Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica AF
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 00:44:23 -0500

At 01:06 AM 5/22/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Eric Welch recently commented on the fact that Leica has not done AF yet
>simply because they want to do it "right."  Any ideas, Eric, what that might
>be??  Are there more ways than two to do it (lens moving or film back

Leica over the years has stated why.

One, they will not change their lenses to be loose so that they are easier
to focus. AF motors that can focus Leica lenses with adequate performance
would drain battery power too much. That's why AF lenses tend to fell
loose. They've overcome those problems in some instances. Such as the Micro
Nikkor 60mm 2.8. Very fine lens. but it still doesn't fell solid like a
Leica lens.

Second, they have to deal with the issues they mention. It's too expensive
for even most Leica users to dump a whole system.

Some have reported that Leica helped Contax design the AX with some of
their correfot technology. And the AX is a qualified success. In other
words, not very popular. And its performance in AF speed compared to the F5
or EOS1n is quite lacking according to some people. But this is a first
generation model. Wonder if Contax has some alternative.

To make it smaller is impossible. It moves the whole prism, focusing plane
and film (and related equipment that has to go with this stuff) back and
forth 10mm on ceramic sliders. That takes up a lot of space inside the
camera. Maybe they need to take a lesson from Olympus or Pentax on this
(small stuff like the OM-1 and MX) to make a Leica that would work the same
way and still be rugged and small enough.
- --


Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

 A modernfleet of ships does not so much make use of the sea as expoit a
highway. - Joseph Conrad