Taking the Leica M10 to Vietnam. Thoughts and Photos by Artem Chernov

Taking the Leica M10 to Vietnam. Thoughts and Photos

by Artem Chernov

Dear Steve, I have write some words about my experience with Leica M 10 and attached are some of my photos from my trip to Vietnam with Leica M 10. Maybe you will find it interesting for your site.

Hi! First of all sorry for my English, it is not my native language, but I will try:) I would like to share with you some of my photos and thoughts of Leica M10.

I am Leica user from M9, my first Rangefinder camera. I transferred to rangefinder from Canon 5D, and M was like a breath of fresh air. Most of your know this:) In 2013 I sold my M9 to buy M Type 240. I loved it, but, I think something was lost from the M9. I can not explain it (my poor knowledge of language), but something was missed. So, when SL was announced I traded M Type 240 with no regrets. And I can tell you that this camera is awesome. I always forget that I am looking not in the reflection of the mirror but on screen, when I am looking in viewfinder. It is so bright, so sharp. This camera is superb. But I have never thought to use it with SL lenses. Because they are too bulky for me, after 5 years with rangefinder. So, I continued to use it with M Lenses. And it is strange, because camera was built for using with more bigger lenses (nevertheless I still think that I can make photos almost as quick with electronic viewfinder than with rangefinder). But I did not consider expenses to buy the new Leica M. That was before presentation. And before I have seen first reviews.

Steve was one of the reason I bought Leica M9. His review was one of the main reason I bought the new M10. Only thing I can tell – THANK YOU! When I have seen it, I remembered the simplicity of M, how smaller it is than SL, how Wonderfull to see more in rangefinder than you are going to shoot. So, I bought it:)

In a week my trip to Vietnam should have started, and I wanted to got camera with me on this trip. I was very happy to find one camera available just next day after start of the sales, as I see now it is not so easy to get one, and I still do not understand how I got mine, because for M Type 240 I waited 9 months.

After using it in my trip I have some conclusions that I want to share with you.

I will not get info that you may read in Steve review (size, ISO, viewfinder etc.) except what photos it makes. It is real, the M10. It is better than Type 240 and M9 in all ways. It is getting all the pluses of Type 240 but does not loose M9 character.


I have bought 2 extra batteries. And do not have problems with it. It is smaller, it is worser than on Type 240, but it is not awful or some type of a problem.

Accessories: – Leica Holster! That is just greatest idea for Leica M!!!! That changed my use of camera dramatically. I use it now just with wrist strap. And it is great, quick and comfortable (for my back) solution.

Digital viewfinder: of course it is not SL viewfinder. And this is pity 🙁 I think Leica really should have worked with this more -there were patens from Leica with hybrid viewfinder, and I want this. Because sometimes with Summilux electronic viewfinder just better.

Handgrip – Yes – it is comfortable. But I have 2 questions:

1) Why the bottom is sicker than original from camera.

2) It is made in Portugal, not in Germany. And I do not care this, but on silver edition you may see a slight change of color. Common, seriously? 250 USD an not ideal match for color? It is very small difference. But it is there.

I have a 10 day trip through Vietnam with my M. This is very beautiful country. I travelled a lot and have not been impressed for a long time like with Vietnam. If you have never been in it I recommend you to do this.

Bottom Line? The Leica M10 is the best ever camera for me. It is simple. It is comfortable (did not thought that I become such a fan of ISO dial), it is much quicker, quit. It is so gorgeous that it push me take camera with every time I get out. And that is main win!

Artem Chernov



  1. Great images! What color space do you shoot in? sRGB or Adobe RGB? I noticed in image #7, #10 and #14 the red is kind of thin. #7 the street light reflection is thin and flat, #10 the backpack shoulder strap is thin without detail and #14 the flag hanging is light red without texture. Seems like zone 7-9 the red gets thin in these samples. Otherwise, the images look quite wonderful.

    • Thank you! I think you ask which one I used in post-processing? It is P3. Sorry, but first I made it for my devices (and I have new MacBook pro which have P3 gamma screen). If you screen is not P3, you may see colours a little differently. Also that may be just my fall with bad post-process:)

      • Thanks, Artem. I viewed them on my EIZO CG 243 monitor calibrated for the Web, and they look a tad better than on my MacBook Pro Retina, but when I open the flag image in Photoshop to take a look at the CMYK values and parts of the red flag contain Cyan and Black and the thin or lighter red only contain Magenta and Yellow. I was expecting a point or two of Cyan or Black for shape.

  2. Artem, thanks for your beautiful photos and great story, glad to know that you once used the Leica M lenses onto SL and now onto M10. Could you please tell us what’s your feeling while using Leica 50 APO or Summilux onto these two bodies, I mean which EVF is more easy for focusing accurately? Like you, I like Leica 50mm, but during the past years, I found it is quite difficult to focus M50 f0.95 on M9P while aperture wide open. I know that I need to grab a new body, but still do not know which one, I mean which is more suitable to increase focusing success rate for Noctilux, SL or M10?
    Besides focusing, if my memory is correct, Steve once said it is SL, will make M50 APO more perfect, I forgot how he said, but my understanding is, he thinks that SL will drive all 50 APO potential out. To this point, would like to know your feeling. Thanks.

    • Dear James, that is a tricky question. Just for focusing I will choose SL, I do not have Noctilux (unfortunately) but it is sometimes hard to catch quick focus with Summilux. And SL viewfinder is gorgeous. For me focusing with SL was really more accurate. I am not wearing glasses, but do use -1.5 diopter lens on M, so my eyes are not so good. The framing is better on M, because you see more. As for quality I think M is better for M lenses. Leica executives said in interview that SL is second best for M lenses. First one is M. But I do not think that it is day and night. I think it is very slight difference. For me return to M was because of size. And some kind of simplicity. If only Leica made a really good hybrid, where you can choose rangefinder or digital viefinder. I think we will see this in future M.

      • Artem, understand what you mean, thank you. By my personal point of view, the external EVF for M10 is really really no good. Do not know why Leica does not develop a better one, similar with that for SL for M10.

        • Fully agree with you. I have bought one for M10. It is better than one on M 240, but it is not SL viewfinder. And after SL you can not accept something worser. It is that quelity when you forget that it is EVF and not just VF.

    • Dear Gary, thank you! About settings that depends. But I found that I do less changes than I have made on type 240 and even M9. If there not big changes (like exposure or lowering whites, saturation and part changes, I do not use photoshop often, only Lightroom) I just add some contrast (10-15) and darkering blacks (10-15), When I am doing this I like that colours became a little more saturate. Also I can add some clarity. On B&W I do more contast and clarity, because I like mor dramatic effects.

      But all this depends on picture. I just like to play a little to find the right solution for every photo. I do not do import with presets to Lightroom. I just doing changes for every photo one by one. And I am very critical to myself. So I never like photo for 100%, just trying to find a decision that will not irritate me:)

    • I agree. The image quality coming out of the M9 still beats the newer M cameras… from a “filmic standpoint.”

      Wish they came up with an M9 with the shutter sound, processor and body of the M10.

  3. Stunning images, great story, and wonderful use of the camera to tie your words to your images.

  4. Artem, Great photos! I ordered an M10 a month ago and still waiting, but cant wait to travel with it. Trying to decide between a 50mm summicron and a 35mm summicron, any recommendations? Id like to only use one lens for awhile.

    • Eric, thank you! About the lens choose – my personal beloved is 50 mm. This is the most hard question for me, which is better:) But for travel I would suggest 35 mm. It would push you to get closer. And you also can get some landscape as well. writting this, I do not believe I am sure in it. You should try both.

    • If you are not sure I would rather recommend you to go for the 50 and go wider later after you gathered some experience. But it depends on your subjects: it is somehow difficult to frame more than three people within 50mm and still convey emotion because you will have to step back and your subjects will be too far away. If you like to photograph with strong layer separation, you should go for the 35 though. I kind of like the 90-50-28 steps.

      I loved the colors and the decent post processing, by the way. Congratulations for that fantastic camera!

  5. Excellent pictures. Real RF style, storytelling, “getting in there, being part of it”. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great story telling with your M10 Artem. I don’t own a Leica yet. After seeing your images I am taken away. What lens did you use?I am think of buy a Leica but I wear glasses and am worried with focus on the M10. Maybe Sl better for me? I want to use for travel but M10 smaller . Thanks for Sharing.

    • Ron, thank you! As for travel I think M will be better, it is smaller, it is less noticeable, it push you to get closer. Focus with M it is a trip. Is it tricky? Yes, but you will love it in the end. Also I would advice you to think about Leica Q. Some love it. And there is autofocus. But it is not for all. I more 35 mm guy than 28 mm. If you got a place where you can try both SL and M that will be great. SL is workhorse. But M is magic:) Also, please read Steve’s review on M (M9, 240 and 10) and SL. I think you will find better advices there)
      In this trip I used 50 APO Summicron (there no lens as perfect as this) and 35 Summilux.

  7. Wonderful photos, Artem. The color rendition and Leica look are simply impressive. I had pretty much decided to keep my M240 for now, but your photos are making me reevaluate this decision. What I see more than anything is that M9 signature, which I happened to love when I had my M9. Very natural skin tones too, which I guess is what the new sensor has over the M240. So, I hate to say it, but here I come, M10.

    • I can tell you – for me it is day and light about change to new M10. Yes, M 240 is very good. But M10 is real succesor of M9. What I have found that I do much less changing on RAW files that I made before on M 240 and even M9. Photos seem to be rich and colorful just from camera.

  8. Artem, this was a wonderful story and love your images. The people are so intriguing. Congrats. I am interested in knowing what you are going to do with the SL. I too have the SL but have put in my order for the M10 to use with my APO 50mm and 28mm Summilux. Wonder if I will be selling my SL and zoom. Thanks Steve for including this article.

    • Thank you all for good words! As for SL I have to sell it. I would live it (Even I know my wife would kill me), if I only have SL lens. But I did not get any. As I used it only with M lenses I have a little regrets (digital viewfinder is marvelous). But if I get a zoom lens, my wife would kill me:)

        • In this trip I used 35 Summilux and 50 APO Summicron. Also I have 50 mm Summilux (I adore it) and 75 mm Summicron (which unfortunately I do not use a lot). I really think to get a wide lens in future. But still did not decide which to get. 21 or to get 16-18-21.

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