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Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 19-A
 
Inside the 17th-century basilica church in Rome, Sant'Andrea delle Fratte. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 at 800 ISO, 1/60 second. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
   
 
   

Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 19A

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 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4 5                             M10-P
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
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1 Leica Q2: 1   Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5 6 Leica CL: 1 2             Books

 

My (Almost) Complete Guide to the Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder

By: Thorsten Overgaard. June 9, 2016. Last edit on September 9, 2019.

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Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Leica M9 Confessions

I was sitting in my car on the Autostrade to Rome, pretending nothing had happened. 37 months after the Leica M9 disappeared into the closet, the Leica M9 returned.

First 179,000 actuations on my two Leica M9 cameras and then a few years without any action, then I called my Leica M9 back into action. What should have been a few days turned into a few weeks and then suddenly more than a month.

 

Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

My two Leica M 240 cameras had to go off to the factory in Wezlar for adjustment and cleaning back in April 2016. Just for a week you know, but then when I had them back, I kept using the Leica M9.

It's been workin' so long it don't know how to stop.

 

Cannes Film Festival, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Cannes Film Festival, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

             
 

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Leica M9 Video Review on Magic of Light Television

I've added this Leica M9 review to my Magic of Light Photography Television channel:

 

 

The Basics of Photography

You have to appreciate the simplicity of the Leica M9. Like it used to be when it was film in the 1970’s.

You easily forget the basic virtues in the constant stream of new cameras with fancy features.

When I meet press photographers, they often stare at the Leica with almost wet eyes and a distant look in their eyes as if they look at memories from a happy childhood.

They sort of do, but the last question is always the same, “Is it still manual focus?” and we all know the answer to that question.

 

Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Yes it is manual focus, as it always was. I could try to explain the simplicity, but their eyes darts with the jealousy of the illiterate.

Years with automatic focus, and many other automatic buttons to help control a number of photographic problems that never existed, have created monsters of cameras operated by a generation of photographers, dealing with the subject of photography as if it was incomprehensible.

 


Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

That is what people appreciate about their smartphones, the simplicity of it all. What manufacturers of small digital cameras could learn from that is that people like simplicity. Yet the rule is that the smaller a digital camera becomes, the more complex the menu also becomes.

With the Leica M9 it’s easy to see how simple it is. An island of solitude, unsponsored, free.

“You're not a camera,” I whisper to it when I look through its viewfinder.  “You are a Leica. Possibilities of emotion and adventure.”

 

A young entrepreneur in Viareggio, Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
A young entrepreneur in Viareggio, Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Simple is not easy

I found an unexpected familiarity and simplicity with the Leica M9 as soon as got it powered up and I managed to hammer off the rust sitting in my muscle memory.

Somewhere in my mind I had written off the Leica M9 as yesterday’s camera, replaced by the new and better Leica M 240. I wasn’t likely to return to the Leica M9 for any reason. Why would I?

 

Restaurant "Le Grand Colbert" in Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Restaurant "Le Grand Colbert" in Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I was soon to realize that it has all I need, even with it’s much slower pace and the less detailed preview screen on the back.

The screen is raw and lacks a lot of the finer details. Darker tones appear as pitch black often, but you quickly get used to it. I see enough on the preview screen to be able to judge that the exposure is right or if it needs adjustment.  

 


Remembering how to play. Denmark, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Remembering how to play. Denmark, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I took it the simple way. I had to. After all, my trusted Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 was also in the factory in Wetzlar for a much needed checkup (for the second time in a few years I had banged it so hard against something that the filter thread needed to get replaced. I couldn’t screw on an ND filter, that’s how bent the front tube of the lens was).

I didn’t use a lot of lenses. The initial return to the Leica M9 was with the purpose to just have a camera with me so I wouldn’t feel all-naked.

 


Morning commuting in Bologna, Italia, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Morning commuting in Bologna, Italia, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I continued that simple approach and found that I didn’t care much about lens or anything. Whichever was on the camera I would use, and that happened to mostly be the 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

A healthy month of return to something simple and basic, the Leica M9 first and foremost taught me that I don’t need the latest and greatest.

 

Jüdischer Friedhof Prenzlauer in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Jüdischer Friedhof Prenzlauer in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I feel accomplished that I can use a 7-year-old digital camera and get it to work. Hardly any noticeable difference if it was this or a brand-new model.

But let’s not fool ourselves. I’m not suggesting we all go back and buy a Leica M9. As soon as the Leica M10 hits the shelves some time after January 2017, we’ll want that one. Every fiber in us will work overtime on finding arguments why it is necessary to have.

Hopefully the most prominent features of the Leica M 241 will be that there aren’t any features.

 


Sunset at Cannes Film Festival, Hotel Carlton in Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Sunset at Cannes Film Festival, Hotel Carlton in Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in Viareggio, Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in Viareggio, Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

           
 

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Quality of files and all

I feel the return to the Leica M9 didn’t make it more difficult to make photographs. It has a steadiness about it, a toughness without the show. You should think a new improved Leica M 240 with faster buffer and higher number of megapixels would make things better, but I don’t find that to be necessary to obtain the quality.

On the other hand, the reason to get the latest and greatest model should be to improve the photographs.

 


Editing at the Overgaard Workshop in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Editing at the Overgaard Workshop in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

But listen to this for a moment. Why should we only demand newer and better camera models to improve our photography? What about ourselves?

Why not apply the same demand to our own skills?

Reboot our photography and see if we can make our skills – independent of the equipment – into a new and better model?

I’ll leave that thought hanging there …

 

Improving the skills. Everybody editing at the Overgaard Workshop in Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Improving the skills. Everybody editing at the Overgaard Workshop in Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

The vintage Leica digital camera

I’ve said it before and I will repeat it, ever more convinced about the truth of it. The Leica M9 will be a classic Leica digital rangefinder in the history of Leica digital cameras. It was the first full-frame digital Leica M and it had most things right. Much like the Leica M6 film camera that marked a revival of Leica and was a best-seller (that’s why it is so easy to find a Leica M6 second-hand today. There are a lot of them around).

 

The Leica M 240's and the Leica M9 in Los Angeles, June 2016. Leica Q. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica M 240's and the Leica M9 in Los Angeles, June 2016. Leica Q. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Like a Nikon F3 you wish you could use for always, the Leica M9 is the old quiet friend that does the job with it's distinctive sticky slow shutter sound. Alone in the world, but never lonely.

Not with this old friend.

 

Inside the Hermes store in Paris where the picture of Jean-Louis Dumas (1938-2010) is hanging. He always carried a Leica and a red notebook. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Inside the Hermes store in Paris where the picture of Jean-Louis Dumas (1938-2010) is hanging. He always carried a Leica and a red notebook. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

It’s been a month of freedom to use the Leica M9 again and I am not sure when I’ll stop using it. My two Leica M 240’s are still on the shelf and hardly been used since I got them back.

It isn't that the M9 is an improvement but rather the added complexities have been replaced by a familiar simplicity.

 

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Cannes Film Festival, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Cannes Film Festival, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

What’s not changed on the Leica M9

I missed the EVF-2 with the ability to use macro and to see the final image with sharpness and exposure. The speed and the buffer as well. But nothing of it was any great concern after a while.

The Leica M9 battery still lasts more than half a day. Two batteries are enough for a day. Three if you are shooting a wedding.

 

Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Some times the camera says "Battery Low" even the battery is fully charged. This may happen when you just removed a drained battery and inserted a new one. Simply turn off the camer, take out the battery and insert it again, turn the camera on again and it will have registred there is a new battery.

On May 31, 2016, LeicaRumors.com described that Leica is recalling and replacing certain Leica M8 and Leica M9 batteries that shows a false, 100% charge level no matter what the actual charge level of the battery may be.

I had forgotten that the Leica M9’s buttons are easily activated, getting pressed and activated during walking. It reminded me that the new backside of the Leica M 240 is well designed, and likely the M 241 will be teaching us a complete new lesson on how the back of a digital camera should look. Look at the Leica Q and the Leica SL and it won’t take much imagination to envision the future back of a Leica M.

 

Details from a very unique Harley Davidson I cane across in Germany, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Details from a very unique Harley Davidson I cane across in Germany, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

18 MP versus 24 MP

One of the great things about revisiting older digital cameras is the surprise of how fast the smaller file sizes move in a digital workflow. The computers chew them up and process them as fast as children eat strawberries on a hot summer day.

Even that you get used to and I stopped noticing it. Not until I loaded a card with pictures from the Leica M 240 did I realize how fast it is to work with Leica M9 files. Importing and building 1:1 previews (as I always do) it took considerable longer with the Leica M 240 files.

 

On Rue du 4 Septembre in Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
On Rue du 4 Septembre in Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Spanish tortilla on roasted focaccia bread, onion, pesto and more yummy stuff. Denmark, April 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Spanish tortilla on roasted focaccia bread, onion, pesto and more yummy stuff. Denmark, April 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

The colors of the Leica M9

I don’t think the colors of the Leica M9 are better or worse than the Leica M 240. But I feel they have been established as pleasant colors. In photography, as in life, we seem to question the new and find comfort in the old.

It’s with the Leica M9 as with film. The old ways are always the best ways so I don’t have to ask anybody if the colors are nice. People will automatically appreciate the recognizable look of Leica M9 colors.

 

Sunset over the beach city Viareggio in Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Sunset over the beach city Viareggio in Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 
   
   
         
   

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Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

How to get the M9 shutter count

Want to see how many photos you Leica M9 have taken? I have taken 137,675 pictures with my main Leica M9 so far and 48,941 pictures on the backup Leica M9.

The backup Leica M9 has mainly been borrowed by others as, and as my backup camera. I’ve only done 20,000 or so of the picture on that one.

 

Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I’ve never had my shutter replaced or encountered any problems with it. I think Leica Camera AG initially said in their specifications for the Leica M9 that the shutter was guaranteed 100,000 actuations.

Here’s how to find the number of shutter actuations on the Leica M9:

A1) Upload one of your latest pictures here (any size JPG exported via Lightroom will do):
http://regex.info/exif.cgi/exif.cgi

A2) Seach the result page for the “Image Unique ID” number and  convert it to a number here:
http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/number/hex-to-decimal.htm

B) There is also a software, M9 INFO for Mac what you can download and drop a DNG file into and it will tell you the file number. You can find the software here as a zip-file that will download. There is a description of the software on this page (but it's rather easy - you drop a file into the software and it gives you the iamge number).

 

A young princess getting ready in Wetzlar, Germany, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
A young princess getting ready in Wetzlar, Germany, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

How to get the Body Debug Data
on the Leica M9, Leica ME, Leica M Monochrom and Leica M9-P

Here's a guide on how to get the shutter count and the rest of what is called "Body Debug Data" on the Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica MM and Leica M-E:

Push the Delete button, push the UP x 2 (on the Central Setting dial for navigation), push the DOWN x 4, push the LEFT x 3, push the RIGHT x 2; then push Info button.

This should result in the following screen displaying factory data, including the number of exposures:

Body Debug Data: Push the Delete button, push the UP x 2 (on the Central Setting dial for navigation), push the DOWN x 4, push the LEFT x 3, push the RIGHT x 2; then push Info button.
Body Debug Data: Push the Delete button, push the UP x 2 (on the Central Setting dial for navigation), push the DOWN x 4, push the LEFT x 3, push the RIGHT x 2; then push Info button.

How to buy a second-hand Leica M9

If you are looking for a second-hand Leica M9, you may think, "what to look out for?"

I think I would look for a complete set where the previous owner simply upgraded. That would usually include a complete working camera with extra batteries and other extras as strap, Thumbs-Up, etc.

 

Big cigars in Cannes, France, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Big cigars in Cannes, France, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Another good deal is usually the ones who bought the camera but never got to use it. While it is a little sad they never got to realize what a great thing they had, your purpose is not to revitalize their lust for the camera but help them get rid of this precious instrument they found in the bottom of their closet and now want to sell.

Most viewfinders on Leica M9 will be nice and clean. It's only when cameras gets 20+ years old you have to worry about bluish or yellowish viewfinders.

 

Looking for wifi, Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Looking for wifi, Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

You might want a camera that looks as new as possible. You could also go for a camera that has been used a lot and has lots of brass and patina showing. It's one of those things that I find funny: When people see a brassed camera (used heavily and paint is missing so the brass shows), they think it is beautiful. But at the same time they protect their own camera against the smallest scratches. I know one guy who bought a very heavy used camea, and it was truly beautiful. But it takes a taste for finer things to appreciate it.

Realize you are buying a used camera. One that shows lots of use also tells that it worked well for a long time; and it may even have been at Leica in Wetzlar lots of times for adjutments and repairs. A camera thatdoesn't show any signs of use doesn't have the same track record.

 

The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Sensor replacement is of course one of the things you want to check. It's not a problem if the camera hasn't gotten the sensor replaced. It might not need it, or if it does later, it is something Leica Camera AG will do under the warranty. Only problem with having a sensor replaced is that it takes time as the camera has to go to Wetzlar in Germany.

 

Princess Joy Villa in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Princess Joy Villa in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Sensor replacement

Both my Leica M9 cameras had their sensors replaced in April 2015, long before Leica Camera AG went out and officially mentioned that the Leica M9 sensors could suffer from corrosion of the coating on the sensor. They knew, and they dealt with it.

I never saw the corrosion coming, and I never noticed. Actually, till this day I haven’t seen a single picture from anyone’s camera where I see sensor corrosion.

 

Virtual reality party in Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Virtual reality party in Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The only way I found out was that a normal cleaning took longer than usual and Leica Camera AG told me it was because they replaced the sensors instead of just cleaning them.

A few weeks later they replaced my Leica MM sensor as well when that camera was in for an adjustment and cleaning. 

 

A park in Milano, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
A park in Milano, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

In September 2015 the product manager issued an official statement about the sensors. No reason for that really. Leica Camera AG always takes care of faults, like a Lannister always pays his debts.

Some times customers will entertain the world of social media with drama in an attempt to put pressure on a company to replace things for free. A 10 minutes flight delay must be replaced with a whole new holiday; a dusty sensor must cause a camera manufacturer to fire half their staff and sack their CEO. You know the drill.

 


Volkspark am Weinberg in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Volkspark am Weinberg in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The drama was uncalled for. Leica was already replacing them. The deeper reason for the quiet replacements was not an attempt to avoid dealing with the problem, but a concern that was much deeper. How to ensure that there would be enough sensors available to deal with the faulty ones. The answer eventually was to develop a new one.

 

Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Test of the Leica M9 replacement sensor
vs. the old Leica M9 sensor

Leica Camera AG made a new CCD sensor for the Leica M9. The difference between the original one and the new one is almost nonexistent.  Sean Reid of reidreviews.com (subscription site of reviews) performed a test of the old original Leica M9 sensor and the replacement sensor Leica Camera AG is now using (since December 2015, I presume).

In essence it is the protective glass in front of the sensor (on which the faulty coating was sitting) they replaced. Sean Reid compares the two through a 8 page test (with plenty of test examples).

 

Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Another new sensor

  Leica M9 digital sensor noise
  Leica M9 digital sensor noise. Not in all pictures, but when it appeared, it was always in the sides like this, with the center without noise.
   

In February 2016 I encountered a new sensor problem I hadn't seen before. First I thought it was my SD-cards that had been unused for too long. I formatted them in camera and with the SD Format software.

But as both SD-cards produced this strange noise in one Leica M9 and not the other Leica M9, the problem obviously had to be isolated to the camra and not the cards.

Leica replaced the sensor and the problem was solved.

 

 

 

Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The Leica way or no way

The handing of the Leica M9 sensor issue reveals an interesting mindset at Leica Camera AG that may put few things into perspective.

They’re perfectionists, and that is both a good and a bad thing.

If you look over the history of Leica Camera AG, they have always aimed for the most perfect. For example, in the old days – that’s 1981 - at the factory in Canada, legendary lens designer Dr. Mandler as CEO and chief lens designer, decided to get computer-aided lens design of lenses.

 

The first computers at ELCAN in Canada.
The first computers at ELCAN in Canada.

 

The first system wasn't expensive or complicated, it was a 2D system by Holguin & Associates. As you can imagine, it involved a lot of work to get it implemented, but the Midland factory in Canada had 8 computer working stations. When the Germans in Solms eventually went into computing, they went with a more expensive type of computer for design of lenses, the Medusa CAD system, with just a couple of working stations.

 


Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The aim was sky high, as it apparently always is with anything Leica Camera AG deals with, and the result was optimized lens design.  A computer could figure out calculations in minutes that would else take months to do with pen and paper. The computer at Leica in Canada, became the standard, and other companies rented time to do their optical calculations on it. In the long and painful process of getting the best equipment to work the best, they later upgraded to a 3D system, which is still used by Leica in Wetzlar today (CoCreate).

They raised the bar and as they have done in many fields, I might add.

 

Elcan's MTF Computer EROS IV optical transfer analyzer.
Elcan's MTF Computer EROS IV optical transfer analyzer.

 

Leica Camera AG also made their own glass laboratory in 1949 to research and develop special types of glass with properties they could see would benefit their lens designs. It became a state of the art laboratory that did things nobody else had ever thought of. Rocket science in the field of handling light.

 


Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

And perhaps as a symptom of the dark side of perfection, that very same glass laboratory was closed in the 1980’s when the cradle was empty.

That was when the Leitz family had to sell. The camera part of Leica was separated from the rest of the Leica group, and moved to a very unattractive facility in Solms a 10 minutes drive from Wetzlar.

 

The unattractive Leica Camera AG factory the company was relocated to in the 1980's. At least it pales in comparison with the Leica Campus in Wetzlar, the factory returned to in 2015.
The unattractive Leica Camera AG factory the company was relocated to in the 1980's. At least it pales in comparison with the Leica Campus in Wetzlar, the factory returned to in 2015.

 

The glass laboratory, the crown jewel of optical craftsmanship and ultimate symbol that only the best is good enough for Leica, was terminated early in the struggle for overall survival.

What’s left of the glass laboratory today is the patents and knowledge about glass. Some of the glass types used in the modern lenses such as the Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 can only be made by two glass factories in the world and have their heritage back from that very glass laboratory. That’s how critical – or hysterical if you wish – the requirements still are.


The Leica Campus in Wetzlar, May 2016. On the wall is a picture of Seal by Till Bronner. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica Campus in Wetzlar, May 2016. On the wall is a picture of Seal by Till Bronner. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Another example of how Leica Camera AG just can’t find acceptable what others might think is good enough, is the central shutter in the Leica S lenses. Understand this: When Leica Camera AG decided to develop the Leica S system, they risked the whole business. That’s how heavy the investment was.

Yet, in the midst of the development of this system, they decided that the central shutters used by Hasselblad and virtually every other medium format camera producer just wasn’t good enough for Leica!

 

Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Hence, they put some bright heads onto making their own central shutter, which according to my estimates delayed the Leica S lenses with CS (central shutter) two years. A daring decision to improve a central shutter when the whole company is at stake.

If it is true, it shows that Leica would rather die than make a less than perfect central shutter. And engineer Stefan Uwe Best and others did in fact make the finest central shutter the world has ever seen.

To me, this aim for almost unreal ridiculous perfection (which is often aiming for ultimate simplicity by overcoming steep technical barriers), also explains why it will never be possible to be Leica Camera AG to make cheap cameras for everybody.

 


Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


Wouldn’t it be great if every child in the world could afford a Leica?

It certainly would. But what would happen would be this: Leica Camera AG would produce thousand lenses a day in affordable quality, ready for shipping. But then, when the produced lenses would get to the quality control department, the requirement for 100% perfection and extreme narrow tolerances would make it impossible to ship more than a few of the products anyways. The rest would stay in a trash pile behind the factory.

It’s simply not in the DNA of Leica to make something affordable.

It's not as simple as that. It's not just the final quality control. The requirement for perfection actually starts way before the quality control. It starts already in the design and development of new products. As lens designer Peter Karbe reveals in the interview about the 50mm APO, narrowing it down to the simplest construction has always been a goal for Leica. Each element must be perfect.

 

Paris, May 2016. I met a young boy and his granddad out photographing. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paris, May 2016. I met a young boy and his granddad out photographing. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

It’s not that Leica Camera AG is always perfect. I’ve seen Leica cameras where the screws were missing due(s) to what appears to be extremely sloppy quality control. But what is much more likely a symptom of a “perfect organization” that everybody gets so frantic with not making a single error that the fear for making them makes the hands tremble.

 


The Oscar that CW Sonderoptic won for the Leica Cine lenses in 2015. This one is awarded Andre de Winter for the optometric design of the lenses and is on display in Wetzlar. May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
The Oscar that CW Sonderoptic won for the Leica Cine lenses in 2015. This one is awarded Andre de Winter for the optometric design of the lenses and is on display in Wetzlar. May 2016.
Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

It may work for many other companies to make lenses or cameras of good quality, but it’s not the way Leica Camera AG is thinking. They always had this almost ridiculous idea that a Leica was something entirely superior and special.

Somehow that is what made it that special. It wouldn’t be a Leica if it weren’t the most perfect you could buy.

 

Vincent Laine, the young designer of the Leica Q. Wetzlar, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Vincent Laine, the designer of the Leica Q. Wetzlar, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Long history to get to the point I wanted to make: It is not possible for an organization as Leica Camera AG to deliberately oversee an error with (possible) corrosion in the protective coating of the sensor and pretend it doesn’t exist.

Others might have hired a team of marketing people and lawyers to create a workaround so it wasn’t really something covered. After all, most people would agree that a digital camera that is 3-4 years old is history.

But in the case if Leica I am sure a handful of people had to dedicate lot of time to investigate the problem, the possible sources and solutions to it.  

The good news is that even you send in your seven years old digital camera, they will fix it free of charge.

 

Berlin, May 2016.Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Berlin, May 2016.Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Was ist das?

A walk-through of the Leica M9 body. What are the different Leica M9 buttons and symbols for?

Inside light meter

The three small eyes in the bottom of the inside bayonet read the reflection of light that hits the white and two grey stripes on the shutter curtain through the lens.

Together, the three eyes see an oval of exposure in the center of the frame, about 1/3 of the entire frame. It's an improvement of the first TTL (Through The Lens) light metering introduced on the Leica M6, where it was simply one white dot in the middle and one eye.

 

     

Outside light reader

The small eye in the corner above the red Leica logo is something that was added for the digital Leica cameras. It's a light reader.

The only function it has is to measure the outside light and record it so that it is possible later to compare against what the inside lightmeter recorded.

In Lightroom, the aperture is then calculated/guessed based on the difference between the two readings.

This is the way to do it with the Leica M9 as there is no coupling between the lens and the camera.

When the aperture is guessed completely wrong in Lightroom, it's usually because this eye was in sun or shadow, and then subject you photographed was in the opposite.

 
     

Single or Continuous

The C by the shutter release is for Continuous and the S is for Single shooring.

The OFF is for camera off. If you leave the camera on for example Continuous and have set the Power Off to 2 minutes in the MENU, the camera turn off by itself after two minutes without use (no use of battery when it is off). The camera is turned no again by a light touch of the shutter release.

My camera is generally always in Continuous. I only turn it OFF when I travel with it in a bag where the shutter release might be activated by the sides of the bag.


 
     

Self timer

The symbol all the way to the left by the shutter release is the self timer. When you select that, the camera fires 2 or 12 seconds after you press the shutter release.
The 2 or 12 seconds is a choice you set in the MENU of the camera. Mine is set to 10 seconds.
A red light next to the viewfinder on front of the camera turns on when the camera releases, in the case you are in front of the camera and would like to know when the picture has been taken.

 
     

Shutter time

The white line on the camera body indicates what the shutter wheel is set to. It is not the mark (as in the old days) of where the film plane is.

The red A stands for Aperture Priority but is actually more Auto in my opinion. In that mode, the camera will show the shutter time in the viewfinder (calculated at whichever aperture you have set the lens at).

When you turn away from A, you are in fully manual mode and can choose shutter speed manually from 1/4000 second to 8 seconds.

B stands for Bulb mode which is where the shutter stays open for as long as you hold down the shutter release.

  Shutter time  The white line on the camera body indicates what the shutter wheel is set to. It is not the mark (as in the old days) of where the film plane is.
     

Plastic protection

The square piece of plastic by the lens strap is to protect the painted body from scratches from the metal ring/strap.

 
     

Focus mechanism

The chrome ring in top of the bayonet inside is pressed in when the focus ring is turned on a lens. This is how the Leica M measures the distance to the subject and match the two images.

 
     

Frameline selector

This arm on the front of the Leica M9 can be moved from left, centre to right. If you look through the viewfinder at the same time, you will see that the framelines inside the viewfinder changes. This is meant as a way to preview which lens you should put on the camera to get the framing you want.

It's one of those things hardly anybody uses but many seem to think must be on a Leica M. So even the Leica M 240 omitted this, you will see it coming and going in Leica M models as a piece of nostalgia.

I do love the look of it - but do not miss it when it's not there.

 

 

 

 

Frameline Window

The framelines inside the viewfinder shows where the edge of the frame is. They are also sometimes referred to as brightlines as they are bright. The window in the center of the camera provides the light to light up the framelines.

In later versions, Leica M 240 and onward, the framelines are lit up by LED and this window is not to be found on the camera anymore.

 
     
     

The Rangefinder

The rangefinder on the Leica M is the cooperation between the viewfinder (to the right) and the small rangefinder eye (to the left of the logo) in the picture above.

The rangefinder works very closely, and with exceptional mechanical precision, with the large viewfinder window to the right in the picture above.

When the focusing ring on the lens is turned, the chrome metal wheel inside the camera is pressed, and that chrome metal wheel moves a prism that mirrors what the small rangefinder eye sees.

It is the reflection of that small rangefinder eye that you see in the middle of the large rangefinder window. When it lays on top and matches the rest of the image, the image is in focus.

It's 100% mechanical and one of the few wonders of this world that still impress people.

Here is a drawing - seen from the inside/back of the camera that shows how the mechanism works:

Above: The back of the lens pushes the chrome wheel that moves the rangefinder eye (to the right) so the subject is mirrored into the viewfinder (to the left). The result is that the two images of the subject match: You have achieved focus!
Above: The back of the lens pushes the chrome wheel that moves the rangefinder eye (to the right) so the subject is mirrored into the viewfinder (to the left). The result is that the two images of the subject match: You have achieved focus!

     

6-bit code

On the edge of the Leica M9's bayonet you see a small red see-through eye. It reads the 6-bit code of the lens if it has one. All Leica M lenses since 2003 have 6-bit code, and older lenses can be modified by the factory in Wetzlar (they engrave it).

The 6-bit code tells the camera which focal length is mounted on the camera. In some cases, it can trigger a software adjustment of the lens performance.

The main advantage, in my opinion, is that you can see in the image file which lens you used.

If the lens doesn't have a 6-bit code, you can go into the MENU of the Leica M9 and set the lens model manually. You will often forget to change it when you change lens; and then it's just as confusing having the wrong one as if there was none.

Considering that all Leica M cameras since Leica M8 and all future Leica M cameras use the 6-bit code it's worth the trouble to get all one’s older lenses engraved with the 6-bit code.
 
     
     
     

Bayonet lock and red dot

There is a bayonet un-lock button on the Leica 9 that is pressed to release the lens.

When you put on a lens, the red dot on the lens has to be on top of the bayonet lock, then when you turn the lens clockwise it locks.

You can see the lock (with a small red dot) on the bayonet here.


 
     

Aperture ring

The front ring on a Leica lens is the aperture adjustment. Each number is a "stop" and most lenses have a click in between the numbers that is a "half stop".

Focus ring

The focus ring has meters in white and feet in orange (sometimes red).

Depth of Field

The lines and numbers closest to the body shows the depth of field at different aperture stops. Note that for the infinity symbol (the 8 lying down), the actual infinity distance is in the middle of the 8. So if you wanted to set the lens to f/16 and make sure you got the most in focus, you would put the center of the 8 above the line of 16.

 
     

Focus tab

Some Leica lenses have a focus tab that fits a finger so you can easily slide the lens' focus.

Bigger and longer lenses usually don't have the focus tab; most likely because it would be too heavy to adjust with a finger and/or because it would be in the way.

I find that I get used to a lens with or without it. After a while you don't think about it.

 
     

Aperture blades

If you look into the lens you can easily see the aperture blades. This is another way (other than the shutter and the ISO speed) to control the exposure.

Aperture means "to open" and each stop reduces the light to half. Most apertures can reduce the light intake from 100% to 1.6% with the aperture.

The more open, the less light you can work with, and the narrower the focus is. Leica traditionally are low light cameras with lenses that are optimized to be used wide open and still produce contrast and accurate colors.

The more closed it is, the more the foreground and background will be sharp, and you will of course need more light to get the correct exposure. The more you close it, the less important the quality of the lens design is.

 
     

SD card

To insert or take out the SD-card in a Leica M9 you take off the metal bottom plate first.

Be careful to turn the SD-card the right way so you don't jam the contacts in the camera. It should slide in very easy when done right, and a gentle press locks it in position. A similar gentle press down unlocks it when you want to take it out.

 

     

USB port

The Leica M9 has a small port for USB hidden behind a plastic cover. The sole purpose is if you want to use a cable to download images from the camera to the computer. It serves no other purpose or function.

In later model Leica M 240 and so on there is no USB port anymore.

 
     

Red light

There's a little lamp in the down right corner of the back that you don't notice until it lights up, bright red.

When it is on, the camera buffer is working on starting up the camera (when you turn it on), or busy storing digital data to the SD card when you just took one or more pictures.

 
     

Enlarge, adjust, navigate

The wheel by the thumb on the back has several functions.

The icon printed on it is an enlargement glass and a plus and minus. When looking at a preview on the screen, turning the wheel right zooms into the picture, turning left zooms out.

When you are in the MENU of the camera, the arrows up and down, left and right, can be used to navigate the menu. The wheel can also be used to scroll up and down the menu.

You can set up the camera MENU so that the wheel also works as exposure adjustment.

 
     

Lock mechanism

The bottom plate is securely closed with the sturdy metal lock. You grab the ring with a nail and then turn counter-clockwise to open it.

It's a traditional way to open and close a Leica since a long time ago when there was real film under the bottom plate.

 
     

Inside lock mechanism

When you look at the bottom of the Leica M9 you see this shape that looks like the shape of a film cassette.

It's not for decoration. When you look at the brass bottom plate, you see that's the space for the lock mechanism.

 
     

Grip

The little piece of chrome sticking out of the side in the bottom goes into the bottom plate so that it stays there when the bottom plate is locked.

 
     

Bottom plate contact

Sometimes you will see the error message "Bottom cover removed" and you have to find whether you forgot to put it on, or it's not properly mounted.

The way the Leica M9 knows is that the small piece of extruded metal on the bottom plate doesn't press down the small contact next to the battery (the little black one; the big white is for releasing the battery).

The camera would work perfectly fine without the bottom plate, except Leica made this contact that prevents it from working without it. Should you find yourself on a mountain top and you have lost the bottom plate, you'll have to find a way to keep this small contact depressed to keep using the camera. A piece of chewing gum or something similar will suffice.

 
     

A hole in the bottom

The hole you see in the bottom is to make space for the tripod mount that sits on the bottom plate (to the right in this picture).

In the later Leica M 240 the tripod mount sits on the actual camera body and there is a hole through the bottom plate instead (more stability as the camera and not just the bottom plate is attached to the tripod).

 
     

Tripod socket

The tripod socket is on the bottom of the camera, centered in the middle.

Note that I removed the protective plastic of the bottom plate, as well as the sticker that tell all the EC rules the camera complies with. Prettier that way I think.

 

 
     

Serial number and flash shoe

The serial number of a Leica M is engraved on the hot shoe. (On lenses the serial number is usually engraved in white, visible from the front, or sometimes on the side of the lens barrel).

The hot shoe, or flash shoe, is made so it corresponds with Leica and Metz flashes. It of course works with all flashes, but the Metz and Leica flashes get information from the camera’s lightmeter during exposure. It's a continuous debate if a Leica M needs a hot shoe or not as so few would use a flash with it. But at least it holds the serial number and - I guess - works as a decoration that reminds us of the old days.

By the way, it was Leica that invented the hot shoe back when it was used for mounting the first rangefinder, and later a viewfinder, to the camera.

 
     

Type number

The lenses often have a number on them. Lens shades and other accessories may also have a number. It is not a serial number but solely records which model it is. Sometimes similar looking lenses may be different model (numbers), indicating slight or major changes of the mechanical or optical design.

 
     

 

Paul Viio in Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Paul Viio in Cannes, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

             
 

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Comparison of Leica M8, Leica M9, Leica MM, Leica M 262 and Leica M 240

Model Leica
M8
Leica
M8.2
Leica
M9
Leica
M9-P
M-E
Type 220
M
Type 240
M-P
Type 240
M
Type
262

Leica
MM
Nickname           "M10" "M10"   "Henri"
Start 2006 2008 09/2009 06/2011 09/2012 03/2013 11/2014 12/2015 08/2012
End 2009 2009 2012 2012 2015 - - - 2015
MP 10 10 18 18 18 24 24 24 18
Sensor CCD CCD CCD CCD CCD CMOS CMOS CMOS CCD B&W
Format 18x27 18x27 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36
AA filter No No No No No No No No No
Video           Yes Yes    
Adapters Leica screw mount Leica screw mount Leica screw mount Leica screw mount Leica screw mount Leica R
Nikkor
Leica R
Nikkor
Leica screw mount Leica screw mount
Shutterless No No No No No No No No No
Mirrorless Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live View No No No No No Yes Yes No No
EVF
(Electronic Viewfinder)
No No No No No Extra Extra No No
Framelines           LED
White
Red
LED
White
Red
LED
White
 
DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG
JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG
Base ISO 160 160 160 160 160 200 200 200 320
Max ISO 2800 2800 3200 3200 3200 6400 6400 6400 10000
Processor           Maestro Maestro Maestro  
Buffer No No No No No No 2GB 1GB No
Frame selector Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes
USB port Yes Yes Yes Yes No Extra Extra No Yes
GPS           Extra Extra No  
Battery pack No No No No No No No No No
Weather sealed No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No
Weight     580g 600g 585g 680g 680g 580g 585g
Digital color filters for B&W           Built-in Built-in Built-in  
Price $US new 4,800 5,995 7,000 8,000 5,450 7,250 7,250 5,195 7,950
Price Pounds 2,990   4,950 5,395 3,900 5,100 5,100 3,950 6,120
Price Euro     5,000 6,000 4,800 6,200 6,200 5,500 6,800
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Manuel Studer in Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Manuel Studer in Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

         
 

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Thorsten Overgaard in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Joy Villa.
Thorsten Overgaard in Berlin, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M AA f/1.4. © 2016 Joy Villa.

 

 

The Leica M story is to be continued ...

I hope you enjoyed this look back at the previous Leica M models vs the new Leica M 262. There are plenty of pages to read here about the different cameras.

If you want to stay in the loop, sign up for my free newsletter to be the first to know.

 

 
 

 

 

Read about the Leica M9-P --- >

Read about the Leica M Monochrom --- >

Read about the Leica M 240 --->

 

 

Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Rome, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Leica M9 Definitions:

 

 
  1:2/50 the description says. But what does it mean?
   

1:

Basically means 1 divided with. But why is it on the front of the lens? If you look close, a lens will often say 1:2/50mm on the front, meaning it is a 50mm lens with an f/2.0 apterture. The 1: itself is a ratio, that indicates that the aperture diameter (25mm) is the ratio of 50mm divided with 2.
It's a strange way of writing product information on modern products, but here's how it's right:
a) A lens is called a 50mm lens because there is 50mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the lens.
b) A lens is f/2.0 when the widest opening is 50mm divided with 2 = The lens opening is 25mm in diameter at it's widest. Had it been an f/2.8 lens (1:2.8/50), the widest aperture opening would be 50mm divided with 2.8 = 17.8mm.

 

35mm

a) 35mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 63°vertically, 54° horizontally and 38° vertically within a 35mm film frame:
b) 35mm film format is a standard film format where the actual widt of the film is 35mm. In photography the frame within the widt of the film is 24mm (on the width) and 36mm (on the lenght of the film roll). 35mm was first used in 1892 by William Dickson and Thomas Edison for moving pictures with frames of 24 x 18mm, using film stock supplied by George Eastman (Kodak), and became the international standard for motion picture negative film in 1909 [later other formats came about such as Academy Ratio (22 x 16 mm), Widescreen (21.95 x 18.6 mm), Super 35 (24.89 x 18.66 mm) and Techiscope (22 x 9.47 mm)].
Oskar Barnack built his prototype Ur-Leica in 1913 as a device to test film stock and/or motion picture lenses and had it patented, but Ernst Leitz did not decide to produce it before 1924.
c) 35mm is often given as a comparison when talking about lenses in small cameras or cameras with other sensor/film format than the 24 x 36mm frame. The camera has a smaller sensor and hence uses a wider lens to capture the same image as a "35mm camera" would. Example: A camera with a 12 x 18 mm sensor has a 14mm lens on it, and even the lens is actually a 14mm, it is specified as a 28mm lens (35mm) which means that the resulting image is equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera.

 

 
  The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 lens
   

50mm

a) 50mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 47° vertically, 40° horizontally and 27° vertically within a 35mm film frame.
b) 50mm lens is often compared to the human eye. Not because of viewing angle but because of size ratio. The 50mm lens is the lens that comes closest to the size that the human eye see things (whereas the human eye has a much wider angle of view [120-200°] than the 50mm lens [47°], thought a more narrow focus (your eyes may observe very wide but your focus is on a limited view within that angle of view).

 

 

 

AF = Auto Focus. The idea is that the camera does the focusing itself (the word auto comes from Greek "self").

Aperture = (also written as f/) = The metal blades inside a camera lens that regulates how much light passes through the lens. On a f/1.4 lens, the lens is "fully open" at f/1.4. At f/2.0 the aperture inside the lens make the hole through the lens smaller so only half the amount of light at f/1.4 passes through. For each f/-stop (like f/4.0 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11 - f/16) you halve the light. The f/ fundamentally means "f divided with": The aperture of the lens is basically the focal length divided with the f/-stop = size of the hole (50mm divided with f/2.0 = the hole is 25 mm in diameter, or 50mm at f/1.4 is 50mm divided with 1.4 = the hole throug is 36mm. ). ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo.
The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo.

 

 
  The camera in Aperture Priority Mode
   

Aperture Priority Mode. When the shutter speed dial on top of a Leica camera is set to A, it is short for “Aperture Priority” and allows the user to set a specific aperture value (f-number) while the camera selects a shutter speed to match it that will result in proper exposure based on the lighting conditions as measured by the camera's light meter. In other words, you set the aperture as priority (f/1.4 for example), and the camera calculates a shutter speed (1/250 of a second) that matches that. If you change the aperture to f/2.0 by changing the aperture ring on the lens, the camera will re-calculate the speed to 1/125 so as to get the same amount of light to hit the sensor (f/2.0 is half the light through the lens as f/1.4 and 1/125 if twice the amount of light on the sensor as 1/250).

APO = stands for "apochromatically corrected". In most lenses, optical design concentrates the focus of blue light and green light into a single plane, but red light falls slightly into another plane of focus. Red subjects, therefore, would be ever so slightly out of focus compared to blue and green subjects in the same frame. Not sure you'd ever notice though, the difference is so slight. This is the same basic principle that requires you to shift the focus for infrared photography, related to the wave length of red light. In APO lenses, the design and expense has been put in to making red light focus on the same plane as blue and green. Under a microscope you would see that all light subject is now in focus, creating a sharper image overall. Many manufacturers offer APO designs, but in most of these only the very center of the lens is APO corrected. Leica prides itself on making most of the frame APO correct.
If one look at the images produced by the APO lenses (Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0, the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH, and the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 that is in fact APO-corrected), one will notice that the colors are really bright and alive, almost more real than to the eye.
Apochromat; ORIGIN early 20th century, made of the two words;
apo: Greek origin, away from
chromatic (Latin origin, meaing relating to color.

ASPH = (Aspherical lens) stands for "aspheric design". Most lenses have a spherical design - that is, the radius of curvature is constant. These are easy to manufacture by grinding while "spinning" the glass. This design however restricts the number of optical corrections that can be made to the design to render the most realistic image possible. ASPH lenses (a-spherical, meaning non-spherical), however, involve usually 1 element that does *not* have a constant radius of curvature. These elements can be made by 1) expensive manual grinding, 2) molded plastic, or 3) Leica's patented "press" process, where the element is pressed into an aspherical ("non-spherical") shape. This design allows Leica to introduce corrections into compact lens designs that weren't possible before. Practically, the lens performs "better" (up to interpretation) due to increased correction of the image, in a package not significantly bigger than the spherical version.

There is another Aspherical lens manufacture technique: an uneven coating layer is applied to a spherical lens. The coating is thicker on the edges (or on the center, depending). Canon "Lens Work II" calls these "simulated" aspherical lenses. Simulated and Glass-Molded (GMo) asphericals show up in non-L Canon lenses, while the L lenses have actual ground aspheric elements.

A- means non, or without. From Latin, ex.

Sphere: ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French espere, from late Latin sphera, earlier sphaera, from Greek sphaira "ball".

     
Normal spheric lens (grinded)   ASPH (note the shape of the glass as result of pressing rather than grinding)

 

Auto- means “self”. The idea is that when a camera has auto-(something), it does that (something) by itself.

Banding = Noise in digital images. Horizontal lines in a horizontal picture (if the camera is in portrait mode/vertical, the lines will obviously be vertical). It's simply noise; the result of uncontrolled algorithms working overtime with an image the sensor really can't see because it's very dark. (If your image has vertical lines in it, it is more likely that the sensor needs remapping).


This image at 6400 ISO, underexposed and then brought up to correct exposure in Lightroom, displays banding: Horizontal lines in the image. Leica M-D 262 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
This image at 6400 ISO, underexposed and then brought up to correct exposure in Lightroom, displays banding: Horizontal lines in the image. Leica M-D 262 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

Base ISO = The ISO the digital sensor was born with. Even a digital sensor goes from say 50 ISO to 25,000 ISO, it only has one base ISO. Any other setting is an algorithm that figures out how the image whould look if there was 64 times more light, or half the light, etc.
When you go down from Base ISO (for example 200 to 100 ISO), you can expect a decrease in quality. When you go up, the decrease is much less. For some sensors, you loose 2-3 stops by going down 1 step in ISO, but can go 8 steps up and only loose 1 stop in dynamic range. Basically, your ISO range should be from Base ISO and as far up as you can, before you see visible decrease in quality (mostly 3200 ISO - 6400 ISO).
Base ISO for Leica M9 is 160 ISO, for Leica M240 it is 200 ISO. For Leica M10 it is around 160 ISO. For Leica M Monochrom it is 320 ISO. For Leica Q and Leica Q2 it is around 100 ISO. For Panasonic Lumix S it is 200 ISO. For most Canon cameras the base ISO is around 100, for most Nikon cameras it is around 200 ISO.

 

  Barrie Gledden
  Bokeh of a Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. British composer and producer Barrie Gledden.
© 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.

Bokeh = The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens: It's a matter of taste and usually photographers discuss a 'nice' or 'pleasant' bokeh (the out-of-focus area is always unsharp, which is why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens). The closer you get to something, the 'more' bokeh' you get (in that the focus becomes less for the background and foreground at close distances than at long distances). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzzines' or 'blur.'.

 

Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

C = Continuous shooting. When the ring by the Shutter Release on top of the camera (or in the menu of digital cameras that doesn't have such a feature on the outide of the camera) is moved from OFF to C, the camera takes series of images as long as the shutter release is pressed down. In some cameras the speed of continious shooting can be adjusted.

Camera - is today’s short name for Camera Obscura (meaning “a dark room”). Camera means Chambre and was used only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers’ rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”. In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”. Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.
Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

     
 

Why is it called a "camera"..?

The word Camera is today's short name for Camera Obscura (which originally means “a dark room”).

Origin of the word Obscura means "dark" or "covered", and the word Camera means Chambre and was used originally only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers' rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”.

In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”.

Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.
Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.

The concept of Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.

Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 
     

 

CCD sensor = (as used in Leica M8, M9, Leica S) = (Charged Coupling Devices) - The first digital cameras used CCD to turn images from analog light signals into digital pixels. They're made through a special manufacturing process that allows the conversion to take place in the chip without distortion. This creates high quality sensors that produce excellent images. But, because they require special manufacturing, they are more expensive than their newer CMOS counter parts.

Central Shutter = Some lenses, for example the Leica S lenses and the Leica Q where a shutter is located in the lens itself. In most cameras there is a shutter curtain just in front of the sensor, and in SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras there is also a mirror in front of the shutter curtain.
In the Leica T/TL/TL2 the shutter is in front of the sensor, but only acts to "refresh" the sensor. In the Leica TL2, there is a mechanical shutter curtain from 30 sec. to 1/4000 shutter times, and digital shutter from 1/4100 to 1/40,000 shutter times. A digital shutter is simply "turning on/off the recording of the sensor.

CLA
An acronym for "(C)lean, (L)ubricate & (A)djust", whereby the item is merely re-lubricated, fine-adjusted and calibrated rather than repaired. "I just got my equipment back from CLA at Leica"

CMOS sensor (as used in Leica M10, Leica CL, Leica LT/TL/TL2, Leica SL, Leica Q, Leica X, Leica D-Lux, etc.)
= (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) chips use transistors at each pixel to move the charge through traditional wires. This offers flexibility because each pixel is treated individually. Traditional manufacturing processes are used to make CMOS. It's the same as creating microchips. Because they're easier to produce, CMOS sensors are cheaper than CCD sensors. CMOS allow Live View and use less energy than CCD.

Contrast - The degree of difference between tones in a picture. Latin contra- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand.’

Depth - Distance between front and back. Distance from viewer and object.

Digital Shutter = A digital shutter is simply "turning on/off the recording of the sensor. In the "old days" this had to be done with an actual mechanical shutter curtain; a metal curtain in front of the sensor (or film) that goes up for 1/125th of a second, for example. In the Leica TL2, there is a mechanical shutter curtain from 30 sec. to 1/4000 shutter times, and digital shutter from 1/4100 to 1/40,000 shutter times.

Digital Zoom = In some cameras (but not the Leica TL2), there exist a possibility to enable "digital zoom", which basically means the camera can zoom closer into something than the lens is actually designed to. The way digital zoom works traditionally is that the camera simply crops the picture; so you get closer, but without resolution. In other words, it's the same as if you took a normal photo and then cropped into the center of it.

DIS = Digital Image Stabilization. This is a feature often offered in video recorders and sometimes for tele lens still photography (so as to avoid motion blur when the lens is moving during slow shutter speeds).

 
  Lens distortion looks like this. The lines are not straight. Our eye uses distortion correction. Lens designers can design lenses so they have very little distortion, or they can make less complicated lens designs and "fix" the distortion in software.
   

Distortion = In photo optics/lenses: When straight lines in a scene don't remain straight because of optical aberration.

Lens designers can correct for distortion to a degree so the whole image field is perfect corrected and all lines remain straight. In modern lens design many designs rely on Software Distortion Correction (SDC).

The eye adjusts for distortion so we always see vertical and horizontal lines straight when we look at things. Even when you get new prescription glasses (if you use such), you will often experience distortion in your new glasses. After a few days they eyes have adjusted for the glasses and the distortion you saw to begin with is now gone. Software Distortion Correction (SDC) is far behind what the human eye can perform of adjustments. (Also see my definition on Perspective for more on the eye and optics)

DNG = Digital Negative, an open standard developed by Adobe. It is a single file that contains the raw image data from the sensor of the camera as well as date, time, GPS, focal length, settings, etc.
The alternative is a RAW file + XLM file where the RAW file contains the image information and the XML contains the rest of information about where, how and when the picture was taken.
A Camera Raw profile (that is specific for that camera) in the computer helps the software program, for example Adobe Lightroom, to translate the RAW data into the image.

A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.
A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.

Depth - Distance between front and back. Distance from viewer and object.

DOF = Depth of Field. This is how much of the image will be in focus. Shallow DOF is a generally used term in photography that refer to lenses with very narrow focus tolerance (which can be used to do selective focus; for artistic reasons or for specific storytelling, like making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).

Depth of Field: The trees and buildings in the background is very much out of focus, and the handrail you can see behind, in the bottom of this photo is slightly out of focus. Princess Joy Villa. Leica TL2 with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Depth of Field: The trees and buildings in the background is very much out of focus, and the handrail you can see behind, in the bottom of this photo is slightly out of focus. Princess Joy Villa. Leica TL2 with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm.
Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm.

 

Dynamic range. The grade of ‘contrast range’ (or number of tones) a film or sensor, or simply a photograph, possess between bright and dark tones. The human eye is said to have a dynamic range of 10-14 ‘stops’ (but because we scan area by area and compile a concept of the overall scene, they eye is often thought to have a much higher dynamic range), Film used to have 7-13 ‘stops’ and some modern sensors have up to 15-17 ‘stops’.

Elmar = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f3.5 . Historically derived from the original 1925 50mm f3.5 Elmax lens, which was an acronym of (E)rnst (L)ieca and Professor (Max) Berek, designer of the original lenses. Later that year the 50mm f3.5 Elmar superceded the Elmax, which was discontinued due to its complexity and high cost of manufacture.

Elmarit = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f2.8 . The name is obviously derived from the earlier (and slower) "Elmar" designation. Not every f/2.8 lens is called an "Elmarit" though, the most obvious current exception being the 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M collapsible lens which for nostalgia and marketing reasons has kept the original 1930's Elmar name (the 50mm f3.5 collapsible Elmar, manufactured 1930-59, was one of Leica's most famous and popular lenses).

Elmax
Elmax lens named after = Ernst Leitz + Max Berak. Ernst Leitz was the founder of Ernst Leitz Optical Industry which later became Leica. Professor Dr. Max Berak was employed at Leica in 1912 and was the architech of the first Leica lens which Ernst Leitz asked him to design for the "Barnack's camera" (the 1913-prototype named after Oscar Barnack who invented it). The lens was a f/3.5 50mm and was known as the Leitz Anstigmat and later the Elmax.

 

Elmax (Ernst Leitz Max Berek) by Marco Cavina 2010
The Leitz Elmax 50mm f/3,5 (1925-1961) on the Leica A camera (1925) camera. Photo by Marco Cavina.

EVF = Electronic ViewFinder. The Leica M10 and the Leica T/TL/TL2 uses the Leica Visoflex model 0020.

Exposure Bracketing = The possibility to set the camera to automatically record a series of images where the exposure is above and below what the camera measures. The idea is that at least one of the images will be correctly exposed.

f/ (f-stop, also known as aperture).

f- (focal length). Often given in mm, for example 90mm. In the past they were often given in cm or inch, for example 9.5 cm or 3.2 inch.

f/1.25 is the size of the "hole through" the lens, the aperture. f/1.25 means focal length divided with 1.25. In the Leica 75mm NoctiluxM ASPH f/1.25, the "hole through" the lens at f/1.25 is 60mm in diameter. At f/1.4 the "the hole through" is 53.5mm in diameter. At f/4 the "hole through" is 18.75mm in diameter.
Each step smaller from f/1.4 to f/2.0 to f/2.8 to f/4.0 and son on is a reduction ofthe light to half for each step. The Noctilux f/1.25 therefore lets 50% more light in through the lens than a 75/1.4 Summilux.

f-stop = the ratio of the focal length (for example 50mm) of a camera lens to the diameter of the aperture being used for a particular shot. (E.g., f/8, indicating that the focal length is eight times the diameter of the aperture hole: 50mm/8 = 6,25 mm); or the other way around, the hole is the focal length divided with 8).
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from f (denoting the focal length) and number.
One f-stop is a doubling or halving of the light going through the lens to the film, by adjusting the aperture riing. Adjusting the f-setting from f 1.4 to f.2.0 is halving the light that goes through the lens. Most Leica lenses has half f-stops to enable the photographer to adjust the light more precicely.

Flare = Burst of light. Internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. Mostly, flare has a characteristic "space travel" look to it, making it cool. Particularly in older lenses with less or no coating of the glass surfaces to suppress this, it can be a really cool effect. In newer lens designs, the coatings and overall design try to suppress flare and any reflections to a degree, so that there is seldom any flare to be picked up (moving the lens to pick up a strong sunbeam), but instead a "milking out" (or "ghosting") of a circular area of the frame; meaning simply overexposed without any flare-looking flares.

 

Sunlight creating (fairly supressed) flare in the bottom right quadrant of the image of a modern lens.

  The camera moved slightly to avoid the flare.

Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.

Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).
Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).

Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)
Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)

Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 
Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 

Flickering = blinking light. This may result in "banding like" horizontal stripes in an image, or simply that the light you see isn't in the picture, or it looks different. For example, you take a photo in light, and the result you get is darker. You take another, and now it is all right. The reason is that some light blinks. Here's the difference within one second (notice how the light in the room, the wall light and the sign light all flicker):

 
     
 
Flickering light causing different result in each frame becasuse the light blinks faster than the eye sees, but slow enough to be caught on camera. Here at shutter time 1/1500 sec, four pictures within a second.
Often you will see that you take a portrait indoor in an office, and from frame to frame the person has shade on one side of the face in one photo, but not the next.
     

Flickering ligh is a new challenge that photographers face, which is flicering light that looks good to the eye, but result in different results in a photo. Through cinema and photography history, the three standard high-quality light soruces have been daylight (from the sun), daylight HMI (5400 Kelvin Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide lamps) and tungsten lamps (3200 Kelvin). When I say high-quality, it's because those are the light types that ensure high color quality (see the definition of CRI - Color Rendering Index in my "Leica and Photography Definitions page") and how quality light traditionally has a score above 90 CRI).

In recent years we have seen "light that flickers" because it has a pulse, such as stage light, photo lamps, video lights and of course indoor and outdoor late night lamps using LED (Light-emitting diode), compact fluorescent lightbulp-shaped lamps and other low-energy lamps (such as halogen). These light also generally have lower CRI (Color Rendering Index) below 90, and even lamps that are stated to have 90 CRI or higher, may mis out on the important red and blue tones, which will make it impossible to get the colors right, espoecially skin tones). If a stage has one or more low-quality lights (which they thend to have), these will pollute the colors of the scene to some degree.

 
  Banding as result of electronic shutter, and often also if the ISO is high.

Flickering horizontal stripes (or "banding"-looking stripes) may appear when you use electronic shutter, and you are photographing with one or more light sources that flickers.
When the electronic shutter is on, you are usually at higher shutter speeds than 1/2000, which means there it would be possible to go down to a lower ISO, and to activater the mechanical shutter. (In some cameras you can choose to use electronic shutter throughout the entire range, which would make the camera completely silent; and this alone may cause horizontal stripes/banding if one or more lights in the room flickers).

Fn = Short for Function. It's a button you can program. On the Leica M10 has a front button that can be programmed to other Fn (Functions).

Focus, in - Sharp and clear in appearance. Focus - “The burning point (of a lens or mirror)”. In Latin the word focus meant fireplace or hearth. The word was probably first employed outside of its Latin literal use as “the burning point of a lens or mirror” in optics, and then came to mean any central point. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first recorded the word in this sense in 1604.

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = (also written as f-) = On the Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4 it is 35mm and originally referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens. Nobody uses that measurement, except those who construct lenses! For users of lenses, focal length refers to how wide the lens sees. The viewing angle, which is often given in for example 90° viewing angle for a 21mm lens, 74° viewing angle for a 28mm lens, 6° viewing angle for a 400mm lens, etc.
Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120° to 200° angle of view, but focuses only in the center.
The Leica TL2 has a APS-C sensor, which "crops" the traditional focal lengths with 1.5X, reducing the angle of view of view with 1.5X.

Focus, in - Sharp and clear in appearance. Focus - “The burning point (of a lens or mirror)”. In Latin the word focus meant fireplace or hearth. The word was probably first employed outside of its Latin literal use as “the burning point of a lens or mirror” in optics, and then came to mean any central point. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first recorded the word in this sense in 1604.

 
  Full Frame is "king of photography"
   

Full Frame (FF) = The size of the sensor is 24 x 36mm which is the format Oskar Barnack and Leica Camera AG invented with the first Leica that was introduced in 1925. Many other formats invented since, such as APS, APS-C and all usually refer to Full Frame ratio, by which it means what size they have compared to Full Frame. The "full frame" technically deifinition thouhg is a sensor that camtures the full frame in one go (as the early sensors as in Leica S1 scanned the image/senor over a period of time).
The 24 x 36mm Full Frame format is so "king of photography" that it has continued to be the ideal for all cameras. Besides this, there exists Large Format cameras such as 4x5" (100 x 125 mm) and Medium Format 6x6 (60 x 60mm amongst other sizes in that area).

Ghosting = Secondary light or image from internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. The reflected light may not always be in focus, so overall it looks like a "milked out" image. A subject in focus has brightened patches in front of it that come from reflections inside the lens. the most elementary look of ghosting is when you look in a rear-view mirror in a car at night and you see doubles of the headlights behind you (a strong one and a weaker one), because the headlights are reflected in a layer of clear glass on top of the mirror glass.

   
Degrees of ghosting from strong sunlight entering from outside the frame. To the right the outside light has been shielded with a shade.

 

  The Hektor 73mm f/1.9 of 1930-1931 sells at $900 - $6,000 these days.
  The Hektor 73mm f/1.9 of 1930-1931 sells at $900 - $6,000 these days.
   

Hektor - Refers to the maximum lens aperture - usually f2.5 (whihc at the time of development in the 1930's was considered very light-strong lenses). The name was apparently taken from the name of lens designer, Professor Max Berek's dog, Hektor. He also had another favorite dog, Rex, which may have inspired the lens name Summarex.
But ... there is also another possibility, which is that Hektor (the lens and/or the dog) was inspired by Hektor, the oldest son of the Trojan king Priamos, who is listed in the history books as being the most couragerous defender of his home city, Troy. (Max Berek knew of this because Greek history had been required during his high school education).
In any case, the first 50mm Hektor f/2.5 was designed by Max Berek in 1931 for the Leica I Model A, and the - for that time - extremely light-strong 73mm Hektor f/1.9 was designed in 1930-1931 in preparation of the modular Leica system.

 

ISO = Light sensitivity of the camera sensor is given in ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It's a standard that was used in film and is now used in all digital cameras also. The base ISO for the Leica TL2 sensor is around 100-150 which means that this is what the sensor "sees". All other levels are computer algorithms calculating the effect as if the sensor could "see" more (hence noise at higher ISO levels).
ISO goes in steps of doubling: When the ISO is raised from 100 ISO to 200 ISO, the camera only need half the amount of light to make the same picture. For each step in ISO to 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc. the light sensitivity is doubled for the sensor (and the camera sensor only need half the light of the previous ISO to record the same image).

6400 ISO photo from Hollywood at night. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
6400 ISO photo from Hollywood at night. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

JPEG = A standard for picture format made in the 1990's by Joint Photographic Experts Group). Mostly referred to as JPG as in L1003455.JPG which would be the name for a JPG file from the camera.

Leica = A compound word derived from " (Lei)tz" and "(ca)mera". Apparently they were originally going to use "LECA", but another camera company already used a similar name in France, so they inserted the 'i' to prevent any confusion.

Lens - A piece of glass or similarly transparent material (like water or plastic). It has a shape so that it can direct light rays. The word “Lens” is used both for single piece of glass as well as a camera lens with several lenses that works together. From ‘lentil’ because similar in shape.

Lens hood = (also called a Lens shade). A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. In the past where lenses were not coated to prevent internal reflections inside the lens, the lens hood was often essential. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves just as much as decoration and protection (bumper) as well.
ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.

Lens hood or Lens shade attached to the front of the lens to prevent light rays from the side to hit the optics, which could introduce unwanted light and hence reduce contrast of the image. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves as decoration and protection as well.
Lens hood or Lens shade attached to the front of the lens to prevent light rays from the side to hit the optics, which could introduce unwanted light and hence reduce contrast of the image. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves as decoration and protection as well.

 

Light = Tiny particles called photons that behaves like both waves and particles. Light makes objects visible by reflecting off of them, and in photography that reflecting off of subjects is what creates textures, shapes, colors and luminance. Light in its natural form (emanating from the sun) also gives life to plants and living things, and makes (most) people happier. So far, nobody has been able to determine exactly what light is. The word photography means “writing with light” (photo = light, -graphy = writing). Read more about light in my book Finding the Magic of Light.

Live View = This is the ability to see the image the sensor see, live, via the screen, or via an electronic viewfinder (EVF). This is a later technology than the Leica M9 that does not have Live View (requires a CMOS sensor, and the Leica M9 has a CCD sensor).

M (as in "M3", "M6", "M7" etc.)
A) The M originally stands for "Messsucher", which is German "Meßsucher" for "Rangefinder". The "3" in M3 was chosen because of the three bright line finders for the 50, 90 and 135 mm lenses. Later the numbers of the M cameras were more or less chosen to follow each other.
M-body evolution in chronologic order:
M3 - MP - M2 - M1 - MD - MDA - M4 - M5 - CL - MD-2 - M4-2 - M4-P - M6 - M6 TTL - M7 - MP - M8 - M8.2 - M9 - M9-P - MM (black and white sensor) - ME (Type 220) - Leica M (Type 240) - Leica M-P 240 - Leica M 246 Monochrom - Leica M-A (type 127, film camera) - Leica M 262 - Leica M-D 262 (without a screen) - Leica M10 - Leica M10-P.
B) M also refer to M-mount as the M bayonet that couple the Leica M lenses to the Leica M camera. Before the M bayonet the coupling between the camera and lens was screwmount.
C) M nowadays refer to the Leica M line of cameras rather than the "Messsucher".

M9
Leica M9 is a model name for the Leica M9 that was introduced on September 9, 2009 (as the first full-frame digital Leica M). It was the latest model designation using the M and a number. From their next model, Leica Camera AG introduced a new model system so each camera would simply be a Leica M but then with a model designation like Typ 240, Typ 246, Typ M-D 262 and so on. The idea was inspired from Apple who name their computers for example MacBook Pro and then it has a sub- model number designation which model it is (and which would define speed of processor, etc).



Leica M9

 

MACRO = Macro lens. The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.8 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro. The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’

 

The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.9 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc as well as a near focus macro. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ © Thorsten Overgaard.

Mandler, Dr. Walter (1922 - 2005)
Legendary Leica lens designer and CEO of Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN) 1952-1985. Read more in Leica History.

Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.
Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.

Megapixel (or MP) - Millions of pixels. See pixel further down. How many units of RGB is recorded by a given sensor by taking height x widt. A Leica M10 delivers a 5952 x 3968 pixel file = 23,617,536 piexls. On a screen the resolution you choose determines the size of the image. Say you have a 5000 pixel wide file and your screen is set for 8000 pixels wide. Then the image will fill only the 5000 pixels fo the 8000 and the rest will be empty, If you then change the screen resolution to 5000 wide, the image would be able to fill out the whole screen.

Meßsucher = (rangefinder or distance finder) = Mess = range, sucher = finder. It is always correctly written with the "ß". There are technically not three "s", rather the "ß" and one "s" because it is a word constructed by the combining of two precise words.

MF (Manual Focus) for lenses that are focused by hands, as opposed to Auto Focus.

mm = millimeter(s), as in a 50mm lens. (Earlier in lens history lenses focal length was given in cm = centimeters; as in a 5 cm lens). For anyone used to centimeters and millimeters, it’s no wonder. But if you grew up with inches, feet and yards, you may have had a hard time grasping what a 50mm lens was. But as lenses were designed first in Europe, the metric system with centimeters and millimeters was used to describe lenses.
The reason a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is that there is 50mm from the focus plane (the film or sensor) to the center of focus inside the lens. When photography was a young subject, it was engineers who made it all, and the users were expected to understand. The engineers were so into the making of the lenses, that it apparently never dawned upon them that today’s users would think of a 21mm lens as a wide angle lens rather than a lens where there is 21mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the optics.

MP
a) Stands for Mechanical Perfection, as in the Leica M-P.
b) Megapixels (millions of pixels).
c) Megaphotosites (millions of photosites).

ND
Neutral Density filters are grey filters function as 'sunglasses' for lenses. They simply block the light so that a lens can work at for example f/0.95 or f/2.0 in sunshine.
If a camera is set to 200 ISO and the maximum shutter speed is 1/4.000, this will usually result that the lens has to be at f/2.8 or smaller aperture in sunshine. Else the image will over-exposed. So in order til stay within the maximum shutter speed of 1/4.000 and still use a lightstrong lens wide open, one mount a ND-filter that reduce the light with 3 stops (8X) or 6 stops (64x).
For video ND-filters are used quite a lot (as the shutter speed for video is 1/60), and ND-filters are also used to reduce the light for really long multi-exposures at night (stop-motion video and stills).
ND-filters also exist as variable ND-filters so one can adjust the amount of light going through from for example 1 stop (2X) to 6 stops (64X).
ND-filters also exist as graduated ND-filters where the top of the filter is dark and then gradually tone over in no filter (so as to reduce the skylight in a landscape for example).
The ND filters are called Neutral because it is a neutral filter. It doesn't change colors, only the amount of light.

ND-Filrers. Neutral Density. Photo © Thorsten Overgaard
ND-filters / gray-filters.

Noctilux = Also known as "King of the Night" because "Nocti" means Night and "Lux" means Light. The f/1.0 lenes from Leica are named "Noctilux". The first Leica Noctilux lens was the 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 which shortly after it's introduction was improved to the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0. In the current model the f-stop has been improved further to f/0.95.
"Noctilux" refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.0 . "Nocti" for nocturnal (occurring or happening at night; ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus ‘of the night,’ from nox, noct- ‘night.), "lux" for light. The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 is famous for enabling the photographer to take photos even there is only candleligts to lit the scene. See the article "Noctilux - King of the Night"

The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the 0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black, the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.
The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the f/0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black), the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.

Optic = Eye or vision. From French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos ‘seen.’

Perspective - The way objects appear to the eye; their relative position and distance. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of perspective (also see Three-dimensional). A wide angle "widens" the perspective and makes objects further away appear smaller than they are to the eye; and objects closer, relatively larger than they are to the eye. A tele lens will "flatten" the perspective and often objects further away will appear relatively larger than close objects than they are in real life. A 50mm lens is the one closest to the perspective and enlargement ratio of the human eye.

 

Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 
  Vanishing points are the points where lines meet. This is how you make perspective in paintings and drawings (and some times make movie sets or theatre stages appear more three-dimensional than they are)
   

Painters works with vanishing points, which is where the lines meet, so as to create an illusion of perspective and three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional painting or drawing.

The human eye corrects for perspective to an extreme degree. We always see vertical lines vertical and horisontal lines horisontal: The eye has a angle of view equivalent to an 8mm wide angle lens, a size ratio equivalent to a 50mm lens and we focus on relatively small area of the viewing field - one at the time. Three things happens that are worth paying attention to:

1) We compile areas of our view that we focus on, to one conceptual image that "we see". Ansel Adams, the great American landscape photographer pointed out that a large camera used for landscape photography capture every detail in focus and sharp so you can view it in detail after; but the eye does not see everything in focus when you try to compose the landscape photography, the eye scans only one part at a time and stitch the idea together. This makes composing or prevision of a landscape photography challenging.

2) We compile areas of our view that we individually adjust the exposure of. A camera adjust the exposure of the whole image frame to one exposure. That's why what looks like a nice picture to the eye of houses in sunshine with a blue sky above, becomes a photograph of darker buildings with a bright white sky: The camera simply can't take one picture that compare to what we "compiled" with our eyes, adjusting for each type of light.

3) Objects (on a table, for example) in the bottom of our viewing field will appear 100% perspective corrected - to a degree that it is impossible to correct in optics, with or without software correction. A wide angle lens, even with little distortion, will exaggerate the proportions of the closet part so it - to the eye - looks wrong.

 

Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).

Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.  Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).
Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Photosite - The unit in a digital camera sensor that records intensity of either red, green or blue. Unlike the output of a sensor, measured in pixels (and where each pixel contains RGB), the photosite records only one color each, and it's intensity (how bright it is). A photosite can not distinguish colors, which is why there is a Color Filter Array (basically a prism) above them to filter the colors and send information to the photosite if 's a R, G og B color. See illustration below. In a monochrome sensor (as in the Leica M Monochrom and the Phase One Achromatic), all photosites are recording intensity of light only as there is no concern which color it is, and there is no color filter.
The ratio of photosites to pixels is not a given. Each block of 4 contiguous photosites contains one photosite sensitive to low wavelengths (blue), one photosite sensitive to high wavelengths (red), and two identical photosites sensitive to medium wavelengths (green). So four photosites would be the minimum to create one 'full-color' pixel. Apart from that, depends on the sensor specifications, which is different from brand to brand. Sometimes four photosites (two Green, one Red and one Blue) makes up one pixel, at other times it's more photosites to one pixel; and there is also pixels sampled from photosites across (sort of overlapping patterns).

Pixel - Made up word from Pix (picture) and el (element). A pixel is the smallest full-color (RGB) element in a digital imaging device. The physical size of a pixel depends on how you've set the resolution for the display screen. The color and tonal intensity of a pixel are variable, meaning that each pixel contains RGB. This is different from a camera sensor's small eyes (photosite) that are an intensity of either red, green or blue. You could say that the digital sensor's photosite (where each unit collects just one color; red, green or blue) is the input technology, whereas the pixels on a screen (where each pixel contains red, green and blue) is the output device. So while sensors are measured in megapixels (mega = million), it's their output unit of pixels, and not the input unit of photosites that is measured and stated. See illustration below.

 

Here's an illustration of how light goes into photosites that each record either R, G or B and then - combined - makes up one pixel containing RGB. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Here's an illustration of how light goes through a color filter that enables the underlying photosites to each record if it';s an R, G or B color - combined - makes up one pixel containing RGB. © Thorsten Overgaard.

S = Single image. In the menu of the Leica TL2 you can choose between single image at the time, or Continuous where the Leica TL2 will shoot series of 20-29 pictures per second as long as you hold down the shutter release. In Single mode it takes only one photo, no matter how long you hold down the shutter release.

Saturation: How colorful, intense or pure the color is. Less saturation would be less colorful, more saturation would be more colorful. In today’s photography, de-saturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full de-saturation would make it into a black and white photo.

A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.
A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

SDC = Software Distortion Correction. A correction of lens distortion (not straight lines) applied in the camera and which is part of the DNG file. In Lightroom the SDC of the camera file is applied automatically (and cannot be removed), in software like AccuRaw one can open the DNG file without the SDC correction. Sean Reid reviews have written a good article on what SDC is and does in "Software Distortion Correction".

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off.
 If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.

Sensor = A device that detects a physical property (like light) and records it. A camera sensor is a plane plate with thousands of small “eyes” with a lens in front of each, which each individually records the amount of red, green and blue light rays that comes through the lens. together Red, Green and Blue form all colors of the spectrum. From Latin sens- ‘perceived’

Saturation: How colorful, intense or pure the color is. Less saturation would be less colorful, more saturation would be more colorful. In today’s photography, desaturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full desaturation would make it into a black and white photo.

Sharpness - See “Focus”

Shutter speed dial - The dial on top of the Leica M where you can set the shutter speed manually. It can also be set to A which stands for Aperture Priority (where the camera suggests a shutter speed; or when you move the dial away from A, the camera will show arrows in the viewfinder, suggesting which direction to change the Aperture to, to get the correct exposure).

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
Shutter speed dial set to 1/1000 of a second.

SLR = Abbreviation for Single-Lens Reflex; the lens that forms the image on the film/sensor also provides the image in the viewfinder via a mirror. The Leica Q has no traditional viewfinder and no mirror. the image seen in the EVF is what the sensor sees.

Summarex
The great thing about being a lens designer is that you get to name the lens. Dr. Max Berek who worked for Leitz from 1912 till his death in 1949 named lenses after his two favorite dogs. One was Sumamrex named after his dog Rex, the other Hektor named after his dog Hektor.

Summarit
Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.5.

Summicron = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/2.0 . There are many guesses how this name came about, a popular one being that the "summi" came from "summit" (summit means the highest point of a hill or mountain; the highest attainable level of achievement) while the "cron" came from "chroma" (ie. for colour). Not so: The name (Summi)cron was used because the lens used Crown glass for the first time, which Leitz bought from Chance Brothers in England. The first batch of lenses were named Summikron (Crown = Krone in Deutsch). The Summi(cron) is a development from the orignal Summar (the 50mm f2.0 lens anno 1933)

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In Leica terminology a Summilux is always a f/1.4 lens and a Summicron is a f/2.0 lens.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. In photography and lens design, three-dimensional effect is also the perception of even small micro-details; the texture of skin can appear flat and dead or three-dimensional and alive. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of depth. Also see Perspective.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Vario- is the Leica Camera AG name for zoom lenses. Vario-Elmarit, Vario-Elmar and Vario-Summicron and so on.


The Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8 ASPH (left) and the Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmar-R ASPH f/4.0 (right)

Ventilated Shade - A shade is a hood in front of a lens that provides shade from light going straight onto the lens from outside what you are photographing, which could cause internal reflections like flare, which would make the picture less contrasty.
The ventilated shade has holes so it doesn't obstructs the view from the viewfinder. In many of today’s mirrorless cameras where there is no viewfinder looking ver the lens, so there is no actual need for a ventilated shade; but they are considered classic or vintage looking and are still in high demand. It makes no difference for the purpose of the shade (to create shadow) if it is ventilated or not.


Ventilated Shade for the Leica Q. I make ventilated shades for most lenses and sell them from here.

Viewfinder a device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens. Also known as the German word "Messucher" (or Meßsucher).
1) A built-in viewfinder in a camera that simply show the frame you get when you look through the viewfinder.
2) A rangefinder viewfinder which is also used to focus the lens. In Leica M cameras two pictures has to meet and lay 'on top of each other' for the picture to be in focus.
3) An external viewfinder, usually on top of the camera in the flash shoe, so as to show the field of view of lenses vider than what the built-in viewfinder can show (15mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm etc viewfinders exist)
4) Very simple "aiming-devices" on top of a camera that is simply a metal frame without any optics. Just a frame, as for example very old cameras (the original Leica), or when using cameras in diving where you can't look through the camera.
5) A Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) that shows what the sensor sees "live".

Visoflex
A device mounted between the Leica M camera and a lens, containing a mirror mechanism like in a SLR camera, thus allowing the M user to 'preview' a picture using a tele lens larger than 135mm which is the maximum covered by the framelines in the Leica viewfinder.

Ø - Symbol for diameter. As in Ø49 for example which means that the filter diameter is 49mm for this lens (or if a filter is Ø49, it is 49mm in diameter and fits that Ø49 lens). The letter ø is also a common Nordic vowel.
Leica uses E to express their filters sizes, as in E49 for a 49mm filter size.

 

 
   
   
         
   

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Hollywood, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Hollywood, May 2016. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

   
   

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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 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4 5                             M10-P
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
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1 Leica Q2: 1   Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5 6 Leica CL: 1 2             Books


leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica M10   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica M10-P   Leica CL
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica TL2
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder   Leica Digilux 1
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Sofort instant camera
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder   Leica CM 35mm film camera
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 SL and TL lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4    
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica R lenses:
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 180mm R lenses
    Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leica Cine Lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
     
History and overview:   Leica S:
Leica History   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica Definitions   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica S digital medium format
Leica Camera Compendium    
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
    Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Which Computer for Photographers?   Lightroom Survival Kit (Classic)
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Capture One Survival Kit
Quality of Light   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Lightmeters   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
White Balance & WhiBal   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
All You Need is Love   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
X-Rite   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
The Origin of Photography    
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
Leica OSX folder icons   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica M240 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Bespoke Camera Bags by Thorsten Overgaard:   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
"The Von" travel camera bag   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
"Messenger" walkabout bag    
"24hr Bag" travel bag   Thorsten von Overgaard oin Amazon:
"The Von Backup" camera backpack   "Finding the Magic of Light"
     
     
Leica Photographers:    
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 200 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
Jono Slack   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr
LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   The Leica User Forum
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   I-Shot-It photo competition
     
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Bespoke Camera Bags and Luxury Travel Bags   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade E46 for old Leica 35mm/1.4 lens
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
Home School Photography Extension Courses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 

 


 

Above: Inside the 17th-century basilica church in Rome, Sant'Andrea delle Fratte. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 at 800 ISO, 1/60 second. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

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LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

Latest Leica M9 & Leica M-P 9 Firmware update from Leica Camera AG

Latest Leica ME Firmware update from Leica Camera AG

Latest Leica M Type 240 Firmware
update from Leica Camera AG

Latest Leica M-P Type 240 Firmware update from Leica Camera AG

Latest Leica M Type 262 Firmware
update from Leica Camera AG

Latest Leica M-D Type 262 Firmware update from Leica Camera AG

Latest Adobe Camera Raw software for Leica M 262 and Leica M-D 262.

 

 


Thorsten Overgaard in London by Ray Kachatorian.

 

 

 

 

Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Ventilated Shades by Overgaaard
Leather Camera Straps
Camea Bags
Calfskin Camera Pouches
iPad and Computer Clutches
Leather Writing Pads
Books by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica Definitions
Leica History
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon 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 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses
7artisans 50mm f/1.1
Leica Digilux 2

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

Leica SL
Leica SL2
Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica R9 dSLR
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit
Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Capture One Survival Kit

Capture One Styles by Overgaard
Signed Original Prints by von Overgaard
The Story Behind That Picture
"On The Road With von Overgaard"

Von Overgaard Masterclasses:
M10 / M9 / M240 / Q / TL2 / S1R /

 

 

 

 

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 thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.


 

 


 

 

 

 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

 

 

     
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Thorsten Overgaard
     
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"The Freedom of Photographic Expression"   "Composition in Photography - The Photographer as Storyteller"
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Leica Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica Styles for Capture One by Thorsten Overgaard
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Join a Thorsten Overgaard
Photography Workshop

I am in constant orbit teaching
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Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
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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.
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Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
           
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