Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/19

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Ford & F1 Jaguar
From: leicagalpal at (Kit McChesney)
Date: Sun Sep 19 15:23:20 2004

Are we saying that people in Portugal aren't capable of creating quality
products? Pul-eez. I'd find that more than a bit distasteful if I were a
Portuguese LUGger. I find it so and I'm not from Portugal at all! 

There is no difference in quality between what is manufactured in Leica's
Portugal facility, and what is manufactured in its German facilities.
Portugal has been manufacturing some of the finest products in the Leica
lineup for nearly, if not more than, thirty years. In fact, of the
complaints I hear about Leica prodcuts, most of those are about products
made in Germany, not in Portugal. Maybe that has more to do with the
complainers than the actual products themselves. 

This kind of argument might have had some currency at one time, but now, no.
And go ahead and accuse me of being PC; I don't really care. Besides, there
are quite a few women working in the Portugal facility. So watch out! ;-)


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
William G. Lamb, III
Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2004 3:12 PM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: Ford & F1 Jaguar 


You certainly have every right to question whatever
comes out of Portugal. Potentially making the main
components there could be a QC problem. I gather
from Puts that it is largely a non-issue because some
of  the same machinery used in Wetzlar for years was
simply moved to Portugal and that final assembly and
checks are still in Solms. Were the components at all
problematic, I expect things would change there in a
big hurry. Admittedly, QC at Leica may not be what it
was in the sixties and seventies. Even in Germany the
workforce in leather aprons from that period is long
gone and it may not be realistic to expect almost total
perfection in 2004.

For me, the big issue with any machinery is its "soul".
As long as the designers understand what we expect
from the gear in way of fit and finish and the way the
camera has to function to make "Leica pictures", it
probably doesn't matter where the components are
fabricated. German labor has grown really expensive
and uncompetitive in today's marketplace. On the
other hand, were the design and R&D functions of
Leica to be moved off-shore without taking the Solms
engineers with it, that "soul" would likely be lost and
Leica would be dead as anything other than a name.

I've owned an M5 and SL since the early seventies.
Last year I bought an M7 and this year a .58 MP. I
have to say that the M7 has real Leica "logic" and
is totally intuitive to an M5-user. A lot of thought went
into the camera and very little bugs me about it. The
thing is beautifully easy to use on Auto with exposure
lock for making exposure compensation. It does NOT
get in my way of "seeing".

The .58 MP on the other hand is "fussy" and slows
me down, a bit like using an M4 with a decent meter.
I really like the .58 for my 35 ASPH and it takes great
pictures when I have more time to think about it. The
MP also has a very compact feel and has its own
charm. I like it as a travel camera/ point-and shoot.
Were I a pro as many of you are, I would only take
the M5 and M7 because I always get on the film what
I saw with these two. It took me a couple of rolls with
the averaging center-weighted meter of these newer
cameras to avoid blowing highlights compared to
the semi-spot meter in the M5 and SL. This M7/MP
meter has its advantages though which I've learned
to use to good advantage.



At 05:10 PM 09/19/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>William G. Lamb, III wrote:
> > Jag's
> > heritage is around
> > Coventry. Closing that plant is a real slap.
> >
> > At the moment Ford have threatened to close Solihull
> > and move Land Rover
> > production elsewhere. This plan appears to have been
> > averted. I never
> > seriously believed it anyway since Ford just
> > invested $1,600,000,000 in the
> > T-5 line there for the next generation of Land
> > Rover-designed products.
> > Still..., were Solihull to be closed, the "real"
> > Land Rover would be dead.
> > It was a huge struggle to get Ford to accept Land
> > Rover's new platform
> > which is not "shared". The Solihull workers don't
> > make as much trouble as
> > the Coventry, Longbridge types do either.
>This is basically what I've been saying about
>Portuguese Leicas for years. And that opinion has
>earned me nothing but grief here. Go figure.
>Emanuel Lowi

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Replies: Reply from nathan.wajsman at (Nathan Wajsman) ([Leica] Re: Ford & F1 Jaguar)
In reply to: Message from lambroving at (William G. Lamb, III) ([Leica] Re: Ford & F1 Jaguar)