Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/15

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Subject: [Leica] M lenses & digital compatibility
From: Alex Brattell <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 18:47:58 +0100

 Alan Ball wote:

I would thus be delighted  for example if Leica announced its intention to 
go on supporting the M mount for future digital developements: very high 
res 24x36 sized CCDs would make very good usage of the optical qualities of 
the M lens range and it would be a nice way to protect current customer 

That was one of my questions when I bought Leica M lenses - will they be
useable on future digital bodies?
I was told that yes, they would. Because I wanted to buy the stuff anyway, I
believed it.

Apart from satisfying a curiousity about the Leica rangefinder camera that
just wouldn't go away, one of my justifications for giving myself such a
financial emetic was that a really good set of lenses would be durable and
'future proof' - an investment.  I have bought  lighting (for example)
knowing that whatever happens to film based photography, it would always be

It will probably be a long time before practical, affordable digital cameras
will do justice to Leica lenses, but it's nice to think that one could own a
set of top notch lenses, be comfortable and familiar with their optical
properties, and put them on whatever image capturing device was right that
day - M6 or Leica M10 digital!  I would hope for a mechanical to electronic
mount adaptor to fit the industry standard digital cameras of the day , if
this were possible -  Leica could sell a great deal of lenses that way, just
as Nikon do to the TV industry.

I will definitely be involved with both worlds - most of us are to a large
extent already - but it's the range of imaging possibilities I'm interested
in rather than 'going digital'. The more I get involved with digital imaging
and the more I get to like it, the better fibre based monochrome prints
look. It's a unique medium that's not going to go away and I'll be keeping
my darkroom (and my M6). Just thought I'd add that lest anyone thought this
was a 'suggestions for M10' post.

Alex Brattell