Nothing like it

Started Oct 1, 2011 | User reviews thread
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bristolianman New Member • Posts: 4
Nothing like it

Having used the film M's since the mid 80s I was dying to get one of these, I had to trade in extensively to own one. Leica equipment has never been cheap, so the price is hard to understand, but when you see the quality not so hard to appreciate. When you get past the cost, the camera is unique and has no equals. A full frame M is an amazing concept, it's a clever design. The odd bad reviews look like they are from people who have a problem with rangefinder cameras, no one should buy this without experience of the system. Moving from an SLR is a steep learning curve and for me it's like getting to know an old friend again as I'd stopped using my Ms when Kodak stopped making the films I liked.
When you do get to grips with it's eccentricities it's simply the best camera for street or travel work. It's not a studio or a close-up camera, or for telephoto & nature stuff. It's lighter than the old ones and a full travel kit is not too heavy. It's not as good as D700 in low light (but not that bad as you can shoot at quite slow shutter speeds) so - how come it's so good? In usable light you work with the best lenses ever, which give you the best results you can hope to get. If the pics are not so good, it's your own fault, so back to that steep learning curve. You have to think, look at the scene, the lens setting etc, which I like, it's more satisfying than a point and shoot SLR. It returns pictures you are actually proud of. Then you have Leica quality in the images too, which is difficult to define, but just look at the pics of the great photographers who used Ms to see it.
Also love the auto ASA setting, great for everyday use and battery life is okay too, and the shutter is quiet and smooth, especially compared to any SLR.


I would have liked my old .58 finder as I have specs and can't see as much of the finder as my old M7. The screen is pretty poor compared to almost everything, but is really just a quick preview, not for constant zooming in and pixel worrying, it's to check the framing. Processing time is too slow too. But we know that on top SLRs then pics look great on the back of the camera and then disappointingly soft on a computer screen. That's how they sell them! I'd like the cost of bits and bobs to be cheaper, like third party cases and grips etc. Nothing else.

Leica M9
18 megapixels • 2.5 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Sep 9, 2009
bristolianman's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
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