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What makes Leica stuffs feel so solid, or why others are


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Nikon's 50mm f/1.4 lens https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/585343-USA/Nikon_2180_AF_S_Nikkor_50mm_f_1_4G.html sells for $447 USD.  By comparison, Leica's 50mm f/1.4 M lens https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/332585-USA/Leica_11891_50mm_f_1_4_Summilux_M.html sells for $3795 USD. 

 

I read somewhere that both Nikon and Canon builds more lenses in one day than Leica builds in an entire year.  The only way that Nikon and Canon can do that is to mass produce their lenses, build them on an automated assembly line and accept tolerances that are - by contrast to Leica's tolerances - best described as extremely forgiving (AKA loose or sloppy).

 

The results of Leica's obsessive dedication to perfection are obvious.  I will never forget the day that one of my Velvia transparencies that was made with my 50 Summilux ended up mixed in with my Nikon transparencies.  The Summilux transparency was frighteningly sharp, contrasty and saturated compared to to the Nikon transparencies; the clarity was astounding. The Nikon transparency looked lifeless next to the Summilux transparency. 

Edited by Carlos Danger
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Leica makes use of heavy materials like brass and aluminium. They are harder to make than plastic parts, but can be made with tighter tolerances than their plastic counterparts.

 

An other advantage is that they will last longer of course.

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Nikon's 50mm f/1.4 lens https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/585343-USA/Nikon_2180_AF_S_Nikkor_50mm_f_1_4G.html sells for $447 USD.  By comparison, Leica's 50mm f/1.4 M lens https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/332585-USA/Leica_11891_50mm_f_1_4_Summilux_M.html sells for $3795 USD. 

 

I read somewhere that both Nikon and Canon builds more lenses in one day than Leica builds in an entire year.  The only way that Nikon and Canon can do that is to mass produce their lenses, build them on an automated assembly line and accept tolerances that are - by contrast to Leica's tolerances - best described as extremely forgiving (AKA loose or sloppy).

 

The results of Leica's obsessive dedication to perfection are obvious.  I will never forget the day that one of my Velvia transparencies that was made with my 50 Summilux ended up mixed in with my Nikon transparencies.  The Summilux transparency was frighteningly sharp, contrasty and saturated compared to to the Nikon transparencies; the clarity was astounding. The Nikon transparency looked lifeless next to the Summilux transparency. 

 

You are obviously joking...................

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Every Leica stuff I have handled feel so solid. Even the plastic rich Leica T lenses.

Why most others are not, including the Zeiss ZM stuffs and old Contax N, for example.

 

What corners have they cut? how much can that save?

You've obviously never had an old Zenit SLR, they're solid enough to use as hammers.

 

Seriously though, as everyone says, Leica uses better materials and tighter tolerances.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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You've obviously never had an old Zenit SLR, they're solid enough to use as hammers.

 

You could easily kill somebody with my old Mamiya RB67... 

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Pick up an ancient Nikon F2, it was solidly built and not all that different from the Leica M4 of the same vintage.  I remember the day the Canon rep brought a new camera into the store, it was an AE-1.  The camera looked like every other camera but the top and bottom plates were plastic, it was a huge change in quality, it was cheap and everyone bought one.  Functionally it was  a great camera, just as 99% of equipment from the major manufacturers is today.   In todays digital world the bodies are obsolete within a few years so how much quality is necessary, lenses are another matter and I find it interesting that Canon has upped their quality in the new 35mm f1.4 as well as the price.  Can't say I don't enjoy my all plastic Canon SL1 with kit zoom, not Leica quality but its light as a feather and fun to have along when image quality is not paramount.  

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Every Leica stuff I have handled feel so solid. Even the plastic rich Leica T lenses.

Why most others are not, including the Zeiss ZM stuffs and old Contax N, for example.

 

What makes you think the T lenses are plastic rich? The three I have appear to be made of metal and glass, which probably accounts for the weight and the solid feel that you've noticed. The Zeiss ZM lenses I have feel equally dense and solid to me.

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It's true that most Leica gear has a high quality and nice tactile feel to it, but I don't think it's exclusive to Leica. 

 

I only like to use equipment that I like the feel of. I've picked up some cameras and put them back down after 30 seconds knowing that I'd never enjoy using them. 

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