Jump to content
TheProf

Where the M10 excels ...

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking about jumping back into the M world, having previously owned an M6 and an M8. At the moment I have a Lecia Q and Sony A7III. I think of cameras as tools. Each tool is designed to be used in a certain context, or produce certain photographic outputs. Each camera excels at some things and not others. At the moment, I'm searching for a logical (vs emotional) reason to buy an M10. So here's a question for all you M10 users:  How would you complete the following sentence? The M10 is uniquely good at _______________________.  In other words, in your view, where/how does the M10 excel as a tool in ways that other cameras don't? Not to discount emotional factors ("I just love the way it feels," "I love the Leica heritage," etc.), but I'm interested in the practical advantages of the M10--what does it allow you to do uniquely well? My heart already belongs to Leica, but my head is insisting I give it a few solid reasons for buying an M10 before I send off another big bundle of Benjamins to Wetzlar. (For those outside the US, Benjamin Franklin adorns the $100 bill/note).

Thanks a ton for your thoughts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Intersting question. I don't own an M10 but I would say that the point of any M camera, digital or film, is that it enables you to use the Leica M lenses (as they were inteneded to be used, i.e. rangefinder focussing).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, earleygallery said:

Intersting question. I don't own an M10 but I would say that the point of any M camera, digital or film, is that it enables you to use the Leica M lenses (as they were inteneded to be used, i.e. rangefinder focussing).

 

Thanks, James. So your answer would be that the M10s principle advantage comes from using Leica glass. So here's a follow-up question for Lecia shooters:  What do you regard as the image-making advantages of Leica's fast primes vs. similar (mirrorless) offerings from Sony, Nikon, etc.?  (Other than size advantage, obviously.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like manual focusing. I don't want anything else, even if I could. And no manual focusing is faster and more reliable than putting together two images in the viewfinder like we do with a rangefinder. And Leica M10 (and M10P and D) is the best (slimmest, best ISO capabilities etc.) digital RF camera so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own a Leica Q and A7III, too.

I would complete your sentence as followed:

The M10 is uniquely good at slowing me down and bringing me back into the process of creating a photo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please forgive me for answering as I don't own an M10 but a Monochrom (246). Funnily enough it's not the (fabulous) lenses but the optical rangefinder and the manual operation which does it for me. I don't even make use of the Apperture priority and like to be in full control. The thought of having to use a camera with programs is almost unbearable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TheProf said:

Thanks, James. So your answer would be that the M10s principle advantage comes from using Leica glass. So here's a follow-up question for Lecia shooters:  What do you regard as the image-making advantages of Leica's fast primes vs. similar (mirrorless) offerings from Sony, Nikon, etc.?  (Other than size advantage, obviously.)

That's not quite what I said, I said M lenses and rangefinder focussing. You can't do that with your Sony or Q.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) The M10 is a very direct photographic experience. Set f-stop (the camera even doesnt have to be switched on), focus and shoot.

2) the size is just right, it feels very solid but its compact and doesnt scare people

3) I own many other nice cameras, but using the M is (for me) like coming home, and its one of those cameras which feels like in "good old" film times.

4) for some reason it motivates and helps me to take spontanious images

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve used Leica M cameras since the 1960s. The Leica M digitals are the only new cameras that let me work exactly as with my film cameras. The M10 VF is the best of the digital Ms. Old habits are hard to change, and with Leica, I don’t have to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you’ve owned an M6 and an M8, so presumably you’ve already determined for yourself the benefits (and limitations) of using an M, including the film and digital distinctions.

So you asked about the M10 in particular.  For me, the pluses compared to its digital predecessors are its robust build and better weather sealing, a better VF (bigger opening, higher magnification and better eye relief than the M240), the slimmer body, and quiet operation (compared to the M8 and M9 variants in particular).  Some distinctions can be considered pluses or minuses, depending on one’s preferences , e.g., the lack of video and the separate ISO dial.  Compared to the M240, the battery life is reduced but the EVF is improved (so they say...I only use the RF).

Like the M8.2 and M240, the frame lines are optimized for 2m, which I prefer.  (The M8 lines were optimized for .7m, and the M9 lines for 1m).  And, like the M240, the frame lines are illuminated by LED rather than by the external window in prior versions.... pluses and minuses for me.

There are many choices.  Some prefer the P versions, some the screenless versions, and so on.  One can rent or demo to make a more informed and personal decision.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, TheProf said:

Thanks, James. So your answer would be that the M10s principle advantage comes from using Leica glass. So here's a follow-up question for Lecia shooters:  What do you regard as the image-making advantages of Leica's fast primes vs. similar (mirrorless) offerings from Sony, Nikon, etc.?  (Other than size advantage, obviously.)

Having been involved in photography for over 60 years, I can recall when Leitz may have made most of the best lenses for the 35mm film format ( disregarding myths about magical radioactive glass mined by dwarves in secret central European caves).  Nowadays I am perfectly satisfied with the optical performance of my Zeiss ZM lenses.

Edited by Trivette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Capturing the emotional side of a subject. Street photography, nature, people. Not action or birding.  I agree with the tool choice. The M10 encourages me to craft the nuances of photo because of its controls and no autofocus. I used my Nikon D800 yesterday, my M10 today. My Fuji X business travel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, adan said:

....forcing one to see the subject ("the thing itself") as it exists.

It refuses to show you depth-of-field (or lack thereof), or pretty bokeh, or lens "perspective" or exposure preview - just the world at about a 32mm field of view, with a part of the world framed by a box. And if what you see within that box is not especially interesting in and of itself, it reminds you forcefully that to get a truly interesting photograph, you must do things to change what is within the box (the content), rather than count on the toys of photography to make something inherently boring into a prettier version of something inherently boring.

Of course, that is mostly true of any "window-viewfinder" camera - the Leica Ms are just the only ones that do it in the digital realm. (Except the late Epson R-D1).

Now, in addition, the Leica Ms are uniquely good at - doing nothing when the shutter button is pressed - except immediately opening the shutter right now. Without having to wait for an AF system to operate, or an SLR mirror to move out of the way, or a "mirrorless EVF" shutter to close out of viewing mode and then open again.

And the Leica Ms are uniquely good at - manually "snapping" the RF images into alignment in a fraction of a second, in the range 16-50mm (and somewhat beyond that, depending on one's capabilities and the situation - but there's a reason 71% of Leica's M lens range is 50mm or wider). AF works about as fast ±, but needs constant supervision to make sure it is focusing on the right thing.

I don't totally drink the Kool-Aid that Leica M lenses are magically better. They do tend to be as good as anything else - in smaller, lighter, better-built packages - over the same range of 16-50mm. Thanks to needing no room for electronics, AF drives, instant-aperture-stopdown mechanisms and such. Once one gets into longer, faster lenses, where the optics perforce have to be larger or longer as well, that advantage gets less and less. A 75 Summilux-M and a Nikkor 85 f/1.4 will be about the same size/weight, regardless of the camera they fit.

Now perhaps those "unique goods" make up something of a "niche" photographically. But about 70% of the memorable "35mm" pictures made over the past 70 years fall into that niche. And who wants to aim for "unmemorable?" ;)

 I love your thought about how the M challenges you to think deeply about what is in the frame. That seems to be the essence of photography, and you’re saying that an M keeps you close to that essence in a way few other cameras do, and hence gives you a little better shot at creating a memorable image. So maybe that’s it: The M is the Essence of Photography.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the M is uniquely good at showing you the world as it is through a viewfinder with an angle of view of a 32mm lens, with your image framed in a box, and so forcing you to make a more interesting composition............ How does that work when you're using lenses of 35mm or wider? 😉

Frankly that concept has never been a big factor for me (though it clearly is for others) and it has been combined with irritation at inaccurate framing from the mechanical framelines.

I do agree that the M camera responsiveness (from seeing a possible shot to capturing it) is rare in other high quality cameras (my old box brownie was pretty responsive, but the photos were rubbish). The edge of responsiveness has been taken off the M240 and M10 though, by their slow wake-up from sleep and switch on. If you're in a hurry to get that shot, a delay of a second or two is also irritating; I'm sure that Leica is aware of this and the M11 will be quick; you can mash the shutter on the CL and get a shot the moment you switch on (though it may be OOF, which would not be a problem for an M).

So I don't think the M (I don't have a M10) is uniquely good at anything in particular, but it is exceptionally good at a lot of things in a way that few, if any, other cameras can manage: responsive, simple interface and good ergonomics, top IQ, well made, quiet, enormous lens range. small size, large & clear OVF.......

Edited by LocalHero1953

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leica M3, M6 and M10 have the perfect, size, shape, weight and balance (with a compact lens). Minox or Rollei 35 are easier to carry or to pack, but more awkward to use. For a previous M1/2/3/4/6/7 user (or a cyclist), even with more than 10 years abstention in between, the M10 is like coming home (or like riding a bicycle again).   M8/9 were only a few millimetres off, but enough to irritate. 

The act to measure, focus, frame, shoot is slower than, for instance, with a Sony A9. But you skip the agony of wading through multiple sections and layers of menus, through respective user manuals and, most importantly, through waiting for that prime lens that was announced in the "road map" three years ago. There is no 35mm f2 lens the same size and weight as a 90mm f2 lens.

I had the Leica-M lenses I want already sitting in my cabinet. I did not buy any new M-lens, which then I hardly used. The Leica-M lenses I hardly used at least gained in value. It was cheaper to in between buy into a non-Leica-M digital system than to sell and then re-buy my Leica-M lenses at now much higher prices. It was better to keep my Leica lenses in my cabinet rather than to wear, risk and adapt them to a non-Leica-M body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased my first Leica, the M10, in November 2017. Since then, I purchased a few Leica lenses and took my first travel vacation where I only took my Leica. My other system for the past 4 years that I still use is Fuji X with Fuji XF primes and zooms.

The image quality of the Leica primes is addicting. Even though the M10 and Summicron 35 lens weighs about 50% more than my XT3 with 35mm equivalent 23mm lens, the M is my camera of choice since I bought it.

One thing that becomes apparent after shooting the M for over a year is that the IQ improvement is noticeable most of the time, but marginal compared the the 4X cost of the Lecia over Fuji X. Both are great systems, but I am really enjoying the results with my M10.

Regards,
Bud James

Please check out my fine art and travel photography at www.budjames.photography or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/budjamesphoto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My other cameras are manufactured by Canon. The 1dxmkii is a finely tuned "machine gun" that produces perfect photos taken 15 frames per second. see https://richardnlipow.com/bombay-hook-nwr

 

  I purchased the m10 to help me slow down, consider the light, think about the composition. It worked and along the way I was simple amazed by the definition obtained with Leica lenses.  See for example. https://richardnlipow.com/baldwins-book-barn taken with a WATE and https://richardnlipow.com/grand-canyon taken with a 35mm fle Summilux

 

Edited by rnl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...