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marknorton

Full Frame Convert

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Mark, as an aggressive camera deconstructor, I think the Forum would appreciate your thoughts on getting a full-frame sensor into a body about the same size as the M8's.

 

Oh, I think it would be quite possible.

 

An FF sensor is, after all, just 9mm longer and 6mm taller in terms of sensor area and Leica could do more to package the camera more densely. There's spare space on the DSP board and components on some of the secondary boards (lens code, light meter, camera control and motor wind) are lightly populated. The existing shutter is FF or nearly so should support an FF sensor set behind it. The (low) packing density of components on the lens code board is laughable.

 

So, I think it's perfectly possible. The key is getting the sensor's angle of view wide enough to support lenses like the 21mm Elmarit.

 

It all boils down to new sensor technology from Kodak. I expect that in a locked lab in Solms, a FF M is working as we speak.

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I suppose that was a plan from Leica.

To make M8 able to receive FF sensor, when technologywise available.

There are empty slots on MBO, the shutter is FF... all the would have to do is offer upgrade to the customers- changing CCD, upgrade to buffer, processor and battery and changing frame selector.

The existing lenses cannot change backfocus distance, so even a new FF would be same at camera body thickness.

Maybe the plan was to offer this at 1500-2000Eur, and new M9 at 7-8000 Eur, with some other upgrades (new screen, new finder...autofocus by movement of the sensor (like contax RTS 3 with film) bla bla..

Maybe they gave it up...an we wait for the M9.

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There are full frame M's out there already, I have one!

 

How many M8 users keep a film M for when they want to use their lenses to the maximum potential I wonder? Workflow/time issues aside, its a perfect reason to keep a finger in the film pie isn't it?

 

Me Me Me !

 

I kept my MP, can't live without it.

 

Actually I bought the M8 on impulse ( promotion in Singapore, sensibly half price than in the UK ) and since it was still heck loads of money, I asked if I could swap for my MP ( which I was carrying ) and cash. The vendor said ok, we agreed on a price and when I was about to swap it, my wife puts her credit card on the table and said "i'll cover the MP price".

 

she said "no words, I'll explain later". well, I was happy.

 

this was on our last holidays. when the holiday finished, she explained to me "you seem to enjoy the M8 very much, but your eyes are so different when you hold the MP, alas, you smile when you are using that thing, you really DO enjoy it. don't sell it, you will regret it. enjoy both cameras. don't apply the logic to the wifes though or I'll kill you"

 

And that's why I shoot regularly with both : MP yes it does gives me immense pleasure ( can't describe, the thing is a work of art and engineering ) and the M8 is well, sensible choice for taking loads of pictures and experimenting. Horses for courses.

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I suppose that was a plan from Leica.

To make M8 able to receive FF sensor, when technologywise available.

There are empty slots on MBO, the shutter is FF... all the would have to do is offer upgrade to the customers- changing CCD, upgrade to buffer, processor and battery and changing frame selector.

The existing lenses cannot change backfocus distance, so even a new FF would be same at camera body thickness.

Maybe the plan was to offer this at 1500-2000Eur, and new M9 at 7-8000 Eur, with some other upgrades (new screen, new finder...autofocus by movement of the sensor (like contax RTS 3 with film) bla bla..

Maybe they gave it up...an we wait for the M9.

 

I agree that sooner or later sensor technology will allow Leica to produce a full frame M-camera. I'd be extremely surprised, however, if when that day comes the current M8 will be upgradeable. It would be nice to think that would be an option. But it sure ain't likely.

 

Jeff

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Jeff, I agree with you. I think it's very unlikely we'll be able to send our M8s in and get them upgraded. I do think there will need to be more than one Leica Digital M body though

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Interesting thread. I purchased a D3 as well. Nikon is my preferred DSLR as is Leica both film and digital my preferred rangerfinder.

 

Of course the D3 is a giant compared to the M8 and that is it's only disadvantage near as I can tell. I love the M8 and I want to put that on the record - it is agile, small, and unobtrusive, and yes somewhat quirky.

 

The D3 does not suffer from any IR issues, handles high ISO far better than the M8, can be used with confidence that it will work under the worst of conditions. It came with a dual battery charger/conditioner and a 2 year warranty from Nikon Canada. When I put the old 58mm Noct-Nikkor on the D3 it works without a problem (menu option for 12 non-cpu lenses). They have included an auto-focus tuning option for front and back focus.

 

The above are not pluses or minuses for either....

 

The Nikon version of the WATE is FAR less than half the price, and I could go on and on.

 

I have recently tried a new VC 40mm F2 chipped manual focus Ultron on the D3 - excellent, but no match for the tried and true 35mm F2 Nikkor. The 45mm F2.8P Nikkor (looks strange on the D3) is as good as it gets. I have a Nikon mount for the 560mm Telyt and will try that soon.

 

Two different cameras for two different purposes.

 

Best of the season to all. Terry

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Couple of thoughts:

 

Just recently started using my M7 again with Provia 160VC and TMAX-3200 in parallel to the M8. I have not shot film for probably 2-3 years:

- FOV from the 35mm-Lux is just right for my shooting on the M7. On the M8, its always a tad too tight (I purchased a 28mm-Cron, consequently)

- DOF is shallower, adding some kind of feeling or call it "mojo" to the images; a tad more like a medium-format system. It surprised me

- Colors obviously different and so much more foregiving in whitebalance. I definitely like the film color palette better of Portra. I can get the M8 images to that kind of palette, but it requires post-production work

- And the near-silent shutter on the M7 is phenomenal compared to the M8.

 

In terms of Leica's strategy: Since they released the crop-factor summarits, Leica must plan to keep crop-sensor lenses in their product line. It would probably not be commercially viable to produce these new lenses just for the M8 and stop with that camera.

 

I STRONGLY hope for a full-frame M, though, and not being stuck with a 1.3-crop M.

 

But again, I expect them to keep a 1.3-crop camera body in their product line.

 

Peter

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Couple of thoughts:

 

 

In terms of Leica's strategy: Since they released the crop-factor summarits, Leica must plan to keep crop-sensor lenses in their product line. It would probably not be commercially viable to produce these new lenses just for the M8 and stop with that camera.

 

Peter

 

Hello Peter,

 

Leica says on their web site the Summarit lenses are for both analog and digital. I don't believe they are in specifically designed for the digital M8 unlike the DX lenses coming from Nikon/Canon that will not function correctly on full frames bodies.

 

Best Regards. Terry

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Since they released the crop-factor summarits, Leica must plan to keep crop-sensor lenses in their product line. It would probably not be commercially viable to produce these new lenses just for the M8 and stop with that camera

 

Good theory, but the Summarits aren't cropped sensor lenses.

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Couple of thoughts:

 

In terms of Leica's strategy: Since they released the crop-factor summarits, Leica must plan to keep crop-sensor lenses in their product line. It would probably not be commercially viable to produce these new lenses just for the M8 and stop with that camera.

 

I STRONGLY hope for a full-frame M, though, and not being stuck with a 1.3-crop M.

 

But again, I expect them to keep a 1.3-crop camera body in their product line.

 

Peter

 

The newest Summarit's are NOT made for just the M8, they are NOT crop factor lenses. They will work on film just as well as any M-Mount lens made in 1954-2007.

 

I's like to ask where you came up with the idea that the newest Summarit's were made for the cropped M8 sensor.

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While is really uncorrect to say that Summarits are "crop lenses", is true that, not too strongly, Leica has declared that "the optimal results" of Summarits "emerge" when you use them on the M8 format... I do not remember exactly the phrase... but is was written (and even quoted in the forum... some days ago, I seem).

 

Clearly, they are "scouting" the issue... and me too think that an upgrade of M8 to FF would be fantastic (even if, being M8 my first digital, I personally do not feel the need). Mark, who I respect a lot after his superb dismantling, is encouraging... I wonder if, with some lab equipment, there s a way to test Leica lenses on "some" FF sensor... in the forum we have very good techies, and well equipped too... is there anyone who cold afford this kind of test ? Of course it would be only partially useful (how will be equpped the to-be FF "M9" sensor about microlenses/filters/firmware ?) but it's a fascinating idea... maybe breaking totally some Nikon...

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Like Mark and Terry, I've also had my D3 for a short while too. As terry mentioned, Nikon have added so many compatibility and convenience features (the multi-non CPU lens memory & front/rear focus adjust!!) that its a joy to re-discover my classic non-DX Nikon glass and use them as originally intended. The biggest difference I've found though, is the almost perfect white balance and exposure straight from the camera. Coupled with the high-ISO support this camera is simply outstanding and puts the Leica feeble WB efforts to shame.

 

I consigned my two D2X's within a week of getting this camera and also did a clear out of one of my M8's and the WATE & MATE which I've hardly been using. (Leica gear on consignment at ProPhoto Supply in Portland,OR if anyone's interested ...

)

 

At the end of the day though, as good as the D3 is, it's still a hulking great DSLR. My other M8 and the fabulous primes aren't being replaced yet.

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Yes, you folks are right, the Summarits are not constraint to M8 / crop-sensor cameras.

 

I must have "extrapolated" from what Canon and Nikon did with their crop-sensor lenses.

 

That is actually great news so to speak.

 

I would but a FF M9...

 

Peter

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Interesting comments from Terry and Graham who seem to feel as I do, it's interesting to revisit glass designed for FF and use it in the way it was intended which is the reason I think a FF M would be good.

 

The D3 and M8 are definitely for different purposes but I've just bought their two new zooms (14-24 and 24-70) for less than the cost of a WATE which is food for thought.

 

The Summarits are definitely NOT crop-only lenses but the Leica literature does suggest they are optimised for crop sensor use which is a sensible compromise even though there are fully usable FF.

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I wonder if, with some lab equipment, there s a way to test Leica lenses on "some" FF sensor... in the forum we have very good techies, and well equipped too... is there anyone who cold afford this kind of test ? Of course it would be only partially useful (how will be equpped the to-be FF "M9" sensor about microlenses/filters/firmware ?) but it's a fascinating idea... maybe breaking totally some Nikon...

 

Special testing equipment? What about a film Leica? Any M Leica will do - if you are interested.

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The Summarits are definitely NOT crop-only lenses but the Leica literature does suggest they are optimised for crop sensor use which is a sensible compromise even though there are fully usable FF.

 

I noticed when I was first looking at the unusually low-priced Elmarit 28/2.8 that was released at the same time as the M8, that its MTF curves all had a novel shape -- straight with remarkably high contrast values at each lpmm, and then falling off fairly rapidly at larger radii. The falloffs start at a radius of 15mm, which is the average edge of the frame radius of the M8's sensor. It was hard to resist thinking that this is a lens designed to give its optimum performance on the smaller sensor, while still being useable (but a bit soft in the corners) on 35mm film. Now I'll have to look at the Summarits and see if they have the same behavior. My recollection is that they have much wigglier MTF's, with areas of high performance at larger radii.

 

In answer to a question posed higher in the thread, there is indeed specialized equipment available to test the new lens's FF potential. Readily available, in fact. An M2, M3, M4, M6, MP or M7 would do it quite well.

 

Mark, one question. Given the size of the components (shutter, battery, lens box and exposure metering gear) in the M8, how much bigger would an M9 have to be in order to be full frame?

 

scott

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Special testing equipment? What about a film Leica? Any M Leica will do - if you are interested.

 

the problem being that film receives oblique rays differently than a sensor of course. we all know (well some of us) how the lenses react on film but noone knows how the m lenses work out on a ff sensor....b

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The Summarits are definitely NOT crop-only lenses but the Leica literature does suggest they are optimised for crop sensor use which is a sensible compromise even though there are fully usable FF.

 

Sounds like marketing BS to me! In a way they will be 'optimized' simply because the crop factor means you aren't exposing to the edges of the frame where performance will tail off.

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If ever a FF M camera will become possible, life will become very interesting. Let's not forget that Zeiss have stated several times already that they will bring out a digital rangefinder as soon as FF is available.

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Sounds like marketing BS to me! In a way they will be 'optimized' simply because the crop factor means you aren't exposing to the edges of the frame where performance will tail off.

No one know that yet. I have the 28 Elmarit ASPH and I'll shoot some with it tomorrow on my M3.

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