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Author Topic: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses  (Read 2014 times)

Kevin Raber

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New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:11:02 PM »

I have published the next in the series on The Leica Story today on the home page.  Today we feature Peter Karbe talking about Leica Glass and Lenses.  Plus we have video and still images of lens manufacturing.  You can read The Leica Story - Lenses Here.
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Kevin Raber
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 08:02:36 AM »

Kevin, the silence speaks volumes about the average (moi aussi!) Joe's reality.

That lottery only strikes a small, tiny percentage... lightning has a better success rate.

:-)

Rob

Kevin Raber

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 04:02:15 PM »

It's about the story Rob.  The Leica story, how they do it and the craft is worth knowing if you are passionate about photography.
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Kevin Raber
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Jim Pascoe

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 06:44:57 AM »

It's about the story Rob.  The Leica story, how they do it and the craft is worth knowing if you are passionate about photography.

I just watched the video and found it surprisingly interesting.  Whether one owns Leica lenses or not, the thoughts and processes behind lens design and manufacture are fascinating.

Jim

 
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 10:41:02 AM »

It's about the story Rob.  The Leica story, how they do it and the craft is worth knowing if you are passionate about photography.

Yes, I understand that. And I'm as passionate about photography as anyone else: I devoted my life to being a professional photographer; it don't get much more passionate than that.

The first part was interesting to me, but the bit about lenses left me stone cold. I have never had much interest in the technical side of cameras and lenses, my interest being totally about whether they let me do what I have to do or not. As with cars, I couldn't care less how the engine works just as long as it keeps on working. The body, however, analogous to the camera body, interests me a lot: I don't want to drive a dog. At one stage, during an emergency trip back to Scotland, I had rented a car which turned out to be one of those Renault Meganes with the bustle at the back. I couldn't wait to give the thing back and be on my way: it embarrassed me to sit in it. The Mamaya TLR had much the same effect...

My remark was based on the number of posts that followed publication of the Leica Story: other marques get a lot of traffic to and fro precisely, I think, because they are reasonable dreams or realities for many people on this forum. Leica, at its top level, is not. Yes, I and many others could go out and put our money down and pick up a new one as well as a few optics, but it simply makes no sense, to me at least. It offers nothing I want beyond one thing: I have never owned Leica because it was too restricted for my work in the days I was working, and now that I'm not, there's no way I'm going to shell out silly money I won't get back through a business which no longer exists; what it still offers, beyond breaking my duck of Leica ownership experience, is the pleasure that I might get from having one with a couple of lenses and playing around with it much as I do with my Nikons. However, as I'm going through a stage where I shoot wide open most of the time, I have been advised by M owners that it is probably not going to be the right tool for me unless I expand the purchase with EVF bits etc. Which starts to deny Leica its supposed advantage of size.

I vaguely remember the M3 from the days I was an employed snapper - the main thing I recall is how different the prints I was making from that camera, with a 21mm on the front looked, in tonality, to those from the Nikon, that I was also printing side by side.

So yeah, I don't dispute Leica is a great brand, that its aficionados are willing to accept dud sensors, interminable waits etc. etc. all for the glory of owning one. I am willing to accept that any other brand would have folded with that track record.

I just don't think too many people here fit that box of buyers.

Anyway, it's not a criticism of the video itself at all - it's just a throwaway that the response seems to be minimal, which, frankly, did surprise me somewhat. (Now, it may blossom forth in an Indian summer of posts!) I put that down to the low number of people here interested in buying new Leica equipment.

Rob

ErikKaffehr

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 11:33:17 AM »

Hi Rob,

On the other hand, photography is about subject, light, point of view, crop, depth of field, lens and sensor or film. The body of the subject may matter, a lot, the body of the camera does not...

Best regards
Erik


Yes, I understand that. And I'm as passionate about photography as anyone else: I devoted my life to being a professional photographer; it don't get much more passionate than that.

The first part was interesting to me, but the bit about lenses left me stone cold. I have never had much interest in the technical side of cameras and lenses, my interest being totally about whether they let me do what I have to do or not. As with cars, I couldn't care less how the engine works just as long as it keeps on working. The body, however, analogous to the camera body, interests me a lot: I don't want to drive a dog. At one stage, during an emergency trip back to Scotland, I had rented a car which turned out to be one of those Renault Meganes with the bustle at the back. I couldn't wait to give the thing back and be on my way: it embarrassed me to sit in it. The Mamaya TLR had much the same effect...

My remark was based on the number of posts that followed publication of the Leica Story: other marques get a lot of traffic to and fro precisely, I think, because they are reasonable dreams or realities for many people on this forum. Leica, at its top level, is not. Yes, I and many others could go out and put our money down and pick up a new one as well as a few optics, but it simply makes no sense, to me at least. It offers nothing I want beyond one thing: I have never owned Leica because it was too restricted for my work in the days I was working, and now that I'm not, there's no way I'm going to shell out silly money I won't get back through a business which no longer exists; what it still offers, beyond breaking my duck of Leica ownership experience, is the pleasure that I might get from having one with a couple of lenses and playing around with it much as I do with my Nikons. However, as I'm going through a stage where I shoot wide open most of the time, I have been advised by M owners that it is probably not going to be the right tool for me unless I expand the purchase with EVF bits etc. Which starts to deny Leica its supposed advantage of size.

I vaguely remember the M3 from the days I was an employed snapper - the main thing I recall is how different the prints I was making from that camera, with a 21mm on the front looked, in tonality, to those from the Nikon, that I was also printing side by side.

So yeah, I don't dispute Leica is a great brand, that its aficionados are willing to accept dud sensors, interminable waits etc. etc. all for the glory of owning one. I am willing to accept that any other brand would have folded with that track record.

I just don't think too many people here fit that box of buyers.

Anyway, it's not a criticism of the video itself at all - it's just a throwaway that the response seems to be minimal, which, frankly, did surprise me somewhat. (Now, it may blossom forth in an Indian summer of posts!) I put that down to the low number of people here interested in buying new Leica equipment.

Rob
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KLaban

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 11:48:24 AM »

Yes, I understand that. And I'm as passionate about photography as anyone else: I devoted my life to being a professional photographer; it don't get much more passionate than that.

The first part was interesting to me, but the bit about lenses left me stone cold. I have never had much interest in the technical side of cameras and lenses, my interest being totally about whether they let me do what I have to do or not. As with cars, I couldn't care less how the engine works just as long as it keeps on working. The body, however, analogous to the camera body, interests me a lot: I don't want to drive a dog. At one stage, during an emergency trip back to Scotland, I had rented a car which turned out to be one of those Renault Meganes with the bustle at the back. I couldn't wait to give the thing back and be on my way: it embarrassed me to sit in it. The Mamaya TLR had much the same effect...

My remark was based on the number of posts that followed publication of the Leica Story: other marques get a lot of traffic to and fro precisely, I think, because they are reasonable dreams or realities for many people on this forum. Leica, at its top level, is not. Yes, I and many others could go out and put our money down and pick up a new one as well as a few optics, but it simply makes no sense, to me at least. It offers nothing I want beyond one thing: I have never owned Leica because it was too restricted for my work in the days I was working, and now that I'm not, there's no way I'm going to shell out silly money I won't get back through a business which no longer exists; what it still offers, beyond breaking my duck of Leica ownership experience, is the pleasure that I might get from having one with a couple of lenses and playing around with it much as I do with my Nikons. However, as I'm going through a stage where I shoot wide open most of the time, I have been advised by M owners that it is probably not going to be the right tool for me unless I expand the purchase with EVF bits etc. Which starts to deny Leica its supposed advantage of size.

I vaguely remember the M3 from the days I was an employed snapper - the main thing I recall is how different the prints I was making from that camera, with a 21mm on the front looked, in tonality, to those from the Nikon, that I was also printing side by side.

So yeah, I don't dispute Leica is a great brand, that its aficionados are willing to accept dud sensors, interminable waits etc. etc. all for the glory of owning one. I am willing to accept that any other brand would have folded with that track record.

I just don't think too many people here fit that box of buyers.

Anyway, it's not a criticism of the video itself at all - it's just a throwaway that the response seems to be minimal, which, frankly, did surprise me somewhat. (Now, it may blossom forth in an Indian summer of posts!) I put that down to the low number of people here interested in buying new Leica equipment.

Rob

Wow.

You think I would accept dud sensors, interminable waits etc. etc. (whatever that means) all for the glory of owning a Leica? You take me for a fool?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 12:19:13 PM by KLaban »
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 01:11:41 PM »

AFAIK, yours had the sensors sorted before you bought 'em, so presumably, the problems are behind you.

But that isn't the end of it: read budjames' story here about his brand new M10 and two lenses, out of whack etc. That can't be acceptable, can it?

Rob

KLaban

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 02:37:23 PM »

AFAIK, yours had the sensors sorted before you bought 'em, so presumably, the problems are behind you.

But that isn't the end of it: read budjames' story here about his brand new M10 and two lenses, out of whack etc. That can't be acceptable, can it?

Rob

Not so. I simply don't know where you get this stuff from. My M9-P developed the corrosion problem a couple of years after I bought it. Leica fixed it for free. My two M240 cameras have never had a corrosion problem - which is also true of all other M240 cameras - and they've never had any other problems.

I not only read budjames' story but I also commented on it, perhaps you should read my contributions and that of others.

This place, as other forums, is awash with tales of woe concerning problems with equipment of all makes. It's also awash with folk banging on about cameras of which they have no experience, or dare I say, knowledge.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 02:49:35 PM by KLaban »
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 04:00:21 AM »

Not so. I simply don't know where you get this stuff from. My M9-P developed the corrosion problem a couple of years after I bought it. Leica fixed it for free. My two M240 cameras have never had a corrosion problem - which is also true of all other M240 cameras - and they've never had any other problems.

I not only read budjames' story but I also commented on it, perhaps you should read my contributions and that of others.

This place, as other forums, is awash with tales of woe concerning problems with equipment of all makes. It's also awash with folk banging on about cameras of which they have no experience, or dare I say, knowledge.


Fair enough - I should have reread your posts re. the cameras you bought.

Would hope Leica would repair for free - their fault, not the buyer's.

Rob

KLaban

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 04:58:50 AM »


Fair enough - I should have reread your posts re. the cameras you bought.

Would hope Leica would repair for free - their fault, not the buyer's.

Rob

Yes, Leica did the honourable thing despite being years out of guarantee.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 05:08:21 AM »

Interesting story about the lenses and the design challenges. I was hoping to have some info on the specific challenges on why it took Leica so long to go FF on the digital M cameras. I assume it was due to ensuring proper lens coverage of a FF sensor, with the proper quality?

Anyhow, I don't have the money to buy a Leica system, but I still appreciate what they do, and have been doing for decades, to advance photography.

GrahamBy

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 06:00:05 AM »

I'm sure Rolexes are very well made and that the company has a wonderful history, and that many people have used them to tell the time in important circumstances in the past. I can understand that wearing one can be an aspiration, and that aspirations need to be supported by stories, or myths, which one should only ever look at from the corner of one's eye. We all need to believe in something.

I own a Swatch and a Pentax. They work for me.
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KLaban

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 07:14:51 AM »

I bought a cheap Casio digital watch (£6) in the Canaries back in the late 70s which lasted me until recently. I can't see the point of an expensive watch, but each to their own.

Since then I've had Nikon, Hasselblad and Leica systems chosen to address particular tasks and earn my keep, but never more than one system at a time. 
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 08:46:43 AM »

Well, I've had my Rolex Submariner since '72, and I still enjoy proclaiming that I had mine before James Bond had his. Anyway, his doesn't count: it was issued, not bought. Mine tells the time, not cut ropes. It's secondary value, to me, was the waterproofing: I'd be crushed to bits at 660ft but the watch would still tell the time correctly enough to suit my lifestyle: I loved to swim and snorkel. I wasn't flying rockets anywhere.

Why did I buy, originally? Simple: it was, along with the Leica 111g, one of the finest bits of engineering art that I'd ever seen. Price? It didn't even enter into my head. Why would it? It was just around £100 when bought, and mine came at a discount on that because we knew the jeweller. Hell, I was shooting ads for House of Fraser and they were selling hats costing far more.

Anyway, that's all become corrupted too: the damned replacement bracelet - not the same because they stopped making them - now runs at €1200 here; I think the watch is a multiple of ten of that. I am staying with the old, stretched springs one that's original. The last service cost me over €800. Yeah, today, these marques are in the screw business. Have a friend with a Patek Philippe and his service was in the same bracket - try as he might he couldn't get them to do the minimal service he'd requested: whatever alternatives he suggested they worked out the same!

Touching the thorn that's Leica one more time: yes, I'd enjoy one on the same basis as my Rolex: looks beautiful, even if it doesn't cut ropes.

;-)

Rob
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 03:16:16 PM by Rob C »
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KLaban

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2017, 10:07:08 AM »

I've bought a camera despite it being pig ugly but never one because of its beauty.
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JeanMichel

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 10:31:54 AM »

Interesting story about the lenses and the design challenges. I was hoping to have some info on the specific challenges on why it took Leica so long to go FF on the digital M cameras. I assume it was due to ensuring proper lens coverage of a FF sensor, with the proper quality?

Anyhow, I don't have the money to buy a Leica system, but I still appreciate what they do, and have been doing for decades, to advance photography.

There may be an old review or interview from the days of the M8. I gather that it took a while for Leica and Kodak to design and manufacture the micro lenses required for light rays reaching and filling the photo sites at the far sides of the sensor, as the M body is rather shallow. Sensors (CCD) for the M8 and M9 are from Kodak; those for the M and M10 are from someone else.

To get back to the first post, by Kevin, thank you Kevin and Chris, and the people at Leica for the interviews. It is refreshing to hear directly from the people who make decisions on their products, design lenses, and so on, rather than from some PR person with a limited knowledge of what they are talking about. I am looking forward to the next segments of your visit at Leica.

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Dave Rosser

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 10:52:27 AM »

Well, I've had my Rolex Submariner since '72, and I still enjoy proclaiming that I had mine before James Bond had his. Anyway, his doesn't count: it was issued, not bought. Mine tells the time, not cut ropes. It's secondary value, to me, was the waterproofing: I'd be crushed to bits at 660ft but the watch would still tell the time correctly enough to suit my lifestyle: I loved to swim and scuba. I wasn't flying rockets anywhere.

Why did I buy, originally? Simple: it was, along with the Leica 111g, one of the finest bits of engineering art that I'd ever seen. Price? It didn't even enter into my head. Why would it? It was just around £100 when bought, and mine came at a discount on that because we knew the jeweller. Hell, I was shooting ads for House of Fraser and they were selling hats costing far more.

Anyway, that's all become corrupted too: the damned replacement bracelet - not the same because they stopped making them - now runs at €1200 here; I think the watch is a multiple of ten of that. I am staying with the old, stretched springs one that's original. The last service cost me over €800. Yeah, today, these marques are in the screw business. Have a friend with a Patek Philippe and his service was in the same bracket - try as he might he couldn't get them to do the minimal service he'd requested: whatever alternatives he suggested they worked out the same!

Touching the thorn that's Leica one more time: yes, I'd enjoy one on the same basis as my Rolex: looks beautiful, even if it doesn't cut ropes.

;-)

Rob
Bought my Heuer Autavia Automatic Chronograph for around £60 back in 1971 or 1972 about the time I sold my Leica M4 and lenses.  I see average condition examples going for £2500 now so it has kept its value.  Needs an overhaul though, I see a bill for £500+ coming.
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2017, 11:27:44 AM »

Bought my Heuer Autavia Automatic Chronograph for around £60 back in 1971 or 1972 about the time I sold my Leica M4 and lenses.  I see average condition examples going for £2500 now so it has kept its value.  Needs an overhaul though, I see a bill for £500+ coming.

I think you will be right in your expectation.

When they first sent me the e-mail with the quotation for the service, my first reaction was to say the hell with it! However, on reconsideration, I thought well, I can do it, so may as well. Thing is, as one of those brands used to say in its ads: you never own "xyz", you look after it for your grandchildren. Mine are both girls, but one is very much a fashionista, so if my son (in his chronological turn) leaves it to her, all will be well with the world. Her mum got my wife's, so the other girl, in turn, can get that one. Except that she earns so much she will want a better (dearer) one - if any. I once, in a rash moment, asked my wife if she wanted to upgrade. She said: "Why? That's the one you bought me and I'm happy with that." Whew! Close encounter with a stupid male moment! Or just a wonderful wife.

The dealer told me mine was so old now it had become a collectible. I don't know if he was trying to be nice, to get me to trade-in or just sell it. The only time that happened to me with cameras was when I traded in my Nikons. The dealer said he'd be keeping the F. I should have twigged.

;-)

Rob
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 11:34:11 AM by Rob C »
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Telecaster

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Re: New Article - The Leica Story - Lenses
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2017, 02:32:26 PM »

I haven't owned a watch since the early '90s. When I got my first cel phone it immediately became redundant.  :)  I've also never experienced the Leica-as-jewelry or as-status-symbol thing. No-one pays any attention to 'em. Well, there was one guy in NYC c. 2002…but he had an M5 in hand and the camera in my hand wasn't even a Leica but a Contax IIa. This one (attached pic).

-Dave-
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