Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/03/28

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Fogging
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 10:44:33 EST

*** Resending note of 03/27/97 17:48
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 18:39:23 +0000
Jack Campin wrote:
>I find Marc's comment about Japanese glass incomprehensible.  Hoya is the
>biggest optical glass manufacturer in the world.  The materials are all
>either available anywhere (silica) or low-volume stuff any country can
>buy on the open market (boron, rare earth elements); the rest is just
>chemical processing, refining and melting.  Why on earth should there
>be any national differences in this?

There is no  particular reason that the Japanese manufacturers can not
make lenses which compete with Leica and Zeiss lenses: I hear tell the
105mm APO El-Nikkor may be the best enlarging lens ever. It is also at
least as expensive as anything comparable made in Germany: probably more
The Japanese optical manufacturers seem to have opted to build mostly
lenses which are good enough to satisfy their customers, most of whom
(including many, if not most professionals) are not nearly as picky
as I am about my lenses.
The standard for many professionals seems to be how the finished image
reproduces in a 150 line screen magazine... a standard not nearly as
critical as even a 8x10 (the smallest I print) at close range.
A few years ago I decided to retire my Leica M outfit and bought a
new super-duper Nikon outfit with lenses as close to the lenses I
was used to in the AF mount: 35 f:2, 50 f:1.4 & 85 f:1.8. So long
as I worked only in color, It was OK, but the black & white images
just didn't cut it: No matter what I did the prints came out looking
smooth, not sharp, like they were air brushed or something. They were
more than good enough for newspaper reproduction & some sent out as
part of a publicity package for an event I was involved in organizing
were published, but the prints just were not satisfactory to me & the
Nikon outfit wound up being traded in for a Rollei SLX outfit: a
wonderful camera & optics, but it weighs a ton... and the Leicas came
out of retirement.
                               - John Lowther