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I Love Leica M

posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:43 PM by Tony Le   [ updated Nov 20, 2014, 9:50 PM ]

Collected Info Sharing by: Tony Le Kim Thuan APSA HonEFIAP HonFICS EFIAP

  To ICS Friends Photography with Leica M.
The M:
The Leica M with its specific adapter for using R lens is in the market, now that every one is getting the M. The lens M series is cost very high if compare with lens R series, so what lens should ONE get to use with it?, I have used M8.2 and M9 with M lens 21, 35, 50 and 135mm but my favorite is M-50mm 1.4 lens. However, it depend on ICS photography friends select focal lens by h/she tast or to use R lens with M/R leica specific adapter to earn an M image quality.
Now, I love the M and I sold almost still cameras and lenses of mine to save some money in order to purchase a LEICA M and just ONE LENS to cover photograph what I like most. For myself just getting One and Only one M lens or one R lens with Leica M/R Adapter; I am sure will never miss a shot changing lens for intimate travel or with ICS photo session.
I like Leica M and its M lens 50mm. I have no experience R lens w/adapter in M body, but I am happy with leica M image quality. ICS photography friends may justic by yourself if using R lens or contact experienced leica photographers for further comments or information. If you do not have much experience to purchase used M/R lens for self inspection, the decision is yours but it may take a riskily; the best way, ICS member should save money to purchase a new one:
    SUMMICROM M-50MM                                 SUMMILUX M-50MM

* Leica Summicrom M-50mm f/2 filter size 39mm, 240g in black aluminum, 355g in chromed brass, from 1
* Leica Summilux M-50 f/1.4 ASPH filter size 46mm, built-in locking hood, 335g in black aluminum, 460g in chromed brass, from 2004-today.
The M Specific Adapter for R Lens:
The Leica M with M specific adapter for leica R Lenses, I have no experience but the ICS friends photography should understanding about Cams and Rom of R Lens before select a R lens for your Leica M. 
Leica R lenses are 35mm manual focus lenses that fit on Leica R SLR bodies. Most the lenses can be used on any Leica reflex camera body in a non-metered mode (they physically fit onto the body). There are different designations that denote the lenses cams, or cam-coupling, which is how meter-coupling is carried out. So in order for the lens aperture information to make it to the camera for proper metering, you must choose the appropriate lens and camera combination.
Understanding CAMS and ROM:
A '1-CAM' or 'SINGLE CAM' is for original Leicaflex cameras. The cam looks like a sloped and curved chrome bar located in between the lens mount and the rear element of glass. It is not recommended to put these lenses on R8 or R9 cameras because it can damage the cameras ROM contacts.
                   2 CAM                                       3 CAM                                  3rd CAM                               3rd CAM LOCATION                       3 CAM - ROM
A '2-CAM' or 'TWIN CAM' is for the SL and SL2 models and original Leicaflex. The 2 cams on these lenses also look like sloped and curved chrome bars in between the lens mount and the rear element. These lenses are also not recommended to be put on the R8 or R9 cameras. (The 1 and 2 cam lenses can be used on other bodies in stop-down metering mode only.) 

A '3-CAM' or 'TRIPLE CAM' will work on all Leica SLR models. The 3 cams on these lenses include the 2 cams previously mentioned (the 2 curvers chrome bars) plus a 3rd cam that is black, has a 3-tiered step shape, and is located inside the 2nd cam.

A '3rd-CAM' or 'ROM-ONLY CAM' is for R3 and later models. This lens does not have the 1st or 2nd cam (the chrome bars) at all. It only has the 3rd cam (the black tiered cam) located in between the lens mount and the rear element. These lenses also have a slightly different mount shape that prevents it from fitting on earlier camera models (Leicaflex).

ROM means that the lens is supplied with electrical contacts. These lenses are for use with the R8 and R9, although they are still compatible with earlier models  but without the extra benefits from the contacts. This lens is also a 3rd cam lens, but has a strip of electrical contacts in between the mount and rear element. The contacts allow additional information to be communicated between the lens and the camera, such as the focal length of the lens for flash metering. 


Now ICS photography friends can shop the Leica R Lens with confidential to use with Leica Specific Adapter for M (recommend to see camera menu-adapter's specification). With the new LEICA R adapter almost all Leica R lenses ever built can be mounted. The camera menu offers profiles for more than 20 R lenses completely with an individual calibrated workflow and EXIF lens recognition.


Preset Leica R-Lens profiles at a glance:


* Super-Elmarit-R 1:2,8/15 mm           

* Elmarit-R 1:2,8/19 mm                    

* Elmarit-R 1:2,8/28 mm

* Summilux-R 1:1,4/35 mm                  

* Summicron-R 1:2/35 mm 


* Summicron-R 1:2/50 mm                  

* Summilux-R 1:1,4/50 mm

* Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2,8/60 mm            

* Summilux-R 1:1,4/80 mm              

* Summicron-R 1:2/90 mm                  


* Apo-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2,8/100 mm            

* Apo-Telyt-R 1:3,4/180 mm            

* Apo-Elmarit-R 1:2,8/180 mm            

* Apo-Summicron-R 1:2/180 mm
* Apo-Telyt-R 1:4/280 mm

* Vario-Elmar-R 1:3,5 - 4/21 - 35 mm
* Vario-Elmar-R 1:3,5 - 4,5/28 - 70 mm
* Vario-Elmar-R 1:4/35 - 70 mm
* Vario-Elmarit-R 1:2,8 - 4,5/28 - 90 mm
* Vario-Apo-Elmarit-R 1:2,8/7 0 - 180 mm
* Vario-Elmar-R 1:4/80 - 200 mm


FAQ Leica M (Typ 240)

1. Which SD memory cards are recommended? Which are the fastest?

Fundamentally, we recommend San Disk cards as we prefer to use these for compatibility tests at Leica. To ensure optimum exploitation of the camera’s performance potentials, we recommend the use of Class 10 cards with speeds of 30 MB/s – e.g. from the SanDisk Ultra or SanDisk Extreme lines. SDXC cards with higher speeds are compatible, but offer no additional benefit in terms of speed compared with SDHC cards.

2. How long is the longest exposure time (shutter speed)?

Exposure times are limited, depending on the selected ISO value. The longest exposure time at ISO 200 is 60 seconds; the longest exposure time at ISO PUSH 6400 is eight seconds. These limits have been set to prevent uncorrectable imaging errors caused by longer exposure times.

3. How many shots can I take with a full charged battery?

In-house testing according to CIPA standards shows that a full charge is sufficient for around 800 images in classical rangefinder mode and around 400 in Live View mode. How users handle the camera can lead to significantly more or significantly fewer exposures from a full charge. Using the video function, the electronic viewfinder, or the GPS function also increases power consumption.

4. Why are the highest ISO values called “ISO push” settings?

The ISO sensitivity values in digital cameras are increased by applying signal gain. This process amplifies not only the signal, but also the residual noise component of every image. This means that at ISO settings greater than 3200, it is not necessarily certain that the images captured will be free of interference like extreme noise, banding, or individual pixel errors. We therefore recommend the use of the ISO push settings only in exceptional cases. Take care to expose
generously, particularly when shooting subjects with dark, homogeneous areas.

5. Do I have to use a UV/IR filter on the new M? How infrared sensitive is the new M?

All image sensors for Leica M cameras are designed and constructed to provide the best possible image quality with Leica M lenses. One prerequisite for this is the use of an extremely thin infrared filter on the image sensor to ensure a full corner-to-corner rendition of details. The consequence of this thin filter is that infrared light is not completely absorbed. This may result in slight color variations in certain lighting situations. This can be particularly critical when photographing dark-colored textiles in incandescent light. The infrared sensitivity of the M8 is so high that we strongly recommend the use of a UV/IR filter. The infrared sensitivity of the M9 and M (Typ 240) cameras is approximately 5% of that of the M8; these cameras can therefore be used without an IR cut filter. Nevertheless, when shooting critical subjects, it cannot be completely ruled out that corrections in post processing may be necessary.

6. Is Leica planning to add more R-Lenses to the list in a future firmware update?

We are not currently planning any further additions to the existing list. Most lenses not included in the list can be used anyway. Thanks to their telecentric construction, R-Lenses in particular deliver ideal imaging quality.

7. Can I also use third-party adapters?

It is our policy not to make any statements regarding the compatibility of accessories from other manufacturers. Only the original Leica R-adapter-M calls up the list of R-Lenses in the camera menu.

8. Are there any functional limitations to the use of the R-Adapter-M?

As no lens movements can be detected, automatic activation of the focusing aids is not available when using the adapter. When using the adapter, the camera cannot detect whether the lens mounted on the adapter has been changed. Manual selection is therefore necessary every time the lens is changed. As the rangefinder is not activated by the lens/adapter combination, rangefinder focusing is not possible with R-Lenses.

9. Which version of Image Shuttle is compatible with the new Leica M?

Versions of Image Shuttle 2.1 and up support the new M camera. Version 2.1 will be available in summer 2013.

10. Just how splash-proof is the camera?

The new M camera is sealed as effectively as possible by internal seals to reduce the chance of water penetrating the camera body to an absolute minimum. This means, for instance, that penetration of water into the camera is not to be expected when using it in a light rain. Nevertheless, please note that the system does not feature a bayonet seal, and that Leica M Lenses are not protected against water spray or splashes.

11. Can we expect further firmware updates for the new camera in the future?

Yes. There will be a new firmware update available in March 2013 that will further optimize the calibration of M-Lenses. We recommend users to visit the Leica Web site regularly in the first few months after the launch of a new camera to check for new firmware updates.

12. Which color subsampling method is used for video recording with the M (Typ 240) - (4:2:2 or 4:2:0)?

The camera records video files with 4:2:2 color subsampling. The effect of this is seen in increased sharpness and better color resolution.

13. Is a video editing software provided with the camera?

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software provided with the camera is also suitable for archiving and viewing video files. Simple processing options, such as editing and color correction, can also be accomplished with Lightroom.

14. What are the advantages of using the optional microphone adapter set?

The microphone adapter set enables stereo recording. In addition to this, the off-camera microphone offers higher sensitivity and better sound quality.

15. Which microphones can I connect to the microphone adapter set?

Electronic microphones with a 3.5 mm jack may be connected.

16. How do I avoid banding when shooting video indoors?

Static or scanning banding may occur as a result of interference between the flicker rate of light sources and the video sampling rate. These bands will only be seen in Live View or the video image, but not in photos. We recommend using the shortest possible exposure times to minimize these effects. In some cases, it may also be helpful to use a shutter speed of 1/50 of a second. When shooting video, use the 1/50 of a second setting; this speed is between 30 and 60 on the shutter speed dial. In countries with 60 Hz mains power frequency, we recommend the corresponding shutter speed of 1/60 of a second.

17. Can I also take still pictures during video recording?

Yes, the camera is ready to capture still pictures at all times. Video recording will however be interrupted for approximately one second.

18. What software can I use to play back video files recorded with the new camera?

The camera records video data as .MOV files. The compression corresponds to that of Motion JPEG compression. For viewing these video files, we recommend the use of the playback software embedded in the operating system (for example, Preview in Mac OS or Media Player in Windows).

19. Is there a limit to how much video I can record?

Video recording is limited to a maximum of 29:59 minutes, or a maximum file size of 4 GB. The file size also depends on the image content – the more detailed the subject, the larger the video file.

20. Are all ISO values available for shooting video?

Video recording is limited to a maximum of ISO 1600. Setting higher ISO values only affects still picture photography.

21. How high is the data rate for video recording?

The data rate is adjusted dynamically to the frame content. For highly detailed videos, the data is saved at a rate of 100 Mb/s.

22. I use a fast SD card, but video recording fails after a few minutes.

If a card is severely fragmented, recording may fail due to the card’s inability to record such high data rates. We recommend reformatting the card when this happens.