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Leica M Digital Rangefinder Camera - Leica M Type 240 (Leica M10)


Leica M Type 240 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 42

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 M9-P   Links
Leica M10
V 1   3                                  
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Leica Q 1         Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5                               Books


The Minority Report - Focusing the Leica M - Part 1/5

By: Thorsten Overgaard, March 15, 2016, Last edit October 26, 2016


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The Leica M looks strangely small to most people who expect a professional camera to be huge. To new users trying to get into the Leica M, the focusing system is the biggest trouble understanding.

I can "cure" most people in my workshops who can't focus, so I thought I would write about it and see if this can remedy these difficulties. I am dedicating a portion of my article on the Leica M240 to focusing issues. I will be publishing the articles over the next weeks and months (so be patient, please).


Robin in the UK. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2014-2016 Thorsten Overgaard (knitwear by Gudrun & Gudrun).



The Minority Report

You are a minority because right now ... you are reading about the Leica M rangefinder camera.

Please, continue.



Ginza in Tokyo, 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 200 ISO, 1/750 sec.
© 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



The focusing trouble

Many existing Leica M users find focusing their weakest point. Some blame the camera. Most blame their eyes, but as it turns out, almost everybody can learn to focus a Leica M. The addition of the Leica EVF-2 (Electronic ViewFinder) offers some advantages any Leica owner should experience.

I think that any type of focusing can be learned if you have to. In the video and movie industry all focusing is manually and in many cases done by a person external to the camera - a "focus puller" - who uses his eyes and a remote control to adjust the focus of the camera.

The Leica M is one of the few camera systems that still offer manual focusing. The M originally stands for the German word "Meßsucher" which means "Rangefinder" or "distance finder". Via an advanced optical system you can measure the distance very accurate.


The idea of a rangefinder basically adopts the idea of using two eyes to judge the distance; just like your use your own two eyes. Unlike the eyes, you have to turn the focusing ring to make the two images match into one. In this illustration, the tree in front of the camera (upper right corner) is "double" and then, as you turn the focus ring on the lens, the two images overlap: That is the exact focus distance.


For you as the user, you are matching two overlapping images by trning the focusing ring on the lens, and when they are on top of each other, the image is in focus. More on that, later.


The object is "mirrored" by the optics and placed at the distance you turn the lens' focusing ring to. When the object is placed at the same distance as the object actually is, you see the image in the viewfinder and the overlapping "mirrored" image snap into one.


Los Angeles. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 200 ISO at 1/3000 sec with 3-stop ND filter. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


  In May 1981 Canon introduced their first autofocus lens, the
FD 35-70mm f/4 AF.

When autofocus was introduced on still cameras in the 1980's the main advantage was the speed of focusing. It arrived to the world of cameras at a period where motor winders were offering fast advancing of the film to the next frame. Speed was a big selling point.

For a period the technology of cameras seemed to be concentrated on speed. Always prepared, getting every moment. Professional photographers would go with the system that offered the fastest operation. In a way the decisive moment was dramatized to a degree that photographers seemed frantic to ensure they would never miss such a moment.

The elegant philosophy of Henri Cartier-Bresson who coined the term the decisive moment about that exact moment where the elements in a photo meets in a geometric pleasing composition along with an aesthetic framing and the all-together photo tells a story ... was being replaced with a frantic grabbing of every possible moment and never missing a beat.

It is sort of a degrade, an increasing of speed and quantity on the expense of quality. But that was how the times were. A few very successful sequences of motorized, autofocused events captured in the photojounalistic world those years probably convinced many photographers that a sequence of any devastating event would be too important to miss.


Burning Monk by Malcolm-Browne
Burning Monk by Malcolm-Browne, 1961.


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In our time, it's the need for higher ISO speed so that you may never miss a moment, no matter how little light there may be.

The need for speed was why Canon and Nikon for many years had market shares that looks like a sinus curve: Nikon would come out with faster something and all newspapers and magazines bought Nikon for their photojournalists and traded the Canon gear in. A few years later Canon came with something faster and everybody changed to Canon.

Most recently "everybody" changed to Nikon when they came out with faster ISO speeds. Nikon made the decision to go higher ISO on the expense of megapixels. It paid well, along with an aggressive campaign for trade in of Canon gear.


Nikon F3 was all about instant-automatic-fast-everything and was the weapon of choice for many pro's for a long time. I used a Nikon F3 HP for a long time.


Nikon introduced the Nikon F3 AF in April 1983 as the AF version of the de facto press camera model that went for a long while, the Nikon F3. They had tried since 1971 (with a prototype AF Nikkor 80mm f/4.0) to introduce autofocus without much success. But as pressure grew from Canon, both brands found AF to be the new thing to distinguish their camera systems. First for the professional market, then for the mass market in the late 1980's.

  Leica CK2 prototype of auto focus
  The Leica CK2 prototype of autofocus
built into the Leica SL. Read more about Leica AF
at the Leica Barnack Berek Blog

Leica skipped the autofocus entirely and stayed with manual focusing throughout this whole era. Ironically, Leica Camera AG invented the autofocus system in the 1960's and patented a number of autofocus technologies from 1960 to 1973. But Leica judged (quite wrongly) that nobody would be interested in it. They sold the patent to Minolta after two "unsuccessful" presentations at Photokina in 1976 and 1978 and stayed with manual focus lenses on both the Leica M and the Leica R system.

It wasn't an entirely bad decision by Leica Camera AG, but in commercial sense it probably almost killed the brand. Purely photographically speaking, manual focus lenses have some advantages.

The Leica lenses wouldn't be as sturdy and compact as they still are if Leica had made them into autofocus lenses. You can drop a Leica lens on the floor and it will still work. It's not recommended, but I know because I've done it.

With the Live View and electronic viewfinders we now have on the Leica M (and Leica SL 601) we can take advantage of the manual focusing lenses and at the same time enjoy the added precision and ease of use the electronic help tools offer.


A princess with her nanny and doll in Bangkok, December 2015.
Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


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The breakthroughs in photography

The technical improvement of photography that in many cases have degraded the photograph itself (and perhaps made the process less artistic) all together make up a muddy picture. Let me go through the few important of the many inventions in photography, as I see them.

Photography could be summed up to four major breakthroughs: 1) Recording light, 2) Making photography broadly applicable, 3) Improved focusing, 4) Focusing through the lens, and ... 5) A lot of fluff!


On the airplane. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 at 800 ISO, 1/60 sec. © 2011-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


1. Recording Light

The only real major breakthrough was the ability to record light. This is what enabled us to store a vision. In the very beginning it was done on metal-based "daguerreotype" plate (named after Mr. Louis Daguerre), then on paper-based "calotype" negative, and later on a glass plate.

If you think about it for a moment, you may see how this changed everything:

Before it became possible to record light and thus record and store a moment for eternity, we all had - and still have - the natural ability to recall an image of what we have seen. To share it, or simply look at it outside your mind, we had to learn to draw, paint or use word to create an image.

With the recording of light on a plate, you could share your view.


New York, September 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Often the invention of photography focus on the exposure, but it is actually the recording of light that is the new thing. Exposure is something we had to deal with so as to get the amount of light right.

In many ways, photography was thought out the right way from the beginning. Lenses, cameras, light controls, focusing and all were a working technology from very early on. But it wasn't accessible to the people. You had to be an engineer and know about chemistry, not to mention the financial side of the matter.



Leonardo da Vinci was all into optics long before it existed. Here he is playing with contact lenses back in 1500.


Optics of course played in, and there was a long period before the first photography where philosophers, inventors and scientists had a lot of fun with optics. It started with a tube filled with water which acted as an optical instrument. Leonardo da Vinci was all into optices before optics existed.


Pregnant woman in Cafe Englen, Denmark.Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE at 160 ISO, 1/180 sec. © 2012-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


As glass became the right element to built optics with, they build optics to get closer to the stars and they build optics for microscopes to enlarge the insect and flowers in the nature, not to mention the cells of the human body. Some artists used optics to create reflections of the world so they could make a drawing of it and use it to base a painting on.

Optics was a big thing; no doubt about it, but in terms of photography, the ability to record light was the starting point.


They build optics to get closer to the stars and they build optics for microscopes to enlarge the insect and flowers in the nature, not to mention the cells of the human body. Here a gentleman is playing with a "Dutch Telescope" in 1624.


2. A Camera for the People

  Accessible: The Kodak Brownie was promoted as the camera "any school boy or girl" could use and sold for only $1 (equivalent to $29 today)

In my view, the second major breakthrough in photography was to make photography accessible to the people.

It happened when Kodak invented the roll-film that made it possible to record multiple images on a roll of plastic with light--sensitive chemistry.

The Kodak Brownie camera launched in February 1900 (designed by Frank Brownell) and with it, practical photography was introduced to the people.

A lot of people!

They invented the roll film earlier than this, as well a box camera, but the Kodak Brownie made it simple, portable and accessible. Inventing something isn't enough. It takes smart user-interface, marketing and all to get it into use.

So far only geeks had known how to use a camera. Now school boys and girls and women (who were seen many times in the ads) could use a camera and make photographs!





New York, September 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


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Sydney October 2011. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 at 160 ISO, 1/360 sec. © 2011-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


An analogy could be when computers went from being a large installation in a room to becoming a personal computer everybody could have and use. The Brownie allowed adults and kids to take photographs and share moments and replaced the need for a large and expensive wooden camera that few would would even consider acquiring, less know how to use.

A cultural breakthrough!

To give an idea, Vivian Maier started her photographic career with that the Kodak Brownie. Henri Cartier-Bresson as well, and so did Ansel Adams who was gifted a Kodak No. 1 Brownie when he was 14 years old on a family holiday to Yosemite (National Park) in 1916 (who would have known back then what that would lead to?!). I have met qute a few Leica photographers who quote the Brownie for sparkling their first interest in photography.

Simply, without a Kodak Brownie, the world would look different.


Joy Villa modeling in New York. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 200 ISO, 1/125 sec. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Many of the biggest inventions have to do with communication: Trains, cars, airplanes, telephones, computers and Internet to name a few.

Photography was from the very beginning a very refined method of communication, much broader in possibilities for expression and emotional impact than the telephone, and (opposite the television) made for you to express your self.


Indian girl in Singapore, December 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 1000 ISO, 1/180 sec. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



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3. Accurate focusing by optical measuring

The third breakthrough - in my opinion - was the rangefinder. Kodak introduced the rangefinder in 1916 in the Kodak Autographic. Leica and Zeiss refined it greatly from 1932.


The user has a straight VIEW through viewfinder optics to he subject. Another prism mirrors into the users view the DISTANCE view - which is illuminated with LIGHT by the help of the center vindow on the camera. This middle window is also what lits up the framelines. In the Leica M 240 the middle window has been omitted and replaced with electronically lit up framelines that adjusts for the outdoor light so the framelines are extra strong in sunlight and less strong (dominant) in the dark.


The idea of a rangefinder basically adopts the idea of using two eyes to judge the distance; just like your use your own two eyes. Unlike the eyes, you have to turn the focusing ring to make the two images match into one. In this illustration, the tree in front of the camera (upper right corner) is "double" and then, as you turn the focus ring on the lens, the two images overlap: That is the exact focus distance.



Kayabacho in Tokyo, December 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 200 ISO, 1/2000 sec. with 3-stop ND-filter. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



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Suddenly focusing was not only a matter of reading a focusing dial with numbers on a lens and guessing the distance you could see with the eyes. You could use the optical viewfinder to focus with a new level of accuracy!

Until the Leica M3 in 1954, the rangefinder, the viewfinder and the lens were three separate optics on a Leica. In the Leica M3, the rangefinder we know today, was introduced:: The preview of the image, the frame lines and focusing coupled diretly to the lens. All in one view.


Leica M3 introduction Photokina 1954
Photokina 1954 where two employees from Ernst Leitz Wetzlar (Leica Camera AG) carries a large Leica M3 camera model to the fair. © 1954 Photoglobus.


4. Focusing Through the Camera Lens

The fourth breakthrough was when someone invented the idea of focusing through the lens and previews the photo on a matte screen (via a mirror).


Different cameras focusing on a matte screen. Top left; directly onto the matte screen. Top right: Via a mirror to a matte screen. Bottom left: Via a mirror to a matte screen, but with a twin lens taking the actual picture. Bottom right: Via a mirror to a matte screen; and a prism (often as acessory) enabling the photographer to view the image close and looking at it without outside light interfering. Also the prism would 'unreverse' the image so you didn't have to move the camera to the left to capture more on the right, etc.


It was a known principle from the first days of photography to focus through the lens on a matte screen. The photographer would go under the black cloth and look at a matte screen.

It was made handheld for everybody with the Rollieflex in 1929 with two lenes (one to see the image on a matte screen and another to photogrpah it onto the film) and that principle was later refined with seeing the image through the main lens via a mirror that would move away the moment the shutter release was pressed so as to send the image to the film rather than the eye. Simple and brilliant!


A contemporary tourist in Singapore using his two-eye Rollieflex film camera. Each camera has a fixed set of twin lenses that can't be replaced; you buy a tele camera if you need one and a wide angle if you need that. The similar Mamiya C330 system offered the same two-lens design, but with interchangeable lenses.
© 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard 2015-2016. Leica M 240 with Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4


5. All the Other Fluff

On top of these essential inventions, the history of photography is filled, smacked and packed with small and big inventions and refinements that did something to complicate, refine or change photography ... or often simply to distinguish one model from another in marketing.


Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE at 160 ISO, 1/500 sec. © 2012-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Digital sensors not to forget. It was a major breakthrough, but in terms of the photography basics it didn't change anything. Photography is still about capturing light. With digital sensors the light was recorded and stored digitally instead of chemically.

Digital has made photography way more accessible and is one of the reasons photography is one of the most popular subjects in the world today. The smartphone has become the Kodak Brownie of our time. Any school boy or girl can use a smartphone camera.



Joy Villa selfie, September 2015 with iPhone 6.


The Freedom of Photographic Expression

In my view the important steps in the development of photography was the ones that made the freedom of photographic expression more accessible. A technology is only valuable if it is of use.

The technology of chemistry to record images (now largely replaced by electronics to record images) and lenses is mind-boggling. But apart from that underlying technology that you don't have to know to master the art of taking a photograph, photography was very simple from the beginning.

It still is, fundamentally, except that the subject has become unnecessarily complicated.


5th Avenue in New York. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0, 200 ISO, 1/1250 sec.
© 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



Complicating Something Elementary

When I walk through a department store and see an "Electric Tie Rack with LED light" I get a slight headache.

Some times a subject becomes complicated to make it exclusive. Some times things just get complicated because some people have too much time on their hands and too few brilliant ideas to invent something useful.


Recording artist Re-Arna Constantine. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

So we get consumer goods and consumer features to "help" us that complicate things. But what else are we to do with our time and money in a consumer society? Cameras are full of crap features and many photo stores are full of gadgets that will improve your photography by giving you more to understand and more to carry.

... when all you need is a simple Kodak Brownie camera.


Kodak Brownie
The Kodak Brownie in al it's simplicity. Yet it contains all the features you need to make a photograph.



Consumer-society meets a simple idea

You want to express yourself, and photography is perfect. This is what you face in photography and many other aspects of life: Somebody wants you to get the next thing, some accessories and sign up for something.



A few years back, all you needed to make life pleasurable and to seduce a woman was a mixtape.


Today, if you want music, sign up for $9.95 a month and have it all, everywhere. Did that make us happier than when we rotated the same mixtape for months and years?


The Power of Simplicity

In an age where many people hope to be in a position where they can send their kids to schools and universities for a lot of years to learn to be successful in life, it might be hard to agree with me that the easier it is to do a thing, the better. The mind and spirit is far superior to any technology invented, so the more we rely on our self rather than a hard-learned skill, the more brilliant the result can be.

Give the mind some simple tools to work with.


Bird in a cage. Bangkok, December 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 200 ISO, 1/250 sec. with 3-stop ND filter. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Wise men like Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Steve Jobs had their breakthroughs when they were young and filled with ideas and asked questions like "Why not?".

It is interesting that with a strong intention and little education you can accomplish anything, but with a lot of education and no intention, not much really happens. I find it much more interesting discussing a young persons passion, rather than what books to read or which schools would provide the best papers.


American composer David Campbell. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2014-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

Clarity and distribution of my message

In my opinion, the simple Kodak Brownie is the ideal to look at for a fully functional, portable, economical camera. From that standpoint ask yourself, "How can I improve my freedom of photographic expression further from this?"

For me, the answer to that question is, "How can I enable myself to improve the clarity of my communication and make it easier to share my photographs?"

The answer that many rely on is "automatic" which - sounds like bliss but - in reality is the route to the most mediocre results. You cannot become a great writer with an "automatic" writing program. It's not that it has to be complicated. On the contrary it has to be so simple that it removes complications between your ideas and the written word.

A pen and paper.

Or a typewriter.

A camera is essentially a portable darkroom with two dials to controls how much light comes into the box.

And a lens to control the light rays.

That's all.


Bangkok family dinner, December 2015 (Restaurant Peppina). Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 1600 ISO, 1/90 sec. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

That was the Kodak Brownie. It made photography accessible. What to improve from there? The short answer would be improved optics, improved focusing, as well as enabling me faster ways to handle the image files and ways to share my photographs with those who I would want to see them.

Considering how simple photography was to begin with, and how all the fundamental elements were in place to take a photo back then, the task today is to cut through the bullshit and keep the path simple.


Love at first sight, Sydney 2015. Leica M 240 withLeica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0, 200 ISO, 1/125 sec. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


In my personal view, the Leica M is the most simple camera existing. It is so simple that it's almost the same camera as the prototype Oskar Barnack made in 1914.

The only major departure in the principle between the Kodak Brownie and the Leica M is that the price is not as acessible. You have to be passionate to afford a Leica, you won't get one by just by being curious.


Your role as photographer

Your role is - as far as the technical skills are concerned - simply to get the exposure right. And the focus.

Despite your job description didn't take up more than a line of text above, I'll now be spending several pages on how to get the focus right.


David LaChapelle. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2012-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



The different focusing systems

I've made this overview of five focusing systems: The Leica M rangefinder focusing, the EVF-2 Electronic Viewfinder (Live View) and traditional SLR focusing systems so as to explain the differences.

1. Manual focusing with the Leica M Rangefinder

Manual focusing is quick and intuitive as soon as you have gotten the hang of it. It triggers your imagination and creative freedom - it is you who make the picture and give you all control of the focus of the image. But even if you have used it for 30 years you will some times go completely wrong because the only indicator of focus is what you perceive in the center split field.

When you master it, it is extremely precise.


Out of focus with the two unmatched overlays in the center of the image.   Focused with the overlay in place in the center of the image.


- You decide where the focus is.
- The focus range stays where you set it; which useful and fast for series of photos.
- You can make an image out of focus.
- Very fast and intuitive when you get the hang of it.
- You see outside the actual frame, not just what is in the image.
- Bright and very clear view of colors and details.
- You don't preview the photo. The creation is in your mind, but the image you see is normal and all sharp.
- No battery needed.
- Incredible superior engineering and optics.
- The Leica M 240 focusing mechanism has been improved in the rebuild of the Leica M camera and is much more stabe than the one of M9 and MM (once adjusted the M 240 stays adjusted much longer than the M9 and MM used to).



- Takes getting used to.
- Some times you misjudge and it's all a blur.
- You don't preview the photo. Everything is sharp.
- The cameras focus mechanism can go out of adjustment and needs re-calibrating.
- Can be hard to see the focus center in dark.
- The longer tele, the smaller the part of the image you get; The image size you see is always 24-28mm and the frame lines tell which part of the image you capture (hence the tolerance of sharpness increases even the focus area is much larger relatively to the image).
- For wider lenses than 28mm you need an additional viewfinder to see the full frame.


2. Manual focusing with the Leica EVF-2 Electronic Viewfinder

The EVF-2 shows what the sensor sees. It's called Live View because you see live and real-time what the sensor sees. It's a very precise live preview of the actual exposure, sharpness and depth of field.


Out of focus   Focused with red outlines


- You preview the photo with bokeh, focus, exposure and framing. You see the final photo as the sensor sees it. It's like a Polaroid.
- Independent of the cameras focus mechanism that may go out of adjustment and needs re-calibration (you see what the sensor sees so it is real "wysiwy"g (What You See Is What You Get).
- Focusing in low light is easy as the preview you see is in "daylight".
- Built-in diopter adjustment.
- You see an image like in a cinema, filling up most of your viewing field and thus easy to see details and judge sharpness.
- Small red outlines help tell where the focus is; though the red outlines are only there when there is high contrast. With little contrast edges thre are no red outlines (so don't wait for them; look at the image instead. When it looks sharp, it is sharp).
- You can preview the photo you took, right after when it is shown in the EVF; without having to move your eye to the review screen on the back of the camera; and you can adjust and shoot again without moving your ey from the EVF.
- You decide where the focus is.
- The focus range stays where you set it; useful and fast for series of photos.
- You can make an image out of focus.
- The EVF-2 can be taken off for use with rangefinder.
- The EVF-2 may or may not be improved with new models and new firmware.
- This is the new technology of Leica M. My postulate is that future Leica M models will be offered also in a model with the rangefinder built-in.



- Takes getting used to.
- The 1 second preview after a photo or series of photos has been taken, blocks the view.*
- Slow operation at 1600 ISO and up.*
- Shutter release delay.*
- Heats up the camera and may cause the camera to freeze.*
- Alien design added to the top of the camera.**
- The EVF-2 is made by Epson and is the least sturdy made part of a camera. If you drop the camera so it lands on the EVF you most likely have to buy a new EVF.

* = May be fixed with future firmware adjustment.
** = Can be fixed with a future M with built-in EVF.

3. Manual focusing with SLR matte screen with center split

Anyone who used a SLR in the 1970's and 1980's will be very familiar with this type of screen that had a center circle that was divided in two. When the two half circles matched in the middle, the subject was in focus.



Out of focus


In focus


- Easy to use.
- You can usually see preview the depth of field and approximate bokeh pressing a preview button (that will stop the lens down).



- Not as precise as it appears.
- Focus screen or mirror can go out of adjustments.
- The matte screen doesn't represent the accurate preview of the depth of field.


4. Manual focusing with traditional SLR full matte screen

Some will have used the complete matte screen with or without a center circle of a different kind. If you did, you will probably agree with me that not having the divided circle in the center (as above) make it easier and more precise to focus. This is by the way the Leica S digital medium format camera works, along with an AF assistant so you can mix manual and autofocus after your liking.

Out of focus   In focus


- Easy to tell when the image is in focus (as the viewfinder of this type is usually very bright and contrasty. The Leica S has a viewfinder like this).
- Great for composition without any disturbing light, lines or other.
- Puts the photographer in control.




- Takes some getting used to, as well as confidence that what you see is what is real.
- Focus screen or mirror can go out of adjustment.
- The matte screen doesn't represent the accurate preview of the depth of field.



5. Modern dSLR autofocus

Modern cameras often offer several focusing points and some times face recognition in the expectation that you want faces to be in focus. It doesn't require a lot of focusing skills other than that you have to "tell the camea" where to focus. In continuous focusing the camera might take over and change the focus for you, which are good if it is an Olympic runner you are photographing, but less desirable if you have decided for a flower in the foreground and the AF changes the focus to a face in the background!


dSLR when out of focus   Modern dSLR when in focus


- Easy to use.
- Fast.
- High hitrate on focusing.



- You may have to wait for focus.
- Not reliable in rain, fog and darkness.
- Extra ligh tsource on camera may be necessary to light up the scene to help the AF (which will alert everyone that you are taking pictures).
- Not good for manual focus (the camera viewfinder is not as clear and precise built as previous SLR models).
- You have to "tell the camera" where to focus each time when working with narrow focus or where your focus is not where the camera would expect focus to be.
- One more thing to help the camera do.



Madeleine in Los Angeles. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. 200 ISO, 1/60 sec. with 3-stop ND-filter. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


"Come with me if you want to ... not die"

This is where I offer you to come over to the rangefinder world. It's not that I have always been for rangefinder cameras, and actually I wouldn't say that I prefer rangefinders over other systems ... Which all in all might make me the perfect person to talk about the virtues of the rangefinder system.

I happen to have used Leica M almost exclusive since 2010. The rangefinder focusing wasn't the selling point for me.

The simplicity and quality of Leica was.


New York, September 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 640 ISO, 1/160 sec.
© 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


The rangefinder focusing is something that comes with it and something we have to make work for us. I will try to explain it all so it makes sense for us who has the Leica M, as well as those who read this in an attempt to understand this vintage vinyl handmade espresso concept and what the big fuzz is about.

I'm not at all protective of the rangefinder and the almost holy word "Messsucher". Some are and can't phantom the idea of ever removing the rangefinder mechanism from the Leica M with something more modern. For all I could care, any system that gives me 100% control and simplicity ... I'm for that.



Joy Villa in Hollywood for Nathanaelle. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0, 200 ISO, 1/1000 sec. with 2-stop ND-filter. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



The secret rangefinder cult

Rangefinders is like a secret world or a secret society. When you first stumble upon a rangefinder, you may rightfully think, "What is so great about this?" realizing you just traveled back to a time where trains were driven by steam and a lady at the telephone central was directing all your calls and listening in on them.

The rangefinder technology is almost as old as photography, the first advanced way to get "preview" of focus.

The odd thing is that now, 90 years later, Leica still uses it. Nobody else offers something like this anymore. I think some people in their enthusiasm for the great feel of the Leica camera overlook the fact that it isn't autofocus like other cameras. I've met a few Leica users who were so enthusiastic about the feel of the Leica that they bought one, just to find out hours later that it didn't focus by itself.

Tokyo Airport. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 3200 ISO, 1/90 sec.
© 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


If you wonder why this is, you are not alone. Why pay premium price to not have autofocus?

I rememeber when I was first introduced to the Leica M rangefinder system by an enthusiastic dealer who presented it somewhat like "really manual and hard work".

What was so absolutely fascinating about doing something the old way, and even make it difficult? I didn't get the point. Moreover I didn't agree. That is not how I see the Leica M rangefinder system myself. So let's yet again talk about why it is so great.

I believe things should be simple and accessible. Not difficult and exclusive. I don't even think it is great that something is expensive, thought I recognize that well-made things often are.


Kyoto, December 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 200 ISO, 1/90 sec.
© 2014-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Buying into that great feeling of well-made sophistication

I am not completely wrong if I say that most who decide to buy a Leica M rangefinder really don't know what they are doing. We are mainly guided by a inner feeling that this is what we have been looking for.

I some times I joke that one go to a camera store and ask to hold a Leica M for a few minutes, then go home and sleep on it. If you wake up the next morning and the first thought in your mind is that sensation of holding a Leica, there is no way back!

On the other hand, if you never thought of that moment in the camera store again, you're not infected. It's as simple as that.


Vienna window, 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 at 200 ISO, 1/125 sec. © 2013-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



Either you feel the connection to the 100 years of German engineering and the ultimate in precision and lens technology ... or you don't. The initial choice is as simple as that.

Don't force yourself to use a Leica if you don't feel like it. In fact, a great deal of what is so great about Leica is the feeling that it is great. The idea that this is the optimum tool.

I don't believe that anyone who uses a Leica M bought it for the brand name. Nor did they buy a Leica to feel like Henri Cartier-Bresson or some National Geographic reporter in a dusty village in Africa.

It helps that it is a great brand and has been used by many masters. I believe most who uses a Leica bought it because it feels right, it feels like the tool that will enable me to live out the passion of making photographs.


Peter Coeln of Leica Store Vienna. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 at 200 ISO, 1/125 sec. © 2013-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


"You had me at Hello"

The force is so strong that I have met single mothers who bought a Leica M and one or two lenses on the spot, simply out of love for the wonder they saw in a shop window ... and lack of ability to resist. And I have met quite a few men who was certain they had read all available reviews of all cameras and could quote every important feature a modern camera must have ... and yet their credit card mysteriously surfaced on the counter and paid for a Leica that didn't have any of those important features.


Actress Rebecca Grant in the dressing room in London. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 at 200 ISO, 1/125 sec. © 2014-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


And I've met countless people from photography novices to professional photographers who really can't explain exactly what it is. Just that it felt right.

The Leica brings out the lust for creating by the mere touching the camera.

An engineer in Norway that I taught for some days in Oslo, and whom I was sure had studied every inside detail of the camera, told me that he had in fact never removed as much as a single screw: He just knew when he held the camera that it was "the best engineering".


Boy in Saint Kitts, 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 at 200 ISO, 1/1000 sec. © 2014-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



"Just the other day I held at Leica in my hand for the very first time and it was a very odd experience. I felt as if I was back in 1960 and really felt amazing while holding the camera".

  - S. B. (USA))  



Everything is Awesome

It is the simplicity and the perfection, which has been fulfilled down to the last bit of simplicity. It's a how a camera was supposed to be!

Not a big mystery if you know your camera history. Leica Camera AG is the grandfather of 35mm format because they invented the 35mm format. Not much has changed since then. The reason roll film is 36 pictures is because that's how far out the inventor of the Leica could stretch his arms. So if you think "this feels like a real camera" when you hold one, you are more right than you actually thought.

It was a company philosophy from the very beginning that there should be a minimum of things. Each element had to be perfect enough that no other supporting parts or features were needed.


Ginza in Tokyo, November 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 400 ISO, 1/350 sec.
© 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


The ones I meet always carry a smile and a Leica. Many will testify that it is not just a camera but that it actually improves their life quality.

"You complete me," as another famous movie quote goes; and which is what most Leica users tell their camera when nobody is listening.


Leica geniuses studying lens quality in Wetzlar, October 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4, 800 ISO, 1/15 sec. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



What's with that Leica?

Unlike what you may or may not expect, the traditional user of Leica does not experience his or her camera as a materialistic goal accomplished. You meet a lot of people who don't have a Leica who think of it as an (unattainable) materialistic goal.


The Blondes fashion show in New York, September 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 1600 ISO, 1/250 sec. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

You don't find other 35mm cameras or lenses as expensive as the Leica, so by all standards the Leica should be anybodys goal in a society where materialistic wealth equals success.

(As a side note, studies show that Man is most happy when he or she reaches the level of almost survival; when one reach above and beyond that goal it goes downhill in happiness and the usual solution to that is to get even more; which doesn't work either. That's when you start drinking and replacing the wife in search for happiness).

The Leica is beyond materialism in the sense that when you get a Leica, you are freed from all the whistles and bellows that is usually associated with success in a materialistic society and especially in the camera world.

What you get is less. You get simplicity. You get to a point of barely enough to make a photograph.


American gospel singer Jesse Stevenson, New York 2016. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 @ f/2.0. 200 ISO, 1/1000 sec. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard (hat from JJ Hat Center on 5th Ave).


This instrument that the uninformed would expect that you hold up as the prize to show how great you are doing materialistic, works in a different way in the hands of most Leica owners: It allow them to see and communicate with other people.

When I did a survey on my Leica M 240 Facebook User Group amongst 11,000 members, of what features the next Leica should have, "Simplicity" came up as the number one feature.


Pakistan 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 at 160 ISO, 1/350 sec with 3-stop ND filter. © 2012-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.



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The Freedom Tool

The Leica camera is traditionally a tool of freedom. It was created as such by the Leitz family and Oskar Barnack who believed in freedom of speech and respected people of all religions, political observation, different sex and race in a period of German history where such viewpoints were hard - not so say deadly - to maintain.

A sign in USA from 1942. In Germany they didn't just separate them but gassed them (except the dogs).
© 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


The Leica camera has been instrumental in many great deeds in history, to enlighten, spread truth and free the people behind and in front of the camera. It has qualities that people of all religions, races, political observations and sex recognize as a tool to communicate and create.



The famous photo of the "Napalm girl" by Huynh Cong 'Nick' Ut of Associated Press was taken on June 8, 1972 with his Leica M2 and Leica Summicron 35/2 on a Kodak 400 ISO B&W film.

The photo very much changed the view on the Vietnam war, though President Nixon doubted its authenticity - he thought it might have been 'fixed'.

The 9-year old girl in the photo, Phan Thi Kim Phúc, survived her burnings from the napalm bombing after 14 months in the hospital. The photographer took her to the hospital before he delivered the film to AP. She later founded an organization to help children of war.

The image won the Pulitzer Price.



It's a tool of freedom in more than one sense. Freedom from complications and restrictions, as well as freedom to communicate.

The more you pay, the less you get. Isn't that beautiful? And it may explain why so many who could get so much, becomes really truly happy with a Leica.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," as Leonardo da Vinci said.


Caroline in Silkeborg Simmulix-R 80mm f1.4My daughter Caroline, May 2005. Leitz Leicaflex SLmot with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f1.4 @ f5.6, 100 ISO Fuji Astia, Imacon/Hasselblad Flextight Photo scanner. The face is lit by a 100cm Ø silver reflector to the right. © 2005-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Me and my Leica

I used to use a Leica SLR, and in a previous life long before that I used to use a Nikon. I changed to Leica when I wanted to do real portraits where you could sense the soul.

I wanted the precision of the Leica lenses. That was my in on Leica. I dreamed of a style of medium format portraits with eyes in clear focus and selective focus even in the face details. That's how and why I started out with Leica.


Tina Maria, 1981
From my first years of photography. I was 16 and the girl was 17 and we did a series of photos for her model agency. Nikon EM with Nikon E 50mm f/1.8. The film was developed for three hours in a paper developer which resulted in very dark negatives that had to be exposed on photo paper for a very long time to get the special dreamy tones and large grains. Back then I rolled my own film and shot more than 100 meters a year.
  Tina Maria, 1981



A Pentax 4x5 medium format camera with wooden handle was on my mind, but the Leica was closer to what I was used to.

In the beginning my hunt for technical perfection would some times - often actually - overshadow the actual portrait: After a portrait session I would select the most sharp and technical best photos of a series, and only amongst those perfect sharp photographs would I look for the best expression.


Sri Lanka, 2006. Leica SL with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4.


Slowly I moved towards appreciating the atmosphere and honesty in a portrait rather than exact sharpness. But it wasn't easy, and I didn't move to that freedom of choice very fast. Years of reading camera brochures, photo magazines and photography websites had installed an almost unbeatable trust in that a sharp image is the nirvana of photography.

I wasn't strong enough then to realize that few of the worlds best photographs was actually - not even remotely - razor sharp. Had I seen and noticed, I would immediately have known that I should look beyond the sharpness and at the emotion of the photograph instead.

My preferred lens to begin with, when first using the Leica R and Fuji Astia slide color film, was the Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0. Maybe because it's a technical very good lens and I somehow always have been using 50mm lenses also on the Nikon. As time went by, the Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4 became my preferred lens and stayed on even when the Leica digital back was added and the crop factor made my trusted 80mm into a 105mm. I just stepped further back to keep the same frame.

Kolkata Book Fair, reading Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, Leica 80mm Summilux-R f1.4
Singer/songwriter Ole Boskov photographed in Copenhagen for the Another World Magazine, October 2003.
Leica R4 with Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0 @ f. 2.4, Fuji Velvia 50 (scanned on Nikon Coolscan IV).

At some point I think I became less focused on which lens but more focused on the expression. In the face and the overall photograph.

I started seeing the light as an important element to beauty, expression of life and overall aesthetic. So I became interested in lenses and techniques that would accentuate the light.


Kolkata Book Fair, reading Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, Leica 80mm Summilux-R f1.4
Kolkata Book Fair, India, February 2005. Leica 80mm Summilux-R@ f.1.4 on Leica SL Mot using 100 ISO Fuji Astia @ 200 ISO. Scanned on Imacon/Hasselblad Flextight Photo scanner. © 2005-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

When the Leica M9 was released in September 2009, I had already decided months in advance that I wanted whatever the next Leica M would be, no matter what it was and how faulty it might be. At that point the Leica M8 had a crop factor of 1.3X and some minor flaws in the black reproduction.

I had the bug.

I had touched a Leica M. I knew I would love to use it, that I almost had to have it to be happy. But I also knew I couldn't use it for any serious work.

My Leica R9 SLR with digital back was the way to get things done with precision. You plan a photo, you set things up and you get it. No surprises. Pure quality.


Thomas Sigfred
Thomas Sigfred, master barista and owner of Sigfred's Coffee Bar in Denmark. For magazine article 2009. Leica R9 with Leica DMR, 80mm f/1.4. Summilux-R @ f/5.6, 200 ISO. The DNG-file converted using Imacon/Hasselblad Flexcolor 4.8.6. 100cm (3ft) gold reflector from the right.


The Leica M9 would be my toy camera, I had decided, some sort of reward for myself. That was my plan and I was perfectly okay with throwing some thousands in that direction.

As it turned out, it took about four months till I realized that the toy camera I had brought along with me and used as spare camera did better photos than what I did with the stable, trustworthy Leica SLR system.



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Salzburg, June 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0.


It actually didn't do better photos. I just happened to realize that editors and clients liked those photos made with the small Leica M9 better than the SLR photos which were often more precise and had better control of everything.

I perhaps wasn't sleepless over it, but I did wonder a great deal why this was so. I also remember that I considered if the subjects I photographed would have the same respect for me with a small "grandpa" camera as they did for a large, impressive SLR. I looked at the photographs and tried to remember how people had reacted.


South Africa 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5 at 160 ISO, 1/4000 sec. © 2012-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


They would smile and not take the Leica M camera as serious. But they took me serious, even when they didn't understand why a professional photographer would use a small camera.

Professional photographers always have big cameras. Every child knows that.

I wondered, and I decided the reason I had a higher hitrate with the small Leica M9 rather than the large Leica R9 camera was exactly the precision and seriousness.


Thomas Sigfred
In Burkina Faso with the Leica R9 and DMR Digital Back, 2006. Photo by Emma Brumpton.


When I used a SLR, it was sort of setting up a camera to make a very planned photograph. When I was done with that process, I would take the Leica M9 and shoot from less planned angels, jump up on a chair, go closer and have less of an idea how the final image would look.

I played with it, and the image was rather in my mind than on the matte screen. On the Leica M you can't see a preview of the photo but only the frame. The depth of field and exposure you have to imagine.

The Leica M9 freed me up!


New York, September 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


After long considerations I have come to realize that photographs are made in the photographers mind and created with the camera by the same photographer. Not knowing exactly what you get but working with an idea of what it is going to look like is - in very short words and as a conclusion to many thoughts over the subject - a liberating improvement.


My beautiful daughter Caroline. March, 2016. Leica M 240 with Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.


In the very old days of photography - 10 or more years ago - a portrait photographer would use a medium format camera and first do a series of Polaroids. This was a slow process of loading the Polaroid back, taking the photo and then "dance around the studio" with the Polaroid, warming it up between the hands and smalltalk with the client. Then the photographer, client and assistant gathered and would wold take a detailed look at the Polaroid to check the details and all, and often two or more Polaroids were made before the camera was finally loaded with real film and the shoot would actually happen.

The idea was to get the exact photograph that was planned.




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I think the well-controlled photograph is a great thing technically, but I think the less controlled photograph is where you may surpass yourself.

The great portrait is where the person looks great. The technical perfection is of less interest but is desirable to have.


Bob Dylan was photographed by Richard Avedon in 1965. If you look, there is actually back focus. The face is not as sharp as the backhead. And compared, the level of detils in this large format image 8x10" compared is less than if it had been done with a modern digital small image format. Had Richard posted that photo on an online photgoraphy forum (the Colosseum of modern photography), some would probably have told him he didn't know how to use the camera. The image sells for about $80,000.


The test of a good portrait is if the person keep using it for themself. If it is a great photo but the person in it never uses it, it's probably not a great portrait. Just a great photograph.

Only in the sickening weird world of editorial fashion and advertising is a stiff, perfect photoshopped face and body to prefer for a natural looking person.


Nick Ferguson by Thorsten von Overgaard
NFL veteran (no 25 of New York Jets) and television host Nick Ferguson, Los Angeles 2016. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


The final step in my choice between the Leica M system and the SLR system was for me the freedom of traveling with just a small camera and one lens, instead of a trolley with lenses.

  One way of saying that a Renault Clio is a sign of self-confidence.

I think it takes some guts to go small. I know it did for me and that I had considerations about it. If you have a large gear, nobody can question if you are a professional. And you will never be caught unprepared. You have everything with you that could possibly be required.

If you have only a small camera you better be sure they like the pictures!

I think that professionalism is that you know that no matter what, one of the 10, 30 or 200 photos you take will fulfill the job. I'm never nervous when I photograph, I know I will get something that will work. For me that is professionalism.

You make a decision and you stick with it. And you know it will work, one way or the other.

If anything, that is what I have gained over the years. self-confidence that no matter what happens, I can solve it with one camera and one lens. Fake it till you make it.

Only on very important assignments will I make sure that I use enough different cameras and memory cards so that any equipment failure won't result in complete failure. But I don't act different or take more photos "to be sure".

It also adds to the story that I like to be underdressed. I prefer to have to create the photograph with what I got and have the game of figuring out how to make it work.


London, October 2015. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard



  Royal wedding with a 35mm.

I remember that I went to do a royal wedding with a 35mm. With 200 television cameras and everybody else using tele lenses, you really have to consider where to place yourself to get the shot. Once in a lifetime, within few seconds, will the scenery be close enough for a 35mm lens. The chance that someone steps in front or things just doesn't go as prepared is great, but so is the chance that it works you get that special look.

That's how it went for me and it worked out. When I want to improve, I try harder. I don't buy a new gadget. The photo stores are full of gadgets to improve photography, sparkle the enthusiasm and abuse your lust for investing more into your passion. But some times you should spend more time simply looking and imagining.

I moved to the Leica M in 2009 and I never looked back. I still have my Leica R9 SLR and lenses, and I some times find myself drooling over the idea of getting the Leica S digital medium format system. I also pre-ordered the Nikon D800E when it was announced, but when I saw the prototype I decided to cancel my order.

There is a lot of muscle memory and pleasure moments in "being behind a camera", which you are with a big setup. But usually when I think of all the stuff to take with me if I had the large gear again, I punch myself: "Why on earth would you start traveling with a large trolley, again?"

And that's usually the end of that discussion.


Cape Town 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 at 160 ISO, 1/350 sec. © 2012-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


  Continues on page 43 -->

"Rangefinder Focusing with a Leica Meßsucher"



Thank you for your time. I hope you enjoyed this introduction on how to focus the Leica M and how to get the M to work for you. It will require a little patience on your part as the next articles are only being prepared now.

As usual, feel free to e-mail me with any suggestions, ideas or questions at







– Thorsten Overgaard



Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 M9-P   Links
Leica M10
V 1   3                                  
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Leica Q 1         Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5                               Books
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Camera Compendium   Leica X
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Leica Sofort instant camera
    Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
    Leica CM 35mm film camera
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Quality of Light   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit for Lightroom CC/6
Lightmeters   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love    
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point    
The Good Stuff  
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
Leica OSX folder icons   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
Leica Photographers:  
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
Douglas Herr    
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston    
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 100 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter
    Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook
Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
The Leica User Forum   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Jono Slack
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   Ming Thein (blog)
  I-Shot-It photo competition
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for older Leica 35mm/1.4 lenses
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for 50mm Summicron lenses
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Vintage Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 75mm Summicron (coming)
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated ShadeE60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4


Above: Driving through Singapore at night with Andrew Lum. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, 1600 ISO, 1/50. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.


Feel free to join the
Leica M Type 240 User Group
on Facebook


Quick links:

How to install firmware update

Which memory card to get

Formatting memory cards

Latest Leica M Type 240 Firmware
update from Leica Camera AG

Camera Raw 7.4 Beta and later
(with support of Leica M 240)


Leica M9 & Leica ME firmware



Thorsten von Overgaard in Cape Town
Thorsten von Overgaard
in Cape Town. Photo by Guy Platt.


The photos on this page have been edited in Adobe Lightroom 3 and Lightroom 6 using the Adobe Process 2010, and few or none have been adjusted further in Photoshop. To read more about my workflow, visit the page of my "Lightroom Survival Kit".



Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Von Overgaard Ventilated Shades
Thorsten Overgaard Books
Leica Definitions
Leica History
"Photographer For Sale"
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica Digilux 2

Leica M10
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 Video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL full-frame mirrorless
Leica R9 and R8 SLR with digital back
Leica Q
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
"On The Road With von Overgaard"
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit
The Story Behind That Picture



Overgaard Photo Workshops







Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to for
advice, ideas or improvements.





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Join a Thorsten Overgaard
Photography Workshop

I am in constant orbit teaching
Leica and photography workshops.

Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
30% of my students are women.
35% of my students dotwo or more workshops.
95% are Leica users.
Age range is from 15 to 87 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level ranges from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.

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Reykjavik   Portugal
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Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong


Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong



Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

  · © Copyright 1996-2017 · Thorsten von Overgaard


© 1996 - 2017 Thorsten von Overgaard. All rights reserved


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