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Leica TL Concept

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I initially posted this in a thread in the SL forum but it is better suited here...


 


The concept of the TL line of cameras as Leica explains it is pretty clear.  It is a camera for IPhone users who want to move up to a "real camera" but still keep the familiarity of an iPhone like interface.


 


As such one could say that the camera does not need an EVF nor a flash...


 


With the TL2 Leica, for good or for bad, religiously stuck to the initial form factor of the T, its design principles, ignored (a significant group of) users who wanted an integrated EVF and even removed the little pop-up flash (slightly upsetting other users...).


 


The assumption of iPhone users migrating to the T, is that really a realistic one?  Is this really happening?  Are those users willing to pay $2-3K for an APS-C lens?  Not sure...  hence the question...


 


I have the impression that a lot of the people in the T forum here at least shoot 1 or 2 other Leica cameras or are using legacy glass on their T but they are not iPhone only photographers who are new to mirrorless cameras or any other type of cameras, at least I don't have that impression...


 


Perhaps I am wrong and perhaps this forum is only a very narrow subset of T(L) users...


 

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...

The concept of the TL line of cameras as Leica explains it is pretty clear.  It is a camera for IPhone users who want to move up to a "real camera" but still keep the familiarity of an iPhone like interface.

....

Is the M a camera for users of electrical stoves who want to move up to a real camera, it being operated by turning controls?

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What is unreal about smartphone photography?

 

There are a lot more smartphone photographers out there than 'real' photographers. Unless you choose to define photography in a way that excludes smartphone use. From Leica's perspective a photographer is defined as someone they can sell a camera to.

 

Edit: for the record, iphones are only a minority of the smartphone market - about a third.

Edited by LocalHero1953

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It's a camera, not a phone. Sure the user interface adopts the iPhone approach, but it's still a camera.

 

I think Leica's offering is pretty coherent - S, SL, TL and M - each different, clear in its approach, and complimentary.

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Guest VVJ

What is unreal about smartphone photography?

 

There are a lot more smartphone photographers out there than 'real' photographers. Unless you choose to define photography in a way that excludes smartphone use. From Leica's perspective a photographer is defined as someone they can sell a camera to.

 

Edit: for the record, iphones are only a minority of the smartphone market - about a third.

 

Nothing unreal about it at all.  I am just wondering whether Leica's strategy works, ie. that smartphone photographers if they decide to buy a non-smartphone camera are more likely to buy a T because of a certain familiarity in the interface.  I have no idea at all whether that is the case or not.

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The TL series are interesting to me in that they seem to deliberately not want to be seen as *normal* cameras. From the interface to the shape and coloured covers. It more like the camera for people who don't like cameras.

 

I'll note that almost every phone on the market now has a fill light although Leica stupidly removed the one on the TL2.

 

I've said this before.... I don't think Leica know what to do with the TL line. They don't want to cannibalise M or SL sales and I think they deliberately hobble the TL so they don't. The current shape of the TL body seems to limit its appeal, even among Leica users. Stocks of the original T got dumped at the end of its life and yet they make the next one exactly the same knowing that the same sales pattern will happen. And although the interface is brilliant they limit the features of the camera to lessen it's appeal. If Leica made a TLX in the shape of an X-Vario or even a TLQ. They wouldn't be able to keep up with demand for years to come.

 

Gordon

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I did not have a chance to try TL2, but from what I have seen online its new UI is similar to the latest Hasselblad’s UI (X1D, H6D). Professionals are very happy with that UI. Using icons instead of text makes sense in 21st century.

 

Integrated flash is something  that typically does not appeal to advanced amateurs (see also M10, SL or Nikon D5) and I applaud Leica’s decision to remove it. E.g., Nikon D810’s integrated flash is very annoying, I do not know any professional  who uses it (except for triggering other flashes).

 

Integrated EVF would be nice, but it does not fit in T/TL/TL2 design. Maybe Leica will come out with a new line (RL, OL, SL-C?) that is an SL with APS-c sensor? External viewfinder did not bother me with Nikon V3, expect to like it on TL2 as well.

 

The appeal of TL2 is good design, modern UI, responsive camera and great lenses. I do not see anything that targets smartphone users specifically, though almost every serious photographer is a smartphone photographer as well :-).

 

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I have just bought the Huawei P10, complete with Leica's red dot on the camera. (It was on my shortlist for non-photographic reasons, along with the Samsung S8 and the Google Pixel, but I admit curiosity about the camera swayed my final choice).

I have used the cameras on all my previous phones for casual use; I have always used point and shoot auto mode, partly because access to any other controls is pretty unintuitive and tedious. I'm quite impressed with the P10 intuitive menus and controls, which are easy to find (swipe right to reveal a matrix of TL-like icons to select mode, swipe left to access a single list of settings, swipe up to access exposure controls.) It's not all good: as someone else described it, it's a bit 'modal' - selecting one mode can stop you using another feature you would otherwise expect to use.

 

My point in describing this is that I suspect there's some Leica input into the interface as well as the optics (the lens is labelled 'Summilux'). It will also be gaining quite an insight into how smartphone users use their cameras and what else they want to do with them. There may already be some feedback into the design of the TL2 from Leica's work with Huawei. One such lesson might be that smartphone users are happy holding a camera at arms length and don't want an EVF.

Edited by LocalHero1953

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http://www.percolatingpixelphotos.com/2017/02/23/beauty-quiet-respect/

 

Cameras these days, the ones in phones, are not necessarily to be discounted. These pix are compressed, of course, for web page views, but the originals were not bad at all. 

I deliberately left the Fuji in the car because I wanted to just walk around without a camera banging on my shoulder.

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The TL series are interesting to me ...The current shape of the TL body seems to limit its appeal, even among Leica users. Stocks of the original T got dumped at the end of its life and yet they make the next one exactly the same knowing that the same sales pattern will happen. ...

 

Gordon

I think that some of us here got the T, sold it, and then came back to it once the bugs were (mostly) out of it. I re-bought my T after getting my first one with a Nikon prime and adapter and finding it to be ok, but not something that blew my head off. The T with 11-23 is a different animal that I'm enjoying and want to take out. If the TL II is indeed faster (interface) then it would be quite the thing. 

 

I was not happy with the X-Vario or X-series in general (so I did not buy) because, honestly, if I wanted that kind of a fixed-lens camera I'd get myself a Fuji. 

 

Flash, do you HAVE a T, or are you just emoting?

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http://www.percolatingpixelphotos.com/2017/02/23/beauty-quiet-respect/

 

Cameras these days, the ones in phones, are not necessarily to be discounted. These pix are compressed, of course, for web page views, but the originals were not bad at all. 

I deliberately left the Fuji in the car because I wanted to just walk around without a camera banging on my shoulder.

I like the images for themselves, and I agree they show that smartphone cameras have good IQ in reasonable lighting conditions and shooting scenarios. Where subject matter and composition are sufficiently interesting, of course IQ becomes less important (am I allowed to say that on this forum?)

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The question was (above), "Are those users willing to pay $2-3K for an APS-C lens?"

 

1) Nothing wrong with an APS-C lens if it's well designed

2) An iPhone will set you back, by itself (7 Plus) around $800.

3) The Leica T-family lenses aren't $3000. Every one is under $2000, except, apparently, the 60mm for some reason.

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Integrated flash is something  that typically does not appeal to advanced amateurs (see also M10, SL or Nikon D5) and I applaud Leica’s decision to remove it. E.g., Nikon D810’s integrated flash is very annoying, I do not know any professional  who uses it (except for triggering other flashes).

 

 

 

 

The cameras you mentioned have hot shoes pl;us a view/range finder. If you use Visoflex on T/TL cameras, you cannot use any external flash and you need a source of light for some situations; or, as you said, for triggering slaves. That said, I don't know if you can really put T/TL cameras in the same category as so called "Professional Cameras"!

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Dr Kaufmann made references to Apple and the design when the original T was launched - watch the first and second videos here https://leicarumors.com/2014/04/24/leica-t-type-701-camera-announcement.aspx/

 

Even the videos are in the Apple house style! 

 

Yes I agree with the OP. The T was aimed at people who wanted a stylish gadget more than they wanted a camera, but I don't think that market is big enough even for Leica. 

 

I'm surprised that the new T is such a limited development and I was really expecting to see a 'mini SL' instead. Canon make a pro spec APS-C body and I think Leica are missing a trick. They could offer an excellent APS-C system which wouldn't cannibalise the M or SL but would offer another alternative for Leica users and appeal to new Leica customers. 

 

However they clearly see the T as their 'fashion' product but if the original T failed to create that market for them I can't see the TL2 doing it. 

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The cameras you mentioned have hot shoes pl;us a view/range finder. If you use Visoflex on T/TL cameras, you cannot use any external flash and you need a source of light for some situations; or, as you said, for triggering slaves. That said, I don't know if you can really put T/TL cameras in the same category as so called "Professional Cameras"!

 

To me that's the whole point. I'm not likely to use a pop up flash on an M, SL or S. If I'm getting serious about my camera I'll probably want a serious lighting solution. The T isn't a *serious* camera. It's quite obviously a cool looking camera you can just take almost anywhere but with awesome Leica lenses. I want a pop up flash on the T because it's the camera I take when I'm out with the kids and I want to record us as a family. A pop of fill is brilliant but I didn't really want to have to carry a separate flash just for that. And the SF26, which I sold is nearly as big as the body.

 

Is there any other APSC camera that has neither a flash or a viewfinder? Is there any currently available smart phone without an LED flash?

 

Gordon

Edited by FlashGordonPhotography

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T and TL2 plus all the lenses except the 60mm. In Leica I also use M, SL and S

 

Gordon

 

Gordon, you are seriously into Leica!  That is some investment also. However each one of them in their own right are good cameras for different purposes.

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I also agree it is a shame the flash has gone, as it does expand the shooting envelope.

 

Whether it was the right decision depends upon the motivation for doing so. If it was necessary to remove the flash to fit in the upgraded electronics and create a faster machine with better sensor, it is a decision I welcome. If it was to reduce cost or improve the CIPA battery life stats, for me it was a mistake.

 

The great news is I can rationalise keeping the original T as well, for those situations where built in flash might be important; rather like keeping an M240 alongside an M10 for when an impromptu video clip might be required.

 

Whatever Leica's motivation, the T series is what it is, and I love it. The Leica T evokes memories of the original Contax T, a Minox sized 35mm rangefinder with superb metal-cased build quality (perhaps that's why Leica had to change the name). The Contax T was followed by the T2 and T3, both versions with a built in flash, which, whilst technically better, both lost the integrity of the original for me. Now a Leica GL shaped on the Contax G, that would be tempting...

 

 

Andrew

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Guest VVJ

3) The Leica T-family lenses aren't $3000. Every one is under $2000, except, apparently, the 60mm for some reason.

 

The 35mm is $2,395.  They upped the price with more than 20% after the pre-order...  

 

Bottom line, the total retail value of these 6 lenses is more than $12K, not cheap at all IMHO...

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Guest VVJ

I don't think Leica know what to do with the TL line. They don't want to cannibalise M or SL sales and I think they deliberately hobble the TL so they don't. The current shape of the TL body seems to limit its appeal, even among Leica users.

...

And although the interface is brilliant they limit the features of the camera to lessen it's appeal.

 

IMO this is spot-on.  The only thing I would add is probably that the image quality is also excellent.

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