Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/11/23

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Subject: Re: Leica/Nikon/Canon
From: Marc James Small <>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 00:51:46 -0500

At 03:52 AM 11/23/97 -0500, Marvin Moss, man of noted worth, wrote:
>When  Leitz got into the act
> in 1964 with the 1st Leicaflex,  it was so far behind  the Nikon and
> Canon technology that it took over 25 years to catch up. 

This is a commonly accepted canard.  The Leicaflex was quite competitive
for its time and, had Leitz made it available a year earlier, the camera
would have been a bit earth-shaking.  As it was, it still marked a quantum
leap in a quality and affordable SLR:  its only rival was the Contarex,
quite a bit more pricey.

Nikon got its lead not by technical innovation but by producing a quality
product with great service, especially for professionals.  Leitz, and Zeiss
Ikon, suffered to the end of the '60's with an arrogance which is hard to
account for.  Their disdain for the professional photographer is astounding
to consider -- Nikon went out of its way to provide the professional with
the tools of their trade, while these two companies ignored the
professional photographer as he was tainted with the distinctly unfriendly
aroma of MAKING MONEY from his or her cameras.  

For heaven's sakes, if I'd been a pro in 1964, I'd have shot Nikon, too,
and all those Germans be damned.  The causes of the downfall for Exakta,
Voigtlander, and F&H are a little different, but the bottom line remains
that Nikon delivered and the others didn't. 

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!