Jonathan F/2: What's the point of mirrorless if the lenses are the same size as DSLR lenses? Sony doesn't even have proper pro-oriented repair facilities like Nikon or Canon. At most these will be expensive toys for the well-heeled, amateur tech geek who likes to match their Sony TV, PlayStation 4 and Sony Alpha camera! Their idea of serious shooting entails sipping Starbucks ordered at the drive thru and shooting urban blandness of generic suburbia!
Agree completely. Sony seems to be designing some of their highest end lenses with only optical quality in mind. However, we're ending up with a suite of lenses that are large and heavy like SLR equivalents.
Both Zeiss and Leica have achieved high quality optics in much smaller form factors. Yes, lack of AF motors are one reason why the M Mount stuff is so much smaller. But I think the bigger reason is the lens designers are choosing to have size be a design constraint. Just look at how different the size is of the Zeiss ZM or Leica 35mm 1.4 lenses compared to the Sony's. Zeiss themselves also design lenses without size constraints in the Otus line. But I think what many are arguing for here is that what Zeiss does with its ZM line is more appropriate on the A7 series, and Sony should be shooting for this benchmark. The 35mm 2.8, 55mm 1.8, and 28 2 is what a fe-mount lens should look like.
arhmatic: "forever"? ditch the focus by wire, typical, ALL lens makers. Do all mechanical. The only way to make them forever.
The reality is, -this wire thing might break anytime. Might not be supported in 2-3 decades...-compatibility is an issue. How can I use my Sony lens if suddenly I want to get a body from different maker? Adapters don't work. Make them all mechanical, so we can at least focus.
The reality is, my old, 1970s Nikkor works on my Fujifilm like a charm. All manual. Fujiflm on Nikon? Never. Not that I'd need that, but just a thought... Again, do all mechanical (manual or autofocus, your choice) then it's at least a step towards "forever".
@zkz5 - There ought to be, but like you say, there isn't. Which in real world terms means, these AF CPU'd lenses will have a shelf life much shorter than the glass inside them would still be useful. Granted, electronic mounts like the EOS EF mount have been around for 30 years. But the all mechanical ones have been around even longer.
bgbs: Currently only Nikon has proven that its lenses last forver, because it never changed its mount.
Leica still uses its M-Mount, released 5 years before Nikon's F.
nathanleebush: I have to say, having gone back and read the article, I can see why there was a backlash. To present Leica's offerings completely out of context feels like a whitewash. Maybe this is how all NYTimes articles must read to someone who has some expertise in an area, but this fails to acknowledge severe problems with the Leica system, starting with their reliance on ancient technology and inability to improve on a camera they perfected decades ago.
Surely it's the best mechanical photographic tool ever made, but we live in a digital age, and Leica is remotely in last place on this count. While they were busy staying true to their heritage, exchanging film with a sensor (which exponentially degrades in value) and adding an extra 'zero' for the trouble, other brands were innovating with the exciting possibilities digital technology affords. To mention Leica's high ISO performance while failing to mention it is literally in last place among all digital cameras in this area is crazy.
Leica is hardly in last place in high iso. The Leica M typ 240 is quite competitive here, certainly more than the m9 was.
mpgxsvcd: And there will still be people that say a hacked GH2 is better than this.
Technically this sensor is a fair bit smaller than a native micro four thirds sensor.
Mazevision: Micro 4/3 has already a good selection of lenses from few brands. This is exciting news especially for the Nex system!
I hear the Olympus 12mm f/2 is a pretty swell lens...
nologo: Seems like it'd be more interesting on NEX than MFT.
It's interesting on an NEX because:-The widest lens available on it is the Sony 16mm f2.8, which isn't a terribly great lens optically.- The NEX system in general could use more fast autofocus primes.
It's not particularly interesting on the MFT system because the Olympus 12mm f/2 and Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 are both decent primes, and are looking to come in quite a bit cheaper and smaller than this.
Seems like it'd be more interesting on NEX than MFT.
Noirist: The most ridiculous thing about Leica-M is that you can easily purchase an M9 or M9-P body but it is almost impossible to purchase the high quality lenses like the 50mm f1.4 or the 35mm f1.4. So even if you're willing to shell out a ridiculous amount of money for a Leica-M, you can't.
And the most ridiculous things about DSLRs is trying to find a good 50mm 1.4 at all!
Canon's 50 1.4 doesn't perform great at 1.4, and the L's autofocus is tricky.Sigma's has unreliable autofocus as wellZeiss is manual focus only (and doesn't perform that much better than the Canon)
AmateurSnaps: That has to be the most overpriced excuse for a camera I have ever seen.
I can only imagine the type of person that pays $8,000 for such a poorly thought out design, full of old tech with nothing more than its name to sell it.
Just imagine the outcry if Canon/Nikon/Sony etc came out with something as poor as that!
If Canon/Nikon/Sony came out with a digital camera with the same design ethos as a Leica, but with their modern features and full frame sensors, I would say there would be anything but outcry.
Prophotogo: Funny how after every Leica review comes all the negative Leica bashing comments and always be people who have never used or even held a Leica, why?
If someone calls a Leica M body "archaic" they have zero idea what Leica is about they simply look at the price and try to match it against a Nikon or Canon DLSR.
Someone else said "buy a D4" why? can you really not see the point of Leica M ownership? lugging a D4 around for the day is the opposite!
Like I said all the Weekend Warriors and wannabe pros will always knock Leica as they can't afford or justify them, so if you have zero knowledge about something then why do you comment? I know zero about brain surgery so i won't comment on that and knock it!
Truth of the matter is that Leica M use is the most purest and rewarding in photography, the fact that it does not have Live View, Face Recognition and a host of other useless features is welcome and might even make you concentrate on actually taking a decent picture!
jtan163 - The m8, m9, and rD1 are the only digital cameras I'm aware of that are designed to be manual focus cameras only, and through an optical finder. Because of this it brings them much closer in design philosophy to a fully mechanical film camera, hence, "purity"
JacquesBalthazar: After reading this thread, it seems clear that the M9 still benefits from the aura of last century's "golden age", and people believe in sweet lies such as "it will keep its value" or "CCD obviously beats CMOS".
The only things that keep their value for Leica these days are binoculars, the lenses, and the film bodies. The M8's resale value is bad and getting worse each day, and the M9's is on the brink depending if Leica announce the M10 on Thursday or in September. Very soon a second hand M8 will be worth less than a standard 1956 M3, and the M9 will trade at M6 prices. A current film body such as the MP is likely to keep its value in the long term.
That will be the ultimate proof of the pudding. The M9 sensor just sucks in 2012. it was already borderline in 2009. The superb body is becoming a "vintage" toy, for those who crave a bit of RF experience. In good light, it'll be fine.
I prefer to grab my M6 and a roll of film when I get that nostalgic itch....
Sounds a little like hyperbole to me.
The M8 was introduced at $4795 and still goes for about $2000 used. This is for a camera introduced in 2006.
The m9 is still going for around $6000 used. That's far cry from the ~$1600 of a used M6. It might fall to that price eventually, but "very soon" is a little bit exaggerated I find.
Francis Carver: Was this the "Camera of the Year 1938?" Sure looks like it. Heck, this homey little thing looks too stripped-down and pre-war retro (retardo?) to be taken half-way seriously in the 2010s, no?
Looks way better to me than the amorphous blobs that are "modern SLRs."
nathanleebush: Leica lovers like to think of their cameras as fine wines, steeped in tradition. Why change the formula, we had this figured out 500 years ago, right? Except that cameras are technology, which is subject to different rules (Moore's Law, anyone?). Would we be buying a printer in the mold of a 17th century printing press for that "legacy feel?"
Leica does the absolute minimum to keep up with tech developments, and aside from the LCD screen and sensor, both of which suck, the camera is mostly unchanged from a model half a century ago. Compare a Nikon D800 to its counterpart at a similar (adjusted) price point 50 years ago, and I think you'll see a lot of refinement and radical rethinking. Companies that are afraid of change and pushing themselves to develop their technology & instead live off their brand are lame. I'm not saying Leica won't have a place in a world where people have too much money and need to buy their self-esteem, I just think the concept of value here is delusional.
It's funny, comparing a Nikon D4 to a 12 year old Nikon D1, and the concept of 'radical rethinking' doesn't come to mind. The sensors have gotten higher res and better quality, but a Nikon D4 still looks, feels, and shoots like a Nikon D1 (or an F5 for that matter). So all manufacturers are guilty of finding what works for them and just refining that concept.
Can't defend Leica's choice in sensor and screen though, but most will admit that the M9 is coming closer to the end of it's useful cycle, and that the M10 is going to be a product introduced this year. The hope of course is that Leica will address the issues that will again make the value proposition more reasonable in today's market.
Theoria: Saying that MF is somehow "slower" than AF is comparing apples and oranges. The typical situations where Leica shines are precisely those where catching the "decisive moment" is essential and prefocusing /zone focusing plus the manual occasional adjustments can achieve that brilliantly. As a (film)Leica SLR user, all I can say is that, even when refocusing is necessary, setting the focus point/recomposing etc takes much longer than a simple twist of the lens knob, which becomes instinctive after a short while. Try a DSLR and a Leica in a fast moving, busy street shooting situation and you will see the difference It is practically impossible to control where the camera focuses unless you set the focus point and that takes time. There must be a reasons why a lot of street and documentary photographers cling to their Leicas, and this is one of them. Sure, Leica won't make it big in the wedding photography world, but this is not the situation where the concept proved so invaluable.
I have yet to see any digital SLR that has a great manual focusing aid within the optical viewfinder. Live view is just not the same, and I've tried the replacement split prism focusing screens. None are as easy to use in low light as a leica's rangefinder patch.
Pat Cullinan Jr: I hear that there's a dust-contamination problem with this camera. Anyone have any experience in this area?
What about white orbs? Does the X100 have this problem?
I've had a fair amount of dust go into the optical viewfinder.
straylightrun: If the 50/1.8 is a portrait lens for an entirely new system, what's with the 75mm fov equiv? A 60-85mm/1.8 would of made more sense (90mm-127.5mm fov equiv). This lens has the problems of every other 50mm on an APS-C sensor: too short for portraits. You'd think Sony would take this into consideration with a new lens for a whole new mount. Plus this lens won't be FF compatible, so what's the point? So much for their motto "like no other".
75 and 85 aren't that far apart, its simply a short portrait lens.
A 50mm 1.8 is a pretty easily formula for them to make and they didn't have a fast portrait lens in the system.
Lukino: no fast 35 yet. I wanted to like Nex system, but without a fast (and possibly compact) prime, it's not my game. And btw, 50mm on apsc IS NOT a prime!
Prime = Single Focal Length Lens.A 50mm lens on any format is considered a prime.
I think you mean that it's not a "normal" lens.