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Elusive M9 with AF?

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I couldn't stop shaking my head while reading some idiotic (sorry) recommendations for the elusive M9 in another site. Live view? AF? Single lens camera? The 'recommendations' never stop. Thank God Leica doesn't listen. Thank God!!!

 

Funny how Leica users are supposed to be purists and yet, so many of them accept buying a D3 @5500$ but cry at a 5000$ noctilux or 4500$ M8, calling Leica insane.

 

Yeah, I think I got it. Real Leica users and afficionados buy and shoot a Leica the way it is meant to be. I wouldn't be surprised to see that only the non-Leica owners spend their time on Leica forums lecturing Leica.

 

It was my rant of the day. I'm off shooting and hoping the M9 (when it comes) REMAINS A LEICA: Same shape, same form, same viewfinder, same M-shooting.

 

Chow!

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It's not a suprise, many folks wish that Ferrari would build an auto shift car without knowing this is not their cup of tea. LOL

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Hear, hear!

 

...I'm off shooting and hoping the M9 (when it comes) REMAINS A LEICA: Same shape, same form, same viewfinder, same M-shooting.

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Nouveau bayonet-mount-using heresy.

 

"Real Leica users" know it's about the glass. The body is a platform for the lenses and for your imagination. If AF makes it more marketable, so much the better, assuming, of course, you want a top quality, living and evolving camera system and not an ossified anachronism.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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I never understand this AF thing. How the *&$! would you make an existing Leica M-lens AF?

 

I mean, you'd have to modify the entire Leica M lens range or am I missing something?

 

The only way I can see Leica finding such a change economic is if they hand production over to someone like Panasonic and get it done in Thailand by hand and robots.

 

LouisB

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I couldn't stop shaking my head while reading some idiotic (sorry) recommendations for the elusive M9 in another site. Live view? AF? Single lens camera? The 'recommendations' never stop. Thank God Leica doesn't listen. Thank God!!!

 

Funny how Leica users are supposed to be purists and yet, so many of them accept buying a D3 @5500$ but cry at a 5000$ noctilux or 4500$ M8, calling Leica insane.

 

Yeah, I think I got it. Real Leica users and afficionados buy and shoot a Leica the way it is meant to be. I wouldn't be surprised to see that only the non-Leica owners spend their time on Leica forums lecturing Leica.

 

It was my rant of the day. I'm off shooting and hoping the M9 (when it comes) REMAINS A LEICA: Same shape, same form, same viewfinder, same M-shooting.

 

Chow!

I've nearly given up on that site, it seems to be drowning in idiocy (also sorry!), agression and inconsistent moderation. It is just that there are still some very nice people left posting there...

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I mean, you'd have to modify the entire Leica M lens range or am I missing something?

 

 

No, I don't think you are missing anything. I can't see the current lens range being made AF without significant re-engineering and a crash diet. Of course they could always go the other way, a la Contax/Kyocera and move the plane of focus...

 

Of course then you would end up with a much fatter body...

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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I.... so many of them accept buying a D3 @5500$ but cry at a 5000$ noctilux or 4500$ M8.....

Chow!

 

It is "so few of them". Don´t worry about M-users, don´t worry about Leica.....

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People may wish for this or that, but usually when presented with the end result decide its not really what they wanted after all.

 

Ford made this mistake with some of their cars which were designed after 'extensive' customer feedback sessions. Said car was introduced and bombed.

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I would strongly support a future AF-capable body, since my eyes are getting older. Focusing the 75mm-lux is getting hard.

 

That said, any new AF-camera should still support manual focus.

Leica would need to release new AF-capable lenses for those who want to go that route. That's how it works with Canon and everybody else (e.g. Canon FD lenses on current EOS bodies).

 

What I heard this week is that:

a) NO new M9 at Photokina

But Leica releasing a medium-format like DSLR with approx. 30 megapixel sensor; prince range in the Hassy spheres. This actually seems to make sense to me:

 

- Avoid competition within the crowded, big company DSLR market

- Enter the high-end medium-format market, where lens know-how can be brought to bear, eronomics is important, the all-automatic electronics style less important

- Most competitors are fairly small too (like Leaf, Sinar, Mamiya etc.)

- Leica has already clients with deep pockets who purchase Hasselblad H3D-II's; several Leica dealers today sell H3D's, so there is overlap with the traditional Leica customer base.

 

Regards from a baking hot New Jersey (36 Celsius)

Peter

 

ps: Just acquired a 50-lux ASPH :-)

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The only way I can see Leica finding such a change economic is if they hand production over to someone like Panasonic and get it done in Thailand by hand and robots.

 

LouisB

 

Intelligent outsourcing/contracting for some lens lines could be an option. It hasn't exactly hurt Zeiss.

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Peter,

 

this would make sense. No M9 this year is really not the very big news,

they will bring it 2009 or even 2010.

 

The question with regard to mid-format for me is: Would the current R-series

lenses work with this format ? I hope for R users "yes"...

 

Mid format could also be a proof with regard to a closer cooperation with

Jenoptik. Sinar Switzerland is part of the jenoptik group....

 

It would make sense is as far as I can simply not imagine how this

traditional company will compete in the fast DSLR environment.

 

In the M - segment (because it is theirs.....) and the mid format

innovation cycles might be a bit longer, a healthier environment for

Leica.

 

Also : They could fully concentrate on what they know best, lenses...

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I'm quite sure Leica would like to compete with Hasselblad after the Imacon "betrayal". Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold.

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So what is wrong with live view?

 

All cameras were meant to be viewed through an optical viewfinder, a magnifier, a framing sight, or directly on a groundglasss, before live view gave another option. Leica doesn't have a lock on some traditional "Leica always did it this way" methodology.

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I never understand this AF thing. How the *&$! would you make an existing Leica M-lens AF?

 

I mean, you'd have to modify the entire Leica M lens range or am I missing something?

 

...

 

LouisB

 

People keep forgetting history

that's actually what you are missing, Louis - Leica wouldn't necessarily have to give up the M mount if they didn't want to. Nikon brought their F mount from MF, to AI, AI-S, AF, AF-S, VR, without loosing backwards compatibility with any of their older lenses. This includes, of course, digital cameras with APS-C sensors and digital cameras with FX sensor as they call it - if Nikon did it, Leica can do it as well. Adding electric contacts to the mount on camera and a motor in the lens; adding a screw-driven mechanism in the lens and a motor in camera; introduce a small mirror to deflect light to the AF mechanism: this might probably fatten a M body a little, but not necessarily if you design the new AF lenses leaving enough room behind the back element, maybe loosing compatibility with a couple of the older lenses a la M5-CL & Super Angulon; and so on. It's definitely feasible, IMHO, and feasible keeping backward compatibility and using the M mount - will Leica want to do it? Will customers buy such a M? That's a different story altogether.

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People may wish for this or that, but usually when presented with the end result decide its not really what they wanted after all.

 

Ford made this mistake with some of their cars which were designed after 'extensive' customer feedback sessions. Said car was introduced and bombed.

 

There used to be an Edsel in the Science Museum in London making just this point...

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What we have to remember is that we are a self-selecting, affluent, interweb-literate, extrovert and vocal group of Leica users that may or may not represent the views of the "silent majority". The OP's luddite views are perfectly valid, but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any more Leica users than just himself.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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It's not a suprise, many folks wish that Ferrari would build an auto shift car without knowing this is not their cup of tea. LOL

 

 

This is not a very good analogy. Ferraris use very advanced technology and are at the forefront of change for the sake of better performance. They are not traditionalists. I think that most Ferraris and many other high performance sports cars are purchased with F1 type paddle shifters not with traditional manual transmissions.

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I too have heard about a possible Leica medium format DSLR. It would be perfectly possible for R lenses to work on such a camera, although a bayonet adaptor would be required, and also the sensor would have to be used in a crop mode, since the image circle would not cover the sensor. There would also be interesting opportunities to crop the image circles to different formats: square, 5/4, 3/2 etc.

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I'm not sure I understand this thread. Is it against innovation? If so, it's arguable that all of the innovation in the M8 goes against some concept of pure M shooting.

 

Is it against listening to all customers, or just some customers? If so, which ones should a company listen to? Only certain ur-customers who bought their gear a long time ago, or potential customers ready to spend a pile of money now and in the years ahead?

 

A photojournalist relates this story ... At about the time when autofocus was introduced in SLRs, Nikon asked it's professional photographer customers, "Do you want autofocus?" and the overwhelming reply was, "NO!!!" Professionals had tried crappy autofocus and reasoned that they would rather choose where and when the camera focused. So Nikon listened to their customers. Meanwhile, Canon introduced better autofocus. It got to the point where autofocus was really good and pros using Canon where getting far more keepers when shooting fast action. More keepers had professional and financial consequences. Everyone took notice and within a few years, many pros had switched to Canon because of its autofocus -- the same pros who were firmly against autofocus.

 

Should a company define its direction according to what the "true" purists and "real" afficionados are saying today? That seems to be a sure recipe for stagnation. For example, is the removable bottom plate essential to M-shooting? Apparently someone decided it is, and so a feature that had some logic in the film era became an obstruction to quick memory card changes in the digital era. A selling point became an anti-selling point or, at best, a nostalgia point.

 

Isn't it better to look at what's unique and interesting about the high quality rangefinder and determine what would take it to the next level. That means not keeping and promoting what is old about a camera, but refining and advancing what is great about a camera.

 

Let me suggest that if Leica made a great M9, with or without autofocus or live view or some other feature, many customers would buy it and embrace it because it was measurably and inarguably great -- with superb image quality, handling, accuracy, durability, reliability, etc. And there would be a sudden paradigm shift in the concept of what defines M rangefinder shooting -- just as there was when the M8 was introduced.

 

Even if they did introduce a rangefinder with autofocus, they could continue to make and sell manual focus rangefinders and lenses indefinitely, as long as the market demanded them. Nikon apparently still makes some of its manual focus lenses.

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