Trying out the Leica M240…once again. By Dan Bar

Trying out the Leica M240…once again.

By Dan Bar

For a long time I did not like the new M 240. As I wrote once before,  I did not like the colors and I know I was not the only one. I thought the rear buttons where too close to each other . When i first used it a few months ago my fingers ( I have long slim fingers) kept pushing the wrong ones . Whenever i wanted to look at the pics i just shot, I found myself activating the LV button instead.

But than I read what steve said about the camera, and I spoke with Thorsten Overgaard who said he only uses the M, not even the Leica MM anymore. I certainly appreciate these two photographers so I decided to try the M again.

Now maybe Leica heard the color complaint and changed something about the sensor (From Steve: Nothing was changed with the sensor) as all of a sudden the colors seemed much better to me. They lost their red yellow look I did not like before.
The rear LCD is much better now, and the shutter sound seems quieter (From Steve: nothing was changed with the LCD or the Shutter since the M 240 was released) . I still think the rear buttons are too small and too close to each other but I sure like the camera now and its fantastic capabilities.

Here are a few samples all taken with the 35 Summilux ASPH.









  1. In about 2008 I picked up a M8 and it just didn’t feel right in my hands. Too chunky and thick in my hands, unlike the much slimmer and slightly boxier Zeiss Ikon. Around the same time, I also held a mint chrome MP, and the feel didn’t do a thing for me, which surprised me greatly. Everything I had read suggested that the MP was the pinnacle of haptic camera glory, but not for me.

    Then in 2010, I picked up another M8, and for some reason I loved the feel of it in my hands. The camera itself had not changed, but I had. I’m still not sure why. Perhaps the two intervening years of shooting with a much larger 5D Mark II had something to do with it.

    I bought the M9 a month or two after that encounter with the M8, and I loved it. And when I held a chrome M6 and M7 a few months after that, I liked the feeling of them even more than the M9! Again, something in my haptic preferences had changed. The M7 came home with me and a black MP potentially glistens in my future.

  2. I love the colors, no matter if Leica changed them or not.
    They have some unique and certainly I can notice it.
    And if tomorrow will be a mobile phone that will give similar results, I buy it immediately ……

  3. I have confirmation from Leica, that the rear LCD was changed during the production run.

  4. I am happy for you -you enjoy the camera you have now that’s the main thing -maybe a firmware change did the trick ?-but we all like our cameras for less than rational reasons if the truth be told -who cares -be inspired !
    Love your second image !


  5. If the camera has not changed so actually you have changed.
    Seeing your photographs I could deduce that you like to shoot the moment without being noticed, as an invisible photographer, but I think for that reason you take them a bit quickly, number three has a nice composition and I think it because you take your time to shoot it, but number one and two for example seems taken with one hand in a hurry (deducing by the tilted horizon towards the position of your finger pressing the shutter) and although nice photographs I think they don’t convey totally your intention when you took those shoots.
    Said that is great that you found a tool with which you feel comfortable. In my case is an old sony fixed zoom lens so I understand your joy with the camera.

  6. The picture with the chairs out back looks so Europe and I like it the best. My pet issue is with why does anyone want to spend so much money on a camera/lens as with Leica stuff? I know a Mercedes or a Ferrari drive differently than a Camry. Had a 911 in 70’s. Almost killed myself driving it over a 100 mph. BUT if the output of our work doesn’t demand a $10,000 Leica investment… (Oh maybe I’m sorry I don’t have enough $’s to just not care what it costs…) I can’t figure out what to do all my pictures .. not a pro and can’t sell them, very few of us make any money selling photos, can’t print any more cause wall is already getting full, so if its sharing on the internet… surely a Leica is vastly an over kill.
    I’d Love to here what people with a Leica do with their work! I shot a Japanese Garden with a Oly EM-1 + Pany/Leica 25mm f/1.4 (about a $600 lens) that is incredibly sharp, then published it in a brochure I shoot for and that’s one shot out of about a thousand in the last year! Oh and the dials are just right on the EN-1 body. At least for me.


    • Not sure why you are rambling/ranting about porsches and leicas. So you don’t think what you do deserves a leica. Ok fair enough. Perhaps others feel what they do deserves a leica.
      Its a big world out there.

    • “At least for me.” EXACTLY.

      I never understand these types of rants. I say buy whatever gear you want within whatever constraints you have (financial, physical, etc). Just do what makes you happy. I’m not a pro photographer but I use M cameras (and Nikons) because I derive enjoyment from them. Not everything has to be a function of efficiency or value, how boring would life be if that was the case? After all we don’t need to have dressing on our salads.

  7. Quite a few people here have not read what Dan wrote.

    He did not say that his mind was changed by Overgaard and Huff. He did not say that he changed his mind about the buttons (the opposite, in fact). There was nothing “strange” about this post as its quality is no different than the average Daily Inspiration.

    He did change his perception on a few things which feel different to him now. Those would be the shutter and LCD. But it does seem that either Leica changed the WB behaviour in the firmware update, as Bernd suggests, or the RAW convertor he now uses interprets the files better.

    The “point” of this post is quite obvious but some people just want to create a fuss for no reason. That’s what happens when, faced with an absence of witches to put on trial, you start imagining them.

    I’d love to have seen the same people comment if this had been about a DSLR. Imagine it:

    “I used to reject the images from the Canon 5DmkII as they had poor DR, sub-HD quality and all sorts of aberrations. Then I picked one up again and shot a few minutes of footage with it, and realized that resolution doesn’t matter, cameras don’t matter, DR doesn’t matter, dollies and fancy lenses don’t matter. Only the story matters!!one11!11!1!1one!!eleven So now I’m telling everyone to sell their Arriflexes and get a 5DmkII so they can focus on the story and get t3h shallow DOF with t3h L glass.”

  8. I’m sorry but if these are the result of an epiphany I can understand you original reservations which must have been even more depressing. The M240 isn’t this bad.

  9. I prefer forming my own opinion. The opinions, reviews, tests, of others, ranking high or low (lots of both about on the net) matter for information purposes only.

  10. Does the colour signature of a digital camera really matter? I usually just change these things in post, esp given the different white balance settings under different light.

      • The same can be argued, to an extent, for lens signature. Now it can be dramatically changed by playing with clarity and contrast sliders

        • I don’t shoot Jpeg, RAW only. I also believe that a lens’s signature (colour rendering, vignetting at certain apertures, microcontrast rendering, “bokeh”) should be left alone as much as possible. What some might call a “lens fault”, I sometimes find quite endearing.

          A pure RAW file can appear quite flat, so it usually needs some – minor – work in post, but the “character” of the sensor and a particular lens working together can be recognized pretty quickly and should, as I said, be left alone as much as possible.

  11. The M240 is unchanged. What’s changed is a perception. Perceptions are influenced by what you’re used to and by your environment. Call it Marketing, call it Follower, call it weak, it just doesn’t matter and happens to all of us.
    The M240 is one of many excellent cameras. None of them fit everybody or everybody’s eyes and/or hands.
    If you want to take pictures with it, do it. I’m sure you can take better pictures with it, easily.
    At least you seem to have some fun with it, now – good.
    I’d suggest to spend some money to meet Thorsten or Steve, and share your passion personally, it might inspire you to even better use of it and more fun with the results.

  12. Sorry to say this Dan, hope you don’t mind constructive criticism that while I think some of your photos are really good (4&5), the first picture needs straightening up and the last one doesn’t work for me, whilst I have no problem with a silhouette the fur thingy on the right is too distracting.

  13. People have a natural tendency to wanna stick to the old and known. Change and evolution ask for courage and an open mind. Sometimes it can take a while to get loose from the old, but once this is done, indeed one can look at things in a new way. So I’m not surprised that Dan experiences the M in another way than before, even though nothing changed. I think it’s nice to post this kind of experience as well. Thanks, Dan!
    BTW, many people also have a tendency to automatically disapprove when somebody steps forward to tell about his experiences, without being a famous and wellknown author. I regret that a lot, because it doesn’t help anybody. Great authors are only amongst us because they once made that first bold step forward…

  14. For the past few years I’ve tried almost every serious new camera that came out, and found buttons and dials to be in odd places, or too small, or simply not existing at all. No matter who I spoke to afterwards (on whatever subject), that was never different let alone better when I returned to those cameras later, hoping for a change.

    Baffling really.

  15. I don`t see a file quality in any of these pics suggesting that a FF sensor and a top end Leica lens were used. To the contrary, the quality looks as if a phone camera could do the same. I don`t comment on content, composition and framing.

  16. I actually had the same retain to the M240 when I got a chance to test it after its release. While the color still differs from the M9, I can tell you that Leica changed the initial color rendition of the camera, by cooling down the white balance. The colors before the first firmware upgrade were way too warm, which has been corrected.

  17. Dan,

    thank you for this post, and pictures too; 2nd and 4th are my favourite :)) cheers man

    • People post put-downs here because it makes them feel superior. They’re just dying to tear apart people’s reviews, ideas…and my personal favourite, tearing their pictures apart. “This does nothing for me” “looks a bit too soft” “I don’t get it”. It’s the joy of the internet troll.

    • Sometimes when people post a “put down”, it is because they are disappointed in the post. In this particular case, I know I was hoping for something more than, “I tried the camera and didn’t like it. Then I tried the exact same camera a few months later and I did like it.” I was hoping the writer would say he had found a way to post process the images to his desire, or maybe he spent time using the Leica system and grew to like using a rangefinder, or maybe he took a workshop that gave him a new perspective on the camera, or maybe he changed his subject matter and he now shoots something that the Leica is good at capturing.

      So while the tone of some of the put downs is indeed unnecessarily negative, I think it does illustrate some minor disappointment in the article.

      • I don’t disagree – however, since this isn’t a professional photography reviewer’s site, i.e. experiential reviews are invited from anyone who wants to give their own ‘report’, then we have to accept that we’re going to get some things at times that aren’t ‘professional journalism’. We also get a lot of posts where reviewers may have English as a second language…there can be translational/syntax errors as a result. I’m totally fine with all of this, because I look at a variety of experiences and ideas before making any choices (and of course would never, ever exclude postings from ESL writers, for example). And I’ll never support the tone that is present from some of the comments towards people’s reports or the photos they share. I often find them excessively arrogant, unnecessarily harsh, and outright rude in a lot of cases. I’ll always have more disappointment in those posts than a less-than-well-thought-out review/sharing by someone. If the purpose of this site was different – and was moderated that way (i.e. like an editor does with a magazine, which would mean that only well-done journalistic articles/postings would ever get space), it might be different. But even some of those sites have their pitfalls too; I can think of one or two where the outright biases and overinflated claims of their ‘professional opinion-makers’ are, quite frankly, over the top. A certain reviewer’s recent comments about the new Zeiss 35 f1.4 blowing the Summilux out of the water is one such example of supposedly professionally informed (yet massively subjective) hyperbole.

  18. Just to get this straight: you didn’t like the camera, then you found out that two popular bloggers like the camera, so you decided to change your mind. You must be a marketing man’s dream

    • The fact you read Steve’s blog also indicates you value his opinion. Dan has also pointed out that the colour signature has changed since he last tried, I too tried the camera and did not like the colour signature as much as the M9, but appreciated some of the other features. So its useful to read that it may have been changed, as the next time I get a chance to try the camera I won’t dismiss it but give it a try.

    • Rick, that’s both funny and perhaps quite perceptive. Thanks for that! Dan, glad you like the M240. Welcome to the club.

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