Leica Leica M9 review


Good thing is that it is hard to be tempted when the camera is not available anywhere. Plus, there is that pesky issue of having to buy at least a couple of lenses for it. You are then getting into compact car price territory.

On the other hand, I keep thinking there is some truth in what Roger Hicks wrote in his review of the M9. He said something to the effect that the only reason why the camera seems expensive is because it is so small. If it were the size of a piano, you would think otherwise...

Maybe someday...


He said something to the effect that the only reason why the camera seems expensive is because it is so small. If it were the size of a piano, you would think otherwise...

Very true. The M9 (£4850.99) has better image quality than a D3X (£4829.00) or a Canon 1DS MkII (£4999.99) Admittedly it doesn't make the tea and go off on its own to take pictures while you stay in bed, but people use those cameras for shooting landscape etc. using a fraction of the facilities, and people don't seem to bat an eyelid. Sports & news photographers carry three of the things with monstrously large (and expensive) telephotos stuck on the end. Somehow thats OK but use a Leica and all of a sudden you're no longer a photographer but you must be a billionaire or some spoilt no brained dunce who just wants to show off how wealthy they are.

The M9 is built to last, its hand made, its easy and simple to operate and it will hold its value better than the other two cameras mentioned.

I know you really don't want to hear this, but I've got a Voigtlander 35mm f1.7 which I bought new for about £300. I've also got a 45-year old 135mm Leica Tele-Elmar which cost me £300 S/H.
Both are absolutely stunning on the M9. There are even better bargains than this. Old Leica lenses which cost a few hundred pounds, or even less than £100, if looked after by their owners are just as good as their incredibly overpriced modern equivalents. Plus you'll always get your money back on them and even occasionally make a few pounds. So the lens situation is not quite as expensive as it seems.

Almost everything I ever read about Leicas is dominated by how much they cost. I don't see that anywhere near as much when Nikon and Canon etc, are discussed. As you may have guessed, this is one of the reasons I wrote the piece on the cost of photographic equipment plus this piece which I wrote a while ago. Soundimageplus: Why did I buy a Leica?

Read your "Why did I buy a Leica" piece. Brilliant writing!

I wholeheartedly agree with your post. In fact, I you also posted a response on a thread I started over at mu-43.com (Why not a Leica M9) which I thought was very well thought out and expressed.

I would really like to get the M9, but since it does not seem to be available, I do not have to go through the arduous decision making process, or the even more arduous wife convincing process. However, I am fairly sure it will happen at some point.

As a final note, I would like to say that from what I have seen in these fora, you do outstanding work with your M9 and all your other cameras. So, if anybody deserves an excellent camera collection, it is you.

Best regards,

I got to play with an M9 two weeks ago, a friend of mine brought it over to our Pool party. Used a Noctilux on it. Waded into the pool to get pictures of Nikki and I having a water fight. The camera got drenched, worked perfectly. He bought it to use, and to get the shots that he wants.

I would not take my M8 into the pool.

Lenses- I use a Jupiter-3 on my M8 more than any other lens. I have a lot of lenses in Leica mount. The J-3 cost $50, I rebuilt it and modified it for close focus. Use it more than the Summicrons.
Click here.

Kind regards, Herman

Thanks Herman...................:)

The M9 in Melbourne got a price cut its down to $9999 AU body only
For way less than that I have 2 m43 Pany and Oly bodies and some great Pany lenses AND I am having fun

The M9 awesome build with that german reputation but not for me it would eat into my VROOM VROOM budget:rolleyes:
bump - M9

- I have "bought" the M8 so many times in my mind but never physically purchased one - every time I get hold of my M6 I know that I want, (wanted) an M8 - now I've moved onto the M9 after reading and reading about it - I'm going through the same process and have even started talking to my wife about the cost with a straight face, (mine not hers) - but to be proper you also need to stick a new 35mm f2 Cron on the end of it - money money money - when will I stop thinking and buy the combo - then I can worry about rangefinder alignment, sensor problems, focusing problems at infinity, insuring the thing, dropping it, brassing, whether to cover the red dot up, which one, black or grey, how to hide it in public and what accessories I need - (does it take images!) - also the extortionate price of Leica batteries, (would you put some Chinese after market thing in an M9) - but that's what life can be about - worrying - if I bought one I'd worry - if I don't get one I'll still worry - maybe it's better to dream - no it's not

Have a good evening
My dream about the M9 wants to dream with your dream.
Don't worry about all that stuff...
If you can swing it and the Wife approves....
Do it.....I'll never be able to outside of a dream but I'll feel real good knowing that you made a shared dream a reality.....

ps....Leica battery only!
The review seems pretty vague... pointing out the obvious and seems to be written by someone who doesn't have experience behind a rangefinder.

Here is a fairly long and detailed review that, IMO, has more content written by someone who uses Leica rangefinders. The site itself has many reviews on leica equipment.


I personally prefer chrome and I can't figure out why Leica (who has finished chrome rangefinders since the M3) only has the M9 in black or grey paint. Yeh yeh.. I know.. sounds a bit childish but its taking me on the order of over a year to save. No hurry on my part... got a long way to go.

If you manage to get an M9 but running short for a first set of glass, do check out some of the older versions of Summicrons... they render nicely. Wanting something newer? I was very impressed with the Summarits..... 35 and 75 being my two most used on an M8. Nice compact designs with short fast throws.