Happy 7th Birthday Leica M9
Old 09-09-2016   #1
dreamsandart
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Happy 7th Birthday Leica M9

Happy Birthday M9!

Yesterday, or is it today in world time? (I’m in Japan), is the 7 year birthday 09/09/2009 of the M9. Got mine a short time later. Didn’t plan on that buy at all, but a chance visit to the camera shop to just check if they had one to only look at and handle, and a cancelled pre-order, and I couldn’t resist.

Its still the camera I bought it for. Looking back… Its been very dependable, FF for my Leica Lenses, and just does the same job it has from that beginning. My usual shooting style doesn’t need quickness after the shutter release, a burst of 2-3 exposures is the exception, the file quality is fine for my needs, handles basically like the M-film camera in digital form with quality materials and finish. Yes, I could up-grade for better file IQ, refinements and file processing quickness, I’ve thought about it, but I still can not justify that move (at this time) for my use and price.

Some folks complained loudly about the original price of the M9, or still do with any of the newer Leica offerings. Yesterday I was calculating my original cost and 7 years as I walked up the mountain to a 1000 year old Shrine with the M9 and 35 Summilux on the front. The camera still has ‘value’ and even if sold on today’s used market its been a reasonable ‘rental’ over that time, and still going...

The only regret I have is that I have not used it as much as I had planned and with projects that I’d originally intended with this ‘crazy’ purchase. Yes, used it, but not close to the 100,000+ shutter life, and the black paint finish still looks very good with just a bit of brass. Its still working fine, and for a 7 year old digital camera its amazing its relevant at all, but there are still a lot of folks that like this camera - having bought it new, or used - and make great photography with it. Going to need a new sensor at some time, and when that happens I’ll get another ‘new’ camera back without any cost. Amazingly I’ve had RF, lens adjustments and sensor cleanings, a replaced sensor over these years done quickly, and all quality service done at no cost! Not bad for an old digital camera, and I try not to think too much on that original price because of this.

Yes, the newer M and monochrome cameras have advantages, but when I use the M9 I don’t feel I’m missing all that much. Newer options will always be there and coming out, chasing the tail is something I can not afford or want to leap to (at these prices its a ‘leap’) with each and every ‘better.' Its sometimes hard to be satisfied without 'change', but I’m getting there. A few year ago I sold a 50 Summilux-ASPH because I realised I had a ’69’ 50 Summicron I’d been using for 4 decades and I still am sometimes drop jawed amazed at its optical quality, it may not have that total ’modern look’, but is very familiar and ‘classic’, and does what I want beautifully. The M9 has kind of gotten that same feel, it may not be technically perfect [especially] by the most modern standards, but if the photographer is good I can still make very satisfying results with that whole Leica-zen feel.
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Old 09-09-2016   #2
Huss
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I'm glad you like your M9 but you lost me when you say it has been very dependable, and it also needed a new sensor. And will need another new sensor in the future.

Maybe Leica service is good where you are but it is currently awful in the US, with sensor replacements taking up to 5 months. I really liked my M-E, but moved on to the M240 as I did not want to deal with that mess a second time.
A shame, as I preferred the images from the CCD sensor.
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Old 09-10-2016   #3
Richard G
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Still love my M9 and original M Monochrom. Easy to forget the marvel of its arrival. Full frame digital with all lenses from 1932 on recording at their intended focal length. Leica photography at 3pm. Prints in the frame before 4pm, or high resolution files emailed anywhere in minutes. Ergonomics almost exactly the same as in 1954.
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Old 09-10-2016   #4
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I came very close to getting an M9 but decided to wait and in many ways I'm glad I did because the 240 is a fabulous camera. That said I still look at pics taken with the M9 and marvel at what the CCD sensor offers.
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Old 09-10-2016   #5
dreamsandart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I'm glad you like your M9 but you lost me when you say it has been very dependable, and it also needed a new sensor. And will need another new sensor in the future.

Maybe Leica service is good where you are but it is currently awful in the US, with sensor replacements taking up to 5 months. I really liked my M-E, but moved on to the M240 as I did not want to deal with that mess a second time.
A shame, as I preferred the images from the CCD sensor.
Yes, I can certainly understand your view. Its been well documented through user’s experiences on the forums, the frustration and long waits. Its the reason I felt the need to make a point of my own personal use and details. If it wasn’t for the stellar service with Leica Japan (and my lack of fund) I may have taken the up-grade path myself. The 240 was a revelation when I tried one at the Leica Shop, a refined camera in many ways.

But I can say, except for a few black frames at the beginning, solved with a change in SD cards, I’ve no other problems - knock on wood. My annual sensor cleaning Leica took care of without charge, and last year although I didn’t see it myself when I sent it in they wrote back the next day and told me they would be changing the sensor. Door to door two weeks later my M9 was back; checked, cleaned, adjusted, new (still the older style) sensor and cover. I actually feel the sensor problem has been good for me. Next time I’ll get the updated sensor I imagine with a full service again on a 7+ year old camera. Just hope its as timely last time ;-)!
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Old 09-10-2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I came very close to getting an M9 but decided to wait and in many ways I'm glad I did because the 240 is a fabulous camera. That said I still look at pics taken with the M9 and marvel at what the CCD sensor offers.
The one time I tried the 240 at the Leica Shop had me understanding what folks were talking about, everything I like about the M9 in a refined package. Now I'm lusting for a 246 monochrome, maybe an M-D, which isn't happening unless someone drops a bag of cash on my doorstep. So the M9 will still be with me for the time being, and still can be happy with that option.
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Old 09-10-2016   #7
dreamsandart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Still love my M9 and original M Monochrom. Easy to forget the marvel of its arrival. Full frame digital with all lenses from 1932 on recording at their intended focal length. Leica photography at 3pm. Prints in the frame before 4pm, or high resolution files emailed anywhere in minutes. Ergonomics almost exactly the same as in 1954.
When I bought my M9 my other thought because of cost was to get a used M8 WITH a 24mm Summilux (I really like this focal length), but the fast 24 was the only 35 equivalent on an APS-C sensor. Reason won out - full-frame - and the M9 is part of my Leica history. And yes I did eventually get that gorgeous wide 24 Summilux - happy camper.

Wonder how many people remember that a FF RF was such a big deal, and with the M9 a Leica lens could now be used as intended.
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Old 09-10-2016   #8
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Nice post. I too am loving my M9. I just bought it earlier his year and it's been so nice to get back to a rangefinder after shooting with a DSLR for a number of years. Like you, the performance of the camera is good enough for me. The only thing that I would love from the newer cameras is the shutter sound of the 262. But that's just a tiny niggle.
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Old 09-10-2016   #9
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Have had one for three or four years. It still does what I want in digital but my film M's get used more. It is not worth the money to me for an upgrade.
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Old 09-10-2016   #10
k__43
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Bought mine 2 months ago, love it!
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Old 09-11-2016   #11
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I bought an m9 last year used from Leica Store Manchester. It was a big step to spend so much on a camera bit I'd been lusting after one for a while so I bit the bullet and called it a late 30th birthday present.

I've been shooting it for over a year now and I still love it. Despite its quirks! I bought a 50mm Summarit 2.5 with it and although I'd like something a bit faster (noctilux maybe!!) I'm really happy with the image quality.

Here's a picture from a recent trip to Italy. His name is Pancho.

Rob



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Old 09-11-2016   #12
Michael Wögerbauer
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Nice shot, where can we see more?

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Old 09-11-2016   #13
Richard G
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Rob, that Summarit is so compact. Forget the Noctilux. With the M9 my maximum aperture is so often f2.8 for the weight and size.
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Old 09-11-2016   #14
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I adore my M9-P. Even with a sensor that needs to still be replaced, it delivers such wonderful files.


Chickens, Beijing Market, May 16, 2016 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr


The Terra Cotta Army, Xi'an, May 19, 2016 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr


Cinders, Fire And Wok, Muslim Quarter, Xi'an, May 19, 2016 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr


Lamb Butchery, Muslim Quarter, Xi'an, May 19, 2016 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr


Cauldron Fires, Muslim Quarter, Xi'an, May 19, 2016 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr
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Old 09-11-2016   #15
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^ nice shots! How can you tell the sensor needs replacement? I don't see any spots in these photos.
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Old 09-11-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wögerbauer View Post
Nice shot, where can we see more?

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Thank you! I have a flickr account www.flickr.com/rmpoole

Or my website www.robertpoolephotography.com
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Old 09-11-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Rob, that Summarit is so compact. Forget the Noctilux. With the M9 my maximum aperture is so often f2.8 for the weight and size.
The price tag rather than the size is probably going to be the main reason I don't get one!

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Old 09-11-2016   #18
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Bought mine 2 months ago, love it!
would you drop your film gears (at least 35mm) after this purchase?
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Old 09-12-2016   #19
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^ nice shots! How can you tell the sensor needs replacement? I don't see any spots in these photos.
Those were all shot at f5.6 or wider. If I stop down, the corrosion spots start to show.
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Old 09-12-2016   #20
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would you drop your film gears (at least 35mm) after this purchase?
no - I have the M9 for private reasons, like shooting family, parties with friends and such.
The walk around photos will stay on film for now.
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Old 11-29-2016   #21
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Won't be giving the M9 up unless the camera gives me up first. It's that good.


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