Has Leica given up on digital photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ArtKramr, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. ArtKramr

    ArtKramr Guest

    ArtKramr, Nov 24, 2003
    #1
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  2. ArtKramr

    Böwser Guest

    I think Leica is suffering from an inability to adapt to a very rapidly
    changing marketplace, much like Nikon, Minolta, and everyone but Canon.
    Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it. The game has changed,
    and companies that have traditionally produced cameras that could last for
    decades simply cannot shift their culture toward a flavor of the month
    camera, like Canon has done. I think the shakeout has just begun, and that
    digital imaging is still in its infancy. Who knows where Leica will end up?
    In the meantime, I don't see film disappearing anytime soon, even though
    digital will continue to eat away at market share.

    "ArtKramr" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Have they?
    >
    >
    > Arthur Kramer
    > 344th BG 494th BS
    > England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
    > Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
    > http://www.coastcomp.com/artkramer
    >
     
    Böwser, Nov 24, 2003
    #2
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  3. ArtKramr

    ArtKramr Guest

    >Subject: Re: Has Leica given up on digital photography?
    >From: "Böwser"
    >Date: 11/24/03 8:07 AM Pacific Standard Time
    >Message-id: <E1qwb.246$>
    >
    >I think Leica is suffering from an inability to adapt to a very rapidly
    >changing marketplace, much like Nikon, Minolta, and everyone but Canon.
    >Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    >digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it. The game has changed,
    >and companies that have traditionally produced cameras that could last for
    >decades simply cannot shift their culture toward a flavor of the month
    >camera, like Canon has done. I think the shakeout has just begun, and that
    >digital imaging is still in its infancy. Who knows where Leica will end up?
    >In the meantime, I don't see film disappearing anytime soon, even though
    >digital will continue to eat away at market share.
    >
    >"ArtKramr" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> Have they?
    >>
    >>
    >> Arthur Kramer
    >> 344th BG 494th BS
    >> England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
    >> Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
    >> http://www.coastcomp.com/artkramer
    >>

    >
    >



    I think that is a good assessment. But Kodak seems to in there fighting biting
    and scratching with some degree of success.

    Regards,


    Arthur Kramer
    344th BG 494th BS
    England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
    Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
    http://www.coastcomp.com/artkramer
     
    ArtKramr, Nov 24, 2003
    #3
  4. ArtKramr

    Dave Oddie Guest

    On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 11:07:07 -0500, "Böwser" <> wrote:

    >Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    >digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it.


    They just did. Well almost.

    Leica and Panasonic are partners with Leica supplying the optics and Panasonic
    the electrics to a new camera that looks very like an M series range finder.

    The new camera featured in the UK magazine amateur photographers news section
    last week.

    This was a manual focus (yes you read that right, manual focus ) Panasonic
    camera that looked like a Leica M series cameras. Black rang finder style
    body very much styles on the M series.

    The lens on the front is styled as a Leica Summicron and is a 28-90mm (35mm
    equivalent) F2 optic. Look sa serious attempt to fit a genuine manual focus
    Leica lens to a digital camera. Alas the lens if fixed and is not
    interchangeable.

    In some ways it looks like a Leica lens from the SLR range of lenses has been
    bolted on the front of an M series camera.

    Sensor is 5 mega-pixels BTW.

    Dave


    --

    Wigan Warriors RLFC - 1998 Super League Champions
    (Oh - and Grand Final winners as well)
     
    Dave Oddie, Nov 24, 2003
    #4
  5. ArtKramr

    Trev Guest

    "Dave Oddie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 11:07:07 -0500, "Böwser" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    > >digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it.

    >
    > They just did. Well almost.
    >
    > Leica and Panasonic are partners with Leica supplying the optics and

    Panasonic
    > the electrics to a new camera that looks very like an M series range

    finder.
    >
    > The new camera featured in the UK magazine amateur photographers news

    section
    > last week.
    >
    > This was a manual focus (yes you read that right, manual focus )

    Panasonic
    > camera that looked like a Leica M series cameras. Black rang finder

    style
    > body very much styles on the M series.
    >
    > The lens on the front is styled as a Leica Summicron and is a 28-90mm

    (35mm
    > equivalent) F2 optic. Look sa serious attempt to fit a genuine manual

    focus
    > Leica lens to a digital camera. Alas the lens if fixed and is not
    > interchangeable.
    >
    > In some ways it looks like a Leica lens from the SLR range of lenses

    has been
    > bolted on the front of an M series camera.
    >
    > Sensor is 5 mega-pixels BTW.
    >
    > Dave
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    > Wigan Warriors RLFC - 1998 Super League Champions
    > (Oh - and Grand Final winners as well)
     
    Trev, Nov 24, 2003
    #5
  6. ArtKramr

    Trev Guest

    "Dave Oddie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 11:07:07 -0500, "Böwser" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    > >digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it.

    >
    > They just did. Well almost.
    >
    > Leica and Panasonic are partners with Leica supplying the optics and

    Panasonic
    > the electrics to a new camera that looks very like an M series range

    finder.
    >
    > The new camera featured in the UK magazine amateur photographers news

    section
    > last week.
    >
    > This was a manual focus (yes you read that right, manual focus )

    Panasonic
    > camera that looked like a Leica M series cameras. Black rang finder

    style
    > body very much styles on the M series.
    >
    > The lens on the front is styled as a Leica Summicron and is a 28-90mm

    (35mm
    > equivalent) F2 optic. Look sa serious attempt to fit a genuine manual

    focus
    > Leica lens to a digital camera. Alas the lens if fixed and is not
    > interchangeable.
    >
    > In some ways it looks like a Leica lens from the SLR range of lenses

    has been
    > bolted on the front of an M series camera.
    >
    > Sensor is 5 mega-pixels BTW.
    >



    But Leica's don't have Leica Lens They have Lietz Lens,

    Trev
    Bradford Bulls Just plain Champions of (enter your competition here)
     
    Trev, Nov 24, 2003
    #6
  7. ArtKramr

    Neil Gould Guest

    Recently, ArtKramr <> posted:

    > Have they?
    >

    Not from what I've seen. They have a few models of digital rangefinders,
    ranging from low-cost to the typical mid-priced digital camera. They also
    have announced a digital back for the R9, which allows that model to be
    used for either film or digital. Not that I'd run out and get one to
    replace my R5, as that has to be one beefy rig...

    --
    Neil Gould
    --------------------------------------
    Terra Tu AV - www.terratu.com
    Technical Graphics & Media
     
    Neil Gould, Nov 24, 2003
    #7
  8. ArtKramr

    Mxsmanic Guest

    ArtKramr writes:

    > Have they?


    Sounds great to me, if they have.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 24, 2003
    #8
  9. ArtKramr

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Böwser writes:

    > I think Leica is suffering from an inability to adapt to a very rapidly
    > changing marketplace, much like Nikon, Minolta, and everyone but Canon.


    Or maybe they prefer to just wait and see. Their customers are not
    exactly rioting in favor of digital photography, anyway.

    > Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    > digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it.


    So do I.

    > The game has changed, and companies that have traditionally produced
    > cameras that could last for decades simply cannot shift their culture
    > toward a flavor of the month camera, like Canon has done.


    Canon has always been that way. Nikon is more middle-of-the-road.

    > Who knows where Leica will end up?


    Probably in the same place it has been for decades. The market is
    small, but it is pretty stable, too.

    I'd buy another M6 TTL if I had the money on hand. I'm not keen on the
    M7, and I'm not decided on that other one that supposedly replaces the
    M6 TTL.

    > In the meantime, I don't see film disappearing anytime soon, even though
    > digital will continue to eat away at market share.


    Some companies continue to produce new types of film.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 24, 2003
    #9
  10. ArtKramr

    Mxsmanic Guest

    ArtKramr writes:

    > I think that is a good assessment. But Kodak seems to in there fighting biting
    > and scratching with some degree of success.


    Given Kodak's track record, I tend to regard anything they invest in as
    a warning sign to others of what mistakes not to make. If Kodak is
    investing greatly in digital, that tells me that digital might not be
    the best investment right now.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 24, 2003
    #10
  11. ArtKramr

    Böwser Guest

    "Dave Oddie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 11:07:07 -0500, "Böwser" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    > >digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it.

    >
    > They just did. Well almost.
    >
    > Leica and Panasonic are partners with Leica supplying the optics and

    Panasonic
    > the electrics to a new camera that looks very like an M series range

    finder.
    >
    > The new camera featured in the UK magazine amateur photographers news

    section
    > last week.
    >
    > This was a manual focus (yes you read that right, manual focus ) Panasonic
    > camera that looked like a Leica M series cameras. Black rang finder

    style
    > body very much styles on the M series.
    >
    > The lens on the front is styled as a Leica Summicron and is a 28-90mm

    (35mm
    > equivalent) F2 optic. Look sa serious attempt to fit a genuine manual

    focus
    > Leica lens to a digital camera. Alas the lens if fixed and is not
    > interchangeable.
    >
    > In some ways it looks like a Leica lens from the SLR range of lenses has

    been
    > bolted on the front of an M series camera.
    >
    > Sensor is 5 mega-pixels BTW.


    I saw this camera, but can't remember if it had traditional split image
    focusing. Did it? If not, what focusing mechanism did it use? Not the image
    on the LCD, I hope. It's not good enough.

    I think a digital rengefinder would make all those Leica lenses much more
    useful, and open up a new market to rangefinder users. If you weren't
    shackled by parallax, and could view the image on the sensor on an LCD
    monitor, and use that image to focus, you could do close-ups effectively,
    with the right lens. But I don't think it will happen.

    >
    > Dave
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    > Wigan Warriors RLFC - 1998 Super League Champions
    > (Oh - and Grand Final winners as well)
     
    Böwser, Nov 24, 2003
    #11
  12. ArtKramr

    Böwser Guest

    "Mxsmanic" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Böwser writes:
    >
    > > I think Leica is suffering from an inability to adapt to a very rapidly
    > > changing marketplace, much like Nikon, Minolta, and everyone but Canon.

    >
    > Or maybe they prefer to just wait and see. Their customers are not
    > exactly rioting in favor of digital photography, anyway.
    >
    > > Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    > > digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it.

    >
    > So do I.
    >
    > > The game has changed, and companies that have traditionally produced
    > > cameras that could last for decades simply cannot shift their culture
    > > toward a flavor of the month camera, like Canon has done.

    >
    > Canon has always been that way. Nikon is more middle-of-the-road.


    Agreed. That's why Canon is doing well with digital products; their culture
    and operations model was based on a flavor of the month club. Also, Canon
    made the decision to get into the sensor manufacturing business ahead of
    everyone else. Huge advantage!

    I always viewed Nikon as the "stodgy sacred cow" manufacturers, but it
    appears they're changing, if a little slowly. Nikon, in addition to changing
    their product design and life-cycle philosophy, must also change their
    method of communications to end users. Since digital cameras have a
    comparitively short life (in real terms, since many users will upgrade more
    frequently now), Nikon must give those users a road map. It isn't as simple
    as marketing film cameras, since the up-front money is greater, and the
    product life cycle is shorter.

    >
    > > Who knows where Leica will end up?

    >
    > Probably in the same place it has been for decades. The market is
    > small, but it is pretty stable, too.
    >
    > I'd buy another M6 TTL if I had the money on hand. I'm not keen on the
    > M7, and I'm not decided on that other one that supposedly replaces the
    > M6 TTL.
    >
    > > In the meantime, I don't see film disappearing anytime soon, even though
    > > digital will continue to eat away at market share.

    >
    > Some companies continue to produce new types of film.
    >
    > --
    > Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Böwser, Nov 24, 2003
    #12
  13. "Dave Oddie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This was a manual focus (yes you read that right, manual focus ) Panasonic
    > camera that looked like a Leica M series cameras. Black rang finder

    style
    > body very much styles on the M series.


    You and everyone else read right, except for the AP writer- several sites
    list the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC1 (and maybe Leica Digilux 2) as having phase
    difference autofocus, as well as a button for macro AF. The camera has a
    manual focus ring, and a manual zoom ring, and a manual aperture ring, and a
    manual shutter speed dial... but there is an AF motor powering the lens.

    Oh, and it's not a rangefinder- the viewing system is an EVF.

    --
    Here lies the late Martin Francis
    He couldn't tell you the technical merits of Leitz and Zeiss
    But he did take some photographs once.
     
    Martin Francis, Nov 24, 2003
    #13
  14. ArtKramr

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Böwser writes:

    > It isn't as simple as marketing film cameras, since the
    > up-front money is greater, and the product life cycle is shorter.


    Logically, anyone looking at an option where the up-front money is
    greater and the life cycle is shorter would simply decide to stick with
    film. I know that was one of my reasons. Let some other sucker fill
    the wallets of the digital camera vendors. I went through that with
    PCs; I'm not going to fall for it again with digital cameras.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 24, 2003
    #14
  15. ArtKramr

    JunkMonkey Guest

    Ask yourself, would you like a camera with a fast and accurate focusing
    mechanism with no shutter lag? That's what a digital rangefinder would
    provide.

    Would you like a quality digital camera where lenses are interchangeable yet
    the viewfinder is actually usable?

    Would you like a camera that handles quickly and intuitively where making
    manual adjustments DON'T require wading thru a poorly designed menu system?
    (heck, even well designed camera menu systems suck!). Think of a knob on the
    top of a camera that you TURN to adjust the shutterspeed, and a ring on the
    lens to adjust the aperture!

    Would you like a digital camera where the batteries last 3 times as long
    because they don't have to power the autofocus mechanism?

    Interchangeable lenses, no buttons, no menus, intuitive operation, no
    shutter lag, more time between charges - These things are all possible in a
    well designed digital rangefinder camera. Would it be expensive? Probably.
    But would people line up to buy them? I think so. I know I would buy one.

    It's just a matter of time before this camera appears and some enterprising
    manufacturer makes a buttload of money. Will Leica be the one to do it? I
    doubt it. They seem satisfied to remain a niche player, but Konica/Minolta
    just might be the one to do something like this (When you are fighting for
    survival, it is sometimes easier to think outside the box), or Rollei.
    Bessa, maybe, but not Olympus it's trying to win the SLR wars (I don't think
    it can beat Canon)


    "Mxsmanic" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Böwser writes:
    >
    > > Should Leica produce a "digital M?" Would digital camera buyers buy a
    > > digital rangefinder that uses M lenses? I doubt it.

    >
    > So do I.
    >
     
    JunkMonkey, Nov 25, 2003
    #15
  16. ArtKramr

    Böwser Guest

    That's why I'm sticking with film, as well. More correctly, it's one of the
    reasons. Better quality is another. Digital is still very young, and still
    shaking out. I'm in no hurry. Also, until there's a full-frame digital SLR
    that is about the same size and weight as my F100, why bother? I really like
    the handling of the F100, so why should I compromise?

    OK, here's my "digital versus film" story for today. I recently attended a
    wedding in the Carribean and, of course, shot a few (OK, more than a few)
    pix of the small ceremony using the F100, Portra 160NC, a Metz 54MZ-3, and
    the 35-70 2.8D lens. The results were, as I had expected, technically
    excellent. The pro they hired shot digital using a Canon 1D, the 4.5MP SLR.
    I sent my film to a pro lab, got the proofs, and sent them to the bride. She
    was stunned. And so was I when I saw the quality of the prints from the
    Canon. They were good, but when compared to the Portra, they really
    suffered. They lacked the tonality, the nice flesh tones, and muted contrast
    of the Portra, and looked a little harsh. Could they have fixed this in PS?
    Maybe. But why bother? I just drop off the film, go back two days later, and
    voila!

    At least they got those digital prints fast.

    "Mxsmanic" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Böwser writes:
    >
    > > It isn't as simple as marketing film cameras, since the
    > > up-front money is greater, and the product life cycle is shorter.

    >
    > Logically, anyone looking at an option where the up-front money is
    > greater and the life cycle is shorter would simply decide to stick with
    > film. I know that was one of my reasons. Let some other sucker fill
    > the wallets of the digital camera vendors. I went through that with
    > PCs; I'm not going to fall for it again with digital cameras.
    >
    > --
    > Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Böwser, Nov 25, 2003
    #16
  17. ArtKramr

    gsum Guest

    As a user of both film and digital, I have no particular axe
    to grind on this question except to say that I get far better
    results from my D100 than I did with a 35mm SLR. The
    D100 colours are far better and more consistent, and it captures
    slighly more information than the results from e.g. ISO 100
    Provia.
    As for the fleshtone problem, it seems that the pro needed
    to do a little more work. It is much easier to get great results
    in PS than using film for many obvious reasons.
    The only reason to use film is when the higher definition
    provided by MF and LF is really needed.
    For high definition work, I use 6x4.5 and 6x9cm rangefinders,
    usually with Provia 100. 6x9cm provides about 40mp resolution
    (about 2400 ppi) before grain becomes dominant.

    Graham

    "Böwser" <> wrote in message
    news:Ejywb.223362$9E1.1222888@attbi_s52...
    > That's why I'm sticking with film, as well. More correctly, it's one of

    the
    > reasons. Better quality is another. Digital is still very young, and still
    > shaking out. I'm in no hurry. Also, until there's a full-frame digital SLR
    > that is about the same size and weight as my F100, why bother? I really

    like
    > the handling of the F100, so why should I compromise?
    >
    > OK, here's my "digital versus film" story for today. I recently attended a
    > wedding in the Carribean and, of course, shot a few (OK, more than a few)
    > pix of the small ceremony using the F100, Portra 160NC, a Metz 54MZ-3, and
    > the 35-70 2.8D lens. The results were, as I had expected, technically
    > excellent. The pro they hired shot digital using a Canon 1D, the 4.5MP

    SLR.
    > I sent my film to a pro lab, got the proofs, and sent them to the bride.

    She
    > was stunned. And so was I when I saw the quality of the prints from the
    > Canon. They were good, but when compared to the Portra, they really
    > suffered. They lacked the tonality, the nice flesh tones, and muted

    contrast
    > of the Portra, and looked a little harsh. Could they have fixed this in

    PS?
    > Maybe. But why bother? I just drop off the film, go back two days later,

    and
    > voila!
    >
     
    gsum, Nov 25, 2003
    #17
  18. ArtKramr

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Böwser writes:

    > At least they got those digital prints fast.


    What's the rush? How long do they expect to stay married?

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 25, 2003
    #18
  19. ArtKramr

    Mxsmanic Guest

    gsum writes:

    > The D100 colours are far better and more consistent, and
    > it captures slighly more information than the results
    > from e.g. ISO 100 Provia.


    No digital camera currently captures more information than Provia 100F.

    > As for the fleshtone problem, it seems that the pro needed
    > to do a little more work. It is much easier to get great results
    > in PS than using film for many obvious reasons.


    It shouldn't be necessary to use PS to get correct fleshtones, if the
    lighting and film/sensor are matched correctly to begin with.

    In any case, you don't use PS to compensate for information missing from
    the original capture. You cannot recreate what wasn't there to begin
    with.

    > 6x9cm provides about 40mp resolution
    > (about 2400 ppi) before grain becomes dominant.


    A 6x6 transparency provides in excess of 120 megapixels without too much
    problem.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 25, 2003
    #19
  20. ArtKramr

    Bryan Olson Guest

    Mxsmanic wrote:
    > Given Kodak's track record, I tend to regard anything they invest in as
    > a warning sign to others of what mistakes not to make. If Kodak is
    > investing greatly in digital, that tells me that digital might not be
    > the best investment right now.


    You take a bad source's position as evidence against?
    Hmmm... then given Mxsmanic's track record, digital must
    be the best investment on the planet right now.


    --
    --Bryan
     
    Bryan Olson, Nov 25, 2003
    #20
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