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Monday, 23 February 2015


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Man, am I interested! (if it doesn't price in the Leica range)

My computer did not let me go to your link because it claims that there is a virus on that site, so the following comment is made without knowing the details of this proposed camera.

What about the Epson digital camera from about 10 years ago, made by Cosina? As I recall, that was a digital variation of the rangefinder film cameras made by Cosina, with the film versions badged as Voightlander cameras.

- Tom -

And a Leica M is what?

If Konost can introduce this model in 2016 it will come but a single decade after Leica's M8. Imagine how cross they'll be in Wetzlar to learn that all this time they thought THEY had introduced the first "true" digital rangefinder camera, only to be usurped just 10 years after the fact. I predict some red faces in red dot land! Hype-hype hooray!!!

Manual rangefinder focus, manual shutter speed, manual aperture, that's it. What about ISO? Is it single ISO? Is it auto ISO?

No leatherette. Less brassing than a Trip35. Lame.*

I am a little serious - why not have black painted brass and some leatherette? I mean, if it is going to be a "true digital rangefinder". (Insert "no true Scotsman" fallacy joke here :)

I'm actually a little surprised that no one's ever done a digital knockoff of a Retina III C, or a Trip35, or an Olympus XA. Those little cameras had a lot of charm, and the self-casing lenses on the Retina and the XA were quite practical. (I'm really, really, surprised that Pentax has never managed to do a digital MX or a Spotmatic clone.)

I wish the folks at Konost well.

Speaking of new products, Mike did you catch the announcement of a new sheet film from Bergger? They are calling it BERGGER Pancro 400. It seems to have two emulsion layers, slow and fast speed. They posted on apug, link here.

*this is tongue in cheek, an affectionate parody of Rob Malda's take on the original ipod in 2001. He ran a then well known website called Slashdot. "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." Time has not been friendly to his initial assessment, but rumor has it that he's kinda amused at the whole thing. His original post was here.

Wow!!! But how much will this convenience and innovation cost?

Damn, it's going to have a rear screen, isn't it? I was hoping for a Leica 60 for two thousand bucks. Oh well ...

Why does it remind me of the 70mm combat Graphic?

"True"? Maybe I'm a bit slow this morning, but it looks like a Leica T with old-school strap lugs.

Looks promising...until the day it goes into production and Leica buys them out. Leica will then rebadge it as a "new" Leica. For more money.

Judging from the photograph of the woman holding the prototype, it's actually fairly large.


Excuse the silly question. I'm rather young and unexperienced with rangefinders.

On Leica's, is the shutter speed dial reached and adjusted by the index finger? or it's not meant to be and one has to remove eye from finder and turn it?

I'm asking because I have only owned cameras where shutter speed is adjustable while composing (from my new heartbreak agfa super isolette, Olympus OM-1&35 LC, to new digicams E-P1 & E-M5). Never thought of it before !

Not sure I like the design but just the other day I was reading your Zeiss ZI review and was mourning about the fact that Zeiss should make a digital ZI. I would buy it. I'm guessing this KONOST (consider renaming while it's new and unknown, it really sounds bad in french) will have to be "cheap" relative to leica if it wants any glory.


Why, pray tell, is this the first and not the Epson R-D1 (that I'd _still_ love to own)? For those who might not remember, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epson_R-D1 it was based on the Cosina Voigtlander series with a 1.5x crop 6.1mp sensor. Neat camera that was simply too expensive for me at the time (nothing changes but the model number there, alas, but I digress).

Wonder if KEH has any in stock... ?

Please include the option, if the camera has a screen on the back, to show just a histogram of the RAW file. Not a histogram covering just the corner of the screen or a histogram of a processed JPEG but one that fills the entire screen and gives me the ability to evaluate the RAW data. It would also be nice to use my Leica M series lenses on it.

Mmm.. An investor's corner? It looks more like venture cap project than a leica challenger.

And there are those awkward strap lugs...

Finally, a digital Bessa/Ikon! I hope Konost lasts longer than the RD1 one-shot wonder. If the camera is still around by the time my GXR conks out, there's an FF upgrade path for me. I wish these young men well.

The Contax G1 used an Electronic Autofocus. No reason not to use an up-to-date Digital Manual-focus. Leica hasn't really changed their focusing since the 1930s. Remember this is still in the prototype stage and could still end-up using a Contax style Digital Autofucus.

The founders are all Cornell Electrical Engineering graduates (employed by IBM, etc) so they have a better chance, than most, to pull this off.

If the price was right, I'd buy one as a companion for my Leica IIIa.

The video on the website is a strange marketing piece. Nobody is holding the lens, and everyone closes their left eye when they put the camera to their face. Why strange? Because none are really taking advantage of the rangefinder (assuming it is good) and manual focus M mount lenses. I know, I know. It is a marketing video, but they'd do better to have someone who works with rangefinder cameras handle it for their video.


It is still cool to see a company trying to make a "purist" rangefinder camera in 2015. I hope they succeed, and are able get enough people excited about using their product to be competitive.

FYI, the Konost is a "digital rangefinder" in that the rangefinder mechanism itself is digital. Unlike the Leica, which is mechanical/optical (except for the sensor), the Konost uses live view from the sensor along with a second digital image from a small secondary sensor (the dot under the shutter speed dial). The optical viewfinder presumably has a digital overlay similar to the Fuji X100 and XPro1.

I would be tempted to buy this just for the fact that I would never again have the problem of the focus point being accidentally knocked to a random part of the screen, requiring me to spend about half an hour trying to figure out how to get it back to the center. (Movable focus point is a feature I NEVER use, and the problem of it getting knocked off-center is a problem I've had -- frequently -- with every digital camera I've owned.)

I see there is no physical contact details or any information about the physical location of Konost on their website. The website is hosted on a Wordpress site (using a Wordpress theme). The DNS registration doesn't reveal any information about who is behind Konost.

Leica, I'm sure, are curious about possible infringement of their registered Leica T designs in the case design.

The really odd Manchester United versus Liverpool LCD display image. On a rangefinder? And can that woman see through the viewfinder with her eyebrow? They seem to not know their target market.

They say they're planning on shipping a plastic bodied, 35mm eq (13mm) f/2 fixed lens camera with type 1-inch sensor first at the end of 2015. From the spec that looks like the Aptina 10Mpx sensor used in the first Nikon 1 cameras.

We'll see when/if they ship.

To me it looks like they're trying to make some buzz and find funding to get their product off the ground.

"On Leica's, is the shutter speed dial reached and adjusted by the index finger? or it's not meant to be and one has to remove eye from finder and turn it?"

Excellent question. One learned to use the device, so that, if you moved from a dark alley to a bright avenue, your thumb, or forefinger, just moved the shutter dial from 60th to 250th. You didn't have to look if you had practiced. Thumb or forefinger also pre-focused by moving the ring to where your finger/brain complex had learned the focus ring/tab needed to be for what you were looking at. I miss this.

Well this is just plum silly. With so many Leica M film cameras already out there all they need to develop is a digital replacement back with the power and electronics contained in a Leicavit sized package replacing the bottom cover, include a grip to house extra power. Completely reversible, switch back to film when you want.

Rear screen - black plastic tape - no problem.

What is the point of this camera?

I completely understand the value of viewing a scene through an optical viewfinder in the context of "seeing" and framing the composition, but with AF lenses and focus visualization systems available today, what really is the point here?

To re-create a "digital avatar" of a 30's-technonology rangefinder double image focusing mechanism just because you can?

I can see all those potential customers now, pining away..."Oh, if only I had a FF digital rangefinder that provided double images in focusing like a Leica M3...." All three of them...or maybe four.

What it really looks like a thinly disguised attempt simply to cash in on what Fuji has already done much more effectively and successfully.

I would say that it's styling is rather flat but that little red button on the lens Is a rather subtle suggestion of Leica.

[That's because it's a Leica lens! --Mike]

Interesting, but not sure there's enough of a market at a price that would pay off the research. Between Fuji and Sony it looks like this is 3 year too late.

Now let's unleash all the comments by "photo purists" that will chime in chorus "AT LEAST A REAL MANUAL CAMERA WITH NO FUSS THAT WILL LET YOU CONCENTRATE ON X AND Y AND Z"...
...without seemingly realize that nowadays all decent camera have an "all-manual" mode.
Perhaps the problem is that the most important switch is not on their camera: it is called WILLPOWER.
Anyone that says that he is not able to concentrate on the essential while shooting photos because "my camera has too many options" is just searching a pityful excuse to buy a new, shiny, "exclusive connoisseur-oriented" toy.

One look at that and I just know it's going to be expensive...

'Ere, Ed Hawco! Why'd you have to spoil all the fun
with the unnecessary introduction of facts!?!

Why not do an ER?

*Electronic Rangefinder

My word, that's some serious vocal fry. Put me off watching the video within about twenty seconds.

Interesting to note that none of the folk in the video appear to have ever focused a camera manually, to judge by the way they hold it ;)

What Ed Hawco writes makes perfect sense. A digital rangefinder could drive the cost down considerably for this camera.

While I'm not well versed on the differences between the M240 rangefinder and those on other M's, my impression is that it's essentially the same RF unit except the frame lines are lit via LEDs. The RF unit it both the beauty and the weak point of the M system and I'm sure enormously expensive to produce.

Konost's challenges are making a RF viewing experience that rival the classic M and making sensor that can bend the light rays in the corners.

This seems like the camera Leica should have been working on.

FAB. Please make one with a monochrome sensor.

Ok, I haven't read the original article yet, but… I see a poor rendering of a Sony NEX style camera with a fake viewfinder that, almost certainly, has a significant part of its coverage obscured by the lens. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for this one.

"everyone closes their left eye when they put the camera to their face"

If I did that, I wouldn't be able to see anything.

I, along with a lot of other people, are left-eyed.

I just heard about this yesterday. Hopefully this will come to fruition and will be affordable for mere mortals - I've pretty much given up on film and want an affordable FF platform for my M glass. That it has a simplified control and feature set is a major plus in my book.

The fact that new companies are being formed to do things in the photography domain is interesting. We talk about the old companies being under pressure, and the decline in sales of low-end cameras (supplanted by cell-phones) and to some extent midrange cameras (fewer parents use SLRs for their kid picks). But people at least think they are seeing potentials for things they think of as "new" (and Lytro, for example, really is doing something new, although the utility of their presentation of the capabilities remains somewhat unclear to me).

Yeah, I certainly don't close my left eye when I put a camera to my face! (I'm also left-eyed; and right-handed.)

I frequently don't close either eye, especially when I'm doing video work. I noticed I was keeping the right eye open and watching the whole scene while filming with a 90mm-e lens the other day, even.

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