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Epson Rangefinderimplications for Digital G


New Member
Am I correct that the new Epson digital rangefinder--which accepts Leica lenses--will take the ultra wides? Does that not mean that the problem with the Contax 21mm, etc is now solveable?

I'm still holding out for a digital G!


Darin Boville
Fine Art Photography and Video
Only if you're satisfied with a less-than full-format chip. That's one hurdle that appears to not yet have been solved for the rangefinder world.

OTOH, a small chip would finally give us a mid-range G telephoto!

Only a couple products out there, rangefinder or not, have a full format chip -- and they are very expensive. The Epson-Cosina, like the vast majority of products has a less than full frame chip, that doesn't seem like a big disadvantage vs. anything at the moment (unless you are prepared to spend more than twice as much, and carry around more than twice as much weight for the full frame Canon or Kodak product (I'd count the ND as non-existant right now - but it too was more than twice as much). Seems to me the Epson-Cosina is a great start for rangefinders and if it is as functional as claimed, it will be competitive. It is also proof that digital can work for an interchangeable lens rangefinder format -- good news and cause for hope for all those folks (like myself) hoping and waiting for a difital Contax G (yes, a 6 MP, APS-sized sensor would be fine.)
<font size="+1"><font face="courier new,courier"><font color="ff0000">I just checkedthe camera out. Looks real nice to me. So this isthe first digital to take use ofthe Leica lenses?
Doesn't a less-than-full-frame chip reduce the effective resolving power of the lens being used? If so, won't Cosina, Leica and (someday) G owners lose one of the main reasons for using those lenses, i.e. superior optics? It is my understanding that Olympus took this fact into consideration when designing the lenses for the new half-frame E-1. The lenses supposedly have twice the resolving power of most 35mm lenses.
Of cource, that would be no different for ANY lens, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, etc with a less-than-full-frame sensor. The advantage that Leica, Contax G, and Voightlander lenses have in resolving power over ordinary SLR lenses remains (and could be argued is even more important).

My point is that even superior lenses will perform less well when focusing on a smaller sensor, although they may hold a relative advantage over inferior lenses. This is where Olympus, which designed its E-1 lenses expressly for a smaller digital sensor, may actually produce a superior image. I realize that much of this conjecture is theoretical, as film is the limiting factor in image resolution even now. This means that the resolving power of our Zeiss lenses is overkill for the film we use. (There may be exceptions for all I know.)
We don't disagree, Robert. All lenses, superior or otherwise, will perform less well. My only point is that superior lenses will remain superior (all else being equal, like sensor size).

I didn't mention Olympus lenses for E-1 (or the E-20, which I currently have) becuase it is unclear how they would perform relative to lenses designed for 35mm film. There is the potential for them to perform quite well given they are designed to produce a smaller image circle. But since they are designed essentially like SLR lenses, they do not have resolution advantages than a rangefinder lenses enjoy. Further given the target market and the resolving power of the CCD chips anticipated by Olympus, Olympus might not have cared to design the lenses for ultimate resolution (since in use it would not be noticed) and put the money towards other lens attributes that might have a great impact on their anticipated use.
It seems to me that Zeiss could conceivably adapt their cine lenses for less-than-35mm format digital usage. They're supposed to be the best lenses Zess has ever made.

Anyway, I wouldn't not consider a less than full format digital G, but it would still be a letdown. I'd like my 16 to be a 16, and my 21 to be a 21. As I said earlier, the gains on the telephoto side would be nice, though.

I'd be quite happy with a Digital G3 in 4/3 format provided, Zeiss, like Olympus, redesigned there lenses for that format.