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Leica M8 / M8.2 / Ricoh GXR Smaller than full frame digital Leica M mount cameras. The Ricoh is included as a less expensive and viable digital Leica M lens platform.

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Old 12-19-2006   #81
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"Rover folded after BMW sold it to the (mis)management, maybe bailed out would be a better word."

Rover was built up from the ruins of British Leyland with the help of it's partnership with Honda.

Not so many years ago people laugthed at Honda cars. People laughed at British Leyland too. Both Rover and Honda found sucess through their partnership. Today if that partnership was still there, well Rover would be one of the most respected car manufactueres in the buisiness.

The day the Thatcher government sold it to BMW, without even consulting Honda, they were finnished.
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Old 12-19-2006   #82
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Reality may come as a shock to the best of us all. But it's no use ignoring it. Or cropping it.

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Old 12-19-2006   #83
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Ben,

But you are casting judgment without even owning the camera. I can say that a Ferrari has many flaws and I would not own one. But I would be doing myself an injustice if I were to bail out on a Ferrari based on what someone else wrote. I bet that when his car is not in the shop he has more fun and gets better performance than anyone else. The same with the M8. My M8 performs well enough beyond expectation and I actually get to use it. It does not even need to go into the shops. Unlike those who just say I told you so or I rather buy a 5D. Those will never enjoy the M8 and are missing out because of poor judgment on their side. I bet if I decided to giveaway an M8 instead of the Bessa you would be happy to accept it and praise it.
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Old 12-19-2006   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasmat
This type of camera is just not for you. Stick to the Canons.
Excuse me? "Stick to the Canons"??? I've got one Canon and one lens for it I bought less than a year ago. OTOH I've got 2 M6's, and M4 and a dozen M lenses and have been a dedicated dyed-in-the-wool Leica user for years and years. If the M8 "is just not for" me, then buddy, Leica is in deep trouble.
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Old 12-19-2006   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth
"Rover folded after BMW sold it to the (mis)management, maybe bailed out would be a better word."

Rover was built up from the ruins of British Leyland with the help of it's partnership with Honda.

Not so many years ago people laugthed at Honda cars. People laughed at British Leyland too. Both Rover and Honda found sucess through their partnership. Today if that partnership was still there, well Rover would be one of the most respected car manufactueres in the buisiness.

The day the Thatcher government sold it to BMW, without even consulting Honda, they were finnished.
Just before Rover folded - not that I saw it coming at the time, I seriously considered a 75. It was indeed a brilliant car. What pleased me most was that sitting behind the wheel the dimensions of the windshield were identical to those of my father's 75 - of the fifties. In the end I decided to go with Jaguar as I found the Rover underdeveloped- the right decision as it turned out.For the time being.....
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Old 12-19-2006   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
In front of the lens or in front of the sensor - to me: I prefer having the choice of using the filter- any filter- as needed. Removing it from the lens is slightly easier than disassembling the camera to remove from the sensor - and vica versa....
Now that's the first rational argument I've read. I feel $5000 trying to squirm its way out of my wallet . Damn!

Actually I remember one of my pals had a Nikon F5-based Kodak digital way back when that did have an IR filter just inside the body lens opening that he could remove. I don't guess there's room in the M8 for such a thing though
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Old 12-19-2006   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Z
Excuse me? "Stick to the Canons"??? I've got one Canon and one lens for it I bought less than a year ago. OTOH I've got 2 M6's, and M4 and a dozen M lenses and have been a dedicated dyed-in-the-wool Leica user for years and years. If the M8 "is just not for" me, then buddy, Leica is in deep trouble.
I don't think it "is not for you" I think you are blinded by some internet fools and are misjudging the camera. It is a pity you don't live around the corner. I'd push mine into your hands and convert you.
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Old 12-19-2006   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge Torralba
Ben,

But you are casting judgment without even owning the camera. I can say that a Ferrari has many flaws and I would not own one. But I would be doing myself an injustice if I were to bail out on a Ferrari based on what someone else wrote. I bet that when his car is not in the shop he has more fun and gets better performance than anyone else. The same with the M8. My M8 performs well enough beyond expectation and I actually get to use it. It does not even need to go into the shops. Unlike those who just say I told you so or I rather buy a 5D. Those will never enjoy the M8 and are missing out because of poor judgment on their side. I bet if I decided to giveaway an M8 instead of the Bessa you would be happy to accept it and praise it.
But at the same time don't you think that M8 owners have brought this on themselves by grossly overstating the abilities and significance of this camera before anyone had in their hands. Trolling is a two-way street, so don't be suprised if the overly positive is met by the overly negative whereas the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It wasn't too long ago that I was almost convinced the M8 was going to end world hunger, reconstitute the ozone layer and find Jimmy Hoffa, imagine my dissappointment to discover it was just a camera
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Old 12-19-2006   #89
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They didn't. They just claimed it is the best digital RF on the market and that the files were up there with the best on offer by any 135 class camera. Which is nothing but the truth. That it is not infallible should come as no surprise. As far as I know the only infallible thing in this world is the Pope - and even he has to be speaking ex cathedra to be so.
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Old 12-19-2006   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Z
"I'd rather not be using a 20D, all Leica has to do to get me to dropkick the 20D into Lake Michigan and fork over the five grand for an M8 is get rid of that preposterous filter kludge." And I'm a more loyal Leica guy than most of the guys I know off-line, because I'm holding on to the 20D and holding out for an M8-N (for No filters).
Personally, I want to throw a hissy-fit about Canon: I want a 30D-sized camera with a full-frame sensor that has the same pixel density as a 10megabit APS-C sensor, no digital noise at any ISO setting, no vignetting with any lens, no CA, the 45-point AF system and weather sealing of Canon's 1-series cameras, the sensor cleaning of the 400D and an affordable price-point (no more than a 5D). And I'm going to scream and shout then hold my breath until I get it.

And if the laws of physics and the rules of engineering and economics don't change pretty quickly, I guess I'm going to expire. Sounds like you're in the same position with respect to Leica.

...Mike
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Old 12-19-2006   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge Torralba
Ben,

But you are casting judgment without even owning the camera.
Had I bought one I would have returned it as soon as I heard it had to have filters. So the only difference would be I'd have my dealer sore at me.


Quote:
I bet that when his car is not in the shop he has more fun and gets better performance than anyone else.
That's a great line. I think Leica should use it in their ads for the M8.


Quote:
Unlike those who just say I told you so or I rather buy a 5D. Those will never enjoy the M8 and are missing out because of poor judgment on their side.
If what all you M8 fans have been doing these past weeks--the constant testing for blobs and streaks and racing each other to the few 486 IR filters in stock at dealers--is what you call "enjoyment", I'll just stick a fork in my eye, at least I've got Blue Cross so I'll only be out $500 not $5000

Quote:
I bet if I decided to giveaway an M8 instead of the Bessa you would be happy to accept it and praise it.
Hell yeah, I can be bought
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Old 12-19-2006   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfunnell
Personally, I want to throw a hissy-fit about Canon: I want a 30D-sized camera with a full-frame sensor that has the same pixel density as a 10megabit APS-C sensor, no digital noise at any ISO setting, no vignetting with any lens, no CA, the 45-point AF system and weather sealing of Canon's 1-series cameras, the sensor cleaning of the 400D and an affordable price-point (no more than a 5D). And I'm going to scream and shout then hold my breath until I get it.

And if the laws of physics and the rules of engineering and economics don't change pretty quickly, I guess I'm going to expire. Sounds like you're in the same position with respect to Leica.

...Mike
No, that would be like bitching it isn't full-frame, or that it doesn't win the megapixel race, or that the sensor can't be upgraded with a simple plug-in module, or that it doesn't have a real-image zoom finder, or that it doesn't have an advance lever to cock the (cloth) shutter. That's asking for pie in the sky. I want the M8 with an IR filter just strong enough so it doesn't need filters on the lenses, nothing more nothing less. All the other glitches (blobs, streaks, bands) those are just teething issues that can be expected. I'm not moaning about those either. Just the filters.
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Old 12-19-2006   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
It is a pity you don't live around the corner. I'd push mine into your hands and convert you.
It scares me, but I think you just might could
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Old 12-19-2006   #94
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If what all you M8 fans have been doing these past weeks--the constant testing for blobs and streaks and racing each other to the few 486 IR filters in stock at dealers--is what you call "enjoyment", I'll just stick a fork in my eye, at least I've got Blue Cross so I'll only be out $500 not $5000


That was very funny ... humor keeps this all in perspective!
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Old 12-19-2006   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Z
It scares me, but I think you just might could
Ben

I can tell your weakening. We who have succumed to the delights of ms M have just got to convince you of the pleasures of dealing with a camera babe tarted up with those sexy red filters

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Old 12-19-2006   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Z
If what all you M8 fans have been doing these past weeks--the constant testing for blobs and streaks and racing each other to the few 486 IR filters in stock at dealers--is what you call "enjoyment", I'll just stick a fork in my eye, at least I've got Blue Cross so I'll only be out $500 not $5000
I expected alot more "Look what I can do with the M8" threads going on.... or W/NW threads with M8 shots

Maybe after the new year we will see a rise in M8 usage

The gallery has some great images in there just not a whole lot of them
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Old 12-19-2006   #97
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[quote=Jorge Torralba]... It just show how hypocritical some people are. I see it all over the internet including this forum...

At last someone is rising to speak!
(I admit, I would never have dared to do it this way, well done Jorge...)
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Old 12-19-2006   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth
Very few professional photographers can afford to use Leica kit.
How is it that you can speak for us?

Curious....
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Old 12-19-2006   #99
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I have to agree with this. Even if the M9 is full frame ( what it takes for me to buy any digital ) there is no way I would sell off my Canon digital or Nikon film kits.

I'm sure the M8 is great in many applications, but I can wait and see what it looks like in a year, I have plenty to do and shoot and plenty of great gear to do it with.

Having said all this, I love my M6 and two aspherics, prefer them quie often.

We all need the M8 to get Leica into the digital age, it really is silly to bag on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Z
Where are you getting your facts? Can you define "so many" in actual numbers? Other than a handful on internet forums, the only ones I know doing this are amateurs who are tired of their 1Ds or 5D toys or can't afford to keep both.



I'm missing something here. The problems don't seem like it takes much looking to find, and I fail to see where any of them have been resolved in such a way that anyone can claim the M8 yet delivers "the best image quality possible with a 35mm camera".



Again, I would love to know where you are getting these ideas from. I know hundreds of avid camera bugs and none of them are envious or dreaming of an M8 although a few are thanking their lucky stars they decided to wait.

I had every hope for it, and I still have hope the M8-MarkII or M9, whichever it's called, will be what I'd hoped the M8 would be: an M-Leica with a digital capture that works as transparently as my 20D. My M6 could never reproduce the quality of medium format and I don't care if the M8 can't, I just want respectable quality with no band-aid filters needed, and I think you would find a lot more people who hold that opinion than who are envious and dreaming of the M8 as it stands now...though for obvious reasons I doubt you'll find that the majority opinion if you limit your data to current M8 owners and internet Leica forums

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Old 12-19-2006   #100
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Put it another way, I would not of bought my M8 knowing what I know today, would you ?
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Old 12-20-2006   #101
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Not if I'd believed everything written here - but had I retained my senses and looked at the whole picture objectively - emphatically yes. But then I seem to fit the ideal customer profile the design team in Solms had in mind.
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Old 12-20-2006   #102
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Unfortunate about the acrimonius tone of the discussion. After all it's just a camera, dealing with equipment that is problematic has been a way of life for me since Scitex came out with the first commercially available paint system (imagine Photoshop that intermitantly worked for $millions). It may be that Leica had it right when they said a digital M was not possible(meaning a 24x36 digital clone of the film M). I'm sure they looked at the obstacles before they made the statement.

It's quite possible there won't be a filterless fix for the foreseeable future. Having the rear element of the lens so close to the sensor may be great for film but its a lousy configuration for digital. They could have used the R system, created an M like body using the M rangefinder with the R mount with a digital friendly distance between the sensor and lens. Then they could have designed digital specific lens line optimized for digital rather then film. From an engineering perspective that would have made for the optimum quality digital rangefinder, maybe even a 24x36 chip. Of course that would have been a marketing disaster since the point of a digital M is to use M lenses. Trying to serve film and digital with a platform highly optimized for film and terrible for digital, it would seem Leica maybe in a no win position.
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Old 12-20-2006   #103
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Your excellent analysis reads like high praise for Leica. That they managed to come up with a system of this quality with, what in the end will turn out to be minor, glitches and drawbacks is first rate engineering. It is very unfortunate that the PR and marketing department did not communcate on the same level. Had they said: "look, we did the nearly impossible and the only drawback is that you need to put the filter in front of the lens instead of in front of the sensor, and sorry, it is a cutting edge product, so any unforseen problems will be dealt with correctly" 98% of negative publicity would not even have been written.
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Old 12-20-2006   #104
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Ben,
As far as film goes, the filter/filterless debate has been "raging" for some time. The sample on this forum is to too small to draw definative conclusions but the vote was split 50/50 or thereabouts. The argument against using filters is that they cause image degradation. I have seen "mathmatical" proofs that the extra glass surfaces cause an increase in reflections etc etc etc. The basis of these arguments is probably sound.

However, is it that relevant? A similar argument rages about using Wein cells in place of mercury batteries or diode fixes. If you accuratley measure and consider all the voltages and currents involved, using Wein cells more accurately matches mercury cells in an empiracal sense so their argument is true. But as the title of this thread says - a reality check. In practical terms the exposure difference is much less than 1/10 of a stop. This is well within the latitude of E6 let alone other films. Typically the resistors used in the meter circuits of the time awere made to a 10% tolerance hence the need for trim pots etc. There is a difference but in practical terms, there is no real difference in the results produced.

So back to the filter situation. I am happy to use filters despite all the "proof" that they degrade the image. Some time ago, I set a camera up in controlled condition and took a series of filter/filterless shots under various conditions. I had then enlarged to 16x12. Under normal viewing conditions, I, and nobody I showed them to, could differentiate them. Under a lupe, there may have been minor differences. So yes there may be a small degradation but it is of the order of less than say 1%. Now I received a duplicate lens on a body I wanted and this lens had "cleaning" marks on the front. A similar comparison showed a much bigger difference in quality. So, I do use "protection" filters. Much easier and cheaper to replace if they become marked. Others don't hold to this and that is their perogative. (although quite often they are happy to use contrast filters etc in mono work)

This is all well and good for film, what about digital sensors. All digital sensors with today's technology are sensitive to IR wavelengths. To produce a photo which we percieve as as "normal", it must be filtered. In most cases this is achieved by putting a filter directly in front of the sensor. Again with todays technology, this causes some other problems such as fringeing and some loss of definition. This image degradtion is directly related to the thickness of the filter and pixel density. Leica took a fresh look at the problem. They wanted to improve the quality of the final image and the reduced distance and so reduced the thickness of the sensor filter. (As I understand it, it is about half the thickness of that typically used in SLRs). There are other factors involved but these are more to do with the size of the sensor and acceptance angles. The end result is that Leica have managed to squeeze far more quality out of a 10MP sensor than just about anyone else. I have yet to see a repeatable scientific test to measure this but the general opinion is that it might be as high as a 100% improvement.

The downside is that in some situations involving high IR refectance subjects you can get a colour shift but this is easily controllable using an IR filter on the lens. In the end you have 2 options. Double the thickness of the sensor filter with a huge loss in image quality or use a filter on the lens with a minimal loss in quality. The option they have chossen gives the best image quality under just about all conditions. (A user can't change/remove the sensor filter)

Whether or not you accept this is your choice. I think that most would prefer to to put up with the "stigma" of using IR cut filters for the improved quality of the final image. Just because you do not like the way Leica has designed the camera, does not mean that it is going to be "disastrous outcome for Leica due to ignoring guys like me" nor does it justify some of the other comments you have made in this thread. Just because you do not like the camera, does not mean that the camera is bad, a disaster or going to mean the demise of Leica. Furtheremore, harping on about it, isn't going to change anything especially when the technology for the solution you want doesn't exist.

Is putting a filter on the lens in order to obtain a significant gain in image quality that bad? Or are you prepared to pay $5000 for a camera with an inferior image just so you don't have to spend an extra $100 on a filter? If so the M8 is not for you - personal choice. However, your persoanl preference does not make it a bad camera and does not justify some of the comments that have been written here and on other forums from people who have not tried it nor intend to because of some pre-conceived ideas which are a throwback to film tecnology.

I cannot justify spending that amount of money for the use I would get out of the camera and so will not be able to do my own tests. (Anyone want to lend me one? ) So I will have to settle for what people that have done some comparisons say rather then those that base their words on conjecture and hype.

My rant for the month over.

Kim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Z
No, that would be like bitching it isn't full-frame, or that it doesn't win the megapixel race, or that the sensor can't be upgraded with a simple plug-in module, or that it doesn't have a real-image zoom finder, or that it doesn't have an advance lever to cock the (cloth) shutter. That's asking for pie in the sky. I want the M8 with an IR filter just strong enough so it doesn't need filters on the lenses, nothing more nothing less. All the other glitches (blobs, streaks, bands) those are just teething issues that can be expected. I'm not moaning about those either. Just the filters.
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Old 12-20-2006   #105
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I don`t think problem is with puting filters in front, problem is they should have said it before selling it (they wish they knew)
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Old 12-20-2006   #106
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What is wrong with the world Vladimer? It is get more dull. We seem to agree more and more....
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Old 12-20-2006   #107
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Well, I can`t remember when I did not agree with you (well except you can not see difference between film and digital on monitor)
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Old 12-20-2006   #108
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The manner of introduction of the product was/is a disaster. Managing perceptions and understanding customers expectations are as important as the actual product. Not to mention understanding the real world impact of certain design compromises (the IR issue). It remains to be seen if what they have got is commercially viable, unfortunately you get no points for engineering achievement if your product does not meet market acceptance.

What customers want is a full frame M, that costs and functions at the level of a 5D and is compatible with the existing lens line. I would'nt want to be in Leicas position. Your customers want a flying pink pony and you are stuck with the realities of economics and physics.
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Old 12-20-2006   #109
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Well, I can`t remember when I did not agree with you (well except you can not see difference between film and digital on monitor)
Well, I do rember a few heated discussions, which we quite enjoyed...
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Old 12-20-2006   #110
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..... and a large amount of buyers wouldn't have bought it either ....

Jaap wrote: "Your excellent analysis reads like high praise for Leica. That they managed to come up with a system of this quality with, what in the end will turn out to be minor, glitches and drawbacks is first rate engineering. It is very unfortunate that the PR and marketing department did not communcate on the same level. Had they said: "look, we did the nearly impossible and the only drawback is that you need to put the filter in front of the lens instead of in front of the sensor, and sorry, it is a cutting edge product, so any unforseen problems will be dealt with correctly" 98% of negative publicity would not even have been written"
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Old 12-20-2006   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAnkg
The manner of introduction of the product was/is a disaster. Managing perceptions and understanding customers expectations are as important as the actual product. Not to mention understanding the real world impact of certain design compromises (the IR issue). It remains to be seen if what they have got is commercially viable, unfortunately you get no points for engineering achievement if your product does not meet market acceptance.

What customers want is a full frame M, that costs and functions at the level of a 5D and is compatible with the existing lens line. I would'nt want to be in Leicas position. Your customers want a flying pink pony and you are stuck with the realities of economics and physics.
I don't think the sensor size is much of an issue, for those that have liberated themselves from Canon's marketing steamroller.
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Old 12-20-2006   #112
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Full frame vs crop factor is totaly different topic... it is almost like mamiya 7ii vs Leica M7
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Old 12-20-2006   #113
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Leica users have always profiles themselves as "purists" there have been many a heated discussion on the LUF concerning the use of filters.

The same people denouncing the use of filters as amateuristic and losing the aclaimed quality of the leica lenses, using filters was seen a middle age herecy actually now proclaim filters as being essential for good photography .... (well for the M8 it actually is). I think it is more the Leica users people get upset about, not the actual product.

and as for full frame digital.... calling this a marketing steamroller is a bit off track....
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Old 12-20-2006   #114
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I find it as interesting as the difference between 645 and 135. Utterly moot, as long as one chooses the right tool for the job. Certainly not a quality criterium. Canon is the only one making 24x36 sensors, so it is logical for them to promote the myth.
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Old 12-20-2006   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
I find it as interesting as the difference between 645 and 135. Utterly moot, as long as one chooses the right tool for the job. Certainly not a quality criterium. Canon is the only one making 24x36 sensors, so it is logical for them to promote the myth.
What ... the myth that when you screw your fav 35m lens on to your digi it really is going to be 35mm.
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Old 12-20-2006   #116
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The myth that it has to do with the camera quality.

It is only interesting for those that are unwilling to adapt their technique, unwilling to buy one wider lens (the excellent CV wides are under 500$) and willing to put up with the rather severe quality loss in the corners of the larger sensors. If those are your requirements, your wish is logical. Personally I would not pay one $ more for a "full frame"M9 (if it were possible to build one) than I would have to pay for a "cropped"M8, nor would I "upgrade".
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Old 12-20-2006   #117
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Interesting discussion, for one I am not against adapting to another technique, but I am a 50mm user, I like it because of the image it provides, not only the focal lenght but the depth of field etc. a 35mm will not be able to cut this however hard you try for it will remain a 35mm with an appr. 50mm focal lenght, but all the other qualities and constraints of a 35mm.

Personally I would welcome a full size sensor in an M format. I like the 5D too, I don't have one but I have used it it's just a tad to big and heavy for my liking, but the sensor size and the capabilities this creates are very nice indeed.
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Old 12-20-2006   #118
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So Jaapv ... when leica bring out a 24 x 36 mm sensor would you go with it, or would you be hesitant enough about the perceived problems of the format to doubt that leica had overcome the problems associated with the canon sensor?
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Old 12-20-2006   #119
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I simply would not be interested, given the quality of the M8...
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Old 12-20-2006   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus
Leica users have always profiles themselves as "purists" there have been many a heated discussion on the LUF concerning the use of filters.

The same people denouncing the use of filters as amateuristic and losing the aclaimed quality of the leica lenses, using filters was seen a middle age herecy actually now proclaim filters as being essential for good photography .... (well for the M8 it actually is). I think it is more the Leica users people get upset about, not the actual product.

and as for full frame digital.... calling this a marketing steamroller is a bit off track....
UV filters and IR filters are two completely different issues. I keep a B+W MRC UV filter on my Leica lenses almost all the time. The operative word there is almost. When I encounter situations I have previously identified as ones where the filters cause reflections and ghosting, I remove it. Indoors where there are people and fabric lit by lightbulbs, the IR contamination is at its worst, and that happens also to be one of the prime examples of where I would normally remove the UV filter because of flare and ghosts.

In addition, I remove the UV filter to use a polarizer. I mostly use a polarizer to cut through reflections off glass, not to darken blue skies, so there is no Photoshop plugin that can substitute. With the M8 I will have to stack a polarizer on top of the IR filter, and stacking filters has never proved to be a good thing in my experience.

And since the UVs were used for protection, if one did get scratched I could always take it off and keep shooting, pending buying a new one. With the M8 I would feel uncomfortable travelling without a spare IR for each needed size (Leica shades don't fit over step-up rings), and the IR filters are about 2.5X the cost of the UVs.

These are some very real concerns I have about the obligatory use of IR filters. I have seen evidence of IR contamination even in daylight landscape shots (greens tending to go yellow while other colors stay true) so I don't see the IR filters as only needed in certain light and with certain subjects as Leica's ad spin implies. If it was, then I could better understand why do it this way and not on the sensor.

And knowing as I do--and Leica must, by now--that they are giving up a lot of potential sales as a result of this, I can't help but feel that within a very short time there will be a version with a thicker IR filter. Given the shortage of filters at present, and the ongoing other bugs and glitches yet to be worked out in firmware upgrades (and possibly more hardware upgrades), I haven't decided completely there will never be an M8 in my bag, but I do plan to wait at least a year. If the M8 is the greatest camera on earth it'll still be that great in Dec 2007
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