The Leica M-D 262 Review with 28 Summilux f/1.4, part 1
by Steve Huff
Once upon a time I was a young lad who shot with a camera loaded with real, tangible, honest to goodness film. Back then, as many here remember..we did not have LCD screens, we did not have EVF’s, we did not have 42 megapixels or the internet in which to share our creations and memories. There is no mistake here, today’s photographic world is so much different from yesterday’s. Back then we had the passion, but today we have the addiction. With instant feedback on our LCD screens to instant approval by sharing with our friends on social media, today the photo world is MUCH bigger than it was back in the days of the 70’s when I was growing up.
Today we have a multitude of camera offerings from so many companies. We have small format sensors, APS-C, 35mm, Medium Format, cameras that feel like computers and cameras that have everything inside of them besides the kitchen sink. As a long time Leica shooter I have always loved simplicity, which is part of what drew me to Leica in the first place. The design, the small lenses, the quality, the feel, the precision in the way it was made all just feels SO GOOD. Usability of Leica has always been simplistic as well. No matter if we shoot film or digital, the Leica camera has always been about YOU + CAMERA. Many bond with a Leica much easier than something like a Sony. It’s part emotion, part psychological, and part reality. There is no doubt that a Leica M has something about it that just makes you love it, well, at least for me!
Tombstone, AZ – Leica M-D with 28 Summilux at f/1.4
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Not all love Leica, many dismiss them as overpriced rich man toys, but while some may see it is as that, I see it as an pricey piece of history, an expensive piece of art that one can use, an investment in your photographic journey. One thing has always remained true with Leica M…it inspires.
THE LEICA WAY
The Leica M-D came to be as a basic version of the crazy expensive special M60 edition camera. The M60 was the first digital Leica M to be without an LCD or any way to review images, have a menu, etc. The M60 came about by the request of many die hard Leica shooters who was looking for an M without an LCD. These Leica fans wanted a film like experience which to be honest, sounds insane when you think about it. WHY NOT keep the LCD and just not look at it? It will be there when you need it, and to be real…we are in 2016, not 1976.
But hang with me…
The M60 was a special limited edition and cost a fortune when released. So Leica made what some Leica fans wanted but they priced it so far out of reach to the normal man, only the rich could afford it..but we knew that all along. IMO, the sales of the M60 allowed them to make a mere mortal’s version of this camera and while still outrageous on the price at $5995, it is far from the $20k plus of the M60.
The one that started it all, the M60…
The M-D 262 is a spinoff of the M262, which is a spin off of the M240. See, we can buy an M 262, which is an M-D with an LCD screen for $5300 or so. We can say “nah, I do not want that LCD, take it out and make it cheaper”…so they did in the M-D except instead of making it cheaper, that priced it higher, and that is due to it being in a special “niche” that Leica knows will not sell many units at all. It’s more of a statement piece IMO. To say, we can do this, we are not afraid to do it and look, no one else has the balls to even try this.
Much better than $25k 😉 But still pricey!
Leica did this with the Monochrom to much criticism at launch. I remember reading from so many who attacked Leica for releasing a B&W only camera. I mean, WHO DOES THAT? Who releases a camera, takes away any option of color photography and charges MORE for it? Leica.
But that is the Leica Way.
The past meets the future – Leica M-D 262 with 28 Summilux at f/1.4
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SO WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT A CAMERA WITHOUT AN LCD?
This is the big one that send Leica so much hate. Many feel this camera should never have been made, but me? I THINK OTHERWISE. I am thrilled that Leica created this camera, and I admit, ever since it was launched I have been intrigued by it. I thought if I jumped in to it then I would regret not having an LCD as where is the menu? How do we set ISO? How can we format the SD card?
Well, there is no menu. We set ISO with the big retro film ISO dial on the back, and there are no SD card formatting capabilities with this camera. Crazy isn’t it? Yes, and no.
Leica dealer Ken Hansen sent me the M-D and 28 Lux out of the kindness of his heart so I could use it, evaluate it and review it and then send it back to him. After just a few days, if I had to decide today, I would keep this and send Ken the cash now. But this is my honeymoon period, so I know from years of experience this can happen with any camera or gear, even a Leica. This is why this review is PART 1 😉
But back to why someone may want a camera without an LCD…
In my very 1st outing with the M-D I would continually look down at the back where an LCD usually resides to check my shot, focus, framing, etc. OOPS! Not there…I had to trust in my focus abilities and move on to the next shot. The first few shots I was saying “Hmmmm, this would be a no go”, I need an LCD.
What I later came to realize is that LCD has made me feel like I need it, because over the years we have HAD these LCD’s to check out images in the field. Now we are kind of hooked on them. Remember, we never needed this with film camera. We never had a way to check ANYTHING with our images until they were developed. Many out there still miss this feeling. It’s a feeling of suspense, surprise and something to look forward to all in one.
Suspense because we just have no idea what was just captured, or if it was framed how we wanted. Surprise because we may find the image to be better than we had hoped when we review it and after a day of shooting with an M-D and having NO CLUE what is on our memory card we look forward to getting to our computers to view the images. That is what happened to me. A whole day of shooting and having no idea what I captured was a very interesting feeling. Just like film, and that is where it took me back to.
Yes, shooting an M-D is JUST LIKE shooting an M7. While the camera is indeed all digital, it behaves, shoots and you must indeed use it like a film camera. No menu, No video, No JPEG recording whatsoever. This M-D only shoots RAW so we have to “Develop” just like we did with film, but this time with RAW processors. It’s quite the feeling.
Katrina and Debby – Leica M-D and 28 Lux at 1.4
So after shooting this beauty more, I was getting more and more appreciative of it. I LIKED that feeling of not knowing and while I would NEVER EVER use this M-D 262 for paid or pro work, it is not made for that at all. Again, this was made as a niche product, for the few who have been asking for it and for that Leica deserves applause. I always like when camera companies break the norm, as many times in life breaking the norm is just what is needed for something fresh, new and exciting. While nearly every other company stays within the norm, it is Leica who goes outside of that norm box time and time again, and that adds some excitement IMO.
Some say that Leica should have not made this and instead concentrated on a new M. Well, it is my opinion that they have been doing just that for 3 years. I feel a new M is on the way this year or at least an announcement. The digital M has always had a three year cycle. We are heading into a Photokina year. There have been rumors abound about a new slimmer digital M with new advancements. So yes, I feel there is a new M coming. All Leica did here was give us a choice.
We now have the M-E, the M240, the M262, the M-D 262, the Monochrom. We have choices, and we can choose what works for us. That is cool no matter how you spin it.
So this camera is not competition for ANY other camera in the world. It is it’s own creation, a one of a kind and appeals to only those who want a simpler approach to photography, to those who miss the good old days of film, and to those who want a bond and connection with the tool they use. A camera like this DOES INDEED force you to think just a tad more. There is no auto ISO, so you must dial it in manually on the back. No laziness allowed here. You must be precise in your focus. You must work it, like one would work a manual tool. This is one reason why I find it so refreshing.
The 28 Lux is interesting. The rendering is pure Leica no doubt.
So while the audience is small for a camera like this, the audience that is there is very passionate, and I am willing to guess that those who dove in and bought an M-D adore it. Just like those who bought the Monochrom. It’s a choice I am happy to have.
KEEP IN MIND…
The Leica M-D 262 uses the same internals and sensor as the M240, so IQ will be exactly the same. There are no differences in the sensors between the M-D 262, The 262, The 240.
THE 28 SUMMILUX 1.4
The Leica 28 Summilux is interesting as I just recently wrote about another 28 1.4, the Zeiss Otus. Now, the Otus is HUGE, GIANT. It is the opposite of what this Lux is in size and heft. That OTUS was the best 28mm I have ever shot with when it came to image quality, color, contrast, etc. I then wondered what this Leica 28 1.4 would be like on an M as the size is maybe 1/8th of the Otus though costs $1500 MORE than the Otus!
Well, when I started shooting with the Leica 28 Summilux I was a tad disappointed. I saw more vignetting than I had hoped for. I saw some CA. I saw that the color and smoothness was better from the Otus (IMO) but then I remembered this camera only SHOOTS RAW! So when I applied the profile in ACR for the 28 Summilux, the vignetting improved and the slight distortion went away as did the CA. To be fair, the Otus also had vignetting but it was slight. I’d say the Otus is optically corrected where the Leica needs software to be perfect. This is also why the Otus is so damn big.
SO now I have to wonder…is it worth $1500 more over an Otus due to size alone? Probably not, but when you add in the M body being smaller and slimmer and way cooler than any Nikon or Sony or Canon, then we have to think. Me, if I bought an Otus 28 for my Sony, I would use it with excitement the 1st week or two. THEN I would tire of the size. THEN I would want to sell it. THEN I would lose money.
With the Leica M and 28 Lux, it is so small, compact and a joy to shoot, I could give up some color and pop for size and MY HAPPINESS 😉 Being happy in life is what it is all about for me, and I always make decisions like these based on happiness. Would I be happy long term with a huge setup, or smaller almost just as good setup? Of course the smaller.
I am not ready to judge this lens just yet as I have not used it enough but so far I like it but need to use it more before I can give my opinion on it fully. This will be in part 2 soon 😉
Debby – M-D 28 Lux
MY “FIRST EARLY THOUGHTS” SUMMARIZED ON THIS UNIQUE CAMERA
Don’t hate on the Leica M-D 262! It is a beautiful piece of kit that will bring pleasure to so many out there. Sure, we lose out on creature comforts of an LCD, JPEG shooting, having a menu, video, etc but we also gain something we just can not get in digital imaging anywhere else…and that is a TRUE film like shooting experience without shooting film. It’s a choice in the expanding Leica M lineup that I welcome with open arms. You may not like it, you may hate it or you may love it…but Leica is giving the true fans something special here and to me, that says a lot about the brand.
So much more to come in part 2 with more images and thoughts on the 28 Lux, even a crazy comparison between this and the Sony 28 f/2 $450 lens. 😉
This Leica M-D came from Leica Dealer Ken Hansen. Ken has supported me and this site for 7-8 years now and he is a wonderful man. He has been a Leica dealer forever and to some, he is a legend. You can email him for any Leica products, as he sells them all. Just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This M-D is also available at the usual suspects I love and adore:
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It’s a fantastic camera — I’ve had mine for a few months now, and it makes me realize how much time I waste looking at the back of the camera to make sure that I ‘got’ the picture. I am an admitted chimper, so it definitely took getting used to ‘stepping back’ more than 15 years to when I was using film cameras more often than digital ones. It’s really quite liberating, and is the perfect antidote to those of us who shoot professionally and rely upon our rear screens to make sure that we ‘got it’ for the client.
The camera is also quite beautiful – both to look at and to hold. I know in reality the camera is no thinner than any of the other digital Leicas (top plate is about 37mm), but to me it feels thinner due to the lack of rear screen and buttons. It’s truly the best-feeling digital Leica around.
Thanks for posting this review Steve.
Very good review.
After 25 year of Leica shooting , I have most of my lens NOT coded.
I like very much this camera, but the fact you can’t choose manually the lens is definitely a no go item for me. I do not want to send 6 lens (including the quite rare 35 summilux aspherical ) to Leica for coding.
According to Leica (and at leasThey can be used regardless of the lens features, according to the M-D’s camera manual): “Generally, most Leica M lenses can be used….They can be used regardless of the lens features, and whether it does or does not have 6-bit coding in the bayonet.”
I have the M-D and love it. Hate to admit it, but I find I’m reaching for it much more than my Monochrom 246. Honestly, I would not worry about the coding or non-coding of lenses that you might have.
I love my M262. The lack of auto ISO is the deal breaker for the M-D. Shooting in auto ISO in manual mode while still being able to tap into EC may be the ultimate shooting mode.
Plus an LCD is simply too useful not to have if only for the ability to check a histogram now and then.
I do, however, understand the Zen appeal of the camera and I’m for anything that keeps Leica profitable.
The thing I dislike most about most modern digital cameras is the proliferation of buttons, wheels, knobs, switches, menus and displays that are all supposed to make photography easier. I know that once I’ve adjusted everything, I can just press the shutter release and the camera will do the rest – it’ll focus, meter, convert to BW, adjust contrast, apply a filter, etc etc etc. So in practical terms, the features are all there, but I don’t have to use them. I can ignore the LCD too. So goes the economic argument against the M-D, as far as I can see, but it really, really misses the point.
Every little thing that the modern digital camera does to help, removes a little bit of ‘me’ from the process of taking a photograph. I want to focus without a nagging doubt that the camera could do a better job on its own. I want to choose where to meter. I want to compose without a fighter-pilot’s heads-up display surrounding my finder, telling me what I’m doing. And above all, I don’t want all those distracting buttons. They all just get in the way, and take my mind off the important stuff.
I love what Leica have done with the M-D, but I wish there was a DSLR equivalent. What the Nikon Df *should* have been.
This MD262 is similar to the silver shadow of Rolls Royce. Elegance but old style.
Me, I love the line of the Wraith, different and daring!
Steve quick question. Since you cannot format the card in camera, what format should you format the card on computer to shoot with the M-D?
Ive formatted a card once in my computer and also used tons of old cards with all kinds of files on them, no issues. But it would be best to format on your computer.
If you’re on a Mac I wouldn’t use HFS, try EXFAT or if that doesn’t work simply FAT32.
I’m sure the manual tells you what to use.
Actually it doesn’t mention it at all! All I could find in the instructions was that it will flash ‘Sd’ in the finder if there’s a problem with the card.
Indeed ExFAT is the format you want. On Mac I’ve gotten the best results using the SD Formatter app. Super simple, just like the camera!
I laughed until the tears ran down my leg. Send me an ordinary 240 and I’ll convert it with a bottle of black nail varnish.
Sheer pleasure to read your review, Steve. It could seriously tempt me in the direction of the M(nonD) 262 !
Great article as usual Steve, thanks. Side comment from im end on the lux 28. I was looking for it but was always soldout. Then i decided to go for the new sumicron 28 (version 2016) and oh man i am impressed. I took it on vacation with an M240 and also the apo cron 50 and i took most of the shots with the 28!. Crisp, sharp, full with leica charm and glow. Wasnt expecting it to be that good. Wondering if anyone else tried the new 28 cron out?
I am dying to try the new 28 cron actually. Everything I have seen from it has been beautiful.
Great Steve, you could do a side by side with the lux on your new M9! o)
Great idea! I love your Crazy comparisons Steve but you could call this one a Sane comparison for a change. Same lens with 2 different handling versions of the same camera. An article specifically on your opinion about the difference in handling and using them side by side.
I have a question, since there is no built in wi-fi or usb out, could you use something like the eye-fi cards to review ? (not sure if their would be interference from the metal housing).
I use eye-fi with Leica and don’t have problems.
Can you format that card in camera with the app?
wow! theres something about the look of these images reminds me of my first Leica M6 shooting chromes for English Elle magazine
Steve nice review
wow! theres something about the look of these images reminds me of my first Leica M6 shooting chromes for English Elle magazine
Well done Steve nice review
I currently shoot primarily with a M3 and MP, and have MM for low light. I love the concept behind this camera. I’m waiting to hear about the new M, depending on how it looks i may just get this one instead. Great write up Steve, really has me enthused for this.
Thank you David, part 2 soon!
My goodness when you open up the first two photos the three dimensional quality is breathtaking. I see why when Leica “flexes their muscles” with new equipment, they remain on top. Nothing compares. Thank you for sharing.
.. i just wanted to add, or augment part of my last comment.. you don’t have to be super rich to own one, just save up enough $$ and be dedicated to such a camera to own one and what it selectively offers.
Indeed. People can spend their many on what they want. Not every Porsche driver is rich, he might just be devoted and have put a lot of his money into his passion. Same with Leica. Someone who puts a lot of money he saved up for into a camera like this and cuts down on other expenses to pursue his passion.
He’d better be prepared to be frowned upon by some negative people who whil think of him as a guy that’s loaded and has more money than what’s good for him to describe it in gentle terms.
Appreciate your part 1 review on this unique camera.
I find it oddly very appealing, but I simply would not have the budget for one, sadly.
Still, it’s a very cool camera and has a very special appeal.
I think either you need to be super rich to get one, but that can be said about most all new Leica’s.
More importantly, I see this as a recreational purchase..pure luxury as nobody needs this sort of camera. I think if you make a decent living with your DSLR or whatever you use to shoot your “pro” work, then this is a nice camera to depart from all the DSLR fast workflow and simply shoot photos for the enjoyment of shooting photos for yourself.
OR, if this sort of camera is really what you always wanted and nothing else matters, then you will find a way to get it and make it work for your lifestyle.. that being said, for the most dedicated, it can most definitely still be used for “pro” work and not just for hobby or recreational. But, I have to say you must be super good with your exposure and composition skills with a rangefinder to be so confident to use such a camera for paid “pro” work… Kudos to those who have such skill and confidence to be able to successfully do that. I know I don’t.
After more than 15 years of shooting film Leicas, this is probably the first digital Leica I’m seriously saving for.
I also have a review wish only you can fullfil, Steve: A comparison between the new Summarit 50 and the new HandeVision IBERIT 50. 😀 That would be great!
Thank you, I wrote down your request!
so what exactly does the one thumb dial do? exposure comp?
The shutter speed dial.
It’s for exposure compensation and (in conjunction with the little silver button), and for initially setting the date and time.
Good review – thanks.
My MD has been getting plenty of love from me in the 5 or so weeks that I have been using it (usually paired with my 50mm Summilux). This is a camera people either love or hate – for me it’s made a big difference to my photography.
Its a pleasure to hold a camera without your fingers rubbing against a set of tacky plastic buttons and a smudgy screen.
I can totally get the philisophy of this camera and I trully adore Leica for their guts.
Personally I hate menues and I only use the LCD of my A7RII for belly-level shooting or lower and above head shooting. I configuer my camera to have all the traditional controls right at hand (ISO with the back wheel, much like with this Leica), shooting in pretty much the same way as in the old days, with addition of the tiltable screen and EVF. I even shoot more and more in manual mode, since the EVF shows me if the image will be good.
This is the kind of simplicity that I want. Nothing more, but nothing less neither! I absolutely don’t want to give up the tiltable LCD, nor the EVF.
Of course I can’t look into your mind, Steve, but I suspect the next hybrid and slimmer M will be your dream camera, that will last long beyond the honeymoon weeks. It would be mine as well, if I could justify the price (to myself). Maybe, if Sony wouldn’t have come with the A7 series, I would have bought a Leica eventually, but now there’s no way. Of course, this is personal. And should I make twice the money that I make today, I’d probably buy an M, just for the extra feel of it, because yes, nothing feels in the hand like a Leica. But nothing feels like an A7 neither, although the thrill is a bit less. But my personal hapiness is a bit bigger. And I totally agree with you about giving priority to hapiness. 🙂
BTW very beautiful pictures and a very “right” article! IMO.
Beautiful and interesting camera. But, sadly, not for regular joes like me. Maybe someday I’ll get to try a Leica just for fun. But I could never justify the cost of ownership.
I am very tempted by this camera. What a beauty. I owned the M9 and M240 and i am waiting for the new M now but this camera is something special. I like the concept and i believe that if you own one of these you are not looking for the “new” model and it will hold its value probably better than others. Love the 28 Lux. The images pop right out of my screen. Colors are fantastic. I would prefer this look over the Sony/Otus combi any day. What is not so cool is color accuracy though. But that is a common problem when you use Lightroom. With almost any camera (except Canon ?). It just does not do a good job there and that is true even though Leica gives you a free copy of LR when you purchase a Leica body.
Nice article thankyou.
I would like to see some 28 Summilux/M9 photos as I am considering this lens.
I do not have an M9, but would guess they would have they glassy pop of the M9. Prices are getting down on these oldies so maybe I will try to buy one for review purposes.
Cool! Would think quite a few M9 users follow your site.
I really like this camera, but a few things would make it even better. First would be ISO 50 and ISO 100 on the dial. I understand that this is a limitation of this particular sensor, but hopefully Leica will update this with the next M. It not only would be better ascetically/visually on the dial, but practically for shooting. Secondly, a newer, smaller form factor to the body like the M6. Again, rumor has it that the next M may have a slightly smaller body. Buying a Leica M for me would be for purely personal work, and the Leica M-D 262 would appeal highly for this to me since I spent 15 years shooting film. Finally, and I think most importantly, the Leica M-D 262 should have a film advance lever (which would work, obviously, to re-cock the shutter (since there is no film) like the Epson R-D1. If these features were added in the next release, I’m in for sure. The only problem is that it would still be several years away. All that said, I love the idea of this camera and love that Leica produces products like this.
I’ve had my 262 M-D for about 6 weeks now. I traded my M240 for it. I just love using it. It’s slowed me down, made me think about all aspects of every shot, stopped me chimping (well almost, there’s still the occasional head nod) and brought back that film era feeling of anticipation when seeing the results. And I’m certainly really happy with the results and the whole experience of shooting with the camera.
VERY inspiring review Steve, many thanks 🙂 Great images and I really love the look of the files. Especially the colors are MAGICAL.
I have the feeling that this camera can have an evolutionary impact (I wouldn’t say revolutionary) to many photographers and it wouldn’t be the first time that a LEICA is an evolution and in some cases a revolution. Why should the by far least featured digital camera ever be evolutionary? Because it inspires to rethink your mindset about photography. A shift from features and adictive checking back to photography itself. And the best it that one doesn’t have to buy the M-D to start this process of rethinking – just be inspired 🙂
Great article and I look forward to your part 2.
Having had the Leica SL for the past 9 months it is a breath of fresh air to go back to the simplicity of the Leica M-D.
I decided to pair it with the new 2016 Leica Summicron 28.
Really enjoying the images.
Have you noticed a difference in battery life?
Not fully but seems similar to the M 240 though.
Battery life is great — initially there was an issue with this, as Leica chose to disable the ‘auto-shutoff’ feature in the camera. It seems that Leica M60 owners preferred the ‘instant on’ of the camera, so the M-D was always on when you had the camera switched on. Problem was that the battery drained rather quickly (like within a few hours). After numerous M-D owner complaints, Leica re-activated the ‘auto off’ feature, and chose a fixed 10 minutes for the auto-off feature to kick in. It was just a matter of a firmware update.
“…the audience that is there is very passionate”. Not sure what that means but are they photographers?
Excellent boots in window shot, by the way.
This is going to sound like a stupid question. I have never used or even held a digital Leica, and living in the middle of Ohio means no stores around to try one out. Is this camera 100% manual? Does it at least include an exposure meter in the viewfinder?
It is manual focus and manual ISO but has a meter just like the M 240. So I shoot in Aperture priority mode.
I read contradictory reports about the ISO all over the web.
Leica’s specs say there is Auto ISO and Pull-100 whatever that is.
Can you confirm Steve? I know there is no Auto on the dail but it’s maybe a setting without lettering or push/pull thing? Why Pull-100?
It seems to be different from the 60th anniversary edition concerning ISO.
I could find no way to enable Auto ISO, and was told there is no option for that but I will confirm 100% before part 2. Thank you.
The base ISO of the camera is 200. That is the optimum ISO of the sensor. Rating the sensor at 100, or “pulling” it, actually degrades the quality slightly, but will allow you to use larger apertures with slower shutter speeds. For instance, help you shoot that Lux wide open in broad daylight at a 2000th.
Thanks Jim. Now just some clarity about the Auto ISO. Stange Leica states it in their specs. Would be vary handy especially on this camera.
Surprise, treat yourself and rent a digital Leica from Lensrentals!
Hi there. Interesting review and I look forward to the next instalment. I get this camera, though I’m sure many won’t. To me, shooting film isn’t just about the output, it’s also the process and workflow. There is a discipline and concentration that occurs when you shoot without the safety net of an LCD. You need more of a vision, be able to frame with your eye and your mind and your intuition. I’m not knocking digital photography (who in their right mind would?), but I suspect that a time with this camera will improve one’s skills. It’s about being able to sense a good shot as well as see it or take it. It would be interesting to take the concept further and use a smaller space SD card – a limited number of exposures also stopped us from carpet-bombing and added a touch of preciousness to each shot. I don’t see this as simply an exercise in nostalgia, or in any way Luddite. I simply see it as an alternate way to stimulate your photographic talent.
At the same time, here’s a question. It sounds like this camera has reignited your love for M photography. Where has left you as far as the SL is concerned? As someone who owns (and appreciates) an a7r2 but always takes an M9 along on every shoot, I still adore the simplicity and purity of M shooting.
i understand but you can do all the same with every digital M !
Look at my answer #3
Malcolm I use both an M6 and Mamiya 7. I find it more enjoyable taking 2 rolls of 120 film and having just 20 opportunities than 36 in the 35mm. Even gran the Mamiya and it has 5 images left on the film. Not sure why but maybe it’s just about watching more closely than blasting away.
Addendum: And the battery lasts without display control also almost twice as long!
Well with a little discipline, it also works without a new camera. M – mode ISO fix, no control of the recordings. That goes with the M9 as well as with an M, or Fuji or Sony ….
Yes discipline is hard – sexy and pure the MD is also for me, but not a reason to buy!
Not only an intersting and honest article, which we’re used to here anyway from you.
But also well versed with an appropriate look from both sides.
As usual, an ebjoyable and informative read.
I love this camera and the whole idea behind it.
I know many don’t, but it wasn’t conceived to be evreyone’s friend.
But it is the top camera in my book from the Leica range that would draw me to Leica.
Won’t buy it though, the body alone is one thing but one needs glass as well and when I start with somethng I tend to collect.
Steve, I’m pretty sure a review here of the Fuji X-T2 will be coming up here.
Problay Brandon will do it as he is the Fuji fan and I will enjoy his view on the camera as a fellow Fuji fan.
But would it be possible if you do a small second opinion at the end of his review?
I know you’re not the biggest Fuji fan and that’s exactly why a different opinion, a different view from an oppostie or at least other perspective would be truly interesting in my opinion.
I’d love to hear your view on the use and handling of the camera.
Thanks for the interesting and relaxing times here!
Thank you. IN fact, I will be reviewing the X-T2 myself, soon 😉 I really enjoyed the X-T1.
Fantastic! I’d love to hear you admire it’s strenghts as well as expose it’s weaknesses which I know you do. And I can’t wait to read what you think of the controls, the way of using it.
I rented the X-Pro2 but and loved the controls (and the output) but the X-T1/2 is more my type when it comes to the Fuji range. I ordered it along with the 16-55/2.8 and 56/1.2 (non APD).
To me the X-T2 will be my own Leica M9 and my PEN-F with the screen closed my own little Leica M-D. Those to cames as well as my E-M1 make me happy but the Fuji gives me more of a tendance to actively use it and the PEN-F to put it in my pocket.
Only Leica can take away so much, charge what they do and still get glowing reviews. I’m all for options, but it doesn’t make much sense to me. You can turn auto review off and still be surprised, but I know I’m missing the point (and honestly I’m thankful…I don’t want cars without a/c, power steering or cruise control either). To each their own.
To each his own indeed. My daily driver is a 1973 Beetle – it’s all I need.
If true that is awesome. I love the old beetles.
To each his own.
I have a modern car that looks like a big sedan but has the engine of a sports car. It isn’t tuned, standard it has a lot of horses and one donkey (behind the weel ;P ).
My neighbour, a lady about my age has a 7.2 litre Dodge which stil runs on leaded fuel so each time she goes tanking she needs to add lead. She hardly ever drives and I can use when I feel like it. Now that’s relaxing and enjoying. Actually driving a cart that you control and doesn’t control you.
I’d actually love an oldtimer dodge Charger or challenger myself but I can’t really justify having three cars and my wife needs one too.And an old Dodge can’t be used as a daily driver if you need to do a lot of miles, thos things drink like hell!
Mine can actually park itself but I never even tried it. I trust myself more that the car.
Compare it like taking a pic when you want to focus on something and the camera decides to focues elsewhere. You don’t agree and set your focus point or you focus and recompose.
A very good point Chris! Leica did the same with the film M-A stating that the absence of a built-in meter provides creative opportunities. Of course, this is all a lot of marketing hype or to be blunt ‘b@llsh!t. BUT, they get away with it.
Methought the choice of designation odd? You see we have been there before.
I have a Leica MD, it was made in 1964 and is used with a Visoflex II Reflex housing and a 280mm f4.8 Telyt lens. I keep this kit for cricket matches.
The MD, like this one, is a stripped down model. Its actually an M2 devoid of viewfinder and rangefinder. It was intended for Viso use as well as being clipped to a microscope or telescope where a viewfinder would not be needed.
This modern MD is clearly intended to take you back to the days when you had to wait to see your results. I do with my film Leicas, I have the negs scanned to disc so even my 1935 model III is a digital camera!
All the shots are nicely crisp & sharp. I like the idea of the camera design but since I own an M7 I’m happy with that. How would you compare this in terms of image quality with the Leica Q?
Ehhhhh. Hard to say. I think the Q has different color and contrast but 28 is all you get, and the body feels nothing like an M.
A very personal review – I like your way of speech !
Thanks for the partial review; all well taken. There is one disadvantage though, M60 is just gorgeous. I had the chance to use M60 for a brief time. I wish they would have made it in mass production with just the body.
I love your site…usually check it every day for the last 5 or 6 years.
I have enjoyed your take on this recent offering from Leica.
I come from the old school of film with a background as a phototechnologist and sales experience in the world of photography and I have no issue with anticipation rather than the instant gratification we demand now of our new technology. Those who are recent coverts to photograph might feel cheated with the Leica MD 262’s simplicity…but having owned an M2, M3, and M4….I see this as a form of photographic training wheels.
Thank you for this review….I love the rendering of this camera/lens/sensor/software!:)
Have a great day
As an engineer for 50 years, I appreciate Leica as functional art in itself, not just as a tool for making art (though it does that well). For the last few years I’ve been shooting more film than digital, So the M-D controls are perfect for me. Hope I can stretch the budget a bit.