Leica M7 Supplementary Manual (en)

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New 6-bit coding of Leica M system lenses for image optimization in connection with 
the planned digital camera model 
 
 
Leica Camera AG, Solms will be giving the lenses of the Leica rangefinder system a new code 
on the bayonet ring in future to enable the planned digital Leica M camera to recognize the 
lens type. The information on the lens that is being used helps the camera to optimize image 
quality. All lenses leaving the factory from July 1
st
, 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 can be retrofitted at the cost of the owner to benefit from the image optimization in 
the camera. The lenses are compatible with the planned digital M camera even without 
retrofitting, except that the additional 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. 
 
Lenses bought in the past will be converted at the request of the customer for 81.51 € plus VAT 
at the Customer Service of Leica Camera AG in Solms or the Leica agencies of other countries. 
Many of the lenses made from 1963 onwards can be converted. A list of such models is 
available on the following pages or from the Leica Info-Service (Tel. 06442/208-111). 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.