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Reader Comments: Leica M240

Of course I want an M240, since I have a good assortment of M lenses. But with EVF and grip and spare battery, it is about US$9700 ($10,600 with CA sale tax). I need one in fact, for Guide to Leica. But I feel grumpy about sinking $11K into any camera body as they age and depreciate very fast.

Leica M240 + 50/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
(About US$11,500 as shown)

Stuart W writes:

Around 2011 I was holding out for a follow up to the D700, and when that took longer than anticipated I went and purchased the M9P. The two camera designs are ultimately very different. (SLR and Rangefinder).

With me there still is a learning curve' going on regarding the operation and use of a rangefinder compared to a SLR. I have struggled to frame photographs accurately with the M9P. The frame-lines when using anything longer than a 50 mm lens are difficult for me to use. My focus have sometimes been off, especially with the Elmarit 90mm(unsharp eyes in portraits) Very Frustrating!

SO, for anything longer than 50mm I have gone back to the Nikon D700, and used the Zeiss ZF2. 100Macro Planar(recently bought). Even with the limited pixel count of the D700 compared to the latest high end FF cameras, I get really sharp, eyes, at f/2. I m very happy with this Zeiss lens. I dare say I could not achieve this with a Summicron 90 Leica, or my own Elmarit lens at the similar or even smaller apertures .

Have ordered the 1.4 magnifier for my Leica Elmarit(as I need it!) Also using the x 1.25 with the 50 mm Summicron most of the time. It has certainly helped.

I love the Leica for its size, aesthetics, the beautiful lenses. Its is a thing of beauty. A intoxicating experience(sometimes). But ultimately not everyone can afford it. I over stretched myself(budget) by getting it, and love it to bits, however one has to agree that it makes a lot of sense to look seriously at the D800 E (now) if ultimate image quality in only a slightly bigger size is important for one's needs, and a lot more affordable!

Furthermore the Sony RX1 , Nikon Coolpix A also on offer represent a good size, and good image quality

I suppose it depends on what one buys a camera for?

I will wait to see what happens in the next few months. I fear from what I v heard, the Leica M240 is not what it could have been

DIGLLOYD: Yes, it absolutely depends on what one buys a camera for.

Focusing with the M9 is generally highly accurate assuming that everything is perfect: 20/20 eyesight, adequate lighting, subject, adjustment of camera and lens rangefinder mechanism. And try focusing the f/0.95 Noctilux with the M9— I more or less gave up on it on the M9, but the M240 gives the Noctilux a new life.

Composition (framing) on the M9 is a nightmare: I frequently have to shoot 4/5/6 frames to get the framing I intended. The M240 eliminates that issue entirely.

Scott S writes:

I have sold my M9, and am seriously thinking of going across to a Nikon D800 and some Zeiss lenses. I am starting to feel that the investment is not worth the return on the new M. The main annoyances for me are no exposures over 60 seconds, no level overlaid on screen and no ability to move the magnified view around the screen.

I have been using a Sony NEX 6 with my Leica lenses for the last 2 months after selling my M9. The user experience on the NEX 6 is near perfect for a landscape shooter, if only the image quality was better.

I must say, I am at a difficult crossroads between systems right now and the path is not as clear as I would like it to be.

DIGLLOYD: seems clear enough: with 56 megapixels likely from Nikon (no AA filter) and new ultra high performance glass arriving this fall, 24 megapixels won’t be competitive for detail, let alone per-pixel image quality (oversampling).

One buys a Leica M for other reasons. I like the camera. But an all-around workhorse it is not.

Peter L writes:

You are feeding my impulse J. $16K is $16K no matter how much money I make which I have worked smart and hard for (no Wall Street huge bonuses nor windfall profits from stock options). And that’s where I hope the rational side prevails – be patient, let Lloyd finish his review.

The Leica M lenses are one thing which can be used with other mirrorless bodies with an adapter waiting for a future M360 or M480. Like you said prices of Leica is always pointing up partly caused by our FEDs QEs and demand exceeding supply (which is what Leica wants us to believe). But the M240 body is what is holding me back – it’s not quite the legendary Leica M is it? With so many shortcomings? I don’t want to believe Leica is taking the M into the luxury goods market and selling it like a Hermes. Germans can’t compete with the French and Italians in that front. Maybe they ought to make a limited MH “dressed up” by Hermes and sell it for $25K. It is still cheaper than a Hermes alligator, without seams, hand bag. And definitely please not follow Hasselblad with mahogany grips and bling. That will be the end of Leica as we know it.

I have to go back to your review of the RX1 and maybe temporarily satisfy my impulse. I wonder how it will perform with M lenses upfront?

DIGLLOYD: Pricing and exchange rates and competing currency wars are all affecting prices, but Leica has been raising prices steadily for years— more power to them— everyone is free to vote with their wallet.

Leica M lenses do very well on the Ricoh GXR. See the examples. Now if Ricoh would just make a larger and/or higher resolution sensor with current technology.

On other conventional sensors with cover glass over the sensor, Leica M lens performance is degraded off center (color and sharpness), due to sensor ray angle— and that’s with APS-C (smaller sensor)! Performance ranges from mediocre to quite good, depending, wide angles generally performing not so well. In the “good” case, see the Sony NEX 7 images with the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH and 28/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH.

The full frame Sony RX1 has a fixed 35mm f/2 lens (very high performance, perhaps even superior to Leica M 35mm designs— flat field for one thing, optimal by f/2.8 or so).


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