Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/10/28

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Subject: Re: [Leica] M6TTL and M7 Clues
From: apbc <>
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 98 21:38:14 +0800

Isn't the additional height in some way connected to the fact that a full 
sized hot shoe is for the first time fitted to an M on the M6ttl? As 
opposed to the 3/4 length one we have had up to now which leaves the back 
3-4mm of a flash hanging off and would probably not fit the new TTL 
contacts. Since the RF/VF module underneath is largely unalterable the 
only way to fit this on top of the camera was to make it taller. At least 
the wide-angle finders might stay on better...

My guess is that the additional height would make a new faster shutter 
feasible in any future M. They need such a shutter and Leica people have 
said as much to me privately. They are in a quandary though since 
practically speaking this means outsourcing to Copal who are the only 
shutter makers in the running these days. Perhaps the viewfinder would 
also be difficult/unfeasible to upgrade to show more framelines and or 
information, another ambition: I don't know, but I have my suspicions.

What I would most like to see from Leica is a decent electric motor which 
is quiet, fast and as small as Tom A's excellent Rapidwinder: I have 
three of these and they are very useful but still no substitute for a 
modern motor. I have the Winder M too and this is not wonderful and even 
less of a substitute for a modern motor IMHO: noisy, huge, slow, plastic 
and with a kick. A swing open back door would make rapid film changes 
much more convenient: no more juggling baseplate attachments...

So what is the M7 I envisage?
New shutter, new VF, new body profile, new wind mechanism...

Somehow doesn't seem likely given the size and strength of Leica Camera 
AG. Nor some say is it desirable: why is it many of us suspect any change 
to any of these basics of M Leicas is likely to be courting disaster???

It seems to me that part of the charm and yet part of the problem with M 
Leicas is that they were basically designed in an era when they had a 
strong market position and could afford to design and build a camera as 
good as their engineers could (then) imagine. Nowadays they probably 
could not take on a project as complex as the total redesign of the VF/RF 
so are forced to tinker and make incremental changes or buy in large 
chunks of aging technology - as they have for the SLRs.

Whatever it is I expect to want an M7 and I expect many others to feel 
betrayed and disappointed!

Best of light to you all from Taiyuan - one of the most polluted places 
on earth. I have been shooting for Coca-Cola in China's capital of coke 
(the black-er stuff)