M240 observations & questions
Old 03-28-2016   #1
RFH
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M240 observations & questions

The M240 is a step up from the M9 in several ways. Still, I have a few observations that I'd like to share and hear your responses to.

1: Is anyone else finding that the M240's LCD is way too bright? Even at the lowest setting the preview images appear brighter than what I see on my computer - more so than with any other camera I've tried.

2: The M240 seems to me to be more sensitive to hand movements than the M9 or the R-D1. For instance, shooting my 35mm at 1/30, which I normally wouldn't hesitate to do, often leads to blurry images. What's your experience in this regard?

3: My 35 Summicron v4 that yields such great results on film and other digital RFs seems less capable on the M240 in terms of sharpness and resolution. Is the 24MP sensor simply unmasking too many of its flaws, or am I imagining things?
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Old 03-28-2016   #2
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1/ no. It also has an auto dimming feature which I use on mine.
2/ You're looking at a higher rez image. The higher the rez, the steadier u have to hold the camera. But still I have not noticed any issues at that speed w that focal length.
3/ Try using the live view to confirm that that lens is focusing correctly. A slighty OOF image will look unsharp (of course!)
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Old 03-28-2016   #3
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Re: 1... I haven't noticed that, but then I have instant screen review turned off.

Re: 2&3... Yes, anything that reduces sharpness will do it more noticeably the more resolution the camera has. Hand tremble, focus accuracy, shallow DoF, lens aberrations, all magnified by higher resolution.

It can get you to be more picky about lenses, whatever your preferences are... I just sold my 2.8/21mm ASPH and got a 3.4/21 Super Elmar in hopes of better results on M240...
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Old 03-29-2016   #4
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I have found that most lenses have a range that lies within the capabilities of the M240 but not better. Therefore you will notice that some lenses do better and some worse. But it should be pointed out that the photograph as art is not all about sharpness but the more subjective "look" of the final product. We can so often become pixel and lines per inch counters. I've been shooting Leica for almost 40 years and still have a few lenses from that early period that I use with my M240. While I was very happy in those days looking back at those images I find my old lenses have improved over time as viewed on the new digital full frame sensor. I would say though that using a tripod if possible will give the best results in any case. My favorite lens right now on the M240 is a Zeiss (gasp!) 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar ZM which is not as sharp as the new Leica 50's but has a wonderful glow and great contrast. It is a new version of a 30-40 year old lens design. It's all about the final image and what you want to accomplish.

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Old 03-29-2016   #5
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The only 100% always answer to sharp is a tripod. Run some tests with a really solid tripod and cable release.

Digital M shake more than film ones.
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Old 03-29-2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFH View Post
2: The M240 seems to me to be more sensitive to hand movements than the M9 or the R-D1. For instance, shooting my 35mm at 1/30, which I normally wouldn't hesitate to do, often leads to blurry images. What's your experience in this regard?
Initially, I felt the same. But over time I got used to it. The pressure on the button is very different from a film Leica. Note also, that while I use soft releases on my film cameras - I found a soft release on the 240 worse than useless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFH View Post
3: My 35 Summicron v4 that yields such great results on film and other digital RFs seems less capable on the M240 in terms of sharpness and resolution. Is the 24MP sensor simply unmasking too many of its flaws, or am I imagining things?
No, you are not imagining things. Took me a while to got all my lenses perfect on the 240, including a v3 Summicron (see http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=151300). You either stop pixel peeping or calibrate them.
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Old 03-30-2016   #7
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Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Even the auto mode yields too bright an LCD preview for my eyes. But I'm quite sensitive to light, so I keep my monitor low.

About the 35mm... I'll up the ISO and go for faster shutter speeds from now on.
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Old 03-30-2016   #8
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1. Yes. It's more of a problem on the Monochrom 246, where it makes the highlights look blown out where they are not.

2. An RD-1 will not show shake as much as an M240.

3. Focus with live view to check the theoretical maximum quality, but get ready to accept that a 36-year-old design is not going to max out a 24mp digital sensor. Otherwise, the lens might need re-collimation.

Someone mentioned that there are standout lenses in terms of being crushingly good on the 240. Mine are the 21/4.5 Biogon, the 25/2.8 Biogon, the 35 Summilux ASPH, the 50/2.4 Hexanon, and the 90/2.8 Hexanon.

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Old 03-30-2016   #9
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Agreed, you will find yourself wanting to upgrade some of your older Leica lenses when you look to closely at your M240 shots..

Now everything I own is ASPH & of the last decade or so..
Hopefully this means I'm ready for the next M too..?

I find the 50 Summilux ASPH & 75 Summicron APO ASPH quite good
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Old 03-31-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
1. Yes. It's more of a problem on the Monochrom 246, where it makes the highlights look blown out where they are not. Dante
> At least I'm not alone here. Just funny that nobody at Leica saw the need for lower brightness settings. To my eyes, any setting above 'low' is almost like looking into a spotlight. But I wear sunglasses on overcast days, so there you go.

2. An RD-1 will not show shake as much as an M240.

> No, the R-D1 sure is a winner in many ways. Of course the crop factor helps the lenses appear 'better' than they are across their actual FOV. No doubt the reason why I've been so impressed with the 35 Summicron.

3. Focus with live view to check the theoretical maximum quality, but get ready to accept that a 36-year-old design is not going to max out a 24mp digital sensor. Otherwise, the lens might need re-collimation.

> You're right. So far I have found that the RF is more accurate than LV, despite many claims to the contrary. My impression is that the focus peaking lines cover too much distance to be really accurate. I haven't used it enough to find a preferred method such as always begin focusing from near or infinity.

> I also have the 50 Summicron and 90 Elmarit - both of which are still great; my feeling is that the 35 is the one struggling the most with the new sensor. This is my first 24MP camera, so they haven't been tested on their performance like this before.

Someone mentioned that there are standout lenses in terms of being crushingly good on the 240. Mine are the 21/4.5 Biogon, the 25/2.8 Biogon, the 35 Summilux ASPH, the 50/2.4 Hexanon, and the 90/2.8 Hexanon.

> This part is very interesting and helpful, thanks.
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Old 03-31-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen G View Post
Agreed, you will find yourself wanting to upgrade some of your older Leica lenses when you look to closely at your M240 shots..

Now everything I own is ASPH & of the last decade or so..
Hopefully this means I'm ready for the next M too..?

I find the 50 Summilux ASPH & 75 Summicron APO ASPH quite good
I can imagine they are. Maybe it's time to slowly begin upgrading my kit. Do you see a great difference between v.4 Leica M lenses (like mine) and the newer ASPH versions when used on the M240 or equivalent high-MP bodies?
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Old 03-31-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
Mine are the 21/4.5 Biogon, the 25/2.8 Biogon, the 35 Summilux ASPH, the 50/2.4 Hexanon, and the 90/2.8 Hexanon.
I thought the 21/4.5 ZM was not good with digital, something to do with the light rays coming in at an angle? I'd be delighted to be wrong on this as I have this lens and love using it with my M6...
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Old 03-31-2016   #13
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I too have definitely noticed the M240 seems to always look blown out. So I just make sure the histogram is showing whenever I review images (I have auto-review disabled).
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Old 04-01-2016   #14
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There is a sticky at the top of the forum. It's actually fairly easy to color-correct a 21/4.5 with an M240 using the Adobe Flat field plug-in. Fortunately, you don't need very many templates for that lens.

I mainly use my 21/4.5 with the Monochrom 246, where this is not an issue.

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Old 04-07-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
There is a sticky at the top of the forum. It's actually fairly easy to color-correct a 21/4.5 with an M240 using the Adobe Flat field plug-in. Fortunately, you don't need very many templates for that lens.

I mainly use my 21/4.5 with the Monochrom 246, where this is not an issue.

Dante
I hate doing any kind of PP and, since I'm gradually moving into Fuji-X, I'm wondering is how well the 21/4.5 does with APS-C sensors. Any experience with this?
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Old 04-12-2016   #16
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I would imagine that with the cropping would eliminate any edge issues since you are getting more of the central portion of the lens. Also the way the sensor handles image at the edges (microlensing) would be different and maybe not so pronounced.
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Old 04-22-2016   #17
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A late follow-up to my thread:

I took some brick wall test shots with the 35 Summicron on the M240. The lens is not well adjusted and has extreme sharpness falloff toward the left side of the frame. So some of the "camera shake" I complained about may have been due to this issue.

I've been using the auto brightness feature on the LCD for a while, and it actually seems to work better for me than the "low" setting. From now on, I make sure to always have the histogram on.
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Old 04-22-2016   #18
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What is decentering?
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Old 04-23-2016   #19
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icebear

The one or more lens elements are not perfectly symmetrical about the principle axis of the lens. All the lens elements have to be perfectly parallel to each other. Manufacturing variations or physical damage (dropping the lens) can misalign one or more lens elements.

More rarely the camera mount is not perfectly parallel to the film or sensor surface. While this really isn't lens decentering, in some cases it could produce similar results.
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Old 04-23-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post
What is decentering?
Exactly.

It took a fall from about 50cm some time ago, and the edge of the aperture ring got a tiny dent, but it has since been at the shop for a check-up. Maybe they didn't check carefully enough.
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Old 07-11-2016   #21
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Last update to my thread: I stumbled upon a 6-bit coded Summicron 35 ASPH at a too good to pass price. What a great lens - razor sharp from edge to edge. No resolution issues, either.
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Old 10-19-2016   #22
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For what it's worth, and for the record:
My local Leica repair place were unable to fix the issue with the lens. They sent the lens to Leica and picked up most of the tab, which was significant. A nice gesture on their part.
It turns out that, among other things, the retaining ring I suspected was missing behind the front element really was. What ever happened to the retainer to make it go missing is anyone's guess. Some aperture blades were bent and had to be replaced.
Now the lens is tack sharp even at f2. I'm happy.
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