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M9reno

T Lens Manufacturer

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My guess would be Cosina. They have quite a long tradition as third party camera and lens makers. They already make Zeiss branded lenses built according to Zeiss specs (but not enough to prevent Zeiss wobble

and to keep Zeiss from manifacturing themselves the 85 Sonnar and the 15 Distagon) and produce also some viewfinders for Leica, they used to do bodies and lenses for Nikon which rebranded them as their own.

 

Cheers,

Bruno

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It is a shame that it is probably not Panasonic as their lenses for m43rds are wonderful, IMHO.

 

I also speculate about whether they are from Sigma. The 50mm lens on my Sigma DP3M is outstanding.

 

It would be ironic if they are made by Cosina. at what point then would there be any difference between a Voigtlander, Carl Zeiss or Leica lens manufactured in the same factory?

 

LouisB

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It would be ironic if they are made by Cosina. at what point then would there be any difference between a Voigtlander, Carl Zeiss or Leica lens manufactured in the same factory?

 

LouisB

 

Lens and optical design. But the mechanics might be on the weak side no matter the brand.

 

Bruno

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Lens and optical design. But the mechanics might be on the weak side no matter the brand.

 

Bruno

 

The 'mechanics' on my CV lenses are excellent. None of the silly issues that seem to plague Leica these days, like upside down aperture rings or loose elements.

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The 'mechanics' on my CV lenses are excellent. None of the silly issues that seem to plague Leica these days' date=' like upside down aperture rings or loose elements.[/quote']

 

+1

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Production standards differ wordwide:

 

- Most employees in German Lens production are factory-trained for years in specific skills (e.g. becoming a "Feinoptiker") - not only "learning by doing"

 

- higher social standards allow access to different levels of the job market (Jobs as a Feinoptiker are usually better paid than most German office jobs)

 

- critical technologies have never been outsourced or offshored - the mentioned cine-lenses are a good example: Summilux-C-lenses contain highly-complex aspherical (not pressed!) elements and some titanium mechanics - they are made in Germany. The Summicron-C-lenses are simpler spherical designs.

 

You get what you pay for - the "Made in Japan"-T-lenses won't give you the same quality for half the price.

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I also think that what matters is the quality of the product and not where it's made.

 

Remember that the M9 (and maybe the M too) is 90% made in Portugal and then goes to Germany for final assembly with the sensor and adjustments, nothing more.

 

Also, our beloved iPhones and iPads and all that are made in China. Under Apple's supervision, but still made in China.

 

I don't see a problem with either, they are premium products with fantastic quality.

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Production standards differ wordwide:

 

- Most employees in German Lens production are factory-trained for years in specific skills (e.g. becoming a "Feinoptiker") - not only "learning by doing"

 

- higher social standards allow access to different levels of the job market (Jobs as a Feinoptiker are usually better paid than most German office jobs)

 

- critical technologies have never been outsourced or offshored - the mentioned cine-lenses are a good example: Summilux-C-lenses contain highly-complex aspherical (not pressed!) elements and some titanium mechanics - they are made in Germany. The Summicron-C-lenses are simpler spherical designs.

 

You get what you pay for - the "Made in Japan"-T-lenses won't give you the same quality for half the price.

So, what you are saying is that only the Germans can make quality lenses? That's utter, arrogant, crap. And distasteful, to boot.

Edited by jcraf

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None of you are getting the point. Leica has been fast moving into the realm of a boutique brand like the often compared to Swiss watches. The quality of a particular manufacturing location overseas is not the issue and never has been but if I said to you this Rolex or whatever has perfect QC the same as before but is made in China would you still be happy to pay $10K for it? Of course you wouldn't because a big part of the justification for that cost has been the very high artisanal labour and facility costs of manufacturing in Switzerland or Germany. Its the whole idea that our money has paid for a little old man in a white coat who has spent 50 years perfecting his craft hand assembling our little gems.

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None of you are getting the point. Leica has been fast moving into the realm of a boutique brand like the often compared to Swiss watches. The quality of a particular manufacturing location overseas is not the issue and never has been but if I said to you this Rolex or whatever has perfect QC the same as before but is made in China would you still be happy to pay $10K for it? Of course you wouldn't because a big part of the justification for that cost has been the very high artisanal labour and facility costs of manufacturing in Switzerland or Germany. Its the whole idea that our money has paid for a little old man in a white coat who has spent 50 years perfecting his craft hand assembling our little gems.

 

all right. but, concerning cameras and lenses i would say that portugal has been the way to go in order to save labor cost. japan is a high-tech country, with above average labor cost and skilled workers who have earned a lot of experience in the assembly of state-of the art lenses.

the cheaper lenses of the big japanese manufaturers like nikon or canon are made in thailand, vietnam or china - the more expensive ones are made in japan. nothing bad about that.

don't expect the t-lenses to be made in a cheap backdoor assembly line by unskilled workers.

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The company I work for does the same: "simple" products e.g. made in Japan and high-end ones (electronics mechanics and optics) made in Germany (mostly in-house) where the competitors have given up due to the extreme requirements.

 

No, everybody can do it - when they establish comparable standards - but that takes time and it's hardly in sync with "modern global economics" where only short-term profit matters.

 

Just like you can't get a traditional Samurai sword or high-end Sushi in Germany by Germans. Not because of their DNS but because the necessary set oft skills/training was never established here.

 

Some Japanese lens manufacturers achieve quite high standards for example by using special internal training programs but this is not a reason for Leica to choose them as a supplier instead oft making them in Wetzlar.

 

Lenses like the Summilux-C cannot be manufactured by these suppliers. And even if they would - when achieving the same standards, they would cost as much as the German ones they sell today.

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None of you are getting the point. Leica has been fast moving into the realm of a boutique brand like the often compared to Swiss watches. The quality of a particular manufacturing location overseas is not the issue and never has been but if I said to you this Rolex or whatever has perfect QC the same as before but is made in China would you still be happy to pay $10K for it? Of course you wouldn't because a big part of the justification for that cost has been the very high artisanal labour and facility costs of manufacturing in Switzerland or Germany. Its the whole idea that our money has paid for a little old man in a white coat who has spent 50 years perfecting his craft hand assembling our little gems.

 

Disagree. This myth is precisely what has buoyed up labour costs in 'certain' European countries. Things have moved on. And large parts of your Leica M, or MM or whatever, are not made by a 'little old man in a white coat'. Well, not one that lives in either of your quoted countries, anyway.

 

''Made in Germany?" 'Assembled' would, as most of us know, be an accurate representation.

 

I work for a huge global company. An icon, if you like. Our products from Eastern Europe, for example, are every bit as good as from any of our plants elsewhere on the globe. It's all to do with quality systems. Our plants in a certain European country, whose capital was formerly a divided city, have the highest labour rates and the highest sickness absence rates in Europe.

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Of course you wouldn't because a big part of the justification for that cost has been the very high artisanal labour and facility costs of manufacturing in Switzerland or Germany. Its the whole idea that our money has paid for a little old man in a white coat who has spent 50 years perfecting his craft hand assembling our little gems.

 

But the majority of Leica production happens outside of Germany.

 

Worth remembering too that most of the actual glass is made in Japan.

 

Might not be what you want to hear but it's fact. Leica costs are high mostly due to their low volumes and 'luxury brand' positioning.

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A couple of years ago I saw a tv program about the KIA factory in the US. It was very automated. They explained that as they increased the precision manufacturing of the components they could increase the number of robots that could do the assembly. E.G. a robot installs the entire dashboard assembly and it had camera imaging systems to guide it. And of course the parts are made with greater precision because better and better automated equipment and techniques are used to make them.

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Production standards differ wordwide:

 

- Most employees in German Lens production are factory-trained for years in specific skills (e.g. becoming a "Feinoptiker") - not only "learning by doing"

 

- higher social standards allow access to different levels of the job market (Jobs as a Feinoptiker are usually better paid than most German office jobs)

 

- critical technologies have never been outsourced or offshored - the mentioned cine-lenses are a good example: Summilux-C-lenses contain highly-complex aspherical (not pressed!) elements and some titanium mechanics - they are made in Germany. The Summicron-C-lenses are simpler spherical designs.

 

You get what you pay for - the "Made in Japan"-T-lenses won't give you the same quality for half the price.

 

What you told about the training is absolutely right, and the exact reason you will never get a Noctilux or Summilux aqequate Lens from elsewhere then Solms;)

but of course other Lenses from Japan have the same quality then Leica, but then of course they have similar prices.

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Leica's lens expertise is correcting aberrations by meticulous design in combination with specific, often exotic glass types, rather than huge numbers of lens elements. Leica has the recipe book and the designers.

 

It was stated somewhere in the blurb about the T that the lens manufacture was out-sourced primarily due to lack of manufacturing capacity at their European sites.

 

As long as the lenses are cooked to the Leica recipe then there is no issue. I would suspect Japanese QC would be if anything better than Leica's own anyway ......

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Whatever is the manufacturer, I think that the Japanese choice isn't related to labor costs, but to the capacity of Leica factory (and its local suppliers) in relation with the manufacturing technologies needed by T lenses , notably, the Autofcus : Japan has of course a historical lead in this: to revamp & tool the Wetzlar factory for this kind of lenses, still maintaining production capacity for traditional M lenses, would probably have been a too high (and risky) investiment for Leica.

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I'm puzzled: why won't Leica say what company in Japan manufactures T lenses?

Which vendor would reveal their partner under similar circumstances? The main point is that Leica designs these lenses and stands by their quality. That they are build by some unidentified Japanese manufacturer of AF lenses for APS-C systems is a minor concern. If these lenses are any good, Leica will be praised; if they are not, Leica will receive the blame. And that’s how it should be.

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