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Am I Crazy? Considering a Leica M9
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:41 pm    Post subject: Am I Crazy? Considering a Leica M9 Reply with quote

Hello, all. I'm a happy user of a Sony A7R with various vintage MF lenses. My current favorite is a CV Nokton 40/1.4 Classic. It is sharp and produces the most divine bokeh, especially when coupled with the Voigtlander Close-Focus Adapter. Since I like the rangefinder lens so much, I looked at the prices of Leica bodies. A recent M is out of my price range, but an M9 would work.

Well, I found a nice local version with five lenses. To make a long story short, am I crazy for considering dropping 4K on a system when my Sony is likely superior — at least as far as current tech goes? I'm not going to replace the A7R, but want to (1) try the rangefinder, and (2) use it along side my Sony.

Advice? TIA.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed my M9 when I had it. The only reason I traded it was for some BIG Nikon glass. It has a CCD sensor but I always liked the look of the CCD anyway. If it has 5 lenses with it, it is probably a very good deal. I had a 35 1.4 Pre-ASPH lens that I really liked and the 90 2.0 Summicron (Canada) were my two favorite lenses. The high ISO performance does not match a more modern sensor but it is a great travel and walk around system.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you have the money to spend and feel like giving it a shot then don't think too much and go for it

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to use RF lenses without troubles on a FF body then you barely have any alternative. A cheaper alternative for RF lenses would be the Ricoh GXR-M but it's "only" APS-C.
If I ever want to upgrade to FF I'll certainly would also go for the Leica M9. However, for the time being I am still happy to use my RF lenses on the Ricoh where I consider the CV 12/5.6 lens as wide enough.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well life is about more than sharpness. the rangefinder experience is simply not something that can be duplicated with a non rf body. if you enjoy that experience, and if non modern rendering pleases your eye, then why not?

if money is an issue, there are other lower cost options. both the m8 and the epson rd1 will cost less than half the price of the m9. you sacrifice full frame and some megapixels, but both cameras render beautifully. with the rd1 you actually gain a couple things: a 1:1 viewfinder which i found tremendously enhances the rangefinder experience. it also produces lovely images up to iso 1600, and neither the m8 nor m9 do that. the rd1 does not require 'lens coding' as do the leicas, and while the leicas have issues with some WA lenses, the rd1 has none.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all, for your input. I spent about an hour yesterday walking around with the Leica M and my Sony A7R. I enjoyed my time with the Leica — very much. I even got a few good shots, like:

Sundial by G Lucas, on Flickr

Dropped by G Lucas, on Flickr

However, in the end, I decided not to get the Leica. While I'm sure we could make beautiful photos together for years to come, at $2500 I just don't see the value. I could almost upgrade my A7R to an A7RII for that money. If I could get it for less, I'd do it. Here's another very unscientific comparison. The Leica M9 holds up very well to the Sony.

Sony by G Lucas, on Flickr

Leica M9 by G Lucas, on Flickr

Thanks, again, everyone who chimed in.