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Archive 2016 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers
  
 
Sgt_Gatr
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Hey Everyone,

I am this close to buying a Leica M9 or M-E. Since the cost is so high I will likely sell my other bodies and lenses. Only two lenses so not that much invested in the DSLR world. I have wanted an M for a really really long time. I have switched between cameras quite a bit and am still searching for the one that feels right. The one that I can finally have that shuts off my GAS. I had a Fuji X-Pro2 because I loved the rangefinder looks but something was missing from it. I have no clue what it was but I just didn't like shooting with it. Now I have a Df which is awesome but something about a DSLR that I am not a fan of.

BTW, I have never even seen a Leica m in real life so this romanticism may be all in my head.

I have a question though. I have a 2.5 year old and another child on the way in 4 months. Will this camera be good enough for an amateur to use? I obviously know it is manual focus but will I be able to learn the focus quickly enough to get those precious moments captured? For all those out there that are proficient at focusing with a rangefinder, can you get focus fast enough?

I really want a Leica but I don't want to miss out on shots with family that I otherwise would have gotten.



Oct 24, 2016 at 06:20 PM
SoulNibbler
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


If it's your only camera, yes. Precious moments of smiling babies and crawling toddlers are no problem. Prefocus if there is action, use the dof, have fun.

I used an m8 for a while and took pictures of my friend's kids who were the same age range. I really liked the straight out of camera black and white.

I moved on with sony mirrorless but if it's something that you want to do, try it. The good news is that you can probably recoup all of your money if you change your mind in the next year.



Oct 24, 2016 at 06:42 PM
flash
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


As a huge Leica fanboy my advise is to......


RENT.


I honestly believe you can become more than capable of using a rangefinder in a reasonably short space of time. But it is a camera that rewards practice. The M9 files at low ISOs are sublime. At high ISO you need to embrace the grain.

If you need to see what can be done with a rangefinder then go no further than our own Chuck Canerino. Have a look at this thread.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1456536/0#13773252

However, since it's so easy to arrange rentals on the continental US I think a week with a rental would be a grand idea. Then you'll know.

And you can save yourself a ton by considering CV and Zeiss M lenses. I actually prefer some of my "cheap" CV lenses to the more expensive Leica variants.

Gordon



Oct 24, 2016 at 07:49 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


I agree with Grodon- renting is the way to go. You might be able to recoup a purchase if you find RF isn't for you, but you might also learn, in the worst way possible, what a fussy and fickle crowd the buyers of used Leica gear can be.


Oct 24, 2016 at 08:07 PM
arduluth
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Having shot my kids (6 and 3 at the time) with a Fuji G690BL (aka Texas Leica), I'd say it's certainly possible to shoot little kids with a rangefinder.

That said, renting seems like the smart and obvious thing to do.

If the RF experience doesn't work out, there's always an A7 with a stable of manual focus lens. Plenty of us out there doing that, you definitely don't need auto focus to shoot kids and other people in dynamic scenes.



Oct 24, 2016 at 08:33 PM
canerino
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Jump in! The water is warm!

I love the Leica for family photography. I will say that you might be limited a bit with the M9. The ISO really does get a bit dodgy above 800. And I dont know about your house, but that didn't cut it in mine. I'd say a 240 would be the way to go, or if you are a BW guy, the Monochrom is awesome.

As mentioned by Gordon above, the M is my preferred camera for all of my personal work. I really feel that it has made me a more aware photographer in the past 18 months of ownership. I absolutely love it.

Here are some links for you to check out with my work with the Leica M:

An interview about family photography and I talk about using the M:
https://thisweekinphoto.com/twip-family-67-chuck-anerino

Feature on Steve Huff with my thoughts about the M Monochrom:
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2016/08/11/one-year-of-family-photojournalism-with-the-leica-monochrom-by-chuck-anerino/

My feature on Leica's blog:
http://blog.leica-camera.com/2016/10/18/movement-and-grace-with-the-leica-m-monochrom/

My personal page...all work in the past 18 months has been with a Leica M (mostly monochrom, but some M9, some M240):
www.growingupanerino.tumblr.com

I'm a bit of a fanboy, but I think my thoughts on Steve Huff's page are very objective. Let me know if you have any questions!

Chuck



Oct 24, 2016 at 11:49 PM
davewolfs
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


I couldn't imagine using MF with young kids. I'd stick with Olympus, Fuji or Sony.

Renting before committing is a smart move. My local Leica store will rent out a body for the week for free. Just need to pay shipping.



Oct 25, 2016 at 01:33 AM
Alexluu627
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Haha had the same experience with having a Fuji. It only made me want to buy a Leica even more.


Oct 25, 2016 at 01:57 AM
coogee
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


FWIW I think rangefinder focussing is very very easy, possibly easier than autofocus since it's predictable, repeatable and easy to master but everyone's experience is different.

I agree with the sentiment of trying a rangefinder body if you're able, god knows you can't rent one 'for free' South of the Equator AFAIK!

I would say an M9 is a perfectly capable tool for capturing family life but if you think buying one is going to 'shut off your GAS', you are sadly kidding yourself - if anything you are elevating your GAS to a new level of expense!

Good luck with #2, great times



Oct 25, 2016 at 02:13 AM
uhoh7
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


A dirty little secret is the M9 is the simplest and easiest to use digital camera ever made.

It's all the basics: on A, it sets the shutter. You always choose f stop.

RF focus: fastest manual focus method ever, and highly accurate if the lens is calibrated right. The cost of renting is about the cost of a cheap M lens

Get it, and immerse yourself. You can always sell it.



Oct 25, 2016 at 02:56 AM
 

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Sgt_Gatr
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Hello everyone. I took the plunge and bought a steel gray M9 last night along with the nokton 50mm f1.1

Man this thing eeks quality. Cannot wait to get out and shoot. The M9 is in pretty great shape but the bottom plate has some light scratches/brassing. Overall I think I got an ok/average deal on it. I love the quality of the lens but it is incredibly big and I will definitely be getting something smaller. Possibly the cv 50mm f1.5.

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Renting wasn't really an option for me as it would cost over $200 and I figured I could at least sell it for a $200 loss or no loss at all if I didn't like it. But I love it. I will learn around the camera!

One small gripe is that the grip is not very grippy. It seems like it could easily slide out of my hands. but that is a fairly small complaint.

Cheers



Oct 25, 2016 at 02:58 PM
canerino
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers




Sgt_Gatr wrote:
Hello everyone. I took the plunge and bought a steel gray M9 last night along with the nokton 50mm f1.1

Man this thing eeks quality. Cannot wait to get out and shoot. The M9 is in pretty great shape but the bottom plate has some light scratches/brassing. Overall I think I got an ok/average deal on it. I love the quality of the lens but it is incredibly big and I will definitely be getting something smaller. Possibly the cv 50mm f1.5.

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Renting wasn't really an option for me as it would cost
...Show more

Congrats! Get yourself a thumbs up. Really improved the handling of the camera. Have fun!



Oct 26, 2016 at 12:24 PM
Gary Clennan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Congrats Bobby! I'm sure you will enjoy the experience (and output). And X2 on the Thumbs Up...


Oct 26, 2016 at 01:54 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Yeah, definitely get a Thumbs-Up, it will make a huge difference.

I'm a bit skeptical about starting with the CV 50/1.1... Super shallow DOF and IIRC a lens with focus shift (I might be wrong) are two factors that will combine for potential focusing frustration. The longer the lens and wider the aperture, the more critical proper RF calibration will be, as well as technique, such as on the fly focus compensation for focus and recompose shooting. But if you have to shoot indoors a lot, there's not a lot you can do other than use a fast lens.

I didn't find the M9 all that bad until around ISO 1250, the problem is more chroma noise blotchiness at higher ISOs combined with poor light quality (I.e. non full spectrum lighting) that combines for funky skin tone rendering compared to Canikony offerings.

Leica M series will not cure GAS... It instead opens the door to so many current and 'vintage' lens options. And you will eventually be drawn into Leica's current, costly offerings. Good luck. It will take a lot of willpower.

As an owner of the new CV 35/1.7 (a great lens, optically), I am not a fan of its ergonomics, shared with the current version of their 50/1.5. But it is a good lens, optically, for that speed. There really aren't many fast, inexpensive non-character 50s... Maybe consider the Canon LTM 50/1.4? Or a Zeiss ZM 50/2.

For shooting young kids on the go with a rangefinder, my preference is to shoot closer and wider. There is a lot more focus forgiveness with wide lenses (28 or 35mm), even at wider apertures. Or stop down for sufficient DOF. That's one RF secret: RF patch coincidence needs not be perfect for correct focus if DOF is sufficient. Tabbed lenses also work with this approach by allowing you to guesstimate focus ring position by feel so you can be in the ballpark before even looking at the camera or through the viewfinder.

Just shoot a lot and give it enough time, like 6 months or so. You should be able to pick it up quickly, but it takes practice for some aspects to become second nature.



Oct 26, 2016 at 06:26 PM
ISO1600
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


If you can get down the RF focusing, it can be the best camera for toddler shots ever. If not, it'll be a huge frustrating waste of money and time. You should RENT like others suggested.


Oct 26, 2016 at 06:39 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


I somewhat disagree with the renting suggestion because of the general higher cost of renting Leica gear and that it won't allow enough time to get a more comprehensive feel for how the system works, good and bad. The rental fee is money you'll never recoup. I'd rather spend considerably more for the used equipment and take the risk of not liking and reselling it. If you buy wisely, you could potentially recoup most of your original spend.


Oct 26, 2016 at 07:57 PM
flash
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Actually, I prefer the Thumbie to the thumbs up. You can use it with a flash and it doesn't put any strain on the hotshoe. I've heard reports of the tape coming lose but if you apply properly it's fine. My M9 Thumbie is nearly 4 years old and still strong.

The 50mm 1.1 is an interesting choice. Did it come with the camera? It's true that it does have some focus shift from f2-4. It also has plenty of purple fringing in backlit situations. But it draws nicely. Just avoid shooting into the light.

Having said that the current CV 50mm 1.5 Nokton M is a much better all round lens. And it's at an entirely reasonable price.

One thing I want to mention. The M system really rewards patience practice and skill. People think the M is easy to use because it doesn't have a lot of buttons. The reality is it's a camera that will challenge you to think. You need to become an active participant in the photo taking process. If you don't practice your focusing you'll lose your edge. It's a camera that can take seconds to learn and years to master.

And that's a good thing. I never feel I'm limited by the M. I always feel that the camera is more than ready to do everything I need it to do. I just have to drive it properly.

Gordon



Oct 26, 2016 at 08:47 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


+1 for wharever Ron said. For start without spend too mcuh, I will get a VC40mm f1.4 or 35mm f1.4 or something even cheaper like f2.5/2.8 version either VC or Zeiss to get a feel. I have no problem nail focus fast and quick with rangefinder at f1.4, For me it actually feel better (menas faster to nail focus) than EVF based camera most of case.

VC35mm f1.7 is one of best looking 35mm lens out there.(I mean rendering, I hate its barrel design) and f1.2 is not bad as well but much heavier.



Oct 26, 2016 at 08:48 PM
canerino
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers




flash wrote:
Actually, I prefer the Thumbie to the thumbs up. You can use it with a flash and it doesn't put any strain on the hotshoe. I've heard reports of the tape coming lose but if you apply properly it's fine. My M9 Thumbie is nearly 4 years old and still strong.

The 50mm 1.1 is an interesting choice. Did it come with the camera? It's true that it does have some focus shift from f2-4. It also has plenty of purple fringing in backlit situations. But it draws nicely. Just avoid shooting into the light.

Having said that the current CV 50mm
...Show more

Agree completely.



Oct 27, 2016 at 02:00 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Leica M Digital for Toddlers


Congrats and good decision.


Oct 27, 2016 at 03:22 AM
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