Leica m240 vs m246

aaronz28

Regular
Dec 17, 2014
so - I'm looking to buy a 240 - (i've owned 2 and sold both because I needed the cash) but before the end of the year, i need to make a purchase or two

SO.... I wanted another 240, but read about the 246 - i have ZERO need for video and for live view - and would happily pay a little more for the newest Leica M, BUT a used 240 is still about a grand less than a new 246...

any advice here? is the new 246 better than the 240 in terms of speed, sensor quality? etc.
 

Amin

Hall of Famer
Jul 3, 2010
I think you mean the 262 (246 is monochrome). The only advantage I see with the 262 over 240 is that the shutter is even quieter with the 262. I'm pretty sure it's the same sensor, and it isn't being touted for any speed advantage. It's pretty much an M240 with an aluminum top plate, quieter shutter, absence of video/live view, and a lower price.
 

VINCETAN

Top Veteran
Aug 19, 2013
Since the 262 is new, it is hard to find one at a discount. I think the original 240 is probably the best deal. Can't beat the price at aroun $4K for a very clean one. I remember paying $8K for a couple a year and a half ago.
 

airfrogusmc

Veteran
Apr 1, 2013
I picked up am M 262 last Friday and I really do like it. I also bought a 90 cron 1980-1998 version. The 262 has a shutter that is quieter than the 240. In fact IIRC it's the quietest digital M shutter. Easier menu to negotiate, a lot of stuff I don't want like live view and video not on it and really good at 6400 ISO.

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along side my MM
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Brian McGloin

New Member
Aug 21, 2015
Brian McGloin
The M-P has a larger buffer, upgraded LCD glass and I think an update with something in the shutter. It still has the same sensor and image-processing parts.
 

M240

Regular
Sep 30, 2014
USA (Indiana)
The M262 is an interesting alternative to the M240 and M-P. The main attraction to me is the absence of video capability, which IMHO the M240, M-P and 246 should never have been saddled with in the first place.

The M262 is certainly worth considering - it will bring in new first time Leica M disciples. An M262 and either a 50 'cron or 28 elmarit can be had for the price of an M-P body; what's not to like about that??
 

carlb

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2013
Doesn't look like the 262 has the lever for temporarily changing the viewfinder lines?

Be aware, the M240/M262 sensor has a different "feel" to it compared to the preceding M9 sensor. Although the M240/M262 is more advanced, there are quite the number of shooters who will stick with their M9s because they prefer the look from that sensor.

I bought the M240, then the M9, and I'm happy with both. Depending on the conditions and the feel I'm looking for, I could grab one or the other.

I love the M240 because I can shoot the Leica R f4 35-70mm (a beautiful, versatile lens with macro option) using live view. I could shoot that with the M9 or M262 too, but just for scenic shots; no close-in bokeh or macro shots.

Just a few more considerations to ... consider.
 
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airfrogusmc

Veteran
Apr 1, 2013
A couple of environmental portraits with the new 262 and Lux FLE wide open. Still haven't seen the crappy bokeh form this lens some say it has. Is it as good as a Canon 200 2L or even the 90 cron? No way but again it is better than most 35mm lenses I have shot with.

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dante

Rookie
Nov 18, 2015
The problem with the 262 is that omitting the Live View function along with video cuts off some fairly useful things - like a 3D level for taking wide angle shots, using most SLR lenses, utilizing the EVF instead of a bunch of $$$ accessory finders, and being able to gauge the collimation of your lenses pretty much instantly.

Forget the M9. Unless you're one of the people with the Golden Eye,* there is nothing to recommend giving up the higher resolution, higher ISO capability, much higher responsiveness, larger and better screen, infinitely better batteries, weatherproofing, improved tripod socket, and greater and all-around fun.

D

*The Golden Ear somehow defies age and seems to correlate with having 10 grand to spend on a stereo. The Golden Eye seems to correlated to not wanting to spend (or not having) $6.5K for a more modern camera.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
There is a difference between CCD's and CMOS and how they collect and process light. The CCD has an advantage with collecting light coming in at low elevation angles. CMOS has an advantage in having a universal reset that allows double-sampling, digitizing on the chip, and performing signal processing on the chip. Back-side illuminated CMOS should improve collection efficiency at the edges. Most manufacturers do not publish technical specifications for their sensors, those for the M8 and M9 have long sheets available.

This subject comes up a lot, in the past I've asked people with both an M9 (or M-E) and M240 (or M246) to shoot with the same lenses on both cameras with lens detection turned off. I've seen this done once, with a 50/1.4 Summilux: the corners of the M240 were noticeably darker than the M9. This is easy to correct digitally using a "non-uniformity correction", essentially flattening the image.

Does it make a difference in the final image? Can you tell without running scene metric software to analyze the image? I used to get paid a lot of money to develop software to acquire sensor data and analyze sensor performance. But that was the 1980s for me. I also wrote the software for putting them into orbit. FORTRAN, of course.
 

dante

Rookie
Nov 18, 2015
In the only blind tests I have seen, plenty of people have just as often as not misidentified pairs of pictures as being CCD versus CMOS. I'd like to see some systemic testing applied. There is way too much confirmation bias in statements that people like the CMOS "rendering" better. My suspicion is that many who profess to see the difference are not actually able to, whether by blind testing or by the results of color perception tests.

Dante

P.S. Fortran? In the mid-1980s, I was an 12-year-old 6502 assembly language programmer. That gave me a whole new appreciation for tedious projects. Once you've had to use 16 lines of code to display a single character, everything else in life seems super-stimulating. The rise of the Macintosh and Windows did a lot to destroy programming as a mainstream exercise (command-line phobia), and even in the humanities, you can now see how much the rise of app-consumers has degraded logical skills.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
I still use a LOT of assembly language, many types- from 8-Bit RISC through to Intel assembly. I went from using an $8M vector supercomputer in 1979 to embedded programming for computers built to my spec. I still use analog Oscilloscopes to debug and fine-tune hardware and software. "Green-Eye" on the subject.

Working on Jupiter-3's and converting lenses to Leica mount, a counter-balance.

Some of my friends still work with advanced imaging sensors. The best of these involves hybrid CCD/CMOS, basically the collection efficiency of a CCD coupled with the processing power of CMOS. It is not cheap.
 

airfrogusmc

Veteran
Apr 1, 2013
The problem with the 262 is that omitting the Live View function along with video cuts off some fairly useful things - like a 3D level for taking wide angle shots, using most SLR lenses, utilizing the EVF instead of a bunch of $$$ accessory finders, and being able to gauge the collimation of your lenses pretty much instantly.

Forget the M9. Unless you're one of the people with the Golden Eye,* there is nothing to recommend giving up the higher resolution, higher ISO capability, much higher responsiveness, larger and better screen, infinitely better batteries, weatherproofing, improved tripod socket, and greater and all-around fun.

D

*The Golden Ear somehow defies age and seems to correlate with having 10 grand to spend on a stereo. The Golden Eye seems to correlated to not wanting to spend (or not having) $6.5K for a more modern camera.
Those things like live view and video aren't useful to me. In fact I try to avoid them and this camera os like the M-E (which I have also) that don't want the things they can get is every other camera.
 

dante

Rookie
Nov 18, 2015
I still use a LOT of assembly language, many types- from 8-Bit RISC through to Intel assembly. I went from using an $8M vector supercomputer in 1979 to embedded programming for computers built to my spec. I still use analog Oscilloscopes to debug and fine-tune hardware and software. "Green-Eye" on the subject.

Working on Jupiter-3's and converting lenses to Leica mount, a counter-balance.

Some of my friends still work with advanced imaging sensors. The best of these involves hybrid CCD/CMOS, basically the collection efficiency of a CCD coupled with the processing power of CMOS. It is not cheap.
Not to drag this farther OT, but I was shocked to learn how long they still used 6502s and Z80s in embedded devices - after they stopped being viable in personal computers.

Dante
 

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