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Thread: Leica R looking forward

  1. #101
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Peter - Amen on the fat pixels and retained form factor and switchology.

    Like your wish list. Have two units - one designed to retro fit to existing R8/9s a la existing DMR and a DMRII + Body Kit for digi-only shooters that is the DMR unit, with serious sealing gaskets (making the 'back' only removable at service center) fixed to an R9 clone gutted of the film hardware. In its stead would be ant required commercially available electronics (most would be in the back anyway), maybe two smaller LiO battery compartments (vs one honking one), dual CF slots, etc.

    Still think LV tap for off-back LV and storage backup via a commercial product on a ball/joint cold shoe. Custom cable and work with screen vendor on firmware required in camera -- and on the interface cable. Since Leica's sales would be minisucle to a big electronics house, make tech avialable to others - just be the first(?) to exploit a LV tap.

    The idea is to keep the costs down while avoiding ANY margin-killing (and potentially product killing) feature creep during the design process. Keep it simple, keep it basic and don't try re-inventing the @#$% wheel by using off-the-shelf (OTR) tech when at all able. Change as LITTLE on the body as humanly required (keeps machining and mold costs down) and make it durable. FIXATE on IQ at reasonable ISO levels with MF only and maximum usability. Period. My R8 was the first SLR body that I actually WANTED to hold. It just felt so right in-hand.

    Don't even think of taking-on the D3s, 1Ds3s and A900s (if it ever gets released) of the the world, not even tagententially. To do so is a bankruptcy or 'crippled-then-acquired' waiting to happen.

    Side-step the big lads and exploit a market that their "... more buttons, bigger screen, add video, more sub-menus, "CS3 Lite" in-camera, touch scroll wheel, ISO 50,000, 16 fps, etc ..." arms race could never allow them to. It's a small market, but if you leverage off existing tech, keep the needless costs down and focus on what really matters, is perfectly workable.

    Treat it like a portable, weather sealed, fully integrated 24mm x 36mm backup body, sans AA filter, for a MFDB shooter that can shoot R or their existing Hasselblad or Mamiya or ___ MF glass via adapters - but at a 1D3 or D3 price point.

    OT: I fixate on the iPod Touch in my earlier musings because it was the first one to pop to find. Used an 8GB one (have God knows how many Apple products we have in house) for first time on weekend and was blown away - and it takes a LOT to impress me.

    Amazing screen tech, fast processor, gobs of features, easy to use, no proprietary web gate way BS or idiotic buttons, yet wifi and up to 32GB of flash storage in a light form factor for under $600.

    Actually one of the first things that came to mind when playing with it (other than how to persuade wife I needed one) was "... (insert expletive here), this would be a hell of an adjunct to a DSLR or MFDB shooter...". Sad really.
    Last edited by robmac; 10th April 2008 at 05:07.

  2. #102
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Rob,
    have no problem at all with an external LCD screen ( Leaf Valeo used a similar idea) . The idea that this is a no frills high quality robust camera designed to get the most out of R glass appeals to me. Also regarding body design - like you I just love holding an R8/9 in the hand - the DMR back detracts from the ergonomics. Give us back the beautiful R shape.

    Have to disagree re DMR type set-up - principally because I think two versions just add complexity and cost. Also I dont like the idea of taking a digi back off and putting it back on..too often.

    Anyway fingers crossed.

  3. #103
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Fingers crossed indeed. I hear you on the removable back, but (bearing in mind this is all just hypothetical wish-listing) my concern with an integrated back would be purely business-centric:

    1. Require a remodel of the R9 body castings & moulds, etc.
    2. Run the risk of some bright sparks introducing feature creep ("...since we have to re-design the camera body anyway...") and thus blowing their own heads off in the market.

    Mandate of the sensor teams:

    "... if it can't fit inside the existing DMR back unit (modified for seals and more recessed LCD), it ain't happening kiddies. Sorry, no space for lease within the R9 body by the sensor team. Full stop"

    Mandate for body team:

    "You only have the cm3 made available by removal of all the film transport hardware - minus what is needed for an LV tap circuit, LiO battery circuitry, weather seals and ribbon cable connecting back to body., etc. That's it. Switchology and form factor WILL NOT change save for the LV port, film rewind crank and small top-mount multi-status LCD where manual film advance lever was ".

    Could even make the latter a bolt-on and tilt-enabled unit protected by a u-shaped shroud (front, both sides) and obviously rubber gaskets where meets body.

    Would make an interesting apprenticeship project at firm. The KISS R10.

  4. #104
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    The Nikon D3 has set the height of the bar for all other manufacturers at the moment, but speaking to a guy who sells Nikon for a living, whist the D3 produces absolutely stunning images, in his opinion it is totally soulless to use as a tool.

    He still prefers the intuitive feel of the R9/DMR and to some extent also the image quality at lower ISO's. He does admit though that the D3 nails both focus and metering every time!
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  5. #105
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Having owned a number of Nikon and now Canon DSLRs and having used a DMR and owned an R8, the more I shoot various Leica/Zeiss lenses on Canon's, the more I think the DMR produced exceptional low-ISO files. They had the right concept for many of us - no frills, great ergos, designed for MF (who ever said a crop body needed a tunnel VF?), no AA filter. AF - nice to have, but not an absolute requirement.

    The biggest issue is price of entry vs competition. $5000 for a MF, 'feature-poor', low ISO DSLR (sans lens) doesn't fly with 98% of the shooting population in todays world of uber-FF DSLRs like the D3 for <$5000 and entry-level 16-22MP MFDB kits for $10,000.

    Any new camera also competes for user $$ with the flood of excellent-value clean high-end used FF bodies that invariably hit the market with every new product cycle.

    To make another go with an R10, etc - they need to get the body price down to a modest level and charge the premium (albeit lower than it is now) where their real strategic advantage is - the glass. Same could be said for the M line.

    After all - what your paying largest $$$ for in a DSLR/DigiRF is the sensor/firmware (glass aside) - the rest is just packaging and a shutter.

  6. #106
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    (...) - they need to get the body price down to a modest level and charge the premium (albeit lower than it is now) where their real strategic advantage is - the glass. (...)
    spot on - in a nutshell

  7. #107
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    I love it when people agree with me ... does my delicate (cough, spit, stutter) ego some good...

  8. #108
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Hopefully we will know a little bit more tomorrow

    The Future of Memories

  9. #109
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    IMO, it's too late for Leica to change mounts. If they do, or if they don't ... it won't matter.

    They were too late 10 years ago.

    Leica is doomed to sell Rs to a very small and rapidly dwindling set of followers ... half of which frequent this forum

    Except for the incredibly talented and skilled folks like the "Bird Man of Leica", the R is slow, and the lenses for the very rich ... or those made poor from buying them.

    Anyone that owned a DMR knows that camera could run with the big 35mm DSLR dogs when it came to IQ ... and usually run at the head of the pack in the lower ISO areas.

    But that was then, and this is now. For that kind of IQ money (combined R kit), you are moving into MFD territory ... and MF autofocus no less. A Sinar Hy6, or Hassy H3D-II/31 for under 20K complete with lens ... no contest. Good as my DMR was, it couldn't hold a candle to even my CFV.

    The fact of the matter became clear to me when my H3D-II/31 could get the shot and the DMR couldn't no matter how skilled I was with an R after 25+ years of shooting one.

    I loved all that R stuff ... back in the day. That day has gone. There will be howls of protest, but the howls will be coming from fewer and fewer lonely wolves as time marches on.

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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    IMO, it's too late for Leica to change mounts. If they do, or if they don't ... it won't matter.

    They were too late 10 years ago.

    Leica is doomed to sell Rs to a very small and rapidly dwindling set of followers ... half of which frequent this forum

    Except for the incredibly talented and skilled folks like the "Bird Man of Leica", the R is slow, and the lenses for the very rich ... or those made poor from buying them.

    Anyone that owned a DMR knows that camera could run with the big 35mm DSLR dogs when it came to IQ ... and usually run at the head of the pack in the lower ISO areas.

    But that was then, and this is now. For that kind of IQ money (combined R kit), you are moving into MFD territory ... and MF autofocus no less. A Sinar Hy6, or Hassy H3D-II/31 for under 20K complete with lens ... no contest. Good as my DMR was, it couldn't hold a candle to even my CFV.

    The fact of the matter became clear to me when my H3D-II/31 could get the shot and the DMR couldn't no matter how skilled I was with an R after 25+ years of shooting one.

    I loved all that R stuff ... back in the day. That day has gone. There will be howls of protest, but the howls will be coming from fewer and fewer lonely wolves as time marches on.
    I will wait and see what they have up their sleeves tomorrow before counting them out.. I am hoping they will come through with a system I can buy into.. one that uses some of my lenses yet moves up into med.format territory with image quality.. you are right, they are in that territory, money wise.

  11. #111
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by paulmoore View Post
    I will wait and see what they have up their sleeves tomorrow before counting them out.. I am hoping they will come through with a system I can buy into.. one that uses some of my lenses yet moves up into med.format territory with image quality.. you are right, they are in that territory, money wise.
    I wasn't counting them out ... there will always be those that'll spring for the most expensive anything.

    I'm talking 35mm DSLR which can use the current lenses. Can't imagine a company that's just now offered SDHC and a slightly quieter shutter and a few fireware tweaks on their flagship namesake is going to knock my socks off with digital innovation.

    But you're right, let's wait and see.

  12. #112
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    My approach is glass first and foremost, I'm not a techno freak.
    I could do with a very basic and very modest DSLR.
    I don't need Speed, LiveView, Video, High ISO Noise Reduction, Anti Aliasing Filter, Direct Print, Image Stabilizing Sensor, Dust Removal Shaker, etc. etc. etc.
    If only it is true R mount, is affordable and has a shutter button and a great viewfinder, I can take the picture.
    So many companies could easily make such a camera.
    Leica can do it as well, if they want customers.

  13. #113
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    ...If only it is true R mount, is affordable and has a shutter button and a great viewfinder, I can take the picture....
    So can i and we are not alone i guess. But Leica don't seem to listen to people like us so far.

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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    If that is all you are after, you are better served by getting an SL2 or R9 and a Minolta 5400.
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  15. #115
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    This came from Leica this morning along with the press release

    Press Release



    Unexpected but inevitable. The brilliant new Leica S2 digital SLR.
    LEICA S2 – Remarkable new camera from Germany redefines the professional DSLR class with a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor built into a 35mm-sized body.

    Some companies tweak the features. At Leica, we transform the concept. That’s why the introduction of the flagship Leica S2 is not merely an incremental advance. It is nothing less than a watershed event that sets an entirely new performance standard for professional digital SLRS. With a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor that is 56% larger than full frame, it establishes parameters of imaging excellence that are well beyond those obtainable by conventional pro-caliber DSLRs. In the Leica tradition, it utilizes the classic 3:2 aspect ratio that corresponds to the human field of vision and is widely acclaimed as the “Leica Format.”

    In designing this brilliant new camera, Leica’s engineers took a close look at the best existing DSLR designs and then synergized them into a radical but practical new camera that combines the performance parameters of a medium-format digital camera with the ergonomics, form factor, and handling ease of a 35mm SLR. The result is the new Leica S2, an entirely new, finely crafted, professional tool developed in-house by Leica with hands-on input from some of the most renowned professional photographers in the world. It incorporates an advanced new dual shutter system with in-body focal-plane shutter for fast lenses, and in-lens leaf shutters for high flash sync speeds, an ultra-high-precision autofocusing system, a new series of lenses designed for the highest possible performance with the new sensor, and a Maestro image processing system that provides twice the speed of comparable medium-format backs, reduces power consumption, and provides in-camera JPEG capability. Remarkably, all of this has been incorporated into a camera that is smaller than a full-size professional 35mm SLR, and still has the unmistakable look and feel of a Leica.

    Like Leica cameras of the past, we designed the new Leica S2 from the inside out, and its robust styling is a classic example of form following function. We began with a cutting-edge, large-format CCD sensor and literally configured the camera around it rather than adapting existing technologies. In this way we achieved a new level of performance without sacrificing size or convenience. Yes the S2 Leica is our latest masterpiece, an unequivocal statement to the world that showcases our technological prowess. But it is more than just a technological tour de force. It is a statement of Leica’s continuing pre-eminence in the world of imaging that goes back nearly 100 years. Perhaps that is why our top executives in Germany have compared the announcement of the Leica S2 to the debut of the first Leica, the legendary model A in 1925. That seminal camera did nothing less than redefine 35mm photography in the 20th century and we believe that the Leica S2 may well do the same for DSLR photography in the 21st.

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  16. #116
    Malcolm
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    Smile Re: Leica R looking forward

    Hello all.

    I'm new here so if I'm redundant to the topic I'll get up to speed eventually.

    At the big S2 unveiling, it was mentioned that the R line isn't dead, and that (unless I read it wrong) there will be another R besides the R10. I agree with the R posts before mine that Leica would do themselves a big favor to have the price point of any new R bodies kept reasonable - say around or under $5K.

    It's all good news to me, I would love to see through the S2 finder to see the latest Leica vision, and can easily wait now for the R series.

  17. #117
    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    At the big S2 unveiling, it was mentioned that the R line isn't dead, and that (unless I read it wrong) there will be another R besides the R10.
    Maybe it's the SL3

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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    What do we know now (if anything) about the R10? Seeing as I'm about to acquire my first Leica R lens, I must be getting the Leica bug.

    Does anyone else think we might need a Leica S forum to keep this all straight? Some of us might be interested in a digital R10, but know that we won't be in the market (financially) for the S2.

    And if the market keeps going down, down, down.....I might be lucky just to keep my Nikon F2.

    Gary Benson
    Eagle River, Alaska

  19. #119
    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    What do we know now (if anything) about the R10?
    What we know about the R10 is that it will be full-frame 24mm x 36mm and can use existing R lenses. It's likely it will have AF capability of some kind and will probably be smaller than the R8/R9 bodies. First deliveries are expected in early 2010.

  20. #120
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    What we know about the R10 is that it will be full-frame 24mm x 36mm and can use existing R lenses. It's likely it will have AF capability of some kind and will probably be smaller than the R8/R9 bodies. First deliveries are expected in early 2010.
    In that case.....I'd better start saving my pennies, nickels, dimes.....and mucho dollars!!

    I have feeling that once I get a taste of my first Leica glass (50mm Summicron-R on it's way to me now...thanks to ErikFive), I won't be inclined to stop at just one lens....or two, or three.

    Gary Benson
    Eagle River, Alaska

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    Senior Member Erik Five's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    In that case.....I'd better start saving my pennies, nickels, dimes.....and mucho dollars!!

    I have feeling that once I get a taste of my first Leica glass (50mm Summicron-R on it's way to me now...thanks to ErikFive), I won't be inclined to stop at just one lens....or two, or three.

    Gary Benson
    Eagle River, Alaska
    As said earlier Gary. Wait until you get the lust for M glass. The worst is the Noctilust


  22. #122
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Yes, I'm already lusting after the f0.95 version .

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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Hacker View Post
    Yes, I'm already lusting after the f0.95 version .
    I bet your order has been in for a while?

  24. #124
    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    In that case.....I'd better start saving my pennies, nickels, dimes.....and mucho dollars!!

    I have feeling that once I get a taste of my first Leica glass (50mm Summicron-R on it's way to me now...thanks to ErikFive), I won't be inclined to stop at just one lens....or two, or three.
    Whatever you do, don't try a Leica APO lens. They're the crack cocaine of optics.

  25. #125
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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Five View Post
    As said earlier Gary. Wait until you get the lust for M glass. The worst is the Noctilust
    While I may not be immune to the temptation of M-glass.....I'm probably less susceptible than many others.....I haven't been bitten by the rangefinder bug yet. Just about everything else (including large format) and recently MF digital, but not rangefinders.....not yet anyways!

    Gary

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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Five View Post
    I bet your order has been in for a while?
    Yes, with more than 1 dealer....you never know. .

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    Re: Leica R looking forward

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Whatever you do, don't try a Leica APO lens. They're the crack cocaine of optics.
    It really is -- this is the hardest part about using any other camera systems, even medium format ones -- Leica lenses are just so much better (and honestly, some of the Voigtlander, Konica and Zeiss ones for the M system too). Lack of distortion, edge to edge sharpness, freedom from chromatic aberration, wide open sharpness...most of these are taken for granted in Leica lenses. When I started using other camera systems more seriously, I thought they would be in their professional lenses as well. Boy was I wrong. Only the Mamiya 7 lenses seem to be as good to me...and that likely because they are rangefinder lenses. Lord knows how Leica does it on the SLR lenses!
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