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Rangefindin’

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Leica M9 + 50mm f/2 Summicron | 1/250 sec, f/2.4, ISO 400

With their retro, rangefinder-like designs, it would seem inevitable that cameras like the X100 or XPRO-1 would cause many to think of Leica’s M series. While I love the Fuji cams, shooting an M is a very, very different experience. Not everyone responds to rangefinder cameras the same way, and shooting with one is not everyone’s cup of tea, but shooting with the M9? Love it.

This little guy isn’t Suki. Just another beautiful Shiba we ran into the park. =)

Good night, and happy shooting this week!

________________________

All Images: Leica M9 with Summicron-M 50mm f/2

Written by Jonathan

April 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

22 Responses

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  1. Nice photos :D

    I have a question regarding Leica M camera as a X100 user. Personally I have never used M camera before and I keep finding people saying that the experience is ‘totally different’ or ‘can’t even compare’.

    Although M9 and Leica lenses intrigue me, I am still unsure as to if I can choose M9 + Leica lens over Nikon Flagship DSLR and flagship lenses. I know DSLRs are tools for different usage but couldn’t X100 (or X1 Pro) fill the shoe of M9 more or less?

    Thank you in advance for your answer :)

    JPanda

    April 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    • @JPanda, i own a x100 and an M6 and honestly the only common points i see are the form factor and the positioning of the aperture/shutter speed. apart from that it is 2 really different camera to shoot with (and the digital vs film argument does not apply in my case because i never look at my pictures until i get back home)

      i really like both of them but they just do not compare in much.

      @Jonathan real nice shots specially the outside ones. Need to think about an eventual switch from Nikon to Leica, how do they compare for you ?

      Timour Chomilier

      May 1, 2012 at 7:56 am

      • Timour:

        Thanks for the comment. Between Nikon and Leica? So difficult to compare. I’d use each for entirely different things. I definitely have more fun shooting the M, but when I’m working a paid gig, I go with my Nikons =)

        Jonathan

        May 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      • Thank you Timour, I appreciate the reply.

        X100 is a wonderful camera and hopefully one day I will get to try out the Leica M system too. Maybe when that day comes, I maybe able to feel/tell the difference :)

        JPanda

        May 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    • JPanda:

      So, could the Fuji cams fill the M9’s shoes? I suppose it depends who you ask. From a performance standpoint, it’s hard to beat the astonishing image quality you get with an M9 and Leica lens, especially at lower ISOs. Obviously you can’t change lenses on the X100, so there’s no shoe filling going on there. The XPRO on the other hand, does let you swap lenses and performs beautifully at both low and high ISO values. I wouldn’t say you “can’t compare” it to the M9 in some ways, but for me the feel of the camera in practice, and the way it operates as a system, is certainly “totally different.” I can’t really quantify or measure that difference. It’s just a feeling really.

      Timour makes an interesting comment that he never looks at his pictures until he gets home. With my digital cameras, I tend to chimp after each shot. In the case of the Fuji X100 and XPRO, chimping is especially easy via the EVF. I find that when I shoot the M9, however, I almost never chimp. The operation is so simple, so uncluttered, so “old school,” that I feel like I focus more on my immediate environment and the experience of shooting than I seem to do with my other digital cameras. The M9 feels like a film camera with digital guts, whereas neither the X100 nor XPRO can hide the fact that they are straight up digital. Not different in a negative way necessarily, but a significant difference nonetheless.

      As far as flagship Nikon body vs M9….have you seen how big a D4 is? =)

      Jonathan

      May 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      • Thank you for such an informed reply. :D

        I am sure the image quality you get from Leica M9 with Leica lenses are nothing short of stunning. However if we are strictly speaking of IQ. Couldn’t Nikon D800 (or D800E) with Nikon glass provide as good or better IQ?

        If money was no issue, I am sure I wouldn’t hesitate to go for M9 and Leica lenses as a ‘fun’ camera to have but as you mentioned in your reply to Timour, that you would go for Nikon when it is paid gig (and I am sure I would too just because of the functionality discounting the form/weight factor).

        Only reason I brought this up is because as a hobbyist/part time wedding photographer on a budget, Leica M9 + 35mm seems almost like a dream set I would acquire only if I won the lottery but my Nikon systems (although heavy) will have to do with X100/X1-Pro as ‘Leica Substitute’.

        In the end, I guess I am just trying to find a reason to discourage myself from an unrealistic dream (financially speaking) ;)

        JPanda

        May 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      • JPanda,

        Very good points. I certainly don’t feel something is lacking when I shoot the D800 instead of the M9 when it comes to image quality. Then again, I could shoot a cheap, old, point and shoot film camera and be happy, so image quality is not always on the top of my list. To put your mind at ease, I really don’t think you have a reason to dream of owning a Leica system or to feel you need to substitue it with “lesser” cameras. It’s very different than anything else out there, but not necessarily better, and most importantly, not necessarily better for you. You may try it one day and think it’s the best thing ever, or not like it at all. ;)

        Jonathan

        May 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      • Thank you for your ‘comforting’ words :)

        It may sound a little silly, but I am indeed a little bit more comforted by your comment.

        I just hope that one day I will get to try them out and IF I like them, I have the cash to buy them without risking starvation ;)

        JPanda

        May 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      • Jonathan: You have got to try the voigtlander color skopar 35mm f2.5 PII love the rendering and its such a cheap and tiny lense.

        JPanda: you should try renting it for a couple of days, at least you will be fixed (and maybe have an expensive problem)

        Timour Chomilier

        May 2, 2012 at 7:11 am

  2. Wow! Impressive. I love the vibrancy of the colors…That palm tree pic is great; I can almost feel the texture!

    Bridget

    May 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

  3. I love the palate of colors in these photos. The teals, light purples, faded yellows, and sharp greens makes SF sort of feel like a beach town.

    • Every now and then we get pretty light like this in SF, and the cities colors really come alive. I’m just glad I could be there with a camera in tow. Thanks for the comment =)

      Jonathan

      May 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

  4. Awesome lighting! I love the face shot of the Suki-look-alike in the park! Shibas are so adorable!!

    JL

    May 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm

  5. wow, an m9? you have like the best camera collection.

    and the colors and exposure here are so dang spot-on.

    Jacqueline

    May 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

  6. Jonathan you can’t take a bad photo! I love how you capture life. I took a camera class 2 nights a week for 4 weeks it was so confusing and dull I took the class with a friend who felt the same way! I learn more from your blog than that boring class. I love the photo of Suki with the frenchie…and the photo of the the hands and plant gives almost a 3d effect with the background blurred and smaller very cool!

    michele Busch

    May 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm

  7. nice shots outside, very vibrant colours…
    I’ll be in SF for 4 days from 21 may and I hope to meet you somewhere…
    with Nikons or M9 or x100 or…

    agasper79

    May 2, 2012 at 6:00 am

  8. Loving your blog and, as always, some really fabulous photos. Thanks for inspiring.

    Niall

    May 3, 2012 at 2:09 am

  9. the picture of palm trees is GORGEOUS! I can’t get over the beautiful light and texture you got there.
    you are so lucky to experiment with all these different cameras :)

    M.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

  10. Really appreciate the comments everyone! =)

    Jonathan

    May 6, 2012 at 9:58 pm

  11. […] Images: Leica M9 + 28mm f/2 Summicron Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailStumbleUponDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to […]


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