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hammam

Leica stubborness will hurt sales

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The search of Leica for the best technical compromise led to the situation they are in now. I do not think that they took much more business considerations into account when they developed the M8.

 

I do not see this as a big issue, since many users do prefer actually Leica glass, which means that they are willing to pay for it and Leica generates currently lot of profit out of that - several rumors say they hav huge backorders in M glass. So why should they encourage people to use other glass? ...

 

What you are saying, in fact, is that Leica is telling me that if I can't afford BOTH the M8 and the Leica lenses, I should just not buy the M8? I can't be given the chance to at least buy the M8 (that's already $,4500) and use it with C/V lenses until I can afford Leica lenses? That's what I call stupid, and that's what's going to stop many people from buying the M8.

 

There is a huge difference betwen not encouraging people to use other glass and trying to kill the competition. All Leica users, mysefl included, know that the Leica glass is best, period. It's also the most expensive. Now, until I can afford the best, why am I not given the chance to at least get into the M8 system? From then on, I will probably easily be drawn into buying some Leica glass. Now, that would be a good marketing strategy. Leica strategy now is like take it or leave it. Stupid, I tell you. And snobbish.

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I guess the real loss of Leica will be at the moment that there will be a real alternative by Zeiss of Minilta or even an RD-2 with over 10mp and a better light receptivity at the edges. It will be very strange to see Leica opening their system just because of the introduction of an open system alternative, but it is not clear who will buy the M8 with the filter and with the possiblity to use properly only Leica lenses at such a stage.

 

Leica's strategy is really not clear to me. After all, most of us have mostly Leica lenses, it is not that we are trying to trick anyone. I coded 2 lenses already (and bought all the filters I need. probably, when Leica will send me the filters I will have an extra 2, so all the free lenses did not end up saving me much). I simnply prefer not to send my other lenses that are codable to Leica. I have better thing to do with my time than sending for service a perfectly working iterms).

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I agree with Mark on the commercial point. Leica has to make money on their M8 program - if they can't the M8 it a dead end (because they won't survive) so we shouldn't bother spending time to master it. It's hard to second guess Leica without knowledge of their business plan but my guess is that their plan is something like: "Give the M8s away and make money on the lenses."

 

"But", you respond, "$4,795.00 doesn't feel like much of a giveaway." Well start out by deducting the dealer markup, US customs and logicistics. Then deduct the cost of the Kodak chip and a licensing fee to C1 for their role in developing the firmware/software. Then deduct the manufacturing cost of the delightful Rubik's cube that Mark disassembled. What's left has to pay for product development over a short product cycle (like it or not there is a computer in that little box and Moore's law hasn't been repealed yet). Then of course there is the substantial marketing, sales and other support overhead. The question that I would ask those of you who know much more about manufacturing tech stuff than I do is whether the MSRP is even covering the manufacturing costs, let alone making a contrtibution to product development or overhead.

 

Let me reiterate that Leica has to make a profit on the M8 program. There is no copier division to subsidize camera development over a rough couple of years.

 

If they're not going to make money on the bodies, it has to be the lenses. The question then for Leica is whether they will sell more lenses in a closed system than an open system. The answer is not self-evident: "closed" will sell more lenses in the short run but "open" could stimulate body sales which in turn might add enough lens sales to compensate for short-term losses to CV and CZ.

 

Leica has opted for "closed" based on a lot more information about buying and ownership patterns (and margins on individual products) than we have. This is potentially a life or death issue for Leica. I respect their choice and hope they prosper and thrive.

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Please allow me to borrow this words from Stephen Gandy ... I think that history will record the M8 as another "Orphan Leica". The IR issue will no longer exist in the next iteration, and the bogus 6-bit coding will also not exist in the next iteration ... it is all too late to re-engineer a handicapped camera but they certainly could change their idea with the next one ... who thought of the idea at the first begining anyway? now they should know the forum's collective wisdom beats everything.

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The gross assumption being made here is that being able to make a manual lens type selection from a list of supported Leica codeable lenses when using an uncodeable lens and a non-Leica filter will do the job anyway.

 

Guy has shown that, especially at the wide end, the filter characteristics themselves are enough to blow it.

 

You can vilify Leica all you like and you can draw inappropriate comparisons between Boeing (Revenue: $61.5bn, 150,000 people, 40%+ market share) and Leica (Revenue: $130m, 950 people, < 0.5% market share) but, perhaps, now that we have V1.102, someone should test a hand coded Zeiss 21mm with a B+W filter and see whether being able to select a lens manually is going to do the job well enough.

 

If it doesn't, what's the point in pressing Leica to provide this function?

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Please allow me to borrow this words from Stephen Gandy ... I think that history will record the M8 as another "Orphan Leica". The IR issue will no longer exist in the next iteration, and the bogus 6-bit coding will also not exist in the next iteration ... it is all too late to re-engineer a handicapped camera but they certainly could change their idea with the next one ... who thought of the idea at the first begining anyway? now they should know the forum's collective wisdom beats everything.

 

Well, for now this "next iteration"has not even progressed to the stage of vaporware, nor btw a Zeiss, Epson RD2 or Voigtlander RDF. I happen to feel I get more out of an actual camera in my hands, and the results, for me, justify this.

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The menu selection system is all about enabling the use of available lenses ... the cyan corners is a seperate issue caused by IR contaminations. There are people who would never bother with wide angles and filters.

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It WILL do the job, I'm pretty sure.

 

Again, the coding is not some kind of magical alchemist algorithm. It just tells the camera the focal length used (thus the FOV), and 21 will be interpreted as 21, be it C/V, Zeiss or Leica 21. That's all there is to it. I don't believe there is such things like optical specs of such and such lens and what not transmitted. The camera couldn't care less if the info comes from the mount of the lens or from the menu. All is needed is a few focal lengths from, say 15 to 35. Okay, let's say we are picky and want the full exif, then from 15 to 135 will do. That's it. Heck they could even use some kind 6-bit code in the menu, and publish a table. You know: for 28, enter 2, 4 and 5. Then you enter the info into the camera's memory. Just like Nikon's F6. Bingo.

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Well, for now this "next iteration"has not even progressed to the stage of vaporware, nor btw a Zeiss, Epson RD2 or Voigtlander RDF. I happen to feel I get more out of an actual camera in my hands, and the results, for me, justify this.

 

Turns out to be a good practice for Leica anyways, I'm glad that the company is now in good hands ... they surely could survive the "storm in a teapot".

 

The camera is much more than usable ... but as some have pointed out, I'm afraid that after the first adoption waves from die hard Leica aficionados ... not much else will be interested.

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I think Leica knows their M series cameras are a small market, always have been and always will. I don't think, however, that they believe they have such a loyal following that they may ignore input.

 

I think Leica has listened to a lot, and taken that input and used it. Not all of it, but some or much of it - we don't see that because most of their testers are not know to us, nor are their suggestions. Some of their responses are mystefying - the lens selection for example - if we are not to be trusted to select the correct lens, howcome they implemented exactly that system for the WATE? Because there was no alternative.

 

While it is an expensive system, it pales next to medium format digital and large format digital, as well as "professional" DSLR. It is certainly not at a price point where the user can expect completely custom customer service.

 

Danni

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The gross assumption being made here is that being able to make a manual lens type selection from a list of supported Leica codeable lenses when using an uncodeable lens and a non-Leica filter will do the job anyway.

 

Guy has shown that, especially at the wide end, the filter characteristics themselves are enough to blow it.

 

You can vilify Leica all you like and you can draw inappropriate comparisons between Boeing (Revenue: $61.5bn, 150,000 people, 40%+ market share) and Leica (Revenue: $130m, 950 people, < 0.5% market share) but, perhaps, now that we have V1.102, someone should test a hand coded Zeiss 21mm with a B+W filter and see whether being able to select a lens manually is going to do the job well enough.

 

If it doesn't, what's the point in pressing Leica to provide this function?

I have to wait for a Leica filter. This is the Biogon 21, coded with B&W 486.detection+IR on. The shadow on the right is reflected daylight, the left-hand side is tungsten/daylight mixed.The colour in the centre is 100% correct to nature. Just to make life difficult for the combo. One sees why Leica is not stirring that hornet' s nest...

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You know what ... my dearest friends, the best solution is a complete overhaul of the M system.

 

An electronic rangefinder and full electronic linkage between the lens and camera.

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You know what ... my dearest friends, the best solution is a complete overhaul of the M system.

 

An electronic rangefinder and full electronic linkage between the lens and camera.

 

You mean an upgraded D2

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You mean an upgraded D2

Forget about Panasonic, Jaap. Think about auto focus M lenses similar to those in the Contax G system. Then Leica could have more effective means to block the use of third parties lenses. LOL

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i can'i understand why leica should open their system to competitors. why should they ruin their own business. if you want leica you have to pay leica. can u imagine to ask porsche to sell u a porsche with the option to run it with a lousy ford engine???

useless thread

cheers

andy

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It WILL do the job, I'm pretty sure.

 

Again, the coding is not some kind of magical alchemist algorithm. It just tells the camera the focal length used (thus the FOV), and 21 will be interpreted as 21, be it C/V, Zeiss or Leica 21. That's all there is to it. I don't believe there is such things like optical specs of such and such lens and what not transmitted.

 

"Pretty sure", based on hope, expectation or experience?

 

Olivier, if all the code does is tell the camera the focal length, there would be no need to have separate codes for each different 21, 28, 35, 50 and so on. As it is, the camera has the capability to apply different corrections based not just on the focal length but the actual lens characteristics.

 

Keep in mind that the cyan correction needs to take account not only of the angle of view through the filter as seen by the entrance pupil but also the angle of view through the sensor cover glass as seen by the exit pupil.

 

At best, coding a Zeiss 21mm to look like a Leica 21mm Elmarit-M ASPH might work well enough, it might be off, we do not know. Sean Reid showed that the normal sensor vignetting is usefully corrected when lenses are coded in this way, sometimes over-corrected, but the cyan correction may or may not be as effective with V1.102. We don't know but shouldn't the proponents of the manual selection idea do their homework to find out?

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Mark, we do know: Biogon 21 coded+B&W +1.02= cyan corners with IR filter switched on.

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It WILL do the job, I'm pretty sure.

 

Again, the coding is not some kind of magical alchemist algorithm. It just tells the camera the focal length used (thus the FOV), and 21 will be interpreted as 21, be it C/V, Zeiss or Leica 21. That's all there is to it. I don't believe there is such things like optical specs of such and such lens and what not transmitted. The camera couldn't care less if the info comes from the mount of the lens or from the menu. All is needed is a few focal lengths from, say 15 to 35. Okay, let's say we are picky and want the full exif, then from 15 to 135 will do. That's it. Heck they could even use some kind 6-bit code in the menu, and publish a table. You know: for 28, enter 2, 4 and 5. Then you enter the info into the camera's memory. Just like Nikon's F6. Bingo.

 

 

I don't think that is correct, the part I have placed in Bold. Otherwise ALL 35mm, 28mm, 50mm, what have you, lenses would have the same exact coding for that particular focal length. There wouldn't be any difference between the code for a 35mm 1.4 & 2 let alone a older version to the newer version.

 

Simple fact is that is the way Leica has chosen to do business. IF YOU don't like it then sell all your Leica gear and buy something else. There are tons of digital cameras on the market. Or just go back to shooting film only.

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The coding on Leica lenses does NOT transmit just the focal length - it also indicates the optical formula in use. Otherwise there could be one generic "28mm" code.

 

The fact that there are four distinct codes for: 28 f/2.8 ASPH, 28 f/2.8 pre-ASPH (v.4), 28 f/2.8 pre-ASPH (v.3), and 28 'cron - indicates that Leica is compensating for the idiosyncracies of each specific optical formula as regards fall-off and interaction with the IR filters (internal and external combined).

 

Anyone who has used, say, a 21 Super-Angulon, a 21 Elmarit, and a 21 Elmarit ASPH knows that they all show distinct differences in optical charcteristics. In that regard there is no such thing as a "generic" 21mm or 28mm or 35mm.

 

Therefore the idea that being able to dial in "21MM LENS" on the menu would correct the pattern of green corners or dark corners for any and all 21mm designs is in error.

 

I can tell you, from playing around with hand-correcting green corners from a filtered C/V 15mm - that a "bad" correction is far worse than no correction at all - or even just leaving the filter off and shooting. You get red bands within the green areas, and posterization, and all kinds of nasty stuff.

 

One may get lucky in that one of Leica's 28mm codes will come pretty close to matching the needed correction for a C/V or Zeiss 28 - in which case, fine.

 

So far as I know, if you mount a Tamron or Sigma lens on a Canon and have trouble with lens/body communication problems (which seems to happen according to the gripes on dpreview.com), Canon will take no responsibility. It ain't THEIR lens.

 

I certainly do not expect Leica to test the optics of every lens that might possibly be mounted on an M8 (Kobalux? Konica Hexar? Converted G lenses? Canon/Nikon screw-mounts?) and provide the necessary corrections for those lenses as discrete menu choices.

 

Me - I've shot for 5+ months with uncoded, unfiltered lenses on the M8 - Leica, Zeiss, CV. Gotten lovely results and several publications so far.

 

Now that I'm acquiring filters and retro-coded lenses, I will gradually start using that part of the system. The C/V 15mm will go uncoded, un-menued, and uncorrected - and still produce beautiful results most of the time. My 135mm will get filters but no coding and no correction - and still produce beautiful results most of the time.

 

[Edit: obviously Mark N., Ed C. and I ALL hit on the same argument at the same time]

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6-bit coding as originally released by Leica did nothing to "close" the M8 to non-supported Leica or 3rd party lenses. It's use was strictly optional. The fact that the coding is now a must for wide angles rather then an option is a complete accident. Something that was neither planned nor intended as the consequenses of the IR problem where totally unanticipated. If there was no IR problem their would be no need to have access to the profiles. It's a proposed work-around to an unanticipated defect in the product, not an issue of whether the system should be opened or closed.

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