Leica M 240 as a "do it all" camera?
Old 10-22-2014   #1
mao
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Leica M 240 as a "do it all" camera?

Hi,


Iīm a professional photographer who has worked with most camera equipment during the years. Film SLR:s in 135mm (Nikon, Contax and Olympus). Medium format (Hasselblad) and 4x5 inch LF.
Today I use a Hasselblad H5D, Canon 5D and mk2.


Never had a rangefinder but I have worked with Leica M6 a few times, always with the conclusion that I have to get one some day.


I bought a Ricoh GXR with the GR 28mm module and a M-module with 35mm and 50mm lenses some years ago just to get a smaller system.
Now I canīt stop thinking of a digital M...


I am currently part time employed and my employer has cameras for me at work (Hasselblad).
I also work freelance using Canon EOS for studio work, architecture, interiors and photojournalism. I rent TS-lens if I need one but mostly the Distagon 21 mm works well.


Initially I considered a used M9 as a complement and keep the slr.
After reading a few reviews I have come to the conclusion that the M240 is a better camera in most ways or at least doesnīt share the obvious disadvantages the M9 has (low iso and trouble with some wides).
Also, the live view opens up new possibilities to mount slr lenses (macro for example).


So after a long introduction: Will the M be able to replace my 5d mkII?
I need to be able to use tele lenses and I have had success using a Novoflex LEM/OM adapter with Zuiko 135mm (200 eq.) on my GXR.
I need to be able to get closer than 0.7 m. Again the GXR with Zuiko 50mm macro works great.
I understand I canīt get tilt-shift possibilities but there is still the opportunity to rent gear when I need it.
Lack of AF is not an issue.
For photojournalism or similar kind of assignments I reckon the M wonīt have any disadvantages.


I canīt afford a new M AND keep the canon slr gear.


So, just to put it simple, will the M be a competent studio camera for shooting products? (with the Zuiko macro 50 for example)
Will it be a competent camera for architecture and interiors with a suitable 21mm lens?


The Leica wonīt replace the Hasselblad H5D.
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Old 10-22-2014   #2
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mao View Post
. . . So, just to put it simple, will the M be a competent studio camera for shooting products? (with the Zuiko macro 50 for example)
Will it be a competent camera for architecture and interiors with a suitable 21mm lens? . . .
Yes.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-22-2014   #3
semordnilap
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Rent one for a week, I'd suggest. I don't think you'll know til you try it.
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Old 10-23-2014   #4
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Definitely .... I'm using my 240 quite regularly for product shots with a Zuiko 85mm f2 and couldn't be happier with the results. I think the EVF is a very useful addition in this area particularly when mounting the camera very low and being able to angle the viewfinder upwards.
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Old 10-23-2014   #5
thegman
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I'd consider a rental first, lot of money to spend if you're not sure.
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Old 10-23-2014   #6
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Competent, but not ideal IMHO, so I would agree w/those advising renting 1st, if possible. Personally, I think something like the Sony a7 series would be a better fit.

The M can certainly be used for macro, etc. in the studio (or elsewhere) as a dSLR alternative, but I find the live view/EVF operation to be a bit kludgy compared to current mirrorless cameras. I have the (Olympus) EVF for my M, but much prefer to use the camera as a rangefinder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mao View Post
Will the M be able to replace my 5d mkII?
I need to be able to use tele lenses and I have had success using a Novoflex LEM/OM adapter with Zuiko 135mm (200 eq.) on my GXR.
I need to be able to get closer than 0.7 m. Again the GXR with Zuiko 50mm macro works great.
I understand I canīt get tilt-shift possibilities but there is still the opportunity to rent gear when I need it.
Lack of AF is not an issue.
For photojournalism or similar kind of assignments I reckon the M wonīt have any disadvantages.


I canīt afford a new M AND keep the canon slr gear.


So, just to put it simple, will the M be a competent studio camera for shooting products? (with the Zuiko macro 50 for example)
Will it be a competent camera for architecture and interiors with a suitable 21mm lens?


The Leica wonīt replace the Hasselblad H5D.
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Old 10-23-2014   #7
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EVF's in general are nowhere near the clarity and contrast of a 5D, and the EVF Leica uses for the M240 is not even state-of-the-art as EVF's go. Even using R and other SLR lenses on my 5D is a far more pleasant experience than using them on the M240. I strongly suggest you at least try an M240 out, or better, rent one for a week, before you commit to that kind of expenditure. And do you have any M lenses thus far? These days those cost a pretty penny, even the older ones, and even the Voitlanders have shot up in price accordingly.
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Old 10-23-2014   #8
mao
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Thank you all for answering!

Perhaps Rogers reply was all I needed

Rental would of course be nice but unfortunately I donīt know of any place where I can rent one around here (Sweden). Iīm gonna check again though.

And maybe I wasnīt really clear about my shooting. Most work is done with lenses within the ”rangefinder range” (=21-135 mm). And I only occationally need anything longer or within macro range.
Itīs more like a need to be able to shoot macro. And be able to shoot with longer lenses. If necessary. Sometimes, not most of the time.

Iīve got two M-lenses today, 35 and 50 mm which I use on the GXR.

One question relating to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Z View Post
EVF's in general are nowhere near the clarity and contrast of a 5D, and the EVF Leica uses for the M240 is not even state-of-the-art as EVF's go.
Is the EVF on Leica M ”worse” than the GXR:s?
I have used the combo 50mm macro and 135 mm zuiko lenses on the GXR and I am quite satisfied with it and although a slr is better I donīt find it too difficult.

My idea initially was to get a M9 to start with and keep the gear I already have.
Itīs just that the M 240 seemed to be competent for a wider range of work than the M9 and would eventually be sufficient.
Sony a7 is probably better. I have tried it. Donīt really like it...


But thanks again!
Iīll consider rental if possible.
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Old 10-23-2014   #9
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Sorry, I have never used a GXR so I can't compare it to the M240's EVF. The EVF for the M240 is the same one made for the Olympus E-P2 series, which is several years old technology. Supposedly the Sony's have the best EVF's and I have a Nex6, but frankly I don't see it being any better than the M240's, or for that matter, the one in an old Panasonic G1 I have had for a while. They just aren't the same as reflex viewing. Brighter perhaps than the mirror-prism DSLRs like the entry-level Canon Rebel/KISS/xxxD series, but definitely no comparison to a pro-level DSLR like the Canon 1DS and 5D series.

Another macro option you also have would be an M9 with a Visoflex-III. You can put any M lens on it and the Visoflex acts like an extension tube. 90 and 135 lenses work best (greater working distance) and they are sharp and the 135's are relatively inexpensive by Leica standards. For studio still-lifes the slowness of using a Visoflex oughtn't be a big problem, and you get mirror-prism reflex viewing/focusing with visual representation of DOF.
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Old 10-23-2014   #10
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Hi, I'm a semi retired pro.
I bought an M240 about 6 months ago, a retirement treat. It's a great camera, I use it mostly as a walk around, with 20mm Ultron, and 35mm Sumicron. it is with me all the time, which was my purpose in buying it as I was tired of dragging around boat anchor SLR's.
Great for candid/street work, it's much lower key doesn't seem to draw attention as much as SLR. Hi ISO performance is very good, however I do not consider it a replacement for my D800. On the occasional pro shoot I often use both the M with a wide lens, and d800 with 70-200 or some such.
I find it much slower to work with than the SLR, learning curve, and manual focus, although others perhaps more adept may disagree.
I have owned film M's in the past, but found the learning curve much steeper this time, perhaps because modern automation has made me lazy.
My advise keep your SLR, and buy the Leica. For me it is Leica glass that is the attraction, of course there is that cache too :-)
There are some really excellent FF and very hi quality mirrorless cameras out there you should look at too, Sony hi end stuff is very very good, and if you really want that Leitz glass adapters are available.
As I said the M is a fine unit indeed, and certainly a joy to use within it's limits, but leica has a long way to go to match the tech wizardry of some of the other top brands. You certainly pay a high premium for the privilege so all in all it is an extravagance, I'm considering letting the body go and keeping the glass, and moving to one of the hi end FF mirrorless, which many may well consider a replacement for an SLR in a very compact form.
Hope this was helpful. Cheers, Paul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mao View Post
Hi,
Iīm a professional photographer who has worked with most camera equipment during the years. Film SLR:s in 135mm (Nikon, Contax and Olympus). Medium format (Hasselblad) and 4x5 inch LF.
Today I use a Hasselblad H5D, Canon 5D and mk2.


Never had a rangefinder but I have worked with Leica M6 a few times, always with the conclusion that I have to get one some day.


I bought a Ricoh GXR with the GR 28mm module and a M-module with 35mm and 50mm lenses some years ago just to get a smaller system.
Now I canīt stop thinking of a digital M...


I am currently part time employed and my employer has cameras for me at work (Hasselblad).
I also work freelance using Canon EOS for studio work, architecture, interiors and photojournalism. I rent TS-lens if I need one but mostly the Distagon 21 mm works well.


Initially I considered a used M9 as a complement and keep the slr.
After reading a few reviews I have come to the conclusion that the M240 is a better camera in most ways or at least doesnīt share the obvious disadvantages the M9 has (low iso and trouble with some wides).
Also, the live view opens up new possibilities to mount slr lenses (macro for example).


So after a long introduction: Will the M be able to replace my 5d mkII?
I need to be able to use tele lenses and I have had success using a Novoflex LEM/OM adapter with Zuiko 135mm (200 eq.) on my GXR.
I need to be able to get closer than 0.7 m. Again the GXR with Zuiko 50mm macro works great.
I understand I canīt get tilt-shift possibilities but there is still the opportunity to rent gear when I need it.
Lack of AF is not an issue.
For photojournalism or similar kind of assignments I reckon the M wonīt have any disadvantages.


I canīt afford a new M AND keep the canon slr gear.


So, just to put it simple, will the M be a competent studio camera for shooting products? (with the Zuiko macro 50 for example)
Will it be a competent camera for architecture and interiors with a suitable 21mm lens?


The Leica wonīt replace the Hasselblad H5D.
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Old 10-23-2014   #11
uhoh7
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I use my M9 now for everything except macro and 400mm bird shots where i use the A7.

Now I even like it for low light.
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Old 10-24-2014   #12
Keith
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I don't understand the criticism of EVFs ... it's a means of composing and framing an image ... it's not the final result. I find the one for the 240 more than adequate.
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Old 10-24-2014   #13
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Quote:
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I don't understand the criticism of EVFs ... it's a means of composing and framing an image ... it's not the final result. I find the one for the 240 more than adequate.
I wish I could get on better with EVFs, but for me I find the lag and the flicker (which I notice even with the best modern EVFs such as the X-T1 and latest Olympus, which I've tried) make me queasy in a way I relate to seasickenss - and I say this as someone with a stomach that remains unbothered at sea while all around me are saying hello to Ralph and Huey.

But that's with moving subjects, and in circumstances I regard EVFs as not (yet) especially suited to. I think I have a prejudice to overcome here, and think I could come to terms with EVFs used in the right circumstances with the right subjects (especially if I concentrate just on composition and framing). I'm rather hoping my EVF-2 and M (and non-traditional metering) will allow me to use my Super-Angulon 21 with my digital M (at least for B&W): something I keep meaning to exeriment with but haven't yet had the right time and circumstances to try properly.

But the thought of using an EVF with a long lens to shoot sport? That's just not happening for me, I'm afraid.

...Mike
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a 240 is not a do it all camera.
Old 10-24-2014   #14
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a 240 is not a do it all camera.

I am a retired pro.
I would never give up DSLR/SLR for RF.
A RF is great for small and quick.
You have to use one a lot to get the feel.
Unlike a DSLR or EVF which is easy.
The Leica 240 needs the EVF because of rangefinder limitations.
The camera was never conceived as was a Nikon-F. Never.
A few lenses, 3 tops and use of depth of field, not each shot using RF.
If the 240 too expensive, that you need sell the DSLR, get a used and battered film body to learn with..
You may even learn to love film!
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Old 10-24-2014   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfunnell View Post
I wish I could get on better with EVFs, but for me I find the lag and the flicker (which I notice even with the best modern EVFs such as the X-T1 and latest Olympus, which I've tried) make me queasy in a way I relate to seasickenss - and I say this as someone with a stomach that remains unbothered at sea while all around me are saying hello to Ralph and Huey.

But that's with moving subjects, and in circumstances I regard EVFs as not (yet) especially suited to. I think I have a prejudice to overcome here, and think I could come to terms with EVFs used in the right circumstances with the right subjects (especially if I concentrate just on composition and framing). I'm rather hoping my EVF-2 and M (and non-traditional metering) will allow me to use my Super-Angulon 21 with my digital M (at least for B&W): something I keep meaning to exeriment with but haven't yet had the right time and circumstances to try properly.

But the thought of using an EVF with a long lens to shoot sport? That's just not happening for me, I'm afraid.

...Mike

I accept that an EV creates some compromises but so does the viewfinder in a rangefinder. I find the extra frame lines in the finder that don't relate to the focal length you're actually using a real distraction ... but that's just me I guess!
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Old 10-24-2014   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I accept that an EV creates some compromises but so does the viewfinder in a rangefinder. I find the extra frame lines in the finder that don't relate to the focal length you're actually using a real distraction ... but that's just me I guess!
Whereas I don't and never have. We're all different, and sometimes these things come down to personal perceptions and personal quirks. And that's just fine! If we were all the same then life would be pretty bleedin' dull.

...Mike
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