Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: M9  (Read 7570 times)
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


M9
« on: January 20, 2010, 04:24:15 PM »
ReplyReply

Michael

I read your article with interest, not least of all because I sense a kind of disappointment in your Gomera photographs.

This may be entirely in my own head and you could be as happy as a sandboy with what you got there; however, I can't lose the notion that Gomera is your Sardinia, which in my case was quite upsetting. I had long held high hopes for the place, yet when the time came and I did the recce and then the shoot, it just didn't give me what I had hoped it would. I have Marco Glaviano's sirens of costasmeralda (sic) and though I think very highly of his oeuvre, I think Sardinia beat him too, which is surprising, because it is quite dramatic and beautiful. It just seems to have the knack of stopping you from going home with that part of itself.

Was your experience in/of Gomera in any way similar and perhaps behind your feelings towards the M9?

Rob C
Logged

michael
Administrator
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 4731



M9
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 05:24:38 PM »
ReplyReply

No not at all.

We had a great time in La Gomera, and though it was a vacation, I ended up producing at least three portfolio grade images. Not bad.

I have been so pleased with the M9 that I have been using it extensively for the past few months. My P65+ was at the factory for a firmware upgrade, so I ended up using the M9 more than I might have otherwise.

Consequently, because I was using it for some types of shooting (landscape) for which I otherwise might have preferred to use an non-RF camera, some of its flaws and hassles shone a bit brighter than they might have otherwise. Also, a vacation is a good time to do some thinking about fundamentals.

Michael
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 05:25:04 PM by michael » Logged
Mosccol
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


M9
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 05:46:49 PM »
ReplyReply

Great article Michael. I hope they listen...

A comparable story is that of the Merc S class in the 1990s: it became both incredibly over-engineered and obsolete at the same time and painted itself into an evolutionary corner just when Lexus and Infinity were becoming affordable alternatives.

For those who don't remember each new Merc was longer and heavier than the previous one - to the point where they had to use titanium chair frames to lighten the load! The 1991 model (the W140) really bombed because it was becoming irrelevant even to the rarefied market for very large luxury cars. This near-death experience resulted in the car being totally redesigned, coming up with a lighter, shorter, faster more reliable car in 1997 (the W220) that was actually larger inside. In other words evolution had reached a dead-end and the engineers had started another branch of the family tree...

You can see the parallels: Kodak can sell sensors to other people, the Leica M lenses are widely available in all sorts of mounts, etc. Having seen the ability for, say, Sony to break into the very competitive 'proper' SLR market, it is only a matter of time before somebody goes after Leica's lunch.

François

(with apologies for the many mixed metaphors!)
Logged
Tom Montgomery
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 77


WWW
M9
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 07:53:38 PM »
ReplyReply

If I understand Michael's thinking, he's advocating a whole new direction for Leica - a body with no viewfinder other than a live view screen. (Almost a very upscale P&S!)  I agree that, if Leica wants to move away from what must be a diminishing market of nostalgic folks with healthy bank accounts, they will have to come out with something different.

If there is to be no viewfinder, then there is no reason to lift the camera up to eye level, yet a camera as light and thin as an M has to be braced against something for steadiness. Holding it out in front where the LCD can be viewed (if it is mounted on the rear panel of the body) is not a steady position.

How about an entirely different form factor, perhaps like a smaller, 35mm version of a Hasselblad-style box, with the LCD on top?  A flip-up hood and all the usual and familiar 6x6-style amenities could work.

Or, this could be an opportunity to completely re-think what the ideal shape for a digital camera should be.
Logged
jackmacd
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 31


M9
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 08:25:13 PM »
ReplyReply

Ah Michael,
You should visit the Leica forum's reaction to your article, more than here.

How big are you enlarging your M9 images?
Said another way, I know you sell very large prints. How large are you willing to go with the M9?
Sure the P65+ is the max but for a much heavier load.

When you get the P65+ back, and have a choice of what to carry, how often will you take the heavier kit?
10% 50% what do you think?
Logged
erick.boileau
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 469


WWW
M9
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2010, 01:23:43 AM »
ReplyReply

I could be a future user of M camera and lenses ! but I am not  a nostalgic  and as it is now (the M9)  for sure I shall never buy it
Logged
squarehead
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 15


M9
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2010, 10:24:54 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: erick.boileau
I could be a future user of M camera and lenses ! but I am not  a nostalgic  and as it is now (the M9)  for sure I shall never buy it

I am by no means a nostalgic. Frankly, I couldn't care less about that (which is probably the main factor (besides the snobby attitude) why I have problems with a lot of typical Leica M owners). I don't even care about the RF thing, or how one is supposed to use it or even what to use it for traditionally.
Yet, I just ordered a M9 (and I'm by no means rich). Why you ask? Simply because it has the damn best lenses available.
Otherwise, it's to me a tool like any other camera.

I agree with Michael Reichman's open letter. Frankly, I believe Leica should have broken the M mold already with the M9.
Logged
JimVehe
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


M9
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2010, 02:54:35 PM »
ReplyReply

I agree with most of Michael points except one, loosing a optical finder.  I am a better photographer with a M than any other camera, even the Contax G, although great image quality just was not as good. I see better with a M, resulting in a better composed image than anything else I have ever used. There is just something about the way you look through a M.

As a side, I was out for a short hike the other day and thought about how great it would be if the M9 had live view. I would no longer need a SLR with a long lens for sunset shots, just mount it to the M and use the LCD

Logged
erick.boileau
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 469


WWW
M9
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 03:25:13 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: squarehead
Yet, I just ordered a M9 (and I'm by no means rich). Why you ask? Simply because it has the damn best lenses available.
Otherwise, it's to me a tool like any other camera.

I agree with Michael Reichman's open letter. Frankly, I believe Leica should have broken the M mold already with the M9.

I have more or less the same point of view , I am 100% interested by the lenses but not at all by a RF
Logged
D!RK
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


M9
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 04:24:22 PM »
ReplyReply

Leica was innovative when they introduced the first 35mm camera. The form was a result of a very compact layout. The M Gestalt has always been a great solution for a film camera. I wish Leica would be innovative again. Use the advantage of digital to create a new layout, a forward looking platform. The M9 is beautiful but to be innovative you have to break the mold. At some point you will be trapped by the boundaries that you have established.
Logged
LKaven
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 775


M9
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2010, 06:16:02 PM »
ReplyReply

I'd like to put a slightly different conceptual frame around this issue.

I've felt for a long time that Leica should not try to compete either by banking on the appeal of their brand name, on being able to fast-follow Japanese technology, or, on the basis of the digital M.  

I think they should reconceptualize the compact high-quality camera using the best conceptual and design expertise they can bring to bear -- just the way they created the compact high-quality camera itself in the first place.  I think Leica's strong suit is to draw on an impressive brain trust with a unique engineering and design sensibility.

Surely the Leica Way will survive a transformation.  But to say that EVIL is the way to go is premature, which is not to say that very high resolutions LCDs or OLEDs won't play a big part.  One could imagine a number of ways to reconceptualize the optical viewfinder to work in conjunction with a live CMOS sensor.  For example, one could superimpose a kind of heads-up display in the viewfinder providing guides to AF/MF and other scene variables.  One could of course go pure EVIL, but the difficulty is that Leica will be competing against the Japanese and Koreans who will all have access to the same technology with the same uses intended.  And then we're back to Leica banking on their past prestige without genuinely groundbreaking original work.  [Of course an advance in making super high resolution displays will be necessary to achieve the requisite user experience.]  

Luke
Logged

jackmacd
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 31


M9
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2010, 10:42:00 PM »
ReplyReply

Dirk
the S2 was the new format
Logged
geesbert
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 530



WWW
M9
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2010, 03:25:56 AM »
ReplyReply

A M10 without the optical range finder wouldn't be a M10 but the EVIL10, it's missing the M, the Messsucher. Yes, the lenses are great, but so are many others. I am using a m9 because it works like I want a camera to work. its size is perfect, but it is way too heavy. It is fullframe and the quality of the files are great, but I hardly ever get it right out of camera, every picture needs PP, compare that to a Canon 5Dmk2, where often the heavily postproduced image isn't far off the enbedded jpg.
Live view would be great as an additional feature, if you don't like it, don't use it. and please I want tether support  (with tethered live view). only then I can see it as a professional tool for anything but reportage. the times are over where the client peaks over you shoulde to glimpse at the shitty screen. they have to show up on the big computer screen not more than 5 seconds after they are taken.

I am earning my living with Canons, but my photographic passion is fulfilled with the m9


and: the m9 is the most beautiful looking camera out there. looks are important, don't change it. it is the only current camera that I know of which is worth looking at.
Logged

-------------------------
WWW.RANDLKOFER.COM
r42ogn
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 47



M9
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 07:07:51 AM »
ReplyReply

Michael, thanks for a thought provoking article.  I've been waiting for the M9 for years, although I haven't saved enough to buy one yet.  

Since I went digital I've taken a lot less pictures, particularly on the street.  This is because I found I used my Voitlander Bessa (I couldn't justify a Leica back then as the Voitlander worked fine) far more than my SLRs.  I composed better (probably because the viewfinder was bright and the whole process of picture taking was more involving) and I felt more at ease pointing the camera at people, it was far more discreet.

I tried a Canon G10, which is pretty good, but I find the pokey viewfinder is limiting.

I'm sure that you are right about a diminishing audience for RFs and the need for Leica to protect their business.  I'm going to keep looking forward to my M9, but as I'll probably not buy anlother camera for at least 10 years afterwards the likes of me will not sustain Leica camera production.
Logged
D!RK
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


M9
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2010, 07:56:43 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: jackmacd
Dirk
the S2 was the new format

Yes, the S2 is a new format but not for the same customer group that has bought the M cameras. It is more of an upscaled approach to the R system. I would like to see that for the "M class" as well. Don't get me wrong. I think the M9 is a beautiful camera and it takes superb images. I might even get one. The question is if this concept is still the right concept for future generations of M models. With great lenses and higher resolution sensors you will detect user errors more easily than you do with film cameras. An optical range finder might not be able to provide necessary precision. With film cameras it was fine to neglect most technologies. In the end the film is the same as the film in any other camera and the lenses made the difference. With digital the image quality will improve from year to year and at some point it will demand tools to help us achieve ultimate image quality. Larger screens and electronic viewfinders might be the answer. The M3 is a good example of form follows function. The M9 is function follows form. That creates limits. I wonder how a 7k X1 could have been.
Logged
Theresa
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 51


M9
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2010, 09:07:00 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: r42ogn
Since I went digital I've taken a lot less pictures, particularly on the street.  This is because I found I used my Voitlander Bessa (I couldn't justify a Leica back then as the Voitlander worked fine) far more than my SLRs.  I composed better (probably because the viewfinder was bright and the whole process of picture taking was more involving) and I felt more at ease pointing the camera at people, it was far more discreet.

I tried a Canon G10, which is pretty good, but I find the pokey viewfinder is limiting.

I'm sure that you are right about a diminishing audience for RFs and the need for Leica to protect their business.  I'm going to keep looking forward to my M9, but as I'll probably not buy anlother camera for at least 10 years afterwards the likes of me will not sustain Leica camera production.

I will probably never get a Leica.  I think it would be a great mistake to get rid of the rangefinder.  It is a brilliant concept that Leica brilliantly implemented.   I could see autofocus and liveview, even though I never used liveview.  I also think that when they replace the pentaprism in SLRs with evf it will be a great loss and a step down.  I see evfs as the equivalent of mp3s when compared to LPs or even CDs which are the rangefinders and SLRs of the camera world, dumbed down and implemented just because they can be and are cheaper.  It doesn't matter to the marketers whether something is worse, just as long as it can be sold with a higher profit.
Logged
shellyg
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2


M9
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2010, 03:26:34 PM »
ReplyReply

In the article "An Open Letter to Leica: A Modest Proposal For Reinventing the M Series" Michael Reichmann suggests, essentially, a complete departure from the RF concept. In fact, what he suggest would be a Micro-3/4-th camera with a full frame sensor and a Leica lens mount. Samsung has just introduced an APS-C "mirror-less-DSLR" (presumably with Schneider designed lenses), so we are almost there. I agree that such a camera would be very useful, but it would not be an M-type Leica.

At the old days of film and no autoficus, people used RF cameras because they were faster to compose and focus than SLRs. Fast AF changed all that. Leica had one attempt in breaking the mould of the M-series in the M-5 camera. It was almost reinventing the RF camera - it was much better than the traditional M camera, with vastly improved erogonometeric. In the market it was a total failure - people insisted on having a Leica M that looks like a Leica M.

The other thing about RF cameras is their large direct-view viewfinder - best for composing fast action images. In fact, there was an RF camera that was even better than the Leica M - the Nikon SP rangefinder camera. It was based on the Zeiss Contax (the original Contax) lens mount and, appart from the fact that the lenses were completely incompetable with Leica's, there were two basic additional differences:

  • Its direct view viewfinder has 1:1 magnification. That meant that one could use it with both eyes open - a geat advantage for photojournalism.
  • The Contax heritage lens mount was focused from the body. There was a wheel on the camera BODY for focus, rather than a ring on the lens. This was a matter of personal preference back in the days of manual focus, but it is VERY significant today - 50 years old Nikon SP lenses can be used with auto-focus with no change to the lenses - all you need is to replace the eye-based rangefinder with an electronic one (using triangulation and digital correlation - faster than modern DSLR "phase detect" AF) and add a focus drive motor in the CAMERA BODY.

So what do I say? let Leica design the next M camera any way it wishes - it would either be a slightly improved M9 or perhaps an X-1 with full frame sensor and M-mount lenses. Let's ask NIKON to revive the SP line - I am waiting for the Nikon D-SP electronic rangefinder camera!

Yours,

Shelly G.

Quote from: geesbert
A M10 without the optical range finder wouldn't be a M10 but the EVIL10, it's missing the M, the Messsucher. Yes, the lenses are great, but so are many others. I am using a m9 because it works like I want a camera to work. its size is perfect, but it is way too heavy. It is fullframe and the quality of the files are great, but I hardly ever get it right out of camera, every picture needs PP, compare that to a Canon 5Dmk2, where often the heavily postproduced image isn't far off the enbedded jpg.
Live view would be great as an additional feature, if you don't like it, don't use it. and please I want tether support  (with tethered live view). only then I can see it as a professional tool for anything but reportage. the times are over where the client peaks over you shoulde to glimpse at the shitty screen. they have to show up on the big computer screen not more than 5 seconds after they are taken.

I am earning my living with Canons, but my photographic passion is fulfilled with the m9


and: the m9 is the most beautiful looking camera out there. looks are important, don't change it. it is the only current camera that I know of which is worth looking at.
Logged
Tom Montgomery
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 77


WWW
M9
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2010, 07:20:16 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: shellyg
Its direct view viewfinder has 1:1 magnification. That meant that one could use it with both eyes open - a geat advantage for photojournalism.
Huh. I had to go and check my M4 when I read this.  I've been using it with both eyes open for 40 years, with no problem. Amazing what the brain can adapt to...

Quote
The Contax heritage lens mount was focused from the body.
Yep, this would make a big difference.  I don't think I'd be buying a new Leica body if I couldn't use my old M lenses.  



Logged
fredjeang
Guest
M9
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2010, 08:23:41 PM »
ReplyReply

As I write in another post, I think the Ricoh GRX idea of an intechangeable unit would fit perfectly
the M without having to reinvent basic design.
Of course: with interchangeable lenses...! (not like Ricoh) and electronic viewfinder
Imagine what it means: your M body would never get obsolete, with incredible versatility .
Leica would put a unique product on the market with simply no competition.
AS THE M BODY DESIGN IS PERFECT IN ITSELF, it is not the design that has to be changed but the elements
of the design. So,  you would get a perfectly designed body for life, with always the lastest technology
and performance available. Want to shoot pro video?: a special module conected to the viewfinder for example, etc...  
M design is well adapted to such a system, as Ricoh show.
Why not?
Logged
Zeitz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 18


M9
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2010, 08:50:02 PM »
ReplyReply

I am one of the older users you refer to.  I have been using M Leicas since 1972.  I find the M focusing so instinctive, I can't imagine changing it.  Those who wouldn't buy a Leica M because of the RF system should rent one for a day and give it a try.  I certainly don't want to be looking at a camera a foot away from my face to check focus.  What you described seemed really slow, if I understand it correctly.  My other oddity is that I have no trouble holding my M8 without a Thumbs-Up or optional grip.  The lens is always in the palm of my left hand.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad