HERE IT IS: Erwin's Leica M7 essay!

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by steve_hoffman, Feb 24, 2002.

  1. I posted Erwin's opus directly on my website forum at www.stevehoffman.tv

    <p>

    Just click on this below link for full article, with pictures!

    <p>

    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=19648#post19648
     
  2. Arggh. No, paste this in for the article:

    <p>

    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1993
     
  3. Or click here.
     
  4. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for that great article. Do you think we should still wait for
    kinks to be ironed out before we take the M7 plunge?
     
  5. Well, I hate to be a fence sitter, but some folks argue yes, and some
    say no.

    <p>

    I will reserve judgement until I can play with one for a little
    while. I don't really need AP, so for me it's not crucial.

    <p>

    I would wait for a little while to get some actual user reviews.
     
  6. Well, Erwin certainly knows his stuff! A very comprehensive account
    indeed, I must agree with Putt's comments on the top speed of 1/1000 -
    this really is fast enough for any camera. Regarding battery
    dependancy - this shows IMO that Leica MUST continue with the truly
    mechanical M6 line.

    <p>

    I would take issue with the "spontaneous and carefree" line, those of
    us with meterless M2/3/4/-2/P's have been working this way for years!

    <p>

    Now we have the real spec. - at last again I feel Leica must be
    congratulated - they have incorporated AE and the required additional
    features seamlessly and perfectly into the classic M body (and a good
    old brass top plate too!) as Putts says without any other silly
    features as demanded by various people being included.

    <p>

    Well done Leica.
     
  7. From the article:
    The Bessa, while delivering the goods for a surprisingly low price, lacks character.
    This is the real summary of a well written press release as apposed to an evaluation.
    How much is character worth to you? ;o)))
    Art
     
  8. Art, I havent't read the article yet. However, to answer your
    question, I'll just say that for some of us "character" is priceless!
     
  9. So, does anyone know when is the M7 will be out for sale? How much
    $$$? Thanks!
     
  10. Ken:

    <p>

    Let me make one thing perfectly clear [who said that?]. I have a
    bit of Leica equipment. I have been using their equipment since
    1960. I love their lenses.

    <p>

    I was talking about the article. Read in a certain way it could be
    considered satire. Whoa; why you don't need a shutter speed
    over 1/1000.

    <p>

    I just think that the article was not only poor but silly.

    <p>

    nuff said. ;o)))

    <p>

    Art
     
  11. Someone on my www.stevehoffman.tv site who read Erwin's report has a
    question:

    <p>

    "This all made sense (I used to sell Leicas in the 70s) except for
    the High Speed Synchronization capability. How does the strobe
    provide constant illumination during the entire 1/48 second when the
    shutter curtains are traveling across the file plane?"

    <p>

    Thanks!
     
  12. Erwin's opus is very impressive and will undoubtedly sway me
    towards an early purchase.
     
  13. > How does the strobe provide constant illumination during the entire 1/48 second when the shutter curtains are traveling across the file plane?"

    <p>

    Several flash during travel, like in Canon, Olympus, Nikon systems.
     
  14. Start quote: "The new Leica M7: one step closer to perfection.

    <p>

    By Erwin Puts" End quote

    <p>

    I don't think so! Now I really believe Erwin is on the payroll. I sent
    him an email the other day for some advise. He replied in 5
    words. No matter how busy he is or what the question was, I
    think that five words is an insult and I would have been happier if
    he hadn't replied. ......well at least he did?!??
     
  15. > How does the strobe provide constant illumination during the
    entire 1/48 second when the shutter curtains are traveling
    across the file plane?"

    <p>

    Obviously 1/48th (or 1/50th if you prefer) is the fastest speed
    when the entire frame area is uncovered during the passage of
    the curtains. Accept no other answer!

    <p>

    For the high speed sync, the strobe answer given above is
    correct.

    <p>

    BTW, with the welcome return of a brass top plate does this
    mean that black paint will also return? Let us hope so.
     
  16. What are Leica doing with their money? If they don't release any
    new decent lenses i'll be dissapointed. With today's technology
    advancing at such an alarming rate it seems that leica is truly
    living in the 80's. I think that if Leica can't do it properly, don't do it
    at all.

    <p>

    All Erwin's article details are excuses for Leica's inability to fulfill
    the wishes of the Leica market. Sure it took Nikon a few years to
    make the FM3a, but they did it. And I am sure that if they couldn't
    work it out they wouldn't have released a half-dud camera like
    the M7. I personally had enough of hoping for a decent update to
    the M6. This has actually made me feel more appreciative now.
    If the M7 is priced higher than the M6, it will be a joke. If Leica
    discontinues the M6, it will be a marketing descision regretted
    for the little time that Leica will have left.

    <p>

    They should have just badged a Hexar and called it their own.
     
  17. Kristian,

    <p>

    What do you know about the the wishes of the Leica market ?

    <p>

    Speek for yourself, please.
     
  18. "If they don't release any new decent lenses i'll be dissapointed."

    <p>

    ?? Kristian, where have you been for the past 10 years. Here is the
    list of new lenses (M only) Leica has released, not even including
    the new R lenses. I'm only including lenses w/ new optical formulas.
    35/1.4 Aspherical
    35/1.4 ASPH (slightly different design)
    50/2.8 collapsible
    35/2.0 ASPH
    24/2.8 ASPH
    21/2.8 ASPH
    135/3.4 Apo-Telyt
    28-35-50 Tri-Elmar ASPH
    90/2.0 Apo-ASPH
    [you can also count the 50/3.5 Anastigmat with the 0-series]

    <p>

    This is a pretty good record from a small company with limited R & D
    resources. If you need more new lenses, you'll have to go to Nikon
    or Canon. But give credit where credit is due. Your comment doesn't
    make sense to me.
     
  19. it wasn't clear how exposure compensation is implemented. it sounded
    as if the film speed dial also serves as a compensation control of +/-
    2 stops in 1/3 increments? it seems a slow implementation without
    some form of indication in the viewfinder. this is the beauty of
    Canon's thumbwheel on the back. wondering?
     
  20. I left out two other new lenses in the last 10 years: 28/2.8 Elmarit
    and 28/2.0 Summicron-ASPH. Kristian you do NOT speak for me and I
    suspect most other users of this forum with your comments.
     
  21. Kristian
    "If they don't release any new decent lenses i'll be dissapointed."
    This makes you sound like Leica don't make any decent lenses for the
    M. What on earth do you think we need that would help Leica catch up
    with other manufacturers?
     
  22. Here.

    <p>

    <img
    src="http://www.photim.net/nci/image.php3?Code=20020224174136Lucien&O=0
    ">
     
  23. "If the M7 is priced higher than the M6, it will be a joke."

    <p>

    Dealers are taking orders for about $2400 US.

    <p>

    "They should have just badged a Hexar and called it their own."

    <p>

    Got that right.
     
  24. > it wasn't clear how exposure compensation is implemented. it sounded as if the film speed dial also serves as a compensation control of +/- 2 stops in 1/3 increments?

    <p>

    > it seems a slow implementation without some form of indication in the viewfinder.

    <p>

    There is a reminder in the finder.
     
  25. <img
    src="http://www.photim.net/nci/image.php3?Code=20020219162250Lucien&O=2
    9">
     
  26. <img
    src="http://www.photim.net/nci/image.php3?Code=20020224174136Lucien&O=1
    4">
     
  27. "What do you know about the the wishes of the Leica market ?"

    <p>

    Well, this is certainly an antagonistic remark, especially since
    most of the speculation, wishful thinking and rumor mongering
    that goes on here and on other Leica lists is not much better
    than some kind of Leica Executives Rotisserie League.

    <p>

    I must, however, agree with the subtext of this nasty crack. Since
    many people here are jumping for joy over the trivial
    "improvements" of the M7 and, apparently, dealers are heavily
    subscribed with advance orders for the new camera, Leica
    certainly must realize that its core user base will be satisfied with
    very litttle.
     
  28. thank you Lucien. mystery solved.
     
  29. I think the lack of shutter delay (on a par with m6) seperates the
    m7 entirely from the konica (and indeed the G2) and is
    absolutely crucial to the type of photography that the m is best
    suited for. I hope Leica can get this quite subtle point accross in
    marketing. The article seems to say that the m7 will go for more
    than the m6 and from what I've read elsewhere the m6ttl
    production will continue for at least a time (this may be false
    rumouring). To anyone who rates the fm3a highly - have you
    used one? Plasticky and very noisy were what I thought. I'd rather
    have an fm2. My only real worry was about the shutter being built
    to last til 2101 comment in the article - can't help wondering how
    easy it'll be to get hold of tri-x by then...
     
  30. Lucien - couldn't you make that picture a bit bigger!!!

    <p>

    :)

    <p>

    Some of the comments by others (esp. Kristian) are ridiculous.

    <p>

    We love the Leica M because of the way it is made and works - Leica
    have to walk an extremely careful path in upgrading it. Many of
    these comments have been made with zero understanding of Leitz's
    history and evolution. The M7 is a HUGE step forward in the M line,
    arguably the biggest step since the move from the IIIG to the M3 in
    the 1950's.

    <p>

    If you are not satisfied with the choice between the M6 and M7 then
    the M line is not for you - go follow the sheep and buy into another
    camera system.
     
  31. Well. Here it is. Thanks to to all.

    <p>

    I read Erwin's article and was impressed. There is an M7 in my
    future. It's exactly the Leica that I wanted. Yes, 1/4000 or 1/2000
    or even 1/1500 would have been a nice bonus, but there are two things
    that are far more important to me as a street photographer: that the
    M7 is very quiet and very fast with minimal time lag. I am also happy
    that it has a reasonable OFF switch.

    <p>

    The M7 is a minimalist automatic rangefinder camera. Finally the CLE
    has been surpassed. Quick response shutter release, quiet shutter, an
    M finder and motor/Rapidwinder capabilities. Rangefinder photography
    is minimalist photography and the M7 is the finest camera ever made
    for it.

    <p>

    Do the Bessas lack character? No. They approach minimalism from a
    different angle. The Leica M camera is a Rolls-Royce. The Bessa
    camera is a Yugo. The shutter release, while not as smooth as
    Leica's, is plenty fast. The Bessa L is a true minimalist camera and
    ought to be upgraded to at least accept the Triggerwinder. It still
    remains my favorite of the lot. I love my Bessa T but after less than
    a year it is going to have to go to Cosina for service--I'm getting at
    least two frames getting rammed together per roll--what my old M6 did
    before it froze. My main complaint about the Bessa series is the
    LOUUUUD shutter.

    <p>

    If Leica came out with a Bessa L style camera I would be mighty
    pleased. If you can love the O you can certainly love a finderless
    Leica M with a meter.
     
  32. I use a Hexar RF, but before buying it also tried out the M6 int the
    store.

    <p>

    I'm not sure why people harp on the shutter delay issue. As far
    as I can tell, the shutter delay on a Hexar RF is for all practical
    purposes just not there. You hit the button, the camera fires.

    <p>

    As for the M7, it's nice to see that Leica can put out a camra that
    would be old fashioned if released in 1980 and still convince the
    faithful that they are innovating.
     
  33. Leica should maybe apologize because they didn't came with a Konica,
    Cosina or Contax.

    <p>

    ;-)

    <p>

    Sorry folks, it's only a real Leica.
     
  34. This feels like the transition between the (N****) F2 and F3. Funny, even the exp. compensation is similiar between the M7 and F3! I wish that I could do 1/60th and 1/125th without batteries. As for the FM3a, how would you like it if Leica stuffed a vertically- traveling shutter into a taller(out of necessity) and more "budget" oriented body? Not too appealing, I'd think. Companies like this and Ferrari are like children- they GROW. I think kid Leica is doing great.
     
  35. "As for the M7, it's nice to see that Leica can put out a camra that
    would be old fashioned if released in 1980 and still convince the
    faithful that they are innovating."

    <p>

    Please see my earlier post. Don't you understand? - the reason
    people buy and enjoy Leica's is bacause of what they are and the way
    they are made and function.

    <p>

    A Leica like a Rolls Royce is DIFFERENT - sure it is 'old fashioned'
    to have a cloth shutter and mechanical components, just like hand
    stitched leather seats, a walnut dash and a 100 man-hour brazed
    radiator is old fashioned - but these things are appreciated by many
    of us.

    <p>

    Again as I say above if you are not happy with the M6 or M7 there are
    plenty of perfectly ordinary and satisfactory alternative cameras on
    the market.
     
  36. Erwin Puts sets forth the holy grail in LeicaLand. I am impressed. I
    can't wait to hear this shutter. It is a true Leica M and I will buy
    one, eventually.
     
  37. "Please see my earlier post. Don't you understand? - the reason
    people buy and enjoy Leica's is bacause of what they are and
    the way they are made and function."

    <p>

    To paraphrase another local cheerleader, what do you know of
    the reasons why people buy and enjoy Leicas.

    <p>

    Speak for yourself. Your reasons don't sound *at all* like mine,
    yet I too am not fond of the RF alternatives.

    <p>

    To my Leica-using eyes, the M7 is no big deal. I'm sure you'll
    love yours.
     
  38. Good news about Leica M7 is that it offers Leica users an alternative
    with different finder choices and a set of new features. Still I
    think Konica RF offers better total solution. I am more confident to
    use a Konica RF to be ready for next shot concerning about the easy
    of film loading with built-in motor driver in a semi dark area. I
    cannot tell the shutter lag difference between my M6 and a Konina RF.
     
  39. One of the interesting things Erwin said in his M7 write-up perhaps
    explains why Leica has been reluctant to make more changes in the M-
    line. That is their experience with the M5 (1971-1975), which was a
    major shift in terms of the body style and features (with built-in
    spotmeter and shutter speed indicator in the VF) when it was
    introduced in 1971. This camera was technologically au current, but
    was a commercial failure.

    <p>

    Apparently, this experience has remained with the Leica execs. They
    are reluctant to make major changes in either the camera size or
    essentially operating features that might make the M7 seem "foreign"
    to estalished Leica M users. Undoubtedly, the addition of a lot of
    new features would necessitate a taller or thicker body, which would
    give some users pause.

    <p>

    For me, the soft shutter, all metal construction, and high quality
    lenses are the reason I use Leica. Their M cameras may not be state-
    of-the-art, but in terms of optical quality, their M lenses certainly
    are. I could be just as critical as Nikon, Canon et al. for
    "wasting" most of their much more considerable R & D resources on
    extending the range of zoom lenses (now 24-85 or 90 is becoming the
    norm and 100-400 may replace 100-300) that don't interest me.

    <p>

    Lucien. Thanks for the pictures. Now we know for sure that the M7
    has exposure compensation.
     
  40. Kristian- I am sorry that you were put off by Erwin's "five word
    response" to your question. How silly!! Did you ever think that
    your initial question merited more than five words??? I can tell
    you now that tonight's diatribe doesn't even merit one word in
    response.
     
  41. "Companies like this and Ferrari are like children- they GROW. I
    think kid Leica is doing great.

    <p>

    -- Mike DeVoue (karma77@att.net), February 24, 2002."

    <p>

    "A Leica like a Rolls Royce is DIFFERENT - sure it is 'old fashioned'
    to have a cloth shutter and mechanical components, just like hand
    stitched leather seats, a walnut dash and a 100 man-hour brazed
    radiator is old fashioned - but these things are appreciated by many
    of us.

    <p>

    -- Giles Poilu (giles@monpoilu.icom43.net), February 24, 2002."

    <p>

    Ahh. Rolls Royce and Ferrari. Two storied marques, just like
    Leica. Two marques that have had great tradition, and great
    traditional craftsmanship, just like Leica. Two marques who failed
    to adapt to the times and ended up gobbled up by major conglomerates
    who had more of a clue as to making money. I see a pattern...

    Nick
     
  42. For those who are worried about the demise of the all mechnaical
    shutter Leica, I'd say that by now the issue is moot. They may well
    stop producing the M6TTL in the near future, but there are enough M6s
    and M6TTLs made that you can always buy a used one.

    <p>

    One of the things about Leicas is that despite some lapses in quality
    control, these cameras rarely die and can nearly always be brought
    back to specs with a CLA. This is probably more true of M Leicas
    than any other camera brand: witness how many M2-M3-M4s are still in
    use. Anyone who wants a mechanical Leica will always be able to get
    one; and there are quite a few competent repair facilities outside of
    the factory itself.

    <p>

    I don't think any other manufacturer can match Leica's record in this
    regard.
     
  43. Steve: Thanks for posting the article on your website. It's much
    appreciated!

    <p>

    Art: Thanks for the clarification, I understand your viewpoint now.
    I've readan awful lot of "Leica bashing" on this site lately and I
    suppose I jumped to conclusions.

    <p>

    Kristian: If you don't like the M7, you obviously don't need to buy
    one. However, for many other photographers the addition of AE is an
    improvement they've long waited for. Therefore, I congratulate Leica
    for introducing this new model, regardless if I ever buy one for
    myself or not.

    <p>

    Kristian and Robert: If you're happier with the Hexar RF that's
    great! I looked at one myself and gave it serious consideration, but
    bought an M6TTL instead. The Leica's shutter, viewfinder and build
    quality were worth the difference in cost to me. I suppose it's the
    notion that "there's no substitute for quality" and the Leica's got
    the quality!
     
  44. Lucien: I forgot to thank you for your informative contributions to
    this post!
     
  45. Some things are not clear from Puts' report.

    <p>

    Is the shutter actually quieter at all speeds? Or is it just that the
    clockwork whirring and clicking at slow speeds is now absent?

    <p>

    How does AE work, in practice, in combination with the large spot
    metering pattern? All of us instinctively adjust the metering area we
    want when we set exposure manually in the M6. Obviously, this
    procedure would defeat the purpose of the AE ,which is speed, and
    there appears to be no simple 1-press-of-the-button AE lock.

    <p>

    I am wondering if the AE actually leads to less consistent exposures
    on a roll of shots. One would expect that it would...
     
  46. Mani. The M7 does contain an AE lock feature that allows you to
    meter and then recompose.

    <p>

    I also noted in Lucien's photo the DX coding setting on the ISO wheel
    that also allows manual override and setting of any ISO. This is a
    nice feature since you can just leave it set on DX most of the time.
    I'm probably not the only person who has used an all manual Leica
    with the wrong ISO setting for the lightmeter (eg., 400 instead of
    100). Only to later discover I grossly mal-exposed an entire role of
    film.

    <p>

    That coupled with the 1/3 step exposure compensation and the nearly
    stepless shutter speeds available in AE should allow, if anything,
    more accurate exposures, provided you exercise care in what you aim
    the meter at.
     
  47. Dealers are taking orders for about $2400 US
    Wow. I pay 2.79 CDN for a roll of Agfa APX 400. That's approximately 1.90 USD per roll. So 2400/1.90 = 1263 rolls of film or 45473 frames.
    Hmmm...
    ...nope, I don't see a M7 in my immediate future.
     
  48. Alright I'll admit it.......I was a bit harsh. Just a little dissapointed.
    True, Leica doesn't really need any new lenses, except for the
    convenience of a zoom if that is possible. I should be the last to
    complain as I love my leica and should just shut up and shoot.
    Who knows i'll probably end up with an M7 one day. It's just that i
    don't have the money for an M7 now, or I'd probably be putting my
    order in now. Just call me "Mr.Contradiction".

    <p>

    Bagging the new M7 just makes me feel better, realising I
    couldn't buy one even if I convinced myself it was good anyway.
    Good luck to those early adopters who take the plunge. Sorry to
    those who may have felt insulted by my remarks. But I still think
    Leica could've done better. Why will remain a mystery.
     
  49. Kristian.

    <p>

    Not really a mystery, you just have to take the time to understand
    them a bit. A look back would help.

    <p>

    For the subject under discussion, their latest 35mm RF camera, other
    than having the first commercially successful 35mm camera to enter
    series production, they have not been innovative by any stretch of
    the imagination. That was not true almost 80 years ago, and its not
    true today.

    <p>

    They appear to have striven however, to produce the finest RF bodies
    and lenses possible and remain economically viable. I'm not privy to
    their mission statement in that regard, but I suspect that relative
    to cameras, it contains words to that effect.

    <p>

    Examples of what it doesn't appear to contain are the wish to make
    more production than anyone else, and to be on the leading edge of
    innovation in the field. If you would use no other objective metric
    than the current number of Leica bulletin boards devoted to this
    product, coupled with the subjective amount of passion you'll witness
    therein, it may go a long way in convincing most folk they have been
    successful.

    <p>

    Having that drive to remain the best at what they do in this area,
    carries with it some penalties. Among them are that they will never
    be a large camera company. Nikon, Canon, Minolta, etc., will
    continue to produce more cameras before lunch on any production day
    than Leica makes all year.

    <p>

    That means that their direct production costs, along with R&D,
    marketing, and other indirect expenses will yield an expensive
    product that ends with a limited market due to unit cost. No
    different than any expensive tool made with the degree of precision
    they strive for.

    <p>

    It also means that any new models must be carefully thought out and
    be evolutionary in nature. That they have survived along with
    accumulating a rather devoted following, would seem to indicate some
    measure of success in that regard, using that as a guiding principle.

    <p>

    Therefore it appears that they have taken the next logical step in
    the M7 model, providing an AE and DX capability (neither of which by
    the way it appears one has to use if they don't want to), along with
    the greater accuracy of an electronic shutter with expanded speeds.
    Even for Leica, thats a pretty big step, albeit one with proven (20+
    year old) technology.

    <p>

    By striving to make the best they can, they have been rewarded with a
    loyal and faithful following throughout the world. They in turn,
    with each evolution have rewarded those users with a type of loyalty
    not often seen. I could take the first RF coupled LTM lens if I had
    it, and mount it on new M7. The same goes for many of the
    accessories they have made along the way. What other manufacturers
    of items almost 50 years old that consist of moving parts, have
    service and parts in house for the user? It must be a small list
    indeed.

    <p>

    I read the commentary that says "....its not enough", "I want a
    manual camera", etc. To the first I would comment that it would be
    even more prohibitively expensive than they are now, they don't
    possess the R&D to accomplish it, and its not what their core market
    wants. All these would combine to be an unacceptable risk to their
    survival. And survival is what they and their customers want.

    <p>

    To the second I would reply with a series of questions. Why does AE
    bother you? Simply switch it off. Is it the battery dependence that
    bothers you? Why, do you leave the batteries out of your M6 when you
    shoot? Don't you carry an extra set? With a $2,000+ body are
    batteries too expensive? When is the last time your meter failed for
    other than batteries? If you're a pro whose livilyhood depends on
    getting the shot when on assignment, don't you carry a second body?
    After all, the vast majority of pros shoot with cameras that are
    battery dependent.

    <p>

    If this troubles you then don't buy one. I would submit that there
    are about one and a half million M bodies out there that will remain
    servicable for a few decades and come to the market regularly.

    <p>

    All that said I have some concerns with the new M7. Primarily the
    downstream availability of electronic circuit boards both the M6 and
    M7 require. Electronics fail now and then. I suspect these pieces
    are subcontracted as tooling to mass produce them is expensive to the
    degree that Leica probably hasn't the means to invest in them. That
    casts a potential cloud down the road.

    <p>

    I probably won't buy one, at least not right away. I simply can't
    rationalize the gain to me right now, other than those occasions
    where the speed afforded by AE would come in handy. Someday though,
    when the itch and the bonus check cross paths, I may scratch it.

    <p>

    When that time comes, I'll be comforted with knowing that a goodly
    portion of the cost will be taken up by selling one of my older Ms.
    A much larger percentage than I could expect than if I owned the body
    made by another 35mm manufacturer.

    <p>

    I have to thank Leitz/Leica for making that possible. I hope that
    tradition continues.

    <p>

    Best,

    <p>

    Jerry
     
  50. Robert - "To paraphrase another local cheerleader, what do you know
    of the reasons why people buy and enjoy Leicas."

    <p>

    "Speak for yourself. Your reasons don't sound *at all* like mine, yet
    I too am not fond of the RF alternatives."

    <p>

    Why do you use a Leica if not for the way it is made and functions? -
    ie, mechanical, manual, high accuracy RF, quality feel, ergonomics
    (and obviously access to Leica 'glass') etc, etc. Are your reasons
    *really* not *at all* some of these?

    <p>

    "Ahh. Rolls Royce and Ferrari. Two storied marques, just like Leica.
    Two marques that have had great tradition, and great traditional
    craftsmanship, just like Leica. Two marques who failed to adapt to
    the times and ended up gobbled up by major conglomerates who had more
    of a clue as to making money. I see a pattern... Nick"

    <p>

    Leica was until the 80's a family owned firm, like Rolls Royce,
    Ferrari etc it too is now owned by a large parent company. BUT all
    these 'old fashioned' makers STILL make cars (or Leica's) in the
    traditional (less automated) way regardless of who owns them.

    <p>

    Rolls Royces are not Toyota Corrolla's.

    <p>

    Leica's are not Canon Sureshot's.
     
  51. > All that said I have some concerns with the new M7. Primarily the downstream availability of electronic circuit boards both the M6 and M7 require. <>.
    >I suspect these pieces are subcontracted as tooling to mass produce them is expensive to the degree that Leica probably hasn't the means to invest in them.

    <p>

    Leica is making himself the complete electronic circuit boards for both
    the M6TTL and M7. Then their are all controlled electronically and
    visually.

    <p>

    Lucien
     
  52. My answer an insult??
    THis isn what Kristian asked.

    <p>

    > Hi Erwin, you have helped me once before and I now need your
    help once more.
    > I am about to purchase a Lux 35 and would like to know the
    actual weight of
    > the black version. Is it 250g or 310? And is there a noticeable
    weight
    > difference between the black and chrome in the field? Thanks
    in advance
    >
    > Kristian
    >
    >
    Here is my answer; more than 5 words, and I believe I could not
    add more to it.
    ***
    250 grams. Yes it is, the chrome one feels and is much hevier.

    <p>

    Erwin
     
  53. Giles: the IIIg was introduced in 1957, a charming anachronism three
    years after the M3, so the big jump was from the IIIf...............
     
  54. Here's a bizarre piece of ErwinSpeak:

    <p>

    " While there certainly is sometimes the need for speeds faster than 1/1000,
    we should note that with ISO100 film and a blazing sun, we need 1/1000 and
    f/5.6 for a correct exposure. That will do for most situations and subjects. If
    you wish to use a narrow depth of field that you get when using f/2.8 or f/2.0,
    even 1/4000 will not be of much help."

    <p>

    I think 1/1000 at f5.6 and 1/4000 at f2.8 give the same exposure value. Can
    someone clarify how 1/4000 would not be of much help? It seems to me that
    it would be quite useful if (as I often do) you want to narrow depth of field
    under bright conditions.
     
  55. David, my apologies - you are absolutely correct.
     
  56. Erwin,

    <p>

    I am glad you are on this forum, because I'd like you to know that
    was one of the worst product reviews I have ever read. Pompous,
    inaccurate, irrelevant and condescending. It is a shame as you are
    obviously knowledgeable and have reseached the article thoroughly
    (like most of your life :).
    For me it kind of captured all that is bad about the mythos Leica.
    It's a tool, not a religion!

    <p>

    A more objective review would would have done your effort and Leica's
    more justice.

    <p>


    "M3 cameras from 1954 are still functioning perfectly after more than
    50 years of use."

    <p>

    - Duhh..LMAO...getting a bit ahead of ourselves here Erwin!!

    <p>


    "...the silent, slow moving, vibration free horizontally running
    cloth shutter."

    <p>

    - Since when was the Leica shutter silent? It sounds cool, but my M2
    is much noisier than my Rolleflex. About the same as my EOS 50 just
    to me a nicer sound.

    <p>

    "This speed must be forced to zero and compares to the force of a car
    crashing into a wall with 70km/hour."

    <p>

    -Except the mass is a little less, so actually ..no.

    <p>


    "Presumably the engineers had no idea how difficult this simple
    decision would be in the real world of engineering mechanics and
    electronics. The M7 was targeted for Photokina 2000, but marketing
    wishes have no precedence over sound engineering requirements."

    <p>

    - I didn't realize Leica had an engineering staff large enough to
    completely separate design engineers from production engineers. Both
    of your statements sound seriously detached from reality, and an
    insult to Leica's excellent engineers.

    <p>

    "we should note that with ISO100 film and a blazing sun, we need
    1/1000 and f/5.6 for a correct exposure. That will do for most
    situations and subjects. If you wish to use a narrow depth of field
    that you get when using f/2.8 or f/2.0, even 1/4000 will not be of
    much help."

    <p>

    - Duhh...1/1000@f5.6 = 1/4000@f2.8

    <p>

    "Take pictures with an M6 and then switch to Konica Hexar
    RF or Contax G2. You will have a long period of adjustment and a
    steep learning curve to change your way of picture taking."

    <p>

    - Not crediting your readers with much intelligence are we? Hands up
    how many Leica owners also have an AF SLR, maybe some MF cameras.

    <p>


    "The Hexar RF...<snip>...The lineup of lenses is small...)"

    <p>

    - Yep, exactly the same size as the pool of lenses which fit the M7.
    Big advantage for the M7?
     
  57. Giles wrote: "Why do you use a Leica if not for the way it is made
    and functions? - ie, mechanical, manual, high accuracy RF,
    quality feel, ergonomics (and obviously access to Leica 'glass')
    etc, etc. Are your reasons *really* not *at all* some of these?"

    <p>

    Well, you changed the terms a bit. Initially you said "the reason
    people buy and enjoy Leica's is bacause of what they are and
    the way they are made and function."

    <p>

    I don't want to be tossed into that stew because I don't
    particularly care about the historic "what they are" silliness and
    my only concern about the way they are made is that for the
    financial outlay involved they should be made better than most
    other cameras. From my experience this has been true, though I
    do wonder why my Leicas have been serviced more than any
    other cameras I've ever owned. In the past you have expressed
    great appreciation for brass top plates, script engraving, nubbly
    vulcanite, self timers. I could not care less about that nonsense.
    I would honestly like my M6's better if they were entirely black,
    unmarked, rubberized lumps.

    <p>

    So, the common ground becomes function. I use Leica M's
    because of the way they work -- bright, accurate rangefinder;
    relatively quiet shutter; small, inconspicuous, unintimidating size
    and (once blacked out) appearance.

    <p>

    Since I don't get all misty eyed over these photographic tools, I
    wish Leica had figured out a way to put a little more into their
    electronic M. I'm certainly in line with those who say 1/4000 top
    shutter speed would be more than a trivial improvement. I don't
    shoot ISO 100 film as a general rule. I shoot ISO 400 black &
    white film, at either EI 400 or 800, as my default. In bright sun I
    could shoot at EI 800 at 1/4000 at f/5.6 as opposed to something
    like 1/1000 at f/11 or 1/500 at f/16 -- stopped down more than I
    desire. To be able to move effortlessly from a normally lit interior
    to bright daylight with fast film would be a plus for me and, I
    suspect, for other photographers doing handheld candid work
    with their Leicas.

    <p>

    Nobody has commented that it looks like Leica returned to a
    solid metal, engraved shutter speed dial on the M7. Ah, tradition.
    Maybe that alone is worth the higher price. . . .
     
  58. Wow! Looks impressive, even if I don't care for built in meters,
    automatic or otherwise. The ability to do daylight fill flash at
    above 1/50th is enticing. Provided, of course, that the flash can
    easily be used off camera!
     
  59. Robert, without the benefit of a direct conversation our words are
    open to interpretation. You have interperated them differently to
    the way they were meant.

    <p>

    "..historic "what they are" silliness.." By 'what they are' I meant
    the way they work - you will acknowledge that they do not work the
    same way as many other cameras, I was not referring to the historical
    aspect of what Leitz stand for.

    <p>

    I said -"..what they are and the way they are made and function"

    <p>

    You said - "I use Leica M's because of the way they work -- bright,
    accurate rangefinder; relatively quiet shutter; small, inconspicuous,
    unintimidating size and (once blacked out) appearance."

    <p>

    Robert, what you have said above is EXACTLY what I meant - the way
    they are made and function!!! Sorry it should offend you that I
    suggested we all use Leica's for these reasons but you seem to have
    accepted that you do too (just like the rest of us mere mortals).

    <p>

    You seem to have a remarkable memory for my previous postings but you
    also seem have a remarkable ability to contradict yourself.
     
  60. Plus: Metered manual, brass cover, shutter improved mechanically

    <p>

    Minus: Continuous metering, battery dependent (no mechanical back-up)
     
  61. [​IMG]
    Denise [Atrium #8], 2/25/02
    I sincerely hope the M7 isn't the demise of Leica. Why not an M6 AE, and an all-electronic wonder--an F100--w/M mount? The further Leica gets behind technologically, the more people will just sigh deeply and go somewhere else. I love my R8 for the Summicrons and their gorgeous bokeh, but I’m not so sure I couldn't do just as well with a couple of older, classic, MF Nikkors on my F100.
    I recently wanted to add a 135mm lens to my outfit. I had the choice of a 135 Elmarit-R used for $550 or a 135mm f/3.5 AI-S Nikkor in 10- condition for $125. I went with the latter. The Elmarit would have only been about $200 less than a used 135mm f/2D DC AF Nikkor. The AI-S is a classic, very sharp, not overcorrected, with beautiful bokeh. And CHEAP. And the F100 is a superb camera, probably the best Nikon I've owned in 40 years of shooting Nikons.
    I don't know. I really am shaking my head here. As much as I love the old Leicas, they are really becoming an item for dilettantes, collectors and anti-technology die-hards.
    And I’m not talking just theory here. I actually shoot with my cameras, nearly every day. I did a shoot with my wife yesterday, for example, in the lobby/atrium of a local hotel. F100, 3 lenses (18, 35, 135), Aperture Priority, Portra 800 film. First, the whole outfit cost about $2300, less than an M7 body. Second, two of the lenses were autofocus so I could do follow- focus shots. Third, I had an 1/8000 second speed to handle the ISO 800 film in brighter light. Fourth, I could select Matrix or spot metering to suit the condition. Fifth, I had a motor. Sixth, the camera was fast, responsive, handled like a dream. Seventh, a similar array of lenses for an M would have cost (very ballpark) about $4500 used, making it about $7000 for the entire 3-lens outfit, or about 3 times the cost of the Nikon outfit. Eighth, I had focus confirmation in the VF for the MF lens. Ninth, the 35mm lens focused to under 1 foot, so I could do a few dramatic close-ups. Tenth, I could frame with absolute accuracy, with a big, bright VF, thus assuring perfect juxtaposition of background and foreground elements.
    Eleventh, the negs came out perfect.
     
  62. I think it would be nice to see more postings by Erwin, undoubtedly
    one of the top authorities (in the world) on Leica optics and
    cameras. I mean, it would seem to make perfect sense; this being a
    Leica forum. But from reading a couple responses above, however, I
    kind of doubt we will ever see him again. Whatever happened to a
    seemingly little-known concept around here called "graciousness"?
    It seems to have flown right out the door!
     
  63. Tony is absolutely correct. This thread seems to have attracted
    flamers with nothing constructive to add. Several posts devoted
    exclusively to bashing Erwin, including posts by people I have never
    seen here before. It doesn't take much courage to lay in wait and
    then pounce on someone whose views you don't like. Or maybe some of
    these people are just trying to discourage others like Erwin from
    contributing.

    <p>

    i personally found Erwin's review of the M7 to be very useful. And
    it cost me nothing to read. There is no other single source that
    provides as much information on this model. If you don't like it you
    can comment graciously.
     
  64. According to my calculations, the curtain speed is about 6m/s, not
    72km/s.
     
  65. According to my calculations, the curtain speed is about 6m/s, not
    72km/s.
     
  66. Even after (accidentally) posting twice as usual, I mistyped.
    Curtain speed is 6km/hour not ~70km/kr as claimed by Erwin
     
  67. Well if I was paid by and looked after by Leica I too would be one
    of the great know it all's. Another email I asked Erwin if i could
    get a copy of his book and he never replied. Erwin is just a public
    figure for Leica who potnetial consumers can relate too in order
    to persuade purchases. I'll decide for myself and listen to other
    noon-paid users before i seek advice from Erwin again. And he'd
    be pleased with that too.
     
  68. Just kidding. I've been moody lately and on a role. I actually think
    that Erwin is a great ambassdor for Leica and I always find his
    information useful, though sometimes a little difficult to
    understand. I guess he was just busy when i emailed him, and
    what more could he really say to such a simple and silly
    question. No hard feelings Erwin. Keep up the good work.
     
  69. Why not bash a man who spouts a lot of numbers but can't even do simple math
    correctly?

    <p>

    "The speed of the shutter curtains then is 2 meter/second or 72 km/hour."

    <p>

    2 meters per second times 3600 (the number of seconds in an hour) equals
    7200 meters, or 7.2 kilometers per hour. Erwin is off by a factor of ten. His
    remarks about high shutter speeds, where he couldn't figure out that 1/1000
    at f5.6 equals 1/4000 at f2.8 have been noted. These are simply the things
    that we can see are wrong because we can do the math. Who knows how much
    other bullshit he has thrown in when talking about mechanical tolerances, CNC
    machines, shutter release lag, etc. How many other decimal places have been
    moved around? How many other numbers have been fudged or ignored? It's not
    a personal attack or a flame. I don't really care if his tone is arrogant or not.
    He has his facts wrong, at least the ones that we can check, so why believe
    anything he has to say about the stuff you can't check? Think of him not as a
    world-renowned Leica guru but as a journalist, and you realize what he has
    written is trash. It isn't credible.
     
  70. "He has his facts wrong, at least the ones that we can check, so why
    believe anything he has to say about the stuff you can't check? Think
    of him not as a world-renowned Leica guru but as a journalist, and
    you realize what he has written is trash. It isn't credible"
    -- Masatoshi Yamamoto

    <p>

    A perfect summary of what motivated me to write me previous post.
     
  71. You are correct about the shutter curtain speed; it is 7.2 km/hour,
    not 72 km/hour. I do acknowledge it and can only say that my
    calculator said 7,200,00000 and I overlooked one decimal. My
    fault. This quite obvious error gives some people the excuse
    they need to discredit my report.
     
  72. I have but one thing to say to Masatoshi Yamamoto and Mark
    Wrathall: Just stop. You're making fools of yourselves.
    <p>
    Welcome to our list, Erwin. This thread is not typical (yet) of the
    normally mature and tactful way in which we talk to one another.
     
  73. Yes, Erwin. We hope you will post more frequently here. I for one
    happen to think your reviews are very well thought out and, for the
    most part, agree with my own experience. I suspect most people who
    contribute regularly and are thinking of buying a particular Leica or
    CV lens will read your review first and incorporate it into their
    decision-making process. Unfortunately, it is the flamers who tend
    to be most visible on websites. They don't speak for me; and I
    suspect they don't speak for most of us.
     
  74. Erwin, sorry you had to get flamed during a rare episode of ill-
    temper on this forum. We usually disagree a bit more agreeably :)

    <p>

    Hope you find reasons to drop by again!
     
  75. There is something so deliciously pompous about Erwin and so
    astonshingly thin-skinned that it's really difficult to stop oneself
    from posting something just to needle him. Makes me feel like
    I'm in school again, annoying a grumpy, puffed-up, utterly
    humourless, know-it-all teacher! Ah, happy days.

    <p>

    By the way, has anyone ever seen any of Erwin's photos? Those
    on which all this exhaustive scientific research is based?
     
  76. Tony, I agree with your comments completely! All the bashing is
    uncalled for and it's also lacking in basic human dignity.

    <p>

    Erwin, I hope you'll visit this forum again! I enjoyed reading your
    report on the M7, as I have numerous other reports you've written in
    the past. I admire your dedication to the world of Leica!
     
  77. Mr. Goodwin, here's the problem. You're continuing an attack on a
    person who is respected in this field. I've made the point here that
    it is unacceptable on this forum. You're blantantly breaking the
    rule, in effect saying, "Screw you, Tony!" You're also grandstanding,
    which only makes you look like a coward who hides behind a keyboard.
    What is it that you hope to accomplish besides making me lose valuable
    contributions to my forum? Don't be a jerk. If you disagree with
    Erwin's report, tell us where you disagree with it and maybe why. If
    not, fine. But stop the nonsense, OK?
     
  78. Bravo Tony.
     
  79. Tony, well said!!

    <p>

    Fair critique and challenge are great in any forum, but casual
    vituperation is not. Erwins points may well be open to challenge and
    contradiction, but he is not fair game for personal abuse and slander.

    <p>

    Besides, I don't see that any one of these self appointed Erwin
    bashers has produced Leica Pages and review material even remotely as
    comprehensive as what Erwin has. Easy to criticise when the only work
    you do is to dash off a few abusive lines on LUSENET.

    <p>

    Tony, why not delete these angry and unhappy posts, quickly, before
    they poison the atmosphere? Leaving them around for a week or so
    surely changes the mood and character of this forum. This used to be
    a pretty civil and happy place...
     
  80. Tony, you are correct to take a position against the sarcastic tone
    of my first post. I should have considered my arguments and presented
    them maturely the first time. The Forum shouldn’t descend into flame
    wars.

    <p>

    Are we still allowed to strongly disagree?

    <p>

    Erwin,
    I felt I was reading an infomercial. I sincerely felt this review
    does you no credit. I recognized your efforts and knowledge in my
    first post.

    <p>

    You have a well founded reputation as being a authority on Leica's,
    but such blind devotion to Leica as this essay showed risks your
    credibility. You can't be both an independent reviewer and the
    marketing department at the same time. I would like to suggest Phil
    Askey’s reviews on DPreview as an example of objective journalism.

    <p>

    If the M7 is a worthy product, it must stand on it's own strengths.
    The Leica M is a design which heavily compromises many area’s of
    functionality, to optimize a few others. Anyone who uses one accepts
    this trade off. To sell it’s limitations as features benefits no
    one, but is the source of the Leica Religion.

    <p>

    To me the piece that did the most damage to your credibility was the
    paragraph justifying the M7's 1/1000 top shutter speed. You had
    already given a thorough technical justification for it. It is
    clearly a compromise driven by technical decisions, to then justify
    that by indicating that 1/4000 is really needed, denies one of the
    true strengths of Leica, fast lenses, sharp wide open, with excellent
    Bokeh.

    <p>

    Another example was the statement devaluing the Hexar RF for it’s
    small line-up of lenses, when the M mount is the reason for it’s
    existence.

    <p>

    The incorrect facts I jumped on, (more than 50 years use of a 1954
    camera, the shutter curtain velocity, the relationship of 1/1000@5.6
    to 1/4000@2.8), were easy targets, which you should have caught
    during your proof reading.
     
  81. Good points, Mark!
     
  82. I am actually looking forward to Erwin reviewing the 21-35/3.5-4
    Vario-Elmar, the bigger news for me as an R user. The M7 isn't even
    out yet and folks are jumping on Erwin who actually used it for
    liking it too much!?! I will buy an M7 a year from now when the bugs
    are gone and prices level off because Leica has fullfilled my wish
    list for a standard brass top, separate on/off switch, more accurate
    shutter and coated finder window. This is my dream M6 and it is here.
     
  83. By the way, has anyone ever seen any of Erwin's photos? Those
    on which all this exhaustive scientific research is based?
     
  84. I don't think photographic talent is a prerequisite to hardware
    critique.
     
  85. He has removed his portfolio from his Leica site, but I recall from
    my browsing some time back that Erwin Puts is a very capable
    commercial fashion and glamour photographer in the Netherlands.
     
  86. Here's an oldie (not sure if it's a goodie)... a while ago I too looked at all of his stuff and remembered always seeing his last notes in a text of lens discussion, like for example:
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]All test pictures made on Kodachrome 25 and 64!![/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Copyright (C) 1997-1998, Photosite All rights reserved.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Author: Erwin Puts email: <imxputs@knoware.nl>[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Last Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2000[/FONT]​
    Seeing as how none of those pictures (indeed mentioned there) were ever actually shown, and no links were apparent, I asked him where it was all at. Never got a reply from him.
     
  87. Ray. It is not a question of Erwin's photographic talent. God
    forbid that he should be a great photographer as well! That
    would be altogether too much to bear.

    <p>

    It is simply a matter of being provided with some kind of objective
    evaluation of the basis on which his exhaustive and rigorously
    defended scientific - or even non-scientific for that matter - test
    results are determined.

    <p>

    Here is a direct quote about Erwin's lens testing evaluations
    from the great man himself, on his web site.

    <p>

    "These reports are capsule versions of more lengthy studies of
    leica lenses. Every report is based on field tests with slide and
    BW film from ISO25 to 3200 of common subjects like cats,
    artifacts, landscapes and a very skewed selection of some
    representatives of the human population. Field tests are
    controlled and reproduceable sequences of pictures in order to
    compare and evaluate results. In addition to these results, an
    optical bench, consisting of a projection test pattern has been
    used to study a number of optical properties. And MTF graphs
    are used to put all of these data into perspective. " Erwin Puts

    <p>

    That represents an extraordinary battery of tests. Magnificent. But
    has anyone actually seen any of these "controlled and
    reproduceable sequences of pictures"? And exactly how, for
    instance, does he use the MTF graphs - have we seen those
    either? - to "put all this date into perspective?" I have absolutely
    no idea, and while of course I believe him and am completely
    prepared to accept them as the gospel truth, and indeed may
    use them for my own meagre Leica purchases, I sometimes find
    myself wondering if I am a complete idiot. Am I?
     
  88. I am confused by the phrase "an optical bench consisting of a
    projection test pattern". Is that all an optical bench is?.........
     
  89. I am really sorry and I offer my personal apology to Erwin Puts for
    the rude behavior of two contributors here.

    <p>

    Erwin has contributed so much to enrich the Leica world, and
    has done so with no financial contribution from the likes of me. I
    enjoy his papers, his web site, and now his occassional posting
    to this forum. I pray that they continue.

    <p>

    These 'critics' offer nothing of the kind.
     
  90. Mr Goodwin,

    <p>

    In the scientific world when assertions are made by someone, the rest
    of the world seeks verification. Verification is the key to
    scientific discovery and thought. Without it, you have nothing.
    Just an anectdotal result. My be absolutely true, may not be.

    <p>

    So do some tests yourself. Rather than carp about Mr. Puts
    personality, you can test the issues you raise yourself. If your
    results differ, post them for verification. Have them stand the
    scrutiny of the public.

    <p>

    This has been done in science for eon's.

    <p>

    I disagree with some of the editorial perspectives Mr. Puts has. I
    use the Hexar RF with Leica lenses. I am completely satisifed. I
    get fantastic pictures (when lucky) and don't care a whit about
    anyone else's view of "compatibility."

    <p>

    But my views aren't science, just opinion. And my views take nothing
    from the views, statements, assertions, and findings of Erwin Puts.
    If I were to challenge him on any technical issues, I'd better have
    data, pictures, and findings. None of my findings would include
    words like pompous, ego, love with, or other emotion laced statements.

    <p>

    Yes, I concede his M7 report is laced with subjective statements.
    And he had his math incorrect when developing an analogy about
    shutter speed. And it is not off limits to point out these issues.
    Heated argument and debate is great. Personal attack, unilateral
    personal attack, is uncalled for. I do not see Erwin Puts returning
    any derogatory attacks to those that have been less than courteous.

    <p>

    Therefore, right or wrong, correct or in error, he's the gentleman.
     
  91. I would like to apologise to Erwin and other members of the
    forum for my rude and childish posts. Erwin's research has
    always been extremely useful for me and other Leica users and I
    hope very much will continue to be in the future.
     
  92. I think this post should stop here. There is an old saying we
    should all remember and maybe consider- including myself. "If
    you haven't anything nie to sy, don't say it at all".........or at least
    express your opinion with more respect than what is shown
    here. Isn't it so funny how we all are so heated up over a
    camera/company- "Leica".
     
  93. Christopher, I think it is truly nice/correct that you offer your
    apologies, maybe even somewhat overdone that you mention rudeness and
    childishness.

    <p>

    Kristian, I think this post should not stop here. The old saying "If
    you haven't anything nice to say, don't say it at all" is of course
    okay, but... in my opinion, although Erwin's writings are always
    interesting and useful for some of us, they still are, at the same
    time, often somewhat subjective, mistaken, and hard to understand.

    <p>

    "Subjective, mistaken, and hard to understand" things all in
    themselves are however not the end of the world, but... again in my
    own opinion, no bad reason to say we don't love this that or the
    other judgement posted, especially when it comes to our decision of
    buying something brand new and totally new on the market. And that is
    what it's all about here.
     
  94. "I do not see Erwin Puts returning any derogatory attacks to
    those that have been less than courteous. "

    <p>

    You don't? Then I guess you don't subscribe to his newsletter.
     

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