Regretted buying an Leica M9 for a hobby?

Started Sep 22, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Luciano Oliveira Contributing Member • Posts: 895
Regretted buying an Leica M9 for a hobby?


Even though I don't post frequently I'm a long time user of this forum. I started my photography hobby with a Canon G2, moved to a 300D (the first really affordable DSLR) and invested on nice lenses.

Currently I've around 4.000 EUR invested on some nice Canon primes (like 35mm f/1.4L, 85mm f/1.8 and others) and zooms (70-200 f/2.8 L non-IS, 28-70 f/2.8 L, etc.).

Now you're thinking... what has this anything to do with a Leica M9? Let me get into that...

For the last 18 months I'm not using the equipment above. I bought a Panasonic GF1 with its standard 14-45 zoom and the 20mm f/1.7 prime and I'm loving it!

The compactness of the body and lens make this setup much more interesting (many more times with me than standing in a drawer in my place). Light and compact outweighs the image quality advantages of an SLR. Every time I'm picking a camera, I'm picking the GF1 (and primarily with the 20mm lens since using a fast prime is much more fun and yields better results for me).

However I miss the nice bokeh and DoF control of a full-frame sensor - enters Leica M9! In theory the camera is perfect: full-frame sensor, small, excellent lenses and... I confess... the Leica "lust" (for me a Leica it's more than a Camera... it's like buying a Porsche or Ferrari... you're buying not only performance).

So, this is my standing point and I'm blocked to make a decision. I would love to buy a Leica M9 and one or two good lenses, however the following questions arise:

Q1. Does it makes any sense to invest at least 8.000 EUR (M9 + 50 Summilux) in a photography hobby, specially when most of the budget will go to the camera body that will be outdated in a couple of years? (I don't mind investing in good glass though)

Q2. Will I miss the autofocus when taking kids photos (still don't have any but plan to have in the next two years)? Is there any significant risk of not enjoying the rangefinder focusing? (I have some experience on manual focusing and enjoyed using a Canon AE-1 Program with a proper split screen)

Q3. Will the camera be reliable enough? We read some comments about camera failures, misaligned rangefinders, etc... is this really a problem?

So... please go ahead and share your feedback. Any opinion about the questions and my situation? How was your "story" to get a M9? Are you keeping your SLR and actually using it?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Luciano Oliveira

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