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Leica digital M?

i was wondering what was going on with the rumors of leica developing a full frame sensor digital M body and i ran into this interesting site.


february of next year?
if leica survives till then there is hope.
i was trying to purchase the cool panasonic dmc lc1 at B&H but there were no shipments in the last two months either from leica or panasonic.
digital street photography is kinda hard to do with nowadays cameras.

by [a former member] at 2005-11-01 17:35:32 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) New York , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I’ll still stick to film Leica Ms, tri-x and East Europe where all the fun is à la Koudelka. . .

by Davin Ellicson | 01 Nov 2005 17:11 | | Report spam→
hey davin.
good for you. i like your photos and koudelka rocks. from my point off view digital is just another way of working. i dont fear saying that i do like it and getting my hands on such a camera could open interesting possibilities.
i wasn’t trying to initiate a digital VS traditional discussion. i hope that you dont think of a digital leica as some sort of blasphemy.
im sure that if they re able to put on the market a good body at a reasonable price ( and not 8000 USD or something like that) they might survive through the decades.


by [former member] | 01 Nov 2005 18:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
i shot canon slr and leica m for a long time. 6 months ago i got my hands on a digital slr from canon and i have to say that i love it! i like film and i like digital. no either or.

a digital m would be great! but… the digital m sort of needs to be the best digital 35mm camera out there. no compromises to be made. hey, it will be a leica m! it has to be full frame, a crop factor would be out of the question! the image quality has to be the best, it has to catch up with leicas lenses. and so on and so on… thinking that this camera (and i am pretty sure it will come out at one point) will cost somewhere near a m7 is kind of a wishful thinking… and if it isn’t full frame, the quality isn’t right or whatever leica did a big mistake…

but that’s of course only my oppinion.


by [former member] | 01 Nov 2005 18:11 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→

Understood, understood. I’ve been using an Olympus C-8080 digital point and shoot for digital, but of course a true Leica M digital would be great, and yes, it is just another way of working. . . Still there is something to be said for the waiting involved and tactile qualities of film. I mean there’s something to be said for not being immediately gratified—not being able to see your results immediately, as crazy as that sounds!

p.s. How is the Leica M digital supposed to be different from the RD-1?

by Davin Ellicson | 01 Nov 2005 18:11 | | Report spam→
David, how about a report on that 8080? I keep talking myself out of P&S’s but they are tempting for a light weight run around. Lot of talk on the 7070 but I haven’t seen anything on the 8080.
Main prob with the RD-1 is a 1.5 crop factor kills using 28 or 35 existing M lenses. That and the file size leaves a bit to be desired. Thanks, JLee

by James J. Lee | 01 Nov 2005 20:11 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
The C-8080 actually came out before the C-7070! It was the next P&S after the C-5060. It’s been discontinued but is a great camera and plenty are available on e-Bay. I was just with Magnum photographer Donovan Wylie and he was using one! The new Olympus SP-350 has a 8 mega-pixel file but lacks the 28mm wide-angle equivalent lens of the C-8080 and the previous C series models. . .

by Davin Ellicson | 01 Nov 2005 20:11 | | Report spam→
This has been posted on the Leica list:
A few bits of information regarding the digital M, from the LHSA meeting in San Francisco. This email was originally posted on the LUG.

> A few interesting statements about the Digital M surfaced at the LHSA meeting, in response to questions from the floor addressed to Stefan Daniel of Leica Camera AG.  In no particular order, my best recollection is as follows:

> – Digital M will preserve continuity of look and form factor with existing M cameras
> – optical rangefinder
> – modified R9 type shutter (auf Wiedersehen to
>    horizontal travel cloth shutter)
> – 1.33 crop factor, not full frame (do the math to calculate
effective focal lengths for 35mm lenses)
> – 10.5 megapixel sensor
> – 2.5" playback only screen
> – 1/8000 top shutter speed
> – lithium ion battery
> – SD memory card
> – self-timer
> – auto-shutter cocking
> – USB 2.0 connector, no video out
> – supports RAW
> – black and white mode in JPEG
> – 5 or 6 sets of framelines (TBA)
> – VF magnification TBA
> – shutter lag goal under 20 milliseconds
> – upgradable digital componentry under consideration but not promised
> – digital sensor partner is German (not Imacon)
> – camera to be made in Germany
> – price goal under US$5K
> – targeted to ship at Photokina 2006
> – expect compatibility with 95-97% of existing Leica lenses
> – expect new Leica M lenses in the ultra-wide range, which are also to be compatible with existing  M cameras (philosophy is against digital-only lenses)
> – compatibility with wide-angle M lenses to be
achieved as follows: incorporate new micro-lens
offset technology in front of sensor; micro-lens
design to be ultra-flat; replacement of pre-sensor
anti-aliasing filter with software solution;
infra-red cut-off filter to be incorporated into
sensor cover glass, to be made of scratch-
resistant material; separate cover glass thus eliminated
>Can’t guarantee the total accuracy of the above, but it’s to the best of my understanding of what was said.

by Martin Shakeshaft | 02 Nov 2005 03:11 (ed. Nov 2 2005) | Amsterdam, Netherlands | | Report spam→
What about this camera? I haven’t heard much about it – the digital rangefinder from Epson. You can use Leica lenses with it. Just curious if anyone knows about it.


by [former member] | 02 Nov 2005 08:11 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
the RD1 could have been a great camera but due to the close to 1:6 mag of the sensor it loses its purpose of being a cool wide angle rangefinder leica style. leica means getting close, as david alan harvey put it: “I shoot the world as it exists from about four feet to about 15 feet in front of me”. and the rd1 simply wont due. i put my hands on one in perpignan in 2004 but although it looks good many things work against it. up till now i never saw one in a shooter’s hands. not in new york or in some war around the world. and i can understand that. epson failed big time with it. i hope they ll do better next time. the little panasonic dmc lc1 could be a good option to keep in the pocket but its no longer available and on ebay it runs for more than the B&H price. its not a strong camera, it could be pushed to only 400 iso, and at that speed its really noisy. i would have bought though if i would have found it.

by [former member] | 02 Nov 2005 09:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
I thought there was something fishy about the Epson camera- you never see themaround, although it’s been around for a little while.

I can’t believe that it’s taken so long for someone to get a competent angefinder on the market. I used to shoot with Contax G2’s, great cameras, but ever since digital I have been shooting SLR. I really don’t have a problem with it, as I think the Canon 5d is a pretty good substitute for a small, lightweight camera (still no rangefinder, I know) but it is the only camera to have a 1:1 shooting ration, and frankly, that’s probably all there’s going to be for a while yet.

by [former member] | 02 Nov 2005 09:11 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Well with a 1.33 crop factor the new Leica, if indeed these are the final specs, wont do either.  The whole point would be to use the old Leica lenses you have lying around and if you need to buy special extra wide lenses, then the point is moot and your wallet will never recover.   I will stick with my TriX and old rangefinders for now.

by Jon Anderson | 02 Nov 2005 12:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
The specs above are pretty much what ive heard about the Digital M as well, with the 10.3mp exact and under $5k being new news to me. If it really does end up under $5k ($3.5k would be great), the ISO 1600+ performance is good and its properly weather sealed ill probably be selling everything I have to get one. 1.33 crop really isnt that bad, 28 to 37mm, 35 to 46.5mm, 75 to 100mm, I think those are good values and I dont really go wider than 35 on my M6. I just hope that they get the viewfinder mag correct, thats the thing I hated most about the Epson R-D1. 1.0x sounds great with the both eyes open deal but I wear glasses and I had trouble seeing the entire 35mm framelines, which on that became 52.5mm or so. Anything wider would have required an external viewfinder (good thing I dont own any wider lenses). What I really enjoy about rangefinders is having the framelines float in the viewfinder, the outside area helps me to compose and I I just didnt have that with the R-D1 unless I strained to see it. Also the file buffer was pathetic, even though the thumb wind for the shutter slowed you down it was easy to overload (with an Extreme III card) if you tried. If Leica can pick up on the shortcomings of the R-D1 and improve the image quality (R-D1 has the same sensor as the Nikon D100 if I remember correctly) while keeping the price down, I think theyll do just fine in 2006. With Conica-Zeiss looking into a Digital RF and Cosina-Epson possibly developing an R-D2 I think these next few years will be quite interesting.

by David Sperry | 02 Nov 2005 20:11 | nyc, United States | | Report spam→
jon i agree. a 1.33x crop factor would be a pain and for me not interesting then…

by [former member] | 03 Nov 2005 00:11 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
C’mon live life up. What does Koudelka do?! He shoots Leica contax and Fuji panoramic! Screw digital photography!!!!!!!!!

by Davin Ellicson | 03 Nov 2005 00:11 | | Report spam→
wow davin. yours are strong words.
digital photography is permitting the life style that i have. no home, mobile office. im working from a downtown new york teas shop right now. very low expenses. sure im not shooting like scianna in the good old days but photography is photography no matter what you have in your hands. a point and shoot like terry richardson, a leica like cartier bresson, or a mark II like many good people are using now. and good work can come out of those cameras, because bottom line its not about the isntrument, its about the medium and the heart and eyes in back of the lenses. i respect film shooters. i find all that world fascinating. at this moment im shooting digital but im open to go back and forth depending on the job. a 1:3 sensor on the DM would be a shame. i hope that they ll be able to create a good 1:1 one. i hope that for all of us and for them. they need money and they need to survive making good business. im so exccited to see work from shooters that have abbandoned film for digital and that are using now heavy SLRs. it would be a revolution.
being able to carry two bodies and a bunch of lenses in a small domke bag would be great. my back would be so happy.

by [former member] | 03 Nov 2005 09:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Long time M user here. What I’m looking at first is the buffer capacity for raw images. I hope that will be up to speed. I can live with 1.33x but I don’t like it. My main lens is the 35mm f1.4 asph and so I can’t use that (as a 35mm lens). There is no replacement. The 28mm f2.0 is a wonderful lens—perhaps even better than the 35mm, but it’s f2.0. I am disturbed that Leica is sticking with those stupid (sorry) SD cards. I have about 40+ gigs of CF cards and about 4 gigs of SD cards. Most pros have pockets full of CF cards. I understand SD is Panasonic and they’re in deep collaboration with Leica. So be it. Now the last thing I may be all wrong about. And I hope I am. The statement “replacement of pre-sensor
anti-aliasing filter with software solution” makes me nervous. Isn’t that the problem Kodak had with their big fullframe digital cameas? They were trying to “fix” problems with software in the camera and it took quite a while to get it “right”?? I could be wrong—it may be a different thing. Let me know on that one. Other than that I’m hopeful the camera will be a winner. I know a lot of photographers had to sell their M cameras to “go digital” and I’m sure there are many pros who would like to have a Leica along on assignment again. BTW, I think “Exiles” by Josef Koudelka maybe one of the best photography books ever. ‘Just knocks me out everytime I look at it. Also, altho I’m not a big fan of his panoramas, his pano of the World Trade Center in the fog is haunting.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 03 Nov 2005 11:11 (ed. Nov 3 2005) | | Report spam→
It really hurts but I gave up my two Leica M’s about three years ago for a 10D – absolutely the worst trade of my life but hey I was facing bankruptcy and well going digital was promising a way out. I now shoot on the 1D Mark II and the 1DS Mark II and can quite honestly say that the crop factor on the 1D is a big deal. Its a trade though, I have a fealing the first digital M will have a crop factor, those of us who must have it will buy it and hopefully drive Leica to keep up the R&D to make a full frame version available. A rangefinder digital using M lenses and responding in the hand the way that a Leica rangefinder does, it will part me with my $5000.

by [former member] | 25 Mar 2006 04:03 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
so, 15→21, 21→28, 28→35, 35→50, 50→66.5. sell the 50 to help buy a wide angle.

since the 28mm ‘cron is already kinda vignetty, the crop factor is a plus. a 36×24mm sensor would only make things worse. i bet they’ll tune the microlenses to this lens.

the main downside is that the new wide angles will be big and heavy, or slow. look at the “digital ready” 15/2.8 distagon zm. you might want to consider stopping at 28mm-e instead of going all the way to 21mm-e. hey, it saves you the cons of using an external viewfinder. i wonder if they’ll make a new 21mm. looking at sean reid’s wide angle review on ll, i get the feeling they will.

by aizan | 26 Mar 2006 03:03 (ed. Mar 26 2006) | torrance, United States | | Report spam→

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Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
New York , United States
James J. Lee, Photojournalist James J. Lee
Myrtle Beach , United States
Martin Shakeshaft, Photojournalist Martin Shakeshaft
Barcelona , Spain
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
David Sperry, Photographer David Sperry
Gaza , Occupied Palestinian Territory
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Spring Lake, Michigan , United States
aizan, aizan
Torrance , United States


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