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Scott Root

why tri-elmar discontinued

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Leica say it was discontinued because the glass used in the front element was no longer available, alternative sources couldn't meet quality requirements. There's been no indication of a replacement

 

Bob.

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Leica say it was discontinued because the glass used in the front element was no longer available, alternative sources couldn't meet quality requirements. There's been no indication of a replacement

 

Bob.

 

Well, Bob, IMHO, I think the main reason is that it's more profitable for Leica to sell three lenses instead of only one

 

In fact, in analog photography, a lens f4 (like the Tri-Elmar) was slow for many professional photographers. In digital photography with higher ISO, this lens become very attractive for many users and that won't help Leica's €€€

 

I'm very happy with the Tri-Elmar I bought this week...

.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Wrong sorry . The reason it was discontinued and this came from leica is there is a certain element in there that there vendor does not make anymore. Also the complexity of this lens ( you need to see the cutaway of this) is also the cause for many repairs. This was a lens designed to change the framelines when you switched settings and this was a extremly tough design to do and the costs were very high to make it.

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Does make you wonder whether the "pallette" of available glass types is reducing because the more exotic ones are becoming too expensive.

 

First, the glass for the front element of the TE which is not made any more - presumably, it could be if price were no object. Then, the big price increase in the Noctilux with the mythical glass which has to be cooled over 18 months. Then, the statement that one of the elements of the 50/1.4 ASPH costs more than all the other 6 put together. Finally, the huge hike in the price of the WATE after Leica discovered this lens is more difficult to make than they expected.

 

Lenses like the 50mm Summilux ASPH, the Noctilux and the Tri-Elmars fascinate because they push the envelope. The Summarits will doubtless be fine performers but maybe just a little bit dull?

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Guest guy_mancuso

Mark it is interesting that we are seeing some of this glass just not available anymore and i wonder because of the earth elements are becoming more scarce and such. The cutaway that we saw of the MATE was truly a work of Art . There is so much brass in there that we were really all amazed by all the channels built into it. if someone has this lens not sure you should ever sell it just because i have never seen anything that complex in a lens. I really wish we were able to shoot on the tour because looking at this you just shake your head going how the heck they did that. They may have made some mistakes with the M8 but when you look at how they make lenses it really is amazing and we did not go into area's like ASPH area's and lens coating area's which are supposed to really knock you out.

 

Yes i agree the Summarrits maybe a little dull from the design point of few when you comapre to some the most complex lenses like the Nocti and WATE which we did watch them assemble the WATE. The view we had looked like the middle elments were being assemblied. Really cool stuff

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Just to confirm the above statements, I was lucky enough to briefly have access to a very friendly and open Leica mechanic, and he confirmed that all three of Leica's glass suppliers were unable to make the glass type at sufficiently high quality any more. Some MATEs were made with the most recent batch of glass, and the quality was deemed insufficient, so about 30 of them are sitting on a shelf at Leica and will never be sold. The three suppliers are Corning, Schott, and Hoya.

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Wrong sorry . The reason it was discontinued and this came from leica is there is a certain element in there that there vendor does not make anymore.

 

But Guy, that's to simple and rational an explanation! I'm sure we can cook up a juicier explanation based on nothing that it's a conspiracy by the gnomes in Solms to screw the customers:)

 

Commodity prices have been on a tear for several years. Anything that can be grown or dug out of the ground and used for food, manufacturing or energy has been skyrocketing in price. With China and India we just had the entry of about a billion people into the market and competition for resources is fierce. Compounding that every central bank in the world led by the US Fed is printing money like crazy to keep their currency competitive and their bubble economies afloat pushing prices ever further up.

 

Figuring out how to do more with less and more commonly available materials is the order of the day for companies like Leica.

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or perhaps Leica thinks the Noct and MATE are not good enough as far as performance is concerned. it is difficult to believe the glass for MATE is no longer available yet there is glass for WATE.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Completely different glass and elelments. The Nocti is still in production , the cost went through the roof because the glass vendor raw materials went through the roof. It's minerals and such that are costing the money to manufacture them. The MATE was also a slow seller and there cost to make it are very high. No it is not a matter of good enough because there both excellent. But it is a matter of costs also and like Hanks said everything has gone up but at some point how much can you charge for that. How many will buy a Nocti at 5500 dollars now. Now i have spent that kind of money on a lens but how many people would when you can buy a whole system for that. That is a chunk of change and it will be a slow seller. Leica makes the best glass in the world so that is really not the issue , these designs are 10 , 20, 30 years old now and the materials to design them have been scarce and also design changes for the better are in place and the cost to build these older designs is through the roof and the raw materials hard to get. So many factors involved here and for Leica they have to way in all those factors to see if it is still worth it as a company to produce this stuff. We have to remember also this stuff is hand built so the labor costs and time to build all factor in. From our view it seems simply but from there's a very complex decision to build or not

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How many prime lenses has Leica on 16/18/21mm? 21mm

 

Leica 21 and 24mm prime lenses are f2.8 vs f4 on the WATE (18/21mm on the M8 cropped sensor).

 

WATE can be used on analog and digital photography.

 

WATE was introduced last year and is been produced. Its price increased more than 30% last month.

 

C'mon, guys, I don't see any reason why Leica can produce the WATE but not the MATE just because there's a problem with one glass. Everybody who wants to use a 16mm Leica lens on his M8 has no choice... WATE has a clear reason to be in Leica's lineup. But not the MATE.

 

This is not conspiracy but Marketing, guys.

.

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How many prime lenses has Leica on 16/18/21mm? 21mm

 

Leica 21 and 24mm prime lenses are f2.8 vs f4 on the WATE (18/21mm on the M8 cropped sensor).

 

WATE can be used on analog and digital photography.

 

WATE was introduced last year and is been produced. Its price increased more than 30% last month.

 

C'mon, guys, I don't see any reason why Leica can produce the WATE but not the MATE just because there's a problem with one glass. Everybody who wants to use a 16mm Leica lens on his M8 has no choice... WATE has a clear reason to be in Leica's lineup. But not the MATE.

 

This is not conspiracy but Marketing, guys.

.

 

Well, if the optical formula requires a particular kind of glass, and it can't be bought at high enough quality, that kills the design right there. Leica could re-design it, but the second half of the formula is that the MATE was apparently never a high-selling lens, whereas everyone wants the WATE.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Manuel i gave you three specfic reasons from the head of the M division that i sat and had several meetings with and told me exactly why the MATE is discontinued. Now do you want to argue with what he said. Get off this conspiracy trip please

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Guest guy_mancuso
Well, if the optical formula requires a particular kind of glass, and it can't be bought at high enough quality, that kills the design right there. Leica could re-design it, but the second half of the formula is that the MATE was apparently never a high-selling lens, whereas everyone wants the WATE.

 

Very true plus they had repair issues with this extremely complex design.

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Manuel i gave you three specfic reasons from the head of the M division that i sat and had several meetings with and told me exactly why the MATE is discontinued. Now do you want to argue with what he said. Get off this conspiracy trip please

 

Guy, I DO believe you, I don' have any reason for not doing it. And I don't think there's any conspiracy. I just think it's a marketing thing and I can understand it. I think I would do the same if I was in charge of the Leica's Marketing department. This is not a complain.

.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Sure marketing comes into play when they look at slow sales numbers. One thing i did learn at the Solms factory and this is extremely interesting. Leica will only make a certain number of lenses at once because of capacity to build. What i am saying say the number of different lenses is 60 they can build they have a amount that they can can handle and a number they can't. so they look at all there variables and decide if it a viable product to keep on the line and all the factors of that lens comes into play, cost, parts, build time , material and such. So they do have a lot involved in the decision process plus they have to deal with issue outside of themsleves, like materials.

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Leica once build a 450 batch of a lens, the R 15mm/3.5 and it took 20 years to sell them all apparently.

Maybe they want to avoid this now that Mr Lee is in charge as he seems to have this idea that business is about to sell products to customers more than once every 10 years (unless you are selling nuclear power plants of course)

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C'mon, guys, I don't see any reason why Leica can produce the WATE but not the MATE just because there's a problem with one glass.

 

What has the WATE got to do with the MATE? 2 different lenses designed decades apart. Different designs, different glass specs and the WATE was designed recently so one would assume they specified glass still available. Just because they are both stepped zooms does not mean they share anything in common.

 

Now I would not be surprised if Leica didn't come up with a new design that could use currently available glass and hold the line on price that filled a similar niche to the 28-35-50, my vote would be for a bi-elmar 28-50 or better a bi-elmarit if it was feasible.

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