My experience with the M9

Started Oct 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Carbon111 Contributing Member • Posts: 555
My experience with the M9

Okay, I admit it, I was driven to check out the Leica digital rangefinder cameras because of the great time I've been having and the excellent photos I've been taking with the little X2 point-and-shoot! For a short while I had an M8 but quickly sold it to help fund the M9.

I guess the rangefinder paradigm is not for everybody but I fell in love with shooting 35mm film on my dad's old Contax! I acquired a Zeiss Ikon last year and have really been loving it. I've been a Canon 5D mkII shooter for some time but thought maybe the M9 might just be the perfect camera for me - my hunch proved right!

The body is solid and the build quality is superb. I find it a perfect fit in my hand with just the right amount of heft - it's great to know that highly engineered objects of this kind of precision and quality are still being made! I think I'd be hard pressed to find any plastic on this camera!

I shot Canon gear for years and finally, after some considerable time hands-on with the M8, but mostly the M9, I've completely liquidated my 5DmkII and a bunch of Canon "L" lenses. With careful packing, the M9, a spare battery and three lenses all fit in my little Domke F-5XA camera bag and it only weighs a few pounds! Compared to the bag I used to lug my 5Dii and 24-105, 70-200 and 16-35 lenses around in, this is effortless, plus it's much more discrete to carry.

It's also so discrete to shoot. The compactness of the M9 has been liberating for me. People just don't react the same way to the M9 that they did to my 5D with the massive 24-105 hanging off of it - they're more relaxed and comfortable. This thing just doesn't look that imposing.

I'm finding the Leica M lenses to be simply phenomenal! They're extremely sharp, even in the extreme corners (where my Canon glass didn't fare so well). These lenses are sharper and more contrasty than what I've gotten used to, even when shot at wide apertures - and that even applies to the wide-angle lenses! Through some trial and error and lens trading through eBay, I've finally settled on the 21mm ultra-wide Elmarit, 50mm Summicron, 35mm Summilux and 90mm Elmarit as my "kit".

The CCD sensor in the M9 buck the CMOS trend and certainly affords the M9 a unique image signature that I'm finding really lovely. Overall, it feels very film-like to me. From my own experience, I've noticed that the M9's files require much less post-processing than my Canons or any of my other cameras.

Though I agree that a good photographer can take a great picture with just about any camera, a superb one like this certainly makes it a lot easier to get the results and consistency I want. I really love this camera!

Here's a few low-res 1024 pixel images to give you an idea of what I've been doing with the M9...I'm still getting the gallery figured out here on DP review and will probably get better quality conversions up soon.

 Carbon111's gear list:Carbon111's gear list
Leica X (Typ 113) Leica Q Leica S2 Ricoh GXR A16 24-85mm F3.5-5.5 Leica M Typ 240 +9 more
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II Leica X2
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