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Leica stubborness will hurt sales

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It makes very little sense that they will do it unless they will really have to. Otherwise, why introduce an M mount at all? Epson did not do it (and they do have close relations with Cosina). If they will not have the IR issue then they will only have to try to minimize light fall of using internal or external tool. Epson's software does great job it that even with very extreme lenses. with the very low noise of the epson's sensor you don't even get noise when you compensate.

 

The RD1 has a thicker IR filter in front of the image plane and has a higher crop factor than the M8. Nonetheless, the M8's IQ appears to be much better. See Sean's reports.

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Tom is correct, in my opinion, that there is a difference between files from the R-D1 and the M8. In my own experience, the R-D1 (which I still own and love) draws somewhat like a 35 mm film camera whereas the M8 draws more like a MF film camera. Of course, film is its own medium etc. but that is the analogous relationship between the two cameras that I have observed.

 

Speaking generally below....

 

There is a seemingly pervasive misunderstanding that I keep encountering on the forum with respect to the menu selection of lens types. Many of us have clarified this before but it still seems to be getting lost in translation at times. I don't believe that anyone has suggested that Leica should provide support for lenses from other makers. That would be an unreasonable request. I also do not support Leica implementing any kind of generic selection of lenses (in menu) by focal length. Instead, what I support is the idea of having Leica make available by menu the same corrections (for the same Leica lenses) that are now available via the coding system. Leica, naturally, would emphasize in their instruction supplement that these corrections would only be appropriate for XYZ lenses, unsatisfactory results could come from using other lenses with these settings, etc.

 

1) Menu selection for lenses would allows owners of modern Leica lenses the option of *either* sending their lenses off to be coded or selecting them manually. For working photographers, sending lenses away for several weeks can be inconvenient or even problematic.

 

2) Owners of Leica lenses that cannot be coded right now (there are many examples that include all of the screwmount Leica lenses) would be able to experiment with the various lens settings to see how effective they might be with *gasp* non-specified lenses. Needless to say, Leica would not be at all responsible for the results in these case, having specifically recommended against this usage.

 

3) Owners of non-Leica lenses could experiment to see how well these settings worked for *double gasp* non-specified and non-Leica lenses. Again, Leica would not be at all responsible for the results in these cases, having specifically recommended against this usage.

 

There are a couple of myths that seem to prevail on the Internet. One is that Zeiss and CV make second-rate lenses. That's far from the truth if one looks at actual results in side-by-side pictures. The second (newer) myth is that non-specified lenses won't work well with the M8's built in lens corrections. That's largely a myth as well. For many months now, I've been testing various lenses (factory coded and hand-coded) on the M8 and the camera's corrections can often be useful for a wide range of lenses. I'm testing various lenses with 486 filters and firmware 1.102 right now and the results may surprise some people.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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But they have tackled it - the new FW and the Leica cut filters. Take it or leave it.

Tom

 

Ultimatum? Mm... Sorry, I don't take it and I won't leave it. Do you mind?

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I think you should be complaining to the lens makers to get some sort of a coding procedure in place for their lenses. Until Leica has fixed all of the other bugs in the firmware I would doubt they would even consider putting this in.

 

Hi Tim,

 

Unfortunately, the other lens makers do not have the legal right to use that coding.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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My 2 cents: I am a collector, and a great deal of Leica's market are collectors. I have dozens of older lenses I would like to shoot with on into the digital age. Sharpie marks wear off, and grinding indents into prized collectors items isn't something I'm about to do. Not to mention the corrections using nearest-substitutes aren't guaranteed effective. I can understand Leica not investing R&D into including menu items for 3rd-party lenses, but leaving the collectors high and dry, that is definitely not cool.

 

Yes, not only collectors would benefit from this but also anyone who wants to use Leica lenses that cannot be coded (again, including the thousands of screw mounts).

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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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 am in the midst of doing this sort of testing and you may find the results to be quite interesting.

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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.

 

Hi Olivier,

 

Generic settings by focal length would be problematic because lenses of the same nominal focal length do behave differently. But creative experimentation with other lenses will gradually show people which "other" lenses work well with the corrections already developed for "code-able" modern Leica lenses.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Tom is correct, in my opinion, that there is a difference between files from the R-D1 and the M8. In my own experience, the R-D1 (which I still own and love) draws somewhat like a 35 mm film camera whereas the M8 draws more like a MF film camera. Of course, film is its own medium etc. but that is the analogous relationship between the two cameras that I have observed.

 

Speaking generally below....

 

There is a seemingly pervasive misunderstanding that I keep encountering on the forum with respect to the menu selection of lens types. Many of us have clarified this before but it still seems to be getting lost in translation at times. I don't believe that anyone has suggested that Leica should provide support for lenses from other makers. That would be an unreasonable request. Instead, what I have seen support for is the idea of having Leica make available by menu the same corrections (for the same Leica lenses) that are now available via the coding system. Leica, naturally, would emphasize in their instruction supplement that these corrections would only be appropriate for XYZ lenses, unsatisfactory results could come from using other lenses with these settings, etc.

 

1) Menu selection for lenses would allows owners of modern Leica lenses the option of *either* sending their lenses off to be coded or selecting them manually. For working photographers, sending lenses away for several weeks can be inconvenient or even problematic.

 

2) Owners of Leica lenses that cannot be coded right now (there are many examples that include all of the screwmount Leica lenses) would be able to experiment with the various lens settings to see how effective they might be with *gasp* non-specified lenses. Needless to say, Leica would not be at all responsible for the results in these case, having specifically recommended against this usage.

 

3) Owners of non-Leica lenses could experiment to see how well these settings worked for *double gasp* non-specified and non-Leica lenses. Again, Leica would not be at all responsible for the results in these cases, having specifically recommended against this usage.

 

There are a couple of myths that seem to prevail on the Internet. One is that Zeiss and CV make second-rate lenses. That's far from the truth if one looks at actual results in side-by-side pictures. The second (newer) myth is that non-specified lenses won't work well with the M8's built in lens corrections. That's largely a myth as well. For many months now, I've been testing various lenses (factory coded and hand-coded) on the M8 and the camera's corrections can often be useful for a wide range of lenses. I'm testing various lenses with 486 filters and firmware 1.102 right now and the results may surprise some people.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

I have seen the medium format analogy in other contexts, especially after the D2X came from Nikoners. It seems that from about 10MP with good lenses the IQ is very close to medium format film. I shot mostly hassy in the 80's and 90's and have to agree.

 

I think the Sharpie route will be easier than entering data via menu IMHO, based on using the Nikon D2 series which go the menu route (mainly for exif, no effect on exposure, CA correction, or vignette correction that I have been able to discern). BTW one can do the 'Sharpie thing' on after-market lenses too. I am over 50 and that may have something to do with my preference as I do not use my reading glasses when shooting as I otherwise have 20/20 vision, other issues too - such as fogging, it is cold here. I like the large lettering on the menus as they are for this reason - not too bad even w/o glasses.

 

Adding more menus is problematic from having more to scroll through, for example when formatting a card, I have cycled through a couple of time looking to stop at the right item. I like the Spartan interface of the M8. BTW I find the wheel interface for zooming in on the image (blow-up) far more effective than what Nikon does for the same thing. Though I will keep my N stuff, for tele, macro & micro, and expecially underwater use (need for AF here), I will be very curious about the R10 because of this interface and could take the plunge

Tom

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Sean, thank you for adding your well informed and quiet voice to this hotly debated thread. There have been a couple of people who share at least part of my ideas, but for the most part, I have been pretty roughed up by some agressive members, and even yelled at, just for expressing my disagreement with Leica not wanting to implement a menu system for lens coding. For a while I thought I was on photo.net's Leica forum.

 

Your solution could be viable, if there is no other way. Let them offer a selection of Leica lenses in the menu, and if people want to try these menu codes with third-party lenses, it'll be at their risks. No problem with that. But at least I will be given the chance.

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Ultimatum? Mm... Sorry, I don't take it and I won't leave it. Do you mind?

 

You will grow very frustrated. If I am unhappy with a peice of gear I unload it. I want to enjoy use my gear. The M8 is a joy to use and the results are wonderful.

 

What I mind is the endless complaining, especially when it is based on false assumptions. I think we have cleared up the 'simply entering the focal length' concept, see earlier in this thread.

 

Leica is not stupid, they have done the best possible with what is available. Maybe someone will come out with a sensor that does not see IR. There is that hope. Is anyone working on it?? I would hope so as it has been problematic for the SLR folks too.

Tom

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While I'd like to see Leica provide a menu option to apply the current built-in vignetting/cyan correction tables to non-coded lenses, I think an ability to apply the (IR/cut filter) red channel vignetting correction at the RAW conversion stage would be a huge long-term benefit to the M8 community. I'd certainly be first in line to purchase a licence for the first RAW conversion software that offers this.

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Well, thank God there was some «bickering» on the forum - as some like to put it - otherwise we would still be stuck with the banding, the blobbing, the magenta cast, the green stripe, the sudden death and what not. We wouldn't have the complimentary two filters (iF we ever get them) and the 30% discount on Leica lenses. And Guy M. wouldn't have collected all the early M8 users' wishes and complaints in a laundry list to pass on to Leica.

 

They corrected a major defect (the magenta cast) with a solution (the IR-cut filter) which in turn brought another major defect, the cyan vignetting with wide-angles. What I'm saying is that they're now compounding this grave defect with the obligation to buy their lenses. In other words the only solution they're offering me now to just get normal results from my M8 is a very expensive one, and I don't think it's fair. I resent it.

 

Here is Leica's own litterature on their M8 Web page:

 

« The dream of many Leica photographers has come true: the Leica M system is now open for professional digital photography. Breaking completely new ground, the LEICA M8 doesn't only look like an M - it utilizes all the benefits of the analog Leica M system for sophisticated and creative digital photography. It is the only digital camera for professionals to incorporate the rangefinder system with its advantages of discreet and quiet operation, speed and precision. And the no-compromise quality criteria of the M system continue to apply to the M8. Full compatibility with nearly all M lenses means that their unique imaging performance is now available for digital photography, too....»

 

The M8 was introduced as an «M», albeit digital. Great news. An M with «full compatibility with nearly all M lenses...» So, I guess everybody, including me, concluded that this digital M would take the M mount lenses they were already using, which probably included a mix of Leica, Zeiss, C/V and a few others. But no. Rather, yes, but with inferior results, not because of these lenses inherent inferior quality, but because of the M8 inherent weaknesses.

 

As for the argument that «if you don't like it, sell it» it is lame and irrelevant. May I claim the right to complain about a less than perfect product which has already cost me a lot of money, and to suggest Leica can do better in order to help people who have unknowingly invested in their defective system than to ask them to dunk even more money in it?

 

Let's forget about photography for a minute, and all the technicalities, optical specs, competition and all, and let's put it this way: it would be a first in history that a company would ask people to spend a lot of money to correct their defective product.

 

Well I am in Montreal and I received my 2 filters a couple of weeks ago. Also you got your camera long after all of these issues were known so you could have backed out at any time so there is no point in talking about money spent. I wouldn't be surprised if you see this option in a firmware update down the road but they need to fix the known problems before adding options.

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You will grow very frustrated. If I am unhappy with a peice of gear I unload it.

 

I agree with Tom on this one, Olivier ... though I could find many reasons why Leica should adopt the menu choice system and I personally find the 6-bit coding quite dumb as well, I do think that this is not a show stopper ... as Sean has also pointed out, many older Leica lenses, the ZMs and the CVs just perform as well as they should without being "recognized".

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While I'd like to see Leica provide a menu option to apply the current built-in vignetting/cyan correction tables to non-coded lenses, I think an ability to apply the (IR/cut filter) red channel vignetting correction at the RAW conversion stage would be a huge long-term benefit to the M8 community. I'd certainly be first in line to purchase a licence for the first RAW conversion software that offers this.

 

I suspect the way Leica does RAW compression precludes this option. Hoping that an article will appear in LFI explaining all this. I think we are stuck with PP in PS or some other app. Maybe in the future RAW will be really RAW, uncompressed so that what you suggest can be done.

 

OTOH, the way it is done now the DNG output is pretty much 'ready to use' without fixing up like Nikon - they do aberation repair in their SW (currently Capture NX) - it is now automatic, almost transparent to the user, but one has to use their SW. This means processing in NX before Lightroom for example, so the image is not quite as 'ready to use' as Leica.

Tom

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The idea of lens characteristics mapping for in camera processing was actually borrowed from Hasselblad who first did it in the H2D and then DMR.

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The idea of lens characteristics mapping for in camera processing was actually borrowed from Hasselblad who first did it in the H2D and then DMR.

 

The more that can be done in-camera, the more ones workflow will be expedited.

Tom

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You will grow very frustrated. If I am unhappy with a peice of gear I unload it. I want to enjoy use my gear. The M8 is a joy to use and the results are wonderful.

I am not at all frustrated. I love the camera.

 

What I mind is the endless complaining, especially when it is based on false assumptions. I think we have cleared up the 'simply entering the focal length' concept, see earlier in this thread.

One man's contructive feedback is another man's endless complaining.

 

Leica is not stupid, they have done the best possible with what is available.

No, Leica is not stupid, it was as a result of all those "complaining" users that they discovered the issues they missed in thier own testing. Fortunately, Leica is smart enough to seek customer feedback and has been quick to react.

 

The more that can be done in-camera, the more ones workflow will be expedited.

Tom

I agree and this is why all my lenses will get coded. But there are other many other users who for various reasons cannot do this (schedule, finances, the desire to use some len(s) they love that are not supported).

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Guest guy_mancuso

I personally have no issue with a menu option for specific focal lengths and do hope they do it. My issue is people more demanding it than calling it a closed system. no one from leica has called it a closed system and like I said it will probably comes in time but getting this camera to a neutral state is a moral and ethical situation for the end users and all there resources are devoted to getting it working as fast as possible, I think we are bitching way to soon for having it is bascically what i have been saying fixing it is first anything optional will and should be second . Now next firmware maybe this can happen but right now , there was no time for it given the IR issue that took them over . Now on the subject of specific focal lengths for optional non coded lenses is you may be able to pick a 24mm lens that is leica 24mm specific and it may work very well with a Zeiss 25mm or it may not and reason i said it maybe a crap shoot. But i do agree with Sean it is probably closer than we think too. This is something that we just have to try and see what works and what does not.We already established some that work very well with either a B+W and/or a Leica filter coded to a certain focal length of leica glass, so the use of the Zeiss and CV lenses will most likely work just fine but again as it stands today without a menu option you need to find a way to code them. Now as users we will continue to ask for the menu options but now that 1.1102 is on the streets and the M8 is in a neutral state than leica can add optional stuff to it but expecting it today is and never was going to happen. It is a optional item for Leica and if they do it , it will will be becuase we asked for it and no other reason and Leica would want to do it, not becuase they have too. That's all i have been trying to say

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I am not at all frustrated. I love the camera.

 

Ditto

 

One man's contructive feedback is another man's endless complaining.

 

I think Leica has already gotten the message ( I believe Guy has indicated that this is so.), so it has gone beyond constructive feedback.

 

 

 

No, Leica is not stupid, it was as a result of all those "complaining" users that they discovered the issues they missed in thier own testing. Fortunately, Leica is smart enough to seek customer feedback and has been quick to react.

 

 

I agree and this is why all my lenses will get coded. But there are other many other users who for various reasons cannot do this (schedule, finances, the desire to use some len(s) they love that are not supported).

 

I think they would have found about the IR issue eventually. It is amzing that it was not picked up earlier, but as Sean pointed out quite some time ago it was very easy to miss. One has to see a difference in a recognizable object. For example, I KNOW that item is black.

 

I agree on the coding logistcs. It is especially bad when one is 4000 miles away. I am in AK, NJ is very far away. The shipping cost will exceed the coding cost for the round trip. Insurance is the killer, these lenses were not cheap! I will do my WA's first, wait and see on the others. Presently my working lenses have been 'Sharpied' - I did 11 lenses plus the macro adapter yesterday.

Tom

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Guest guy_mancuso

Tom not sure anyone has tried this but maybe some protective coating on top of the sharpie marks from wearing off so quickly . I was thinking clear nail polish but that may not work or may work. Maybe someone can try something or suggest something to make the marks last or find a nice mill shop up there.

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