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Thread: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Bah! Who needs a VF at all? It's all about ZEN, baby. Man up!

    I don't use external VFs, barely eyeball framelines with reckless disregard and shoot from the hip. Works for me.


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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    I personally wouldn't mind "focus conformation".....simply a small red left arrow, a small center red dot and a small red right arrow at the bottom of the viewfinder window, in addition to the rangefinder patch. This would be minimal intrusion and would aid immensly with focusing a long distance, especially with longer telephoto focal lengths. This focus conformation or readout lights would of course have to be easily distuingushable from the three exposure lights in the viewfinder.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    But it still spoils the idea about the point of view - having it the same each time you look through the camera is, to me, a really important part of the rangefinder experience - it isn't just being able to see around the framelines (although that's important as well). It makes it like taking pictures with your eyes rather than with a camera. (I don't have zooming eyes)
    I don't mind adding functionality, but not at the expense of the basic feel of the camera.
    Jono you make this a menu option to turn the zooming on or off. Just like they could do this with focus confirm. These two features just add functionality via the electronics and controlled by firmware with the option to use or not use. You still have electronic frame lines and it could be exactly like it is today but projected electronically in the finder instead of a mechanical one. Frankly you could make it so you would not even know the difference . Than add the option in the menu item so if a 90mm is put on the body the function of zooming it up can be controlled via the menu items or not.

    End of day all leica would be doing is taking away the mechanics of the frame lines and making them electronic than just adding control features via the firmware. This keeps the Leica traditionalist shooters very happy but modern and for the old farts like me that can't see anymore bring the framing up or bigger so we can focus better.

    Seriously this was why i sold the M8 and went to MF besides the files and MPX of course but was the inability to be on target 100 percent of the time with focus and framing or at least amuch better keeper rate. Honestly I don't think this is to much to ask in the 21st century and the traditionalist would not even know the difference if it is off

    I brought this all up when the M8 was released and it still is vapor. Frankly it is the most logical way to solve a lot of issues and keep everyone happy. Also focus confirm via a green dot lower left would be very nice as well and make that to turn off if you wanted. I say give us this stuff and give us the option to turn off as well. No one loses and your only going to get 3 menu options in the whole deal.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Tough trade-off right now with the M. Files are terrific, glass is outstanding, the package is wonderfully compact. Focusing is a crap shoot.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Jono you make this a menu option to turn the zooming on or off. Just like they could do this with focus confirm. These two features just add functionality via the electronics and controlled by firmware with the option to use or not use. You still have electronic frame lines and it could be exactly like it is today but projected electronically in the finder instead of a mechanical one.
    Hi Guy Like you, I've been asking for this for some time . . . I had some interesting discussions while I was in Germany. I'm sure that the primary concern was to make a digital M . . and I think they've achieved that. Now, perhaps, all options are open (even a CMOS sensor and live view). I think a zooming rangefinder would be great - but perhaps it would be more relevant to an N camera or something new and revolutionary. The M gestalt is not about lots of different options.

    On the other hand, I think it would be great to have a rangefinder which could be adjustable to 3 or 4 different magnifications (as Monza said), Electronic framelines with parallax correction couldn't offend anyone, and I can't see that focus confirmation would either.

    My personal feeling is that the M10 should revolutionise what the M camera is currently all about, rather than inventing something else or revolutionising the way one uses it.

    Mind you I'd love to see the something else as well!

    all the best

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    hmm why asking for things other camera brands long provide. The idea behind the M8 and M9 is to be able to take photo's like with an M3 and M2, but to get at the same time a nice digital file. If one acquired the M8 or M9 with that in mind - like I did, you may not agree with the propostions in the 'open letter'.
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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    Tough trade-off right now with the M. Files are terrific, glass is outstanding, the package is wonderfully compact. Focusing is a crap shoot.
    Why is it a crap shoot?

    -Marc

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Why is it a crap shoot?
    Shooting wide open with a fast lens, I do my best to get the images to merge together, but am never certain that I hit it right. Sometimes it's right on, sometimes not. Stopped down it's not such a problem.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron (Netherlands) View Post
    hmm why asking for things other camera brands long provide. The idea behind the M8 and M9 is to be able to take photo's like with an M3 and M2, but to get at the same time a nice digital file. If one acquired the M8 or M9 with that in mind - like I did, you may not agree with the propostions in the 'open letter'.
    Hi Ron - I'm right with you - don't object to innovation, but please don't take away what we already have.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    Shooting wide open with a fast lens, I do my best to get the images to merge together, but am never certain that I hit it right. Sometimes it's right on, sometimes not. Stopped down it's not such a problem.
    Well, that does argue for at least focus confirmation. However, if the gear isn't in calibration focus confirmation won't help.

    So, if focusing tends to be a consistent issue, have you bench tested your camera/lenses to be sure they are in calibration?

    I had a terrible time with my M8, and upon testing found the camera and over half of my lenses to be a little off. However, the combination of camera and lenses was lethal for wide open shooting. Once calibrated most, if not all, focus issues disappeared.

    I think we tend to blame ourselves, where it is often the gear when dealing with Leica M stuff.

    I had a 50/1.4 ASPH that went back to Germany twice before being fixed. My policy now is to bench test any new/used lens immediately, and if it's off, it goes straight back. Oddly, I tried 3 different 75/2 ASPHs (2 used ones, and one new one) and all three were off to the point of being unusable at f/2.

    Also, do you need any diopter adjustment? It seems that if you aren't sure the images have converged properly, it may be that it really isn't clear. BTW, the test of this is in lower light not broad daylight.

    I now use a 1.15X mag with an adjustable diopter built in ... and it helped a lot especially with anything over 35mm.

    The new M9 came perfectly calibrated and so did the new lenses I got for it ... 24/1.4 ASPH, Nocti 50/0.95 ASPH, and a late model used German 75/1.4. My hit ratio is now about the same as when using an AF DSLR ... except on moving subjects at f/.095 of course

    -Marc

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    I am convinced that a lot of focusing problems with rangefinders are caused by bodies and lenses which are slightly off regarding calibration or by using lenses with focus shift.
    I have sent several lenses to Leica and also my body once and after that focusing with the rangefinder I am at least as fast and precise as focusing manually with a SLR.
    I even recommend to send the body with your fast lens to Leica and let them check it together.

    Some of my lenses focused fine at shorter distances but not at infinity (my 135mm) my 50/1.4asph backfocused slightly when I bought it (new).
    The Summarit 35 and 75 were spot on from the first minute.
    The Noctilux, 35lux I gave up since even after calibration they suffered slightly from focus shift.

    But once you are sure all lenses you use are spot on than focus is not as difficult any more. I believe many people think of user fault or general rangefinder shortcomings what are just calibration issues.

    Of course a very good AF is even faster.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Marc, even with my 35 I find that I can often turn the focus ring a small bit back and forth yet cannot see a difference in the merged images. And then there is the problem of finding a good part of the image to use, hopefully a straight vertical line. And if I need to focus/recompose, I must hope that it remains in focus as I move. This second problem could be encountered in a DSLR as well, but I had only one lens wider than 2.8. I do understand the issue of proper calibration. I must shoot with my glasses on, so diopter is not the problem. Also I do not like the idea of using magnification and losing part of the view through the viewfinder. I should not need add-ons to properly focus a camera; it's time for Leica to introduce a better technology to assist focusing while maintaining the "M aesthic". I think it unarguable that many find focusing the M accurately to be a difficult challenge. I hope that in 2010 it is technologically possible to update the focusing mechanism.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    Marc, even with my 35 I find that I can often turn the focus ring a small bit back and forth yet cannot see a difference in the merged images. And then there is the problem of finding a good part of the image to use, hopefully a straight vertical line. And if I need to focus/recompose, I must hope that it remains in focus as I move. This second problem could be encountered in a DSLR as well, but I had only one lens wider than 2.8. I do understand the issue of proper calibration. I must shoot with my glasses on, so diopter is not the problem. Also I do not like the idea of using magnification and losing part of the view through the viewfinder. I should not need add-ons to properly focus a camera; it's time for Leica to introduce a better technology to assist focusing while maintaining the "M aesthic". I think it unarguable that many find focusing the M accurately to be a difficult challenge. I hope that in 2010 it is technologically possible to update the focusing mechanism.
    Hi Tom
    A couple of observations. I wear vari-focals, I still resent it after years of perfect vision, but I guess I should be thankful for those!

    . . . . . at least, if I wear glasses I wear vari-focals. Generally speaking I wear disposable contact lenses, and always when I'm shooting with the M. Close up in the left eye - distance in the right. This means that I don't need glasses and I don't need a dioptre, which also means I can see right out to the edge of the frame.

    The result of this (and practice) means that with a properly calibrated lens I don't have a problem focusing - even in poor light with wide open lenses, I certainly get as good a 'hit rate' as I do with the A900 and the D3 before it (at least, when I have time to focus).

    I really can't imagine trying to use an M (film or digital) with glasses on (I know it's possible, but it'd drive me crazy).

    As for updating the focusing mechanism - Andy Piper on LFU put an interesting description of why you couldn't make a zooming rangefinder (basically there is no room for a moving element). I don't know if that's true or not, but it seems likely (otherwise why wouldn't some have done it). The Contax G2 of course DID have a zooming rangefinder, but it was very dim in comparison, and had no focus confirmation at all.

    I'm not against any of these new technologies (in fact I've always embraced them). But it seems to me that the spirit of an M camera is what it is (by all means make it better, but it doesn't need changing).

    I think Leica should bring out something else - a kind of full frame GF1 which would take M or R lenses and which could embrace all the new technology options sounds to me a wonderful idea (live view / video etc.) . I'd certainly be interested.
    But can't they leave the Leica M as it is? It isn't perfect, but it does a particular job really really well. Even better with the advent of digital (IMHO of course).

    all the best

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    I don't propose EVF or zooming finder. All I really want is focus confirmation. Unfortunately for me, my eyes are too dry to wear contacts; believe me, I've tried. I would very much prefer not to use glasses when shooting any camera but it's not going to be possible for me. And it just does not work to remove to shoot because I can't see a darned thing if I look up. Maybe there are technically insurmountable obstacles; I hope not. Just give me a little red dot for focus confirmation while leaving the rest alone and I die a happy man. BTW I remain a big fan now of the M.

    I am firmly in the camp of "don't ruin a good thing", but that does not rule out the possibility of carefully conceived improvements.
    Last edited by tom in mpls; 26th January 2010 at 05:47.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    I don't propose EVF or zooming finder. All I really want is focus confirmation. Unfortunately for me, my eyes are too dry to wear contacts; believe me, I've tried. I would very much prefer not to use glasses when shooting any camera but it's not going to be possible for me. And it just does not work to remove to shoot because I can't see a darned thing if I look up. Maybe there are technically insurmountable obstacles; I hope not. Just give me a little red dot for focus confirmation while leaving the rest alone and I die a happy man. BTW I remain a big fan now of the M.

    I am firmly in the camp of "don't ruin a good thing", but that does not rule out the possibility of carefully conceived improvements.
    Hi Tom
    I do agree - I think focus confirmation would be fine, but suspect that it would require a CMOS sensor and live view to do it.

    As for the contacts - have you tried the new moist lenses? They're so much better than they used to be.

    all the best

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    As for the contacts - have you tried the new moist lenses? They're so much better than they used to be.
    What? No! Have to look into that.

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    What? No! Have to look into that.
    The crack is to get the left eye to get you close enough to read (I have mine perfect for a computer screen) and the left eye at your distance setting. It makes you feel like someone whacked you with a frying pan for about two minutes, after which it's so much better than glasses . . . except for driving at night. At least, that's what I find.

    all the best

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    Re: An Open Letter to Leica what should the Leica M10 be like?


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