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rramesh

Full Frame T?

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Nothing stops Leica to evolve this T mount to FF and keep them both.

Look at Zeiss partnership with Sony: They developed initially E-APSC mount, and later evolved it as E-FF. AFAIK both kind of lenses exist in their line-up.

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What you call full frame is an arbitrary size chosen originally for pragmatic reasons. There’s nothing magic about it and it’s only by convention that it’s the 35mm format that we call full frame. Sensors and their associated electronics are getting better all the time. It’s possible, I think, that 5 years from now people will wonder why we thought we needed anything larger than APS-C.

 

When you leave behind the film analogies that have shaped digital camera development, you free yourself to think differently about how a digital camera should work. With the T Leica have taken a step on that road.

 

I predict a lens designed today with an image circle smaller that 33mm is not going to be popular 5 years from now.

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Sensors have come a bit further since then. Outside photo-geek forums there is very little interest in full-frame or not.

 

Consider that Leica M buyers will spend thousands for a lens where a similar lens in another brand costs just a few hundred. Then look at the recently released FF cameras by Sony, Nikon and Canon. Leica won't want to stay at a competitive disadvantage in imaging as resolution in lenses is a core Leica selling point - whether many buyers need it or not. Promoting a camera's unique quality being a solid block of hand polished aluminum will only take you so far if the image quality lags the competition.

 

People could say that Sony's A7 is a waste and the Nex 6 is all uou need, but many don't buy that.

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Maybe there will be a full frame T that will be the next generation of M camera, with a hybrid EVF/OVF, touch screen controls, out of a slightly bigger block of aluminum, and accepting M lenses and new AF lenses. The M system is 50 years old and Leica will need to continue to evolve it and the T approach is one way it could evolve. I'm not advocating this, but Leica has now shown that it can make more than incremental changes in its approach.

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Take a good look at Sony's full -frame lenses. They are either much bigger or slower than these T lenses, and I don't think there is any cost-effective way to make them smaller while keeping quality the same.

 

Again, full-frame is for the nostalgic enthusiast crowd, and that's not who the T is aimed for. Micro 4/3 is a very popular system in Asian markets, why shouldn't this?

 

Either way, I am willing to bet that there will not be a full-frame T in the future. Look at your R lenses and ask yourself whether a camera of this size really makes sense as a native solution for them.

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5 years from now, we are going to laugh at the notion that we used APS-C sensors …

… said many people, about 10 years ago. Surely, soon APS-C sensors would all be replaced by affordable FF sensors. It turned out quite differently in that the best-selling system cameras today, either with or without a mirror, sport APS-C sensors.

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Take a good look at Sony's full -frame lenses. They are either much bigger or slower than these T lenses, and I don't think there is any cost-effective way to make them smaller while keeping quality the same.

 

Again, full-frame is for the nostalgic enthusiast crowd, and that's not who the T is aimed for. Micro 4/3 is a very popular system in Asian markets, why shouldn't this?

 

Either way, I am willing to bet that there will not be a full-frame T in the future. Look at your R lenses and ask yourself whether a camera of this size really makes sense as a native solution for them.

 

I wonder which will sell in higher volumes - Sony A7 or Leica T?

I never said that APS won't be popular. I said that if the design of this system gets traction, it will not be that hard for Leica to add a FF body and lenses when the time is right.

 

The S and its lenses are larger than FF Nikon, Sony and Canon gear and nobody is making an argument that Leica should abandon that system.

 

I agree that many people only "need" APS for typical personal photography. For that matter who needs any Leica in the first place? Lots of Leica users are fanatical about resolution so they will go for it whether they need it or not. Just look at all of the M lens testing examples on the A7 thread here to see how users argue this stuff. How many Ferrari owners ever drive 180MPH either?

 

Right now Leica can't sell the T based on superior image quality - only on minimal design, minimal features, and a polished milled box to justify the premium price. I don't think that is a great long term strategy for a camera company. Although it seems to me the fact that the device takes nice photos is not the key driving force behind the marketing and desirability of this product anyway.

Edited by AlanG

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Sensor size may warrant discussion this afternoon but it’s immaterial as new technologies appear and established ones vanish (my beloved film). In an age of shrinking gadgets the market for separate imaging devices (cameras) must decline because on-board smartphone IQ is constantly improving, user interfaces too, ergo the bottom segment of the camera market is about to disappear. So who needs an expensive camera? Ok, professional photogs and avid amateurs will continue to support a top segment; that leaves the mid-market which today is funded by world travellers who look like mobile billboards for Canon, Nikon, Panasonic or Sony and get little or no attention. When I asked a Japanese tourist in Munich about the lens (Cron 35 pre ASPH) on his M9 his wife’s nods of approval spoke volumes. That’s the emotional component associated with a more subtle status and exploited by Leica with X-Series products and now the T-series - regardless of where the lenses are manufactured. Good on them.

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May be Full Frame T is not the correct term, but there is space for an AF system adjacent to the M. It would additionally provide the option to utilise M lenses full frame and manually.

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I understand that the T mount may be able to support a full-frame sensor. Would it be conceivable for Leica to introduce a full-frame T down the road?

 

This would be perfect for enthusiasts who crave a full-frame Leica without a rangefinder.

 

It might, but for sure it won't be now as it would destroy the sales of current T and in the future I suspect that even at double the price of APS-C T, the FF T might severely affect the sales of the flagship M.

I think that there's rather room for a FF compact camera, say an X3 with a Summicron 35, similarly to the Sony RX1.

 

Cheers,

Bruno

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Whether or not it will happen, I believe Leica designed the T with the option for full frame.

 

If you look at the current M line-up of M-E and M, the price point has already shifted lower compared to the M8 and M9 introductory prices. Weren't most of us surprised by the M's price? Same with the T...

 

While a FF T would undermine M sales, the question is by how much, and could such T sales potentially offset the difference and be more profitable for Leica? From a mechanical perspective, the T is less complex than the M. A FF T will offer a spec-sheet that justifies a higher price point and would fill the huge gap between T and M-E, meanwhile, wouldn't cost Leica much more to build than the APS-C version (other than perhaps the sensor).

 

The T allows Leica to move in a direction the M doesn't, in part due to the expectations of more traditionalist factions in the M's user base. The T could become a technological flagship while the M retains traditionalist appeal. I can see full frame examples of each coexisting. It could open Leica to even more niche M models than the MM, such as a manual wind, no LCD version.

 

If a FF T undermines M sales considerably, I imagine the M moving more up-market than it currently is. Lower volume and higher component and assembly costs would force such a price increase to maintain a certain amount of profit per unit. This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for Leica as it would reinforce the aura of impeccable craftsmanship at a premium, exclusive price. But it would be unfavourable for someone like me, who uses the M system for practical reasons, yet currently tolerates the price point.

 

I also see the T as a chance for Leica to blur the "made in Germany" mystique to more along the lines of "designed by Leica."

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May be Full Frame T is not the correct term, but there is space for an AF system adjacent to the M.

There is that space but does Leica have the intention to fill it? I am not aware of any plans in that direction.

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There is that space but does Leica have the intention to fill it? I am not aware of any plans in that direction.

 

I recall that you were one who questioned rumors that Sony was about to introduce a full frame E mount camera. (First page of the A7 thread.) Peculiarly, when you wrote this, Sony was already selling a full frame E mount video camera. Anyway I have no idea if Leica will actually make a FF version using the T mount. But within a couple of years that should be a pretty easy and economical thing for them to do should they wish. And if they charged a bit more for it, the profit margin would be huge.

 

"Normally when you design a camera system you would make sure there isn’t an issue in the first place. That is you would design the mount so it could accommodate near telecentric lenses that don’t have this issue. Only the E-mount is too small for that if you have to deal with a 43 mm image circle. Just take a look at the image on the sonyalpharumors.com site: (SR4) UPDATED: FF-NEX coming soon? Stay tuned on SAR!!! | sonyalpharumors. That is not at all what I want to see when looking through the mount of a modern system camera. Either the sensor would need to be smaller (as so far it is in the Nex system) or the throat diameter be bigger.

 

If I were Sony I wouldn’t build this camera. A new FF system would be a different matter, of course."

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Imho, the answer is simple : there are 2 basic evolvements they will look at, one in house and the other in the marketplace :

 

1) Success of the T series

2) Global market of FF and announcements from top players.

 

And (less important, because M is a world apart) evolution of M and of its market.

 

If T goes beyond expectations and market for FF remains significant or even grows, evolving the T line in a FF system will be a natural choice; but none has crystal balls....

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I recall that you were one who questioned rumors that Sony was about to introduce a full frame E mount camera.

I questioned the sensibility of such a move, yes.

 

However, this isn’t about whether it was a good idea for Leica to build a ‘Full Frame T’ (obviously I don’t think so), but whether they have to intention of doing so. And I don’t see a Full Frame T on the roadmap for the next couple of years, nor am I aware of Leica seriously considering such an option. Leica has lots of ideas they are pursuing, but apparently not this one.

 

As hard as it seems to believe, there are natively APS-C-based systems out there that are not destined to support a larger image size eventually. Just like none of the 35 mm systems ever grew up to become a medium-format system. Not even Canon’s EOS system with its relatively large EF mount.

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I wonder which will sell in higher volumes - Sony A7 or Leica T?

 

I can answer that for you: the Sony A7. Why don't you ask what sells more the Canon 5D or the Canon Rebel? I know there is a difference in price, but my point is that the T was primarily built for the market segment that doesn't give two cents about full-frame, and to a certain extent I myself don't. My point is that Leica should not compete head to head with the companies that are so huge that they are the suppliers of their sensors. Mark my words, the T will do very well for Leica.

 

The thing that Leica is interested in is whether the T will sell more than the M.

Edited by BerndReini

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T is an APS-C system. It will take Leica a couple of years to build a complete system (it is just a body, one prime, and a zoom right now); full-frame considerations play no role in the forseeable future. And there is really no point anyway. Leica already has a 35 mm system whereas T is for customers who are best served with an APS-C system.

 

I think you are wrong..... it will take not very long and there is a full frame inside....

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I think you are wrong..... it will take not very long and there is a full frame inside....

Yeah, everyone seems to be in the know about what Leica will do, everyone but me.

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At the local Leica corporate store there is a display case with sensors from D-lux to M. The Queen of the Leica Vario sells the camera when non-technical customers are educated about the benefits of sensor size, it's the biggest sales tool. Leica could not know Sony would go full frame Nex when starting development of the T, but they do now and they have time to observe. Whether they developed the camera with full frame in mind wouldn't it be a poor corporate culture to reject the idea without any consideration given the buzz about the Sony A7. A full-frame T with it's Apple inspired body/interface seems a perfect product to sell along with our beloved M.

Edited by darylgo

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I think you are wrong..... it will take not very long and there is a full frame inside....

 

Being wrong or not depends on what you mean for "NOT VERY LONG" : my bet is :

 

- NOT a "T inspired" FF in the next TWO years (let'say better... surely not available in 2015)

- MAYBE a FF afterwards, depending on the 2 basic factors I quoted previously.

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