Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/15

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Subject: Re: RE: [Leica] Konica HEXAR RF Lenses reviewed in CI #220
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 07:19:45 EST

Andrew: they say attack the sincerest form of flattery. 

As I pointed out earlier, the much earlier rangefinder base is the same. The 
limiting factor is your ability to focus the camera, and that's the only 
place the shorter effective base length comes into play. So rig an eyepiece 
magnifier. If you go by EBL, the M6 0.72x is pretty much worthless in using 
faster and longer Leica-M lenses, too. I know that you *can* focus an 85/1.8 
or an 85/2 with a 40mm base-length wide-open, close-up, with nary a problem. 
But most people would reach for an SLR, since the price and the bulk increase 
a lot if you get into long, fast lenses with Leicas. Nor would the problem of 
longer and ultrafast lenses would not be a very diffuse one, if you were to 
keep with the spirit of the Leica as a compact camera. 

To be a competitor to Leica in bodies , all Konica really need do is produce 
one that works with the 35/2 and 50/2. Those two lenses are a big part of why 
people buy Leicas - and they are two of the most popular lenses. God help 
Solms if someone started cranking these out (although it seems that 
Voigtlander and Konica are beginning to encroach on the quality of these two 
lenses). Call it the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of non-hardcore Leica users 
can be captured by a camera working with 20% of their focal lengths (or 

And as a "young user" (what does this mean on this group? Under 40? I'm 26), 
I find that the Contax G2 viewfinder has a front pupil that is much too small 
and has color fringing at the edges - both unacceptable in a body that 
expensive. Not to mention anti-intuitive controls for manual focusing (thanks 
for the Contax III-style focus wheel, but it wasn't that great the first time 
around). And I don't need diopter correction built-in. Or a camera that is 
"yuppie gold" in color (well, I do hold a professional degree). Whatever the 
marginal difference is Zeiss vs Leica lenses, it is far outweighed by the 
poor user interface. That's what killed the original Contax RF - Leica was 
easier to use. 

If you look at a user in my shoes, I don't see much advantage to a Leica body 
if one plans to use lenses like the 35/2 Summicron and 50/2 85% of the time 
(and use an SLR for the rest). There's no reason to put up with buggy-whips 
if you have a car.


In a message dated 12/15/99 5:20:01 AM, writes:

<< Eric, BD and all: The rangefinder base and viewfinder window of the Hexar 
make this camera practically worthless in using faster and longer Leica-M
lenses. The camera is but an updated Minolta CLE without the TTL flash
option. If Leica were to come out with an identical M body many of us would
be up in arms criticizing the camera.
If I had no Leica glass and were a young user I would prefer the
G2(Zeiss-designed and QC-d lenses) over the Hexar RF.

regards, Andrew Jordan

> But my point is it doesn't work as well with 1.4 lenses. What
> good is it if
> it can't do what a Leica can do in Leica conditions?
> --
> Eric Welch


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From: "Andrew S Jordan" <>
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Subject: RE: [Leica] Konica HEXAR RF Lenses reviewed in CI #220
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 05:08:03 -0500
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