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Had a goal of getting a Leica M240 in a couple of years but now...

Discussion in 'Sony RX1 Forum' started by rpavich, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    I've been loving my RX1...the image quality and low light capability is nothing short of astounding...with that said, I've always lusted after a Leica...that's just the way it is.

    Well..I've recently been getting serious about that goal, the financial timeline etc. To that end I've been seriously investigating user reports and tests and checking out real world shots taken with the M240 (and the M9 also)

    Hmm...I was underwhelmed to say the least. I realize that shooting with a rangefinder it's difficult to get tack sharp focus where it needs to be but the amount of shots on the web that are just plain soft is amazing. Even shots that are examples of being "tack sharp" are not in the same league as the RX1, not even close.

    Well, finding that out was disappointing but I was determined...

    So, I started checking out the high ISO capabilities....3200 max? Really? Oh no. And pushing the files shadows up even 1.5-2.0 stops resulted in banding and ugliness from what I saw.

    Then if that wasn't bad enough, there is no close focusing capability on the M240...darn!


    When any of these things are brought up in forums, (and I say this with love) rabid defense of the L camera's come out; it's obvious. All kinds of excuses are given as a reason to overlook whatever foible is brought up but basically it comes down to "the experience" aka "how you feel when using the camera."

    So that led me to a flickr group where a former M9 and M240 user laid it all out. He described all the issues and short comings of an $8000.00 camera that shouldn't be there and I agreed with them all...which led me to Lloyd Chamber's blog and his assessment of the M240, which echoed the flickr user's.


    So I guess what I'm saying is that I love my RX1 more than ever seeing the poor design choices in an 8000.00 camera that the RX1 actually got right! (EVF quality, quick menu, ISO, exposure in 1/3 stops, battery accessibility, image quality, dynamic range, lack of focus shift and front/back focusing...etc.)


    Now...if SOMEONE comes up with a hybrid-OVF with floating AF box and framelines for the RX1...yikes! I'd be in heaven...the Leica-killer would be complete. :)
     
  2. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    yeah, i agree with many of your points re the foibles of leica digital cams in general, especially given the exhorbitant price tag, as well as the 'rabid defense' of leica adherents. i just today read on RFF that expert analysis of the leica 'bigboys' like overgaard concluded the for 'optimal' low light results the m9 should be shot no higher than640! and then you correct exposure in PP! absurd for a $6000 camera.

    having said that, i must say that i'm not in agreement with your first point: i have seen what i personally viewed as very sharp results coming from the m8, 9 and on. and i, for better or worse, am a sharpness-freak-pixel-peeper of the first magnitude! ): and i do think there is something to be said for a particular (in this case the only choice for digital rf) experience. in this case though, that comes at a very steep price.

    ive been hoping for years that someone would 'push' leica through some real RF competition, as i personally think the lack thereof has gotten L fat and sloppy. fujis new 'sort of' rf focusing tech in the x100s may be the start of it--lets hope so.
     
  3. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    Tony,
    Yes...i've seen sharp Leica M9 shots too...I didn't meant to say that it wasn't capable of sharpness....just that the Leica owners seem to call "sharp" what I'd call "near miss" in the RX1 world...that's all.

    i agree with you also....Leica is the 1000lb Gorilla that's been at the top so long that they haven't noticed others creeping up the mountain. I also agree that the X100S COULD have been great, if the Image quality was there across all of the apertures and distances...I really liked mine; that is, until i took a portrait at f/2 at 3 foot distance and realized what the X100S can't do....which led me to the RX1...which, for me, does it all...landscape, portraiture with in reasonable boundaries, close up's, blurred backgrounds...and all tack sharp.

    I'm hoping my "coming next week" Voigtlander OVF makes it possible to set to set the RX1 to f/8 and get street shots with AF...that would be the best of all worlds...amazing IQ, street capable, and 1/3 the cost of a Leica M240 with just one 35mm lens.
     
  4. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I sort of think Fuji may be the way to go for the "rangefinder experience" without the "rangefinder blues" -- particularly the "my pockets are completely empty" syndrome that accompanies many Leica purchases...

    But Sony is constantly learning and responding so it'll be interesting to see the competition in development over the next several years.
     
  5. LisaO

    LisaO SC Regular

    123
    Jul 11, 2010
    I'm about to sell my M9 and M lenses. I have always had a like/not like (soft love/hate) relationship with the 4 or so Leica M's I've had since the early 90's. I am usually happier with the images I get with the XPro1 and XE1 as well as the RX1. The first two I had were M6 at different periods then the preordered M8 when it first came out before the IR issue was known. The M9 was a step forward as is the Monochrome and 240 today but I think I'll give up on Leica. the max ISO IQ is not as good as Fuji or Sony. The high cost doesn't justify the image quality to me. I know some people love their Leica's and I can understand that to but it doesn't hit the bar for me. I guess I'm just not the M type.
     
  6. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    That's definitely possible...they were so darn close with that X100S; I liked it on so many levels.

    ...if they'd just glued a Zeiss Sonnar T* to the front and put a full frame sensor in it.. :)
     
  7. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    Purely by accident I just read this comment on the Leica forum:

    Quote:
     
  8. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i'm so glad i didnt upgrade from my x100! i feel the same way about it that you do about your rx1, and it seems to have none of the other IQ 'issues' attendant to the x100s. but that new rf 'style' method of manual focus on the S really has me drooling...
     
  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm not a Leica owner, but I see enough amazing shots from them that I don't see the point in putting them down. They might not have the right camera for you, but there are some shooters on this forum that shoot beautiful photographs with their "flawed" cameras. The RX1 is a great camera in it's own right. I was not able to work around it's flaws (for me). I really wish that when people find the right camera for them, they could focus more on what makes the camera perfect for them instead of tearing down someone's else's perfect camera.

    There's many great cameras and not every one is right for every shooter. I'm glad you found yours.
     
  10. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    Luke,
    I'm sorry that you don't agree but don't call it "tearing them down"...the issues with the Leica's are not a secret...I didn't make them up. Simply stating the known issues with a product isn't the same thing as "tearing them down" by any stretch of the imagination.

    And you'll notice that I never once said that beautiful photographs couldn't be (and haven't been) taken with the Leica M camera's did I?

    Please don't put words in my mouth...maybe you misunderstood....I don't know.

    The RX1 has it's own flaws (as you noted) by by me acknowledging that fact doesn't make me guilty of "tearing down" the RX1...
     
  11. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I still have a deposit down on the new M but find myself wanting it less and less. The same things are prevalent in the new M as in all the others that went before it. If I were to spend that amount of money I'd want a reliable camera and I've read so much about people having to send them back for this and that, I just wouldn't feel confident in taking one on. A bit like the difference in owning a high class racehorse or a pony in a field! I have the RX1 for serious photography and enjoy swapping and changing systems so I think I'll just continue to do that :)
     
  12. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
  13. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    With all due respect but your post is a bit all over the place. The M9, MM and M240 are as different as they are similar. When the USD 7000 M9 was released in 2009 there was no other mirrorless ILC offered which came even close to it, irrespective of price. And in 2013, it still is up there with the best as far as IQ is concerned. Up to iso 640, I prefer its output to the one produced by the RX1 and in my personal ranking up to iso 400 it comes in as second best after the Sigma DP Merrills. It beats the RX1 in sharpness and micro contrast and none of the Leica m-mount lenses has such a pronounced and sometimes annoying barrel distortion as the beautifully rendering one fixed to the Sony. RF shooting is not everybody`s cup of tea. But for me, it is still the best means to MF moderately wide to moderately long lenses, easily beating EVF solutions coupled with focus peaking. Also for ZF, I have yet to experience a camera beating a M-mount RF.
    IQ wise, competition has caught up big time and in 2013 I am no longer willing to pay the steep premium for the M240, the newest FF RF camera. For me the RF experience alone, as great as it is, does not justify the huge price difference to other competing camera makes, whether FF or not. And lastly, one should not forget that Leica M shooting is more about the lenses than the camera body.
    Shot from two days ago, M9 with Elmarit 24mm. The same shot would not have been possible with the RX1.

     
  14. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    Sorry about that, I tried to be brief, and in doing so gave the impression that the post was about the M9...but basically it was about the M240.

    I put up a link that explained it in much more detail as I didn't want to spend 40 paragraphs trying to detail each and every fault.

    You can read it here.

    Goodbye, Leica M Typ 240 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
     
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    It sounds like, and has sounded like from your earliest, pre-RX1 posts, that "razor sharpness" and tack-sharpness" are your personal holy grails of what constitutes great image quality. They're not mine, but I'm not judging, just observing. And if that's the case, I think you should possibly return the RX1 and buy an RX1-R, which is the RX1 without the low pass filter, so even sharper than the RX1. And with the money you save by not getting a Leica, buy one or two of the Sigma DPxM series cameras in whichever focal length(s) you prefer. The RX1-R will give you what you want in any conditions and any light. The Sigma(s) are limited to good light (at least in color) but the sharpness and detail in its files are simply unmatched by other cameras in this class, even IMHO by the RX1. Maybe by the RX1-R, maybe by the D800 (or the version without the AA filter), but nothing else you could get for $800-1000. They're a bit of a PIA to process, but its not insurmountable. I was really glad to have a DP1M in Italy and if I lived somewhere with those kind of scenic and landscape opportunities, I'd absolutely own one.

    The Leicas are amazing cameras with the right lenses, but it doesn't sound like they meet your personal criteria for what constitutes an amazing camera. So, go with your preferences. The RX1 is a great start but I think the RX1-R would probably be an even better one for your preferences. And I think you'd be blown away by the DPxM, whether at 28, or 45, or 75mm, or some combination thereof...

    -Ray
     
  16. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    I thought about that....but the RX1 seems to be fine for me...thanks anyway.

    Just FYI, tack sharpness (while the ability to do so is important to me) isn't the ONLY thing by a long shot...it's just one of those "if this isn't there...then the rest doesn't matter" things...make sense?

    Just about any camera on the shelf can make a low quality image...and cost a heck of a lot less doing so.

    If I gave the impression that it was the ONLY thing that I cared about then I erred.
     
  17. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    For me it's not sharpness but the character of a lens, the way it renders light. The Rx1 has it but then so does the RicohGR to some degree.
     
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I feel the same way. And some of the high end Lecia lenses have it in spades...

    -Ray
     
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    This part of what you wrote pretty much implies to me that it IS the most important thing to you. That's fine - I'm not criticizing that. I personally feel differently - I think some great cameras make images that aren't tack sharp but that I don't consider "low quality images" - like the X100s for example. But that's to MY eye, which isn't the issue here. Your's is and sharpness is obviously very very critical to you. Which is why I made the recommendations I made, based on that priority...

    -Ray
     
  20. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    I got it...sorry to get strident :)

    BTW..I love some images that aren't sharp too...:)

    Thanks for the suggestions...appreciate it.