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Leica M Type 240 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 32
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Leica M Digital Rangefinder Camera - Leica M Type 240 (Leica M10)
 
"Your rainbow panorama" by Olafur Eliasson © 2013 Thorsten von Overgaard
   
 
   

Leica M Type 240 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 32

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 M9-P   Links
Leica M10
P                                        
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1                            
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5                               Books

 

By: Thorsten Overgaard. June 28, 2013. Last edited April 10, 2016.

 

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Seeing with the Leica M 240

With both the traditional viewfinder, the new electronic Live View viewfinder and a new sensor, there was plenty to learn about the Leica M 240. Strong tradition meets new technology. What we had become accustomed to call the "Leica M9 look" with the same regard as if it was Simon and Garfunkel singing their praise to Kodachrome ... it is all gone.

Or is it?

 

 


The great CMOS vs. CCD sensor war

When the Leica M9 was presented in September 2009 many criticized the use of CCD sensor. But after a while the world seemed to change and people liked the "Leica look" of the Leica M9 CCD sensor.

But when Leica announced that they would use a CMOS sensor in the Leica M 240 many criticized the use of a CMOS sensor. The criticism even went so far that on the Leica Camera Blog people started commenting on the obviously bad qualities of the new Leica M Type 240 sensor already in February 2013, based on photos they wrongfully thought were the CMOS (but was in fact the Leica M9 with a CCD sensor).

My viewpoint is that if one can get a camera and sensor to produce the images one wants, it's a good sensor.

And to me that is the case with the CMOS sensor in the Leica M 240. It works.

 

Sheena Chohan
Indian Bollywood-actress, Miss Kolkata and Miss Universe India 2010, Sheena Chohan. Denmark, June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

 

 

Reasons to use a CMOS sensor

The CMOS sensor has the advantage that is is more economical to produce, goes higher in ISO, uses less battery and can be used for Live View and video.

The CCD sensor has less 'noise' pattern than CMOS and is the sensor used in practically all medium format cameras. The camera types one would characterize as high-end professional cameras. CCD uses more power and can't be used for video or in a Live View camera.

One of the reasons CCD looks so film-like is that the noise pattern is completely randomised. On CMOS it is uniform and you can always notice the fixed pattern of noise imprinted on the image. A CCD sensor has grain like film and it moves in the same way as film grain.

CCD sensors dump the data as one package, whereas CMOS drops lines; this is the reason one can experience 'rolling shutter' on video images made with CMOS. The subject or camera moves between the top lines and the bottom lines of the image are recorded, creating for example zigzag lines (see the Page 36 of this article about video).

 

Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
Bon appétit au Paris. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

         
 

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History might repeat itself

Nobody can know how the Leica M Type 240 would work if it had used an updated CCD sensor. But we do know a great deal more about how the Leica-modified CMOS sensor looks at this point. So far users like the dynamic range, the colors and the higher ISO capabilities.

I will use Leica M9 at 800 ISO as the maximum speed to ensure my colors are always right. The Leica M 240 I will use at 3200 ISO as the maximum as the colors are correct there. I sometimes have a thin white line in the image at 2500 and 3200 ISO under extreme low light conditions. The reason for those thin vertical lines is that my sensor has to be remapped (which Leica Customer Service will do under warranty).

 

Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 sample photo
Brooklyn Bridge, New York, June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

 

I basically haven't decided what my highest ISO ultimately will be, 3200 ISO or 6400 ISO. And I haven't found a final workflow to deal with the colors. I know that when I do manual white balance the colors are very close to how I want them. I find the red and the warm tones a bit too warm and optimistic some times, but that I can adjust (with the Leica M9 I will usually desaturate the red -10 and the orange -30 to get the colors - and mainly skin tones - correct).

It is likely that Leica Camera AG will address the colors in their next firmware update / camera profile update in Lightroom. The ideal would be the Leica S where the colors are so precise and natural that hardly anything has to be adjusted in Lightroom (when white balance has been set correctly from the beginning).

 

Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photos
Joy Villa on Broadway, New York, June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. Dress by Kokholm, Denmark, jewellery by Tiklari, New York.

 

Higher rate of color photos

What I have noticed so far is that I tend to keep more images in color with the Leica M 240 than with the Leica M9, and that is for me a sign that colors work very well on the Leica M 240.

I will get back at a later point with more on shooting and editing pictures (in both color and black and white).

 

         
 

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Also Leica glass in front of the sensor

It's a little fantasy of mine to try to imagine how it must feel like to be a sensor covered in small micro optics made by Leica. Which is what the sensor is. To see the world through Leica glass in those small precious moments where the shutter is activated and the metal curtain separating you from the light goes up for 1/2000 of a second - ah! - or longer to let the light come through.

Or - lo and behold! - turn on the Live View so the metal shutter is up and the light shines bright onto my little sensor beingness for a longer while.

 

Leica M 240 with <a href=
Joy Villa in Paris, April 2013. Dress by Legra Michelle, Los Angeles, jewrellry by Géraldine Valluet, Paris, hat by Sacia O, Beverly Hills. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 at 800 ISO, 1/60 second.

 

The reason why Leica Camera AG designed the glass in front of the sensor for the Leica M9 was that it was the only way to 'bend the light'. The lens in Leica M cameras (meaning every M camera from M3 to M9) is so close to the sensor plane that the light rays travel in a too steep angle in the outer edges of the sensor. This, if you were following the discussions around 2008-2009, was the reason it was stated that a Leica could never be a full-frame camera. That is, until the Leica M9 surprisingly was released on September 9th, 2009 at 9:09 AM in New York.

I don't believe the Leica M8, Leica DMR, Leica Digilux 2 or any of the Leica X or Leica D-Lux cameras have special Leica designed optics in front of the sensor. If anyone know I would be happy to know more.

 

Being a sensor in a Leica M Type 240 body must be something special
Being a sensor in a Leica M Type 240 body must be something special. Sensorium ("seat of sensation" from Latin). The first sensor from the CMOS family to ever set foot in a Leica M body! Also note that the Leica M Type 240 sensor does not have an AA filter in front of the sensor.

 

 

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The analog rangefinder or viewfinder ("Meßsucher")

The "Messsucher" (which is German "Meßsucher" for "Rangefinder") is the reason the Leica cameras were named M.

Today M is more a line of cameras, the M series, that all take lenses with the M bayonet.

In 1954, Leitz (Ernst Leitz Optical Industry as Leica Camera AG was called then) presented the Leica M3 introducing the new Leica M bayonet mount replacing the screw mount. The new camera also combined the rangefinder and viewfinder into one large, bright viewfinder with a brighter double image in the center. The analog viewfinder as we know it today was born.

The analog viewfinder on the Leica M Type 240 is still the crown jewel of the camera body. Nobody else delivers a camera with anything like this! The finest piece of engineering, from an era where the whole Leica camera body was engineered without a single bit of electronics, or even electrical parts (as of 1964 when the brand-new Leica M4 came out, no battery was necessary for photography).

Anyone who has looked through a Leica viewfinder, a Leica loupe or a pair of Leica binoculars, knows what I mean when I say that Leica glass looks so bright and clear it is a pleasure.

The Leica glass, in my opinion, has the extra advantage, that the view looks relaxed and natural. Yet brighter and clearer than what the naked eye sees.

Leica has been working with optics since 1849 when the Optical Institute was established in Wetzlar in Germany (named Ernst Leitz Optical Industry in 1869) though they did not make camera lenses till 1908. The experience since then is accumulated in the more than 2,000 glass patents Leica Camera AG have.

 

Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
The Marlboro Man. Istanbul, May 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

The analog viewfinder should be enjoyed as it is an essential part of the Leica M. Not only does it include marvelous optics, it is also a piece of engineering marvel as it helps you focus.

If you take off the lens of a Leica M camera and look, you will see a small chrome wheel on the top inside the bayonet opening. You can push this back and forth gently with a finger and this will change the position of the center image inside the viewfinder (the one you use for focusing).

If you then look at the lenses back end (that is normally inside the camera) you will notice that the metal tube moves back and forth when you move the focusing ring on the lens. This is what pushes the chrome wheel inside the camera back and forth slightly, which then again moves the prism in the viewfinder slightly so you can find the focus by having the two images in the center of the viewfinder match.

If you then turn around and look five meters in the direction of where the camera is pointing, and then imagine how this tiny mechanism enables you to focus with a few centimeters precision at something five meters away ... then the wonder of this analog viewfinder should hit you.

 

Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95  sample photo
Girl talk at Lower West Side, Manhattan, New York, June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95


I bet some young auditor, wet behind the ears, who found himself working at Leica Camera AG in Germany would love to exclude the analog viewfinder from the camera and thus save the company for a very expensive piece of technology, that nobody else in the camera industry suffers from having.

The analog viewfinder is a very expensive part of the Leica M that could easily be replaced by an electronic viewfinder. And maybe it should one day. It all depends how we percieve the new technology, and in the Leica M Type 240 we for the first time have the possibility to look into the future and compare the alternatives.

 

Better Meßsucher on the Leica M 240 than Leica M9

Many Leica M 240 users have reported that the analog viewfinder on the Leica M 240 is easier to focus precicely with than the analog viewfinder on the Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E and the Leica M Monochrom. In fact, all previous viewfinders.

There is no official change in the viewfinder, except that the body of the Leica M 240 has been completely made from new and is not the same as the Leica M9. Also, that is my take on it, it may give better eccuracy for the prism in the viewfinder that the frame lines are now artificial lit by LED light (whereas before the light for the frame lines were taken in from an additional vindow).

 

Géraldine Valluet Jewels
Photographing jewels by Géraldine Valluet in Paris. Blue Vespa LX 50 in the background. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

 

The electronic viewfinder EVF (Electronic Visioflex Finder 2)

  Leica Visoflex EVF2 electronic viewfinder
  The Leica Visoflex EVF2 electronic viewfinder. You can also use the Olympus VF-2 which essentially is the same.
   

One of the things you want to get a hold of for the Leica M Type 240 is the EVF2, which is a rebranded Olympus VF-2 for Leica Camera AG to fit the Leica X2 and the Leica M Type 240.

When I say get it, I mean get one. But don't start using it till you have gotten used to the camera.

Whatever ... we both know you will start using this within 10 minutes after UPS drops off the box, no matter what I say.

However, I will say - as a disclaimer - that if I had known what I do now, I would have used my Leica M 240 the first two weeks without this ... instead of 5 minutes after I opened the box.

The electronic viewfinder can be an essential tool also when not using R lenses or doing Macro.

 

Real time DOF (depth of field)
Where the Leica M teaches you to 'see' an image mentally before you get it, the EVF2 has the beauty of seeing the image realtime as it will look. Suddenly, you can preview how the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 draws the light and the out of focus areas. This is a whole new thing and can of course be a help in composing in the 3rd dimension; which is what DOF (Depth Of Field) is. It is how you use selective focus to make a stronger message, as well as it is a way to add aesthetics to an image. Now you can see it in the viewfinder.

 

Great for Leica virgins to learn Leica
The EVF2 is the perfect introduction to Leica rangefinder cameras. Anybody can learn to focus it rather quickly, and even the waiter at the restaurant can be left the Leica to take a photo that is in focus. A task that was really difficult without the EVF2 as you had to set the focus and then let the person understand not to move the camera.

 

Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 Pris sample lphtoo
Have you heard the news? Paris, April 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

 

Precise focus with Focus Aid
The EVF2 is a very neat piece of electronics to look into. You have the undistracted view of the image at a large size ratio (the image fills your whole field of view). All information about exposure, ISO and metering mode is available in the viewfinder.
When you turn the focus ring on the lens, the view will change to Focus Aid which (in my case) is 5X or 10X. This makes it very easy to focus precisely and is what I use when I want precise focusing.
When focusing, you use the thumbs scroll wheel to adjust the enlargment from 1X to 5X or 10X while you view the image in Focus Aid (whichever X-factor you set it to it will stay till you change it. Next time you focus it will be the same enlargment).

 

Focus Peak
Focus Peak are the red lines around the edges of what is sharp. Those are seen on the EVF2 and on the preview display on the back of the camera when you use Live View. I will say though that it is not that often the red edges are in play. They seem to require a lot of light contrast (and highlight) to be visible. Simply having the Focus Aid set to 5X or 10X is a much better chance to get it right.

The great thing about the EVF2 is definitely the precision in focusing.

 

One Leica EVF-2 works for all wideangle lenses

Also the EVF2 makes it possible to see the full frame precisely when using any lens, including the wideangle lenses and the tele lenses.

For wideangle you don't need the analog viewfinder on top of the camera anymore, and for tele lenses the field of view is not limited to the small center of the viewfinder. What you see is the full frame, no matter which lens.

The EVF2 is also what makes it possible to use macro rings and to use a R-to-M converter or Nikkor-to-M converter and so use any other lens on the Leica M. Because Live View shows you what the camera sees and enables you to focus any lens or piece of macro equipment you can mount on the camera.

 

OUFRO on the Leica M Type 240
OUFRO on the Leica M Type 240 for macro. OUFRO is an original Leitz Extension Ring (produced 1959-1983 as part no. 16469Y). OUFRO can even be stacked for greater magnification and will work on the Leica M Type 240 as macro for all lenses, including the Noctilux, 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (as shown on this picture) and even 21mm lenses. With the EVF2 and Live View you see the image crisp and sharp.

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4
Old 21mm lens from 1964 making a comeback? With the EVF2 viewfinder attached in the hotshoe on the top of the camera, working with wide angle lenses will no longer require the analog viewfinder. Also a lens as the Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4 may experience a comeback. This 21mm lens is known for going so far back into the camera that it shadows for the light metering in the Leica M9. But in the Leica M Type 240 the metering in Live View happens from the sensor, and the real-time image is viewed in the EVF2. Voila!

 

Leica M Type 240 with the Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4
Denmark, May 2013. Leica M Type 240 with the old Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4 from 1960's. It still has some funky colors in the edges. But it works.

 

Easy to carry on the camera

Contrary to what I had expected, the EVF2 is easy to carry on the camera at all times. It is not bulky, it is not in the way, it doesn't fall off. It works very well having it sitting on the camera all the time. The build quality is not like the Leica M 240 so I do expect to go through more EVF2's than M240's.

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
Bat out of Hell. Berlin, May 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

 
 MENU  SETUP 
Medium
EVF Brightness Medium low
Frameline Color Red
Focus Peaking On
Focus Aid Automatic
Histogram Standard
Clipping Definition 2 / 253
Auto Review 1 s
 
 

Exposure Brightness adjustment of the EVF2
The brightness of the EVF2 is brighter than the display. Therefore adjusting exposure using the EVF2 is a little tricky. I have set the "EVF2 Brightness" to "Medium Low" in the menu to get some alignment of brightness between the display and the EVF2.

 

Delay
When using Live View you have to wait 1-3 seconds for it to turn on when the camera is turned on or woken up from power off. If you always have the camera on so it goes to sleep after two minutes, you press the shutter release slightly to turn the camera on when you see something interesting, and then the camera and Live View will be ready by the time the camera reaches the eye.

With the SanDisk 32GB 95MB/sec card the EVF2 will take 2-3 seconds to get ready. With the 64GB 95MB/sec card it is twice as fast. So get the 65GB card just for that reason.

 

Leica M240 with <a href=Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 sample photo" width="640" height="396">
West 4th Street Basketball Courts. New York, June 2013. Leica M240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

What will make you consider switching between the EVF2 and the analog viewfinder is that when you focus with 10X magnification you get the glory of complete sharpness, and then when you press the shutter release slightly you get the view of the full frame and can compose the frame and shoot. However, there will be a built-in short delay from focusing to getting the full view so you can frame and shoot, and in that time the subject might have moved.

It is interesting how quick you get used to the EVF2 and lose confidence that you can ever focus with the analog viewfinder again.

But when you leave the EVF2 at home or in the bag for a day, you will realize how quick, bright and intuitive the analog viewfinder works. It is very natural to use.

 

Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
Skating in front of the Oslo City Hall, March 2013. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.
How to do this at f/0.95 with narrow focus: Focus on a spot and set exposure manually so all you have to do is wait till a person walks into the focus
. Then shoot. It may take several or many shots to get one that works. But the chances that you can follow-focus and get it are not that high.

 

The EVF2 has that advantage that you get razor sharp images. It will raise your standard for how sharp a Leica M image can be. If your camera is adjusted you can get razor-sharp images with any lens. But as soon as you strart fumbling with the focus or the camera is actually out of adjustment, the EVF2 will still get it razor sharp.

For portraits the analog viewfinder is gold. You stay in contact with the subject at all times and can observe every little change and shoot with very high precision as to timing. In portraits timing is essential. But when you switch to the EVF2 you lose that contact. You focus and there will be an instant where you lose contact and perhaps you or the subject moves slightly so you actually also lose the focus. But after you shoot there will be a second of still image preview in the viewfinder blocking the Live View of the subject.

So there are advantages with using the EVF2, and there are also disadvantages. When I shoot portraits I sort of go with what I have (with or without EVF), but some times I have decided to shoot with the analog viewfinder to get the right expressions ... and then do some 'back-up' portraits with the EVF2 to have some that are really sharp. Timing and expression of personality is essential in portraits, but also sharpness of the eyes.

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photoTaking the chick to town. Istanbul May 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Night vision

A handy thing is that the preview in the EVF2 is always 'daylight' even when there is not much light. When you press the shutter release button slightly down you will get the actual exposure preview. This is very handy compared to having to find focus with the traditional viewfinder in dark locations. It basically turns you into a superhero (as far as focusing is concerned).

 

Dirty glasses from the rubber

The EVF2 is not a great piece of industrial design. Where the analog viewfinder of a Leica M has a hard ring of plastic around it to protect glasses, the EVF2 has a large soft rubber ring that will leave grease on your glasses. So if you wear glasses, always bring a microfiber cloth with you to clean the glasses. I always carry a microfiber cloth with me because that is what I use to clean the camera, lenses and filters (and to wipe off rain as well).

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
Chef on a break. Paris, April 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Gluing the diopter

Another thing with the EVF2 is that the rubber ring also works as diopter when you turn it. It has a small mark you can feel with your fingers that has to be at 0 in the top for it to be normal. And then you can turn the ring to the left and right to adjust it plus or minus. However, the rubber ring will move and often when you bring the camera to the eye, the view will be blurred because it is now either all the way to the minus side or all the way to the plus side.

As you usually want to use the viewfinder right now when you bring it to the eye, I have tried to glue the rubber ring so it stays in poistion.

 

Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
Brooklyn long term organic parking. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Olympus VF-2 viewfinder for the Leica m 240

Leica has gotten the Olympus VF-2 and rebranded it, and raised the price to somewhat the double. Which they have made no secret about. As far as I know it is not even Olympus but Epson that make the viewfinder for both Olympus and Leica. In any case, Leica did change the design of the shell to a (in my opinion) nicer design that aligns with the camera body and has a design-reference back to the Leica Visioflex. If one can justify the Leica or will go with the Olympus is up to one self. I bought the Leica as my first ... just because. I do realize this is the least resistent piece of the camera and probably one day will get smashed. It's not a Leica piece of stuff, it's not built to last and doesn't have much value over the Olympus except the logo and the slightly more pleasing look.

 

Leica M 240 with Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R ASPH f/2.8 Macro
The rare Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R ASPH f/2.8 Macro lens on the Leica M Type 240. It's a huge Leica M Type 240 kit but a fairly compact dSLR kit if you care to compare. One can discuss the relevance of using such a large lens on the Leica M 240, especially as the price is $10,000 - 14,000 these days. Collectors, Leica fans and RED users have discovered the qualities of this lens. Both the optical outstanding results, as well as a collectors item that is bound to go up in price no matter if it fits onto a camera or not.
Leica wanted to make the best zoom in the world, and they did. They started production 1996 but stopped producing the lens in 2002 after having made 200 of them. Apart from stellar glass it features the most advanced aperture construction in the Leica world (with the most aperture blades).
More about Leica R lenses on the Leica M 240 on Page 33 of this article.

 

Leica M 240 with <a href=
Black sand. New Zealand, April 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

 

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Wearing prescription glasses
and focusing with the Leica M Type 240

The analog viewfinder in any Leica rangefinder cameras is like viewing the subject at normal viewing distance. It is not as when you view via prisms on a matt screen few centimeters from the eye in a dSLR or SLR camera.

One of the advantages I had when I went from Leica R9 dSLR camersa to the Leica M system with the viewfindes was that I stopped having pain in my eye after a days photographing. The view through a Leica M is very natural and doesn't tire the eye.

As to prescription glasses, one should use whatever is nomal for being out and about. That means normal prescription glasses one would use for driving a car. Not screen or reading glasses for viewing at short distances.

 

Leica M240 with <a href=Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 sample photo" width="640" height="390">
Manhattan, New York, June 2013. Leica M240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

 

Problems with focusing

I meet people from time to time who can't focus a Leica M or who feel they have problems with it. Some times this will result that people buy additional glass such as the original Leica diopter mounted on the viewfinder. This works like glasses, so basically if you normally wear glasses, you take them off and have a diopter mounted in front of the viewfinder.
Others add a Leica 1.25X or 1.4X magnifier on the viewfinder so as to enlarge the viewfinder - to be closer to the image.

I find those add-ons unnecessary for me. The tendency is that people try these, and then find out it works better without.

One reason for problems with focusing can simply be bad prescription glasses. They are measured wrong or made wrong. Also, if one have glasses with three fields in them, one small center field will be for long distance viewing. If that field does not match the viewfinder (because it is in the 'wrong' place of the glass or the glasses are hanging down you nose), it doesn't work. If you have to lift your head or point your head down to drive a car so as to see the road clearly, your glasses are not right and won't work for a rangefinder.

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
Paris, April 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

I'm mentioning this as I see so many that try so many things to get it right, and mostly they return to the naked viewfinder as the best solution. Because it is.

It is also important to realize that often when someone talk about how difficult it is for them to focus, either their camera is actually out of adjustment (and needs adjustment at Leica Customer Service), or they are so uncertain about focusing that they can't decide. If one can't make a decision about when the focus is there, that alone is a reason it fails. There are no focus indications in the Leica saying when it is in focus; you have to decide for your sefl based on what you see. If you can't make that desicision, that is your focusing problem.

Also, often when we have focus, the subject or the camera moves. And that is another reason for not having 100% focus.

Ther are many reasons and one should not take the subject of focus that serious. Even auto focus doesn't always get it right, and even photographers who have shot a lot on Leica M and have done it for years don't have a 100% hitrate. Far from, actually.

All in all, don't make it complicated. Focus and shoot, refocus and shoot. That way some of your photos will be in focus, and it's the ones in focus that are interstesting, not now large a percentage is out of focus.

 


The shootout. Matthias Frei and Lisa Kutzelnig in Paris, April 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Framelines and wearing glasses

If you wear glasses you can somewhat see the 50mm frame lines inside the analog viewfinder. The viewfinder it self is almost 24mm viewing field. Using a 35mm lens is not a problem as you get used to moving about so you see the image. In the same manner that you don't see everything in the rear view mirror on the car, so you move your head. You don't think about it, you just move your eye so you see what is in the frame and what is not.

Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 sample photo
Paris, April 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Keep the manual handy on iPad and iPhone

The hallmark of Leica Camera AG - "unintelligible manuals"
I don't have much good to say about the Leica M 240 manual provided by Leica Camera AG. Traditionally German translated into English can be quite enteraining. I have a collection of funny signs from German hotels and other places of helpless translations. Even LFI is quite badly translated. Anyone who has tried to translate German to English know how troublesome German can be.

Unfortunately the manual is not just poorly translated into other languages but must make a similar helpless impression in all languages. But the manual is good to have as a reference for certain things.

 


I have my manuals for lightmeters, Leicaflex cameras, Leica MP, Leica M7, Leica R9 and so on on my iPad for handy reference whenever I need it (which is often when there is some small detail I don't remember how to do). An advice hereby given.

Download my English-only manual here

You can download my edited Leica M Type 240 manual here (7.5 MB). I have removed the German pages so only English search results come up when you search the PDF document. (And I have put the parts of the camera description next to the illustration of the camera).

If you download the manual on your computer and e-mail it to yourself, you can open the mail on your iPad or iPhone and then hold down your finger on the PDF symbol > and from there define that you want the manual to open in iBooks.

You can also go a simpler way and open iTunes on your computer and drag and drop the PDF into iTunes and it will be in iBook when you syncronize next time.


Battery and charger

The battery for the Leica M 240 is quite large and will usually last for a full day. It is made that large so as to support video shooting as well as Live View that takes some more energy.

The CMOS sensor in the camera uses less energy than a CCD, so when shooting, using the analog viewfinder and not Live view and video, the battery time is quite impressive.

I recommend two batteries as that is easy to manage. You start off the day with two charged batteries and if/when one is low, you drop in the next. During the evening and night you charge first one, then the next (a couple of hours charging and it is on 100% power again).

I also recommend two chargers in case you forget one in a hotel room or similar. When I travel I always have one battery charger and possible power plugs (for the airports, airplanes and countries I come by) in my photo bag, and another charger in the checked in luggage. Thus, in case the checked in luggage is delayed, I have a charger with me together with the camera.

I try always to spread my chargers in different locations/bags as I have actually (I regret to disclose) forgotten chargers both home and in hotels by having them all in the same place, arriving at a new destination without any chargers.

 

Leica M batteries
My collection of batteries and chargers for the Leica M 240, Leica M9, Leica M Monochrom and Leica D-Lux 6. Note the Apple Travel Kit plugs. Apple Store sells a package where one get four different plugs and thus have converters for most countries in the world. Fits Apple products, and Leica chargers.

Low on battery

The Leica M 240 does not show battery level by it self. If you look through the viewfinder or on the review screen on the back and press the INFO button (to the right of the display), the display will give a percentage of how much battery is left.

When the camera is down to 20% battery power the display will show that you are down to 20% as a single alert.

Next alert will be that you are "low on battery, switch off the camera".

 

Lightroom with the Leica M 240

Adobe Lightroom comes with most Leica cameras, also the Leica M Type 240. From June 15, 2013 and onwards, if one activate the licence code in the Leiac M 240 package, one will get Lightroom 5. If you activate your code at a later point you will get the Lightroom 6 version or whichever version of Lightroom is the current.

 

Leica M 240 prices ... a challenge for Leica Camera AG

As a worldwide luxury brand the Leica M 240 should be the same price worldwide. But this is not the case. When the demand is high and delivery less than demand, as it is the case for most Leica products, it seems to attract black market middlemen and premium price mentality.

e-Bay prices are usually $1,500 above retail price. Premium prices seem to fare best amongst US buyers and Asian buyers. In Europe paying premium is not normal in stores or from person to person.

Singapore $8,678 (minus 5.5% refundable GST/VAT) but often sold with a lens only (if you don't buy a lens with the camera you will be sent back in the waiting list).
Hong Kong $9,750 (no VAT in HK)
USA $6,950 (plus local non-refundable sales TAX/VAT, in New York 4% making the price $7,228)
Bangkok $8,780
Denmark $8,750 (minus 13-19% refundable VAT of reatil price; net price shipped is $7,097)
Germany $8,300 (minus 9-16% refundable VAT of retail price; net price shipped is $6,975)

 


Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Madison Square Park, New York. June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

Possible Leica M 240 errors and how to fix them


Leica M Type 240 camera freeze


The Leica M will occasionally freeze both in still mode and video mode. The handling it to turn off the camrea and turn it on again. Some times, taking out the battery and inserting it again is the proper handling.

In video mode the camera appear dead, as if the battery is dead. Simply turn it off, take out the battery and insert it again, then start the camera and continue.

In still mode the red light on the back will usually stay on and the camera won't shoot.. You can even feel that the release button is stiff and won't respond. Take out the battery and insert it again, then the camera will work normal again. Some times you will loose the last image(s) in a continious burst because the camera simply froze during writing to the SD-card.
Leica Camera AG is aware about this problem and is working on finding the possible reason and will fix it with a firmware update.

It is not something that will happen that often. I have had the camea freeze 5 times in still mode and once in video mode in the first month. Somehow less in the next two months.

It is my impression that it is solely the buffer and not related to the EVF-2 digital viewfinder or the 10x focus aid. The error appear to happen when you have shot a series of images and then after a short break shoot one more series. The second series is likely not recorded on the card as the camera freezes trying to write them to the card.

But as said, it will be history soon. So enjoy it as it lasts.

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Bryant Park, New York. June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

EVF-2 freeze

Some times the EVF-2 image will freeze, either because the camera freezes, or simply just the EVF-2. This will result in a half image in the viewfinder, or the EVF-2 seems locked in 10X mode. In any case, the image is staying the same and not moving. The solution is to wait a little, or even better; turn the camera off and on again.
One possible reason to this error I have noticed is when th EVF-2 moves slightly back and thus doesn't have proper contact inside the camera.

 

SD-card errors

I haven't heard of any errors on SD-cards related to the Leica M 240. SD-cards can have errors, and in that case SanDisk or other manufacturer of the SD-card will replace them.

 

 
     
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AUTO-ISO doesn't work properly

Auto ISO only works in Aperture Priority, meaning that the shutter speed wheel on top of the camera is on A (also known as M Mode). If you turn the shutter speed while in AUTO-ISO, the camera will use the ISO set for the last image (but the menu choice will still say AUTO-ISO).
Leica Camera AG have said about this (June 2013), that they "will make it adjustable as an option for the user, which means you can choose in the menu if Auto ISO is available in M Mode or not. This will be implemented in a future firmware update."

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Madison Square Park, New York. June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Not reading lens code

My lens mount allows the lenses to travel a very tiny little bit. Enough so that the eye on the bayonet that is supposed to read the 6-bit code on the lens cannot always read the code so the camera believes the lens is "Uncoded". This will happen in very rare instances (on only one of my lenses). Leica Customer Service can fix this. 

 

Sign up for the all new course today:

 

"There is no lens attached" using lens adaptor or other lenses on the Leica M Type 240

Some lensees and lens adaptors are black on the bayonet that is in front of the 6-bit code reader and then it reads for the camera as if there is no lens on the camera. Hence you can mount the lens (adaptor) but the Live View that you need to use other than Leica M lenses won't activate. It's to protect the sensor as the camera doesn't see the lens.
To remedy this, paint the lens - or put a white or silver label - on the bayonet of the lens (adaptor) where the 6-bit lens code reader sits (not on the camera, on the lens!)

 

Focus aid not always activated automatically ... this is why

Focusing:
Leica shutter curtain Leica M9
It's the chrome metal wheel in top, inside the bayonet, that makes focusing on a Leica M possible. It is also the movement of this wheel that activates the Focus Aid.

It is magic to experience that when you turn the focus ring, the camera automatically turn on the 10X focus aid in the viewfinder or on the preview screen on the back. It is less magic to experience when this does not happen even you set it to Automatic in the menu.
The Focus Aid is activated by the physical movement when a Leica M lens pushes the chrome wheel inside the bayonet (which is part of the analog viewfinder's focising mechanism).
Hence, when you use non-Leica and Leica R lenses, the Focus Aid does not work. You will have to press the Focus Aid button on the front of the camera.

 

Battery drain

Normally the Leica M240 is set to power-off after two minutes and will power off. One should be aware that if the camera is on (set to Single or Continious release) the power if off after two minutes. But if the camera is in a bag or similar condition where the shuttter release button is pressed down again and again, or all the time, this will drain the battery as the camera is on.

 

The camera does not focus properly (back focus or front focus)

The rangefinder mechanism can go in and out of focus. It is usually the camera though lenses also some times need adjustment.
The way to check if the camera is focusing wrong, is to go outside and find a point more than 50-100 meters away and then focus on infinity. If the focus goes beyond the horizon or can't go all the way to the horizon, the focus is off.
Most likely it is the camera that need adjustment, and that is done by Leica Customer Service or someone who knows how to do it. It involves the adjustment three places inside the camrea.

 

Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95  sample photos
Restaurant Tartine, 235 W 11th Street, New York, June 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Leica SF58-D flash

There seems to be a communication issue between the flash and the camera in Firmware 1.1.0.2 so that the lenses do not trigger the zoom function in the flash properly. A 35mm lens comes up as 75mm, 75mm as 105 mm and so forth. This will be fixed in future firmware.

 

Camera strap lugs may fall off (ONLY on cameras shipped prior to April 5, 2013)

  Leica M 240 camera strap lug
  At least one camera strap lug fell off. This is the image of it.

On April 24, almost two months after the first Leica M Type 240 started shipping, Leica Camera AG sent out an e-mail to the customers who received their camera before April 5, asking them to ship it back for a check of the strap lugs.

To my knowledge there has been one case of lugs falling off. The reason is that when the screws are tightened (from inside the camera body onto the camera strap lugs), a type of glue in the top of the screw is activated and glues the screw so it stays in place.

Some of the screws Leica Camera AG used had faults, and that is why Leica Camera AG had to make a recall on all the cameras that could potentially have been affected, when they discovered the error.

The letter from Leica Camera AG said:

"Dear Leica M Customer,

We are aware of the fact that a few of the Leica M (Typ 240) cameras shipped before April 5, 2013, experienced loose carrying strap eyelets. We identified that this was caused by an assembly fault that occurred in the Leica M (Typ 240) production line. Products potentially affected only concern Leica M (Typ 240) cameras shipped prior to April 5, 2013. After identifying what happened, we fixed the production issue immediately. Rest assured that the issue has been completely resolved and corrected. We are deeply sorry that this occurred.

Having crosschecked the camera’s serial number, we regret to inform you that your camera 4444550 is affected."

The mail from Leica Camera AG also stated that they would pay for all costs of shipping the camera back and forth. In their FAQ Leica Camera AG also guaranteed they would take full responsibility for all problems due to the error:

"What happens if my Leica M Typ 240 is damaged due to loose eyelets? Answer: If your camera and/or lens were damaged due to this fault we will replace them free of charge."

 

Leica M240 with <a href=
DUMBO under Brooklyn Bridge, New York, June 2013. Leica M240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

     
 

Continues on page 33 -->

"Leica R lenses on the Leica M 240"

 
 

 

 

 

 



   
   

 

– Thorsten Overgaard

   


Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 M9-P   Links
Leica M10
P                                        
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1                            
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5                               Books


leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Camera Compendium   Leica X
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Leica Sofort instant camera
    Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
    Leica CM 35mm film camera
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Quality of Light   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit for Lightroom CC/6
Lightmeters   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love    
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point    
The Good Stuff  
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
Leica OSX folder icons   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
   
Leica Photographers:  
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr    
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston    
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 100 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter
    Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook
Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
The Leica User Forum   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr
LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Jono Slack
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   Ming Thein (blog)
  I-Shot-It photo competition
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for older Leica 35mm/1.4 lenses
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for 50mm Summicron lenses
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Vintage Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 75mm Summicron (coming)
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated ShadeE60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 

 


 

Above: "Your Rainbow Panorama" by Olafur Eliasson on top of the ARoS International Art Museum in Aarhus, Denmark. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.
© 2013-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

Read The Story Behind That Picture to see more on this photo.

 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

Leica M Type 240 Firmware update

Camera Raw 7.4 Beta and later
(with Leica M support)

Feel free to join the
Leica M Type 240 User Group
on Facebook

Latest Leica M9 firmware

 

 

Thorsten von Overgaard by Michel Chernitzky
Thorsten von Overgaard in New York.
Photo by Michel Chernitzky

 

The photos on this page have been edited in Adobe Lightroom 3.6 and few or none have been adjusted further in Photoshop. To read more about my workflow, visit the page of my "Lightroom Survival Kit".

 

 

 

 

 

Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Von Overgaard Ventilated Shades
Thorsten Overgaard Books
Leica Definitions
Leica History
"Photographer For Sale"
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
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Leica R9 and R8 SLR with digital back
"On The Road With von Overgaard"
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Lightroom Survival Kit
The Story Behind That Picture


Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 

 


 

 


 

 






 

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