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So, is Leica M 240 still worth buying?


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I would love to have this camera.  I also, loved my 5DII and massive 24-70 2.8 L lens on it.  It was a dream camera at the time.  But, it never seemed to get out of the house much and never got to travel.  I just always came back to the M.  I'm sure this new SL would suffer the same fate, for me.     As beautiful and apparently advanced as this SL is, it just proves once again to me that I am an M shooter.  This camera really draws a more distinct line between the M and the new mirrorless came

You should rephrase the question,   simply "will the M ever be challenged for being the lightest, most compact, most beautiful FF interchangeable body and lens camera system ever, with some of the best lenses in the world ?"   the the answer is a resounding NO

The SL is the twenty-first century incarnation of the Leicaflex SL R-mount bodies.  Just as the Leicaflex was never intended to replace the M4, neither is the SL intended to replace the M-series now.  They're completely different markets.   The only reason I could see to buy an SL is if I owned a slew of R-mount lenses already and was looking for a new, modern body to use them on.  It's a great addition to the Leica line, but it won't replace anything already in the lineup...   Well, since it's

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For some, the main advantage of the M over all other highly competent cameras is the optical viewfinder and rangefinder arrangement.

 

Whilst I have no doubt that many will be tempted by the SL, as they are by other mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, the M will remain unique and therefore still an important camera.

 

PS, having now seen the size of the SL, I can clearly see another compelling reason to favour the M.

Edited by Peter H
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It is fun to speculate, but only time will tell.  My speculation:  The market for M cameras can't support the retail store overhead, which is why we are seeing this flood of new models.  I don't see the M disappearing soon, but I think it is becoming an even more niche camera.  As the EVF gets better, the range finder experience will appear to fewer and fewer people.  Although it may become more vinyl like in its appeal.

 

As for me, I purchased the Sony A7rii and am very happy with it so  far.  With Zeiss behind the Sony lenses, I am not inclined to pay for the new Leica zooms, which strike me as very expensive--we will have to wait to see whether the results justify the price.  I do have the adapter for my existing Leica lenses and am learning to rely on magnification and focus peaking to make them work on the Sony.  The Leica glass may be better, but I have serious doubts as to whether Leica can go head to head with Sony on the electronics.  Nevertheless, Leica's entry into the market is a good thing for all camera users.  I suspect you will see the next version of the Sony with 2 SD card slots.  Even if Leica's EVF is now better than Sony's, I have no doubt that Sony will remain competitive.

 

The one thing that strongly favors Sony is service.  The large camera manufacturers are much more responsive when it comes to repairs, although Leica has improved.

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I'm sure the SL will likely be amazing.

But a major feature of M in all variants is the same now as it was when the first Leitz was introduced: namely portability.

My 1926 screwmount IID fits in my pants pocket, and the MP can hang on my neck all day or be carried in a Billingham digital case.

 

Comparing the SL to M is like comparing bananas and cherries in my view. Both have their place under the Leica sun.

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You should rephrase the question,

 

simply "will the M ever be challenged for being the lightest, most compact, most beautiful FF interchangeable body and lens camera system ever, with some of the best lenses in the world ?"

 

the the answer is a resounding NO

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I don't understand it. Why is this thing such a monster. I was really hoping that Leica would make a digital version of the Contax G2. The G2 was neat auto-focus and... full frame. None of the Contax lenses were such beasts. Even Leica is embarrassed by the size if you look at all the photographs of the camera with the 24-90 taken from above, they have cropped the lens in half.

 

Edited by Paul Reading
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The SL is the twenty-first century incarnation of the Leicaflex SL R-mount bodies.  Just as the Leicaflex was never intended to replace the M4, neither is the SL intended to replace the M-series now.  They're completely different markets.   The only reason I could see to buy an SL is if I owned a slew of R-mount lenses already and was looking for a new, modern body to use them on.  It's a great addition to the Leica line, but it won't replace anything already in the lineup...   Well, since it's a T mount, and the T is being discontinued, I guess it'll replace the T...  but I wouldn't know a T or a Q if one was sitting in front of me.  I'm an "M" user.

 

I bought an R8 and a couple of R lenses to play with last year.  The camera was heavy and big.  I sold it within six months without ever running a roll of film through it.  That was my only foray into the R mount world, and I suspect both my first and last. 

 

Jono Slack has an interesting review of the new SL here:  http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-news/2015/10/leica-sl-test-jono/?utm_source=luf151020&utm_medium=E-Mail

 

Jono did a nice job on the review, and it's an interesting read. 

Edited by hepcat
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I don't understand it. Why is this thing such a monster. I was really hoping that Leica would make a digital version of the Contax G2.

You and me both. I have the black version in the aluminum case. Really loved shooting that camera and did until I got my first digital - Nikon D70. I take the Contax case out from time to time to admire a real classic set. Maybe I will have to get a new Sony which will accommodate the Contax lenses, and the Leica lenses, and the Nikon lenses and the Canon lenses....stop me.

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I would love to have this camera.  I also, loved my 5DII and massive 24-70 2.8 L lens on it.  It was a dream camera at the time.  But, it never seemed to get out of the house much and never got to travel.  I just always came back to the M.  I'm sure this new SL would suffer the same fate, for me.  

 

As beautiful and apparently advanced as this SL is, it just proves once again to me that I am an M shooter.  This camera really draws a more distinct line between the M and the new mirrorless cameras.  

 

Hopefully,  the M now takes a step back away from this trend but utilizes the advancements in technology from the SL to make the M a better M camera not a different camera.  

 

I am now more confident Leica is clear in their understanding that the M will not become an SL with AF.  The SL seems to demonstrate that Leica understands they have well defined camera lines.  This camera should be a relief to M users that enjoy the simple essence of rangefinder photography.

 

I am excited to see this as a wonderful technological advance for Leica, because I now can't wait to see the new M!!!  

 

Thank you Leica for making this the SL and not the new M.

 

Rick

Edited by Rick
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The SL is not for me and from all appearances Leica is intending to preserve the M and hopefully its size and other advantages.   However, I do expect that the next M will at least have an accessory EVF that is similar to what we have seen on the Q and SL, and perhaps some other technologies as well (but not likely AF).  Maybe an electronic aided/optical RF like described in the patent filing recently posted.  I would also welcome the sensor improvements we have seen in the new models even if we stay at 24mp.  

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I don't see the SL as an 'instead of' camera ....... more an 'as well as' .......

 

I'm tempted to liquidate my T + lenses, XVario plus a load of other junk (Fuji/Sony A7)  and have a Q, M and SL ..... the trio would then cover everything.

 

The SL does make the most of R series and other long lenses which can be a pain to use on the M 

 

The 30 minute max exposure time is a real attraction .... and the very fast AF + stabilisation which was lacking on the T.

 

The M still remains supreme for portability/travel and simplicity ...... but I can see the benefits of the SL for someone who already has a pile of varied lenses .... and an existing T-M adapter ..... 

Edited by thighslapper
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