Quote Originally Posted by rhphoto
A guy I worked with at a camera store long time ago said "If you take a Nikon, a Canon and a Leica to the top of Mt Everest, the only one that will still be working is the Leica. Now, whether that's true is to me a moot point.
Perhaps he's citing Leica's higher machinist standards. I once saw a documentary on a German machine shop for some product that was renoun in that industry (might have been BMW or something lesser known). The interviewer was asking the machinest what "high quality" machining meant, and why the price of their widgets were so excessively higher than the competition. The machinest took a piece of metal he was working with and slipped it through the mouth of a vice. Then he held it in his palm for about 5 seconds and slipped it through again and it stuck.

On a personal level, I finally figured out what all the hubbub was about with BMWs when I got in one and the door closed: sounded like I was being locked in a vault. A very satisfying "thunt".

Leica probably holds its machinests to a very high standard, and accepts a very low variance on their parts.

Hmm, now that I re-read the above and match it with the Mt. Everest story, they seem out of kilter. But for some reason I still believe the point it right on target.

Whether it's worth the price or not is another matter, but there is a palpable difference between high quality and over-the-top quality items of the luxury sort. Pens that are perfectly balanced, suits that feel like pjamas, gloves of hand-cut leather fit to order, cameras that give you exactly what you asked for when you pressed the shutter.

A friend said that there are so many things that can go wrong in photography; if you're doing serious work, why not put the money down to eliminate the variables you can and purchase some peace of mind.