Cameras

Lenny Kravitz Designed a Leica Camera, and It's Gorgeous

Just 125 lucky buyers will be going Lenny's way.

Lenny Kravitz hanging out on some steps with the Leica Correspondent Credit: Leica

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Well, we doubt anyone saw this coming.

Legendary camera maker Leica, known for its defiantly old-fashioned designs, is set to release a limited-edition camera created in collaboration with musician and designer Lenny Kravitz.

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Credit: Leica

Dubbed the "Correspondent" Edition, the new camera is essentially a Leica M-P with an artfully distressed finish. The black enamel finish has been intentionally worn down, and since this is Leica we're talking about, it's been done by hand.

The result is a beautifully weathered look that suggests years of use and reassuring reliability, just like your favorite pair of old leather shoes. Cynics could argue that the faux-worn finish makes the Correspondent a disingenuous status symbol—a bit like buying pre-ripped jeans. More practical souls would note that the wear makes this the only Leica digital camera you can actually use without reducing the collector's value.

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Credit: Leica

But the vintage look isn't the only reason to consider this limited edition. For one thing, it includes a special version of the Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 that harkens back to its 1959 incarnation with a scalloped focus ring and knurled aperture ring. For another, you also get the excellent Summicron-M 35mm f/2. Finally, the Correspondent comes in a handsome carrying case crafted from the same black snakeskin that's wrapped around the camera body and used in the straps.

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Credit: Leica

The Correspondent Edition Leica M-P includes two classic Leica lenses—the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 and the Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4.

The camera was inspired by Kravitz's first camera, a Leicaflex his dad gave him in his youth. Though a musician by trade, Kravitz carved out a spot in the design world when he founded Kravitz Design in 2003.

The standard Leica M-P costs a hefty $4,995, the Summilux-M 50mm tacks on another $3,995, and the Summicron-M 35mm adds $3,195. Total: $12,185, no small sum. But if you're hoping to pick up a Correspondent, you'd better sit down. Each of Lenny's 125 pre-loved kits will be priced at $24,500 when they become available in March.

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Credit: Leica

The carrying case that accompanies the Correspondent is made from the same snakeskin that wraps around the body of the camera.