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Archive 2012 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera
  
 
rscheffler
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p.3 #1 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


mcbroomf wrote:
I wonder if some longer R lenses may be put back into production and/or tweaked. I can now see a market for a tilt/shift lens design.

Mike


http://vimeo.com/49763539

In this interview with Leica's Stefan Daniel, Thorsten Overgaard asked that question. I think it's towards the end of the ~30 minute video... Basically the response was probably not, but Leica may release M mount lenses that previously would have been impractical for transitional rangefinder use. I would guess if there was enough demand, they might release a zoom, but more likely some longer lenses or a new macro. That might take some pressure off second hand R lenses, but of course, being Leica, such new lenses would certainly command a premium in the $3,000-5,000 range..



Sep 19, 2012 at 09:37 PM
rscheffler
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p.3 #2 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


artur5 wrote:
Right now, the only FF digital camera that can take practically any 35mm or bigger format lens is the Sony VG900. The Leica M can't take Contax G ( or Sony NEX )
Agreed, a videocam isn't exactly the ideal in ergonomics for a typical RF/SLR user, but using a long and heavy lens with a Leica M, isn't precisely a breeze, specially if you don't have the optional EVF. Imagine holding a Leica M + Apotelyt 280 at arms lenght ?. . Even with the EVF, the balance won't feel right for medium-long teles or zooms. Unless you
...Show more

Of course the EVF will be mandatory for proper holding technique with bigger SLR lenses. Based on the video link I posted above, the impression seems to be the size of the M, with the additional grip, and EVF, works surprisingly well with SLR lenses. This link might also be informative: http://www.reddotforum.com/content.php/278-Photokina-2012-Day-1-The-Leica-M

"With the handgrip and EVF attached the camera balanced beautifully with the largish 28-90 mounted. It didnít feel front-heavy the way I expected it to. In fact, the camera didnít feel like an M at all. It somehow morphed into a small DSLR with a perfect balance and grip. The 28-90 zoom felt great on the camera. It was just a great focal length range and focus with the magnification and peaking was spot-on. I had to ask if Leica had considered manufacturing this lens again. Of course, this wasnít something anyone wants to comment on and I highly doubt the prospect. But, if we leave reality for just a moment, I think R zooms would do extremely well in the marketplace, better than they ever did on the R system in later years. If you use the 28-90 on the M, youíll want one immediately.

I switched lenses and put the 100 APO-Macro on. Yes! A real macro lens on the M. I racked that baby out to minimum distance and moved my body until the top dial of my X2 snapped into focus (using peaking, of course). Bam. Easy. I then pulled it up for a portrait of one of the Leica guys. Easy. I was falling more and more in love with the idea of this M being one of the best R cameras ever made. And this is coming from a die-hard R9/DMR user. Many R users have expressed concerns of an EVIL R solution. Rest assured that the M is not a kluge."



Sep 19, 2012 at 09:50 PM
telyt
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p.3 #3 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


rscheffler wrote:
Of course the EVF will be mandatory for proper holding technique with bigger SLR lenses. Based on the video link I posted above, the impression seems to be the size of the M, with the additional grip, and EVF, works surprisingly well with SLR lenses. This link might also be informative: http://www.reddotforum.com/content.php/278-Photokina-2012-Day-1-The-Leica-M


I would have preferred a built-in EVF instead of the add-on. I'm concerned that the add-on EVF would get snagged on twigs, weeds or vines and get knocked off or broken. It's a weak link in an otherwise excellent solution. If the rangefinder were replaced with a built-in EVF I'd call the New M a slam-dunk.



Sep 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM
freaklikeme
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p.3 #4 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


artur5 wrote:
The Leica M can't take Contax G


There's a company in Japan that will convert them for you to M-mount. Alternately, you could do what MAX and seboh did- convert them using small SLR lens bodies. Either would be a more elegant solution than the klugy adapters for NEX.



Sep 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM
rscheffler
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p.3 #5 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


telyt wrote:
I would have preferred a built-in EVF instead of the add-on. I'm concerned that the add-on EVF would get snagged on twigs, weeds or vines and get knocked off or broken. It's a weak link in an otherwise excellent solution. If the rangefinder were replaced with a built-in EVF I'd call the New M a slam-dunk.


I was thinking that too. There doesn't seem to be a way to lock the EVF onto the camera.

As for replacing the rangefinder with an EVF.... Thankfully no way in h*ll that was going to happen, as it is after all the new top of the line M system camera. The fallout from such a blunder would be immense. In this interview Leica's Stefan Daniel indicates the active R system user base is around 1/10 that of the M system. No way they'd sacrifice rangefinder compatibility for a small minority. While it could be argued this camera will draw new users wishing to adapt other makes of lenses, given the M's price point, I suspect the majority of buyers will be existing M system users already invested to some degree in the system.



Sep 20, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Almass
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p.3 #6 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


telyt wrote:
I would have preferred a built-in EVF instead of the add-on. I'm concerned that the add-on EVF would get snagged on twigs, weeds or vines and get knocked off or broken. It's a weak link in an otherwise excellent solution. If the rangefinder were replaced with a built-in EVF I'd call the New M a slam-dunk.



It is pretty obvious that the new M is somehow a modular camera. I agree that the EVF might be a weak link for heavy usage but think of all the Leica people sitting and commiserating on their R system investments. These people who still have their film cameras will be hard pressed not to make the move to the M and the only investment they have would be the new M camera body as they can now use their R lenses, and there are plenty of such owners.

I expect more R lenses on ebay at higher prices. So they sell one lens and buy the new M + EVF .

As to whether Leica decides to revive the R lenses range, no problem if the demand is there as the S seems to be going the same way the R gone!

Your ApoTelyt 280/4 is going to reach astronomic price levels. I would be very happy as I own more than one bought for redundancy reasons! Same for the Apo 180/2.8.



Sep 20, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Bijltje
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p.3 #7 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


artur5 wrote:
Right now, the only FF digital camera that can take practically any 35mm or bigger format lens is the Sony VG900. The Leica M can't take Contax G ( or Sony NEX )
Agreed, a videocam isn't exactly the ideal in ergonomics for a typical RF/SLR user, but using a long and heavy lens with a Leica M, isn't precisely a breeze, specially if you don't have the optional EVF. Imagine holding a Leica M + Apotelyt 280 at arms lenght ?. . Even with the EVF, the balance won't feel right for medium-long teles or zooms. Unless you
...Show more

I don't see a M with EVF and handgrip being any different in use than a DSLR.

As for the contax G lenses, why would u? There are so many M lenses with the same focal length and the same or even better quality.



Sep 20, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Doug Ball
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p.3 #8 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


Re the use of this EVF, I must say that I am very happy with this solution. I had the Olympus camera with perhaps the same EVF and loved the fact that it rotates upward. This allowed me to shoot from very low angles very near the ground or simply from waist level. In fact the location in the centre of the camera is not ideal as my nose comes in contact with screen. I would prefer it to the side where the viewfinder is presently.
Again being able to swivel it upwards slightly deal with this problem.
I hope Leica has found a way to make it more secure than on the Olympus as it did fall off once.
Not good.



Sep 20, 2012 at 03:28 PM
telyt
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p.3 #9 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


rscheffler wrote:
As for replacing the rangefinder with an EVF.... Thankfully no way in h*ll that was going to happen, as it is after all the new top of the line M system camera. The fallout from such a blunder would be immense. In this interview Leica's Stefan Daniel indicates the active R system user base is around 1/10 that of the M system. No way they'd sacrifice rangefinder compatibility for a small minority.


If it has an M mount why would this sacrifice rangefinder compatibility? M lenses would be just as usable with this hypothetical camera as on the New M. Substituting a built-in EVF for the rangefinder still allows viewing and focussing, and one could argue that the lack of parallax, more precise framing, ability to focus anywhere in the picture area (with peaking) and an indication of out-of-focus effects are an advantage.

It's not like Leica would have to abandon the rangefinder entirely. At present they are selling 5 M-mount cameras: M7, MP, MM, M9 and M9-P. Leica seems to think the New M and the M-E can co-exist. An M-mount body using the same body shell and most of the same internal works as the New M but with a built-in EVF instead of a rangefinder could likewise coexist with the New M with significant parts and assembly commonality.

I suspect that even the most die-hard fans of the rangefinder will find they're using the EVF more than they expected because they will be able to focus fast lenses more accurately, will not have problems with focus shift or off-center focus, or rangefinder calibration issues.



Sep 20, 2012 at 03:53 PM
rscheffler
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p.3 #10 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


OK, I see you meant it as an additional camera option to the new M. I interpreted your comment as offering the new M as EVF only.

I definitely can see the appeal of an EVF only version of the M, kind of like what Fuji has done with the X-E1 vs. the X-Pro-1. But, somehow I don't see Leica producing it, as it would abandon a core aspect of the M system philosophy and complicate the decision making process for potential buyer. Right now it's easy - new M for the new technology, whether or not you want the EVF/live view or rangefinder capability.

But you never know...

A couple years ago I would have questioned the relevance of the rangefinder OVF system. And for sure there are aspects of the EVF that will improve M system photography. For me it will primarily be 12-15mm ultra wide angle composition and long lens (90mm+) focusing precision. But having used a rangefinder now for a couple years, with much of the work being in the 21-50mm range (I don't even bother with an external 21mm viewfinder any more), and of that mostly 28/50mm, it is here where the speed and focus precision of the rangefinder OVF, IMO, clearly beats out EVF based systems (5N, GXR) I have used.

I'm just glad Leica seemed to integrate all of the feedback they got from M9 users and added some great features such as live view and EVF to make it a really well rounded and truly hybrid OVF/EVF camera.



Sep 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM
 

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seekuh
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p.3 #11 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


rscheffler wrote:
OK, I see you meant it as an additional camera option to the new M. I interpreted your comment as offering the new M as EVF only.

I definitely can see the appeal of an EVF only version of the M, kind of like what Fuji has done with the X-E1 vs. the X-Pro-1. But, somehow I don't see Leica producing it, as it would abandon a core aspect of the M system philosophy and complicate the decision making process for potential buyer. Right now it's easy - new M for the new technology, whether or not you want the EVF/live
...Show more

So is it likely you are going to get the camera, Ron? I probably won't. Anyway, in my view it is almost impossible to make the decision now as nothing can be said about the final image quality.



Sep 20, 2012 at 07:51 PM
rico
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p.3 #12 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


rscheffler wrote:
I definitely can see the appeal of an EVF only version of the M, kind of like what Fuji has done with the X-E1 vs. the X-Pro-1. But, somehow I don't see Leica producing it, as it would abandon a core aspect of the M system philosophy and complicate the decision making process for potential buyer. Right now it's easy - new M for the new technology, whether or not you want the EVF/live view or rangefinder capability.

But you never know...

The classic Leitz company was not shy about tinkering with that core aspect of Leica cameras. The M1 had no rangefinder, while the three versions of MD had the VF removed entirely. These could be operated with external VF and scale focussing, or attached to a microscope, or attached to a Visoflex front-end. The latter allowed TTL framing and focus. Like today, the motivation was unifying your photographic activities around the M body. History repeats itself.



Sep 21, 2012 at 02:59 AM
naturephoto1
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p.3 #13 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


I can't wait to handle the M with my R lenses at PhotoPlus next month and to see how it handles. Like many other R users with a substantial number of and investment, I want and need a FF system camera that I am happy to use.

Rich



Sep 22, 2012 at 04:06 PM
freaklikeme
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p.3 #14 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


Let us know how it goes, Rich. The grip looks comfortable enough, but I'm interested in first-hand accounts.


Sep 22, 2012 at 06:51 PM
naturephoto1
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p.3 #15 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


I am sorry for taking so long to reply regarding the new Leica M that I was able to handle at Photo Plus on October 25. I was quite impressed with the camera along with its handling and usage with Leica R lenses. I believe that we tried both my 100mm f2.8 Apo Macro Elmarit and my 180mm f3.4 Apo Telyt lens on the camera. It operates quite well and balances quite well when used with the Leica Multifunction Grip. However, not everything on the camera is operating as it will since much of the firmware is not completed for the camera. At this point amongst other things we do not know how long the B setting will be able to keep the shutter open.

Though Leica has made no statement at this point, and after discussing this with Justin Stailey of Leica USA, we suspect that with the Leica R adapter M that the new Leica M will be able to accept any and all R lenses that were ever made. For those wondering, no there is no connection between the camera and any of the R lenses via the adapter. Everything works at working aperture (there is no auto aperture for the lenses).

I do have some concerns about the camera however. In order to access the camera battery and the memory card the bottom of the camera must be removed to access and to replace both. Justin Stailey of Leica USA had suggested though that the battery will fire around 3,000 or 3,500 exposures. However, I am not sure as to what is in useage on the camera including such things as the separate EVF viewfinder.

For those considering the camera for usage with your R lenses, this is going to be an extremely expensive proposition. Not only will you want the camera ($6950), but you will need the Leica R adapter M ($310), the separate EVF viewfinder ($500-$550), but in all likelihood the Leica M Multifunctional hand grip ($895), and quite likely the finger loop for the Multifunctional grip ($160). That will be in addition to the cost of at least one extra battery for the camera.

The Multifunctional grip will allow you to add a second hotshoe for the camera when you are using the EVF finder. It will also allow you to tether the camera to your computer. I found though that with the heavier R lenses this was going to be a mandatory piece of equipment unless someone like RRS comes up with an L bracket with the grip available (but this option will limit the usage of a flash when working with the EVF finder- which will virtually be mandatory for usage with the R lenses and if you wish to tether the camera to your computer).

So, for those looking to purchase the when released Leica M which may be in the first quarter sometime undoubtedly with a wait, you will probably find yourself spending somewhere around $9,000 to have the privilege of using your R lenses on the camera.

Be aware, with the need to switch from vertical to horizontal on a tripod Arca type QR system you will undoubtedly want to have an L bracket system. However, the Leica R adapter to M comes with a removable foot that can be attached to a QR plate and drop into your Arca Swiss type QR clamp. The problem is that this is fixed for using the camera in a horizontal orientation. Justin Stailey of Leica USA suggested that we bring this to a machine shop to have it customized so that a rotating collar could be made to switch between horizontal and vertical orientation.

As mentioned, it is going to be inconvenient to access the camera battery and the memory card when the camera is on a tripod, with or without the Multifunctional handgrip. But, I guess like Leica M cameras it is designed mainly as a fast operating hand held rangefinder camera.

As to my decision on a purchase of the camera, that is very much up in the air. This is much more camera (due to the accepting of M lenses now with electronic markings in the camera viewfinder) and as a result with all of the extras much much more expensive than we/I had originally had been led to believe the Leica R solution would be.

At the moment, I am considering the Fujifilm XE-1 or the Fuji X Pro-1 (but these are an APS C sized sensor, 16 MP without an aliasing filter). We are waiting for the new Fuji XE-1 to arrive to compare the 2 Fuji cameras to purchase based on a fairly in depth comparison of the 2 cameras under usage. So, for me, at least for the interim, I will probably purchase one of the 2 Fuji cameras and either wait for another FF Mirrorless camera to be released down the road or to decide to bite the bullet (at quite a cost) of purchasing a Leica M and to then use one of the Fuji cameras as my back-up/second camera.

Rich



Nov 11, 2012 at 04:39 PM
douglasf13
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p.3 #16 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


As clever as the new M option is for R lenses, I'm not sure why someone would choose the M over the Sony A99. You could just Leitax your lenses and take the mirror out of the A99.

Rich, in your experience with the M, is there anything that makes it stand out over something like the A99?



Nov 12, 2012 at 01:31 AM
naturephoto1
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p.3 #17 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


douglasf13 wrote:
As clever as the new M option is for R lenses, I'm not sure why someone would choose the M over the Sony A99. You could just Leitax your lenses and take the mirror out of the A99.

Rich, in your experience with the M, is there anything that makes it stand out over something like the A99?


Hi Doug,

I have not handled the Sony A99, however I did handle the NEX7, I was not sure about the NEX7 and the way that it handled with all of its functions. Also, I did not have any opportunity to mount an R lens (no adapter) on the NEX7. To mount an R lens onto an A99 one would have to change the mount by a Leitax or equivalent. I am somewhat reluctant to do this because if I wanted to shoot any film on a Leica R body I would have to switch the mount again.

I also had no way of mounting any R lenses on either of the Fujifilm cameras but I found the handling of these cameras more to my liking than the Sony NEX7,

It is a catch 22 at this point for anyone insisting upon a FF camera for your R lenses. Either you go with the Leica M once released or go with an adapter for a Canon top line camera or a Leitax or equivalent mount change for either a Nikon or a Sony A99. That or hold out until something else becomes available. No matter what you do however, there will not be any auto diaphragm option.

At this point a mirrorless camera may be the best option for using R lenses on any new camera option.

The Canon, Nikon, and Sony FF options though are all large cameras at this point.while the Leica M is considerably smaller.

Rich



Nov 12, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Julio Marcos
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p.3 #18 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


douglasf13 wrote:
As clever as the new M option is for R lenses, I'm not sure why someone would choose the M over the Sony A99. You could just Leitax your lenses and take the mirror out of the A99.


That's exactly what I was thinking (minus the mirror out in my case). The Leica M plus EVF plus grip is not going to be that much smaller or lighter than an A99, an probably less ergonomic. The Leica-R lenses are not lightweight either, so a bigger body makes sense, plus you get stabilization with the A99. I only have the Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm leitaxed to alpha mount (NEX-7), but if I had the 28mm I would definitely go with the A99.



Nov 12, 2012 at 02:18 AM
naturephoto1
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p.3 #19 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


Julio Marcos wrote:
That's exactly what I was thinking (minus the mirror out in my case). The Leica M plus EVF plus grip is not going to be that much smaller or lighter than an A99, an probably less ergonomic. The Leica-R lenses are not lightweight either, so a bigger body makes sense, plus you get stabilization with the A99. I only have the Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm leitaxed to alpha mount (NEX-7), but if I had the 28mm I would definitely go with the A99.


In my case, I had 13 R lenses and just won a 14th (350mm f4.8) these evening. So, for me this is and will be a very difficult and costly proposition to change all of the lens mounts. It will also be a pain to return the mounts back to use the film based R cameras.

Rich



Nov 12, 2012 at 02:22 AM
sebboh
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p.3 #20 · Leica R lenses on the new M camera


naturephoto1 wrote:
In my case, I had 13 R lenses and just won a 14th (350mm f4.8) these evening. So, for me this is and will be a very difficult and costly proposition to change all of the lens mounts. It will also be a pain to return the mounts back to use the film based R cameras.



still a lot cheaper than the leica M though, but yeah i'm thinking mirrorless sounds better since you can still use the lenses on film. to bad there's only one FF mirrorless they'll work on right now...



Nov 12, 2012 at 04:35 AM
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