A couple of hours with a Leica M9

Mrs B with the Noctilux at F2
Mrs B with the Noctilux at F2

 

In Luxembourg for a few days I had the chance to borrow a Leica M9 from my friend Herman. The camera was passed to me with the Summicron 28mmF2.0 and the Noctilux 50mmF0.95. It was feeling like Christmas in July! As I am planning to rent a M240 + Summarit 28mmF2.8 when back in Singapore this is a very good opportunity.

Theatre de Luxembourg Summicron 28mm
Theatre de Luxembourg Summicron 28mm







Theatre de Luxembourg Summicron 28mm
Theatre de Luxembourg Summicron 28mm

Owning a Leica M4, the Camera feels familiar. It is strange not to have to carry a handheld light-meter with a Leica and not to have a winding knob. The internal meter with its red arrows indicating the over or under-exposure is easy enough to use but probably needs some time to get used to as it’s quite different to other camera’s I own. The speed selector enables an “auto” mode, which enables Aperture priority as in many SLR’s, this is really a great feature. The ISO selection also enables auto mode.

Menus are quite simple, I managed to configure the setting for the Summicron which is not a coded version (ie not recognized automatically by the camera) and change the picture resolution.Gelateria Summicron 28mm

The access to the battery and the memory card by the bottom plate is more funny than anything else. For a few hours I did not need a lot of access, just changing the card for the session.

The optical rangefinder is great, on the 100 odd pictures I took none was out of focus (although not all were artistic).

Le Pacha Summicron 28mm
Le Pacha Summicron 28mm

The Noctilux is awesome, but frankly it is bulky so expensive that I was frightened to drop it. With high iso available do the average shooter (aka me) needs .95? I’ll try my old Summilux 50mm1.4 soon and see how it fares for indoor and night shots.

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Nothing to say on the Summicron, I love the 28mm on full frame, full stop. This lens Is a bit on the expensive side and I will rent the twice cheaper Summarit, albeit F2.8 only, with the M240. There is not much visible distortion on the pictures, BUT the lens does not come with a viewfinder and the camera viewfinder full field is about 35mm. This is probably not an issue for casual shots, but it is a bit frustrating.

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One negative point: some of the grey areas in some of the pictures are showing some artifacts. I will check carefully during next try how often this happens.

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A quick conclusion: this was a very good but short experience, I am now looking forward to renting the Leica M240 this week-end, nearly 3 days shooting in Singapore I will also have the opportunity to test my older lenses. It is a bit early to say if this a definite buy or not.

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A couple of hours with a Leica M9

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