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Scott Root

why tri-elmar discontinued

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Did Leica discontinue the 28-35-50 tri elmar because they plan on introducing an improved version in the near future?

 

Just go out and buy one, some dealer in some place will still have one. It may be time to hurry, but it is not too late.

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I've had one on order since December of 06.

 

Guess I should be calling my dealer and asking for my deposit back . . . .

 

Me too - January 2007 ... they have the hood in stock for me though and seem surprised that I haven't rushed to pick it up!

 

I have a first gen MATE though bought from Charles in the classifieds here and it's a great lens.

 

I really don't think that a new one will ever turn up unless someone at Leica suddenly finds a stash of forgotten lenses.

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The pity is that they just pulled the plug without warning - it would have been nice if there had been a "last orders please!" announcement.

 

I guess we'll never get to the bottom of what was so special about this glass. Presumably, the glass manufacturer was able to give some warning that production would be stopped but it sounds like Leica spent that time trying - unsuccessfully - to find an alternative and by then it was too late.

 

Glass production does seem to be a mysterious science...

 

Does make me wonder whether the lens is even repairable. Perhaps they kept back a handful of front lens elements...

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Its nice to know that I am saving endangered species by

 

1.having a MATE (2d version), which is a terrific travel lens, though a bit slow and a bit long for the M8). Take it and a WATE and a fast prime and its a nice travel kit.

 

2. having a 50mm 'cron, now listed as endangered.

 

3. having a 90mm Macro Elmar, also said to be endangered. (maybe add this to the travel kit too)

 

All 3 were bought used, and now look like very good investments. Problem is I wouldn't sell any of them except the 50. the others are unique.

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Mark, I posted the answer to what happened, found out by asking a Leica mechanic directly:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/35012-why-tri-elmar-discontinued.html#post366590

 

The quality went down, and then Leica looked around for a replacement. They had no warning either. There are 30 MATEs sitting on a shelf somewhere at Leica with sub-par performance due to the tests.

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I bought a MATE new, approximatly 1 year ago after trying one briefly at a launch evening to demo the M8.The MATE is a terific lens but in England at the time approximatly £500 ($1000) more than a 50mm Lux which I was considering.Plus the lens needs a special Lens hood,and so the cost keeps rising.I was looking a a drawing earlier of a section through the Mate,the production cost must have been high,and demand was never very high.Having used it I would not part with it.

Brian

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I was lucky to find a second hand one in mint condition while stopping by my local dealer during lunch break. Came with a 6 months guarantee. I used it extensively during a recent trip in Provence. It is a great travel lense. The only draw-back compared to the primes is its size (and the slower speed in low light situations).

 

If you find a used one at a reasonable price, and if you have the cash, buying it is a no-brainer in my view.

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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.

 

As civilizations degrade, the art becomes more decadent, sculptures less realistic, things in general are not made as well.

 

We are in the age of "just good enough".

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Yes Carsten, but if they were unable to make the glass to the required quality any more, that still begs the question, what changed?

 

Factories hire on the cheap and make their older workers go to Wal-Mart to be door greeters. Youth and a killer attitude are worth more than experience and know-how. Factories prize mass production (10,000 widgets an hour) instead of spending hours or days to make one great product.

 

Have you LOOKED thru that horrible optical vf on a Canon G9?

 

Go out and test drive a new Pontiac Solstice. Ask yourself why there is no soul. Drive a Civic. Compare a Contax G2 (or Contax G1) to... Well, anything in black plastic these days.

 

Hell, we couldn't even get ourselves back to the moon these days.

 

The problems with the M8 are a symptom of people totally unable to think outside of a set test parameter range. Might as well have had robots doing the engineering evaluations.

 

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.........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. ..... Really cool stuff

 

 

Thought I'll post some pics of the MATE cutaway that I took at my local Leica agent today....A Work of ART....Enjoy:)

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Thought I'll post some pics of the MATE cutaway that I took at my local Leica agent today....A Work of ART....Enjoy:)

 

Wow...

 

Of course... Contax managed to do the same thing and put auto focus in it.

 

 

http://www.contaxusa.com/images/products/635190_lens_chart.gif

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Wow...

 

Of course... Contax managed to do the same thing and put auto focus in it.

 

 

http://www.contaxusa.com/images/products/635190_lens_chart.gif

 

I had a chance a few months ago to get this lens in black and a black G2, and stupidly, I did not.

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Of course... Contax managed to do the same thing and put auto focus in it.

 

And of course, building an AF zoom with electronic coupling is not the same as a rangefinder-coupled with frame selection tri-elmar. The zoom is much simpler mechanically.

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And of course, building an AF zoom with electronic coupling is not the same as a rangefinder-coupled with frame selection tri-elmar. The zoom is much simpler mechanically.

 

The G series had a mechanical coupling to the zoom function of the VF window. Actually, the Vario-Sonnar was continually variable thru the range max to min, and insofar as frame lines were concerned, while there was nothing visible outside of the frame (ala an SLR), the outside edge of the VF was the acting frame line.

 

We can argue that the G series was not a "true" RF because there was no manual focus outside of an electronic indicator, but the brain of the camera did use two windows to find the distance to the subject.

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Thought I'll post some pics of the MATE cutaway that I took at my local Leica agent today....A Work of ART....Enjoy:)

 

Is this is what happened to the batch of rejected MATEs, due to the glass, recently discussed on this forum?

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Is this is what happened to the batch of rejected MATEs, due to the glass, recently discussed on this forum?

 

I don't think so. I was told this cutaway cost almost the same as the actual lens when they bought it some time back:eek:

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The Summarits will doubtless be fine performers but maybe just a little bit dull?

 

The simplicity of the Summarit designs is, in large part, why they are less expensive. Dull is as dull does. They won't be status lenses, for sure, but they should be excellent lenses in terms of usability. And while the WATE design is more complex, the simpler Summarit primes will, naturally, out-resolve it. But resolution, of course, isn't everything.

 

Guy, I agree that people should hold on to their Tri-Elmars. I don't think we're likely to see their like any time soon.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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