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 Post subject: An EVIL Leica Rumour
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 9:21 am 
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Hi folks,

Well, my best laugh of the day came early. LeicaRumors are reporting a Leica EVIL camera for Photokina:
  • It will look like the Leicaflex 18X24 prototype.
  • It will be a VERY small system camera, but there will be a big battery grip you can use, if you want.
  • The AF is very special, moving chip, the phase AF is ON the main sensor. :shock:
  • Only in black, 21 mp, 2fps, native ISO from 50 to 6400.
  • Full magnesium.
  • Price: body only 3200 EUR.
  • Will start with 3(!) pancakes, 2 primes, 2 zooms.
Don't you just love the idea of AF by moving the chip. Presumably the rear LCD will be mounted on a bellows to make room for the chip moving backwards as AF tracking follows the bee making an, ahem, beeline straight for the camera and the main camera body, as it's forced away from your face, will do a passable impression of Pinocchio's nose growing as he tells lies. :twisted:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 10:02 am 
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I like these rumours as it makes you both look at the old camera, and also think about how it could be done if true.

Looking at the Leicaflex, it is half frame in portrait orientation, with what looks like a mirror pointing sideways. What if we keep that mirror? You then have possible part of the width of the camera in which to shift the main sensor, which is certainly more than its depth. In the same size body you would be constrained to the same size sensor, which is approximately 1.4x crop. It might help simplify things if they moved to APS-C like everyone else.

If you're moving the sensor, there's then no need to have focus on the lens and they would be produced fixed focus. For this arrangement, the mirror would be a fully reflecting one and fixed in position, since it doesn't need to move. Thus it would not suffer from possible mirror vibration during a shot. Actually, you could ditch the mirror and use a prism instead for better light transfer.

Given the above, you'd need a new lens line designed for it. You're still going to have some lost distance due to the mirror, but with the fixed mirror the back focus distance could still be still lower than a crop DSLR although still longer than mirrorless designs.

Question I have is how much sensor shift do you need for focus at common focal lengths and focus distances? For wide angle, the adjustment would be very small, can the resolution be reliably implemented? For very long lengths, you're going to need a load of room for close focus. How limiting is it? For "around normal" focal lengths I don't think it would be a problem.

So my current impressions are, it could be done, within the assumptions above. Where does this differ from the rumour? It doesn't explicitly say it, but I get the impression it is suggesting a full frame sensor. Not going to fit. Also, within the design I outlined, you can sure do more than 2fps! The limit is only the shutter and processing rate if you take focusing out of the equation.

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3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 10:43 am 
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After a bit of searching I found a calculator to get an indication of the degree of movement the sensor may need to be moved when close focusing.

The calculation is for a simple single lens element, so in practice retrofocus or telephoto designs would be a lot more complicated. Still, it gives an idea of the kind of distances we're looking at. In particular, the distance from lens to image at sensor (b). Focal lengths stated here are actual lens focal lengths.

First let's take the good old 50mm lens. Going from infinity to 1m, the calculator gives an increase in "b" of about 3mm. Not bad. What about 35mm? The calculator gives 1mm there, but we're running out of its displayed resolution and can't go any wider. It could be challenging to move quickly and accurately for wider angles. For comparison, the Canon 35mm f/2 lens extends by about 2 or 3mm for the same distance. I think it would be a mild retrofocus design so in general that might help out.

How about longer focal lengths? Again going from infinity to 1m, for 135mm we're already at 26mm of extension. At 200mm it's 76mm, which I think means we're out of room. Increasing the MFD to 2m brings it back to a manageable 25mm again. Obviously at longer focal lengths you'll need longer MFD to have enough room. Like existing macro photography, you could use extension rings to reduce the focal distance range.

One interesting point here is that as a fixed focus lens, you wont get the focal length shrinkage effects seen at close focus on many modern lenses.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Interesting design alternative: moving the sensor 8)
Very good analysis, popo! It might work, when you limit the range of lenses to let's say 3xnormal (i.e. 150mm film-equivalent) to 0.5xnormal (=24mm film-equiv.)
And yes: You don't need to worry about shrinking IF-designs.
But then you have to move 15mm to achieve 1:10 magnification on a 150mm lens - which would be 7.5mm on the four-thirds sensor-equivalent of a 150mm film lens.
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Last edited by Thomas on Thu May 13, 2010 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:30 am 
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Nice analysis, popo. The 200mm focal length probably wouldn't be a worry as Leica currently only go to 135mm with their M lenses. It's interesting idea to fold the optical path with a mirror and default to portrait orientation. The original rumour specified "full-frame" so you'd probably be looking at a camera body being as deep as the sensor is wide (24mm plus a bit) plus whatever is needed for the rear LCD and the camera structure plus the lens mount. As it's an EVIL camera (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) at least there's no need for a shutter curtain. I suppose it might be possible to squeeze all that into the 37mm depth of the Leica M9. :?

I could understand the point of such a camera if Leica wanted to leverage its current line-up of M Lenses (might one "pre-focus" manually and allow sensor movement to fine tune?) which rather begs the question of why the originator of the rumour also indicates the camera will be launched with "3(!) pancakes, 2 primes, 2 zooms" if it is, indeed, a full-framer. But, IMHO, the dead give-away is the suggested price of €3200. That hugely undercuts the price of the M9 and I just don't see that happening. But if it does I might have to eat my words and buy one together with one of those nice Luigi cases. :twisted:

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:52 am 
A silly rumor, I laughed quite hard when I read it. Why not something that on the face of it sounds more believable like a full frame, fixed tri-elmarit 24-35-50?... Okay, that's pretty unbelievable too but I wouldn't want another camera ever again. :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:58 pm 
Fun or not,who really cares about lousy & expensive cameras?...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 4:37 pm 
"Lousy & expensive"?
Honestly, I can't think of a better camera and lens combination than an M9 with 24, 35 and 50 summilux lenses. And that has nothing to do with the price or the brand as such, just the quality of, and philosophy behind the gear.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 5:18 pm 
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The M9 isn't an EVIL camera, I assume that's what Razvan referenced to.

I kind of get it though. We can all agree that Leica cameras are very expensive and do not offer the best bang for the buck. Sure, the quality might be better, but the quality improvement by FAR isn't relative to the raised price.

I would love an M9 as a gift, yet I see absolutely NO point in buying one myself. I can take my photography further when I spend the same money on "cheap" nikon lenses/bodies. ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 6:14 pm 
I might have misunderstood. :wink:

The idea of a Leica built M-mount EVIL camera is very interesting but apparently won't happen. Just read a comment from Stefan Daniel (Leica) on Steve Huff's website...
Quote:
He pointed to the M9 and said “We already have a mirrorless camera”.

What I like about Leica is the manual experience. I don't see myself shooting film and as far as I have seen only Leica gives the genuine manual experience for digital. Of course the build quality is second to none and the combination with the small company size is what makes Leica so very expensive. I wouldn't mind paying for that if I could though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:13 pm 
The small "package" & built of Leicas is nothing to sneeze at.
A good example is the Leica M9...full frame in a comfortably small camera,with great lenses at your disposal. Unfortunately,I can buy a better quality full frame (like a 5D mark II),2-3 lenses & a lot of studio equipment,all for the price of just the M9 body. So smart people don't really buy Leica cameras if they want to obtain great results. And for street photography as well.
As for the EVIL Leica,I don't know...3200 euros for what? Sony has the most retro of designs with their full frame cameras,if you're after that edgy look in a camera. And they are more ergonomic then Leica will ever be. (a box design is hard to call ergonomic)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:39 pm 
Photography is all about having fun.

Most of us here know we'd have a whale of a time playing around on an M9 with some ridiculously bright lens.

If that is worth the money for some people then thats fine in my eyes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:17 am 
Razvan, I usually don't get into these discussions because it is too much subject to personal taste, but wouldn't you agree that the term "a better full frame" is subjective? I'm just curious.

See for me there are aspects of Leica cameras that are usually left out of the equation, but which for me personally weigh in heavily. I love craftsmanship and attention to detail, build quality that is second to none. I agree with those who argue that it is not the gear that makes the photographer, but that it is the photographer who creates the images. In that case the joy a photographer gets out of using his/her gear will transcend into the pictures produced.

I love my 7D and I'm not going to replace it any time soon. I don't even see sense in moving to a 5D. Buying an M9 would be something different, that would be about the pleasure of using something that to me is more about the experience of creating images. Even the flawed M8 is an interesting option. I have reached a point where I think that somewhere down the line (could be five years from now) I will replace my 7D with a digital rangefinder, preferably a Leica.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 11:21 am 
No,"a better full frame" is not subjective at all. You cannot compare them technical-wise.
Well it is a choice of taste,but if you have tons of money to trow away & if the M9 is a "pleasure tool" for you,then by all means buy it. If I was filfty rich,I would probably buy a M9 myself...& maybe 2 beautiful Leica lenses to go with the camera.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 12:00 pm 
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I'm with you, Razvan. If money was no object or I needed the particular and unique abilities of an M camera I'd love to have one. But price is a barrier, unfortunately. :(

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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