Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/19

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Subject: Digital M/Digital Rebel was Re: [Leica] Lost Faith in Leica
From: jonathan at (Jonathan Borden)
Date: Sun Sep 19 16:54:44 2004
References: <007701c49e93$2544e630$>

B. D. Colen wrote:

> What would be the point? Quite simply the point would be to use them
> with whatever crop factor is necessary. I can think of allot worse
> things than having the 35 Summilux ASPH morph into what might be the
> world's best 50 mm lens. ;-)

What is the point of wanting a hugely expensive lens like the 35 lux 
Asph on a mediocre sensor?

Gosh, it's not like the many other much more reasonably priced lenses 
aren't adequate. Do you really think there is going to be a huge 
difference among any reasonably well designed 35mm lens on a 5 or 6 mp 
sensor (and a small one at that)?

If I were going to buy a digital camera *today* it would most likely be 
one of those tiny little P&S camera's at 5-6mp -- to replace our 
Olympus Stylus.

> And don't put any money on the image quality of the digital M being any
> better than that of the Nikon D70 or the Digital Rebel. It's the build
> that sucks on those two, not the image quality.

Well I guess that is the point -- image quality is a function of lens 
quality, sensor quality and output quality. There is not usually a good 
reason to have one of the three factors hugely worse or better than the 

Of course *you* are the one who stated that you'd buy a digital M *if* 
it had good build quality (we'll assume that, otherwise all bets are 
indeed off) and a sensor with 10+ mp.

Now I don't mean to get too stuck on pixel counts, other factors namely:

1) noise
2) dynamic range

are equally important. Indeed one of I am holding off spending 
megabucks on a digital camera is that there is room to move on the 
dynamic range front -- witness scanners which are moving into the 16bit 
range --- sort of like the difference between a desktop scanner and a 
drum scanner, sure the pixel counts may be difference but there are 
good and not so good pixels. One of the biggest factors is dynamic 
range (e.g. dMax).

On the other hand, as we are moving up into the 10 mp range, and as the 
quality at 10 mp is improving, digital sensors are in the process of 
overtaking film in terms of image quality (at least for 35mm).

> Oh, P.S.  Leica has not for years been the company we all so fondly
> remember as E. Leitz, and some of our memories of that company may be a
> bit too nostalgia clouded as it is.
Yes, well E. Leitz primarily served the scientific/medical market.


Replies: Reply from scott at (Scott McLoughlin) (Digital M/Digital Rebel was Re: [Leica] Lost Faith in Leica)
In reply to: Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) (Digital M/Digital Rebel was Re: [Leica] Lost Faith in Leica)