A new M needing new Glass

Leica M 28mm 25mm

Its made a few people wonder about the new updated lens that Leica have started to release recently for the M.

The older glass was certainly no slouch in the performance states but most of the common lens have now been updated to even higher performance.  With the old glass working fine on the current 24 MP Leica M 240 but with a new M due this year its making people think that we might get a big megapixel jump thus higher resolution required in the lens.

Personally I would like Leica to keep it under 36 MP but with better dynamic range and low light performance.

EVF – The Death of the Leica ‘M’

Leica M4 & M8 by Candle LightI keep hearing that the ‘Insert Latest Mirrorless Camera Name Here’ will be the death of the Leica M and that the M needs to drop the optical viewfinder to stay relevant.

Now that Leica have the new SL many are saying that this also will be the death of the Leica M.  It seems that too few people understand the strengths of the rangefinder and its limitations.

The biggest draw to Leica is of course the Leica glass and many use that glass on their Sony’s, their Olympus/Panasonic’s and their Fuji’s.

Because of the design of a rangefinder lens the ultra wides generally give colour shifts and odd corner artefacts on any camera that is not designed for rangefinder lens, so if your interested in using lens wider then 35mm you need to either use a Leica M or the Ricoh’s A12 M-Mount module for the GXR.  Even the Leica SL and T have these issues with wide rangefinder lens.

The key feature of a rangefinder is its optical viewfinder, being able to see more of the scene then you will photograph, if you shoot reactively, and with wide lens, then a rangefinder maybe for you, and an EVF unsuitable for you.  If however you shoot more planned and carefully such as landscape, portraits and architecture, need to see precisely what you are shooting then the EVF or traditional SLR is better for you.  Certainly if you commonly shoot 50mm or above then a modern mirrorless or SLR is a better choice.

So will these cameras be the death of the Leica M rangefinder, no.  But I will say to make the M more flexible I would like to see a hybrid viewfinder like in the Fuji cameras, the best of both worlds.  Until them many people like me who shoot many styles then we will sometimes carry our Leica M and sometimes our SLR.

Fuji X2-Pro makes an appearance


First there was the Fuji X100 with its optical and electronic viewfinder.  Then Fuji really stirred things up with the rangefinder styled interchangeable lens X1-Pro with a growing system of lens.  Since then we have quite a few bodies some styled like a rangefinder and others like a full blown SLR.

Leica M8 and Fuji XPro1

A number of professionals are now shooting with them and Fuji have been keeping them relevant by constant firmware upgrades.  The original X1-Pro finally gets replaced with the the X2-Pro and it looks to be a stunning camera.  If it was not for the X Trans sensor I would be very tempted.