Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/10/13

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Subject: Re: [Leica] The new Konica hexar RF; take a look
From: Larry Kopitnik <>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 17:53:29 -0500

Based strictly on what's been reported on the LUG the last couple of days,
and what's to be seen on the untranslated Konica web pages, I'm looking
forward to this new Hexar.

It will be interesting to see how practical fast Leica lenses will be with
the .6x magnification viewfinder. However, should a Summilux (or the 50 mm
f/1.5 Cosina/Voigtlander lens) prove useable, and should that smaller
magnification allow for a higher eyepoint and for an eyeglass wearer such
as myself to view the entire frame, it will be a huge attraction to me.

To me, the 28 mm framelines of the .72 magnification M6 are invisible. Even
the 35 mm framelines in that model are at the limit of what I can see in a
glance. In this regard I've always found the Contax G cameras much more
useable. Far, far preferable (to me, anyway) to see the whole frame at a
reduced magnification than to not be capable of telling what a photo will
include at a larger size.

And if an eyeglass wearer will be able to see the entire frame, beyond
frame lines, and use that with a 24 mm lens sans separate viewfinder, that,
for me, would be a dream come true.

Frankly, I don't see the Konica as an M6 killer. As a former Contax G
owner, I see it having the potential of doing more harm to the sales of
that system.

However, if as has been repeatedly reported here, an M6 AE (or whatever it
will be called) is imminent, Leica may indeed be facing problems. Assuming
actual street prices of the Hexar will be lower than pricing posted so far,
the Hexar could conceivably cost substantially less than the M6 TTL. And
presumably, a new M6 AE would be priced even higher than the current M6

No doubt, an M6 AE will sell to Leica's current client base, a base willing
to pay whatever it takes for the highest quality available. But the current
client base isn't enough for the company to sufficiently grow on. The Hexar
offers what may be a lower priced alternative. The M6 has thrived for
decades in part because it has no competition. Can an M6 AE thrive with
competition? Perhaps, but I suspect not to the extent Leica needs it to.

And by the way, did anyone else notice that the flash pictured on the C'dI
page looks exactly like the Olympus S-20 flash (made by Metz)? Which is the
same flash as the one offered for the Minilux Zoom. I suppose the Konica
one, like the Minilux flash, has TTL circuitry added. It has the same power
as the Leica SF-20 but is substantially smaller. And the Olympus version
comes with a diffuser covering the angle of a 24 mm lens.