Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/11

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Subject: RE: [Leica] reliability statistics
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 13:57:18 +0200


I do not know about you, but I do not carry my complete mailbox everywhere 
I connect, and do not keep the integrality of the LUG posts anywhere. My 
post was my contribution to a requested roll call about Leica quality 
control. It was not aimed at anything you in particular have stated. To be 
totally frank, I do not have any precise recollection of your own story, I 
cannot even trace it in my current mail archives, even though I can trace 
posts from other luggers trying to support and encourage you.

But I do notice that some users seem to concentrate on their heads a 
continuous stream of bad luck with photo hardware. And I have read posts 
here in the LUG and in other Internet groups where the systematics of 
defect reporting defy any statistical probability.

In no case could I trace such posts back to you, and do not in any way 
imply that you are "operating under the delusions of fantasy".

I have no idea if leica has a quality control problem worse than others or 
not. I am in no position to dare make such a statement. I simply stated 
that I have not had any problems myself. And I repeated my position as to 
the contradiction I find in desiring very complex hand made  mechanical 
goods on one side and expecting that the production process should be as 
reliable as a perfectly well designed automated chain on the other. I 
believe a "certain level" of glitches is unavoidable with this type of 
product when human intervention is at the level Leica keeps it. And I 
believe that this might be an integral part of the Leica "charm". Of course 
I don't consider a new lens that desintegrates or a new body with a shutter 
failure as simple "glitches".

Friendly regards,

On Friday, July 10, 1998 9:00 PM, Charles Dunlap 
[] wrote:
> >So, all in all, I am quite surprised when some users seem to concentrate
> >on their heads bad sample over bad sample. Maybe their bad luck
> >statistically entails my good fortunes. Maybe some "horror stories"
> >partly derive from fantasy. And maybe some come from an over obsessional
> >quest for systematic perfection.
> Here it goes again. Anytime someone suggests that Leica has a quality
> control problem the accuser is skewered. I would much rather be using the
> equipment than sending it back to Leica. But the problems are not in my
> head. When Leica decides to give me an entirely new body instead of
> spending the time to fix the one I send in then it's a clue that 
> was actually wrong. Again, if you have something to add to the thread,
> that's fine, but don't expect me sit around quietly while you suggest I'm
> operating under the delusions of "fantasy".
> -Charlie
> --------------------------------------------
>              Charles E. Dunlap
>          Earth Sciences Department
>           University of California
>             Santa Cruz, CA 95064
> Tel.: (408) 459-5228    Fax.: (408) 459-3074
> --------------------------------------------