« Mystery of a Missing Camera | Main | Eolake Stobblehouse »

Wednesday, 20 April 2022


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Had this camera been available a year ago when I spent about the same amount on my Leica M 240, I probably would have bought it instead. I like the experience, and I like, especially, the old LTM glass from lots of places (I have Nikkon, Chiyoko (now Minolta), Canon, Leica, Cosina Voigtlander, and FSU LTM lenses) and only one M mount lens (7Artisans) so I really don't have any particular need for a digital rangefinder to be from that German heritage. I have been loving using that M 240, don't get me wrong, but I have no doubt I could have been easily as happy with the same glass on a Pixii.

I'm not a big wide-angle user either so APS isn't the problem for me that it is for some.

And when it comes time to move on from this camera, I hope they're still in production because I find the Pixii to be a very interesting camera.

Um, I think a lot of what you mentioned here is some rather spurious rumor-mill stuff, I've heard it once or twice but it seems decidedly based in the idea that Leica is an insecure company frightened by the advent of cheaper M-mount rangefinder products - have we ever seen any hard proof of any of this? Reading between the lines I would say the original sources of those rumors just had a bone to pick with Leica at the time.

Also, here's the thing about most of the rangefinders you mentioned: they happened at a time when the film camera market was slowly dying with the advent of digital. The Cosina Voigtlander rangefinder series came mostly from the early 2000s when digital cameras were taking off, as did the Zeiss Ikon M camera. The Hexar RF came in 1999. I would posit that the crop of excellent non-Leica M rangefinders simply came too late, or didn't have enough backing behind them. We can talk about the CL/CLE, but if I read aright the amount of used models available from Japan on the auction sites, they did quite well over there.

I like rangefinders, and I don't, and haven't, owned a Leica. They specifically suit street, walkaround, snapshot photography and are compact and fast to use. I hope the Pixii does well; I've been watching it from afar for a while now. It's a bit outside of my budget still (despite being nowhere near new Leica prices), but I like what I see so far.

Looks nice, and the sensor performance sounds great. I need IBIS though. So far I haven't seen an IBIS rangefinder. Makes me wonder if it's possible.

When I read “moon distance, close to infinity“ I immediately wondered how big a camera you would need for a rangefinder base length long enough to tell the difference. My trigonometry skills pretty much suck but about 45 meters at 25x would seem about right. The specifications of a lens that would need that accuracy would preclude hand held photography anyway.
If someone wants to figure it out

Looks like a fun little camera.

Kute! There's a lot to like about this Pixii camera, at least at the spec level. Excellent modern BSI APS-C sensor. Built-in storage. Acceptance of, and leveraging with, cell phone tech. M-class compactness. Etc. I think it looks poised to be successful within the limited boundaries of the group I sometimes call the "patch-curious"; people who want to experience a genuine rangefinder camera without wobbling towards penury. $3,000 is certainly not inexpensive but it's a much smaller ask than any Leica M digital today.

Which leads to this: Leica's longevity depends on the health of its heart, the M rangefinder cameras. Not the SL. Not the Q2. Not the S. And certainly not the Panasonic re-badges. Remember, it's not just the M cameras at stake here. It's also the M-mount lens ecosystem which expands beyond Leica's doors. The Epson RD-1 was the bridge lifeline that ushered Leica into the digital camera world, remember? The Pixii may well be the product that keeps people interested and active in the genuine rangefinder game. I imagine that there are quite a few TOP readers who still own some M-mount lenses that they'd like to use on a real rangefinder ... but not at today's M prices. Well here ya go!

All evidence points to Leica's recognizance of this theory. After all, Leica has licensed their proprietary M-mount to this camera. I doubt that Leica sees Pixii as competition. I think they view them, probably rightly, as sustaining fellows.

Still remember bring my m8 to the shop to fix my real camera lens for my 4x5 and Hasselblad. I mainly do film and the m8 with hindsight really just a meter sort of better than my pentax spot meter. I do not take any pic I like with m8, may be 1, after one year. The reason I do not like it partially it attract too much attention. In the counter next to me thee is a guy just verbal abuse me. How can you put a canon or is a v range finder lens on the holy m8. … anyway I like v rangefinder due to its 1:1and it is cheap to explorer. Ne er have any interest of rangefinder view of lecia m3, m7 or m8. All used. No interest. The view is odd. M8 is loud And the m3 killed my eye glass (scratch it) which is more expensive than it (2nd hand unlike my new m8).

To be honest it is not just l. H people but much less. Only sayi can never take a pic with old h lens with digital back. I got the first ver and the latest version. All do fine. LOVE it. But at least the manner in luminous landscape form then is much better.

I think it is really no good to endlessly bring up the past & discuss in terms of old feuds, brand issues and so on and so forth what (who knows ?) could be a brilliant new rangefinder camera. Analyse its design, its possibilities and its limits, its build, and above all what it might mean for ones photography - but please, stay away from pro- and anti-leica fanboyism and all the conceptual nonsense, silly emotions and other photographically irrelevant labeling that goes with it. Let’s try and look at this newcomer with new eyes !

Read the view and note this guy in another review use the exact same canon lens I used. Hope no verb abuse come in his way. Here : https://www.35mmc.com/11/01/2020/canon-50mm-f1-8-ltm-on-a-leica-t-by-ed-lara/

For the review itself, great pic. But may I wonder it is not the camera but the lens. And if so, I wonder whether nikon z7 using the autofocus m lens adapter would be a better choice than this. In particular what is the electronic shutter issue in photo capture. What is the read out rate.

For the photo sync issue, 26mpix …. Wi-Fi can’t do it. You have to use cable I think. But it said it becomes a drive … it is an issue Thom raised many times. So far only Hasselblad using cable solved it partially. Nikon no. This using Bluetooth for low res seemed work for the reviewer. Otherwise no. The camera haste be a partner to the phone or ipad. Not just pc or notebook.

I had both Hexars and a Mamiya 6 back in the day.

Loved the 6 but it broke all the time. Eventually I realized that I worked better with a through-the-lens view, no matter how good those rangefinder windows looked while I was shooting.

The modern mirrorless cameras sort of give you nice aspects of both styles of film camera ... no giant mirror boxes, but also no parallax and other distortion.

Too bad everyone landed back on "full frame" 35mm and all those giant lenses.

Ah well.

Don't forget the Fuji X-Pro. Of course you don't get a real rangefinder mechanism with the Fuji but you do get AF--something neither Pixii nor Leica give you with their cameras. And with the X-Pro you can use Leica mount lenses with an adapter and proceed to manually focus with focus peaking or a fiddly and barely legible electronic rangefinder.

You also get a really great OVF with bright frame lines and a brilliant EVF--both in the same camera! And it costs less than either the Leica or the Pixii. In addition, the Fujinon lenses are exquisite and lower priced as well. What a bargain!

Plus, if you are so inclined, you can get the most recent X-Pro3 with it's flipper screen and fake film box simulation so you can pretend you're an old time photojournalist on the prowl for Magnum, shooting roll after roll of Tri-X to ship back to Paris. Live the fantasy!

Call me a fantasy fanboy if you must but I gotta admit I do love the X-Pros.

Not actually a rengefinder but the Fuji X-Pro bodies are in many ways mucn nicer in use than Leica. Good lenses, comfortable for rangefinder users and the cost is way less.

I was a "real" Leica M shooter, at one time having 5 bodies: 2 M3s, an M2R, an M4 and a classic M6. While not an absolutist I just went with Leica because it was still a viable vector to current gear while having such a deep pool of used gear for potential for cost savings.

I was wooed however by the Konica Hexar AF. Everything about it pulled at my "gotta have it" impulse. I was living in Japan when it came out and I still have one of those beautiful brochures that all the camera stores handed out for free to make you drool. I liked every thing about it except one thing, and that was enough to dissuade me.

The top shutter speed was an anaemic 1/250th of a second. In the film days with 36 frames of the same film speed, you could not go from an indoor scene, like say a museum with some 400 ISO film to right outside in bright light unless you could tolerate a diffraction inducing f/22 for every shot. No ability to control DOF would be possible in that scenario. Or you could eat the rest of the frames and install some slow film so you could shoot in the middle of the aperture range, but why?

That 1/250th made the 1/1000th on my Leicas seem really fast, even though they were eclipsed buy my Nikons with up to 1/8000th.

I would have owned the Konica Hexar AF if they could have just squeezed out two more stops of shutter speed.

Although I haven't used it in years, I keep my Contax G kit in the faint hope that someone will develop a digital version that will breath life into those lenses.

Interesting camera but the reviews lack a bit of detail.

The primary issues are how good is the finder and how does the sensor handle wide angle lenses. These are only lightly touched on in the 35MMC review. The finder is not as good as a Leica and not as bad as a cheap fixed-lens camera from 50 years ago. A bit vague. I would suspect it would not be something that I would find pleasing. And it only goes out to 28mm which is not quite as wide as the Leica user usually preferred.

Wide angle lens performance looks poor, but I know nothing about the Omnar CN26-6 other than it's tiny, so this question remains to be answered.

It's bigger, heavier and more expensive than a Leica CL, and is only half frame.

It doesn't work for me.

Cosina discontinued the RD-1 out of deference to Leica? I guess the French have no such inhibitions. I expected Cosina to develop a full frame sensor ZM camera, but I guess the market wasn't there.
By the way, have you seen the asking prices for Mamiya 7 RF cameras lately?

Finally, a weirdo camera for us weirdos. Gill notes that there's a monochrome DNG option. Ticks many other boxes for me, too, including no LCD screen. Too bad the price isn't weird enough for me to afford.

It might be worth mentioning that this PIXII is APS-C.

I don't see a point to buying a 3k camera to 'save' money - it's an interesting idea, but too pricey for what it is. Fuji nailed the affordable 'close enough to Leica if you don't want to pay for all that' for the digital age.

The Hexar RF was a nice camera, but the rangefinder was a bear to adjust. Contax tried, too, wither G series.

I do think you are right - the point of a Leica is that it's a Leica - the mix of name checking and undeniable build quality makes it valuable to some, but if you can't have the real thing, just get almost any other camera for much less, get better results, and have far more options.


"I like cameras..." :-)


It's also APS-C.

Like. Why? It is not like they are making beautiful lenses to go with a camera that price. They are leveraging the M-mount, which means that you are throwing away half the image circle of most of the beautiful but eye-wateringly expensive lenses.

There is this thing about the Nigerian prince spam emails. They are kind of transparently bad. Because they only want complete total fools to respond to the email. That is why it is $3000. They only want people who are willing to set money on fire.

The body price is probably the only thing preventing me from buying one. Not that it’s too high, it’s just that I’ve spent enough this year on various (truly) HiFi components and a short run of automotive repairs.

I wish it well, and in a few months I may well revisit the possibility. My predictive powers are weak at best, but I think the Pixii will not elicit a response from Leica Camera. Yes, there will be scorn and disdain from the True Leica Believers (and I have owned and really liked two Leica bodies with lenses) but the market for a non-Leica M mount rangefinder is large enough to withstand the vitriolic storm. But I am no expert.

I would think that the chronology on the Epson RD-1 is a little off. The Epson is clearly built off the Cosina Voigtlander R2, which was preceded by the L, T and R models. There was therefore already a track record of Cosina/Voigtlander film rangefinders before the RD-1 appeared. The RD-1 and the film cameras (both prior and subsequent to the RD-1) also all shared similar cheaper construction and shorter baselengths than Leica Ms.

Albert Smith said: "...I was wooed however by the Konica Hexar AF...I liked every thing about it except one thing, and that was enough to dissuade me.

"The top shutter speed was an anaemic 1/250th of a second. In the film days with 36 frames of the same film speed, you could not go from an indoor scene, like say a museum with some 400 ISO film to right outside in bright light unless you could tolerate a diffraction inducing f/22 for every shot. No ability to control DOF would be possible in that scenario. Or you could eat the rest of the frames and install some slow film so you could shoot in the middle of the aperture range, but why?..."

Why indeed. An ND filter would have easily handled that situation. :-)

Hadn't heard that about the Epson RD-1 before, I'd always thought Epson (not known for their cameras) had dropped out and Cosina had decided developing a successor wasn't cost-effective.

Shame, because I'd still be up for a RD-2 with full-frame sensor, so long as they kept the dials and the manual shutter which needed to be cocked after each shot. A digital camera which needs to be 'wound on', what's not to like?

Pixii - what an awful name.
Mr Tanaka nailed it in one word:

I find this a bit silly and expensive for what it is. I have a Ricoh GXR with a native M mount and APS sensor. It has plug in electronic viewfinder and is a lot cheaper. Focus peaking works well. Not to forget that Leica has also couple of APS sensor cameras that can take M lenses. To lose the review screen and histogram is just stupid as it is one of the big benefits digital has over film. Considering that Sony 7c or 7-3/4 are full frame and a lot cheaper than this, it also does not make much sense. Sure, they are not good with M wide angles, but neither is this, being APS. So not any interest from me at all.

Is anyone else reminded by MJ's story about his camera's provenance of the episode on the Seinfeld TV show in which George buys actor Jon Voight's used convertible LeBaron?

Turns out the previous owner spelled his name "John."

Not sayin. Just musing.

It took lusting after and finally owning a Leica M4-2 to make me realize I had been spoiled over 30+ years shooting with an OM-1, and that I truly preferred TTL viewing and focusing. There is an awful lot of stuff that cannot be photographed from 30 inches away.
Now days if a RF is really needed for some purpose then there is a 35RC tucked away on the shelf. It ain’t no Leica but, it’s good enough and was only $35 when picked up at a second hand store about 15 years ago.

Re: Mr. Lemmon
When I bought my Canon eosD1s it turned out to have been previously owned by Matthieu Ricard. Apparently he was happy to be rid of it (a joke, Google him)
How did I know? The camera was set to put his name in the exif info and a search engine turned up a lot of his photography with the same camera info.
In the film days I knew a few photographers who ran a file over the film gate of their cameras to be able to prove what camera took what negative.

The Pixii certainly gives the user a throwback film experience: no EVF or rear LCD so no way to quickly check focus, framing or exposure accuracy. Just pull out your phone and turn it on to examine the image. This works in the studio, but is impractical for street shooting, events, landscapes and just about any other type of photography. What were they thinking? No, I don’t think Leica has to worry about the Pixii!

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007