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Friday, 14 January 2022


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I must admit, now I'm quite excited for the next SL.

I doubt I'll ever own one but, like Ferraris, it's nice to dream.

"To the manor born"? Let's blame spell-cheque...


[Did y'see the caption under the second picture? I should think you'd better live in a manor! :-) --Mike]

I wouldn't carry that camera around San Fransisco or Barcelona, Spain for that matter.

I don't have a price list for 1954, but my Leica Catalogue No 36 (maybe 1961) lists an M3 for $296 without lens. An M2S (the new model with self timer) for $249. Adding the dual Range Summicron to the M3 would run the total up to $486 or $513 with the Summilux. The M2 with a 35mm Summicron would have been $423. Add about $28 for black finish on eithe body, an incredibly good investment as it turns out since so few people chose to.

I must confess that as much as I loved my M-series Leica film cameras the digital ones leave me cold, other than the better image quality they would give with my M-series lenses. And I have a number of them.

I see references to "stabilized live view magnified mod" which would go a certain way toward dealing with the focus accuracy problems, but not far enough for me.

RF focus was fine back then, but my 75mm Summilux didn't focus well enough to keep. I used it for one job and sold it on.

A major MP camera with a focus system that isn't precise enough to take advantage of it.

The only problem with the cover being built into the battery is that you have to purchase batteries in the proper colour, silver or black, to match the colour of the camera body.

For now, same price as the 40MP M10-R and M10 Monochrom, both of which share sensor architecture with the Leica S3. So some will prefer to hold on to their removable baseplates.

As much as I really want to continue to love LEICA M, having shot with a M6 and 35mm Summicron for many years, it really sticks in my craw when I found out that as of 2020 LEICA stopped their replacement service for sensor corrosion on the M9.
If I had bought one in 2014 (last year of production) and had this problem 6 years later, all that LEICA mystique would turn into an expensive paperweight in the blink of an eye.
Apologies if this sounds like trolling. It is not - it is a fact whether the fanboys like it or not.
The M11 is way too rich for my blood considering the potential creek one may find oneself up in the future.
But in the words of P.T. Barnum ....


It is truly a shame that Erwin Puts is no longer with us to comment on the new model. But, based on some of the last posts on his website (as I remember) them, I'm not sure that he would have been very enthused.

My own view is that there is a big disconnect between the new high-resolution sensor, the limitations of rangefinder focusing and what a small, hand-held camera is best suited for. To take advantage of the sensor and the extraordinary modern Leica lenses, one would have to use the camera on a very stable tripod and go to great lengths to focus it accurately enough.

I'm pretty sure that there are easier and far less expensive ways to get very good 60 mega-pixel images. But, they don't look as classy on the shoulder!

Not for me, both on financial grounds (obvs!) and photographic. I had my Leica period nearly 20 years ago, with a s/hand M6TTL and some of the then-new Summarit f2.5 lenses. I enjoyed using it, but the approximately two years I spent with it was long enough to tell me that I enjoyed the idea of Leica more than the reality. It turned out that I'm a standard-zoom shooter, ideally 24-105, and I spend a lot of time up near the long end of that range.

Except... strangely, when I'm using the iPhone I seem to be much happier at 24mm (equivalent) than I am when using a real camera! During the last year I had a photobook made of some my favourite smartphone images from recent years, and all I can say is that with the smartphone I seem to be able to take wide-angle images much more positively and more successfully than with any DSLR. And comparatively they're a bargain - about £1000 for the latest & greatest, complete with lenses!

After searching for Leica M11 in Google, ads for these $650 Gucci slippers were presented to me:

Suddenly the $9K M11 didn't seem so expensive after all.

Is this a new marketing strategy I haven't heard about?

I thought the black one is the one with the brass and so heavier than the silver, no?

[B&H says the silver is brass, the black aluminum. The black model with battery weighs 530g and the silver with battery 640g. --Mike]

The apo-summicron 2/35 asph is an exceptional lens, the summit of Leica design and craftmanship, crazy expensive, and not necessary at all. Leica gear will never be cheap, but it can be had much cheaper than the M11+apo-summicron suggests. My used but mint, beautifully ‘drawing’ summarit 2.5/35 cost me € 950. Voigtländer or Zeiss offer new 35 mm lenses for even less. Leitz/Leica lenses of up to 68 years old still fit and work perfectly on present day bodies. Previous owners have often been very careful with their Leica gear. And Leica gear can be serviced & repaired longer and to a greater extend than most other brands (ask any specialised repairperson), which has also environmental/ecological advantages. And you the owner/photographer feel usually less need to change systems (skip two such changes in, say, five years, and you already break more than even). Last but not least, working conditions in Wetzlar are good and fair, on all levels. I am not a fan of the Hermès or other fancy fashion editions, but I understand they help Leica survive - so why bother.

I had a phone call on the morning of the M11 launch asking if I wanted to come collect a Silver M11 on the day of Launch, a first for me. I collected it Friday morning and it is everything that the sites are all taking about, I think it is the best yet and I have only shoot a few frames on it since I got it 18 hours ago. First thing that surprised me was how quiet the manual shutter is over the M10. Now if I want to turn it into my main camera I will be getting that darned expensive bump that is £600-00 here in the UK for the electronic viewfinder, shame it is at this stage only coming in black. I would love a silver one to sit on top of the camera.
While, I realise that Leica M cameras are expensive, my film consumption each month prior to digital was about £1000 a month.
after trading in my M10 which had originally cost me £5500, my final cost of ownership for the M10 actually cost me the equivalent of £500 per year over the time I owned it. So considering how much I used to spend on film and processing the cost of the Leica Digital M is not so much. And considering that the lens o brought for it when I first got a Leica M9 have not depreciated since I bright them as I could sell them for the same price I originally paid for them.
I am now going to really enjoy using this new tool. I thought deeply about this purchase when for the same sort of money I could have had a new Nikon Z9 with a good set of lens for similar money and after thinking about it I realised that the pleasure of working with the Leica outweighed the technological marvel that the Nikon z9 is!

I admit to being slightly elated by the M11 announcement. The specs didn’t feature anything I felt I needed! A very few clever enhancements, such as a triple-res sensor. But some misfires and glaring omissions. Whew! I have no desire to upgrade from my lovely M10-R (which I declared to be my last M). So it’s a pass for me (and my poor wallet).

Now if the M11 had IBIS…that would’ve been an irresistible enhancement for me. And I think Leica really blew it by not implementing it in the M11. They have the tech, as they have IBIS in their SL2 cameras. And it could be implemented in a small body. (Ricoh even has it in their GR III line!). And let’s face it, a great portion (most) of the customers for this camera are certainly late middle-aged or downright elderly and would tremendously benefit from IBIS in an M. IMHO Leica really blew it by being stodgy and a bit greedy.

But it is fun to see some of the YouTubers try to pimp and pump the rather anemic M11, after being treated to a free trip to NYC for the preview this fall. DPreview’s Chis Nichols’ review seems the fairest I’ve seen (as usual).

The Leica EVF is only $41 more than the one Sigma sells for its FP cameras. So I guess the Leica is a bit of a bargain. The specs seem similar.

Using a Leica M with compact manual focus lenses is akin to going hunting with a bow rather than a gun. It takes practice, but is still done today 400 years after guns were developed.

“Qu'ils mangent de la brioche”,
Marie Antoinette

Leicas have come a long way from the film era when serious photojournalists actually used them for reporting work. Most of the way has been down. I succumbed years ago and got an M3 with a 50mm f/2 Summicron. Loading it was always a pain and while I enjoyed the almost silent whoosh of the shutter, the images were no better than my Nikkormat with a Nikon 50mm f/2.

In the digital era they have become a niche product, purchased mostly by well to do amateurs. There is not one feature (possibly except the yet to be assessed binning) that is not measurably better in Sony, Nikon, and Canon, all at a considerably lower price. The best lenses from S/N/C are also measurably better than Leica's best at a much lower price. The concept of trying to focus a rangefinder with a 60MP sensor is risible.

Of course, each person is entitled to spend their money as they see fit and so long as the children have food, go ahead. I'll await the hate mail.

I have a M240 and at 24 mpixels it's got enough to take advantage of the old LTM lenses I prefer. My daily shooting lens is a Nikon Nikkor 50/2 from ~1950 and it does quite well, thank you very much.

But I won't get the M11. Perhaps I'll get an M10 someday when they're as old as the M240 and their price has dropped enough. In the meantime, I have what I have, and I enjoy it tremendously.

I want one. But my eyes and hands are not what they were and I worry that I am not physically capable of the technique needed to take full advantage of 60 mp of resolution without IBIS and a rangefinder. Fortunately, I’ve fallen quite in love with my Q2 (which focuses faster than I was ever able to focus a rangefinder - excluding zone focussing, of course), including coming to terms with both 28 mm framing and using it to provide cropped 35 mm FF equivalence. I suspect I would instantly go for a Q3 with the M11 sensor in lieu of my Q2 pretty much regardless of the changeover cost.

Leica should move to the 21st century and put a M (or L) mount on the Q. That would be a perfect balance between the over-sized SL and the old M that is no longer relevant.

This is exactly the time to talk to a Leica dealer and put your name down for a second hand M10. At my dealer, I picked up my MMono 246 as someone had enough of it and wanted to upgrade. Stock is limited so there is a permanent waiting list and second hand cameras come as they trade in for new.

I have no idea what I would use anything more than 16 megapixels for, though.


A Neumann U 87 Ai Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone sells for $3,250.00. A bargain for a mic of this quality. BTW I've used the U 87 for work.

When discussing price you need to keep things in perspective. I live in coastal Orange County California, not Kansas. Here Tesla cars are more common than Toyota cars.

I would love to have one. But the divorce that would result would cost me more than an M11 and a Noctilux.

Glad to see that this should bring down used M10 prices. Especially since the improved Visoflex will work on the M10 with a software update. I might finally own a Leica M-series camera! All my Leica and Canon glass is screw mount, used on Leica IIIa and Canon 7s.

I agree that 60MP without IBIS is rather pointless. The BSI CMOS, along with thinner cover glass, certainly will help the corners. But the improvement in the center is pointless and unachievable in normal use.

Of course IBIS is not ideal with wide-angle lenses, where you really want image stabilization in-lens. Since Leica M-series cameras are popular with wide-angle lenses, that's a contradiction.

As for the M9 sensor issues, Leica Camera was between a rock and a hard place on that one. The sensor was originally from Kodak's sensor business, sold to Platinum Equity, renamed TrueSense, and sold to ON Semiconductor. Eventually they couldn't buy any more replacement sensors. But that's the risk of all electronic devices, parts become obsolete and unobtainable. Semiconductor fab lines shut down as they become obsolete.

There are ways to get 60MP resolution images that will compare, the Sigma FpL. Also with a tilting EVF. Goofy looking but inconspicuous (I have the 24MP Fp which looks identical).

But that's not the point about Leica, everyone knows that.

BTW, Bruce Gilden shoots with the big Leica these days, not the M. I don't know if any practicing pros still shoot with an M, at least those not on the payroll.

With the Leica M3, that I bought in Germany in 1963.


"The concept of trying to focus a rangefinder with a 60MP sensor is risible."

Admittedly I do own a Q2 Monochrome. I adore it. The photos from it are amazing. I also rarely use it. Not because it's black and white, but because if someone stole it I would be out $6,000+. That was the part I didn't think about when I confirmed by purchase from B&H....... :-)

I suspect this is one reason so many used Leicas are in great condition as another commenter noted. That and having briefly used a film M, people get frustrated trying focus them.

I also wonder how many older lenses and second party M mount lenses are good at 60 megapixels? Sure you can downsize it 18 or 36 megapixels, but you don't buy a 60 megapixel camera to do that.

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