Why Leica?

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Tell me a little bit about Leica. What does it bring to the table for a Canon guy? Is it just size? Do the images have a certain je ne sais quoi that I need to experience to understand? Talk to me about why I may want to scratch this itch. 😀
 
I am a full time pro and have been since I graduated college with a B/A photography in 1986. Worked as a part time pro before that. I was a Canon guy, I still have a couple of my Canon F-1s. A couple of the old F-1s and a new F-1. Also medium format. I had a couple of Hasselblad 500 C/Ms. I have shot both professionally and for my personal work with large format Deardorffs, Horseman, Calumet. 135 format Leica M, Nikon, Canon.Medium format Hasselblad, Bronica, Minolta RBs and RZs When I first went digital in 2005 I bought Canon. Never really bonded with all the automation.

To me Leica is M. The lenses are small and amazing. The M is unassuming. The M 10 mono doesn't even have a logo on it. When I am shooting on the streets I rarely get any attention and then it is usually other photographers that notice. Unlike my Canons which got attention all the time. When the original M9 Mono came out in 2012 I picked one up and fell in love again with the simplicity. I sold all of my Canon gear in 2015 and went all Leica M then. I now have 2 M 10s and an M 10 mono and I have NEVER regretted hat decision. I love how fast working with a rangefinder can be.

But be aware that a rangefinder is not for everyone and it takes time and practice to master. Learning to use the DoF scales on the lens takes time as does getting focus right with the rangefinder. Understand that I have shot all manually for over 40 years and it is truly second nature to me so a tool like Leica M is perfect for the way I see and work. But if you are one that is totally reliant on all the gadgets then understand that with Leica M there will probably be a learning curve.

I would highly recommend before dropping the $$$ to spend some time with one. I mean some real time, not just a day or two.

Heres an interesting piece concerning the look.

I hope this helps and that i answered at least some of you questions.
Allen
 
Thank you Allen for that wonderful write up! Really appreciate the time you took to do it. It is intriguing and may be something I’ll have to look into. And I’ll visit the link to learn more about the Leica look.
 
You are very welcome. I shoot Leica M because it fits the way I see and work No other reason. When I fiannly fully retire I will probably sell my 2 M 10s and several lenses. But I will probably always keep the M 10 Mono and the 35 Summilux FLE and the 24 Elmarit 2.8.

Then there is the size difference. Here is the original M9 Mono and 35 1.4 Lux FLE and a 5DII and a 35 1.4L. And a Leica M just feels so good in your hands.


IMG_5389.jpg

My travel kit and/or street kit is usually the M 10 Mono and 24 Elmarit or instead the 35 Lux FLE. Lately I've been seeing wider so it's been the 24.
L1008592 low.jpg
 
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I am a full time pro and have been since I graduated college with a B/A photography in 1986. Worked as a part time pro before that. I was a Canon guy, I still have a couple of my Canon F-1s. A couple of the old F-1s and a new F-1. Also medium format. I had a couple of Hasselblad 500 C/Ms. I have shot both professionally and for my personal work with large format Deardorffs, Horseman, Calumet. 135 format Leica M, Nikon, Canon.Medium format Hasselblad, Bronica, Minolta RBs and RZs When I first went digital in 2005 I bought Canon. Never really bonded with all the automation.

To me Leica is M. The lenses are small and amazing. The M is unassuming. The M 10 mono doesn't even have a logo on it. When I am shooting on the streets I rarely get any attention and then it is usually other photographers that notice. Unlike my Canons which got attention all the time. When the original M9 Mono came out in 2012 I picked one up and fell in love again with the simplicity. I sold all of my Canon gear in 2015 and went all Leica M then. I now have 2 M 10s and an M 10 mono and I have NEVER regretted hat decision. I love how fast working with a rangefinder can be.

But be aware that a rangefinder is not for everyone and it takes time and practice to master. Learning to use the DoF scales on the lens takes time as does getting focus right with the rangefinder. Understand that I have shot all manually for over 40 years and it is truly second nature to me so a tool like Leica M is perfect for the way I see and work. But if you are one that is totally reliant on all the gadgets then understand that with Leica M there will probably be a learning curve.

I would highly recommend before dropping the $$$ to spend some time with one. I mean some real time, not just a day or two.

Heres an interesting piece concerning the look.

I hope this helps and that i answered at least some of you questions.
Allen
That’s a great summary. I was also a Canon user but soured on it after purchasing the rf mount and not having enough third party lens options or liking the quality of images that I was getting. Leica had an offer that was too good to pass last year with trading in a SLR to get quite a bit of cash off the SL2S. So I took the leap. Selling most of my Canon gear almost paid for the Leica. Although I love the images, the camera is a bit larger and heavier than I expected for walking around. So I was curious about the rangefinder for size and efficiency but I was very intimidated. I was told that a rangefinder might be too difficult for me (I hate being underestimated) so I took the leap to a monochrom (totally out of my comfort zone as I shoot in color). I love it now! I feel like a true photographer although I am just a hobbyist.

If there is one thing I would recommend to add to what Allen mentioned is try renting too. I have used Lensrental, and they rent a great selection of all brands but especially Leica. It can be expensive but I recommend signing up for emails to get the latest sales. Like 20% off rental. I rent for the weekend and it gives me a good opportunity to do more with it.
 
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That’s a great summary. I was also a Canon user but soured on it after purchasing the rf mount and not having enough third party lens options or liking the quality of images that I was getting. Leica had an offer that was too good to pass last year with trading in a SLR to get quite a bit of cash off the SL2S. So I took the leap. Selling most of my Canon gear almost paid for the Leica. Although I love the images, the camera is a bit larger and heavier than I expected for walking around. So I was curious about the rangefinder for size and efficiency but I was very intimidated. I was told that a rangefinder might be too difficult for me (I hate being underestimated) so I took the leap to a monochrom (totally out of my comfort zone as I shoot in color). I love it now! I feel like a true photographer although I am just a hobbyist.

If there is one thing I would recommend to add to what Allen mentioned is try renting too. I have used Lensrental, and they rent a great selection of all brands but especially Leica. It can be expensive but I recommend signing up for emails to get the latest sales. Like 20% off rental. I rent for the weekend and it gives me a good opportunity to do more with it.

Which Mono did you get?
 
Tell me a little bit about Leica. What does it bring to the table for a Canon guy? Is it just size? Do the images have a certain je ne sais quoi that I need to experience to understand? Talk to me about why I may want to scratch this itch. 😀
It's just an accessory for me to wear around my shoulder to look the look :D

I fell in love with Leica's 50mm 1.4 when I saw images from it but never thought of owning one because of the cost and manual focus. Fast forward, after shooting a few different cameras and getting bored of the latest and greatest, I thought about the 50mm from Leica and gave it a try. Tried it first on the Sony and I didnt have much feeling for it, the images look nice but no feeling and look. At that time I was in a good position and ended up jumping the fence and got the Leica M10-R. I had held it once when I bought the 50mm lens from the gentlemen and he was showing me some of his Leica gears. I really like the feeling of the body, it felt quality and was nice to hold. By all means not very ergonomic. The small lens on the slim Leica body was a pleasure to handle and the images are dreamy when in focus.

I like the look of the M lens over the SL lens which is more modern (has af, sharper, more coating).
 
I first fell in love with the simplicity of the Leica M series and in particular, the M10 Monochrome and the 50mm Summilux lens. It's a different shooting experience that may or may not resonate for you. For me it was also a bit of nostalgia, taking me back to when I was shooting black and white film with manual focus cameras.

One thing I don't miss is watching half a dozen videos on how to optimize the AF settings on my hybrid camera, and still getting it wrong. :rolleyes:

I'll second the recommendtion to rent a Leica before you jump into the deep end of the pool.
 
I have recently moved from Canon 1 & 5 series and the EOS-M and although having spent many years with manual film cameras like the Canon F1 and Mamiya 645, Fuji 680, I now need AF as have cataracts developing.

I chose the SL2 24-70 kit which together is not small but feels great in the hand and when on a long strap the weight is not that noticeable. I have found the sensor to be able to deliver great detail and colour. The AF is fast enough for me, I take single shots anyway.

The Canon lenses I miss are the TS-E 24 & 17 but I have the L-EF adaptor so looking to acquire one again.

After a brief trial of the SL2, it was an easy transition to make and to let the Canon glass go.
 
Tell me a little bit about Leica. What does it bring to the table for a Canon guy? Is it just size? Do the images have a certain je ne sais quoi that I need to experience to understand? Talk to me about why I may want to scratch this itch. 😀

Different reasons.

For example - Leica est belle.

If we keep POTN tradition and draw comparison with cars, for some of us it is not all about Toyota, which people use if they want really dependable car.
While some are driving Mustang convertible in winter. Just because appearance and feel are more important.
This is how I feel about Leica and if I have let go to cameras, those will be last to leave. Despite what they are Mustangs in the snow for typical photography gear use of forum crowds.
 
I don't generally post much in gear forums, but with Leica's M series they are really the only ones that do what they do.
I've had the Leica Q2 and didn't gel with it, it felt like every other digital camera out there. The M series is a different story - it's the only modern camera that feels tactile and challenging to shoot, and it feels more like I'm photographing with a machine than a computer.

Leica digital cameras certainly aren't the best in the world, and their lenses aren't the best in the world (though they are probably the best for their size). What you get with the M series is a shooting experience that you can't get anywhere else. It's a high price of admission, but the used market is thriving and you can always sell for a decent price. Buy used and sell used and it's not too bad.

The only digital camera that matches the Leica in terms of user experience is the Hasselblad digital back paired with an old 500 series body. It's even closer to the film experience than the Leica because you actually have to wind on and cock the shutter each time.
 
For me it's really just about a camera that inspires me to pick the thing up and go out shooting.

I've been through Canon and Sony. But I got bored of them once I found Fujifilm around 2017. They really understood that the camera should look good in order for it to be inspiring. And I don't mind that the files in camera are gorgeous too (much more so than with Leica).

So, I love the M form factor and design. Also, I'm still a proponent of the OVH. I've always preferred it over an EVF.

It is for these rather feel-based reasons that I now shoot with both Fuji and Leica.

But... my experience with Leica's customer service is currently beyond repair. I've tried to reach out to them since May 2023 to figure out why my Q2 Monochrom won't connect with the Fotos app. Overall, they've hardly replied to any of my questions and emails. And the last I've heard anything from them (other than acknowledging the receipt of my emails) has been since September 2023. I keep asking if they could reply to me with something of a plan on how they're going to fix the problem. But they're being completely silent.

Also, in December 2023 I found that also my M11 no longer connects with the Fotos app. So now, none of my Leica's work with Leica's own app.

I've come to conclude that Leica makes absolutely beautiful and inspring hardware. But the way they've treated my as a customer has been absolely classless. Plus, my experience indicates that they're just bad at software.

For a company that sells exceptionally high-priced cameras, I no longer have high thoughts about the brand. The core product is good, but the brand doesn't live up to it.

So, if you appreciate the form factor and the design, and will be willing to take risk with sub-par customer service and software features, then go for it!
 
For me it's really just about a camera that inspires me to pick the thing up and go out shooting.

I've been through Canon and Sony. But I got bored of them once I found Fujifilm around 2017. They really understood that the camera should look good in order for it to be inspiring. And I don't mind that the files in camera are gorgeous too (much more so than with Leica).

So, I love the M form factor and design. Also, I'm still a proponent of the OVH. I've always preferred it over an EVF.

It is for these rather feel-based reasons that I now shoot with both Fuji and Leica.

But... my experience with Leica's customer service is currently beyond repair. I've tried to reach out to them since May 2023 to figure out why my Q2 Monochrom won't connect with the Fotos app. Overall, they've hardly replied to any of my questions and emails. And the last I've heard anything from them (other than acknowledging the receipt of my emails) has been since September 2023. I keep asking if they could reply to me with something of a plan on how they're going to fix the problem. But they're being completely silent.

Also, in December 2023 I found that also my M11 no longer connects with the Fotos app. So now, none of my Leica's work with Leica's own app.

I've come to conclude that Leica makes absolutely beautiful and inspring hardware. But the way they've treated my as a customer has been absolely classless. Plus, my experience indicates that they're just bad at software.

For a company that sells exceptionally high-priced cameras, I no longer have high thoughts about the brand. The core product is good, but the brand doesn't live up to it.

So, if you appreciate the form factor and the design, and will be willing to take risk with sub-par customer service and software features, then go for it!
Did you still have the previous firmware for the M11 to downgrade and see if it still works?
What phone are you using again?
 
Did you still have the previous firmware for the M11 to downgrade and see if it still works?
What phone are you using again?
The M11 problem got fixed. Google was late on delivering some updates to a few Samsung models, including mine. So the M11 is working fine again, thankfully.

I'm using the Samsung Galaxy Fold4 and the Galaxy Tab S8 (and sometimes a OnePlus 9 Pro on the side).

The Q2M connection remains broken.
 
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