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jonnyboy

From MM1 to M246 - Worth Upgrade in 2019?

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Let's put it this way: I know an M10M is on its way but there is no way I will have a budget for that - I never buy camera as soon as they come out.

I've found a M246 for a decent price and I'm wondering if I should upgrade my MM1 now. I'm happy with my MM1 but sometime I feel I should keep up a bit with ages and changes.

Obviously I will have to sell my MM1 in order for me to acquire the 246.

Any thoughts? 

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I've progressively upgraded all my digital Leica's with the latest models but not my Monochrom v1.  

If it does all you want, you are happy with the IQ , you have the upgraded sensor, and you don't need battery compatibility with a newer colour M camera or an EVF , then I see no need to upgrade. It's unique image quality is as good now as it was when it came out.  Save your money for another lens or photographic holiday...

Edited by MarkP

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Not sure - the rendering of the MM1 is rather unique. I went back to the M9 from the M240 for that reason. But yes, technically those cameras are geting long in tooth. May be wait for the M11 M to appear and get a used M10 M? If you fill a camera savings account during those years?

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Very difficult for me to "upgrade".

I'm in the same situation last year.

Monochrom user from 2015, I wanted to "upgrade" with M246 which I've found sh, early this year.

I wanted to use them along each other for some time, but in the end I keep the two Monochrom.

In each, there are so many differences that I can't decide for only one.

I'm fortunate to be able to keep the two Monochrom and don't wait anymore for the next M10 Mono which would be too expensive for me, anyway.

this thread MM1/M246

post #22

Quote
On 7/8/2019 at 1:58 AM, a.noctilux said:

Yes my M (typ 246) gives really clean files, like fine grain film in medium format (or even bigger format), for me not suitable for every subject,

but in field use, the MM1 CCD sensor has something more I can not define.

Something very difficult to see clearly if not use for a wide varieties of subjects, for a while.

 

So to conclude with my months of using the two, for a while I keep the two Monochrom as two different Monochrom.

 

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I made "identical" 8x10 black and white prints from a variety of cameras and distributed them to friends and family to "rate" them.  Consistently, 100% of the time, these non-photographers chose the prints made with MM1 files. Immediately.

The MM1 has lots of quirks and lifespan is probably going to be limited by battery availability and SD card compatibility so it may not be a forever camera.  But I was not fond of the 240 platform UI and experience, whereas I love the M10 interface and I think it will last my remaining lifetime.  I think it is the ideal camera.  So, my conclusion is.....

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12 hours ago, Likaleica said:

I made "identical" 8x10 black and white prints from a variety of cameras and distributed them to friends and family to "rate" them.  Consistently, 100% of the time, these non-photographers chose the prints made with MM1 files. Immediately.

The MM1 has lots of quirks and lifespan is probably going to be limited by battery availability and SD card compatibility so it may not be a forever camera.  But I was not fond of the 240 platform UI and experience, whereas I love the M10 interface and I think it will last my remaining lifetime.  I think it is the ideal camera.  So, my conclusion is.....

Lifespan of any digital camera is always a worry. Agree that the limiting factor is often availability of batteries and memory cards into the future. Leica must have sold a boatload (in Leica terms) of M9s. I'm hoping that, even if Leica stop making the batteries available, there will still be enough of a demand for them to be sourced from somewhere. 

The M9/Monochrom platform certainly has its quirks. My Monochrom, since new, has always had the tendency to lock up from time to time. It's rare, but it does happen. A quick battery in and out always fixed it. No firmware upgrade ever cured it. I'm kind of used to it now. The files it puts out make it all worthwhile. I'll keep using that camera for as long as I can.

An M10 Monochrom however, with better reliability, better handling, thinner body shell, faster speed, vastly improved viewfinder, LCD, battery life, and shutter sound, plus a 41MP sensor. Man, that really has a siren call!

Edited by colint544

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I would buy a couple of new M9 batteries every year or 18 months just to make sure you’ve got a fresh set and maybe just a couple of spare SD cards as well and then hold off. Save your money and as said above, wait till you can buy an M10M either used or on close out. 
 I’m not fond of the M240 platform at all. 

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i don't know about you guys....but I will definitely need to five 1-2 years to the M10M - no chance I will drop 6-7K on a Leica.

I'm quite happy with my Monochrom - especially after all the problems I had to go through (sensor etc.) but even mine still maintains some quirks which I learned to live with (silent shoot doesnt work etc)...

... but sometime I do get the feeling of keeping up to date a bit with techs. I never been a huge fan of M240/246 due to their size mainly....

 

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19 hours ago, Likaleica said:

I made "identical" 8x10 black and white prints from a variety of cameras and distributed them to friends and family to "rate" them.  Consistently, 100% of the time, these non-photographers chose the prints made with MM1 files. Immediately.

 

Just curious if your MM1 has the original or new sensor.  Some claim the latter doesn’t render as well. Mine seems just fine with new sensor, but I’ve not seen any side by side comparisons between old and new.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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It was the replaced sensor, Jeff, but I can't tell you which version.  I think there were two.  I've got the paperwork somewhere.  If there's a difference it has to be subtle.  Actually, in my little test I was surprised that people could tell the difference between cameras by looking at the prints but it was very consistent.  They were all smart phone users, so not pixel peepers or prone to look at shadow details, etc.

Edited by Likaleica

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23 hours ago, colint544 said:

Lifespan of any digital camera is always a worry. Agree that the limiting factor is often availability of batteries and memory cards into the future. Leica must have sold a boatload (in Leica terms) of M9s. I'm hoping that, even if Leica stop making the batteries available, there will still be enough of a demand for them to be sourced from somewhere. 

The M9/Monochrom platform certainly has its quirks. My Monochrom, since new, has always had the tendency to lock up from time to time. It's rare, but it does happen. A quick battery in and out always fixed it. No firmware upgrade ever cured it. I'm kind of used to it now. The files it puts out make it all worthwhile. I'll keep using that camera for as long as I can.

An M10 Monochrom however, with better reliability, better handling, thinner body shell, faster speed, vastly improved viewfinder, LCD, battery life, and shutter sound, plus a 41MP sensor. Man, that really has a siren call!

I'm curious to know if you had the these quirks both before and after sensor replacement (assuming you had the sensor upgraded).  I had an M9 that had severe quirks (battery drain, locking up, etc, and have often wonder if a sensor replacement and related "going over" by a Leica tech would have solved the problem.  

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4 minutes ago, RayD28 said:

I'm curious to know if you had the these quirks both before and after sensor replacement (assuming you had the sensor upgraded).  I had an M9 that had severe quirks (battery drain, locking up, etc, and have often wonder if a sensor replacement and related "going over" by a Leica tech would have solved the problem.  

My  M9Monochrom had that quirk from new (in 2012). There have been several firmware upgrades over the years, and none ever fixed the problem. Leica replaced the sensor with the new corrosion-proof version in 2016, and it came back with the latest firmware version. Still suffers the occasional lock-up. It's almost second nature now to shrug and whip the battery in and out when it happens. I only find it annoying when I think I missed a good shot because of it.

I always shoot in the 'stealth' mode, where you can keep the button pressed down to delay the cacophony of the shutter re-cock. I've read that lock-ups are more likely when shooting in that mode. Why they could never fix it with a firmware update, I just don't know.

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Thanks for posting.  

5 minutes ago, colint544 said:

My  M9Monochrom had that quirk from new (in 2012). There have been several firmware upgrades over the years, and none ever fixed the problem. Leica replaced the sensor with the new corrosion-proof version in 2016, and it came back with the latest firmware version. Still suffers the occasional lock-up. It's almost second nature now to shrug and whip the battery in and out when it happens. I only find it annoying when I think I missed a good shot because of it.

I always shoot in the 'stealth' mode, where you can keep the button pressed down to delay the cacophony of the shutter re-cock. I've read that lock-ups are more likely when shooting in that mode. Why they could never fix it with a firmware update, I just don't know.

Thanks for posting.  I've thought about buying one of the refurbished MM1s from Leica that have been mentioned in other posts.  I wondered if the refurb would eliminate the quirks but perhaps not so.  Won't rule out buying one but it's good to know the quirks are not a definite indication that other problems will happen.  

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3 hours ago, RayD28 said:

Thanks for posting.  

Thanks for posting.  I've thought about buying one of the refurbished MM1s from Leica that have been mentioned in other posts.  I wondered if the refurb would eliminate the quirks but perhaps not so.  Won't rule out buying one but it's good to know the quirks are not a definite indication that other problems will happen.  

Cheers! I saw, via Jonathan Slack's post, that Leica were refurbishing M9s and M Monochroms. And offering them in an array of colour ways/engravings and leathers. Nice that the company still stands behind a decade-old design.

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My MM1 is been sent in Germany twice and the quirks always remained...you kinda get used to it after a while but as Colin mentioned, when you miss a shot because of it it's outrageous!

I'm having my eyes on used M10's too...some sold for as cheap as £3200. Wow! I know it's not a Monochrom....but I don't mind switch it up for a bit. I would love to try the live view screen with some vintage lenses...

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23 hours ago, colint544 said:

. . . Still suffers the occasional lock-up. It's almost second nature now to shrug and whip the battery in and out when it happens. I only find it annoying when I think I missed a good shot because of it.

I always shoot in the 'stealth' mode, where you can keep the button pressed down to delay the cacophony of the shutter re-cock. I've read that lock-ups are more likely when shooting in that mode. Why they could never fix it with a firmware update, I just don't know.

I used to shoot my M8 in stealth mode as well without any issue, but this has never been the case with the M9 platform. Both my ME and my M9M will suffer from occasional lockup’s in stealth mode. This has never been fixed by Leica. I just have adapted and shoot in regular, single shot mode all the time. For me, although not ideal it really, ultimately is not a major issue. 
 

Otherwise, I really love the two cameras, especially the M9M. Even with its quirks, the M9M mounted with my 50 Summicron is easily my all time favorite camera. 

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If you are happy with your MM1, keep it!! Why changing, except you want a 246. For sure the 246 has  much better in high ISO capacities, but up to ISO 3200 I love the "analog" look of the MM1 photos. Never change a winning team.

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