Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/06

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica-Users List Digest V3 #27
From: "adrian bradshaw" <>
Date: Wed, 06 May 1998 22:16:05 +0800


I would have thought so too! Though it would be interesting how many people
buy the 100 APO simply because of its reputation as a great lens and how
many buy it because they need a macro lens of that focal length. The 100/4
was not a big seller so far as I could tell.

>A R-90/2 Apo-Asph is a different story, it may hit both
>the R-100/2,8 Apo and the R-80/1,4.

I was only reporting what my informed source divulged - I sometimes wonder
who or what is guiding Leica's product development given this and other
strange developments. I would have personally expected the 50/1.4 and 50/1.0
to be more due for redesign (perhaps ASPH) than the 90/2.0.  My impression
is that they have ignored the professional market for a long time but are
now, perhaps, and not very effectively, trying to catch up. Let's hope
though! The R8 motor debacle is really quite ludicrous: Leica loses IMHO a
huge amount of potential sales by failing to have a decent motor for either
M or R.

 Why, by way of another example, come out with a 24mm M lens before the w/a
viewfinders are redesigned to be tougher and stay put?? Having 20 year old
second-hand products that are (rightly or wrongly) generally regarded as
functionally superior (as well as aesthetically) such as the old metal
viewfinders can only continue to undermine Leica's current reputation for
quality whilst raising the price of secondhand equipment.

As for the German leadership in optical technology I do not buy that as a
blanket truth any more: in some cases their priorities in design and
manufacture produce a better product but in more instances the Japanese have
stolen a march on the Germans - for instance in 35mm zooms, autofocus
technology, aspherical production and polycarbonates to name a few areas
where Leica follows rather than leads. The bottom line for most LUGGERS,
myself included is in the image quality and finer mechanical feel of Leica
equipment: but neither of these aspects to lens making can justify
leadership. Nikon came out with a professional grade 80-200/2.8 lens a
decade before Leica's 70-180/2.8 so who is leading whom these days: which
Leica lenses reflect a technological lead over Japanese ones? Remember image
quality is not the only criterion for lens technology: in the same way that
acceleration is not the only aspect to a race car that decides who wins the