Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/10/08

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Subject: [Leica] Photokina musings.
From: don.dory at (Don Dory)
Date: Sun Oct 8 17:04:05 2006

First, I think that the upcoming wide angle vewfinder Voigtlander is a
really big deal.  The usual wide angle lenses showing without an accessory
viewfinder will get me out of the Leica fold.  Price will be around $900 if
memory serves.

Second, lets get real about the viewfinder for the new Tri-Elmar.  It shows
a very clear, very low distortion image with parallax compensation.  It has
good eye relief.  It is smaller than a MR meter that a lot of folks used.
No, it doesn't affect the balance of the camera, especially with the
Tri-Elmar attached.  Please try before you complain.  The images I took with
the pre-production Tri-Elmar at 16-18-21 looked pretty good to me wide open
on my M6.  If it looks good full frame then it will look good on an M8.

The folks at Leica were pretty sure that the shipping version of the
firmware would come out on October 15th giving the good folks in Solms time
to check, verify, and upload to shipping cameras.  And, based on the many
boxes of demo cameras sitting at the factory, they have a pretty good idea
of what needs to happen.

I will echo others that the display of all the Leica goodies glued to stands
was great fun, was full all the time, and had some young folk looking very
interested.  Between halls Leica had a riser set up with a good selection of
cameras, lenses, and sport optics designed with a enough light and space so
that you could really come to terms with the equipment.

Zeiss is doing some really nice things for the M mount.  I had a chance to
shoot with the Sonnar 1.5, the Biogon 21, and the Biogon 25.  I prefer the
50 Summilux ASPH to the Sonnar 1.5, but the Sonnar does a really, really
good job of imaging with a pretty flat field, good rendition of fine detail,
and good off center abilities.  I prefer the Summilux because it has better
really fine detail capture, better contrast, and does better at really close
distances; but you pay almost three times the price for that relatively
small improvement.  The Biogon 21 is a winner and will probably find its way
into my bag as the 21 SA won't image well on a digital.

I used the 25 Biogon extensively as a fellow LHSA member loaned me his.  It
is a very nice lens with good detail capture and I loved the 1/3 stops.  But
just like the 50, the 24 ASPH has a little more contrast, better capture of
really fine detail, and a flatter field.  Again, not loads better, but
noticeably better at a steep price.

For the Pentax shooters out there, the new 10MP is a real winner.  Small
changes to the controls but an improved finder and a very nice vertical
grip.  With a price under $900 and acces to all those lovely lenses
including the new Zeiss offerings it is mighty tempting.

The new 50mm F1.2 Canon is an extremely well built lens that focus quickly.
Image quality through the viewfinder is very good and field flatness is
quite good.  Finally Canon has a good 50mm both optically and mechanically.
Tina and Ted will love this lens as you can use 3200 ISO and 1.2.

Sony is really building on the Alpha mount.  They were showing a good 70-200
F2.8 and a 300 F2.8 both of which cover full frame images.  The 300 was at
least a re-design of the old Minolta lens.

Olympus was showing an addition to their 4/3 system that was proportioned
more like a film camera than the other E series.  If memory serves it was
10MP with a good viewfinder.  I am sorry to be so brief but the number of
cameras was small and the line was long, boisterous, and quite rude.

Rollei offered a new IR film that did not need to be loaded in the dark.
Not as grainy as Kodak's but a similar response to filtration and a similar
tendency to halate.

The real fun of walking all ten halls was seeing all the wierdness.  Strange
ball heads, software to fix any ill, models dressed as space aliens walking
to break, tripods of all shapes, leg number, material, lock mechanism, half
a hall filled with telescopes, half a hall filled with inkjet paper
manufacturers and more to fill a book.  Unlike others, I will probably go
back for two days next time as the international efforts are a little more
entertaining than at PMA.


Replies: Reply from jgovindaraj at (Jayanand Govindaraj) ([Leica] Photokina musings.)