Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?

Started Dec 17, 2012 | Discussions
jffielde
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Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
Dec 17, 2012

As an M9 owner, I bought the M9 primarily for great IQ in a small package.  I have been delighted with that choice, but I think the M9 is imperfect in ways I would like to see addressed.

The only imperfection that makes the M9 an "incomplete" camera for my use is the mid-to-high ISO performance.  The M9 is a little better than film, but not much.  This means for me that the M9 bows out of indoor shots (and outdoor as the light falls) where the Canons and Nikons can keep shooting long afterwards.  My solution was to buy the Monochrom (both for the high-ISO and for the B&W performance, which I value enormously), and I am pleased.  Again, I love that camera, but it is "incomplete" in that it doesn't shoot color, so I can't use it to cover lots of things where I want the option of color.  I hope the M240 gives me the two stops of ISO I need from the system, which lots of people think it does.

Focus peaking (I hate that term.  It sounds so juvenile) and live-view focusing.  I can focus the Leicas well enough, but those features are very nice for critical focus, especially at wide apertures in low light.  I would love those features, though not essential to me.

Better LCD - I'd like to have it, but little value to me.

Video - meaningless to me.

Speed of operation - Nice to have more than four shots and long delay, but not required.

EVF - meaningless to me.  I want compact, not more add-ons.

R-compatibility - Probably nice to have, but I don't know that I'll buy any.  If I had a stash of old lenses, this would rate very high on my list.  But I don't, so it doesn't.

How about you?

Artichoke
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the M typ240 still unknown
In reply to jffielde, Dec 17, 2012

jffielde wrote:

snip

The only imperfection that makes the M9 an "incomplete" camera for my use is the mid-to-high ISO performance. The M9 is a little better than film, but not much. This means for me that the M9 bows out of indoor shots (and outdoor as the light falls) where the Canons and Nikons can keep shooting long afterwards.

snip

How about you?

likely it will be a remarkable tool and I hope so for Leica

with so little information available about the CMOSIS sensor's performance, I think such speculation near worthless

the added resolution likely will be helpful, but the CCD sensor in the M9 & MM are hard acts to follow ...I believe Leica went with CMOSIS to allow for motion picture capture and suspect there will be an even higher resolution M typ released in the near future as well

I may be a Luddite, but I rarely find the need to shoot above 1600 ISO equivalent & much prefer controlling noise reduction post hoc rather than heavily in camera

I have found that Capture One's latest iteration allows for much improved noise performance with the M9's files, which is more than adequate for my photography

I have had no qualms shooting the M9 indoors and at high ISO and with Capture One 7's improved noise reduction engine for RAW conversion, I have even more latitude for low light captures

gaining a bit less noise at high ISO seems a bad deal if base ISO performance is compromised

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Daedalus2000
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to jffielde, Dec 17, 2012

jffielde wrote:

As an M9 owner, I bought the M9 primarily for great IQ in a small package. I have been delighted with that choice, but I think the M9 is imperfect in ways I would like to see addressed.

That is why I bought my M9 (I sold it in May).

The only imperfection that makes the M9 an "incomplete" camera for my use is the mid-to-high ISO performance. The M9 is a little better than film, but not much. This means for me that the M9 bows out of indoor shots (and outdoor as the light falls) where the Canons and Nikons can keep shooting long afterwards.

I had the same issue.

My solution was to buy the Monochrom (both for the high-ISO and for the B&W performance, which I value enormously), and I am pleased. Again, I love that camera, but it is "incomplete" in that it doesn't shoot color, so I can't use it to cover lots of things where I want the option of color. I hope the M240 gives me the two stops of ISO I need from the system, which lots of people think it does.

I am considering the M,M but I am on the fence waiting to see more details for the new M. If it can deliver in colour and high ISO, I would be very happy.

Focus peaking (I hate that term. It sounds so juvenile) and live-view focusing. I can focus the Leicas well enough, but those features are very nice for critical focus, especially at wide apertures in low light. I would love those features, though not essential to me.

This is a major thing for me. I found using the rangefinder system for long periods of time was making my eyes feel very tired (but I was able to focus quite well with it). I am hoping that the focus peaking will help me avoid this.

Having said that, I have to tell everyone that focus peaking is not 100% as effective as it sounds. Someone mentioned something like this in a post and I questioned them about it, but they never replied (or I never saw the reply). I used the Sony NEX 5n the other day with the 50mm summicron at f2 for portraits, and although the focus peaking showed me that the eyes will be in focus (subject at about 2m away) most of the pictures came out slightly off focus... Very disappointing, but it may have been user error. I hope the focus peaking in the new M will be effective, but we need more info.

Better LCD - I'd like to have it, but little value to me.

Better to have it.

Video - meaningless to me.

Same here.

Speed of operation - Nice to have more than four shots and long delay, but not required.

I think this is important. I hear the the new M is fast.

EVF - meaningless to me. I want compact, not more add-ons.

Same here.

R-compatibility - Probably nice to have, but I don't know that I'll buy any. If I had a stash of old

lenses, this would rate very high on my list. But I don't, so it doesn't.

Same here. No old R lenses, but maybe we should buy some before they go up in price!

D

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odin_cro
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to jffielde, Dec 17, 2012
How about you?

To me, the only thing that I would like to see improved on the M9 is ISO capability, nothing else.

So, to me no reason to upgrade

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ravinj
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to jffielde, Dec 17, 2012

Some things that are  of most interest to me are what you have already mentioned: Live View with focus peaking + a high resolution LCD.

The biggest drawback for me is the inability of the M9 to focus accurately unless you have it adjusted with your lenses AND have 20/20 eyesight AND rangefinder is perfectly aligned. This is first hand experience based on various new lens and camera purchases, none of which worked perfectly without making a trip to Leica NJ. Of course there are people who have 20/20 vision and whose M9 and lenses are perfectly matched.

With LV and magnification, I would hopefully, care less about rangefinder drifting out of alignment or lenses like my 35FLE and 50 Summilux backfocusing brand new out of the box.

Lloyd Chambers has extensive notes on focusing with the M9 and they are worth reading.

Other than that, the M9 is perfect, high ISO capability while good to have, does not bother me much anyway - I shoot mostly static subjects on a tripod so I can just use ISO160 with a long exposure if it gets dark.



Regards,

R.

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Daedalus2000
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to jffielde, Dec 17, 2012

Another thing that may be important, weather sealing.

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hariseldon2007
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to ravinj, Dec 17, 2012

Interesting question, my experience of suggests is ISO 320 very good, ISO 640 good, ISO1250 ok and ISO1600 is about as far as I want to go.

My Nikon D800 is very good , it is almost 2 stops better. ISO 1600 is about the same as the M9 at 640, when resized to 18mp equivalent.  3200 is ok and 6400 when you have to. 12,800 not great but at a pinch it is useable rather like the M9 at 2500, the D800 at 25,600  is rubbish.

The Nikkor 50mm f1.4 is not very good wide open, ( that's being polite ) so I tend to use a 24/70 f2.8 zoom , which is pretty good. On simple grounds of low light, ths low noise advantage is lost to using a very good fast lens, ( I have a 50mm f1.1 nokton as well.... If light levels are thwart bad)

The Nikon is very good in many areas and pared with the Leica a strong combination. The M type 240 will no doubt be better than the M9  in many areas, but  the M8 was and is good, the M9 was a major step forward , but unless the video mode, live view, EVF and focus peeking are of critical importance , for traditional rangefinder photography the step forward is somewhat less In my opinion but a welcome improvement and the same price!

Whats not to like but I doubt if I will been a hurry to change, I got the M9 because it fulfilled my needs then and still does.

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mydarkroom
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to jffielde, Dec 17, 2012

Agree, ISO performance is the main thing for em on the M9. I wrote a long post on my blog about the new M when it was announced (would it be okay to copy/paste here?). I do hope however that Leica surprises me with an amazing camera.

cheers

Raf

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jffielde
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to Daedalus2000, Dec 17, 2012

Weathersealing matters to me.  I enjoy the elements, so I shoot regularly in the rain, snow, etc.  I rarely take the M9 into less-than-ideal conditions because the body is less weatherized than my Canon.

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odin_cro
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to mydarkroom, Dec 17, 2012

mydarkroom wrote:

Agree, ISO performance is the main thing for em on the M9. I wrote a long post on my blog about the new M when it was announced (would it be okay to copy/paste here?). I do hope however that Leica surprises me with an amazing camera.

cheers

Raf

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Rafael
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Your blog is excellent, have red it some time ago, and now again

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Godfrey
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to jffielde, Dec 19, 2012

I'm very happy with the M9 just as it is.

What the new M will adds as significant to my use ...

- weather sealing :: not a big deal, but nice to have.

- greater responsiveness and speed in operation :: a big deal. This is actually the biggest plus far as I'm concerned.

- longer battery life :: useful.

- more sensitivity :: some's good, more's better ... nice to have.

- macro and long telephoto capabilities :: Live View, the optional EVF, and the ability to accurately focus macro and long telephoto lenses expands what I can do with the M camera and reduces what other equipment I keep around purely for these purposes. Even if I don't do this sort of thing very often, I want this capability around which is one of the two reasons why I keep my favorite old DSLR and a brace of lenses in the equipment cabinet. (The other reason for keeping a DSLR on hand with an appropriate couple of lenses is hand-held work at fast paced events ... a pro-grade DSLR is without question still the best solution for that use due to the way its viewfinder works.)

I don't intend to order a new M immediately upon its becoming available — as I said, I'm very happy with the M9 just as it is and it is doing everything I intended to do with it very nicely. The new M is probably the next new camera that I buy, however, when it seems an appropriate thing to do.

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MirekE
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to jffielde, Dec 20, 2012

So far, Typ 240 seems to address most of my reservations. One of the few that remain to be seen is performance in mixed artificial light. I had always better luck fixing images from bad mixed light from my DSLR than from M9.

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Rbbra
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to Daedalus2000, Dec 27, 2012

RBBRA: Hello JFFielde and Daedalus 2000: I will place a REMARK on Focus Peaking etc. in between your texts

Daedalus2000 wrote:

jffielde wrote:

As an M9 owner, I bought the M9 primarily for great IQ in a small package. I have been delighted with that choice, but I think the M9 is imperfect in ways I would like to see addressed.

That is why I bought my M9 (I sold it in May).

The only imperfection that makes the M9 an "incomplete" camera for my use is the mid-to-high ISO performance. The M9 is a little better than film, but not much. This means for me that the M9 bows out of indoor shots (and outdoor as the light falls) where the Canons and Nikons can keep shooting long afterwards.

I had the same issue.

My solution was to buy the Monochrom (both for the high-ISO and for the B&W performance, which I value enormously), and I am pleased. Again, I love that camera, but it is "incomplete" in that it doesn't shoot color, so I can't use it to cover lots of things where I want the option of color. I hope the M240 gives me the two stops of ISO I need from the system, which lots of people think it does.

I am considering the M,M but I am on the fence waiting to see more details for the new M. If it can deliver in colour and high ISO, I would be very happy.

Focus peaking (I hate that term. It sounds so juvenile) and live-view focusing. I can focus the Leicas well enough, but those features are very nice for critical focus, especially at wide apertures in low light. I would love those features, though not essential to me.

This is a major thing for me. I found using the rangefinder system for long periods of time was making my eyes feel very tired (but I was able to focus quite well with it). I am hoping that the focus peaking will help me avoid this.

Having said that, I have to tell everyone that focus peaking is not 100% as effective as it sounds. Someone mentioned something like this in a post and I questioned them about it, but they never replied (or I never saw the reply). I used the Sony NEX 5n the other day with the 50mm summicron at f2 for portraits, and although the focus peaking showed me that the eyes will be in focus (subject at about 2m away) most of the pictures came out slightly off focus... Very disappointing, but it may have been user error. I hope the focus peaking in the new M will be effective, but we need more info.

RBBRA: I AGREE WITH YOU. I USED FOCUS PEAKING A LOT WITH NEX 5N AND 6. IT MAY WORK THE SAME IN THE M 240.

FOCUS PEAKING IS IN FACT CONTRAST PEAKING. MOST CONTRAST IS NOT ALWAYS THE PLACE WHERE YOU WANT TO HAVE THE FOCUS. FP WORKS WELL IN QUICK WORK WITH MUCH DEPTH OF FIELD AVAILABE (BUT THEN YOU COULD ALSO LOOK AT YOUR LENS SCALE).

FOR CRITICAL WORK (LENS WIDE OPEN ETC.) I DO NOT US FP ANY MORE.

BUT HERE THE MAGNIFYING FUNCTION WORKS VERY WELL. I FOUND IT TO BE PRECISE AND QUICK, ALBEIT TWO OR THREE SECONDS "SLOWER" THAN RANGEFINDER FOCUSSING (AND BY THE WAY, RF FOCUSSING IS NOT ALWAYS PRECISE WITH DIFFRENT LENSES) -RBBRA

Better LCD - I'd like to have it, but little value to me.

Better to have it.

Video - meaningless to me.

Same here.

Speed of operation - Nice to have more than four shots and long delay, but not required.

I think this is important. I hear the the new M is fast.

EVF - meaningless to me. I want compact, not more add-ons.

Same here.

R-compatibility - Probably nice to have, but I don't know that I'll buy any. If I had a stash of old

lenses, this would rate very high on my list. But I don't, so it doesn't.

Same here. No old R lenses, but maybe we should buy some before they go up in price!

D

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d3xmeister
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to mydarkroom, Dec 27, 2012

mydarkroom wrote:

Agree, ISO performance is the main thing for em on the M9. I wrote a long post on my blog about the new M when it was announced (would it be okay to copy/paste here?). I do hope however that Leica surprises me with an amazing camera.

cheers

Raf

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Rafael
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Reading your blog post, seems to me that you are just a snob. I read until you said that nothing is more pathetic than composing a photo using the LCD, and could't take it anymore. People like you ruins Leica brand image.

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Bryan Campbell
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My thoughts on the M240
In reply to jffielde, Dec 27, 2012

All that the M240 brings to the table has me excited, especially from the impressions Dr. Rohde has offered. There will be a few new features I may not use, but I realize that Leica is trying to expand their customer base some and that means they should be a successful business for many years to come.

The EVF I think I will use although I may not always leave it attached. I will probably use it with LiveView magnification. While it will be slower than using the Rangefinder patch, it will also be more accurate when I need to shoot f/1.4 - f/2.2

I like the increased megapixel count. 18 megapixels on the M9 is still good but 24 megapixels gives you the option to crop a bit more if necessary. Better ISO and dynamic range is huge. I've been told how much improvement there is in the dynamic range and it's very impressive. Expect better dynamic range than either the Canon 5D2, 5D3, or 6D. ISO is certainly a big improvement over the M9. I'm not sure how many stops improvement, but I would guess 2 or 3. My primary concern here is banding. Leica needs to be careful, the ISO 4,000 sample floating around out there looks very impressive IF it didn't have banding, but the entire shot shows it in both the shadows, midrange, and highlights.

I realize the samples currently out there are a mixed bag at best, but understand they are in camera JPGs taken as test photos.

Another thing I am certain of that many people surprisingly haven't talked about much is the M240's color reproduction. In my eyes it looks VERY accurate and pleasant on the eyes. The M8 color is wonderful too but maybe a bit saturated at times. The M9 color is in my eyes pretty awful, and my worry is that the M240 would look like similar the M9's color, fortunatly it does not.

Anyway, I have mine pre-ordered long ago. I'm hoping there isn't unexpected expenses that come up where I would need to cancel my order. My primary concer with the M240 is if it will have the same biting sharpness as the M8 does... I don't think it will honestly but if it's as sharp as the M9, I'll be happy.

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mydarkroom
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to d3xmeister, Dec 28, 2012

Hi Mihai,

Sorry if my post came across that way to you. Taking a photograph looking at the LCD looks very unnatural to me since when I started taking pictures I had no LCDs to look at. Maybe pathetic was a strong word and I apologize if I have insulted you in any way. Perhaps in 50 years looking through a viewfinder will look pathetic since most of the cameras today have a LCD in the back. Regardless I find your comment has no content other than insult me. I doubt Leica brand image would be ruined by a single person, but definitely comments like yours do not belong to a forum like this.

Rafael

d3xmeister wrote:

mydarkroom wrote:

Agree, ISO performance is the main thing for em on the M9. I wrote a long post on my blog about the new M when it was announced (would it be okay to copy/paste here?). I do hope however that Leica surprises me with an amazing camera.

cheers

Raf

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Rafael
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Reading your blog post, seems to me that you are just a snob. I read until you said that nothing is more pathetic than composing a photo using the LCD, and could't take it anymore. People like you ruins Leica brand image.

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Rafael
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Michael S.
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Re: My thoughts on the M240
In reply to Bryan Campbell, Dec 28, 2012

Bryan Campbell wrote:

I like the increased megapixel count. 18 megapixels on the M9 is still good but 24 megapixels gives you the option to crop a bit more if necessary. Better ISO and dynamic range is huge. I've been told how much improvement there is in the dynamic range and it's very impressive. Expect better dynamic range than either the Canon 5D2, 5D3, or 6D. ISO is certainly a big improvement over the M9. I'm not sure how many stops improvement, but I would guess 2 or 3. My primary concern here is banding. Leica needs to be careful, the ISO 4,000 sample floating around out there looks very impressive IF it didn't have banding, but the entire shot shows it in both the shadows, midrange, and highlights.

Good Morning Bryan!

Yup - focus peaking, shooting secretly from the hip via live-view AND very much looking forward for better high-iso over the M9.

But - as you wrote already - that iso4000 is quite good compared to the M9 which is limited to 2500, useful I would say not more then 1250-1600 but it still looks "bad" compared what has already been possible in the industry 5 (!) years ago as the NIKON D3 for example came out.

Cheers,

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d3xmeister
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to mydarkroom, Dec 29, 2012

I started with film also, and I prefer a viewfinder, but it seems to me you are insulting many photographers that use LCD for producing amazing work. What you wrote are your personal preferences and needs, and you make it sound like it's the only proper way.

Artists use LCD's, video or anything that alows them to produce threir art. Im often blown away by what they can produce. The new Leica M  is exactly what a modern Leica M should be. I think this camera will make history and will make Leica stronger than ever. The only thing I hate is that I can't afford it.

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Truman Prevatt
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to d3xmeister, Dec 29, 2012

d3xmeister wrote:

I started with film also, and I prefer a viewfinder, but it seems to me you are insulting many photographers that use LCD for producing amazing work. What you wrote are your personal preferences and needs, and you make it sound like it's the only proper way.

Artists use LCD's, video or anything that alows them to produce threir art. Im often blown away by what they can produce. The new Leica M is exactly what a modern Leica M should be. I think this camera will make history and will make Leica stronger than ever. The only thing I hate is that I can't afford it.

I will make history only if it can produce the IQ that that is expected from Leica.  Most likely the reason for the CMOS sensor is to support Live View since CMOS sensors incorporate the the circuitry including ADC's on chip.  CCD transports the charge off chip for follow on processing.  CCD has advantages over CMOS in noise performance because the extra electronics is off sensor.

Sony has made great advances in CMOS sensor fab we will see if CMOSIS is comparable.  We will see if the Leica sensor measures up the say the D800E sensor.  If not I will not buy the M but the M Monochrom instead which is a true 18 MP CCD sensor.

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d3xmeister
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Re: Does the Leica M(240) Address Your Needs (vs M9)?
In reply to Truman Prevatt, Dec 30, 2012

I think things can only get better. The M9 sensor was pretty bad. It was good at details, and M lenses made images look very good, but colours were pretty bad, DR and noise performance low for a FF. I like what I see so far from tje new M, but we will have to wait and see. It will take me at least 3 years to get the money for it, so I got time

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