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Why are you using the Leica M?


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I use the M because I can't afford a better camera.

Because I always wanted to be a dentist and the closest I could get was owning Leicas.

Joystick focussing is very popular, but I don't like it. It's not a weakness of the system, just that after years of habituation, focus and recompose with a rangefinder is even quicker and more natural for me. 

 

So yes, focussing speed, superior clarity of vision (even the SL viewfinder is inferior to the M's in ways that prevent it being a pleasure for me to use)  and its size and the simplicity of its controls add up to a camera that so far has no equal, for me. Add to that the small and beautiful lenses and the very nice way the sensor now works with the lenses means that despite continually trying other cameras because I enjoy playing with cameras, nothing feels like "my camera" in the way that an M does.

 

It's the one camera I can pick up and use completely instinctively. A lot of that is to do with having used the same basic design for many years, but the way Leica have kept that same simple and intuitive experience up to date certainly has a tangible value for me.

 

The other camera that has a similar effect on me is a Rolleicord/Flex, but I'm no longer a film enthusiast.

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Probably for the same reason some commercial and military pilots enjoy flying early/mid-20th century prop planes.  Using a Leica M is a completely different photographic experience than using any contemporary camera.  This is a type of photography that's 110% about the photographer's experience, not about the photographs.

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with an SLR it's the rule: if you saw it, you missed it.

 

but the rangefinder will help you see the moment coming and it will let you see the moment while it happens and while you take the picture.

 

and that is, what i like: i like to be there while i take pictures instead of being behind the camera while it happens and coming back to the pictures when it is over.

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I personal get the most joy out of shooting with my M9.

 

I've had a 5D Mark III before, and tried an Olympus mirrorless camera, and now own a Fuji Xpro2, however the M9 still feels much more enjoyable to use.

 

I feel like I get much better photos with it compared to the other cameras I've used in the past. I believe its because of the simplicity of the system and having full manual control of focusing that really helps.

 

I also love the size and weight of the camera and the lenses. Significantly lighter than my Canon system was, and about the same weight as the Xpro2 despite the M9 being a full frame camera.

 

Looking forward to getting an M10, after which I may sell the Xpro2, since I wont need it as much with the M10 being a much more capable camera in low light situations. Only situations I can see the Fuji being better would be for close focusing, but at that point I'd rather get a small compact camera or just use my cellphone if need be.

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I love my M10 because it is a faithful companion, more than any other camera I have owned. It feels so good to hold it in my hands, and, maybe because of the rangefinder, it feels so transparent. It disappears between my hands, and nothing else comes between me and my subject. 
 
I love the simplicity and that I have all the controls I need outside the camera, where I can make all necessary settings even before it is turned on. 
 
For some reason, I feel the pictures I take with my M is more valuable than those I take with other cameras. Perhaps part of the reason is that because of the manual focusing, I am more "mentally present" when I am photographing. 
 
And I have not even mentioned the image quality …

Edited by evikne
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At a friend's 70th birthday party last Sunday I was able to hold a pre-focussed M10 in my right hand and a glass of champagne for the toast in my left hand and I still got some good photos. My friend (a Leica user since the 1960s) wants to know if I can update the Leica Manual with my technique.

 

A pre-focussed digital M is much quicker to use than a DSLR. I certainly would not like to try the champagne trick with some of the larger pro-DSLRs.

 

William

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At a friend's 70th birthday party last Sunday I was able to hold a pre-focussed M10 in my right hand and a glass of champagne for the toast in my left hand and I still got some good photos. My friend (a Leica user since the 1960s) wants to know if I can update the Leica Manual with my technique.

 

A pre-focussed digital M is much quicker to use than a DSLR. I certainly would not like to try the champagne trick with some of the larger pro-DSLRs.

 

William

 

 

ok.... thats certainly one of the cases, one can not expect to find in a manual

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why I want and use the M?.... I remember standing in front of the shop window looking at the Leica M6, M6.2 then M7 but not getting it, just because I could not afford it that time - now I can and see the digital M as my desired Leica from the past, but now with integrated scanner

got M9 in 2009, used it for years, skipped the M240 and finally

got my M10 just on day one after the presentation

I used a lot of gear during that time, but there is something special about the M..... 

Thats my story.

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...nothing feels like "my camera" in the way that an M does.

 

It's the one camera I can pick up and use completely instinctively....

 

I have young friend, recent PhD in computer science, who, perhaps as the result of his new life seeing him doing a lot of traveling world wide, has a desire to take photography more seriously.  And so he recently asked for my opinion on upgrading to a more serious photographic tool.  I somewhat jokingly suggested he consider a used Leica M240 and, as is probably natural for those of smitten by the M, explained at great length why. Of course, in the end, I suggested that perhaps he should first play with a more conventional form of ILC for a year or two, mature a bit and then consider an M. We went on to discuss the obvious remaining suspects.

 

This afternoon, I had lunch with him and he arrived sporting a pair of Sonys, a 6500 and an A7II he was trying out.  For my part, having pretty much only had an M in hand for the past two years, every aspect of those cameras felt utterly foreign and incredibly frustrating.  To illustrate, as it turns out he had been fooling around earlier in the day with the myriad options, which meant that when I picked up the A7 to take a snap of my half eaten shawarma, it was in monochrome mode as well as set to continuous shutter release. The mono mode was fine, but the burst was driving me crazy, so naturally we fumbled around trying to disable it.  After a minute or three we figured out how to bring up the drive mode menu and attempted to reset the shooting mode to single shot. The camera steadfastly refused. Option grayed out.  It then took a further 5 minutes of consternation before we finally figured out that in ordered to change back to single shot, we first had to disable the monochrome feature. Wow. Really?  The EVF display mode has to be in default to be able to enable/disable burst shooting?  I still can't believe it, though I'd admit at the time I was rather more loud and colorful in expressing my rather low opinion of this 'feature'.

 

Following my outburst, my friend remarked, in a not so sympathetic tone, that these Sony's weren't so much cameras as computers.  Smart kid.  I suspect he will wind up with an M. Likewise, and no offense to anyone who loves them, I know I wont be buying a Sony anytime soon. 

Edited by Tailwagger
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why I want and use the M?.... I remember standing in front of the shop window looking at the Leica M6, M6.2 then M7 but not getting it, just because I could not afford it that time - now I can and see the digital M as my desired Leica from the past, but now with integrated scanner

got M9 in 2009, used it for years, skipped the M240 and finally

got my M10 just on day one after the presentation

I used a lot of gear during that time, but there is something special about the M.....

Thats my story.

M6.2?

 

Jeff

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Why?

 

I grew up in lusting after the M6 when it was released. Of course, I was a teenager at the time and had to be content with the Minolta X700 I had. (I still have it, and cherish it to this day.) I got into Canon film cameras in the 90s. Shot bunches with them.

 

Then for some reason, I waned off the hobby. My guess is that things were getting too big. I shot small digital point and shoots for a goodly while. 2009 I picked up a Canon 5D-II and started up again. But it was in fits and starts. The camera was still too big.

 

2015 rolls around and I test drive the M240. I fell in love and I finally pull the trigger on one. I have a good job and cashed out some stock for it. For the first time in 30 years, I fell in love with photography again.

 

The Leica is opposite to the DSLR in so many ways. It's small. You have to think when using it. Not only do you have to be present to use it, but you can be present and know what you shot. The lenses are tiny in comparison to the AF beasts on the DSLR side. Not only that, but people don't get scared when you point a Leica at them.

 

I'm a computer programmer. The menu systems on new cameras are a mess. I enjoy using the Leica because it lets me think about the photograph and not think as much about how the camera wants me to use it. I use computers all day and am comfortable around them. But in some cases, they just get in the way.

 

But finally, I use the Leica because, as soon as I shot with it, it just felt so natural.

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I wanted a camera more than an electronic device.  When I went off to my first school trip in 1970 my father lent me his camera, a second-hand Finetta which relied on zone focusing - also a Hanimex light meter. And a roll of Kodachrome 64.  That remains my reference point.

 

He could not have afforded a Leica but loved taking photographs and I'm lucky I still have his slides (and my first attempts).  I just want to take photos in the same way.

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I wanted a camera more than an electronic device...

 

D'accord!

 

because of this I went back to film in the last years; back to the real photography without this technical focus.

Like it a lot!

My M10 gives me this "film felling" in actual technolgy

Edited by cp995
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