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Ronazle

A new rangefinder camera

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Maybe someday I'll own an M8, for now I'm happy with my RD-1 with M lenses. Now if Leica made a Digital that looked like a pre-war screwmount I'd buy it tomorrow !

 

... let's wait Photokina...

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All things considered I like my M8; however, speed of service and reliability are real problems. Cost of Leica service and, if I believe other's experiences, a variable quality of Leica service are becoming problematical (lets see someone convert problematical to a single "issue"-based word). Does anyone know of a quality, other brand, M mount rangefinder camera in the works? Maybe if we all write Zeiss they will consider taking over the name and marketing of an enhanced RD-1. The competition might cause Leica to improve service and its cost.

If the USA constitutes a major portion of the M8 and Leica market, it does seem to make some sense to upgrade Leica USA to provide a greater range of service without having to send almost everything sophisticated to Europe.

 

I don't think Nikon or Canon to make a DRF... the numbers towards DSLR would be anyway ridicolus low... and a line of lenses to be completely remade. I think the only brand that could make a tentative could be Cosina/Voigtlander... the name is already well respected in the RF community, they are smart marketing people... they could engineer a camera with the role of a "Digital Leica CL".

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I have had no problems with Leica NJ service, either quality or time to return. As to the reliability of my M8, it is every bit as reliable as my other Leica cameras have been. Zero problems here, it will be one year old at the end of this week.

 

Copy this, except mine is an EU/Solms camera and will be a year old end March. Had a free sensor clean and check up in Solms, to my pleasant surprise, as well as my dealer's

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Let's be real!

 

Nikon built a revival of the old S3 rangefinder around 2000-2001. For $3000 at a time when an M6 was still around $2000 +/-. Lost money on the project even at that price.

 

Contax built an interchangeable-lens non-SLR (the G series - a rangefinder in my opinion, but not everyone agrees) - ended up out of the camera business.

 

Konica built a modernized M-mount RF not unlike the M8 in specs (except film) - merged with Minolta and they BOTH went out of the camera business.

 

Epson built a digital interchangeable-lens RF camera - and ended up leaving the market (they may still make P&Ss?)

 

Cosina has entered and survived in a corner of the Leica niche market, by building extremely low-tech cameras (a Nikon FM/FE10 with the viewing system changed) and some rather nice lenses, mostly in niches Leica didn't cover. And by having a CEO who is a Leica nut and pushed it as a personal hobby (Bless him!)

 

The reborn Zeiss-Ikon has survived, so far, roughly half the time that the Contax G system did. In cooperation with Cosina. We shall see.

 

Is that really a track record that would encourage ANYONE to take on Leica in the RF market?

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Guest stnami

If they wanted to Nikon and Canon could bury Leica, with digital rangefinders, it would be no problems to absorb the losses ............. the directors etc are smart enough to know there is no reason to go down that path just to rub someone out.

Lets say Nikon do build a rangefinder, it will be there to serve their existing client base not Leica's

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I'm personally intrigued by the possibility of Nikon producing an M-mount digi-rangefinder - even if the prospect seems rather far-fetched.

There's a lot of certainty in this thread about financial disaster for those who've ventured into this niche territory in the past - is it based on guesswork or hard fact?

 

I can't be the only one who'd jump at a Nikon-produced FF M-mount with the low-light capabilities of the D3 - and even priced at $3,5k this might seem like a bargain in the Leica marketplace?

 

Anyway, the first prints from the R-D1s this week were astoundingly good, so I'm no longer in a hurry - so long as the Epson doesn't fail on me, that is....

 

PS: oh - and if Leica were smart surely selling more lenses would ensure that they don't get 'buried' by another entrant in their niche? The basic idea must be to grow the overall share for rangefinder cameras generally, and M-mount lenses in particular?

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I cant really see why Zeiss or Cosina or Nikon don't produce a digital RF. I think there is a market, much larger than the 'Leica high cost' market.

 

Perhaps Leica has some patents relating to coding/colour shifts across the frame?

 

 

Jeff

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As Alan Price once memorably sang:

 

"It's tough at the top,

It's tougher at the bottom,

It's positively boring in between"

 

People wanting cheap will buy Voigtlander

People wanting the best will buy Leica

 

The cost of entry to a relatively small market is a barrier that Nikon and Canon simply need not bother with because they make more than adequate revenues elsewhere.

 

A digital rangefinder is a sideshow for the big boys. Face it.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Are you kidding! Do you even read any of the posts on this forum. IMHO the M8 is a breakthrough camera..offering unique and high value capabilities. Initial reliabilty is awful ...don t know any M8 s that either haven t been to Solms or should be. With that said once the initial problems/adjustments are made ..at least for me it has been highly reliable. Even with the inherent limitations in a mechanical rangefinder you can given time learn to get great results. Service is by far the largest issue with the M8 system.

 

Complete rubbish. Mine hasn't been to Solms and doesn't need to.

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The cost of entry to a relatively small market is a barrier that Nikon and Canon simply need not bother with because they make more than adequate revenues elsewhere.

A digital rangefinder is a sideshow for the big boys. Face it.

 

I dunno Bill - I would definitely have agreed with you just a short while ago, but isn't it true that the DSLR market is becoming saturated, and niche projects like this are more and more a means of brand-profiling.

As stated above, Nikon have produced rangefinders - and without these 'profiling' projects, cameras like this would never even make it to the prototype stage...

 

Oh and one more thing - a lot of this daydreaming is just that: something of an idle fantasy. I absolutely fail to understand when people get angry about it.

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My M8 has had 0 problems since october 2007 works fine esp. after the latest firmware upgrade. I am pretty sure that it has gained in sensitivity. I am using -1 EV at the moment mayby -2/3 is better but it's a close call. So about roughly 1 stop improvement (i.e. the iso range should read iso 320 - 5000).

 

Maybe Leica should programme this into the firmware and add an additional iso setting on the low side? (160, 320, 640, 1250, 2500, 5000)

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My M8 has had 0 problems since october 2007 works fine esp. after the latest firmware upgrade.

 

I'm guessing that most people are now a little tired of the 'my M8 works fine' / 'my M8 is broken' exchanges.

 

The fact that a certain person's M8 hasn't had any problems doesn't make the problems any less real for those whose camera has spent time at Solms. There are apparently no statistics that are truly objective, and only Leica themselves know how many cameras have been back--and-forth to be fixed.

So can we discuss other issues?

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if we had a sticky poll then we could see the numbers (something like this):

 

Leica M8 & Leica service sucks & I will sell it

Leica M8 is a good camera with some teething problems

Leica M8 is totally dependable & has 0 problems

 

Anyway I'm off to point and shoot something

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Leica M8 & Leica service sucks & I will sell it

Leica M8 is a good camera with some teething problems

Leica M8 is totally dependable & has 0 problems

 

Yes those questions would lead to a totally impartial and objective result. Thanks.

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Complete rubbish. Mine hasn't been to Solms and doesn't need to.[/quote Keith Whats Rubbish? Are you telling me based on your experience with one M8 that the camera hasn t had reliability and service problems to date? I know your answer will be no its based on 2 cameras. You can t read this forum and not notice the number of posts . I made a list of the M8 owners I know and it was around a dozen out of that list only one or two haven t had a problem with the body. Those are my facts just on the body..now add in the lens that have had to be 6 bit coded or calibrated. Have you ever heard about service issues on these. My response was to a post I felt characterized my experience as rare and implied that the M8 and the lenses are problem free and service isn t an issue.

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Roger, the posters to this forum are not a representative sample.

 

1. They are vocal

2. They have internet access

3. They have found this site

4. They have the time to post

 

...need I go on...?

 

You cannot draw ANY conclusions from what is posted here - we do not even know the sample size compared to the total population!

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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1. They are vocal

2. They have internet access

3. They have found this site

4. They have the time to post

 

But Bill - NONE of those factors would cause the people on this forum to over-represent camera failures!

 

Leaving aside the arguable point* that the forum attracts complainers, there is absolutely nothing inherent in your list that would bias the results in the way you suggest/

 

* one could argue that the forum actually attracts a higher proportion of Leica-loyalists who would under-report failures - but that is probably not true either.

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But Bill - NONE of those factors would cause the people on this forum to over-represent camera failures!

 

Leaving aside the arguable point* that the forum attracts complainers, there is absolutely nothing inherent in your list that would bias the results in the way you suggest/

 

* one could argue that the forum actually attracts a higher proportion of Leica-loyalists who would under-report failures - but that is probably not true either.

 

Well when you have a failure you first try to look on the internet if someone had the same problem then if you find a place that talks about it you post there. If your camera works you just go taking pictures... So yes, I also believe this forum over repreasents M8 failures. And no my M8 did not fail, but I am a geek, so I am here

.

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