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Leica R should look like ALPA SLR.

Chuck T , Apr 01, 2004; 01:02 a.m.

I can see why Leica R is not as famous as the M. The R is in the opposite direction of the M. I own a Leicaflex and I still don't like it before or after using the M. The new Leica R is worse because it is a HULK.

I bet many of you have seen the ALPA camera. I remember there is one ALPA model is a hybrid of the SLR and rangefinder. Very unqiue and clever design. ALPA camera are mostly made in Switzerland, so their quality are as same as Leica and Zeiss Ikon. ALPA SLR is like a Leica M, very small and quiet. I, especially, like the Model 6 and 10d. Unfortuately, their lens are hard to find with sky rocket price tag. Since ALPA is no longer make, Leica should buy that company and copy their cameras that resemble the Leica M into R.

There is a huge success in reproduce the MP. A hybrid of SLR and rangfinder like one of the ALPA SLR made should be reproduce first because M fans and R fans willing to buy that camera and there is a larger market for both group of people.

At last, the new SLR Leica would be called Leica RM. The M is stand for the Leica M design with tradition Mechanical.

What do you guys think of my idea? I really miss the ALPA. If you like the M, I bet you will like the ALPA.

Responses

H. P. , Apr 01, 2004; 01:33 a.m.

"What do you guys think of my idea? "

Not a lot. There is a reason why the Alpa is so scarce: it was expensive, quirky to a fault and somewhat unreliable for a camera costing at least 25% more than a Nikon F in 1965.

The few people I've known who bought Alpas seem to have regreted it. The Alpa's shutter is a martyr to tapering and it isn't cheap to get it adjusted.

"very unique and clever design"

That it is not. Quite apart from 'very unique' being meaningless, the Praktina did it first, and some would argue better, with both SLR and direct vision viewfinders combined. The Praktina was also the frst SLR to have a production motor drive. All right, it was clockwork powered but it did work and it effectively gave you an instant return miror several years before Pentax.

Oh, right, April 1st. Ho ho ho.....

Chris Henry , Apr 01, 2004; 01:44 a.m.

Well, the ALPA you are recalling went defunct and the name was bought out by a camera maker that now specializes in an ultra high-end medium-format platform cameras few people see except on a website, That is not much of a path to follow, IMHO. The trend in SLR development is by now pretty clear, the exceptions to this trend are well known, as is their fate, Olympus OM is retired, Contax might as well be, and Leica, well, the news isn't good. Latecomers can have a difficult time. Leica should have developed an autofocus line of lenses along with the rest of the significant market players in hope of offering an alternative. Obviously, they didn't. I am not sure it matters at this point, with high-end digital eclipsing 35mm. If Leica wants to play catch-up, they need to address a digital market that might be interested in their lenses. Olympus went that way. But time waits for no one.

Oliver S. , Apr 01, 2004; 03:47 a.m.

Yup, Alpa as a brand is alive and kicking: http://www.alpa.ch/. It's owned not by Pignons SA any longer but by Capaul and Weber. And if you really want a rangefinder on an SLR... well, that is a step in the right direction.

Andrew C , Apr 01, 2004; 11:17 a.m.

It's April Fool's Day today. For some people, it's Fool's Day everyday.

Andrew C , Apr 01, 2004; 11:21 a.m.

Let me rephrase that. It's Fool's Day with every post.

Henry Ting , Apr 01, 2004; 11:41 a.m.

"very unique and clever design"

Then how do you explain the clever design of the film advance lever.

Peter McDonough , Apr 01, 2004; 09:33 p.m.

Hi Chuck, I agree with you. The Alpa is an outstanding camera as fas as size, and ease of handling goes. It is also nearly indistructable. It is just the right size and the reversed direction of the film advance works easier than the advance on "normal" 35mm cameras. Best of all, however, is the film rewinder. There is no better, period. Using it once, you are a convert. I love my Alpa 10D. The 50mm/1.8 Macro Switar, though lower contrast than most modern lenses, is the sharpest lens I have ever used. The 50mm 1.9 version is even better, I'm told. All that being said, I also have to state that of the five different Alpa models I have owned, four had shutter problems and the fifth had meter problems. But as far as handling and ease of shooting goes, The Alpa was/is a standout. I love mine. Peter

Robin Smith , Apr 02, 2004; 09:44 a.m.

The Alpa is indeed a beautifully made camera - perhaps even nicer than the Leicaflexes and the Contarexes, but it certainly is quirky, and availability has been an issue too. Also although their lens line has a high quality reputation (with lens such as the Switar and the Angenieux) they always struck me as very conservative - no really fast lenses nor long lenses that were readily available. The hybrid SLR/RF system has a raison d'etre when mirrors where not instant return, but lost their purpose I think once autoreturn mirrors came in (c.1959). After all even if you have a RF built in then you still need to lift a mirror to take the shot.

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