Decisions, decisions: Leica M Digital or Otherwise?

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OttoUnion
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Decisions, decisions: Leica M Digital or Otherwise?
6 months ago

I seek the wise counsel of the forum on an upcoming camera purchasing decision.  I certainly don’t expect anyone here to make this decision for me but it is always helpful to seek alternative / contrarian views to assist in the process.

It seems that the development curve for digital camera bodies is starting to flatten and I can finally perhaps make a serious purchase without having it become technically obsolete within the first two years.  I have been a Leica fan since purchasing a remaindered CL in 1978 (later stolen) and followed it with a IIIF RDST and a 3 lug M5.  Sadly my interest in photography beyond happy snaps with the cell phone has waned a bit since the demise of Kodachrome and my equipment sits in the bag at home except for special occasions.  When I do get the M5 out, I am reminded how much I enjoy shooting and the rangefinder experience.

Giving up waiting for Leica to introduce a digital CL (and I am not holding out much hope for one to be introduced next month), I find myself considering a used M9 or stretching for an M-E.  I do have some legacy Leica M glass that I would be able to use.  These are not “top shelf” lenses but have provided excellent results on the M5.  These include the Summicron C 40, Elmar C 90, 50 Summarit, and 135 Tele Elmar.  I’m sure these would provide similar results on the digital M choices.

But I also have seen and handled the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 12-40 Pro Zuiko, the various Fuji offerings, and the Leica X Vario.  These all offer vastly different non-rangefinder handling experiences and excellent image quality for significantly less money.  In addition they offer capabilities beyond the Leica M experience if not, perhaps, the absolute level of image quality; arguable from many!

Have others here been down this same road and willing to offer sage advice to this very confused old man?

OttoUnion

Leica X Vario Olympus E-M1
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