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hankg

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Leica's first priority has to be to make a commercial return on their assets employed and seeing lens business walk out the door to Zeiss and CV has to stop. The Summarits are their first - and likely not last - response to the leak of revenue to Zeiss and CV.

 

Zeiss and CV are parasites because all they have to do is produce lenses, they don't have to produce the digital imaging platform, so why should they share in the success of and lens drag-along business from the Leica M8? If CV and Zeiss had invested the countless millions in doing what Leica has done, I'd be more sympathetic.

 

Leica have provided a good level of backwards compatability for lenses bought in the recent past (at least 10, maybe 15 years). Older lenses are less well supported but if you look at Canon and Nikon lenses, the same is true. Support diminishes as you go back in time. Nothing is forever.

 

Besides, the efforts of John Milich have made coding of unsupported lenses an affordable proposition and whether or not Leica have patent protection for the 6 bit coding, they should turn a blind eye to companies such as John's who are prepared to do the work for the users prepared to go to the effort to get them coded. Problem solved.

 

Leica needs new sales, new revenue, not endless re-hashing of bygone products which may be of interest from a photographic point of view but have nothing to do with bolstering their financial viability.

 

My position is clear. Not only do I not want Leica to provide a lens selection menu, I want them to NOT provide one.

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Yes, I'm too "cheap" to relegate my 35/1.4-ASPHERICAL and 1st-version 28/2.8 and 35/2 and several other collectors' items to the has-been shelf simply because Leica has chosen to exclude them from codability. The only reason I paid $5000 for an M8 and continue to suffer its quirks and glitches is to have a digital body on which to use my entire collection of optics, as promised. In point of fact your assertion is as foolish as it is condescending, for it's a simple matter to self-code older lenses: unless of course they happen to be high-value collectors' items which one would be insane to have their flanges drilled out for coding.

 

I'm not being funny here but do these collectors' lenses not work with the M8?

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My position is clear. Not only do I not want Leica to provide a lens selection menu, I want them to NOT provide one.

 

I can understand your points from a business owner's perspective but you've just gone a little too far ... why shouldn't Leica's own lenses be supported? if people were not paying for the old lenses in the past how could they stay in business today?

 

To be honest, I don't care about this issue at all 'cause I only use a 50 cron and 90 AA currently. EXIF tags are of no use to me either ... but I can understand those wide angle fanatics, who definitely could benefit from such an improvement when the issues about vignetting, cyan corners, etc can be addressed.

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... why shouldn't Leica's own lenses be supported? if people were not paying for the old lenses in the past how could they stay in business today?

 

There was never a commitment to future-proof a lens bought 20+ years ago any more than there is to future-proof one bought now. I think Leica have protected the interests of existing Leica lens owners rather well, actually.

 

Besides, if someone wants to use a collectable lens, they can have the bayonet ring copied and coded, leaving the original pristine to retain value. Any lens can be coded, it's just a question of finding someone competent to do the job, and if there's a screw hole in the way, leave it out, several Leica lenses do just that.

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I think Leica has higher priorities - to fix elements of the functionality we've bought which doesn't work to the expected standard - like AWB and JPEG rendering - instead of pandering to the whingers here who are too cheap to use current Leica lenses. With the upcoming Summarit lenses (and presumably more in the future), they have no more excuses.

 

I'm speechless almost but not surprised. That's a very arrogant point of view.

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Maybe Zeiss should be catering for these people?

 

Students and young photographers struggling to make a living don't use Leicas.

 

Yes they do Andy and they always have. It's not just a club for the wealthy. In fact, much of the best and most famous photography done with Leica cameras has been done by photographers who were not rich.

 

And Hank is quite right, money is only part of the question. People also choose to use various lenses because they like them. Some hobbyists, who are not serious photographers, may have trouble understanding that because their approach to buying equipment is more serious than their visual approach to photography itself.

 

I'm also one who finds Mark's post elitist and offensive.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Hank i'm all for it , i would just not expect a free lunch here.

 

Hi Guy,

 

If you mean such a feature shouldn't be free you know that I emphatically disagree with the idea of charging any fee for a feature that simply makes the camera more usable with a variety of M and LTM lenses.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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It's important to remember that 2 years ago, Leica was bust, a state of affairs reached after years of pandering to traditionalists, collectors, brand-junkies who waxed lyrical but didn't actually buy much product. In the meantime, the rest of the world moved on.

 

But for the foresight of a well-heeled private investor, Leica would now be history. Fortunately, Leica's future now looks brighter than it has for years and Leica's management team will take a view on whether supporting old glass and foreign glass, with the attendant loss of revenue from their own lens sales, is worth it.

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Personally I don't see the need, after all coding is only really needed for lenses of 28 and shorter, maybe 35. How many of those lenses are there except the 35 aspherical? 3.4/21? What else? There is a Milich adaper, handcoding works, Zeiss lenses can be coded, But that is no reason to oppose it; nobody will be forcing me to use it....

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Guest stnami

I rekon that Mark is sorta right, Leica compromised their new m8 to cater for some of the older lenses and that has created all sorts of flack and unforeseen/seen dramas. Leica has always shown a certain amount of arrogance, it's helped them through the rough patches. maybe that attitude is still a positive now. If Leica listened to every whinger or "I WANT" person nothing would be out there.

Buy the new lenses and keep Leica afloat that what you guys want ... a viable company that makes expensive gear

 

 

 

 

 

You can't expect Leica to hold your other hand when you go to the trough.................................and still free WIlly:eek:

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Leica's first priority has to be to make a commercial return on their assets employed and seeing lens business walk out the door to Zeiss and CV has to stop. The Summarits are their first - and likely not last - response to the leak of revenue to Zeiss and CV.

 

Zeiss and CV are parasites because all they have to do is produce lenses, they don't have to produce the digital imaging platform, so why should they share in the success of and lens drag-along business from the Leica M8? If CV and Zeiss had invested the countless millions in doing what Leica has done, I'd be more sympathetic.

 

 

My position is clear. Not only do I not want Leica to provide a lens selection menu, I want them to NOT provide one.

 

Oh for crying out loud Mark. Did you consider Leica to be a parasite for the two years that the R-D1 was the only DRF? I don't recall you saying that when you were buying Leica lenses to use on your Epson. Its a ridiculous argument. Zeiss and Leica have been competitors since the early 20th century and competition is good for customers. CV is a new competitor and its made waves with excellent lenses that are also very reasonably priced. Leica is responding with lens competition and that's a smart response.

 

Leica is not a baby that needs to be protected. They'll take care of their of their own bottom line. What matters to me is what is best, broadly speaking, for photographers and choice is good. Options are good. Just because you don't need or want something doesn't make others who want it into whiners.

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So Jaap, how would you feel if you set the camera to lens recognition on + IR and the functionality changed so that, like it or not, a menu was presented to you when you mounted an uncoded lens and you were forced to make a selection, even if it was "none of these".

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It's important to remember that 2 years ago, Leica was bust, a state of affairs reached after years of pandering to traditionalists, collectors, brand-junkies who waxed lyrical but didn't actually buy much product. In the meantime, the rest of the world moved on.

 

But for the foresight of a well-heeled private investor, Leica would now be history. Fortunately, Leica's future now looks brighter than it has for years and Leica's management team will take a view on whether supporting old glass and foreign glass, with the attendant loss of revenue from their own lens sales, is worth it.

 

You're not a business consultant to Leica, Mark and you have no idea how a lens menu will affect M8 sales and lens sales. My own guess is that the M8 lens menu will help to sell the camera and will attract new owners who, over time, will also buy Leica lenses. But, again, I care about the choices photographers have. Leica is able to run its own business and take care of its own bottom line.

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Leica is a system camera with a 70-year legacy of fine optics. It is just plain wrong to turn it into a closed system. And, I think, counterproductive for Leica in the long run.

 

Leica owes many an M8 sale to the fact that people have existing lenses that fit the camera. I say, "Treat us right. Give us a lens selection menu." Many of us will eventually get at least some of our lenses coded. The lens menu will tide us over and encourage more use and experimentation with the camera.

 

One of the major incentives to buy the M8 was the clear implication that one could use any Leica or Leica-mount lens on it. In the run up to the M8 release, Leica always said, or at least strongly implied this. Coding was not absolutely necessary, you'd get "the finest image quality" with coding, but you could do fine without it.

 

Now the language used probably would give a lawyer enough wiggle room to get Leica out of any contractual obligation. But the lack of a lens menu doesn't pass the "smell test."

 

Why? The whole IR filter/cyan drift business makes the coding more necessary than many of us initially believed. Add to all this the focus shift issues that have been slowly revealed, and many reasonable people might conclude that Leica had engaged in deliberate bait-and-switch about lens compatibility.

 

So don't tell us, "Yes, you can use your 35/1.4 ASPH that you paid over two thousand U.S. for last year. But only if you send it to us for coding, and then only wide open." If that's the case, I want to be able to use my slower 35mm lens outdoors when I don't need the speed so I don't have to play focus offset tricks. Don't tell me "that's too bad, you'll have to deal with cyan corners yourself" if it's a CV or an older Leica lens.

 

I want solutions so I can use the camera as fully as possible. I don't want hoops to jump through and hundreds if not thousands of dollars of additional costs.

 

The idea of "revenue drain" is, frankly, nonsense. People who bought CV or Zeiss lenses are probably people who would not buy the equivalent Leica lens whether the third-party lens was available or not. Also, many Leica lenses are back-ordered, and coding is taking several weeks. Given all this, there needs to be an alternative.

 

Then there are all the old LTM lenses and early M lenses. Is Leica going to code a Summitar? An old Zeiss Sonnar like HCB used for years (Leica still claims him as a "Leica Photographer" despite this)? OK, I can self-code a Milich adapter for those. How about a chrome Rigid 50 Summicron? An M-mount 35/2.8 Summaron? Some Leica buffs love those lenses. As someone said earlier, if I want to use those lenses, I should be able to. Maybe I don't want to mulilate the mount and destroy the lens' resale value. A menu choice might be a better solution.

 

Finally, many of us would happily send lenses in for coding if we knew that:

 

1. We would get them back in a couple of weeks.

2. They would focus correctly on the M8 when we get them back.

 

These days, #1 is not happening, and #2 only happens some of the time. Again, treat us right.

 

And you know what? Many of us might get most of our codable lenses coded eventually anyway, just because it's more convenient.

 

Finally, some folks argue "don't be cheap, buy current Leica lenses." Let me clue you in on a little secret. Some of use who use Leica are not filthy rich. We use it because it's the best photographic tool we know. So after stretching to buy a $5K camera, I find it very insulting when someone says that I should be ashamed not to lay out another $1500 minimum for a slower version of a focal length I already own.

 

We want to build on what we already have. Pentax understood this from its first DSLR. Nikon realized it with the D200. Leica should learn it, too.

 

--Peter

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Mark--I can only hope that if Leica was to do this, ever, you could *turn it off* entirely.

 

The last thing I want is to be queried every time I put a non-coded lens on the body, thanks.

 

I think you're using a worst-case usability scenario here...

 

I also agree I'd rather have them work on noise reduction, file decompression and JPEG quality than something like this. Given Leica's limited software resources (everyone's resources are limited), above 35 mm this is a non-issue, and below any number of fixes are available.

 

Still--I don't think this is a dumb or dangerous request at all, even if it's only "officially" for Leica lenses. It just better not get in my way shooting, or take away from the general performance and IQ efforts to make the M8 better.

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Personally I don't see the need, after all coding is only really needed for lenses of 28 and shorter, maybe 35. How many of those lenses are there except the 35 aspherical? 3.4/21? What else? There is a Milich adaper, handcoding works, Zeiss lenses can be coded, But that is no reason to oppose it; nobody will be forcing me to use it....

 

Hi Jaap,

 

35 and shorter... There are indeed Milich adapters and some people are having their lenses milled. That does help for sure. But many working photographers own Leica lenses that they can't easily be without for 6-8 weeks while Leica codes them. Milling is not a simple proposition either. The lens menu simply makes the camera more flexible to a broad range of photographers and it can simply be ignored by those who don't need it.

 

I agree that opposing it is not needed. It's like a BW photographer opposing color modes on the M8. Live and let live.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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So Jaap, how would you feel if you set the camera to lens recognition on + IR and the functionality changed so that, like it or not, a menu was presented to you when you mounted an uncoded lens and you were forced to make a selection, even if it was "none of these".

 

Don't lose too much sleep over that kind of implementation Mark.

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Zeiss and CV are parasites because all they have to do is produce lenses, they don't have to produce the digital imaging platform, so why should they share in the success of and lens drag-along business from the Leica M8? If CV and Zeiss had invested the countless millions in doing what Leica has done, I'd be more sympathetic.

 

That's simplistic nonsense. CV has done more for Leica's business then Leica's old management did. CV brought in new blood, kept the RF market alive and expanded it all which has benefited and will continue to benefit Leica. Had Leica been the sole player in the market when it was selling the exclusive Leica lifestyle a la Hermes it would be in much worse shape today.

 

An expanded RF market with more competitive players is not just good for photographers it's good for Leica. They are more then capable of innovating and competing in the space which they continue to dominate. The healthier and bigger the RF ecosystem the better for it's top dog.

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Leica is a system camera with a 70-year legacy of fine optics. It is just plain wrong to turn it into a closed system. And, I think, counterproductive for Leica in the long run.

 

Leica owes many an M8 sale to the fact that people have existing lenses that fit the camera. I say, "Treat us right. Give us a lens selection menu." Many of us will eventually get at least some of our lenses coded. The lens menu will tide us over and encourage more use and experimentation with the camera.

 

One of the major incentives to buy the M8 was the clear implication that one could use any Leica or Leica-mount lens on it. In the run up to the M8 release, Leica always said, or at least strongly implied this. Coding was not absolutely necessary, you'd get "the finest image quality" with coding, but you could do fine without it.

 

Now the language used probably would give a lawyer enough wiggle room to get Leica out of any contractual obligation. But the lack of a lens menu doesn't pass the "smell test."

 

Why? The whole IR filter/cyan drift business makes the coding more necessary than many of us initially believed. Add to all this the focus shift issues that have been slowly revealed, and many reasonable people might conclude that Leica had engaged in deliberate bait-and-switch about lens compatibility.

 

So don't tell us, "Yes, you can use your 35/1.4 ASPH that you paid over two thousand U.S. for last year. But only if you send it to us for coding, and then only wide open." If that's the case, I want to be able to use my slower 35mm lens outdoors when I don't need the speed so I don't have to play focus offset tricks. Don't tell me "that's too bad, you'll have to deal with cyan corners yourself" if it's a CV or an older Leica lens.

 

I want solutions so I can use the camera as fully as possible. I don't want hoops to jump through and hundreds if not thousands of dollars of additional costs.

 

The idea of "revenue drain" is, frankly, nonsense. People who bought CV or Zeiss lenses are probably people who would not buy the equivalent Leica lens whether the third-party lens was available or not. Also, many Leica lenses are back-ordered, and coding is taking several weeks. Given all this, there needs to be an alternative.

 

Then there are all the old LTM lenses and early M lenses. Is Leica going to code a Summitar? An old Zeiss Sonnar like HCB used for years (Leica still claims him as a "Leica Photographer" despite this)? OK, I can self-code a Milich adapter for those. How about a chrome Rigid 50 Summicron? An M-mount 35/2.8 Summaron? Some Leica buffs love those lenses. As someone said earlier, if I want to use those lenses, I should be able to. Maybe I don't want to mulilate the mount and destroy the lens' resale value. A menu choice might be a better solution.

 

Finally, many of us would happily send lenses in for coding if we knew that:

 

1. We would get them back in a couple of weeks.

2. They would focus correctly on the M8 when we get them back.

 

These days, #1 is not happening, and #2 only happens some of the time. Again, treat us right.

 

And you know what? Many of us might get most of our codable lenses coded eventually anyway, just because it's more convenient.

 

Finally, some folks argue "don't be cheap, buy current Leica lenses." Let me clue you in on a little secret. Some of use who use Leica are not filthy rich. We use it because it's the best photographic tool we know. So after stretching to buy a $5K camera, I find it very insulting when someone says that I should be ashamed not to lay out another $1500 minimum for a slower version of a focal length I already own.

 

We want to build on what we already have. Pentax understood this from its first DSLR. Nikon realized it with the D200. Leica should learn it, too.

 

--Peter

 

I've made many of the same arguments Peter and I strongly agree with you. The M8 only became a closed system because Leica has this IR sensitivity problem. Cornerfix helps, Milich adapters help, custom milling helps but, in the end, the buck should stop right where it started.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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So Jaap, how would you feel if you set the camera to lens recognition on + IR and the functionality changed so that, like it or not, a menu was presented to you when you mounted an uncoded lens and you were forced to make a selection, even if it was "none of these".

 

It's really very easy. My preference for a lens menu would be that you get to "default" each position of the lens select flange to a particular lens. If the lens you mount isn't coded, the camera looks at both the frame selected and the appropriate menu entry. But if the lens is coded, you get that.

 

So if you mount an uncoded lens that brings up the 35/24 frame, and you've set it to "35/2 Summicron Type 3," the camera assumes that lens.

 

Or, they could add "Lens Menu" and "Lens Menu + UV/IR" choices. And the lens menu popping up could be a feature you could turn off, just like the two-second "instant chimp" after exposure.

 

--Peter

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