After 8 years on the market, the users of Leica M seem to agree that the Leica M9 is the de facto standard for how a Leica M image should look. The Leica M9 is above the endless discussions about sensor rendering and colors. When you take a Leica M9 photograph, it’s instantly great colors. When the Leica M10 came out in March 2017, it's sensor was tuned to look close to the Leica M9 sensor.
Recently I simplified my lineup of Leica gear I travel with. I sold off my two 35mm lenses (a 35mm FLE and a 35mm AA), I left my Leica TL2 in Denmark, my Leica Q in Hong Kong and sold the Leica CL. I now just travel with two Leica M9 cameras and two Leica M10 cameras with 50mm Summilux, 50mm APO, 50mm Noctilux, a 28mm Summilux and a 90mm APO-Summicron.
The Leica M10 is the iPhone X of Leica M cameras, in the sense it's the optimized luxury-version. The ISO dial has become a new standard, even most people leave the ISO dial up so it is easy to change. It’s too stiff to open and close the ISO dial whenever you want to change the setting. It wasn’t meant like this, but that’s how it’s come to be. A funny little quirk of the Leica M10 design that I’m sure we will want to keep the same way in the future.
The Leica M9 has become the digital classic. We carry it as if it was an old-school film camera, even though it is far advanced from the Leica M6 and Leica M3 cameras we used to regard as the classics.
How to tame a Leica M9 - Rule No 1
Use the right SD card
When you buy a Leica M9, or you take it out from the closet, you might have forgotten that the limit for SD-cards is 16GB. The de facto standard for the Leica M9 is the SanDisk 16GB 45MB/sec card. So buy a few while they still have them (they're only $5.50). Also, the 32GB Sandisk 95MB/sec will work.
If you get too enthusiastic and buy the awesome 128GB Angelbird cards, or a 64 GB SanDisk "to have space enough", the Leica M9 will simply not react when you turn it on, or will display a "No SD card" message.
The round buttons of the Leica M9 have a delayed response when you press them.
It’s cute with the round buttons that have a delayed response when you press them. The overall camera has a slow response to it so you sometimes wonder if it still works. It does. You turn it on, and sometimes it doesn’t really start. Or maybe it does. It’s part of the Leica M9 feeling that it’s all a bit quirky and slow.
The menu that we once struggled to understand, now 8 years down the road where an iPhone requires a university degree and a full 30 minutes intense scrolling to set up, is so simple it’s laughable. It’s a joy to have so few choices in your photographic life.
Out and about in New York with the Leica M9 earlier in February 2018. Photo by Philip Koury.
Oh, I forgot! I acquired a Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 made for the original film camera Leica CL. It's a nice little compact lens, and Leica traditionally have made some very nice 40mm lenses (namely the 40mm on the Minilux). The strap on this camera is theA&A 252.
When the Leica M9 came out, it was all about comparison to other current models. Who has the most megapixels, who has more ISO speed, how much you get for the money, does it work in rain and all that.
I told you so, I dare say, it’s about the feeling and the image. The two things the Leica M9 is superior on is the feeling of making photographs, and the image quality.
The Leica M9 comes with the adjustable nylon strap that Leica Camera AG used to supply with all Leica models. It's not a bad strap, but you might want to sex it up with something else. Unfortunately, many camera straps are sold in 90 cm lengths, which makes them useless (especially if you wear a large winter jacket), unless you mean to wear your camera around the neck, hanging on the chest.
You should get a nice strap that allows you to have the camera across the chest, with the camera resting on the hip. For most people, 125 cm straps will do this. If you are smaller or larger than most people, you will need to measure with a measuring tape how long your ideal strap should be for the camera to end hanging by the hip. Not on the leg, not by the kidney.
"Always wear a camera" is my motto, and you can only do so if the camera actually sits comfortably. By the hip you can have it on the side of your body, or in front. If you want to bicycle or walk through a store without the camera getting noticed, you sling it so it hangs on the back of the body. You feel it's there, but it's not in the way.
Yet it's ready, should you see an inspiring frame you want to grab. That's what is meant with "Always wear a camera".
18 megapixels was and is about the limit of what the human eye can see in terms of resolution (4K for video). If you need much more megapixels to tell your story, then maybe your story isn’t about what is in the photograph but rather about something else.
No doubt we will see much more megapixels in cameras, and more than 4K in video cameras. But unless you want or need to crop the frame greatly, you don't relly need more than 18MP or 4K.
Doodling around with the Leica M9 in Cuba and elsewhere, the never-ending blog discussions about new camera models becomes a clutter in the background, like traffic from a distant highway while you look at some interesting blue flowers in the bottom of the woods. Who wants to sit in traffic when you can photograph beautiful colors and get lost in a moment of interesting light?
Photographingin Havana. Photo by Mort O'Sullivan.
One of the things you may notice with the Leica M9 is that your photographs don’t look that different from the ones you make with the Leica M10 or Leica SL. The point being that apparently, we didn’t need a new camera to make better photographs.
The Leica M9 has the instant lovable colors and black and white tones. There is no doubt, no time spent trying to tweak it to some other look or standard than what the camera makes. The secret is that after 8 years of use, we have come to agree that the Leica M9 look is the right look.
No more sweating over tonality, noise, whether there is too strong a blue or too red skin tones. We accept it as a standard, just as we do with Tri-X, Kodachrome and all the other well-proven classics.
Once you master the few technical things on a Leica M9, there are very few things to know. It's actually like a film camera in that sense: All you have to control at all times, is the exposure.
No matter how advanced cameras have become, the exposure is one thing you cannot let a camera decide. It can help with the built-in light meter, but at any time your subject is not mid-tone, the light meter is destined to get it wrong. Light meters are all made for a grey world.
I feel beyond the fear of showing a photograph on a forum and somebody asking, “Don’t you find the blue a little too strong on this sensor”, because I don’t care anymore. What of it? I know this sensor, I know this look, I know it works. Nobody would spend time discussing if the Kodachrome look is too saturated or not. It’s the Kodachrome look.
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How to tame a Leica M9 - Rule No 4
Doing a little Instagram post about my Dali Kubik Free loudspeakers that I travel with (with the Leica M10 and headphones from Fendi and B&O lying around as well).
How to focus a Leica M
Focusing a Leica M is something you will never be able to do with 100% certainty. But the thing you will be able to do with certainty, is to focus a Leica M and learn to live with the fact that not all of the photos are in 100% focus - and never will be.
No matter if you are completely new to Leica M, or you've used it for eons, you will have some photos that are just 100% in focus; and some that aren't.
It's a subject I always address in my workshops (and I have a high rate for curing it), as well as in these articles:
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 Offto 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.
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 speed dial
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.
The square piece of plastic by the lens strap is to protect the painted body from scratches from the metal ring/strap.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bottom plate 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).
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.
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.
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Aperture = The f/ stop on the camera 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 (4.0 - 5.6 - 8.0 - 11 - 16) you halve the light. 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). ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.
ASPH = 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, 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. Most Leica ASPH lenses from Leica has 1 or 2 aspherical elements.
Normal speric lens (grinded)
ASPH (note the shape of the glass as result of pressing rather than grinding)
Sphere: ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French espere, from late Latin sphera, earlier sphaera, from Greek sphaira "ball".
Banding = Noise in digital images. Horizontal lines in a horizontal pictures (if the camera is in portrait mode/vertical, the lines will be 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 have vertical lines in it, it is more likely that the sensor needs remapping).
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 why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzzines' or 'blur.'.
C = Continuous shooting. When the ring by the Shutter Release on top of the camera is moved from OFF to C, the Leica M takes series of images as long as the shutter release is pressed down.
CCD sensor (as used in the Leica M9 and Leica MM).
= Charge-Coupled Device. Historically considered better quality sensors than later technology of CMOS. The question is if improvement of CMOS technology have made CMOS sensors just as good, or better, than CCD.The Leica M9 uses CCD sensor, and at the time of it's launch in 2006, medium format cameras also used CCD sensors (for quality) whereas many dSLR cameras used CMOS (for speed and ecomomy).
CMOS sensor (as used in Leica Q, Leica M 240, 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.
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.
DOF scale ont the Leica Q lens
DOF = Depth of Field. This is how much of the image will be in focus. The measurement on top of the Leica Q lens shows lines for each f-stop that indicates from which distance to which distance the image will be sharp. 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; making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).
EVF = Electronic ViewFinder.
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.
A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
Focal length = On the Leica Q it is 28mm 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 focus only in the center.
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.
Full Frame is "king of photography"
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).
Hue = A color or shade depending on the dominant wavelength of red, green or blue. The word Hue comes from Swedish hy which is "skin complexion". It is independent of intensity, so often (in computer editing programs for example), Hue is an adjustment along Saturation which is (intensity of color as compared to white).
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 Q sensor is 100 ISO 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 a 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).
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.
Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - normally f1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In the Leica Q the lens is a Summilux even it is a f/1.7 and not f/1.4.
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 hood = A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.
LTM = Leica Thread-Mount, also known as M39, the 39mm screw mount that the first Leica lenses had to be mounted onto the camra. It was developed by Oskar Barnack in the 1930's at Leica to provide a system that would allow for the exchange of lenses on their new film cameras. The idea was that other camea manufacturers would use the same mount. It was replaced with the Leica M boyonet that cameras from Leica M3 (1954) and forward uses. All older Leica lenses with the 39mm LTM can be used on new Leica M cameras with a LTM to M adapter.
MACRO = Macro lens. The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ There exist a Leica macro kit for the Leica M9 (a Leica 90mm f/4.0 lens with macro adapter/googles and angle viewfinder).
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.
ND = Neutral Density filters are grey filters that functions as 'sunglasses' for lenses. They simply block the light so that a lens can work at for example f/1.7 in sunshine. A 3-stop ND filter is recommend for the Leica Q.
ND (Neutral Density) filters to put in front of lenses to reduce the amount of light that comes in. They don't have any other effect than that and doesn't change contrast, color or anything.
S = Single image. When the ring by the shutter release on top of the Leica Q is moved from OFF to S, the Leica Q takes one photo at the time (Single). The other possibility is Continuous (see above).
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 camrea file can applied automatically based on the lens profile you set in the camera (or the camera reads from the 6-bit code). Sean Reid reviews have written a good article on what SDC is and does in "Software Distortion Correction".
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.
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. In the Leica Q the lens is f/1.7 but is called a Summilux because it is closer to f/1.4 than f/2.0.
Viewfinder = a device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens.
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 wider 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".
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.
I am in constant orbit teaching
Leica and photography workshops.
Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
30% of my students are women.
35% of my students dotwo or more workshops.
95% are Leica users.
Age range is from 15 to 87 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level ranges from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.