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Leica M9P

Introduction to Rangefinders

The Leica M9 is is a rangefinder camera.

Unlike an SLR/DSLR, there is no reflex mirror used to project an image from the lens to a viewfinder. Instead, a separate optical system with frame lines is used for composing. The frame lines are integral to the camera, and parallax-corrected in the Leica M9. Wide angle lenses require the use of a separate optical viewfinder, again with frame lines. Nor is the M9 a Live View point-and-shoot camera. In essence it is a 50-year-old design, but with a digital sensor.

There is no “what you see is what you get” with a rangefinder. What you see roughly what you’ll get, with exact framing a guesstimate at all times.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly the Summilux/Summicron/Elmarit choice and/or Zeiss ZM.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning. Processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

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