Leica Digital M – 6-bit Conversion

Release date: June 6th, 2006 New 6-bit coding of Leica M system lenses for image optimization with the digital M Leica Camera AG, Solms will be giving the lenses of the Leica rangefinder system a new code on the bayonet ring in the future to enable the planned digital Leica M camera to recognize the lens type. The encoded information on the lens will helps the camera to optimize image quality. All lenses leaving the factory from July 1st, 2006 onwards will have the new coding, although they can still be fully used with the current analog cameras LEICA MP and LEICA M7 as well as classic models built after 1954. Lenses in the current range as well as many earlier models (see charts below for specifics) can be retrofitted so that you will be able to benefit from the image optimization in the digital M camera. Lenses without the 6-bit upgrade are still compatible with the digital M camera, except that the additional image optimization features cannot be used. The lens coding is called ‘6-bit coding‘ because six fields in the bayonet ring are marked in black or white to represent a number from 1 to 64 in binary code. The planned digital M camera reads this information optically and can identify the lens on the basis of this code. Apart from the improvement in image quality, this information is also written into the EXIF image file. “On account of their legendary quality, nearly all Leica M lenses are ideal for digital use. However, the new 6-bit coding also uses the performance reserves in the image processing of the camera to give our customers the excellent image result they expect from Leica,“ says Rainer Bültert, product manager for the M system at Leica Camera AG. The only lens in the current range that will not be given a 6-bit coding is the LEICA APO-TELYT-M 135 mm f/3.4. It is not codable later, either, as its extension factor of 1.33 makes it unsuitable for use on the planned digital M camera. The launch of the digital Leica rangefinder camera is planned for the second half of 2006. Please contact Bergen County Camera at 800-841-4118 or email sales@bergencountycamera.com for additional questions or to have your lenses updated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *