Are LEICA good?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Guest, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    At one time the Leica lens were the best money could buy. Then Japan took
    over and Leica faded away.
    Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what exactly
    is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?
    Guest, Oct 18, 2006
    #1
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  2. Guest

    Dave Cohen Guest

    wrote:
    > At one time the Leica lens were the best money could buy. Then Japan took
    > over and Leica faded away.
    > Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what exactly
    > is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?
    >
    >

    Good question, you will get a lot of responses. Watch news casts and
    see what professionals are using. Try to determine what is being used
    for those shots in National Geographic and other magazines demanding
    high quality.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Oct 18, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    bmoag Guest

    The standard blather for deals like this is that the Leicasonics are touted
    as Leica designed and built not by Leica but to Leica standards.
    But putting a Rolls Royce badge on Jeep does not make it a Rolls Royce. The
    Jeep is a serviceable vehicle but it ain't no Rolls.
    Both vehicles can get you where you want to go and there are many
    circumstances where the Jeep would be the preferred vehicle.
    Context is all.
    Leica lenses made for Leica rangefinders and Leica SLRs can be presumed to
    be precision optical instruments. Compared to even the better lenses badged
    for Nikon and Canon the Leica lenses are indeed what they are marketed to
    be.
    It is a real pleasure to use Leica gear under the right circumstances and
    see the results, but Leica gear is a niche product in a world that less than
    ever places a value on quality over serviceability and that has nearly
    killed the company.
    Are Leicas worth the price?
    What in life is?
    Life is full of choices and financial constraints.
    bmoag, Oct 18, 2006
    #3
  4. Guest

    Annika1980 Guest

    bmoag wrote:
    > > Leica lenses made for Leica rangefinders and Leica SLRs can be presumed to

    > be precision optical instruments. Compared to even the better lenses badged
    > for Nikon and Canon the Leica lenses are indeed what they are marketed to
    > be.


    keyword: marketed

    Q. What's the difference between a good cup of coffee and a great cup
    of coffee?
    A. Advertising.

    Same goes for lenses. Leica and Zeiss have been living off an old
    reputation for a long time now. They are the Cadillac of lenses. And
    like today's Cadillacs, they are overrated and over-priced.

    The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth.

    -Annika ----> aka "mythbuster"
    Annika1980, Oct 18, 2006
    #4
  5. Guest

    Philly Guest

    "Annika1980" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > bmoag wrote:
    >> > Leica lenses made for Leica rangefinders and Leica SLRs can be presumed
    >> > to

    >> be precision optical instruments. Compared to even the better lenses
    >> badged
    >> for Nikon and Canon the Leica lenses are indeed what they are marketed to
    >> be.

    >
    > keyword: marketed
    >
    > Q. What's the difference between a good cup of coffee and a great cup
    > of coffee?
    > A. Advertising.
    >
    > Same goes for lenses. Leica and Zeiss have been living off an old
    > reputation for a long time now. They are the Cadillac of lenses. And
    > like today's Cadillacs, they are overrated and over-priced.
    >
    > The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth.
    >
    > -Annika ----> aka "mythbuster"


    And your source of this information is?
    Philly, Oct 18, 2006
    #5
  6. Guest

    Alan Meyer Guest

    wrote:
    > At one time the Leica lens were the best money could buy. Then Japan took
    > over and Leica faded away.
    > Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what exactly
    > is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?


    As of this writing, none of the other posters have actually
    answered your question. I don't know the answer either and, like
    you, I'm curious.

    Is a Panasonic lens with "Leica" imprinted on it made by Leica?
    For that matter, who makes the "Schneider Kreuznach" lenses
    marketed by Kodak? And who makes the "Carl Zeiss" lenses
    marketed by Sony?

    The Japanese and American camera companies that have no
    established lens making reputation of their own are eager to put
    famous old German brand names on their lenses. But who actually
    makes those lenses and do the brand names mean that the lenses
    are of ultra high quality, or are they just like all computer
    designed lenses made by anyone else?

    Although I don't know the answer to your question, when it comes
    to actually buying a camera and lens I think I would rely more on
    the technical reviews made by the qualified experts (e.g., at
    dpreview.com) than on the brand names.

    Alan
    Alan Meyer, Oct 18, 2006
    #6
  7. Philly wrote:
    > "Annika1980" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>
    >> bmoag wrote:
    >>>> Leica lenses made for Leica rangefinders and Leica SLRs can be
    >>>> presumed to
    >>> be precision optical instruments. Compared to even the better lenses
    >>> badged
    >>> for Nikon and Canon the Leica lenses are indeed what they are
    >>> marketed to be.

    >>
    >> keyword: marketed
    >>
    >> Q. What's the difference between a good cup of coffee and a great
    >> cup of coffee?
    >> A. Advertising.
    >>
    >> Same goes for lenses. Leica and Zeiss have been living off an old
    >> reputation for a long time now. They are the Cadillac of lenses.
    >> And like today's Cadillacs, they are overrated and over-priced.
    >>
    >> The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth.
    >>
    >> -Annika ----> aka "mythbuster"

    >
    > And your source of this information is?


    I use a Leica, circa 1954. The lens was probably as good as it was possible
    to get in 1954, but a fair amount of catching up by the likes of Nikon and
    others will have taken place since then. The camera itself is virtually in
    the same condition as when it left the factory, but then I do take care of
    my stuff.

    I recently bought the Panasonic FZ30 with the 12*zoom lens, badged as a
    Leica. It is a very impressive hunk of glass, and there cannot be many zoom
    lenses around which can maintain F2.8 over the entire 12-times zoom range.
    Leica designed this wonder lens, and it performs well.

    All these guys who tell you that Leica is long over-the-hill don't really
    know what they are talking about. Like many famous brands they have had to
    change their marketing strategy over the years, and come up with new ideas
    and new associations in order to survive. So have Rolls-Royce, IBM, GM, and
    many others.

    I would still back a Leica against any other camera for longevity and
    quality of manufacture, but it is a niche market which I can no longer
    afford. Many others can however. Have a look on Ebay in the
    coupled-rangefinder section and you will see what I mean. Who is buying
    these cameras? M6's and M5's selling for telephone-number prices. Does this
    sound like the end of the world for Leica? I think not.

    BTW, I saw an auction for a mint F2 Summicron scew-fit lens with a
    buy-it-now price of $1950 only last week, but it was sold before I could put
    in a bid. Must be a lot of nutters around, or do they know more than we do?

    Dennis.
    Dennis Pogson, Oct 18, 2006
    #7
  8. Guest

    jeremy Guest

    "Alan Meyer" <> wrote in message

    >> Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what
    >> exactly
    >> is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?

    >
    > As of this writing, none of the other posters have actually
    > answered your question. I don't know the answer either and, like
    > you, I'm curious.
    >
    >


    Zeiss has recently introduced manual focus lenses in both Nikon and Pentax
    M42 screwmounts. They are made by Cosina, under license from Zeiss in
    Germany. Ken Rockwell recently tested them against OEM Nikon lenses, and
    the highly-touted Zeiss lenses did not exhibit any margin of superiority.
    They were made by a third party manufacturer and they did not exhibit the
    build quality associated with Zeiss. The tests were real eye-openers for
    me.

    Descriptions and comparison shots can be seen on these links:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/zeiss/zf50.htm

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/50-comparison/index.htm

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/50-comparison/f-stops.htm
    jeremy, Oct 18, 2006
    #8
  9. Guest

    Guest

    Dennis Pogson wrote:
    > Philly wrote:
    > > "Annika1980" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > >>
    > >> bmoag wrote:
    > >>>> Leica lenses made for Leica rangefinders and Leica SLRs can be
    > >>>> presumed to
    > >>> be precision optical instruments. Compared to even the better lenses
    > >>> badged
    > >>> for Nikon and Canon the Leica lenses are indeed what they are
    > >>> marketed to be.
    > >>
    > >> keyword: marketed
    > >>
    > >> Q. What's the difference between a good cup of coffee and a great
    > >> cup of coffee?
    > >> A. Advertising.
    > >>
    > >> Same goes for lenses. Leica and Zeiss have been living off an old
    > >> reputation for a long time now. They are the Cadillac of lenses.
    > >> And like today's Cadillacs, they are overrated and over-priced.
    > >>
    > >> The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth.
    > >>
    > >> -Annika ----> aka "mythbuster"

    > >
    > > And your source of this information is?

    >
    > I use a Leica, circa 1954. The lens was probably as good as it was possible
    > to get in 1954, but a fair amount of catching up by the likes of Nikon and
    > others will have taken place since then. The camera itself is virtually in
    > the same condition as when it left the factory, but then I do take care of
    > my stuff.
    >
    > I recently bought the Panasonic FZ30 with the 12*zoom lens, badged as a
    > Leica. It is a very impressive hunk of glass, and there cannot be many zoom
    > lenses around which can maintain F2.8 over the entire 12-times zoom range.
    > Leica designed this wonder lens, and it performs well.
    >
    > All these guys who tell you that Leica is long over-the-hill don't really
    > know what they are talking about. Like many famous brands they have had to
    > change their marketing strategy over the years, and come up with new ideas
    > and new associations in order to survive. So have Rolls-Royce, IBM, GM, and
    > many others.
    >
    > I would still back a Leica against any other camera for longevity and
    > quality of manufacture, but it is a niche market which I can no longer
    > afford. Many others can however. Have a look on Ebay in the
    > coupled-rangefinder section and you will see what I mean. Who is buying
    > these cameras? M6's and M5's selling for telephone-number prices. Does this
    > sound like the end of the world for Leica? I think not.
    >
    > BTW, I saw an auction for a mint F2 Summicron scew-fit lens with a
    > buy-it-now price of $1950 only last week, but it was sold before I could put
    > in a bid. Must be a lot of nutters around, or do they know more than we do?
    >
    > Dennis.


    I agree with Dennis 100%. My rangefinder does not produce better
    pictures than my 20D with an L lens. On the other hand, my wife's
    little FX01 Panaleica is by far superior to anything of similar size.
    Nostalgeeks put way too much into where a lens is manufuctured and not
    enough on who designed it. Everything is manufuctured in China
    nowadays, usually with better quality control than European makes a
    decade ago. So just forget about myths and history and go with what
    looks best to you.
    Good luck,
    Eyal
    , Oct 18, 2006
    #9
  10. In article <d_tZg.41293$>,
    Dennis Pogson <> wrote:
    >I recently bought the Panasonic FZ30 with the 12*zoom lens, badged as a
    >Leica. It is a very impressive hunk of glass, and there cannot be many zoom
    >lenses around which can maintain F2.8 over the entire 12-times zoom range.
    >Leica designed this wonder lens, and it performs well.


    You mean like Nikon's 9-117mm f/1.7-2, which is a stop faster and 13x zoom?
    Or the 8.5-127.5mm f/1.7-2.2.

    For tiny sensors (the Nikkors are for 2/3" video) it 'easy' to make fast
    zooms.


    --
    That was it. Done. The faulty Monk was turned out into the desert where it
    could believe what it liked, including the idea that it had been hard done
    by. It was allowed to keep its horse, since horses were so cheap to make.
    -- Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
    Philip Homburg, Oct 18, 2006
    #10
  11. wrote:
    > At one time the Leica lens were the best money could buy. Then Japan
    > took over and Leica faded away.
    > Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what
    > exactly is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?


    Comparisons of the Leica lens on the Panasonic FZ5 and the Canon lens on
    the S2 IS (cameras of similar age and aimed at a similar market) generally
    conclude that the Leica lens produces better images (has fewer
    aberrations, fringing etc.). It appears to be "a good one".

    I haven't seen authoritative details published about who exactly design,
    manufactures, and provides the quality control for that lens.

    David

    (sorry about the inadvertent direct reply!)
    David J Taylor, Oct 18, 2006
    #11
  12. Guest

    Bill Crocker Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:WApZg.7080$...
    > At one time the Leica lens were the best money could buy. Then Japan took
    > over and Leica faded away.
    > Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what exactly
    > is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?
    >


    Ford put the Jaguar name on a glorified Ford Tarus. Enough said.

    Bill Crocker
    Bill Crocker, Oct 18, 2006
    #12
  13. Guest

    Guest

    > The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth

    That is patently NOT true. Just a few year ago I enlarged some black
    and white pictures made with a Leica camera and lens, I believe a 35mm
    Summicron lens. The quality was very, very good. And I am picky about
    those things, I know the quality of a micro Nikkor, I have seen prints
    from Canon prime lenses and all were very good, but the Leica pictures
    were even better.

    >From a quality point of view there is nothing wrong with the upmarket

    Leica lenses. Yes they are horribly expensive and being a talented
    photographer has a far bigger effect on the end result. Extreme
    precision will rarely come cheap.

    Now the Leica lenses on the Panasonic cameras, that's another matter. I
    can imagine Leica engineers designing the lens and then it's made
    cheaply in far away. Like Schneider Kreuznach lenses in Samsung. Here
    the approach is more to give a decent quality/price ratio, at an
    absolute quality that's good enough for many users. I have seen digilux
    2 pictures and these were ok. Not as instantly amazing like the
    Summicron though (sensore will als make a difference of course).

    Tom
    , Oct 18, 2006
    #13
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I appreciate every every comments and learning from them.

    The camera that I have in mind, at this time, is the Panasonic DMC-FZ50K.
    In Canada the regular price is $799.99.
    DSLR would probably be better. But to get a good zoom for bird photography
    I would have to carry a 400mm telephoto lens.
    This adds up to the carrying bag. This Panasonic DMC-FZ50K has a 12X
    optical zoom. Along with good quality lens I may be able to do away with a
    bulky telephoto? The quality may less than using a DSLR?



    "Bill Crocker" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:WApZg.7080$...
    >> At one time the Leica lens were the best money could buy. Then Japan
    >> took over and Leica faded away.
    >> Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what
    >> exactly is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?
    >>

    >
    > Ford put the Jaguar name on a glorified Ford Tarus. Enough said.
    >
    > Bill Crocker
    >
    >
    >
    Guest, Oct 18, 2006
    #14
  15. Guest

    Annika1980 Guest

    wrote:
    > > The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth

    >
    > That is patently NOT true. Just a few year ago I enlarged some black
    > and white pictures made with a Leica camera and lens, I believe a 35mm
    > Summicron lens. The quality was very, very good. And I am picky about
    > those things, I know the quality of a micro Nikkor, I have seen prints
    > from Canon prime lenses and all were very good, but the Leica pictures
    > were even better.
    >


    Well I guess that settles THAT!

    Oh by the way, could you perhaps share some of those photos with us so
    that we can all be blown away by the Leica quality? Or is the Leica
    superiority just an analog thing that doesn't do so well in digital
    form? The reason I ask is because I've often challenged Leica users to
    show me some pics that couldn't be taken with a different top notch
    lens, but I never get a reply. I'm left to conclude that either the
    Leica lenses aren't really better, or else that Leica users simply
    don't take pictures with them. Most Leicas are worn like jewelry.
    Taking pics with them would only hurt their re-sale value.

    Recently, I was able to use the spectacular Canon 85mm f/1.2L. Now
    THAT is a lens!
    Here's a shot I took with it.
    http://www.pbase.com/bret/image/64263482

    I'd put that lens or the newly announced Canon 50mm f/1.2L up against
    anything ever from Leica or Zeiss. Prove me wrong.
    Annika1980, Oct 18, 2006
    #15
  16. Guest

    Annika1980 Guest

    Philly wrote:
    > > The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth.
    > >

    > And your source of this information is?


    Me. I made the statement. Prove me wrong if you can. I'll wait.
    I've waited this long.....
    Annika1980, Oct 18, 2006
    #16
  17. Guest

    John Bean Guest

    On 18 Oct 2006 14:22:34 -0700, "Annika1980"
    <> wrote:

    >
    > wrote:
    >> > The mythical superiority of Leica is just that ... a myth

    >>
    >> That is patently NOT true. Just a few year ago I enlarged some black
    >> and white pictures made with a Leica camera and lens, I believe a 35mm
    >> Summicron lens. The quality was very, very good. And I am picky about
    >> those things, I know the quality of a micro Nikkor, I have seen prints
    >> from Canon prime lenses and all were very good, but the Leica pictures
    >> were even better.
    >>

    >
    >Well I guess that settles THAT!


    It settles it just as effectively as the fool who posted:

    "Leica and Zeiss have been living off an old
    reputation for a long time now. They are the Cadillac of
    lenses. And like today's Cadillacs, they are overrated and
    over-priced."

    Or for that matter:

    >I'd put that lens or the newly announced Canon 50mm f/1.2L up against
    >anything ever from Leica or Zeiss. Prove me wrong.


    Way to go Brett. What a fuckwit.

    --
    John Bean
    John Bean, Oct 18, 2006
    #17
  18. John Bean wrote:

    > It settles it just as effectively as the fool who posted:
    >
    > "Leica and Zeiss have been living off an old
    > reputation for a long time now. They are the Cadillac of
    > lenses. And like today's Cadillacs, they are overrated and
    > over-priced."


    That's just flat out wrong! Personally, if it doesn't say Nikon on it I
    wouldn't waste my time buying it. I'm mean, really, why would anyone buy
    anything other than the good old Nikkor lenses? Honestly, if Zeiss had a
    lens I couldn't live without I might consider buying it. Nikon has all
    bases covered.






    Rita
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=, Oct 18, 2006
    #18
  19. Guest

    Mark² Guest

    Bill Crocker wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:WApZg.7080$...
    >> At one time the Leica lens were the best money could buy. Then
    >> Japan took over and Leica faded away.
    >> Now Panasonic is advertising the use of Leica lens. I wonder what
    >> exactly is the meaning of the Leica name and who makes the lens now?
    >>

    >
    > Ford put the Jaguar name on a glorified Ford Tarus. Enough said.


    Not enough...
    ....They also put "Land Rover" on a glorified Ford Escape(!).
    What a joke.


    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
    Mark², Oct 18, 2006
    #19
  20. Guest

    Annika1980 Guest

    John Bean wrote:
    > >Well I guess that settles THAT!

    >
    > It settles it just as effectively as the fool who posted:
    >
    > "Leica and Zeiss have been living off an old
    > reputation for a long time now. They are the Cadillac of
    > lenses. And like today's Cadillacs, they are overrated and
    > over-priced."
    >
    > Or for that matter:
    >
    > >I'd put that lens or the newly announced Canon 50mm f/1.2L up against
    > >anything ever from Leica or Zeiss. Prove me wrong.

    >
    > Way to go Brett. What a fuckwit.
    >


    I note that you didn't refute my statements with some examples or some
    test results, but instead just called me a fool and a fuckwit. Were
    you pressed for time?
    BTW, it's "Bret" with one "t."
    Annika1980, Oct 19, 2006
    #20
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