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)

The Leica IIIC

The Leica IIIC and Summitar 50mmF2

So this is my latest acquisition, a vintage Leica IIIC, built soon after World Word III (1949 if you believe the literature) and the associated 50mm, a Summitar F2, which himself was probably made during  war (1940 if you believe …).

Hold of your horses, I did not break the piggy bank to get this little fellow, the body was around 200 USD and the lens on the top 300, all postage included.  So I could respond to my Leica envy without getting into any argument at home (nearly no argument).

This is a very nice piece of kit to handle, and since May I already did a few film with it.

The only annoying thing I would say are the separate windows for focusing and framing; but I’m getting used to it. The other specifics, like cutting the film trailer for loading or the rewind knob are easy to get used to. There is also a little lever on the top left of the body that acts like a dioptric adjustment and which I welcome very much.

The LeicaIII was part of the film only trip to Taiwan, and came with me in France, but that’s another story.

Sharp Dressed Man : From the first film with the Industar 50mm F3.5

Ice Man: This time with the Voigtländer Color Skopar 21mmF4

Keong Saik Road: With the Summitar 50mmF2.0

The Leica IIIC