Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/06/26

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Subject: RE: Re: [Leica] Digital Back - I like the first step!
From: "Don Dory" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 14:10:08 -0400

I have had the chance to play with the Kodak 14n.  At an ISO of 80 it is
capable of outstanding images.  Color fidelity is quite good as well.
The issue is that the body is not especially durable feeling, and at
ISO's over 100 image quality takes quite a plummet.  The other issue is
that the Nikon D1x will now interpolate to 10MP and is in the same price
range.  So the shooter with Nikon lenses can get an F5 build quality
with ISO's going up to 3200 with pretty fair image quality for the same
money as the Kodak.  So, unless you are a studio only shooter or don't
mind taking portable sunshine with you the offering from Kodak leaves
something to be desired.

The opposite is true with the 1Ds.  Canon is doing some interesting
image processing as the images coming out of that camera are simply
stunning.  Really, except for the most critical user, as good as MF.  As
Johnny D. has mentioned, the 1Ds is challenging lens design by showing
off flaws in lenses that up to now had been widely praised.

To get back on topic, if Leica can take advantage of similar software
genius, then 10 MP will satisfy most users.  The issue of wide angles
will remain as the 15 mm will become a 21 something so no truly wide
angle work would be available as a digital entity.  However, if you
needed to, then you could switch to film.


- -----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Frank
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 2:01 PM
Subject: Re: Re: [Leica] Digital Back - I like the first step!


"Also, Leica believe that 10MP is enough and the
quality is there (well, it is if Kodak do a better job than they did on

I believe it was mentioned in the press conference that the chip in the
14n is not a Kodak chip.  As a matter of fact, they mentioned that that
was common knowledge.  Ok, so I didn't know that.  I did know that there
were numerous complaints about that camera but I also thought that Kodak
made the chip.  Apparantly they did not.  Hopefully, the "new" Kodak
chip in the Modul R will not suffer the problems of its cousin in the


- -------Original Message-------
From: Simon Lamb <>
Sent: 06/26/03 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: [Leica] Digital Back - I like the first step!

Really, it sounded pretty good to me already and I'm sure they will do a
good deal of refining and tweaking before it hits Photokina


You need to read the transcript.  It has been categorically stated that
spec. will not change since the designs are finalised and the proejct
estimated and costed.  Also, Leica believe that 10MP is enough and the
quality is there (well, it is if Kodak do a better job than they did on


- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Farmer" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 5:09 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] Digital Back - I like the first step!

> Greetings all,
> I also have to agree with Doug and Ed.  For several reasons:
> First, I don't even own a R camera and only have one M6TTL.  But the
of being able to switch from a digital SLR to a film SLR is attactive to
Mainly because I could use Leica glass, which I've come to know and love
just as everyone else has, without limitation.  I switched to the M from
sizeable Nikon system and have enjoyed the switch.  However, I do, at
miss using some of the features of my F100 .  For that reason, I've been
the market (just snooping really) for a SLR to use for Macro work.
now, I'd been considering Contax cameras for this purpose.  However,
the intro of a digital back for the R8/9(whether I use it or not) Leica
made their SLR line more attractive to me because the option of going to
DSLR is there.  Expensive, but there.
> Speaking of expensive, the argument about the cost of the back, coming
from this group, is less than pursuading.  Granted, we don't all have
$7,000.00 to drop on a camera and back, but come on folks - Leicas are
EXPENSIVE!  Even electronic ones. They always have been and will
be hence forth and forevermore.  Too bad really.  But a $200 rewind knob
the MP?  I think they hit the reasonableness target much closer to the
bull's eye on the Digital Modul R than on the Leicavit - M or the rewind
crank.  Now, I'm not saying that Leica should just charge the
prices willy nilly.  I know they have costs and profits to worry about
they aren't a giant company with seeminly bottomless resources like
for example.  So, I understand - to a degree.
> Basically, my hopes mirror those of Ed.  Mainly, that this is not
the finished product.  Really, it sounded pretty good to me already and
sure they will do a good deal of refining and tweaking before it hits
Photokina.  But, I say "way to go Leica."  It seems like they were
rapidly in the world of digital and while this will not put them in the
in that market, it will sustain them, in my opinion, for the near
It will also offer them a platform from which to expand both their
and film SLR products without limiting either endeavour.  What they do
that is up to them.  Hopefully, they will continue to work on new
and new lenses for both R and M.  These are just my ramblings.
> Let the flames begin . . . ;-)
> Frank
> -------Original Message-------
> From: "" <>
> Sent: 06/25/03 05:10 PM
> To:
> Subject: [Leica] Digital Back - I like the first step!
> >
> > Well -
> I have to agree with Doug Herr - in essence, I don't think it will be
> same back you will be able to buy next september. I think it's more
> a starting point, but not a finished product.  This is Leica's way of
> saying ' Hey - we are on this - we won't abandon you R shooters who
> want a digital back -- this is NOT a finished product, but it will be
> Photokina.' It may be very different by the time it hits the street .
> think it
> will be. But I LOVE the idea - I'll dedicate a body to it! No one will
> switching backs in the heat of a sports shoot. SD cards will be the
> same capacity as CF cards (if they stay with SD cards!), and a finder
> screen masked off with a 'shaded' area would be great! Like the M, you
> can see what's coming in and out of the frame. I'm glad they are not
> just talking, but showing, what's developing behind the scenes. Then
> again, they can't win can they? Tell us what's going on and show
> products in the pipeline, and people complain - keep it secret, but
> say it's on the way, and people complain ;  loose - loose situation
> Leica there. Meantime, film gets better and better as well! I'm pretty
> happy about the whole ordeal. Looks like they have a good thing on
> way!
> Ed
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