Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jeff Day

Does a digital M have a useable life span of more than two years?

Recommended Posts

This isn't a statement about 35mm and smaller sensors, it is a statement about the resolving power of current lenses. I was, therefore, simply surmising that if this is true, the megapixel count of the S2 will be wasted and the camera doomed.

 

I may be wrong, but if the sensor is bigger then surely a given number of megapixels will put less strain on a lenses resolving power? For example 18mp on a 4/3rds sensor will result in much smaller pixels than 18mp on a 24x36 sensor, and the same again on an S2 size sensor, so, assuming the same number of megapixels, smaller sensors show up a lenses resolving power to a greater degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Billie Who.... Never hear about him.. :D:D DLR = Ducking Laughing and Running.

 

.

 

That's what you get for never going above 96th Street when you were a young man living in NYC in the first half of the 20th century.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Stephan,

 

Many people (not just Nicole) have expressed the opinion that sensor resolution has already reached the point where it exceeds the resolving power of existing lenses. I don't know whether that is true or not, but my response was to Nicole's statement that "the race for megapixels has reached the limits of many lens manufacturers already." This isn't a statement about 35mm and smaller sensors, it is a statement about the resolving power of current lenses. I was, therefore, simply surmising that if this is true, the megapixel count of the S2 will be wasted and the camera doomed. Nowhere did I imply that I was comparing the S2 to the M8. This is ONLY about lenses and their resolving power. Regardless of the size of the sensor, whether in the M8, M9 or S2, if the lenses currently available can't resolve that much detail then what is the point of bringing out cameras with higher megapixel counts?

 

Regards,

HI Brent, I thought I would check the lens data for the 50 lux ASPH and the 70mm S2 SUMMARIT-S 70 mm F/2.5 ASPH. CS lens for the S2. Based on the MTF curves the S2 lens is at least equal and even looks substantially better than the summilux. This is pretty amazing considering the 50lux ASPH is considered to be the best 50mm lens that is available today.

 

The data show that both lenses are very good at 40 lp/mm, with MTF above 40% across the image for the lux and above 60% for the SUMMARIT-S 70 mm (both at f/5.6 which should be the sweet spot).

 

Anyway bottom line: both lenses easily reach 40 lp/mm which corresponds to 25 micrometer line pairs. With pixels at about 6 micron on the sensor you can capture all this information, but you do need more megapixels for the S2 as the sensor is a lot larger.

 

If the S2 (& lenses) does what they claim it should be very spectacular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own quite a few digital cameras - some recent, some quite old. I actually like the IQ of some older cameras. While we've seen quite a lot of progress in terms of reduced noise at high ISOs with modern DSLRs, I'm less convinced that IQ has improved significantly.

I still find older low-mp cameras (like the Oly E1, the Nikon D2H, and the K/M 5D) capable of gorgeous colour and tonality that exceeds many later 'better' cameras. What concerns me is whether or not digital cameras will have the longevity of a good well-made film camera. Will we be forced to 'upgrade' simply because older cameras will cease to function.

You can still find Leicas and Rolleiflexes from the 1930s with bright clear lenses and shutters that fire accurately. Despite their age, they still take great pictures.

But will the sensor on an M8 (or Canon 5D) still function in (say) ten years time? I'm not thinking of camera that are used heavily, but ones that are looked after and only used now and again. Will the sensor fail due to the passing of the years - in much the same way a Selenium cell eventually 'dies'?

I'm very happy with the M8's level of quality - I don't feel any need to upgrade. But - even if I look after it, and treat it with the utmost care and respect - will the M8 last the course like the film Ms of the last fifty plus years?

 

J M Hughes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it should last for 30 or 40 years at least. Maybe the batteries will need to be replaced but the rest is pretty much bomb proof. I have a Quad amp that is about 35 years old and it is still running with 0 problems, this also uses ICs and similar electronics that the M8 is built with. Maybe a few electrolytic capacitors need replacing but that would be all. Having said I am not even sure the M8 has any electrolytic capacitors.

 

Another aspect might be the shutter assembly, that might need a CLA at some point in time. In general electronics is much less prone to deteriation than mechanical stuff, however well constructed. Philps 1st TVs (1960ish) were mostly scrapped in the 1980ies because no-one wanted them anymore - not that they had stopped working.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im guessing the F22 is technically speaking already obsolete. so is the F16, yet it is still flown on a daily basis.QUOTE]

 

Bo, I think you're right. I myself use f16 a lot but never f22 except with 4x5, so I guess f22 is definitely already obsolete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Stephan,

 

Many people (not just Nicole) have expressed the opinion that sensor resolution has already reached the point where it exceeds the resolving power of existing lenses. I don't know whether that is true or not, but my response was to Nicole's statement that "the race for megapixels has reached the limits of many lens manufacturers already." This isn't a statement about 35mm and smaller sensors, it is a statement about the resolving power of current lenses. I was, therefore, simply surmising that if this is true, the megapixel count of the S2 will be wasted and the camera doomed. Nowhere did I imply that I was comparing the S2 to the M8. This is ONLY about lenses and their resolving power. Regardless of the size of the sensor, whether in the M8, M9 or S2, if the lenses currently available can't resolve that much detail then what is the point of bringing out cameras with higher megapixel counts?

 

Regards,

 

Hi Brent,

 

I just found a link to this article in the S2 forum. You might find it interesting.

 

Physical Limits in Digital Photography

 

Peace!

 

p.s. I did actually say 'manufacturers lenses', not 'lens manufacturers'. There is a rather significant difference there.

Edited by Nicoleica

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since when did being "obsolete" matter to Leica users? Every rangefinder Leica since the M4 has been obsolete in comparison to the competition in professional system cameras. The R line became obsolete around the days of the R5.

 

It's ridiculous to worry about such things. If you like the results you are getting who cares what else is out there?

My sentiments exactly!

 

I am not a professional photographer. I do not need a full frame sensor. I want a digital camera that lets me use my Leica lenses. The M8 does the job. I like the photographs that it produces. When the M8 no longer works and cannot be fixed then I will look at the "latest and greatest" digital M. In the mean time, I expect my M8 to last longer than two years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Brent,

 

I just found a link to this article in the S2 forum. You might find it interesting.

 

Physical Limits in Digital Photography

 

Peace!

 

p.s. I did actually say 'manufacturers lenses', not 'lens manufacturers'. There is a rather significant difference there.

Contrary to popular belief not everything with "physics" in the tile is actually worthwhile reading (or true for that matter). In this article we read for full frame sensors "This implies that to make full use of the sensor capabilities of cameras already in production requires the use of apertures less than about f/10. And since the quality of the optics limit the resolution of most lenses today when apertures are much larger than f/5.6 or f/8, this suggests that there are steeply diminishing returns for sensors of more than about 25-35 megapixels for a 35mm camera, a limit that will apply until there are some breakthroughs in optics that can perform better at f/4 than they do at f/10."

 

This really is confusing the issue. What he is trying to convey is that if you stop down far enough at some point the (ideal) Airy disk will be bigger than your sensor pixels. This is true. He then continues on the assumption that there are no lenses that perform decently a apertures wider than f/5.6. This may be true for some brands but not for Leica glass.

 

The main problem I have however with his approach is that i) photography is not usually diffraction limited, it is limited by "acceptable sharpness" via the Circle of Confusion, ii) he does not seem to take the whole packet into account it is not only the lens or the sensor, or the combination, it is also the paper/screen, the level of enlargement and a whole pile of other stuff.

 

The title suggests that he knows what he is talking about, this is not really the case as far as I can judge.

 

EDIT: added footnote, based on MTF curves of high quality prime lenses, something in the range of 40lp/mm for the sensor is enough. The current M8 sensor can do that - so more megapixels is not necessary and would cause higher noise.

Edited by SJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And since the quality of the optics limit the resolution of most lenses today when apertures are much larger than f/5.6 or f/8,

.

 

I wonder what gave the article's author that impression. There are many lenses that provide high resolution at wide apertures.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's what you get for never going above 96th Street when you were a young man living in NYC in the first half of the 20th century.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

Or, right here in Baltimore where my mom used to listen on the sidewalk in front of the Royal Theatre, where Billie regularly performed during the wars. A statue has recently gone up commemorating her years here. And, she still sounds great on vinyl, which by the way, has lasted me more than 2 years.

 

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just found a link to this article in the S2 forum. You might find it interesting.

 

Physical Limits in Digital Photography

 

Peace!

Its actually surprisingly easy to check out the difference in 'image quality' at different apertures by the old empirical method of actually taking photographs. I've actually tried this myself and have come to the following conclusions:

 

Sometimes there is a 'slight' difference with very small apertures producing marginally less sharp images, and

 

Its better to use the aperture which yields the image that you intend to use than it is to worry about its effect on absolute 'image quality'.

 

Of course this just works for me and the physics of it all may be more important than resultant images for others:D!

 

And then again if you are using high quality lenses such as Leicas combined with a decent sensor (M8) at its base ISO then you are going to produce decent images (or if not then its down to the operator) as long as the camera (M8) is servicable.

 

Perhaps the original question should be changed to; at what point during its life do the images from a digital M no longer look acceptable;)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe one way of inferring an answer would be for the OP to research the following:

 

"Did the Epson RD-1 have a useable life span of more than two years?"

 

The answer should be easy to discover and very clear. In spite of a few notorious design issues, the M8 is several times the camera that the RD-1 is, speaking as an owner of both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the basis of the fourth return of my M8 to Solms in less than 2 years; once for an upgrade and 3 times for repairs I'd like to rephrase the question to "Does a digital M have a useable life span beyond its warranty period".

 

I certainly work the camera hard but have done this with all my cameras. Yet the M8 seems to be more delicate. The reason for the last return is the scroll button which no longer scrolls.

 

All repairs have been done under warranty and I'm now very grateful for the extra warranty obtained with the upgrade but once that runs out it will perhaps become debatable whether the payment of the repair in combination with the loss of camera (estimated this time to be in the region of 3 weeks) will be worth the hassle and cost.

 

Maybe I've been unlucky but I'm reconciled to the fact of depreciating this camera over its warranty period; in my case 3 years. Assuming I would get some return from an exchange at that point the cost will have been under GBP 1000 per year. As it happens I would be perfectly satisfied with this but in answer to the OP's original question my view is that No, a digital M probably has a lifespan not much longer than its warranty period, ordinarily 2 years.

 

Probably this is line with other electronic devices used for work; not necessarily because something new and better is available but on the basis of reliability.

 

For the record all repairs were carried out by Leica in a professional and agreeable manner and the camera has met all my expectations in other respects.

 

Dubois

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
p.s. I did actually say 'manufacturers lenses', not 'lens manufacturers'. There is a rather significant difference there.

 

Sorry about the misquote, Nicole. I would, however, be genuinely interested in knowing what the difference is.

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am not going to rephrase all the posts that were written today about the quoted article and this one:

Luminous landscape

 

But I didn't manage to read the reply to my last post, where I refered to that the first mentioned article suggests that modern lenses are diffraction limited from about f/10 and that it is the quality of the optics that is the limiting factor on larger apertures than that. Thus, if it is correct that Leica lenses are diffraction limited from the largest aperture, they should be able to utilise larger sensors than 25 megapixles.

 

I am not sure who respondend to this, but I would like to read the answer.

Edited by adli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not going to rephrase all the posts that were written today about the quoted article and this one:

Luminous landscape

 

But I didn't manage to read the reply to my last post, where I refered to that the first mentioned article suggests that modern lenses are diffraction limited from about f/10 and that it is the quality of the optics that is the limiting factor on larger apertures than that. Thus, if it is correct that Leica lenses are diffraction limited from the largest aperture, they should be able to utilise larger sensors than 25 megapixles.

 

I am not sure who respondend to this, but I would like to read the answer.

 

I think the best answer was from someone - maybe Jaap or Lars? - along the lines that whether a lens is diffraction limited at f/4 or f/10 makes no difference unless you're using a very heavy tripod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the best answer was from someone - maybe Jaap or Lars? - along the lines that whether a lens is diffraction limited at f/4 or f/10 makes no difference unless you're using a very heavy tripod.

 

Todays discussion were over theories, not practical photography

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent some milling over lugubrious calculations, exec. summary to recap:

 

1 Leica lenses are 'best" at f/2.8 (or f/4), take f/2.5 for sake of argument

2 Numerical aperture is Na=1/(2A) =1/(2x2.5)=1/5=0.2

3 Airy disk size lambda/(2Na), lambda = 0.5 micron, gives 0.5/(2x0.2)=1.25 micron (2 micron at f/4)

 

So you need 25x more pixels to get that sort of detail (25 = (6.25/1.25)^2, current pixels are about 6.25 micron) i.e. 250 megapixels.

 

This is a bad idea:

- too much data

- you lose 4 2/3 stops in dynamic range (factor 25), maximum ISO is 100 on such a sensor, native ISO 6.25.

 

Bottom line - we do not want a lot more pixels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×