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M9 Frame Lines

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If the M9 is a full frame camera as most speculate it will be, will the view finder frame lines be closer to that of the M2, M3? That would be totally cool!

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That all depends on how thick the body is. The reason the M8 viewfinder is .68x is not only to get the 24mm framelines in but because the body is thicker then the film M's the magnification had to be reduced from the standard .72x of the film cameras.

If Leica has redesigned the body to get closer to the thickness of the film M's then it would seem they could riase the magnification back to somewhere close to the film M's and or, even if it isn't and retains the thickness of the M8, give the buyer a choice of different magnifications. Since the film M's are just about dead it would be logical to extend the A La Carte options over to the digital M. That is where the future is for Leica.

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That all depends on how thick the body is. The reason the M8 viewfinder is .68x is not only to get the 24mm framelines in but because the body is thicker then the film M's the magnification had to be reduced from the standard .72x of the film cameras.

...

 

Is this true? I had not heard it before. I always assumed that Leica reduced the finder magnification to cover the 24mm framelines (which was a smart choice in my opinion).

 

I also assumed, based on no real information, that if a full-frame M digital was ever introduced it would go back to the .72x magnification. I didn't know that body thickness was a consideration.

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Fuzzy memory here, but I thought I'd read something in LFI or elsewhere about the thicker body being required to change or limit the angle of light exiting from the lens and being focused on the sensor? I could be mis-remembering. If they have not addressed that issue (if I'm remembering it correctly), Shootist's reply would probably control? It's all speculation right now, of course...

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The M8's thicker body is due to the circuitry requirements of digital: sensor+circuit board+LCD+circuit board just isn't as thin as film+pressure plate. It doesn't "change or limit the angle of light exiting from the lens" - the flange-to-focal-plane/focus register/backfocus distance didn't change - nor can it, if a lens is to focus correctly.

 

Leica minimized the overall thickness increase by letting the lens mount protrude slightly more than in film Ms, saving a mm or so.

 

The thicker body does result in a longer tunnel for the viewfinder, and thus a reduced field of view (you know, "tunnel vision" and all that). The widest lens frame in the M8 covers a "32mm" field of view - 24 cropped 1.33x, compared to a "28mm" field of view on film Ms, which allows it to fit in a smaller window. The reduced magnification takes care of the rest.

 

An M9 (FF or not) will not be as thin as a film M - unless someone has invented rugged, paper-thin circuit boards, or unless Leica takes the Epson route and extends the lens flange another couple of mm's.

 

All that being said, I will bet that a full-frame M digital viewfinder manages to just squeeze in a 28 frameline - that has been the standard widest frame for 25 years, and I'm sure that that's Leica's target. It may be hard to see for glasses-wearers, but it will be there. The magnification will stay at .68x or maybe drop to .65x. 24s will revert to being "accesory-viewfinder" lenses.

 

In the standard viewfinder, Leica will not revert to only 3 lines (a la M2/3) - 35, 75, or 135 lines are not expendable in terms of the overall market, despite some individuals' preferences. (yeah, I know the M8 expended the 135 lines, but that's for a cropped sensor).

 

An a la carte option is possible, if the FF-let's-call-it-an-M9 becomes a stable platform with a fairly long shelf life - as I expect it will be. At least a choice of frameline sets - a change in magnification is likely to be pricey. I could happily live without 28 lines, but I don't think the market can.

 

It should be noted that M2/M4/M4-2 cameras have the same finder magnification as standard M4-P/M6/M7/MP cameras. Leica squeezed the 28 lines in without changing the magnification. An M4 or M2 can be "upgraded" to include the 28 lines without changing the magnification, just by swapping the frame masks.

 

If I had my druthers, I'd like to see a) a return of the more complete pre-M4-P 90mm frameline, that included corner marks as well as side lines, and

the removal of the gap in the bottom of the 35/28(24) lines for the metering diodes. There are probably mechanical reasons why that won't happen, though.

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Is this true? I had not heard it before. I always assumed that Leica reduced the finder magnification to cover the 24mm framelines (which was a smart choice in my opinion).

 

I also assumed, based on no real information, that if a full-frame M digital was ever introduced it would go back to the .72x magnification. I didn't know that body thickness was a consideration.

 

Don't forget that the 24mm frames on the M8 correspond to 32mm on a film M - i.e. a narrower angle than the 28mm frames on recent film Ms.

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That all depends on how thick the body is. The reason the M8 viewfinder is .68x is not only to get the 24mm framelines in but because the body is thicker then the film M's the magnification had to be reduced from the standard .72x of the film cameras.

If Leica has redesigned the body to get closer to the thickness of the film M's then it would seem they could riase the magnification back to somewhere close to the film M's and or, even if it isn't and retains the thickness of the M8, give the buyer a choice of different magnifications. Since the film M's are just about dead it would be logical to extend the A La Carte options over to the digital M. That is where the future is for Leica.

Probably not. How long is the WATE? How long is the 21 Summilux?

 

With retrofocus design you do not limit the angle of view by the physical length of the lens.

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An M9 (FF or not) will not be as thin as a film M - unless someone has invented rugged, paper-thin circuit boards...

 

Well, actually someone has, as least for memory circuits:

Thin Film Electronics - Home

 

But if it's true that an M9 will use the same chip set as the S2, there should be potential for saving some space as the M8 uses of the shelf components and the chip set used in the S2 is designed for Leica and thus should be customized to fit in the cameras it are designed t be used in. I leave to others to tell if this is enough to make the camera slimmer though, but I cross my fingers.

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I know the M8 body is thicker because of the circuitry requirements of the sensor and LCD screen. My question was, assuming the thicker body will also be needed in the M9, can a .72 finder work in the thicker body?

 

I would assume so, but Shootist suggests otherwise.

 

I hope the M9 (if there is such a thing) will have .72 magnification and 28mm framelines. I think the .72 finder on my MP and M6 bodies is very close to perfect as is the standard frameline set on the .72 finder.

 

The .72 finder on my film M cameras seems much better than the .68 finder on my M8 bodies. I guess the increased magnification makes focusing easier and I just like the view better.

 

Giordano--I'm very aware that the 24mm framelines on the M8 correspond to a 32mm effective field of view. I think the 24 framelines are necessary on the M8 and in fact the 24mm became my favorite lens because it is the widest that can be used with the internal finder.

 

But to simplify my original question--was the choice of a .68 finder on the M8 necessitated by the thicker M8 body?

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That the new 0.68 finder is a result of the M8's thicker body is an interesting theory.

 

Though: what is wrong with this "magnification" in the finder for an eventual full-frame M?

 

You don't loose so much for longer focal lengthes but gain something for 28-mm. The 28-mm-frames on traditional Ms with 0.72-finders where never comfortabel, or do you think so?

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I know the M8 body is thicker because of the circuitry requirements of the sensor and LCD screen. My question was, assuming the thicker body will also be needed in the M9, can a .72 finder work in the thicker body?

 

I would assume so, but Shootist suggests otherwise.

 

I hope the M9 (if there is such a thing) will have .72 magnification and 28mm framelines. I think the .72 finder on my MP and M6 bodies is very close to perfect as is the standard frameline set on the .72 finder.

 

The .72 finder on my film M cameras seems much better than the .68 finder on my M8 bodies. I guess the increased magnification makes focusing easier and I just like the view better.

 

Giordano--I'm very aware that the 24mm framelines on the M8 correspond to a 32mm effective field of view. I think the 24 framelines are necessary on the M8 and in fact the 24mm became my favorite lens because it is the widest that can be used with the internal finder.

 

But to simplify my original question--was the choice of a .68 finder on the M8 necessitated by the thicker M8 body?

 

#1 Bold above

Not really. I wasn't saying or suggesting you couldn't put a .72x finder in the current M8 or in the new M9. But that because of the thicker body, your tunel vision reference is correct, if you did use a higher magnification you would lose some framelines and if the M9 is full frame with the same thickness body as the M8 then the magnification is going to have to drop so that you can get 28mm framelines displayed. Thos framelines will be wider & taller then the 24mm line we have in the M8, but you already know that.

If Leica had used a .72x finder in the M8 you would be hard pressed to see cropped 28mm framelines, EFOV of 37mm, in the viewfinder.

 

#2 Bold above

Yes there is know doubt the viewfinder magnification was dropped from the standard .72x to the .68x because of the thicker body. Otherwise Leica could of included cropped 21mm framelines, 28mm effective FOV, and kept the magnification at .72x, again your tunel vision reference, with room to spare.

 

I'm thinking Leica redesigned the body to make it thinner front to back even if they needed to extend the lens mount further out and moved the shutter & sensor that same amount.

3 years have passed, electronics have changed and hopefully Leica has gotten smarter in the digital field.

 

Now they may keep the .68x finder in the M9 but then they would need to make the body thinner and only show 28mm lines. And add back the 135's.

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That all depends on how thick the body is. The reason the M8 viewfinder is .68x is not only to get the 24mm framelines in but because the body is thicker then the film M's the magnification had to be reduced from the standard .72x of the film cameras.

If Leica has redesigned the body to get closer to the thickness of the film M's then it would seem they could riase the magnification back to somewhere close to the film M's and or, even if it isn't and retains the thickness of the M8, give the buyer a choice of different magnifications. Since the film M's are just about dead it would be logical to extend the A La Carte options over to the digital M. That is where the future is for Leica.

 

Errr, no.

 

They went to .68 because of the x1.33 mag factor. The body thickness has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the magnification of the rangefinder.

 

See analog M bodies of .58/,72/.85/.91 magification. All the same thickness and size. Even the M5 with it's oddball shape is .72.

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You don't loose so much for longer focal lengthes but gain something for 28-mm. The 28-mm-frames on traditional Ms with 0.72-finders where never comfortabel, or do you think so?

 

It was perfectly comfortable for me, in fact an MP with .72 finder and 28mm is by far my favorite camera/lens combination ever. But that's clearly a matter of personal opinion.

 

Thanks for the clarification shootist.

 

I still hope for a .72 finder with 28/90, 35/135, 50/75 framelines on a future M digital. If it comes with a thinner body so much the better.

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If the M9 is a full frame camera as most speculate it will be, will the view finder frame lines be closer to that of the M2, M3? That would be totally cool!

 

First off viewfinder magnification and the area indicated by the framelines are two different issues that are not codependent.

 

You would hope that they learned their lesson from the original M8 frameline fiasco.

The modified M8.2 framelines were a result of endless complaints, because framing

was wildly off the mark.

 

If I had to place a bet I would say 'yes', the framelines will indicate a greater area of coverage like the M8.2

They really can't be so stupid as to make the same mistake twice.

 

My fear is that we will get the frameline mask from the M6/M6ttl/M7/MP, which is also not very accurate either. It's more accurate than the mask in the original M8, but not as good as pre-M6 bodies.

 

If they decide to do it right they should use the frameline mask from the M4-P (early production), MP3 or M2/M4/M4-2/M5. All of these frame quite accurately at normal working distances (2 meters -> infinity)

Edited by thrid

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Heck, I'd be happier if the 75mm frame lines were extended beyond the small corners inside the 50.

 

Jeff

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The body thickness has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the magnification of the rangefinder.

 

Of course it does. I would have thought that was obvious.

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Of course it does. I would have thought that was obvious.

 

Sorry, but the thickness of the body has nothing to do with the magnification of the viewfinder.

 

Again, there are four versions of the viewfinder out there with magnifications of .58, .72, .85 and .91.

All of these analog bodies are the same size (except the M6ttl is 2mm taller, because of the extra electronics).

 

They went to .68 to make the 24mm framelines fit in the viewfinder. That's all there is to it.

Edited by thrid

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