Leica recently announced the most recent M-Series camera, a sensational anthracite gray full-frame digital rangefinder predicated on the Leica M which released in September of 2012. The brand new Leica M-E (Typ 240) includes a few welcomed upgrades and a good surprise-a lower price. Actually, the brand new Leica M-E, coming in at $3995 (body only), is the lowest-price full-frame Leica camera available.
Here’s how it betters the original Leica M (Typ 240).
As well as the exclusive gray color finish-which looks and seems both exclusive and luxurious-the new Leica M-E has true leather body addresses and an enlarged (2GB) shot buffer. The leather enhances the entire tactile enjoyment as the increased buffer size allows longer burst shooting.
Check Out: Best Lenses for Leica M-E (TYP 240)
Leica M-E (TYP 240): Price
Does the E in M-E are a symbol of “Entry Level?”
Let’s unpack the price. Obviously, the $3995 sum isn’t a casual purchase aside from the few. But when compared to the cost of a similar used Leica full-frame camera, it’s competitive.
Consider the price within a historical context. About 50 years back, the Leica M4 film camera was arguably the best possible 35mm rangefinder available. In the minds of several, it still is the very best, despite the fact that it’s been discontinued for many years. According to my resources, the M4 (body just) sold for $550 in 1970.
That sounds about correct because I confirmed a Minolta SR-T 101 with 50mm f/1.7 MC Rokkor was $199 ($219 with an f/1.4) at Altman’s in Chicago around that point. A similarly outfitted Canon FTb cost about the same.
Adjusted for inflation, the Leica M4 body that price $550 in ’70 compatible about $3,630 in 2019 dollars, according to many online inflation calculators.
Now remember that the Leica M4 had not been digital, didn’t have a Live View LCD panel on the back and-hell, it didn’t have even a light meter built-in! Just forget about ISO 6400 and Aperture Priority auto exposure. To create the correct exposure you required a handheld meter or a clip-on Leica MR4 meter that occupied the flash footwear and captured the shutter acceleration dial.
The Leica Typ 240 platform has been protected in the media often, inasmuch as it’s been with us for pretty much seven years, so there’s you don’t need to drill down to each and every detail in this review. I wrote of my shooting experience with the antecedent Leica M (Typ 240) on these pages in 2014 in a short two-part tale (you’ll find the next short part here).
Leica M-E (TYP 240): Build
Like every Leica rangefinder I’ve ever taken care of, the Leica M-E is solid, soft and precise. It feels a tad toward the heavy side at a pound-and-a-fifty percent (a Nikon D850 weighs 2 pounds, therefore it’s not unreasonable). Nonetheless, it seems great in the hands, is beautifully well balanced and is a pleasure to use.
The painted anthracite gray finish off is significantly different, and the original leather trim is both handsome and functional.
According to the specs, the Leica M-Electronic can be splashproof, and I’m sure that’s correct. But understand that a (large) portion of the pleasure of running a Leica digital rangefinder camera may be the ability to use aged Leica M-mount lenses. And even old Leica screw-mount lenses with an adapter. Therefore don’t enter a habit of relying as well heavily on the water-resistant feature. Those older lenses aren’t splashproof, and neither are lots of new lenses.
The 3-inch Live View LCD panel on the trunk enables you to compose creatively, and you could use it to target too, of course. But keeping a Leica RF at arm’s length and focusing feels international, sort of like driving a Lamborghini to provide the mail. It functions fine, nonetheless, it seems weird.
The crimson Leica medallion is usually prominent on leading and the script Leica logo can be sharply embossed. It’s a badge of honor, to be certain, but you may choose to cover it with plastic material tape when road shooting.
Leica M-E (TYP 240): Operation
In many ways, the procedure of utilizing a Leica M-E (Typ 240) closely parallels the procedure of a film-based Leica. To improve the battery or Sdcard, take away the entire bottom plate. Concentrate is manual with a bright convergent-image design rangefinder, and the field of view is marked by shiny lines superimposed in the viewfinder.
The Leica M-E provides both Manual and Aperture Concern exposure modes. Menu driven functions are easy to check out and major features can be invoked intuitively.
Images could be stored in DNG Natural (lossless compressed or uncompressed), JPEG or both simultaneously. Occasionally I could extract a wider dynamic add the DNG document than was within the camera-created JPEG. This isn’t that unusual. Understand that JPEGs are processed following the aesthetic choices of an engineer you’ve by no means met. JPEG email address details are generally very good, however, they may not be just what you had at heart.
Leica M-E (TYP 240): Image Quality
I’ll say a similar thing I said about the initial Leica M Typ 240. Image quality is outstanding also to a large extent reliant on the outstanding Leica lenses. The Leica Maestro image processor and accompanying transmission processing firmware deliver picture quality that matches the utmost potential of the cup before them.
Since we tested among the first Leica M-Electronic samples obtainable in the US, we could actually use it for a couple of days. That limited the number of hoops we’re able to make it leap through but we’re satisfied that people saw enough to validate our conclusions.
Leica M-E (TYP 240):
• 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
• Leica Maestro image processor
• Magnesium alloy body
• Brass top plate and baseplate
• Splashproof body construction
• 3-inch, 920k dot LCD monitor
• Live View
• Optical 0.68x-magnification viewfinder
• Full HD 1080p video recording
• ISO 200-6400
• 2GB shot buffer
• DNG Raw plus JPEG
• Integrated level
• Anthracite finish
• Black leather trim
• Weight: 1.5 pound (680g) with battery
• Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.65 x 3.15 inches (138.6 x 42 x 80 mm)
• Every Leica M-E is handcrafted in Germany
Leica M-E (TYP 240): Conclusion
When I first discovered that Leica was presenting a basic level digital rangefinder configured from the Typ 240 system, my mind raced to take a position on what features they could leave out. The initial Leica M doesn’t have an overabundance of frills in the first place. What could Leica delete?
To my delight, rather than removing features, Leica added a more substantial buffer, natural leather trim, and a cool, unique finish off. And all for a cost below $4k.
The Leica M-E Typ 240 is practical if you have often wanted a full-body Leica digital rangefinder but had been scared off by the purchase price. Or if you’ve considered buying a utilized Leica because of secondhand costs much less. It creates even more sense in the event that you already own a Leica M-mount zoom lens or two, but haven’t used them because you ceased shooting film.
There exists a distinct feeling of pleasure that originates from owning a completely new Leica camera. I can’t adequately explain it, but Leica owners know very well what I mean. It’s a particular pride of possession that transcends the worthiness of the dollars you paid for it. If you’ve wished to scratch that itch, the Leica M-E may be right Leica for you personally.