A Leica for me...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Brian Mosley, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hello everyone,

    I've only ever held and used a Leica M8 briefly, loved the feel... completely bamboozled by the double vision rangefinder, after having only used Digital SLR viewfinders since the Nikon D1.

    It's interesting... I can see and appreciate that Leica have maintained the 'built for a lifetime' body with their M8 and M9, but included electronics which will go out of production within a few years (if they haven't already for the M8)

    I wonder how people will cope with an M8 in 5 years time, which develops an electronic fault?

    Same goes with the M9... I wonder whether the smart thing for Leica to do, would be to make their bodies either consumable (like the rest of the digital camera market) or properly modular to allow upgradeable innards?

    I'd love a Leica body, with upgradeable innards... especially if they were to replace the mechanical rangefinder with an EVF. But I'm not a Leica owner, so please forgive any unintentional sacrilege!

    I would love to hear from our more experienced members on this... it doesn't even have to be Leica doing this, an m4/3rds company could take the beautiful simplicity of the Leica controls and give us a 'purists' camera - I'd be quite happy for that to be the build quality of the E-P1 and only last a few years... if the line were to continue.

    What do you think?

    Cheers

    Brian
     
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  2. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    now this could be a dangerous subject to discuss - maybe not as we are all mature "kids and kidesses" on here

    raw emotions - I could not comment - everything Leica RF is just "lovely" - I drool after an M8 or M9 - but a "restriction of conjugal rights" would result if I bought one - if I added two of the current lens range - god help me!

    but you guys in the US are much richer than us Europeans, (excepting Tony Blair!)
     
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  3. Ben

    Ben Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Apr 16, 2009
    London
    • Like Like x 1
  4. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Bill, you do make me laugh!
     
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I would love an M9. Just fine as is for me, except that I can't afford it. If gifted with an M9 and a few nice lenses, I'd still want to use my MFT gear though, because autofocus has its place for me, I like image stabilization, and the Leica M workarounds for telephoto beyond 135mm and macro are just too cumbersome.
     
  6. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    S2....S2................S2

    Prices
    Leica S2 Black £15,996
    Leica S2-P Black *£19,092
    SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/70 ASPH £3,096
    SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/70 ASPH CS £4,025
    APO-TELE-ELMAR-S 1:3.5/180 £4,541
    APO-TELE-ELMAR-S 1:3.5/180 CS £5,160
    APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/120 £4,541
    APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/120 CS £5,160
    SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/35 ASPH £3,612
    SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/35 ASPH CS £4,231
    Multifunction handgrip S £851
    Professional battery charger S £258

    First announced in September last year, the Leica S-System redefines the professional DSLR class with a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor built into a 35mm-sized body.
     
  7. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    170
    Jan 24, 2010
    Tokyo
    Either would be a wonderful idea. But there's no way Leica would do the former and price the result reasonably. As for the latter, it sounds like something that would cost yet more than the M9. If I were to manage to buy one, I'd be too scared of losing it to dare using it.

    Every now and again Epson tweaks something or other about its digital Cosina, suggesting that it's still interested. Cosina built the Fuji 6x7 folder. Fuji no longer advertises a DSLR and puts fine sensors into boring little digicams. Now, if those three companies started talking then something might happen. I'll happily live without the Leica "mystique" (pricing).
     
  8. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    I suppose, coming from another direction... I would be very happy with a more 'Leicaesque' body - pare it down to a highly responsive, bullet proof body and offer a set of Super High Grade prime lenses to go with it.

    Olympus are rumoured to be working on a pro-spec m4/3rds cam... can't come soon enough for me.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    My experience with Leica is that they try very hard to keep their reputation in this digital age. I bought a used Digilux 2, which suffers from a known sensor failure issue. Due to the known issue, Leica extended the warranty indefinitely for this issue, and publicly stated that this was being done to protect the resale value of the Digilux 2.

    The one I bought was a couple years old, and sure enough, the sensor failed. The Digilux 2 cost more than $2K new, and I paid about $1200 for it used IIRC. I sent it to Leica for repair, and they had a long wait time to get the sensor from Sony, so they offered me two options: 1) Wait months to get my Digilux 2 back with a new sensor; or 2) Trade it in for an M8. The trade in value against the M8 was far in excess of the $1200 I paid for it. Can't remember the exact amount, but I remember thinking that anyone who wanted an M8 should go out and buy a Digilux 2 with a bum sensor just for that purpose.

    Assuming Leica stays under the current management, I think it's safe to assume that they will continue to offer repairs for the M8/M9 as long as they can keep access to parts, and that after parts are gone, they will have a similar type of trade in to what I experienced, so as to keep their loyal buyers happy. Repair won't be cheap, unless it is a known defect in which case repair will be free, but cheap and Leica don't go together.

    Of course a totally modular camera, or at least swappable sensor, would be the ideal solution. However, I don't think Leica needs to offer this, so long as they offer repair, and if not repair, then trade in.
     
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  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Jan 16, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Upgradeable digital innards

    I think they tried to do this for the R system. I believe it was called the DMR, which was a removable digital back that could be attached to R series SLRs. Not having owned one, I have no idea if it worked well, but I understand it tanked in the marketplace.

    I would love to own an M9, but there is no way I can justify the cost, particularly considering the cost of the lenses. However, what I really would have loved would have been a digital Contax G. As far as I am concerned, using the G2 as the starting point, very little would have needed changing besides adding the digital innards and an LCD screen.

    But, it was not meant to be . . .:frown:
     
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  11. Chow Monkey

    Chow Monkey Mu-43 Regular

    In the analog age you would keep a body for much longer than in the digital age. Therefore I find the current pricing for a Leica out of proportion. The pricing for the lenses seems fair since you can use them for decades. I think Leica would sell many more lenses if the pricing of the body would be on semi-pro level like the 5D MKII or D700.
     
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  12. Ben

    Ben Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Apr 16, 2009
    London
    I think you are absolutely correct. Digital bodies are essentially disposable, or at the very least have built in obsolescence. The Leica M6 I bought was at least a decade old and I sold it the best part of a decade ago (at very little loss). Bet it is still going strong. These bodies were essentially just a tough, light-proof metal box to mount excellent lenses. It meant that they were accessible to everyone as you could pick up perfectly acceptable gear second-hand (and most Leica users only have a very small lens collection - I made do with just a 35mm F2).

    The argument often made is that when you are buying a digital body it is the equivalent of a film body and an infinite supply of film. Correct to a point, but digital Leica pricing seems loopy. Sadly the only people who seem to buy them now are a very small category of pro (the old argument of an M6 in the bottom of a PJs bag for emergencies - no batteries required - doesn't hold with battery hungry M8s and M9s) and rich, mostly retired, hobbyists (hence the largely unfair jibes about dentists).

    You see a few digi Ms around the necks of well heeled tourists but I honestly can't remember ever seeing them being used to take a picture!

    There must be a market for a small digital camera (G1 size will do) with interchangeable lenses that is much simpler to use - like the new Leica X1. You can shoot in manual or aperture priority and you can change ISO. Let's be honest, how much more do most of us want?

    We had to wait a hell of a long time for camera manufacturers to realise how many of us (many I suspect who were photographers in the film days) wanted a serious camera with a serious sensor in a smaller package. Now they need to realise that we also don't need a zillion menus with incomprehensible features. We just want to set our aperture and shoot!

    Oh dear. That was a rant! :blush:
     
  13. Ben

    Ben Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Apr 16, 2009
    London
    Leica do also offer an upgrade scheme. You can take your M8 in (lucky you if you have one) and get quite a few of the M8.2 upgrades added (including scratchproof screen). It obviously costs money but does seem a very fair way to treat your customers.

    Should be possible to even replace a sensor you would think. It does beg the question though of how much the body (ex-sensor) is really worth and whether it is worth being able to upgrade the more expensive elecronic components.
     
  14. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    170
    Jan 24, 2010
    Tokyo
    The lenses? LTM adapter plus Canon and/or Cosina.
     
  15. chalkdust

    chalkdust Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Dec 29, 2009
    McKinney, Texas
    I have used my father's M8 for several hours. I certainly enjoyed it. But i do not think I enjoyed it because "Leica" was written on the front. The thing I liked was that the few adjustments I need to make (focus, shutter speed, aperture) were very simple and convenient and direct without any need for menus or unnecessary (and potentially slow) help. An M9 has the added advantage of larger sensor size allowing longer focal length lenses with their narrower depth of field. Obviously the ability to choose from various interchangeable lenses is a major advantage.

    Honestly, I have also just described why I enjoy my G1. A larger sensor would be nice. However, i do not mind the fact that my four thirds sensor size eliminates the edges of full frame where the most likely flaws of my lenses would show up.

    So micro four thirds turns out to be a great compromise. The electronic magnification for manual focus is, in my opinion, a brilliant addition to camera design. So a slightly more manual-firendly version of micro four thirds would be my request to Leica or Cosina or anybody. If General Mills wants to make it with good quality and decent price, I would buy it from them!
     
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  16. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    lenses - if you are not familiar with the site have a look at Stephen Gandy

    camera quest in the US

    Great site with lots of info - you can spend hours reading his stuff

    here

    but sometimes, (for me), it does not load, so, if so, google him
     
  17. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    epson did a digital version about 5 yrs ago with an m mount imagine what they would sell an affordable version with an ap sh sized sensor or aps c sized sensor , [h is bigger ]

    as was said earlier , they would sell like hotcakes
     
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  18. Ben

    Ben Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Apr 16, 2009
    London
    True. And unlike Leica they have no other product to cannibalise. The general assumption is that the reason Leica discontinued their small, budget rangefinder (the CL) was because it was stealing M sales.

    This could be why the X1 is fixed and not interchangeable lens....
     
  19. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    the camera that could do this now is the ricoh gxr

    they could stun the photographic world with an m mount module for their new modular system , whAT ARE THEY WAITING FOR????????????
     
  20. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    VOIGTLANDER COULD DO THIS ALSO
     
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