About making pictures   - the DMC-LC5  by  Waeshael


DMC-LC5 which I bought on E-Bay for about $50 with original box and accessories - like new.

Digilux 1 which I bought on E-Bay for about $350 with accessories . DC Vario-Summicron f 2.0 - f 2.8.

There is one for sale on 2/2/2015 on eBay for $185 no battery (which is readily available.)

You can see pictures by thorsten overgaard made with this camera.


From Panasonic Technical description:

“Each camera's CCD color filter is specifically designed to optimize the performance of the particular Leica lens used. Models DMC-F7 and DMC-LC20 feature a primary color filter for precise color reproduction in images captured by the LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens. For models DMC-LC40 and DMC-L5, Panasonic chose a complementary color filter to harmonize with the LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens's F2.0 brightness and the rich gradation produced by these models' 4.0 Mega-pixel CCDs. Going a step further, Panasonic developed new Pure Color Engine LSI circuitry to work with the DMC-LC40's and DMC-L5's lens systems. It converts the CCD output signal into an RGB signal at an early stage and extracts the low frequency luminance component, resulting in superb color reproduction.”

Notes by me:

The old Kodachrome 25 film used Cyan Magenta Yellow and Green color dyes to produce that Kodachrome look. In the cine world Technicolor film was a print from three transfer films that were colored Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. A gray scale image made using a Green filter (I think,) was used on the base print film to increase contrast. For many years pro digital movie cameras used CYMG filters to produce a film look.

More examples at  (no WWW)waeshael.Leicaimages.com

i am talking about these old cameras in order to illustrate something about lens quality and sensor design. You can’t buy a compact camera with Both the leitz vario summicron lens f2.0 - f2.5 and a CMYG sensor design. The combination produced colors that can hardly be duplicated today. The cost for the camera was over $1,000 in 2011 dollars, and it was only 4 MP!

DC Vario-Summicron

These  pictures were made by three cameras that use the same fixed Leica lens but different sensor designs.

Lens: DC Vario Summicron f2.0 - f2.8 7 - 21 mm focal length.

Cameras: Top left: Toshiba PDR-M70 Yr. 2002. Below it: DMC-LC40 2008, the other two: DMC-LC5 2012. All images have been post processed to eliminate noise and to intensify the colors.

The boat/beach picture was made using the only digital camera I had in 2002 - a Toshiba PDR-M70 3.3 MP camera with the Leica designed dc vario-Summicron f 2.0 zoom lens. It was the lens of choice for high end compacts such as the Canon (G1), Leica (Digilux 1), Lumix (DMC-LC5) and some SONY cameras in the period 2001 - 2003. All those cameras cost more than $1,000 (in 2011 dollars) and the lens cost was probably half the camera cost.

Today you can get these cameras for  $100 - $300 on E-Bay in like new condition, with battery, hoods, strap and manuals. I wouldn’t recommend anything but the DMC-LC5 today, because it is inexpensive, and batteries and add on lenses are available new.

The sensor size is 1/1.7 inch, (7.6 x 5.7 mm) quite large for a compact camera.

I have four good working DMC-LC5s and one is like new.

The Leica Digilux 1 is a camera that has a different look but is essentially the DMC-LC5, at three times the price on E-Bay.

The Leica Summicron ASPH

Leica themselves never call the lens “lens.” Each design is given a name that reminds everyone of its optical characteristics. The Summicrons all seem to produce distinct images. It has been the lens of choice for many professionals since its introduction in 1957.

The Summicron series have always an f2.0 aperture. There are various focal lengths, usually 35, 40 and 50mm, and a zoom;  the DC Vario-Summicron was created in 2001 in a joint venture with Panasonic, which has a lens factory to make lenses to Leica standards.  It has an aperture that varies from a maximum of f 2.0 at wide angle (35mm) to f 2.8 at full telephoto (100mm.) In 2002 the lens had far better resolution than the sensor in the DMC-LC5. Even today this lens design has a resolution that exceeds sensor resolution (when set to its optimum setting for the sensor size ( f2.8 - f4.0) on cameras of 10 - 12 MP.

This DC Vario-Summicron is not a hand built lens like the Leica APO Summicron 50 - that lens costs about $7000 today. But you can shoot all day with the dc vario-Summicron and get lots of pictures that have great color and tonal range. No other lens that I have (16 cameras now,) can match the colors of the Summicron.

The Leica C camera on the far left uses a vario Summicron design from f2.0 - f5.9. You can see it is a much smaller piece of glass compared with the Digilux 1 above.

The Leica D-Lux 5 (left) was the last compact camera to use the Summicron lens design. The lens went from f2.0 - f3.3 over the zoom range of a little over 3:1, which is the same zoom range as the old Digilux 1. You can still get the D-Lux 5 used. It has no optical viewfinder, and no flash. There are many happy users of the D-Lux 4, and 5, and the camera can produce outstanding pictures. It uses a standard RGBG bayer sensor, so color always seems to be a bit flat.