Magnum and Leica have agreed to cooperate in a number of projects, not the least being essential feedback on product testing for the German camera maker. Magnum photographers will use the cameras to 'independently produce multimedia essays'. Presumably, that means video using digital compacts, such as the D-Lux 5 and V-Lux 3, as well as stills from the more traditional pro-orientated M9 .
Leica Camera AG and Magnum Photos sign technology and photography agreement
21 June 2011, 18.00 GMT: In February of this year, Leica Camera AG, Solms, and Magnum Photos signed a technology and photographic co-operation agreement. As a result, a number of independently produced multimedia essays by Magnum photographers have been developed, and will be presented online at www.leica-camera.co.uk, www.lfi-online.de and www.magnumphotos.com.
In addition to the creation of these joint projects, the agreement presents an opportunity for Leica to learn from the experience of Magnum photographers in their work in the field with the latest Leica equipment. Furthermore, Leica intends to integrate this knowledge into the ongoing development of the Leica product portfolio, ensuring that future products meet the precise needs of photographers around the world.
Since 1947, the year the legendary photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David ‘Chim’ Seymour founded Magnum Photos, the photographers from this agency have been passionate eyewitnesses of history. They captured the decisive moments of the 20th Century with Leica cameras and represent a dedication that remains unrivalled today.
Magnum was founded to create a framework for the independent work of its members. Even today, the idiosyncratic combination of reporter and artist still holds true as the distinguishing mark of every Magnum photographer. Their work not only captures the action as it happens, but also documents the photographer’s own, highly personal art of visual perception.
Over the last 60 years, both Magnum and Leica have made enormous contributions to the documentation of world history. Both brands have been pioneers in their respective fields. Leica became the household name for the best cameras and lenses the world had ever seen. The company combines the values of traditional craftsmanship with the finest precision engineering to manufacture cameras and lenses of uncompromising quality. And ever since Henri Cartier-Bresson took his first Leica in his hands, Magnum photographers have continued to push forward the limits of documentary photography, and the limits of their Leica cameras, when recording epoch-making events around the world.
Leica and Magnum have now agreed to co-operate in a number of projects intended to write further chapters in the story of their many years of engagement in the field of independent documentary photography. To this effect, Alfred Schopf, CEO of Leica Camera AG, and Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen, president of Magnum Photos International Inc., have signed a cooperation agreement in Solms, Germany.
Magnum President Jonas Bendiksen explains the aims of the agreement, “The aim of Magnum and our photographers is to maintain our commitment to discovering the emotions of humankind, to act as witnesses and to communicate these emotions in pictures. With the signing of this new agreement, Leica has now declared its commitment to joining us in bearing this common responsibility.”
In addition to providing support for individual projects, the two companies will also benefit from the production of the essays as a way of gaining knowledge from the Magnum photographers’ experiences working with Leica products. The field reports will make a significant contribution to the comprehensive user requirement analyses already performed by Leica when developing its product portfolio.
Stefan Daniel, head of the product management division at Leica Camera AG, explains, “The collaboration between Magnum and Leica will help us develop and construct better and better equipment to meet the needs of professional photographers. This applies to field reports on the practical use of our current products, as well as to the testing of future products in the field. Just how do our cameras and lenses stand up to difficult working conditions? This knowledge is an extremely welcome and important addition to our in-factory testing procedures, and is eminently suitable as a further tool for ensuring that our products are always perfectly capable of matching any demands set by the tough everyday work of professional photographers.”