Leica news – change in R-system
A german magazine states that Leica announced that they stopped production of the complete R-system and that they are working on a successor system.
That system will get new lenses, though the current R-lenses will be usable lacking some functions of the new ones.
The current system is at offer at sales prices now.
Forgive me if my enthusiasm is contained.
Leica's trying to get its (digital-only) S system out the door, and now they're futzing around with a 'son of R'?
According to the article, the R10 is said to have autofocus and new lenses. Let's all say 'oooooh...'.
Riiiight. Could someone in Solms please, please, pretty please stop trying to re-invent the wheel? What might be more compelling to someone deciding to upgrade their R system (or cross over from Nikon/Canon/whatever) is a means of adapting R lenses to an S2 body.
And then for the hard-core film people, maybe make an 'RP' -- something desperately mechanical, utterly reliable, indestructible, with the best available environment sealing, and compatible with S/R lenses. Maybe Cosina could build it. :P
On reflection, Leica is in many respects where Apple computers was in 1998. Maybe they should call Mr Jobs...
As a non-Leica SLR user, I've often looked at the R system and thought how much I'd like to own one, but in truth, it was just not competitive enough, that or iconic enough. People wanted Ms because they'd seen them used in the past - and that's what leica are famous for. With the M system and the S system in production, there'll definitely be a vacuum, but I hope they still stick to the same (or a compatible) lens mount as the R system, and at least have a film model, rather than just an R10 digital. Wouldn't it be lovely if they looked at medium format film.
Chaps-just join The Leica Historical Society of America and all this will be laid out. You can even win one in the annual raffle. Membership will give you access to every archived article.
IMO, if one wants to shoot film (and ease of portability is not the issue), use a bigger film size than 135. An R9 and set of lenses is not a small system and one might as well carry a medium format camera. Also, the S2 is such a waste of money - as if the world needs another big buck digital camera. The final fall of F&H ought to teach Leica a lesson.
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The Leica S-series will be a flop for sure. They are soooo far behind in the digital world it's scary (the current digital compact models are the first in being a little more competitive than before and still way overpriced to be for real). Kind of looking forward how many we will sell when time knocks on the door but my grin says enough I think.
Too bad but they are too late. Again.
And when I read they are going to use the funds they gain from the S2 to re-and-or further develop the R-series my hairs can't help but rising in my neck.
The current R-line will be taken out of production to fully fund the S2, including all MF R-system lenses.
Last edited by Contrastique; 03-07-2009 at 11:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
With an ever aging user base for Leica, it makes sense to move the R system towards autofocus. At least that way they can continue to sell. While the purists will undoubtedly whine about the lack of tradition, do purists really buy that many Leicas?
In the mid to late 1990s Leica had a seemingly infinite selection of boutique M6 variations, most of which likely never even had a roll of film put through them. Now I see there is a new M8 Safari ... gack! This boutique camera crap is not going to keep Leica a viable company.
As to whether or not the S2 system will succeed, it will depend upon the small number of studios and professionals that see any advantage in using such a system. One aspect that might help them is that Leica are considering setting up some rental and lease support, which Leaf and PhaseOne have been able to successfully implement. I don't see rich enthusiasts buying these, though a few might go to such people.
Anyone wanting a medium format Leica should look into the ALPA 12 system. While it is not a rangefinder camera, and it is biased towards wide angle lenses, the quality is everything one would expect of a Leica. Consider if Leica tried to develop such a camera, in the face of vastly declined medium format sales: the result would be more expensive than an ALPA. Sure, the purists would welcome the endeavor, but again I doubt if many would buy one.
I like Leica, and I would like to see them continue. If it takes making lenses for Panasonic video cameras, or rebranding low cost Panasonics, then at least it keeps the company viable. I still want to get an M7 at some point, and I was grateful for the short time I got to use one, thanks to some Leica reps a few years ago. While Leica could go the way of Hasselblad (who were bought buy their largest distributer Shriro of Hong Kong), I would like to think that other business directions for them enable the M7 and MP to continue in production, and new lenses to appear. The worse possibility I think is the Leica brand going only onto other cameras.
Gordon Moat Photography
I never really warmed to the R system, borrowed my brother's R4 to see what the fuss is about but, nice results but I prefer my Nikons and Olympus. The new S2 medium format DSLR is essentially a studio camera that's portable, if the boys and girls from Solms undercut 'Blad's digital platform, the commerical and magazine editorial photographers will go gaga. As for an autofocus R system down the road, makes no impact in my universe, as mentioned earlier, I prefer Nikon and Olympus for my 35mm film SLR kit.
That being said, I love my M3 and if I was sitting on a big pile of money right now I would get a new black paint MP and a set of Summicron lenses.
"Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
As I understand Phase One will help Leica to develop the software and firmware. Kodak will make the image sensor. Leica for sure have the knowledge how to build lenses. If Leica can put the parts together and make a competitive camera I don't know, but with a clean sheet and making the S2 from start could have an advantage over Canon and Nikon.
Originally Posted by Contrastique
The Nikon and Canon systems of today have many flaws and I think many of the feature are there just for the PR people.
Let's hope S2 will do well, and if it focus correct and they have a wide angel that is sharp well then they are at least far ahead of Canon.
One thing I know for sure is that the S2 looks like a camera and not camera bloated with buttons all over it.
The S2 makes sense to me (NOT for me). Modern film SLRs were getting quite huge. Then, with DSLRs, they've gotten even bigger. The 'pro' DSLR models of Canon and Nikon are gigantic in my mind, and people have no qualms about strapping on huge lenses onto them and carrying another 5 in the bag. My point is that the size increment of the S system over say a Canon 1DSIII is not that much. The image quality should be a big jump though, as I think full frame 35mm digital is starting reaching the limits of what one can do in terms of sharpness and lens design. They're pushing the limits there. With a big jump in sensor size and new lenses designed for the system, I think they might have something, and they give themselves a lot of latitude to improve over current 35mm full frame DSLRs. Of course, it might not sell at all...