« The Leica M10 Reporter: Beautiful Simplicity | Main | Great Expectations »

Monday, 13 June 2022


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

All of these reasons are why I am waiting for the CL2.

I still have my Leica M6 and all the lenses from that era. I've adapted the lenses to my Fujis and found another limitation that the rangefinder system has: a long minimum focus distance based on the triangulation between the RF and finder.

I've been spoiled by the extremely close focusing of my modern (non-macro) lenses, but didn't realize it until I kept bumping up against the close limit of those M lenses.

I always assumed that the high price of a Leica bought you toughness and reliability. Until I met Julie on a an international photography trip. She was toting two Leicas (I don't know what model, but I do remember calculating that one of her bodies plus lenses was around 4 times more expensive than the Fujifilm XT-3 plus lenses I had with me) "Why two bodies?" I asked. " Backup" was the simple answer. Julie had money and loved to travel, especially on photography tours. Turns out she had a Leica stop working, twice, on consecutive tours. Not from a fall or other accident - just stopped working.

I imagine it depends on your preference for picture taking. The M10 is my primary camera, a 21mm is rarely used but the 28-50 most often. I do have a need for an autofocus camera to use my 70-300mm zoom lens for wildlife pix.
I did have to give up a second car, but having one 10 year old car is enough to handle.

Yes, especially to the idea that the most expensive camera you can afford is the most expensive camera you can afford TWO of. I've dropped a camera on cobblestones (lens and camera totaled) and I've left a camera behind on a park bench (returned by a good Samaritan). Stuff happens and it will happen again. I don't want to photograph in fear that my camera will be damaged/lost/stolen and I'll never be able to replace it. When I dropped the K-1, I had another in a couple of days and I didn't cry over it. (I do, however, keep the original on a shelf in view to remind me not to be so careless.)

...and retirees WITHOUT pensions reading this site.

To Matt O’Brien, you’ll have a long wait. Leica has just discontinued the CL/TL (APS-C) line.

The Leica M10 “Reporter” is a boutique-like replica of an actual photojournalist’s working camera.

Re Handling:

I got an unexpected windfall a few years ago and decided I was going to go buy a dream camera.

I had heard a lot about Leica but never handled one. I walked into the Leica store in SF, fully expecting to walk out with new camera and a couple of lenses. As soon as I picked the camera, I was shocked by the lack of a grip and how awkward it was to handle. (I think it was an M9 back then.) It just felt precarious and unbalanced - especially with the weight.

I commented on it and the very nice salesperson replied that since it was manual focus, it was meant to be held with two hands anyway. Plus, there were aftermarket grips if I really needed one.

Different strokes…

I love my M10 and my “pros “seem to be your “cons”. Not only I have never really been comfortable with autofocus, I find the manual focus of my Leica almost as quick, and with zone focussing even faster (A second or two here or there is not really important to me). Also, I feel a bit uneasy not seeing a distance scale on the lens—something current manufacturers have all but abandoned these days. I find viewfinder “clutter” totally unnecessary and over-the-top giving me gobs of info that is all but useless to me. I also never liked EVF because it never really shows the light as it really is—it only shows an electronic interpretation of it. I am always amazed at the difference between a digitized image on the screen as opposed to the real thing. I also do not miss image stabilization because these days in digital, all one has to do to get a faster shutter speed is change the ISO. All image stabilization gets me is a bigger, bulkier more noticeable lens.

I like my Leica M10 because of the way it feels in my hands. I like the weight, the small size and simplicity of use—not having to fiddle with a bunch of buttons and dials. It allows me to think about what’s most important to me in a photograph—that is the photo itself. I never really was impressed with the so-called “Leica Look” nor the super quality of the lenses that people speak of, because once a photo is printed, it would be very difficult to tell whether the picture was made using the latest Summilux 50, a 50 year old Summicron 50 or my favorite Zeiss Sonnar 50 which is 15 years old. Once printed, it either looks good or does not and it has nothing to do with the lens. Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Frank made some of the most iconic photos of the 20th century with ancient lenses you could probably still find in old pawn shops sitting under a glass counter, covered in a layer of dust.

It took me 50 years before I could afford to buy my first Leica (a used M3) and I never looked back. I have used other cameras over the years but it is the Leica which is street photographers friend because it is small, simple and unobtrusive. Although I use other cameras (mostly for macro or when I occasionally want a zoom lens), I use my Leica 90% of the time. Camera choice is very personal, and I guess the real reason there are so many different cameras on the market is because we have different tastes, different needs, and different goals.

In one way I'm glad the M10 is so expensive. If it cost $2,000 (with a lens) I'd probably talk myself into buying one, even though it would never be my primary camera. Still have my M3 and a couple lenses...but, of course, never shoot with it these days.

And, in the "They don't make them like they used to" department, the tales of mishaps reminded me of the time the camera strap broke on my Nikkormat Ftn. It hit the sidewalk. There was a dent that kept the rewind knob from turning. I beat the dent out with a hammer. It still worked. I still have it and it still works today.

I bought an M10 a couple of years ago (previously had an M8 for a while when in was the only Digital M). I like the weight and solidity of the M10. My plan is to keep this until I leave this world...
I also have a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and an Olympus OMD EM1 Mk III. I enjoy using all of them. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

I'm holding my breath for Leica to build a stripped down digital M Monochrome for under $1000.

(That "thud" you heard in the background was me falling over from lack of oxygen.)

Ya know, it’s one thing using a rangefinder at f/4 with grainy film, but totally something else at f/1.4 on a 60 MP back-illumated sensor. It’s also burdeonsome worrying about gear that’s too expensive to own. And if you ever have to deal with Leica USA for repairs, I only hope your experience is better than mine.

"... I've gotten into the habit of reviewing using the viewfinder! I love it,..."

The only way I chimp!

I think the popularity of the Fuji X-Pro series is the EFV along with the optical viewfinder. With the X-Pro3, came the folding screen which is convenient to use while digitizing film. Personally, my digital cameras must have autofocus, whereas none of my film cameras do. Also, anyone that has only tried the X100 thru T models, need to give the X100V a try with the backlit sensor; the colors are marvelous!

Totally get what you are saying about simplicity. I’d add that for me it’s also about the view through the finder. If you shoot 35mm-90mm lenses a hi mag finder on a Leica is unique. If you haven’t ever done it I’d recommend seeking out and looking through the apparently tiny wee window on an M3 with your right eye and keeping your left eye open - and losing yourself in the ethereally beautiful frame lines hovering over the actual, in focus, world in 3d.

As to cost … while apparently expensive, no money is lost on Leica M or lenses. The longer you keep it, and it doesn’t really matter the era .. the greater the accumulation in worth. I have a nicely brassed 2015 M240-P which cost £2100 pared with a (now lucratively discontinued) 2.4 Summarit 50mm bought used in 2019 for £890. Leica might seem expensive perhaps but feel free to google the current prices for this kit. The value of the 1.4x viewfinder magnifier I use to replicate the M3 finder experience on M240 is worth about the same as the current value of a Nikon D700 body.

Really what’s not to like about Leica?

Thank you for pointing out the reality of modern M Leica cameras. I do love the idea, but rationally it doesn’t seem to make sense to me. I’d want see an affordable minimalist camera that takes M-mount lenses.

The M10 is nearly AUD11,000 body only in Australia, which means it's not of the slightest interest to me I'm afraid. I could buy a Fuji GFX50 for half that.

Re using phones for photos, I've lost several chances lately because in daylight the display is simply so washed out that I can't see anything, not even the controls (OnePlus 3T). No, I'll go for a real camera such as an Olympus Pen - small enough to carry with me, cheap enough to replace, good enough.

Hi Mike,
Apart form my now Leica M11, I also have another system and it is going to probably be my last DLSR, as I suspect that Nikon will never release a replacement to the wonderful D850, so one day I will be forced to move to a mirrorless camera as well, however if I am I might have to think hard about that as I do like an optical viewfinder.
I spent 10 years using Sony Mirrorless cameras and really liked the ability to see a live histogram in the viewfinder while working, however I also missed the optical view on the world that a DSLR or M camera gave me.

I have owned a Leica or two down the years, and still have a (film) Leica MP. However, the true descendant of the M3 etc. is not the M10 Reporter, or any other digital rangefinder; it is the Q2 Monochrom: Shoots in B&W, almost ISO independent, great tones, simple to use, auto focus (or not), any effective focal length between 28mm and 90mm, IBIS, EVF, beautifully built, and more. It combines the best of the intuitive film Leica's and the best of the latest technology.

I liked your point as to whether working pros ever had multiple Leicas back in the day. Apropos to that, I dug up some of photos of Larry Burrows - he seemed to have normally been adorned with cameras. Although there are some showing him with multiple Leicas (you in fact featured one of them, in 2009), in general it was perhaps just one Leica M and several SLRs - probably Nikon F examples?

Which begs the question - how did the price of a new Nikon F compare with the price of a new Leica M between, say, 1964 and 1968? It's around 3:2 in the UK at the moment. My local Nikon Dealer are selling Nikon D6 for £5,900 and Nikon Z9 for £5,200, although reductions - 'rebates' - are frequently available. The UK Leica store advertises M11 and M10-R bodies for between £7,200 and £7,500. (I haven't considered any of the Leica special editions...)

To Jeff, Re CL1.

I got the Fuji x100v as a small travel camera… invested a lot of time to become familiar with it and optimise the config. But…. cannot fall in love with the so well specified little warrior.

So… I decided the CL1 might be a good option, especially as I can also change lens…

To discover
1. The Leica dealer in Dublin, Ireland, where I live, has returned his dealership to Leica. No other Irish deal and prospect of travelling to Brexit inflicted London plus currency and customs hassle is scary.
2. Recent CL announcement…

So… I am sad…

But maybe Leica / Panasonic might create a baby which might suit me. May even suit Mike !!!!!

I used to extensively use an Olympus E-M5 Mark II, but sold it to "upgrade." Years later I realized I quite missed it, so I bought the Limited Edition (of 7000) version in a lovely titanium colour reminiscent of the OM-3 T. So do I use it as much as I intended? Of course not! It ended up being far too precious. Instead I use the black E-M5 Mark II with broken LCD screen that I got dirt cheap.

Photographers believed in the red dot, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

To Luke,

It’s pretty, isn’t it, old sport? Haven’t you ever seen it before? It has a lockable storage compartment under the luggage rack that is accessible from between the seats. (╭ರ_⊙ )

My dream is a FF Panasonic Gx 8 with a Leica M or L mount!

For the American view of the Tiger/M4 read "Deathtraps" by Belton Cooper. Hint, it was not the Tiger's that were the deathtraps. This was one of the sources for Brad Pitt's movie "Fury"

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007