Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/22

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica AF
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 08:24:16 -0500

At 09:51 AM 5/22/98 +0000, you wrote:

>Do you feel that Leica R lenses have a significantly better feel than,
>for example, a Canon 70-200/f2.8 lens? Just curious.

Yes. In some ways. Though the Canon is a solid lens for sure, it's the
exception in the Canon line. Most of their wide angle and short tele L
series lenses aren't made that well, let alone the majority of their
lenses. The mount on Leica R lenses is much more substantial. 

>I don't follow this argument. If you don't care for AF then what Leica
>user would dump their system? There is no need. But if you do care about
>AF, then you just  want Leica to deliver the goods - period. If Leica is
>intending to one day produce AF, then every year they wait is just
>another year for people to collect more of (according to your argument)
>potentially obsolete Leica R equipment.

That might sound good to you. But the realities of the market have to be
taken into consideration by Leica. First of all, Leica has to produce AF
lenses that meet their standards. Nobody does yet, let alone Leica.
Technology isn't there to meet all of their criterion. Bottom line.

So, say there comes this new battery and high speed powerful USM motors
that have the energy, speed and torque to do AF right with Leica still
having their substantial lenses not giving up any solidity. Leica will just
convert their lenses as they get the chance. Everybody is happy.

But nobody is going to be in a big rush to switch over instantly, because
it costs too much to replace the whole system all at once. Shoot, people
are looking for used cameras to save bucks. What do you think they'd do at
the prospect of buying ALL NEW lenses?

So Leica can't count on a big conversion happening in quick order to help
pay for the conversion, R&D and other expenses with such an effort. So the
conversion will take some time. That's all we're saying. Not that Leica
won't do it. Just that it will take time, because anybody with a
substantial set of lenses isn't going to want to switch them over all at
once. Besides, AF isn't THAT important for most photographers.

I did it this past fall. It hurt real bad. :-)
- --


Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.