Some Leica T posts and comments

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mbcrutcher
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Some Leica T posts and comments
3 months ago

Our grandchildren at the beach.  In my opinion Leica T provides excellent color.  My wife took this shot, another advantage of the Leica T.  It's the first Leica she's not afraid of.

A handheld shot of a glass sculpture at the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle.

A couple dressed in their Sunday finery in Louisville, KY.

A dramatic Seattle sunset.

A friend visiting from the East Coast.

I am pleased with my Leica T.  I've had Leicas for years, both film and digital, but I found increasingly I was leaving my M-9 home in favor of smaller and lighter cameras.  I bought a Fuji X-Pro I and a number of Fuji lenses, but Leica had spoiled me for sharpness and color separation, which I could never quite achieve with the Fuji lenses.  I also could never get completely comfortable with the Fuji, as I was pushing the wrong buttons or losing the viewfinder image.  I also bought a Sony RX-1, which produces excellent images, better in my opinion than the Fuji.  But, like the Fuji, the Sony is somewhat awkward to use.  Just as I'm about to take a picture the viewing screen changes on me.  It's small and slippery, although the grip I bought from Richard Franiec certainly helps.

I bought the Leica together with the viewfinder and 23mm prime lens from Glazer's Camera in Seattle, a reliable dealer with whom I've dealt for years.  I've had the camera about a month now and taken several hundred photos.

The camera is easy to hold and point.  The size is just about the size of my first Leica, a Model III.  It's light but not particularly small, which is actually a plus in terms of getting a steady hold.  The construction is superb and up to Leica standards.  It's a pleasure to use this camera.

The most important thing to me is image quality.  I find that when I have adequate light, the images are excellent, better than I got with either the Fuji or Sony.  There is a clarity that perhaps is unique to Leica.  The color separation makes people stand out against their background.  Apart from the occasional missed shot because of the questionable flash and poor focusing in dim light, my images are, to me, excellent.

The shutter release is very nice with a good "Leica" sound.  The on/off switch is intuitive, but I wish the flash would pop up automatically instead of having to move the on/off switch one more position to make the flash come up.  The flash itself is a bit of a problem.  It's not particularly strong or reliable.  When I set the flash program to "on," I don't always get a flash in bright sun.  I like fill-in flash when I take portraits outdoors and the flash has failed me a number of times.  I hope this becomes a firmware fix.

I'm also not wild about the viewfinder.  I've tried a lot of EVF's and maybe my eyes are just too used to optical viewfinders.  There is also some delay in getting the viewfinder to come on when you raise it to your eyes, which has been much commented on.  If the display were more vibrant I could put up with this.

The viewing screen, by contrast, is the best I've seen.  It's ultra bright and I find that I'm increasingly using it instead of the viewfinder.  It's possible to hold the camera over your head and still get a pretty good look, even though the screen doesn't tilt.

I also like the "iPhone" like "swipe" menu system, especially the "my camera" folder that allows you to put your most used controls in one place.  I find the picture review system to be good, once you get used to first swiping "down" before swiping "sideways."

I found after a couple of weeks that using just the "35 mm" lens was too limiting and was able to buy the 18-56 mm zoom lens through Amazon.  I love it!  For years I've been a snob about zooms and boy, was I wrong.  At least about this lens.  It's razor sharp and easy to use.  I haven't taken it off since I bought it.

Perhaps the biggest complaint I've heard about the T is the slow autofocus and poor performance in dim light.  The Leica is on the slow side compared with either my Fuji or particularly my Sony.  But in my opinion it's not the end of the world.  In daylight, the T will focus faster than I can focus the M-9.  I have not used the manual focus feature of the T and can't comment on that.  Indoors, especially in dim light, the T has trouble.  Sometimes I think I have the subject in focus but when I get to the computer to view the downloaded image, I find it's fuzzy.  Leica can improve in this area.  The battery life stinks.  I feel I need to carry two batteries for a day's shooting.

In summary, I'm extremely pleased with the T.  It's easy to handle, a lot lighter and for the most part faster than the M and will produce excellent images.  I think Leica has a winner on its hands.  It's certainly the camera I play to carry -- I've sold the M-9 and the Fuji X-Pro 1.

Michael

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