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Leica M9 review head-start

Just posted to DAP is the start of my Leica M9 review. Because I’m not a Leica rangefinder user, I’ve detailed my thinking on lens selection, with special attention given to the 35mm focal length, and also to a lightweight 3/4/5 lens kit suitable for hiking. In other words, the same considerations anyone would have who hasn’t shot a rangefinder before. I will be adding my experiences to that initial “take” once the M9 and lenses arrive and I’ve had time to shoot and confirm my hunches.

I have the Leica 35/2 Summicron-M and 90/2.5 Summarit-M coming from Leica, and a selection of Zeiss ZM lenses coming from Zeiss, which should yield some very interesting insights into the range of the M9 experience. My primary concerns are off-center color shift and focus accuracy (a pity there is no Live View).

M9 shooters should be considering the Zeiss ZM line, which is very attractively priced compared to the Leica lens lineup. That’s just reality of the wallet, not a preference one way or another in terms of optics in general. And of course for some artistic applications, the way the lens “draws” is of the most importance, and that might have little to do with price either way.

The loaner M9 (courtesy of B&H Photo) should arrive this Wednesday, and barring a storm I will be shooting it in the high country of Yosemite, and perhaps even Death Valley. If anyone out there would like to join me for a nifty trip, my usual tour prices apply.

BTW, if anyone in the San Francisco bay area has the Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH, I’d love to shoot it, even if just briefly.


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