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View Full Version : Digital M Owners:Advice For A Soon To Be Owner


Moto Mark
02-16-2017, 15:19
Here's the deal, I'd like to hear from M9 / M240 owners. I've been shooting a M2 and M6 and I'm ready to take the plunge into a Leica digital camera.

Now that the M10 is out I'm getting my funds in order as I'm hoping that there will be a large amount of used Leicas coming up for sale.

So here's my question for you owners out there, give me some reasons I should buy a M9 / M9P over a M240 / M262 or visa versa. My budget will be around $4k. I've read all about the sensor issues with the M9 so let's assume I'm looking at one with a new sensor. For my lenses I have a 21, 35 and 50 Zeiss and a 90 Leica.

I'm looking forward to hear what you have to say.

View Range
02-16-2017, 15:46
Shot raw + jpeg and take a class at a local community college if you don't know how to fully use Lightroom.

Huss
02-16-2017, 15:51
I had an M9 (the M-E version) and the reason I traded was at the time I was not comfortable with the yet unknown solution to the sensor issue. Which affected my camera twice. Now that Leica has a fix I may not have traded, but just because they have a fix does not make it painless. If/when your camera needs to go in, be aware that you may be without it for a loooong time. Months is normal.
The upside of the M9 series is I found the images bitingly sharp and looked different to the more rounded feel that comes from my M240. At base ISOs it really is great, and has better highlight recovery than the M240.
So what's so great about the M240?:
1/ Much much much much better LCD on the back. It actually is useful and can be used to determine correct focus.
2/ Much more responsive.
3/ The shutter feels and sounds much better, and has a smoother action to the shutter button.
4/ The RF seems more robust, as mine holds calibration much better than my M-E
5/ Better battery life

But this is the deal closer for me:

6/ The live view ability allows incredible flexibility. You can use almost any lens on this camera and not only focus with it, but more accurately than using the RF if it is RF coupled. I didn't realize how big a deal this was until I started to use Petzval, Minolta and Nikon (105 1.8) lenses with it.

Moto Mark
02-16-2017, 16:05
Thanks View,

I do shoot raw + jpeg on my Sony and Olympus digitals, and I know I could always get better but I'm pretty familiar with Lightroom.

Hi Huss,

Those are some valid points, I have read on several posts of how the colors on the M9 seem different than on the 240. And I think live view would come in handy with the 21 and 90.

I'm still getting the funds together ( see my ad for my CL ).

bayernfan
02-16-2017, 16:24
I picked up an M8 a few months back just to cut my teeth on Leica digital. It's been a really enjoyable experience. The images look fantastic and the shooting experience is nearly as good as film.

I found an awesome deal on a like-new M9 yesterday so I ordered it. Having shot the M8, M9 and M262, my personal favorite of the bunch is the M9. It's just a special camera, the files are very unique, and it feels better in the hand than the M240/262. Personally, I cannot stand the shutter feel of the M240/262. It's rather lifeless.

It's also worth noting that Leica will replace the M9 sensor at no charge should you experience corrosion/cracking for the foreseeable future. The wait time... let's just say you should have a good back up camera on hand.

sdotkling
02-16-2017, 16:36
Get a Monochrom. I just got one, after years of hemming and hawing, and fierce determination to never let go my film Ms...and its incredible. So much like my M4 in spirit and feel, I'm gobsmacked.

ferider
02-16-2017, 16:49
I have read on several posts of how the colors on the M9 seem different than on the 240.

Ignore these posts. M240 files are so malleable, you can make them look like M9 files, but not the other way around.

Literally, compared to M9, _everything_ is better about the 240. Robustness, IQ (resolution, DR and sensitivity), speed, noise, battery live, etc. And then there is LV and video capability.

Posting from Beijing with a 240 + 28/2 Ultron in my back-pack. Flying back to California this afternoon. One of the dinners this week:

https://photos.smugmug.com/Picture-a-Week/2017/02172017/i-hH4FCCK/1/O/Ding%20Tai%20Fung.jpg

Roland.

Ko.Fe.
02-16-2017, 16:52
These days 4K USD is the call for used, not abused M240/M262. It is very practical choice.

M9 is very practical choice for 2.5K USD and M8 is very practical choice for 1.2K USD budgets, if you want digital Leica M.

All digital M Leica cameras are fun to use if you are coming from film M.

M9 flavor is the closest to film M experience, IMO. Clean colors for ISO up to 640. And it is more like grainy color 400 film after 640 and all way up to 2500 is usable for 5x7 or smaller prints. BW is even better at 1600 comparing to pushed ISO 400 film. And M9 series cameras are slow. Just like with film M, you take one shot.
M9 feels "analog" as well. Only few settings. And it makes warm analog lamp noise if you have it at your face. It is smaller and and less heavy than M10 is, not to mention M242.
With M9 limitations it keeps you close to film M cameras if you are planning to use them as well. But, honestly, it is less motivating after getting of digital M....

Benjamin Marks
02-16-2017, 17:01
I have the original M9 and have had the sensor replaced once. I rally. really like the camera. My advice is to shoot it. A lot.

sepiareverb
02-16-2017, 17:09
I was an early adopter of the M9, I have two of them, both with new sensors. I rarely feel the need to shoot above ISO800, and very much like the 160 speed. My main interest with the M10 is the ISO100, but I will likely stick with the M9s.

i very much like the look of the CCD sensor. Some small quibbles with color here and there, but I'm used to them. The files are lovely, I've printed big on 30x40 paper with a file shot through a mid eighties 35 summilux. I don't need video, I don't need ISO12800. I'm more than happy with my eight year old M9s.

f16sunshine
02-16-2017, 18:31
Everyone has different needs. Some prefer the ccd of m9/me.
Others the evf/liveview and higher iso capability of the m240.

It seems like Getting the latest model that fits in your budget is smart.
Plan for longivity of service to you and from Leica.
If it's going to be your primary digital camera, definetly go for m240 and live view.
There is a whole world of lenses that open up with an evf/lcd.

Have fun Mark. Sounds like some new windows are about to open up :)

A side question to those i the know, is your Zeiss 21mm the f 2.8 or f4.5 biogon?
I understand the f4.5 can have some corner troubles on the m9.... is this also an issue on the m240??

jim0266
02-16-2017, 19:08
My in-depth review: Leica M262 vs M9 vs M240. (http://www.jimarnold.org/blog/2015/12/leica-m-typ-262/)

Doug
02-16-2017, 19:08
...
A side question to those i the know, is your Zeiss 21mm the f 2.8 or f4.5 biogon?
I understand the f4.5 can have some corner troubles on the m9.... is this also an issue on the m240??
Oh, yes, the same issue. I finally gave up on it, deciding it's just "impossible", though I gather that some fiddling with the 6-bit coding can mitigate the effects somewhat. It's fine on an M8 though. I sold mine, and also my Elmarit ASPH and got a SEM instead... much better so far but that lens is still new to me.

nightfly
02-16-2017, 20:30
I love my M9. The files are beautiful and it feels like I'm using a camera, not a computer. It's a digital version of my M4-P, almost. The first time I used it my thumb went to the (non-existant) film advance.

The M10 looks promising with the thinner body and physical ISO dial and the files look pretty. I'll wait till the used price is half the new price. No rush.

M240 doesn't appeal to me at all.

Moto Mark
02-16-2017, 20:47
Andy,

I'm using the 21 2.8. It's a great lens and it's a good argument for having a camera with live view.

Godfrey
02-16-2017, 21:10
Had M9 first and was always ambivalent about it. JPEGs useless, responsiveness poor, didn't like the feel of the shutter release or the controls much. When the sensor went bad, I took the upgrade to the M-P 240. A Far better camera in every way.

I'd ordered an MM 246 along the way, but that was so slow in coming I finally cancelled the order ... and just in time for the SL to be announced. I used that money to buy the SL. Once I had the SL, I pretty much stopped using the M-P with anything but a 35 or 75 mm lens. The M Edition 60 had been released and I realized that that would be what I wanted were it not for the 'special edition' package and price. So I determined that if a standard production version of the ME60 was released, I'd buy one and try out the minimal minimum M.

And then the M-D 262 was released last Spring. I bought one in July. This is finally, really, the digital M I'd been waiting for: utterly simple, nothing to distract, just like an M6 but with digital guts. It is, has become, my favorite M.

I went to SF to look at the M10 two weeks ago, and it is delightful. But I'm happy with the M-D and will probably trade off my M-P for a second one. It suits exactly what I want in a Leica M camera: absolute, utter simplicity and transparency in use.

G

David Hughes
02-17-2017, 15:36
Hi,

Go after the M9 and you'll find a few that have had the sensors replaced and then been abandoned in favour of something newer. Use the money saved to buy lenses; I find the M9 shows up flaws (sorry I mean character) in older lenses.

Anyway, it's a pleasant film like camera and I'm sure you'll enjoy using it alongside of the M2 etc.

Regards, David

nightfly
02-17-2017, 18:09
Sounds like you are keeping Leica in business and sending your Leica dealer's kids to college. Good on you.

Had M9 first and was always ambivalent about it. JPEGs useless, responsiveness poor, didn't like the feel of the shutter release or the controls much. When the sensor went bad, I took the upgrade to the M-P 240. A Far better camera in every way.

I'd ordered an MM 246 along the way, but that was so slow in coming I finally cancelled the order ... and just in time for the SL to be announced. I used that money to buy the SL. Once I had the SL, I pretty much stopped using the M-P with anything but a 35 or 75 mm lens. The M Edition 60 had been released and I realized that that would be what I wanted were it not for the 'special edition' package and price. So I determined that if a standard production version of the ME60 was released, I'd buy one and try out the minimal minimum M.

And then the M-D 262 was released last Spring. I bought one in July. This is finally, really, the digital M I'd been waiting for: utterly simple, nothing to distract, just like an M6 but with digital guts. It is, has become, my favorite M.

I went to SF to look at the M10 two weeks ago, and it is delightful. But I'm happy with the M-D and will probably trade off my M-P for a second one. It suits exactly what I want in a Leica M camera: absolute, utter simplicity and transparency in use.

G

Darthfeeble
02-17-2017, 20:02
I love the files that come from my M9, the CCD sensor is so sharp. I'll avoid the 240, even though it has features that I really like. I've run out of relatives to die and leave me a fortune so I have to save to get the M10. Life can be cruel.

AshLee52
02-20-2017, 18:00
I've had most of them. Starting from scratch, as you will be, go for the 240.

Live view is helpful for using all sorts of lenses... both classic Contax/Nikkor lenses adapted, lenses like the Sonnar ZM that can have focus shifts, or wider angles.

The B&W files can be just as good as from a monocrom... in fact with selective color control you can adjust to give you the effect of filters. The M10 is just a nicer 240, but for the extra bucks you aren't getting much. My M9 has never had a sensor issue, and I use it the most of all of my cameras (because it is less valuable)... but you wonder whether it will develop problems at some point.

Moto Mark
03-09-2017, 12:16
Thank you for your comments and recommendations, I have taken them into consideration and pulled the trigger on a clean silver M240. Should be here by the weekend.

Let the fun begin !

Ko.Fe.
03-09-2017, 12:28
Excellent and practical choice!

jsrockit
03-09-2017, 12:42
Agreed... it's the most practical move in the digital M world.

MCTuomey
03-09-2017, 13:55
good choice, mark. current prices have made the M240 very attractive - your timing is excellent.

maggieo
03-09-2017, 14:18
Get an M9-P. It's more understated than the M9, has a sapphire glass screen (indestructable), and the files are amazing. It looks like an old Leica and produces colors that are worthy of Kodachrome.

Since you have Oly and Sony gear, if the sensor goes tango uniform, you've got backups to shoot.

M9-P, the best way to fly Leica.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1656/24399884570_fd4aa7801a_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Db8MB1)
Leica M9-P With Zeiss C-Sonnar 50/1.5, January 22, 2016 (https://flic.kr/p/Db8MB1) by Maggie Osterberg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mediawench/), on Flickr

maggieo
03-09-2017, 14:19
Dang it. I left this thread open too long without posting!

Popey
03-10-2017, 01:59
Dang it. I left this thread open too long without posting!

Don't you just hate it when that happens?:bang:
@Mark - enjoy your "new" camera.

leo mm
03-10-2017, 05:04
I have never owned a digital M, but I do drink the CCD kool-aid — I think M9 images look wonderful — and I could work with the relatively limited ISO range. But I just don't know how people live with that low-res LCD. (I sort of wish it didn't bug me!) For that reason alone, I would go M240, but that's just me.

Luke_Miller
03-10-2017, 10:08
But I just don't know how people live with that low-res LCD. (I sort of wish it didn't bug me!) For that reason alone, I would go M240, but that's just me.

I was fortunate to start in digital photography in 2002 when the camera LCDs of that time make that of the M9 look pretty impressive. Those early LCDs were usable only for menus & settings, histograms, and checking composition. They were useless for color accuracy, white balance, or checking focus. Even though today many of the LCDs are quite good - I still use them like I did in 2002. So my M9 LCD is just fine. All that said - I would not want an M9 LCD on a Live View body. :)

taemo
03-10-2017, 10:34
great choice with the M240, between the 2, if I had over 3000$ to spend, it would be my first choice. but if budget is limited around 2000$ then the M9 is more than satisfactory.

TBH the only reason the M240 trumps the M9 for me is the quieter shutter. higher ISO and CMOS(Live View) sensor are just bonus

maggieo
03-10-2017, 11:13
I have never owned a digital M, but I do drink the CCD kool-aid I think M9 images look wonderful and I could work with the relatively limited ISO range. But I just don't know how people live with that low-res LCD. (I sort of wish it didn't bug me!) For that reason alone, I would go M240, but that's just me.

Easy. It's an improvement over the screen on my M4-P!

noisycheese
03-26-2017, 11:19
Thank you for your comments and recommendations, I have taken them into consideration and pulled the trigger on a clean silver M240. Should be here by the weekend.

Let the fun begin !

You have made an excellent decision. A used M240 was going to be my recommendation. It will serve you well and it is a hell of a lot of camera for your budget of $4k.