Leica M-E AND me.

Why someone would choose M-E ?

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Even if I received it as the gift, it was still open and free choice to make. Why Leica M-E in 2016? Why not Sony full frame mirrorless or super Canon FF DSLR?

M-E came in 2012 as less expensive copy of Leica M9. With same heritage a.k.a. firmware and hardware. Similar CCD sensor, which Leica is replacing if it gets corroded with … another CCD sensor. It means no high ISO camera. It has no AF with face recognition and it is slower than film M Leica, which writes image on film by the time shutter is released. M-E has tiny battery which doesn’t last for one week and thousands of pictures taking. And so on from modern gear perspective…

It all changes once M-E looked at from side of Leica film M camera user. I have and using them. No electronics Leica M4-2 and M3 DS ELC. I like BW prints from negatives taken with film Leica M cameras. Color film… no so much. By 2016 color film became expensive to buy and I have to develop it at home. It is much more finicky process comparing to BW at home, including darkroom prints. This is why color went digital for me. I used DSLRs from 2009 to 2016 and as I was aging the bulk became an issue. I stopped to take the DSLR rig on long hikes, then just going out from home with kids and by the summer of 2016 I let go to full frame DSLR and chubby fast prime on it. Leica M-E camera, while still as heavy as FF DSLR bodies is not so bulky, especially with lens. Having same lenses for digital and film, having same size, same handling brings peace of mind and some savings.

Live View, Electronic Viewfinder is something awkward to me. No high ISO it is also same with film, which I’m no stranger with since earlier eighties and FED-2 camera with ORWO color slide film in it. I’m not and never been into intimate moments where flash is no-no. If it is birthday party, nobody minds the flash. It is next to fireworks, highlights the specialty of the moment.

As it was mentioned above, same lenses working fine on film M cameras and on digital Leica M-E. Picture on this page was taken with Jupiter-3 50mm f1.5 lens made in fifties. It performs nicely on film and with M-E. Not sharpest lens for sure, but one of the lightest and smallest 50 1.5 ever made lens with price tag which doesn’t translate as r1pp-0##.

And one more thing. The pleasure to hold. Where is no any other cameras made like classic digital M series Leica, where M-E belongs. It is not faking it like Fuji with “rangefinder” style, while here is no real rangefinder. M-E is classic German made camera.  Yes, it is not as fast, rugged and sufficient as CanoNikons. But it works. Somehow, somewhat…

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