Andrew Elliott: Due to near-endless years of long hours of and hard work, at the cost of many a relationship, etc., I was able to buy a Monochrom last December. The 5dMk3, EM1, K5, GR V, etc are all gathering dust in the cupboard as this fantastic camera proves its worth again and again with its magnificent output.
Each to their own, but for me, the Monochrome, foibles and all, is the best camera out there. I even love its quirks. I also like the name of this new one, the Elliott. Even that is spelt properly (other Elliotts will understand)!
The advantage using A12M is primarily against peripheral colour shifting and smudging, ever-present in DSLM+adapter implementations with WA lenses, that can degrade IQ sharply. Vignetting is also a concern but it can be corrected PP easily. I cannot rely on a single image /single lens to determine vignetting. It's not true that the reviews are not worth looking assuming resampled jpegs- in this way we'd have no basis for conversation. See this one that shows no vignetting:http://www.waloszek.de/gxr_mm_vc15_e.php
"Inherenty APSC avoids many of these problems."Not really. As I said, DSLM cameras do not 'respond' well to certain-design WA M lenses. GXR A12M is by far superior to them. Have a look at reviews. I can't see the problem at the image you refer to: vignetting might be present in the actual image or the result of a specific lens, independent of the sensor's output.
The GXR M is designed not to cause the issues that other APS-C or A7 sensors have. Have a look at reviews: there is a consensus about how well A12M handles those film-era M lens designs.
The resolving power stands between D810 and 645Z at base ISO. That's good and quite expected. Unfortunately, the high ISO performance is not as exciting which is, again, quite expected since this is a FF, not MF, sensor.
Ricoh describes the key-characteristic of the sensor in the A12M module as follows:"The large 23.6 × 15.7 mm CMOS sensor offers beautiful bokeh as well as rich tone gradations. Taking into account the use of lenses such as the symmetrical wide-angle lenses of the film era, this sensor optimizes on-chip micro-lens performance and suppresses peripheral light falloff and color balance changes. There are approximately 12.30 million effective pixels. Based on the design concept of making the best use of the special characteristics of film-era lens, GR MOUNT A12 makes it possible to draw out all of the sharp imaging power of both classic lenses and the CMOS sensor."
The primary reason that the Ricoh A12 M GXR module is vastly superior to all mirrorless+adapter solutions on the market to using M lenses is that fact the sensor was specifically constructed to compensate for the M lens design challenges. As a result, when you use super wide angle lenses like the 15mm Heliar there is no image quality degradation in the periphery.
As Michael Reichmann from luminous-landscape.com in his review of the A12M module puts it:"The M module’s sensor is a CMOS design with 12.3 Megapixels . The size is APS-C. It has microlenses specifically designed for the back-focus distance of Leica M lenses, and as already mentioned, does not have an anti-aliasing filter. This latter point may be one of the most important contributors to the GXR-M’s very high image quality."
Jim Evidon: Actually, it is the Leica bodies as well and they do not suck. They are built like a bank vault which it not necessarily appealing to the average amateur, but very necessary to the professional and even the amateur that wants a long lasting camera body that can take a beating.
I bought my first film Leica many years ago and then succumbed to the SLR's. A few years back, I bought a factory refurbished demonstrator M8. Leica's are intuitive uncomplicated cameras that simply take superb images. No deep menus. As you remarked, the glass is unparalleled and combined with the Leica sensor and firmware gives the Leica that certain look which combines IQ with contrast, color and texture that is different from the competition. Not necessarily better. It is just different.
I've found that owning a Leica is a long term thing and in the long run, I doubt if it is any more expensive than owning a Canon/Nikon replaced every 3 to 4 years by owners that must have the latest bells & whistles.
Actually, they are not. If you exclude the RF mechanism, which cannot take any beating at all, needing alignment regularly, the occasional buffer/FW issues and LCD issues (depending on the model), then, yes, they are built like a bank vault... so no, they are not. Pieces of non-moving metal give a sense of robustness but metal does not malfunction or break down, mechanisms and electronics do, and Leica's are as reliable as any other manufacturer's, they're nothing special.
I'm not against technological pluralism, obviously. Leica, unfortunately, is the only digital RF camera maker (although Epson RD1 was very promising but wasn't followed up, and there is a new RF digital camera company in the making). Their pricing policy reflects poorly, in my opinion, on them. It is also very unfortunate that Cosina (Zeiss Ikon [now discontinued], Voigtlander) is their only competitor in the film RF camera market. For now, I prefer the Ricoh GXR + A12M that,although not an RF, is far better than M8 and close to M9 for a fraction of the Leica cost.
Could you care to explain what exactly is that this camera does, and at $7.5K at that, and others cameras don't as it is not all that self-evident?
Jylppy: I really really like what Leica does. They have taken photography to completely new level. I do not own a Leica and I cannot afford one, but to me shooting Leica is a life-style question and I do not mean "luxury life-style" here.
There is something very timeless, elegant and traditional in their cameras that have magnificent optics and "manual" and "slow" (in positive terms) shooting experience. These cameras are not about EVF, Zebras, 5-axis sensor stabilization, etc. but about timeless photography at its purest. I relate shooting Leica to having a Swiss Chronograph - there are far more accurate timepieces available at $20, but there is something beyond technical features in having a Swiss timepiece. And I am not talking about showing off wealth, but about respect for tradition, history and craftsmanship.
Maybe you should read abluesky's little thread further down.
These look like fakes of MS-Optical lenses...
Richard Schumer: Reading the discussion so far, it appears to me many people have never used a rangefinder. My first serious camera (~1957 Minolta II) had a superimposed rf and even to my young eyes, it was dim, small, and uncertain to focus. Because of this, I traded for a newish Aries (w/Nikkor f:2.0 lens!) with an M-3 style bright finder. It was better but not yet good enough. I traded that for an SLR (Contax-D) and have never used a rangefinder again.
Some people, I believe, perceive the world in a way that invites the superimposition focus method, and others, like me, do not.
The point is: before you criticize this camera, whose range/viewfinder probably adds a couple of thousand dollars to its price, use one from a rental shop or a friendly, trusting dealer. You may love it or hate it. But it will be an informed emotion.
What do you think?
Agreed, my apologies, no insult intended. I'm stressing a very common -unfortunately- practice by Leica -blind- followers.
I repeat that if an RF mechanism costs $2500 how is it possible that Voigtlander rangefinder cameras would cost around $500-700 and the very prestigious and expensive Zeiss Ikon around $1500-2000 (that is, the whole camera, not just its RF mechanism)?
garyknrd: I am fairly new to photography ( since retirement ). I enjoy looking at the pics, but hard for me to justify the cost. What is the difference in buying a Leica lens and putting it on your existing camera and snapping some pics? Is there that much difference?
I tend to hold my cameras for years. I can afford it if I really wanted it. I just cannot seem to turn the corner.
I am beginning to think these are for long time pro's that gradually move into this type of shooting. Not sure.
You need to read about flange distance before commenting. Almost all DSLM systems accept LM lenses without loss of infinity focus.
An RF mechanism costs next to nothing, so let's not fluff about it. If it costed thousands of dollars how is it possible that Voigtlander RF csneras cost a few hundred dollars... Really....There is nothing magical about any focusing method; you shoot with whatever means is available. Once, much less was available, nowadays people have too many options and end up BS-ing about hot air...
These are the most entertaining threads... Leica, where are yours, as of lately? Give us some Special Edition sensor rendition! :-)))
Canon found the ultimate way to draw attention in their new camera models. It will cost them a tad bit more than the conventional marketing methods but people will remember (not to buy) these camera models for years to come. No competition can overshadow the imminent fame. :-)))
RStyga: Leica "upgrades" a $7,500 camera with Live View and 3" 921K LCD in 2015? At this rate they might catch up with the rest by 2050, give or take a decade.
Although good adapters are abundant for DSLM cameras, a native M mount camera could put a stop, or at least a brake, to the Leica camera charade...
Yes, I remember reading about it. We will see. So far the best implementation was done by Ricoh with GXR+A12M but it's an APS-C 12MP sensor (albeit without an AA filter). Sadly, they don't seem to be willing to follow up this with a newer, higher-res, model.
:-) I can see an army of Nikon soldiers sharpening their poisonous arrows for this post... Let the "fun" begin!
Leica 'cannot' be good value: their know how is grossly overestimated. They once made and still make excellent film cameras and make excellent lenses. (The price is a very different story.) At any rate, there is nothing tangible that is uniquely superior about Leica digital cameras. 'Digital' and 'Leica' do not combine very well.
It's hard to justify the cost because there is no justification for that cost. Leica has a provocative pricing policy and no photographer should tolerate it. Leica digital cameras do not last more than any well-built camera on the market, it's a myth. Leica digital cameras are sluggish, low-tech, non-ergonomic and expensive to buy and maintain. Leica lenses are excellent but too expensive for what they offer. You are, simply, way better off with a mirrorless camera system, APS-C or a Sony A7 series full frame, in practically all respects.