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If you could ask Peter Karbe one question...


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Here goes - questions and answers edited for clarity or length - the first four are "compilations" from similar questions: I) Production and availability of the 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH - production is slow because of many things. The pandemic still being one (availability of parts). others being: working with 10 very small elements, in a very small, tight-tolerance mount; some of the glass used to achieve the APO performance is hard to work with (softer glass, needs careful handling and p

What? He didn't say "I'm wide open to it..."? A bit of a slip up there Mr Karbe!!

It seems to me that You are the right person to keep the secrets that Karbe tells. 

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7 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Even though I don’t use 24mm M lenses, I’d be curious about the future of the focal length within the M line (none in current production) and the philosophy/reason for its absence (sales volume or other?)...

Years ago Erwin Puts wrote about the 24mm "hole" between 21 and 28mm lenses. I never felt there was a hole there at all, but it's a good question for those who feel the hole is there.
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1 hour ago, Steven said:

The 35APO is, objectively speaking, so small and light already. I fear it would be insulting to him to assume he failed at bringing optical perfection in a sufficiently tiny package....

Good question though. The 35/2 apo is big compared to 35/2 v1 to v4 lenses. Another similar question could be do you expect letting Cosina make the small lenses Leica decided not to make anymore? A bit harsh perhaps... ;)

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4 minutes ago, evikne said:

It is still huge compared to the 35mm Summicron v4 …

But I guess I have to realize that the time for really small and neat lenses is history.

Out of nowhere, Leica has had the extreme luck of seeing a whole new market open up to them. A totally new paradigm: reissues of old lenses. 
 

Basically, they can continue to develop new ground breaking lenses while, in parallel, reissue old lenses. Two markets, a doubling of their own market. Quite incredible.

We will end up seeing reissues of the Summicron V1, V4, then maybe V2, then the Lux pre-asph while also seeing a summicron APO-asph-3...

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Capuccino-Muffin said:

Out of nowhere, Leica has had the extreme luck of seeing a whole new market open up to them. A totally new paradigm: reissues of old lenses. 
 

Basically, they can continue to develop new ground breaking lenses while, in parallel, reissue old lenses. Two markets, a doubling of their own market. Quite incredible.

We will end up seeing reissues of the Summicron V1, V4, then maybe V2, then the Lux pre-asph while also seeing a summicron APO-asph-3...

Actually I don't want "reissues", but new lenses, built as good as it gets with modern knowledge and technology, without making them bigger. The reissues so far have been mostly luxury objects out of reach for "ordinary" users. I just want small, reasonably priced everyday lenses.

But of course I can stick to my old lenses (or buy Voigtländer). 

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16 minutes ago, evikne said:

The reissues so far have been mostly luxury objects out of reach for "ordinary" users.

The Summaron is one of their cheapest lenses. It was when it was released anyway. But why luxury? They are just lenses like any other.

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Posted (edited)

The one question I would ask is in bold below. The others would be backups :)

Maybe to bypass the new product question by making it a hypothetical:

  • Would designing a 28mm APO M lens with a 30cm MFD be more challenging than it was for the 35 APO M?

Some others:

  • If you could go back in time and change one thing about one lens you designed, what would it be?
  • From all the lenses you have designed, which are you most proud of and which is your favorite to use?
  • What M lens from another designer are you secretly jealous of?
  • What current lens design challenge do you most hope future technology will solve?
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42 minutes ago, evikne said:

Actually I don't want "reissues", but new lenses, built as good as it gets with modern knowledge and technology, without making them bigger. The reissues so far have been mostly luxury objects out of reach for "ordinary" users. I just want small, reasonably priced everyday lenses.

But of course I can stick to my old lenses (or buy Voigtländer). 

Like the summarit line?

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32 minutes ago, evikne said:

Actually I don't want "reissues", but new lenses, built as good as it gets with modern knowledge and technology, without making them bigger. The reissues so far have been mostly luxury objects out of reach for "ordinary" users. I just want small, reasonably priced everyday lenses.

But of course I can stick to my old lenses (or buy Voigtländer). 

Yes! Most of the M-lenses released recently are

- big/heavy for a rangefinder,  

- block the viewfinder,

- cost more than €6000

- are difficult to focus accurately on a rangefinder (90 Summilux, 75 Noctilux, 35 APO-Summicron with close-focus range)

- seem to be designed for use on the SL primarily

Where are the new M-lenses that are actually designed to be great on M cameras? 

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I’d be interested in knowing the following:

Question 1:

In past presentations by Peter Karbe, he noted 3 distinct generation of Leitz/Leica optics that saw generational leaps in image quality improvements.

First with the initial 35mm format revolution enabling compact camera systems, the second generation with aspherical optics enabled improved sharpness and contrast across the frame, and then the third generation adopted floating lens elements to enable improved sharpness and contrast at various focusing distances as well as reducing the effect of focus shift at different apertures. It appears the fourth revolution is the adoption of apo-chromatic lens design for all focal lengths, especially in the wide angle to correct for chromatic aberrations to further improve micro contrast.

Beyond adopting apo-chromatic optical designs, what optical technology or technologies does Peter Karbe see as the next enabling design that will bring us to the 5th generation of Leica optics and what does he think such a technology would enable as far as image quality goes? 

Question 2:

As a follow up question, going beyond apo-chromatic lens designs, going in the opposite direction of monochromatic imaging, multi-spectral imaging would open up a new world of possibilities and allow us to see what, currently for most people, are invisible to the naked eye. For example, being able to simultaneously capture images in the visible spectrum (red, green, blue) as well as UV or IR would bring about new possibilities in creative expression as well as scientific understanding of the natural world.

Is multi-spectral imaging something that Leica can potentially see as a new frontier of imaging and creative expression?

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Long question:-

With M current camera classic rangefinder and additional EVF focusing working side by side, does existence of fast prime M lenses like Noctilux 50 and 75 and Summilux 90mm plus drive towards minimum focus distance shorter than 0.7meters mean that RF reached plateau of development  and bigger emphasis on EVF in the future as improvements in EVF are getting better by every generation of camera? 

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Serious question; as a highly experienced lens designer who strives to produce superlative lens designs which can be put into actual production, do you think that it is possible to design small, compact, lightweight lenses which will be able to compete with the optical excellence of larger, heavier designs when used on digital sensors and if so is the cost going to be higher?

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3 hours ago, Nowhereman said:

Years ago Erwin Puts wrote about the 24mm "hole" between 21 and 28mm lenses. I never felt there was a hole there at all, but it's a good question for those who feel the hole is there.
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A close-focusing 24mm Summicron M would be of great interest to me.   

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