Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/07/12

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Subject: [Leica] new M lens?
From: ljkapner at (Leonard J Kapner)
Date: Mon Jul 12 08:04:25 2004


One opinion is not a market, but my vote would be to not introduce a lower
performance lens at this focal length just for product range diversity. If
it's to replace a world class optic, then it would make even less sense to
me. Marketing dollars are too hard to earn and precious to waste them on
extending the brand in this manner.

And for what it's worth, I agree with Frank's point about the "new" 90mm
f/4. A friend up the street received one as a holiday gift last year, and
she let me try it out. Light and easy to use it is, but I'd much rather have
the AA f/2 which I have.

Regarding digital body pricing, I would probably be willing to pay up to $1K
premium for a new Leica-branded, Passport-warrantied product that works
seamlessly with M lenses and, operated correctly, produces sharp images
equivalent to what I can make with properly exposed ISO 50-800 film. I would
want an M Series optical viewfinder and a form factor no larger (or heavier)
than the current Nikon D100. I do not need a "heads up" display in the
viewfinder to distract me. I turn all that stuff off when I use my Digilux 2
so that I can concentrate on what's unfolding in front of me.

BTW a small tip on the D2: Don't try to use the EVF in bright sunlight with
Polaroid sunglasses on. I was in Thermal CA over the weekend shooting
derelict desert structures along the Union Pacific line and I thought my
camera had quit. It seems there's a polarized screen inside the EVF which,
when optically combined with my sunglasses, conspired to produce a neutral
filter of near infinite density. I eventually figured this little anomaly
out, but there were several moments of "Oh, God - what have I done now?"



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of B. D.
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 6:29 AM
To: 'Leica Users Group'
Subject: RE: [Leica] new M lens?

I, for one, hope that this rumor is not true. Why? Because I think that
if true, it really is the final nail in Leica's coffin. The last thing
the photographic world needs at this point is more M lenses. With the
introduction of the new ASPH 50 Summilux, Leica has now overhauled the
entire line from 21 to 135, with the exception of the 75, which is one
of the best lenses they've ever produced, and which is clearly up to
their highest modern standards. The number of people looking to buy new
Leica film equipment gets smaller every day, and will soon be down to
the comparatively small number of "if they build it, I will buy it"
people on this list, a few collector/acquirer's out there, and about six
pros. Yes, they might be able to sell enough units of a new digital wide
angle to make it's production worthwhile. But beyond that new
rangefinder lenses sound like real losers.

IF Leica is going to survive longish term, I believe that what they need
to do is come out with a digital M body of some sort priced within about
$500 of whatever Epson produces. If they do that, they may be able to
capitalize on the value of the Leica name, and the huge pool of used M,
LTM, and Cosina lenses out there. 

But new 75 2.8s and digital backs for the R line, which has never sold
well (glorious as the cameras may be :-) are simply not going to keep
them afloat - even as a loss leader for Hermes.

B. D.


Replies: Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] new M lens?)
In reply to: Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] new M lens?)