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rramesh

Full Frame T?

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The beauty of the A7r is that it is a full frame camera body with built in EVF that is smaller than APS cameras like the T once you include the EVF. Plus it is high enough resolution that you can use smaller APS lenses on it if you need to save size and weight. Thus it is a much more versatile approach than the T is.

 

I am sure other vendors will follow. So as these cameras improve and also become more common and less expensive, the perceived value of APS cameras will decline. The Leica T will not be exempt from this perception. If one looks at Sony's mirrorless offerings, the Nex 6 with 16-50 was about $1000 when released about 14 months ago and now retails for $524. Yes, you can buy this camera and lens for less than the T's EVF alone. The A6000, its replacement, hits the market at $798 with lens.

 

There is relentless pressure of pricing and features. Somehow Leica thinks it can be exempt from those market forces due to its luxury perceived value... enough to sell sufficient Ts and lenses to be viable. However if this doesn't sell well enough in the long run, will the system continue to be supported and additional lenses will be developed?

Edited by AlanG

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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.

 

Cheers Jono - I don't really think size in the issue in this market sector. Once you're beyond a cellphone, there's no point in looking at pocketable cameras, to my mind. My iPhone 5 is better than any pocketable compact for what it does (unless you have larger pockets than mine).

 

There seem to me to be three groups of sizes - pocketable (cellphones), small cameras (A7, M & X cameras) and stupid huge (dSLRs like the D800).

 

I fully appreciate that a full frame AF lens is bigger than the manual focus, but that difference isn't really a major issue (to me), compared to the other alternatives. I understand that this is relevant to others here, but not to me. What I want is a camera like the T, with full frame and good AF lenses (a stabilised mid range zoom, for example) - it's not a manual M camera with all the wonderful things that system brings. It's an electronic, water protected, zoom camera with good IQ and good auto settings. If I want to compose, manually set white balance, and do all the manual stuff, I'll take an M camera.

 

But, I also want a convenient camera that can take my M lenses, and has a very good native mid-range auto focus stabilised, preferably reasonably fast zoom. That's what my A7 does, but the T doesn't do for me.

 

Size? Meh! Just another reason (like technical difficulty and market share) given to deflect my core point - I want a T camera with a full frame. If size bothered me, I wouldn't own a Noct, 21 Summilux, 75 Summilux and Distagon 15/2.8. I don't believe I am alone at all in wanting those lenses to perform at their placarded focal lengths, with the field of view and depth of field that has become completely engrained in me since I took up photography in the 1960s.

 

If size is really an issue, I wouldn't go for AF at all. Where size compromises IQ (and APS-C is a compromise compared to full frame), then I'm not interested. I may be completely wrong, but I don't expect any of the AF T lenses to match my M lenses ...

 

If size was an issue, I'd take my cellphone (and I frequently do).

 

Cheers

John

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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).

 

Sorry, Michael, but this makes no sense at all.

 

Unless you missed the point I made above, I'll repeat it - Leica has a very strong natural advantage in full frame, short register lens and sensor design, much more so than Sony (the simplest example of that is the comparison between the M(240) CMOSIS sensor and the Sony sensor in the A7). Sony is the one playing catch-up in this sector from a technical perspective ...

 

How is Leica not playing catch-up in the APS-C sector? They're new to changeable APS-C lenses. Furthermore, how many other APS-C camera makers are there in the market?

 

What Leica has brought to market with its T camera could as easily have been brought to a full frame camera (if you accept that AF lenses for a full frame sensor are larger - I know, I have one).

 

I'm not bagging that T camera at all, I'm simply challenging the arguments you raise, one-by-one, against a full frame version. I accept that this is a decision that Leica has made. I don't accept any of the arguments you have raised here for months saying that it was a good decision. I don't think it was. I think it was a bad decision to launch such a camera in a dead end sector of the market.

 

I won't buy the T (I don't think - though Jono has a terrible habit of changing my mind).

 

I would buy a full frame version in a heartbeat; I'm not alone on that (see Sony A7 sales), but I appreciate that Leica won't take the blindest bit of notice. But, for so long as you keep saying that a full frame version of this camera is (variously) technically impossible, not a good market sector (a "me too" camera, when an APS-C version isn't?), or too big, I will keep challenging you because I think it is all hubris.

 

Cheers

John

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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.

I think that is a bit too easy. What I am saying is that the intended customer base has not much interest in sensor size. That does not automatically make them photo-ignoramuses with more money than sense. A bit condescending, don’t you think?

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Originally Posted by edwardkaraa

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing could be further from the truth. I would surmise by sales volume alone maybe 10% use forums.

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I think that is a bit too easy. What I am saying is that the intended customer base has not much interest in sensor size. That does not automatically make them photo-ignoramuses with more money than sense. A bit condescending, don’t you think?

 

Au contraire, I'm saying the opposite. I'm saying that in this digital age, there are no more ignorants.

 

On the other hand, there are plenty of people who like luxury products, trust me I know about that very well, I'm in the jewelry business

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:

 

Or you could just use an R mount M and an M mount T adapter on the T to mount an R lens on the T...

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Au contraire, I'm saying the opposite. I'm saying that in this digital age, there are no more ignorants.

So am I and they recognize that sensor size is a a bit of a fetish.

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So am I and they recognize that sensor size is a a bit of a fetish.

 

Better DOF control, better high iso performance, and better tonal gradation may be a bit of a fetish in your view, but they are very important aspects of image quality and artistic expression to most photographers.

 

I am even shocked that you would write something like that.

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Unless you missed the point I made above, I'll repeat it - Leica has a very strong natural advantage in full frame, short register lens and sensor design, much more so than Sony (the simplest example of that is the comparison between the M(240) CMOSIS sensor and the Sony sensor in the A7). Sony is the one playing catch-up in this sector from a technical perspective ...

I think this is missing the point in two ways. For one thing, Sony doesn’t have any catching up to do. You can adapt M lenses to the A7 – fine. With some lenses this works great, with other lenses … not so much. Would Sony care? Why should they? Sony has to make sure their own lenses are a perfect match to the body (or the other way round), that’s all. Leica M adaptability is just an added bonus, no warranties included.

 

On the other hand, while Leica’s expertise in dealing with large incident angles in 35 mm digital cameras is a boon when developing the next M, it is not really relevant in designing new mirrorless systems. As I had explained before, both in the forum and in LFI, the situation is completely different here: Rather than trying to deal with large incident angles you make sure there won’t be large incident angles in the first place. You just design the system to ensure that. Now of course there are still possible issues with adapted M (or other non-native) lenses, but with the smaller APS-C sensor these are more manageable and you don’t have to go to such great lengths to deal with these.

 

In any case, don’t criticise the T for failing to conform to some ideal it never aspired to. It was never intended to become the rangefinder-less M some appear to dream about. The Sony A7 comes close to fulfill that dream and it continues to be your best bet. As long as you buy M lenses, you don’t need to feel bad about this. ;-)

 

And btw, I had suggested as much in the months leading up to the introduction of the T, just to prevent disappointment. This was not really a question of who was right anymore, since we had passed the point where Leica could possibly have changed the direction of the Taifun project long ago.

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That may be of interest to you and me, but the differences vary between too small in print to virtually nonexistent on a computer screen to matter to the target audience of this type of camera - hence photography geek.

In a way it is better photography too, as it concentrates on the subject, not the technical details.

Better DOF control, better high iso performance, and better tonal gradation may be a bit of a fetish in your view, but they are very important aspects of image quality and artistic expression to most photographers.

 

I am even shocked that you would write something like that.

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That may be of interest to you and me, but the differences vary between too small in print to virtually nonexistent on a computer screen to matter to the target audience of this type of camera - hence photography geek.

In a way it is better photography too, as it concentrates on the subject, not the technical details.

 

If you put it this way, I agree. But if you generalize that FF is a fetish, then I don't.

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I do consider it a fetish if it is used as an argument against a camera where the relevance is nil.

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I think this is missing the point in two ways. For one thing, Sony doesn’t have any catching up to do. You can adapt M lenses to the A7 – fine. With some lenses this works great, with other lenses … not so much. Would Sony care? Why should they? Sony has to make sure their own lenses are a perfect match to the body (or the other way round), that’s all. Leica M adaptability is just an added bonus, no warranties included.

 

On the other hand, while Leica’s expertise in dealing with large incident angles in 35 mm digital cameras is a boon when developing the next M, it is not really relevant in designing new mirrorless systems. As I had explained before, both in the forum and in LFI, the situation is completely different here: Rather than trying to deal with large incident angles you make sure there won’t be large incident angles in the first place. You just design the system to ensure that. Now of course there are still possible issues with adapted M (or other non-native) lenses, but with the smaller APS-C sensor these are more manageable and you don’t have to go to such great lengths to deal with these.

 

In any case, don’t criticise the T for failing to conform to some ideal it never aspired to. It was never intended to become the rangefinder-less M some appear to dream about. The Sony A7 comes close to fulfill that dream and it continues to be your best bet. As long as you buy M lenses, you don’t need to feel bad about this. ;-)

 

And btw, I had suggested as much in the months leading up to the introduction of the T, just to prevent disappointment. This was not really a question of who was right anymore, since we had passed the point where Leica could possibly have changed the direction of the Taifun project long ago.

 

Totally agreed. I was in this camp before, but since it was made clear to me that the T was never intended to be the "rangefinder-less M" and M owners are not the prime target clientele, I actually find it serves its purpose very well. It's just not for me.

 

I still hope that in the future the T line will include a model with FF sensor and an integrated EVF.

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I do consider it a fetish if it is used as an argument against a camera where the relevance is nil.

 

I am not arguing against this camera. The target audience is not participating on this forum. But we are, and we are arguing its importance to us M owners not to the target audience, who wouldn't even care if it actually took photos

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In that case it is imo a pretty good companion to an M or MM and it will take long R lenses (important for backup purposes for me )

The last is unjust, I think.

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In that case it is imo a pretty good companion to an M or MM and it will take long R lenses (important for backup purposes for me )

The last is unjust, I think.

 

Interesting point. I would be very interested to read about your experience with the T and long R lenses.

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Or you could just use an R mount M and an M mount T adapter on the T to mount an R lens on the T...

One can always find an adapter and combine it with another one, but it can quickly become a very bulky and impractical solution.

My point is that the Leica T and R mount seems to be very similar, thus little is needed before an R-ROM lens can be directly connected to a Leica T camera, and even be put in able to communicate with it.

Anyway, as others here have mentioned, the Leica T's interface will appeal to younger generations, and is therefore unquestionably for the future.

Leica has with the new T-mount literally gained elbowroom for future use of larger sensors than APS-C.

Perhaps one can even already now make out the successor to the M system on the horizon.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

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I'm a glass half full person (and if it's half full, then you can always get more wine in it), and I take a lot of positives from the T even if I choose not to get this version. And I see the announcement as less important because of this T than because it can and should be the first of a series that include its innovations (innovations for Leica, that is, not just the market). The key elements are:

 

- a new mount, which can be built on for AE, AF, lens control and communication etc. it is big enough to accommodate FF. Whatever Michael believes and whatever Leica plans (and I don't doubt them) there appears to be nothing in the mount that says it could never be part of a FF body. Plans change. That said, the absence of FF does not worry me. These guys used FF, but don't tell me that these shots couldn't have been made with a T (especially as the M would have seemed a monster to them

) PARIS IN THE SPRINGTIME | Beetles & Huxley

 

- what appears to be an excellent software interface, with immense potential for remote control and tethering, and applications that have yet to be thought of. This is what excites me: e.g. clamp an unobtrusive T plus zoom (a future motor zoom, tho) to a part of a performance venue (say a mike, lighting or music stand) and control it from the audience.

 

- style. There is nothing incompatible between style, good performance (doesn't have to be the best) and commercial success. It worked for Canon with the Ixus. It works for Apple. You may not like the style of the T (I do), but they deserve credit for it.

 

I see the T not as a single model, but as a new start on a line of designs that has potential for development: there is nothing in the T that stops future Leicas including FF, IBIS, weather sealing, focus peaking if you want it etc etc. I look forward to more.

Edited by LocalHero1953

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Better DOF control, better high iso performance, and better tonal gradation may be a bit of a fetish in your view, but they are very important aspects of image quality and artistic expression to most photographers.

 

I am even shocked that you would write something like that.

 

OH Edward - you surely aren't saying that narrow DOF, decent high ISO performance and better tonal graduation is the exclusive preserve of a full frame sensor?

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