Leitz Ur-Leica versus Nikon D90
Roughly a century of technological development separate the Ur-Leica and the Nikon D90. The former was finished in March 1914, while the latter was presented to the public in August 2008. The Ur-Leica was the first camera to use 24x36mm film, whereas the D90 is build around a 12.2MP APS-C digital imaging sensor.
Body comparison: Ur-Leica vs Nikon D90
An illustration of the physical dimensions and weight of the Ur-Leica and the Nikon D90 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D90 is considerably larger (57 percent) than the Ur-Leica. Moreover, the D90 is substantially heavier (63 percent) than the Ur-Leica. In addition, while the Ur-Leica has an integrated lens (the retractable Mikro-Summar 42mm f/4.5), the D90 requires an additional lens, which will add further to its weight.
Evidently, the D90 is the more convenient and powerful imaging tool, providing an image quality that Oskar Barnack, the creator of the Ur-Leica, probably could not have envisioned. However, there are two aspects (apart from size and weight) where the Ur-Leica has an edge over the D90. The first one is battery life. The Ur-Leica is a fully mechanical camera, so that there is no risk of running out of juice during a shooting session...
The second advantage of the Ur-Leica is, well, its resale value. The camera is a museum piece, resting safely at Leica’s headquarters in Wetzlar/Germany. Collectors would probably be willing to pay several million US dollars if it were put up for sale. In contrast, the Nikon D90, while surely being the better camera, just lacks the scarcity and historical importance that foster "auction madness" and drive vintage camera prices into six or seven-figure territory.
Any interest in exploring another side-by-side comparison? Just enter your cameras of choice in the search box below and you will be taken to a corresponding display. Alternatively, you can also follow any of the links further down for comparisons that others pursued.