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Looking to switch from Canon


7enderbender

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Hello everyone,

I’ve been a lifelong Canon user, starting with the old FD system. I’m still using my 5DII with some primes mostly. 
I had taken a break from photography for a while after a retina detachment. 
I also got frustrated when Canon came out with the R series - basicallly rendering my equipment worthless more or less. I’m not going through another change with them. I find mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders stupid - and I frankly still miss using my old Canon AE-1p. I have no use for autofocus, live view, video etc. 

long story short - I should’ve bought a Leica back then in the first place. 
 

So, I’m now in the market for a digital M body with the 50 1.4 asph lens. My favorite and go to on my Canon is the 50 1.2L. Still love it but not exactly compact. 
 

Question now is, new M11 (with all the issues I read about) or safe some money and get a used M10r…

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If you want back to the basics and continuity I think that one of the M 10 series is more your type of camera. The M11  is Leica’s attempt to start pushing the M into the direction of a multi- featured mirrorless, with the attendant gremlins. In addition I would advise 24 MP. As I read your photographic style, anything more will produce the drawbacks of high resolution cameras  without out any benefit. 

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vor 3 Stunden schrieb 7enderbender:

Hello everyone,

I’ve been a lifelong Canon user, starting with the old FD system. I’m still using my 5DII with some primes mostly. 
I had taken a break from photography for a while after a retina detachment. 
I also got frustrated when Canon came out with the R series - basicallly rendering my equipment worthless more or less. I’m not going through another change with them. I find mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders stupid - and I frankly still miss using my old Canon AE-1p. I have no use for autofocus, live view, video etc. 

long story short - I should’ve bought a Leica back then in the first place. 
 

So, I’m now in the market for a digital M body with the 50 1.4 asph lens. My favorite and go to on my Canon is the 50 1.2L. Still love it but not exactly compact. 
 

Question now is, new M11 (with all the issues I read about) or safe some money and get a used M10r…

Hello 7enderbender, first of all, a warm welcome to the forum!

Regarding your issue: You're no longer happy with your Canon 5DII and long for the good old days with the Canon AE. I can understand that. I've spent many years shooting with various versions of analog SLRs, eventually transitioning to the Canon 5D, which I still use today. However, my first camera was a Leica rangefinder, and I've owned and still own a number of digital and analog Leica M cameras, so I believe I can understand your problem.

Firstly, the 5DII is an excellent camera, almost boringly good, and it doesn't become worse just because Canon, like many other manufacturers, has transitioned to "mirrorless." Why and how this is a trend is another topic, on which Sean Reid has written a lot of insightful commentary. Also, it's not true that your EOS system is worthless; it only becomes so when you want to sell it. You should understand that in the Leica world, there are regularly new, prettier, more expensive, and sometimes "better" devices. If you try to follow every trend there, it's a sure recipe for ongoing dissatisfaction and high expenses.

Now, you're eyeing a Leica M. My opinion on this: I believe there's hardly a greater distance between two camera systems in the world than between the robust workhorse Canon 5D and the capricious princess Leica M11. I strongly advise you to borrow or rent a Leica M, whether film or digital, beforehand and see if it's really what you need.

I see several problems there:

The Leica M is essentially a camera for focal lengths around 50mm. Anything significantly above or below that doesn't work properly. That´s the reason why there are external finders and finder loupes and so on.

The Leica M requires manual focus. The learning curve for people coming from an AF system can be steep and frustrating.

Rangefinder focussing requires good visual acuity in the dominant eye; otherwise, frustration is inevitable. Is that the case in your "photo"-eye ? 

My suggestion and advice for your problem: Keep the 5DII and enjoy its reliability and unwavering functionality. If you really want to switch systems, it seems to me that a Leica SL would be a better idea. If you're really fantasizing about Leica M, I would suggest testing it out first with a borrowed M.

K. 

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Welcome to the forum. I went exactly the same route, from Canon 5D II to Leica M. Among my favorite lenses were the 50/1.2L and 85/1.2L. I used my 5D II as manually as possible: Manual exposure, single shot mode, and middle focus point only or manual focus.

So it was a short step to a Leica M, which I had always dreamed of. I first bought a used Leica M9 and a 50mm Summilux ASPH. Later I switched to an M10 and tried to recreate some of Canon's bokeh with a 50mm Noctilux f/1. Eventually I went back to a 50mm Summilux, but now an older model, a "pre-ASPH". I've also tried many other lenses, but have now settled on that one and a 35mm pre-ASPH.

If you want the manual feel, I think an M10 series camera would be the best fit, as others have suggested. An M10-R sounds great. But whatever camera and lens you choose, I wish you all the best as a future Leica user!

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There are of course essential differences etween a rangefinder camera and a DSLR but I think that use of a rangefinder is not half as difficult as is sometimes  made out. The main problem is not the skill, the basics can be learnt in a few hours, and the rest comes with experience the main issue is usually the change of mindset. 
A DSLR or mirrorless will present you with a readymade image of the scene before you, a rangefinder viewfinder will put you into the world around you and requires that you snip the images out of that world. It requires a bit of a mind shift to get into the different approach. As all analogies this limps, but compare to choosing between nicely cooked meals and being presented with the ingredients to cook your own. 

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So you are able to shoot film? Or were able to shoot film? 

Then I would say it's easy to switch. 

Less distraction and more enjoying the basics of composition and image making. 

Enjoy the switch. 

cheers 

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Posted (edited)

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Coming from an SLR, are you sure you want a rangefinder? As others have identified, focussing a rangefinder is quite different from an SLR.

You might also like to consider the Leica SL series. You can use M lenses, and many more adapted manual lenses from other manufacturers, including Canon, and focussing fast longer focal lengths (like your 50 1.2L, which you can use with an adapter) will be easier and more accurate than Ms generally.  

Edited by Mute-on
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Thanks everyone for the responses and food for thought. 
 

- I agree that my next step should be to rent those cameras in question. 
- Good point that a lower resolution M10 may even be more practical for me than the M10r. 
- yes, I’m comfortable with film and that’s where I came from. Manual focus and film. I was a late adopter of AF and digital. Love my 5DII and it’s a keeper with the lenses I own for specific purposes. I even thought about picking up a second one for cheap as a spare. What I never liked about it is the AF. It’s reasonably good but I still miss my AE viewfinder. I know that a rangefinder is entirely different - but a similar idea. I’ll never want an electronic viewfinder (I put that in the same category as electric vehicle or automatic transmission which is of the devil). 
- the idea was to go Leica M with a 50mm lens for travel, “street”, people photography - basically replacing my iPhone, since I stopped taking my 5D with me given its size. Shallow depth of field, nice bokeh, distinct subject isolation - are important to me. Hence the 50 1.4 (anything wider becomes heavy and expensive and defeating the purpose I think). I can’t think of any other “analog” digital camera with manual focus that is as compact as the M series. 
- my eye: I had the surgery in my dominant right eye several years back. That was one source of frustration for a while. I tried using my left eye for a while (same with pistol shooting) but have since switched back and learned to deal with it better. But that is another reason to rent some M cameras and feel it out, maybe trying both eyes. 
 

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I had a cataract operation in my dominant right eye and a typed cornea transplant in my left - no problem at all. But case histories are not proof.

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Hello @7enderbender,

long time ago I also used Canon (5D Mark III) with a lot of lenses (12 at the end).

To switch to a M with no AF is so relaxing. I used film Leica's and M11, last one also with EVF. But, if the outside conditions are bad (extremly sunny or the focus peaking show everything sharp, what happend sometimes, I used the manuell viewfinder.

From my point if possible M 11-P. Also the battery aspect is an argument against the M10

Regards

Alex

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I will happily take your 'worthless' Canon gear when you buy the Leica!

I have a couple of Canon DSLR's including an original 5D and also use my Leica R lenses on them. I would like to upgrade to a newer 5Dll :)

If you have eyesight issues is a rangefinder a better option for you? Absolutely see if you can try before you buy. If you can't hire one at least visit a dealer and bring a memory card and shoot some photos at the store.

A Leica M is a different experience to a DSLR - not better or worse, just different. Presumably you will still keep your worthless Canon stuff so you will have best of both .

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8 minutes ago, earleygallery said:

I will happily take your 'worthless' Canon gear when you buy the Leica!

I have a couple of Canon DSLR's including an original 5D and also use my Leica R lenses on them. I would like to upgrade to a newer 5Dll :)

If you have eyesight issues is a rangefinder a better option for you? Absolutely see if you can try before you buy. If you can't hire one at least visit a dealer and bring a memory card and shoot some photos at the store.

A Leica M is a different experience to a DSLR - not better or worse, just different. Presumably you will still keep your worthless Canon stuff so you will have best of both .


All good points. And yes, I will keep the 5D2 and at least two of my primes (50L and 135L - the rest has been taken over by my kids, which is fine). It’s not “worthless” to me - but with Canon screwing everyone over yet again, the resale value of even the nice L EF lenses has taken a sever dip since they came out with the R series stuff which I find totally unimpressive. So in a way this would be an opportunity to pick up another body and some nice EF glass - in fact, we just ordered a used 100-400L for my son’s R. 

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I have gone a similar route, came from a Canon 5d mark ii, favorite lens being the 50 1.2 ef as well. when my m10 and Summilux were stolen I briefly took another detour through Canons RF system, but after 6 months sold that gear and re acquired Leica M glass and a Leica M10. I have now switched to an M11, and have both the 50Lux and 50APO, and am very satisfied, had maybe 3 freeze issues in multiple years of ownership.
 

I love the unobtrusive size and weight of the M system, allowing me to have the camera on me comfortably a lot more than the comparatively bulky slr system. 

I would also recommend looking into the M11 P or potentially the rumored M11D if you want to go even more analog. I owned both the m10 and m10-r , and while being great cameras, the convenience changes in the M11 really assist my work flow: I don’t need to carry extra batteries, I don’t need to worry about forgetting my Sd card, the higher resolution sensor allows me more artistic freedom to crop, the low light performance is better, I subjectively enjoy the color science and reproduction on the m11 more. I also went through a period of using the newest visoflex extensively for portraits and appreciated its upgraded resolution and haptics, though am back to mostly RF based focusing 

I have missed the Canon for the following scenarios: fast moving subjects (‚my kids, sports), macro, wildlife photography. 

My 2cs

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Posted (edited)

My journey to Leica M also began from the 5DmII. The 5DmII is a great camera, but I've started to notice that its size is causing it to end up on my shelf more and more often. With Leica M everything is different, it is almost always with me (sometimes even 2 pieces). There are a lot of unexpected things happening around us, you never know when a camera will come in handy.
I may have 5-7 different cameras for different purposes, I change them often, but I should always have a Leica M

Edited by Smogg
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Posted (edited)

Another ex Canon user. I started with a 350D and worked through the 5D series up to the MK3 and also in tandem with a 1Ds Mk3 that I used for weddings and commercial work. Selling all my Canon gear and picking up a Leica allowed me to chill and enjoy photography as a hobby again. The Canon gear was brilliant as a pro but not fun to use or the right vibe for travel and family stuff.

If you're anything like me then it's a great switch to make. I have an M11 but also used an M10-R. The M11 has some advantages but for purity I preferred the M10-R, it just feel more like a real Leica. I love my M11 but the freezing and slightly weird way it operates takes some of that RAWness away. Not enough for me to switch back but I'm hoping the M12 addresses my issues so I can have the best of both worlds.

I'd probably suggest picking up an M10-R and saving some money and after a year or two see what Leica have come out with. If you feel the M11 will offer you something useful then it'll be cheaper by then to exchange it etc.

Edited by Henners
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Ok, and not to digress too far here, but one modern feature is actually important to me: high speed sync for flash. 
Any differences between the M10, M10r and M11/p in that department? I googled and found conflicting information. I understand you’d need a designated Leica branded flash, no?

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On 4/4/2024 at 8:53 PM, 7enderbender said:

Hello everyone,

I’ve been a lifelong Canon user, starting with the old FD system. I’m still using my 5DII with some primes mostly. 
I had taken a break from photography for a while after a retina detachment. 
I also got frustrated when Canon came out with the R series - basicallly rendering my equipment worthless more or less. I’m not going through another change with them. I find mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders stupid - and I frankly still miss using my old Canon AE-1p. I have no use for autofocus, live view, video etc. 

long story short - I should’ve bought a Leica back then in the first place. 
 

So, I’m now in the market for a digital M body with the 50 1.4 asph lens. My favorite and go to on my Canon is the 50 1.2L. Still love it but not exactly compact. 
 

Question now is, new M11 (with all the issues I read about) or safe some money and get a used M10r…

Food for thought: 

1. Your Canon gear is not worthless if it still does what you want/need. It's as valuable as when you bought it. The 5D II has always been highly regarded. 

2. Of all the manufacturers, Canon has probably been the most deliberate about R-system model releases and firmware updates. And you can adapt your EF glass to RF bodies easily. We're just now seeing the second gen R5 and 1st gen R1 nearing release, 5 1/2 years after the R system was released. 

3. The M11 or an M10R and 50 'lux depending on the generation and amount of use they've seen will most likely run you at least $10k used and about $15K new. Whether or not that's worth it is up to you.

4. Consider the Nikon Zf with the 40mm 1:2 unless you really prefer an optical rangefinder. $2200 and change for both. Well reviewed and pixel count similar to the M10 series.

My experience: I enjoy the Leica rangefinder system because I've used it for decades now. It does not, however, replace an SLR/DSLR/Mirrorless ILC for everything. For many years now, I've used Sony A7R series cameras. Sony gear turns over constantly and resale/trade value is nearly nonexistent. The rapid turnover is annoying, but my cameras still do what I need so I try not to get distracted by shiny new features that I probably don't need or won't use. I will hold on to the gear I have, but I am attracted to Canon for my long-lens needs specifically because they've been so deliberate with model releases and solid firmware support. I'm curious about the upcoming R5ii and R1 which should be announced in the next couple of months. I've previously used Nikon, Sony, and Canon over the years and from a performance standpoint, they're all fantastic today. I still have Nikon film bodies (F3/T, F6) that I enjoy. 

Cheers, 

-Alex. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/5/2024 at 10:58 AM, 7enderbender said:

Ok, and not to digress too far here, but one modern feature is actually important to me: high speed sync for flash. 
Any differences between the M10, M10r and M11/p in that department? I googled and found conflicting information. I understand you’d need a designated Leica branded flash, no?

Flash sync for the M10 is 1/180. https://leica-camera.com/sites/default/files/pm-75209-Leica-M10_Technical-Data_en.pdf

M11 is the same: https://leica-camera.com/en-US/photography/cameras/m/m11-p-silver/technical-specification

I use a little fuji EF-X20 flash with my M10-P, but I use it in manual mode and the hot shoe fit isn't perfect. Probably not the solution you're looking for. 

-Alex. 

P.S. The fuji EF-X20 is discontinued and goes for stupidly high prices now. Probably not worth it. 

Edited by _Alex_
added P.S.
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1 hour ago, _Alex_ said:

Flash sync for the M10 is 1/180. https://leica-camera.com/sites/default/files/pm-75209-Leica-M10_Technical-Data_en.pdf

M11 is the same: https://leica-camera.com/en-US/photography/cameras/m/m11-p-silver/technical-specification

I use a little fuji EF-X20 flash with my M10-P, but I use it in manual mode and the hot shoe fit isn't perfect. Probably not the solution you're looking for. 

-Alex. 

P.S. The fuji EF-X20 is discontinued and goes for stupidly high prices now. Probably not worth it. 

Hm. Interesting. So no high speed sync option? Not a dealbreaker (I’ll still have the  Canon available for that look if need be). But that would be a nice to have. I like stopping down the background while maintaining shallow depth of field for portraits. 

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On 4/6/2024 at 4:58 AM, 7enderbender said:

one modern feature is actually important to me: high speed sync for flash

portrait shooter here, leica M's dont have the best flash support. the options are limited

  1. leica trigger plus SF40 and SF60 for HSS
  2. from memory Profoto has a Leica trigger but HSS is limited up to around 1/1000 (you may need to fact check this)
  3. Godox makes a Leica trigger but it only supports the m10 (not sure about m10R)

if you dont use a trigger or you need hotshoe mount for the visoflex, there is no way to use a PC sync cable. you will need to get the m240 plus the multi-function grip to get that feature.

you can use constant lights, but only up to a point, as the subject starts to squint as i try to replicate the sun...

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