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Thread: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

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    Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Hi guys,

    Yesterday, put a refundable deposit down on a Leica M9. The simplicity and image quality are what I like the ideal, plus I'm not a fan of EVFs after trying some and finding them a bit to point-and-shoot like on the Sony A7r.

    I wondered if anybody here has moved from an M9 to a Fuji with no regrets, or what they have found by doing so?

    I understand a range finder is a different type of machine, but I just want a good range of lenses and decent edge to edge sharpness with good colours too.

    If I have to put up with an EVF then I would hopefully get used to it. I see the X Pro 1 has a hybrid viewfinder but then I've heard the optical side isn't too useful anyhow.

    ANY thoughts will be appreciated as the Leica is both more expensive and has some issues I believe. I just want to make the right decision.

    It will be used mainly for travel and just general everyday photos. I have a Nikon FF setup for more specific and professional use but it's too heavy to carry on holiday.
    Last edited by w44neg; 6th February 2014 at 02:17.

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    I have already responded to your query re: the Leica M9.

    Are you trying to get Leica M9 or a Fuji X series?

    These two systems are different. The ethos is different for each one.

    I have both. Love them both.

    Nothing wrong with having more than one ' love '. If you can handle both, that would be ' Classy '. So long as you don't get married to anyone.

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Thanks. I'm asking for advice on both so any reviews, advice, thoughts, opinions will be appreciated.

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Quote Originally Posted by w44neg View Post
    Hi guys,

    Yesterday, put a refundable deposit down on a Leica M9. The simplicity and image quality are what I like the ideal, plus I'm not a fan of EVFs after trying some and finding them a bit to point-and-shoot like on the Sony A7r.

    I wondered if anybody here has moved from an M9 to a Fuji with no regrets, or what they have found by doing so?

    I understand a range finder is a different type of machine, but I just want a good range of lenses and decent edge to edge sharpness with good colours too.

    If I have to put up with an EVF then I would hopefully get used to it. I see the X Pro 1 has a hybrid viewfinder but then I've heard the optical side isn't too useful anyhow.

    ANY thoughts will be appreciated as the Leica is both more expensive and has some issues I believe. I just want to make the right decision.

    It will be used mainly for travel and just general everyday photos. I have a Nikon FF setup for more specific and professional use but it's too heavy to carry on holiday.
    No regrets? Well, not a lot anyway. To put it short, I have owned both, shot both extensively, and still own the Fuji X-E1 and likely to upgrade to the X-T1. No regrets, and no hard feelings. I love the M9, but the Fuji is 1/7th the cost and better images.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    I shot with the M8/M9 for several years and I currently shoot with the X series as my travel/DSLR alternative system. I actually do miss my M9 and the Leica lenses I had with that system (WATE, 21 Lux, 35 lux & 90 Elmarit-m) but in reality not some much because of the image quality so much as the intangible factors of the Leica gear. There is a certain aspect of the feel of the Leica that is missing from the Fuji - heft, lens feel (although the latest Fuji 14 & 23 are very Leica like), plus general quality of construction. Also don't underestimate the difference between the true rangefinder viewfinder experience of the Leica compared to the X-Pro1's compound VF - they don't really compare.

    However, having said that about the quality feel and enjoyment of using the Leica, the Fuji X system is a lot lighter and to be honest the quality of the images is comparable and sometimes better. Certainly the X camera is a lot more versatile with it's auto and high ISO support plus the Fuji lenses are extremely good too. I did notice some difference in acuity/micro contrast from the Leica lens/sensor compared to the Fuji although this equalizes out in post processing. With the Fuji though, I can shoot anywhere and at any time with the added benefit of focus peaking to nail focus in even bad light - something that it takes experience to do with the Leica.

    If my funds weren't tied up in other systems I'd get another Leica outfit although I would keep my Fujis too. However, from an economics standpoint the Fuji system is by far the better deal. Essentially equal or better image quality (IMHO) at a fraction of the cost. For the price of a nice used M9 body you can buy an entire comprehensive X system outfit. The X system is lighter, has AF if you want it, plus is something you don't have to treat like a precious delicate jewel (one bump and the RF may need readjustment for example, plus there is the constant fear of damage vs value). With the fuji I can be a lot less mindful of fragility or cost of repair or replacement. That opens up opportunities to take and use the camera in places and conditions that I wouldn't necessarily risk with the Leica. It is very robust and can take a lot of abuse - one of my X-Pro1 bodies has been dropped and bashed many times and looks like a reporter's camera and yet it has never missed a beat or shown any signs of it's hard life in the images nor let me down.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    I'll repeat my previous answer.

    Nothing replaces a M rangefinder if you are a die-in-the-wool rangefinder shooter, and all that comes with that type of photography.

    If you aren't a rangefinder "nut job" (count me as one), save yourself a bag of cash and get something else. Lots of small alternatives these days.

    I'll go even further at the risk of being flamed to a smoldering cinder I do not think anything before or since duplicates the aesthetic look and feel of the Leica M9. There are others that provide more this and that technically, but to my eye still do not compare and that includes the new Leica M240.

    Sorry I sold my M9P but the M Monochrome (M9 with a B&W sensor) was what replaced it because I shoot mostly B&W rangefinder work. If I had the funds, I would have kept both.

    - Marc
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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Thanks for the replies. I tried out an X100s yesterday. I liked it but it felt too light?! I want a light package, and it'll save me a lot of heft so I was surprised to find it "too light".

    However, apart from that I was very impressed with the way the viewfinder worked. Although I pressed something that switched it to EVF and couldn't get it back to the optical finder with grid lines? Either that, or the EVF was so good, it looked optical

    The X100s is appealing but I'd prefer an interchangeable format, so I can use perhaps a 21mm, 24mm, 28mm or 35mm (in 35mm equivalent). Is there such a thing?

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    The dilemma is; can you live without the red dot? I've owned a couple of Leica's and primarily shot on the 35 'cron and 90 'cron and whilst I no longer have them, I wouldn't turn them away if they were available to me at a price I could afford.

    Comparing them to a Fuji may not be the best thing to do as the Leica is in a class of it's own (with some rather exclusive prices ...). There is something very satisfying about owning a top end item, a feeling of having the best and the lenses speak for themselves.

    That said, it should all be about the pictures you take. In which case, in my opinion, the Fuji will give the Leica some very stiff competition. As Graham says (above) the "Fuji 14 & 23 are very Leica like" and I think he has a fair point.

    There are obvious ergonomic differences between the two with the Fuji XE series being more like a Leica CLE than a M series camera and as such you'd need to have a hands on comparison to be comfortable with your choice of either camera.

    One advantage of the Fuji over a Leica in my opinion is that the Fuji is probably less of a security liability as is is both smaller (less obtrusive), cheaper (less desirable to a thief) and is not as widely known as a brand (everyone knows that Leica are expensive). Maybe not an issue?

    For me, I'm more than happy with my XE1. It appeals to me in a retro sense in very much the same way a Leica would and I think the Fuji primes are just excellent. As a carry around/family snapshot/holiday camera it is perfect.

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Quote Originally Posted by w44neg View Post
    The X100s is appealing but I'd prefer an interchangeable format, so I can use perhaps a 21mm, 24mm, 28mm or 35mm (in 35mm equivalent). Is there such a thing?
    You can get there now with the Fuji. With the 14mm 18mm and 23mm primes or with the 10-24mm zoom (still to ship I nearly March) and the 18-55mm zoom. Any of the bodies x-pro1, x-e2 and x-e1. Plus soon to ship X-T1.

    Paul C

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Quote Originally Posted by w44neg View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I tried out an X100s yesterday. I liked it but it felt too light?! I want a light package, and it'll save me a lot of heft so I was surprised to find it "too light".

    However, apart from that I was very impressed with the way the viewfinder worked. Although I pressed something that switched it to EVF and couldn't get it back to the optical finder with grid lines? Either that, or the EVF was so good, it looked optical

    The X100s is appealing but I'd prefer an interchangeable format, so I can use perhaps a 21mm, 24mm, 28mm or 35mm (in 35mm equivalent). Is there such a thing?
    Try the X-Pro1. I have the X100, X-E1 and now the X-Pro1 too. It is the model which is most similar to the Leica M9, in my opinion. The X-Pro1 has the same type of hybrid optical/EVF viewfinder as the X100S, but is slightly larger and is the interchangeable lens format camera you prefer. The XPro1 is about 4 oz lighter than the M9, but it feels very solid and well made.

    The Fujinon lenses are excellent and there are some good rebates on both the Fuji cameras and lenses available now.
    http://www.fujirumors.com/leaked-all...on-fujirumors/

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 7th February 2014 at 07:32.
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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    You can get there now with the Fuji. With the 14mm 18mm and 23mm primes or with the 10-24mm zoom (still to ship I nearly March) and the 18-55mm zoom. Any of the bodies x-pro1, x-e2 and x-e1. Plus soon to ship X-T1.

    Paul C
    Guys, thanks. With the above reply, I instantly knew I had to try this camera.

    I currently have a Nikon FF DSLR with...

    16-35
    24-70
    105mm macro

    I was then going to buy the Leica with either the 28mm or 35mm summicron

    The X-Pro1 on paper, trumps this setup so I'm very intrigued. I'd expect my nikon to perform better in terms of noise, but I'm guessing there won't be a huge difference.

    So I've just ordered an X-Pro1 with the 18mm f2 kit. They're then offering a free lens here in the uk via rebate so I'll choose the 60mm macro/portrait lens for this.

    Once released, the 10-24 sounds incredible for me as that's an equivalent range of 15-36mm. I'm hoping for at most, a similar amount of distortion as my nikon wide zoom but time will tell.

    So, again, on paper, this setup will theoretically and in a dream world replace all of my kit. Plus if good enough, the lenses are the type that could stay with me for a long time. I can see myself purchasing the X-Pro2 if I like the version 1 enough, if they release it.

    I've read and watched reviews which claim the AF performance isn't great but I'd imagine it's similar to the particular DSLR I have as that's not brilliant either. Plus, I hear manual focus is quite trick on the X -Pro1 so that may be a way around in very low light anyhow.

    So I'll see. Hopefully it's exactly what I want and need. I'll accept a bit of compromise of course.

    Now I just need to find a half case of good quality, and a decent bounce flash option

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    I think you made a good choice.

    I'm sure you will love the X-Pro1 and the Fuji lenses. We look forward to seeing some of your pics soon on this thread.

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/fuji/355...ji-x1-pro.html

    Gary

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    I think you made a good choice.

    I'm sure you will love the X-Pro1 and the Fuji lenses. We look forward to seeing some of your pics soon on this thread.

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/fuji/355...ji-x1-pro.html

    Gary
    Well that's my reading for the rest of the night... I'm 3 pages in so far

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    Re: Fuji as an alternative to a Leica M9

    I used an M8 several years ago. I am very happy now using a Fuji XE-1 with M-mount lenses on it most of the time.

    Manual focus in the EVF with the convenient 3X/10X magnification toggle is razor sharp. (Keep focus peaking off.) I much prefer it to the M8 split image.

    I get better image quality. I use Fuji Raw File Converter (a free version of Silkypix) only to demosaic, avoid clipping, and start a rough white balance; this simple procedure avoids the mysteries of the full Silkypix user interface. The exported TIF goes to Picture Window Pro. Proper sharpening does wonders for detail without halos.

    The XE-1 EVF is not suitable for street shooting. The announced XT-1 claims a much faster refresh rate, and its EVF is larger, too. If you want a bit more weight, check out the XT-1.

    Here is a simple but to me stunning shot of roses with a Zeiss Biogon 28/2.8. You can browse the photostream there; the tags identify the lens.

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