The LEICA is much easier because it is a mechanism. These lens tips are applicable to all LEICA cameras.
I’ll start with the lenses you can get to do justice to your M9, and work my way down to lenses for people who try to skimp on the most critical aspect of their gear, their lenses. Never deprive yourself of the lenses you deserve; unlike cameras, lenses last for decades, regardless of what camera you use behind them in the future.
Recommending lenses for the LEICA is not the same as recommending lenses for lesser-known brands such as Nikon, Canon, or Pentax. Few lenses from lesser-known manufacturers are optically excellent, while others are just average. When working with lesser-known brands, I have to choose lenses that are both optically and practically the best.
Any lens LEICA has produced in at least the last fifty years is excellent and completely consistent with every feature of the M9. This isn’t Nikon or Canon’s intended obsolescence.
I’ve filmed with hundreds of LEICA lenses, and they’re all razor sharp and have very little distortion. We choose lenses for the LEICA based on what we want to shoot and how we want to shoot it, not on optical results.
Although there is always variety from lens sample to lens sample for smaller brands, photographers do have to buy a few samples and choose the best. I’ve seen sample variance with Nikon and Canon lenses all the time, but never with LEICA, except though the samples were made on different continents!
Not only is LEICA obsessive about ensuring that each lens is produced correctly, but it also checks each lens separately before it leaves the factory. Although Nikon shooters are off snapping images of brick walls to find the sharpest sample, the LEICA shooter is already off making actual photographs because LEICA has already checked his lens and provided a hand-signed certificate in his box to validate it.
Of note, LEICA lenses are ten times the price of most still-camera lenses, but they are a fraction of the price of lenses for 35mm motion-picture cameras or professional tv cameras, which can cost as much as a home.
A LEICA lens is a technical tool, not a consumer item made for weekend hobbyists who are more concerned with price than results. The standard of LEICA is appreciated even after the cost has been overlooked. You won’t need to buy another identical lens from LEICA in ten or twenty years because the one you purchased decades ago is still excellent.
We focus our choices on what is the most realistic since any LEICA lens has nearly perfect optical efficiency. All we have to do now is choose a focal length or two and filter sizes, viewfinder blockage, and weight depending on our tastes.