V'lander insiders?

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I haven't seen anything about a new leica SLR as rumored here. And I dought I will, along with a digital SLR any time soon.

So.....how about V'lander picking up the ball and giving us a R mount SLR and a digital R mount SLR. I'm tired of leica missing the boat for us SLR users. I love the glass but could certainly get along with cheap bodies, and would in fact appreciate them. I'm thinking they could do a film body for under $400 and a digital for under $2k. Anyone here work for V'lander? What are you waiting for?

-- Mark (acerview76eus@yahoo.com), February 25, 2002



Its a nice idea, but has the patent copyright for the R-mount on a body run out? Tamron got away with having an R adaptall mount for their lenses, but Leica were not happy about that. Perhaps VC should make some VC budget lenses for the R?

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), February 25, 2002.

Actually I was disappointed that the handsome VC reflex lenses they recently made for Nikon and Canon did not fit the R camera. Again I assume this is due to patent issues; otherwise I think they might have done so -- unless the R market is too small even for VC.

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), February 25, 2002.

From what I understand its not a patent/trade thing due to an inclusion (or loophole depending on how its viewed), that lets another party offer accessory or expanded parts for even a patented product.

For instance, in my industry (irrigation electronics) one manufacturer came out with a new irrigation control product that offered multiple patents in a combination hardware/software product. Another 3rd party manufacturer came out with both an alternate software solution, AND alternate hardware solution. There was no legal recourse, however the first manufacturer changed the software and hardware so they handshakes with each other by exchanging the company name. Now, it is protected not by patent, but by trademark, since the 3rd party can not use that name in conjunction with its alternate hardware and software solutions.

I think the real item to consider is marketability. Cosina took some risk with the LTM lenses and cameras, less of a risk now with the R2 camera. BUT... those products were launched into a market that has a fairly large base. The Leica R market has got to be much smaller, although I dont know the numbers for either. I think even if Cosina could see a market for an R SLR body if low cost, they might be a little more reluctant unless it thought that lenses could also be provided by them. That is of course, the beauty of the "alternate to Leitz" system they've developed so far. They offer both bodies and lenses at more reasonable cost - the idea is really quite brilliant, but I'm not sure if it would have been viable even 10 years ago. The timing is also in their favor it seems.

-- Charles (cbarcellona@telocity.com), February 25, 2002.

For an inexpensive R-body that takes the more recent lenses, an R-3 in good shape isn't that bad a camera. The R-4sp isn't that bad either. If older lenses are OK, go for an SL.

-- John Layton (john.layton@valley.net), February 26, 2002.

If you read the available info, you find that Cosina used their generic SLR body ( I know of five different brand names marketed so far ) and used a modification of that existing chassis to build their LTM bodies. So the risk was lessened because a major development and tooling expense was already paid for. I for one am glad to see a relatively inexpensive entry level RF camera become available. Cosina's president is to be commended.

-- Photo Phreak (lookingglass1000@yaho.com), March 22, 2002.

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