Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/04

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Leica factory
From: "Elliot M. Puritz, MD" <>
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 1999 23:50:34 -0400

Would like to briefly comment on my trip to the Leica factory in Solms as 
part of the recent Leica M Seminar in Wetzlar.  I am sure that members of 
the Historical Society would have much more knowledge and insight as to 
what they observed during their recent trip, and for those of us who cannot 
come to Illinois, perhaps such members might amplify and extend my 

The factory is a modern one story building with myriads of computer 
guided grinding, polishing, cutting, and other tools.  Part of the factory is 
off limits...some type of work going on that the Leica people do not want 
casual vistors to see.  One is impressed with the details that go into making 
a Leica lens...from the shaping and honing of the glass to the development of 
the barrels...very interesting and reassuring.  Our lenses are built to 
withstand lots of punishment....thus, disheartening to hear of the "failure" 
of some of the lenses from members of the LUG. Hard to gather any 
impression as to the "level" at which the factory is operating i.e., how 
busy they are(were).  There certainly were M cameras being polished and 
calibrated, but I did not see R cameras being completed.  Not to spread 
rumors...just perhaps not in the tour.  One of the highlights, of course, was 
the exhibition case in which a large number of the Leica models made were 
exhibited.  To those who are waiting, the 90Sumicron M Asph is now being 
made in Solms, having been moved from Canada where there were 
production problems.  The group was told that an adequate and sufficient 
number of these lenses will very shortly be available.  Ahmen!  As has 
been well pointed out by other LUGGERS, Leica no longer makes every part 
for every camera, but the company does exercise rigid quality control on 
every piece that is put into each camera.  One cannot help but wonder just a 
bit about such an all encompassing statement, but, nevertheless, the 
feeling I got was that the cameras are made to very high and exacting 
standards. Don't yell at me about the problems that some have had with 
certain of their Leica cameras...only reporting...I had nothing to do with the 

Imust admit that I am proud and happy to be able to use an instrument that 
has been developed by an unbroken succession of skilled individuals, and 
that, in the main, when my pictures are poor, I am to blame, certainly not 
the camera.