Leica M (Typ 240) First Impressions: 24 Hours with Leica’s latest digital rangefinder

by Michael Reichmann

posted Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM EST


Having been an M Leica user for some 40 years, and knowing well what the design brief for the new Leica M (Typ 240) digital rangefinder had been, it didn't take long for me to discover what I liked and what I disliked about this camera. During my 24 hours with the new Leica M, I had brought with me my full collection of M lenses, both Tri-Elmars, 24mm, 35mm and 50mm Summiluxes, and 90mm and 135mm APOs. Mark Dubovoy had brought his Noctilux (or should I call it Noctilust) and I tried the M with as many of these lenses as I had time for.

In short, I was both pleased and annoyed by the new M. Pleased by the superb image quality, and of course the ability to use my M lens collection on a camera that they were designed for -- or should I say one which was designed for them. On the other hand, for me and the way that I now prefer to work when doing documentary style street shooting, autofocus has become de rigeur. I understand and appreciate the accuracy of a rangefinder, and I absolutely love using a window finder-style camera for this type of work. But there are many situations doing other types of shooting -- light weight travel, for example -- where subjects such as foliage are downright difficult using a rangefinder.

Read more of Michael Reichmann's first impressions of the Leica M (Type 240) and see some of his sample photos here.

(Editor's note: This First Impressions review of the Leica M first appeared on Michael Reichmann's excellent photograhy site, Luminous Landscape. Visit Luminous Landscape to read more great articles about photography.)