The between the lines on the R line isn't encouraging.
The between the lines on the R line isn't encouraging.
"We will have to wait and see, but for the moment and the forseeable future there are no plans to discontinue the R system".
"Although the M is our core, we do other things to cover the needs of different user groups, like with the C-Lux 2 or D-Lux 3."
I agree with you, Rob, that I as well could use a statement a bit more encouraging than that about the R system plans, since I have already bought five R lenses while waiting for the successor of the discontinued DMR. I'm prepared to wait very patiently and for as long time as it takes, but I for one would be grateful to be encouraged to believe it makes sense to keep waiting.
Last edited by Steen; 7th March 2008 at 06:19.
Quoting Stefan Daniel in the above-referenced interview:
"... for the moment and for the forseeable future there are no plans to discontinue the R system."
When the DMR was announced more than a year ahead of its release there were numerous very vocal self-proclaimed experts who predicted that because it's sensor is rated at only 10 MP that its image quality would be visibly poorer than the Canon flagship when it became available. OTOH Leica at the DMR's announcement claimed that the DMR's image quality would be the one to beat.
Dr. Kaufmann has stated that the R10 is under development, that its sensor may be full-frame or larger, strongly hinted that it will have AF capability, and that it will not be merely a Canikon clone with a red dot. September is 6 months away, and Leica's recent R predictions have been more accurate than the outside experts' predictions.
Exactly Doug, and I hope such an encouraging statement will regain status as the so far 'latest statement' about the future of the R mount system
That would make it so much easier to wait patiently for a couple of years more. Personally I'm in no hurry at all, and I'm still confident.
The most vehement critics of the Leica R camera system are ..strangely..Leica M users. i think the company's focus on this crowd of 3 lens (f16 and be there snapshot guys) - is a strategic negative
Nonetheless, this interview is frightening for a R user. I would have prefer something along the lines of "we are commited to the R systems and new products will be available soon to regain some ground".
Still wondering if I would not be better off selling the DMR, some of the most expensive lenses (15/2.8, 280/4) to buy some Canon or preferably Nikon equipment. Problem is, I love my R stuff, both bodies and lenses and I do not feel attracted by the complexity of other brands DSLR. Not to mention the fact that they seem to invest mainly in 2.8 heavy and huge zooms and not in primes anymore.
I think that we are agreed that the R8/9 with DMR back is capable of competing with the best of currently available "small" format cameras. If that is so then there is no need to sell what is a very capable performer. You are likely only to be disappointed with any Canonikon that will replace it, unless A/F is your preference.
If it takes good images now then it will continue to do so. Leica are committed to support the DMR as they do with any other of their obsolete models should the DMR suffer a problem. The DMR though seems to be a very reliable piece of very well engineered kit.
In the unlikely event that an "R10" or news of one doesn't emerge at Photokina, there will still be time to take stock and consider an alternative whilst the DMR is still functiioning. It is what I intend to do and I will continue to invest in the R lenses that I need!
I have noticed over the years that a good amount of the M users came from Nikon and still keep their Nikon SLRs. I remember in the 1970's Nikon was advertised as the best SLR in the world. Every photo magazine had a big advertisemnt on the back cover with a fully loaded F2AS and talked about it being the best and the professional choice. The people with the Nikon that wanted better figured Leica was the only better camera and went to the M and some to the R, but lesser to the R after the advent of AF from about the F4 on.
When the F5 and the R8 came out about the same time the critics from the Nikon camp became even more vocal. Both cameras cost about the same, but the Nikon came with state of the art AF (until canon 1V came out) and 7fps motor.
Last edited by robsteve; 14th March 2008 at 04:39.
My own thoughts, based on nothing other than snippets of things I have heard and my own intuition, leads me to believe that there will be a new digital SLR from Leica. It will not necessarily R mount, but it will allow the full use of existing R lenses if by an adapter. Like Doug, it seems to me like it will be aimed at differentiating itself from Canon and Nikon and offering a more realistically priced alternative to medium format digital SLR's. Slightly larger than 35mm full frame, with AF lenses and an integrated body. It builds on their strength of having better lens design and execution than Canon and Nikon, and diminishes their comparative technological weakness. Leica is probably not going to be able to compete with Canon or Nikon for AF speed, custom functions, high iso noise, frame rate and so on, but if you stick a 22mp oversized sensor, 16bit output, minimal AA filter, and pair it with R lenses, Canon and Nikon will not be able to compete on image quality. Keep the price of the body under 10k (preferably under 8K, in my dreams under 5K), and you will have something that bridges the gap between medium format digital and 35mm DSLR. I think you would find a lot of pros questioning whether 30K for digital medium format is really worth it when there is a Leica at 22mp with a larger than full frame sensor at a 1/3rd of the cost.
My thinking exactly
Alright, let's get it done then! Guy, start your lobbying.
One step ahead of you. LOL
While Leica R glass is most excellent, so is Zeiss glass and now some of the other MF makers are stepping up their optics game. I can just imagine what a new set of Leica AF SLR optics will cost.
IMO, without quick AF and a wide AF array, swift capture, and high ISO performance, Leica will remain a small player appealing to die-hard R fans who would like to make use of their existing investment in R glass.
I agree. Starting a new lens line costs a lot, takes time and is risky. Look at Olympus having a hard time when thinks are relatively easier for Pentax and Sony because they can build on an existing user base, a 2nd hand market...
I think to that AF is essential because even MF have it. But what is appealing is the possibility to use existing R lenses like the 19/2.8, the 50/1.4, 90/2 AA, 280/4 and other jewels.
On the other hand, it will to be easy to regain ground against Canon & Nikon indeed. So choosing a strategy in the SLR market must not be easy for the guys at Solms.
I did not mean to compare a 22mp Leica DSLR to a MF 22mp camera, but to a 30 or 39. Realistically, there are always going to be photographers who need or want the maximum that is technically possible, but there is also going to be a group that wants near as much as technically possible but at a more reasonable price. I think that is the market that Leica is reaching for...or at least it should. Even if you can find refurb or previous generation MF digital backs for 12-20K, if you could get an entire 22mp Leica DSLR for 10 or less, I think a lot of people would opt for the SLR. It will most likely have more in common with 35mm cameras in terms of handling and ISO performance, but quality that would be closer to medium format digital. The other advantage would be a much wider lens range -- 15mm to 800mm, which very few medium format cameras can currently offer.
Believe me, I don't think that Leica is going to make something that performs better than medium format digital or is more technically proficient than a Canon or Nikon, but I still think there is room in the middle.
As for the lenses -- you are right, the AF lenses will probably cost a bundle. I can see them doing just a few AF lenses to start...AF versions of the 21-35, 28-90 and maybe the 50/1.4 and the 35-70/4. These lense designs are all current, and assuming they can add AF without changing them, they would not need to be updated.
IF my R lebnses arent compatible with a new R body , Leica can go JUMP. IF they are that stoopid to bring our a new camera which doesnt allow for use of existing high quality lenses in installed user base - I cant believe that hey woudl be that stoopid and arrogant -
but I have to say that I got NO COMFORT from recent Kaufmann statements NONE NADA NONE - he was very silly to be so ambiguous about teh R line.
Another good question is the advantage they can show in a SLR system. Of course their optics are better but the combination of the very good modern zooms and the aberration correction inside or outside the body can almost ruin this advantage.
I wonder if the $8,995 15mm/2.8 ASPH Leica R is really better than the 1800$ Nikon 14-24/2.8, at least to the point where it is still worth the use a prime.
Last edited by pascal_meheut; 15th March 2008 at 23:04.
Handelsblatt: Compatibility is a question which moves R users in particular. Will the old R lenses be compatible?
Andreas Kaufmann: I'm sorry but I won't comment on this topic today.
Handelsblatt: Why are you making such a secret out of this?
Andreas Kaufmann: I am not fond of announcing things at such an early stage. I'm convinced of what we're developing right now but the products are not ready for the market yet. We want to be able to stand behind the new product completely. It shall more than satisfy the needs of our customers.
Free translation: The R10 will have a new mount but the adapter rings will be different for each lens and will cost more than a nikanopus lens alone so we do our best to help lens prices drop on the s/h market so far.
There is a G-EOS adapter (www.16-9.net) available - or you can make your own.
It is unclear as to whether there is really a G to EOS adapter. I ordered and paid for mine some months back and have not received the adapter nor any communications regarding it. Not really concerned about Husband, he seems a reliable guy. But having said that those considering using this option should be sure the adapter is available.
Easier to just buy the Nikon body
Simplistic thinking, Guy....
The colours of my generation are black and white.
Why kill yourself is my thought. I really hated the adapter solution but it did serve it's purpose and I'm so glad to get away from that . Not sure i really will ever go back to it .
You could (buy the Nikon), but despite my lack of love for stop-down, not so sure I want to spill out $5K (if it were even avail at moment in Canuckistan) for a D3 vs by trusty $3800 1Ds2 quite yet.
There does seem to be a hold-up in getting units out, but you could always go this route - with any old Nikon-EOS adapter:
If you follow the links to download info, you will come up with the page with all the DMR info:
Last edited by robsteve; 22nd March 2008 at 13:33.
If I followed correctly you can find it here :