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View Full Version : Have you been to Wetzlar recently? Worth it?


raid
12-23-2015, 07:35
I am contemplating to somehow convince my better half that "it is a good idea to stop at Wetzlar" during our trip to Germany in 2016. :D
Is it really worth a visit?
The Global Communications Director of the Leica AG suggested once to me that their Museum and paying homage to Leica's history were worth a visit.
Have you been to Wetzlar?

robert blu
12-23-2015, 09:06
I would be interested as well to visit the lace, if worthwhile...
robert

raid
12-23-2015, 09:13
Maybe our roads will cross again, Robert! It would be a "Polaroid Moment".

raid
12-23-2015, 09:22
http://www.heidelbergcement.de/sites/default/files/assets/images/23/66/20140703_1_1.jpg

http://www.giessener-anzeiger.de/img_L2ZtLzgxOS90aHVtYm5haWxzL0NPTl81MTM3ODYzMTdfNT UyMjFfTS5qcGcuMjE0NjE4MDUuanBn_L2ZtLzgxOS90aHVtYm5 haWxzL0NPTl81MTM3ODYzMTdfNTUyMjFfTS5qcGcuMjE0NjE4M DguanBn.jpg



from their web page

rscheffler
12-23-2015, 09:33
Apparently it's the only place in the world with a Leica outlet store...! Better check the hours before going, as I believe it's not open every day (the outlet store).

farlymac
12-23-2015, 09:54
I don't own a Leica, and I'd go there. From others photos I've seen of the place it looks very interesting.

PF

raid
12-23-2015, 10:18
I would like to get a VIP tour of the place (somehow!). I want to chat with Oliver Kaltner about Leica in Wetzlar.

robert blu
12-23-2015, 10:31
Maybe our roads will cross again, Robert! It would be a "Polaroid Moment".

A "Polaroid Moment" in Wetzlar? Sehr gut!
robert

raid
12-23-2015, 10:36
The Leica CEO will be shocked!
We can attach a red Leica logo to our Polaroid camera!

Vince Lupo
12-23-2015, 11:30
Wetzlar is a very pretty town and to me worth the visit - you can still see some scenes that Oskar Barnack photographed almost 100 years ago.

And of course you'll get to stand here!

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1521/23931311505_2bdf1f437d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/CsJea4)
Me and Oskar (https://flic.kr/p/CsJea4) by Vince Lupo (https://www.flickr.com/photos/direction-one-inc/), on Flickr

raid
12-23-2015, 11:42
You need to hold a Barnack Leica then!
Cool photo of yourself, Vince.

raid
12-23-2015, 11:43
The same highway that takes you from Frankfurt am Main to Wetzlar, also continues to Jena. Zeiss Jena comes to mind ...

f16sunshine
12-23-2015, 11:48
Raid

When Are you going? I'll be in Switzerland in April and May.
I have a friend to visit in Frankfurt which is not too far away.
What are the chances or a fun RFF meeting?

Vince Lupo
12-23-2015, 11:52
You need to hold a Barnack Leica then!
Cool photo of yourself, Vince.

In that photo I am - honest! Black Leica III with a VIDOM finder and a 9cm Fat Elmar. I think Oskar would have approved.

raid
12-23-2015, 11:58
Raid

When Are you going? I'll be in Switzerland in April and May.
I have a friend to visit in Frankfurt which is not too far away.
What are the chances or a fun RFF meeting?

We can discuss via pm, Andy.

raid
12-23-2015, 11:59
In that photo I am - honest! Black Leica III with a VIDOM finder and a 9cm Fat Elmar. I think Oskar would have approved.

Confess: did you honor Barnack with a moment of silence and prayer?! :D

"May all your camera designs and products outlive any digital nonsense ..."

aoresteen
12-23-2015, 12:16
I was in Germany last Oct for 3 weeks. The other 3 persons (my wife included :) ) in my group were not interested in going to Wetzlar so I missed it.

I did want to see the Zeiss plant. Missed it.

The ladies did get to see the Käthe Wohlfahrt stores in Rothenburg AND Oberammergau :D

We did try to see the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart but is was closed on Mondays. Make sure you check their hours!

robert blu
12-23-2015, 12:28
The Leica CEO will be shocked!
We can attach a red Leica logo to our Polaroid camera!

Wow, a real Leicaroid :D
robert

raid
12-23-2015, 12:48
I was in Germany last Oct for 3 weeks. The other 3 persons (my wife included :) ) in my group were not interested in going to Wetzlar so I missed it.

I did want to see the Zeiss plant. Missed it.

The ladies did get to see the Käthe Wohlfahrt stores in Rothenburg AND Oberammergau :D

We did try to see the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart but is was closed on Mondays. Make sure you check their hours!

I have been once to the Mercedes Museum In Stuttgart. They have some beautiful cars there. One was a huge cabrio.

raid
12-23-2015, 12:49
Leicaroid is a new name for a new camera!

pechelman
12-23-2015, 13:03
regarding the "worth it" part of the question;

I have heard from another source, that while you're on the tour, you can give them pretty much anything Leica that needs a quick service, and they'll do it for you as a courtesy.

Lens / RF adjustments, quick cleanings, repaint missing numbers, that sort of thing. This works out nicely since there are many areas in which photograph is verboten anyway. Or so I hear.


Beyond that, I'd totally go if near the area and with travelers who didnt mind a few hour diversion.

edit: updating this post to include the source article for my post
https://theleicameet.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/the-leica-meet-wetzlar/

BillBingham2
12-23-2015, 13:40
Some years back Microsoft used to give visitors access to their store so they could buy stuff at employee prices.

If you are near by I'd say go. Get a group from RFF together and see what you can see.

B2 (;->

raid
12-23-2015, 14:59
Tempting! So tempting! I will take with me both Leica cameras .... M8 and M9

Glenn2
12-23-2015, 16:03
I remember back in the seventies that you could take a Leitz photo course in Wetzlar. As part of the course you got to use the Leica gear of your choice and wander about town shooting whatever you liked. If memory is correct the film was developed and printed for you with print critique at the end of the course.

Sure regret not doing it back then, wonder if any of the older crowd here ever took the course?

Glenn

mcfingon
12-23-2015, 19:15
Years ago, I did my BMW motorcycle pilgrimage to headquarters in Munich. Like any travel experience, you keep benefiting from it for as long as you live. I didn't have a Leica then, but if I got a chance now I would go to Wetzlar, with my '33 III in hand.

Kent
12-24-2015, 03:30
Raid, you definitely should go there!

And if you drop me a line some time in advance, we can meet there again. :)
I'm not even an hour away. That would be great!

If you need help with booking the right hotel room, just let me know.

Leica in Wetzlar is worth a visit! Great exhibitions, both cameras and photos, and a shop where you can not only buy Leica gear but also franchise, such as t-shirts, caps, mugs etc.

BillBingham2
12-24-2015, 06:13
I remember back in the seventies that you could take a Leitz photo course in Wetzlar. As part of the course you got to use the Leica gear of your choice and wander about town shooting whatever you liked. If memory is correct the film was developed and printed for you with print critique at the end of the course.

Sure regret not doing it back then, wonder if any of the older crowd here ever took the course?

Glenn

My father took the Leica School of Photography at Kodak back in the mid 70's. Being new to 35mm cameras he said it was worth it. Not sure if it was the same thing as I think it was at Kodak Office.

B2 (;->

raid
12-24-2015, 06:21
Raid, you definitely should go there!

And if you drop me a line some time in advance, we can meet there again. :)
I'm not even an hour away. That would be great!

If you need help with booking the right hotel room, just let me know.

Leica in Wetzlar is worth a visit! Great exhibitions, both cameras and photos, and a shop where you can not only buy Leica gear but also franchise, such as t-shirts, caps, mugs etc.

This is a great idea, Kent! I need to somehow include the Leica visit in our itinerary. Thank you for the willingness to meet with us again. We can discuss in the upcoming months via msg at RFF where the trip is evolving to. My goal would not be to buy more stuff there. I want to meet with the CEO if he is there.

raid
12-24-2015, 06:33
Let me know if you will be going; I'm about 3 hours away.

I did not see your post before.
I will do so!

raid
12-24-2015, 06:35
Wetzlar is located close to Frankfurt or to Bonn.


It would work out as Nuremberg-Wetzlar-Bonn for me. Hm. I could be done. It should be done.

raid
12-24-2015, 07:47
Is anyone interested in a brief RFF meeting after 1PM in Wetzlar for June 1?
Of course, it is "brief" only in my case! Stay as long as your heart desires it.

robert blu
12-24-2015, 07:48
Is anyone interested in a brief RFF meeting after 1PM in Wetzlar for June 1?
Of course, it is "brief" only in my case! Stay as long as your heart desires it.

Of course me and Simo are interested!
robert

raid
12-24-2015, 07:57
Of course me and Simo are interested!
robert

Rasha is looking forward to seeing you and Simo again. I will do my very best to keep my itinerary in place. It should be doable.

robert blu
12-24-2015, 08:07
Should I stare to spare a little bit just in case there is an "interesting" shop around there? :)
robert
PS: of course I mean T-shirts and...

raid
12-24-2015, 08:08
I know what you mean!
You never know, though. A T-shirt with Leica Q on it ...

raid
12-24-2015, 08:23
Leica Store

OPENING HOURS
Mon: 10:00 18:00
Tue: 10:00 18:00
Wed: 10:00 18:00 June 1 **********************
Thu: 10:00 18:00
Fri: 10:00 18:00
Sat: 10:00 16:00
===========================



PARKING
Am-Leitz-Park 5, 35578 Wetzlar, Visitor Parking

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Bus no. 12, bus stop Schanzenfeldstrasse

Mon.-Fri.: from 5.15 a.m. to 9:27 p.m., approx. every 20 minutes
Sat.: from 6.27 a.m. to 8:27 p.m., approx. hourly
Sun. and public holidays: from 7.05 a.m. to 9:36 p.m., approx every two hours
================================================== ====


World of Leica Camera in Leitz-Park
The Leica Camera AG site, the Leitz Park, represents the new focal point of Leica culture. As a new mecca for visiting photo enthusiasts from around the globe, the Leitz Park offers everything Leica fans, professional photographers and new customers could wish for. Nowhere else can they find themselves immersed so completely in the world of Leica. Meet our Leica colleagues face-to-face – they will be pleased to answer any questions you may have and glad to take note of your suggestions.

The new factory is the home of Leica Camera AG’s ‘transparent production line’. This is where you can enjoy fascinating insights into the production of Leica products and discover the history of Leica photography in the Leica Museum. Take the time for a leisurely walk around the 1,000 square metres of the Foyer and see regularly changing exhibitions of the work of prominent Leica photographers. The Leitz Park is also the home of Leica Customer Care and the Leica Akademie, with its range of fascinating workshops.

Rest and refresh yourself in the Leitz Park. Visit the Leica Casino and discover our menu of freshly-made national and international culinary delights. Take a seat in our own Café Leitz, enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Leitz Park and relax and unwind with a view of the impressive architecture of the company headquarters and the Leica Store.

Opening hours of the World of Leica Camera in Leitz-Park: Monday - Friday / 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

================================================== ========

raid
12-24-2015, 08:26
I may have to miss this part since their open times are very limited :(



Leica Outlet Store Wetzlar
Leitz-Park

Am Leitz-Park 15
35578 Wetzlar
Germany

During your visit to our Outlet Store, take the opportunity to purchase used and discontinued products at special prices.
The offers are constantly changing. Offers and the sale of the these products is done exclusively in the Outlet during its opening hours.

Thu: 13:00 – 18:00 Uhr .................. June 2
Fri: 10:00 - 18:00 Uhr
Sat: 10:00 – 16:00 Uhr

raid
12-25-2015, 15:38
I have emailed the Communications Officer my request to have a meeting with the CEO for us RFF members at Wetzlar on June 1. There is nothing to lose by asking such a question.

Kent
12-27-2015, 15:04
Is anyone interested in a brief RFF meeting after 1PM in Wetzlar for June 1?
Of course, it is "brief" only in my case! Stay as long as your heart desires it.

As long as my job allows, I'm definitely in! :)

Kent
12-27-2015, 15:08
Should I stare to spare a little bit just in case there is an "interesting" shop around there? :)
robert
PS: of course I mean T-shirts and...

There is the store dierctly in the main building.

But if you are interested in finding a special (also used) item, one of the greatest Leica experts has a store in Wetzlar as well, Lars Netopil.
You will find his shop about 10 minutes away by car, right in the centre of the town, close to the cathedral-like church - and within walking distance from a great little café. ;)

Just contact him beforehand and I'm sure he will try to find something for you.

http://www.lars-netopil.com/en/index.html

raid
12-27-2015, 15:18
Great tip, Kent! Thanks. Is he a RFF member?
He should be.

http://lars-netopil.com/en/index.html

robert blu
12-28-2015, 01:26
Thanks Kent for the tip...
robert

raid
12-28-2015, 14:03
It is a good possibility that we stay there June 1/2.

Chromacomaphoto
01-20-2016, 00:20
Would be interested in hearing your general feedback of the experience and the kinds of other people that you meet who are also visiting there. I can't decide if this visit would be a good idea or not. It could either be really interesting or a total turn off but yet I can't explain why somehow.

Kent
01-20-2016, 09:27
Everytime I went there (I live only about half an hour driving away) the Leica staff was extremely nice and helpful. Last time I was allowed to test shoot the new SL with the 24-90 and they also gave me an M-adapter to click my M-lenses to the cam.

(My German blog entry about that experience: )
https://retrocameracs.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/super-lengendaer/


The other visitors I have met there were also very friendly. Somhow each of them had that special "blink" in their eyes, somthing like "Wow! I have just seen the item I have been dreaming about for years!" ;)
Perhaps this shimmering in their eyeballs is what they call the "Leica glow". LOL

raid
01-20-2016, 09:32
They will be open on June 1, the owner has told me.

raid
01-20-2016, 09:34
I emailed the Leica dealership and prominent camera dealer in Wetzlar. He will have his shop open on June 1 from 3:30PM-6:30Pm. Someone pointed him out to me for a visit.

Raid

http://lars-netopil.com/en/index.html



..am Mittwoch den 01. Juni 2016 haben wir von 15.30h bis 18.30h geöffnet. Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Besuch.

frdl. Grüsse L. Netopil

Lars Netopil Classic Cameras
www.lars-netopil.com

LEICA-STORE® WETZLAR-ALTSTADT

robert blu
01-20-2016, 09:39
Thanks Kent for your blog post, for sure an interesting experience.
robert
PS: hmm, I feel a possible GAS attack next summer...:)

Kent
01-23-2016, 02:54
I emailed the Leica dealership and prominent camera dealer in Wetzlar. He will have his shop open on June 1 from 3:30PM-6:30Pm. Someone pointed him out to me for a visit.

Raid

http://lars-netopil.com/en/index.html



..am Mittwoch den 01. Juni 2016 haben wir von 15.30h bis 18.30h geöffnet. Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Besuch.

frdl. Grüsse L. Netopil

Lars Netopil Classic Cameras
www.lars-netopil.com

LEICA-STORE® WETZLAR-ALTSTADT

So, let's meet there, Raid!

I know Lars personally and even consider him to be a friend.
He has amazing items in his store and if you send him a list of item that you are interested in beforehand, I'm sure he will try to get them for you.

Chromacomaphoto
01-23-2016, 03:12
Everytime I went there (I live only about half an hour driving away) the Leica staff was extremely nice and helpful. Last time I was allowed to test shoot the new SL with the 24-90 and they also gave me an M-adapter to click my M-lenses to the cam.

(My German blog entry about that experience: )
https://retrocameracs.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/super-lengendaer/


The other visitors I have met there were also very friendly. Somhow each of them had that special "blink" in their eyes, somthing like "Wow! I have just seen the item I have been dreaming about for years!" ;)
Perhaps this shimmering in their eyeballs is what they call the "Leica glow". LOL

Thanks for that information and link Kent, very much appreciated.

norcimmus
01-24-2016, 13:34
A bit late to report about visiting Wetzlar but my experience was awesome. Nerded out during their 100 Years of Leica exhibition back in September of 2014. Lots of cool gear on display, I was there on a Saturday so the assembly area was empty although you could see the immaculately clean work spaces. The retail store employee was nice enough to give me the new M Magazine Vol. 1 for free since they didn't have an English version in stock. None of the repair technicians were working on weekends as I was asking about getting a black dot for my M6 hanging from my shoulder, all of the representatives advised to call back during weekdays to inquire about spare parts.

raid
01-24-2016, 13:43
The updated visit date seems to become May 31 and leave on June 1, but of course, this happens to be good for me on my trip, and other people here may find better suited dates.

rybolt
01-24-2016, 14:35
I''ve posted these before but it seems historically appropriate to do it again.
http://www.ryboltcox.com/Photography/Scans-1/i-qm5sjD3/1/X2/LEICAGLASS-X2.jpg

http://www.ryboltcox.com/Photography/Scans-1/i-DsRw36C/1/X2/m6assembly-X2.jpg

http://www.ryboltcox.com/Photography/Scans-1/i-V5qFwwH/1/O/leicatesting.jpg

raid
01-24-2016, 15:01
Thank you for the images.

Chromacomaphoto
01-24-2016, 16:53
I''ve posted these before but it seems historically appropriate to do it again.
http://www.ryboltcox.com/Photography/Scans-1/i-qm5sjD3/1/X2/LEICAGLASS-X2.jpg

http://www.ryboltcox.com/Photography/Scans-1/i-DsRw36C/1/X2/m6assembly-X2.jpg

http://www.ryboltcox.com/Photography/Scans-1/i-V5qFwwH/1/O/leicatesting.jpg

First time I have seen them. Very much appreciated, they are great. Thank you.

raid
01-24-2016, 18:40
I hope that we will get such a tour then.

raid
01-26-2016, 06:45
I have an update on my "crazy plan" to meet in Wetzlar. The Global Communications Officer for Leica sent me an email about it last evening. She proposed a detailed itinerary at Leica, with CEO interview and factory visit, plus Museum tour, and lunch and then coffee in the afternoon ...

The plan is to have May 31 as the main Leica day for a tour and for meeting some executives at Leica AG.

Please let me or Robert know who can attend a half day tour of Leica on May 31.
This could be a VIP tour.

Kent
01-26-2016, 07:29
Tuesday fits me even better (unless there will be one of those dreadful conferences we regularly have).

raid
01-26-2016, 07:48
It is difficult to plan ahead several months, but I must do it for my travels.
It would be great to meet up again, Kent.

Andrea Taurisano
01-26-2016, 12:27
Hmm... This thing is tempting. Won't they limit the access to factory facilities to a very restricted group? If there is a chance, I may check how much that trip from Norway would cost. Meeting you guys would be a further incentive..

raid
01-26-2016, 12:30
WOW! All the way ... from Norway.
They asked me for the number, Andrea, and they did not say what the limit is. I think that in the end this will be a VIP tour.

derleicaman
02-06-2016, 06:49
I remember back in the seventies that you could take a Leitz photo course in Wetzlar. As part of the course you got to use the Leica gear of your choice and wander about town shooting whatever you liked. If memory is correct the film was developed and printed for you with print critique at the end of the course.

Sure regret not doing it back then, wonder if any of the older crowd here ever took the course?

Glenn

I was fortunate to attend the Leica School in Wetzlar in 1972 at the tender age of 16! I talked my Dad into making an excursion to Wetzlar while visiting relatives in the Cologne area. It was a great experience. I returned in 1984 and 1986 to attend the Leica Masters course in Wetzlar as a dealer. Over the years, I have been back at least a dozen times, the last time in 2006 for the intro of the M8.

It is worth the trip, to walk in Barnack's footsteps in the old town, to see the Eisenmarkt and other areas he photographed, the old factory, the Leitz family home, Barnack's house and of course Leitz Park.

Lars Netopil is a personal friend and a wonderful person to know in the world of Leica. His shop is small but impressive. He is the VP of Leica Historica.

I wish I could join you all! It is worth making the pilgrimage to Wetzlar if you are serious about Leica.:)

raid
02-06-2016, 07:44
Thank you for the encouragement to visit Wetzlar. You are obviously very knowledgeable on Leica in Wetzlar.

derleicaman
02-06-2016, 09:27
Thank you for the encouragement to visit Wetzlar. You are obviously very knowledgeable on Leica in Wetzlar.

Indeed!:)
Leica dealer, Past President of the LHSA, current Editor LHSA Viewfinder and conceptualist/designer of the LHSA Black Paint, Hammertone and MP3

The Leica is part of my soul!

raid
02-06-2016, 09:46
It is great that you joined this thread. How do you read the Leica CEO's "welcome invitation" to us? Is this business as usual or is this "special customer service"?

derleicaman
02-06-2016, 10:17
One never knows what business as usual is in Wetzlar.

I would say they are making a special effort to meet with you. Getting to see the CEO is a plus. Not sure what might come of it, but you are certainly not dealing with a lower level person.

Attitudes have changed in Germany over the years in general. More customer oriented, friendlier. Forty years ago, they were all very "proper", and would never have met with the mere mortals who bought or were enthused about Leica. As a teenager in the early 70's, this was certainly the feeling of the place. Even in the 80's, things had not changed much. Over the years, I have made many freinds past and present with Leica Germany and USA. Eventually, you become part of the Leica family. The friends you make on your trip this Summer to Wetzlar will pay off many years in the future. That has been my experience.

Always remember they are prople too, with families and lives apart from Leica, even though that is their job it might not always be their passion. But there are still many at Leica who have the Leica passion. If you can connect on a personal level with them, they will always remember you in a positive way.

raid
02-09-2016, 06:50
I think that having me communicate with them in German helped a little to get the CEO to welcome us all.

steelheart
03-07-2016, 08:31
Leicaroid is a new name for a new camera!

Leica is designing the Leicaroid as we speak. It will be a full frame digital camera for use in the medical field. There is great anticipation of its release in related medical sectors such as https://www.fascrs.org/ and http://www.abcrs.org/history-of-the-specialty-board/