Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest BigSplash

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


Recommended Posts

If she embeds photos in other artwork, then she probably doesn't need Leice quality images anyway

 

An M (or any rangefinder for that matter) isn't for everyone.

 

I'm out of this thread now. Frank isn't going to change his mind that an M can be all things to all wo/men, so there's nothing more to say

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
Frank, as a CEO you will know that when ever someone presents a plan to you the first thing you do is enquire as to the viability of that plan. That's what's happening here, it's just that you don't like what you are reading. You are now saying that Leica should double their inventory of R lenses.

 

Why would anyone buy an M8? There are a whole host of reasons from the quality of the lenses, to the size of the system, to the fact that the people who buy it tend to be people who prefer the rangefinder system to an SLR in the focal length range in which the camera excels. There isn't one simple answer. Yes some will buy it because it as jewellery, but I'd guess most M8s are used by people to take photographs. Some of those will be happy snappers, many won't. I wasn't aware that the queen has an M8.

 

If you'd used a Noctilux you'd know that there are several problems in using the lens that are more apparent on the M8 than on film Ms. The M8 isn't just about low light, and it's most certainly not a snapshot camera.

 

The Queen has an M4..(Leica released the photos of her using it some years ago). She has also exhibited her photos at the Palace

 

She may have upgraded to the M8 but given the economy and the lack of Macro and Telephoto capability she maybe dithering like the Prime Minister!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hang on. Is this like polling Porsche owners if they would buy some adapted contraption that would make their 911 float on water, just because it is not enough that a car that expensive should be able to do more than merely drive on roads?

Edited by efftee
incomplete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frank, I'm sure I speak for more than a few people here when I say I'm looking forward to your wife's safe return from her travels. With a bit of luck, she'll switch off the internet and get you started on something more useful, like putting out the trash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many carpenters do you think have said: "Hmm - this hammer is great for knocking in nails, but what it really needs is something that will make it good at cutting. How about we design a system of bolt-on saw teeth? And while we're at it, maybe we could glue a blade to the handle for planing wood"?

 

A general observation about product design:

 

A really good tool or product is one that's highly specialised and accomplishes a given set of tasks to perfection. The more features that are added to a thing, the greater the risk of losing design integrity and diluting the specialisation. Once specialisation is diluted too far, the tool or product becomes useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
You're forgetting that the R10 mirror will have semitransparent areas and secondary mirror(s) to direct light to the exposure and autofocus sensors. The M exposure sensor(s) will be in a quite different location in relation to the mirror from the R10's (because they have to work when there is no mirror!), and so would any AF sensor in your nouveau Viso (because the Viso mirror is much further from the film plane than the R's mirror). So the mirror assembly couldn't be identical.

 

 

 

The S2's screen(s) will be the wrong size. The R10's will be optimised for their position in relation to the exit pupils of various R lenses - which will not be the same as for Visoflex lenses. So the Viso will need its own screen(s) if it is to meet Leica standards.

 

Likewise the Viso will need its own prism and viewfinder optics so that the eyepiece is where a human eye can reach it.

 

And so on.

 

 

 

This means that you don't want any electrical or wireless connection between the nouveau Viso and the camera body. So you want a system where a clunky external lever has to be adjusted to raise the mirror just before it fires the shutter; where you have to manually raise the mirror to make an exposure reading, then lower it again to frame and take the picture (or work in A mode and hope that the meter gets a reading in the milliseconds between the mirror going up and the shutter opening); where you need to open the aperture for precise focusing and then stop it down for the exposure... Do you really?

 

 

 

Don't forget that R lenses - above or below 90mm will not give you infinity focuse on the nouveau Viso. The Leica M lens register is about 28mm; the R lens register is 47mm - i.e. a 19mm difference. There's no way you can fit a mirror and a 24x36 focusing screen into 19mm! Are you sure you've thought this through?

 

BTW, for several years when I didn't own a SLR I enjoyed using a Visoflex II for longer lenses and close-ups. I still own one and occasionally enjoy using it.

 

John thanks for this ...it really is very very insightful, and addresses some of the real concerns I believe we all have. Specifically how do you add a mirror box without damaging the basic M concept....I too do not want a big chunky thing (like add on Nikon "F" metering unit of years gone by!) .

 

I do not want obtrusive contacts on the M body either! Any extra contacts would need to be protected against physical and electrical static damage.

 

At the end of the day I also want to be able to use the Leica M9 with wide to 90mm lenses ...just like now without any real external change.

 

The above points I believe should be MANDATORY as part of the absolute design specification.

 

I do not believe it is ou job to design a future mirror box....my view is that for Leica engineers its a "walk in the park".....Note:

> Leica have done many mirror designs over the years, and are still innovating

> Leica has also built huge expertise in metering and have excellent IPR and patents in the field. The M5 had a metering wand, the M6 a white reflective spot on the shutter cloth, the M8 a white stripe on the shutter, and for SLR's they have developed arrays of sensors within the mirror box that can deliver spot reading, centre weighted and average ....They are genius at this stuff. It beggars belief that they cannot use existing knowhow or evolve what they are doing anyway for S2 or R10

 

Thinking positively I would note the following:

1) "R" lens issues vis a vis Visoflex pupil size is sorted by having for the 200mm upwards lenses a different register length (19mm difference) compared to the "R" lens...This maybe as simple as two different rear tubes (the bit that clips into the viso) or it maybe two separate lenses. I guess the decision will depend on if AF and its associated electrical wiring plus motors can be accommodated at the front part of the lens.

The R&D effort is essentially the same as the design of the optics motors etc is identical.

 

2) The electrical contacts could be done in many ways if M9 considers the implications now and devt is not too advanced:

a) Via a modified hot shoe

Via the 6 lens coding lugs that maybe could be more than just white dots and actually carry electrical signals

c) Via 2 contacts to provide battery power to the mirror housing and everything else uses wireless from housing to camera (Exposure metering sensor and its electronics/ software sits in the mirror housingand is identical to R10!)

 

3) I accept that for lenses below about 200mm it will not be possible to fit onto a Viso due to register length difference. I also accept that the modern M lenses will not naturally fit a bellows unit (older lenses could be unscrewed and with an adapter plate could be used on the bellows. This suggests that maybe Leica will EVENTUALLY need to build some simple lenses for this such as the 65mm Elmar of old used on the bellows and yielding infinity focussing. This addreses a macro capability that Leica M does not have today.

 

4) I do not want a clunky box with a lever that can be set into light meter reading mode. That is the 40 year old design. Today with current technology:

> The shutter release could be done with contacts or wireless (see above). No Lever!

> Light measurement within the mirror housing (R10 style!)

> Data about aperture ISO setting , shutter speed etc etc in viewfinder (via wireless or contacts - see above)

> White balance ...in the M9 but would require a setup routine I suspect to lift the mirror while this is done.

 

John I am sure there are many unresolved issues. Surely that is a challenge for Leica engineers . My point here is that such a device would allow the M system to do much more than it does today , and it would widen the appeal of the M to a larger audience.

 

Some people have argued if you want a fast car buy a Porsche if you want an off road get a Range Rover, Family car ...whatever. For a professional I agree it is good to have the car fleet outside the house.

However I own an XXX and I like to go skiing...am I allowed to specify a ski rack accessory or a ski bag OPTIONAL ACCESSORY.?

I also like to buy pieces of wood that are 2 metres long ...I have the OPTIONAL ACCESSORY to lower the rear seats

 

I have a hands free car phone, and a system where the car recognises me and opens the door (key is in my pocket) plus sets the seat and mirrors.........These are options and do not detract in anyway from the basic XXX vehicle. The challenge is for Leica to achieve the same!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
If she embeds photos in other artwork, then she probably doesn't need Leice quality images anyway

 

An M (or any rangefinder for that matter) isn't for everyone.

 

I'm out of this thread now. Frank isn't going to change his mind that an M can be all things to all wo/men, so there's nothing more to say

 

Actually she does the images are typically 2 metres high and can be 4 metres wide. ...with a requirement for detail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John thanks for this ...it really is very very insightful, and addresses some of the real concerns I believe we all have. Specifically how do you add a mirror box without damaging the basic M concept....

 

Yada yada...

 

...The challenge is for Leica to achieve the same!

 

I was going to respond to this in detail, but life is just too short. Far from being a shill for Canon, I think Frank works for one of the server manufacturers - has anyone else noticed that the midnight backup is taking longer in the last couple of days?

 

I shall restrict myself to this.

 

Frank, you are barking up the wrong tree, in the wrong forest, on the wrong continent.

 

We do not all think alike. We do not all want the same thing. We do appreciate what the Leica M system, in all it's incarnations, has been, is, and will be. We want the product to continue to evolve, but we neither agree on the detail of that evolution nor, thankfully, have much influence over it. We do want Leica to survive and thrive. We respect each other's views and opinions when they are cogently expressed, consistent and reasonable.

 

We do not appreciate being told what is best for us, what we should think, what we should do, or what we should want. We are individuals, a loosely bound community of amateurs, professionals, apprentices, journeymen and craftsmen who happen to share a common interest in things Leica.

 

Above all, we - for the most part - are realists. That is a state of being in which one shows an inclination toward literal truth and pragmatism. Try it sometime.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
How many carpenters do you think have said: "Hmm - this hammer is great for knocking in nails, but what it really needs is something that will make it good at cutting. How about we design a system of bolt-on saw teeth? And while we're at it, maybe we could glue a blade to the handle for planing wood"?

 

A general observation about product design:

 

A really good tool or product is one that's highly specialised and accomplishes a given set of tasks to perfection. The more features that are added to a thing, the greater the risk of losing design integrity and diluting the specialisation. Once specialisation is diluted too far, the tool or product becomes useless.

 

If your comment is that simple clean design like an M8 is good design I agree...that is why I like B&O. ..and M system.

 

If you are saying that you would not buy a Claw Hammer as it is a two function tool I think you are wrong.

 

If you do not expect your car supplier to prefit the support lugs for a ski rack again I think you are wrong.

 

There are many many examples of good clean design that also offer versatiity....I am not suggesting that there should be a snow plough accessory for my car, nor a mechanical bucket for it.

 

> I have consistently said the M concept should NOT in its basic form be tampered with.

> I have also said Leica should grab IPR and bits from the parallel ongoing devts (Mirror box bits etc and R lenses) to allow the M to evolve into a system offering.

> I have echoed "Long live " the Leica M look and feel and photographic experience

 

 

I do NOT understand why some people do not get it. ...12% do get it of existing owners at a hefty £2k price tag (it should be £500 to £1000).

I am told by dealers that many prospective camera buyers would be persuauded to buy Leica M's if its range of capabilities was extended and it went back to its original system roots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been told by dealers that it's a daft idea

 

I wonder if they are the same ones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
I was going to respond to this in detail, but life is just too short. Far from being a shill for Canon, I think Frank works for one of the server manufacturers - has anyone else noticed that the midnight backup is taking longer in the last couple of days?

 

I shall restrict myself to this.

 

Frank, you are barking up the wrong tree, in the wrong forest, on the wrong continent.

 

We do not all think alike. We do not all want the same thing. We do appreciate what the Leica M system, in all it's incarnations, has been, is, and will be. We want the product to continue to evolve, but we neither agree on the detail of that evolution nor, thankfully, have much influence over it. We do want Leica to survive and thrive. We respect each other's views and opinions when they are cogently expressed, consistent and reasonable.

 

We do not appreciate being told what is best for us, what we should think, what we should do, or what we should want. We are individuals, a loosely bound community of amateurs, professionals, apprentices, journeymen and craftsmen who happen to share a common interest in things Leica.

 

Above all, we - for the most part - are realists. That is a state of being in which one shows an inclination toward literal truth and pragmatism. Try it sometime.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

 

Bill this is clearly wrong.....;

1) You and "your friends" (Stunworth, Andy Barton, Earley Gallery according to your profile) do NOT respect the opinions of others at all.

2) You say: " We do not appreciate being told what is best for us, what we should think, what we should do, or what we should want. " ...

 

I agree but who has done that? NOT ME

 

The facts are:

> We have now 5 pages of lively debate on this thread with now 14% agreeing with me of EXISTING OWNERS and a £2K price tag.

> Some people have given specific technical feedback and very informative for me at least comments

> Frankly you and others have opted for personal attacks and I am disgusted how you could allow yourself as a previous associate director of CMG to be inaccurate (ironic I think is the word you use) and certainly so unprofessional,: Look at the abuse I have been subjected to.

> I have been asked "Am I employed?"

> It has been suggested that iIam looking for a job at Leica?

> It was suggested that I am distributing my CV, and examples to prove the point were invented! That is libel to get it right!

> Someone posted that they "Hope my wife returns soon and gets me to put out the trash"

> I have suffered ridicule about items I own: 12 Leica lenses etc Krells and B&O kit that I happen to own . I have now even NOT identified the cars I own as this will it seems in itself provoke debate.

> You accuse me of working for a server company....and then suggest I am not a realist and that I should try realism sometime! Why yet again such an attack

 

 

I am at a loss why after 5 pages of material here plus 7 pages in the other Forum you guys attack what is in my view, and the view of others, and the view of dealers a great idea!

 

I have not in anyway attacked the basic M concept ..I've actually endorsed it heavily! I have addressed the benefits of a new tech mirror box and have addressed each issue as it has surfaced.

You guys it seems just want to close ranks, get personal and willnot listen yet profess to be open........SHAME ON YOU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
Hey, I may not be a CEO, but as one of the new owners of Chrysler Corporation, I think I'm qualified to voice my opinion on business issues.

 

 

Agreed ....and probably Banking issues also, as a part owner / share holder of a bank!

 

Why not go the full hog and give constructive comment on the issue here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) You and "your friends" (Stunworth, Andy Barton, Earley Gallery according to your profile) do NOT respect the opinions of others at all.

 

I resent that. I do respect the opinions of others, but that's not the same thing as agreeing with them. If you are looking for people to automatically say "Hey Frank, that's a great idea", then I'm sorry you're in the wrong place. If someone says something I disagree with I'll say so. In this case I think you are wrong, and it would be an expensive waste of resources for Leica to move R&D away from the standard M and R development. As I've said before, what's important for Leica isn't what an individual wants, but what the marketplace wants - or can be persuaded to want.

 

There's no doubt that Leica could manufacture this device and lenses to use it with, they're clever people, the question for them is would it sell in sufficient numbers for them to recover the development and manufacturing costs. The idea that it could sell at £500-1000 is fanciful IMHO given that they ask £500 just for a small accessory such as an external viewfinder.

Edited by stunsworth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frank, 86% of people who have bothered to respond have said NO. Whilst I salute your Brownite ability to ignore the facts, I regret that you are just not getting it. It is not a "great idea". It is a flaky idea.

 

The rest of your post is risible, and unworthy of comment. Very entertaining reading though - an object lesson in paranoia. Keep it up, there's a good CEO.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frank

 

I've used a visoflex on an M8 - it works, it delivers good image quality, and the pictures were perfectly usable....

 

BUT.... I gave it up and returned to using my Canons for every application where I could have use a visoflex. The bottom line is that whilst there are no technical reasons that a modern new visoflex could not be produced, it simply isn't a logical product, and would be one that even the vast majority of Leica M users are very unlikely to opt to buy. I'm not being offensive but in my opinion you ARE flogging a dead horse - it simply isn't a viable idea these days. Please don't take things too personally on the forum, humour often doesn't tanslate well over the web!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
Given that they currently ask that much for an external viewfinder I wouldn't hold my breath.

 

This is an excellent point......what would Leica price a next Generation mirror at. I chose £2K as a rough placeholder but this is almost the price of a complete M8 body! The Dilux 3 is £1300 with lens etc etc.

 

The truth is that they will price to value. The SC industry makes IC's at 1 cent and sells this at 300$. The perfume industry in Grasse area (S.France where I live) make the stuff at 1 cent but sell it at 1000$ and have no issue!

 

I am sure that the margin on a £500 viewfinder is a good one....I bet Leica management hug and kiss every time they sell one. !

 

The commercial realities are I guess:

> A new gen mirror box would cost say £50 to £100 to produce in batch volumes using many bits that were from the R10 anyway.

> Leica would also need to have payback on their "extra R&D, plus special tooling" within say 3 years......after that upfront investment is paid off I guess its gravy for a few decades NB The last Viso was in production across really 3 models for 50 years...maybe a new generation device could deliver 20 years of life unchanged....Not bad at all!

> Leica may take a bold decision and sell the thing at cost plus say 10% and as a consequence:

> Enjoy extra sales from clients who do not wish to be constrained by a camera that only delivers wide angle to 90mm, no Macro, No telphoto, No perceived benefits of SLR. This could be a big chunk of extra business I believe knowing how so many people sniff at rangefinder cameras and see them as limited.

> Pull thru high profits for Telphoto lenses (180mm F2 at current 65% discount price for an "R" is a cool 3699 €uros!!!) There must be some gravy here I guess.

> Some special pull thru business on special lenses for macro work that are easy for leica to make (eg 65mm Elmar type..no need for low f numbers or Aspheric) ...more gravy in future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget the Digilux 3 - it was made by Panasonic and was a sales flop. Leica have a macro set for the M camera - the 90mm f4 Elmar, macro adapter and angled finder - which sells together for an eye-watering £2000, goes down to a 3:1 repro ratio, is a pain to nail when it comes to focussing.

 

Alternatively, I can put Nikon's great AF-S 60mm f2.8, the Zeiss 60 or 100 macro Planars or the Leica R 100mm Elmarit (in order of decreasing convenience) on my Nikon D3(x) and get great macro images. I could also buy bellows for the camera if I wanted to go closer (which I generally do not).

 

This is not what the M is intended for and the fact that Leica offered it at one point (before SLRs became widespread) doesn't mean they should offer it now. The Leica M pre-dates even the Nikon F by, what, 5 years?

 

For somebody who bangs on about being an engineer, a physicist, a CEO from heaven, your thinking is muddled, your written English and spelling are dire and your views are coloured by your personal wants. You thinking a modern Visoflex would be great doesn't mean it would be good for Leica. Maybe if you bought yourself a Meccano set on ebay and showed us your prototype, we'd be more convinced... once we had stopped laughing.

 

BTW, when is your wife coming back? Soon I hope...

Edited by marknorton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BigSplash
Frank

 

I've used a visoflex on an M8 - it works, it delivers good image quality, and the pictures were perfectly usable....

 

BUT.... I gave it up and returned to using my Canons for every application where I could have use a visoflex. The bottom line is that whilst there are no technical reasons that a modern new visoflex could not be produced, it simply isn't a logical product, and would be one that even the vast majority of Leica M users are very unlikely to opt to buy. I'm not being offensive but in my opinion you ARE flogging a dead horse - it simply isn't a viable idea these days. !

 

Thanks for this and I do understand your point especially when you say that you use your "Canon(s)" ....I also would do this compared to a 40 year old Viso, and I had the luxury of Several SLR's in addittion to you M camera set. It is totally logical.

 

My point is would you need to do this if you did NOT have Canon SLR's available and a Next gen Mirror Housing was available at £500 with "R" lenses..

 

16 people say YES they would buy a Viso at £2K and 100 say NO they would not. If it was £500 I am sure many many more people would say YES.

 

My point also is that new uncommitted buyers would be more warm to a Rangefinder based camera if the mirror box existed again in a new form...grapping R10 technology in the process.

 

 

Thanks for the kind words:

Quote" Please don't take things too personally on the forum, humour often doesn't tanslate well over the web" Unquote.

 

I just think some of the items I quoted and the quotation list is actually much longer is beyond humour, its vicious and uncalled for. I hope that its stops.

 

As for flogging a dead horse I think so many people on this forum are seeing the possibility, and have contributed to the debate. They have helped me formualte increasingly my own thoughts about the absolute requirements and technical barriers etc. I thank everyone who has done this.

 

I tried to phone Solms yesterday but its a holiday until Monday...then I shall take my suggestion directly to them. I also hope that the idea surfaces at the user Forum in Solms today...but I guess if it does it will not be presented as anything more than a Frankenstein idea! We'll see.

 

I live in hope as I really want such a device myself. I do NOT want to reinvest in a complete R system

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bill this is clearly wrong.....;

1) You and "your friends" (Stunworth, Andy Barton, Earley Gallery according to your profile) do NOT respect the opinions of others at all.

 

frankowen or whoever you really are, I resent this remark also. You complained about what you felt were 'personal attacks' in the other thread you started on this same subject, yet you feel it is acceptable to make remarks such as these.

 

I shall be making a formal complaint to the Moderators.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Way - it beaks the whole ethos of a rangefinder and I know as I used a Visoflex years ago with my M4-2 & M6 ( It was big & bulky).

 

Long lens work is fairly in the domain of the modern DSLR/SLR.

I suspect that in reality and outside this forum and Leica's dedicated user base there will be no-one willing to pay £4K for a body, on average £1.5 - 2K per lens then another £2K for a Visoflex system and who knows how much for lenses (Leica will probably insist on using S2 lenses on it) so it will end up a far greater outlay than buying a DRM and subsidsing the long lens/macro needs by way of a DSLR system.

 

I suspect it is a bit pie in the sky and there will not be enough willing and genuinely committed people to justify the R&D and production costs associated with getting this to market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...