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Assembling The Leica M9


zeitraffer

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Interesting. Leica should sell that sensor cleaner or include one with every camera.

 

They could call it a Leica Lollipop and I am sure it would set a new price record for a thing on a stick.

 

The tour of the factory was outstanding. It is unusual to see such a combination of high tech parts and individual testing involving a highly skilled person. The people at the factory really can move through those menus.

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Seems there are at least one product on the market like this... ? though so far I have stuck to air and watercolor brushes. would have scared the s*** out of me to make that kind of sound with anything on my sensor. guess I will have to take a long look at the sensor when it gets here, knowing what it have been through.. ha ha.

 

Well, they did not exactly reveal much about the actual manufacturing process, just that they put the box together, calibrate the chip (surprise), and QA that process. they did not exactly tear apart their calibration equipment or how they get things done right. :D

 

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Amazing that in August they were still producing M8.2s instead of putting all their effort into the M9.

 

I could not understand where the body was manufactured and assembled sans sensor. Does anyone know?

 

For me, the most interesting part was the rangefinder calibration. But it was also interesting to see them listening to the sound of the shutter.

 

Thanks to LL for posting and to Leica for allowing them to do it. Certainly shows the care, time, and individual attention required to assemble each camera. I didn't notice any robots!

 

By the way, the Lolliepop is called SensorVu Cleaner, MSRP $36 from dotlinecorp.net.

http://dotlinecorp.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1121&products_id=6832&zenid=d6a1b6b36120c23330f2f3f4f073ac0e

 

Joe

Joe Englander Photography

Edited by Englander
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The film cameras follow an analogous path - RF/shutter/wind units and body shells assembled in Portugal (where there is even a sewing machine for the rubber/silk shutter curtains) - shipped to Solms on trays for final assembly and RF calibration

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Great video. Thanks for the link.

 

I'm surprised they allowed their manufacturing process to be filmed as most other companies are very paranoid about this.

 

Thats because all of the other manufactures are trying to shave off every possible cost using automation. Every penny they shave off per unit adds up when they are make so many of them. Thus with all of them doing it they guard how they do it. The fact that Leica uses people to do most the work is a point of pride for them, as well as it should be. It is also not something Canon or Nikon would ever try and replicate. The cost is too prohibitive.

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Great video. Thanks for the link.

 

I'm surprised they allowed their manufacturing process to be filmed as most other companies are very paranoid about this.

 

They did not show any manufacturering at all. What was shown was assembly. Totally different from the actual manufacturering of any parts.

The cameras are delivered to Solms partially assembled, except for sensor placement final connections and adjustments.

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This video reminds me of a display there used to be in Porsche Leipzig on the production of the Carrera GT where one of the 7 production steps was "put the wheels on". We all laughed and the engineer told us it was so that people could at least identify with something from their own experience.

 

What we saw in the video - tracking the parts with stickers (did you see her put the captive screw in which secures the top cover?), sensor alignment, focus check and an extended sensor cleaning exercise was the last stage in the process. Most of the assembly work has already been done in Portugal and I expect all the parts are sourced from outside suppliers. There's no way Leica will want to get involved in the business of fabricating electronics - it's much cheaper to go outside for the quantities they are looking for and other companies in ACM's portfolio do things like machined components, moulded optical parts and so on.

 

It's interesting that the cost of running the Portugese operation - not so low cost employment as it used to be - appear to compensate for the extra logistics of shipping things back and forwards. DHL or whoever must do well out of them.

 

Who was the woman making the irritating "Uh-huh" noises? I guess the one with the smart arse comments was Michael.

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You might want to take a look at the Pentax O-ICK1 cleaner - that looks pretty much identical to the cleaner that Leica are using.

 

I'm not too surprised that M's arrive with a nice fresh covering of rogue dust spots btw. It's one thing to clean it in the factory prior to shipping but I'm sure that as soon as you pack, ship and shake & rattle the assembly between Solms and the customer's ceremonial opening & first lens fitment there's plenty of opportunity for dust to redistribute itself.

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