Leica M9 owners

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by dxqcanada, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Anyone have a Leica M9 ?

    For the past 20 years I have always said to myself that I will get a Leica rangefinder.
    I was just re-reading Leica's website ... and wanted to know an owner's thoughts on it.
     
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First question just so I know what type of information you are searching for....

    Are you familiar with rangefinders? how about the M8?
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Just personal opinion on the quality of the camera ... and the quality of the images.

    I have not read good things about the M8 ... the M9 seems to have corrected the faults of the previous model.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok.. I had to ask.. sometimes what people really want to know is info about shooting with a rangefinder and have associated the Leica name to it. Others just want to know about the brand "Leica" itself. What you are asking is a comparison between the m8 and m9.

    My experience with the M8 and M9 are that of an evolution not a drastic improvement. The more obvious improvements:

    * The biggest improvement... Full frame sensor. From what I can tell, its essentially the same sensor as the M8. Simply larger.
    * Improvement on the IR filter (on sensor) to no longer need the IR cut filters (on lens)
    * Adjustment of the frame lines to better meet the expectations of shooters familiar with the film M-bodies. (M8's frame lines are "looser"... adjusted for accuracy at close focus)
    * Quieter shutter (similar to that of the M8.2) with the 1/4000 top setting (M8 has 1/8000).
    * Slight change to the top plate shape.
    * No more LCD battery counter on top (bummer)
    * No more chrome (bummer); Painted grey or black.

    I have read the controversies surrounding the M8 and honestly, I don't really know the hoopla is all about. I won't go into details as I've written about them here before... and yes... this was Leica's first digital rangefinder (first products == guinea pigs). Considering the odds stacked against the company (R&D budget, lack of electronics experience, working within the constraints of an M-body shape/size), I think Leica did fairly well. There isn't a full frame camera out there of the same size.

    What I will say is that the M8 has been a complete joy to use and the M9 is following suite just as well. The biggest improvement that impacts me personally, the larger sensor and frame lines. Now the question ... Is it worth the increased premium of the M8? Honestly, I can't really say it is. I was happy with the M8 .. still am. The things that bothered many, don't bother me. The M8 and M9 are just so similar and not without disappointments. I've always been a critic of Leica even though I like their products. I mostly criticize them for their business/design decisions. so here are some points:

    * I think its time to REVOLUTIONIZE the M-body rather than just cater to the time old classic lovers. The fact that the m 4/3rds cameras are gaining use from the same crowd is an indication of that fact. Heck.. how hard would it be to get in body IS? The Leica S2 for example is revolutionary... no reason not to be so with this line as well.
    * WEATHERPROOFING. How hard can it be to weather proof the M-body and newer lenses?
    * Shutter is much improved but I think it can be quieter.
    * Battery life could be improved BUT I see the problem... after all they have to work within the confines of the very very very compact M-body shape/size. I think they could improve with extended batteries that integrate into the bottom plate.
    * You still have to remove the bottom plate to get to the battery and SD card. BANG HEAD ON WALL.

    That's all that comes to mind at the moment. Any more specific questions feel free to ask?



    btw... Leica not getting into the m4/3rd movement and coming out with the X1 instead...HUGE mistake in my opinion.. HUGE.
     
  7. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for adding your two cents on the M8 ...
     
  8. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Debatable, and partially incorrect.

    It is correct that Leica is not, at this time, "getting into the m4/3rd movement" in terms camera bodies. They are still participating in lenses, though so far only one. They haven't completely left the field.

    IMHO, while a true Leica m4/3 body, as opposed to a rebadged Panasonic, would be quite interesting, I see little point in them simply offering a tweak and rebadged Pany. I would be much more interested in a line of Leica fast primes for m4/3.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oops Probably misspoke a little.

    I didn't mean to actually adopt the m4/3rd system but to take its design cues and move the M-mount forward.

    0) Most important, M-mount. No adapters!! Leica's foundation is Glass.. lets keep it up.
    1) Mirrorless system.. of course.. just like rangefinders have always been.
    2) Compact design. Both M-mount and m4/3rds have this as a selling point already.
    3a) EVF of similar quality to that to the G1 but through its own "lens" (not TTL).
    3b) Perhaps a "simulated rangefinder patch" for faster focusing. Focus information can be easily "detected" by the camera by engaging the focus cam that's on almost every M-mount Leica lens built since the 50's.
    3c) "simulated frame lines" selected by way of engaging the M-mount lens.
    3d) Adjustable EVF magnification; .58, .72, .86, and 1.
    3e) Tweak the display for things like auto adjustment of brightness. Big advantage of the EVF in the G1 etc..
    3f) Include information like histogram in the display.
    4) Button layout and ergonomics that cater to the manual focus M-mounts. Most if not all primary functions should have a dedicated physical button. The M8 got early flak from users since ISO function was within in a menu item. The shutter selector wheel should be the same to facilitate the use of this camera with current M-bodies.
    5) Future "AutoFocus" like mount compatibility?? Not sure about this one...

    I could think of more but my point being an opportunity for Leica to take forward thinking design cues from the m4/3rd mirrorless designs and meld them together with the time classics of their M-bodies. Heck they can even be more innovative/creative and add features to incorporate the wonderful color display from the S2 or a way to switch the EVF between "rangefinder mode" and "TTL mode". The S2 is an indication that if allowed the engineers/designers at Leica can really go all out and be innovative... the issue is that the current path of the "m-mount" body is so freakin restrictive to the classic M3 "look/feel".

    I think the Leica market is ready.. if you go to some of the rangefinder forums, you'll find people posting wish lists similar to mine. Many are looking for a m-mount product range that has a Leica CL like camera with m4/3rd design cues to be marketed along side the more classic M-body; M9, M10 etc...

    My m4/3rd has become a secondary camera to that of either R-D1, M8 or M9. It works well actually... Unfortunately, Leica's resources are stretched.. Big time. Its been well over a 6 months and the M9 waiting list is still large. The reason that has been given is that they have been overstretched manufacturing the X1, S2 and the M9 at the same time. In my opinion, they should have left the X1 off the list and gone with something described above. The X1 is too much of a P&S like niche market camera with an entry price of that of 2nd hand M8s... Much of the discussions on forums are which focal lengths to choose... that tell me that most users don't want to be stuck with a single focal length P&S.



    Yes you are right. There is currently one Panasonic Lumix macro lens that bears the Leica branding. I tried it out at the store and while very nice (1 step above other m4/3rd lumix lens in terms of build) and optics could vary well be good, it didn't scream Leica when held in hand and in use.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010

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