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biglouis

Can we talk about the Digilux 3 and lens for a bit?

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OK, while everyone in this forum appears to have thousands of dollars to invest in a new M8 some of us on the sidelines are thinking about slightly more affordable models.

 

I'm not really in the market for a Digilux 3 but if I was the first thing I would want to research is additional lenses for the camera. The kit lens is neither fish nor fowl. The wide angle is not 'ultra' enough at 28mm equivalent and the telephoto end is not exactly going to set you on fire at 100mm.

 

Now my ideal coverage would be lenses which give me something in the order of 20mm through to 300mm. That way I can shoot sweeping landscapes and zoom in on the odd squirrel in the park

 

NOTE: I am not discussing the V-LUX 1 here - I am interested in an interchangeable lens system which I can grow over time.

 

I'd also like a decent macro lens solution.

 

What 4/3rds lenses would achieve this?

 

Another possibility is to use the Leica (or 3rd party) 4/3rds adapter with, say, Leica telephoto or macro lenses, say a 70-210 or 60mm macro. The question though is whether you would still be able to meter and autofocus a Leica lens of this type with the 4/3rds adaptor. Does anyone know the answer to that question?

 

Hope that someone feels inspired to contribute to this question

 

LouisB

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If you're willing to give up the aperture ring for a button on the camera body, you can use Olympus and Sigma 4/3 lenses. See here:

 

Four Thirds | Products | Lenses

 

An R to 4/3 adapter has been promised from Leica. I believe a 3rd-party solution already exisits.

 

Panasonic has released (or leaked) a roadmap for upcoming Leica lenses:

 

14-50mm f2.8-3.5 (2006)

25mm f1.4 (2007)

14-150mm f3.5-5.6 (2007)

50-150mm f3.5-5.6 (2008?)

45mm f2.0 Macro (2008?)

Note that these are actual rather than 35mm equivalent figures. No ultra-wide on the horizon from Leica.

 

The announcement of the f1.4 prime gives creedence to this info, I think.

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Having just reread that 4/3 lens page, I noticed for the first time the existence of an OM-mount lens adapter. That might turn my old 50mm f/1.8 OM lens into a very pleasant and compact 100mm lens on the D3. Portraits, perhaps? Sadly, my OM-mount tele zoom isn't particularly high-quality and would, with the 2x multiplier, operate in just the range where OIS would be most welcome. Still, I'll try it.

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Having just reread that 4/3 lens page, I noticed for the first time the existence of an OM-mount lens adapter.

 

There are quality 4/3 adapters for Nikon F, Pentax K and M42, Olympus OM, Contax, Leica R, Minolta, Exakta, Topcon and Rollei SL Lenses (http://www.cameraquest.com/adapt_olyE1.htm), plus an OM adapter from Olympus and an R adapter from Leica.

 

There are cheap adapters (that also work) on eBay.

 

All, of course, are manual focus and stop-down metering.

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I was curious to read in LFI 8/2006 that they beleive the JPEGs the D3 produces are good enough to recommend you don't bother with RAWs; "Working in Jpeg format can generally be recommended as Adobe Camera Raw would fail to extract any significant quality advantages from the raw format." They also recommed you stay away from the higher ISOs, no statement on what can be done with the higher ISOs if shot it raw though - after all the ony way to get half decent images from a D2 in ISO400 is via RAW files.

Neither do hey seem to have used another raw converter.

 

I find all of this a little puzzeling.

 

- Carl

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I was curious to read in LFI 8/2006 that they beleive the JPEGs the D3 produces are good enough to recommend you don't bother with RAWs; "Working in Jpeg format can generally be recommended as Adobe Camera Raw would fail to extract any significant quality advantages from the raw format." They also recommed you stay away from the higher ISOs, no statement on what can be done with the higher ISOs if shot it raw though - after all the ony way to get half decent images from a D2 in ISO400 is via RAW files.

Neither do hey seem to have used another raw converter.

 

I find all of this a little puzzeling.

 

The 4/3" sensor in the D3 is four times the size of the 2/3" sensor in the D2 (and has about half again more pixels). I'm not sure comparisons are meaningful.

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FWIW I have a detailed entry on the Digilux 3, plus 4:3 shooting using Leica R lenses, in the FAQ I maintain at:

 

Four-Thirds Digital Leica(s)

 

FWIW many of us have been using R lenses on Olympus 4:3 bodies for months now. Works fine for ISO 100-400. Even ISO 640 is usable (less noise than scanned Fuji Press 800!).

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I would love to talk about the D3. I have posted before that I have the Panasonic version, DMC-L1, and I really love this camera. I have posted some pics to view. These were all shot with a OLY 7-14mm 4.0 lens, which is 14mm. This is a great wide angle lens. And I really like the supplied lens.

 

I am normally a Canon Pro bodies and L series glass, but they are heavy to carry around, so I have purchased the Leica D1 and D2 in the past, I could not wait for the Leica D3 and did not see the need to spend the extra money. As a system, the glass in the 4/3 llens mount equal or exceed the Canon L series glass. I have used them and own them so I have a good idea what I am saying. Olympus has a 70-200 2.0 and a 300mm 2.0, this is unheard of with any other lens. They are well built and have great optics.

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Lovely crisp shots Fred - I especially like the door handles! I was going to mention the 7-14mm Oly lens in answer to the original post - but you beat me to it.

 

From my own point of view the D3 is on my list to acquire once I have saved up a bit. I would hope that Leica before long make the body available separately, or if not, at least with a choice of lens once there are more 'Leica' ones available.

 

We have yet to see what functionality the R adapter gives with the R lenses - I got a quote from a Leica bod of around £150 for the adapter, but that has yet to be confirmed.

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The 4/3" sensor in the D3 is four times the size of the 2/3" sensor in the D2 (and has about half again more pixels). I'm not sure comparisons are meaningful.

My comment was simply to the effect that there might be something to be gained in picture quality from using raw files when shooting with the D3 at higher ISOs, as is the case with the D2. I wasn't trying to compare the cameras, the D2 was mentioned as an example only. I might as well have said "Canon 5D".

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These were all shot in Raw and converted with Photoshop Camera Raw. Iso 100-200 has no noise, at 400 noise starts to creep in a little in the shadows. It is not big deal and will easily clean up with noise Ninja. Same as the 800. ISO 1600 is usable with clean-up.

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Took delivery of my D3 yesterday evening. I likely won't have any decent shots to post for a few days yet (consequence of being tethered to a desk twelve hours a day!), but I do have some general impressions on handling, build quality, etc.

 

1. Build quality is good, certainly on par with Digilux 2, but not M standard (not a big surprise). Lens in particular feels slight when compared to my M lenses. Not slight in size, mind you! It's significantly bigger than my largest M lens (75 lux), but not as hefty, solid. This difference in quality (and price, to be fair) also extends to accessories --- the lens comes with a leather pouch which is notably thinner and less luxurious than the leather zips that accompany M lenses.

 

2. I like the viewfinder *a lot*. So much better than the EVF on the D2. Its not as bright as an M, but not as dim as its been made out to be. Quite usable, and I've only used it indoors at night so far. One strange thing: the "remaining frame" counter in the viewfinder only has two digits, so with my 2 GB card it continuously reads "99" (even though I had between 250 and 265 frames remaining). So I guess having the frame counter in the viewfinder will only be usable when you start to close in on the card capacity. FYI, the true card capacity can be viewed at any time on the rear LCD.

 

3. Auto focus is very rapid, a big improvement over the D2. Interestingly, the auto-focus takes somewhat longer in "live view" (ie, framing with the rear LCD). You can see (and hear) it working before seeing the green indicator light on the LCD. But using the camera the normal way (through the optical viewfinder), the green focus indicator lights with almost no discernable delay.

 

4. Burst mode seems very rapid. I've only shot with jpeg so far, but if you keep the shutter release pressed, it fires off shots very rapidly with no disruption.

 

5. ISOs up to 400 seem very usable. Noise starts to appear (especially in shadows) in ISO 800, and noise is very prominent in ISO 1600. I have yet to experiment with Noise Ninja or RAW format to see how clean the high ISOs can be made. From early indications, I would not hesitate to use ISO 800, but would have some doubt about 1600.

 

6. I like how the camera handles. Noticeably larger than Digilux 2, but comfortable in my hands (grip helps). Not very comfortable hanging around my neck, however! I thought I might find the shutter release being positioned in the middle of the shutter speed dial annoying, but it works quite well.

 

Some have commented that there's "too many buttons", but I like the control layout. Dedicated button access to ISO is a pleasure. I've also set my two custom buttons to bring immediate access to RAW capture and EV compensation, so menu access is almost completely unnecessary for my style of shooting. Another interesting thing: there is a Play button, and as such, there is no need for a Play setting for the levers! So unlike the Digilux 2, or the D-Lux/C-Lux compacts, you don't need to move a selection lever off of the capture mode, or turn a dial. Just press "Play", and you see your images on the LCD. And there's nothing to press or change when downloading. If you've set USB mode to "PC" in the menu, then as soon as you've plugged in the cable the camera goes into download mode. Very slick.

 

7. Finally, as one who is new to SLRs (never owned one before), I sort of like the shutter noise. Certainly, there are situations where it would be disruptive, and it's notably louder than an M (film M, anyway), but it's pleasant and reassuring. And as for the mirror blackout in the viewfinder, again, coming from an M, this is a new experience for me, but I don't find it disruptive at all, really. Just different.

 

So I'm quite pleased with it. This will not be my primary camera: I will continue to shoot my M7 and someday soon (pending resolution of known issues) an M8. And for a compact, "carry anywhere" camera, I would use my C-Lux 1 or D-Lux 3. But for circumstances where I can carry a camera bag, I'll certainly take it. And I especially look forward to using it in conjunction with a good telephoto lens. I'm thinking of buying an Olympus telephoto, or waiting for Leica to introduce their 100-300 mm lens sometime next year. Probably wait for the Leica, as I prefer the barrel f-stop settings and image stabilizer.

 

Hope this info is useful to others.

 

Regards,

 

Jeff.

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Thanks Jeff, very positive, and I for one am looking forward to seeing some sample shots in various lighting situations.

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3. Auto focus is very rapid, a big improvement over the D2. Interestingly, the auto-focus takes somewhat longer in "live view" (ie, framing with the rear LCD). You can see (and hear) it working before seeing the green indicator light on the LCD. But using the camera the normal way (through the optical viewfinder), the green focus indicator lights with almost no discernable delay.

.

 

Hi Jeff,

 

I also had the chance to play a bit with the Digilux3. The reason for the strange behavior of the auto focusing in the live view mode is caused by the camera concept. The auto focus sensor is located in the optical view finder. If you use it in live mode, the mirror covers the sensor for focusing and opens again.

 

There are 2 things to mention in that matter. The positive aspect is that using the live view in manual focus mode enables the photograph to put the focus spot on. That's more accurate than with any other DSLR because the information comes directly from the chip. You basically see, what you get. The downside is that using the live view for a longer time the noise might increase as the temperature of the chip will go up.

 

I believe that leads to the following recommendation:

With AF use the OVF, with MF use the live view mode.

 

Personally I enjoyed playing with the D3 a lot, it just feels right. I still haven't maid up my mind, if I want to go back to SLR (D3) or if a bridge camera fulfils my needs better (V-Lux1). So my D2 will serve my humble needs for the next couple of months until I have the flexibility/money to decide...

 

all the best,

 

Lars

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Lars,

 

What you say makes sense. The noise I hear when focusing in live view must be the mirror flipping about. I need to experiment with live view a bit more, including the DOF preview. Haven't done this yet.

 

Brian,

 

I'll see what I can do. I know you're keen on the camera, so I'd like to accomodate. I'm just somewhat resistant to posting the normal prosaic snaps of things about my flat: pics of the cat, kitchen still-life, etc. But that may be all I can muster until the weekend. In my part of the USA (upper midwest) its both dark and cold by the time I leave the office at night, so photographic possibilities are limited.

 

Take care,

 

Jeff.

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