Leica M viewfinder letdown ?
Old 05-15-2019   #1
_lou_
Registered User
 
_lou_'s Avatar
 
_lou_ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 119
Leica M viewfinder letdown ?

Earlier today, in the market for a digital rangefinder, I pop into my local dealer to look at my options. I bring my Zeiss Ikon and the lovely 3.5/28mm skopar that I use very often.



I can't believe how bad M viewfinders are with 28mm. You can hardly see the framelines, even without glasses. Compared to the Zeiss Ikon, and Xpro1, this looks like a big regression.



Next I try the M10. Things are a bit better, but really not on par with other rangefinders I have (including Bronica RF645). I'm left wondering how this is possible : the rangefinder is the M's reason for existing, and at this price point it ought to be the best in class.



Other than that, I am impressed by the ISO performance of the M240, it is very decent at 3200. I don't see the need for an M10 improved in this area. From the haptics point of view, the M240 does feel oversized and not very easy to hold firmly (the weight adds to this).



I ended up buying more film...
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #2
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,247
Well to be honest, the VF on digital Leica Ms is much much better than any other digital RF camera out there.
Because there aren't any others.

You must have bought an awful lot of film with that $7K you were about to drop on an M10!
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #3
dourbalistar
Registered User
 
dourbalistar's Avatar
 
dourbalistar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Well to be honest, the VF on digital Leica Ms is much much better than any other digital RF camera out there.
Because there aren't any others.

You must have bought an awful lot of film with that $7K you were about to drop on an M10!
Maybe he pulled a Ted Striker and bought 600 rolls of Acros.
__________________
I like my lenses sharp as a tank and built like a tack.

flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #4
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,247
For what it's worth, the camera with the best 28mm frame lines is the Minolta CLE. Fantastic.
But also not digital.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #5
_lou_
Registered User
 
_lou_'s Avatar
 
_lou_ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
You must have bought an awful lot of film with that $7K you were about to drop on an M10!

Thanks for making me laugh! You would be surprised, though, by how fast the color slide films add up lately (especially at retail prices, which are expensive compared with online vendors). Anyway, they only had 1 roll Provia 100F in stock, so I took that and a couple of TMax 100.


I wasn't really considering the M10 initially, but now, even with its "improved" finder, that camera doesn't make me dream. I might as well wait for the M11.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #6
_lou_
Registered User
 
_lou_'s Avatar
 
_lou_ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 119
Another thing I found marginally strange is the LED illuminated frame lines. They look a bit thick, and too bright. Is this latter aspect something that can be configured ?
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #7
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by _lou_ View Post
Another thing I found marginally strange is the LED illuminated frame lines. They look a bit thick, and too bright. Is this latter aspect something that can be configured ?
Not sure on the M10, but on the M240 you can pick either red or white frame lines. But the brightness auto adjusts.

I prefer the M240 as it has many features removed on the M10, as well as a much longer lasting battery. And I cannot tell any difference in image quality. Add in the fact that you can get a perfect low mileage one for way under $3000 now makes it a slam dunk.
All the M cameras feel slippery (apart from the best one ever - the M5) because of the body shape. I add grips to mine and with my M240 I have added the excellent M grip as well as a thumbie thumb grip. Handling is now excellent, as well as now being able to hand hold it at least one stop lower.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #8
lawrence
Registered User
 
lawrence's Avatar
 
lawrence is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London, UK
Age: 67
Posts: 2,086
Check out the M6TTL with 0.58 magnification finder, which I frequently use with a 28mm Color-Skopar. It's even easier to see the 28mm frame-lines than on the ZI.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #9
Takkun
Ian M.
 
Takkun's Avatar
 
Takkun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sunny South Seattle
Posts: 731
I can sympathize. My digital Ms have been far brighter and crisper than my M5 (though less so when I wrenched the eyepiece off and gave it a good cleaning!) but I prefer the Bessa R3 1.0x finder to the 0.68x digitals. FWIW I use a 25 instead of a 28 so those frame lines are moot, but it's irksome to have them sort of floating in my peripheral vision. Rather have a more accurate and more-life-size RF than a marginally useful set of frame lines (and yes, I know the R3 still has a smaller EBL than the Ms)

As for the LED lines, they're bright, I'll give them that. Almost unsettlingly so. To the R3a's detriment I can barely see the shutter indicator in daylight, so at least they're better than that, but I too wish they were adjustable like the LCD. A very minor irritation is looking through the finder before the camera's woken up and they're not there.

The size of the bodies doesn't bother me as much as thickness. I know I'm not alone when I say the M5 is a favorite: wide, but not thick.

Re: the 240-era models vs the M10: I lucked out on a good deal with the 262, and seeing as I don't need video and couldn't get along with early live-view cameras, I'm fine with it; still a massive image quality and mechanical improvement over the M8. What was tempting about the M10 was not the marginally better low light performance, but the return of the preview lever, ISO dial, and a higher-magnification finder.

After a few of Huss' favorite White Russians, came close to nabbing a used one, until I remembered I'd like to be able to pay rent for the next couple months...
__________________
Ian M., Seattle
Current bag contents: Bronica SQ-A, Mamiya C33.

currently trying to find a use for a Nikon D2.
--
my infrequently updated blog
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-15-2019   #10
Doug
Moderator
 
Doug's Avatar
 
Doug is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pacific NW, USA
Posts: 12,938
Responding to the comment on the Bronica RF645... While I’m fond of this camera, having two of them, its viewfinder doesn’t even have framelines for its wide angle lens, the 45mm. That lens comes with an accessory viewfinder for framing. So, not such a good comparison.

On my Leica M2 I’ve always had a hard time seeing even the 35mm framelines, never mind 28mm which it doesn’t have. I have to move my eye around to see different parts of the 35 frame, even without glasses. Later Ms are better in this respect but at least partly because they shrank the frame size!

Agree about the Minolta CLE, easily visible 28mm framelines. And the Konica Hexar RF viewfinder has the same 0.6x magnification and equally easy 28mm frames.

But IMO the all-time champion RF camera for wide lens viewing is the Voigtlander R4 with its 0.52x viewfinder with framelines for 21mm and up! Too bad there's not a digital version of that...
__________________
Doug’s Gallery
RFF on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 06-05-2019   #11
BillBlackwell
Registered User
 
BillBlackwell's Avatar
 
BillBlackwell is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Orange County, CA
Age: 61
Posts: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by _lou_ View Post
... I can't believe how bad M viewfinders are with 28mm. You can hardly see the framelines, even without glasses. Compared to the Zeiss Ikon, and Xpro1, this looks like a big regression. ...
The Leica M was originally best suited for a 50mm lens - and regardless of which you currently choose, it really still is. Personally, I use an accessory finder for anything wider than 35. They're great once you get used to the extra "framing" step.

I suppose you could consider it a trade-off since your Ikon RF patch flairs out at the drop of a hat.
  Reply With Quote

Old 06-05-2019   #12
Keith
On leave from Gallifrey
 
Keith's Avatar
 
Keith is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 18,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBlackwell View Post
The Leica M was originally best suited for a 50mm lens - and regardless of which you currently choose, it really still is. Personally, I use an accessory finder for anything wider than 35. They're great once you get used to the extra "framing" step.

I suppose you could consider it a trade-off since your Ikon RF patch flairs out at the drop of a hat.

I found that the longer I owned mine the less that happened. Eye position needs to be pretty precise with that camera and after a while it becomes instinctive and the problem goes away ... well it did for me!
__________________
---------------------------
flickr
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 23:24.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.