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M8/9 as a true system camera offering

Would you be interested in buying a new Visoflex (as per Frank's spec) at £2,000?  

107 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you be interested in buying a new Visoflex (as per Frank's spec) at £2,000?

    • Yes
      17
    • No
      106


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For the extra £2000, I think I'd rather have live-view and a clip on EVF.

 

Seriously, if you really wanted to use long lenses, why wouldn't you just carry a digital SLR body? If they do make a digital R, then it would likely be little extra weight to carry when you're already toting a big-ass lens around.

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- I'm happy to have my old Visoflex and my set of Viso lenses (65-125-180-200-280-400-560... collectors are made like this...

)

- I would not buy the prospected "Viso IV" : supposed it would have all the electronics connectivity and info management that are prospected, it will result in a strange beast a lot less "clean" than the old Viso II/III, which would made the M a tremendously complicated and costly set, much less practical than a DSLR

-The "natural" way to have long focals & macro on "M9" should be an EVF , or even a live view option on the std. LCD, with some adapter to fit future "R10" long lenses (there is already an adapter for old R lenses) : in this way, instead to build a strange beast like the "Viso IV" there simply would be a decent way to allow M users to use long teles... with all the limitations of live view (with manual f stop lenses...), but without forcing the M line to look like a do-it-all system.

- I suppose that in the world there is a number of old Visoflex sets, available for sale, GREATER than the number of present M8 users interested into... wouldn't it be so, their prices ought to be abnormally high, which is not at the moment (even if, really, a bit higher than 3 or 4 years ago)

- If I would feel the need for a REAL and MANAGEABLE Tele-oriented equipment, I simply would buy a DSLR : having the money, a "R10" supposed it has the lenses I want. Ditto for Macro. At the moment, I could even consider the Pana G10, for which I have a potential tele set ranging from 270 to 1120 mm equiv...

- If I were Mr. Kobayashi of Cosina Voigtlander, I would CONSIDER the idea to produce a set of tele lenses and a "modern" Viso, completely mechanical as old one.

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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1980s according the Cameraquest...

 

Leica M Visoflex System

 

Which contains this gem regarding the system...

 

"Imagine Rolls Royce quality designed by Picasso, you get the idea."

 

Firstly:

The original Viso that was launched over 40 years ago we now learn was in volume production for 20 years! Yet we are told that noone who is wedded to a "M" wants or needs such a device!

 

Secondly

Several people feel that urging Leica to build such a product would divert attention, and scarce resources from existing devts. (S...R10, and M9 full frame). I see it as followsfrom Leica viewpoint:

> They need to maximise their intellectual property rights (IPR) by using similar devts across various product roadmaps:

> R10 will apparently benefit from S2 devt. (ie S1)

> Why could viso mirror assembly not utilise elements of R10 design?

 

> Telephoto lens devt for R10 could also be used on Viso albeit by shortening the register tube length, which has no glass lenses in it!

 

> They have an opportunity to revoloutinise the M body with its lenses into a full system. This I would have thought was a major differentiator and kills off those that argue against rangefinder cameras as old hat!

 

> I have nowhere suggested priotising the devts in anyway...For me what is important is to drive the product roadmap such that the devts. become progressivel available over say the next 3 to 5 years.

 

Personally I would believe the digital R10 and M9 bodies are on the critical path followed by the missing lenses and then the high tech viso...but if the system requirements do not take a viso into account it will not be possible!

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I'm afraid it's antiquated technology. It's hard to beat a Nikon D3 with a 200-400mm f4 or 400 f2.8 and +5 fps with blink of an eye continuous focus and vibration reduction. Keep the M as the tool to use for projects close in.

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Of course I don't see the need - it's just a ridiculous idea!

 

Why don't you telephone Solms and ask them yourself?

 

Andy good idea .....I shall do this and let you know the outcome. Can you help me and let me know who is the "M" product manager these days...Thanks

regards

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I don't own so many Viso lenses as luigi bertolotti, but I love the old Visio II and III, and agree with him that there is not need for a new one, as the same benefits could be offered by a LiveView option in a future M, bringing the best of two worlds (micro-4/3 have only the LiveView) and the body could be as compact as is now.

 

And if someone makes new lenses for the visio, and a new mecanical visio like the old ones (that cost more than 200 $ in good condition) I have to say Bravo!

Edited by Delfi_r

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Separately in the Leica Forum (Thread ; Challenges for new CEO) I have been urged to contact the M Forum to make the case for a new generation Visoflex, Bellows and Telyt lenses.

 

I use the 40 year old Visoflex on M8 with Bellows for close up and several Telyt lens on a fast focus mount...it is great! However technology has advanced asignificantly in electronics, software, metallurg, optics, CAD toold etc so today's Bext Gen Visoflex could be a hugely different animal to what I use today (40 years old!)

 

I see the following:

1) The M8 (and eventual full frame M9) is essentially a point and shoot camera that is ideal for wide angle through to say 90mm...Best in the world in terms of focussing accuracy vis a vis an SLR, quality of build, quiet shutter etc etc....it costs about £2500 for a body, and £6-8K for a few lenses...ie it is expensive if that is all it does in my view!

2) Many users like me need the capability to photo in close up (sculptures, flowers, electronic black boxes, and small parts etc.) Other users want a long focus lens (200mm to say 560mm) and do NOT want to buy a second camera SLR (which Leica does not make currently!) ....It is extra kit, and extra cost.

3) Leica M series used to be a system camera and not something that is purely for photos of family, babies,portraits, landscapes, etc (wide angle to 90mm)

 

I propose the following:

a) M9 should be full frame and have the ability to accept light reading sensor info. from a new generation mirror housing. and also pass Aperture size, and Auto Focus, and any other lens related info.

The new "R" lenses should be available for the 200mm upwards size in two register lengths or an adapter made available to accommodate the mirror box depth (internal to "R10" and external to the "M")

c) The new generation Visoflex would allow focussing, framing, show the lens aperture and shutter speed selected and light reading / measurement ...this would require handshaking between lens and camera body.

d) The new Viso should be priced at about £2K

 

Such an approach would make the M9 into a true full system camera and in my view a world beater. The benefits are obvious:

1) The M9 digital body is the EXPENSIVE bit and contains the full frame sensor, the sensor electronics and software, the shutter mechanism, the light measurement electronics, and all of the menu software: White balance ISO number, RAW / JPEG selection etc etc.

2) The new generation Viso opens up the M9 consept to becoming once again a true system camera and build on existing investment.

3) Protects the M9 natural segment as the best way to photograph for wide to 90mm

4) Is less cost and less kit than two different camera systems for those that go on Safari!

5) Leica develops the long focus "R" lenses and reuses these for the "M9" with new generation Viso...and as a company differentiates itself significantly.

6) Leica offers other items that they badge engineer to make a more comprehensive system offer....eg appropriate flash, IR or wireless transmitter, smart slave for Metz flagship products, and studio lighting required for close ups. eg bellows eg the 4 legged gadget for copying ...etc

 

 

Comments?

I would rather buy a good SLR system than try to turn my M into an SLR with that heavy piece of detritus. I think the voting is showing that it is time for you to get back to work instead of run Leica.

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I sure hope Leica would spend their time and money on other things the M could use more widely. If one feels the most important purpose of a camera is to shoot birds and flowers then why bother with the M at all and some sort of Rube Goldberg contraption? It wasn't made for that! Get a Canon or Nikon and stick some R lenses on it.

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Firstly:

The original Viso that was launched over 40 years ago we now learn was in volume production for 20 years! Yet we are told that noone who is wedded to a "M" wants or needs such a device!

 

Secondly

Several people feel that urging Leica to build such a product would divert attention, and scarce resources from existing devts. (S...R10, and M9 full frame). I see it as followsfrom Leica viewpoint:

> They need to maximise their intellectual property rights (IPR) by using similar devts across various product roadmaps:

> R10 will apparently benefit from S2 devt. (ie S1)

> Why could viso mirror assembly not utilise elements of R10 design?

 

> Telephoto lens devt for R10 could also be used on Viso albeit by shortening the register tube length, which has no glass lenses in it!

 

> They have an opportunity to revoloutinise the M body with its lenses into a full system. This I would have thought was a major differentiator and kills off those that argue against rangefinder cameras as old hat!

 

> I have nowhere suggested priotising the devts in anyway...For me what is important is to drive the product roadmap such that the devts. become progressivel available over say the next 3 to 5 years.

 

Personally I would believe the digital R10 and M9 bodies are on the critical path followed by the missing lenses and then the high tech viso...but if the system requirements do not take a viso into account it will not be possible!

 

Who was it who said using exclamation marks is like laughing at your own jokes? F. Scott Fitzgerald, I think. I count five in this post alone and he'll be spinning in his grave at this lot...

Edited by marknorton

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Andy good idea .....I shall do this and let you know the outcome. Can you help me and let me know who is the "M" product manager these days...Thanks

regards

 

Stefan Daniel is still in charge of M products, I believe, but he will be in Hessenpark tomorrow for the forum gathering

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.......? Im just kind of confused.. I have a DLSR (several actually) they work rather well and I can't for the life of me figure out why I would try to make my M into a gizmo which does everything OK rather than a great tool for a particular type of photography.

 

Naturally this may be because I purchased the M to be what it is.. not as a complete solution to all things photography.

 

.

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I would like to offer my sincere apologies to all those in the M8 Sub-Forum. I fear it is my fault that this daft idea and it's originator escaped from the Customer Forum:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/930701-post134.html

 

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to start a digital LTM campaign...

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Edited by bill

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I agree with Luigi that the natural way to extend the useability of the M would be live view capability and a clip-on EVF -- or perhaps even a rear monitor with greater resolution, and a bezel that would take a simple folding viewing hood with a flip-up magnifier, like on my first SLR in 1958 ... and a folding shoulder stock!

 

As I have pointed out before, this would make it possible to attach lots of interesting optics to the M, from microscopes to other-brand macro lenses to tele lenses and telescopes. This I think would be a lot more practical than the dear old Viso. I just sold my Viso III at an auction. It went for the equivalent of 65 euro, and that was with the straight magnifier. I do not think that an optomechanical Viso would be a viable commercial proposition, no matter the bells and whistles.

 

The old man from the Age of the PLOOT

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Stefan Daniel is still in charge of M products, I believe, but he will be in Hessenpark tomorrow for the forum gathering

 

It's Stefan Daniel I now feel sorry for...

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It's Stefan Daniel I now feel sorry for...

 

Very funny...but maybe he wants to grow his M business into new areas, and lever the IPR that exists in Leica already and is being developed for S2, R10, M9 initiatives.

 

You guys are really special I now know that the old viso was introduced in the mid 30's and discontinued in mid 80's ....ie FIFTY years of production and revenues !!! (Did the M7 last that long, and will the M8?)...yet you tell me there is no demand!

 

Andy's article and various inputs talk about a heavy, clumsy unit, others talk about "why not get a SLR?" and many have, they proudly declare that the M is not a system camera and suggest that making it system capable would somehow destroy rather than enhance the M product range..........

First new technology means it does not have to be clumsy!

Second for those of us that do NOT want to invest in a comprehensive "M" range of lenses and then again invest in SLR new camera body and its lenses the Viso could satisfy a real need.

Third....as usual the idea I have proposed is not new I have discovered. I phoned several Leica dealers and am told that they are often requested such an item....

 

I told them about our debate in Leica forum and the universal response was that there are some pretty "Wacky" individuals entrenched and effectively running the forum that will not listen to logical arguments ....I could not possibly comment, Iam sure that they are wrong!

 

Luigi's idea in my view may have some merit, except it is not clear to me how you could use the lifeview for accurate focussing...but maybe with a 40 year old clunky Viso it may turn a brilliant modern M8 camera into something for Macro and Telephoto! I doubt that this will help Leica sell more M cameras however.

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It's Stefan Daniel I now feel sorry for...

 

:D

 

I would like to offer my sincere apologies to all those in the M8 Sub-Forum. I fear it is my fault that this daft idea and it's originator escaped from the Customer Forum:

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

Great, thanks a bunch Bill:eek:

Edited by stevelap

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I really don't believe in a one camera fits all philosophy. That's why I own several cameras for different purposes. If I really wanted high resolution, I'd use my 4x5. If I really wanted to do macro work, I'd use my DSLR.

 

But the way I see my M8, it's like a fine fountain pen with a calligraphic nib, useful for some things and not for others. It writes, but in a different way. I like using it for some things and I hate using it for others.

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I told them about our debate in Leica forum and the universal response was that there are some pretty "Wacky" individuals entrenched and effectively running the forum that will not listen to logical arguments ....I could not possibly comment, Iam sure that they are wrong!

 

 

Which Leica forum is this?

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Which Leica forum is this?

 

No idea...I actually did not wish to get involved in that sterile debate.

 

Currently there are 6 Yes votes and 60 No votes based hopefully on my spec for a new viso and at a price of £2000.

 

I notice that Leica sell a Digilux 3 complete SLR system with interchangeable lens, battery, charger camera body with all you can imagine and software costs £1300 ......

 

I guess the challenge for Leica engineers is therefore to make a £500 mirror housing to a "M" quality level.......is it reasonable to expect any change of the voting pattern at this price!

 

I also noted that several people say that they use a range of cameras for all that they do and that a universal "Jack of All trades" camera does not exist.......I agree I would go this way if I was a professional, but many of us are not and are prepared to make some compromises vis a vis price and the problem of carting tons of gear around!

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