LEICA

Alternative views on the Leica world by Erwin Puts

automation or not

Did you know that the famous French Angenieux optical company stopped with the production of lenses for the 35 mm format and gave all designs and construction to Tokina sometime in the 1970s?
I have a Canon EOS 33V film loading camera, that is now more than ten years old. It was announced in 2004. With a handful of fresh batteries, it started as new from the box. I had not used it for years. The lens, a Canon EF macro 50 mm / 1: 2.5, famous for its image quality, had been dropped on the floor and fell apart in a number of components. I could re-assemble the lens and it was fully functional. The camera itself is one of the last film-loading cameras that Canon produced. The features are impressive. Motorized film loading, high speed AF, seven selective focus points, many exposure options and a long list of function modes. It is a most pleasurable camera to use when you understand the manual and can operate the many buttons and options. In that same period the Canon company produced the Canon EOS 20D, a very affordable digital camera. Leica offered the MP and M7 and it took another two years before they announced the M8. The M7 and the M8 share the same relationship as the Canon 33V and the EOS 20D, simply replacing the film gate for a sensor surface. The Leica camera however retained the manual focus and the manual exposure settings whereas the Canon added a multitude of electronic automations.
The evolution of the Leica CRF has reached a technical platform: a slimmer body as with the M10 or a larger number of pixels in a future M11 or M12 can hardly be considered a revolution.
The EOS system (electro-optical system) on the other hand has a platform for growth and innovation. But here too, there are limits: one can increase the speed of AF or the number of AF points from seven to a hundred, but on stays in the same league. There is only one focus plane tat is interesting and one exposure that is correct. You can try to accomplish this with assistance of all kinds of automation or you can do it with knowledge of the situation and adjust the parameters by hand. What is more fun?


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