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Old Sep 25, 2004, 10:17 PM   #31
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Klaas wrote:
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I've read a lot of useless discussions here, this one beats them all.....
LOL. i won't even mind if Panasonic uses a unknown brand of lens for as long as it makes agreat good job in all aspects that we expect from the lens. :|
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Old Sep 25, 2004, 10:36 PM   #32
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spectator wrote:
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Klaas wrote:
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I've read a lot of useless discussions here, this one beats them all.....
LOL. i won't even mind if Panasonic uses a unknown brand of lens for as long as it makes a great good job in all aspects that we expect from the lens. :|

You won't sell a camera with an unknown brand of lenses at the same price you sell a camera with a LEICA lenses. And you won't sell as much of them. I think that's NickTrop's point, nobody so far has discussed the lens quality.
And yes... it would look like some kind of marketing practice not so respectful with the customer. On the other hand, it is true, you wouldn't think a company would agree to put their name in a product that could damage their reputation. But, a useless discussion? I don't think so.
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Old Sep 25, 2004, 10:44 PM   #33
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I agree this article is inconclusive in factual statement. Read as is, there is a lot of grey areas.

However, what sticks in my mind is the constant use of we, we're, collaborative, and verification. If this were strictly a Panasonic lens and assembly, I don't think they would need an on-going collaberation. Panasonic would just say, "Hey..What are the specs for the lens and glass?", "Leica would hand them over, and never again would the two companies need to meet (ideally).

The on going collaberation hints to me that they discussed what lens to use, what would be needed on the camera to accomodate that lens. Panasonic makes electronics, not glass. I don't see them making anything close to Leica's level ofglass on just "here are the specs for our glass" just for a line of cameras that was far from guaranteed to take off.

The other thing is that it has been stated again and again that the sensor on these camera's was designed for the lens, not the other way around. If panasonic was making the glass, theywould have probably come up with other options.

Didn't the Elmarit line exist long before Panasonic started using them? If Pansonic was developing the glass, it would be a stretch to be allowed to use the Leica name on it to begin with...I think if they weren't truly using Leica glass, they would have come up with a different name for the lens that was more Panasonic specific. The fact that they kept the name elmaritmakes me think that its the real Leica deal.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old Sep 25, 2004, 11:38 PM   #34
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José A. wrote:
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spectator wrote:
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Klaas wrote:
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I've read a lot of useless discussions here, this one beats them all.....
LOL. i won't even mind if Panasonic uses a unknown brand of lens for as long as it makes a great good job in all aspects that we expect from the lens. :|
Quote:


You won't sell a camera with an unknown brand of lenses at the same price you sell a camera with a LEICA lenses. And you won't sell as much of them. I think that's NickTrop's point, nobody so far has discussed the lens quality.
And yes... it would look like some kind of marketing practice not so respectful with the customer. On the other hand, it is true, you wouldn't think a company would agree to put their name in a product that could damage their reputation. But, a useless discussion? I don't think so.
what if panasonic can make their own lens that can take superb pictures with f1.8 throughout the 12x zoom range? would you still prefer buying a leica with f2.8?


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Old Sep 25, 2004, 11:51 PM   #35
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spectator wrote:
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what if panasonic can make their own lens that can take superb pictures with f2.0 throughout the 12x zoom range? would you still prefer buying a leica with f2.8?
Preferring them or not, they couldn't sell the camera for the same price without the Leica name on it. It's about brand name, reputation, or whatever the exact words are.
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Old Sep 26, 2004, 1:44 AM   #36
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José A. wrote:
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spectator wrote:
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what if panasonic can make their own lens that can take superb pictures with f2.0 throughout the 12x zoom range? would you still prefer buying a leica with f2.8?
Preferring them or not, they couldn't sell the camera for the same price without the Leica name on it. It's about brand name, reputation, or whatever the exact words are.
that's an old concept of marketing and will never survive in the world that keeps on changing. technology keeps on improving every 1/1,000,000th of a second.the swiss peopleused to dominate the wrist watch industry until the japanese seiko introduced their own version of wrist watches. yes, the swiss made wrist watchesare still the premium names in wrist watches but who dominates and gets the biggest share of the market? if you buy your digicam because of a premium name then i wouldn't argue with you, but why not buy a pure leica digicam instead of panasonic if you are really after a pure-blooded leica product?


without panasonic, can leica survive in the digital camera market? it's the very reason why leica worked together with panasonic because film camerasare on the brink of extinction because of the development of technology. people who don't know about digital imaging used to laugh at it because they said that there's not way it can match the film cameras. now those people are getting lesser everyday.
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Old Sep 26, 2004, 8:44 AM   #37
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Klaas wrote:
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I've read a lot of useless discussions here, this one beats them all.....
Hi Klaas - thanks for the snarky comment, however, can't say I agree with you that it's a useless discussion. Had someone pointed this out prior to my purchase, I would have had a better understanding of what I was getting for my money, and it would have given me a more realistic perception of the camera. I would have been grateful and appreciative. I would have considered it one of the more useful tid-bids of info out there, rather than the usual gushing reviews from the typical user. I'm not saying I wouldn't have bought it anyway, nor am I saying I'm now "sorry" I own one. Again, the Panasonics - overall, are the best cameras for the money out there. I am extremely happy with mine. That said, however:

1. The Panasonics attract attention because of the ->LEICA<- name (WOW!!!) on the lens, not the ->Panasonic<- name (Yawn) on the back. Simple fact. This was true of me, and judging from on-line reviews from both professionals and users, it's true of them. "Leica this", "Leica that", "Leica does it again!"... blah, blah, blah... People gush over the "Leica" lens, more than the Panasonic camera. Certain brands carry a great deal of weight. It is not an overstatement to say that Leica (and Zeiss) carry as much weight in the manufacture of lenses as Rolex does with watches, or Alpha Romeo does with cars. They're that "type" if brand, have achieved a certain level of prestige - and yes, you do pay a premium for the name (see Digilux 2). Leica is not in the business of making a commodity product. They're scarce and almost like royality, and start at $1000 (if you can get one), and ya can't get one at your neighborhood Ritz Camera, which is why it's VERY surprising to see their name on the lens of a mass-produced camera from a company like Panasonic at a price that ranges from $250 to $550, street.

2. When you see a name on a product, you make certain reasonable assumptions, the most basic (and reasonable) one being, THEY ACTUALLY -->MAKE<-- THE PRODUCT THEIR NAME IS ON! This is especially true of prestige, non-commidity fine items like Rolex watches, Alpha Romeo cars, Waterford crystal, etc. Zeiss and Leica absolutely fall under this category.

3. Leica does not ->MAKE<- the lens on the Panasonic cameras. It neither rolls off their line in Germany, nor do they subcontract its production to another manufacturer. They do not make a lens, which Panasonic buys, to bolt onto the Lumix, nor are they 100% designed by Leica. In reality, Leica may or may not have very much to do with it. That depends on how much validity you give to Panasonic's marketing hype. You may give them the benefit of the doubt, up to you. Call me jaded, but I find it suspect.

4. What Leica and Panasonic DO have (as well as Zeiss and Sony) 100% fer certain is a licensing agreement. Panasonic has some sort of arrangement with Leica in which Leica is paid for the use of their brand name on the lens, which is ->MADE, element for element, group for group<- in a Pansonic factory in Japan. This may (or may not) come a surprise, since producers of very high-end, high quality components are less inclined to such arrangements. You would not expect Waterford, Rolex, Alpha Romeo, etc. to license their name - it's unacceptable for brands that achieve that status to do so. Leica only plays a role in the design phase of the lens, allegedly, according to them (Panasonic and Leica), take it for what it's worth, and licenses their name out.

This is far from a "useless discussion". If you're considering purchasing a Panasonic, and are drawn to the Leica name, and mystique - which many (most?) people do. This is also why Panasonic "partnered" with them (cough, cough), and pays "Leica" to slap their logo and sumo-whatever jargon on the lens, that Panasonic engineered and rolls off a >Panasonic< assembly line. You now have a clearer understanding of what you're getting. You know that this is not a lens that rolls off the Leica production line in Germany, it's not even a lens that Leica designs and outsources to another manufacturer. If your >reasonable< assumption is that Leica produces this lens, you are mistaken. You know that Leica collaborated to some extent on its design but that the lens is actually 100% produced by Panasonic. You know that there is a legitimate question regarding whether this can even be considered a true "Leica" lens, not just by some guy "NickTrop" posting on a forum but by photomags and others. Same applies to the "Zeiss" name on the Sony cameras.

This might matter to you, it might not, but it at least you have some info regarding this much ballyhooed "Leica" lens on the Lumix line of Panasonic digicams. It also answers the question of, "How the heck can a camera that costs less than $500 have a Leica lens on it?" I asked this question myself when I first saw these cameras. Now you know. It provides somewhat hard to find insight into the camera that may effect your perception of it and purchasing decision. Once again, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and there's no such thing as a $400 camera with a "real" Leica lens. Also, if you're thinking of purchasing something else made by Leica - err correction, make that "with the Leica name on it", you will now have to do due diligence... they might make it, they might not. Ask your average Digilux 2 owner.

PS Someone claimed Panasonic does not have any expertise in optics. Not true. Take a walk down the camcorder isle in your electronics store... They've also been a respected name and leader in professional video cameras and equipment for years.
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Old Sep 26, 2004, 12:13 PM   #38
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I would like to ask some questions.

Does anyone have any hard proof that Panasonic made these lenses?

Does any one have any hard proof that Panasonic did not make these lenses?

Is the Panasonic Lumix FZxx a great camera, with a great lense?

Is there a camera out there under $1,000.00 that can come close to this camera and this lense?

My answere to these questions are...

I don't know...

I don't know...

YES!!!

NO!!!

We can all speculate, assume, suspect, and convince ourselves what ever we want to. BUT!!! We can not proove it. We can read articals, posts, professional opinions, and in our minds beleive that they are true. BUT!!! We cant proove it. Unless one of the decision makers that are involved with this gorup venture between Panasonic & Leica cooes out and says... Leica made the lense... or... Panasonic made the lense... or... We both made the lense. We Cant proove it.

Is this a useless discussion?

There is no such thing as a useless discussion. The only useless discussion is the one that you don't have.

So... With that all out of the way, I would like to ask you all to do something for me.

1. Take your lumix out of the box.

2. Look at the wayit is built compared to mot of the digicams out there.

3. Turn it on and watch how fast it is ready to go.

4. Hold it tight and feel how it does not make all the little crackling noises like most of the other digicams do.

5. Dim the lights and focus on things, and see how it focuses on just about anything.

6. Take som hand help shots outside atthroughout the full zoom range, and see how you can get a good shot all the way out to 48x with out a tri-pod.

Now... Ask yourself. If the name Leica never existed, and there was no name on the lense or camera, and you got to try this camera out. Would'nt you love it?

You might even say... Wow... Who made this lense... Or... Who made this camera.

Or.. You might say... I'm not gonna buy this because it does'nt have a brand name on it.

I guess some people like only brand name products, and some people don't care so long as it is a good product. I can go to Wal Mart and get a good pair of geans for $20.00, or I can go to Macy's and get a pair for $60.00. They both will last just as long, and who knows they may even be made in the same factory. One pair gets the brand name tag and the higher price tag, and the other gets no tag and ships to Wal Mart.

I think this camera should have a say in this discussion. But since cameras can't talk I will speak on the camera's behalf.

Please keep in mind that this is only my oppinion or wht the camera might say.

Hi. I am Bobs Lumix DMC-FZ20. I am glad that Bob bought me because he takes good care of me, and has yet to drop or scratch me in any way.

I am a joint venture between Panasonic and Leica. This joint effort was to come up with a camera that would be in a legue of it's own, would be affordable to the average consumer, and would bring two technologies together to produce a superior product. My lense and camera parts where the result of the vast knowledge of these two company's combined into one great product. Some people are sceptical as to what parts of me wher made where and by whom. Frankly, so many people had there hands in me that I don't know either.

But I do know one thing... I am a great camera with a great lense, and if you buy me, you will see for yourself. So don't believe everything that you read or hear.

Give me a shot and you will see that.

I SPEAK FOR MYSELF!!!

bobc
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Old Sep 26, 2004, 1:09 PM   #39
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Hi bobc, love your post. Again, I reiterate, these are great affordable cameras. I am in full agreement. If a steamroller flattened my Lumix today, I would buy a new one tomorrow, and not even consider a different brand. The quality and value of neither the lens or the camera, overall, is what is in question.

However, based on what I've read, links provided here, Leica doesn't make the lens or any part of it. They only claim to "collaborate" on the design. Plain and simple, it's produced - part for part, in a Panasonic factory in Japan. Note, the Leica COO never claims to "make" anything, he only discusses how the two companies collaborate. Years ago, I owned a Nissan NX 2000, which was designed, jointly, between Nissan and an auto-design company in California. By any measure, the car was a "Nissan" regardless that Nissan co-designed it with another company. It would never be considered an "XYZ Co. of California" car because they played a roll in how it was engineered. It rolled off a Nissan plant somewhere, therefore it's a Nissan. Suppose you bought a BMW, and it was by all measures a great car, but later found that it was made by Kia, that BMW only played a role in its design, and that Kia worked a deal to use the BMW emblem. You might say your car is a Beemer, I would say it's a Kia with a BMW hood ornament.

Is it fair, then, to label this a "Leica" lens? Not to me. I think it's misleading. These cameras get a lot of attention based on the "Leica" name on the lens. You don't get no higher in terms of things photographic than the "Leica" brand, and this Pana/Leica collaboration is "by design" more from a marketing standpoint than an engineering one.

This is no more a "Leica" lens than the "Rolex" I paid $60 for off a vendor in New York is a "Rolex" watch. And, yes, it's a fine watch with a Japanese movement that is extremely well made, and it's my favorite watch. It just ain't a real Rolex. At least in that instance neither me nor the guy outside of Madison Square Garden who sold it to me, had any pretentions that it was a truly a "Rolex". Is that true of the camera salesmen across the country who are selling customers on the "Leica" lens of the Panaosonic digicams?
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Old Sep 26, 2004, 2:31 PM   #40
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I would find it hard to believe that a company with a name like Lieca would tarnish a reputation that took them so long to earn to make a quick buck. There is no indication that this company is in any financial trouble.

What I find easier to believe is that Lieca is smart enogh to realize that the digital camera is the future, and joined forces with Panasonic to come up with this product. It is also easier for me to believe that Leica had the most say in the lense and Panasonic had the most say in the camera parts. How else would this camera turn out the way it did?

And no matter what plant the lenses where made. As long as they where made to the Leica standard. To me... It's a Lieca lense. One of the resons supply of these cameras is having a hard time keeping up with the demand could be the fact that maybe the Leica lense process is not a mass produce process.

I just cannot see a company with the reputation that Lieca has risking everything to make a quick buck. But what I can see is writers, columnests, and the media blowing this whole thing into what it is to get a good story.

And you can't say that they these people don't have a history of blowing everything out of perportion.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that you may not be right, but I find it hard to believe that Leica would just risk their reputation like that.

I believe they are a proud company, and would not allow their name to be put on anything that did not live up to their standards. And this camera surely does.

And if these lenses are produced in Panasonics plant under the strict Leica standards, and made with the same materials that Lieca uses, and pass all of Leica QC standards, then It's a Leica.

Does it matter if a Japanees hand or a German hand did the work? If Leica says it's a Lieca, then I believe them.

bobc
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