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rramesh

Full Frame T?

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I personally suspect Leica has been taking a lot of bad advice from its trusted circles.

 

I think they should listen to the clients more than the "experts".

They didn’t ask me but I’m not complaining … Anyway, when the plan is to expand your business beyond your established customer base, asking existing customers for advice would not provide too many insights. You can trust that a Leica customer will at least consider a new Leica product and he or she might see something uniquely Leica in that product that would be attractive even when the concept as such would show no immediate appeal. So you will get at least some buyers from your existing customer base but these are not really your concern. Rather your main concern would be the new customers you are trying to win over.

 

Also when you are developing a new product, you should not rely too much on what people say they want. That would generally be the latest fad, only better – do what Fuji did, do what Sony did etc., just without the quirks. Rather you want to develop something customers realise they have always wanted – but only after they have seen it. Now in the case of the Leica T that may work or it may not; only time will tell. But if many existing (mainly M) customers should reject it out of hand, that would not necessarily be a bad omen to its eventual success.

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The weak spot in your reasoning is an excusable one as it comes from your interest in photography. Members of camera forums are geeks who care about things like sensor size. The audience for the T that Leica is aiming at doesn’t even know, or at least doesn’t care, about the subtle differences between FF, APS-H, APS-C, 4/3rds, etc. They want a camera that looks like a high-end product, is executed like a high-end product and takes images on the level of a high-end product. Period.

 

I'm sorry to be stubborn again, but in this digital age, everyone who owns a camera (that is not a P&S) is on some kind of forum, so basically if you're not shooting with your mobile phone or some P&S you're already a photo geek

 

If the T is aimed at rich and photo-ignorant clients, I must have missed the point then. I was under the impression it was aimed at serious users. This would actually put it beneath the X2 and XV in terms of client experience.

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They didn’t ask me but I’m not complaining … Anyway, when the plan is to expand your business beyond your established customer base, asking existing customers for advice would not provide too many insights. You can trust that a Leica customer will at least consider a new Leica product and he or she might see something uniquely Leica in that product that would be attractive even when the concept as such would show no immediate appeal. So you will get at least some buyers from your existing customer base but these are not really your concern. Rather your main concern would be the new customers you are trying to win over.

 

Also when you are developing a new product, you should not rely too much on what people say they want. That would generally be the latest fad, only better – do what Fuji did, do what Sony did etc., just without the quirks. Rather you want to develop something customers realise they have always wanted – but only after they have seen it. Now in the case of the Leica T that may work or it may not; only time will tell. But if many existing (mainly M) customers should reject it out of hand, that would not necessarily be a bad omen to its eventual success.

 

If I was Leica, I would rather sell a T to every M owner, rather than look for potential new clients. As it is now, I don't think the T will appeal to many M users. I hope it will appeal to the new clientele for Leica's sake. Sorry to sound too negative but in fact I am not. I am just trying to understand the intended target buyers. So, ok, I understand now that M owners are not the target clientele. I feel very relieved

)

Edited by edwardkaraa

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There's a huge size difference between the respective kit zooms (I know, I've got them both) - small wide primes I agree, but you wait until you compare respective 70-200 equivalent lenses.

 

The question is, what you call "equivalent". If you compare only equivalent viewing angles (of the whole system including the sensor) and keep the other parameters fixed, you may be right. If you also compare equivalence in light sensivity and DOF of the system in total (again including the sensor), you can reduce the aperture of the fullframe lense by one F-stop and will end up with lenses of comparable size and weight.

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At the Singapore launch party yesterday, finally got to hold and fondle one. What a sensual experience. It felt wonderful. Unfortunately it too crowded to take pictures.

 

This is a camera that will sell. The audience yesterday, many who don't own a Leica, came out impressed. Finally many prospective customers, understand Leica cameras and Leica engineering in styling and usability they can relate to without having to figure out what a rangefinder is or how to use one. I don't think Leica needs to care or worry if existing M users will buy.

Edited by rramesh

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I'm wondering if I'm the only thinking that M quality lenses (with a T mount, and no AF) made to fit an APS-C sensor would be wonderfully small. My whimsical mind carries me to thoughts of a T-Noctilux

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If I was Leica, I would rather sell a T to every M owner, rather than look for potential new clients.

 

If you are Leica, you make your next M a camera that all your current M users want to upgrade to, and you make the new system the camera that people, who don't want to spend $7,000 on the body only, and or wouldn't know what to do with an M.

 

This is exactly what Leica did, and this is how they will expand their customer base. How many potential buyers so you think walk into those fancy Leica stores in affluent parts of already expensive cities, who want to spend some of their money but absolutely couldn't get the hang of an M? Lots of them, and I know some of them personally.

 

Meanwhile, even though the M is not catered to the current M user, it is still fun and sexy enough to appeal to a lot of us, so Leica will still sell some to the M crowd. I personally do not see a situation when I would carry the T with me over an M, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. It's just harder to sell me any camera at this point because my M9 is good enough for what I need.

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If you are Leica, you make your next M a camera that all your current M users want to upgrade to, and you make the new system the camera that people, who don't want to spend $7,000 on the body only, and or wouldn't know what to do with an M.

 

This is exactly what Leica did, and this is how they will expand their customer base. How many potential buyers so you think walk into those fancy Leica stores in affluent parts of already expensive cities, who want to spend some of their money but absolutely couldn't get the hang of an M? Lots of them, and I know some of them personally.

 

Meanwhile, even though the M is not catered to the current M user, it is still fun and sexy enough to appeal to a lot of us, so Leica will still sell some to the M crowd. I personally do not see a situation when I would carry the T with me over an M, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. It's just harder to sell me any camera at this point because my M9 is good enough for what I need.

 

Ok, I already got it, no need for more lectures. I understand now that the T is for idiots who have a lot of money and don't know how to use a camera, but still want to buy a fancy one as a fashion statement.

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Ok, I already got it, no need for more lectures. I understand now that the T is for idiots who have a lot of money and don't know how to use a camera, but still want to buy a fancy one as a fashion statement.

 

Nobody got any of that bread by being soft in the head

 

More generously you could translate it as

 

The T is for people who are not poor and who wouldn't know how to use a rangefinder, but would still like a decent camera which also looks and feels good.

 

It's also for people who would know how to use a rangefinder but sometimes like to use something simple and different.

 

But yes Edward, fundamentally you've finally got it

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Nobody got any of that bread by being soft in the head

 

More generously you could translate it as

 

The T is for people who are not poor and who wouldn't know how to use a rangefinder, but would still like a decent camera which also looks and feels good.

 

It's also for people who would know how to use a rangefinder but sometimes like to use something simple and different.

 

But yes Edward, fundamentally you've finally got it

 

Jono, I was just paraphrasing what others have been telling me, but in my usual non diplomatic way

 

I just wish the T was something that would be more attractive to M users.

 

I hope no one is offended by my posts. I should have added a smiley to show that I wasn't really serious. By the way, I hope there is an option to add smileys to the photos using the touch screen and an app that we can download from the apps store

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Jono, I was just paraphrasing what others have been telling me, but in my usual non diplomatic way

 

I just wish the T was something that would be more attractive to M users.

 

I hope no one is offended by my posts. I should have added a smiley to show that I wasn't really serious. By the way, I hope there is an option to add smileys to the photos using the touch screen and an app that we can download from the apps store

 

If there is I haven't found one!

I'm certainly not offended - just moderating the situation - like most things it's not black and white but shades of grey (even more than 50)

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I'm wondering if I'm the only thinking that M quality lenses (with a T mount, and no AF) made to fit an APS-C sensor would be wonderfully small. My whimsical mind carries me to thoughts of a T-Noctilux

 

No doubt there could be some small lenses. Look at this photo posted by Leica Rumors of the 23 Cron beside a 28 Elmarit ASPH. The optics are smaller in the Cron, which would likely allow an all-manual construction even smaller than the 28/2.8.

 

That said, the T lens mount is larger in diameter than the M's... and for design considerations, I doubt we'll see any T lenses from Leica narrower than this. Maybe not a bad thing, as it would keep the focusing ring a reasonable diameter for easier grip.

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I'm wondering if I'm the only thinking that M quality lenses (with a T mount, and no AF) made to fit an APS-C sensor would be wonderfully small. My whimsical mind carries me to thoughts of a T-Noctilux

 

Look at the CV25 0,95 for m43 and you can have an idea of what it could be

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I didn't say that the T is for idiots, but you can't expect everybody to spend as much time learning about photography as many of us do. I can definitely see how many M users will be tempted by the beautiful design, combined with a lighter and smaller form factor, auto-focus for snapshots and selfies, and the wifi, so you don't have to spend time fiddling with card readers and computers to share a nice photo with your family.

 

Sometimes really good may just be good enough. There is certainly a place for a camera like this in many people's camera bag(s), maybe in the little Louis Vuitton leather one.

 

My recommendation is for every Leica nut to spend a fun afternoon visiting your favorite Leica dealer and just playing with the T, but be careful, it might cost you.

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I didn't say that the T is for idiots, but you can't expect everybody to spend as much time learning about photography as many of us do. I can definitely see how many M users will be tempted by the beautiful design, combined with a lighter and smaller form factor, auto-focus for snapshots and selfies, and the wifi, so you don't have to spend time fiddling with card readers and computers to share a nice photo with your family.

 

Sometimes really good may just be good enough. There is certainly a place for a camera like this in many people's camera bag(s), maybe in the little Louis Vuitton leather one.

 

My recommendation is for every Leica nut to spend a fun afternoon visiting your favorite Leica dealer and just playing with the T, but be careful, it might cost you.

 

No disagreement here, it was my mistake that I misunderstood the target clientele of this product. Now that I know, the T makes much more sense. (By the way, you should read "idiots" as "photo-idiots" not in the general sense of the term

)

 

As far as I'm concerned, I always find that my criteria to liking a Leica camera is to ask myself whether I would still buy it if it didn't have the red dot. Definitely the M and certainly the S (if I ever needed one) but to be honest, if the T was not made by Leica, I wouldn't even waste my time discussing it on the forum, for reasons that I have already mentioned in the survey thread: not FF, touch screen, no built-in EVF, no analog dials and general styling.

 

PS: I think Fuji hit the jackpot with its Leica M styled X1 Pro (and X100). This model has made their success because it looks like a Leica M. If it was FF, I would have bought one despite being non Leica

Edited by edwardkaraa

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I have read that some have measured "the light opening" in Leica's new T mount to be 50mm, - today I measured "the light opening" in my R mount to be, - yes, - exactly 50mm!

T mount is Leica's future mount for their digital system cameras. It is more than large enough to be used with a future FF sensor and FF auto focus lenses.

I wonder how much change that really is needed to convert R lenses to T lenses?

Take a look here:

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The problem with your argument is that (because it's flavour of the month) it leads straight to producing a 'Me Too' Sony A7. But, they don't have the resources to compete face to face with the big boys (it's why they pulled the R10). . . . . .

 

 

The problem with your argument (Which Michael also makes, perhaps in the belief that repetition makes it true) is that Sony is the only player in the full frame mirror less (non-rangefinder) segment. The same cannot be said for APS-C where every camera maker is a potential competitor with far greater resources. The argument of competition really doesn't stand up at all.

 

The issue is, surely, where is the market interest, and how does Leica differentiate itself. As Ming Thein points out, the T is a game changer in terms of its presentation and interface - not because it has produced yet another APS-C camera.

 

If you look at the failings of the A7, Leica has a huge advantage it could exploit, with only Sony as a competitor (instead of Sony, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji ... basically the rest of the camera industry):

 

- better full frame sensor (corner and edge performance and colour rendition, apparently)

 

- access to better lenses (M & R lenses, and whatever the new line of AF lenses is like)

 

- better user interface

 

- better shutter

 

The continued references to the advantages (market or otherwise) of APS-C make no sense when you consider the huge success of the A7, despite its flaws. If ever there was a me too camera, it's another APS-C, and not a full frame competitor to the A7. Sony has that market sector to itself, and producing compact, interchangeable lens full frame cameras with excellent image quality and user interface is Leica's core expertise.

 

Now, Michael, and you too Jono (I don't know), might have a thing against full frame, and you both clearly know what Leica is up to, but that doesn't make this argument right.

 

The only thing I can see against the full frame option is size - the T is already beyond pocketable, so I see this as a non-issue, especially when I put both my Monochrom and my A7 next to my D800 with any lens on!

 

I really hope Leica takes some different advice ...

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The problem with your argument (Which Michael also makes, perhaps in the belief that repetition makes it true) is that Sony is the only player in the full frame mirror less (non-rangefinder) segment. The same cannot be said for APS-C where every camera maker is a potential competitor with far greater resources. The argument of competition really doesn't stand up at all.

 

The issue is, surely, where is the market interest, and how does Leica differentiate itself. As Ming Thein points out, the T is a game changer in terms of its presentation and interface - not because it has produced yet another APS-C camera.

 

If you look at the failings of the A7, Leica has a huge advantage it could exploit, with only Sony as a competitor (instead of Sony, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji ... basically the rest of the camera industry):

 

- better full frame sensor (corner and edge performance and colour rendition, apparently)

 

- access to better lenses (M & R lenses, and whatever the new line of AF lenses is like)

 

- better user interface

 

- better shutter

 

The continued references to the advantages (market or otherwise) of APS-C make no sense when you consider the huge success of the A7, despite its flaws. If ever there was a me too camera, it's another APS-C, and not a full frame competitor to the A7. Sony has that market sector to itself, and producing compact, interchangeable lens full frame cameras with excellent image quality and user interface is Leica's core expertise.

 

Now, Michael, and you too Jono (I don't know), might have a thing against full frame, and you both clearly know what Leica is up to, but that doesn't make this argument right.

 

The only thing I can see against the full frame option is size - the T is already beyond pocketable, so I see this as a non-issue, especially when I put both my Monochrom and my A7 next to my D800 with any lens on!

 

I really hope Leica takes some different advice ...

 

John - what an interesting post (thank you). I can't answer for Michael, but I guess we both know some things we can't talk about.

 

So I'll talk about what I think. Certainly I'm not against full frame, but what I have learned is that although it's possible to produce a non-electronic full frame lens with no AF and make it very small, it isn't possible to make an electronic full frame lens with AF and make it small.

 

So, the holy grail of the small full frame AF camera is problematic, - the body is not a problem: Sony have managed it with the A7, and there is easily enough room for a full frame sensor in the T body (easily) . . . but the lenses won't be small: Sony have produced a couple of primes, a slightly underwhelming compact, and a stonkingly good 50mm f1.8 (but it's big) . the 24-70 f4 zoom is a fine lens (with complications), but it's much much much bigger than the T zoom (which doesn't really have any complications).

 

I've spent a lot of time with both the A7 and the A7r, and it seems to me that both of them are horribly compromised - shutters like stamping on a tin can and tacky build quality (wrapped around a fine sensor - and it IS a fine sensor). They are a rip-roaring success on internet forums, but surprisingly easy to get hold of. So, I'm not sure that they're quite as much of a success as you imply (but of course, I don't have the sales information either).

 

I don't think the new T is the answer to life the universe and everything. But I do think it's a brave step sideways, and an interesting camera. I also think that the IQ holy grail we've all been so occupied with in the last few years should be put to bed. Let's face it, ALL of the serious cameras these days produce great images.

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So I'll talk about what I think. Certainly I'm not against full frame, but what I have learned is that although it's possible to produce a non-electronic full frame lens with no AF and make it very small, it isn't possible to make an electronic full frame lens with AF and make it small.

 

I agree that lenses for larger formats generally are larger. But this is pretty small. Anyway a 50mm Summicron weighs more than a Canon 50mm 1.8. And weight may be more important than size to some people. Plus a 24-105 f4 IS zoom is smaller and lighter than pretty much any 4 primes that cover that range. So there are all kinds of ways to go. Consider why full frame cameras have been so popular and that even many APS DSLR owners use full frame lenses rather than buying smaller ones.

Edited by AlanG

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The argument of competition really doesn't stand up at all.

It isn’t so much an argument about competition but about catching up. Leica has to challenge the competition; if they want to increase their market share there is simply no way to avoid that – there is no empty niche just waiting to be occupied that nobody knows about (well maybe there is but that would be a different topic we might discuss in the future).

 

When Leica discontinued the R they were so far behind the state of the art in 35 mm (D)SLR systems that there was no hope in catching up fast enough to stay profitable. Developing a medium-format system to challenge the existing vendors was a less lofty goal – thus the S2. With mirrorless system cameras the situation is similar in that the first camera of that kind was introduced only 6 years ago. There was much less catching up to do, given that Leica could draw on their experience with the X models, for example.

 

Now, Michael, and you too Jono (I don't know), might have a thing against full frame, and you both clearly know what Leica is up to, but that doesn't make this argument right.

I am not opposed to full frame (i.e. 35 mm) cameras like the M, and obviously neither is Leica. They have no intention to abandon their 35 mm system and as we all know they are not adverse to even bigger sensors.

 

The thing is that all images sizes have their pros and cons, and when you start out designing a new system you have to decide on the optimum image size given the requirements. In this case that might have been 1", Micro-FourThirds, 35 mm, MF or whatever, but Leica decided that APS-C was the best choice for what they had in mind. Clearly APS-C is not the universally best format for everything, but for what Leica tries to achieve with the T system it probably is.

Edited by mjh

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