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Absence of Leica X Vario in this thread

Discussion in 'Leica X1/X2 Forum' started by biglouis, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. biglouis

    biglouis SC Veteran

    401
    Aug 4, 2013
    Out of interest, is anyone an owner of the Leica X Vario?

    I've been thinking about this camera as a counterpoint to my RX1, given its wider, normal and short telephoto capabilities.

    I like the idea that it might give me back the same quality as my 28-asph, Elmar 50 and Elmarit 90 lenses that I used extensively with my M8.

    Anyone got any experiences, or opinions (other than it is too expensive and not a mini-M)?

    Any photographs? Some of the X1 and X2 photographs here are excellent, btw.

    LouisB
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Hi Louis,
    I was just reading a nice review over at our sister site here..... Leica X Vario review by Dale

    If anyone here has picked one up, they haven't mentioned it. Seems like a nice camera. Prepare for a bunch of people who have never used it tell you that the lens is too slow and the camera is too expensive. And feel free to ignore them.
     
  3. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    The X Vario ticks all the boxes for me but......

    When I looked at the X Vario I realised that the size of the lens makes it huge -- although I appreciate not having a dust sucking telescoping lens.
    Instead of excitement the camera left me interested but I kept staring at that lens and price tag and wondering which pocket it would fit.
    It would need my Domke F8 bag!

    In contrast , when I bought my X1 in 2010 , it felt exciting , special , unique and capable of giving me the "Leica Look"....even my X100 couldn't compete.

    Having seen what Sony have done with the RX1 and the miniaturisation of the RX100, I'm minded to wait for Sony's next offering.

    It would be interesting to compare the Leica lens and IQ with that of my Canon G1X..one underrated camera.
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I just don't think many on this forum were interested, and the price discourages a causal relationship. I'm sure it's a fine camera.
     
  5. RT Panther

    RT Panther SC All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    IMHO, THE X Vario needs:

    - Viewfinder
    - Faster lens
     
  6. carlb

    carlb SC Regular

    101
    Jun 3, 2013
    I had the X-Vario. Compares in size and picture quality to a Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55mm lens. Although I liked the X-Vario controls, menu scheme, and the build quality more, the pictures just weren't any better overall or on a pixel level than the Fuji. Was also really missing the OIS that comes with the Fuji 18-55 lens, which makes the Fuji effectively a much faster camera. As such I just could not justify the $2800 X-Vario price tag.

    That was too bad, because I really did like how the X-Vario handled and felt. All depends on your priorities, for me the positives just weren't enough to justify the price and missing OIS.
     
  7. biglouis

    biglouis SC Veteran

    401
    Aug 4, 2013
    Thanks for the responses. I am an ex-Leica shooter. I sold of my M8 kit and lenses after owning the camera for five years. I just felt it was on the edge of obsolescence and I was not inspired by the price tag on the M9.

    It's just when I look at the X1/2 and X Vario images I recognise the Leica-look (or am I fooling myself) which I don't see with my other small compacts - great though they may be.

    Much as I would like a Leica M, I don't think my eyesight accomodates manual lenses any more (a reason for selling off my MF manual kit, at present).

    I do very much like the X-Pro 1 but why on earth are they holding back on their 'cron-35' killer?

    LouisB
     
  8. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    I know what you mean.
    The Leica images can have the ability to pop off the page and the cool colour set looks good to me.
    You don't get the look with every shot but you know when you do !
     
  9. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Garry
    I just took a peep at this new Leica !! Its almost £1800 more than the GXR A16 kit i just bought .
    Shorter zoom too (I like the manual zoom though)
    I know its now discontinued but I would like to see a comparison review between these two models.
     
  10. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    I suggest that we start a Leica thread with pictures without exif data. Though pictures from any non-Leica camera/lens combo can be uploaded which are to be believed that they have the Leica look or glow be their shooters. I am absolutely convinced that the believers in the Leica rendering mystique will be surprised big big time, not to use the word disappointed when trying to identify the ones made with a Leica or not.
     
  11. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i dont think comparing photos will prove or disprove anything when one is dealing with an inherently wholly subjective criterion like 'look'. personally, i do think theres a 'leica look', just as i think theres a 'fuji look' and 'olympus colors' etc etc etc ad nauseum. some see 'em, some dont. theres no 'convincing' either way because its a matter of opinion, not fact. in fact, i personally find it a bit over the top that anyone would try to 'talk' someone else out of their aesthetic opinion.

    what is a matter of fact is aperture speed, in body stabilization and its effects on photography, lack of a viewfinder, size, weight, and price when compared to everything else on the market. those criteria are objective. and likewise i find it a bit over the top when folks put down as 'naysayers' those who simply point out the facts that negatively impact a cameras operation.

    now how important those objective criteria are vis a vis the subjective criteria, how a particular individual values those competing criteria, well gentlemen, that is what makes a horse race. we should all be entitled to both full information (good and bad), our aesthetic interpretations, and how we as competent individuals value and balance them.

    i personally look at a $3000 camera without a vf, without IS, and with a short zoom range whose aperture speeds go from a fastest 3.5 to a fastest 6 or so, balance it against its very nice output, and dismiss it from any further consideration. that doesnt make me a jerk, or a leica 'hater' (ive some leica cams and lenses i would never give up!), or a sony rx1 hater (somewhat similar except it has a much faster fixed lens). can i respect others who come to a different conclusion? certainly! its just how i personally balance the criteria. unfortunately, many of us cant 'try out' every cam on the market, but nonetheless i do believe we are entitled to our conclusions based on what is knowable.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Writing as a long-term Leica user, to this very day, I can say eithout fear of contradiction that the XV is not for me. No viewfinder (the killer), slowww lens, no OIS, no electronic level (that I could find). I tried one in the flesh this weekend. Nice solid construction, but a ludicrous price for what it offers, even by Leica standards. No thank you. On the other hand, a few weeks ago I (re-)bought a Digilux 2; a far better camera, albeit 10 years older than the XV - which surely speaks volumes...

    Sent from another Galaxy
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    bill i really loved the digilux 2. unfortunately i just couldnt deal with the flickering evf. but as a camera, lens, ease of use and images, i really liked it.
     
  14. RT Panther

    RT Panther SC All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    Why single Leica out? (You can do this with any brand)
    I'll debate that one can manipulate saturation levels on other brand name cameras & thus you could start a thread saying "Pick the Oly Colors Out"....
     
  15. biglouis

    biglouis SC Veteran

    401
    Aug 4, 2013
    Today I finally managed to get to see an X Vario in the flesh.

    I am afraid it left me rather cold, to be honest.

    Build quality if wonderful but then so it should be at the sticker price.

    Ergonomics to me are distinctly odd. I don't think I could adapt to an aperture wheel, rather than a ring on the lens. Small point but the engraving on the aperture wheel is so small I had difficulty working out if the '8' was an '8' or a 'B'. Of course it couldn't be but it still left me a bit puzzled for a moment or two and it is because you do expect wheels to be speed and not aperture.

    I'm glad I picked a dark overcast day to check the IQ because it proved once and for all, at least to me, that the lens is way too slow on the long end. I could not get up to a fast enough speed (1/125) without really whacking up the iso and at iso1600 I was distinctly unimpressed with noise in the detail when magnified. My RX1 would handle up to 3200 in similar circumstances with no intrusive noise or image degradation, imho.

    I think this will make a great camera for a particular market segment, which I would imagine are image conscious purchasers who want a luxury product but for photo-enthusiasts, I really do not think this is a credible camera.

    Personally, I really wanted to like this camera enough to purchase one but as it is, it is not for me.

    LouisB
     
  16. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Your Merrills and RX1 set the bar way too high for a XV to become desirable, I`m afraid. :wink: A XE1 with the 18-55mm is by far a more convincing package imho and in the US a real bargain these days with an excellent zoom to stay and a camera body which hopefully will see an improved successor (concerning performance) soon.
     
  17. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    I absolutely love the XV! I bought one to try it for myself fully expecting to return it. It remained, grew on me, and the return period expired. I could not be happier. I prefer fixed-lens compacts and short of the Ricoh GXR A16 the XV is the only APS zoom available. It and my Ricoh GR are a perfect pair. The ergonomics of the XV are super and I find it a snap to use on the fly. I use the grip and EVF (I shoot about 50/50 with/without the EVF). But more importantly the IQ is phenomenal, and it is a camera that I can get both great color and great B&W conversions from. Sure, it is a slow lens, but I tend to shoot at f/5.6 and f/8 most of the time anyway. I have the GR and GRD4 for times when I need the speed. Over the past few weekends I've been catching up on photographing our kid's artwork from school before the next year starts and while I normally shoot RAW I used JPG for the artwork and color is spot on. My one gripe is that I seem to enable the flash menu a lot given the placement of the button and how I hold the camera.

    The VX is my first ever Leica and I have absolutely no interest in any "luxury" products. I consider my cameras as tools and I'll use them without worry of scratches and dents. Between the XV and GR I'm selling everything else off (except Ricoh GRD4 and GXR/A12 50mm) and focusing on getting to know those two cameras and putting them use.

    Value is personal and many won't consider the XV a good value, but for me it's a camera I'll use and enjoy and get a lot of usable output from.

    l1000767_800px.
     
  18. biglouis

    biglouis SC Veteran

    401
    Aug 4, 2013
    Andrew

    I did leave the shop feeling perhaps I had not really given the X Vario a fair shake of the tree, especially as you are so effusive about your experience with it.

    I know the shop well and they are more than willing to have me return with an SD card (I normally have one in my bag so I was a bit annoyed I couldn't find it) and try it again. As I say, it is a camera I would like to like.

    So, I may give it another whirl if I can get some test images to explore.

    LouisB
     
  19. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    As I said mine grew on me. I had to get over the price, but once I recognized its capabilities (within its limitations) I began to think more about the potential than the cost. Leica's will always be expensive, no doubt about that. And I think that initial rash of complaints impacted how people saw the camera, even when they first try it for themselves. That was why I initially tried it - the camera could not be that bad could it. At least right now it fills a niche - the fixed-lens APS zoom.

    Also be aware that I have certain preferences for image character. I prefer B&W, I absolutely do not mind grain, and I have an affinity for the type of B&W image shown above. For me, what I shoot and what I like to get out of the camera the XV works. For others it may not.
     
  20. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    ...and there's the rub. I have, over the years, had 13 Leicas, ranging from II and M2 to R7, M7, MP, D-Lux 4 and Digilux 2. Compared to that experience the VX leaves me cold. I am sure it can produce good results in the right hands (and I like the shot above) but it is a pastiche of what Leica has done, can do, and should be doing.