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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Is Canon Buying Leica?

Upon consideration, I think this should be accorded official status as an urban legend. It seems to be a recurrent fantasy of Leicaphiles that resurfaces regularly; I think I first heard it in about 1992, and flurries of rumor have cropped up at regular intervals since then.

The only faintly reputable connection I've ever heard about is that Canon subcontracts the press-moulded aspherical elements for Leica's ASPH lenses—or rather, for Raytheon's Elcan NA facility, which makes Leica's ASPH lenses. But I'm not even sure of that; Canon would not confirm when I checked with "my sources" (i.e., a guy I know who works there) seven years or so ago.

The teasers in LPI about the upcoming digital M (see below) reference a 1.3X sensor, and as far as I know Canon is the only company that makes a sensor that size. That could either be an indication of increased cooperation, or merely the source of the most recent spate of rumors about a corporate purchase.

Now, nothing's impossible. None of this proves that Canon will not buy Leica next week, or that the Federal government is not bugging the teeth of homeless people, or that the sun will not explode day after tomorrow. The former is indeed more likely than either of the latter.

But, as the saying goes, I wouldn't hold my breath (and before you believe such a thing has actually happened, make sure you see the press releases from both companies).

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON

2 Comments:

Blogger Salva said...

Last 28 Dec was the "april fools day" in Spain, and this website www.caborian.com put their joke (canon buying leica), I think this is the internet rumour that everybody hears.

1:19 PM  
Blogger jamietie said...

The Leica DMR uses a 1.3x factor chip, I don't know the origin of it, but I don't think it's canon...

1:26 PM  

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