Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog & the Pig.
Each Chinese calendar year of the 12-years cycle is named after one of the original
12 animals. For thousand of years, the deeply rooted Chinese tradition and custom
belief in thinking each animal has a different personality as well as an individual
representing characteristic. Each of these Chinese zodiac also has a direct relations
with the Five Elements/phases/movement (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) and
they are on top of the cycle of animals. The 5 major elements somehow are also planetary
related Venus-Metal; Jupiter-Wood; Mercury-Water; Mars -Fire & Saturn-Earth)
are like "modifiers" and affects the characteristics of each of the 12
animal zodiac signs. The Chinese Zodiac is believed to be having a direct influence in each person's
entire life cycle that gives them their respective traits, character, success, and
happiness in their lifetime. Except in their respective representation, I do know
animals in Pig, Dog, cow, rat etc. may not be as sexy or romantic as those signs
used in the western Zodiac cycles, but these beliefs were originated thousands of
years ago with sheer intelligence of our ancestors, and they are still being practiced
and followed by the Chinese community today.
Wilkipedia explained "... People born in the Year of ROOSTER (or not-so-nice alternate term as a male "Chicken"
(also referred a a cock and/or chanticleer) are believed to be having
a very observant personality. They are also brave, resilient and tenacious but can
also be quite self-absorbed, pretentious, and overly romantic. Most of the time,
they are very accurate and precise with their observation..". 1993 was he Year
of the Rooster. It was prescribed as a "water-Rooster" in a 60-years cycles of rotation and works with the
5-elements/phases/movement - and in Chinese custom and strong astrological belief,
by which all natural phenomena can be explained.
But why 1993 ?
There are two incidents probably that I can still recall which were occurred in 1993.
A no-so-nice one as the nuclear accident occurs at Tomsk 7 in Russia but another
which probably has some association with the Chinese was, Jiang Zemin becomes President
of the People's Republic of China in this Year of the Rooster.
|As far as I know there was not other significant issues that might
relate to 1993. Whether if it was intended
to use as an PR tool to establish a political linkage with a newly appointed Chinese
premier or to wish farewell to one of the greatest leader in the history of modern
China - the late ex-premier Teng Xiao Peng 1904~1997 (other pronunciation as Teng Hsiao-P'ing) who was
the modern architect that had instrumental in introducing a new brand of socialist
thinking, or an evolved term of socialist market economy which had resulted partially
opening of a traditionally capsuled Economy practicing in P.R. of China to the global
market. He was also widely credited with advancing China into becoming one of the
fastest growing economies in the world and often affectionately referred by Chinese
as the father of modern development of China. Coincidentally, the much respected
Chinese premier was retiring from political scene in 1992 and surrendering his duty
to ex-premier Jiang Zemin who
had his turn of reign of China from 1993~2004 as the General Secretary of the Communist
Party of China. It was an opened secret that some of the immediate family members
of China's ex-premiers were also very active businessmen/women in the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region (H.K. SAR). And coincidentally, Schmidt group who has requested
the Special Edition LEICA M6 Year of the Rooster, also has its headquarters located
in Kong Kong. Anyway, IF ever such possibility or assumption exists, I guess none
can be made official either.
Well, I don't intend to act as an unforgiving smart ass by creating speculative issue.
But unless there are renewed or more acceptable form of a logical explanation to
this special release that associated with an odd-theme of an unrelated Chinese zodiac
calendar year, everything seemingly looks strange and unexplained in its original
objective. By the way, using Chinese zodiac as an issued theme for camera model was
also being replicated in other label, a typical example was the Nikon FM2n Year of the Dog, a 300-units limited edition which was issued a year after debut of
the LEICA M6 Year of the Rooster. I had my initial comment on such a theme which
had others such as Stephan Gandy who had responded with some differing opinion (hehe ..) Another Nikon followed up attempt was the 2000-units
Nikon FM2n Millennium Edition, Year of the Dragon* Special
2000 units/year 2000 Edition. Similarly Schmidt group H.K. had also released a LEICA M6TTL Dragon
black Paint Edition Set to commemorate the
millennium Year 2000 as it was also the Year of the Dragon in Chinese Zodiac Calendar.
While the original intention of the LEICA M6 Year of the Rooster remains mystic,
in comparison, the LEICA M6 dragon model seemingly has a more logical and well acceptable
universal theme. (* NOTE: The M6 TTL Black Paint DRAGON 2000 was not rhe same
with the Silver
Chrome LEICA M6 Gold Dragon Edition releaed
earlier in 1995).
Regardless, all these special releases with a strong oriental zodiac theme were mainly
meant to serve demand and/or desire from Chinese/Korean/Japanese community. They
may or may not be so appealing to those who are not so sentimental or sharing the
same oriental tradition, custom and/or belief. Whatever - it is still an elegantly
made quality LEICA camera within the external dressing and wehn combined with a very
limited quantity, hence preserving its core value as a very much desirable collectible
set for specific group of collectors.
| 1/3 Outline its basic features and other issues that may relate to this
Leica M6 Classic special edtion model
| Part 1 | Part 2
| Part 3 |
Main Index Page
- Leica M6-series models
Main Index Page - Leica-M Rangefinder
Nomenclature / Main Reference Map for Leica M6 Standard Model(s) applicable for this Leica M6 Rooster Edition
rangefinder camera model
Instruction Manuals:- Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb) also applicable for this Leica M6 Rooster Edition model by Niels
H. S. Nielsen
| Message Board | lenses | Message Board | RF cameras
about this site