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Old 02-13-2011   #41
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sounds like you really want to go digital. So why keep any of your film cameras if you can't get film developed locally and don't want to mail it or develop it yourself. This doesn't add up.
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Old 02-13-2011   #42
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Why not sell a piece of gear and buy the equipment to develop your own. At least to develop the film and scan. Beats the hell out of spending all those bucks for something that will be rendered "obsolete" by a new and improved model within a year. It's called taking ownership.
The M10 will probably be better than the M9, but even if it is, it is not going to render the M9 "obsolete."

Although I expect the M10 will not be a step down from the M9, not every newer digital model has been seen by users to be better than their predecessors. Although I was happy with my Ricoh GRD2, the majority opinion seems to be that that the improvements were not worth the loss of the unique black and white rendering the original GRD had. Similarly, not everyone thinks the Canon G series got better with each new model, although most people think they got things right in the latest version, after some missteps along the way.

That said, I think that an M10 will likely have some improvements -- a display with a quicker response time for one; possibly improved higher ISO performance. But I don't see how these, or any other improvements, makes the current model obsolete.

Excuse my ignorance, but did incorporating a light meter in the film Leica bodies make the earlier ones obsolete. Did the M7 make the earlier film Leicas obsolete?
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Old 02-13-2011   #43
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Hi Vince,

This is actually my first post on this forum, but felt compelled to respond by urging you to consider/re-consider the M8 which I find to be an amazing (not alternative to the M9) choice in this segment. I have had the choice between the two cameras and have opted for the M8 for several reasons: one, I like the metering in the M8 much more than the M9 (most do not talk of this feature), and two, I like the sensor quite a bit more as it is more filmic to me. Also, three I much prefer the lack of IR filter for how fleshes are rendered both in color and especially in B&W(I shoot almost exclusively fashion/beauty). And finally, four I find the 8000 of a second shutter particularly useful (the M9 I believe tops out at 4000) when using the Noctilux which I shoot almost exclusively and always wide open (yes with ND's for exterior work).
Just me two or three cents,
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Old 02-13-2011   #44
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Shucks, I just CLA'd my M3. I'll see how it runs when it is due for it's next one in forty years. Maybe then......
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Old 02-13-2011   #45
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Hey Vince.

I am an M9 user with remorse. My regret is that I can't afford two of them!

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Old 02-14-2011   #46
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So I'll chime in too. I'm a M9 owner for all of 48 hours now. I traded in a wild collection of large format lenses and a Plaubel 69W in for mine.

The first 3-4 hours was nothing but buyer's remorse. I didn't have any real modern glass (just odd LTM stuff) and I was getting terrible noise above 640 iso. Then I turned off the defaulted DNG compression. Big difference in the color noise (I'm actually surprised more people haven't complained about the compression).

Then I picked up a 1970 50/2 Wetzlar... spent a few hours shooting.... pixel peeped... printed several 13x19's... & all I can say is WOW. This camera instantly became worth it.

I think it out-performs my 5D mkII (at least for certain types of shooting). I'm not joking around. The lack of an anti-aliasing filter on the sensor allows for awesome sharpness. The way the full frame sensor draws, renders colors, and the amount of adjustment leeway in the DNG's are all EPIC.

Would I buy one outright? Probably not. If you've got gear that is not in any real circulation of use... and you want to shoot with a FF rangefinder? Yeah, trade it in & do it.
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Old 02-14-2011   #47
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Seems like you've totally made up your mind, so I'm not entirely sure what the point of the thread was(?) I guess sometimes we all need some group reassurance before sinking a large chunk of money into any consumer product...

FWIW - I got into Leica (and film) cameras about 5 or so years ago. Bought an M6 and a brand new M7.

After a while, I bought a new RD1s and because I used that so much I also bought a new M8. Three or four months later I sold both the M6 and the M7 (the M7 had maybe 4 rolls through it - and I sold at a massive loss - because I had some romantic idea that it should go to someone who'd actually use it.

Now here's the point: after maybe a year, I realized that the absolute BEST shots that I'd ever taken - the ones I came back to over and over, and could dwell over for minutes and even hours - had all been taken on those few rolls of film that had gone through the M6 and M7. Of all the thousands upon thousands of digital shots I've taken over the years, none of them had the same emotional quality of the film shots. Sometimes it was hard to know why, but digital - however processed - just didn't have that ineffable quality.

I sold the RD1s and gradually I've built-up my film cameras again. Never been happier. I still (very often) use the M8, but even a Leica CL with the Summicron40 loaded with new Portra400 gives me way more satisfaction than any digital camera. I also love scanning 6x6 Hasselblad shots - I get files that are something like 78 megapixels of non-Bayer-interpolated information - and every single scanned pixel exudes gorgeousness.

Hope you enjoy your M9 - like I said, I think you've made up your mind already. I sincerely hope you don't make the mistakes I made on your journey.
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Old 02-14-2011   #48
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I'm in a similar position at the moment Vince. I don't use film for work anymore at all, I use D3 bodies and my M8 - which I hadn't expected would happen due to the crop factor but have surprised myself with how perfectly 'useable' it is under working conditions.

However, I'm thinking of trading in all my old film cameras ( many Nikon F bodies several D bodies, MF, Olympus OM) and maybe even the M8 so that I can go with one Leica M9. The lack of a crop factor would be a huge difference, no more need for various filters, doubling up on lenses so one can have an IR filter on and another be ready for film use. No more unused, or at least under used cameras sitting in cupboards and drawers around my house. As far as use of film or digital goes, as you're a professional you'll already know whether the time has come for you to make a/the change; finances and clients requirements will tell all.

Everyone here at RFF loves using cameras, fondling cameras and even collecting them, but we can only use them one at a time so when it comes down to the nitty gritty of financing a big purchase, and the M9 is a big purchase, it makes a great deal of sense to sell anything that still has monetary value yet little other value to you. So you have your Uncle's old camera which is worth something to you but many other cameras which are no more than unused tools which could be 'traded in' for one brand new and very useful tool.

Its tough to sell all your gear, but if its not being used isn't it just being wasted?

P.S. If this is for business make the decision in the cold light of day, romantic notions and the opinions of those who do not need to make a living from this kit may be costly; if its for personal photos as much as or more than work - than emotion, romance and sheer desire can play any part you want.
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Old 02-14-2011   #49
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No regrets about an M9 -- though for mono, I still use film. I just like it better.

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Old 02-14-2011   #50
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Interesting that a few of you have suggested buying large format cameras -- I just sold my Toyo 45A a few months ago and don't miss it one bit. And I sold my 8x10 about 3 years ago. I haven't had a (commercial) request for large format for about 8 years. The only thing I miss about large format is platinum-palladium, but I could still do them with my 6x9cm folders (which of course I haven't done in about 10 years!).

Selling the M2 and the M5 are going to sting a bit (the M2 I've had for over 20 years), but quite honestly they are not being used. As far as a backup M-mount camera, I have the Olympus E-P2, which fine, but has its limitations as well. And the D700 kit isn't going anywhere, as that's my bread and butter for work (and I have a D200 backup). I don't use the D700 for personal work at all. I'm looking for a different kind of experience than the D700, and one that I can integrate with both my professional and personal work. The film cameras don't seem to be doing either at the moment. But, I'm just trying to figure out whether it's worth putting all that money into one singular piece like the M9. Those of you who are M9 owners seem to indicate that it is, so maybe I'll see if I can slowly raise the funds and go from there. And I am keeping all my Leica glass (M-mount stuff and all my screw mount), so if I decide down the road to go back to a film M, I'm sure there will be plenty to choose from.
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Old 02-14-2011   #51
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First of all, this isn't how I make my living.

I'd be inclined to keep something you can use for work that's medium format, even if it just is a folder.

I'd also be inclined to keep an M film camera. An EP2 isn't an exact backup, of course, due to the crop factor. (I use an M8 and a GF1, so similar boat in that sense.)

I don't know exactly how many cameras you have vs. how many you're giving up, but I think I would want the option to do film.

In my own case, I couldn't justify an M9 as I wasn't making money at this and, while I could have afforded it, I figured that spending the extra on the travel to get the good photographs was where I wanted to spend the money. For me, the M8 was worth the money, but the M9 was too much of a reach.
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Old 02-14-2011   #52
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Get the m9 I say. It's an awesome camera and I think digital is definitely at the point where it's a better photographic medium than film in most ways. I just came back from Japan with 15 rolls of film - half color and half BW, and after spending a great deal of money having the color film processed, spending a great deal of time processing the black and white film myself, and then having spent something like 12-13 hours straight scanning, followed by more hours removing dust in photoshop, I can say using my 5d instead of film would have been quicker, easier, more versatile (changing ISOs), and the final photos would have been of better quality.

That's my take anyway.
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Old 02-14-2011   #53
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Just 2 more cents in the basket:
I would never be without a backup for any important piece of gear.
I have several bodies, and a couple of any important FL lens (28, 35, 50).
And I'm not even a pro...
The reliability of film gear also come frome the possibility to duplicate it and continue shooting while one of the bodies (or lens) gets it's CLA done.
You hate the logistics of film.
Think about the logistics of continuing shooting while your main tool is off a month (or more) just because the RF went out of whack.
Also, quite frankly, it depends much on whether you shoot color or B&W.
B&W home processing is so easy...
And there are some techniques to make ot even easier and cheaper.
As long as I shoot BW (and the avail of film is what it is) I would never move. My answer would be quite different if I had to deal with large volume pro jobs..
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Old 02-14-2011   #54
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I don't have an M9, and no desire to own one at either $7000 or $1000. In your position, if this is about processing, then find a better lab or develop yourself. Although I live in London, and have many labs, pro and amateur available to me, I still send it off for the sake of convenience. When the film is done, I don't have to pick it up, it arrives on my desk ready to scan or whatever.

Obviously if you want an M9, and can afford it, get one by all means, but I'd try some more options for your processing needs first.
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Old 02-14-2011   #55
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I'm pondering the exact same question myself. Not sure what I'll do yet. I just love the feel of the film advance, loading, unloading. Then, pocketing those canisters, not knowing exactly what they may reveal. Sometimes, as weird as this may sound, I don't like the immediatecy (is that a word) of the digital.
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Old 02-14-2011   #56
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I'm pondering the exact same question myself. Not sure what I'll do yet. I just love the feel of the film advance, loading, unloading. Then, pocketing those canisters, not knowing exactly what they may reveal. Sometimes, as weird as this may sound, I don't like the immediatecy (is that a word) of the digital.
My feelings precisely.
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Old 02-14-2011   #57
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I did something similar a year ago to go with the M9 for all my color and $$ work, and sold off a lot of stuff to do it. I've not looked back. I'd say the M8 is not a good choice for a backup only because of the filters- not having to deal with them is enough of a reason (I think) to switch if you can swing it. I've been using an M8 as a backup/second and the filters are just a real pain when moving lenses between bodies.

I've had zero buyers remorse- and have had zero problems with my M9- it has been 100% since day one.
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Old 02-14-2011   #58
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Originally Posted by Carterofmars View Post
I'm pondering the exact same question myself. Not sure what I'll do yet. I just love the feel of the film advance, loading, unloading. Then, pocketing those canisters, not knowing exactly what they may reveal. Sometimes, as weird as this may sound, I don't like the immediatecy (is that a word) of the digital.
No need to chimp- I have the screen off all the time, checking only when I would have used a Polaroid years ago. If you shoot DNG only immediacy is not the word that springs to mind.

Then there is always this idea...
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Old 02-14-2011   #59
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you don't need it. definitely
think again
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Old 02-14-2011   #60
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No, thatīs not wise.
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Old 02-14-2011   #61
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Go for it.
You might be disappointed, but it's better to regret things you did do rather than things you didn't.
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Old 02-14-2011   #62
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Go for it.
You might be disappointed, but it's better to regret things you did do rather than things you didn't.
Brilliant advice. Not invariably true, but true enough, often enough, to be a bloody good rule of thumb.

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Old 02-14-2011   #63
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I don't know about you, but I love all my cameras and I am shooting them all regularly. I am not a pro and certainly not a collector since my cameras have a low market value. I think if you are a pro and you make money from photography you should be able to save some cash for M9 without selling your stuff you probably were collecting/shooting over the years. Those cameras you have will never let you down. If you don't make enough to safe and buy an M9 then what is the point to have it? Of course it's just me, I never flipped any gear (photo or synth - another expensive hobby of mine) over the years so I don't understand how it works. I just appreciate every single piece of gear I have and just can't let anything go...
Well, I lie a bit... Actually I sold my digital camera and lenses because I used them several times (not more than 40!!!) over the last year.
Anyway, good luck whatever your decision might be and hope to see your next great digital pictures
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Old 02-14-2011   #64
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I use D3 bodies and my M8
Same here. Trouble is, I like the D3's files, high ISO capabilities, interaction design and screen much better than I do the M8's.

I love the M8's smallish form-factor, the M-lenses and the discreet mode (v2.004 firmware was a great upgrade) but want better files. And so I find myself considering the M9 as well, warts and all.

How do the M9 image files compare to those of the M8 – and the D3?

Anyone care to share and image or two?
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Old 02-14-2011   #65
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If you don't use the film stuff, get rid of it. Sounds like you are already comfortable with digital, so you know what you are getting into.

On the other hand, you are replacing several cameras/systems with just the M9, so you might miss some of that. If you are thinking you might regret the decision, at least try sending your film off to Precision Camera once. Wait until you get about 10 rolls shot and drop them off in a small Priority Mail box. $100 is a small price next to the M9. You might be happier than you think with the results. I've been doing mail order with my color film for a couple years and don't really have any problems with it.
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Old 02-14-2011   #66
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I notice that the only ones saying not to do it seem to be film only users.
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Old 02-14-2011   #67
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Old 02-14-2011   #68
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Film were made for convenience. If it's PITA to continue to use it then there's no point.

(I'm film user...because I haven't got decent digital and can still process film)
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Old 02-14-2011   #69
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Depending on what you do, keeping film as a backup may be good. The m9 is great, but it is not weather sealed, and has known to have issues in extreme cold. A fully mechanical camera that does not need batteries is still something nice to have as a backup. In addition, as someone mentioned above, i missed the discipline of film after shooting digital for a while, since every shot counts and costs on film. Having said all that, the m9 is a fantastic camera and you will not regret getting it. Try to hold on to your favorite film M when you get it.
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Old 02-14-2011   #70
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Have you held an played with an M9? I definitely would do that before purchasing. It does have a different feel from a film M.
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Old 02-14-2011   #71
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I love film and haven't sold my film cameras since buying the M9. But, the M9 is a brilliant camera and I don't have time to process and scan (the latter particularly) film. I may also soon have a darkroom again which may make black and white a bit easier.

However, I keep going backwards and forwards on the film question. If it's also for work and you're not using the film bodies though just get on with it. You won't regret because of the camera.

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Old 02-14-2011   #72
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Hmm I have thinking the same but because I don't have any Leica hardware... got to wait until Nikon does it.
Oh btw, you can try the X100 before selling everything... you can always sell it too... ;-)
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Old 02-14-2011   #73
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I think Helen said so already, but I'll risk repeating her advice. Keep one 35 film camera for the moments when you just want to shoot a roll or two or three for fun, sell the rest or the 35mm bodies. Keep one MF camera if you think you'll miss it.
Save the lenses you like best, sell the rest. Then buy the M9.

If you don't like the M9, you can sell it less the usual depreciation. It will serve as a backup to your D700, or vice versa.
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Old 02-14-2011   #74
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If I could afford an M9, I would, in a second. If you prefer digital in general, and film is a hassle for you, then there's no question. I am one who much prefers digital to film–the workflow is much more intuitive to me, plus I really hate scanning. You already have the lenses, and if you decide to sell the M9 you can buy a pristine M2, M3, M4, M5, and M6 with the funds.

And as for platinum-palladium, I think I read an article a while back, maybe on Luminous Landscape, about printing 8x10 transparencies from digital files and doing P-P from those.
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Old 02-14-2011   #75
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Have you held an played with an M9? I definitely would do that before purchasing. It does have a different feel from a film M.
Yes, a day with the Leica Akademie is definitely worth it.
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Old 02-14-2011   #76
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Your question is a bit like asking if you should sell your apple pies to buy a cherry pie.

If you want an M9 and can pay for it by selling cameras you don't want, what's the problem?

If you really want to keep those cameras and buy an M9, that's different.
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Old 02-14-2011   #77
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>My M2, M5, Robot Royal 36, Contax II, Hasselblad, screw mount
>Leicas, etc (I will probably hang onto my Contaflex TLR and maybe a
> screw mount Leica that I've had since 1988). I'm going to keep all
>my Leica lenses, but I've pretty well decided to do this.

Of the film cameras listed here, which do you use most? Which will being the most income, and be missed the least? The Contax mount lenses require an adapter for use on the Leica, which runs as much as a Contax body. The M5 will bring more than the M2. The Hasselblad is the most expensive in terms of cost to operate, 120 film and processing is more than 35mm.

If you sell them all, prices of film cameras allows buy-back. But if you have a favorite, keep it.

With me- after collecting for 40 years, lots of film cameras.

Last edited by Brian Sweeney : 02-14-2011 at 15:22.
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Old 02-14-2011   #78
Jeff S
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Not sure why you think the crop of an M8 would drive you crazy. I shot film with all sorts of cameras and formats (including film Leica Ms) for decades and made the digital leap 2 years ago when I moved again (back home to Baltimore) and decided not to build a fifth darkroom.

I bought an M8.2 and the crop turned out to be no issue; the brain is quite adaptive. I use my 28 instead of my 35, and my 50 instead of my 75 for similar FOVs. Just so happens that I like the rendering of my 28 Summicron asph better than my 35 Summicron asph, and prefer the 50 Summilux asph to the 75 Summicron asph. In fact, I sold the latter and bought a nice used second M8.2.

The M8.2 is a better sorted camera than the M8 (I don't need 8000th), and in fact has things the M9 doesn't...sapphire LCD, top display and marginally quieter shutter (and chrome if that's your thing, or a black dot on the black version). The filters became a non-issue once I put them on and have never taken them off. Blacks are also better out of the box in some circumstances than with the filterless M9.

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Old 02-14-2011   #79
anitasanger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neare View Post
And when the M10 comes out, how will you pay for that?
Look, if film's not your thing move on. Everyone else in that boat already has.

Those of us on the film boat will continue paddling in the opposite direction.
Brilliant dear sir...brilliant.
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Old 02-14-2011   #80
jamato8
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I have had my M2 for over 35 years. I will most likely never use it again, which is sad but I such history with it that I wouldn't sell it. Too bad film is so hard to deal with now. I haven't had anyone else develop my B/W for 40 years and couldn't start now, well unless they were awfully good but still, that was part of the joy of it and I know how I want to agitate for a certain shoot etc.

Well the m9 does a fine job and I don't see it going obsolete in 3 years. It takes good images now and the only thing that would hold it back in 3 years for 5 years or . . . would be me.
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M2 (got as NOS in 1974), M9, Biogon 25mm 2.8, 35 ASPH and 50 Summicron, 50 DR, 90 Elmarit (1st model), 90 Elmarit-M, 90 Summicron Pre ASPH, Elmar 135, Thumbs-Up (great finally my camera feels solid in my hand). Leica user since 1969 (IIIC 50 Summitar, still have)
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