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Tuesday, 26 May 2009


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stone age production methods. next time don't ask, why there is dust in the finder.

Now i see why leica cameras cost so much compared to other brands. A few skilled people assembling and calibrating them by hand! You pay for that

Why oh why did they ever stop making the Leica 1A, it was so much simpler to use.
The new one's have all those useless parts, what a nightmare.
If they would only put a FF 20+mp sensor in the old 1A they would have something.

It looks an awful lot like they have a stock of cameras from the factory in Portugal that they repair adjust and assemble as necessary. The real question is are they building any in Portugal?

What pressure you leica boys must feel when you try and do justice to Mrs. Heimann's handiwork. I would not want to let her down... no wonder you guys are so good.

The key word "cult".

Simply fascinating. I almost didn't watch but I'm so glad I did.

I didn't realize that the camera, except for the viewfinder, is made in Portugal. So much for the mythology.

I didn't realize they baked the cameras for six hours--kinda cool.

I didn't realize that they were down to only 100-150 units a month--gross retail worldwide sounds like something around $6 to 8 million USD. That's per *year.* Wow. Must be keeping the line running just for old time's sake...


My favorite part at 04:43: "Next the camera is put in an oven for about six hours to relax the material."

Hahahahhahaaaah, hmm, suddenly I feel even more happy being a Nikon-man :)

Why, Peter even though I got a D300 and quite a bit Nikkor, I would not laugh at a traditional arts like that?

Whilst I only get a M8, I feel more proud now (and less guilty to get my camera to support a dying process). I look at and know that I am supporting some human not robot over there making my camera (or does this process apply to M8 as well ...)

Still, take my rational hat and from the money side, I think we have to look at the figure - from a business point of view, the several million dollars per year production - why is this company exist at all? I think a "fish ball" shop in Mong Kok will have more profits than it has. I laugh at White Ms but may be it really need more White/Back/Chocolate Ms. How can it survive? How can it?

The M cameras, especially the film M cameras, truly are works of craftsmanship and mechanical engineering that is becoming quite rare. Yes, the Leica M cameras are very expensive due mainly to the quality of materials and handcrafting involved. Yes, these rangefinder cameras are limited, rather obsolete instruments.

But among all of the camera purchases I've made over the years my M7 is among those that I revere the most. No, I don't use it often any more. But it's truly a joy to use. I'll never sell it.

I don't understand all the negativity.

Obviously if your looking for a hand assembled mechanical camera this is what you are paying for. Sure Leica's are expensive but last time I checked so are 5d Mark II's or D700's.

Not sure whether to thank you Mike but this is one TOP post that has changed a long held view for me.
Ever since I've been aware of cameras my attitude has been "Leica? - I'll never be able to afford one but never mind, doesn't matter 'cos I dont want or need one"
Having watched the video I now WANT ONE!

Cheers, Robin

I also liked the part about baking the camera for six hours. Weren't Alpa bodies buried or something like that to make them fit together better? As I recall from a Nikon factory tour report, Nikon washes all the parts before assembly--


The Nikon plant looks like it has a lot more machinery, but there is still a lot of hand labor. Why do most of the Nikon workers seem to be standing up? I'm sure some consultant determined that there was some gain in efficiency that way, but for this kind of work, I suspect that most people would rather be seated at a bench like the Leica workers than be standing all day.

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