View Full Version : Leica Rumors: Leica’s patents for optoelectronic rangefinder
Both translations of this patent into English seem to have been done by Google rather than a compentent patent translator. But, reading them, it appears to me that Leica is patenting a fast (real time) phase-detect focus-determination apparatus and method which can be used to 1) display focus information on an EVF OR 2) can be used to control an autofocus lens on a "rangefinder" camera. If this interpretation is correct, then a "rangefinder" camera body utilizing this technology would work equally well with legacy rangefinder lenses via an EVF and with a new line of autofocus lenses. In both cases, neither class of lenses would not need an auto-diaphragm, and the camera body would not need the precision mechanical components that comprise the rangefinder focusing mechanism on existing rangefinders.
Does anyone else get this same interpretation of the patent?
Positively the translation sucks.
And yes, they had the objective to combine optoelectronic phase detection for manual focus and AF lenses in a way that gets rid of the intricate opto-mechanical rangefinder that is hard to adjust. Performance of the RF is depending on the entire system working perfectly together. Side effect of the new construction: cost savings.
The phase detection is comparing the differences between the two sensors with previously determined standard values for distances that are stored in a firmware. Values in between are calculated by interpolation.
Looks to be a variant of the Fuji hybrid VF.
from the patent -
The invention had the object with which an optoelectronic distance measurement system for AF control to combine the advantages of an opto-mechanical coupled rangefinder system, and in addition, a reduction of production costs, the mechanical structure and the Justieraufwandes should be possible.
The rangefinder of the invention may be constructed as a separate module and pre-adjusted mechanically outside the housing of the camera. A fine tuning of the image acquisition modules for phase adjustment can be done by software. The calibration table for the distances measured support points can be interpolated for intermediate values of the distances via software-account.
About the eyepiece but may be observable even a purely electronic viewfinder with a image representative display. Also a combination viewfinder, illustrating a splitter prism either an optical or an electronic image can be used at this point. It is expedient if the monocular is dimmable. To cover the monocular gaze a switchable opto-electronic component may in particular be present, such. As a PN-LCD screen, a glass prism with electrically controllable liquid, an electrically controllable mirror etc.
Sure, maybe a reduction of production costs, but they won't be passed onto the buyer ultimately. October 21st's camera announcement will solidify that.
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