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Old Nov 30, 2005, 7:11 AM   #1
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On another forum I'm a member of, which doesn't have anything to do with digital cameras & photography, there is nonetheless a bit of a debate going on about Panasonic & Leica, Sony & Zeiss, and other digicam manufacturers that use "big name" lenses on their cameras.

I've always been kind of curious, myself -- are the Leica lenses on Panasonic digicams actually made by Leica, or designed by Leica but manufactured by Panasonic? What is the relationship between Leica and Panasonic?

Not that it really makes a difference to me in the end, because I find the lens on my FZ20 an absolute marvel and it was one of the things that made me decide to buy this fantastic camera. To say I'm happy with it would be an understatement!
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 8:04 AM   #2
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Look here...



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Old Nov 30, 2005, 9:16 AM   #3
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is the Honda made in Tennessee any less a Honda because it's not assembled in Japan? the way i figure it, Leica has a long and proud tradition of optical excellence. they would not allow their name to be used on any product that didn't live up to their standards of quality and performance. so even if the lens isn't ground in Leica's own optical labs, it's good enough to carry the Leica name, and that tells me, at least, that it's a top-notch piece of work, at least as good as any other lens of its type, and a good deal better than most. i think the images posted by various members of this forum will bear that out. given that, does it really matter where it's made?
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 9:27 AM   #4
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Like I said, it doesn't really matter to me. I was just curious about it, especially after reading the posts on the other forum I'm a member of -- some of which are quite balanced and thoughtful, while most others um... aren't. Bobc, thanks for that link -- I did a search but I guess I missed that thread!
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 10:39 AM   #5
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The link posted by Bobc is more than extense, and the only I got from it is that.... Who cares!!!, it is a great camera with great lens.

In Mexico, there are three vehicle brands:

VW, Seat, Audi.

The VW Derby is exactly the same than Seat Cordoba in Europe, so... is it a VW or Seat????

The Seat Leon has almost the same machine than Audi TT, so, it is Audi or Seat??

I own a VW Jetta (Bora) and some parts say Skoda!!!.

Of course, the top brand is Audi, the next is VW, next Seat. The Audi owners say that Seat Leon is not an Audi, because they paid a lot of money for their Audis. The Seat owners are happy with their Seats (machine from Audi) probably because they don't have the money for an Audi, or they prefer the design from Seat.

Finally, all of them have excellent machines, and they are happy!!

When Renault come to Mexico, they made an agreement with Nissan, to use it's factory in Mexico, and as a payment, they give one car to Nissan. Now we have this two cars:

Renault Clio:

In Mexico, it is a Renault; with all the engineering and design from Renault, but made in Nissan factory.

Nissan Platina:

In Mexico, it is a Nissan; made in Nissan factory butwith all the engineering and design from Renault.

Which brand do you prefer? Nissan or Renault? Chosse and go to the proper dealer!!

Same happens with cameras.

Leica Digilux D2 has Optics from Leica, Electronics from Panasonic. Leica Brand

Panasonic LC-1 has optics from Leica, Electronics from Panasonic, Panasonic Brand

This two cameras are Leica or Panasonic?? Who cares!!!. If you want fancy, buy the Leica, If you want the same quality, more cost effective, buy Panasonic!!!

I don't have the money for a Leica, and Leica do not have a camera with 35-420 mm, so the Panasonic-Leica is great deal for me. And for me, it is a Panasonic Camera with Leica lens.
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 2:40 PM   #6
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bobc wrote:
If you read Nicktrops post(s) in that thread then clearly its not a LEICA lens, and I agree.

There is nothing new in lens optics only Aspheric surfaces and ED glass this has allowed ultra zoom lenses to have minumun distortion compared to prime lenses.

Panasonic have the most advanced lens facilty in the world they are also a leading LSI company .... they aslo build some of the best movie cameras with up to 20X zoom and 3 CCD sensors.

There are classic lens designs around that everybody uses ie no of elements and grouping etc relating to prime and zoom lenses.

"Elmarit" which appears on the FZ's is a leica lens brand name covering many types of lenses made by Leica ..... so Pana appear to get some street cred by putting "Leica" and "Elmarit" on the the FZ lens.... reality is !!! the quality of the lens is due to Panasonic whatever input there is from Leica.... its pretty miniscule.

Leica simply could NOT build or design a camera like the FZ's for the price point that Pana sells it for.

If you are happy to see "Leica" on the front of the lens fine ..... me I simply don't care
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 4:52 PM   #7
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Here is another link from the Panasonic Lumix site that tends to back-up Nick's thoughts



"The three pillars of digital still camera development are optical technology, digital technology, and human technology. Of these, optical technology is a keystone, so we wanted to be able to handle this area completely in-house. Rather than simply piecing together a camera with a lens that we bought from another company, we decided to compete head-on with the optical manufacturers by developing and producing our own lenses. This made it essential that we collaborate with Leica Camera AG to learn the nuances and image-forming techniques that the finest camera lenses demand."

Note the phrases "completely in-house" and "producing our own lenses".

There article also states that Panasonic does submits prototypes and samples to Leica for approval
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Old Dec 9, 2005, 7:19 AM   #8
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It is getting more common these days for Camera manufacturers to use lenses from other makers.
Another example is the new Hasselblad H1. It uses Fuji optics.
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