The Stunning M9 and 50mm Summicron
There have been many, many reviews written about this camera and a cursory search of the web will bring up dozens of opinions, photos and occasional criticism.
So here is another thrown into the mix. Following the recent trend for real world reviews I will not be delving deep into technical aspects, 100% crops, pixel peeping.
It will be a straightforward honest and practical review of the latest digital rangefinder from Leica.
The first thing that struck me about the Leica M9 was the packaging. You have to get through that before you can actually get your hands on the camera inside. It is beautifully manufactured and put together with each element of the contents under different layers that you slowly lift away until you reveal the box the camera body sits in.
There is a true pride of ownership in just this part of the process. A foregone conclusion you would think when spending nearly £5,000 on a camera body but I have purchased a few high value items over time from pens (Mont Blanc) to watches (Rolex and Omega) to hifi (Linn) and nothing is as well presented as a Leica product.
As an aside the Leica X1 is an even better experience in some ways with the outer box gently falling open to reveal a camera “cabinet” box in which the X1 and all the accessories sit.
Unless you have handled a camera from Leica’s M range, nothing prepares you for the sheer pleasure in touching and handling and M camera and the M9 is no disappointment. The feel, the weight, the solid metal body all go into making it a pleasurable experience simply to hold a camera such as this. It makes the 5D MkII I have feel like a toy in my hands by comparison.
The Rear of the Camera – obviously!!
It may seem like a sad state of affairs but the first time I took the camera out of the box and it’s plastic packing I just sat there staring at it in my hands as though I were cradling a new baby. I then gave myself a mental slap in the face. It is a camera. It takes pictures. Don’t be so ridiculous.
And then went back to caressing the metal and, like a new father, eyes welling up, imagining the possibilities, the days we would spend together watching my baby M9 grow into the camera I had always wanted….okay maybe I made that bit up but the camera is, honestly, a sight and tactile experience to behold.
Anyway, first things first is to charge the battery fully before use (Leica’s advice and good advice for any Lithium battery) and then wait patiently whilst it has a good charge and then it is on with the 50mm Summicron and away we go picture taking.
Simple uncluttered top
Over the next week or so I will be giving you my first impressions with this supposed king of picture takers in the 35mm category. There are a number of people trading in their DSLR’s and lenses for this camera. I have a 5D MkII with lenses from Canon and Zeiss. Will I feel then same? Time will tell.
PS All images of the Leica M9 taken with the Fuji X100.