Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/24

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica S1
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 17:15:33 -0400

Eric.......why does a photojournalist NEED an SLR?  What can you not
accomplish (except for TTL flash) with an M camera?

I'm not Eric, but might I suggest that a photo journalist might want, with
some frequency, to shoot with lenses longer than 90 mm, in which case an SLR
is clearly superior to the M?

At 05:09 PM 6/23/98 , you wrote:
>At 07:01 PM 6/23/98 +0200, you wrote:
>>On Tuesday, June 23, 1998 9:03 AM, apbc []
>>I kind of disagree with this. I believe on the opposite that it is urgent
>>that Leica commits itself officially to produce a digital M body as soon
>>reasonably possible. This will of course require partnerships with the
>That is something I would find highly unlikely. First of all, the M system
>of lenses is too limited to create a camera that's digital. The R system
>would be much better suited to digital applications. Not only because an
>SLR would appeal to a whole lot more people, but because it has a 15mm
>lens, whereas the M only has 21 at its wide end. All digital cameras that
>are of any use need lenses of at least 14-15 mm, because the magnification
>factor isn't going to improve any time soon. Nikon's solution to a
>full-frame camera has a maximum aperture of f/6.7 because of the optics to
>make it full frame.
>And the size of the electronics to run a digital M6 would make it so large
>as to be totally out of character for the camera.
>And forget about that film insert digital thing. First of all, it doesn't
>exist. Second of all, it would be so limited in function and capacity that
>it would be useless for pro use, and amateurs wouldn't like it either.
>I bet Leica has a digital back for the R8 coming, or farther down the road
>a digital R camera of some sort. But looking at Leica's clientele, I doubt
>they feel any urgency at all to go digital. Film is still superior in the
>"movable" camera world. Would Leica users stand for anything less? I don't
>think so.
>>electronic imaging world but is the only way to encourage possible buyers
>>who would (and should) think twice before investing mountains of money in
>>Innovation built upon the core expertise of the company is the only way
>>out. Today it means a totally modernised M body, and tomorrow it entails a
>>high end photojournalism oriented digital camera. On the R side, I have a
>>hard time projecting any future at all for the system. The objective is to
>>gain market share, not to please hard core purists. Unfortunately.
>This makes no sense at all to me. The system that is growing faster than
>the M system has no future? I think your prejudice in favor of the M system
>is clouding your prognostacitorial abilities. :-)
>The R system is getting more attention from photojournalists than it has in
>years because of the R8, and I suspect the prices of Nikons and Canons
>these days. Photojournalsits don't mind buying used, if it works, and in
>that area, used Leica Rs are not that much more expensive body for body
>with new cameras from other manufacturers.
>High end digital = SLR. Photojournalism requires SLRs. Rangefinders are a
>good part of the photojournalist's bag, but the M system could never take
>the place of an SLR system R, Canon or Nikon in today's photojournalistic
>world. Even Minolta. There is no way around it.
>>On a personal level, I find my Leica M system to be the most rewarding and
>>fun giving photographic hardware I have ever used. But that is not enough
>>to guarantee a future to the Leica company.
>Now that I agree with, but not for the same reasons I suspect.
>Eric Welch
>St. Joseph, MO
>Some people say that I'm superficial, but that's just on the surface.