Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/20

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Subject: Digital M/Digital Rebel was Re: [Leica] Lost Faith in Leica
From: scott at (Scott McLoughlin)
Date: Mon Sep 20 13:53:11 2004
References: <006501c49f4b$e640b360$>

I heartily agree on both points.  Build-quality for
the ages isn't a real selling point for a digital M body,
and Epson and CV showed us that it's possible to do
while hardly breaking a sweat. 

I'll add that even if some lenses won't work, if most of
them will work, then that's plenty good enough. Leave
the 21 SA and friends behind if need be (need = time or
cost) and just market replacement glass.

B. D. Colen wrote:

>It's odd, though, Jonathan, that Cosina managed to pull the whole thing
>off in next to no time.
>And it's also odd that people are in one breath telling us how no one
>expect to hang on to one of them silly digicams for more than about 15
>minutes before having it labled obsolete, and in the next breath they're
>telling us that Leica has to charge six arms and four legs for a digital
>M because, after all, it wouldn't be a Leica without that build quality.
>But if the damn thing's going to be obsolete in 15 minutes, and doesn't
>have to be capabable of going off to boarding school with little
>Skipper, Jr's little Skipper III, then why does it have to have that
>Leica build and price tag? Confused minds really do want to know. :-)
>-----Original Message-----
>[] On Behalf Of
>Jonathan Borden
>Sent: Monday, September 20, 2004 3:35 PM
>To: Leica Users Group
>Subject: Re: Digital M/Digital Rebel was Re: [Leica] Lost Faith in Leica
>Scott McLoughlin wrote: 
>>Just because it might cost Leica $3K to make a digi
>>M body doesn't meant many buyers will be willing
>>to pay $5K for it - or whatever the numbers might
>>come out to.
>>Right now, I don't think folks expect their digital
>>cameras to last them many, many decades. It's not
>>perceived as an "investment" in the same way.
>Build quality is one thing and if Leica were interested in 'getting 
>something out the door' at a lower price point, they might subcontract 
>the production to a japanese or even chinese firm -- this has been done 
>before with Minolta etc. and witness the current crop of Leica digital
>For the digital M I suspect there are other technical issues -- namely 
>the distance between the rear element and the sensor. With wide angle 
>lenses designed for rangefinders i.e. the M series, the angle that which
>the light strikes the film at can be quite acute -- look at the SA 21 
>for a great example.
>This doesn't work great with run of the mill digital sensors and so I 
>expect some real work with microlenses is being done -- but imagine 
>trying to design a sensor that will work well with anything from an SA 
>21 to a 135 -- not an easy task. The reason this is so much easier for 
>SLRs is that the lens already has to clear the mirror and consequently 
>the wide angle lenses are designed differently.
>Perhaps Epson has solved this problem. Perhaps it is not really a 
>problem. Perhaps the current R-D1 is a trial balloon for something 
>later. Perhaps Epson is going to use all the $$$ it makes on ink to buy 
>Leica and come out with a 20 mp R-D2. Who knows. We can speculate on 
>lots of things, but it is reasonable to speculate that the reason we 
>don't have a digital M *today* is that there are real engineering
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information

Replies: Reply from leicagalpal at (Kit McChesney) (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)