Jump to content
lomo2me

M9 or Q?

Recommended Posts

I just recently sold my M8 to "upgrade". I bought a used Q and am having feelings of loss of my M8 which I loved and had a more emotional attachment to than the Q. I bought the Q for the benefit of the option of autofocus in a full frame leica and better performance in low light with a lens that I could never afford to buy on its own and attach to an M.  But I prefer the build quality on the 8 as well as the look of the files I just can't pinpoint over the Q. While better on paper in every way from a tech stat standpoint, the Q seems more clinical and images do not seem as buttery and the color rendition is different.  I'm not looking for super sharp. I am not looking to document an exact copy of what I see in front of me.  I am won over by the feel of images. The leica M8 just seemed to produce more artful dreamy images. Now I have been thinking about an M9 instead as I am reading that the differences I am describing are common with the newer sensors in all Leica. 

Am I crazy? Should I learn to love my Q and explore ways to replicate what the 8 had that the q seems to be missing? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are totally different cameras, basically not comparable. I think you would have been better off with a used M9 or M240. The M9 is the last of the CCD M cameras and has the same image rendering as the M8, just one stop better noise performance and full frame. The M240 has a more modern sensor output, but better low-light performance and features like video and live-view/EVF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have both cameras. I agree with Jaap about the difference between them. But honestly, the q comes out with me more than the M9. Maybe that’s just me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a former M8 user, you should have stuck with the M. 

Like Jaapv said, they are different cameras and offer totally different user experiences.

Personally, I'd be reluctant to go with the Q primarily because the lens is attached to the camera.  Every camera I've had that had a non-interchangeable lens has ended up with dust on the sensor.  I don't think the Q is immune from this problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, silverchrome said:

As a former M8 user, you should have stuck with the M. 

Like Jaapv said, they are different cameras and offer totally different user experiences.

Personally, I'd be reluctant to go with the Q primarily because the lens is attached to the camera.  Every camera I've had that had a non-interchangeable lens has ended up with dust on the sensor.  I don't think the Q is immune from this problem.

Thanks for the feedback. I’m within a timeframe to get the M8 back and return the q without penalty. I’m thinking I’ll stick with the 8 for now and do some more research. With that being said I’d be looking for some feedback on whether to go with the 9 to retain the feeling of the ccd sensor or 245 for more modern. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another possibility if you want better low light performance and not so "clinical sharpness" is a modern camera with classic lenses. I use my M10 mostly with lenses from the 80's because I usually prefer this look.

But the price may be a problem …

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit the Q is interesting. I ended up buying the M9 because the Q wasn’t available then, but since I already had the lenses, the M’s tend to be better buys under those circumstances. Curiously right now both the M9 and the M240 are both very aggressively priced so I would look at both of these. I haven’t used the 240 but it has A higher MP sensor and has live view too if you want that. I recently splurged to a M10 for the high ISO performance. The M9 is challenged if you go much above 800 where the M10 can handle 6400. I have heard the M240 is pretty good too. 

The M9 has a potential sensor problem that can be expensive to fix. So far mine is fine. I might try to buy with a warranty if I could. Some dealers like Tamarkin in Chicago give 1 year warranties on used Leicas (sometimes). Might be worth checking Leica dealers for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like files from Q. But it is not rangefinder camera. Where are plenty of now choices for non rf cameras and files I like. I'm still with M-E, it has OK files and it is RF. Somehow it matters then I go out to shoot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, carbon_dragon said:

I have to admit the Q is interesting. I ended up buying the M9 because the Q wasn’t available then, but since I already had the lenses, the M’s tend to be better buys under those circumstances. Curiously right now both the M9 and the M240 are both very aggressively priced so I would look at both of these. I haven’t used the 240 but it has A higher MP sensor and has live view too if you want that. I recently splurged to a M10 for the high ISO performance. The M9 is challenged if you go much above 800 where the M10 can handle 6400. I have heard the M240 is pretty good too. 

The M9 has a potential sensor problem that can be expensive to fix. So far mine is fine. I might try to buy with a warranty if I could. Some dealers like Tamarkin in Chicago give 1 year warranties on used Leicas (sometimes). Might be worth checking Leica dealers for this.

I live a few blocks from Tamarkin and I've only purchased from him albeit at a higher price but less worry about condition. M10 is out of my price range thus the debate on the 9 over the 240. I just don't think I like the shooting experience and file output on the Q. 

Edited by lomo2me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, lomo2me said:

Thanks for the feedback. I’m within a timeframe to get the M8 back and return the q without penalty. I’m thinking I’ll stick with the 8 for now and do some more research. With that being said I’d be looking for some feedback on whether to go with the 9 to retain the feeling of the ccd sensor or 245 for more modern. 

 

I have an M9 and an M240, (actually, I have an M8.2 as well) and I like them both but, currently, I enjoy the M9 more.

The images from the M9 seem sharper than the M240 and the camera itself is smaller, lighter and just feels more basic in its operation than the M240: the M9 feels more like a film M.

The M240 is much more refined and even looks modern when compared to the M9 so it reminds me of a modern mirrorless camera. However, the M240's higher ISO ability and better reliability means I usually take the M240 with me when I travel.

If I were in your position, I'd probably go with the M240. It's a newer, more reliable, more versatile, has better battery life and is also cheaper than the M9.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2018 at 12:41 AM, jaapv said:

These are totally different cameras, basically not comparable. I think you would have been better off with a used M9 or M240. The M9 is the last of the CCD M cameras and has the same image rendering as the M8, just one stop better noise performance and full frame. The M240 has a more modern sensor output, but better low-light performance and features like video and live-view/EVF.

The difference is even larger when you add the lens to the equation which you should in my opinion. The OP forgot to mention the lens(es) he uses with the M8. We know it will not include the 28mm Summilux... The difference between a vintage lens and a modern ASPH design could have a similar effect. Then you have the lens design. Summicron, Elmarit, Summilux all have a distintictive rendering  and even the specific versions have their own character.

 

On 11/13/2018 at 12:32 AM, lomo2me said:

images do not seem as buttery and the color rendition is different

This part could well be mostly due to the difference in lens rendering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Q and the M9/8 are love/hate cameras. But if you have both they cancel each other out and they’re wonderful tools to use and keep.  They are so at the opposite ends of the spectrum but balance each other out allowing one to choose what kind of photography experience you’d want to do for the day.  Hope you can find a way to own both. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own both cameras and I've neglected my Q since I bought the M9. However, I keep the Q on hand because 1) the ISO range on the M9 really is terrible, useable at a max of 1000 and 2) I'd lose $1000 from the original price in selling the Q. 

But had I bought the M9 first, I would likely not own a Q.

Edited by Afairall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2018 at 2:23 PM, Afairall said:

I own both cameras and I've neglected my Q since I bought the M9. However, I keep the Q on hand because 1) the ISO range on the M9 really is terrible, useable at a max of 1000 and 2) I'd lose $1000 from the original price in selling the Q. 

But had I bought the M9 first, I would likely not own a Q.

I don't know... I prefer M-E in camera BW ISO 2500 files over iso 200 files.

And I'm finding ISO 2500 dng files just as usable as C-41 iso400 scans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ME user here; bought mine in November, 2012. I have’t used it much in thE last few years as I tend to use my M9M much more. Owing to this, I’ve sort of developed a critical distance. I’ve recently culled through six years of photos for a Christmas gift, most shot indoors, between ISO 640 and 1250, and have an observation based on my photos. 

Shoot at 640 and you can push in Lightroom 2.5 stops, for an effective ISO of 3200. Shoot at 1250, and the phots just don’t look as good, even if you push only 1.5 stops, again to an effective ISO of 3200. This is true whether on-screen or in 4x6 prints. My photos shot at ISO 1250 and pushed 1.5 stops are generally inferior to my photos shot at 640 and pushed 2.5 stops in Lightroom. But, the 640 shots are completely usable up to an effective 3200. 

The culprit seems to be chroma noise and color fidelity. No matter what I did, 1250 pushed to 3200 yielded weird and spotty color, something not present in the 640 photos pushed to 3200. The 640 images had noticible luminance noise but it was very tight and random fairly much like film grain, but they demonstrated very little if any chroma noise. Also, the 1250 images seemed a bit flatter, something I attribute to substantially decreased dynamic range. 

Consequently, in my experience the ME is not a camera that is EFFECTIVELY limited to ISO 640 or even 800. It is a camera with DNGs that can EFFECTIVELY yield ISO 3200, provided you shoot RAW and keep the in-camera ISO to 640. 

The above applies to color photos. Converting to BW might extend the effective ISO, but I haven’t checked for this as I tend to use the M9M for BW work.  As with all things photographic, YMMV. 

Edited by AceVentura1986

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An update from my previous post is that my M9 DID develop sensor corrosion and is into Leica New Jersey for a repair which will cost just under $1000 (and the price just went up I think). Definitely worth finding one that has had a replacement sensor. 

I also bought a used M10 from Tamarkin and am very happy with it.  When the M9 returns, it will be my backup camera (and a very good one too). But I DO really like the amazing low ISO performance of the M10. ISO 6400 gives me perfect looking shots with no obvious noise (at least to an amateur like me). I get nervous when I push the M9 above 800. That said, I got along well for YEARS with an M2 and 400 speed film so maybe we're a little jaded these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/21/2018 at 8:31 AM, AceVentura1986 said:

ME user here; bought mine in November, 2012. I have’t used it much in thE last few years as I tend to use my M9M much more. Owing to this, I’ve sort of developed a critical distance. I’ve recently culled through six years of photos for a Christmas gift, most shot indoors, between ISO 640 and 1250, and have an observation based on my photos. 

Shoot at 640 and you can push in Lightroom 2.5 stops, for an effective ISO of 3200. Shoot at 1250, and the phots just don’t look as good, even if you push only 1.5 stops, again to an effective ISO of 3200. This is true whether on-screen or in 4x6 prints. My photos shot at ISO 1250 and pushed 1.5 stops are generally inferior to my photos shot at 640 and pushed 2.5 stops in Lightroom. But, the 640 shots are completely usable up to an effective 3200. 

The culprit seems to be chroma noise and color fidelity. No matter what I did, 1250 pushed to 3200 yielded weird and spotty color, something not present in the 640 photos pushed to 3200. The 640 images had noticible luminance noise but it was very tight and random fairly much like film grain, but they demonstrated very little if any chroma noise. Also, the 1250 images seemed a bit flatter, something I attribute to substantially decreased dynamic range. 

Consequently, in my experience the ME is not a camera that is EFFECTIVELY limited to ISO 640 or even 800. It is a camera with DNGs that can EFFECTIVELY yield ISO 3200, provided you shoot RAW and keep the in-camera ISO to 640. 

The above applies to color photos. Converting to BW might extend the effective ISO, but I haven’t checked for this as I tend to use the M9M for BW work.  As with all things photographic, YMMV. 

Thank you for the info!

I haven't gave up on OVF and on film yet. My M4-2 is my Monochrome. With ISO 400 film and f1.5 lens I'm not really limited by light expert very dark  situations. 

I don't know how it works with M-E, but if I leave ISO and shutter on Auto it is often choosing low ISO and still sets moderate shutter speeds. It looks like comparing to another digital cameras, M-E is capable of handling low light under lower ISO.

Two days ago we went to Rypley's Aquarium where we go few times per year. I have M-E set to 10MP JPEG1. It was going between 640 and 2500.  Results were fine. With other cameras I have to keep it at 6400....

It looks like, if I'll get fast 35 lens (f1.4), then M-E will handle low light with 640 and 1250.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use both a Q and M-E with focal lengths 18, 28, 50, and 90 mm. They are very different but exceptionally compatible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×