Mechanische camera's

Kijk op het fotografisch universum door Erwin Puts

Can Leica be trusted?



Companies that work for other companies or for consumers need trust as a basis for transactions. Now that many companies are no longer trusted (software to manipulate emission, sweatshops for cheap clothing, and so on) and critical reviews and investigations are difficult to access, this topic is more important than ever.
The actual Leica company is no exception. In the past, it was an engineer-driven company and the information about its products was reliable and could be checked. Critique by outsiders was taken seriously and even invited to make a better product. When the company informed the users that the high shutter speeds were working within ±30 % of its nominal value this info could be accepted as accurate. Most information was not readily and publicly available, but it was possible to access the responsible person within the company.
This attitude has changed since the company has become product- and market-driven. Insightful technical information is hardly available and the marketing department does its best to generate confusion. Are the Summarit/2.4 designs really optically fully redesigned Summarit/2.5 lenses. How does the new sensor in the M10 differ from the previous design in the M/240? Every new sensor is claimed to have optimized shapes for the lenslets, but there is no technical information about the exact shape and its impact on the final image quality. The actual reliance on the reports by field testers for some of the practical consequences of the newly introduced technology is not sufficient as most reviewers do not use measurements to support their claims but only visual comparisons. We know how unreliable the human visual perception is: what you see is what you want to see.
The M10 uses compression software to reduce the size of the files in order to increase the storage capacity of the buffer. But there is no information about the type and quality of the software. The SL is assumed to have a very fast AF, but one needs numerical information to be sure that this claim is substantiated. The fact that field and magazine testers say that the AF is very fast is not good enough for the inquiring mind who needs to base conclusions of facts. Every other product in the photographic market has comparable claims.
In the past the Leitz technical bulletins were reliable sources of information and could be used for decision making. Now we have only diffuse marketing speak. This is of course the trend of the day and not different from what is available from other companies. Leica buyers who pay a premium price, should be entitled to receive all technical information available, that helps to understand why Leica is what is claims to be.