Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/29

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica like a what - 15 years of progress &c
From: apbc <>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 98 17:16:20 +0800

>What botched? As far as copying, they either license something or they
>don't use it. In this litigious world, they just don't reverse engineer and
>take something. 

Eric - 
the motor was botched. Firstly in that it is underspecified in terms of 
the pro 35mm SLR market and secondly of course that it does not exist...
As for reverse engineering - every description of the multi-pattern 
metering sounds I have seen indicates it is a direct copy of the Nikon FA 
approach (though not of course of the hardware), from the number and 
positioning of the zones to the accounts of how university researchers 
developed algorithms based on the analysis of thousands of photographs.

>Where you live has a lot to do with your impression of sales. Asia 
>is a bust for Leica this year, and for reasons not theirs.

I am sure that is true but China for example is still a growing market 
for Leica. I do get to travel (a lot) and actually where I buy most of my 
equipment, besides Hong Kong, is in the US and UK both of which happen to 
be large, mature markets for Leica and where R8s are not exactly flying 
off the shelves. In fact several major pro dealers in the UK no longer 
stock Leica due to low demand (besides problems with the importer, which 
in this litigious world I better not quote!) whilst boutiques catering to 
collectors, wealthy tourists and the carriage trade (for want of a better 
term) have taken over most of what remains of the market: bad signs for 
the health of Leica Camera AG IMHO.

I am sure part of the appeal of Leica Rs (as for Ms) for those (IME!!) 
few pro photographers who use them is that they are different from, and 
in many ways more difficult than, the usual EOS and Nikon kits not that 
they are in any definitive way better - just different. I mean how many 
clients give a hoot about what created the picture just so long as you 
got it - and what precisely can you 'get' with an R camera that cannot be 
got, usually easier and more reliably (IME) with an AF wunderplastik 

By the way doesn't the weight of the R stuff seem just a bit excessive to 
you? Why for example are all the latest lenses heavier and bigger than 
the ones they replace? Any idea - is it perhaps to make the R8 just look 
less gargantuan?

Tomorrow I shall be joining the 1,000 plus press corps covering the 
Clinton visit and shall estimate the proportions of brand usage, just for 
the heck of it. Glad to have avoided this crush so far - after leaving 
the employ of Reuters I have been happy to be away from these rabbles!

Best regards,



Adrian Bradshaw
Shanghai, China