Leica M9 later this year

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ty_mickan, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. I was speaking to the owner of probably the largest Leica retailer in Australia today, about the options of the D-Lux 4 or the G1 with M adaptor. He asked me to consider the M9 to which I replied that it didn't exist. His reply was:
    "well I have a release date, and it is later this year"
    "Really?"
    "yes"
    "Is it full frame"
    "Yes it is. I was hoping it would come in around $12 000, but it will likely be closer to $15 000!".
    "Too much. How much is the D-Lux 4............."
    I cannot find any reference to this anywhere, but this guy is a straight shooter and I have bought a bit of Leica gear from him. I take what he told me at face value.
     
  2. uh la la :)
    but... 15.000 USD?!? ouch!
     
  3. You should speak to the dealer again when he is sober.
     
  4. I'll save my pennies just in case he is sober.
     
  5. bms

    bms

    I would think that Leica has been working on the M9 ever since they made the M8, which is to be expected (who wouldn't). Maybe they'll announce it soon, but their lag bringing the S2 on the market seems not to bode well for an on shelf camera this year....
    http://www.welt.de/die-welt/article1418788/Drei_Stufen_Plan_fuer_Leica.html
     
  6. Ouch! $15,000 US? I'd rather buy a couple of Nikon D700 bodies, a full assortment of lenses, studio lighting gear, and a vacation to a nice destination.
    Leica just isn't a serious contender in digital.
     
  7. I haven't seen anything about an advance in sensor technology that would allow a FF sensor to work in an M body.
     
  8. I am afraid Jim is right there will be no M9 any time soon , info already released is for a R10 and even this is two years away.
     
  9. Maybe he was thinking of the S2. $15k seems like a good price point for that.
     
  10. My entire camera purchases over the past 40 years (and That includes M3's and R equipment, and numerous medium format stuff, and a complete color darkroom) has not totalled $15000. How can they possibly justify that price for a body only?
     
  11. No it was AUD$15000, so that would be around US$8-9000.
     
  12. .... but their lag bringing the S2 on the market seems not to bode well for an on shelf camera this year....​
    Could you expand on this further? There has been no "lag" in the S2 program from the schedule announced by Leica at photokina. They have multiple pre-production units in the hands of professionals and are gathering comments from users for the final product "tweaking" prior to full production. Leica has said fall of 2009 for the S2 - I would expect that to mean sometime in November.
     
  13. On second thought I'll save my pennies for another film scanner if mine dies. My full-frame Leica film cameras will do just fine.
     
  14. Oh yea? Well, this one time in band camp the drum instructor said one day there would be a M11, price point at around $12,211.00 USD and it would most likely be released in the future. I'm tellin' ya, he told me, he's one of the camps biggest Leica users!!!
    Come on already, who cares, enough of this.
     
  15. Looks like to be one week too late.
    I belive what i see, no what i hear (or read on internet). ;)
     
  16. Just what the world needs haha.
     
  17. Full frame M Leica is definitely newsworthy, given today there are Zeiss, Voigtländer, Leica M mount lenses available in a great variety. If it is technically feasible, it would probably make me invest in the M system. However, obviously the price can't be real.
     
  18. All this is irrelevent if Nikon or Canon makes a HD lcd evr (no mirror) that has a short backfocal length that can be adapted to leica M lenses just like D300, D700 and D3x do with manual AIS lenses.
     
  19. Nikon and Canon want to make money selling Nikkors and EF lenses, absolutely the last thing they want is to make bodies for a high end competitor's lenses. Besides, the microlenses, AA filter, as well as image processing would have to be redesigned to work with rangefinder lenses. And focusing would be practically impossible (no, zooming the image in an LCD is not acceptable for hand-held operation).
     
  20. If the pricing is true, then the whole digital thing has got out of hand. All it will do is create a resurgance in film...A phenomenon we are seeing here with the Aussie $ at US $0.60 anyway.
     
  21. Harvey, R mount Leica lenses can already be used on Nikons. I don't think the smaller size of the M lenses is much of an advantage on say a D300 as it is on an M7.
     
  22. "I was speaking to the owner of probably the largest Leica retailer in Australia today, ... He asked me to consider the M9 to which I replied that it didn't exist. His reply was: 'well I have a release date, and it is later this year' ... I cannot find any reference to this anywhere ..."
    You can't verify his story, because it isn't true. We are at least two years away from a FF digital M camera from Leica. In the mean time, Leica is hanging its hopes on the S2 and the yet-to-be released R10.
     
  23. i didn't say that i could verify it and i won't try, but i don't see that he had any reason to lie to me. i rang him to buy something now (albeit not an M8). He had nothing to gain, but he just seemed excited to tell me about it, as though he had just found out himself. I'm not interested in started a silly rumour, just thought i'd share what i had been told.
    FWIW, his estimated price is about 150% of current retail here in Australia.
     
  24. Stephen is right... make the price $20,000.
     
  25. i love the idea of a full frame leica rangefinder....but for $15k i'd rather buy an old Porsche 911.
     
  26. Did you guys see Tom's follow-up post above?...
    "No it was AUD$15000, so that would be around US$8-9000."
     
  27. I went to the largest Toyota dealer in Australia and ask for the option of buying a Corolla to take my kids to school but the trustful dealer told me to consdier a Lexus LS Hybrid at $106,035.00 which is much better than a Corolla.....
     
  28. Kievnut, this is the Leica forum. Perhaps the moderators would be kind enough to move your post to the Toyota section.
     
  29. Kievnut: That is irrelevant; the Lexus is not full frame.
     
  30. "Leica is hanging its hopes on the S2 and the yet-to-be released R10".
    Yes and no. The S2 is Leica's strategy to get into the MF studio market. They have a fight if Phase One and Leaf, not to mention Nikon with their MX, have their way.
    There will be no R10. The R series have been discontinued by Leica and the current M's body is not thick enough to cater for the distance between the M series lenses and a FF focal plane. It would mean a whole new body.
    Don't forget that the Leica camera division is only a small part of their whole business. They, like everyone, are watching their pennies.
     
  31. Leica camera is not a division of Leica. They use the brand Leica under license from Leica Microsystems as do Leica Geosystems. These three company may share the same name, but they are not one in the same. I have a Leica Geosytems franchise, and I do not get a single cent discount on Leica cameras.
     
  32. At today's exchange rate (I just checked), "closer to $15 000" Australian dollars means something like $9999 US. (Today, $9999 US would be $14127 AU.) In comparison to a $7999 Nikon D3x, that doesn't sound out of line, especially given Leica's historical pricing relative to Canon, Nikon, and the like. (Yes, I realize that the prices in different countries are far from a straight currency conversion.)
    When or even whether a good system can be developed to let a full-frame sensor use M lenses is something few of us are truly qualified to say. Just remember that, not too long ago, most people were saying that sensor-based image stabilization would never work with full frame, but the Sony A900 proved otherwise. (Yes, I realize that Leica does not have Sony's technology or money.)
    I have no idea about Leica's plans. Frankly none of them have made total sense to me for quite a while. But then again, Leica's market of a decade (or two) ago made little sense to me, in some ways. Unless they want to abandon the prospect of future M lens sales, which might appear to be their best chance for profit (on cameras at least), they'll need an M8.2 successor at some point, and probably sooner rather than later.
     
  33. At today's exchange rate (I just checked), "closer to $15 000" Australian dollars means something like $9999 US. (Today, $9999 US would be $14127 AU.​
    Dave, we here Australia get shafted on pricing. It would be nice for us if were simply a matter of exchange rate but we often pay closer to double the price of the US. A Nikon D3x is about $13-14 000 over here.
     
  34. >In comparison to a $7999 Nikon D3x, that doesn't sound out of line, especially given Leica's historical pricing relative to Canon, Nikon, and the like.
    Leica is never a volume producer and their pricing is managed based on low volume niche market demand.
    The M9's sensor and dynamic range better be really attractive before I even look at it.
     
  35. What's wrong with film? I don't get all this digital stuff. I have yet to see digital print which beats anything from film.
     
  36. nothing wrong with film, i shoot wedding almost exclusively, and m3,4 & 6 are my cameras of choice. i find it especially well suited to weddings. but there are times when digital is handy, especially for fill flash. that is why i rang to enquire. i have the nikon d200 which does a splendid job but it is bulky to use along with the m's. i wanted a small camera like a d-lux 4 to use for the rare occasions that fill was required or under some tricky lighting. I don't think the d-lux 4, but that is why i was speaking with the dealer.
     
  37. The Nikon D70 had no upper limit for synch speed, and was pretty compact and lightweight. Maybe one of the newer Nikons has this hi speed synch feature as well.
     
  38. The M8 does exceed image quality in some respects over film M's, assuming the photographer has some mastery of the process. Film and digital are simply different from one another, but this should be apparent to everyone by now.
     
  39. Darius, Canon and Nikon DSLR's will sync at any speed with their matched flash units, but it's a trick that reduces flash range. The magic is in the flash that fires continuous pluses of light the entire time the shutter is open. You lose the motion stopping ability of flash in HS mode along with about a stop of output power, but it's a very useful thing to have available.
     
  40. Ah, the once and future M9. My pixies tell me that it will have a full frame 32 MP Phase One + sensor producing flawless 16 bit files. It will have sensor shifting image stabilisation and automatic sensor cleaning. It will shoot virtually noise free from a base ISO of 25 to 2500 and, with binning, 8MP to ISO 10000 or 2 MP to ISO 40000. It will be as thin as a film Leica, as quiet as any cloth shutter and still go to 1/16000s with a flash sync speed at 1/500s. Oh, and you will be able to read the exposure on a top side dial, and ISO will be set on its own dial around the shutter release with a lift and turn collar to change the binning.
    Anyway, that's what my pixies tell me.
    /M
     
  41. "Unless they want to abandon the prospect of future M lens sales, which might appear to be their best chance for profit (on cameras at least), they'll need an M8.2 successor at some point, and probably sooner rather than later."
    I'd expect an M 8.3 instead. Current M 8.x owners can upgrade for only $5,621 US. They'll get ostrich skiin camera leather, an updated reuby-encrusted Leica logo, and a matching wallet.
     
  42. Jim, the D70 had a special shutter that could synch up to 1/500 of a second, and in fact up to the top speed if it was a non Nikon flash. It is not the FP hi synch you are talking about.
     
  43. "... The S2 is Leica's strategy to get into the MF studio market... There will be no R10. The R series have been discontinued by Leica and the current M's body is not thick enough to cater for the distance between the M series lenses and a FF focal plane. It would mean a whole new body...
    Stephen:
    You need to check your facts.
    1. Yes, the R series has been discontinued. However, the R10 will reintroduce the R series into the digital medium, which will be released sometime within the next 12-months.
    2. From its announcement, the S2 has been touted as Leica's new flagship camera. That sounds to me like they are hanging their hopes on it.
    3. There is no reason a FF digital M camera can't be the same thickness as the M8. The distance between the rear lens element and the film plane is not a variable. If current lenses are moved away from the film plane they will not focus properly. The only other alternative is to completely redesign M lenses for FF digital. For obvious reasons, Leica is NOT going to do that.
     
  44. You need to check your facts.
    1. Yes, the R series has been discontinued. However, the R10 will reintroduce the R series into the digital medium, which will be released sometime within the next 12-months.​
    I agree. I keep pointing out to people the response I got from Leica last month when I asked them about the R line:
    http://blog.photo.net/?p=4051
    But people keep repeating the "R line is ending" rumor. All they said was that the R9 was ending and implied that a digital R was coming. They said nothing about lenses ending and nothing about the R line ending. Now, if you want to say "I don't believe that Leica will actually come through with a digital R camera, that's a fair opinion to have I suppose.
     
  45. If you read Leica's web site it clearly says that the R system, including lenses, is no longer in production. If they planned to reintroduce an R series body, surely they would not have discontinued all lenses.
     
  46. There is a video somewhere on internet that contains a recent interview with the head of the S2 production unit (unfortunately I don't know where I saw it). In the first section of the interview she discusses the R system, and mentions that it is being discontinued in its current form.
    She goes on to say that it will be reintroduced with the R-10 and a series of auto focus lenses using the same mount. The lenses will be compatible with current R lenses, though she does not go into detail regarding metering with the various versions (rom, 1,2,3,3rd cam etc).
    If someone could please help me out with the url of the video that would be helpful. Thanks.
     
  47. if nine was ten ...
    the successor of M8 will be called M10, because 9 is outside the "octagesimal" number system which Leica adopted for M-numbering as a usually reliable source close to the truth pointed out:
    "See, thus it's done!
    Make ten of one,
    And two let be,
    Make even three,
    And rich thou 'It be.
    Cast o'er the four!
    From five and six
    (The witch's tricks)
    Make seven and eight,
    'Tis finished straight!
    And nine is one,
    And ten is none.
    This is the witch's once-one's-one!"
    -- JWvG
    00T1Fo-123469584.jpg
     
  48. If that is the case, I stand corrected. I also stand annoyed that they would send me an incomplete set of information.
     
  49. Sorry, did not realize that the link to the video was provided on the blog mentioned earlier in this thread.
     
  50. I should also add that it is the link on the blog is near the top, in Doug Herr's posting. The video is dated 3-19-09.
     
  51. And also, I just noticed Doug Herr's posting was on 3-11-09, which doesn't make sense. It looks like it was shot at photokina (which is held in the fall?). That being said, based on the video, it does look like the r-system is still alive.
     
  52. Even at USD8,000-USD9,000 it's pretty steep. However, I guess they are banking on a niche market that they catored in the past so let's wait and see. In the meantime I'll keep my belowed MP and a Nikon d90 combo (film is not yet dead and my MP is still a beautiful little camera).
     
  53. I agree with you Josh. This is my take and it's an observation from someone whose family has been in this business since 1908, rather than speculation.
    Leica have been successful by differentiating from the mass producers. Always have and always will. That has been the success of their resurgence. The M8 was created to bring digital to all those loyal but wavering owners of superb M series lenses. Heck, we even now have the M mount being supported by more rangefinder manufacturers than ever before, and in the film market it is measurably growing from a near death about 18 months ago. The availability of good, inexpensive scanners have done that. Praise the Lord!
    It would not make sense for Leica to spend zillions on an FF digital body that was a different form factor to the existing one. The beauty of the M8 body it the fact that it is the same as all the other M bodies. That's the DNA and it's why Leica customers buy it. They are buying the heritage. The M8 is certainly not a big profit earner for Leica. The distributor here tells me that he sells more new M7's and MP's, than M8's. The price is also a killer....A$8k. at least A$2k more than a new D3.
    The typical Leica buyer (not looker) is not the same as the Nikon or Canon buyer. They walk into the store about twice a month in a city here of 4.5m people. And none are asking about full frame. Most are existing M owners who are trying to get their head around digital. They can still buy a new film M body from A$2-4k, but they rarely buy new. Their respect for the M form factor borders on religious. If the M8 went FF, then the sensor surface (film plane in the old days) would have to be significantly further back if the M series lenses are still to be used. It would increase the thickness of the body by up to a centimeter. Either that, or they would have to push out the mount by the same amount, and they would not do that as it would screw up the rangefinder coupling and geometry. Its a simple matter of optics.
    But you know...I actually hope I am wrong. An M8 with FF would be magic. Just so long as the pricing is realistic and the images are richer and more beautiful than the opposition. But Leica do not have a great track record for pricing logic, do they?
    Leica have introduced the S2 at about A$35k here, so unless they position the supposed say M9 FF at around A$15+k, then it would not make sense. Its got to be better than the best of Nikon or Canon but cheaper than the S2. For that kind of money Joe Blogs can set himself up with a D3x and three fast zooms that any pro would be happy with. A A$20k investment in a basic camera kit would be beyond all but a few really really rich amateurs or even pro's, and you don't get a return on investment doing that with your pricing. For the pros, they left Leica 24x36 form factor years ago. They are into D3 and 1D, or digital medium format now. Some may nibble at the S2, but I don't see it. An S2 here with three new Leica lenses would blow out to a bit less than A$50k. That sort of money would buy a studio full of medium format gear. And what to do with the Nikon MX that is sitting in the corner like a cat, watching and waiting to pounce when the time and firmware is right? If the S2 is successful, then it would be a gift from heaven for Nikon as it creates the MX positioning for them at A$20K.
    But all this is really a waste of time as we don't really know, do we? And speculation does not achieve anything except stroke the egos of those with nothing better to do and give ammunition to those who like forcing their opposing opinions.
    And just to make us all quiver in our boots, there is an ad on eBay today, for a Phase One M20 for Hasselblad for US$3k. Add a good used Blad body and 65,80 and 120 Zeiss lenses, and for $6-7k all up, you are in pro digital MF territory. Could I have some fun with that!
    I'm off to have some hot cross buns and enjoy a quiet Good Friday. Happy Easter.
     
  54. Bill, on your point #3, a lens redesign for the M system may happen. Canon did it, and the move now is generally required as a good one. Leica may do it for some of the same reasons.
    Ilkka, because they are going to introduce AF lenses with the "dR10"?
    I like the M camera, it's very likely to be the last machine I buy. I'm in the comfortable position to know that this machine will suit me to the end and my kids have no idea what it is, or what it means to me.
     
  55. I can produce a thousand links to the Leica S2, including images taken with it and pictures of people shooting with it. Can anyone produce ONE link showing a real "Nikon MX"? Total smoke and mirrors. (Of course, a full-frame Leica M is still equally vaporous.)
    As the Ozzies have so kindly reminded us, the surest sign of an internet dodo is someone who takes a camera price in one country, runs to a currency exchange-rate calculator, and then think they know its price in another country. If you aren't aware of how much local taxes and markets affect prices from one place to another - OUTSIDE the exchange rate - you are fairly ignorant of global markets and might want to avoid revealing that fact in public.
    A Nikon D700 runs about 140% of the price of a D300 (not to mention a D3x compared to a D2x), therefore (sadly) a Leica full-frame rangefinder is likely to run at least 140% the price of an M8.2, so $8500 US (or more) is not unlikely.
     
  56. "If the M8 went FF, then the sensor surface (film plane in the old days) would have to be significantly further back if the M series lenses are still to be used. It would increase the thickness of the body by up to a centimeter. Either that, or they would have to push out the mount by the same amount, and they would not do that as it would screw up the rangefinder coupling and geometry. Its a simple matter of optics."

    Could you clarify this? It doesn't make any sense. The lenses focus to a point at the old film plane - that is the only place they focus to, so that is exactly where you have to put the sensor - half frame APS, full-frame or 645, it doesn't matter what size the sensor is - it's a simple matter of optics.

    (Of course the M lenses would not cover the surface of a 645 sensor, but then they won't have to.)

    Whether you need some bulk behind the sensor, which would necessitate a thicker body, is another matter - that seems to be the case with the M8, but that is a matter of electronics, not optics.
     
  57. I'll try and explain:
    An image exiting from the rear elemant of a lens creates a circle of coverage in a 35mm camera just big enough to cover an area of 24x35mm at the film plane. The distance from the rear element of the lens to the film plane is critical. This is why DX lenses have a narrower spread to cover the smaller size of DX sensor.If you put a DX lens on an FX body most likely you would not have an image circle large enough. Some zooms are the exception, but not many. Its also why you get a "crop factor" using FF lenses on DX sensors.
    The sensor in the M8 is a DX sensor. It is positioned further foward in the M8 body than the film plane would be in say an M7. If one was able to replace the M8 DX sensor with a bigger FF one in the same position, the image circle would not cover this bigger sensor. You would get black corners etc. If its given that Leica would not redesign M lenses, then the FF sensor has to be further back in the body than the DX sensor. Due to the thickness of the DX sensor, there is no spare room in an M body to push the sensor rearward so it captures the FF image circle.
    Now if someone came along and made a sensor the same thickness as film, and positioned it at the same FF film plane, then it would work. Next time to have your DX camera in your hand, you will notice two things. Firstly, its a thick body...much thicker than the older film body equivalent. This is to allow for the sensor module thickness as well as the LCD. Secondly, in Nikon DX bodies anyway, look at the top of the camera and you will find a little circle with a horizontal line through it, printed on the top plate. This is the position of the sensor (film plane) in your camera. You will notice that it is at least a centimeter or more from the back of the camera, even allowing for the rear LCD. In the M8, there was barely enough depth for the LCD and sensor module. Its a marvel of design that they could. The DX sensor was chosen because, being DX is gave up a little more room being able to be closer to the lens.
    ERGO...this is why it would be very difficult to put an FF sensor in the existing M8 body as the M lenses were designed for 60 years to cover the 24x35 film frame almost at the back of the camera.
     
  58. Stephen,
    While no optics expert, I am virtually positive that you are completely wrong. The lens-to-flange distance is the same on the M8 as on film M cameras. The lenses would not be interchangeable if it were otherwise. When using "film" lenses on an M8, you would be able to focus well past infinity and close focus would be affected if the distances were different.
    I suggest that you read this article on LL:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/Leica-M8-Perspective.shtml
    The reason the FF is problematic for rangefinders has to do with the angle that the light hits the sensor when passing through non-retrofocus lenses. Digital sensors are really only designed to work well with light hitting the sensor at a 90 degree angle. This is why Leica had to jump through the hoop of designing the "microlenses" for the M8. Full frame is not as much of an issue for SLR's because their retrofocus lenses already send the light rays fairly straight. This was a requirement because SLR lenses cannot protrude very far into the camera body due to the swinging mirror.
     
  59. does it still require the magenta filter?
     
  60. "The sensor in the M8 is a DX sensor." Not quite. DX= APS-C sensor (1.5/1.6x crop)=Nikon D300/Canon 50D. M8 sensor is APS-H (1.33x crop) = Canon 1d mkIII.


    "It is positioned further foward in the M8 body than the film plane would be in say an M7. " Not correct. The M8 lens-mount-to-image-plane surface is identical to that in any M rangefinder. 27.80mm ± 0.01. It is possible that the shutter mechanism is thicker in the M8, since it a whole different type - but the actual focus plane is identical. It has to be, or pictures taken with any lens set to infinity (by focus scale) would be grossly out of focus.
     
  61. "... on your point #3, a lens redesign for the M system may happen. Canon did it, and the move now is generally required as a good one. Leica may do it for some of the same reasons."
    Six-bit coding has been the extent of it. You can't possibly believe Leica is even contemplating a new M mount design! I will grant you Leica "could" redesign a new M mount, but I will tell you it's not likely. Case in point - Leica has released no less than five new M lenses in just the last few months (expensive ones too) - and they did it without redesigning the M mount.
    And you can't compare Leica to Canon. They build and sell more cameras in one year than Leica has in the past 25.
     
  62. Andy wrote: "[T]he surest sign of an internet dodo is someone who takes a camera price in one country, runs to a currency exchange-rate calculator, and then think they know its price in another country."
    Do you read? I wrote, "Yes, I realize that the prices in different countries are far from a straight currency conversion." Clearly there are very significant differneces. Price difference are due in part to taxes (US prices are usually quoted without sales taxes, which run from nothing to about 10%, depending on the locality), while in many other parts of the world, prices are quoted with a VAT, which is often far above even 10%. They are also due in part, maybe the larger part, to country-to-country variations in market conditions, manufacturer business strategy, etc. But those sorts of differences are too complex to try to account for in this sort of casual conversation--to me at least.
     
  63. Department of Understatement

    They build and sell more cameras in one year than Leica has in the past 25.
     
  64. I started a thread last year to explore this subject exhaustively.
    What’s interesting is that since then no-one has provided evidence of a single technological advance that would make a full frame digital M any easier to achieve.
    If interested, do a search for: "would you give Leica a free hand"
    As well as (1) the technical side, I sought to examine (2) the psychology of Leica buyers, users and opinion formers, often but not always the same people.
    I asked if they would still accept the Leica digital M if going full frame meant it looked very different.
    This was too close to the bone for some of the Leica commentariat. The look of the camera is as important to them as what it does.
    If you doubt this, look what happened to the Leica M5 – very advanced but the electronics changed the look of the beast – and in the jungle, look is all.
    Some habitués of the various Leica fora were scornful, saying Leica will design what it designs: the opinion of users is irrelevant. (There’s been some evidence this past year that Leica does indeed listen to its customers – making available the much desired delayed recocking feature of the M8.2 as a firmware upgrade).
    The intelligent comments boiled down to this:
    A few said there would be no point in a FF digital M if existing lenses were incompatible.
    Others said they would accept any changes to the look of the M, so long as it still has the constant-view, optical rangefinder viewfinder, keep the approximate size – and again, keeps compatibility with existing lenses.
    One suggested looking to third-party manufacturers for a new body. (Since my post, Epson has restarted producing the barely-modified RD1).
    Overall, I think the conservative response, particularly of some among the Leica commentariat, suggests Leica would not dare to mess with the 50-year-old look of the M.
    More important, however, as I said at the start, I have heard of no technological advances that make a full frame digital M any more feasible now than it was when Leica introduced the original M8.
    If anyone does know (engineering or technological advances, please, not rumours) then I’d love to hear.
    Regards,
    Mark
     
  65. Some of the work that is happening in the field of "computational photography" may be useful in creating a full-frame M digital camera.
    For example, the flange-to-sensor distance could be increased. This would result in an out-of-focus image on the sensor. The amount by which the image is out of focus is known, so camera's processor could deconvolve the blurry image and produce the focussed one. This would require a very powerful processor if you want to see the image in a reasonable amount of time.
     
  66. What would most certainly drive Leica to an M9 would be the release of another comparable M-mount camera at a lower price point. If say Zeiss offered their Ikon with a 12mp APS-C Sony sensor, to stay on top, Leica would come out with an M9 with a 15mp sensor. For I believe it was the Epson R-D1 that ultimately moved Leica to the digital M as it is Zeiss and Cosina that very much moves them to make new M-mount lenses.
     
  67. The thing I love about these internet forums is that there is sooo much information. The thing I hate about these forums is that there is soooo much mis-information. I wish people would get their facts straight instead of trying to look like knowledgeable experts. Leica has stopped manufacturing the R line of "analog" cameras and lenses. No where have they said that they are not going to produce a new line of digital SLR's with new autofocus lenses designed for digital photography. People just love make crap up. Get your facts straight.
     
  68. Dave Redman: OK, I withdraw the "curse of the internet dodo." I do think those international variables need to be taken into account, though, because otherwise 'net readers tend to start broadcasting fictitious info "Oh-my-gawd the M9 will be $12,000 US according to its Australian price!" That can add up to a 25% difference in "official" price.
    Not that we have seen anything like an official price for the M-next, yet.
    Mark Gay: I did a survey over on the Leica User's Forum last month - the results pretty much matched yours: Some support for changes in form factor; has to work at least acceptably with Leica's current M wideangles
     
  69. So long as the digital sensors are natively so much slower than film, they are going to need micro-lenses to increase their speed. Those micro-leneses, even with the offset in the M8's sensor, are what makes a full-frame digital M still a near-impossible challenge.
    That said, note that the new wide angle Leica M lenses are mostly retrofocus. They are trying to make the lenses telecentric, to make life easier for the designers of the full-frame digital M.
     
  70. So long as the digital sensors are natively so much slower than film, they are going to need micro-lenses to increase their speed. Those micro-leneses, even with the offset in the M8's sensor, are what makes a full-frame digital M still a near-impossible challenge.​
    I'm not sure that it's accurate to say that a digital sensor is "natively so much slower than film". That kind of over-simplifies the issue. The problem isn't that digital sensors are less sensitive. It is that they are designed to be sensitive to light coming in at a fairly perpendicular (90 degree) angle. Because of this, they are much less sensitive to light coming in at a shallow (45deg perhaps?) angle. The micro lenses gather the shallow angle light rays and re-direct them to being perpendicular rays. This can only go so far though, and in the end, yes design of digital sensors and the differing design of RF lenses is what is causing the issue.
    But saying that they are "less sensitive" across the board isn't really accurate. Not when we have cameras that can do ISO 25,000 now.
     
  71. Leica could make a full frame RF body and use the R slr mount. :) Then one would have a larger flange to film plane distance; plus one could scale focus wide angle R slr lenses. :) Then you make R mount RF lenses with a cam for the RF on the new body.
     
  72. Hi Bill, I was referring to the end of the R lenses. Would it make much sense to have them backward compatible to the last R cameras?
    Having shot Nikon SLRs I was only remotely aware of the switch Canon made. If the R mount lenses can be made backward compatible, that obviously would be a slight advantage, a huge advantage would be old lenses being forward compatible. We went OT on the R system, apologies.
    How many years does Leica usually keep an M camera design in production? If they did introduce a more or less FF dRF, would they still produce an MP and an M7 successor? Rumors of the MP going Ala Carte come to mind.
     
  73. "... How many years does Leica usually keep an M camera design in production? If they did introduce a more or less FF dRF, would they still produce an MP and an M7 successor? Rumors of the MP going Ala Carte come to mind."

    Leica has no consistency as to how long a model stays in production. The M3 was produced for 12-years, the M4-2/P together about five years, the M6/M6TTL for 18 years, etc. AFAIK, Leica has no plans for a new film camera (any such plans would be counterproductive to their survival). Since a FF digital M camera is at least 24-months out, it is anybody's guess if standard MP production will survive beyond that.
     
  74. I'm going to guess that as long as they are selling MP's, they will keep making them.
     
  75. brilliant. im definitely having one. the best small system camera EVER.
     
  76. well, there was talk before that panasonic was trying to buy leica. i was able to talk to a high ranking panasonic manager from osaka and he did confirm that they did start talks but nothing eventuated. he himself is a leicaphile and is not too keen on seeing the marriage of panasonic and leica. but who knows? maybe the M9 will be developed in the future with Panasonic or some other big electronics manufacturer. personally though, i hope they are able to develop the M9 by themselves.
    is it true though that they are trying to push out all the existing stocks of the M8 classic?
     
  77. Eventually there will be a full frame digital back for film M cameras.
     
  78. Eventually there will be a full frame digital back for film M cameras.​
    Ah...I don't know about that Alex. That may be a FF M camera someday, I just don't think it will be a "back".
     
  79. My M6s and bricks of Provia just became the bargain of the century if this pricing is anywhere near accurate.
     
  80. The amount of energy expended here on the full-frame digital Leica is just incredible! From it one could get the impression that film developing and darkroom printing was next to impossible.
     
  81. Eh, so what? Some people have left film and don't ever want to come back. You just have to accept that as much as digital nerds need to accept that there are some people who have no interest in film. To each their own.
    I would also guess that many people see some sort of a digital plan as crucial to Leica's survival. And I guess you would have to put me in that camp as well.
     
  82. Who cares if Leica builds a FFDCRF body! Truth is for me, like some other PJ shooters, even the DSLR are a waste of time.Sorry to burst your bubble. Usage of a small compact PSDigital like the G9+, the CanonSureshots or whatever are more than sufficient for many assignments. The sheer overblown size of a camera that is working with less than Half frame sensor is crazy. I need small and light. A couple of Point and shoots plus back up AA cells is all thats needed.It may not look professional, but then i do not get hounded by "security"troops with my "amateur" cameras. I still make use of Leica M's but would never dream of buying a OVERPRICED under-achieving box.I have had clients sometimes worried but a show of umbrella strobes, a case with a variety of lenses for Nikon,Pentax or Canon rigs ends any worry..The sensor in a new M9 would not need to be further back..DUH!! It must be 27.4mm.
    The photos of the Rush Hour bombings in London UK were from phonecameras in the papers..
    A
     
  83. That sounds to me like the Alex Majoli story. Shooting serious PJ in Congo and Irak with a bunch of Olympus P&S and still delivering the images his clients needed. Real food for thought here!
     
  84. WOW, I didn't mean to stir up a hornett's nest with my OP. It was a piece of info that I was told by a dealer. I took it at face value, it's my choice, but nobody else has to beleive it. It is of little importance to me, I still shoot film.
     
  85. Capture One 4.8.2 is out, Leica M9 profile exists, but no IR/UV option in the profile which also means no need for UV/IR filters (Hopefully) cheers
     
  86. Here is the official announcement. Looks like 9/9/09 is the BIG day.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBcZ1jaWXRw&feature=player_embedded
     
  87. just got an email from Leica outlining the unveiling of their next generation of cameras (not plural) and the email had a picture of part of an M body camera. this seems to confirm that their will be another iteration released on a week or so, whether it be an m8.3 or an m9, but 'next generation' seems to lend itself to an M9.
     

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