Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/06/04

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Subject: [Leica] Leica modifying M-mount for digital M?
From: jsmith342 at (Jeffery Smith)
Date: Sun Jun 4 15:08:27 2006

Damn! Another financial decision to make!

Jeffery Smith
New Orleans, LA

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Allen
Sent: Sunday, June 04, 2006 5:03 PM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica modifying M-mount for digital M?

Funny. When I use manual lenses on my D200, I just enter the focal 
length and max f-stop. From then on, I can just select that lens from 
a list.2 different 50's 2 different 35's, etc. Nothing spent on lens 
conversion. Takes a few seconds.Focal length and max f-stop data 
available for EXIF data. This could also trigger appropriate frame 
lines, if an SLR needed them.<grin>

  If this sort of cheesy "conversion" is required for each lens and 
doesn't give a lot more functionality than max f-stop and focal 
length, then Leica will have succeeded in driving one more nail into 
their coffin-even if the M8 is a fine camera. Even by Leica 
standards, 125 Euros is a lot for 6 dots of white (or black) paint. 
Jeffery  could rebuild the entire New Orleans Levee system for the 
cost of converting his 50's.


>To add to the speculation: 
>This site (in French) seems to have good information.  Run it
>through AltaVista translator (aka Babelfish) if you don't read 
>It looks like a 6-bit system that is read optically, rather than
>electronic contacts.
>A reasonable conclusion from all this is that the new coding will be
>used to tell the camera exactly what focal length is mounted, and 
>what the maximum f-stop is.  This information could be used for EXIF 
>data, for metering, to compute the working f-stop by comparing the 
>light read from the lens to the light read from an external sensor. 
>It could also be used for vignetting compensation, color balance, 
>and things like that.
>It could also bring up framelines generated via an illuminated LCD.
>This could be quite an exciting development, something I've wondered 
>about for years.  It would be like having the wonderful, clean M2 
>viewfinder again, but with individual 28 and 75mm frames also 
>available.  It could shift and expand or shrink based on focusing 
>distance. This would give us more accurate framing than the current 
>system, which only shifts.  The frame selector could work using the 
>original lens flange, plus one bit in the coding to tell the CPU 
>whether to bring up the large or small frameline of the original 
>pair.  Or just use the coding for exact focal length if available, 
>bring up the traditional pair if no coding.
>None of this precludes the use of old or non-chipped lenses.  It
>just means you'd have less information in EXIF data, and you might 
>have to adjust vignetting or color balance a bit more manually in 
>Photoshop, Raw converter, etc.  And for the framelines, you'd have 
>to have a manual override for unconverted lenses.
>My own thought is that Leica would be incredibly stupid if they made
>their existing lens base unusable without conversion.  And I don't 
>think they (and their new CEO) are that stupid.  Especially with an 
>R-D1 on the market, and the distinct possibility that Zeiss might 
>follow suit.  They can't afford to lose sales to the existing base 
>of M and LTM users, because that base will be the majority of their 
>So Leica, if you're listening, PLEASE allow viewfinder frames to be
>set manually, if the coding is used to bring up an LCD-based 
>frameline.  Backward lens compatibility is a MUST.
>Supposedly Leica will make an official announcement next week.
>Now, anyone want to take bets on how long it will be before a
>do-it-yourself lens upgrade method gets posted on the Web? 
>Something involving a rat-tailed file, a micrometer, and nail polish 
>stolen from your Goth-girl daughter or girlfriend . . .  Kyle 
>Cassidy, take note!   :-)
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information

Leica Users Group.
See for more information

In reply to: Message from allen.graves at (Allen Graves) ([Leica] Leica modifying M-mount for digital M?)