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CSC : Digital Compact System Cameras - This new category of digital Compact System Cameras with interchangeable lenses was mislabeled for a time as "Mirrorless Cameras" by those forgetting about "Mirrorless" Rangefinder cameras.  Such confusion is easily understandable, since interchangeable rangefinder cameras were only recently introduced in 1932.  hmm.    CSC or Compact System Camera is probably the best category description to date, although I am fond of the old RFF desigation of  CEVIL  indicating Compact Electronic Viewfidner Interchangeable Lens.   This forum is here at RFF because via adapters these cameras offer an inexpensive way to use rangefinder lenses on digital cameras -- in addition of just about every 35mm SLR lens you can think of.  All  offer the photo enthusiast an incredible array of adopted lenses which was not possible before these new digital formats.   This group continues to grow in popularity and new camera models! 

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Last Night at the LA Leica Store with the Leica T
Old 04-25-2014   #1
CameraQuest
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Last Night at the LA Leica Store with the Leica T

I handled the T yesterday at the LA Leica Store. I was surprised. I liked it. Nice design and nice handling. Steve Huff got it write(pun intended) when he said the T is like an Apple designed camera. Even if the add on EVF is $600, $1850 for the body is new low price territory for an interchangeable lens digital Leica.

As a less expensive intro to the M system it makes sense for people who do not already have a lot of lenses. Image quality is said to be superb with the two intro T lenses. I see the T as Leica's stylish well done late to the party response to M43 and Fuji X. The M to T adapter recognizing M coded lenses is brilliant.

Unfortunately the importance of that response changed with the introduction of Sony's full frame 7/7r a few months back. While the T certainly fills an important gap in Leica's camera line up, it would have been a lot more important if the T were full frame. Over the next 6 months or so until Photokina, the T will likely sell quite well. I wonder how well the T will compare to the competition post Photokina. There will surely be many A7/A7r competitors introduced at Photokina - all trying to improve Sony's ground breaking design - including new updates from Sony. As always in the camera world, time will tell.

Stephen
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Old 04-25-2014   #2
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I have to admit, I like it the more I look at it. I won't be buying it, but it's quite beautiful.
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Old 04-25-2014   #3
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I'm actually very impressed with the design even if I don't like a few aspects of it (no internal EVF, no AF-ON/AF-L button on the back). The rest of the design is quite nice IMO.
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Old 04-25-2014   #4
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I like the camera. It's not a panasonic with a red dot. It's a genuine Leica engineered camera that exhibits everything Leica is about, outstanding optical quality, pure photographic simplicity, and superior attention to design and detail.
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Old 04-25-2014   #5
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To be honest I'm a little "confused" about this camera. It seems I'm the only one, everybody else has clear firm opinion! There are things I like, other things surprise me, other I do not like...
For sure next Photokina will be interesting, time to prepare a few days long visit!
robert
PS: I have Leica glasse for my m7 and a x1 as my only digital camera...
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Old 04-25-2014   #6
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Though I may be a Leica Fan Girl
The 'T' is not a thing of Beauty to my Eyes
and the lenses 'look' rather plasticky

As for a Touch screen.... If thats considered Progress
I guess I'm not with the 'In Crowd'

So i won't be in the least Tempted !

I am not bashing Leica
I'm a Devotee but Not for the T
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Old 04-25-2014   #7
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Helen.. Visit the Leica store near u...tempt...tempt.. Lol.. ..

I would most likely give in if they ever did a Leica T monochrom

Gary
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Old 04-25-2014   #8
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Helen.. Visit the Leica store near u...tempt...tempt.. Lol.. ..

I would most likely give in if they ever did a Leica T monochrom

Gary
Even if I do go and Look....
I would be more into an X2 or the 240
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Old 04-25-2014   #9
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Not the ME?

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Old 04-25-2014   #10
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The difference with Apple is that there's substance to back up the style.

How is the 'T' better - with the exception of its build quality - than the X-T1? The A7/R?

The (high) price of a digital Leica M is justified because it does something that no other camera in existence does: provide a true rangefinder on a full frame digital camera, coupled to lenses that are not only of very high quality (image and build) but also tiny. There is literally no one else doing that. You can argue that the M240, for example, doesn't offer a bazillion frames per second, or has lackluster video, or whatever. But then again, a 1DX or D4s - cameras which cost about the same as the Leica - don't offer what the M does.

The 'T' fills no niche at all. It looks nice, and it's built well. That's it. At $1500 for the body and $750 for the 23/2, it's good value. At $1850 and a whopping $2000 for the lens?!?? This is almost a bigger joke than the ridiculous X-Vario.
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Old 04-25-2014   #11
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I believe Leica is moving along an arc that they defined for themselves as this camera has certainly been in development since long before the A7/A7r was public knowledge. This is a new line, a direction for Leica like the S series has been.

From what I've seen so far, the design is stunning, the lens line (both announced and TBD) looks eminently sensible and super-quality. The sample images I've seen are outstanding, and the firmware/features driven by software are still pre-release. A good bit can still change in that department before release.

The question which niggles at me is: Why would Leica design such a large lens mounting flange into a small camera if they didn't intend to develop a model in this chassis with a larger sensor?

I'm not in the market right at the moment, but if Leica develops a FF T model that I can adapt my Leica R lenses to, I'll be on it very quickly. The only reason I bought a Sony A7 was to have a FF digital capture body to use with my Leica R lenses. I bet a Leica T FF body like this one would do an even better job.

G
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Old 04-25-2014   #12
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The T's position relative to the a7/a7R and various APS-C CSC, m43, etc. is currently somewhat irrelevant if you picture how Leica cameras are sold in the Leica retail experience of a Leica store.

Many customers go into the store because it's Leica and they want to buy a Leica. Specs and comparisons to other camera brands are fairly irrelevant, because they're not Leica.

It's like Apple stores.

Most of us on these forums approach camera shopping from a researched, details and specifications point of view. We compare brands based on these parameters. Lifestyle considerations often are not major factors, if at all. But that's how some shop and it's a reason Leica has Leica stores, rather than continuing to just rely on typical photo retailers, whose shelves are packed with competing brands, in environments where a potential Leica shopper may not feel at ease, or want to be talked into buying something else by the sales staff based on technical specifications...

I believe Leica designed the T with the possibility of full frame. The lens mount certainly implies this. But first they have to establish the model. An APS-C sensor is perfect for many uses and types of customers. And it keeps lens size reasonable. Photokina will likely be too soon for a full frame T, but I imagine it will eventually happen.
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Old 04-25-2014   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I'm not in the market right at the moment, but if Leica develops a FF T model that I can adapt my Leica lenses to, I'll be on it very quickly.

G
+1 on above ⇧. This can become something interesting.
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Old 04-25-2014   #14
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just because sony does something doesn't mean leica will. just think about it....
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Old 04-25-2014   #15
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I like the T. The body seems like it's a modern take on the classic Leica build. I also applaud Leica for going in a new direction when it comes to controls. We have great interfaces for analog cameras, but I expect we can do better with digital. I hope they keep trying things.

What I don't get is the Leica T system. The camera is wonderful, but why would I buy into the system? Is their lens mount "better" than other mirrorless options? Will this be a better "back" for my M-lenses? What about my X-Pan / ltm / EF lenses?

If this was a ultra-high-quality body for a common lens mount (Sony, M4/3, Fuji all come to mind), then I would be much more enthusiastic. I'm very skeptical about "buying in" to a new system from a manufacturer not known for their ability to deliver timely updates or support.

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Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
The question which niggles at me is: Why would Leica design such a large lens mounting flange into a small camera if they didn't intend to develop a model in this chassis with a larger sensor?
I'm no optics expert, but would a smaller lens mount interfere with M lenses?
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Photokina 2016
Old 04-25-2014   #16
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Photokina 2016

This new design will give them the feedback that they need going into 2016 when the next 'M' is introduced. I suspect that the UI and maybe even the mount just might migrate to a new 'M'. Leica needs to make sure that they don't spend their time looking back, but are planning for the future. It looks like this 'T' is the test mule for the future. The 240 is already a hybrid EVF/rangefinder camera, so the 'T' technology will take this one step further into the future. Maybe global shutter will be ready by 2016... will see..
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Old 04-25-2014   #17
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T is the new M3..
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Old 04-25-2014   #18
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Quote:
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I would most likely give in if they ever did a Leica T monochrom
And here I was thinking I have my own special brand of obsession. That was exactly what I thought...
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Old 04-25-2014   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscheffler View Post
...
I believe Leica designed the T with the possibility of full frame. The lens mount certainly implies this. ...
I suspect a FF T in 18 months as a reasonable run up ... Hopefully, most of the T series lenses are being designed for both formats, although I imagine that there will be a couple that are APS-C only to keep them small and light. That 23/2 is a lovely 35mm equivalent, but as someone else mentioned there's likely not enough entrance pupil to illuminate a FF sensor appropriately. The two zooms mentioned for Photokina time look like they might be dual format capable.

The future will let us know. :-)

G
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Old 04-25-2014   #20
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The T looks like my D-Lux 5.
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Old 04-25-2014   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeturnum View Post
... I'm very skeptical about "buying in" to a new system from a manufacturer not known for their ability to deliver timely updates or support.
Um, my experience with Leica has been the opposite. They've always been excellent on support and provided sensible updates on a reasonable schedule. For instance, the '65 Summicron-R 50mm f/2 lens I have is a single cam model and cannot drive the open-aperture metering in the Leicaflex SL properly ... it was designed for the original Leicaflex. Leica USA can and will still update the lens. That's not bad for a 50 year old lens!

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Originally Posted by aeturnum View Post
I'm no optics expert, but would a smaller lens mount interfere with M lenses?
There's an ideal range of lens mount diameter to format size which enables fast lenses to be designed and used with little constraints. Too small a lens mount diameter makes it hard to design a fast lens that doesn't vignette. Too large makes the lenses larger than needed for a format and nets little benefit.

The FourThirds and Micro-FourThirds lens mount was designed to handle up to f/1.4 lenses ideally, with great freedom of optical design and no vignetting. Faster than that and the lens designs become a challenge.

If you look in the throat of the T, the sensor is very undersize for the mount by comparison to any of the other mirrorless cameras. The T mount is larger diameter than the Sony E mount, the next largest, which is just barely large enough to provide a good base for faster lenses on a FF sensor. The body construction is also rugged and stable enough for large lenses. That suggests to me that they are intending a FF sensor for this line at some point in the future.

G
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Old 04-25-2014   #22
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as a side note, I found the T's EVF extremely irritating
because it is so GOOD - the best I have seen.

Why irritating? Because its really irritating to me that the much more expensive M240 does not have an EVF every bit as good!

Stephen
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Old 04-25-2014   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
as a side note, I found the T's EVF extremely irritating
because it is so GOOD - the best I have seen.

Why irritating? Because its really irritating to me that the much more expensive M240 does not have an EVF every bit as good!

Stephen
EVF development has just been moving very very fast the past couple of years. I'll be interested to see what the new Visoflex is like.

At the moment, the E-M1 has the best of the current production I've tested. It's the first one that I find hard to distinguish from an optical reflex finder in all types of light, better than the Sony A7 or Fuji X-T1, and the various Panasonics or others, to my eye.

If the Visoflex goes beyond that, it's going to increase the draw for me. :-)

G
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Old 04-25-2014   #24
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leica already makes full frame mirrorless, and they have tons of lenses for it already.
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Old 04-25-2014   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
as a side note, I found the T's EVF extremely irritating
because it is so GOOD - the best I have seen.

Why irritating? Because its really irritating to me that the much more expensive M240 does not have an EVF every bit as good!

Stephen
The M240‘s EVF is older than the camera - I think the original iteration came out for Olympus Pen cameras in late 2010. I used to use one with the X2 - and it was already subpar then. Four years in the digital worlds is like six decades for a person...

And if I had to list a single reason why I don't have a M240, it would be the EVF. Too many M lenses too long or wide for the RF patch, and a few others with no coupling at all.
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Old 04-25-2014   #26
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The difference with Apple is that there's substance to back up the style. . .
Some would substitute "Leica" for "Apple" in that sentence.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 04-26-2014   #27
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Quote:
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Some would substitute "Leica" for "Apple" in that sentence.

Cheers,

R.
In general, I agree (as the unquoted portion of my post made clear, with respect to the unique qualities of the Leica M).

The T is a "me too" camera that serves no purpose that isn't already served for far less money from other camera makers.

Still, your usual pithiness is appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2014   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edge100 View Post
The T is a "me too" camera that serves no purpose that isn't already served for far less money from other camera makers.

For you ...and for me too ...but not for everybody.

The fact that you can buy a similar performing camera for less money may be important to me or you but , again ,not to all.
Leica must feel that they have a market for the camera ...otherwise why would they make it.
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Old 04-26-2014   #29
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...Leica must feel that they have a market for the camera ...otherwise why would they make it.
I think they know their market and how it will change. It's possible the T is also a kind of test for further development.

robert
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Old 04-26-2014   #30
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For you ...and for me too ...but not for everybody.

The fact that you can buy a similar performing camera for less money may be important to me or you but , again ,not to all.
Leica must feel that they have a market for the camera ...otherwise why would they make it.
They're making it because they know they can sell enough to justify its existence; I agree.

But that has nothing to do with its photographic prowess, with the (potential) exception as a platform for M mount glass, where it MAY be better than the other offerings (other than the Ricoh, that is).

But $2000 for a 23/2 is an horrific joke, even if it were FF-compatible for use on a 2nd gen camera.

People will buy it though.
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Old 04-26-2014   #31
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They're making it because they know they can sell enough to justify its existence; I agree.
But $2000 for a 23/2 is an horrific joke, even if it were FF-compatible for use on a 2nd gen camera.

People will buy it though.

Yep ...and thats all that matters.
In terms of cost I wouldn`t pay $2000 for that lens either .

I was talking to a young chap the other day however who had that much sitting behind two bars as tabs for when he and his mates hit the town tonight.

Rich bankers ...no ....construction workers working all the hours that they can.

Folk blow that sort of cash every day on things more ephemeral than a Leica.
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Old 04-26-2014   #32
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Yep ...and thats all that matters.
In terms of cost I wouldn`t pay $2000 for that lens either .

I was talking to a young chap the other day however who had that much sitting behind two bars as tabs for when he and his mates hit the town tonight.

Rich bankers ...no ....construction workers working all the hours that they can.

Folk blow that sort of cash every day on things more ephemeral than a Leica.
To be clear, I'd pay 1.5x the price for a 35 Cron ASPH (I shoot width an MP) because it's mated to a sensible camera system that does things that no other system does, for any price.

Why would I pay $2k for the Leica 23/2 vs $900 for the Fuji 23/1.4?!? The only possible answer is: it's a Leica.
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Old 04-26-2014   #33
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Yes ...I`d agree with that.
I perhaps should add that in fifty years doing photography I`ve only ever bought two new cameras ... a GR and a DP2M.

The remainder have been either borrowed , inherited or bought very cheaply.
Not high enough on my list of priorities , but it is for others.
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Old 04-26-2014   #34
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Why would I pay $2k for the Leica 23/2 vs $900 for the Fuji 23/1.4?!? The only possible answer is: it's a Leica.
No, it's not the only possible answer. First of all, these lenses are not for the same system, so you need to consider the systems and not just the lenses. The design goals behind them are rather different. Whichever suits you personally is the way to go. As a whole, I don't think there is a product or product line on the market that is directly comparable to the Leica T. (Perhaps there is a point-and-shoot that comes close in some aspects. I haven't really followed the pocket camera market very closely.)

In terms of practical image quality, the two lenses should be so close that you may base your purchase decision on price, size, speed, handling, or something else.
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Old 04-26-2014   #35
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As a whole, I don't think there is a product or product line on the market that is directly comparable to the Leica T.
You mean a largish, heavyish mirrorless with no optical or in-body image stabilization, no AE lock, no AF lock, and a mediocre sensor?

ON spec it is inferior to much less costly products. The red dot is increasingly about being a status symbol only.

CAD/CAM means all optical manufacturers now can make outstanding lenses. The electronics (especially the sensor), manufacturing processes, and software have completely levelled the playing field amongst camera bodies and their IQ performance.
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Old 04-26-2014   #36
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You mean a largish, heavyish mirrorless with no AE lock, no AF lock?
I'm sorry for taking out a few words from the quote - but this pretty much sums it up from a (somewhat negative) perspective. Yes, I mean the design goals, which manifest themselves through these features or lack of them. It is not a "traditional" me-too mirrorless, although at first glance the camera does resemble some of the earlier ones like Sony NEX. There is a grip, a lens mount, and a screen on the back with very little else. Therefore the shape is generally similar to other small camera bodies.

This is a simplified camera with a new take on user interface. It may not suit the enhusiasts and pros who are generally used to certain ways and need certain controls. Or it may work for some of them. I don't know without trying. I know I don't like absence of some features such as an integrated EVF. (A feature that would have changed the look of the current product; it may be possible to solve this problem in future products.)

This is also very much a modern life style product, and it is priced that way - and of course the Leica way. I don't think anyone buying a camera based on a feature list and price comparison is buying this one.
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Old 04-26-2014   #37
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The M to T adapter recognizing M coded lenses is brilliant.
Brilliant? Yes, brilliant in making more money by having to buy an adapter. How about making the T with M mount?
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Old 04-26-2014   #38
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Thanks for the report. I will need to scope out the store the next time we're in LaCanada visiting our daughter and her family.

However, I'm really enjoying leica rangefinder cameras as I just bought a E++ Summaron 35mm lens for my IIIf and made test photos with the lens wide open using K100 film. Developed in d-76 1+1 and they look great.

Thanks for the forum. it has caused a resurgence using film for me!

Have wonderful weekend.
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Old 04-26-2014   #39
mfunnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grdglass View Post
Brilliant? Yes, brilliant in making more money by having to buy an adapter. How about making the T with M mount?
My question would be more along the lines of: how loud would the carping be if Leica had made no provision for M-mount? Whichever way they jump, they lose. At least among many opinionators. My guess, and hope, is that the outrage (their new camera isn't designed for me ; how did that happen?) will have little to no impact on their target market or sales figures.

...Mike
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Old 04-26-2014   #40
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I'm not boarding the 'T' train since I'm perfectly content with what my A7 does
and does well.
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