PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


A new M9 review worth reading

As my day with the M9 draws closer, I comb the 'net late at night looking for some juicy tidbits I may have missed.  Surprisingly tonight I stumbled on a new M9 review from... CanonRumors!

It's a good read, find it here:

I hope Craig, a fellow Canadian, doesn't get too much flak for this.

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  1. It’s almost tragic that people buy Leica cameras for all possible reasons, because of nonsense really (“it’s a Leica”, “best photographic tool”, “ease of use” lol), instead of buying it because of Leica’s fantastic lenses. The reason for using a Leica rangefinder camera are lenses like 35/1.4 Aspherical or 50/1.4 Aspherical. If you’re gonna put the Voigtlander 50/1.1 on it, what’s the point?

    A lot of nonsense goes into justifying buying Leica cameras. This doesnt deserved to be called a “review”. This is just a guy saying all the usual myths about Leica, a very biased view with no objectivity. He tries really hard to justify all that money spent, and in the process of doing so, he says a lot of things that are simply not true.

    Why not just say “I always wanted a Leica, so I bought it”, instead of making a lot of incorrect statements and trying to make a M9 into something that it really is not?

    • At this point a “review” is equally pointless because everything you need to know about the M9 has been written 10 times. Another table of specs and a feature-by-feature walkthrough will add nothing worth reading.

      What’s interesting is the idea of a (and reasons behind the) transition from a guy so much into Canon he operates a site called CanonRumors. There is something there.

      His reasons for getting it appear to be size and affinity for wide fields of view. Secondarily he seems to enjoy voluntary simplicity. I think it’s a valid set of reasons, these reasons move me as well.

    • “A Guy” — The point is that some of us prefer the user interface of an M to any other camera that we’ve used. That’s what the point is, friend. Good lenses are another reason to get into the system, but after using the M system for a dozen years, it’s not the lenses that keep me there. It’s the cameras.

      YMMV, but please don’t assume that your requirements or priorities are the same as everyone else’s. They are not, and if you were to take the time to consider and weigh other peoples’ priorities, you might just learn a thing or two.

  2. I was an SLR man! Had SLR’s up from my 16th birthday and the only other camera type I bought was a Contax G2. And that was not my favorite camera. That was and stayed the Olympus OM1 with his marvelous bright and big viewfinder!

    I read Erwin Puts and he was dwelling on CRF’s like: if you peep through the viewfinder of a CRF your mind gets into another mental state, bla bla bla. I did not believe him! What difference could that viewfinder make?

    Until, until I bought a Voigtlander R4m. I did that because I wanted a RF camera in my collection and this was a rare species: a RF with a 21 mm viewfinder! And 21 mm is just my favorite lens (after the 35 mm). The camera changed everything! So much so that I soon also bought a Hexar RF. Now, these two camera’s get most use of all camera’s in my collection (which includes the OM1 and a D300).

    And, ashamed, I have to confess that Erwin Puts was right: It is the viewfinder that makes a huge difference. And, if a Leica M9 was not so horrendously expensive (not to speak of the lenses) I would already own one. I love RF cameras now and, with Oliver, cross my fingers hoping on an affordable (< US$2000,=) RF camera. Zeiss where are you?

    As for the criticism on Voigtlander lenses:
    The current Voigtlander RF lensen are regarded to be equally good as the last generation Leica lenses. Would you bare the same statement if the Canon guy would have bought a "vintage" summilux 35? After all, the Voigtlander lenses deliver an image quality that Leica afficionados boasted on only a few years ago. I use several of these lenses myself and I find them impressively good. Especially since the price is relatively low!

    Would it be a good idea to write a review on these lenses? You have a RF after all……

  3. Great Oliver. I really look forward to it!

    Did I already said this site is getting better each day :-)?

  4. A Guy – I fear that you miss the point. I will likely get an M9 fairly soon, simply because there is no digital rf alternative. My main cameras are Zeiss Ikons (film), and the 1Ds3 gets left at home unless there is a particular reason to take it, but being able to get high quality digital files without scanning would make my life much easier and I am time pressed enough to value that.

    So the M9 is attractive to me because I like rangefinders and I would like a digital option. My Zeiss lenses will be fine.

  5. Oliver, sorry, thanks for pointing out this ‘review’. It confirms my experience with the Ikons replacing my Canon digital kit, even though film is both much harder to deal with and considerably less flexible. I won’t discuss ‘image quality’ as I shoot a lot of monchrome and I like the way it renders there.


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