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

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Ford & F1 Jaguar
From: lambroving at (William G. Lamb, III)
Date: Sun Sep 19 15:44:41 2004


Yours is the point I believe I was trying to make. The employees
in Portugal are probably well-paid by their standards and whether
or not they are motivated depends on the attitude and expectations
of the management in Solms. (There is nothing wrong with any of
my Canadian gear either, BTW.) If no one in Solms was concerned
with QC, then Emanuel could be justified in his concerns. German
workers are no guarantee of quality either, but only in Germany have
I seen someone trimming their little garden plot with manicure
scissors, if you get my drift! :-)

And..., that lady who did the sewing on my M7 and MP shutter
curtains had better be damned good, or you are in BIG trouble! :-)



At 04:22 PM 09/19/2004 -0600, you wrote:
>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
> >Montreal

Replies: Reply from leicagalpal at (Kit McChesney) ([Leica] Re: Ford & F1 Jaguar)