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plasticman

Pity the M8 wasn't maintained as an entry-level digital M

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I think they did the right thing dropping production of the M8 and concentrating on the M9. Secondhand M8s have allowed users to get an M9 in part-ex, provided good business for their dealers and allowed new users into the dgital M world. Having said that it is important that Leica continue to service M8s (or allow others to) and provide a warranty after service.

 

It maybe that they will provide a new FW with auto lens recognition, but the current FW transformed the camera compared to when it was first introduced.

 

Jeff

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Well, it was a statement by Stephan Daniel that the Summarits were outsold by the more expensive lenses in a ratio of 2:1. I guess he is in a position to know. And there are budget bodies now - M8, M8.2....

 

Did anyone actually think that the Summarit line was going to outsell the entire Leica lens line up?

So, the Summarits made up 33% (?) of Leica's lens sales? Is that really that bad?

 

Like I said, people who can afford to drop $7000 on a camera body are probably not short on money to buy a few expensive lenses.

 

Also those budget bodies you are talking about are:

 

- Used

- Unlike analog cameras fall further and further behind in terms of image performance as time goes by.

- Do not add anything to Leica's bottom line, except for the occasional service charges.

 

So, there really is no budget model.

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Which they cannot do just like that – even if it made some business sense, which I doubt. Claiming there’s a need for this or that is neither here nor there. Leica isn’t in a position to make it happen, so it won’t happen.

 

 

We really don't know that, since none of us work for Leica...

 

What we do know is that...

 

S. Daniels has stated that Leica has no interest whatsoever in making a more entry level RF camera and that Moderated content that is eroniously quoted. It didn't seem so much a design problem, or similar. It sounded very much like someone believing their own press. Leica sees itself as a luxury brand and if you can't afford one, too bad.

 

Which is a phenomenally stupid statement to make, unless you are interested in alienating your own customer base. From an economic standpoint it also makes zero sense. Leica is probably the ONLY camera manufacturer on the planet without a tired product line, as far as bodies go.

 

Production capacity? Regardless of future products Leica needs to expand it's workforce, because they can't even meet demand for the products they already sell. Maybe that new factory will make a difference.

Edited by erl
Erronious 'quoting' Stephan Daniels

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Ah-you must love those "why do I have to wait six months for my Summilux 50 asph"threads.

 

:-)

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Can you remember if he said just that they were selling twice as many expensive lenses as Summarits - which isn't at all surprising as the Summarits are four lenses out of about 20 - or that individual top-price lenses were outselling individual Summarits two to one (e.g. 35/1.4 ASPH vs 35/2.5, 50/1.4 ASPH vs 50/2.5 and so on)?

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Frank, the cost of a sensor is not the area of silicon per se, but the accumulation of faults, thus the number of rejects. What make the price go up exponentially is the fact that a higher and higher proportion has to be thrown away. And even if it were just the area, the M9 sensor would cost twice the M8 sensor, as it has double the area.

 

Jaapv you are saying that Kodak simply do not have yields under control. If you are right:

  • That could be why M9 is not shipping at a rate that is respecting the forecast that dealers have been lead to believe.
  • Kodak are not a supplier Leica should be working with. Yields should in my experience be near 100% at process level and 80% at packaging level.

Jaapv you have made here a very sensational statement ...may I ask is this an assumption on your part or based on actual yield data. I actually believe that Kodak would have an in control process with high yields or is a supplier that Leica should not be dealing with. They may tell their client Leica that yields are a problem and justify high prices as a consequence but that is the SC industry's normal stance.

 

I am intrigued where you get the data from.

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Frank. Please don't put words into Jaap's mouth. He can speak for himself, but you seem to be to be deliberately reading something into his post that isn't there. Why, I don't know.

 

Your posts are always 99% conjecture.

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We're used to the situation, Andy

I'm not surprised that basic geometry escapes him.

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Edits to help Frank out

 

50 units [edit: production] a day is sustainable if demand is 50 units per day.

 

If demand is 100 units per day, [edit: and production is still at 50 units per day] there will be 50 disappointed customers every day, but that may still be sustainable.

 

If demand is 10 units per day and you build 50 units per day, that's not sustainable.

 

What was it that Mr Micawber said?

 

Andy I do not understand what you are saying, nor the point that you are making..can you help me? .

 

Today they make 50 units per day and we know that they need to produce far more than that for two reasons:

  1. The Leica P&L needs more revenue (according to Dr Kaufmann comments last year)
  2. They have a demand, and huge delinquent backlog that will take until Sept we are told to clear

We are also told that M9 (and I guess the M10 successor) is a fabulous camera that ALREADY is taking new clients from Canon and Nikon DSLR high end. Does this not represent a super business opportunity for Leica to push demand to 100 or even 300 per day? If that is true why should Leica keep a production capacity at 50 units/day.

 

Is it not reasonable that Leica has the job on one hand to drive the demand up and then meet it from a production viewpoint ...or am I missing something?

 

Is it not the case that the more camera bodies they sell also drives upwards pull though high profit business for lenses and accessories...so increasing volumes of camera production is good news for Leica. Again is this wrong?

Edited by andybarton

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Andy I do not understand what you are saying, nor the point that you are making..can you help me? .?

 

What's so hard to understand? Have you never read any Dickens? And you call yourself a CEO? Have you ever studied economics at all?

 

My other piece of advice, Copperfield, said Mr. Micawber, you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

 

Today they make 50 units per day and we know that they need to produce far more than that for two reasons:

  1. The Leica P&L needs more revenue (according to Dr Kaufmann comments last year)
  2. They have a demand, and huge delinquent backlog that will take until Sept we are told to clear
 
"We are told" "We are told" Always "we are told"
 
They have a backlog, and they will get through it.
 

We are also told that M9 (and I guess the M10 successor) is a fabulous camera

 

"We are told"... The M10 is a figment of your fevered imagination at the moment. No one, has said anything about the performance of an "M10"

 

that ALREADY is taking new clients from Canon and Nikon DSLR high end. Does this not represent a super business opportunity for Leica to push demand to 100 or even 300 per day? If that is true why should Leica keep a production capacity at 50 units/day.

 

And how are Leica going to make 6x the number of cameras per day? Where are all the workers going to come from? You just don't understand how Leicas are made. You need to take a little drive North to Solms and see for yourself. Then you might understand how and why this is not a viable option. M body and lens production isn't a tap you can just turn off and on when you choose.

 

Is it not reasonable that Leica has the job on one hand to drive the demand up and then meet it from a production viewpoint ...or am I missing something?

 

Missing quite a lot I'd say.

 

Is it not the case that the more camera bodies they sell also drives upwards pull though high profit business for lenses and accessories...so increasing volumes of camera production is good news for Leica. Again is this wrong?

 

Only if a long term, sustainable demand is there AND they can make lots more lenses, to the same quality as they do now.

 

But, sorry, you didn't understand my previous post about sustainable production, so I guess that this one will need to be restated tomorrow too.

 

Frank. You have been down this "Leica MUST increase production by 600% to meet demand" road before and many people more qualified than me have told you why this isn't feasible, nor necessarily desirable.

 

I am sure that Leica can increase their turnover to satisfy the needs of Dr Kaufmann in more ways than just suddenly going out and employing untrained youths off the streets of Portugal to make more camera bodies.

Edited by andybarton

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Also those budget bodies you are talking about are:

 

- Used

- Unlike analog cameras fall further and further behind in terms of image performance as time goes by.

- Do not add anything to Leica's bottom line, except for the occasional service charges.

 

So, there really is no budget model.

 

You just haven't extended your logic far enough. Yes, the M8 is falling behind every year... but so is the M9. Once the second-hand M8 ceases to be a viable entry option, there will be plenty of second-hand M9's to fill that space as the inevitable M10 is introduced.

 

If we ever get to a point when new digital M bodies come out at intervals of more than 3 years, then it follows that the previous model will become out-of-date in a correspondingly slow manner and therefore do service as an entry-level for a correspondingly longer time.

 

The entry level camera doesn't have to add to the bottom line directly. It represents zero cost to Leica, and is bought by people who wouldn't have bought the full-price current model in any case. It also acts as a soft-entry to buying the current model once the buyer has accumulated a few lenses and become habituated to the use of the M.

 

The problem isn't that they couldn't make a 1.5 crop entry camera - it't the question of who would buy one of those instead of buying second-hand? The price would have to be substantially lower (less than half), and the crop lenses would be useless as a step-up incentive to a full frame body.

 

If they wanted to make some money out of the second hand market, they could sell an after market factory-backed warranty when the second hand camera is sold through a licensed dealer. So long as it's bought as part of the sale, that represents a good risk and an ongoing revenue stream.

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Frank. Please don't put words into Jaap's mouth. He can speak for himself, but you seem to be to be deliberately reading something into his post that isn't there. Why, I don't know.

 

Your posts are always 99% conjecture.

 

Andy this rsponse really is annoying...and clearly inaccurate.

 

I am talking about Jaapv's statement that it is not about silicon area but how many you throw away . That is referred to as yield in the industry, which is what I referred to. If your yield is low at a Silicon process level that is one thing if it is low at package level perhaps due to poor probe testing of the chips that is another thing, and costs even more.

 

Jappv is saying that there is a lot of rejects ....that is a yield problem and that is serious. I asked where does he get that data from as this is highly confidential and I am surpised that he has access to it (maybe Jaapv is guilty of conjecture ?) I am not paraphrasing or guilty of 99% conjecture at all.

 

If Jaapv is correct then there are only two conclusions (not conjecture)....

  1. Kodak has to put a huge number of wafers into production to get any output and this will be accompanied by variable yields due to an out of control process so some times you get lots of sensors other times you dont....The only consistent thing is you pay heavily as a customer (Leica) for the output from such a supplier. I suggested (not Jaapv) that this could be a reason for M9 shipment delays, a reason by the way that has been mooted before on this forum many times.
  2. If Kodak really have yield issues, then I ( not Jaapv) questioned the wisdom of continuing with such a supplier.

Finally I said that in my opinion Kodak is a company that would not IMHO have an out of control process or low packaging yields. If they did that would make M9 sensor pricing out of line with M8 ....so my original point is that M8 is most likely more expensive to produce than M9 due to the other factors that I have already mentioned.

 

How you suggest 99% conjecture given the above is very strange could you please explain.

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We're used to the situation, Andy I'm not surprised that basic geometry escapes him.

 

Jaapv what are you saying here. You say that area of silicon is not as relevant as yields. You tell us that sensor yields are low, but do not metion if this is SI process yield or packaged product yield. and now you refer to GEOMETRY.

 

Jaapv you are really all over the place. Please help me to understand

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Frank

 

I am convinced that you and I don't share a common language.

 

How's your French?

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Fluff and froth, Frank

 

Jaapv please do help me to understand where I am wrong on any of my points rather than just throwing out words like Fluff and Froth....I really do not think it adds to the level of the debate

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Jappv is saying that there is a lot of rejects ....that is a yield problem and that is serious

 

That's not how I read it. Jaap is talking about larger sensors being likely to produce a lower yield than smaller ones, not about Kodak struggling to make sensors.

 

 

Let's take an imaginary sensor that is 1cm square, and the average number of 'flaws' in the manufacturing process is 1 flaw per 5 square centimetres. That means that on average for every 5 sensors you manufacture you'll throw away 1 - so that's an 80% yield.

 

Now let's say you are making a larger sensor - lets say it's 2.5 square centimetres. If the process introduces the same number of flaws as earlier, one out of every two sensors will be rejected - that's a 50% yield.

 

Can you see the point I - and I think Jaap - is trying to make? If there's something wrong in my logic please educate me.

 

Now I realise this is a simplification - I haven't defined what a flaw is other than it's sufficient to render a sensor unusable - and it assumes the manufacturing process is similar for both sensors.

 

This is an old page, but have a look here for another explanation of why chip manufacturing costs increase as sensor size increases - you want to page down to "Cost of producing digital sensors"...

 

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-sensor-size.htm

 

I'm surprised you weren't aware of this sort of thing since you were in a related industry - of course it's always possible that the maths used to calculate the imact of sensor size on yield has changed recently.

Edited by stunsworth

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What's so hard to understand? .......

They have a backlog, and they will get through it.......

 

 

"We are told"... The M10 is a figment of your fevered imagination at the moment. No one, has said anything about the performance of an "M10"

 

 

 

And how are Leica going to make 6x the number of cameras per day? Where are all the workers going to come from? You just don't understand how Leicas are made. ....

 

 

Only if a long term, sustainable demand is there AND they can make lots more lenses, to the same quality as they do now. .....

But, sorry, you didn't understand my previous post about sustainable production, so I guess that this one will need to be restated tomorrow too.

 

Frank. You have been down this "Leica MUST increase production by 600% to meet demand" road before and many people more qualified than me have told you why this isn't feasible, nor necessarily desirable.

 

I am sure that Leica can increase their turnover to satisfy the needs of Dr Kaufmann in more ways than just suddenly going out and employing untrained youths off the streets of Portugal to make more camera bodies.

 

Andy ....you are wrong on so many counts above, but I shall not comment in detail.

Suffice it to say that Leica has presumably a reason for moving to the new plant. It is either to improve quality, or to get more units out of the door, or BOTH.

 

I have repeated that Dr Kaufmann wants more revenue and that means more M9 bodies that drves lens sales. I have suggested that hiring more and more technicians is NOT the way to go....yet here you suggest that I am proposing that they hire "untrained youths off the streets of Portugal" ...where have I ever said anything like that?

 

You are suggesting if i am correct that the M9 may NOT BE SUSTAINABLE and the M10 is a "FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION" ...you say "They have a backlog and will get through it". My gosh that suggests a critical future for Leica doesn't it?

 

I personally believe that Leica can have a great future but needs to change its approach.

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Jaapv what are you saying here. You say that area of silicon is not as relevant as yields. You tell us that sensor yields are low, but do not metion if this is SI process yield or packaged product yield. and now you refer to GEOMETRY.

Given some constant likelihood of defects per unit of area the yield drops if the chip size increases. That’s why sensor prices aren’t linear with sensor size; price increases much faster than area. Also one should keep in mind that a sensor is an analog device and thus much less tolerant of small deviations. This is common knowledge around here.

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Andy ....you are wrong on so many counts above, but I shall not comment in detail..

 

Being do dismissive of a reasonable response to your original post is just typical. You should go into politics.

 

You seem to have completely overlooked the fact that Leica make products other than the M9. Maybe Dr Kaufmann is planning to increase turnover and profit from Leica's more innovative products?

 

The new Leica facility houses other companies within Dr Kaufmann's portfolio. Such as the metal bashers who make lens components. It makes a lot of sense to have them on the same park. (Subject to keeping them far enough away to avoid contamination)

Edited by andybarton

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