Say it Isn't So!!!!

Started Jan 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
Irakly Shanidze
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Re: It isn't so
In reply to VladimirV, Jan 7, 2012

VladimirV wrote:

Thanks for your reply, this is the kind of conversation I would like to have regarding the Leica cameras.

We might or might not agree but I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my post.

You are welcome

I just wonder if the demand there is gives Leica enough money and if they would not be much better off lowering the price slightly to cater to a higher market. I don't think their strategy to re-badge Panasonic cameras to cater for a lower priced market makes sense...

2011 was the most profitable year in Leica history, from what I know. At this point, they cannot fulfill global demand: there is a backlog on all Leica lenses except Summarit-M line. On some lenses it is as long as nine months. The situation with S-system is pretty much the same.

I agree that rebadging Panasonic cameras (even though Leica participation in R&D of these particular cameras is very significant) dilutes the value of the brand, but this is not my, or yours, decision to make. There is some logic to it, although I am not buying into it.

...With Leica I rarely have to go above ISO1250 because there is no need.

Can you elaborate on why there is no need? I am not sure I understand?

Because at f/1, 1/15, ISO1250 I can shoot a properly exposed picture lit by a candle from ten fit away. Most situations that I encounter are brighter than that.

The quantity of light is based on the lens but you can mount the very same lenses on the GXR and NEX cameras so you will not only get the same amount if light at ISO 1250 but you can go to ISO 3200 or 12800 and so on with these cameras.

No, quantity of light based on the number and intensity of light sources available. It is an external factor and has nothing to do with the lens. Do not confuse it with quantity of light on the sensor.

Electronic lenses focus at whatever aperture the firmware tells them but I was talking about using legacy and especially M lenses which you use at working aperture and have a TTL view and accurate DOF and histogram at any given time.

AF speed and precision is directly related to amount of light passed through the lens. So as brightness of a viewfinder. Therefore, focusing at the working aperture compromises AF performance and makes framing difficult in low light. This is precisely the reason why all modern SLR cameras focus wide open and trip aperture blades right before the exposure. Same thing with mirrorless cameras that have TTL focusing.

You should try out a GXR Mount A12 or NEX-5n with a M lens mounted on it, it's a different experience than what you would get on the camera with a electronic lens or on a rangefinder camera.

I tried out NEX-5n with 1.4/35. In low light, electronic focusing was possible only by means of using specular highlights as focus points. However, it was the inability to stabilize the camera by pressing it against my eye, and the viewfinder giving me away by illuminating my face what I disliked the most.

I am not saying that the optical rangefinder is inherently better than electronic. My position is that at this point, technology of digital focus assessment is not advanced enough to match the analog option. Some day it inevitably will develop to the point of matching and quite possibly superseding optics, but until that happens, I will be relying on my left eye.

... The X100 hybrid viewfinder is in my opinion the future of rangefinders and this is what Leica should do.

And you can be sure that it will, but not by dropping the optical rangefinder.

Leica was already late to develop the first digital rangefinder and Epson not only did it first but also did it better compared to Leica's first try with the M8.

Epson RD-1 was an awesome toy indeed. Don't forget, however, it had a 6mpix APS-C sensor. At the time when it came out, 6mpix could to be used for any professional work except reportage (provided you don't crop anything). M8, on the other hand, despite its notorious IR sensitivity, was a professional camera, which I used for more than three years.

... you should look at the GXR Mount A12 and Sony NEX but also at the Fuji X100 to see what can be done with modern technology and how much more useful or better a Leica M9 would be if it had incorporated only half of the things these cameras have.

I tested Fuji X100 in June. The dual viewfinder is indeed impressive, but AF was anemic. Body design is lovely, but the lens delivered much less than I had expected. After using it for three days, I had an impression that Leica and Fuji should have developed X1/X100 hybrid jointly, leaving optical and mechanical parts to Leica and electronics to Fuji. Even then, without an optical rangefinder it would be something that I would be interested in spending my money on.

Being able to focus in almost complete darkness, have a 100% accurate viewfinder with realtime histogram and DOF preview, being free from needing rangefinder coupling on lenses, have a smaller camera with very good high ISO and so on is not to be underestimated.

What you don't understand is something that Jono tried to explain before: seeing the world the way it is, not the way your lens sees it is the fundamental idea of rangefinder design, which immensely influences the way that image is approached and taken. It is not necessarily superior to TTL approach, but somehow I like look of pictures that I took with Leica M better than with any TTL, or SLR camera, even S2.

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