The Leica M (240) from Jono Slack: First User Comments
Jono, who is an old friend of mine and a previous guest photographer on this blog, has been working closely with Leica over the past few months as a beta tester for the very exciting Leica M.
With retail shipping of the camera due quite soon, Jono has just published a truly newsworthy piece based on these experiences: The Leica M (240) Introduction.
As he says;
"This article is not meant to be a review. There are others better equipped to do that, and you should be aware that on the one hand I’m not an independent voice; as always, my loyalty as a camera tester is to Leica: If I find a problem, then I tell Leica, If I like something, then I tell everyone else! On the other hand I hope that I’m an honest correspondent, and I won’t say anything that I don’t really believe to be the case."
So don't expect detailed side by side comparisons and metrics to peer group cameras, blah blah blah. Instead enjoy Jono sharing his experience of using the M as a photographer.
There's more in this article than anyone has previously been allowed to say. If you are thinking of buying an M then it is absolutely required reading.
Also today, Sean Reid, another Beta tester, has published an article in which he compares the new M's performance, in beta iteration, against some of its stable-mate and predecessor cameras. Sean's site is subscription only but the article is pretty much required reading for the true M aficionado.
And in this onslaught of new M-formation, Ming Thein, third leg of this beta testing stool, has also published his thoughts and experiences, which are nearly all positive. Ming's site is free to view.
I expect to be publishing the first in a series of in-depth review articles of a final firmware version of this camera myself fairly soon - so keep checking in here to see when the first one appears.
Keywords: 240, Jono, Jono Slack, Leica, M, Slack, Tim Ashley, ashley, comment, introduction, review, tashley, tim
The M review is coming up. The first few frames I have shot imply that the file quality, though not up to current best of breed at higher ISO, is at the very least good enough for a competent photographer to feel that (s)he is not squandering those lovely lenses. The camera itself feels very nice and while I have some initial ergonomic concerns, the point of my style of field review is to let those things percolate for a while until one's 'muscle memory' is properly acquainted with the system. I think that ordering one is a good idea! On the NEX, before you sell it, have you tried the little Sigma 30mm F2.8 in Nex mount? It is the only lens I have tried on the NEX that will certainly let me print to 24x36 and, like the RX-1's Zeiss, it is sharper from corner to corner and edge to edge than most lenses on a D800...
Tim, you don't have to print this. After sitting on the fence for a while I've ordered the M. I just tried out a Monochrom and while I liked it, it is just "too much sugar for a dime" as we say out in West Texas. I'm heading to Italy in September to shoot the vendemmia and visit friends and after hefting the D800 and Zeiss lenses all around this past weekend I decided I just have to have a high quality kit without the weight for international travel. Like you, I have several M lenses and still find the manner in which they draw superlative (I still shoot an M8.2) so it was a no-brainer to stay with Leica. My NEX-7, I'm afraid, is going on the block. I just purchased a 24" printer and discovered that most of my images made with the 7 to be lacking at the up-res requirement.
Anyway, I hope you'll be running an M through it's paces soon and I look forward to your feedback.
Tim, I'm not sure how an understanding of a lens, its field curvature characteristics, the depth and shape of the field and more, will allow anyone to be certain of critical focus on a subject that is on a completely different plane to the zoomed, magnified, central portion of the image in liveview.
But hell, I await your magic with bated breath ;-)
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