First time trying an M9

Started Oct 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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tony field
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,436
First time trying an M9
Oct 4, 2012

I have been a Leica M film shooter since the early 1970's with 4 bodies and 9 lenses.  Most of the shots were theatre, dance, street, and some scenic work.  On occasion, I also photographed lovely ladies - however that was best handled with reflex cameras such as the Leicaflex.  I have not been interested in the digital M series, mostly because the original M8 was based on a small sensor which I did not like when shooting the Nikon digital bodies.  I basically switch to Nikon and Canon DSLRs in 2001 and was glad to get rid of the darkroom.

For some reason, I decided to borrow an M9 body from my local camera store.  I picked it up yesterday and found it was pleasantly simple to figure out (aside from the EV compensation).  A quick test indicated all of my leica lenses seemed to focus acceptably well at full aperture (with, of course, some difficulty with the 50mm F1.0).

A lady friend dropped over about 9am this morning.  Since she was reasonably well dressed, I asked her to come with me to the near-by park.  The weather was very overcast, cool (about 5C), light snow falling but the cool weather was quickly put to rest with a cup of hot coffee spiced with a stiff shot of Baileys.

It took a bit of effort to figure out how the focus the M9 for this kind of shooting.  Action following was difficult (I have been out of practice for this on the M rangefinder for 20 years).  Seems to me that a bit more practice might go a long ways   None the less, we managed to take 173 images, only 30 of which were mis-focused.  I found this interesting since a similar shoot with my Canon 5D-III would have resulted in at least 400 images in the same time frame - the rangefinder really changes how and why you shoot   I also found I missed image stabilization and the extremely reliable auto-focus of the Canon.

None the less, here is a small selection of images taken with the 50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.0, and the 90mm F2.  I still have to test with other lenses such as the 28mm, 35mm, other 50mm, other 90mm, and the 135mm.  Maybe I will even try the 200mm telyte on a visoflex.

Overall I am pleased with the camera's performance - if I decide to purchase the camera, I will be back with more boring pictures - probably of a candid / street photography style.  In addition, I think I should shoot some identical images on both the M9 and 5D-III just to see if there are any substantive difference in the ethos of the camera systems.  Off the top, I was really pleased with the colour of the M9 - but that is just a gut reaction.








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