Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
M9reno

T Lens Manufacturer

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

How can you say that when you don't know what the company is and what other lenses the company makes?

 

Because Leica provides the design, material specifications and tolerances. Period.

The manufacturer must meet these requirements for every item they make. Quality Control is managed by a standardized system like ISO 9000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because Leica provides the design, material specifications and tolerances. Period.

The manufacturer must meet these requirements for every item they make. Quality Control is managed by a standardized system like ISO 9000.

 

So these lens companies have no idea how to do this without direction from Leica? You know this for sure and it is not the other way around? Consider that Leica has limited experience with AF and also limited experience building lenses with these materials. They also may not fully understand the most efficient approach for these manufacturing plants. I think it is a two way street with a lot of the expertise coming from the Japanese these days.

 

There surely are plenty of top notch Japanese optical engineers. Just look at how many interesting cutting edge lens designs have come from Japan. IMHO way more than from Leica who mostly seeks perfection in rather conservative designs instead of making lenses with new capabilities - including inventing image stabilization. (E.g. 17mm and 24 TSE, fisheye zoom, 14-24 f2.8, 70-200 2.8 IS, 300mm 2.8IS, 200 f2 IS, 16-35 2.8, Nikon's original fisheye, 6mm fisheye, and 15mm f5.6, Sigma 12-24 for full frame.) Back in the day, Leica went with Schneider for a PC lens and 21mm, Japan for a fisheye and some zooms. Maybe they could have made these but they didn't. So there must also be good designers outside of Leica and clearly Japanese companies can make lenses with close tolerances.

 

Sigma lens factory: (They squirt the paint in by hand too.)

Edited by AlanG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leica has rebadged many a Japanese lens, and got their zoom expertise from Minolta. Having said that, they have two advantages: their accumulated body of knowledge is unparalleled and they have a knack of attracting optical geniuses.

The design philosophy is different too, In general the Japanese tend to do the original lens design by computer and run the result past their human engineers, Leica has the principle of leaving the original design to the human and using the computer as a designing tool afterwards.

It does make a difference….

Where the lens is made does not make a difference.

Edited by jaapv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....

T-lenses made with the same technologies/ specs as the German-Leica-lenses would have been just as expensive, no matter where they were made (if the necessary technologies are actually available).

Just like German-made lenses made to the same price point would hardly be better quality-wise than the lenses now made by the supplier.

 

 

Some business-people propably think it is wise to outsource production to keep risk and investments down. But just building a new facility with exactly the right technologies to make these lenses and then outsourcing a complete system? They have to diversifiy in Wetzlar, making more lenses there would make it more efficient!

Leica is an optical company, coming up with a new system assembled in Germany but with "Made in Japan"-lenses just makes no sense for the customer or the company in the long run, IMHO.

....

Those are interesting and no-nonsense points : I agree that in pure manufacturing costs, to have the lenses built in Germany wouldn't have made great difference, but of course there had been problems of initial investiment in manufacturing gear and methodologies they presently have not... and here comes your second point : Leica COULD decide to gear itself for this kind of products... Leica, probably, COULD find the way to finance this decision (which, btw, wasn't taken yesterday, and probably neither last year, thinkin of the words of Maike Herberts reported by David Farkas) ... but they did NOT : you say this is a mistake in the long run, and it can be : but what is in Leica mind for the medium / long term ? Which are their projections in terms of numbers for the present and (hopefully) next T model ? What other future products could capitalize on this possible investiment ? I think it had been a deeply discussed business decision... and (just my hipotesis) they choosen the less risky way, weighing the fact that they willl remain a niche player, and probably they will lose not so many customers just for the fact that T lenses are not "made in Germany".

Edited by luigi bertolotti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leica has rebadged many a Japanese lens, and got their zoom expertise from Minolta. Having said that, they have two advantages: their accumulated body of knowledge is unparalleled and they have a knack of attracting optical geniuses.

The design philosophy is different too, In general the Japanese tend to do the original lens design by computer and run the result past their human engineers, Leica has the principle of leaving the original design to the human and using the computer as a designing tool afterwards.

It does make a difference….

Where the lens is made does not make a difference.

 

I think that, in the next weeks, they can make a smart move if Peter Karbe will release an interview explaining the principles behind the design of T lenses... they have pre-announced another pair of zooms (wide and tele) and something that can strengthen the concept that "Leica is behind its lenses, wherever made" will be much appreciated, imho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree that in pure manufacturing costs, to have the lenses built in Germany wouldn't have made great difference, but of course there had been problems of initial investiment in manufacturing gear and methodologies they presently have not...

Indeed that’s the point. It isn’t a question of ‘If we took this production process from Germany to Japan, one-to-one, with Japanese personnel replacing German personnel, would this reduce costs by any significant amount?’ – because it probably would not. But the production processes implemented in Wetzlar/Solms for manufacturing M and S lenses are inherently labour-intensive and costly. If you you plan for a higher production volume and reduced manufacturing costs, you have to adopt different processes and quite naturally you will look for a partner with the necessary expertise and the ability to cope with Leica’s standards. And I don’t think you would find such a partner in Germany.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I recall reading that the T mount lenses are truly optically corrected, in which case the pricing if the lenses seems right to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So these lens companies have no idea how to do this without direction from Leica? You know this for sure and it is not the other way around? Consider that Leica has limited experience with AF and also limited experience building lenses with these materials. They also may not fully understand the most efficient approach for these manufacturing plants. I think it is a two way street with a lot of the expertise coming from the Japanese these days.

 

O__o

FWIW, I wasn't picking a fight with you, just trying to address an apparent misunderstanding.

 

Based on Leica's statements so far, I was under the impression these were their own lens designs - if you know differently I'd love to know. That would be an entirely different ballgame and definitely not really in keeping with their recent products...the autofocus lenses in the X/X2 and X-Vario are both Leica-designed lenses and these two current T lenses could easily be based directly on these.

 

I can only speak from my own experience as QC manager for a high-tolerance manufacturer of precision metal parts but usually when a company is contracted as a *manufacturer* and not a designer, they do just that - manufacture the item to the design and specifications provided, even if they do have expertise themselves.

Edited by Carbon111
spelling mistakes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You frankly have no clue what the engineering business is. Engineering and I also include design makes the difference. The location of manufacturing has far less impact which has to be dealt with by proper QM, QA and QC etc."

 

I am an engineer and we make mechanics / optics that cannot be manufactured outside of our own plant in Germany (e.g. Nikon with much more optical competence than Cosina/Kyocera/Sigma had to give up). Some clever scientists/engineers before me and our production staff (a nightmare: trained for years, unionized, expensive, 35h/week, 30 days off vacation!) made that possible with dedication. Our Q-department did not.

 

QM, QC, QA and ISO-standards are just tools to assure certain processes - no influence on absolute standards whatsoever (e.g. machining an Aluminium part to +- 5 micrometers). Absolute standards are generated by research, engineering , tools, maintenance, skill and know-how down to the production staff.

 

One practical example:

Mr. Karbe designs a T-lens, he chooses to use a large, radical aspheric element made out of special glass so he can reduce aberrations and/or size. This lens-element can only be manufactured by special CNC-polishing - they developed that skill over decades in Solms by cooperation of scientists/engineers/optical technicians.

This element (and it's measurement) cannot be manufactured by Kyocera/Cosina/Sigma...

They did not outsource this technology and it was crucial to have a very own production in Germany to develop it!

But they decide to make it in Japan by a supplier - Mr. Karbe has to "dumb down" the design (spherical, pressed aspherics, wider tolerances) so the lens becomes cheaper but also larger and/or worse optically.

 

Both designed in Germany by Leica but of different quality because of production!

 

You must not outsource or offshore all production! Enough said from my side, believe it or not

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr. Karbe designs a T-lens, he chooses to use a large, radical aspheric element made out of special glass so he can reduce aberrations and/or size. This lens-element can only be manufactured by special CNC-polishing - they developed that skill over decades in Solms by cooperation of scientists/engineers/optical technicians.

This element (and it's measurement) cannot be manufactured by Kyocera/Cosina/Sigma...

They did not outsource this technology and it was crucial to have a very own production in Germany to develop it!

But they decide to make it in Japan by a supplier - Mr. Karbe has to "dumb down" the design (spherical, pressed aspherics, wider tolerances) so the lens becomes cheaper but also larger and/or worse optically.

Peter Karbe isn’t stupid. You don’t design a lens like you could spend all the money in the world and have it manufactured in Wetzlar, then ‘dumb down’ the design so it can be mass produced. You have to be aware of what is available in terms of materials and manufacturing processes and start the lens design with that in mind. This can actually lead to surprisingly good results as some Japanese vendors have shown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't profess to know anything about engineering, but my "made in China" Nikon 35mm fx f1.8 is tack sharp and doesn't wobble at all.

I assume unless the skills are really specific or the manufacturer is worried about them being stolen, there is little preventing the lens being manufactured anywhere there's an appropriate skills base.

Since Cosina, Panasonic, sigma, canon, Nikon, samyung and even tiny start ups like hyper prime are able to manufacture tack sharp lenses, I am sure there are plenty of skills in the Japanese market for Leica to tap.

Edited by colonel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Qualitywise I see no problem with a lens produced in Japan according to Leica standard - and it could be much more expensive if produced in Germany or even Portugal, which would influence either the market price or the profit on it or both. Nevertheless I regret, that the lenses are not produced by Leica itself, because that would be a much higher commitment to the T system by Leica for the future. Eventual commercial exit barriers are much lower, when not produced by Leica but elsewhere. I am curious to see if the T system will be used in another line of cameras (following the X line i.e.) - if yes, that would be a strong sign for enhanced commitment.

Edited by HeinzX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I recall reading that the T mount lenses are truly optically corrected, in which case the pricing if the lenses seems right to me.

 

Why do the mounts have to be 'truly' corrected if they are AF?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

I read somewhere that Leica specifies the glass or provides the glass used in the lenses. Since Karbe and Solms/Wetzlar were involved in the lens design is what should matter and make a difference. That 18-56 sounds very solid for a zoom. I held it and used it yesterday and to my surprise liked the images produced combined with ease of use that I ordered one.

 

Regarding AF, I also read somewhere that it was Leica who came up with AF lenses way back when and sold the patent to some company in Japan. So does that not mean that Leica has some experience and knowledge with AF lenses?

Edited by algrove

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I read somewhere that Leica specifies the glass or provides the glass used in the lenses. Since Karbe and Solms/Wetzlar were involved in the lens design is what should matter and make a difference. That 18-56 sounds very solid for a zoom. I held it and used it yesterday and to my surprise liked the images produced combined with ease of use that I ordered one.

 

im gonna need a bigger bag!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....Regarding AF, I also read somewhere that it was Leica who came up with AF lenses way back when and sold the patent to some company in Japan. So does that not mean that Leica has some experience and knowledge with AF lenses?

 

It's true... but is a very old story... the AF practical implementations and, above all, all the engineering / manufacturing expertise on the matter is in Japan... it would have been VERY difficult for Leica, today, to setup in house, and in local suppliers , the capacity to build the T lenses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They did it for the S-lenses and there are suppliers supplying even more demanding micromechanics in millions for the automotive industry just a few km away from Wetzlar.

 

They chose the most simple and cheapest way: using the same micromechanics that are used in cheaper competitor lenses...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They did it for the S-lenses and there are suppliers supplying even more demanding micromechanics in millions for the automotive industry just a few km away from Wetzlar.

 

They chose the most simple and cheapest way: using the same micromechanics that are used in cheaper competitor lenses...

 

Exactly... T clearly has been designed with certain enduser prices in mind... which aren't the ones of S...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I read somewhere that Leica specifies the glass or provides the glass used in the lenses. Since Karbe and Solms/Wetzlar were involved in the lens design is what should matter and make a difference. That 18-56 sounds very solid for a zoom. I held it and used it yesterday and to my surprise liked the images produced combined with ease of use that I ordered one.

 

Regarding AF, I also read somewhere that it was Leica who came up with AF lenses way back when and sold the patent to some company in Japan. So does that not mean that Leica has some experience and knowledge with AF lenses?

It is a very long time ago that Leica supplied glass for lenses. For many decades they rely on glass provided by large glass companies like Hoya, Schott or Pilkington, who supply the blanks from which lenses are ground ( or pressed). Mostly the blanks used are taken from the catalog.

This goes for all lens manufacturers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy