Leica executives visited the Russian KMZ plant where the new Zenit full-frame mirrorless digital camera will be produced

On October 12th, 2016 Leica executives, including Andreas Kaufmann (majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica) and Markus Limberger (COO, member of the management board) visited the KMZ plant in Russia following some conversations during the last Photokina show (KMZ = Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant where the new Zenit camera will be produced). According to Patriot, the internal KMZ newspaper, the parties “expressed an interest in joint work (…) in the field of observation and photographic equipment”. During the visit of the plant, Dr. Kaufmann reportedly appreciated the Optar 8mm f/1.2 Super-16 lens (Google translation):

The October issue of the factory newspaper Patriot reports on the visit to Krasnogorsk plant on October 12, S.A. Zverev by representatives of Leica Camera AG (Germany) represented by the chairman of the supervisory board of the company Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (Andreas Kaufmann) and director of production of the Board of Directors of the company Markus Limberger (Markus Limberger). As far as we know, the negotiations were a continuation of the contacts started within the framework of the Photokina-2016 exhibition, which took place in Cologne (Germany) from September 20 to September 25. At the talks, issues of possible cooperation between the parties in the field of digital photographic equipment were raised.

It follows from the editorial note that “following the results of the talks, the parties expressed interest in joint work, outlined concrete steps for the near future on in-depth study of proposals on interaction in the field of observing and photographic equipment.”

It is also reported that “after the meeting, the delegation visited the assembly shop for consumer goods, civil and special products. The guests highly appreciated the demonstrated phototechnics, in particular, Dr. Kaufman mentioned Optar film lens 1,2 / 8, which was presented to him as a memorable souvenir. ”

Judging by the streamlining of the final formulations, this visit to the plant was of a more exploratory nature and is connected with the information noise that was raised in the press in February. In other words, the guests from Germany decided “on the spot” to check the seriousness of the media reports, in which Leica Camera AG cameras were mentioned as analogs. The extent to which the company was interested in the capabilities of KMZ in the field of object-building and monitoring devices, and how cooperation with the plant seems to be at all – will show the subsequent development of events.

I also received some additional information that confirms the potential relationship between Leica and Zenit, I am just not sure if all the negotiations/investments and already finalized.

Related articles:

KMZ-Leica partnership: actual news and how a rumour takes shape and grows

Rumors: Zenit to work together with Leica on their upcoming full-frame mirrorless digital camera (did Leica purchased Zenit?)

Zenit considered working with other major companies on their new full-frame mirrorless digital camera

The Russian company Zenit to release a new full-frame mirrorless digital camera in 2018

The Russian Zenit (Зенит) camera brand is coming back to life

Thanks Mistral75!

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