Article: 'Why the Leica M9 has become a cult camera'

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by Karim Ghantous, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Although initially the prices of the M9 dropped a bit, soon after they stabilized and even started to rise again. This is quite unusual for a digital camera, where depreciation is often faster than a new car.

    [FONT=PT Sans, sans-serif]Why the Leica M9 has become a cult camera - Joeri van der Kloet

    Perhaps the M 240 will be the bargain that the M9 was supposed to be? Or perhaps there will be parity between the two for a while, before the M9 finally begins to drop in value.
  2. Well, I'd just observe that ANY Leica camera is a "cult camera" :rolleyes:
    Here's my personal gold and rosewood cover (yes, again and expect to see more of it in the future) Swedish Army Leica
    It's very rare since it lacks the Hermann Göring dedication inscription.
    PapaTango likes this.
  3. I love the data presented in the article, so solid.... :confused:.

    The Dutch equivalent of eBay has much lower volumes, so its samplesize is too tiny to make any serious conclusions. It ignores that those who wanted to upgrade to the M240/M262 generation have done so by now and already dumped their M9s, so the volume on the 2nd hand market is logically drying up a bit.
    Searching eBay now, for all I see prices of the M9 aren't much higher than about a year ago - now that's about as scientific as the author so we can happily ignore both statements.

    Basically the whole premise of the article is a personal preference of the author for the M9, with some vague attempts to make it a wider movement. But it's an excellent attempt to demonstrate how things on the internet become their own truth.
    Jochen likes this.
  4. Colors from the M9 are striking, but whether it's the CCD or firmware is debatable. The M9 is small, elegant and pleasant to use. However the framing is inaccurate (though generous) and focusing is nearly impossible with a Summicron 90/2 wider than f/5.6.

    Mine is mostly sidelined, but I'm tempted to take it for a stroll soon, along with a 35, 50 and 90 lens (a huge load of under 8 pounds, including the bag).
  5. Methinks not Karim.

    Now the M8 the first of its kind there's your cult camera.
    Alex_Es likes this.
  6. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    m8, not a bad choice apart from it being crap, flawed, overpriced and released in denial

    m5 to me is the most 'cultish' camera. a great camera but not for those with small hands.
    Dieter Schaefer likes this.
  7. A friend let me borrow a M9 for an afternoon while we were out shooting. It was a clunker. But there are some photographer I really respect that loved the color that the M9 produced. I just didn't like using it. Didn't feel anything like the film Leicas.
  8. There are two settings that make the M9 handle more like the film versions. The "Quiet" setting delays the shutter wind until you let go of the shutter release button. The "Soft" setting reduces the three-step takeup/set exposure/take to a two-step, which combines set exposure and take into the one soft step. I found it disruptive to require a firm third press to complete the shot.

    Rangefinder cameras are an acquired taste. A Leica M2 was my main camera for nearly 40 years, so I had no surprises with the handling of an M9. Going forward, however, I find difficult to consistently achieve sharp focus commensurate with the high resolution sensor, and nearly impossible with a 90 mm lens without a magnifying eyepiece. Now, wearing glasses, I can't see the complete 28 and 35 mm frames. Astigmatism makes it difficult to see the "pop" when the rangefinder frames align, complicating focusing even with a corrective eyepiece.
  9. "m8, not a bad choice apart from it being crap, flawed, overpriced and released in denial". Norman.

    Say what you mean Norman stop beating around in the bushes with all those innuendos.

    "flawed, and released in denial"....I will go along with. Crap no. It takes very nice photos and is very easy to hand hold at very low shutter speeds.

    Actually the M3 is the cult camera if you like cult things..The M5 the ugly duckling which never grew into a Swan....and, sin of sins it was made in Canada and not Germany. And of course real Leica folk know that if its not made in Germany and has not got a brass top and bottom plate then its not really a proper Leica M.

    Ed, may I suggest a Sony A7 the focus peaking on it may be your solution.
  10. ." A Leica M2 was my main camera for nearly 40 years, "Ed

    On a serious note any insights on how to get the best use out of my new/old M2 would be appreciated .It was a impulse purchase as I have a thing about mechanical cameras. I only have a 28mm lens for it so do I need a separate viewfinder or can I work around it.

    Not too sure how to load the film I just purchased a Kodak Tri X 400. post.jpg
  11. It always to me, a bit weird, that you can take a photograph with something without batteries or electronics, that you don't even need to have a key to wind it up.
    Uhooru likes this.
  12. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    My M3 has a accessory finder for 35mm, so you'll see less in the finder than will be on the film with your 28 and will need to track down a finder (or you can get that slick 7artisans lens!). Mine is loaded or I'd do a show & tell, but let's see how my memory is. Assuming there is no film in the camera, turn the key on the base plate and remove the plate. The take up spool has a diamond cut on the bottom, pull it out gently -- insert the leader end of the film onto the spool curved cut as far as it will go. Pull out just enough film to replace the spool and slide the cartridge in the other side. close the camera. Advance the film -- watch the red dot in the center of the rewind knob to be sure the film is engaged. Snap the shutter and advance and snap again. Should be good to go. Someone please step in if I've missed something!
  13. Once loaded, make sure the film is engaged with the sprocket and take up the slack with the rewind knob. There are fingers on the back which push the film into the sprocket. Unlike many cameras, film is advanced with the sprocket, not the takeup spool. The takeup spool holds the film with a spring loaded tab, not by a sprocket hole. The tab is perforated, so you can see that the leader is fully engaged. The slot and finger used on most cameras can tear out a little chunk of film, which finds its way to the worst possible spot in the camera. That can't happen with a Leica.

    The long tongue on new film was designed so that older Leica cameras without a back flap could be loaded. I've never had another camera which required the narrow leader, other than a IIIF. There was a template to cut this leader in bulk loaded film, but it's not necessary with an M Leica. Just cut the film square, between sprocket holes.

    I always support the film canister in my left hand and the spool in my right with the knurled knob toward me. The film leader should be emulsion side down. If you don't hold the film canister and fumble the loading, it may fall and pull out most of the film in the process (don't ask).

    The 35 mm frame in the M2 is smaller than the window. If you use the edge of the window for framing, it will be close to the 28 mm FOV. Still, it's better to get an auxiliary finder. Leica framing is ... generous. You will always get more on the film than in the finder.

    Don't forget to set the film counter to zero after snapping a blank frame or two.

    The little plain knob right of the shutter release is a screw to hold the top on. It's slightly tapered and there's a special tool to tighten it, since it invariably loosens with time. I use a pair of plastic jaw pliers, or a plastic tube if you find one to fit. DO NOT USE LOC-TIGHT, even the light stuff. It will run into the camera, and the screw will break when a repairman tries to remove it (it's like a #5 brass thread). I don't think Loc-Tight even existed in my time with the M2, so I was never tempted.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  14. The M5 the ugly duckling which never grew into a Swan....and, sin of sins it was made in Canada and not Germany

    The M5 was German-made in Wetzlar not Canada
  15. Thank Sandy and Ed for the kindness in sharing your knowledge.I read your posts several times and I'm now locked and loaded and ready go. A bit of practice with the sunny 16 rule 500sec at 400 ISO on a sunny day should sort the exposures out....

    Robin you are correct my mistake.
  16. I have successfully loaded a film in my M2 and unloaded it...for a cack-handed person like me a bit of a achievement.

    Using the sunny 16 rule I have blasted away and hopefully all the photos will be correctly exposed and in focus...we will see as I will post the results..

    Very simple camera to use much like my smart phone.
  17. This is what I hear, from time to time and I am sure that comes from someone who has never ever touched it or used it. I have owned all M from M8 to M9 and I have sold all but kept M6 and M8.2 . This is one of the best and I cherish it until to its the end. Nothing can be compared to
    the capability of what this camera can do with a hand of a good photographer. It is only second to the M monochrome and great in Mono and color photography. This M8 is rather the Classic M Than the "CULT" of M for me.
  18. Poor old M8 always up for bashing.

    But for most folks who own them they keep on working and are very capable cameras..

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