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Black or silver – and does it matter


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I've never bought a new M before – in fact I've never bought a new camera before – so I've always had to make my purchases based on what was available and the best value for money at the time.

Now for the first time I'm thinking of buying a new M10 (unless I find one on eBay) and so for the first time I have to make a choice based on colour.

I'm stumped.

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M10 Silver shoots slightly better images than the black version. The differences are subtle, but if you pixel peep you can see the differences.

Every time I've bought a new Leica M, I think 1983 was my first new one, I've gone through the same process:   Silver looks nicer. It's prettier. I'll get a silver one. But it slightly draws attention to itself. It goes against the reason I want a discrete, quiet camera. Black will be slightly less noticeable. Black will help me go about unobserved. Therefore black is the better camera.   So I've always ended up with black.   I don't suppose it makes any difference really. But my next

Most Ferraris are red. Ferrari make some of the fastest cars. Red cars are faster than other colour cars.

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Black combines better with modern black lenses. Black feels more discrete.

Huge disadvantage of black is sun heat. Where I'm, sun is very aggressive. I remember how on previous summer I was purchasing the Rigid from local Leica user and we were staying outside. You know how it goes if two Leica fans meet. It is never five minutes as it is planned. I didn't feel hot, but black Leica top plate was very hot. It is not the black paint particular issue with Leica, my black DSLRs tops are also getting very hot in summer due to aggressiveness of the sun, not just because it is hot.

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M10 Silver shoots slightly better images than the black version. The differences are subtle, but if you pixel peep you can see the differences.

 

Yup. That's what I always figured. I think that there is an element of the light reflecting from the silver surface of the camera back onto the subject which helps to balance any brighter backgrounds slightly. As you say, it's extremely subtle but it is there.

 

I can't afford a flash unit and I don't really like them anyway. Maybe I should go for the silver.

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M10 Silver shoots slightly better images than the black version. The differences are subtle, but if you pixel peep you can see the differences.

Did you already notice that the pre-FLE 35mm Summilux asph in silver chrome shows a tiny bit more focus shift with a camera body in silver chrome than with an body in black chrome. Would be interesting to see the results on a black painted body,  havn't tested this yet.

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Depend on the look you prefer. I always like Silver or Chrome.

I have a M6 / and a M8.2 both are Chrome.

 

First reason is, I don't like to get my camera brassy and most of the black versions of M cameras gets easily paint off marks.

I bought a M9 and it was a second hand and it was a Black body and a good pize. Of course I did not have a choice.

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I prefer black, silver looks classic, but I find black slightly more discrete/less retro looking.

I also believe silver lens on black body looks better than black lens on silver body

whatever, first world problems.
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Most Ferraris are red. Ferrari make some of the fastest cars. Red cars are faster than other colour cars.

 

I'm not sure that's correct. I think that's more a function of the power of the engine and the general quality of the engineering

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Every time I've bought a new Leica M, I think 1983 was my first new one, I've gone through the same process:

 

Silver looks nicer. It's prettier. I'll get a silver one. But it slightly draws attention to itself. It goes against the reason I want a discrete, quiet camera. Black will be slightly less noticeable. Black will help me go about unobserved. Therefore black is the better camera.

 

So I've always ended up with black.

 

I don't suppose it makes any difference really. But my next one will be silver. For a change.

 

Except, it does slightly draw attention to itself....

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Silver chrome is a classic look. People will assume that you're using some old film camera you picked up at a charity shop for £5. Goes best with vintage clothes (which you can get from a charity shop) and hanging out at 'hipster' places. Thieves won't even think of bothering you for your worthless junk camera and you can save money on insurance.

 

Black is 'stealthy' and makes you completely invisible to potential targets/subjects on the street, as long as you tape over the red dot that is. Black is 'professional' but you really need to wear at least two black cameras at a time otherwise it just looks like you're trying to look professional. But black cameras are harder to find in dark places - easier to leave it behind on the table of the jazz club especially after a few bourbons.

 

It's a tough choice, I'm just glad I don't have to make it!

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Someone in the business who should know tells me that silver is less in demand and a little harder to resell.  That's fine with me.  I'll take silver.  I've had both, usually getting two of each model.  And the silver one is the one I still have.

 

scott

 

PS:  my 50 summilux-asph is silver so concealment is out of the question. 

Edited by scott kirkpatrick
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Hmm, that's exactly the lens I have, as well.

 

Looks like we're leaning towards silver. This is all very helpful. Thank you

Please, please, do not take a word from what I wrote about focus shift and the colour of the body serious. This is poor nonsense!!!

 

I was just making fun of the common believe that focus shift of a lens has anything to do with the colour of the lens housing or different metals used on it. This is poor nonsense as well - but a very common myth in the Leica community.   

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Please, please, do not take a word from what I wrote about focus shift and the colour of the body serious. This is poor nonsense!!!

 

I was just making fun of the common believe that focus shift of a lens has anything to do with the colour of the lens housing or different metals used on it. This is poor nonsense as well - but a very common myth in the Leica community.   

 

Don't worry. I didn't take it seriously. I was just making fun back.

 

I don't even have one of those lenses anyway.

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In favor of silver:

- The silver chrome brasses less visibly than black, as damaged black chrome has the tendency to show up as silver, and silver chrome just reveals more silver metal underneath. Personally I find the silver chrome very difficult to visibly wear.

- The demand for silver bodies seems to be lower, so getting one sooner seems more plausible. The demand on m10 bodies right now seems to be high.

- Personally I think silver bodies look good with both silver and black lenses, but black bodies look odd with silver lenses. This is an opinion though, of course. You may find yourself being able to get a good deal on a silver lens from zeiss, leica, or voigtlander, and that choice becomes easier with a silver body (in my opinion).

 

In favor of black:

- More understated design (some call it stealthier)

- Camera will show up less when shooting through windows or reflective material.

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M10 Silver shoots slightly better images than the black version. The differences are subtle, but if you pixel peep you can see the differences.

Though sometimes in testing which copy I wanted to buy I seriously got the impression that silver had more often a slightly more treble click and the black ones a more bass click, speaking about M6's and M7's

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