The Leica M Monochrom ‘Drifter’ is a Limited-Edition Camera Collaboration with Lenny Kravitz - PhotoBite
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The Leica M Monochrom ‘Drifter’ is a Limited-Edition Camera Collaboration with Lenny Kravitz

Simon Skinner - 3 weeks ago

In what must be exciting for camera collectors and those who believe that Lenny Kravitz is in any way as cool as he was for a period in the 90s, Leica and Kravitz Design have collaborated on a camera that’s been produced for ‘rock n’ roll nomads’, the Leica M Monochrom ‘Drifter’.

Leica Drifter
The new Leica M Monochrom ‘Drifter’ produced in collaboration with Lenny Kravitz.

The look of the ‘Drifter’ has been designed by Lenny Kravitz, resulting in an unusual-looking Leica camera that Leica tells us has been made for global touring. The name has been inspired by how Kravitz describes himself, “I’m a drifter. That has been my life since I was 15-years-old; I’m always on the road.”

Along with the camera itself, buyers expect to find two lenses included in the new rock n’ roll bundle, both with a sepia brown finish. A Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH, and an APO-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH. Main difference from the standard Leica M Monochrom production model, aside from the design, is that the Summicron-M 28mm f/2 boasts a built-in extendable lens hood to match the form of the 75mm.

So, on to the design of the camera. The Leica/Lenny camera has been covered in a material that’s being called ‘synthetic python’ snakeskin, which is made from premium-quality vegan leather.
Leica says that Kravitz was made aware of this synthetic material by his close friend, fashion designer and animal rights activist Stella McCartney, who uses it for many of her own designs. The matching carrying strap made of woven fabric is coated with the same vegan leather as the camera.

The camera’s body itself is produced with a real retro look, in special sepia brown paint, and the hotshoe, thumb wheel, shutter and soft-release buttons are made from untreated brass, which will allow a stylish vintage ‘tarnished’ look to develop over time and with use.

Kravitz has become recognised, beyond his analogue-rock, as an accomplished photographer, publishing ‘Flash’, a book of his black-and-white photographs in 2015. He said: “I love the quality of the Leica’s monochrom system. It’s exquisite. I tend to see things in black-and-white. It looks more real to me, and timeless.”

Monochrom Drifter

As well as the two lenses, the ‘Drifter’ camera comes with a brown ‘leather-like’ ‘Drifter Traveller’ bag, two pouches and cases for both lenses, so your kit will be safe from knocks.

This isn’t the first time that Lenny and his design team have collaborated with Leica on a limited-edition product. Back in 2015, Lenny was inspired by the life of his father, a Vietnam War reporter and TV news producer, to create the ‘Correspondent’, a vintage-look Leica M-P. This time, though, Lenny looked to himself and produced a design which reflects the lifestyle of an artist and travelling musician.

Pricing and availability

Limited to 125 units globally, the Leica M Monochrom ‘Drifter’ comes in at £20,500. Do you know of many drifters that can afford that?
See more HERE.

About the author

Read The Leica M Monochrom ‘Drifter’ is a Limited-Edition Camera Collaboration with Lenny Kravitz

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.

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