German vs Canadian Lenses

vishalvora

Well-Known Member
Hello again,

Thank you to all who contributed to my sharpness question. I have decided to go for a pre-ASPH lens, 35 f2. I have seen some very nice ex&les, the only difference between them is that one is made in Canada and the other in Germany. I just wanted to know what the differences were; when I come to sell what is easier to sell and which holds more value? To me, I don't care where the lens is made as long as I get the right look - I am a user and not a collector.

Many thanks,

Vishal.
M6TTL 50/f2
 
H

hektor

Dear Vishal,

There is absolutley no difference in the quality, optically or mechanically, between Canadian and Wetzlar lenses.

The advantage of Canadian lenses is that, as a rule of thumb, they are two thirds the price of the Wetzlar versions.

The collectors and investors consider "Made in Germany" more valuable!

Best wishes.

Justin
 
J

jgea

Dear Vishal,
My apologies if you are already aware of this-- there are several generations of 35f2 that preceded the current model. The "pre-ASPH", meaning the last version before the asph (I think it is the 4th version), starts a a particular serial number that I can't recall-- around 28xxxxx maybe?

I have not tried either -- I have a Summicron 40mm fF2 and a 35mm Summaron f2.8 for the M3 and I like both very much.

Good luck with your shopping and your photography.
Juan
 
Hi Vishal

I have a Canadian 28mm f2.8 Elmarit and I can promise you that there is no difference in optical quality between it and the German one other than it costs less money.
As for the 35mm,I have used both ASPH and non ASPH versions as I had a great job where I could borrow stuff like that to try out before I parted with my cash! Personally,I prefer the non ASPH version as it just seems to have a more pleasing image quality to it somehow but it's difficult to quantify.Either way,have fun with it!
 

garth

Active Member
I checked out Jim's link the other week and was very intrigued. Personally I preferred the version 4, pre-asph summicron to the aspherical. of course it's not the easiest to decipher from internet pictures, but the the aspherical seemed surprisingly 'harsher' and 'ragged' than the 'smoother' pre-asph. I wonder what the technical lowdown on this is.

Somehow I've ended up with all Canadian lenses. Maybe because they are cheaper! I have not complaints about any of them optically. I recently puchased a 1959 35mm Summicron. I was horribly disapointed and ready to sell it, but when it was at the repair-person's to have the focus checked out, I was told it really needed the glass cleaned. Now I'm amazed at the quality. Whereas before it had horrible contrast (none) and horrible flare with anything white, I am amazed at contrast was well as extreme resistance to flare shooting in even the strongest of light. So yes, I wouldn't hesitate to buying Canadian. : )

garth
 

pelikan1931

Active Member
Heard now most M and R are assembled in Portugal, and only the final process (ie tuning and QC) is done in Germany.

And also heard and even those customer service in Germany is deteriorating.

It has more to do with generation of people, with their different work ethics.

You don't expect the younger Germans to be as hard working and serious as their fathers. It is a global trend.
 

colin

Well-Known Member
Not sure about your first comment. I thought that Solms were assembling the M's and R's and the lenses. Don't forget, Leica does not make the bodies; they are outsourced.
With regards to Customer Service; this went away in the early 90's and was the cause of my departure from Leica useage/ownership. Other than my Panda M6, I am a devoted Contax user after 25+ years of exclusively Leitz/Leica equipment
 

pelikan1931

Active Member
yes, outsourced, that was what I am saying. "Made in Germany" is just to keep the myth alive. Those M3 had a QC tag with 4 signatures, now they have only one. I have both recent M body and M lens, THAT signature is the same person! He will be quite busy just signing name without doing anything the whole day.

If Leica wants to outsource, why not choose Japan, I think the costs might be even lower than that of Portugal, but again, Germany is a EU nation.

The only thing that still keeps me with buying Leica is its low production figure. My 35/2 ASPH and 50/2 have all appreciated in value. When you see Leica's production figure, you realize all its products are limited edition in some sense, that when you compare them with the production figure of Nikon/Canon etc.

Zeiss is also nice, but it has this myth around it. I am dreaming about a G rangefinder with manual focus. G2 is nice, but its viewfinder sucks, my T3 looks than that.
 

wilsonlaidlaw

Well-Known Member
I too am a devoted Contax fan but I would never believe that their service is superior to or even remotely equal to Leica. Leica's may have deteriorated but it is still far better than anything Kyocera does. I could not get any parts or service for a 12 year old camera with an electronic fault. I managed to get a part for my 1953 IIf from Leica with absolutely no problems. I keep thinking about getting an M but then I come to conclusion that there is little it would do for me that my G2 +28/45/90mm lenses cannot do. Perhaps it doesn't have quite the same quality of construction or the brilliant viewfinder but I do have a built in 4fps motor drive, 1/6000th sec shutter and auto/manual focus. What does worry me is what happens if it goes wrong in five years time. With a Leica you can be reasonably sure that someone will be able to mend it. With all the electronics in a G2, nobody in the UK other than Kyocera will touch them. Wilson
 

pelikan1931

Active Member
re: 35/2 ASPH

I like my summaron 35/2.8 better, it balances sharpness and suppleness perfect. The ASPH is too sharp, wheras those below not sharp enough.

But to be fair to ASPH, it is definitely better made than pre-asph. And if it is too sharp, you can always use photoshop to blur it. It is better this way rather than the other way around.
 

colin

Well-Known Member
Wilson, I had no expectations of either superior or inferior service from Contax. The one time I needed a warranty claim(QC from factory) with Leica, they weren't there. I have had 2 warranty adjustments made to my RTS 111 and to my C645(1 each) The turnaround time was 2 weeks or less."Home to distributor to home"
I live in Canada and apart from camera bodies, Contax stuff is around one third the price of Leica. I agree with the "Longevity" of Leica and the ability to get it serviced, although only by third parties for 111g and prior. I have had for the past 46 years a Contax 1. It is still in service and I have had the shutter repaired.The inability to repair is more to do with the electronics than the manufacturer. I know that Leica cannot repair the shutter(at least) of the R3...parts no longer available. However, I recognise that Leica will upgrade an SL2 to take M76 batteries for the meter rather than the no defunct PX625 mercury cell
Colin
 

colin

Well-Known Member
My comment regarding outsourcing was meant to be informative of an historical fact. I don;t believe that Leitz/Leica ever made M bodies.
When I toured the Wetzlar factory in 1973, bodies were coming into Leitz from the "manufacturer". You will no doubt recall that the electronics for the R series were outsourced from Ferranti(sp)There is nothing wrong with this practice; it is the QC that needs to be monitored.
Colin
 

faria

Member
Regarding the manufacturing of M´s and R´s ( MP, M7 and R9 ) I just want to add that Leitz has a fully owned facility in V. N. Famalicão, Portugal , operating since 1974 where the M´s, R´s, binoculars and microscopes are made. I had the previlege of visitng the plant last Feb where the Managing Director received us. Obviously they subcontract parts ( body in rough state ) to specialist shops but the remaining precision machining , assembly and QC are inhouse jobs. I particularly liked the operation of making the curtain for the MP from a roll of rubberized cloth and a lot of human skill. They are also very strong in the precision machining of parts where they have special machine tools developed by Leitz for particular jobs.
To gain the "Made in Germany" st&, they ship to Germany the assembled cameras as well as the top cover which is final assembled in Solms where they also repeat the full test sequemce previously done in Portugal. This is an amazing plant and I now understand why the logo merits such price points!! Some lenses are also made there especially for the projectors ( they have a clean room for this task ).


Regards to all,

Fernando
 

ellie

Well-Known Member
Thanks Fernando. I have always wondered why the "Made in Portugal" or Canada label carried with it the perception of inferior quality. Many others have commented about the lack of discernible differences between lenses made in North America vs. Germany. I recall that one of the Leitz sons went to Canada to start a branch of the company, and perhaps the Leitz tradition was carried along with him. At any rate, it is great to know that you witnessed the manufacturing process first hand, and that there appears to be every expectation that Leica quality comes from all of their plants.
 

faria

Member
Elliot

The MD of the Leica plant gave a brief history of the facility. One of the Leitz sons used to vacation in the south of Portugal in the 60's. He liked the country(definetly lower hourly wages than Germany) and decided to install the plant in northern Portugal where there is a strong industrial tradition and many German companies are located. As a matter of fact the other brother went to Ontario,Canada. The portuguese plant was mainly for camera bodies, binoculars and microscopes.

Best regards,

Fernando
 

poustova

New Member
I thought that the Canadian factory was closed down and that they did not produce any more products in Canada. I have bought a LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/1 and it says made in Canada, I am happy about that since I heard that Canadian lenses were better then German or Portugese ones but I just wanted to clarify the situation with the factories.

However is there any real difference in quality between the German and the Canadian version of this lens?

Thanks in advance.
 

ted_grant

Member
> [However is there any real difference in quality between the German and > the Canadian version of this lens?<

Absolutely not, nor was there ever any difference! The lens was designed and developed in Canada but there never was any difference. And today even though they are being made in Germany they are of identical quality. One should keep in mind that the product is made to equal standards as though they were made in Germany. Camera bodies or lenses.

Wouldn't you think it very foolish of a company producing high end quality lenses and cameras if they didn't maintain an equal controlled standard identical to the main German factory?

Quite often we see questions on the ability of Canadian's to do equal work as their German counterparts. However usually from the fussy "collector folks!" I mean what do some people think Canadian's are, Neandrathals? ted Grant Victoria, Canada]
 

pelikan1931

Active Member
i think it is about vintage, the Canadian made lens might be of better quality than today's German made lens, among other things, the glass then was better. and also, the Canadian factory was headed by one of the Leitz and also by walter mandler.
 
M

murchu

> [I notice absolutely no difference between German and Canadian lenses since Leitz lay down strict guidelines in quality control. I have both. Mr. Grant is correct in saying that Canadians are not Neanderthals, however his taste in Scotch is of elementary standard.]
 
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