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Modern German lenses - am I unlucky or expecting too much?
Old 03-17-2015   #1
YYV_146
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Modern German lenses - am I unlucky or expecting too much?

Long story short: In the past two year I had to send four M lenses (all modern ASPH versions) to Solms for repairs. My 15mm Distagon ZM is still in Germany, two weeks into the second service trip after a 9-week trip that failed to address loud internal rattling and focus issues. The (brand new) 75mm APO ASPH I bought not two months ago has also begun to rattle quite loudly.

I don't abuse my equipment. To the contrary, I've never dropped or mishandled a camera or lens in my life. I also understand that there will be lemons for any lens, regardless of model and brand. But at the prices Leica and Zeiss are charging, and for all the "German build quality" they advertise, shouldn't I expect to get a few good years of service before things break?
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Old 03-17-2015   #2
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Hmmm...
I had to send a 135mm f/3.4 Apo Teylt to DAG to fix its backfocusing. Whereas my 1960s era 135mm f/4 Tele Elmar focuses perfectly at all distances.
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Old 03-17-2015   #3
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I have to say that Zeiss service has been excellent once I got in touch with Zeiss NJ. I am currently shooting a loaner 15mm which came by next day post. But this doesn't change the fact that mine has yet to return to functionality...

Anyone had similar experiences with modern Leica and Zeiss lenses?
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Old 03-17-2015   #4
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Aren't all of the Zeiss glass made by Cosina (Japan) ?
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Old 03-17-2015   #5
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Not all - the said Distagon ZM is one of the (arguably few) exceptions still made in Germany.

Being German, I have never believed in "German build quality" - it was the thing that drove all Germans to buy Japanese cameras...
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Old 03-17-2015   #6
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To take this totally off-topic, I have read somewhere that "Made in Germany" was originally used in the UK as a kind of warning label, though not warning about the quality but about the potentially hostile economical aspect involved...

Back to topic: A friend of mine who is a professional photographer told me way back in the late 80s that he had seen the occasional Leica lens that was broken out of the box. So there.
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Old 03-17-2015   #7
craygc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Aren't all of the Zeiss glass made by Cosina (Japan) ?
Not that big, expensive 15mm ZM
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Old 03-17-2015   #8
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Can't afford the new ones. My old ones are not a problem since they are already broken in.
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Old 03-17-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
Not all - the said Distagon ZM is one of the (arguably few) exceptions still made in Germany.

Being German, I have never believed in "German build quality" - it was the thing that drove all Germans to buy Japanese cameras...
Really. Zeiss even marked the barrel of the 15mm with big, white letters "Lens made in Germany". I thought it should be something they're proud of.
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Old 03-17-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Aren't all of the Zeiss glass made by Cosina (Japan) ?
The 15mm is the only exception. Finish and feel is definitely a notch above the ZM lenses and even Leica...just not very reliable as-is.
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