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Joshua | profile | all galleries >> Leica M System and Items For Sale >> Leica Digital M-series Cameras and M-Lenses tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Leica Digital M-series Cameras and M-Lenses

You either love a RF camera system or you can't stand it. My first camera that I called my own and paid for using my money, was a Canon rangefinder. It was an inexpensive, even at that time, Canon Canonet GIII with a fixed 40mm lens although quite fast f/1.7 lens. Performance-wise that small camera delivered. I took mostly family shots, my son's baby pictures were taken with that camera, and later on I started venturing into landscape photography. So, for sentimental reasons, I bought two Canon GIIIs on eBay after 30+ years.

Now to the Leica M system... Do we dare to say that the M system carries the Leica mystique, more so than the R system does? That is the reason I stick with Canon DSLR system and didn't go for the Leica DMR. The Leica tradition is alive and well in the M system and the M8, the first digital M camera, is showing the lineage. My graduate education in Germany in the 1970's may have played a role in it and I am enjoying the Leica tradition. Now, that Leica introduced the first digital M body, I jumped into the water with both feet. At the introduction, the M8, is not without any problems. I am one of the few who are convinced that Leica would not disappoint their loyal customers (read: aficionados), not only in our interest but also theirs. At the end, Leica will come out with the solution that will not compromise the Leica quality, I firmly believe.

As it turned out, Leica recalled the first batch of M8, which included mine. The repair was done at their facility in Solms, Germany. Four weeks later, I received mine back. After that off to the race to get IR cut filters and the new firmware was also available for download. Finally, the camera system was ready to be used. Was it worth the hassle and wait? It depends whom you are asking that question. Since I am still using the camera system, my answer is obvious, right?

I started buying lenses before the M8 became available and used the lenses with a Leica M6 and Epson R-D1 for a short while. I am glad I did that when the prices were quite a bit more reasonable than now (Summer 2007). There is definitely a surge in the popularity of rangefinder cameras because of the M8.

For pictures taken with the M8 please click here: http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/china_in_the_eye_of_leica_m8 and here: http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/leica_m8&page=all

A brief note about prices of Leica M lenses - The popularity of the digital M cameras, especially the full fram M9 increases the demand of Leica M lenses. The supply of popular lenses is outstripped completely. You have to wait weeks or months for selected lenses. Then, if you are lucky you can buy one. However, not all Leica lenses fit in that category. Typically, fast, aspherical lenses are in high demand. Prices have soared to nose-bleed teritory. Not only they double in value relative to several years ago, triple or even quadruple prices are not uncommon. Quite a bit of Leica M lenses find or have found their way to Leica aficionados in Asia. There are a few non-aspherical lenses that are very popular as well, Leica 90mm Elmarit-M (for its superb optical quality for less than the 90mm Summicron ASPH) and Leica 35mm pre-ASPH Summicron M version IV (for its gorgeous bokeh). People collect those lenses and some buy them for investment or even turn it around fast for profit and that would leave us, actual Leica users, high and dry. Oh, well, "c'est la vie".

My personal sequence of event is as follows:

Fast forward to 2009 - On September 09, 2009 (09-09-09) Leica introduced a full frame rangefinder digital camera to replace the M8. Yup, you guess the name right, M9. I sold my M8 in the summer of 2009 in anticipation of this camera. I am anxiously waiting for my M9 to arrive...

December 2009 - I received my M9 about two weeks before Christmas. This camera is absolutely better in many ways than the M8. Finally, I was able to take off all the UV-IR cut filters from my lenses and used my lenses in their focal length they were designed for.

One of the major events I used my M9 was the Mask Carnival in Venice. Although the M9 was not exclusively used during that event, well, actually for approximately only 30% but here is the gallery from that event: http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/venice_mask_carnival_2010

December 2010 - I sold three absolutely excellent lenses in my Leica-M lineup in the last 3 months, the Noctilux 50mm f/1.0, 35mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH and 75mm f/2.0 Summicron ASPH. The last two lenses became less and less used after I bought the M9 with FF format. The Nocti then? Well, because I do have the new Nocti f/0.95 in mind and the proceeds from these the three lenses are enough to get the the Nocti. Let's wait and see what will transpire in the next few weeks.

February 2011 - After I sold a few Leica M lenses in late 2010, I started buying them again and in most cases I ended up paying more than what sold them for. The moral of the story: you buy Leica M lenses but you don't sell them LOL.

March 2011 - I went back to Venice and captured images during the first 4 days of the Mask Carnival again. In a similar fashion like before I took my M9 and 3 lenses with me in addition to my DSLR system. The images are posted here: http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/mask_carnival_2011

Enjoy the images and please feel free to leave your comments. Thanks for visiting.

Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica M8
Leica-M 28mm f/2.0 Summicron ASPH
Leica-M 28mm f/2.0 Summicron ASPH
Leica 90mm f/2.0 Summicron-M Apo ASPH
Leica 90mm f/2.0 Summicron-M Apo ASPH
Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
Factory Cut-Out Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Factory Cut-Out Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Special Edition Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Special Edition Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Special Edition Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Special Edition Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Special Edition Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Special Edition Leica 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar-M ASPH
Leica M9 with 21mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
Leica M9 with 21mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron-M ASPH in Classic Retro Look
Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron-M ASPH in Classic Retro Look
Leica M9 with Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron-M ASPH in Classic or Retro Look
Leica M9 with Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron-M ASPH in Classic or Retro Look
Leica M9 with Zeiss 85mm f/2.0 Sonnar T* ZM
Leica M9 with Zeiss 85mm f/2.0 Sonnar T* ZM
Leica M9 with 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar-M and Frankenfinder
Leica M9 with 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar-M and "Frankenfinder"
Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-ASPH Titanium with M9 in the background
Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-ASPH Titanium with M9 in the background
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95
Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-ASPH Mark II
Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-ASPH Mark II
Leica 90mm Elmarit-M
Leica 90mm Elmarit-M
Leica 24mm Elmarit ASPH
Leica 24mm Elmarit ASPH