Leica New Leica M-E (Typ 240)

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
Just came across this: The Leica M-E is the Most Affordable Brand New Digital M Yet

It's as if someone had known this was coming - we were just talking about the M-E and the peculiar way in which the M 262 actually wasn't a replacement, but its own beast ... Now we'll have reason to elaborate, I guess. The price is quite impressive - the lowest I've ever seen a brand new M body go for.

EDIT: Just noticed the "LV" button on the back - minus the preview lever, this is a M 240, not a M 262. Heck, it's almost a M-P 240 (2GB of RAM ...). Impressive.

M.
 

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
124
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Shame they didn’t do an M-E on the the M10 like they did with the M9.
They probably will, when the M11 comes out. The M9 based M-E came out with the M Typ 240. It’s Leica’s way of keeping the prior model available (at a reduced price).

Considering what M-P Typ 240s went for, $3,995 is a steal. It’s a terrific camera as well.

Cheers,

Antonio
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
ISO 6400 max? Curious.
Sensible, if you ask me; that sensor is no slouch, but above ISO 3200, it's falling apart if you're not super careful with your exposure, and even then, colour noise is taking over. I think it's a good decision - Leica doesn't play the numbers game the same way other brands do, anyway, and kudos to them for doing so (it's one of the reasons I love their cameras so much)!

I cap the M 262 at ISO 1600 whereas the M10 does ISO 3200 with comparative ease (so that's where I stop), but ISO 6400 on the M10 is nowhere near as usable as on my Nikon bodies. No problem at all, just an observation. Honestly, ISO 3200 is plenty, and ISO 1600 is quite okay in most cases. If it's that dark, focusing is already an issue anyway ... and it is even more so with fast glass. By definition, photography without light - isn't.

M.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
If the internals are exactly those of M240, ISO 6400 is denoted as "push ISO" and 3200 is the highest "native" ISO. And this reflects the noise levels. ISO 6400 is "for emergency only (and not even then)".

I'd comfortably go 1600 and in street shooting, 3200. There'll be noise but some genres don't mind a gritty look.

Anyway, a wonderful idea for a rehashed M-E concept. Especially wonderful since M240 is a reliable performer, doesn't go misaligned easily and things like that. The absolute best value in M bodies, even new. A very smart option for a second body also.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
I'd comfortably go 1600 and in street shooting, 3200. There'll be noise but some genres don't mind a gritty look.
I don't mind luminance noise too much (which would account for the "gritty" feel) - in fact, I have a profile on my M8 that gives me a high-contrast, super-gritty look for low light (not a genre the M8 is really made for). And I agree that Leica sensors are well behaved in that respect - it's mostly luminance; however, if chroma noise appears, it's pretty hard to tame (usually paired with some strong colour cast); that's also the case with the Ricoh GR, btw. And it's the behaviour the M 262 (which as far as I'm aware shares the sensor tech of the M 240). The M10 is different, and clearly better in low light. But again, that's not what I use those cameras for, most of the time - though I admit it was great fun to use the M10 with the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.2 (the new one) in near darkness; the images had a very intense feel to them - those I managed to expose correctly, that is, with sufficiently balanced shadow areas.

To make it work, ISO 3200 is fine; if that's not enough, pushing it won't feel equally rewarding. In an emergency, ramping up the ISO and going b&w works quite well (better than on some other systems I've tried, including the older Sony A7 series bodies).

M.
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
Andrew Lossing
That's a good point about rangefinder usefulness in very low light... 3200 has always been a workable limit for me (coming from M4/3), but I am starting to get spoiled with passable ISO 12800 on the new GR.
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
I have
my M8 that gives me a high-contrast, super-gritty look for low light (not a genre the M8 is really made for)
The M8 is reasonably workable in low light, I find that it's a combination of knowing the limits of the camera plus a bit of post-processing.

With the M240, I kinda feel that ISO 1200 is the highest I'd go, with 1600 is the extreme fallback plan.

I'm happy with ISO3200 on the M10. Haven't needed to go to 6400.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
The M8 does much better using RAW mode (button Dance), shooting at 160ISO with exposure compensation used to "boost" the speed. Post-Processing to bring the intensity up. The chroma noise in M8 high-ISO images is a side-effect of the compressed DNG format, which creates chaotic contours in the image. The M9- shoot uncompressed DNG at higher ISO's if you feel the need to use them at all.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
The M-E 240 looks like a "stripped down" version of the Leica M Model 240, similar to the original M-E being an M9 without a few features.

The Zenit-M uses the same sensor, may have many components in common, but looks like a new body. The body, at least to me, bears some resemblance to a Contax or Nikon (a good thing in my book). The Zenit has "edges" to the body, the Leica retains all curves.
 

Woodallp

Rookie
Apr 2, 2019
4
Hi Brian,

I know what you mean about the Zenit body, it looks quite nice but I suppose changing the shape of the Leica M would make it less of an M. You do wonder who the Zenit will sell to (Russian Oligarchs?) but as it's built by Leica and it is only a 500 production run I think we can be sure it's pure Leica inside, as developing a different innards for just 500 cameras at the lower end of the Leica price spectrum wouldn't make sense. I think the Zenit came first and once Leica realised they couldn't use it to get rid of all the 240 parts they launched the (240) M-E.

Of course the other way of looking at the Zenit is an extreme 240 à la carte :)
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
Andrew Lossing
I wish that Zenit M would release to the rest of the world... is it even available in Europe yet?
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
Andrew Lossing
It also supposed to be a very limited run (500 units?). Still waiting for a truly affordable digital rangefinder!
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
What a gap in the market there is
I'd be interested to see how popular rangefinders would be if the prices came down. I'm sure there would be the initial surge in sales, but I also think that it will come down again when the majority of people realise they prefer something easier to use with zooms and autofocus and auto-everything else.
 
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agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
Andrew Lossing
I'd be interested to see how popular rangefinders would be if the prices came down. I'm sure there would be the initial surge in sales, but I also think that it will come down again when the majority of people realise they prefer something easier to use with zooms and autofocus and auto-everything else.
A rangefinder wouldn't preclude live view and all the speed and bells and whistles that accompany modern mirrorless cameras. Unless you left off a screen altogether, of course.
 

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