Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/12/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: Leica Price increase
From: Tim Smith <>
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 11:51:30 -0800
References: <>

At 18:14 12/20/2002 -0700, John Nebel wrote:
>On Fri, 20 Dec 2002, Tim Smith wrote:
> > Nonetheless, German industry is facing a crisis. I wonder how Mercedes
> > (sorry, DaimlerChrysler) and BMW will cope when car sales slump next year
> > and the year following.
>Actually the US might not be a bad place for Leica manufacture.  OK, the
>Hubble telescope is a famous counter example, but the Americans are pretty
>good at precision construction.  Why not put manufacturing close to the
>major market and the top imaging chip company?

I would be interested to read about the Leitz Canada venture. Why was it 
done, and why did it cease? Do you, or does anyone else, have some 
references to background material about that? I have a Leica Canada-made 
lens (a 75mm Summilux), and it seems equal to any of the German-made lenses 
I've owned (8 of them, all M lenses).

I grew up in Rochester NY, worked for Kodak for a short time in the 1960s, 
and my Dad was a career Kodak guy. The Hawkeye works, on St. Paul Ave., 
where they made optical goods, seemed to be staffed mostly by expert 
eastern European immigrants. That all went belly-up in the 1960s. Most of 
those "immigrants" were the sons and grandsons of expert workers that Kodak 
attracted to Rochester in the late 19th, early 20th century, I was told.

Could that be repeated? I doubt it. Could China attract expert workers, or 
are they home-growing their own? These skills are precious, and not easily 
learned, tho' the Chinese seem to be developing some expertise. 
Neverthless, my Chinese-made Nikon lenses are in no way the equal of the 
Japanese-made ones, and would not pass QA as Leica lenses at all.


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