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Monday, 08 July 2024


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'Most people like and prefer basically whatever camera they learned on and got used to when they were young and the world was whole and life was good, but "only if it had...."'

[See bottom for challenge.]

Boy, I am glad I'm not "Most People"!!

Most of my photographic odyssey has been "Wow, it'll do . . . , gotta have it!"!

Especially since the advent of digital, life has been a wonderful series of increases in what I'm able to do, photographically. Some is obviously different, even spectacular.

Other results may look ordinary at first glance, but be something impossible before quite recently.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Let's see:
Even focus across more than 6" of depth at close focus.
Smooth background bokeh.
Lots of fine detail, without any edgy sharpness.

A stack of 54 focal distance slices @ f1.2 ( from a total of 81)

Focus merged in Helicon Focus. Yes, post processing software has been part of the magic!

Challenge! What's the title of this photo? It's a literary reference.

But if the body dimensions are the same (check) and the lenses used the same size (check), then the only differences in using APS-C sensors are the decrease in price and IQ... no?

Isn't the whole issue with it being APS-C the lens availability? Refer to Thom Hogan and his 'buzz buzz' comments for Nikon refusing to make suitable small primes for their APS-C DSLRs for the entire existence of the system. The Leica lens set is great for 35mm film/full frame digital and has a lot of 35mm and 50mm options in range of speeds and prices. Now if the sensor gets smaller as in the original Pixii, you don't want 35/50 as much, you want 24/35, and where is the range of 24mm options? You have to go to Voigtlander. And are wider options like 16-18mm available too?

The Pixii wasn't as good a companion to your film leica, because you needed to buy or carry additional/different lenses. Nothing wrong with APS-C at all, as long as the lenses that you want to use exist!

I’m going to do what I expected to do when I bought my Pixii a few years ago: send my current Pixii to the manufacturer to have it upgraded to the Pixii Max. Instead of being obsolete after a few years the Pixii can be upgraded and be ‘relevant’ for another bunch of years.
It promises to be a nice continuation of my One Camera One Lens One year adventure, but instead of choosing a new lens I’ll get a new sensor!

On a personal level, I certainly don't mind the APS-C sized sensor, buuut...There is a noticeable lack of M-mount 18mm glass that would serve as a 28-ish mm in full-frame (Leica's 18mm f3.8 is not cheap, and almost a stop slower).

And the internal frame lines wouldn't have supported that focal length anyway.

So what it boils down to (for me) is that the main issue with the APS-C format is a lack of serious primes. Ironically, if people don't buy into the format, those primes will never get produced.

At least Voigtlander made an 18mm for X-mount, although that is not a true rangefinder format.

For now I am glad that Leica has a serious rival!

Great post, Mike. And I was one of your early converts to the "perfection" of the APS-C sensor size. Hope you had a nice Fourth.

And oh, the Pixii is actually a Leica M-mount camera, not an M39/LTM camera, isn't it? The B&H product page lists it as an M-mount camera...

Same syndrome with software. Except, in IT departments, it's called "maintenance."

My old life, before retirement.

APS-C cameras are wonderful with APS-C lenses and to make telephoto even more tele, but it's a hard sell to the folks wanting a way to use M mount glass to make their 50 and 75.

I jumped to Fuji as their lenses were proportionally sized, even the 16 1.4 was a small lens, considering. The Nikkor 17-55 2.8 was wonderful in everyday, but too darn big. Leica glass in full frame is still generally small, so a smallish full frame body does make a great deal of sense to me - 'if only:':)

They have also learned the art of pricing from Leica, proving that they are good, attentive students of the great game of marketing! :-)

Think it is rather different when you have many very expensive lenses with fields of view you like, then someone makes a nice camera for all these lenses ... which will give them smaller fields of view, which may be you do not like. I would guess market for this is at least partly those people.

Yes, I agree with Zyni here. Much easier to make it more fully like Leica, than design a whole new lens system and make it more like Fuji (or just have people put up with looking for a 18mm rangefinder lens if they want to shoot a 28mm field of view).

I do suspect many people will look at this, and then look at a used M240, and opt for the M. Less of a gamble. Like this one: https://www.keh.com/leica-24-megapixel-mirrorless-camera-body-only-silver.html

What Zyni said -- and it applies to lenses that are "not very expensive" too.

When I bought a Leica M8, having used an M3 for about a decade, I would have preferred that it was "full frame". Alas, my budget was not :-( But the 1.33x sensor size was somehow still very suited for someone used to (and owning) a handful of primes:

50>short portrait tele

BTW, my "other" digital camera is an Olympus M43.

Don't go slagging on French. The vowels are not "extraneous"; once you know the (admittedly complex) rules, the letters in the word tell you how to pronounce it. The rules have a few exceptions, and although there are silent letters and some tongue-twisting vowel combinations, what you see is largely what you get. Save your contempt for written English, in which the most common pronunciation rule seems to be "it depends" (think "though," "bough," "through," "tough," or "warden" vs "garden," among many others). Irish/Gaelic is even worse. If you want logic and clarity and one-to-one correspondence between written and spoken, learn Czech.

"If only it had".....
(my comment applies to the Sigma fpL also)
.....its hot shoe centered over the lens so external optical viewfinders could be used...

My dad bought one of the last Peugeot 604s (A Turbo Diesel model) imported into the U.S. in 1984 and drove it until 1988 when he passed it on to me to take to college. It really was a great car. I still have the brochure in a bin somewhere. Here is a scan of a snap I took in 1992 while driving around the Gettysburg Battlefield near my school:



My first car was a 1971 Peugeot 204 sedan, 4 on the tree, which I bought in 1976. Nice car to ride in but rust got to it.

Pixii should develop a manual focus K-mount B&W version. I miss film-era focussing screens as much as the next guy, but focus-confirmation on LCDs or optional EVF works just fine and can show you the image in B&W.

Kudos to Pixii. But, about $4,000 U.S., I’d buy a used Leica instead. In fact, I did so a while ago (M240). But at least there is a large selection of Voigtlander primes in M-mount that would keep the overall outlay down to semi-sane levels.

Meanwhile, Mike, if you really want APS-C, I suggest following my lead and picking up a gently used Fuji XE-3. I just found one at KEH and it’s a ton of fun.

You can minimize that capital outlay as well. There are a number of inexpensive and compact autofocus primes from TTartisan and Samyang for X-mount. And even Fuji offers the inexpensive (but very good) XC 15-45 f/3.5-5.6 PZ zoom and the XC 35mm f/2.0 prime.

Meanwhile, in the world of slightly smaller (and nondigital) sensors and much smaller wallets, Ricoh was so unprepared for the demand for the Pentax 17 that it halted orders and is considering increasing production to try to catch up:


And, sort of continuing the small wallet theme, I appreciated the recent series on freelancing. Always a special treat when TOP and its circle of experts chew on a photography-related issue over multiple posts.

The available range of Leica-mount lenses is oriented towards full-frame "sensors", though, so a camera taking the rather extreme path of supporting Leica lenses has a better excuse for being full-frame than many.

I never liked APS-C. It's too close to full frame, but not close enough. So camera lines that started as compatible with their film predecessors weren't compatible enough. And you don't get smaller/lighter/faster lenses in APS-C much.

(I do have a friend who really needs full-frame; product photography, including 4x6 foot prints for trade show displays where people walk right up to them. He probably really needs digital medium format, but being a professional photographer, he can't afford it. Well, plus the tilt lenses for product work aren't very available there.)

I presently own a Peugeot 407 coupe, with a 2.7 litre V6 twin-turbo diesel engine. It's a bit sluuggish until the turbos kick in around 1900rpm, but from there, wow. I love the looks and really enjoy driving it.

It's also right hand drive and coming from France, a LHD country, they didn't bother to convert everything for us. The bonnet release is on the passenger side, for example.

I've had a couple of big bills, but generally it's been good. My health is declining, though, and getting in and out is becoming too hard. Time to move it on, I think.

Every photographer I know has switched systems several times through their career. From commenters here, sometimes ever couple of years even! I think "prefer ... whatever camera they learned on" is complete and total nonsense.

Even if we skip over without comment my Pixie 127 and the old 116 box camera (and I did some film development and contact printing of 127 film), what I started with in 35mm and serious work (first paid work and such) was a Bolsey 35. Then I went to a Miranda, then to a Leica M3 and a Pentax, then to a Nikon, then to Olympus, then back to Nikon AF, then to Nikon digital, then to Micro Four Thirds. Not, in any way, the camera I learned on! (Also at least 2 film and 4 digital "toy cameras" on the side.)

[Present company is always excepted. --Mike]

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