Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/09/22

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Subject: RE: [Leica] R9
From: Rolfe Tessem <>
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 11:58:12 -0400
References: <>

- --On Sunday, September 22, 2002 10:37 AM -0400 "B. D. Colen" 
<> wrote:

> My point has nothing to do with multiple flash setups, but simple single
> flash use - the camera/flash algorithms, which take into account - with D
> lenses, and most of the Nikon "pro" lenses are "D"s - distance to subject,
> foreground exposure, background exposure, etc., are far more sophisticated
> than simple TTL averaging. And one quickly learns what the camera/flash
> combination is going to do when put in Program mode, and can therefore
> make adjustments if the programmed effect isn't pleasing.

Okay, but an earlier comment mentioned Canon's E-TTL which is, as I 
understand it, geared toward multiple flash wireless setups.

But as to the main question, the supposed "sophistication" of the Nikon 
flash system -- nobody ever seems to be able to express exactly what the 
"sophistication" is or what it accomplishes. After all, flash TTL exposure 
is a pretty simple concept -- the TTL sensor reacts when enough exposure 
has reached the film plane and turns the flash off. That's true whether its 
Nikon, Canon, or Leica. The only possible difference is exactly *how* the 
sensor determines full exposure. It is unclear to me why a TTL flash 
exposure system should know or care about distance to subject, for example. 
After all, distance to subject was what we left behind when we moved from 
manual to automatic flashes over 20 years ago. As to foreground/background 
exposure, I presume you are talking about fill flash here. The R8 may be 
more sophisticated than you think; in Program Mode, if there is adequate 
available light, it will automatically bring in the flash at 1 2/3 EV under 
that exposure. If there is not adequate available light, it brings in the 
flash at full exposure. In other modes, you of course have full control. 
What exactly does the Nikon system offer that is substantially different?

> Again, the point here isn't whether or or I like - or even feel the need
> for - a particular feature. Rather, it is why Leica, once again, has
> neglected to include what has become a standard feature that would have
> been quite easy to include without having to reconfigure the camera.

And my point is that Leica has purposely avoided the featureitis that 
plagues some of the competition, but especially the F5. Leica has produced 
a camera that is clean to operate and doesn't get in the way. The camera 
really does include all the necessary professional features, IMHO.

> If, as a number of people have noted, the R9 is hardly going to ignite the
> pants of folks who already own R8s, then clearly Leica has to compete for
> additional sales with Canon and Nikon. And that means not only matching
> them in terms of features and price point, but offering added incentives
> to buy. Yes, the Leica glass is a hell of an incentive. But the  glass
> hasn't been enough to make a success out of the R* - so it's unlikely
> that it's going to make a success out of a slightly smaller R8...But what
> the hell - I don't have any stock in Hermes or Leica..;-)

I agree that the R9 isn't going to set the world on fire. I suppose the 
name was chosen by the same marketing wizards who changed what was going to 
be the M6a into the M7 -- solely for marketing purposes.

- --
Rolfe Tessem
Lucky Duck Productions, Inc.
- --
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In reply to: Message from "B. D. Colen" <> (RE: [Leica] R9)