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Thread: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

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    Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    There has been much debate over the Leica M Edition 60. Kevin Shelley is writing about it in "The Street Photography Blog" ... It's worth a read, IMO.

    First Part:
    https://www.streetphotographyblog.co...esign-concept/

    Second Part:
    https://www.streetphotographyblog.co...0-past-future/

    And more to come.

    The notions posed in his second article resonate for me...

    enjoy,
    G
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    In many ways the M60 got things right. Though I think they should kept the strap lugs or give it T-style connectors.

    //Juha

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Needed the strap lugs (M9 Titanium style would have done, or T-style ones), and needed to be black so it was discrete.

    Honestly though, to be fair, their really isn't much wrong with having a screen and not using it. And having a screen gives you the added benefit of checking to see if your RF has been knocked out of alignment every half hour or so of a shoot that cannot be repeated (like a wedding).

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    My preference would be for a screen with an optional Leica branded blindfold.

    Failing that - and for those who really want or need to work in the dark - do you remember those curtains in the cinemas of old...
    Last edited by KeithL; 29th April 2015 at 01:32.
    http://www.keithlaban.co.uk
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Or a tiltable screen which you can close, like the RD1 had.

    I still cant understand how one would want to give up the display. Specially with a camera like the Leica M which does not have a sophistacted intelligent metering like Nikon for example, specially if you want avoid the advanced metering because it leads to a delay.
    I use the display so often to check the exposure after taking the first image in a certain light situation.
    Using a camera without display I would probably underexposre 70% of my images because I would use -2/3 all the time to make sure I would not blow highlights.

    But obviously there are people who feel different so it would ne nice if Leica offered a version without display for those.
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    I hope you enjoy my article about the M60 as well...

    Why do I want the Leica M Edition 60 So Badly? by Brad Husick | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

    The comments are very interesting.
    Brad Husick
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    To me, the key difference between shooting with a review screen and shooting without one is that a review screen lets me evaluate the image while I'm in the field. That sounds good--and for shooters who have only one opportunity to get it right, it can be indispensable--but for my style of art/hobby photography, being able to review the screen means that the camera starts competing with the subject in terms of visual interest. Not having a review screen means that, if you want to look at something interesting, you have to look at the subject. This encourages me to spend more time finding ways to conceive of and capture the subject. On the other hand, the review screen encourages me to make a technically perfect capture--exposure, focus, stability are all spot on. But technical quality is meaningless when the scene is poorly composed, and I feel like I'm more likely to compose well if I'm not distracted by reviewing the images I've already taken.

    My ideal camera would drop the rear screen in favor of a phone interface. The camera would be thinner, lighter, and have longer battery life; it would have fewer points of failure; it would also have fewer things to distract me from shooting, which is what I use a camera for. The phone/tablet would have a higher quality screen and probably a better interface for reviewing images, but would be entirely secondary and unnecessary during the shooting process.

    Cheers,
    Jon

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    my oly EM 5-MII can fold the LCD toward the camera, but i find myself folding it outward. and i also have the ability to see histogram, etc in the viewfinder, so am spoiled.

    have to try not using he LCD to see if i can be weened away

    does the 60 have any info in the viewfinder?

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    ... does the 60 have any info in the viewfinder?
    Yes. The M Edition 60 is clever when it comes to its bare-minimum controls and readouts. The instruction manual reveals how to use it.

    It's kind of interesting to realize that the M Edition 60 is no more limited a camera than the original M3 that its existence as a special edition celebrates. It's even got a few more features. And so many folks say "Buy yourself a good film Leica M, a good lens, and chuck the rest!" :-)

    G

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    .....could be a good experience but not at the price.

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    .....could be a good experience but not at the price.
    Well, if you accept the articles' premise, the current M Edition 60 is a design concept in limited production ... For the concept to have broad impact, a derivative production model will be needed that sells for something in alignment with the other Ms.

    G

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    Talking Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Does it accept the evf by the way?

    A serial run for this camera with strap lugs, made from brass & blackpaint + classic Leica engraving... mmmm creamy and smooth!

    //Juha

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by JonPB View Post
    To me, the key difference between shooting with a review screen and shooting without one is that a review screen lets me evaluate the image while I'm in the field. That sounds good--and for shooters who have only one opportunity to get it right, it can be indispensable--but for my style of art/hobby photography, being able to review the screen means that the camera starts competing with the subject in terms of visual interest. Not having a review screen means that, if you want to look at something interesting, you have to look at the subject. This encourages me to spend more time finding ways to conceive of and capture the subject. On the other hand, the review screen encourages me to make a technically perfect capture--exposure, focus, stability are all spot on. But technical quality is meaningless when the scene is poorly composed, and I feel like I'm more likely to compose well if I'm not distracted by reviewing the images I've already taken.

    My ideal camera would drop the rear screen in favor of a phone interface. The camera would be thinner, lighter, and have longer battery life; it would have fewer points of failure; it would also have fewer things to distract me from shooting, which is what I use a camera for. The phone/tablet would have a higher quality screen and probably a better interface for reviewing images, but would be entirely secondary and unnecessary during the shooting process.

    Cheers,
    Jon
    Why not just let the display switched off?
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlindstrom View Post
    Does it accept the evf by the way?
    If it does, it would have to be the new Viso typ 020, but I'm pretty sure no.

    G

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I hope you enjoy my article about the M60 as well...

    Why do I want the Leica M Edition 60 So Badly? by Brad Husick | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

    The comments are very interesting.
    You get the concept, Brad. Bravo! :-)

    I've emulated the way the M Edition 60 works with my M-P now. Can't get there 100%, but I set up the user configs for my usual lenses so shooting is picking a lens, setting the config, and shooting.. That's it, no chimping or changes to settings other than the occasional ISO diddle. If I think a scene needs plus or minus, I set the exposure manually, otherwise just leave it on auto.

    It's amazing what comes out of sessions when you work like that, ignore the camera essentially and pay attention to the subjects around you.

    $18K is a lot of cash. Or is it?

    G

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlindstrom View Post
    Does it accept the evf by the way?

    A serial run for this camera with strap lugs, made from brass & blackpaint + classic Leica engraving... mmmm creamy and smooth!

    //Juha
    No, it doesn't accept the EVF, unfortunately...Played with one today, decided not to buy it in the end. Ordered the new Monochrom instead
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Since the advent of digital photography photographers have been trying to authenticate themselves and set a distance between the notion that they have no skill compared with the days of film, and the contradictory reality that 'image quality' offered by a digital camera has improved life for many.

    Well now they can buy a camera in the M60 that does just that, it authenticates the photographer and offers better image quality than a 35mm equivalent. But has anybody noticed what needs to be done to achieve this? Yes, they need to keep telling everybody else they have an M60 or the plan backfires because people may think they just have an ordinary digital camera. I know photographers do like to talk endlessly about kit, but the raison d'etre of the M60, despite not having many features to talk about, requires that the photographer constantly explain the pains and self made inconvenience they go to for a picture.

    I think the bottom line is that if the LCD needs to be removed to aid concentration on the image then we should question the level of concentration on the image in the first place. Know a camera well and it's like driving a car, you don't think about where the indicators are etc., and it's the same with a digital camera, you know if it will have caught the moment without chimping. But alas not many photographers stick with one camera long enough before swapping it for a new menu system and set of idiosyncrasies. So the M60 is just an artificial way to get a slap on the wrist for wanting more information and explanation. It authenticates the photographer as a purist simply because nobody would believe you if you said you put gaffer tape over the LCD of a lesser camera.

    Steve
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    I am not seeking to be a purist. I'm seeking a camera that works the way I want. I want a camera to get out of the way so I can see through it without thinking about it. The Oly E-M1 does that well enough once you know it, the M-P does it even better.

    ME60 has less things to distract, that's all. It should get out of the way a little more easily and completely than the other two. It has the same level of feedback as the cameras I used for the 34 years before I bought my first digital camera, which seemed to suffice quite nicely.

    G

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Leica X's do the same for me, get out of the way. For me any future M purchase would be indulgance.. as such M60 style camera would be fantastic. Just get out there and enjoy purist fotography, which really is one of M camera fortes.

    The only increased focus & better result would follow from the fact that I'd be going out on purpose to take photos and would really enjoy doing so.

    It's just generally more fun to do things with equipment you enjoy.

    Other story naturally is people who would buy it just for the sake of being expensive limited run Leica and then display it for the purpose of validating themselves. But in all honesty, I'd like to think we don't have much of that crowd on this forum.

    //Juha
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Yes, the X is another one of those that succeed. It's become my go-to "grab and go" camera.

    I was concentrating on system cameras with interchangeable lenses in my statements ... It's harder with them because the modern idiom is to stuff them up with a bazillion options and features. Then the conversation become entirely "what the camera can do" rather than what can be done with the camera.

    G

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Agreed. I was actually thinking of one kind of dream camera based on the M60...

    Remove flash hotshoe, add integrated Leica T evf. Allow image playback with histogram on evf. Rest like the M60.

    Now, that would give us what M60 is giving, but with adapter would do the same for R-series.

    //Juha

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Personally, I don't think a camera like this is to functionally "validate" the skill of the photographer. The end result is the only thing that does that. What you are using, or how you use it, is of little concern to 99% of humanity.

    I think it CAN BE part of the personal creative journey for some photographers interested in their relationship with the subject matter, more than their relationship with the tool in hand. It just takes the concept of a rangefinder one step further.

    However, I question the elimination of any sort of exposure confirmation. Essentially, digital capture has more similarities to slide film, than much more forgiving neg film. Given that a rangefinder is noted for its spontaneous and intuitive handling, and spawned certain genres of photography (decisive moment, street, journalistic, etc.), not many creators of that type work chose slide film.

    Frankly, for most "decisive", or "of the moment work", having a LCD review is already too late. Yet I'd like to have the ability to enter into a lighting situation and get an exposure reading in the form of a Histogram reading off the sensor. I do not think a huge LCD is needed for that. Something, somewhere activated by a half press of the shutter maybe.

    Otherwise I like that most all the other nonsense is eliminated on this camera … except the price … which means I'll never own one.

    - Marc
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...
    However, I question the elimination of any sort of exposure confirmation. Essentially, digital capture has more similarities to slide film, than much more forgiving neg film. Given that a rangefinder is noted for its spontaneous and intuitive handling, and spawned certain genres of photography (decisive moment, street, journalistic, etc.), not many creators of that type work chose slide film.
    My experience is that raw capture is really quite in line with getting good exposures on negative films with respect to latitude, given modern sensors' dynamic range. Exposure technique, however, is still more similar to slide film: Negative films have most all of their exposure latitude on the overexposure side, where slide films and digital sensor have most latitude on the underexposure side. So instead of "meter for the shadows and process for the highlights", the old rule of thumb for negative films, you use "meter for the highlights, process for the shadows" for digital.

    (Olympus has the brilliance in various cameras including the E-M1 of providing Spot-High metering pattern. This is a small spot area calibrated to give proper exposure when targeting a Zone VIII to Zone IX area. I use it often! It is very close to the mark, most of the time, when working with scenes that have a wide dynamic range.)

    I am sufficiently skilled enough at getting proper exposure with film cameras using either slide or negative films that I see little need to require a histogram. And if a miss a few, well, who cares really? A digital exposure doesn't even cost me the price of a piece of film and processing ... ;-)

    BTW, there is 'exposure confirmation'... Just like was pioneered in the Nikon FM and later available in the M6TTL (and M7, and other digital Ms, and other cameras ...), the metering readout has (+, 0, -) lights/arrows/etc which tell you where your exposure setting is relative to the meter's view of the subject in five distinct steps. Placing the metering area on the appropriate thing and glancing at the readout is much less intrusive and faster than analyzing a histogram. It's worked for decades of photographers in all kinds of real situations in studio and field...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Frankly, for most "decisive", or "of the moment work", having a LCD review is already too late. Yet I'd like to have the ability to enter into a lighting situation and get an exposure reading in the form of a Histogram reading off the sensor. I do not think a huge LCD is needed for that. Something, somewhere activated by a half press of the shutter maybe. ...
    The only way to have what you're looking for there is to have some permutation of a live view heads-up display, which defeats the whole purpose of engineering down to the basics and eliminating potential distractions IMO. I never needed it when I was shooting film only. I find I only rarely need it today when I'm shooting digital. And when I do, I have other cameras (the E-M1 for instance) that do it just right.

    I may (most likely will) never own an M Edition 60. But I like the design concept a lot, and often strive to shoot in the manner that this design concept implies. It works particularly well for me in certain types of endeavors where I'm looking to minimize all possible burdens on my attention so that I can concentrate on the subject at hand, which tend to be situations where I'm shooting black and white, working with people and expressions and situations. I have no time then to analyze a heads-up display, be too fussy about focus, etc. I need to be in the moment, looking, watching, and ready... Knowing that the equipment is already configured and ready at any moment.

    If the new Monochrom model were offered in a production-priced version of the ME60 body, I would have already pressed the buy button.

    G
    Last edited by Godfrey; 1st May 2015 at 10:11.
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    I keep going back and forth about actually owning an M 60. It's darn near impossible to shoot fast glass wide open and hit the focus each time, so I'd be shooting it with narrower apertures. Wide angle helps here too with deep DOF.

    Most of the photos I like to take are 50mm candid portraits wide open at f/1.4 or f/2 (depending on the lens) so the M60 isn't the ideal tool for this.

    Like many of you said, if it was actually cheaper than an M240 I'd consider it.
    Brad Husick
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I keep going back and forth about actually owning an M 60. It's darn near impossible to shoot fast glass wide open and hit the focus each time, so I'd be shooting it with narrower apertures. Wide angle helps here too with deep DOF.

    Most of the photos I like to take are 50mm candid portraits wide open at f/1.4 or f/2 (depending on the lens) so the M60 isn't the ideal tool for this.

    Like many of you said, if it was actually cheaper than an M240 I'd consider it.
    I also ... I could write a check to pay for an ME60 right now, but I'm reluctant to spend so much money on one camera.

    I don't know that it's so difficult to shoot "fast glass" wide open and hit the focus right every time, really, but then I'm not always so critical about getting perfect focus in every shot. I do well enough when I know my camera and lens well enough that I can get what I want most of the time, anyway, without any extraordinary effort.

    With a 50mm lens on the M-P, I fit a 1.25x eyepiece magnifier if I'm going to shoot wide open a lot ... It makes the RF patch a good bit easier to see for precise focusing, aids focusing speed, and the 50mm framelines are right at my visible limit (with glasses) of the viewing area. (With the rangefinder, I can even take my glasses off and focus just as accurately; see more outside the frame lines.) You might try that.

    Stopped down even just 1-2 stops with an f/1.4 lens, I find it very easy to hit the focus right on the money nearly every time without any extra measures. It's how I shoot most of the time. :-)

    G

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    My experience is that raw capture is really quite in line with getting good exposures on negative films with respect to latitude, given modern sensors' dynamic range. Exposure technique, however, is still more similar to slide film: Negative films have most all of their exposure latitude on the overexposure side, where slide films and digital sensor have most latitude on the underexposure side. So instead of "meter for the shadows and process for the highlights", the old rule of thumb for negative films, you use "meter for the highlights, process for the shadows" for digital.

    (Olympus has the brilliance in various cameras including the E-M1 of providing Spot-High metering pattern. This is a small spot area calibrated to give proper exposure when targeting a Zone VIII to Zone IX area. I use it often! It is very close to the mark, most of the time, when working with scenes that have a wide dynamic range.)

    I am sufficiently skilled enough at getting proper exposure with film cameras using either slide or negative films that I see little need to require a histogram. And if a miss a few, well, who cares really? A digital exposure doesn't even cost me the price of a piece of film and processing ... ;-)

    BTW, there is 'exposure confirmation'... Just like was pioneered in the Nikon FM and later available in the M6TTL (and M7, and other digital Ms, and other cameras ...), the metering readout has (+, 0, -) lights/arrows/etc which tell you where your exposure setting is relative to the meter's view of the subject in five distinct steps. Placing the metering area on the appropriate thing and glancing at the readout is much less intrusive and faster than analyzing a histogram. It's worked for decades of photographers in all kinds of real situations in studio and field...



    The only way to have what you're looking for there is to have some permutation of a live view heads-up display, which defeats the whole purpose of engineering down to the basics and eliminating potential distractions IMO. I never needed it when I was shooting film only. I find I only rarely need it today when I'm shooting digital. And when I do, I have other cameras (the E-M1 for instance) that do it just right.

    I may (most likely will) never own an M Edition 60. But I like the design concept a lot, and often strive to shoot in the manner that this design concept implies. It works particularly well for me in certain types of endeavors where I'm looking to minimize all possible burdens on my attention so that I can concentrate on the subject at hand, which tend to be situations where I'm shooting black and white, working with people and expressions and situations. I have no time then to analyze a heads-up display, be too fussy about focus, etc. I need to be in the moment, looking, watching, and ready... Knowing that the equipment is already configured and ready at any moment.

    If the new Monochrom model were offered in a production-priced version of the ME60 body, I would have already pressed the buy button.

    G
    Yes, yes, I know all the previous metering options and worked with each of them … not sure I agree that +/0/- metering is less distracting than some other innovative method of analytic digital metering … perhaps not invented yet. The best one I ever worked with was in the DMR, which placed a thin histogram line over the LCD display if you wished. Not possible here, as there is no LCD.

    Maybe it is just something like the Oly metering pattern you mentioned.

    "And if (I) a miss a few, well, who cares really?" … I do. : -)

    - Marc

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    Question Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Does anyone know how you set ISO, white balance, metering mode, manual lens detection, DNG compression, flash sync mode, frameline color, copyright information, date/time and language on an M60 that has no controls and no screen?

    How about using the artificial horizon function and histogram? How about formatting memory cards?

    How do you accomplish these tasks on an M60?

    Do you have to send it in to Leica NJ with a note detailing how you want to have the camera configured??

    What do you do when you move from sunshine outside to indoors with tungsten lighting? Send the camera back to NJ to have the white balance changed??

    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by herrbarnack View Post
    Does anyone know how you set ISO, white balance, metering mode, manual lens detection, DNG compression, flash sync mode, frameline color, copyright information, date/time and language on an M60 that has no controls and no screen?

    How about using the artificial horizon function and histogram? How about formatting memory cards?

    How do you accomplish these tasks on an M60?

    Do you have to send it in to Leica NJ with a note detailing how you want to have the camera configured??

    What do you do when you move from sunshine outside to indoors with tungsten lighting? Send the camera back to NJ to have the white balance changed??
    - Set ISO with the dial on the back.
    - Auto White Balance is the only WB setting. *
    - It has only the traditional center-area metering pattern.
    - Lens detection is always on automatic.
    - It only produces uncompressed DNG files.
    - There are no flash sync options.
    - The framelines are always white.
    - There are no copyright information or language settings.
    - You set date/time using the in-viewfinder readout.
    - You format storage cards outside the camera.

    * Since the camera only creates DNG files, a white balance setting is irrelevant. You set white balance as part of raw conversion and rendering.

    The M Edition 60 instruction manual is available for downloading from the Leica website if you have any further questions.

    G
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...
    "And if (I) a miss a few, well, who cares really?" … I do. : -)
    In which case, I suspect this isn't the ideal camera for you. It's certainly not for everyone.

    G
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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    I think this Leica M edition 60 is a brilliant camera. It embodies the simplicity of the Leica film cameras with the advantages of a digital camera. One could quibble about one or two things that they might have included, but in reality, The simplicity of it is it's genius. It's really appealing to see a camera of the quality and capability of the Leica M with the legendary Leica lenses without the bother and complexity of the modern DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras. Just remove the lens cap, set the ISO, focus and shoot. Very appealing. Too bad the cost is prohibitive for me...

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by silver92b View Post
    I think this Leica M edition 60 is a brilliant camera. It embodies the simplicity of the Leica film cameras with the advantages of a digital camera. One could quibble about one or two things that they might have included, but in reality, The simplicity of it is it's genius. It's really appealing to see a camera of the quality and capability of the Leica M with the legendary Leica lenses without the bother and complexity of the modern DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras. Just remove the lens cap, set the ISO, focus and shoot. Very appealing. Too bad the cost is prohibitive for me...
    It is always very easy to advocate something when you don't need to drill down into the reasons for buying it with your own money. I call it hot air.

    Steve

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    It is always very easy to advocate something when you don't need to drill down into the reasons for buying it with your own money. I call it hot air.
    I could pay for it (as different from "afford it"), and have very nearly gone for it a couple of times. I don't think it's 'hot air' to admire the concept, but as a special edition with a premium tax and the mandatory purchase of a special edition lens on top of that, I can fully understand someone not having the dosh, or not wanting to spend it on this one thing.

    I just hope they come out with a regular production model, with a choice of M240 or MM246 sensor setup. One of those gets announced and I'm in danger of being out another 7-8Large again.

    Leica might indeed bankrupt me if I'm not careful. :-0

    G

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    Re: Why the Leica M Edition 60 is important ...

    Kevin has posted a third installment in his series of articles.

    https://www.streetphotographyblog.co...graphy-review/

    enjoy!
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