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Thread: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Hello all,

    A viewfinder magnification question, and a second eyepiece diopter question.

    If you only intended to use an M9 with 35 and 50mm focal length lenses, would the optional 0.85 finder be the better choice? I have not seen any reference to finders on the B/S forum, however, so am assuming that most M9s for sale here have the 0.72 finder. I have no need to see wider than the 35mm framelines (I have another camera that handles UWA lenses very well).

    Or is another way to get the accessory 1.25 magnifier? And can the 35 and 50 framelines be seen if using the 1.25 magnifier?

    The second question is about diopters: I need a +2 correction for reading; as I understand it, the Leica finder comes standard with a -0.5. So, what will I need to be able to see a sharp finder image (from what I can see, the diopter corrections come in + 2 and +3 for someone who needs my kind of correction)?

    And are there reasonably priced diopters available from other makers that will fit this eyepiece? I ask because I would like to try different ones until I am sure I have the one best for me.

    Referring now to an earlier post re. framelines, it turned out that my friend's Leica is an M8. He had a +0.5 diopter correction which helped, but I felt that I really needed to see the rangefinder patch clearly to be sure of perfect focus, and hence the questions.

    If I am to get a Leica, I want a FF one, and one that does not need IR cut filters, either.

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    The viewfinder magnification of all the digital M's (M8 though M9-P) is 0.68 and to the best of my knowledge there is no other option available for the digital M's.
    With the 1.25x magnifier the 35mm framelines will be clearly visible without any problem ( I use sometime the 1.4X and with this magnifier mounted I have some difficulties with the 28mm framelines only).
    I know there is at lest one supplier (Japan Exposures) selling magnifiers (1.15x and 1.35x) with adjustable diopter correction (-3 to +1) which can be used on digital M's, with some restriction due to patent issues.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Ario: very helpful; their 1.35x looks perfect for me (and might even have enough diopter correction, too). Thanks.

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    New Member rscheffler's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Hi Kit, after adding a 50 Lux ASPH to my M9 kit I found I needed to be a lot more precise with focusing and that a diopter helped a lot even though I 'only' needed -1. I also tried -0.5 and it would have been OK too... -1.5 was a bit too much. So I think there is a little bit of leeway. +2 for you will certainly help, even though it totals to +1.5. +3 should also still be OK. Best is probably to find a Leica dealer from whom you can buy both and return the one you don't need. As for the magnifiers... I bought the Leica 1.4x and can still see the 50mm frame lines, though it's pretty tight. There's a lot of debate about the usefulness of the magnifiers... IMO, proper diopter adjustment will probably help you the most. If you have astigmatism, then the Leica diopter will only help so much, which is the problem I have with my right eye compared to my left eye... I've read some good reviews about this diopter option with full correction: Walter RX Leica M rangefinder astigmatism rotating eyepiece | Leica M9 M9-P astigmatism rotating eyepiece diopter correction lens, fits rangefinder M8 digital M7 M6 M5 M4 M3 M2 leitz analog cameras. but they're not inexpensive...

    Ron

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Not sure if you have astigmatism, but if you do - a magnifier generally only magnifies it, even with diopter correction. Check out the Walter RX Eyepiece (review). While it won't work for everyone, for me it was the ideal solution - I don't use a magnifier anymore.

    And yes, digital Ms only come in their .68 default. Film bodies typically are .72 but can be had in .58 and .85 versions on later bodies (e.g. MP, M7).

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    An alternative viewpoint, perhaps.

    I wear glasses to correct my vision. On my M6 and M4-P bodies with the .72x viewfinder and six framelines, the 28mm frameline was always just about useless due to the tight eye relief and viewfinder magnification. The 35mm framelines were about as wide as I could see comfortably. The M9's .68x magnification suits my eyes much better ... I can see the 28mm framelines with a little effort, the 35mm easily.

    I don't have ultrafast long lenses, I've got the M-Rokkor 90mm f/4 and Hektor 135mm f/4.5, so I'm not sure just how critical the magnification would be for accuracy with something like the fast 75, 135 or 90mm lenses. I know that it's fine for "on the money" critical focus with all of my lenses.

    The thing that I don't quite understand is what I'm hearing recently, both here and elsewhere, about needing highly accurate diopters and vision to focus an M rangefinder. To me, one of the reasons I always liked working with an M is that I didn't need the best vision to nail the focus perfectly, at least compared to getting critical focus with an SLR. All I need to be able to see to get perfect focus with an M is whether the alignment of an edge or a point light source in the scene where I want the focus plane to be is correct .. I find it best to focus quickly and just stop turning the focusing ring the moment I see the image coincide rather than fussing the focus ring back and forth in small increments trying to get it exactly EXACTLY right. I find that with an M, even the M9 with my 40mm f/1.4, I can take my glasses off and still get perfectly focused images.

    Getting it right is all that matters ... :-)

    So I recommend not buying anything at first. Just get the camera and learn to see through it. It's so different from using a TTL camera that if you haven't spent time with an RF camera before, give yourself some learning time. If you find you really need a bit of optical help, that's when I'd consider diopter and magnification aids ... they're just as easy to add to your camera when you discover you really need them as they are to buy ahead of time.

    I once bought a viewfinder magnifier when I had the Summicron 90mm f/2 lens and the M4-P. I didn't like it much, and found with a little practice that it was totally unneeded.

    G

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    @ the GetDPI crowd in general: thank you SO MUCH for all your replies—this is an unique forum, in my experience. Now to specifics:

    @ DoubleNegative (there's a logic joke, "Are you modus tollensing me"?); I'll explain if anyone's interested!): I do not have astigmatism, and I will check out the review; later edit: read the review; it looks good, and its design means a wider visual field than other corrections. Certainly if I were to be investing in an M9, the price for perfect vision would be worth it, I'd think.

    @ Godfrey: everything you say is excellent advice, and in the 'olden days' I did use film Ms. The M8 that I am playing with presently has the -0.5 correction as they all do, to which a +0.5 has been added. The difficulty for me is that I do not use glasses for distance vision, only for reading (presbyopia). So, the present setup is irritatingly soft re. the rangefinder patch: I cannot see its edges clearly enough to feel as though I've nailed it. Having said that, all the portraits have turned out sharp, so this is a perception problem.

    I will try the magnifier, and if it makes no difference, sell it without any worry.

    Godfrey, did you ever have an M8? I have read many complaints that the "ISO is buried in a menu" but this has been well implemented, IMHO, and no drama at all.

    Can I ask how the M9 implements EV comp.? I have been finding that the M8, set to -0.3 EV meters very well, so far.

    Cheers and thanks to all once more.
    Last edited by kit laughlin; 28th February 2012 at 17:40.

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    ;-) I'd go the other way ... try to get used to the fuzzy edges in the rangefinder spot and see if the perception problem goes away. A couple of my old RF cameras never had a well defined edge in the rangefinder spot, I always had to work around a bit of blurriness ... even with diopter correction. Once I accommodated to that, I always managed well focused photos.

    I considered buying an M8 and saving a couple of grand on the digital M but decided not to. I wanted the closest digital camera I could get to my M4-2 ... the M9 is really the only game in town for that. The M9 ISO setting is a one button and steer around the LCD affair, seems to work well.

    But... If you're comfortable with how the M8 ISO setting works, no biggie. It's often the case that one reviewer or another is prickled by something that is inconsequential to me.

    On the M9, the EV Compensation setting is nuancec by three different setting methodologies based upon which base setting you made in the camera configuration:

    A - use the menu: in 'image parameters', select Exposure Comp and set the value you want to set in the submenu. This setting sticks until you set it to something else.

    B - use the dial around the four way controller: with the meter active, roll one way for + and the other way for -, the readout happens in the viewfinder as you're making the setting and sticks until you re-set it.

    For the above two settings, a dot appears in the exposure readout to tell you that there is an EV comp setting active.

    C - use the combination of the shutter release and the rotating ring: the ability to set the EV comp with the rotating ring depends on the shutter release being held in the halfway position. I believe the setting re-sets to null after you make the exposure although I haven't tried this mode.

    (Page 137 in the english version of the M9 manual.)

    I find the M9 metering to be right on the money most of the time without any need for EV compensation. Of course, I also meter manually with the M9 a good bit of the time ... it works very well that way.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Two elements factor in together . First the diopter . The M viewfinder simulates a view at 2 meters and thus you need the diopter you would want to see clearly at 2M . In my case this is slightly weaker than my reading glasses . I use +1.5 for reading a computer screen and a 1.0 diopter on my M s . The M viewfinder is set at -0.5 so my diopter for 2M would be a +0.5 and on my M I need a 1.0.

    The magnifier gets mixed reviews ...it makes it easier to see if you have perfect alignment of the rangefinder patch but it lowers the overall contrast . Most street photographers gravitate toward seeing the contrast peak and this is by far the fastest method and works well with the wide angles . But on longer lenses its not precise enough for the longer fast glass used wide open.

    I use just the diopter on one M9 with wide lenses like the 28/2 and a 1.4X with a diopter on the 2nd body with the 50 1.4 asph. I could work without the magnifier for 90% of my work but not without the diopter .

    You need to thoroughly test your calibration of the body and lenses so that you know if a misfocus is you or the equipment . To do this you are better with a magnifier and DAG who calibrates many M bodies and lenses will stack the magnifiers to get a 2x effective.

    The good news is that the 35 and 50 are the least problematic focal lengths and often a diopter is all you need.

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Dear Mr Leica, here's an idea for the M10, an adjustable dioptre?

    I know, I know, radical thinking.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    @ Godfrey and glen: thank you for both your perspectives.

    The image quality on the M8 is excellent, but I am inclining to Godfrey's POV here, and waiting until I can afford an M9.

    Re. focussing: I bought one of the magnifiers that has adjustable diopter correction built in, so I can try the friend's M8 again, to see if I can get an idea of which diopter will be needed; glen's observations re. the correct one in this application resonates perfectly with my own (I have +1.5 for the 30" screen, and +2 for reading). My distance vision is excellent—which (I think) is why I need viewfinders to be as sharp as that, perceptually.

    So, the magnifier/adj. diopter should tell me exactly where to go for the best correction for an M9!

    Cheers and thanks again.

    BTW, I am thinking of getting one of those MS Perer 35/3.5 lenses; tangential to this thread, but it might work really well on the 5N as a 'go anywhere' kit, and it can be used on the M8, too... Thinking aloud here, really.

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Can only really offer one other thought: If I'd gone for an M8, I'd have made it an M8.2. The sapphire cover glass on the LCD and the viewfinder improvements over the M8 are worth the extra premium, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    ...
    BTW, I am thinking of getting one of those MS Perer 35/3.5 lenses; tangential to this thread, but it might work really well on the 5N as a 'go anywhere' kit, and it can be used on the M8, too... Thinking aloud here, really.
    Interesting thought. I think they're pretty neat but I wonder how well they'll perform on the 5N.

    The Voigtländer Color-Skopar 35mm f/2.5 is small enough for me, and is a very good performer on both GXR and M9.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Godfrey, I want one of those tiny 35/2.5s too: check out the 35/1.7 ASPH on the GXR: let alone the EVF; the lens is big in comparison:



    This is why I was thinking Perer!

    Cameraquest has the 35/2/5s in stock, too, in black. More to think on.

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    I have a a question... I just took delivery of a new 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. When I unpacked the lens, it looked new, the packaging seemed unopened etc... Examining the lens (Its Chrome BTW) the chrome showed a rub mark from the focussing ring, its as if someone turned the focussing ring and placed a side load on the front of the lens. Its a small mark that circles 1/3rd of the lens.

    The lens elements seemed clean and new, but under examination with a very bright LED flashlight there is some small dust particles inside the lens.

    My question, is this normal for Leica? Returning the lens will result in another long wait for a replacement (Months). Please bare in mind, that this is the most money that I have ever spent on a 50mm lens, so I am disappointed in its condition.

    The lens seems to spot on with my M9 for focus, and the dust has no discernible impact upon photographs. What would you do?

    Thanks

    Andrew
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    Check out my gear blog!

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Gough View Post
    I have a a question... I just took delivery of a new 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. When I unpacked the lens, it looked new, the packaging seemed unopened etc... Examining the lens (Its Chrome BTW) the chrome showed a rub mark from the focussing ring, its as if someone turned the focussing ring and placed a side load on the front of the lens. Its a small mark that circles 1/3rd of the lens.

    The lens elements seemed clean and new, but under examination with a very bright LED flashlight there is some small dust particles inside the lens.

    My question, is this normal for Leica? Returning the lens will result in another long wait for a replacement (Months). Please bare in mind, that this is the most money that I have ever spent on a 50mm lens, so I am disappointed in its condition.

    The lens seems to spot on with my M9 for focus, and the dust has no discernible impact upon photographs. What would you do?

    Thanks

    Andrew
    If it bothers you I would ask for a replacement.
    Sometimes Leica seems to deliver faster if they have o replace a defect unit
    So I would ask if the would directly exchange your lens.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Thanks, its going back to the dealer.
    Home page: www.aphotovid.com

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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Kit,

    if you're anywhere near Belgium (and/or I make it to Italy), you're welcome to check out my M9.

    I have both mags plus the one with adjustable dioptre, a 1.5+ dioptre (i think -- as glenerrolrd stated, you don't need it as strong as reading glasses), etc.

    i love the Leica magnifiers when i am shooting long and/or fast (f/1). the adjustable one, not so much as i find it dims the finder too much... if i'm out shooting in the day with a 35mm, i don't bother with them.

    the dioptre is a little trickier and annoying. i wear contacts and am pretty near-sighted. with my contacts in, i have trouble seeing close, hence the need for the dioptre. the problem is that my needs change depending on the light. if it's bright, i'm okay without it. if it's overcast, i need some help. if it's night, even more... in other words, i give up. haven't been using the dioptre

    (i also have the little MS Perer lens but somebody was playing around with it and i need to see if they broke it or not. it really is minuscule, but a bit fiddly.)

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: More questions from potential Leica M9 newbie

    Hello Cam,

    I am on my way to Piacenza, then Torino, as we speak. I have the 35/2.5 Color Skopar and the 15/4.5 with me, on the GXR: the tiniest kit I have ever travelled with.

    Thank you so much for your offer, and please stay in touch: I will have time in between the workshops, so if our paths can intersect... that would be great.

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