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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Two new products from Leica today, a twin-sister to the M9, the gorgeous M9-P and a new 21mm f3.4 lens. What's different in the new camera model? To summarize: it has a sapphire crystal LCD-cover (anti-reflective), the red dot logo has been removed by a more subtle engraving on the top plate, and vulcanite leather on the body is supposed to make it handle better.

So, as an enthusiast saving up for an M9, will I opt for the M9-P instead? Probably not. Though I love the style of the new M, and I'd definitely pick the M9-P if I had the choice, the price premium of 500 euros (5995 instead of 5494 for the normal M9) makes me want to buy the 'old' M9 anyway. I see the value in the improvements, but as a student I'd already be spending plenty of money (and I guess that goes for most non-students as well). Of course, I'll only make the definitive decision once I'm ready to buy, but probably, I'll go for the normal M9.

Press releases for both products after the break. Thanks to L-Camera Blog for providing these, couldn't find them anywhere on Leica's site.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Source: L-Camera Forum Blog, viewed 21 April 2011

New: The LEICA M9-P – The quintessence of Leica M photography

Leica Camera AG, Solms, presents a new version of the world’s smallest, full-format, digital system camera: The Leica M9-P. Technologically at the same high level as the successful Leica M9, the new M model offers special characteristics to meet the particular needs of professional photographers. We have therefore created the M9-P as the ideal tool for professional users who demand compact and discreet camera equipment with a long working life and simultaneously appreciate the advantages and benefits of Leica M photography. The ‘P’ in its name, already used in the past for several models, positions the camera in the line of Leica M cameras specially conceived on the basis of the wishes of professional photographers. The Leica M9-P is a complement to the Leica M9. Both models will be marketed together.

Image
Source: L-Camera Forum Blog, viewed 21 April 2011


Since 1954, the Leica M system has stood for an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style. Because, with a Leica M, the photographer becomes a part of the action in the process of capturing challenging and creative images. The rangefinder frames precisely the shot the photographer envisages while allowing a clear view of what is going on outside the viewfinder frame. This allows the photographer to predict the decisive moment and capture it discreetly and reliably at the right moment – in all fields of photography, from photojournalism and ‘available light’ to the capture of discreet and aesthetic, fine-art images. The functions of the Leica M are consistently constructed for extreme robustness and a long working life. Highest quality materials, elaborate manufacturing processes and painstaking manual assembly guarantee M cameras functional reliability for decades to come. The full system compatibility – almost all lenses of the Leica M range built since 1954 can still be used on the latest M camera models – is an important factor in the enduring value of the M series.

These core values of the Leica M system have been consistently maintained in the new M9-P. The technical features of the Leica M9-P are identical to those of the M9, however, in comparison, the typical Leica M product characteristics, like robustness and discretion, have been further improved.

For instance, the Leica M9-P features an extremely scratch-resistant, sapphire crystal, cover for its LCD screen. This material is so hard that it can only be worked with special diamond cutting tools and is one of the world’s hardest materials. In consequence, the sapphire glass LCD cover is extremely resistant to wear and almost unbreakable. In practical terms, it is so resistant to so many kinds of wear and stresses that the camera is ideally equipped for many years of reliable use. Thanks to an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the cover, image reviewing on the screen of the M9-P in unfavourable lighting conditions is now even better. This provides photographers with an ideal tool for optimum assessment of images both during composition and after capture.

The leathering of the body of the M9-P is also particularly resistant to wear. The vulcanite leathering features a more pronounced structure that lends the camera particularly good grip characteristics. This means that the M9-P feels particularly safe and secure in the hand, a fact that further enhances the already simple handling of the Leica M camera.

A further outstanding feature of the Leica M9-P is its minimalist styling with a focus only on what is really necessary. Many professional photographers who already rely on Leica cameras tend to tape over the Leica red dot to make their cameras as unobtrusive as possible. For this reason, and in favour of absolute discretion, this typical red dot symbol and the M9 lettering on the front of the new professional camera have been omitted. Instead, the top deck is now engraved with the classical script form of the Leica name.

The Leica M9-P is now available in two different finishes from all authorised Leica dealers: in black paint finish or in the traditional silver chrome version.

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Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Source: L-Camera Forum Blog, viewed 21 April 2011

New: LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH.
The compact wide-angle lens with improved imaging performance sets new standards.

Leica Camera AG, Solms, has added a high-performance wide-angle lens to their portfolio of short focal lengths for Leica M cameras. The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. sets new standards of imaging performance and is characterised by its particularly compact size and its suitability for a wide range of photographic situations. Photojournalism, architecture or landscape photography – whatever the field, with the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. photographers now have an extremely, compact light and versatile wide-angle lens that is the ideal addition to a camera system to take on their travels.

Image
Source: L-Camera Forum Blog, viewed 21 April 2011


The performance characteristics of the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. are reminiscent of one of the all-time favourite classics amongst M lenses, the Leica Super-Angulon-M 21 mm f/3.4. This much-praised M-lens was an integral part of the M-lens portfolio from 1963 to 1980 and made its name and reputation as an ideal tool for available light photography and photojournalism. Even today, the Super-Angulon-M 21 mm f/3.4 is extremely popular and one of the most sought-after M lenses amongst connoisseurs of fine optics. The new Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is a worthy successor, because, with the new Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH., we have been able to further improve the already outstanding performance of its predecessors. The lens already reveals its excellent reproduction of details and superior contrast at maximum aperture. Particular attention must be called to the extremely effective optimisation of the flare characteristics of the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. that allows the capture of fascinating contre-jour images with absolute clarity and contrast.

The elaborate optical design and construction of the lens is responsible for its outstanding imaging qualities. The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is constructed with eight lenses in seven groups. At the same time, the use of one lens element with two aspherical surfaces and four lenses with anomalous partial dispersion make an essential contribution to reducing aberrations to an absolute minimum.

As is the case for all Leica lenses, the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. was designed and developed by Leica optical specialists in Solms and represents a perfect combination of optical and technical expertise. As a particularly reliable product with enduring value and ‘Made in Germany’, every Leica lens is manufactured from only the best materials and is assembled in an elaborate process completely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and painstaking manufacturing procedures guarantees consistently excellent quality.

The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is supplied complete with a high-quality, all-metal lens hood. The hood not only protects the lens effectively against reduction of contrast by extraneous light but also against damage and the accumulation of dirt on the front lens element. For this reason, it should always remain mounted whenever the lens and camera are in use.

The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is available from authorised Leica distributors.

Technical data LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH.

Angle of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical): For 35-mm format (24 x 36 mm): 91°, 80°, 59°, for Leica M8 models (18 x 27 mm): 74°, 64°, 46° (Focal length equivalent: approx. 28 mm)

Optical design
Number of lenses/groups: 8 / 7
Aspherical surfaces: 2
Position of entrance pupil: 15.6 mm (to the apex of the first lens surface)

Distance settings
Working range: 0.7 m to ∞
Scales: Combined metre/feet graduation
Smallest object field: 706 x 1059 mm (35-mm format), 530 x 795 mm (for M8)
Largest reproduction ratio: 1:29.4

Aperture
Settings / function: click-stops and half-stop detents
Smallest aperture: 16

Bayonet: Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit bar-coding for digital Leica M models

Filter mount / lens hood: Non-rotating with inner threading for E46 screw-in filters, outer threading with stop for mounting the lens hood (supplied with the lens)

Dimensions and weight
Length to bayonet flange: approx. 43/55 mm (with/without lens hood)
Largest diameter: approx. 53 mm
Weight: approx. 279 g

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Ooh, it's dribble time, not that I can afford one any time soon with all the telescope upgrade purchases I've still to make. The M9-P details are included on the main Leica UK M9 page here and the lens write-up is here.

I wonder if one would get the extra cost of an M9-P back in a few years time if one was looking to sell the body and buy an M10?

Bob.

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OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Last edited by Bob Andersson on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:42 pm 
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If I ever win the lottery... :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Haters gonna hate, but who in their right mind would spend 500 euros for the removal of a logo, and some slightly different leather?

I just don't get it. Maybe I need to be rich to understand it :cry:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:50 pm 
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The "almost unbreakable" sapphire crystal screen sounds good to me for the extra money.

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Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:10 pm 
Beautiful camera's. I've been staying updated with the Leica/Magnum conference going on in France this week. Exciting stuff!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:11 pm 
This News Really Made My Day! Image


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:49 am 
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If I ever have enough to buy a regular M9, I will probably be able to afford the premium for the sapphire screen cover. I am near retirement, so splurging on an expensive camera is not likely to happen until I actually do retire, and can withdraw tax-deferred savings without the early distribution penalty. Of course, the M10 or M11 may be on the market by then.

I do like the look of the all-black M9-P. In fact, my hands-on impression of Leica M cameras is based upon handling a film MP at a dealer in nearby Houston, Texas, and I have seen it enough times that a solid black M with no red logo just looks "right" to my eyes.

Meanwhile, I use my Canon 7D DSLRs, and dream of Leicas. I may even try to purchase a pre-owned M8.2 sooner than my retirement date, to test the rangefinder concept over an extended time, before committing to a new one, especially if an M10 drives the price of a pre-owned M8.2 down a bit.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:37 am 
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Bjorn, I doubt that you will get better photos out of the M9 than your current D-lux.
Maybe buy a new car instead, or a birding lens for your a700 and a trip to Costa Rica.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:05 pm 
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Hi WestCoast,

Given that the sensor and lens combination's available to an M9 owner offer far more flexibility than a D-lux, especially for street, then you can only be suggesting that my mate Bjorn wouldn't know how to use an M9 (or M9-P) properly. Outrageous - consider yourself banned.

No, on second thoughts "Thank you" for a good laugh. 8) Sometimes one read posts that are so bizarre that one just ends up ROFL. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Maybe I just see money better spent, as Bjorn gets some pretty good results with an "assumed" inferior D-lux.
:wink:

** bizarre interpretation of bizarre there Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Fair call. :) I certainly enjoyed my very brief time with an M9 earlier this year and I can understand the passion but I suspect that very few photogs would really find an M-system cost effective if the only equation was money spent divided by good shots taken. Doesn't stop me wanting one though. ;)

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:57 pm 
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I can understand both points of view here. Since November I have bought a D7000 and four pretty good lenses and the total cost has been not much more than half the price of a Leica M9 body only. In other words I agree with Westcoast in that I know I could have a good holiday with the rest of the money.

On the other hand I regularly visit a veteran who bought his first Leica camera while serving in Germany in the 1960s/70s. Now in his 70s himself, he still has that Leica and recently invested in an M8. The first camera was with him throughout service in the jungles of SE Asia, the sands of the Middle East and the snow and ice of Northern Europe and Canada. It works perfectly after 40+ years. He isn't really sure why he bought a new one, other than for the convenience of digital, because he doesn't think he'll get full value out of it unless he lives to 110!

To me there is no doubt that the Leica will last probably better than any other camera and it will provide great images in the right hands. If you can do it and put the effort into funding it, why not? It is not going to be a bad buy, given how they hold their value.


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