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M10 Rangefinder Improvements


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I'm curious about the reported improvements in the M10 rangefinder.  Twice in the past decade I've returned from overseas trips only to find that my rangefinder went out of alignment during the trip, resulting in many out of focus images. One trip was with M8, the other with M 240.  I did not have the EVF on the second trip, and I have not yet learned how to adjust the rangefinder.  So, my question is this: is the rangefinder on the M10 more "stable," for lack of a better word, than previous rangefinders?  Otherwise I am content with my 240.  I have large hands so the size/weight does not bother me.  Lack of video is not important.  If I upgraded it probably would be for the rangefinder, if it truly is that much better.  I also live 1000 miles from the nearest dealer so I can't go down and check it out for myself very easily.

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Alignment stability as such is something we won't know about for months or years - by definition. Unless someone wants to experiment by dropping their new M10 to speed up the research.

 

Coming from an M9, the framelines for 90 and 135 frame much more precisely at longer distances - I no longer have to crop off 20% of my pixels to get the picture I framed. But the M240 already has that advantage, so I expect dfx is correct - not a big leap for an M240 user.

 

The focus precision seems better, as Malvolio says - but since I'm comparing a new-out-of-the-box M10 to an M9 that has been worked hard for 7 years, that's to be expected anyway.

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Agreed, I did not really notice the difference that much. In addition, my copy was delivered with it slightly backfocus so I can't imagine alignment robustness to be different from any other Leica M. But thanks to Leica Singapore Service Centre, they rectified it for me within a day.

 

 

its not worth upgrading for the RF alone...its a modest upgrade. The real upgrade is in the speed and higher ISO, but for me the speed difference alone is worth the update.

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Agree with Jaap that the M240 was far better than the older digital models.

Leica was never able to adjust my M9 properly, while with my M240 I never had any fokus issues.

 

I assume the notewordy improvement in the M10 is the change from 0.68 to 0.73, which will influence precision but not stability.

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Does anyone know if EVF or live view has the ability to change focus point on M10?

 

 

Yes, you have the ability to move the focus point of the focus aid in LV or EVF using the arrows on the back of the camera.

As you scroll both the size selected (1x, 3x, 10x) and the position are displayed in a mini icon in the lower left of LV screen

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I have had one shot since I bought the M10, that was way out of focus, this is 1 out of 500 or so. Turning the lens from close to infinity and back, which I do sometimes as a check before I shoot, solved this problem. Can't remember this having had with M8, M8.2 and M9, maybe it had to warm up a little coming from the factory.

Further: I have the defintie impression that shooting with longer and difficult lenses like Summilux75, Summicron90 and TE 135 is easier and more often spot on and more precise than with M9

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Yes, you have the ability to move the focus point of the focus aid in LV or EVF using the arrows on the back of the camera.

As you scroll both the size selected (1x, 3x, 10x) and the position are displayed in a mini icon in the lower left of LV screen

 

Thanks, that's the only one think I wish I could have on the M240. Now I am thinking upgrading.

Edited by justj
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How well it keeps its adjustment compared to the M240 is anyone's guess for the next decade or so, I think, but to my eye the M10's viewfinder is simply much easier to use. 

 

I am very curious, however: I hear on this forum all the time about how someone's M rangefinder was out of adjustment. I've been shooting with M cameras since 1972 ... the only time I've had an M rangefinder show up as out of adjustment was on the 1978 M4-2 I bought as a "bargain" grade camera from KEH in 2011. When I had the viewfinder serviced, the technician estimated that the camera had been sitting unused in someone's sock drawer for about 25 years, based on the accumulation of lint, dried up grease, and other garbage jamming the action of the follower and clouding up the optics. He cleaned it all out, relubricated it properly, collimated, and calibrated it for $110. It has worked perfectly since, no matter how roughly I handle the camera or bag. None of my other Ms has ever been off.

 

It's just a question mark to me how so many people come up with their rangefinder out of adjustment, and multiple times, since it just doesn't match my experience at all. 

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How well it keeps its adjustment compared to the M240 is anyone's guess for the next decade or so, I think, but to my eye the M10's viewfinder is simply much easier to use. 

 

I am very curious, however: I hear on this forum all the time about how someone's M rangefinder was out of adjustment. I've been shooting with M cameras since 1972 ... the only time I've had an M rangefinder show up as out of adjustment was on the 1978 M4-2 I bought as a "bargain" grade camera from KEH in 2011. When I had the viewfinder serviced, the technician estimated that the camera had been sitting unused in someone's sock drawer for about 25 years, based on the accumulation of lint, dried up grease, and other garbage jamming the action of the follower and clouding up the optics. He cleaned it all out, relubricated it properly, collimated, and calibrated it for $110. It has worked perfectly since, no matter how roughly I handle the camera or bag. None of my other Ms has ever been off.

 

It's just a question mark to me how so many people come up with their rangefinder out of adjustment, and multiple times, since it just doesn't match my experience at all. 

 

 

I have to agree...Ive owned over a dozen M's and none of them have ever needed the rangefinders adjusted.

I dont baby my cameras and they are with me at all times. They are banged about and used. I still have my first M, an M3 and its rangefinder is still as accurate as when I bought it in the early 70's.

 

There is no doubt that the rangefinder can be misaligned...but its not a common occurrence nor is it something that must be adjusted regularly.

My M10 is perfect, and I do find it noticeably improved over the M240...but my point in the post above is that this isn't enough of a improvement to justify upgrading to the M10 alone. Regarding the OP's "stability" concern...I'm not quite sure how to answer this as from my experience the stability of the rangefinder is absolutely not an issue.

 

EDIT: I think I did have an issue once with the M9 and adjusted it myself. I dont recall the details, but remember researching how to make the adjustment behind the red dot.

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In general four things can decalibrate an M rangefinder: 

 

1. Falling flat on the bottom plate may knock the vertical alignment out on models before the M240, other severe falls may dislodge the prism.

2. Strong undamped vibrations, like  older light aircraft.

3. Mechanical impact on the roller arm from mounting a  lens skewed.

4. General wear and tear through (very!) long intensive use

 

And, as you found, gunk and lint in the mechanism.

 

However, these problems are not very common, normally a well-calibrated camera will stay in tune for many years. I've been using M cameras since 1976, and only had to have a camera adjusted maybe four  times, always for one of the reasons above.

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I have had one shot since I bought the M10, that was way out of focus, this is 1 out of 500 or so. Turning the lens from close to infinity and back, which I do sometimes as a check before I shoot, solved this problem. Can't remember this having had with M8, M8.2 and M9, maybe it had to warm up a little coming from the factory.

Further: I have the defintie impression that shooting with longer and difficult lenses like Summilux75, Summicron90 and TE 135 is easier and more often spot on and more precise than with M9

That sounds like a bit of initial stickyness in the mechanism. It will soon run in

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