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Stealth3kpl

T Mount - The Movie

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Now that I think about it I think this is exactly the reaction Leica wanted. People are going to talk about this ad and at the end of the line all they will remember is that Leica spends 45 min hand polishing this camera. The negative first reaction will diminish after a few exchanges. It may be off putting for some of the long time Leica users but I'm sure it will attract a lot more new customers.

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It is certainly less classy than the previous design. The new Leica website has the look and feel of a reasonably decent Wordpress template.

 

So true!

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Leica Marketing is sloppy and this does feel a bit half baked and amateurish.

 

I like the idea of hand polishing and I liked the film, think it's interesting, but the delivery does somehow feel a bit pretentious. Probably the cheesy voice over. I also didn't find it hard to wonder if that one camera is the only T Type that will ever be hand polished, and the rest is by machine.

 

What I find most irritating about these films is the music which is almost a note by note facsimile/rip off of this song from by the Chromatics for the seminal Drive film soundtrack. Skip to 1:47 and you could easily think it was actually this song, but it's not.

 

 

It's a blatant rip off and it's really off putting for me. Instead of ripping it off why can't you pay the people who wrote it in the first place to use their song? This sort of thing really matters and people notice. Smarten up Leica!

 

Leica is not a cheap knock off company. Between this and the blatant Apple style delivery it stands as a me too deal and is all but cringeworthy. What's worse is this is such a good camera and the design so incredible they didn't have to put all this silly, pretentious hype into it.

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Reading this thread I get the impression that some people here maybe have some problem with real cratfsmenship knowledge, which is still done in the "old europe" in the 21th century.

And a funny thing is that these people here are really speaking about a company like Apple in the context of hand made things? Sorry Gentlemen, it is -from my view- a joke, because when you realize that Apple sells high priced products made in southeast Asia. Frankly say, and I excuse if it sounds arrogant, I do not think that Apple would be ever be able to make a similar mounting video Leica did! Because in THEIR products NEARLY NOTHING is handmade. But I also have to say that they make very wonderful (mass market) products! But other (mass market) companies do same. And remember, Leica is NO mass market company at all.

 

I saw the whole Leica video and I loved it. A wonderful idea! I give my respect for that really not one second boring presentation of perfection Made in Germany. Sorry, some patriotism must be accepted here. Because exactly the new self-presentation of Leica shows why Leica is Leica and Leica is liked wordwide: reduced to "das Wesentliche" (the Essence). Made partly by hand. Not pretentios, only realistic.

 

I have been some years ago in the factory in Solms and I saw how they do the mounting of the lens. They are perfectionists. They are freaks, in some cases, and they are obsessed for perfection. Is that really pretentious? If you think yes, then don´t watch the video, as the speaker say.... but please no envying posting here.

Edited by Digitom

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It does surprise me that they choose to do so much hand-work to achieve the desired level of finish. Maybe it's the only way and I daresay it will be almost jewell-like in the hand. Leica has expert machinists just next door and I suppose they have decided where the best cut-off between machine-work and hand-work is but you have to think a robot could do at least some of it but of course they lack those critical evaluation tools - the human eye and sense of craftsmanship.

 

One thing is absolutely certain. You wouldn't get me sanding aluminium machined parts day in, day out. Whether the ad is the most boring, I do not know, but the job doesn't see that great either.

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Thank goodness for fast forward.

 

I'm not sure why Leica doesn't simply drop the unibodies into a revolving bin of sanding pebbles for a few hours like the rest of the manufacturing world does? Sanding by hand risks Friday afternoon syndrome and missed patches owing to human error and must be more costly.

 

Pete.

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… One thing is absolutely certain. You wouldn't get me sanding aluminium machined parts day in, day out. Whether the ad is the most boring, I do not know, but the job doesn't see that great either.

Me either. I'd assume that there would be a high attrition rate for such a repetitive task, which would require regularly recruiting new staff, bringing them on and training them and would introduce cost and inefficiency.

 

Pete.

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Me either. I'd assume that there would be a high attrition rate for such a repetitive task, which would require regularly recruiting new staff, bringing them on and training them and would introduce cost and inefficiency.

 

Pete.

 

Or a good place to start apprentices and automatically weed out those who can't understand that every part of the manufacture is important/detailed and likely a bit boring.

 

I found myself wondering if I could move to Wetzlar and get a job polishing T's, it seems quite relaxing in comparison with my joinery business!

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I see this video is an extended parable.

 

The whole milled from a solid block of aluminium thing is a metaphor for the design rationale behind this camera. Leica make great play of this being a camera pared down to its essentials, the designers asking What can we leave out? rather than What can we add in? What better way of getting that across than whittling away at a block of metal.

 

Emphasising this element of Handarbeit in the production of the body shell helps to link the manufacture of the T to Leica’s tradition of manual craftsmanship. In the past a much higher proportion of a Leica camera was handcrafted than is the case today. Most of the T probably never sees a human hand during manufacture. The, at first sight, rather bizarre emphasis on the hand polishing is a statement of an important brand value, namely, when you buy a T you’re buying into a tradition of German craftsmanship. Whether it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is beside the point. Buying and selling is all about perception.

 

To be successful in the prestige brand market Leica have to know how to get their brand values across, because these are as important in their target market as the performance of the product. After the X Vario launch debacle, it’s encouraging to see Leica making a more professional job of the T launch.

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Thank goodness for fast forward.

 

I'm not sure why Leica doesn't simply drop the unibodies into a revolving bin of sanding pebbles for a few hours like the rest of the manufacturing world does? Sanding by hand risks Friday afternoon syndrome and missed patches owing to human error and must be more costly.

 

Pete.

 

You cannot judge a film not seen, but I think these people making ff are victims of our "modern times", were we know the price of all but not the value behind it.

 

If a profi is doing the job the "Friday afternoon syndrome" and also the "monday morning after nice weekend syndrome" and the "wednesday middle-of-the-week syndrome" can be avoided. Because in my country we have normally for handcraft a three year trainee (learning in the school and learning in a factory) and not just a short factory "learning by doing" and SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for doing such a job, and maybe in the evening, as a 2nd job, after serving hamburgers and coke in a fast food restaurant during the day!

 

The answer of your question is given in the film (maybe you skipped it by "ff"):

you CAN do it quicker, but why, if you want just PERFECTION?

 

Why do they grind the aspheric glass one by one and not, like other companies, 10 by 10, with only one reference? And why do they look for extremely mimimum achromatic and optical distortion, although one can calculate it and make the correction by software? Because it is Leica. If you own Leica cameras and lenses let me ask: why did YOU buy it?

Edited by Digitom

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...

Emphasising this element of Handarbeit in the production of the body shell helps to link the manufacture of the T to Leica’s tradition of manual craftsmanship. In the past a much higher proportion of a Leica camera was handcrafted than is the case today. Most of the T probably never sees a human hand during manufacture.

 

Leica cannot change heir clothes, means they come from Precision Engeneering and where they can do it still, they do.

 

The, at first sight, rather bizarre emphasis on the hand polishing is a statement of an important brand value, namely, when you buy a T you’re buying into a tradition of German craftsmanship. Whether it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is beside the point. Buying and selling is all about perception.

 

Exactly. This point is Leicas "Markenkern" ("brand essence" maybe is some word to describe)

 

To be successful in the prestige brand market Leica have to know how to get their brand values across, because these are as important in their target market as the performance of the product. After the X Vario launch debacle, it’s encouraging to see Leica making a more professional job of the T launch.

 

How can Leica gain points? With good and extraordinary lenses? They do. With fine after sale service? Sure they do. With long living products? yes, in the past of course, when someone bought a mechanical Leica he could be sure maybe his son could also use it later.The problem nowadays is, that an electronic device´s lifetime can be also very long, but only as long the storage media fits in and the battery cell is being supported. Or an electronic component can be replaced or mounted. So if you buy an electronic device today, e.g. a mobile phone or tablet, we all know that normally you throw it away in 3-4 years to buy a new, better generation. Samsung know this, Apple know this, But both companies give a kind of "exclusiveness" to their products, with very different target groups of buyers. All is combined with a "way of life". This exclusiveness is the same from product generation to product generation, so it is not more bound to the porduct itself, it is bound to the company. That was different in former times, where the good name of a company was normally shown by the long life quality of their products. The young generation today does not have the feeling for long using, maybe livelong useage of one product. So I think Leica wants to show with that film that also today it IS VERY OK to put some time mounting a good product and a modern electronic device. That brings back the "old" feeling of quality - which shows one side the perfection of a product - means: WE do THIS by hand (although many other parts come from the machine like electronics, sensors...it cannot be done different) and at the same time by using and feeling this partly hand made product, it bounds the customer to the company. I think Canon of course or Nikon can produce cameras of the same quality, sure! But they willl never be so "crazy" and make this handcraft process. It is just another philosophy. If Leica speak of essence and perfection, their modern products must show this. It is an outstanding point. A philosophy. Expensive, but vital for the brand Leica. Only average - Leica would die.

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If Leica speak of essence and perfection, their modern products must show this. It is an outstanding point. A philosophy. Expensive, but vital for the brand Leica. Only average - Leica would die.

 

I agree with your two posts above and couldn't have expressed it any better myself. Thanks for saving me the time!

 

The bit I bolded above, I think is very much a reason for such a marketing video. On paper, purely looking at the specifications, the T is average, compared to other current CSCs. Therefore somehow, Leica must differentiate it. And because Leica caters to different kinds of photographers, some of whom are very much luxury goods aficionados, this video plays on a selling point that is irrelevant to those who are more driven by technical considerations. The latter is where camera review sites are coming into play, confirming that the T's image quality is up there, among the best, and that the new T lenses aren't just cheap 'kit lenses' typical of early system releases by other brands...

 

Compared to Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc., I feel Leica has a much more difficult marketing 'balancing act' to perform. Their products are aimed at more than one group. There are those who like luxury goods. There are those who like tradition and traditional design. There are those who like supreme technical performance. The T won't appeal to all, but it will to a range among these groups and I believe it's not easy, or even possible, to find one marketing solution.

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Sorry, I see the 45-minute video proof of hand-manufacture as a sales gimmick. I would not be pressing fast-forward if Leica spent 45 minutes describing what this camera *can do*, rather than how it is *made*.

 

I had "form follows function" as part of the Leica philosophy. This orgasm over a block of aluminium seems quite different: now function seems to follow form. Something has gotten lost in all the marketing: photography?

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Sorry, I see the 45-minute video proof of hand-manufacture as a sales gimmick. I would not be pressing fast-forward if Leica spent 45 minutes describing what this camera *can do*, rather than how it is *made*.

 

I had "form follows function" as part of the Leica philosophy. This orgasm over a block of aluminium seems quite different: now function seems to follow form. Something has gotten lost in all the marketing: photography?

 

 

So even we both have very different opinions in this case, we might come together in one point - that we both like Leica (maybe for different reasons however). And the video finally fullfilled one thing also - one talk about it...

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… Why do they grind the aspheric glass one by one and not, like other companies, 10 by 10, with only one reference? And why do they look for extremely mimimum achromatic and optical distortion, although one can calculate it and make the correction by software? Because it is Leica. If you own Leica cameras and lenses let me ask: why did YOU buy it?

With hand-sanding of the T unibody it's only knocking the sharp edges off, which a machine will always do better and more precisely than a human over, say, 20 samples.

 

I understand and support hand-grinding of aspherical lens surfaces because they have a significant effect on the performance of the lens and the grind-test-grind-test cycle will inevitably produce a better result than mass grinding to a machine template because there's no real feedback to confirm that the surface is just right. I don't get dewy-eyed over the prospect of handcrafting generally but I support it and am often mesmerised by it where it's justified.

 

Why did I buy Leica cameras and lenses? For their unrivalled performance. Yes, I also appreciate that they look nice and require a certain skill level and patience to use effectively but, for me, Form Firmly Follows Function.

 

Pete.

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......which a machine will always do better and more precisely than a human over, say, 20 samples.

 

Pete.

 

 

machines do it not better, but same, piece for piece. OK. But what if one can see the very little differences in a hand made thing? A watch maker doing the guilloche on the movement of a watch by hand, and every loks a little bit different. But every thing is perfect. So it is the imperfection which makes a masterpiece. A machine just do a stupid thing. No art. Nothing special.

If you want this, do not buy a Leica T. I think it is a nice aspect to feel a camera body which was finished 45 minutes by hand. Not a must have of course, but a great nice to have. And I would pay also for it.

So Leica T is a camera with excellent technical aspects AND a hand finished body. Why not melting Design from Audi, Handcraft-art and technique together?

 

 

Finally I do not think one person will do 20 grindings in series. Would be a big problem for the german trade union called ver.di ...ending in a strike for more "human" working conditions..because 20 gringings per 20 minutes results in 15 hours working day, with no interruptions- hey, we are in Europe... :-)

But seriously - mostly these people are doing rotating jobs.

Edited by Digitom

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Hand polishing during 45 minutes by a skilled craftsman may add just a couple of dozens of Euros direct costs to the product, however this effort gives the T a distinguishable look and feel no other camera manufacturer could or would ever burden for their high-volume or mass products. That's the Leica look and feel. Many, many customers around the world value that sort of (brand and) product more and more every day as the people who build them dedicate their attention and senses to it at the maximum.

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It's the result that counts and it is visible. My wife can tell if a photo is taken wth a Leica lens and stops in the street to go wow at the paint finish on a Rolls Royce. She has no interest in cameras or luxury vehicles at all. Her iPhone is a love affair with functionality, but has no interest in the technology. Quality shows even if you are not an aficionado

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