Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/05[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
Marc, off topic so I will try and be brief. You have referred to a WWII list. Would you kindly send me the address on my private Email? Thanks, Arthur - ---------- > From: Marc James Small <email@example.com> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > Subject: [Leica] Japanese Optics Yet Again > Date: 09 May 1998 22:22 > > At 03:23 PM 5/2/98 EDT, LRZeitlin wrote: > > > >Actually the US recognition of the quality of Japanese optics occurred > when US > >press photographers covering the Korean War bought Nikon RF cameras in Japan > >and found that the lenses were better than contemporary Leica or Contax > >optics. David Duncan popularized the Nikon among Life photographers. In > actual > >fact, the Japanese have always been in the forefront of optical manufacture. > >Even before WW2 Japanese optical equipment could always stand comparison with > >the best of German and US gear. During WW2 the Japanese even delayed putting > >radar on their battleships because their optical rangefinders were so > good. It > >was a stupid decision but it shows their faith in their optics. > > The story about Duncan and the quality of Japanese lenses has been so > thoroughly discussed on this list that I would recommend to Mr Zeitlin, and > other interested new subscribers, that a jaunt through the Archives might > be in order. > > The Japanese lenses, being direct thefts of German designs, could not > possibly be "better". Being exact copies, made from Zeiss and Leitz > designs without the formality of payment, they are arguably as good, but > certainly not "better". The stated reason Duncan and his cronies claimed > the "better" part was to convince their editors that they were using > quality lenses -- but the REAL reason the photographers used Japanese > optics was simple convenience and economics: German lenses were all but > unobtainable and, when they could be found, cripplingly expensive, while > the Japanese lenses were extremely inexpensive. In an era when > free-lancers owned their own gear (there was extremely little "pool" > equipment in the early '50's), this made sound sense. If you were going in > harm's way, it made sense to lug around a $10 lens in place of that $200 > German lens; when the barrage or ambush hit and you dove for cover, it was > better to bust the $10 lens than the German original. > > As to the comment about Japanese rangefinders slowing up their radar > deployment, I am apoplectic. I would suggest Mr Zeitlin post this > suggestion to the WWII-L list for speedy, and perhaps rude, rebuttal, as > there are a number of people quite interested in the topic on this list and > the issue of the slow deployment of radar by the IJN has recently been > discussed there. > > Marc > > email@example.com FAX: +540/343-7315 > Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!