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Thread: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

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    Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    (Same post as on L*Camera Forum

    Most of us have heard that Leica will introduce a Medium Format SLR system at Photokina.

    If at the same time the "R" product line is discontinued (yes, an ugly word, but things like that happen, see DMR), what will you do with your R equipment:

    - If you have a R8/R9-DMR combo, will you keep shooting that combo or switching in the nearer future to a different digital system and selling off your R stuff ? (Since there will be no new R lenses in the future; and the DMR is already discontinued)

    - If you have been waiting for a R10 to use with your existing R lenses, will you sell off your R8, R9 and the lenses?

    Just curious what others think.

    The rumors I heard is that the R line will indeed by discontinued; but we all know more soon...

    Peter
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    There is chatter of a Sep 14 announcement, but there is also rumors of bigfoot, so who knows.

    Prior to the days of the D3/D700 when Canon dominated the FF/low-noise landscape I would have said that many folks who would par down would keep some lenses for use via adapters on EOS. That said, with an increasing number of folks moving to Nikon, things get a little dicier.

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    I'm not going to make any buy/sell decisions based on internet rumors.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    I'm not going to make any buy/sell decisions based on internet rumors.
    Wiser words were never spoken.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    I agree but if the R is dead than Leica will have a lot of swimming to do . They would have just burned a big user base of leica fans and many are my friends and i don't like to see my friends get burned.
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    IMO, the R is dead unless Leica commits itself to creating a new breed of AF lenses and body to support them. From the body perspective, they would be years behind N or C... And let's not forget that Leica is first and foremost an optical company, not a camera company. Next, building a new lens line requires a pretty heavy investment in start costs, so from that perspective if I am Leica and I have decided to build new lenses, I would be inclined to build a line of lenses that I could sell for maximum return on my investment to existing users. Sound familiar? (Think Zeiss.)

    To my mind, I could see it making more sense to market the best lenses to the MF digital market (they're already used to paying big $$$ per item), and PROBABLY offer them in multiple compatibility mounts... I don't have the stats, but I suspect that the total R user market is pretty small, and hence the pre-existing MF market may look appealing...

    What if Leica brought out only three lenses for MF ---- a 40, 70 and 105 tilt-shift line for MF... I *GUARANTEE* they would sell like hotcakes, and right now...
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    I agree there best action would be MF if they are killing the R BUT they need to compete better and make someone like me switch or get new buyers to move up above the 35mm level. They can actually tap several types of buyers which is a good thing.
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Agree - Leica's best ROI is to get their optical designs onto as many mounts as circumstances will allow. It is their greatest asset and the ROI, given that the bulk of the initial design work is already a sunk cost for existing lenses, would be huge.

    Trying to be a mini-version of N or C or Hassy, etc and using the quality glass as a draw is just asking for trouble - and under-exploiting the strengths of the glass. A far, far greater number of people would buy a Leica lens for their existing body than would risk (or view it as worthwhile) to buy a Leica body to use said glass on.

    With the interest in more premium glass (new Nikon offerings in the pipe aside) on the FX format, F-mount 'R' glass would sell like hot cakes - assuming manufacturing were out-sourced under Leica QC to get volumes up and costs down. Forget giving me that Leica 'feel' on the mechanics - give me the Leica IQ and average mechanics for Zeiss-level prices. The same goes for the EOS camp.

    On the MF side, as you say....
    Last edited by robmac; 15th August 2008 at 07:06.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    I suggested in this thread: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=29007159 (hard to believe, really). If leica has problems surviving in the digital era, joining Canon for a new but not much bigger format makes sense. Canon is already scratching the ceiling of their lens line, but sensor tech at Canon may be just waiting for the right lenses or right format. What do you think?
    Eduardo

    Ps: Here is my post in that thread:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=29009040
    Last edited by Uaiomex; 19th August 2008 at 18:33. Reason: missed something

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    For my .02 worth I agree totally with Jack.

    When you look at the number of lenses Zeiss has sold based on providing the most popular mounts, and that they haven't had to invest at all in the camera end of the market, seems to me a most inviting outlook.

    You could imagine Leica glass on Nikon, Canon,, Pentax, and Olympus. None of these guys could provide lenses that were close to the quality of the R glass. And the R&D costs are close to zero! All it takes is the mounts and the procedures for testing the lenses to assure the performance. Can you just imagine the D3 or D700 equipped with a 15 Elmarit or a 35-70 Elmarit? Or even if you don't go the exotic route how about a 28 Elmarit or an 80 Lux? Just too good to be true in my opinion. And screw the need for AF. Zeiss is producing no AF glass and look at their sales. Anyway, I think this is one of the routes Leica should be seriously considering. They need to stay out of the camera business for now and concentrate on getting their still state of the art optics into the hands of many many more of todays photographers. Once the brand is re-established as the best, then the route to new cameras, MFDB whatever is open to them. As alway, JMHO and YMMV

    Woody Spedden

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    On the other hand, as someone said that implementing AF in Leica R glass would take to change the formulas, if so, Canon could come with a new body with AF in sensor. Maybe, moving the R assembly line to Japan or so, would help to lower the insane prices, especially after production and sales get boosted tenfold.
    Ed

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Crazy how many rumors have been started WRT Leica. We do know that Leica entered an agreement with Sinar in January of this year - press release is available on Photoscala.de We also know that Herr Kaufmann has hinted strongly about R10 and other items, which I would believe to be a lower priced rangefinder. I doubt there will be any relationship with Canon, however if Zeiss is making lenses for Nikon maybe Canon would like a similar partnership?

    In any case to answer the OP's question - will I keep my DMR? I dunno have been wondering about that for months now. I shot it today - nice camera to be sure. In truth I had planned to sell mine since going MF but its hard to let go of. If I have missed the mark now and price plummets I'll certainly have to keep it.
    Last edited by EH21; 19th August 2008 at 20:57.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9


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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Quote Originally Posted by gero View Post
    Actually a good perspective check for all of us on many fronts. The only part of the equation that gets left out is just how do folks and economies sustain themselves? This is the harder problem to solve.

    LJ

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    In the end she gives a direction, but the main part is to turn your head from a consumer to a humanbeing, from a nationalist to a "global citicen"?.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Quote Originally Posted by gero View Post
    In the end she gives a direction, but the main part is to turn your head from a consumer to a humanbeing, from a nationalist to a "global citicen"?.
    Gero,
    Not disagreeing, just find her approach to be a bit too simplistic for a very complex problem. What is good is the encouragement to use things longer, rather than constant cycle of upgrade. This was the earlier promise for both the DMR and later the M8, but both concepts have turned to vapor at this point. Same is true for computers.....being able to swap out CPUs and stuff is just not happening, though promised long ago. There are too many other system dependent things that preclude practical operations. Things could be designed differently, but there seems to be little pressure from buyers (consumers), and that is the one point she makes where we can start to impact things.

    My only other contention about her suggestions away from consumerism, is that she completely misses many of the really valuable things that have come from a consumer-oriented global/social approach. Most of the incredible tech we have would never have come about without a steady drive for advancement, and that can only happen with product turnover.

    Really not the place to discuss in this thread, but the connection to simply being able to continue using very good existing lenses, bodies, etc., and simply upgrading a few critical parts like sensors and support electronics in things like cameras has been talked about a lot, but not coming to pass. Leica coming out with a MF "DMR-R8/R9 killer" does not render the DMR incapable of still capturing great images for some time to come. At some point, things will fail or needs will change, and then it will become a paperweight for owners, but if it still delivers images folks like now, no need to dump it. Just my thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Gero,
    This was the earlier promise for both the DMR and later the M8, but both concepts have turned to vapor at this point.

    to simply being able to continue using very good existing lenses, bodies, etc., and simply upgrading a few critical parts like sensors and support electronics
    LJ
    I don't think it has turned to vapor at all. Lenses from the second world war can and are being discovered and used ever more and I think this is the real way to go for leica or as a user.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Quote Originally Posted by gero View Post
    I don't think it has turned to vapor at all. Lenses from the second world war can and are being discovered and used ever more and I think this is the real way to go for leica or as a user.
    Gero,
    My point of reference was with respect to replacing the sensors and electronics, not so much the lenses. Leica had marketed a replaceable/upgradable sensor for the DMR, but that is now discontinued. They also had started to promise sensor upgrade options for the M8, but that has been buried and not discussed since Kaufmann resumed control of things after Lee's departure.

    So, while lenses may still be used from the past, they will not have AF and other electronic connectivity, but that may not matter for some folks and how they shoot. There are also some different demands on glass for use with digital sensors that were not as much an issue with film, but again, that may not matter for some shooters.

    Not trying to dissuade the recycle/reuse/prolong concept at all. Just pointing out that while many of the ideas and intentions are good, they just are not materializing in the marketplace. I would love to be able to simply upgrade the sensor on my M8 (at a reasonable cost), if it could deliver what I needed, and that was (may still be) a tantalizing option. The M8 works fine now, and I will keep using it as is for as long as it does what I want or need. That is the same thing I was suggesting about the DMR. It if delivers what one wants, no need to dump it just because a new model MF thing comes along. However, many photographers, especially working pros, have needs that exceed what some of the older gear can deliver, and there has been no effort to provide a way of updating the older stuff to newer capabilities. A few lens can get ROM chips and such, but the electronics stuff has not been upgradeable, and that is now "core" to most cameras.

    LJ

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    well I guess we will find out in a month or so how Leica are defining their direction but they are at least consious of it and I an confident that it is the only rout they will take in the long run and that is the rout that I want to take also.
    Last edited by gero; 22nd August 2008 at 09:17.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    The DMR is still a very nice tool. My guess is there will be a successor, but if not I'll likely continue to use mine. And if there is no immediate replacement, I wonder if the value of the few DMRs made will go up? If Leica doesnt do it somebody should - that R glass is too good.

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    The DMR produces wonderful files with good R glass and should continue to do so for some time. However as is the way of things sooner or later it will fail and need replacement parts and repair. Leica have a very good track record of supporting their obsolete models.........at a more than hefty cost though!

    In the case of the DMR, Leica would need Imacon for spares etc and there is the rub. European law requires manufacturer's to supply spares for a period of seven years from date of original manufacture, and there is no law to control prices of those spares. After that date they are off the hook.

    Where will we go then for spares and service?

    Almost certainly Leica will announce the end of the R line in favour of a new MF reflex camera using non R glass, possibly Leica modified Bronica lenses. MF cameras do not come cheap and you can imagine what the price of a Leica medium format might be.
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Dave,
    That is most likely the case with respect to the DMR. However, the R8/9 could remain as a film camera, allowing folks to continue using the R glass. It is the DMR portion of the kit that will become the obsolete part soon enough. The logical path forward for Leica would be to introduce a new body of some sort, be that R10 to stay with existing R lens line, or as is thought, go to a completely new format, new sensor for digital, new lens mount, etc......essentially a completely new camera.

    So folks with the DMR are the ones that will face lack of support and repair of the Imacon part of the DMR soon. The R8/9 part of their kit will still be serviced by Leica.

    LJ

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    I wouldn't be too cavalier about writing off the ability to service the DMR -- I am not convinced that the majority of the parts are from Imacon at all. Imacon wrote the firmware and they helped with the design, but the sensor is from Kodak and the majority of the parts themselves are from Leica. Imacon did not assemble the DMR -- Leica did. At least in the conversations I have had with them, they seem pretty dedicated to servicing it for a very long time to come. If you are truly concerned, talk to Maike Harberts, who is the head of the R system at Leica. You can write to her directly and she will most likely respond. She has been very helpful to me in the past.
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Support and repair are a given at Leica. They said they will maintain that system for a long time to come with parts and repair.
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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Hm, so Dave says EU law requires manufacturer to provide spare parts for up to 7 years from "date of original manufacture"?

    How is the late date exactly defined?

    The date when my DMR was manufactured?
    The date when the first DMR was manufactured or sold?

    Dave - do you know?

    If Leica is bound by this regulation, then it would allow to do a "worst case" assessment for how long one will get parts (independently of what marketing says; that can change...).

    Although even that might not be a real protection, since they can make repair so prohibitive expensive, that you really don't want to afford it.

    Peter

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    Re: Cross-posted LForum: If Leica's MF System kills "R", do you keep DMR-R8/R9

    Mute point Peter, but I suspect the count down would start from the date of the last unit manuactured......not necessarily sold, as many may have been on dealers' shelves for months or even years, so totally out of the manufacturer's responsibility. Probably another 6 or so years to run?

    I am sure that Leica will continue to honour their excellent record for supporting obsolete bodies and accessories including the DMR for as long as possible, even after the 7 years are lapsed. However for something as complex as the DMR, how much will they charge for this service?

    Even servicing and repair costs to out of warranty R film cameras if done at Solms are stratosheric! I don't remember having a "passport" with my DMR but I did with the R9...........but they did replace my DMR back under warranty when I hit a problem and replaced a faulty charger on a seperate occasion, both free of charge.......so no compalints but this service won't continue much longer, that's for sure.

    It raises a very good point of general interest to digital users.

    How long should we expect to keep our pro digital DSLR's? Shutter life apart, what is a reasonable life out of our cameras?

    Sould we for instance, treat them like new car purchases and perhaps change them as the warranty runs out........getting the latest technology available, say every two to three years or so?

    If so, and Leica terminate the long run of the R system in all it's forms, in favour of a new MF system, the latest technology from Leica would be unreachable in price for many and simply not portable enough for most other digital R users.

    It is a difficult call to make just when or if to cut and run to Nikon et al, as some on this forum have already made and acted on this decision. I just love my R glass and 16 bit DMR files but neither do I want to be caught holding a valueless asset, so it is a tough one!
    Cheers, Dave
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