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Thread: Leica 'admits' they're ripping you off!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Leica 'admits' they're ripping you off!

    leica-boss.com video

    Leica explains how all of this unnecessary 'mumbo jumbo' of a DSLR adds to the cost of the camera, and that the simplicity of the mirrorless camera(which they've been making since the dawn of time) are much cheaper and less complex to produce.
    Then they explain how the shorter register distance(flange to sensor) of the mirrorless cameras allows much more simple wide angle lens designs, with flow on effects of lower production costs of these too.

    So the average mug would be pleased to know that this mirrorless camera design is going to be much cheaper to produce, with cheaper lenses to boot

    ... and yet! .... the reality doesn't reflect this 'supposed theory'!!

    Look at the prices of Leica products, watch the video and the only conclusion that can be drawn from theses two sources of info is that Leica are ripping their loyal customers to shreds!

    a quick spot check of the average price and a 35mm f/1.4 lens(a wideish angle, but not a focal length that pushes optical boundaries!) and the Leica version will set you back at least 2-3x what the Nikon/Canon/Sony 35mm equivalents will!

    So, with the consideration that the DSLR versions of this 35mm f/1.4 lens design must surely cost the DSLR manufacturers a lot more to produce(Leica's admission), and yet the retail pricing of these lenses are 2-3x lower than the Leica what other conclusion could be made here?

    And then we have the consideration that the shorter register distance inherent with mirrorless cameras makes it easier to produce wider angle lenses, which means that for mirrorless camera systems, you'd expect the lens market to be awash with super duper ultra wide angle lenses.... and yet it isn't!
    It's the DSLR segment that leads the way with the 'wideness' of the wide angle lens(wide FOV) market!

    As far as I'm aware, there is only the 12mm Voightlander lens available for the Leica system that comes anywhere near the focal length of the current 12-14mm UWA lenses from Sigma/Nikon/Canon(full frame).
    Leica themselves don't have anything close to this, and the 12mm Voight is a very old design. Leica only has an 18mm prime as one of their widest lenses and they also have the 16-18-21 tri-elmar .. which seems a bit strange from them to have their widest lens as a 'zoom' lens type!

    Don't get me wrong here I have(or use to have) a lot of respect for Leica and their products. After seeing this video, I've lost a lot of that respect, but maybe this short video of guff marketing was the work of a desperate person looking to justify their position with Leica or something. Either way, I think if you're going to produce some thing like this, at least have the hardware on the ground to prove the points being made about the design philosophies!!

    I doubt very much that I'm not alone in the opinion that for wide angle lens design and product, nothing comes close to Nikon's 14-24mm lens.
    Sigma's 12-24mm is definitely wider(but slower), although for image quality, the Nikon is regarded as having set the performance bar(and I'm sure Canon is working on an equivalent lens as I write).

    Yet with Leica's admission of how much easier and simpler it is to make wide angle lenses for mirrorless cameras, we only get a three step zoom lens, which falls way short of the current mark, and costs 3x as much to buy .. and is a slower lens design too!

    So, one of two possible conclusions could be drawn from the video:
    1. Leica is producing the same expensive little box of tricks it has been for longer than any other manufacturer and reaming it's customers for the privilege, or
    2. the chap that produced this video is a few sense short of a full dollar, and should have waited until there was product available to support his assertions!

    Finally, I think he should have researched his 'camera equivalency' tables before making this video too. At about the 7min mark, he compares the cost and complexity of the Canon 14mm on a full frame DSLR to an equivalent lens for smaller Sony NEX camera. But he continues to use the 14mm focal length as the example lens for the NEX lens, and how much more simple it'd be and smaller and lighter and so on. But doesn't mention the fact that you'd lose something like 20° of FOV in going from a 14mm lens on full frame to 14mm on an APS-C sensor camera!!
    For the same FOV you would need a 9mm lens on the APS-C camera, and producing a 9mm lens is more difficult than a 14mm lens irrespective of whether it's for a mirrorless or DSLR camera.

    Apologies for the rant!
    I just thought that this video doesn't appear to have been well thought out prior to release, and also what type of photographer was the intended market?
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Arthur, 'Leica' has nothing to do with that video, there are no 'admissions' from Leica of any kind and it appears to have been produced by a bloke called Bart ( http://www.leica-boss.com/about-leica-boss/ ) for his site, nothing more.

    JJ

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    thanks for the video link Arthur. However, Mongo agrees, the video has no apparent connection to Leica or any other brand. The theory , however, is not only interesting and informative, but also quite solid. Mongo had not been previously aware of the dynamics of the lens to sensor distance between mirrored and mirrorless camera bodies before now. From that, one might start to draw some theories and guarded conclusions about the cost savings theoretically possible. From that again, one might start to ask questions if mirrorless cameras and their lenses are not cheaper than their mirror bodied counterparts in the near future.

    Also, if the video maker's theory is correct, should we all be waiting for mirrorless cameras and their lenses instead of investing more money in current mirrored bodies and lenses ??
    Last edited by mongo; 14-03-2012 at 10:08am.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    have a look at the range of Panasoninc & Olympus mirrorless cameras and the wide angles available, they are more than adequate for most out there and have been out long enough to have been well tested and proven to have strengths and weaknesses , just like any other brand. As far as mirrored dslrs go, 4/3rds have some fine wide angles available to, the 7-14 (14-28 ff equiv) f4 is an excellent lens.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, whoever is ripping anyone else off...!
    Hey, notice Sigma dropped the price of its top model DSLR from $8000 to $2000?
    AFAICT they are also giving rebates to the people who originally bought them at $8000.

    Sounds like some corporate culpa nostrae
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Perpetually Bewildered
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Then they explain how the shorter register distance(flange to sensor) of the mirrorless cameras allows much more simple wide angle lens designs, with flow on effects of lower production costs of these too.
    He didn't actually explain anything - he just made the statement that the smaller register distance enables simpler wide-angle lenses, etc. I can't see how this can be the case. Surely if the sensor size remains constant and you move it closer to the flange, then the light coming out the back of the lens needs to spread wider (ie at greater angles) to cover the same diagonal. I would have thought that this increased the likelyhood of distortion and light drop-off and consequently might require a more complex lens ?

    If you take the guy's theory to its extreme conclusion, instead of the register distance on an 8x10 view camera being maybe 12" or more (don't know the specifics), you could use a simpler (?) / cheaper (?) lens and have the film plane an inch or two from the lensboard. Does that sound like it would work?

    What am I missing here?



    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fillum View Post
    ...What am I missing here?...
    I could only think that he is alluding to NOT having to build in retro-focus-ivity [drop coins here]
    into his "simpler" lenses.
    Am(ming and airing).

  8. #8
    A royal pain in the bum!
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    arthurking83's Avatar
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    Firstly, apologies for the mis info as to the connection to Leica from this blog site .. my bad and I should have researched that more carefully.
    Apologies to Leica.

    Quote Originally Posted by fillum View Post
    ..... I can't see how this can be the case. Surely if the sensor size remains constant and you move it closer to the flange, then the light coming out the back of the lens needs to spread wider (ie at greater angles) to cover the same diagonal. I would have thought that this increased the likelyhood of distortion and light drop-off and consequently might require a more complex lens ?...... .
    I think that the theory is that because of the shorter register distance, the optics are easy to 'mirror' and keep simpler.

    having seen the Voightlander 12mm, this appears to uphold the theory, when compared to a Canon/Nikon 14mm primes, which are twice as big and 4 times as complicated in their optical formula.
    The other difference between the the 14mm primes and the Voight 12mm, is that the voightlander is only an f/5.6, whereas the Cannikon lenses are f/2.8's which add complexity and girth.

    But the aperture differences also point to an anomaly in this supposed simplicity of these UWA lenses for mirrorless cameras.
    if they are indeed much more simple to design and manufacture, then why are they not being made? And why are CanNikon doing it harder for mirrored cameras and at relatively good pricing points?

    As for the 7-14mm Olympus lens. This lens was nopt designed for mirrorless cameras!! While it fits these mirrorless cameras, it was in fact designed for Olympus'es DSLR range.
    Reason for the wild focal length range is that the area of coverage is only for the 4/3rds system, which covers half that of full frame anyhow(and therefore easier to design anyhow!)
    This lens won't even cover the APS-C frame.
    It must be noted that this lens is, relatively speaking, far more expensive than the Nikon 14-24mm lens too being an f/4 lens which equates to a full frame lens of between f/5.6 and f/8!!

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I'll have to dig up the reference but I do believe the theory is sound that the shorter flange distance can lead to simpler lens designs.

    I think costs these days are largely determined by volume and advances in manufacturing.

    Sure Leica must also charge a brand premium but all those hand hours assembling the red dot lenses wouldn't come cheap.
    As to the variety of lens for DSLR vs the rest, again I think the volume of DSLR puts far greater dollars in R&D for DSLR lens.
    Should mirrorless or CSC or whatever you call it catch on big time (as in volume as big as DSLRs in the rest of the world other than Japan), then my bet is we'll see many more variety of excellent performing lens (including very wide FLs) at far lower prices.
    Nikon FX

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    Leica is a small factory (in a tin shed!) located out in the countryside of Germany. They have been in and out of financial trouble over the last 30 years, and are in a reasonable position at the moment thanks to their M8/M9. They aren't a huge corporate like Canon, just a small company (don't get them confused with Leica Microsystems or Leica Geosystems) with employees who are passionate about photography. Their products are mostly over engineered, but that's the German way. It is all handmade, from expensive glass and other materials, and yes, you must pay for this. As we all know, not all things can be judged by the sum of their parts though, and price is no exception. Leica M cameras don't suit everybody, but those that use them, for work or pleasure, appreciate the advantages afforded to them by such a camera, with their style of shooting.

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