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Hello all

I posted a message on the general beginner forum the other day about the best camera with which to start my Leica journey. From the reply I got, it seems that the M9 is a very good bet. However, in my reading up in this, I have seen various articles which suggest the better option is the M9-P. I am looking at one of each of the M9 (£1,800) and M9/P (£2,750) bit of which have low shutter actuations (c.3,500) and have had their sensors replaced with the non-corrosive sensors.

Any advice on which may be the better option would be most welcome!

Many thanks

Ben 

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Hi Steve - thanks so much for your reply: much appreciated. Unfortunately, I have just seen the the M9 is in York and I am in Oxfordshire and the chap won’t post it (understandably I suppose). Hmmm...the Leica Store in Manchester has one at £2,495.00 which, I presume is still a pretty good price with one year’s guarantee, etc.?

Thanks again. 

Ben

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Hi Loomis77,

Welcome to the forum.

I've owned both the M9 and the M9P. Functionally there is no difference between the two. Because of the CCD sensor, the M9 series of cameras have become a "cult" favorite amongst many M users and the prices they command reflect that. Technologically the M9 series is antiquated in the Leica M world. The drawbacks are too many to list here and I'm sure you are aware of some of them as you seem to have done some research. Currently the best value in a digital M is the M240 series of cameras and I would highly recommend them for anyone on a budget. I have owned the M240, M240-P and M246 Monochrom and they are all rock solid performers. I currently own an M10-P.

If budget is not an issue then would suggest the M10 series just to feel that you are technologically current in the M world. Otherwise the M240 can't be beat for its value.

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The m9-p has a different display as previously stated I believe it also has an improved buffer which might be useful as it can get full if you take lots of shots in quick succession. 

I would take a look at the other options m240 and M10 just to reassure yourself. The m9 isn't without it's faults @Adam BonnBonn went through this a while back and I think ended up with an M10 via M9.

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The M9 is slow and loud but it is the only (full frame) M with a unique look. I sold my M240 two weeks after acquiring it because the files I got from it were bleh. Not that they’re bad, but they look like they could be files from any modern camera. 


I’ve sold the M9 two times to “upgrade” and both times I regretted it and went back. So when I purchased the M10, I kept the M9. I love the M10 but if I had to keep just one, I’d keep the M9. Granted, mine just had its sensor replaced this month.

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Thanks a lot all for your comments. I have read a lot about the M240 but, on my other cameras, I don’t use the video function and don’t use Live View for anything other than a quick check to see if the shot is broadly ok. The only other one I seem to be reading good things about is the M262. Does anyone have any particular views on this model? M9 vs M262?

 Thanks again 

Ben 

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You don't have to use video or LV.  And you might change your views later. With LV you could check RF and could use very many lenses most economical way. The only drawback of M240 series against of M9 series is lack of less expensive third part batteries. But with M240 battery you will be fine with just one spare. 

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Hi Ben,

The M262 is Avery nice camera. You get the "modern" electronics of the 240 platform with the dropped shoulder top plate styling of the M9. I was never wowed by the look of the M240.

The M262 is a bit lighter than the M240 because it doesn't have a brass top plate like the other M bodies.

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You’re posting in the M9 forum section, so naturally the feedback will be positive.  If you wander over to the M240/M262 section, you’ll get other opinions.  For instance...


The fact is that any of the M cameras are capable of producing superb files and pics, in the right hands.  The key is whether one bonds with the RF experience, which is the core of the system; some do, some don’t. Video can be disabled with a click.  Live view can be ignored, but can be useful for easy RF/lens calibration checks. The rest comes down to small differences, which may or may not lend appeal, and of course budget considerations.  In any case, I would only buy from a reputable dealer, with warranty and return policy (and only with new sensor if M9). Best to demo first, if possible, to draw your own conclusions.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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I owned both M9 and M240. The two cosmetic things that I appreciated about the M240 were the much quieter shutter and the better LCD - I found both on the M9 to be unacceptably poor. The one functional thing I liked on the M240 was LV - it allowed me to check whether it was my eyes or the rangefinder which was out of calibration - and this is important in the M series.

Everyone has their own opinions on the colours of the M9 and M240, so I won't add to them - it's something only you can decide.

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I have owned M240 and M9P, and eventually I sold M240 and kept M9P. don't get me wrong, I am not saying M240 was not good. Even today, when I review photos shot with M240, I can still appreciate their splendid excellence, really loved the beautiful saturation in color. the only thing i was not satisfied was M240 pictures seems not good as M9P on my Zeiss ZM 50mm F2 Planar. I only have that lens. It might be because of the lens I used. I never had Leica glass, can not tell the performance with other lens. 

So in conclusion, I can tell M9P with Zeiss ZM 50mm F2 planar outperforms M240. Period. 😄

Back to the topic, my M9P was upgraded from M9. I don't think M9P is different from M9 in terms of performance, the obvious difference you can tell is appearance, especially top with beautiful engrave, and red dot is gone on M9P. 

I never feel M9P slow if I shoot compressed DNG or JPG only, never need continuous shoot.

 

Edited by surfmanjoe
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I had an original M-9. It and a few lenses, got stolen. Insurance company paid me the replacement cost. I bought an M9-P. It would take about one and three quarters as many more shots than the M-9 before the buffer would fill up before it would stop taking pics while the camera wrote them to the card. Same size and type card. 
 

They had a program that you could send in an M-9 and have it upgraded to an M9-P but it didn’t enlarge the buffer. The M9-P that was built from scratch at the factory had the larger buffer but not the ones that were sent in as part of the upgrade program.

Edited by jdlaing
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3 hours ago, jdlaing said:

I had an original M-9. It and a few lenses, got stolen. Insurance company paid me the replacement cost. I bought an M9-P. It would take about one and three quarters as many more shots than the M-9 before the buffer would fill up before it would stop taking pics while the camera wrote them to the card. Same size and type card. 
 

They had a program that you could send in an M-9 and have it upgraded to an M9-P but it didn’t enlarge the buffer. The M9-P that was built from scratch at the factory had the larger buffer but not the ones that were sent in as part of the upgrade program.

OK, there have been musings that the "P" has a larger buffer along with the different skin and sapphire back screen.  I am contemplating getting an M9 or M9-P for the CCD sensor.  I have an M8.2 and it is superior in three-dimensional rendering to an M240. Indeed, the M8.2 is almost holographic.  I also have a lovely, reliable Sony A7M II with the 55mm Zeiss f/1.8 which is about as crisp as a lens can get.  But it is not poetic like the M8.2.  Therefore an M9 or M9-P would be a dream purchase, with the new sensor upgrade if necessary.  Jadon in PDX seems a likely tech to do the job.  I'd like to see some results from the other techs upgrading the corroding glass on the M9 sensors, though, before I have an upgrade done on a possible purchase.  All tentative getting the ducks to line up.

And thank you for the additional information.

Edited by boojum
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I have a m9p (and a m240)

Neither has ever given me a real problem so far... the 240 did a weird thing with manual SS once, but selecting the reset option in the menu fixed it.

Many times my m9p shutter takes its sweet time to re-cock when in discrete mode, but apparently they all do that. 

@Robert M Poole I don’t have an m10

I’ve no clue if the buffer on the 9p is bigger than the standard 9. 

Either way, the buffer/card write speeds on the 9 are really slow.

No offence to anyone, but I’ve no dog in the this cant be a real Leica camera because it has/has not got this feature fight

re IQ...

kinda think this CCD / CMOS or at least 240 vs 8/8.2/9/262/10/10r has been done to death...

For me, the m9 files have more “bite” and need far less work in post than the 240.

for me if you take the 9 out in light that’s great for your type of photography (and I’m assuming that’s not low light) it’ll make a nicer looking pic, that needs less work in post than the 240.

in most other  situations the comparison is either a draw or if the iso is high (and the image is in colour) the 240 wins

in terms of operational speed, features and feeling more ‘modern’ (sic) the 240 feels about 8 years newer than an m9 😉

I personally  find the extra weight (80g) and extra size (1-2mm?) of the 240 more noticeable than the figures suggest.

for my own opinion...

the m9 is perhaps the best choice (despite the far worse specs) it’s a classic that has features i doubt we’re see again (frameline windows, ccd), the 240 I think is more desirable as a poor man’s m10, certainly the 240 is the bargain of the secondhand M world... offering much more than the 9 for the same (or less) money and not that much less than the m10 than you’d think for the difference in secondhand vales (i guess a secondhand 240 is about 50-60% of a secondhand m10)

but ultimately... the 240 is just part of a series of digital Ms, forgotten and derided the moment the 10 (even the 262!!) landed, whereas the m9 is a true classic camera.

re the actual OP

the top plate engraving is kinda cute (folks stare at it in the street though, I suspect more than a red dot) and a scratch proof lcd cover is a great idea... but really these two things wouldn’t personally sway my decision against things such as cost/condition/buying the seller

 

 

 

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Welcome to the forum Ben. I will not give all the arguments, as said above, the discussion about colors in M9 vs. M240 and later has been done here at length. I don’t know if I advise you to read that all, conclusion just is that some people see the difference and others don’t or don’t care. I just want to add my vote for the M9 or P here. I sold my M10 because of the colors and returned to my M9. You will not find a difference in results with an M9P, but sometimes the real joy of buying a camera lies in how it looks and holds in the hand and I happen to have a liking for a sapphire screen because I don’t need to be that careful with it in and out of my bags and I don’t need a protection glass for it. I would never buy for such an amount via webshop or without having held it in my hands before I decide. If it’s a reputable Leica Store that gives 1 year warranty I might consider though, that sure is a lot for an M9. I am not sure whether a low amount of shutter actuations, for instance 3500 in 10 years time is a very positive thing. 

Edited by otto.f
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