Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day four, Monday)

So this is (was) Monday and time to bring back the camera to the shop. I woke up early and decided to walk there armed with the old Summitar 50mmF2.0 and the Voigtlander 21mmF4.0 Color Skopar.

First stop is at the Hong San See Temple on Mohammed Sultan Road.  The M240 shows no mercy for the WWII area screw mount lens : it is obvious the lens back focus; as I said yesterday no point using it if not with live view. The back focusing problem is visible even on the location, so no bad surprise when going back home.

Yes on the close and wide open shots the lens shows some “character”…

A bit frustrated I follow my journey along the Singapore river and put on the Color Skopar.

It is almost midday, the sky is cloudy as usual, so the light is not great. The colorful Alkaf bridge looks very dull on the above. Including the fact that the pictures are coming out with a wide purple band on the right side, even with the leica 21mm profile selected, this is really a no go.

The above is a bit better, but also required a bit of tweaking in Lightroom to remove the purple fringing on the right side.



So time for conclusion, I have played with the M9 and the M240 this summer, used some new and old lenses and…

1- I won’t rush to buy it: I think this is the most fair assessment I can do: I can probably afford to go to the shop and get a M240 + an Elmarit 28mmF2.8 but my test did not convince me that I really need to do it now.

2 – No mercy : the M240 has no mercy for lesser lenses : you may be lucky with a gem of an old lens, but clearly for me all these old ltm lens I have are useless. No point getting such an expensive kit to produce such below par shots. The weather in Luxembourg and Singapore is quite different but the 28mm Summicron results were far superior to the Elmarit.

3 – Back to film : Do not be mistaken, I really enjoyed the experience, going through the 800 to 900 shots of the week end was a bit painful, I could have done some things better and I may try again next year. Meanwhile I think that I would be more tempted to get a newer Leica film camera and a nice lens like a Summicron 35mm and wait before going digital. But meanwhile the meanwhile, I’ll go back to “junk” gear and Nikon digital. On a side note, I have been shooting recently with the D700 and 1980’s manual lenses again and unlike the Leica I am amazed by the results.


Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day four, Monday)

2 thoughts on “Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day four, Monday)

  1. gunston says:

    hi , which part of the test didn’t convince you enough to get a M240?
    it is a capable successor to M9.

    1. Hi, thanks for your interest in this post.
      I think my criterias are highly subjective:
      – I definitely cannot use live-view
      – Here in Asia being able to use a polariser is a must
      – Having to post process 21mm shots to remove fringing is a joke
      – I cannot focus closer than 1 meter (I don’t care on my film Leicas because they are not my main cameras)

      Ok so I must stil admit this is an awesome piece of engineering . But all in all it boils down to the price tag: can this be my main camera and can I bin my Nikon DSLR ? The answer is no.
      Can I make better pictures than with the Nikon? Maybe, surely sometimes, not always.
      This is a hobby within the hobby. So I won’t rush buying one.
      After all I reiterate my conclusion above, I still think getting a M6 and a 35mm Cron, and maybe get a digital Leica when all film will be exhausted.
      Or maybe when I can get a recent one second hands. M9 are half price now, M8 are the price of a M6.

      Hope this helps.

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