Some Wednesday Leica M9 Fun….

Wow, B&H had a Grey M9 in stock today earlier and just last week I was able to acquire another M9 so I am back again with this wonderful, amazing camera. Thanks to Collectible Camera in Phx, AZ for helping me out.

I have not had any serious shooting time with the camera yet but have shot a few silly snapshots so as usual with me, I decided to post them! This site is all about the passion, the excitement, the fun in photography so why not?

Yes, I may be back again with an M9 but my only lens so far is the old 1940’s 50 Summitar as I could not afford a lens just yet. I am saving for one and I decided to go with ONE lens and ONE lens only. Not sure yet if that will be a 35 or 50 but for now I am having fun with the old Summitar. Still looking for an M9? Try Ken Hansen in NYC or Collectible Camera in AZ or B&H Online

Also, a couple weeks back I posted a series of M8 photos as I bought a used M8 thinking it would be 9 months before I could purchase an M9 again…but I was lucky enough to get one much sooner. In any case, many have asked me what I thought about the M8 vs M9…I’ll write an article on that one soon that will tell the moan differences I found and what I feel about those differences.

Anyway, here are some shots from the past few days with the $300 50 Summitar lens and the M9. Lens is Uncoded and most shots were at f/2!

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  1. Hi Steve ! I just could not how to thank you for all the review that you have done on all the Leica lenses and M9 . It was by chance I read your web page and I enjoyed so much that now I will log on daily to read all the articles that your website have put up. It was also because of your website that I went to buy my first Leica the X1 and after my first outing with the X1 I was completely converted . Now I have the full complete M9 with the 50 1.4 and the 35 1.4 is on the way . Steve I totally trust you on your review so much so that I went to pick up the M9 even without trying so to know that you are shooting with M9 again bring so much warm to my heart and all I hope is that you can share more of your photos with us. Thanks and cheers to you again from a friend in Singapore

  2. Hi steve, i don;t owe a Leica, i’m a Nikon guy, but i’m also a happy user of my Lumix gf1, but i love your blog !! forget leica, your blog make me go out and take pictures, other bloogs just make me go out to buy something !!! Thanks a lot !!!


  3. You should always go for what your heart tells, Steve. I’m on your blog for so many months now and I’ve enjoyed it every single week. It’s simply closer to photography than many techspecsites or high gloss paper magazines. I prefer that breath of a personal touch. Have fun with your newest, yet well known M! But I forecast, it will not be the last. 😉 Looking forward to see some more magic of catched moments from you and others here!


  4. @Richard any special treatment by leica removes objectivity from comparisons and reviews and Steve becomes a paid spokesperson. I’m not saying I think it would compromise his integrity but at a casual glance some may think that to be true.

  5. My buddy is trying to sell his 35 cron asph if you are in the market. That is your favorite 35 if i’m not mistaken. He’s actually a personal friend of Riccis if you need a recommendation or a reference. feel free to email me if you’d like.

    dan sutton

  6. If I may make a suggestion Steve, consider the Voigtlander 35/1.5 Single Coat. I just love this lens, especially when I’m shooting, knowing I will convert to B&W. The low contrast gives a very 60’s feeling to the shots. Just MHO. Glad you have a new M9!

  7. Hi Steve!

    I was wondering how much money have you lost buying and then selling cameras in the last months/years? Do you really think the M9 will magically turn out better photographs? Better file quality maybe. But are your photographs really that good so you need the ultimate in image quality? Wouldn’t it have been better to stick with the M8 and improve on the photography itself?

    This is not you be smart or something, I was just wondering. Ever since I bought an M8 and a 28mm f2 Voigtländer Ultron (self-coded) I seem to have lost any interest in camera gear (for full disclosure: I also own a Nikon D200 with a 24mm lens and an 18-70 zoom that I use for some assignments). No issues with file quality — fine for agencies/microstocks, fine for me. If someone would give me an M9 as a present I would gladly take it. But for me it’s not worth the price of admission. I’ll rather spend the money on travelling and take my M8 to exciting places.

    Just my two (Euro) cents…


    • Hey Josh…how much money have I lost in the last year? Probably $150. I only sell these days when I can either make some $$ or at least lose nothing. I can find deals and when I sold my M9 previously it was unavoidable. Something I had to do. I lost nothing on it at all. I was able to work my way back up to this one quickly and painlessly with no loss in $$.

      Its not about the “ultimate in IQ” – you should know that if you read this blog. Its about the enjoyment of photography and using the tool you know best and feel most comfortable with.

      The M9 is that camera for me, and it doesn’t hurt that it has superb color and stellar file quality. I have sold more prints from my M9 images than any other camera.

      As for M8 vs M9 – M9 has richer/better color, better high ISO, no need for IR filters and uses all of your lens surface. It is like a digital M7. The M8 is also fantastic, a camera near and dear to my heart but the ultimate is the M9 in the Leica digital world and I had a chance to “reunite” and did. Thanks for your two cents!


      • Steve, I thought you got a second M9 for shooting two lenses at the same time. You just totally lost me.
        So the history is that you had a black M9 at the beginning, then changed for a silver, then changed back for a black, then had to sell the second black and now you are using a silver again?

  8. Congrats Steve, and enjoy shooting with it once again!
    I recently decided to start saving up for an M9 to replace my DSLR system. As a student it might take me a year or two to be able to get it, but it’s worth the wait, right?
    Thanks for all the interesting content on your website, it’s really inspiring.

  9. Sweet images Steve and to echo Jonathan above, isn’t it amazing how lenses keep their value and are so useable decades after they were made? I just love that about lenses! That little lens of yours is just dreamy and magic on the M9. I wonder what it would be like on my M7? Talking lenses, I am thinking about getting a 35 to go with my 50 lux asph and am frankly having difficulty choosing. Everywhere I look, I see the 35 cron (asph) being held up as the bench mark of all 35’s but then I read about (and see) images taken by older versions and they blow me away too! Grrr, so many Leica lenses, so much quality, too much choice… The curse of Leica! What do you think Steve, older version or newer version?

    • Hey Stephen, thanks. Yea this little Summitar is fantastic in its own creamy, dreamy way. As for a 35…if its for the M7 Id go with an older one as they have a bit more of that classic magic where the new ASPH is more about perfection, almost clinical. But its a killer lens. All depends on the look you want.

  10. Steve, I am really glad you have got your M9 back. One does develop a relationship with a camera and the M9 – for so many reasons – is a special camera. Enjoy. By the way, do you get emails? I sent you a couple without a reply. I don’t know if you are ignoring me (you are forgiven!) or whether they just don’t get through to you.

    • Thanks Jeremy. I do get emails but I get so many in a day it is not possible for me to get back to everyone in a timely manner. Send it again and I will reply 🙂

  11. Quote:
    I’ll write an article on that one soon that will tell the *moan* differences I found and what I feel about those differences.

    Is this a subtle sneak preview?! 😉

    One for the ignorant like me… I’ve seen the phrase Uncoded of a lens used a couple of times… Could you explain what it means please?

    • Uncoded lens meaning the lens does not have the 6-bit code of the newer Leica lenses. The 6 Bit code tells the camera which lens is used and applies certain corrections for vignetting, etc.

  12. Hello Steve,
    congratulations on coming up with an M9. While there are definite procedural and aesthetic benefits to shooting with Film, there is no denying that Digital comes with it’s own benefits as well. I personally think you are pulling wonderful images out of the Summitar you’re shooting with right now and chasing a ‘lens upgrade’ might be something you can hold off on, at least for a while. Further, if you’ve still got that 40mm Summicron C floating around I’d advise giving that a really hard trial run before making any lens purchases. The ‘word’ is Leica’s C mount lenses work a treat on M camera bodies (with leica’s blessing by the way) and the money you got from that CL outfit wouldn’t pay for a ‘M’ summilux, or summicron, or even summarit! to replace it.

    But my query is “Why isn’t Leica letting you at least ‘Lease’ an M9?”
    You could then write it off as a business expense – maybe you can anyway – but there’s no way you haven’t enriched Leica’s Order Book with this Website in some substantial manner.
    You’ve given them lotsa love, oughta give some back to you.
    On the other hand, it would be a big whack on your ‘editorial credibility’, but heck – you’re a hopeless Leica Fanboy already! 🙂

    Richard in Michigan

    • I am going to wait a while before buying a lens as I will be saving for one I really want. The Summitar seems to be doing VERY well on the M9, as it was on film as well. I have no doubt I have “enriched Leicas order book” in a big way actually, but no freebies for me…yea, the credibility thing. But I have yet to find a Leica product I did not adore (except for the V-Lux 20)…but that is really a Panny anyway. Thanks!

      • Funny how Panasonic is crap now. If I remember correctly, you were pretty impressed by the V-Lux 20 and even stated why you think it is a better buy than the equivalent Panasonic, highlighting the better 2 year warranty. Few people commented that it would be wiser to buy aPanasonic with its 1 year warranty and buy the new model in a year with the money you saved. However, your original post has changed…This is called credibility!

        • I stated in that review it was a Panny camera, made by panny and also stated I did not LOVE the camera. It was a camera for those who wanted all of those features in a small package, but yea, its still made by Pansaonic as stated. You do get better software, better warranty and better looks. Facts. Thx for the comment though.

          • and I never said Panasonic is Crap, where do you see me EVER saying that? Quite the opposite. Facts are, I did not “LOVE” the Vlux 20, and yes it is made by Panny. My original post has changed? What are you referring to?

          • My apologies! I have found back the part where you were mentioning the reasons why to buy the Leica and the warranty. BTW, the D-Lux 4 and the fore coming LX5 equivalent are also from Panasonic.

  13. So much for the m8 and happy till the next 😀 glad you got another m9 Steve, I’m going totally opposite on the dslr front tbh. I’d love an m9 but at the price for what I need (up for a fast action job) I just can’t. Bummer for me!

  14. Steve, When Ken Hansen get’s back from vacation I thinking I might ask him to sell an m8 to me. Like you, I have a Summitar 50/2. But Leica warns about collapsible lenses on the M8. Should I worry.


      • I added 2 rubber O-rings to my Summitar so that in collapses about 1/4 inch less than normal. To install them, I pulled them over the front like an elastic band and they fit snugly on the narrow part of the barrel. Do not remember the inside diameter, but it was just a little smaller than the actual outside diameter of the narrow part. This also works for the Voigtlander and Hexar cameras.


  15. Hey Steve have you thought about just keeping the summitar as your one lens??? I just use an old 50 summicron DR with fungi and it still takes great pictures…. That Summitar has tons of character which in most cases is more important than sharpness.

  16. Just use the 40 for a few months and you will know wether you want a bit more reach or a bit more wide.

    Your images wont be any better but you might want to use the camera more which matters, im sure it feels good to hold it again.

  17. It’s good to know that you have an M9 again. I hope I’ll get one in the near future but I have to sell many things to fund it, two M6 TTLs, my M8 upgrade, and a Hasselblad 503CW kit.
    Great photos!

  18. This shows why Leica lenses hold their value. I think those are some of my favorite pictures you have posted on this site. The bokeh is so intriguing. I also love the colors. Why not just use that one for a while. BTW – my rec for lens is the 35 summicron. It is light and perfect, but a 50 summilux would also be a great choice.

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