The Leica Manufacturing Process

Leica Lenses: A Synonym for Quality, Made in Germany

Every Leica lens is hand-crafted and goes through meticulous manufacturing processes to uphold the quality and precision that Leica defines and customers have come to expect. In the age where technology almost inevitably means mass manufacturing, Leica products are still made with exacting precision by the hands of highly-trained technicians.

In the “Leica Lenses” video, you can get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the craftsmanship and making of Leica lenses in the production facilities of Leica Camera AG in Solms.

-Leica Internet Team

To see the Leica factory in person, click here for tour information.

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12 comments

  • There is the reason why my 35mm Summicron from 1979 blows away the competitors lenses made six months ago. You get what you pay for. You commit to quality every day, and so do we. Thank you.

  • Do the Panasonic-derived Leica products, like the V-Lux 2 and D-Lux 5, also have hand-polished lenses… (As already asked above.)

  • Vila and Carlos Sanchez here is an excerpt from my Kindle book Yo–Leica Leicas made in Japan hope this answers your questions.

    Many people who read reviews of cameras on the internet naturally compare the Japanese made Leica’s with the “sister” “doppelganger” Panasonic model and fail to understand why the Leica’s cost a lot more, there are many reasons, here are the main and most important ones
    (a) The lenses take 40 minutes for each element to be individually ground, polished and tested, made on German imported machines to Leica tolerances and use Leica lens coatings. (The Panasonic Lumix ones are mass produced on their own machines to a basic Leica spec. and use their own “Nano” coatings).
    (b) The CCD’s are individually tested to Leica manufacturing tolerances and are made by Kodak, Sony etc. (Panasonic Lumix ones are not).
    (c) The Panasonic made Leica’s are ALL sent in to Leica AG, Solms, to be inspected by hand/eye then wired to a computer to have the firmware (digital only) customised so each image gives the “Leica look” and European skintones and other colour rendition and LCD menu changes, then tested again.
    (d) Boxed and packaged in Germany.
    (e) Appropriate Adobe® /Photoshop®/ Lightroom® / Premiere®/ Elements® software added
    (f) 2 year unconditional guarantee and Leica Passport (covers accidental damage) instructions and other documents added.
    (g) The distinctive “Red Dot” Leica logo is added.
    (h) Many models have different outer bodies often made of aluminium or even titanium and different switches/dials and buttons.
    (i) Higher resale values, for example a mint Leica DIGILUX 3 sells on Ebay for £799, the Panasonic equivalent DMC-L1 £224!
    (j) Leica Passport, A Leica passport protects your treasured Leica against all accidental damage for the first year from purchase date. During the period of cover, if you drop and break or water damage, any camera protected by the passport, Leica will either repair or replace the item with a new one free of charge
    .
    “You can tell a Leica by the way it takes pictures-and by the pictures it takes”.
    Conclusion, many of these cameras are designed by Leica, most lenses supplied by Leica, some made by Panasonic (to Leica spec) or Fuji, lens technology is all by Leica (except the 3 Fuji’s), electronics by Matsushita, Panasonic, Fuji, Sony, Minolta, Olympus and Kodak, with software customised by Leica.
    “Why a Leica?” people would ask as now there are many similar cameras on the market, Leica cameras produce a “special” “Leica look” to images, typical very high quality German engineering and superlative optical quality, sure one can buy a Steinway or an electronic keyboard, both have 88 keys, 56 white, 32 black, one isn’t wrong and the other right, they both do the similar job but usually the more expensive one is “special”, collectable or of outstanding lasting quality.

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