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Leica M9 + Leica MM1 or single M10 body?


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Dear All, 

I have a Leica M9 which I really like. It has a slightly corroded sensor I consider fixing using one of the emerging non-Leica alternatives. At the same time I had always wanted a Leica MM1 for the classic look and higher ISO, and I consider acquiring a used one. An alternative is to upgrade to a single body such as M10 which I find similar in color to the M9 and good in BW. 

Are there other users owning a combination of one color + one monochrome M body? Do you tend to use one over the other? How do you travel? Thanks for your thoughts on "feeling" vs. practicality. 

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Hi Kristyansen,

I have a M9 and a MM1. I bought first the M9 and then the MM1 once it came out, because of the higher ISO and to concentrate better on the BW workflow. Once my M9 got stolen I bought the SL 601 and kept the MM1. Last year I bought a used M9 again by various reasons (same battery, colours etc . ). Both of my M have the new sensor.

As technology moves on both M lines for colour and BM have been improved considerably with the new models and prices of the M's have come down. You will find a lot arguments for upgrading in the forum-thread. In my opinion this applies more to the upgrade from the M9 than from the MM1. For me the MM1 file feels natural and closer to film than M246 or M10M files (based on what I see here on the forum).  I never convert my files from my SL to BW. The MM1 gives me all I need for BW. As lightroom has improved over the years colour adjustment in post now is so advanced that we passed the discussion of CCD vs. CMOS. I will sell my M9 now as prices of the M10 have come down with the introduction of the M10-R.

For the corroded sensor Leica has a upgrade programm if you would choose to go all the way for the M10-R. Leica Store in Germany would take in for 2000 Euro.

When I travel to cities etc. I took M9 and the MM1. If I want to do landscape etc. I use the SL with the 24-90 in combination with a widle angle lens (Wate) and R-lenses for Tele.

Good luck with your decisions.

Stefan

www.shashinski.com

 

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I bought first the M9, then the MM1 when they were new (both have had their sensors replaced while it was for free), and that´s what I use (I do have a couple of compacts: X2 and DL7, but only for when I just cannot carry an M outfit).  I have every intention to keep on using them as long as they work well (I´m 78, so chances are they´ll outlast me...).

I never carry both, of course, not even when travelling.  Just like film times, one has to decide for each outing if it´s a colour or b/w occasion, and then to stick with one´s decision: no problem with that! Having one colour camera and deciding afterwards which images to convert just doesn´t work for me; it´s a "frame-of-mind" thing.

If indeed one (or both) of my cameras should give up the ghost, I´d have to think it over; I just cannot afford 2 new M10 type cameras...  But, I hope it will not happen.

Edited by elgenper
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1 hour ago, kristyansen said:

Dear All, 

I have a Leica M9 which I really like. It has a slightly corroded sensor I consider fixing using one of the emerging non-Leica alternatives. At the same time I had always wanted a Leica MM1 for the classic look and higher ISO, and I consider acquiring a used one. An alternative is to upgrade to a single body such as M10 which I find similar in color to the M9 and good in BW. 

Are there other users owning a combination of one color + one monochrome M body? Do you tend to use one over the other? How do you travel? Thanks for your thoughts on "feeling" vs. practicality. 

I have M9 and MM1. I see no reason to upgrade to newer models; I take them out when I feel the need to get the look of my M lenses on an M sensor, either  colour or monochrome; For daily use I have CL and TL.

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I've had my M9 for 9 years and the M Monochrom since 12/2012. Both have the new sensors in them, the M9 went in last year. I will use the pair of them until no one can repair them. I just bought two fresh batteries, and ten of the slower speed Sandisk 4x 16GByte memory cards for them. Both cameras fit in a small field  bag, they are in it now.

 

Different overlooks- I'll go up on my own one day with a Tripod for using both.

1934 5cm F2 Sonnar on the M Monochrom with a Yellow filter, modern C-Sonnar on the M9. In film days, I often carries two bodies, one with colot loaded and the other with B&W.

Edited by BrianS
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As good as the images from the cameras were, within their limits, I do not think I could go back to the M9's/MM idiosyncrasies lockups, banding, green lines, terrible LCD and clockwork toy shutter.

Sold my M9 and M9M  very quickly when the M10 became available, but did miss the monochrome noise so added a M10M this year.

To be honest, so far it's only after dark or indoors that I've seen things with the M10M that could not be done with just the M10. Some of that may be down to just not getting out enough this year, of covid-19, to explore the envelope. 

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vor 5 Minuten schrieb FrozenInTime:

As good as the images from the cameras were, within their limits, I do not think I could go back to the M9's/MM idiosyncrasies lockups, banding, green lines, terrible LCD and clockwork toy shutter.

Sold my M9 and M9M  very quickly when the M10 became available, but did miss the monochrome noise so added a M10M this year.

To be honest, so far it's only after dark or indoors that I've seen things with the M10M that could not be done with just the M10. Some of that may be down to just not getting out enough this year, of covid-19, to explore the envelope. 

Sorry to say the Display of the M9/M9P ist NOT that bad. It could be worse.

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb Ko.Fe.:

M9/M8 series screen is almost ideal. Ideally if no screen or flipable.

You can talk badly anything and always. I find something for EVERY camera that can make the purchase questionable. Without exception. So what's that supposed to be?

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I join the crowd that has both the M9 and M9M. 

My M9P has a VERY badly corroded sensor, so I got an M-D 262 for colour, but I'm not giving up on the M9 and I'll fix it the moment a clear option becomes viable.

As for which one when, I use colour when I travel with my family (short or long distances), and the Monochrom when I take photos for myself.

Alternatively, colour during the day, where I can keep the ISO within tolerable values (I don't mind the noise, but the mushiness of the colours and struggle to get

the proper white balance troubles me) and the Monochrom body for evenings/night, with the fastest lens that I have, but I don't really care about the ISO value as the B&W

can take it easily.

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Thank you all for the initial takes.

I also tend to see it as color during the day + MM1 during the night or lower luminosity. Quirks etc. I accept, that is not the point.

I usually shoot my M9 with RAW + BW JPG and get a bit of both at reasonable ISOs, so this may be the for with a potential M10 too.

Since I am not a professional shooter, maybe one body is less cumbersome than two, but still think the M9 and MM1 are something to experience.

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I'm sorry to hear about the charger. I still use the one from the M8 for my primary/always plugged in charger, the M9 charger for on the road, and M Monochrom charger has never been out of the box in 8 years.  But they are electronics- and things can blow out. With cameras being traded in, the price of chargers seems to have dropped. I've seen some around $50.

The screen on the M9 and M Monochrom is good enough to calibrate a lens for the Leica. I use it when I converted Zeiss lenses to Leica mount, and for calibrating Jupiter-3 and Jupiter-8 lenses.

 

Edited by BrianS
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I'm pretty much in the same situation as criolf (post#10) and currently use an M-D Typ-262 and an M Monochrom. For many years before I acquired the M-D I used an M9-P and, had I not picked up the M-D, would still be perfectly happy with the 9 and an MM. The results I achieve with all of the cameras listed, image quality wise, were / are superb.

Philip.

 

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One other consideration: with Leica repairs to a camera can take a long time, and there is more to go wrong with digital cameras than film models. So having a second digital M body - whatever type - is insurance against months without being able to use your M lenses, etc. That's one reason I kept my M9 when getting an M10.

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11 hours ago, analog-digital said:

You can talk badly anything and always. I find something for EVERY camera that can make the purchase questionable. Without exception. So what's that supposed to be?

Since then open and honest opinion is badly talking of anything and always?

I open for any opinion about M9 camera. 

Personally, I like small screens , less prone to damage. No screen or flippable. To me it is more practical on long walks or keeping camera in the bag with others.

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I have an M10 and MM1 (and SL2), each with the goal of a print-worthy pic. I don’t use the M bodies together.  The M10 is perfectly capable of fantastic b/w conversions (more flexible due to use of color channels), and the M10 body is far nicer than the MM (the VF...with larger opening, higher magnification and better eye relief... improved RF and build tolerances, better weather sealing, quieter, slimmer, 2m frame line distance optimization vs 1m for the MM, etc).  And of course the M10 offers color.  But the MM provides a unique all-b/w workflow and experience that cannot be replicated for me using a color based M. It’s closer to using my film Ms loaded with b/w film back in the day.  So, the distinction for me is not IQ; rather it’s a different photographic process and experience. Both provide superb files for printing, assuming I do my job well.

Jeff

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  • 3 weeks later...

Building on the great insights, introducing a variation of the initial thoughts that still go through my head. 

 

1. Great masters in photography have gotten great pictures with low ISO, Color and B/W for a long time. Classical style will live forever. 

=> So I know at some point in time I will have a MM(1?) together with my M9.

 

Still...

2. For traveling I think one single camera may be the choice. Also I shoot people and family, in movement, and not landscapes.

3. Family likes color (B/W nice to have).

4. For family, often the low usable ISO of the M9 was an issue - smiling 1 second longer was tough, or closer aperture for larger depth of field was not doable in lower light.

5. I do shoot in low light too - I am generally used to exploiting to the max lower M9 ISOs - still I had situations where I would have liked the ISO 2500 of the M9 to be usable in color. 

6. Last anecdote: I recently I shot a baptism with M9 and slightly dampened SF-24D flash (with permission; also the kid loved it). Went well - still slightly higher ISO would have made flash a lot less or totally unnecessary.

=> A color single body with slightly higher usable ISO may be the next step.

=> For a more reasonable price I am considering now either an M240 or M-P 240 (i.e. with screen). I liked it a lot more than I thought when I tested it (even the size. Color-wise, the reds ran a bit wild). But I have not tested the really low light capabilities. Unsure if the larger buffer of the P is worth it. And future-orientation is a question too - will it be serviceable long enough?

 

Any thoughts and experience appreciated. 

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Regarding shooting in low light.  I am an avowed high ISO junkie and love low light photography.  I have an event I shoot regularly that stresses my ability and equipment. Many of my images there are at ISO 12,800 (taken with Nikon D5).  I don't use flash since I am trying to capture what the event looked like to a participant.

That said, flash is important to me and I use it regularly.  When image quality is the most important factor good lighting is essential.  If the lighting is good, but at low levels, I am comfortable with fast lenses or higher ISOs,  But in bad lighting (wrong direction, very low level, strange colors) flash is essential to a good image.  With good technique an image where flash was used can be indistinguishable from one taken in good light.

So I love cameras with great high ISO performance and have an assortment of fast lenses. I also have quite an assortment of flashes.  I find both necessary.

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