It’s Not the Photographer, It’s the Camera Stupid!
The M9 Titanium Arrives. By ~6
So how many times have you heard the reverse of that phrase before in some variation or other. You show some of your pictures to someone who isn’t obsessed with photography… a normal human being (yes they do exist) when they ask you “what camera did yo take that with?”
Of course we all know that this sentiment is perhaps the most false assumption in the whole art form but we decline from trying to explain because well…it’s just complicated and for the most part unnecessary and so the to the short and sweet answer “oh, a Leica!”
But if let’s say we at least allow ourselves to believe that the choice of said tool does have some baring on how we at least go about framing our chosen subject and stopping time, then the following pictures would suggest that at last, I’m going to fulfill my dream of becoming the long lost son of Henri Cartier Bresson himself or maybe perhaps there’s still time at the age of 47 to surpass the complete life works of both Avedon and HCB in terms of content and quantity. Yes! Money has finally bought me talent, all I need now is the titanium beret to match (I wonder if Stefren at Leica will make me a special addition with ~6 where the red dot would normally go, hmmm….).
Santa came early this morning with something I didn’t really believe I would get until I saw it with my own eyes. I just didn’t think they’d be able to fulfill the orders when they said they would but every now and then our friends in Sölms do surprise us. I opened the box to find what can only be described as ‘a work of art’ in every sense. As soon as I was told about this latest special edition about a year ago I placed my order for the first one. I chose 500/500 because it’s the last one that will ever be made and because well, I couldn’t get 001! How selfish of them, little things like that can completely affect my HCB quest, somehow my pictures are not going to be quite as good now.
There will no doubt be those among us who will think that luxuries such as these are a waste of money, irresponsible spending given the current economical climate or “only for idiots that have more money than brains” (well the ‘brains’ bit is true at least). I can hear the dulcet echoes of “you could buy five 1D4’s for that or thirty GF1/Sh*telander Combos (sorry, just couldn’t resist)…only an idiot would spend that kind of money on a blah, blah….”.
Enter, THE JOYFUL IDIOT.
I became a collector ever since the first time I set eyes on a Leica. I was at a candle lit dinner party where a movie director friend of mine was framing in virtual darkness without anyone noticing. I asked him how it was possible in such light without a flash, the next day I walked into a store and bought that exact combination, an M6 with a 50 Noctilux. That was eighteen years ago but then I made the fatal mistake of selling my entire camera collection about seven years ago to a rental place in New York around the time I first met my wife, I practically gave it all away having discovered my first pro digital camera, the Canon 1Ds (what a tool and I don’t mean the camera).
But then I started collecting again soon afterwards and in one of the pictures here you can see another of most treasured pieces, the ‘M7 Titan Three Lens Set’ of which there are only fifty in existence. The first one went to Sabastiao Salgado (another photographer I’ll soon be surpassing with my new M9 Titan, nope he’s got nothing on me mate) and because I was convinced I’d found the Holy Grail of cameras in the the Canon DSLR, I missed the ’50 Jahre Set’ when they were first released. So it took me a couple of years searching and a lot of help from the two Steffen’s at Leica to find this one without paying too much of a premium because you would have to find someone selling the entire three lens kit as all fifty are numbered by year to their respective lenses, mine bares the year 1970. Luckily it’s worth considerably more than what it was first sold for and that’s IF you can find one of the fifty people willing to part with theirs.
But for those interested, what does laying out the cash for this absolute necessetty buy you that’s different from a normal M9?
Well, it’s just so tough to explain without sounding like a quack, (a title that I will wholly admit to and my wife has no problem calling me). The only way that I can describe it, is by simply saying that it is without doubt or question the single most beautiful camera I have EVER laid eyes on or had the good fortune of owning …..period!
I hope you enjoy these pictures, I feel very fortunate to not only be the first person to receive this special gift (apparently) but also to be healthy enough to enjoy using it to frame the memories of my beautiful family…. life just doesn’t get any better.
Thank you Steffen K and a big thank you to you Steve for being my friend and indulging me here. Merry Xmas to all of you.
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Love the picture with your hand, perfect light , lot of passion inside this picture resume.
Nice to see people sharing hight passion with humility.
All my best for this new Christmas coming ! Keep us in touch !
And thanks you Steve for your blog, very helpful for the first steps with my Leica M240, I can tell you I really appreciate.
Being that I will never own a Leica, even though I am sure it’s wonderful, as I just don’t have or will ever have an extra $40K dollars laying around for lenses, and the balls to actually go outside with it…and risk getting it dirty. I purchased an old Petri 7S, and Konica Auto S2 and rebuilt them from the ground up including every piece of the shutter, and to be quite honest I prefer the Petri 7s. As I got it for $5 USD. it’s a wonderful camera, a rangefinder with a beautifully clear 45mm f/1.8, and my self wound 100′ roll of Tri-X. The selenium module still works and is dead on. I will at some point send you some photos. I really enjoy your site though.
Have fun with your Leica. It looks like a really fun camera, but it’s soooo out of my budget, I would have to get a divorce to own one in like 20 years, and by that time. It is pleasing to see someone live out their photo dreams. Makes me drool a bit.
Maybe someday I will buy a nice Leica M6. I love film.
Thanks again for your site…
Wow, nice camera, major pen!s envy.
And hope you’re having a rocking time @The Voice.
Yes you have a beautiful camera and yes you have a BEAUTIFUL family!!!!
Very nice. What case is that with the M7?
Hello There. I found your weblog the use of msn. That is an extremely neatly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly return.
~6, you’re truly a lucky guy, and serial 500! Couldn’t get any better. Love the looks of this stunner, and well, even though the technology will age quickly, I suppose the Ti will keep good value.
What I’m wondering though, how to hold the thing? You’re not missing the classic strap?
The holster? Looks like the Ti could fall/drop out very easily.
Now that the Leica M9-P Hammertone Limited Editions and other renditions may be coming out, may I have your old Titanium M9? 🙂 I’ve always joyed all your work.
Maybe I missed it, but where can we see your photos out of this beauty of a camera, ~6?
I’m about 6 month late, but still have to say: congrats! I hope you _really_ enjoy that tool. I absolutely love the fact that you buy all these special Leica tools and actually use it. That’s what they’re made for!
O.K., now I get it! After all these years of shooting my huge Canon’s starting with the original 1Ds and shying away from the Leica thing, I’m now making excuses to shoot all of my assignments on rangefinders…….. I’m now in the middle of convincing my art director for a large clothing catalog that we should shoot this years images on M9’s.
This website costs me sooooo much money and Seal is not helping……..
It’s a terrible disease Benjie, the good news is that it only hurts at first. I can’t stop buying glass, I just love it.
It must be nice to had a Christmas like that and…an understanding wife. I just seen a video of this camera on youtube and it was love at first sight. However, unless I give up my Audi Cab I won’t be seeing the M9 limited edition, but maybe the poor man’s M9 in Black is in the my future. I hope all is well with you , your family and your limited edition M9. I to see some of your photos some day.
Beautiful camera, thanks for posting this!
How do you like the LED illuminated brightlines? I guess that solves the problems with finder flare (what I hate most about M cameras). Hopefully they will incorporate this in the next evolution of the M.
Do you think that Fuji can hire Walter de’Silva, from Audi, to redesign the X100?
Awesome camera and great review. Thx. 😉
Steve, is there a place on your website where we can see your photos taken exclusively with the M9 Titanium? That would be great.
Why is it: that you can`t klick on my name and see my contact details?
I wonder what will be the after market price for a not used M9 Titan set? Any ideas? Will it keep its value? Increase?
best regards Alexander
were you see the price/value in future?
that is indeed a lovely, lovely wif… sorry, camera! yeah, camera.
~6 – Congrats on your new most amazing camera! Well deserved and I love to hear you are going to use it instead of confined it to a box on a shelf!
Good for you man… If I could afford it I would have one.
if you can afford it without making any sacrifices then more power to you, theres nothing crazy about it. If i could I would get one of these and the hasselblad Ferrari edition. Anyways congratulations on the camera I hope you take some great shots with it! Thank you for your music and the chance for average joes to get a crack at an M9!
you truly seem like real cool guy.
thank you again!
Might be a nit hard to sing “Change is Gonna Come” with a straight face now – just imagine … “I was born by the river, in a little tent, then bought an M9 Titanium, with the money for ma’ rent …” ROFL – PLEASE do it at a concert !! 🙂
Unlike you, I am not a celebrity but due to the kindness of an excellent guy, I am going to be one of the average joe’s that will be getting their paws on one of these babies in a couple weeks. Definitely something I intend to use, hopefully I will be able to continue shooting without attracting too much attention. I was recently in Pakistan with a black M9 and noctilux f0.95 and I was able to get some interesting (to me anyway) pictures without a lot of resistance or issues. I suppose the titan might draw a little more attention, what with looking a bit more modern but we will see.
oh ~6 you really make me wanna buy one of M9 Titanium.
i just have one question for you if you don’t mind, how much did you really pay for M9 Titanium?
because i check that leica release price actually around $26.000 – $27.000 but i check in my local leica dealer in asia, they offered me $33.000 what a huge different???
i just wonder is the high price normal because of the “limited 500 unit” ?
i already check at many dealer, they all said it hard to get and if they have one the price is so high.
Thanks for your info, it really help me decide to buy it or not despite the high price.
Hey Brother, I cannot really disclose how I came to own these cameras as I have an exclusive with Leica but I can tell you that while $33,000 is very high, they are rare and will become almost impossible to find in a year from now. I made the mistake of not buying the M7 Titan set when it was released and ended up having to pay a huge premium for the three lens set some years later. It is worth whatever you’re willing to pay for it.
were do you see the price of the M9 Titan set in a view years? I am wondering because it is a digital camera. The M7 titan set were only 75 pieces?
best regards Alex
Mr. ~6, Congratulations on your M9 tit. I am so happy that this camera is in the right hand. I have been a huge fan of you for many years and I am so addicted to Mr. huff web site as well. Thank you for the humble posts and your down to earth personality. Enjoy the camera Yours, CPT D
look at this lol :
sad story. It appears the clever feature for the hand strap isn’t quite so, clever
Gosh, I feel so bad for that person!
Congrats ~6, that sure is a beautiful camera! it’s funny how that works. How we see objects made of cold metal and and drab color and we are fascinated and amazed by their beauty. Not only in their finished look but in the pure perfection in their design and functionality. Stepping back in time a bit the M3 is an amazing piece. 50 + years old and still takes photos like it was made yesterday. The history of the M line adds to the beauty. all the things that have passed that curtain and all the things that will. The feel of that Titanium M9 is no doubt adding to it’s beauty as well. Congratulations again and I sure hope to see some photos from it soon 🙂
did you buy those 2 leica’s?
~6, who knew your are such a funny guy? I always thought of you as a most serious fellow.
I entered the contest but I have no Leica. I think the most expensive camera I own is worth $50 !!
No need explaining how excited I would be to have my entry selected, as much for the recognition than the award. And I’m sure it would instantly make me ~nearly~ as good a photographer as ~6 !! 🙂
Sorry, but if I win, that M9 will not be going on a shelf or display cabinet.
Hello ~6 ,
I just entered the competition. I’m a very happy and lucky owner of a M9 already – but I would LOVE to get your M9 – with your signature – for good luck! I’m Austrian, and I love photography. If you’ll be in Europe in February, it would be a true pleasure, if you could come to the opening of my photo exhibition in Berlin. More details you can find on my website:
Seal, thanks again for your so generous donation of your M9.
All the best and take good care,
Enjoy it you lucky bastard!
Wow, ~6 … you are amazing to respond to so many posts. What a heart you have. I must admit, like many guys all over the world, I had the biggest crush on your wife so I was a bit jealous when you married her, LOL. But in time, I saw how happy you guys were … so I was cool with it … and that was BEFORE I knew you were a Leica nut!!!! Now, I’m positively in love with you! 😛
But seriously, there was a part of me that — when I saw this camera announced at Photokina — I thought “I would soooooooooo buy that camera” despite the price tag. Just like you, I thought it to be the most gorgeous camera I had ever seen. A work of art. A piece of history! You only live once, and when something gives you so much joy, who cares about the price???? Money will come and go (yes we all have responsibilities) but experiences, emotions and joy like you will get from this camera are priceless, irreplaceable and will last a lifetime. There’s no price tag for that. Bravo to you 🙂
In my case, I think the money would be better invested on an S2 and M9 combo, especially considering that I probably couldn’t even get a titanium if I wanted … but now I must admit that seeing these photos I’m feeling almost as jealous as when you married Heidi!!
Anyway, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing and for your passion in Leica and photography. You have multiplied my own inspiration many times over. I also just signed up on your new picortwo site and will be following both of you, eager to see the beautiful moments you capture with your cameras.
P.S. I did finally meet my own “Heidi” — a gorgeous, bubbly, brilliant, funny, cute, wonderful former model from the Dominican Republic, she and I are living a fairly tale life. Hope we can both someday attend a concert and maybe even be lucky enough to meet you in person.
Hi Seal, I really envy you haha. I had a M9 and it got stolen on the 10th of Jan 2011.
I shared on this Leica forum. http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/160176-my-leica-m9-got-stolen.html
My photography journey is not long that much, I’m just 22 y/o college guy but I know it is all about “you”. Not about your camera. I never worried about my gear in my whole journey. I learned from my experiences that the better gear just makes it fast. With spending more time and effort i can still take better pics with my p&s camera! -Doruk
Enjoy your new gear! =D
Interesting what you should say about cameras and kids. I’m also keeping my last film camera, a Nikon F3, for my kids. Then, I was able to join the Leica family only in the digital era, but my M8 will stay with me forever just because it’s what I shot the first few years of their lives with. Just goes to show how much photography can mean to one’s life even when just a hobbyist.
PS: Have you asked Solms for a custom-made titanium Noctilux? Surely that’s all you are missing now.
Quick question: what camera/lens did you use to take the pictures of the M9 Titanium? They are stunning shots!
I have an M9, and was wondering if it’s still possible to get the titanium, or has all 500 been totally sold out? For the money, if I could get only one, would you recommend i get the titanium or an S2? By the way I’ve always been a big fan of your music:)
I think they’re all sold and or spoken for. I know that Ken Hansen has one that he ordered but I’m not sure if he sold it. I can call him and also look around for you, I’ll post here if I find one.
With regards to the choice between the S2 and the M9 Titan, they’re both superb cameras but just know that there are limitations to the S2. It defeats the issue using anything over ISO 640 and to be honest…ISO 320. The reason being is that you just don’t get the benefit of those 37 mega pixels. Therefore you spend most time at 160 to get real fine quality. this normally wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that the fastest lens they make is a f/2.5 but because of the nature of the camera/lenses (heft and size), you need quite fast shutter speeds, double the focal length to be safe, in order to guarantee consistently sharp images.
The bottom line is that it’s not really a low light camera for indoors. However when there is enough light it’s gorgeous but you’ll be restricted to using it with a tripod most of the time. It’s not as versatile as you would imagine.
Hope this helps,
If I may hijack: I have seen a few M9T pop up on the Hong Kong Leica Fan Club forum over the last few weeks. Not sure why, but many seem to have ended up there and get traded around. If you really are interested, just keep checking their “Equipment Exchange” at http://forum.hklfc.com/?
Hope this helps.
I wonder what is the after market price for a not used M9 Titan set? Any ideas? I can`t read this forum……… I sit in Europe so I am interested in the EU price level……… Is there also a place were they trade them?
best regards Alexander
It’s a 28 Summicron that is part of the M7 Titan three lens kit.
Great text i loved it =D
Just one question: in picture #7 what is the lens attached to the M9?
I envy you.
Haha..thank you…..it think :/ it’s interesting how one situation can present another. Inspite of my recent good fortune with this camera, I now find myself drawn to medium format having looked at Vivienne Maiers work…simply breathtaking.
Off to spend time with the 203fe and the 80.
Ah, the square format! So wrong, and yet so right. My favourite pictures were taken with the Hasselblad.
Last time I took the 503 and 80 out, a friendly guy patted me on the shoulder and said “Out meditating, are you?” I guess he was referring to the special “Hasselblad-stance”.
You are very generous by the way, all the best to you.
i’m just jealous! :p but now i have the chance to own ~6’s M9! hahaha! thanks ~9, even if i don’t get to win,. my Gf1 is on it’s way. i just wish it arrives before the contest deadline so i can use it for the submission. Game on! 😀
Hi ~6, I have been thinking about the possibility that Leica could sell in the future a M1O model based on the M9 titanium r&d process. From your actual experience (i know short), how is the battery life of the M9 ti compared with the “normal” M9 ?, i think the use of electronic viewfinder lines may be an extra load for the battey (sorry if this has been asked before).
just one word…WOW 🙂
Nice to see it going to someone who’s going to use it and not just a collector. Congrats ~6!
I’m glad you actually use these cameras to actually take pictures. I recently bought my first Leica, a black paint M4 that had been sitting in a closet in mint condition for 40 years. I could sell it for quite a bit of money, but I’d rather keep it and shoot with it than sell it to someone that will put it away again.
What about an M3 finder on the M9 – with your connections to Solms you could make that happen?!
Fun to read here from you, best of luck,
I’m a friend/customer, not on the board of directors. I have no say in that department.
WOAH they only made 500 of these?!?!!?
My friend owns a camera store and just sold one off to some random (rich) person. I had no idea they were that rare…
… Wow. Just wow : congratulations, I’ve spent almost 1 hour reading this article + conversation / discussion / DEBATE ! Without getting bored any second. Exciting subject. Well. Difficult to understand sometimes when you’re a Frenchy like me, but it’s such.. (what’s the word?) … enthralling ! Yes, I think it’s the good word.
Well, Mister ” ~6 “, I’m fascinated & impressed by the pictures you’ve posted, and the way you talk about this beautiful gift with real, perceptible passion. “Passion, do you have it ?”. Lately, I created a blog about passion, why ? Because people ask me to talk about my own passion (photo…photo…photo-what? ah yes, photography !), but I’m not able to do it. I can’t find the right words – and may be I don’t want to : it’s like too… intimate (?). I prefere read or listen to other people talking about it, this is why I make “interviews” of them and post different articles there.
EVERYBODY can take part, let’s share our passions instead of discussing about “it’s an ugly product” or “how much does this or that cost”, la la la…
Btw : STEVE, I’m waiting for yours (written interview) like a child waiting for morning to open Xmas presents ! 🙂
Love thoughts & passionate vibes from France,
~6: “I hope you enjoy these pictures, I feel very fortunate to not only be the first person to receive this special gift (apparently) but also to be healthy enough to enjoy using it to frame the memories of my beautiful family….”
It might just be me but the way this is worded I expected to scroll down and see pictures of Heidi Klum. Jeez!
Titanium is the best camera metal and the lens hood on that 35mm is deadly cool. Have you seen Luigi’s new leather case inspired by the texture of the wrap? It’d be a nice add-on but the shoulder sling that comes with the camera is also great. The guys at the Mayfair store point out that it’s a VW/Audi seat-belt, befitting Walter de’Silva.
Terrific photos and hilarious article. Keep up the great work!
that’s indeed a very beatiful camera. Is it this one that can be won in the contest recently announced by Steve?
As a long-standing M6 user I understand your exitement about this gem. Having serious problems in achieving the same quality scanning negatives as I used to have in printing, I am tempted to go fully digital as well. However, an M9 is just too expensive for a normal human being. Lets see how the Fuji X100 turns out. 😉
PS please pass my regards to Heidi, which I know from school in BG.
It’s not really a question of ‘converting’ the frame lines, it’s more a process of just putting on a different top plate as the frame line housing is in the plate…it’s not very difficult at all to do. They were able to do it for me because when they were developing the M9 Ti, they had many prototypes which including some that used the traditional frame line concept i.e, they had many top plates. I just asked my friend to make the 007 one unique by putting on the top plate from one of those prototypes that were lying around.
However, as I mentioned before I’m liking the digital lines so much that I might ask them to put on the new top plate.
~6, thanks for this explanation. I am actually surprised that the measurements of the digital/Titanium top plates are exactly the same. I assume they could have probably made these plates smaller, i.e. not as high, if they wanted to – as the frame line window and mechanism is replaced by electronics. If you already have a normal Titanium it might be a shame to replace the one off Titanium traditional top plate of the 007 with a digi one, as you would get something you already have with the 500. This is especially true if there will be more digi-frame top plates in future Leicas. On the other hand future Leicas might use the traditional plates again, so one more special dig-frame top plate for you would be nice.. but a one off traditional top plate in Titanium is actually even more special…
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much information (especially pictures) about the digital lines on the web… or I could not find it.
Enjoy this great camera!
I wonder who got the M9 Titanium #001. There are of course other artists who use Leicas, but I don’t think any of them has connections as good as ~6 or has done as much for Leica as ~6, so the lucky owner of #001 is probably not an artist but somebody much more powerful when it comes to Leica …or somebody rich. Could it be Dr. Andreas Kaufmann? …or HM the Queen, in this case it would unofficially be #001 but hers would not have a number? Steve Jobs maybe? Mentioning Leica when he presented the iPhone 4 must have made a much wider audience aware of Leica.. Or maybe just a very good customer who ordered a lot in the past and put his/her order in early…
I think Vladimir Putin…
It went to Peter at ‘Westlich Camera’ in Vienna. It’s a great store and one that is worth visiting if you’re in that neck of the woods. I actually had an opportunity to have it but opted for the 500/500 because I wanted the last one, not the first one. I prefer the high numbers because they have had a lot of experience in assembly by the time they get to it.
I also got a very special number ‘007’ which is totally different from all the others…one of a kind because it has the original frame line technology with the classic frame line window. The top-plate is different and it is the only one of it’s kind. I specified that I wanted it that way.
I hope this answers your question.
Kelvin, I didn’t know that Putin likes Leica, but that actually fits well with other things I read about his interests…
~6, thanks for the explanation. The point about the experience in assembling the camera is actually very clever. Especially since it is an unusual material, as you wrote earlier they need to re-tool three times, so by the 500th camera they should have gotten the hang of it. A different point: I wonder whether you will pick the 500 or the 007 in five years time …when the novelty of the new frame line window has worn off – but it probably doesn’t make as much of a difference as most of us here think. Please let us know when you come to a conclusion which one is better!
Correction Mathias, i meant Dimitri Medvedev See this link ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shwsv22X4w0&feature=related )
He’s a big Leica fan.
right now if I had to make the choice I would pick the newer technology. I didn’t think they would be that big of a deal but they are! It is so easy to compose especially at night or in dim light, it’s almost DSLR like but with the advantage of being able to see outside of the frame. I may have the 007 converted to the newer design i.e, have the top plate changed because I believe in it so much.
Bottom Line, I LOVE the new digital frame lines.
Kelvin, thanks for the link. The photos from the exhibition at the beginning and the end of the video look fantastic!! Good there are English subtitles on Youtube, but the bit about his Canon having a big lens and the Leica having a considerable number of Mpix sound rather strange, maybe because of the translation…
~6, the way you describe it, it sounds really exciting! I am surprised to read that they would/could convert your 007. I’ll go and try to find out more about the new frame lines. Thanks for this information.
~6, nice write up……. wish I could be half crazy. Happy New Year.
Thank you for sharing and it is is simply fantastic to see that a titan will be used by one who not only appreciates the brand but the passion that is photography.
Please continue to post using this camera! it would be such a shame to confine such a beauty to the shelf of a collection.
Congrats ~6 on acquiring the M9 Titan. It is amazingly beautiful. I still LOL and chuckle at times when I recall what happened on rangefinderforum.com when the original M8 came out. It was hilarious and brilliant what you did to shut up a particular doubter Glad to find you actively posting again and sharing since your posts are inspiring and much appreciated.
I hope Leica ends up offering that shoulder holster as an accessory as it would be an amazing addition to street shooters like myself. Perhaps you could drop a suggestion/hint to the Stef’s at Leica Germany 😉
Happy New Year!
Lucky you! I saw the gorgeous titanium M9 at Salon de la Photo in Paris. I’m still giddy over my M9, purchased earlier this year. Have also recently found an M3, to shoot w/ film again (after many years’ absence).
Hope you’ll share some of your shots with your latest Leica beauty! Enjoy! Bonne Annee!
~6, what I like about your initial review is that, for a self-described gear head, the art of photography is clearly at the centre of your work. It also demonstrated that you, like many others, appreciate Leica cameras not just as tools which can be used to create art, but as objects of art, themselves. Your overview of Leica’s you have collected over time underscored this; thanks for sharing those photograph’s. You talk about Leica cameras in terms of an emotional relationship, as if you’re actually describing your relationship with a girlfriend over the many years you’ve been with her. Clearly it’s a good relationship.
Thanks for sharing your experience and this wonderful camera with us. Given the fact that only 0.01% of the posts were against collecting expensive Leicas, i would suggest ( if time allows) to try to introduce some of the best collection items to the community. I am not a collector of cameras myself, but i am very much into nice materials in general. I got myself a Mountainbike made from Titanium and i can tell you its got a wonderful touch to it. I assume the same holds true for the M9 Titanium. In the end i am convinced that a lot of us choose Leica cameras also because of their wonderful haptic. Holding such a camera influences the way you walk through the streets, i am sure. And its a joy and that is what counts at the end.
I wish you a happy new year and great success in 2011. Thank you for posting, and thank you Steve for running such a wonderful website.
PS: i also love Ashwins work :-).
Take care, best wishes from Munich, Daniel
Thanks for the pics and humorous write up. An enjoyable read with some nice photos of the M9Ti too.
On a much smaller scale, I can relate to some degree. Last year I bought the titanium edition of the D-Lux4. We all know it’s not really titanium 😉 But after reading up on it I was set on a D-Lux4 to use as an everyday walkabout camera. And much preferred the look of the titanium over the other versions.
After taking the plunge, I proceeded to buy the grip and viewfinder and have shot the heck out of it. Taking it anywhere and everywhere over the past year. It has been used and abused. Now sporting a small crack on the LCD screen and the faux titanium paint worn off in spots where the Leica grip rubs on the body. (That really shouldn’t happen btw.)
While the regular D-Lux4 or LX3 would take pictures of identical quality, I took pleasure in owning a beautiful looking camera and found that just made me want to take it out and shoot more often.
As photographers I think it’s natural to be attracted by good aesthetics. Whether it be an image or piece of industrial design. When making a purchase I’m of the mindset that “appearance and function are of equal importance.” Once the motto of General Motors in its heyday from the 1930s to early 60s, when Harley Earl was chief of its Art and Color department. A philosophy now long forgotten by GM, but adopted by Apple after the return of Jobs.
Point is I enjoyed my time taking the camera out and using it. When it comes down to it, enjoying our time is the most precious thing in life. If you have the means then why not indulge? Life is short!
What a wonderful post! Congrats on a superb (enviable!) acquisition I hope you have many years of enjoyment with that M9. I have to say, however, that it is your M7 set that I’m drooling over! Do you still have/use your M6+Noctilux? I look forward to seeing many images here and at picortwo!
Hi Mr. Seal.
I Love your music 🙂
Merry X’mas and Happy New Year 🙂
Love your music, love your photo’s, and now love your camera! But it’s not envy honest.
Congrats and thanks for sharing. So awesome!
Congratulations on such a beautiful Christmas present! And many thanks for sharing it with us!
It IS a beautiful object! And fact that it helps record your memories in such a wonderful way makes (half? 😉 ) the value of it…
It is not a matter of what you do with your money, this your problem and yours alone! Even if you chose to let it sit in a cabinet (well, then I might cry a little, I can be judgmental)… But you actually take great photos (that’s a hell lot of talent bundled in one person, send some over here if you overflow!)!!
I just treated myself to a m6 ttl and 35,50,90mm Leica lenses set, and I really didn’t look much higher in number than the m7 to be honest. I found the m9 a wee bit too light…
I’ll swing by the shop in Ginza and see if they’ll let me play with a titanium one 🙂
And thank you for sharing photos of your m7 Titan set, THAT really got me drooling of over the place!!
Steve, I only found your site 2 weeks ago, researching on Zeiss lenses!
It is very inspiring and has a nice community of very talented and constructive people. It is now one of my first read in the morning, thank you for that!
I apologize for the very long ramble!
Best wishes for the new year everybody!
Kindest regards, Celia.
I agree with you on the M7 Ti set, film is where my heart is and it doesn’t get more perfect than that set. Speaking of Ginza, I have a Ti MP that was one of 150 pieces made specially for that store there. It’s awesome.
Hope you had a great Xmas and have an even better New Year.
Congrats on the beautiful camera ~6, I look forward to seeing some pics. Surely the M9 and the Summilux 75mm is THE dream combo for digital photography. I am currently enjoying my 75mm on the Olympus EP2, but when I go back to shooting with my MP, it’s like catching up with an old friend.
Forgive my ignorance, but does this LE not have a hot shoe, or does it just have a nice chrome blank insert?
All the best
thanks for the kind words. It does have a hot shoe, it’s fitted with a titanium place holder. Pretty cool I thought, it’s the little touches that make it for me.
Congratulations on getting the camera, I am an M9 and M8 user and love the results I have been getting from my M9 and like you I have been loving and using the heck out of my 75mm lux at the moment!
I got to check out the Titan M9 a couple of weeks back when I dropped my M9 off for cleaning at Leica in Mayfair and if I had the cash I wouldn’t think twice about buying one. I find it amusing in the world of cameras that people are always hating others who spend big on things like the Titan or .95 Noctilux – they should go checkout the world of luxury brand collectable watches to see where some really big money goes…
I do think it’s a shame that a lot of these Titan M9s will never venture out of their boxes but as we know with ~6 his will be used and abused as it should be.
Enjoy and have a great New Year. Hope you get back to Perth, Western Australia again some day soon…
What a cool post. I’ll never have one of these cameras myself, barring some windfall, but I enjoyed the enthusiasm.
Then seeing all the hidden references to song lyrics, I looked some of them up. I’ll admit that I didn’t know the artist behind the songs, but in hearing them I was hit with all sorts of memories. This music apparently formed the backdrop of my late 20’s and 30’s, and it brings out all sorts of forgotten mental images of my time traveling, living, and going to school in the UK, Spain, and Scandinavia, before I got settled and sedentary in the US.
Music is a powerful tool. Thanks for sharing yours.
(Now I’m off to get some CDs…)
~6 Thanks for what you wrote, I use film Leicas, actually a MP Hammer tone and a M6 TTL LHSA, and I value a lot the tactile feeling of the equipment. When I got my first M6, almost 15 years ago I had the opporunity to handle a titanium M6 and yes it was special, not sure if it was the weight, the color, or the sound of the shutter, but it was special, unfortunately I couldn’t afford it.
I have had the opportunity of using a Linhof technika before using less expensive 4×5 and it was not the same, both took the pic, but the experience was different, the same happened when I could use an Alpa TC or a hasselbald SWC against a H4D. I know the camera is just the instrument, and without the person behind the eyepiece there is nothing, but , at least for me, the actual experience of photographing is important, it involves the handling of the camera, the act of watching it as an object , and the way it integrates with the photographer, and the way it let you interact with the environment, it is not easy to explain, but it is there.
I haven`t handled the M9 titanium, but from the pics I have seen and from the comments I have read, I will get one if could, not because how much it will worth, but beucause it is a first rate photographic instrument with a very nice minimalistic approach, it has very high quality materials, it is a beautiful work of modern art, and just beacuse I like it a lot. That will make me a better photographer ?, I don`t know, but may be.
Thanks a lot, congratulations for your M9, and happy holidays.
Thanks so much for the compliments. I completely empathize with you on the film Leica’s. I like the ‘Hammer tone’ variety very much, there’s something industrial about them. Rockwell once said to me that he felt that one of the reasons why Leica’s felts so good in the hand was because they were engineered like a gun. I’m not sure how to take that as I’m about as anti firearms as one would imagine but I do believe that there’s truth to that especially when talking about the Titan MP and the ‘Hammer tones’.
Interesting what you say about the camera making one a better photographer. Most people would scoff at such a statement and ridicule you for saying that but I’m right there with you. A Leica RF is an archaic way of taking photographs, it’s for the most part inaccurate, if it’s not back focusing it’s front focusing… the list goes on. My point is that there are more reliable photographic instruments at our disposal which are WAAAAAY cheaper if it were all about the photographer and not the tool. Take the 5D2 for example and the vast array of lenses, that camera is in a word SUPERB! It is a phenomenal camera and every time I pick it up, I ask myself why I bother with anything else. But you’re right, there’s nothing like the Leica and the confidence it instills in you which is ironic given that I just listed some of it’s obvious idiosyncrasies.
The most fun thing I’m doing at the moment is going through my M lens collection and trying lenses like the 75 Summilux which has a wonderful signature all of it’s own. I love this camera Jorge, I really do and as fickle as it may sound, if that’s what makes me happy then I am a better photographer for it 🙂
Some time ago when I begun learning digital I got a Canon 1ds MK II, a 50/1.2 L and a 16-35/2.8 L, then I wanted to sell some Leica stuff to finance the canon, at first I said to my self welcome to the future and relax, no more guessing the frame when using the Leica 24/2.8 , no more worry for trying to get the eyes of a model into the 1mm depth of field slot of the Noctilux, no more rangefinder patch blackout, no more hand turning the aperture ring or speed dial, etc….. let the Canon do it , no more camera distraction, just concentrate in the composition trough the reflex view finder, etc, ….. And yes the Canon does it and more, it is a great camera, I still have it and use it, but when I do it I miss the sensorial world that emerges when using the Leica, having to set manually aperture and shutter speed, having to compose the photo in your mind and not “in” the reflex view finder, opens a different form of vision and takes me back to the basic.
By having that experience I have understood that what I miss when using the Canon is the craft of taking a photo, fortunately I didn`t sell my Leicas, and I think the M9 have the best mixture, digital + craft (but I am far from leaving film).
I agree with you about the 75 summilux, is an exceptional lens, beautiful for portraits, the other lens I use a lot is the Noctilux, (the 1.0 version with the hammer tone MP), but prefer the 75 (unfortunately don`t have it now).
By the way, your are very kind for donating your M9.
You see, THIS. Is a perfect example of what I meant when I said that “I learn so much from the insight on this site”. So well put Jorge and I appreciate the clarity especially right now because I’m loving the Canons, they do take care of a lot don’t they? They’re just not the Leica……..
Yeap Seal..you said it, .. I must admit it too..even if my 1ds doesn`t have the leica “je ne sais quoi” i still like it a lot….and I agree we learn a lot form every one in here.
Thanks for all your comments, and I wish you and your family a very happy new year.
To be honest I disliked the TiM9 from the publicity shots when it was launched. However I went to photokina to see it in the flesh and it is a very nicely finished, well proportioned camera. It looks less of a divergence from the classic look in reality than on the web. Sounds strange I know, but true.
Price is relative. Owning a normal M9 would give the majority of people on this planet a heart attack financially. Linking the price to the owners, then to negativity is an exercise in ignorance.
Nicely worded article ~6, thank you – and Steve, this site is just getting better and better. Full steam for 2011 Mr Huff, I’ll be following.
I can see how the pictures don’t do it justice in some peoples eyes. The first time I saw it was in Köln. Steffen came to a TV performance I was doing and brought a bunch of new goods with him to show me, among them was the 007 prototype M9 Titan. I fell in love with it then and almost ended up in a fight with him due to my reluctancy in giving it back.
Thanks for the compliments on my article. Outside of songs I’m not much of a writer.
Oh, and if you haven’t seen our beloved Bergisches Land in the last 2 or so weeks – you really should, we’ve got record snow falls and it’s so incredibly beautiful right now!
Health & Happiness to you and yours.
I was very fortunate to be given the chance to do a mini review ( http://photothisandthat.co.uk/2010/11/14/leica-m9-titanium/ ) of the camera by Leica UK in Bruton Place. I loved it and it’s great to know that at least some of these cameras are ending up with people who are passionate about photography and won’t purely use this magnificent camera as a collector’s piece. Enjoy 🙂
I am very happy for your gift! You really deserve it this miracle!
I can be satisfied in with a M9… That I’d appreciate it!
Congratulations – and happy, peaceful New Year to you and your loved!
Kind regards from Hungary,
does the M9 Titan uses the same firmwear as the normal M9? Because yours is now firmware on it is v1.150. So can you update to the newest?
best regards Alexander
No, I believe mine is a later version than what is available. An interesting point you bring up as I’m not a hundred percent sold on the version 1.150 that has come with my Titan (I still have a black M9 with the latest firmware downloadable from the Leica site). I’m not sure whether it’s because I’ve also been using my 5D2 a lot but my eyes tell me that something isn’t quite right. However I could be wrong and this could all be in my head. I will let you know once I get the time to geek and pixel-peep.
ok, thanks for the info. At Leica they say the M9 and M9 Titan use the same firmware….. so we can use the download from the M9 page.
What is wrong with the 1.150?
~6, Seeing you posting some emotional insights over a stunning piece of equipment is very much appreciated. Handling that camera myself at a demo event in Germany made me fall in love with it; from my industrial designer standpoint I couldn’t get over the preciousness and complexity of the development process needed to achieve such a result. Walter de’Silva is the guy that made of Audi a powerhouse of automotive design and I believe his touch on the M9 will render it a proper timeless beauty during the years to come. My M8.2 never felt so “simple” before even if I have an emotional relation with it that defies its shortcomings.
At the same time it doesn’t come as a surprise to see you so engaged here since I still remember many, many years ago to have discussed with you randomly your Leica gear you carried so casually at your neck along with the meaning of some lyrics of your songs in Via Dei Condotti in Rome. All of this with such an open, friendly and down to earth approach that made me appreciate your work more and more during the years.
Please keep sharing with us more of your gear photographic experiences!
Thanks Rick. It really is beautiful to use. I was also lucky enough to get one o those MP Titans and it is the camera I use most on a day to day basis. In many ways it’s my favorite ever camera. I’ll post some images from it I Steve agrees when I get some time. Thanks again for the compliment and have a Happy New Year
Beautiful cameras…thanks for taking the time to post.
If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out the Titanium MP released in Japan in 2007. Now that’s a beauty. http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/Leica/Leica-M3/Leica-MP/MP-Titan/index.htm
Happy New Year.
I have to say, thank you to Leica for running the various special editions, at minimal cost and high profit. They get scooped up. And more power to the people who have been successful enough to purchase them.
AND more credit to those that can afford them and actually use them. To them the my best wishes.
These special lines help make the company profitable, helping support research and advertising. Leica is a small company, and needs to take advantage of every opportunity. Yes, it is a premium brand, but obviously it could be a lot more expensive without these special expeditions.
No offense ~6,love the music !
Happy new year to all although I have to say that I am quite surprised to find almost nobody disliking this piece of overpriced fashion statement. Seal, a great luxury item, happy if you like it. On the other hand, if that’s the future of the brand, serving fanboy collectors with cameras that are last year’s tech in a different metal shell for a the price of a good car, good night. I remember my father working with his R cameras in the 80s for big money already but he just laughs at this price now. Great that somebody can afford it. Great show off too.
I guess that’s what leica stands for today. Rich people’s toys, any criticism is answered with the usual ignorant rant like “don’t judge what we have deserved for ourselves…bla”. Nobody does that. All the majority of people says is “it’s just too expensive”. It’s an already overpriced camera repriced again.
Leica has some nice products. And some not so nice ones. Like many companies. Leica is also completely responsible for the position they are in these days. I second what was said before. Make up your mind Solms. Either do only fancy ostrich – Titan fashion for those who are wealthy enough to buy anything that comes at an insane price or come up with cameras more people can afford. And by that I mean buy new, not some 30 year old material that needs to go to service in Solms in order to be fit for purpose.
A while ago Apple was not so much different. Some might not remember that (of course you’ve all been Macheads all your life, no questions asked) but the fruit company was not doing well at all before Steve Jobs was back. He understood how to bring the company back into the mainstream consumer market so that now we can all enjoy classy Macs at affordable prices. Apple has succeeded, will Leica?
Oh, and btw, Shitelander? Do you think that’s a good tone for a) this site b) their users? I’m a bit disgusted by such a statement.
Eric, I get it. Don’t start on me for being able to afford this camera okay…just stop it right there. If you cannot be happy for someone who has worked hard for this piece of art, then just don’t post. But don’t start on those that can afford luxuries such as these and choose to share them here in good spirit…what’s your problem?
While you’re at it, before you start telling what you find disgusting, note that I never once spelled out the word sh*telander without using an Asterix…I leave that to people with less class. Buy yourself a sense of humour for christ’s sake and stop hating, it’s embarrassing.
Your comment on Voigtlander came across as very negative, that’s my point. An Asterix doesn’t make it any better or less in my opinion. Classless in my opinion.
I don’t have a problem with you buying extreme luxury items in times where many have way less than they used to and show off with it. Go ahead.
I don’t like Leica focussing so much on these special editions. For me it’s a vulgar looking M9 with no real technical innovation. I’m all for craftmanship and what not in the goods I buy but that’s just a vulgar product. You know pretty well I am not the only one.
I also did not comment on your art or whatever you think you are in need to justify.
Please read my post as criticism towards the brand and not towards you as an artist.
“I don’t have a problem with you buying extreme luxury items in times where many have way less than they used to and show off with it. Go ahead.”
You see that’s just it Eric, you do have a problem because it’s not your opinion that I find resentful….it’s your tone, it’s wreaks of jealousy not to mention hypocrisy. You keep saying with that schmarmy indignant tone that you think the camera is “ugly”, “vulgar looking”, akin to diamond clad products and blah, blah. But if I was to offer you one as a gift, I wonder how distasteful you’d find it then. Yeah, I can see you running in the opposite direction trying to avoid the fate of having to suffer owning such an atrocious looking camera that by the way, you’d be able to criticize justifiably.
Again, stop hating, let it go, you sound like Ebenezer Scrooge.
Sorry if I come across all negative here, it’s really not my intention.
I just wanted to criticize the camera and the direction in which Leica seems to head which I personally do not agree with.
I can afford the camera myself but would not spend so much money on such an item. And I wouldn’t feel comfortable shotting with it either honestly but that’s just my personal issue.
I know you are perfectly gifted to use it as a tool to make really good photos with it, no question about that.
There’s no hate involved on my side. Love and hate are the two strongest emotions one can feel and I certainly don’t feel either hate or love for a product.
And of course most certain not for you. I respect you as a person and artist in both music and photography. Not my style of music maybe but I’ll always remember your performance on the Freddie tribute concert in 92. You singing “Who wants to live forever” was really touching.
Leave my music and career out of it and don’t patronize me for pete’s sake. This is about a camera and your inability to be happy for the people that are lucky enough to have it.
PS, my performance on the ‘Dead-Fred’ show in 92 was mediocre at best.
Why dislike a beautiful camera such as this? THERE ARE those who CAN afford it and this is fact. Leica has sold all 500 of them and did so within a week of announcing it! The fact is that this camera is a statement piece by Leica. They made it to show off what they can do, how they can do it, and also shown us that they can sell them. If I could afford it, I would have bought one myself! I’m happy for those 500 that did.
Actually, the 499 who did bought out the M9t. Someone bought two of them. 🙂
ps: I’m just making this up.
As for Apple, IMO, I don’t believe Apple is being priced differently than what they were years ago. They are still priced 50% or more higher than PC’s (although my museum piece Apple IIc was cheaper than an IBM back in the mid-80’s). What really changed for Apple is the marketing and the innovation. I admit that I am slowly transitioning from PC to Mac. Just waiting for my PC to die first, to justify buying that quad-core 27″ iMac!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Steve. I am by far not the only person who is not turned on by a shiny Titan-wrapped M9. I like the regular M9 in terms of looks pretty well and think the black one is great for anybody not seeking much attention while shooting.
This Titan to me is as “nice” looking as all the diamond-covered toys like iPods you see sometimes.
So great, there are 500 folks who were able to afford one. If they are happy with it, good for them. Again, the camera to me is a M9 in a different shell with an LED for the framelines.
For months we have been reading from people who can afford the regular and already very very expensive Leica products – but Leica could not deliver. It would have been great for these people to get their hands on working products too. Sure, we can discuss forever which resources inside the company are used and what other factors come to play. End of the day, if I pay thousands for a lens or a body and wait for months, that’s not classy, that’s frustrating.
Other Leica enthusiasts would have appreciated some innovation in the area of a solution for R system users. Instead we see special editions for the price of a car.
I totally understand your opinions. As a Leica fan (thanks largely in part to Steve), I would like to see Leica figure out how to remain profitable while still creating quality products at a price that is more affordable. I’d like to see a 1:1 magnification on the VF (like CV did in one of the Bessa) while still maintaining accuracy of a M3. If memory serves me correctly from reading somewhere, the M3 supposedly has the best VF in any of the M cameras?
~6, what have you done to us? Normally I don’t follow celebrity news, but as I was browsing headlines this weekend, I saw a story on you and your family. I couldn’t resist reading the article in hopes that you might have your M9Ti out with you, and there it was – the M9Ti and even a shot of you framing a photo. What’s so funny is that whoever wrote the story was obviously trying to come up with something of significance to report but missed the significance of the camera.
Forgot to ask if you’d be able to post a picture of the new viewfinder. It’d be amazing to be able to see what a person would see when looking into it with the new framelines and such. Cheers and Thanks!
You have now whet my appetite for getting one of these. Do you know if they are all accounted for, or are there some that are still available? (I don’t care what # it is, as long as I get to call you my M9 Ti brother) 🙂
BTW, does Heidi have a single sister by any chance? I figure if I’m going to call you my M9 Ti brother, I might as well shoot for the moon and be able to call you my brother for real! 🙂 j/k!
Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for making this community such a wonderful and enjoyable place. I’ll always credit Steve for getting me hooked on Leica (and therefore, draining my wallet). 🙂
Very wise choice of number. Looks really cool.
It’s the most meaningful special edition ever, in my opinion, because it’s not an M9 in exclusive numbers and metals, but a redesigned camera.
Congratulations, good timing.
Congratulation ~6 on owning a work of art. I can at least say a Nija man i know owns one… Enjoy it to the fullest as you deserve it and anything + everything you’ve worked for and own. Any plans on touring in Nigeria?
Side note… I would personally like to see the M designed by one of these guys,
Ross Lovegrove ( http://www.rosslovegrove.com/ )
Antonio Citterio ( http://www.antoniocitterioandpartners.it/_design/des_rec.html )
John Pawson ( http://www.johnpawson.com/ )
Philip Starck ( http://www.starck.com/ ).
Happy Holidays to Steve, Seal and all… Great post and comments as always! Now off to buy Seals new album.
oh i wish it’s my x’mas present 🙁
such a beauty..
This post now hold the record here for the most comments (previously held by the X1 review at 209 comments) – Awesome!
@ All : Merry Christmas from France !
@ Steve : thank you very much for this cool website !
@ -6 : I am waiting for “the” M9 titan shot now !!! Just to be really sure… it’s not the photographer, but it’s the camera stupid… 😉
HAVE FUN !
Arrggh, all these M (9) Titanium pictures, all these posts…. And then Steve’s timing of posting a link to a beautiful used M7 Titanium kit with Summilux 50 asph, available now, reasonably priced!…..so tempting! Am still wrestling with the decision, and If I pulled the trigger I’d have to blame ~6 and Steve :).
Forgot to mention that, for the record, my previous comment was 99/99 and this one is 100/100!
Just a bit jealous I guess! 😉
Haha… thanks for the compliments Hatem. It’s nice to be able to afford certain pleasures in life. I spent the first 27 years of my life being virtually penniless. I still can’t believe it when I wake up everyday and see my beautiful family and what, hard work, the power of conviction and a little bit of luck have brought me. I try and teach this to our children but they don’t get it and perhaps they never will. It’s a different world we live in today.
I understand and have a lot of respect for what it took to get there. And I am a big fan! Enjoy your well deserved success to the fullest!
Merry Xmas and a wonderful 2011!
Congratulations ~6! That was a perfect move. It’s hard to argue with the pedigree and cutting edge tech fusion in such a pleasurable creative instrument. The design, material, and unique 500/500 identity gotta give it ‘Soul’! Enjoy the experience. Best Wishes for the Season, to You, Steve, and everyone here.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! =D
What one item would you bring if you’re stranded on a lost island?
I answered, “why my M9 Titanium Edition Camera of course!”
I’m crazy about the camera too.
WIth the 50mm Summilux Titan edition of course 😉
Hahah you’re awesome! =D
Oh my dear lord… This is such a beautiful camera.
Enjoy every bit of it! If I had the means, this would be my xmas gift too. And ordering the 500/500 was a fabulous touch. Well, done my friend!
Right now I am looking forward to buying a 2nd hand M9 to replace my R-D1s. If you have one to sell, let me know! 🙂
Such a nice, genuine and heartfelt compliment. Merry Xmas to you to Brother and thanks for the mutual appreciation.
Congratulations, what you have described comes close to matching the joy I feel in owning/shooting an M3.
Thanks Nachase. an M3 is one Leica that I don’t yet have, not sure why…perhaps because I’m enamoured with the MP. I must get one though, I think I’ll wait for a special one to come around. Merry Xmas.
Oh, yes, an M3 is a camera that you should have (single stroke M3, that is), ~6. The viewfinder alone makes this camera a perfect match for a 50 mm lens, and in my opinion, the M3 has the best viewfinder of any M camera, particularly for a normal lens and for a 90 mm lens. Further, the build quality is amazing, on par with the MP, and entirely mechanical. The only issue, in my mind, is lack of metering, but one you get your hands on one, ~6, you will definitely find yourself with a keeper. I had one for 2 years, but having migrated away from film, I sold it. I found it to be an exceptionally satisfying camera.
It seems this thread has turned into a best wishes for Xmas/holidays etc so I will throw mine in too. To Steve and all the usual suspects (you know who you are 😉 it has been great being part of the community for another year and I have enjoyed all the articles, reviews, banter, opinions. I feel I have helped in a small way a few times but mostly, I have learned loads from you guys. This is not surprising given the amazing depth of talent that runs through the photographers that are part of the Steve Huff Photo community.
Here is to a wonderful Christmas/holidays for everyone and may the perfect moment present itself when we have our camera ready and the shot that is heard (seen?) around the world… be ours!
This has to be the most amazing series of replies to any posting I have seen on the Blog.
I was trying to think of something grand to add to the commentary but on reading my way down the list came to realize and accept that it has all been said. An awesome camera and attitude, congratulations. Leica Rules.
If an M9 Titan is that boring, why bother post? Why even waste you’re time?
I guess I found it kind of boring because I had just received my new camera too..and it was kind of a let down. http://www.dropmocks.com/mOL4x
Glad you are enjoying your new M…to me it’s like buying a piece of sculpture that you can use. It’s really gorgeous.
I assume you will be posting test shots via the summilux with very narrow depth of field of Heid…er…~HK. If you need any help, I am available. I know a modest amount about photography but plenty about gorgeous women.
In all seriousness, pretty camera. Happy shooting.
Thank you brother, very witty. I am enjoying it although I must say that narrow DOF isn’t really what I’m into at the moment (must be age…my eyes aren’t what they used to be) I will actually give Steve a frame I took of Heidi in an airport with an M4, I love that camera.
I’d like to wish everybody here a very merry Christmas and all the best for a happy and healthy New Year!!!
Steve, a big, heartfelt thanks to you for making this site a wonderful home for all of us. Thank you!!!
Merry Christmas to you too! To everyone here! Thank YOU for coming here 🙂
I have to admit that I was never a fan of a limited edition camera however, I have had a change of heart. I know that Leica has run into tough times over the past 10 years and only until recently have they come out of it. Lesser companies have thrived due to their size and bruit force with products that did not perform nearly as well as Leica. If offering limited edition cameras and lenses helps them stay in business so that I can enjoy and profit from their stellar performance, then keep them coming!! I’ve never been in the position where money was no object so I’m not qualified to judge those who make purchasing decisions I think might be frivolous . I have endured ridicule from friends who scoff at the few Leica items I do own. They can’t understand paying so much for a lack of bells and whistles that most other cameras have. My response is always the same.
“When you purchase a Ferrari, you don’t ask where the cup holder is.”
Congrats on the new camera. Perhaps some day I can join you on the racetrack.
Definitely camera porn. Like the subdued lighting in the shots. The only thing I don’t like on the Titanium is the grip, but that’s a personal thing. The rest of it looks so James Bond or future Leica. Sweet camera.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s read this post. The compliments and well wishes that everyone’s left are inspiring. A big thanks to you Steve for bringing us all together, you’re the man and those M9/0.95 images that you took of us on tour were the best I’ve ever seen, again your sense of anticipation is the hardest quality to have as a photographer.
Thanks for reading everyone, I tried to reply to as many questions as I could but there comes a time when even the ‘unpacking’ advent of a Titan M9 starts getting old, now it’s time to go out and use it. Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays and happy framing to all. I’ll post some images as soon as I have something decent.
I will let you in on a little secret about ~6.
Before the arrival of his new M9T, ~6 had already established himself as an accomplished photographer and has been cranking out incredible images which IMHO are worthy of publications. I have told him often that Leica should use his work for advocating the use on an M camera. Having said that, I’m am extremely excited for him and am ready to see some new work coming from the new family member 🙂
WOW, this post has brought us all together just before the holidays and the comments have stayed friendly! Awesome! Just wanted to thank ~6 once again for the post and pics and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. May you all enjoy the holidays with love, happiness, and good health! Hopefully some of you will be getting some cool Leica gear under the tree this year 🙂
Completely agreed. What an awesome community that you have created, Steve! This holiday, I give thanks to being able to share in it ; ).
Happy holidays, Merry, Christmas, all of that to you, my friend!
I second that.
All the best to you too Steve!
Thanks again for this website and all your hard work. You’ve kept me entertained and amazed throughout the whole year and I can’t wait for 2011. I’d bet you’ve got some surprises up your sleeve…
Merry Christmas to you and your family and happy New Year!
Merry Christmas and may 2011 be the best yet for you Steve. With many more to come. And no … no Leica under my Christmas tree. 🙁 But I did get an Apple TV. And upgraded the NEX3 to 5 with BH (through your link). 🙂
Happy holidays to you too and thanks for all your work Steve! Much appreciated!
That Apple TV sounds awesome. I use Netflix and would prefer to watch it on my TV as opposed to computer or iPad.
This must be the best post ever, insanely jealous, can’t afford a lux lens nor a M9 and to see this M9 Ti marked 500/500, it puts a smile on my face everytime i read this review… thx for sharing ~6
Merry xmas everyone and hope you all have a prosperous 2011…
~6 … good for you! Life’s too short not to enjoy it.
Frohe Weihnachten to you and your family!
On a side note, there’s one thing I’d like to say about (and to) Leica. Please, make up your mind!!!!
Let me explain. When I look at Leica, the company, it feels to me there are two powers at work, striving for different goals. On the one side, there’s this brilliant “group” busy creating the very best and most practical photographic gear there is. A photographer’s dream. Period.
At the same time, there seems to be another “group” within the company that is not satisfied with just being a company that produces brilliant photographic tools. They want Leica to be a luxury brand that makes high-end, high-priced luxury items available to the “elite” (in lieu of a better word).
I’m not necessarily talking about the M9Ti, which is a prototype camera. I’m sure over time some of its goodies will show up in regular production models.
The S2 on the other hand is a better example. Created with the working pro in mind but priced completely out of reality for most working pros. That was already the case BEFORE the latest price hike. Now the S2 seems to be built with unobtainium.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the camera. True, first I didn’t think so but having had the pleasure to use it on assignment lately, I changed my mind completely.
(go here to see some of the results of a rather artsy assignment: http://gallery.lfi-online.de/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=21962&cat=11278)
Now I’m left with unfulfilled desire. Boo-hoo poor me 😉
Not because I can’t afford it but because it would be a tough sell to myself because with Hasselblad and Co. one gets a lot more, for a lot less. And their quality doesn’t stink either.
Anyhow, please Leica make up your mind. Either be the brilliant producer of the finest camera/lens gear for amateurs and pros alike AND keep your feet on the ground (and your head based in reality), or simply go full blown luxury on us and Bling-Bling yourself to out-of-this-world camera-jewelry status.
I’m fine with either one … as long as you finally stop saying one thing and doing the other!
PS: For anyone who still doesn’t know who ~6 is, just look at the photos copyright line. 😉
Oops, made a mistake. Here’s the link once more:
Good points Harald.
What I do wonder is whether Leica prices are high because it is indeed that costly to make Leica products or is there a 100000% profit margin involved? Oh, and I am not talking about the Panny rebranded products. I know the answer to that one!
I’m sure they spent a whack of money on R&D and it is pretty much a given that the good old fashioned way of manufacturing doesn’t come cheap either but let’s face it, it is the year 2010 (and soon 2011).
Maybe it’s just me but I think it is a slippery slope to expect to enter a new market sector and let your customers eat the bill (Leica’s own cost of admission and for being too late to the party, that is).
It is one thing to tell the world they want to conquer the pro market, and another to price it right out of competition. Worth, make it almost impossible to order and get it delivered in an appropriate amount of time (remember, pros need things always yesterday!).
Basically, if it wouldn’t be for the wealthy amateur buying a new status symbol things might not be so peachy for Leica.
Again, the S2 is fantastic and will get even better with time. It also doesn’t bother me how much they are asking for it. Each one has to decide for themselves to buy it or not.
All I wish for is that Leica gets their head out of the clouds.
I love my M9 (regular steel grey), but I just can’t fathom a camera costing that much to build (plus profit of course). I guess when I think of things that are complicated to build, I think of a TV or computer. But with TV and computers assembly lines nowadays, it probably really lowers the production cost. Maybe Leica can have more automation (assuming that Leica doesn’t already have) and still keep a high quality? Speaking of high quality, I haven’t been able to set the date/clock on my M9 since I got it w/o it locking the M9 up. But I don’t want to ship it to Leica, b/c I’d be w/o it for weeks! 🙁
Let’s face the reality though, if M9’s were the price of a D7000 (or even a 5D2), they wouldn’t have the same aura, IMO.
I think based on their very rocky financial history we can say that Leica is not making a zillion percent profit on each one…More a case of really inefficient manufacturing (in a charming way) and luckily for them, rich people all over the world who will literally pay any price for their merchandise.
They finally are hitting the volume levels they need to be truly profitable, thankfully, but that money will have to be rolled right back into R&D or they will be back in the dumper in two years. It’s a tough business.
must be a ton of margin, just based on similar businesses, but of course low sales volume so the margin is required to keep them afloat. Nikon might only make 100 bucks on a d3 (just a guesstimate) but they sell a lot of D3’s, and a lot of lenses, flashes, ect.
Low sales might be a reflection of high prices.
Yes, they always are if there is a market for the product. Leica has been wise to resist volume production however as they understand they could never expand enough to compete with the major producers and keep their core customer at the same time. Low volume+high quality means high production costs.
The S2 is not out of the realm of working pros. Maybe neighborhood wedding shooters, but fashion/commercial shooters (i.e. people who have always used medium format every day) might have an office, three assistants, and $500,000+ of revenue per year. A pair of $20,000 cameras every three years, fully depreciable, is a piffle. In the film days, they probably did $3000 a month in lab costs alone.
Wow, what a great point. I always say that some of us tend to have a touch of amnesia when it comes to comparing the past with the present in terms of things like ‘value for money’, ‘colour film/slide above ISO 400’ etc. “lab costs alone” yeah…awesome point.
No, not really a great point. Those lab costs got marked up and billed straight to the client.
Besides, those guys have already MF systems they use and like. There is no reason basically to buy a S2, they already got what they need. Plus, the S2 with its 4/5 lenses is not really much of a system. Which means not worth jumping ship for.
Again, I’m not complaining about the cost of the S2. If I should decide to get it, I’d lease it anyway. I can write off the amount in full every month. No problem.
Having said that, why should i buy/lease a body, no lens, for CDN$ 25,000.00 from a company with no track record in quick turnaround service or lens rental availability, when i can get a top quality Hasselblad H4D-40 with excellent lens for CDN$ 20,000.00, a proven record in outstanding pro service (that’s included in the price and doesn’t cost me additional CDN$ 4,500 – for the S2 Platinum service version) and on top has a huge rental availability, lenses, accessories and such, when or wherever I’d need it.
Same applies to PhaseOne and Co.
What I’m talking is that Leica should make up their mind. Either be that top notch company catering to amateurs and pros alike – but than be ready for it and haveyour ducks in line and your products available and shipped to clients within days and not months – or be the hard to get, super expensive luxury brand for the rich and famous (no pun intended). Vertu would be a nice example.
The S2 right now is squarely in the bling bling for the rich zone. Mamiya’s are the workers tools, always have been ever since the film 67 cameras, hassleblad is right in the middle.
And to prove a point. I bought a Gibson Les Paul Hertige Standard 80 in 2000 for 1500 euro and sold it in 2009 for…………1500 euro, after 10 years of playing……(or better trying to play). Quality does not wear of or lose its value. But the electronics of an electric guitar are simple, 2 humbuckers (1 reversed Zebra ~6), 4 potentiometers and 1 toggle switch. A digital camera contains lots of electronics and that means it will be tied to Moore’s law. Therefore buying a relic like a M9 Ti actually makes a lot more sense than buying an of the mill M9 (if you can afford it). Since even an M9 will in time loos some of it’s original value as second hand M8’s demonstrate.
Yes, I agree with you on the Ricoh GR1. I have one of those too and it’s a great camera, they’ve always made great products, the latest GXR being no exception. I also love the TC-1 and find it a joy to use. I hope you get your Leica one day, be warned though, there’s no turning back…it’s like crack!
Hey ~6, forgot to ask, which camera was the lucky camera used to take the photos of the M9t?
Favorite photo is the one of you holding the M9t. Sexiest phot was the group photo – M7t kit plus the M9t – one happy family! Cheers and Merry Christmas!
GOod question Armanius. They were taken with a 5D2 and a combination of the 50mm f/1.4 and the 100mm f/2.8 Macro ISL. What a great camera and system. I love Canon and what they do.
I like the GRD III a lot. That’s a nice camera too.
If you have the money and want it, Why not?
Hi Steve.. WOW!!! Awesome bit of kit. all Leica’s seem to be ot out of my price bracket.. been using a Pentax k100d since launch! hurry up and review the new K5, its more affordable! Thank you..Great site.
I’m glad you love it. However, I seriously wonder if the titanium M9 kit cost $1,000 and every Tommasini, Dickens and Harriet had one (or 2), would you have the slightest interest in it?
The best thing about a club is that there are people in it. And people outside it.
Awesome camera! Sound investment.
And Max – yup an M3 as well. 😉
And maybe another FM3a too.
I am somewhat calmed by the review. I am taking strength in the pile of exposed film I have built up in my fridge while I wait for all my dark room (and other worldly possessions) to make their way over the high seas to my new home in this new (old) country of mine.
I can honestly say that the anticipation of 4 months of shooting and finally getting to see the results is more satisfying than the anticipation of buying an MP later this year.
This is too much, I have to get out :)!!
Happy X-mas Steve!
Nice piece of kitt. But to be the long lost sun of HCB takes a little more then kitt, even a Leica Titanium does not cut this (as you know I’m sure). But one thing you can be equaly sure of. This baby will hold his value better then anything else you can buy on the camera market today and in the future (except of course a Ti M10, M11……M100). An object of shear beauty and a tribute to old skool German craftmanship and as such amirable as a sort of holy grail of perfection. If I had the money I would buy it instantly. A wise and sane decision ~6 since when my GF1 is wearth 2 packs of gum and a toothpick (slightly used) your camera will retain and even increase its value.
Camera lust is a lot more fun when you just appreciate it for what it is, and forget about justifications. An M9T is about two years’ depreciation on an SL500 or a Panamera. Way more fun, too, if you ask me.
~6.. I am not jealous, but very envious. I had camera shake on everything under 1/250th, with a 50mm, for a week, with my new M9.Gawd knows what i would be like with the titanium version. Now, i can relax, breath and squeeze the release, without a thought to the camera.It even rattles around in the camera bag, with all the other gear.But that special, rangefinder,Leica,feeling that you get from that magic window (viewfinder) into the world will last forever.And of course, the new viewfinder, will ensure even better pictures! Best wishes to you and all Huffites,for Christmas and New Year.
Do you know how many M3s you could have bought with that???
Just kidding, ~6…enjoy it in good health and have a wonderful Xmas. All the best for the New Year to you and your family!
~6, thanks for the post. It’s fantastic to hear the inside track on ownership of what for most of us are mythical beasts!
Here’s to a prosperous 2011, and a merry Christmas to all.
Congrats! It is simply beautiful. I can’t help thinking that I contributed in some small way through my own vinyl addiction in the 90’s 😉
Hahaha… thanks Fraser, you most certainly did. 🙂
wake up guys….it’s only a 5495,- euro M9 disquised in a 20K+ euro suit….
It’s like those wine bottles…. never drinking them…
The purpose of a camera and lens is to take photographs, nothing more or less..
It’s only a tool….and if the Tool becomes the target..than the ego rules
Sorry I am not jalous… I am a leica M9 user, I love it, but to buy a 20K+ camera, which
will likely not to be used is stupidiy, it will only used to show-up, like here today…
So this is x-mass
and what have you done
another year over
and a new one just begun
And so this is Leica
The ultimate photograph fun
just spend all your money
and never use this one
If you read the text and comments you see ~6 will use it.
But than again, whats the problem with not using something?
Engineering can be good looking to, not only practical. Would be a very dull world if everything should be practical and for using only.
I really don’t get why people don’t accept the collecting of expensive leica’s. Everyone agrees that they are good looking, so collecting isn’t that strange a thing. If he was collecting ballpoint pens no one would have even noticed it, or write a song about it.. But when its a leica immediately its not done anymore..
and a very, Merry Xmas to you too.
Well, I just can’t resist ..you put titanium and LED-lit frame-lines on a monkey, and you get a fondle-able, titanium monkey!
In other news, seismologists in Montjustin detect underground rotational disturbance..
Very Merry Christmas, and happy photography ~6!
Terrific article and camera
Wonderful artist, musician and singer
F*** the jealous. Life’s too short !
Enjoy it and Please post some pictures of yours on this epic website
Cheers from Paris
SEAL !!! Love the article and LOVE the camera. It couldn’t be in the hands of a more deserving human being. The classic cliche : ” Great pen, must write great novels” is something that we hardly ever mention in photography. It doesn’t really matter what we use to MAKE pictures, but the sheer pleasure of that handling experience is intimate and unique. A MERRY XMAS to you and your family … GOOD SHOOTING and song-making !!!
Thank you Brother. I feel really fortunate.
Very nice pictures of the gear. That M7 kit is nice! I have never seen it before. Hope you enjoy your Christmas. I am excited that you were able to get something that you dreamed of.
If anyone tells you it is a waste, let them know that it is irrational to desire something and not obtain it if you have the means. That is the economist’s point of view at least.
I just cant get over how ugly that M9 is, i mean, congrats and everything, but the classic M design is what looks best, and its what has always looked best for a reason.
@ ~6 –
Be very interested to hear your views on the new, fancy framelines & VF now you’ve had a chance to use the camera. Do you think this is possibly the future for digital Leica M’s?
Yes! The more I use it I do. It’s nice and definitely helps compose better.
Cool, that’s the one component of the camera that distinguishes it for me. I guess it’s Leica’s most major change to the rangefinder since the launch of the M3 if you think about it.
It gives me a good feeling to see someone get so much pleasure out of owning a Leica and the words and pictures are infectious. It made me go to a dark camera bag and dig out my chrome M6 TTL and lenses. I’m going to shoot with film over the holidays and re-discover everything I like about using a Leica rangefinder…the feel…the viewing experience, the manual focus and smooth out of focus backgrounds. Yeah! Blue skies and a Leica in my hand. Life IS good!
Thank you mate. I too will be framing mostly with film over the holidays.
Thanks for indulging us in a little luxury.
Will you show us some pics taken with it or what, eh?
Happy Holidays !!!
Can I buy it if you tire of it?
I’m fond of titanium: I have a minolta tc-1, leica cm, hexar rf, had a 50 lux and 90 cron in titanium finish, and a bunch of titanium pens: omas t2, emotica, anello, stipula, etc.
I’ve thought of getting the Oly OMti and F3ti — but I REALLY WANT A M9 in titanium.
I’m getting on the list for the Titanium S2 . Seriously, that M7 set makes me drool.
That’s some hardcore camera porn!
I use mostly the 35 & 50. I feel guilty about buying lenses with focal lengths that I know I will not shoot often. I simply do some mount/dismount/turn the barrels actions and enjoy their mechanical beauties. Thank you for making me feel less guilty.
Very nice post, ~6. I am happy for anyone who works hard for what they want. I’m glad that you are going to really use it. Please give us a review of the camera after you give it a work out. Merry Christmas everyone.
An interesting and engaging post showing a world most of us can’t imagine.
It reveals the collector’s mindset as well as a peek into a celebrity’s other passion.
Thank you Steve and “S”
I was going through the different links of the commenters, and saw the Christmas message on your blog. Too cute!
One take and no prompting. She has such a great personality. She’s my Leica M9 Titan 🙂
And she’s called Emily too.
I guess that’s what makes it so natural – you can tell she’s not being prompted. One of the best parts was “I love mommy.” “Wait, wait, let’s go back. You love mommy? What about Daddy?” LOL
I guess I’m biased, but I did think she had a great name! ha! I’m def linking to it on my blog.
Thanks Roger, glad you found it so.
Wow, congratulations on your new beauty. As sweet as it is to look at, being a collector, I still hope you put it to good use and share the results. No pressure, from a $30k camera 😉
Congratulations and enjoy!
i am really wondering about the firmware you posted…
could it be that there will be a update for the normal m9 ?… and if so i am really wondering what it would make better.
is there a possability to aprove high iso even more, by firmware?
merry christmas to everybody
The only difference in the included firmware (v.1.150) is that it tends to have a yellowish cast over everything especially at night. The M8 used to randomly shoot cold and they did do things to fix that with updates. I’m wondering if this is perhaps a step too far however it could be that I just haven’t set the camera up properly. WIll keep you posted.
a little late but thank you! 🙂
all the best
6 what an awesome post. I so enjoyed the photos. What a camera. Your speech at the 090909 event moved me as well your music although my time at university. Riccis, Steve, Chris W, and you have ignited the Leica fire within me. Cheers mate
Thanks Tobin, it was meant to inspire and give some kind of insight into what kind of person would buy this kind of camera and why. Just a straight, honest, ‘boy gets a new toy for Xmas’ point of view. No reason other than it just really made me happy to have it. 🙂
I’m going to download some of your tracks through bittorrent now just to get back on you 🙂
oohh… true. i am jealous… sigh. wonderful write-up too. enjoy it ~6.
IP tracking is on … being in the legal profession, I always advise not to make any admissions online. 🙂
Hahaha… join the club. Make sure they’re good ones though. ‘Soul’ album and S1 are good places to start. 🙂
First, congratulations on a terrific camera. All that titanium (and the sprinkling of “unobtanium”) will definitely add to your considerable skills! But seriously, I loved the tone of your article…after all of the gearheadedness we’ve had here lately, you’ve chosen a great way to remind us of what matters. And I can think of no higher purpose for your M9 Titan than taking pictures of your family and loved ones over the holidays. That’s what I’ll be doing with my M9-PlainJane, too. My 14-month old loves her some Leica magic!
Thanks for letting us see your new toy, and I hope you get lots of enjoyment out of it.
Wow! What a nice thing to say David. I try to write conversationally, like I’m speaking to a friend or fellow lover of photography. It’s for this reason that I don’t care much for hypocrisy pretentiousness because it takes all the fun out of it. It’s a shame when people trash things because it’s not their brand or they’re afraid of buyers remorse. I’ve no problem trashing something but 99% of the time I’ve either owned it or used it extensively. and therefore feel that another opinion may be of use to someone thinking of buying it.
Merry Xmas and thanks again for the sentiment.
Some acquire little gum backed squares or rectangles valued in the 10’s and sometimes 100’s of thousands of dollars, or wooden framed automobiles, or rare examples of the timekeeper’s art, or…anything. And they all have one thing in common: there is no rational explanation for why. A collector collects what he collects because he (or she) does. It is its own reward and cause all wrapped in one..
On this blog, though, all of us feel the allure of this rare beauty and thank you for sharing just a little of the joy it brings you to see it there on your desk, alongside the others.
It is lovely, and it’s nice to know it’ll get used, like a best in show German Shorthair that still points birds beneath a real gun in season.
For the more mundane of us, however, I’d pass along that as of this afternoon, Keh in Atlanta (I think) and lensrentals.com both had used M 9’s listed for under $5800 in supposedly excellent condition.
Thanks, again ~6 for sharing the Titan with us. Probably as close as I’ll ever get to one.
Thanks GG for the insightful and kind words. I LOVE KEHadn shop there regularly. I find cameras like Leica CM/CM Zooms, Minolta TC-1, Contax 645 etc.. I just love it and love the prices.
Ah, read further. I am so psyched that you are gonna use the Shyte out of that camera! Awesome! That’s the way to do it !
First off, congrats on this beautiful camera, and a VERY Merry Christmas to you! My X-mas present was the lovely 35 lux-2, and it’s sated my insane gear acquisition syndrome for the meantime. By the way, I have heard so much about you, and it’s great to see you write here and do so earnestly and with with great clarity. So on the eve of Christmas, thanks for sharing in your experiences with all of us, and being brave enough as one of the 500 to be willing to share with the rest of us. It’s a rare treat.
For the collector in me, I am envious and awed, both at once. For the photographer in me, I am curious about the possibilities for this camera to expand the usability of the M system without affecting its basic core “value system”…. The curiosity I have is whether you’ll take the chance and use the camera. I am certain that you have a “user” body, and that this will go in the vault as a collector, given its intrinsic value as one of only 500 made, and #500/500 at that (again, WOW, awesome)….regardless, if you get a chance, I’d love to hear your impressions and see some captures with this marvel, to see if affects the way one sees with a M rangefinder.
All the best to you, as I am a huge fan of your music, and imagine that you must be quite talented when positioned behind a camera as well. Please share more here, as I’d personally love to see more! Any by the way, if you ever need anyone to give that Titan a work out, I’m here for ya 😉
And if Ashwin is too busy to work out that M9t, I am available too! No charge. I’ll keep it nicely CLA. I even promise to return it. 😉 (eventually).
what a pleasure it is to finally talk to you too. Steve says great things about you too and I’ve followed, admired and learned so much from your posts here.
I do have a user body but I’m not one who collects and stores things away in cupboards regardless of their uniqueness, rarity or value. Cameras are to be used in my opinion. Sure, I have also a ‘One Lens Set’ of the Titan M7 that I use over the ‘Three Lens Set’ but if I didn’t have the ‘One’, I’d use the ‘Three’ just as much. My favorite M is a Titan MP, one of a kind in that it has no serial number because it was made specially for me, I use the hell out of it on a daily basis. There were originally 150 made for the store in Ginza but I missed that boat.
Something tells me that these new frame-lines might make their way into future M’s. This is not what I’ve been told nor do I know, it just seems like a natural evolution and it does make framing at night very cool. It also makes sense from a design point in that it allows them do do away with the plastic frame-line window and this was the reason why they did it in the first place, the designer hated that window.
I wish the best of the festive season to you and those whom you love. You are a great artist.
Thanks, man! Your words are greatly appreciated, and it’s terrific to be in touch. I am with you in being a believer of using what I have as well….that Titan MP sounds so sweet…no serial number!?!? Woah!!!
I too hope that the new framelines make it into the next production M digital camera. I think it may cause some consternation amongst Leica purists, but if it improves night time framing, then I am all for it!
The best to you and your family as well, and once again, thanks for the kind words, and it’s great to be in touch!
Very very very very nice!!! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through the writeup and photos ~6. Now if we can just all at least get a chance to touch the box …
Steve, I have an idea that would really promote the website — how about a giveaway competition in addition to the Timbuk bag? 😉 What do you think Steve and ~6? 🙂
I have no ill will towards Leica for making this super duper (and expensive) M9. I’m a firm believer of, (1) if one can afford it; AND (2) one will get use/enjoyment out of it, then he or she should go for it. It’s my philosophy. When it comes to photography as a hobby, I don’t think there’s logic behind purchases. If someone enjoys using a $9 disposable camera, a $200 iPhone 4, a $7000 M9, or whatever else, then that’s THE something “special” that the camera provides for that someone — decadence or not. And that’s what matters, IMO.
Very very very nice!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!!
And a happy New Year to you as well, Armando!
Thanks Ashwin! Best wishes to you and your family as well!
Thank you Brother. I will confess that I felt not one bit of guilt in making my purchase. 🙂
Nor should you! 🙂 Better a M9t than a Gucci purse. Hope my GF never reads this!
Oh man…. and here’s me, happy as Larry with the GF1 I’m getting for Xmas. 🙂 I suppose if I got some silver and red paint I could make it look like…. LOL
I do hope, ~6, that you will post some pics you take with your new camera. You travel more than most, I’m guessing 😉
Oh, and I hope you enjoyed your time in Budapest recently (where I currently live). Lots to photograph here.
Hey, it’s the M9.5!! Merry Christmas to you and the folks in Budapest. Certainly more worthwhile things to photograph in Budapest than Houston!
Then Houston, you have a problem [because I doubt people ever crack jokes Houston using this phrase]
“ever crack jokes”
Steve, you need to add some sort of editing function to the posting software. By the end of today is fine 🙂
LOL! We probably use that joke way too much ourselves — especially when it comes to our professional sports teams!!!
I would be happy with that camera too. It’s all relative. Congratulations on your GF1. What Panasonic is doing is exemplary.
~6, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! That M9 is truly a beautiful camera and the industrial look and design is a nice evolution of the Leica rangefinder design. I too am curious to hear your impressions of the LED framelines once you had some time to shoot the camera. I also wonder if they will integrate those framelines into a possible M9.2!? Anyways, happy shooting!
PS. How does the camera feel in your hands? Somebody told me that the titanium makes it a bit more slippery. And how is the “strap” working out?
That’s an interesting one Frank. I think that it’s possible that they will incorporate the digital frame-lines in future M’s. I must admit that I do like it and it does work wonders at night but only time will tell.
The camera feels wonderful to handle, I’m not going to lie to you…. it feels incredible. However I do have Titan film M’s and nothing feels like them…nothing not even the Titan M9. I LOVE the strap solution, the little leather loop for both middle and ring finger, I dislike neck straps or conventional camera straps. I tend to use Artisan & Artist thin camera wrist straps if anything at all on my cameras. Even my ‘across the body’ A&A strap clicks out to become a very small wrist strap. The holster that is provided with the Titan M9 is a street shooters dream in that it slips in and out with ease but will never fall out accidentally…a BRILLIANT piece of design. It’s almost my favorite bit of the whole package.
That’s a beautiful camera, ~6! Merry Christmas.
Very cool. Beautiful camera, and regardless of the “logic” of a purchase a man is entitled to buy what ever he so chooses especially when he has earned it through hard work and dedication to his craft!
Enjoy it, and even though it won’t produce any “special” results, it would be cool to seem some of your photos from this camera. I am really curious about the digital framelines at night and how they affect focusing.
Maybe one day in future a digital M will be in my cards! Merry Xmas indeed!
Thank you Nick. I used it at a dinner party last night and the digital frame lines were GREAT. They made it really easy to frame and provided a unique and enhanced experience. I wish you and your family a Merry Xmas too. Hope you get your digital M one day.
Congratulations man , , i wish i can afford it . . it’s a sweet dream . . at least 4 me . . 🙁
Anyhow, i always has a question about the 35mm Lux that comes with this lens, it seems different than normal 35mm Lux as the f is stopped to 11, where the normal Lux goes beyond to f16. Do you know why? Cause if the maximum f is 11, this is a disadvantage.
It goes to f/16, I just photographed it badly.
Do u know why they make it engraved only to f11?!
The only thing I read from this is that downloading music “illegaly” cant be as bad as the record industry is telling.
We make NO money from the direct sale of our records now. There isn ‘t enough time nor is this the place to provide a comprehensive explanation/breakdown of how copyright violation has literally depleted our main pipeline revenue. Those of us that still can make money from all of the ancillary areas in which our FREE music presents such as touring etc.
Dear ~6, congrats to you. This is a beautiful camera. One question, I purchased recently the new summilux 35 FLE which is also part of your new kit ( ti version). Mine ( black version) has a strange click when moving the lens. Even my dealer said that he rattle sounds strange. Sent it to Solms and got the answer that it is normal (aperture case needs play). A friend’s one is “silent”. could your check yours? Thanks and happy holidays for you and your family
No offense intended Frank, but if Solms told you it was normal I reckon your lens is perfectly fine. If I had dropped that much dough on a lens, I would probably over analyze it to the extreme, but I shoot an old 50 summicron DR with fungi in it and it produces stellar results…
Shoot it till you drop!!
Thanks Frank. The answer is yes, they do have extra play in them, noticeably past the ‘f/1.4’ position. I’ve seen it on three separate new 35’s now.
Even though I am certainly not a stranger to Leica special editions and I like to consider myself a collector as well, I just really can’t get myself to like this M9ti. I do think it looks phenomenal, I am a big fan of the newage, technocratic TI look. However, it still is a digital camera which soon will depreciate in desirability once the next iterations of M bodies come along. The 35mm film Ms are at the peak of their development and I believe that those bodies will only appreciate in value over time. Digital, don’t really think so, but time will tell.
Congratulations 6 to the new camera, enjoy it in good health and shoot the shit out of it.
I think this one will retain its value for sure. The special number, the owner, the story: all of that make it quite unique. Good investment.
It’s an interesting thought that Vlad, one that I pondered over a while back. I happen to see it like this. The M9 is just about everything I would want in an M camera. Sure there are one or two thing to niggle about but as the digital incarnation of the classic concept…this is it. I don’t need more megapixels, Live view or bigger sensor, certainly not to make a better image. I don’t need better high ISO performance, more frames per second or and improved sensor…I have what I need in the M9 to make the kind of pictures I make….for life.
So I think that the M9 will be a landmark camera and you’ll find it won’t depreciate in value as normal digital cameras do. Sure it will a little when the M10 comes out but that won’t all of a sudden render the M9 obsolete and it will hold it’s value unlike the M8 which was a cropped sensor.
With the Titan version, that is a totally different ball game as they never lose their value period given the number made, how expensive it is to produce them. Believe it or not it’s not a money maker for Leica, not at all. They do it just because! It’s something that only they can do and it is done as a show of excellence. A bit like when VW make the Bugatti Veron, a totally non profit making project but they do it for the brand value.
I totally agree. M9 will stay in demand even after any successive models will come out just because its basic feature set is totally satisfactory for an M shooter. Bells and whistles will be added for sure, Leica has to go on making money, but the basic nature is already there and many people will be content with that for years and years to come.
And the special editions, like this one, will always appreciate in value. There is no doubt about that. If I had some spare cash I’d buy one in a blink. I could play with it all I want and make money just by owning it! Even when I sleep! What the heck — I’d buy a bundle of them!
-6. Enjoy it. We will live vicariously through you. Have a great Christmas and New Year and do share some of your photographs some time.
Congrats! Such a cool camera ~6 enjoy it.
Good for you ~6… the TC-1 is truly a thing of beauty! (I love mine too) The truth is that my GR1 is a better camera, but utilitarian not sexy.
When will people recognise that what floats our personal boat is important and not selfish – it makes us interact in the world with passion. Great if everyone agrees but better still if your passions are shared only by a select few that you care for.
I’m yet to own a Leica but I feel it coming. The Contax G’s were my intro to RF but failed to float my boat (although the 45mm f2 on an NEX is another thing of beauty!)
Enjoy your 9 and give yourself a pat on the back for moving people. Apparently HCB was a rubbish singer.
Yes ~6 is Seal, the story he shares at the beginning with the Noctilux is the same story he told at the M9 launch. If i was Seal i would also treat my self to this camera. It´s not gonna hurt him finacially and im sure he spends more on charity anyways. Go man!
Are ~6, Seal? That explain how you could afford it. haha.
lol i think this is an open secret here…(whats for the wink emoticon?)
Right 6…I know where you live!
I’ll take your “normal” m9
Wow, ~6, congrats and thanks for the eye candy…methinks I need a drool bucket! What a great Christmas present.
Have a glorious Christmas holiday with your family, and keep those cards and letters coming.
What a fun post. Thanks to whoever wrote it. Jeff
Greetings from Moscow, Russia and congrats on your Christmass gift, ~6! I wonder how it feels weight-wise compared to the regular M9? I like the weight of my M9 and I wouldn’t want it any lighter. Is it noticeably lighter, ~6?
Great surprise for everybody, Steve!
It’s roughly the same weight or perhaps a tad heavier than the regular black M9
Thanks, Seal (well, your cover’s been blown anyway)! Wow, I thought it’d be lighter than the regular M9 due to being made of titanium. It’s good news. Not that I’m gonna get one of those any time in my life but still, good news. I think a camera should be heavy (but not too heavy) for steady low-light shooting. M9 is perfectly balanced in that regard.
i like leica, really, but this camera is just a pathetic show of decadence. sorry steve. I’m happy for you that you got one and your dream become true, but it’s things like this that make me angry about the company.
I didnt get one..I WISH! Ha ha. No, this is a GUEST POST by ~6. It is HIS camera, not mine but if I had the means to buy one, I probably would have. I’m just living vicariously through ~6. 🙂
oha….i didn’t realise that i’ts not your post steve. I’ve simply read over the “~6”. stupid me 😯 …..haha
Here we go, fasten your seat belts. It took all of 46 posts but you knew it was coming.
Let’s hear what ‘cha got Eco.
c’mon ~6, just stop your sarcasm. i’ts just a statement. my statement. accept it or not. i won’t glorify it just because it’s from leica .
Its a collectors edition, its supposed to be expensive just to be expensive. It does what the M9 does, but for more money, but thats how these things work. Atleast Leica changed the M9 for this, maybe not to my liking but they put in the effort atleast unlike some of there other “collector” editions where they slap on some different leather and call it a day.
Really? if it keeps the company profitable and operating, keep releasing special collectors editions IMO.
I wasn’t a fan of the style at first… but it has definitely grown on me.. looks fantastic..thanks for the post ~6
I wonder if Audi will release a TI coloured R9 ‘Leica’ edition. Merry Christmas everyone!
I thaught I was crazy buying a D3x and a M9 (both brand new) within a year, but I was wrong : you are crazy ! Should I say insane ? 😉
Life’s too short to bother. Have fun with you M9 Ti and a merry Xmas to you and all the readers of this website.
My sentiments exactly.
~6 I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that you are going to use/abuse your TITAN. I am completely with you. I have been “using” my m8 ever since I got it. It is a tough piece of equipment. I am sure the titan is even tougher. Good luck and Merry Christmas
Stefren, Steffen,… he won’t give you cameras anymore… He is Stefan! 🙂
It’s actually Steffen Keil and Stefan Daniel. Neither of them ‘give’ me cameras.
~6, will you bring it to the Studio Gabriel next time you come to Paris ? Virginie and I are eager to see it 😉
Will absolutely try. Coming to Paris late Jan.
thanks for sharing and great pics too! nice to hear from an actual collector’s thoughts.
It’s a ‘commitment’ thing. Photography and (Leica) brings out ‘the best in me’ too, 6. It’s no ‘secret’ and certainly not something worth ‘letting go’. ‘I know what you did’ because it’s ‘all for love’. ‘The way I lie’ to myself and cling to the ‘weight of my mistakes’ in relinquishing that which brings me ‘big time’ joy should be a road less travelled. I’m glad that ‘you get me’ as ‘silence’ is not the answer. ‘If I’m any closer’ to understanding myself, it’s because I choose to fully embrace that which makes me my own beautiful song that’s been heard a million times. 😉
So you hated the album I take it? 😉
Musical memories are the greatest as they’re so rich and detailed. Photographic memories might be a close second. Very much understood how both could be a passion. Whenever I hear ‘Newborn Friend’ I flash back to a simple polaroid photo I took of my two-year-old daughter climbing into the back of my VW Beetle so that she could get closer to the speakers and dance to the song. The image, the memory and the song are as alive to me now as they were then … all thanks to a beautiful song.
I feel that way too Kurt. I love being a musician and to be able to make a living from it, well now that’s just ridiculous. A boy from Kilburn, London who got lucky in the early nineties.
wow, amazing stuff. please, like you said, use the cr@p out if it. for some reason im just interested to see how the titanium wears down (or probably not wear down at all).
in any case, merry christmas and happy shooting!
Thanks Ben. Titanium doesn’t really wear down (or it takes a REALLY long time to) It’s my favorite material in cameras and pretty much any kind of technology. Although most things tend to be Titanium plated whereas The M7/MP/M9 Titan are all solid Titanium. The deal is that in order to make one camera and lens combo, they have to re-tool approx. 3 times because the metal is so dense and very difficult to work with. This adds to the overall cost.
Congrats -6, enjoy your wonderful toy. And have a great christmas with your wife and your kids.
I totally understand your feelings, I myself cannot wait to play with my “new” Rolleiflex 2.8F on Christmas Eve – it is just such a great joy to get some new toys … while my wife asks “again another camera? you already have ….numerous …” !
Ahh, now that’s a nice camera!
So cool – esp. taking delivery right before Christmas – can’t get a better gift than that!
Another great post – enjoyed the viewpoint of someone getting these collector items; it’s not being a quack at all. To me, it’s quacks who fritter their money on disposable, cheap items and begrudge others who don’t fall in the same trap. Your collection is awesome, and it’s inspiring the happiness it gives you.
Thanks for sharing the images – even though I’ve looked at the listings several times for these, this post made it a whole lot more real.
I can’t help but think that every Leica owner has had this feeling at one point or another:
“…without doubt or question the single most beautiful camera I have EVER laid eyes on or had the good fortune of owning …..period!”
Steve, these guest posts are great! You’re site keeps getting better and better…
Thank you Emily and thank you Steve.
Lucky man! …but you really deserve it… Your work is really amazing, and your pictures are GREAT ! Thank you for all you do in the Photography world!… 😉
Wow, that’s really kind of you. I just love photography and I’m an unashamed gear-head. I love everything about it. I don’t do the typical rockstar thing of sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll, I’m passed the stage of collecting fast cars (they’ve been traded for the people carrier :-(). So cameras and technology are my two vices left. My wife says given my profession she’ll take it 😉
Dang, I have the same vices….next up, Mac Pro 6 core, all souped up, coming this spring….enough to hold a few terabytes of M9 files 😉
Awesome camera, really a dream. As is the M7. Enjoy it!
BTW, how do you like the LED framing? Is it really a big improvement? Or just a nice feature but not that necessarily.
I love it but is it a vast improvement? It certainly makes for a different experience and it’s not distracting…for the moment. What remains to be seen is how it will be at night, after long-term use…will I get bored of it or more importantly, will it start to get on my nerves? Time will tell.
I got myself a Leica Summilux 1:1.4/50 lens as my Christmas present. Not quite a Leica M9 Titan. Are you going to be doing a video showing off the beutiful camera? What about those LED framelines?
Ha. I got myself a 50 Summilux too. Best present ever.
It is important for us to be happy, and while sometimes we have a false sense of what it will take for us to be happy – it is the attempt to reach happiness that sometimes matter, otherwise we’d never know.
The titanium was made for the person(s) who lust for it and can afford it…that is the demographic criteria. If happiness is on sale, go for it I say. If happiness is not on sale, and you can afford it – again, go for it. Nothing wrong with that.
We might want to fool ourselves into believing its all about the photographer and not the camera. We all love our toys/tools…it does matter. If it did not matter there would be one camera company making one camera and there would be no forum like this for us to discuss the toys/tools (Let’s just discuss technique…ZZZzzzz Boring, right?)
+ 500/500 is really cool…good thinking. Enjoy!!!!
That is so awesome. Congrat on the fantastic chrismas present! Keep up the great work on the site.
You have a cool camera, enjoy it, all the best for Christmas
Man I’m stoked for you, that’s a nice thing to get delivered like that. Hope you’ll take it out in the wild every now and then 🙂 Enjoy it!
Thanks Brother. It will be my main rig along with the film version. So yes, it will receive the beating that all Leica’s should be able to handle….that’s a big should 🙂
What a beautiful tool. Congratulations. I assume it will not go through the 2 feet carpet drop test? 🙂
Errr… that would a no!
Enjoy it mate and merry christmas !
Merry Christmas my man! When I held the camera at the Photo Expo, I could not believe how silky it feels. Leica manufactures nice stuff, I know that, but the M9 Titanium is something special.
Oops, so much for close reading. ~6 congrats, sorry Steve. Happy holidays either way.
Beautiful camera! Nothing wrong with having a passion for collection. More power to you. Hope you enjoy! Send some sample shots, can’t wait to see them!
You won’t be using this right?
I will use the living @#$* out of it!!
Congrats – glad to hear it’s getting used! Too nice to be just stored away! 🙂
I’m not jealous at All. You are so lucky! We’re camera collectors too, hasselblads, Leicas, lenses old new love them. You only live once & you dam well should enjoy it!
Thanks Nataliya. I don’t think anyone’s really jealous, I think they’re just kidding and like you are happy for me…I think :-/
Oh. I’m a bit jealous! I’m like a magpie & shiny things!
I congratulate you to your latest acquisition, although I am naturally infinitely jealous and secretly wish you lots of evil stuff … 😉
I would love to see a review of the M9 Ti one day, if you find the time to do one. Do the lenses of the M7 Ti set match the M9 Ti? Would be lovely to see some “Titanium p0rn” also.
Until then, have fun shooting the thing, and a merry christmas to you and your family.
Hahahahaha….I would probably deserve the evil stick. I will try and write something showing my experiences with the camera but I couldn’t write a review if my life depended on it. I will tell you that the ‘digital red frame-lines’ are quite novel and for now I like them. They do make for a different framing experience but time will tell whether that novelty wares off or not.
Yes, the M7 Titanium matches perfectly to the M9 Titan so there’s the added bonus of using the 50 Lux, 90 Cron and 28 Cron.
All in all the images aren’t going to be any different that with a regular M9 however, as a point of interest the firmware on it is v1.150
does the M9 Titan uses the same firmwear as the normal M9? Because yours is now firmware on it is v1.150. So can you update to the newest?
best regards Alexander
You are such a tease, brother… I like the analog Ms much better, but you knew that already 😉
Did you get the James Bond serial number as well?
Yes I did. That one is actually the more rare because I asked them to make it for me with the standard top-plate which requires the ‘frame lines’ window that all the others have. I wanted to have one which was totally different and also had the classic system that we all know and are used to.
And as I sometimes forget that I’m a very polite person…
Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the best to the next year!
Merry Xmas to you and your family too.
Very nice present you’ve got yourself, indeed.
Great pictures as well! Many people hate the design, I used to be one of them but now I like it.
And I’m looking forward to your thoughts on handling, frame lines etc… That is, if you ever take it out shooting! 😉
Yeah, I know you will.
Beware, all you Avedons out there! Here comes ~6 with his ~9 and that’s a killer combo! 🙂
Thanks Bruno. Believe it or not, I actually use the cr*p out of pretty much everything I have. I don’t really believe in storing things in cupboards just to gloat at. In the case of the M7, I also have a ‘One Lens Set’ that I use while this one (because of it’s nature) stays in it’s case although I do use the 28 Summicron from it because that’s my preferred standard wide. This 3 lens set will be for my kids to use one day in the future when I hopelessly try to explain to them what film was.
You actually mean explaining to your kids what digital was, right? 🙂
Anything can happen…
It would be really funny if it ended up like this.
Ha! I wish but something tells me that there’s little to no chance of that happening. As much as I love the digital M’s I am a film guy at heart and frame in that medium more than anything else. When touring, my first stop in each town is the local used camera store. In Vienna at ‘Westlicht Camera’, I found a very rare M4 with a 50 Elcan f/2.5 which is one of the most beautiful lenses they’ve ever made (on film especially). This particular camera was one of 150 made specifically for the US military in the 70’s and most of them were destroyed for security reasons. There are approximately 40 in existence and this one has never been used.
My current favorite thing though is film compacts which can be found at the most amazing prices online. I LOVE the Minolta TC-1..just brilliant!
Being a film guy, how do you develop your photographs? Do you scan everything? And if so, what do you use? Or do you have a regular darkroom?
I’ve been using Hasselblad 501CM, which I’m selling right now to fund M8, but I could never get decent scans. I mean, for normal price. I couldn’t afford drum scans let alone buying an Imacon. And scans from regular although quite decent lab would only yield dirty and very unsharp results. Dirt I was able to get rid of but I was never happy with those scans.
As for that M4 with Elcan – that must’ve been relly lucky find. It’s still hard to believe that such a camera has never been used considering it’s from 70’s…
When I use film, I have a lab scan and put my images up on an online lightbox. So it’s like using film but with the digital workflow as I download and file my images in A3 or LR3. I can make my selects and everything without actually talking to the lab or even going there as they offer a pick-up service.
I started teaching my 5 year old about film recently one day when I was loading my old OM-1 and he inquired as to what I was doing. I told him, “loading film Jack”. To which he replied “what’s film?”. I just took it for granted that a 5 year old would be aware of film, even though he sees his father constantly using his digital GF1. He seemed very interested. I felt it necessary to expose (oh, did I just use that pun?) him to film. I can see a day when his generation will collectively say “what’s film”. Cheers and happy Monday. BTW, beautiful camera ~6! Santa was VERY good to you. P.S. I attached a picture of Jack (the older one) and his little brother Samuel. Just being the proud Daddy![img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/trouttaker/5363829669/[/img]
Not sure why the flickr link didn’t show up.
You are crazy.
Well, I suppose I could be really cheesy and say “Oh we’re never gonna survive….unless…..”
ha, here is the clue right there, who would actually thought it’s the real seal! Grats on the Titanium, love your music!