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Leica M240

Discussion in 'photo' started by Gromit, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    Some time ago, I had the opportunity to have a play with an M9 which left quite a mark, in fact to the extent that I'm very tempted to dip my toe into the wonderful workd of 'M'. Just yesterday, I received a phone call from said owner of M9 (he's a cousin in the photo trade) who has an M240 on offer to me at a great price, and in fine fettle. There's a 35 f2 Summicron too.

    The downside is that it would mean me selling a large proportion of my present gear - on the upside it means me having a camera which as been on my lust-list for years.

    This is more a question for the Leica crowd obviously, but I'm keen to get any advice or info before signing my life away :)

    Thanks all.
     
  2. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Perceptive Member

    @Gromit

    I'm in the same boat, I 'want' a Fuji GFX, but the purchase of said camera would mean selling a lot of other stuff, I would have less lenses (possibly only two) and less flexibility (I'm not sure if this is an issue or not), but its an itch that wants to be scratched. Then I start to get cold feet, can I really live with less flexibility, will the relatively pedestrian focus speed annoy me, will it be too heavy, is it a step too far, should I buy a Leica instead (another itch niggling away), or should I just stick with what I've got!!

    I will follow this thread with interest.
     
  3. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Some of the best pictures I ever took were when I only owned one lens, a 35mm f2.8 .

    It concentrates the mind wonderfully.
     
    tuga and Mr Perceptive like this.
  4. vuk

    vuk \o/ choose anarchy

    @Gromit

    i was in a similar situation, purchased a second-hand m240 and have come to feel it was a bit of a mistake. what i would do now is get the full-frame sony a7 III and put the leica glass on that.

    if, however, you are doing a lot of shooting where rangefinder is ideal (for me that would be portrait / fashion / street), then it is worth considering.
     
  5. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    Thanks chaps - typing this on my phone so excuse typos!

    When I picked that M9 it was the sheer solidify, the feeling of beautifully engineered heft that struck me. A delight to hold and just begging to be used, I could really get an appreciation of what Leica fans keep talking about. Interestingly, I was sorting through some old backups from our holiday in Australia early this year - on that trip I used the X100F and Sony A7ii with the 85-1.8. In the 4 weeks we were there, taking several hundred images, not once did I actually yearn for any other focal length. All my needs were met.

    I appreciate the M240 has a very different sensor to the M9 (and some say the 9 has a certain magic) but it has a couple of useful features over the older camera - one being live view which would be handy.
     
  6. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Perceptive Member

    That probably helps with your decision, M240 + 35mm +90mm then!!

    It helps me a bit as well, as I'm thinking GFX50R+45mm+110mm, effectively the same focal lengths!!
     
  7. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I bought an M240 about 15 months ago. Before that I had an M8. Before that as well as using various Canon digital SLRs I used several film Leicas - M and R. Overall I've been using mainly Leica for over 20 years.

    Regarding the M240, it's my favourite of all the Leicas I've used, and if I had to choose just one lens it would be the 35mm ASPH Summicron.

    If you've never used a rangefinder before don't be surprised if it seems odd at first. Some people don't adapt to the difference between it and an SLR, I loved it from the start. On the plus side you'll almost certainly get what you paid for it if you eventually decide it's not for you - hopefully that won't be the case.

    Here's my Flickr account - almost all the photos over the last 10 years were taken with one Leica or another...

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/39877124@N05/
     
  8. Cesare

    Cesare pfm Member

    There's no right or wrong about this sort of thing, if you really want one of these, it's going to happen one day, so you might as well go for it when a decent deal gets offered to you. As has been mentioned, if the price is right, you'll be able to move it on if you decide it's not for you, but chances are it's going to be ace.

    It's one of the camera systems i've never owned, and i've managed to avoid although i think i'll end up with a film body at some point, which will then lead to a digital body ;)
     
  9. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    If you liked the M9, you will like the M(240) or indeed the M10. Apart from the slightly smaller size, larger buffer and slightly quieter shutter, there is not a lot to choose from between the M240 and the M10.

    90% of my shots are taken with an old 1981 35/1.4 Summilux - be that on my M2, M9 or M10. The 35 Summicron is a great compact lens.

    If you like using a RF, then go for it.
     
  10. drummerman

    drummerman pfm Member

    I would have a Leica over any other camera.

    Everything else is out-dated within a couple of years.

    Leica has been out-dated years ago so you don't have to worry about that. ;) - You know the old saying ... A Leica is not just for Xmas ...

    It would worry me if you were a mediocre photographer hoping for miracles by investing in the red dot but you are far, far from that.

    Get that lovely thing.
     
  11. Bobbyrab

    Bobbyrab Well-Known Member

    If it's a really good price then as has been said, you should be able to bail out after six months if it's not your thing. Really there's no substitute to living with a camera for a few months to see if you take to it or not. one word of warning though, I was in Richard Caplan, a Leica dealer in London and his shelve was groaning with 240's traded in against the M10, i expect the main hit to the second hand price has happened already, but that was a lot of 240's to shift. It's a lovely camera though, and finally Leica seem to have cracked stable electronics.
    Personally I'd rather have the 240's bigger battery than the M10's thinner body. One shortcoming of the 240 is if as I do you like the electronic viewfinder on occasions [particularly at the wide end of fast lenses] you only get one shot every 2-3 seconds as it blacks out while writing to the card, that would apply to the LV as well. The M10 is much better on that front.
    I too am really tempted by the GFX50R, the big sensor does have something that these 100% pixel comparisons with high Mb 35mm cameras doesn't quite show. However I would also be losing the M if I do go that route so it's a big decision to make.
    One other thing, if you can get hold of a Zeiss 35/2.8 C, for the money it is a fantastic lens paired with the 240, and relatively cheap compared with Leica lenses.
     
  12. Bobbyrab

    Bobbyrab Well-Known Member

    Just for clarity, when using the LV or EV, it blacks out while writing to card, but you can still shoot in bursts should you wish to, you just lose visuals while it writes.
     
  13. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I have the Olympus EVF which is identical electrically to the Leica version but don’t use it much.

    The accessory I use all the time is the multifunction hand grip. Partly because I use a wriststrap and like a handgrip, and partly because it stamps the files with the GPS coordinates. I got a good price on one from my dealer in Manchester.
     
  14. Bobbyrab

    Bobbyrab Well-Known Member

    I have the Olympus as well but sold the multifunction grip which came with my camera. I prefer the camera to be as small and light as I can get them really. Interestingly the GTX is not too much bigger or heavier than my Canon 5d.
     
  15. vuk

    vuk \o/ choose anarchy

    i think people are conflating glass with camera. the special thing about leica is the lenses and you can mount those on a more affordable body.
     
  16. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Personally I think the special thing has two elements, the glass and the rangefinder. Looking through a rangefinder is a different experience to looking through an SLR or EVF, and it’s why I use the M system.
     
  17. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    Many thanks for all the input - it's much appreciated, and giving food for thought. The M9 I had a go with was fitted with a Voigtlander 50-1.5 - of course this isn't 'proper' glass for a Leica but I was actually quite shocked (in a good way) what lovely images this combination could achieve. Sure, the Kodak sensor in the M9 is, shall we say, slightly characterful but it does provide the most gorgeous base for converting to mono in post. I wouldn't want an M9 though because it's low light performance is pretty terrible.

    I fully appreciate Vuk's comment re mounting M glass on a cheaper body (the Sony is the obvious candidate of course) but having owned a Sony earlier this year, I just didn't like using it. A very capable tool no doubt, but after a while I felt no desire to pick it up and use it.
     
  18. Huwge

    Huwge Active Member

    Another thing to consider with RF when restricted to a simple array of lenses is whether you are a 35 or 50 shooter or perhaps even wider. I love the 35 for the flexibility but it does not mitigate the fact that in my heart I'm a 50mm guy :)
     
  19. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I couldn't agree more. Most people seem happiest with one or the other. I'm a 35mm sort of person, but I know other people who prefer 50mm.
     
  20. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Don't knock the Voigtander lenses, they've very good value for money. I've had a few over the years from 15mm to 90mm, though the only ones I currently own are a 15mm and f1.9 28mm. One thing to bear in mind is that lenses wider than 35/mm need to make use of Leica's lens correction. That's usually handled by the six bit code on the lens mount, though it can also be applied in post processing in Lightroom.
     

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