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

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Subject: [Leica] new M lens?
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Mon Jul 12 10:24:29 2004

On 7/12/04 6:29 AM, "B. D. Colen" <> typed:

> 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.

With the Epson digital bodies coming out we need they need an 18 so we can
at least shoot as wide as the 28 to whatever zoom which comes on the Digilux
II. the 18 becomes a 28 at 1.5.
Having already gone digital with Nikon I had to of course go ultra wide just
so I could still be wide. I got a 14 which becomes a 21 at 1.5.
Epsons now going for chump change 15mm gives us about a 22.5 mm lens at 1.5.

But I guess they're not going to do that come to think of it because when
they finally get their camera out it's going to be full frame.

Maybe Epson will come out with come compact engineered for digital glass
which covers the smaller images circle of the smaller CCD. A high speed 75
1.4 would not get in the way of the viewfinder and be perhaps not that heavy
at all.
I'm entranced by what can be done with lens design perhaps with that smaller
image circle.
Epsons 12 becomes an 18 and now I notice it's selling for what the 15 was
selling for when it came out.
When the digital body comes out there will be a much bigger demand for the
Epson superwide s.
And what ever less than terrific stuff is happening with them out on the
peripherals is not a problem because those are just cut off at the get go.

I think Leica could get into the superwide's. Go right up against Epson.
Come out with a 12 and a 14 or 18.
These photo lengths are getting much more de rigueur in a photographers
standard kit and why should we have to go to third party people to get
these? IN the world of rangefinder photography such superwide shooting is
ideal for a number of reasons. It looks bad for Leica to have to send us to
So I think a few more lenses might not be such a bad idea.

This is why for years I've said on the list it would be great for Leica to
come out with a compact 75 2.5 to beat Epson. Or a 2.8 so they can call it
an Elmarit.
They came out with a compact as in collapsible 90 which is close enough.
But they should do more with the 75mm frame line or take it out. It bothers
I wouldn?t make a CAREER out of it!  :)

 I'm not one to believe the rumors are true if the rumors that there is a
rumor is true that they are coming out with a compact 75. That's not the way
we've ever heard about a product coming out. Not quite that vague.

I wonder how the Digilux II is selling? $1800?

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon

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