PDA

View Full Version : M9 review...


Roger Hicks
01-19-2010, 15:11
...now up. There are things to correct, such as 'the rangefinder is accurate at 1 metre' (my mistake, obviously) instead of 'the viewfinder is accurate at 1 metre' and I've not checked it in detail but it looks OK. http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/m9%20review.html

Cheers,

R.

mabelsound
01-19-2010, 15:34
Nice overview, Roger--I like that you glossed over the technical stuff and talked more about the feel of shooting with the camera. I recently got a demo M8 and am surprised to find that there is a distinctive and highly pleasing vibe to digital Leicadom, related to but separate from the film M's.

Two comments--one, your "Worst DSLR In the World" link is broken. And two, Frances looks lovely in your portrait at beginning of the article, her illness notwithstanding.

I really enjoyed that!

Dante_Stella
01-19-2010, 18:01
Nice review with nice pictures to illustrate it. Compliments.

Dante

sepiareverb
01-20-2010, 03:23
I like your approach- comparing it to shooting an M not comparing it to shooting a DSLR. I'm gathering steam to get one now.

Mongo Park
01-20-2010, 03:56
Enjoyed the article - very easy to read, informative and well illustrated. I also like the fact that you appreciate that not all M users are able to afford the M9 even though it would be appear to be a better camera than its immediate predecessors (full frame and all that). Incidentally, the article of yours that I found really helpful was the one on focus shift - tremendously well explained and useful. Perhaps one day an M9 for me! Best wishes.
Mark

Brian Sweeney
01-20-2010, 03:58
A very useful and fair review. The M9 is a major accomplishment, and the photos speak for themselves.

I am surprised that the small LCD counter and battery meter was left off the top deck. I find that feature reassuring on the M8, just looking down and seeing a "film counter".

BUT: I'm thinking my Nikon E3 is the worst DSLR in the world. Even though it is also full-frame and does not have an AA filter. Bigger, heavier, and clunkier than a Leica with a Visoflex.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/htmls/models/digitalSLRs/E3E3s/index.htm

naruto
01-20-2010, 08:02
Very nice review Roger. I have been extremely happy using the M8 for the last one week. The review takes a very fair look at the M9, and accompanied by some nice pictures. I actually logged on to post a new thread about the review. I read the review from a twitter posting. :) [http://twitter.com/zegeo/status/7985643294]

OurManInTangier
01-20-2010, 08:17
An interesting read Roger, especially helpful as I'm hoping to get one myself...though it won't be until later in the year. Out of interest, are you an owner or are you lucky enough to be given one to test for a while?

One of the reasons I'm holding off making the purchase, other than having to pay a large tax bill and buy another D3, is that I'm waiting to read some longer term reviews. I suppose yours could be considered the first of these that I've read so far as I stopped reading much of what was written just after the M9 came out.

Keep up the good work, and despite the cold and her health its good to see Frances is up and around again.

Best

Philip Whiteman
01-20-2010, 08:20
Thank you, Roger; an interesting and informative review.

You mention the Voigtlander wideangles and how to get the best out of them by, for example, kidding the M9 that a tri-elmar is fitted. Does this completely eradicate the colour fringing other reviewers have reported (indeed, did you even experience that problem)?

scottwallick
01-20-2010, 08:31
Thanks for the review, Roger. The main take-away message from your article, I believe, is that using the M9 is no more and no less the focus of photo-making as with film Leicas.

I know at least a couple M users who have not considered a digital Leica M because using it would seem to require a new way of making photographs. Which, in my experience limited to the M9, is not the case—caveat emptor, you will be doing on-computer post-processing.

Here, here for including a physical CD with the purchase of the M9. No CD? I thought. Pffft.

urban_alchemist
01-20-2010, 08:40
Thanks for the review, Roger. The main take-away message from your article, I believe, is that using the M9 is no more and no less the focus of photo-making as with film Leicas.


This has been exactly my experience. I'm ashamed to say that since I bought the M9 I haven't put a roll of film through my MPs/M7. The M9 is just so complete, and functions so exactly like the film Ms that there is simply no need to pick up a film camera.

Is it perfect? No: the framelines are a little too loose; it's that tiny bit too thick; I'm still not convinced on the handling of the exposure compensation (I keep hitting it up/down) - but generally, the M9's a hole-in-one...

jarski
01-20-2010, 09:34
thanks for the review. hmm guess I have to make plan how to finance M9, while secretly hoping Zeiss, Cosina or someone will come up with cheaper alternative in a mean time :)

biggambi
01-20-2010, 09:58
As always Roger, a very nicely written perspective. The words truly evokes a sense of feel for the reader, without actually handling the camera.

One aspect that I would have liked to hear more from you, is the low light shooting compared to the M8 and film. I say this because, your words and perspective are unique, and they convey the information in a very informative manner. Also, I think that the historical use of the Leica M system begs a serious look at this aspect.

Your article combined with Mr. Puts' critical analysis, makes for the finest read on this wonderful achievement by Leica. Thank you.

Roger Hicks
01-20-2010, 10:34
An interesting read Roger, especially helpful as I'm hoping to get one myself...though it won't be until later in the year. Out of interest, are you an owner or are you lucky enough to be given one to test for a while?

One of the reasons I'm holding off making the purchase, other than having to pay a large tax bill and buy another D3, is that I'm waiting to read some longer term reviews. I suppose yours could be considered the first of these that I've read so far as I stopped reading much of what was written just after the M9 came out.

Keep up the good work, and despite the cold and her health its good to see Frances is up and around again.

Best

Dear Simon,

Right now, it's a loaner. When the time comes to give it back (not for a few months yet), there's going to be a certain amount of arm-twisting. I DO NOT WANT to give this camera back, so it's a question of how big a press discount I can wring out of them. For a second-hand, well-used camera... As I said, it's like discovering Leica all over again. It really is gorgeous.

Read http://www.rogerandfrances.com/freebies.html for our policy on being bribed. We won't say it can't be done: just that no-one has ever offered us enough to make us say something is good when it isn't. If something's no good, after all, why would we want to use it?

@Biggambi. I'm ashamed to say I've done very little low-light yet: no real occasion has presented itself. The last pic in the review is most of what's there, though the sewing-circle shots are pretty low-light too. I didn't find even the M8 to be a problem at 2500 - I regard noise in much the same way as grain - but then again, I tend to look more at the picture and less at the artifacts.

@Philip. I'll have to do formal colour fringing tests with the M9 and the 15mm, with and without manual coding, but again, it's one of those things that it is easy to exaggerate. As you hint, no, quite honestly, colour fringing is not a problem that jumped up and hit me in the eye.

As I say in the review, any Leica review is to some extent preaching to the converted or to the willing-to-be-converted. But as a long-time (40 year) Leica user, the M9 is a 'real' Leica, despite agreeing with Urban Alchemist that it's not perfect. On the other hand, I've not had the exposure compensation problem at all, so he and I must hold the camera differently.

Increasingly, in a review, my aim is to tell you what a friend would tell you if he'd been lucky enough to try something: the sort of thing you'd discuss over coffee, or a glass of wine, or a pint. You know his biases/ prejudices; you accept that no review is ever going to be perfect; you want to know what it feels like. If you've no sympathy with the reviewer, the review is worthless. Indeed there are those whose reviews are often little more than (barely) rewritten press releases. I try to do a bit more than that, including taking a lot of pictures. My style won't suit everyone. But those whom it does suit will, I hope, get a dimension they won't get elsewhere.

Cheers,

R.

biggambi
01-20-2010, 10:42
Dear Simon,

Increasingly, in a review, my aim is to tell you what a friend would tell you if he'd been lucky enough to try something: the sort of thing you'd discuss over coffee, or a glass of wine, or a pint. You know his biases/ prejudices; you accept that no review is ever going to be perfect; you want to know what it feels like. If you've no sympathy with the reviewer, the review is worthless. Indeed there are those whose reviews are often little more than (barely) rewritten press releases. I try to do a bit more than that, including taking a lot of pictures. My style won't suit everyone. But those whom it does suit will, I hope, get a dimension they won't get elsewhere.

Cheers,

R.

To this end, you certainly have accomplished this quite elegantly.

As to the low light performance. If the future should allow you the chance. You insights would be quite welcome.

Kindest Regards,
M

mikeh
01-20-2010, 12:15
Surprised that the DR Summicron doesn't fit....
Do you mean not useable with the spectacles, or not at all?

drew.saunders
01-20-2010, 12:22
The http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/worst%20dslr.html link is busted. I really want to see a visoflex on this thing too!

Reading the review makes me want to buy a Lotto ticket.

Roger Hicks
01-20-2010, 12:25
Surprised that the DR Summicron doesn't fit....
Do you mean not useable with the spectacles, or not at all?
Dear Mike,

Won't fit at all. The long cam on the back hangs up on the internals of the camera. It's fine at close distances, which is why I was so impressed with test chart results when I shot a DR close-up on the M8. Shame I didn't try it at infinity...

Cheers

R.

Roger Hicks
01-20-2010, 12:26
The http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/worst%20dslr.html link is busted. I really want to see a visoflex on this thing too!

Reading the review makes me want to buy a Lotto ticket.

Dear Drew,

Not up yet -- 24-48 hours, insh'Allah.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
01-20-2010, 12:53
The other lens that I was sorry to see now allowed with the M8 is the 1950s Collapsible 9cm F4 Elmar. At least my uncoated lens will fit. But the collapsible lens is a fine performer, and will see more use with the M3. I'll be using the 9cm 1st Version Summicron with the M8.

Is the same true for the M9? Will the Collapsible 9cm Elmar fit on it, without collapsing?

Roger Hicks
01-20-2010, 12:58
The other lens that I was sorry to see now allowed with the M8 is the 1950s Collapsible 9cm F4 Elmar. At least my uncoated lens will fit. But the collapsible lens is a fine performer, and will see more use with the M3. I'll be using the 9cm 1st Version Summicron with the M8.

Is the same true for the M9? Will the Collapsible 9cm Elmar fit on it, without collapsing?

Dear Brian,

Alas, also verboten, as reported in the review. I've not tried it -- I will next time I see my chum with a collapsible 90/4 -- but that's the Party Line from the instruction book. The Makro collapsible is OK, of course.

Cheers,

R.

Quercus
01-22-2010, 07:48
There is something very special about the Mor Bihan coast in the winter

used to live on the channel islands and really miss landing at st malo and just spending weekends wandering ynys prydan bach as us welsh would call it

Great photos

visiondr
01-22-2010, 08:05
A fine, thoughtful review of an apparently very nice camera. However, to this poor medical professional, it might as well be a review of a new Porsche automobile; a very nice bit of kit that very few (including me) can afford. It really does come down to that - nothing less and nothing more.

Roger Hicks
01-22-2010, 08:24
Dear Ron,

I fully take your point about affordability, and that when something is out of reach, it's out of reach. Even so, I'd suggest that there are rather more people who can find the money for an M9 if they want one badly enough, or have a stroke of luck, or a modest inheritance, or whatever. By that I mean nothing more than that quite a few more people have a chance of finding the price of a Leica at $7000 than have a chance of finding the price of a Porsche at a minimum of about $45,000 (and a maximum of well over $100,000).

Glad you liked the review: thanks.

Cheers,

R.

visiondr
01-22-2010, 08:36
Point taken. Gracefully presented, as always.

johannielscom
01-22-2010, 09:09
Roger,

reading your post gets me itching.

I owned an M8 and sold it without regret, although its a brilliant camera. But, reading about the M9 makes my BIN trigger finger twitch. Only thing thats keeping me from it is the price of the darn thing, I'd have to sell all my gear including most lenses to be able to afford one.

Brilliantly written, great feel for the sensation of shooting a camera that fits like a glove. At least, that's the vibe I get from it.

One more to correct: beneath the marina shot, there's mention of a 35 Megapixel file, instead of Megabyte.

Roger Hicks
01-22-2010, 10:43
Roger,

reading your post gets me itching.

I owned an M8 and sold it without regret, although its a brilliant camera. But, reading about the M9 makes my BIN trigger finger twitch. Only thing thats keeping me from it is the price of the darn thing, I'd have to sell all my gear including most lenses to be able to afford one.

Brilliantly written, great feel for the sensation of shooting a camera that fits like a glove. At least, that's the vibe I get from it.

One more to correct: beneath the marina shot, there's mention of a 35 Megapixel file, instead of Megabyte.

Thanks for the kind words, and for the correction. The M9 REALLY IS nice! But as you say: ouch, the price.

Cheers,

R.

Dave Wilkinson
01-22-2010, 11:11
Dear Roger,
Your thread has me "itching" too!, and if I had a BIN finger ( whatever that is? ) I'm sure it would twitch!. The darn price keeps me away too, but if I sold all my present gear, the car, the Yamaha FJ 1200, sent the wife's jewellery off to one of the reclamation firms that keep advertising on telly, stopped feeding the moggy, and buying 'Nutgone Flake' for the pipe - I'd be nearly there!......meanwhile it's back to the Vito BL for the weekend!.
Cheers Dave.

drew.saunders
01-23-2010, 18:13
Dear Drew,

Not up yet -- 24-48 hours, insh'Allah.

Cheers,

R.

http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/worst%20dslr.html

I like it! Very nice!