The hype about "name" lenses

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by RichA, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    This is off topic, because it deals with
    non-DSLRs, but the use of big names for lenses
    for non-big name cameras is annoying.
    Carl Zeiss, Leitz, etc. So what? They don't
    make the lenses for these cheap cameras unless
    Carl Zeiss has a factory in China now.
    They probably design them, but that only means
    they got Zeiss to work on a lens that had
    certain "cost controls" they had to abide by.
    When these things actually HAVE lenses like
    a Summicron (for e.g.) it will BE impressive.
    Here's the latest fiasco, er, camera to boast
    this;

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05042702nokia_n90.asp
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #1
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  2. RichA

    Musty Guest

    My take on it is this:

    1) It cheapens the name for the pro user - Much like Canon cheapens the
    L-series line when saying their high-end P&S models have an L-series lens
    2) Most informed users and professionals dont care too much about 1) above -
    since they _know_ what is good.
    3) Because of 2) is not killing their high-end sales, lens companies can
    whore their high-end brands to sell to the masses. This happened in the car
    industry. There used to be a time when "GT" meant something, now you have
    Ford Escort GT, Mustang GT and Ford GT - all GT grade cars apparently.

    Branding is the key here. Many corporations have moved away from actually
    making things, but rather making money on branding. For example the
    "Kenmore" washing machines @ Sears are just brands. Carl Zeiss is just a
    brand. Dont get me started about designer clothing.

    Musty.
     
    Musty, Apr 28, 2005
    #2
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  3. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Here's the latest one; Schneider on a Samsung.

    http://dc2.donga.com/zero/zboard.ph...c=on&select_arrange=headnum&desc=asc&no=17281
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #3
  4. RichA

    Stacey Guest

    Stacey, Apr 28, 2005
    #4
  5. RichA

    Chrlz Guest

    the use of big names for lenses for non-big name cameras
    Why would it annoy you?
    How do you know that?
    99.9% of all lenses ever made have limits placed upon them.
    Some of them do.
    Where's the bit about it being a fiasco? I was expecting to read a
    review showing how the lens did not live up to its name, but all I see
    is you making an assumption. Which lenses are you *specifically*
    referring to, or is this just a rant/troll?

    If a lens is made to a set of high specifications why does it matter
    where it is made? If Messrs Zeiss or Leitz, or whoever are willing to
    put their name on a lens, then so be it - if they are bad lenses, they
    will lose their reputation. I suspect those spec's will generally be
    high, and I also suspect that they will demand to test at least samples
    of the resulting lenses. I suspect they also read reviews and learn
    from mistakes as they try to keep their reputations intact.

    So which particular lenses are you saying are bad, and which reviews
    show this? Can you point to some supporting links or evidence that
    show how these companies are losing their kudos because of poorly
    manufactured lenses?


    And yes, it is the wrong group anyway.
     
    Chrlz, Apr 28, 2005
    #5
  6. So, do you ever take pictures and stuff, or just complain about everything?
     
    Brion K. Lienhart, Apr 28, 2005
    #6
  7. RichA

    RichA Guest

    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #7
  8. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Because it seems any company will "sell out" to make an extra $2.00.
    There are a few companies that resist it. Here is one, waiting list
    for their products is five years or so and it grows longer all the
    time, thanks to an impeccable reputation.
    http://www.astro-physics.com/
    Do you think cell phone camera lenses are made in West Germany?
    Sure, but lets not pretend a lens for a Leica SLR has the
    same quality standard as a $300 Sony digicam. How much money
    do you think they have available for the lens on a camera that
    retails for $300-$400??
    All lenses with German company names that grace Japense cameras made
    in Japan or China.
    The mistake was selling their names.
    All of them.
    Then why did you reply?
    -Rich
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #8
  9. Why shouldn't a firm produce a design which is more cost-sensitive than
    for a pure Leica-brand camera? The end result is certainly most
    impressive in the Leica lenses on the Panasonic FZ5 and FZ20.

    Is there any deception intended or implied - do they say "lenses made in
    Germany" or anything like that? Is the reputation of the name because of
    the fundamental design skills or because of manufacturing quality?
    Perhaps there is a little of the latter, in which case could Leica
    withdraw the name if quality wasn't maintained?

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Apr 28, 2005
    #9
  10. I think the reputation of the name is due to design skills,
    manufacturing quality, *and relative lack of limits* -- the designers
    were allowed to go pretty far out after quality. Putting the brand
    name on lesser lenses cheapens it. If the lenses aren't lesser, then
    Leica (for example) should be showing higher profits on their own lens
    lines :).
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 28, 2005
    #10
  11. David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
    []
    I'd broadly accept that.
    I'm not privy to Leica (for example) profit figures, but I would certainly
    say their lenses (as used on some point+shoot cameras) are amongst the
    best available, if not /the/ best in class. Whether the same could be
    said about a brand name gracing a lens on a mobile phone camera, I somehow
    doubt.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Apr 28, 2005
    #11
  12. RichA

    Larry Guest

    Sometimes it doesn't take much for me to lose respect for a "Brand" name.

    Ziess is a good example. Once they put thier name on a cell phone lens, they
    fell from the top of my list, right into the crapper.

    The same thing will happen to whatever company becomes the first to make a
    DSLR with a "movie mode". Persuing this kind of crapolla robs the budget
    from the R&D departments working on meaningfull improvements.

    Somewhere in the engineering/development stage someone needs to have the
    courage to say "yes, we CAN do it, but SHOULD we?".

    Doing things just because you can, isnt the way to engender respect, and it
    can make you end up looking like a fool.

    If a lens designer/builder is so strapped for cash they need to take on
    bullshit projects like "cell phone lenses", I really dont think they are
    being managed properly, and they probably are shooting themselves in the foot
    by letting the world know they did it.
     
    Larry, Apr 28, 2005
    #12
  13. RichA

    RichA Guest

    It is?
    Remember the Mercedes E190?
    -Rich
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #13
  14. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Don't they already charge 40% more for a rebranded Panasonic?
    -Rich
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #14
  15. RichA

    RichA Guest

    The person who invented "digital zooming" will have to devote the rest
    of their lives to charity work in order to stay out of Hell.
    -Rich
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #15
  16. RichA

    tlianza Guest

    Hi to all,

    There are a number of reasons for high end lens design firms to end up on
    low end projects.

    1. Patents. The good design firms regularly go through patent reviews on
    their designs. In the low end zoom market there are considerable portfolios
    of patents that need to be checked before a design can be released. Lens
    design is a fairly small world and it is very competitive. The "name"
    companies have large portfolios and great design history. This is also true
    for view finder design.

    2. The lens design for modern point and shoot cameras is very challenging.
    Good, cheap lenses are not easy to design. The better firms have the
    proprietary tolerance software to estimate real manufacturing costs and
    trade offs.

    3. Expanding markets. The design of lenses in massive volumes requires
    modern thinking. The cell phone technology and service in the US is third
    rate so it is hard to imagine a reason for a quality lens on a cell phone.
    Both Europe and Japan have more sophisticated digital systems. Cell phones
    are moving upward in the imaging market with near term resolutions of 3 to 5
    mega pixels. Better phone designs also have built in flash. These are not
    trivial designs. At GretagMacbeth, we have a group working on color
    correction for cell phone images.

    4. Expanded manufacturing. A company like Zeiss makes many OEM components
    for other companies. It's part of their business model. This is why they
    will survive and many other "names" won't.

    --
    Tom Lianza
    Director of Display and Capture Technologies
    GretagMacbeth LLC
    3 Industrial Drive
    Unit 7&8
    Windham, NH 03087
    603.681.0315 x232 Tel
    603.681.0316 Fax
     
    tlianza, Apr 28, 2005
    #16
  17. RichA

    Larry Guest

    Now there is a concept I could live with!!!

    Stupid Digital zoom just cost me a sale on Ebay...

    I listed a camera with 5x OPTICAL zoom for a fair price, and someone else
    listed the same camera as being 10x (the digital zoom) but they listed it as
    being optical Zoom! (same make/model/vintage)

    It never even dawned on me to mention the digital zoom on the camera, as for
    all intents and purposes it is an absolutely useless feature.

    Mine didnt sell with a bunch of extras @ 400...

    The other sold (camera only) for 450...

    Just confirms what I always thought about E-Bay..People LOVE to get screwed.
     
    Larry, Apr 28, 2005
    #17
  18. RichA

    Larry Guest

    I understand WHY they might do the phone lens, I just dont understand why
    they would let their NAME be used to market it. (its good for the phone
    maker, but it cheapens the Ziess image)

    Its kind of like Rolls Royce putting their name on a set of cheap shitty seat
    covers to be sold at Wal-Mart.
     
    Larry, Apr 28, 2005
    #18
  19. RichA

    RichA Guest

    I especially like watching someone bid higher than retail for a
    "hardly used" item. Sheep.
    -Rich
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #19
  20. RichA

    RichA Guest

    This reminds me of when THX was sold by George Lucas to that crappy
    computer company, I forget their name. But, once that was done,
    the THX standards split, so they could badge CRAP components with the
    THX logo under the spec "THX Select."
    My biggest gripe with Zeiss however was when the two Germanys
    reunited, Zeiss Jena (East) was making a lens called the APQ, regarded
    as the finest telescope lens ever made by some. Zeiss West Germany
    killed the program.
    -Rich
     
    RichA, Apr 28, 2005
    #20
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