Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/08/02

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Subject: Re: M meters and quality generally
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 1996 17:31:07 -0400

Every once in a while the quality control slips by, even in the old Leitz
orgranization. It occurred three times in my memory.

First time, a new MR meter was completely useless; it just didn't work. I
returned it for repair while under warranty. Initially I refused to believe
that a Leitz product was defective out of the factory,

The second item that didn't meet the test was Leitz's great copy stand with
telescopic legs and three casted camera mount extenders designed for the
collapsable Elmar 2.8 50mm. One of those castings was missing metal to the
point where the threaded socket would have broken away had I not returned it
for a replacement.

The third time the meter element refused to swing out of the way during
exposure in my Leica CL. Leitz also readjusted that problem under the

Now I don't trust any manufacturer no matter what their hyped reputation is.
Nikon's hard camera cases are made of a thin film of plastic over insulation.
That plastic tears very easily. In a word, those cases are junk. I only use
them to cushion the camera while traveling.

Also the chrome plating on my Leica M3 is pitiful. It's circa 1953 or 4.
Earlier and later M3s were much better in that department. I also had a 50
Summarit whose focusing race was so impossible to move that I had to return
the lens for  removal of the oil. The precision left no room for lubrication.
Too much of a good thing can also be a problem. In the same vein, the Leica
leather M3 case had steel end pieces embedded into the lining, which
eventually wore thru to abrade the camera plating. I removed them and now the
case is first rate. Thinking ahead is not what most folks do. One does not
discard a Leica after 5 years. 

Bob Rosen