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Leica M11 - your next camera?


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Another unofficial factoid:  The price will be €111,121. 😳

These discussions invariably mix heritage and legacy issues with the latest and greatest, which doesn’t help. The M camera isn’t a test bed for the newest developments, or the mostest of everything - Sony does that better than anyone.  Nikon has its own aesthetic, and Canon something different again.  Each is battling in a difficult market where the cellphone camera reigns supreme in the number of cameras used and images taken. The M camera needs to compete for sales in the same market

I think Leica needs to play the Sensor Card, Leica M is the only fullframe camera on the Market that doesn't need to record Video. Which means the Sensor requirements are different. They should focus more on dynamic range and color reproduction. Just like Phase One and Hasselblad with its Medium Format is doing. Canon, Nikon, Fuji are all crippling themeself with the requirement of being able to film 120fps 4k footage with these sensors. All these cameras skin colors reproductions are s

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These discussions invariably mix heritage and legacy issues with the latest and greatest, which doesn’t help.

The M camera isn’t a test bed for the newest developments, or the mostest of everything - Sony does that better than anyone.  Nikon has its own aesthetic, and Canon something different again.  Each is battling in a difficult market where the cellphone camera reigns supreme in the number of cameras used and images taken.

The M camera needs to compete for sales in the same market.  How does it do this?  Retaining the M mount, so that over 70 years of legacy lenses can be used (if you include LTM lenses with a simple adapter).  It’s all about the lenses.  The RF, the form factor and even the removable base plate simply follow on from retaining the M aesthetic.  The M10, if you strip away the casing, has nothing in common with an M-A or other film camera, save for the M mount and the RF.

As to that aesthetic, it’s what drew me to Leica - and particularly the M10-D.  The same controls I learned with - aperture, shutter and focus, with ISO thrown in as an benefit - all with direct manual controls, rather than being hidden in the depths of some incomprehensible menu system.

As to the EVF, I’ve been a supporter of a built in EVF based M variant for many years, and I still think Leica should offer an M11evf.  But having used many EVF based cameras, I do not agree that they are faster, better, or whatever other superlative you need, for the same reason that an SLR is not always better etc.  They’re just different.  Granted, EVFs are now of a quality that they are nicer to use, and yes they address focus shift, exposure simulation and accurate field of view.  All good, and I enjoy using my EVF based cameras.

But faster?  Actually, no.  Focus peaking is a long way from accurate; so, if you want to nail focus on a critical image, you need to open the lens up as wide as it will go (so hopefully, you have one of those expensive fast Leica M mount lenses), use focus magnification, then (without bumping the focus ring or moving your position, unless you’re using a tripod), stop down and take the image. 

If you’re practised with an RF, you just focus and fire the shutter.  Doing that with an EVF is far less accurate.  For most M photography, that is all that you need.  If you’re doing macro or something else where exact focus is needed, then an EVF is essential.  But with the M10 and modern lenses, the RF is very accurate and focus shift a thing of the past - for lenses between 28 and 75, the RF is perfect for most photography - which is where the M shines.  The EVF on my SL and X1D II are both very good compared to the Visoflex - but I find myself using AF more often; at least AF first, then fine adjustment with magnification.  THis is fine, but way slower than with the M.

Just my opinion, based on my relatively short decade or so use of M Leicas.

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23 minutes ago, IkarusJohn said:

These discussions invariably mix heritage and legacy issues with the latest and greatest, which doesn’t help.

The M camera isn’t a test bed for the newest developments, or the mostest of everything - Sony does that better than anyone.  Nikon has its own aesthetic, and Canon something different again.  Each is battling in a difficult market where the cellphone camera reigns supreme in the number of cameras used and images taken.

The M camera needs to compete for sales in the same market.  How does it do this?  Retaining the M mount, so that over 70 years of legacy lenses can be used (if you include LTM lenses with a simple adapter).  It’s all about the lenses.  The RF, the form factor and even the removable base plate simply follow on from retaining the M aesthetic.  The M10, if you strip away the casing, has nothing in common with an M-A or other film camera, save for the M mount and the RF.

As to that aesthetic, it’s what drew me to Leica - and particularly the M10-D.  The same controls I learned with - aperture, shutter and focus, with ISO thrown in as an benefit - all with direct manual controls, rather than being hidden in the depths of some incomprehensible menu system.

As to the EVF, I’ve been a supporter of a built in EVF based M variant for many years, and I still think Leica should offer an M11evf.  But having used many EVF based cameras, I do not agree that they are faster, better, or whatever other superlative you need, for the same reason that an SLR is not always better etc.  They’re just different.  Granted, EVFs are now of a quality that they are nicer to use, and yes they address focus shift, exposure simulation and accurate field of view.  All good, and I enjoy using my EVF based cameras.

But faster?  Actually, no.  Focus peaking is a long way from accurate; so, if you want to nail focus on a critical image, you need to open the lens up as wide as it will go (so hopefully, you have one of those expensive fast Leica M mount lenses), use focus magnification, then (without bumping the focus ring or moving your position, unless you’re using a tripod), stop down and take the image. 

If you’re practised with an RF, you just focus and fire the shutter.  Doing that with an EVF is far less accurate.  For most M photography, that is all that you need.  If you’re doing macro or something else where exact focus is needed, then an EVF is essential.  But with the M10 and modern lenses, the RF is very accurate and focus shift a thing of the past - for lenses between 28 and 75, the RF is perfect for most photography - which is where the M shines.  The EVF on my SL and X1D II are both very good compared to the Visoflex - but I find myself using AF more often; at least AF first, then fine adjustment with magnification.  THis is fine, but way slower than with the M.

Just my opinion, based on my relatively short decade or so use of M Leicas.

Bravo 

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7 hours ago, FrankF said:

I got to read about 1/2 the responses to this topic.  Everyone wants their own particular combination of features.... Good looking, 36mP, no removable bottom plate, no LCD etc.  

As I look into each of these "features" I come to my own conclusions....

The removable bottom plate is dumb.  It is an extension of how a Leica UR worked.  It has no purpose.  No one else uses this "feature."  Be done with it.  It is a pain to use, and serves no benefit.  Be careful with your camera and the little plastic covering  doors for the battery or the SD card will last forever.

THE most important feature in the M11 expected specs is IBIS.  It is not there.  But it is the one feature that can improve your images that technology can give to you.  If you had it, you would never give it up.   Ask an SL2 owner.

Get over the idea that Leica is to never change the size of the camera.  The M-240 (and the M5, and the Cl) got battered by this thinking.  Let technology be first.  Ergonomics are important, but to what extreme?

Leicas have notorious image noise issues.  Using the same sensor, they COULD improve this ( look at Nikon) ,  But that would mean you would not need the "faster" lens that costs an extra $$$$$.  They are not going to improve it until they can no longer make even faster and more expensive lenses.  Ditto the IBIS feature.

Stop complaining or claiming that your RF focusing is more accurate than focusing through the EVF.  It simply is not true.  EVF focusing is THE most accurate and with practice, fastest way to focus, bar none.  You say you have tried using the focus peaking and the results are disappointing?  Don;t use focus peaking.  It is an approximation of the true result.  If you want THE most accurate focusing, focus with the lens wide open using an EVF (Viso) and ground glass focusing techniques.  Then shut down the lens to working f-stop.  This is absolutely slow.  But it is accurate.  Got focus shift?  Go ahead and focus at your working aperture. It is STILL more accurate than your RF.

If you want Leica to continue to develop the world's most accurate (magnificent?) lenses, you must allow them to develop new camera features.  Restrictions are not in your best interests.

I just wasted 2 minutes of my life reading that crap.

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5 hours ago, IkarusJohn said:

But faster?  Actually, no.  Focus peaking is a long way from accurate; so, if you want to nail focus on a critical image, you need to open the lens up as wide as it will go (so hopefully, you have one of those expensive fast Leica M mount lenses), use focus magnification, then (without bumping the focus ring or moving your position, unless you’re using a tripod), stop down and take the image. 

I almost never focus this way. Too slow for my taste. In most cases focus magnication works fine at working aperture. Works much faster this way provided the EVF is good enough of course. FWIW.

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7 minutes ago, lct said:

I almost never focus this way. Too slow for my taste. In most cases focus magnication works fine at working aperture. Works much faster this way provided the EVF is good enough of course. FWIW.

Ditto

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Am 20.4.2021 um 09:22 schrieb evikne:

If the future models don't have the thumb rest, I will consider an M10-D instead. But I think the current WiFi-connection is a bit too slow and cumbersome. I hope Leica will come up with a better solution in the future. 

In my opinion, the WiFi connection M10-D to the ipad works pretty well, much better than I thought. During shootings you can use the M10-D and the ipad like a cordless „tethered“ shooting.

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If Leica switches over to an EVF for the M series of cameras then that would nix any reason for me to upgrade to the next iteration, period.

But I've often wondered why a rangefinder viewfinder like the M's couldn't incorporate a green dot light that shows when the central area of the OVF is in focus, like for instance in the VF of my Nikon D810. That DSLR camera combines an excellent OVF with autofocus with lenses that incorporate that facility PLUS the focus conformation green dot light for when you are using non-AF lenses, that's a really handy feature.

If something like that could be built into a subsequent M's rangefinder OVF it be the best of both worlds, an electronic focus confirmation for those that need it and no overall electronicifiction / bastardification of what is the essential feature of a M.

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1 hour ago, benqui said:

In my opinion, the WiFi connection M10-D to the ipad works pretty well, much better than I thought. During shootings you can use the M10-D and the ipad like a cordless „tethered“ shooting.

The problem is not the speed between the camera and phone, but the time it takes to connect them. I hope a future version will include an instant (Bluetooth 5?) connection without any hassle.

Edited by evikne
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47 minutes ago, Steven said:

I want my M10D back 😂

I understand Steven, I'd feel the same. Surely you could find one to buy back?.....( Not mine! )

Despite it's quirks and Leica abandoning it's firmware development way too soon the M10-D is, ( by a short margin over the M10-M ), the best Leica M so far in my opinion.

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vor einer Stunde schrieb evikne:

The problem is not the speed between the camera and phone, but the time it takes to connect them. I hope a future version will include an instant (Bluetooth 5?) connection without any hassle.

Ahh ok. Yes it takes a while, you are right. But if the system runs, it is not so bad.

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31 minutes ago, benqui said:

Ahh ok. Yes it takes a while, you are right. But if the system runs, it is not so bad.

The problem is the it takes a while and destroys the battery. Besides that, the app is good, just needs minor fixes. 

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1 hour ago, petermullett said:

I understand Steven, I'd feel the same. Surely you could find one to buy back?.....( Not mine! )

Despite it's quirks and Leica abandoning it's firmware development way too soon the M10-D is, ( by a short margin over the M10-M ), the best Leica M so far in my opinion.

I could easily get one, mint and for a great price. But I sold mine in the first place for a reason. While it was my FAVOURITE M I've ever owned, it didn't get along with its roommates, the M10P and M7. 

I can't handle choosing between three M. I can only handle owning two M. I can't give up on my M10P/R. So the M7 would have to go away. And to be honest, as much as I love film, it has gotten so expensive and complicated to shoot (even more so during lockdowns when all the labs are closed), that the M7 on my shelf is not safe right now. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Steven,

I would never sell my M7 even though I don’t use film as much as I should.  Fabulous camera.

I don’t see how having a film M-camera is ‘competition’ with my digital M-cameras. In fact I often take the M7 with the M10   or Monochrom v1. Entirely different aesthetic, and lens compatibility with a digital and film body is very convenient.

Mark

 

Edited by MarkP
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I agree although I am also considering selling some of my film bodies and just keeping 1 M (I currently have 2 Ms and a Mamiya).

Great to use film, but unless you develop - I don't have the time - it has become really expensive and difficult as Steven says.

I used to take film out for trips, nowadays I don't see the point. Great to keep some for that special look, but I have to say that I am using less and less

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31 minutes ago, MarkP said:

Hi Steven,

I would never sell my M7 even though I don’t use film as much as I should.  Fabulous camera.

I don’t see how having a film M-camera is ‘competition’ with my digital M-cameras. In fact I often take the M7 with the M10   or Monochrom v1. Entirely different aesthetic, and lens compatibility with a digital and film body is very convenient.

Mark

 

It's not about any digital M, it's about the M10D. When I have an M10R and an M7 on my shelf, it's simple. When I want the digital experience, I go out with the M10, and I take the M7 when I want the analog experience. 

The M10D makes things more confused for me. It gives you something near the peaceful analog experience, but with all the benefits of the digital M. When I shoot the D, I almost feel like I shoot film. So I realised that the M7 got sacrificed. Because I loved going out with no screen, shooting less photos cause I could not chimp, and feeling that screen less design and thumb lever. But when I get home, my photos are ready. When I had the M10D, I never felt like shooting film anymore, because I got a similar experience while shooting digital. I'm not saying that the M7 cant work with a digital M. I'm saying I cant own two digital M is I also own a film M. And since my priority is my M10 with a screen, I need to chose between the two. 

Of course, the results I get with the M7 are not the same as digital, but as Fedro says, it's just too complicated now. It's not worth it anymore. 

I pay 14 euros for a roll of Portra 400. Add to this the 12 euros of dev + the 3 euros of scanning, that's almost 30 euros per roll. An Saturday afternoon outing can easily cost me 100 euros... And now that France in on lockdown, I have to add 5 euros to that for shipping. This means if I go out on Saturday, come home with my rolls, I have to wait for Monday to ship them. They arrive on Wednesday, they are processed within one week, and I receive my photos about 10 days after I shot them. Do you understand why I miss my M10D ? 

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