Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/27

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica day
From: Dan Cardish <>
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 12:21:12 -0400

I wonder what Leica's opinion would be as to the meaning of the term
"classic lens".  I suspect that with all of the R&D they are putting into
lens research along with all of the new lenses they have introduced in the
last few years,  they must think it crazy that people would be clamouring
after lenses "from the good old days".   I think this would have been a
very good subject to have brought up with them at the Photokina meeting.
Do they recoginize that some people feel there are qualities in older Leica
lenses absent from the newer ones?  And how would they respond to this
assertion?  There was some huffing and puffing a few days ago concerning
the inappropriatness about such a question being asked at the meeting.  But
what better place to ask it?  Get it right from the horses mouth.

Dan C.

At 10:01 AM 27-09-98 -0700, you wrote:
>At 02:43 AM 9/27/98 -0700, Alastair Firkin wrote:
>>Thanks to Jim for the report on Photokina and the holiday. I agree with
>>almost all you have to say on the M6/equipment front, but I do not totally
>>agree with the old lens comments. It may not come out this way, but I think
>>Leica would be well served in making some "classic" lenes to accompany the
>>"classic" camera bodies they are continuing in production. It would be
>>quite good to have a choice of lens and a range that might be a "tad"
>>cheaper, without compromise [they would be real Leica lenes after all ]
>>This would only work, if it remains economic to produce smaller batches of
>>the lenes, which is another thing.
>>Alastair Firkin,
>I agree that classic lenses are "wonderful" but the Leica officials at the
>Leica/LUG meeting talked a lot about "lens production capacity." And
>basically said that they had to "farm out" some of the manufacturing simply
>because they could not do any more. They have re-vamped their Solms lens
>making facility but I believe I remember them saying that they are running
>near capacity. So to "continue" making an older version of a lens (a
>classic lens), they would be sacrificing production space for the "latest
>and greatest" stuff... which is where the money to sustain the company
>comes from. I suspect, that to remain competitive/solvent, Leica will have
>to put ALL of their efforts into the "latest and greatest." But I do agree
>that a Classic M6 and a classic Elmarit or Summicron is a wonderful
>combination. But I just don't think the economics would allow continuing
>old models. A car manufacturer cannot run a line for a previous (classic)
>car. It would be like BMW still making the 2002. Or Porsche still making
>the 356SC. A lot of us would like this, but there is plenty of this stuff
>on the used market. And the new stuff is what sustains the company. I'm
>happy that Leica is still alive and well.