Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/07/13

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Subject: [Leica] digital M and backward copatibility of old lenses
From: dorysrus at (Don Dory)
Date: Tue Jul 13 05:24:15 2004

Perchance Leica will in fact bring out a new lens mount that allow EXIF
data and other possibilities. Create an adapter to allow the use of
older lenses just as the M can use LTM lenses.  Provide a wider throat
and 1mm less back focus and Bob's your uncle.

As to Leica becoming extinct, maybe it will, probably it will not.  The
digital field is wide open currently as to design, user interface, and
ergonomics.  In many respects photography is in the same position as it
was in 1950.  New technology was allowing the creation of many different
camera designs: from the Kodak Ektra to the Argus C3.  In the
rangefinder realm you had the Contax arise from the ashes of Dresden in
eastern and western incarnations, Leica invented the M3, Nikon brought
out the S2, Reid imitated a III, Perriflex went its unique way, Alpa
tried to be everything to everybody with a rangefinder and a reflex
viewing system.

All of this experimenting was stopped cold by a little introduction in
1959 simply called the F.  Some of the dead lived on until 1972 or so
but that one camera defined what a 35mm camera should be.

In digital today we find a situation much like the above.  Canon, Nikon,
Pentax and probably Minolta are continuing the 35mm SLR form into the
digital age.  Olympus is trying to push the ZLR concept to some success.
Fuji is testing the waters with all in one camera's like the 7000 as a
professional machine: do we really need interchangeable lenses if the
basic range is covered?  Electronic viewfinders are evolving quickly and
may ultimately make more sense as pixel pitch shrinks.  Sony's 828 is a
very interesting design that with tweaks to the lens and the imaging
chain might become a stunning performer.

Then we have camera phones.  For casual snaps and sharing these things
are indescribably wonderful.  To badly paraphrase: I see, I clicked, I
sent all in about three seconds.  If the 3MP phones ever come to
fruition, they may make the ultimate street shooters camera.

Getting back to the point, if Leica can come up with an M like machine
that allows fluid imagine, see, shoot image creation then they might win
back market share.   If the image quality was good, how about a Leica
camera phone, perhaps a lizard skinned Hermes edition?

The imaging field is very fluid right now.  We will not know how it will
settle out until the widget that works for most is introduced. Probably
not until four or five years after that will the dust have settled and
most will acclaim the new king.


Replies: Reply from bill at (Bill Grimwood) ([Leica] digital M and backward copatibility of old lenses)