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View Full Version : Leica M9: Fascinatingly Designed; Breathtakingly Priced

Reid Kistler
04-14-2010, 12:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/31/leica-m9-hands-on-or-the-tao-of-leica/' target='_blank'>http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/31/...e-tao-of-leica/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"For most amateur photographers, Leica's legendary M System represents a virtually unobtainable holy grail, a line of cameras so unspeakably expensive, rare, and coveted that even having the opportunity to hold one -- much less own one -- is a somewhat unrealistic goal. ... [W]hat, exactly, does it feel like to carry $11,695 worth of rangefinder body and lens around?"</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1271098505.usr19541.jpg" style="border: 0;" /></p><p>From Chris Ziegler's "hands-on" review at Engadget, carrying around the <a href="http://us.leica-camera.com/photography/m_system/m9/" target="_blank">Leica M9</a> feels very good indeed. This is an absolutely fascinating camera: a compact sized, retro-look digital rangefinder with an 18MP full-frame sensor and magnesium alloy chassis, that also includes a copy of Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom in its rather substantial list price of just under $7,000 (US; body only). My introduction to serious photography was with a Yashica Minister D 35mm rangefinder, and there is much to be said for the simplicity and speed a rangefinder can provide; still, I cannot help but find the pricing to be somewhat breathtaking! Read the Engadget review for more insight into this highly regarded camera, and then post your opinion: do you see this as a serious alternative to a DSLR, given the price range?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em></em></p>

Lee Yuan Sheng
04-14-2010, 12:25 AM
It's camera jewelery, that's what it is.

- YS (Never one to mince his disdain for present day Leica and Zeiss)

Jason Dunn
04-14-2010, 06:56 PM
It's an expensive camera for people who like to show off their wealth. The full-frame image sensor is interesting, but the price is prohibitive for any rational person.

Lee Yuan Sheng
04-15-2010, 02:45 AM
Careful now, Jason, you'll attract those who say that rangefinders are a much better and simpler way of taking photos, forgetting that's the exact reason why Leicas were dumped in droves when the Nikon F SLR became readily available...

Reid Kistler
04-17-2010, 01:30 AM
...rangefinders are a much better and simpler way of taking photos....

Not intending to take your quote out of context -- :D --but I would be somewhat sympathetic to the "simpler" point-of-view, and even open to a "better under Certain circumstances" argument. Certainly there are times when a more-compact camera (Micro Four-Thirds anyone??) would have advantages over a full-sized DSLR, both in terms of carry weight and intrusiveness.

I also suspect that the build quality of the Leica is impressive: my father has a Lecia film camera that is 60 years old or so and (the last I knew....) it still works fine, although hauling out a hand-held light meter always made for a nice conversation point!

We own 3 classic 35mm rangefinders - 2 Yashicas + a somewhat newer Ricoh (a kit, with 3 interchangeable lens!). Youngest daughter is actively using my old Minister D, as a 35mm Rangefinder was required for one of her current Photography classes (Junior year, working on a BFA).

With that background, it is probably not too surprising that I would find the Leica M9 interesting: but not at it's astronomical price point! :eek: