• Members 91 posts
    Oct. 13, 2023, 8:03 p.m.

    I am rather pleased with my post on the leica forum where someone launched a discussion on leica tablet computers, so I quote myself here:

    " putting a red dot on washing up liquid or on toilet paper may increase sales to the less well informed, but does not correspond to the reasons that Leitz became world leading: mechanical and optical excellence, longevity and reliability of products: hence relabelling is a pernicious practice."


  • Members 1627 posts
    Oct. 13, 2023, 10:45 p.m.

    While I'm not informed on the tablet computer topic and don't care much for Leica these days (I love some of their old lenses though), you're aware that Leitz has been proudly relabeling lenses made by other manufacturers since (at least) 1970, right?

    That's just one example, they did that with several lenses by Schneider Kreuznach, but also at least one by Tamron for example - in the 70s and 80s.

    No shame in that, as long as you don't boast about having developed it yourself. It also seems to have helped them bridge some gaps until they had come up with their own (then often superior) solution. I'm not claiming that's the case anymore, but I wouldn't put a manufacturer down because they don't produce everything themselves. Almost no one does, including the big names, like Nikon, Canon etc.

  • Members 154 posts
    Oct. 14, 2023, 5:10 a.m.

    As is explained pretty well in the "Leica Compendium," Leica only put their name on another manufacturer's lens after it had been modified to meet their specifications, optically and mechanically. There was no such thing as an off-the-shelf rebranded lens. If there's any interest, I'll be happy to try and clear up some of the misconceptions. (I've been shooting Leica R since 1969, so of course I'm biased!)

  • Members 1627 posts
    Oct. 14, 2023, 5:37 a.m.

    Thank you! Indeed, I‘ve read something like that as well. They probably also added their own layer of quality control, so sample variation seems to be smaller. Similar to what Linhof supposedly often did with Rodenstock lenses. I don’t see any problem in doing that. Stil, it‘s a significant step away from developing and manufacturing a lens/product on your own.

  • Members 285 posts
    Oct. 14, 2023, 7:46 a.m.

    Did you mean "what Linhof supposedly often did with Schneider lenses"?
    I have seen SK lenses with Linhof engraving but I don't remember that in Rodenstock lenses.

    Sinar has rebranded Rodenstock lenses to Sinarons. I have a Sinaron-W lens which is rebranded Apo Grandagon and a Sinaron Digital lens; rebranded Apo Sironar Digital. Not big problems in those. Only sometimes it's hard to know which generation of a Rodenstock lens is a Sinaron.

    Alpa has done that a long time with their Helvetars, Switars, Alpars and Alpagons. www.alpa.swiss/pages/lens-collections

    Cambo has it's Actars made by different manufacturers; Cambo do not tell all of lenses origins in their web pages.

    Edit. I started to think after posting. I found this Linhof engraved Rotelar
    Maybe there's other Rodenstock lenses with Linhof brand.

  • Members 1627 posts
    Oct. 14, 2023, 11:04 a.m.

    You're right of course... I was thinking of Sinar + Rodenstock! Thanks for clarifying.

    Alpa is probably one of the most interesting, because you're likely paying at least two times the amount for what is basically the same lens you can buy from Schneider... and then it's not unlikely that Schneider also offers that lens in an industrial application (without the fancy 'Digitar' name for example) for even half of that... So you decide what the brand on it (+ a little bit of added quality control/optimization, which won't be much in that context, as Schneider industrial lenses are already pretty solid) are worth.

  • Members 285 posts
    Oct. 14, 2023, 11:13 a.m.

    Look at my edit in my post!😅

  • Members 91 posts
    Oct. 14, 2023, 2:33 p.m.

    My point about rebranding is when a reputable producer tries to use its name to selln a totally different peoduct outside its field of competence Usually called "badge engineering" and usual but not necessarily as evil in the car world as in the fashion industry.

    Leitz did useMinolta designs to good effect, I still use their 16,500 and 800versions. In the case of the catadioprics Leitz must have done a lot of machining to adapt to the sustantial back focus difference between Minolta and Leicaflex. According to unsubstantiated rumours a large proportion of the Schneider Zooms for the early Leicinas were rejected.

    As to Pignons, I once visited their factory in Ballaguies and observed their lens testing room where every lens sold as Alpa was examined. Mr Bugeois did not divulge any info about rejection rates.


  • Members 1180 posts
    Oct. 14, 2023, 6:04 p.m.

    Then there's the agreement between Panasonic and Leica where quite a few Panasonic lenses are labeled "Leica" and even have the Leica font; OTOH, Leica sold/sells a re-labeled Panasonic Lumix camera!

    Who knows ... maybe they'll be using the same lens mount sometime ... LOL

  • Members 154 posts
    Oct. 15, 2023, 8:18 a.m.

    For whatever reason, the powers that be at Leitz wanted nothing to do with reflex cameras until it became obvious that the company could not survive on rangefinders. By the time they finally produced an SLR, they only had 5 lenses available and didn't have enough R&D money or time to quickly meet the demand for more. That’s when it became expedient to buy into other brands. Besides using Leica lens coating, the glass, mechanics and some cosmetics had to meet their standards. I believe the general consensus is that the Leica versions were an improvement.

  • Members 91 posts
    Oct. 15, 2023, 1:28 p.m.

    since a corespondent at the Leitz forum site corrected me by pointing out that the computing device I referred to was a precise GIS instrument and not a frivolous attempt to sell junk. I should reproduce my reply here:

    " I missed the Geographical info Systems bit and entirely agree that the Leitz measuring device successor is absolutely worthy of carrying the name-

    It was the ladies-handbag-and fashiion-victim-show-off-period with yellow versions etc. that put me off when Leitz stopped servicing its old products like they used to do in the Hauser torwerk."