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Leica M Type 240 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 1
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Leica M Digital Rangefinder Camera - Leica M Type 240
 
New Zealand photographer Pamela Tinning in Napier, April 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
   
 
   

Leica M Type 240 Digital Rangefinder Camera Review
Page 1

Index of Thorsten Overgaard's user review pages on Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E, Leica M9 Monochrom, Leica M10, Leica M10-P, Leica M10-D, Leica M10-R, Leica M10 Monohcrom, Leica M11, Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom 246, Leica SL, Leica SL2, Leica SL2-S, as well as Leica TL2, Leica CL, Leica Q, Leica Q2 and Leica Q2 Monochrom:
Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
M9 Mono 20 21 22 23 24 25      

                     
M 246 Mono 26 27 28 29
30
31      

                     
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44            
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                        
Leica M10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8                         Video
Leica M11 1 2 3                                    
Leica SL / SL2 1   3   5 6 7                              
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 / Q2M 1                                          
Leica TL2 1 2                                        
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books

By: Thorsten Overgaard. June 1, 2013. Updated December 1, 2021.

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The Leica M Type 240 Experience: Three Months and 9,000 pictures later

It was a Friday afternoon on March 1, 2013 and the sun was shining in Denmark. "In a way I have no rush to get the Leica M Type 240," I said to my friends and family in the kitchen where we were sitting.

"I just want to take pictures. The Leica M9 and Leica M Monochrom work so well. When I get the Leica M 240 I will have to learn how to get it to work," I said, in the sense that I didn't look forward to having to calibrate my style and workflow.

 

Shadowland. Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
"Shadowland". Copenhagen March 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. Black and white converted from the DNG file via Lightroom. © Thorsten Overgaard. Read The Story Behind That Picture for more on this photograph.

 

But then, as a reverse nemesis, 10 minutes later the phone rang. In the other end was Leica Shop Vienna. In broken English he cheerfully announced that they hadn't gotten the camera yet but had gotten the invoice from Leica for it, and that usually meant they would get the camera in a day or two.

I happened to have my Leica M reserved since Photokina in September 2012 and paid for in full at Leica Shop Vienna since December 22, 2012. A sort of Christmas gift to myself, as things turned out. I hadn't thought that paying in advance would ensure me the first delivery. But in retrospect, of course it would (you may want to take a note for future purchases).

 

John Travolta. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
John Travolta. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

In the present moment, June 2013, probably less than 500 Leica M Type 240 cameras are actually out and about being used. Back in January 2013 when I had visited Leica Camera AG and product manager Stefan Daniel happened to be about, I asked him out of personal interest, when I should expect the Leica M to start rolling out? He said end of March or in April.

Now Leica Store Vienna was on the phone. This was a month or two too early. I hadn't planned this, I wanted to get it later. But now that I could get it, I wanted it. Rather frantic I asked if he had both silver and black. As if my prayers had been heard his next sentence would save me for further trouble deciding: "We have a black one and a black one."

 

Street portrait in Antiqua. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.
Street portrait in Antiqua. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

         
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"I'll take it black then," I replied. "It doesn't matter which one, I'm not so sensitive. Just pick the one with the best serial number."

I'm sure the others in the room who overheard the conversation and observed the change from the calm laid-back Overgaard not needing a new camera had fun seeing the now 10 minutes later von Overgaard shining like a child before Santa Claus comes down the chimney. I could hardly sit still.

I think I am not wrong if I say that most of us enjoy waiting for new Leica lenses and cameras. Some times waiting is simpler and more fun than actually getting it. Also, waiting doesn't cost anything.

But when the excitement of waiting is over, another joy takes over.

 

 

Foundation for creation

Some days later I had the camera in my hands. I hardly could believe the serial number I had gotten, 4444550. I asked a woman that believes in numbers, and she said 4444 meant foundation of creation. I know my Asian friends would say something else so i didn't ask them (not having a 4th floor, a 14th floor, a 24th floor in their buildings I wouldn't like their answer anyway).

Now, three months wiser, I can say that the camera has been more foundation for creation than any other possible meanings of that serial number.

 

 

 

"I think it is not so much about what the camera can do,
but what you can do with the camera."

- Thorsten Overgaard on the Leica M Type 240

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica M9, Leica M Monochrom, Leica Digilux 2 and Leica M4
Leica M Type 240 meets the family. Leica M Type 240 in the front (with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95), Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4, Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0, Leica M9 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0, Leica Digilux 2 and in the far back, Leica M4 with Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4.

 

 

In the tradition of simplicity and perfection

How do you make the camera see what you see? I have said it before, and will state it again. The first Leica was the right one. Hence no reason to make it different.

And how so?

The first Leica had a new extremely compact size compared to the big wooden cameras used at that time, it featured the 35mm film format (made by taking the roll film used for motion pictures with 24 x 18mm frames and making the frames twice the size, 24 x 36mm), three simple controls to control the light (ISO, aperture and shutter), and it had compact, great lenses made to resolve enough details and clarity on the small negative that the images could be enlarged.

History has told us that these were all winning qualities. Despite experiments and great marketing campaigns over the last 100 years to introduce new and smarter film formats, "full frame" is still the king and refers to exactly the 24x36mm frame that Leica Camera used in the first Leica. The idea of the inventor Oskar Barnack was "small negative, large print": Instead of carrying a large camera with large negatives and make 1:1 prints from those negatives, his idea was to carry a small camera with a roll of film and enlarge the negatives to the same size as the larger cameras' pictures. In order to obtain a similar quality, this idea called for unheard precision in lens design.

  Oscar Barnack selfportrait ca. 1914
 
Oscar Barnack self portrait ca. 1914
   

When Dr. Andreas Kaufmann bought Leica Camera AG some years ago, the company took a turn back to the core qualities of Leica, but a step forward in technology. Short time before Andreas Kaufmann bought Leica Camera AG the management had declared in interviews how film was still superior to digital and how Lecia intented to wait for the return of film.

Kaufmann was obviously of another opinion. The core quality of the Leica was not that it used film, but the simplicity of design and operation, the compactness and the high quality of the optics. Recording light can be done both with film and digital.

Add to all the above one more important feature that characterizes a Leica camera, and one which has become more obvious as time has gone by, and that is the simplicity. Leica is still a very simple tool for painting with light, expecially when one consider the other offerings on the market. As such it is the perfect tool for the artist to create his vision without being interrupted by the tool.

With the return to the Leica core qualities, for a long while, people will still stop you on the street and say "wow, you still shoot with film" or ask, "is that your grandfather's camera?" ... which in so many ways is the best compliment a Leica M Type 240 user can get, in my opinion.

The significance of the core Leica qualities means simplicity in operating - focusing on the main controls a camera should have to control light, and not so many other buttons. As exemplified on every Leica M camera since the beginning: Shutter, aperture and ISO are the only light controls and are located on the outside of the camera.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Berlin, May 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard

 

         
 

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Making each element perfect, and as few elements as possible

Turning back to the core Leica qualities also means making it as close to perfect as possible. Exemplified in the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 lens that Leica lens designer Peter Karbe knew they could do, but as late as 2006 stated would never come into production because not enough people would be prepared to pay the price.

They changed their mind - or the market did - and the lens went into production in 2013. I shall get back to that lens later in the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 article, along with an interview with Peter Karbe. But one of the things Peter Karbe told me was that the core Leica Camera philosophy since Oscar Barnack, has been to make each element perfect.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Berlin, May 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

It is a very interesting philosophy when we talk lenses, cameras, and for that matter, any product. The philosophy, when applied to a lens, means that the goal is to make each piece of glass in the lens so perfect that the other elements do not have to correct the previous element. This also implies that the less elements, the better, whereas the 'trend' is that you add new elements to correct the first ones, then others to correct those ones.

Or, the idea of shooting raw photos and then fix everything what didn't go right later, in the computer. Why not just take a perfect image in the camera and let go of the extra work?

In the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 the main quality, in my opinion, is that there seem to be no lens. You simply get the scenery in front of you, without alterations, without anything missing, without any signature added. As a great microphone would do: Capture exactly what is there without adding or changing anything.

If we go back to the Leica M Type 240 camera, then that philosophy in theory should have been applied to this camera.

And the relevant question then is, did they?

In few words, yes, I think so. The newly added features such as video and electronic viewfinder and the R-to-M lens adapter make it seem as the Leica M has become more complicated. Which is true if you try to adopt it all at once. So you should not. You should look at each addition as a way to add more uses to an essentially simple camera.

The discussion about the video recording button on top of the camera, apart from the departure from the traditional design, will continue for years, because every time someone accidentially presses it and start a video recording they didn't intent to start, they will blame the camera. And while the 24x36 format is the standard for full frame, the recording quality of video will continue to change to higher resolution formats. So in that sense, the video in a Leica M still camera might be a glimpse of something we will see disappear again.

 

 


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Making you the one taking the photos, not the camera

When was the last time you read a camera review that was more about you than the camera? Then again, this is not a review but a user report about one of the cameras I use.

But perhaps to illustrate and underline the importance of a simple and well made camera I thought it was important not to indulge in the technical side of it before we had gotten it straight that you are the one making the photos, not the camera.

 

James Lemon. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.
James Lemon. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

It's interesting that none of my workshops are ever about the cameras. If someone comes with a Leica D-Lux or a Canon or Nikon that they don't know how to operate, I can't offer them help (truth is that nobody can). It's not about the camera (though we do have a jolly good time talking about the lenses and all). My workshops are always about light and how you find it. It's about you; what you see and how you may preserve that unique viewpoint you have.

 


Workshop in New York. Photo by Alan Riordan. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.
Workshop in New York. Photo by Alan Riordan. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

 

         
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Robert and Daina Hogg. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Robert and Daina Hogg. Leica M240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

A different turn of events

The release of the Leica M 240 has been different than expected in many ways. The camera has also turned out to be different than expected. So, after three months of silence, allow me to also start off this article or review with talking about you rather than the camera. I think it is not so much what the camera can do, but what you can do with the camera.

The way to go about with any camera, in my opinion, is to make one photo at a time.

What do I mean by that? One at the time?

A photographer is one who make photos. People recognize you as a photographer by your final photos that they can see rather than if you have a piece of paper that you have an education as a photographer. If your photographs are good, you are a good photographer. If they are bad, you are a bad photographer. People in general don't distinguish what camera you have, or what camera you used to make the photograph. They see if they like it or not.

 

"A moment in Istanbul". Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. DNG file edited in Lightroom 3.6. 
© Thorsten Overgaard. Read The Story Behind That Picture about this photo.
"A moment in Istanbul". Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. DNG file edited in Lightroom 3.6.
© Thorsten Overgaard.
Read The Story Behind That Picture about this photo.

 

 

How to have success with photography

First and foremost you must make photos for yourself, photos you consider good photographs. It is hard to get recognized by others if you can't recognize yourself first. You must be your first fan.

I don't expect people to recognize that I use a good camera. I expect them to not really care. So the reason I use the cameras I use, is because it makes sense to me. It works for me, and in the case of Leica it aligns with how I think and see, and it makes me happy. My camera is a good friend, it is my companion.

Therefore the whole discussion of if a camera is good or bad, and reading reviews about a camera to see if it has more resolution than another camera, is not really that relevant. What is relevant is, how do you feel with this camera. Does it make you happy, and does it make you want to take photographs?

 

Stockton Street in San Francisco. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Stockton Street in San Francisco. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

One photo at a time

Any camera may be alien to us, either because we haven't spent much time with it, or because it is new. So the way to get the camera to work is to make photos, one at a time.

And just as photography is not a skill you suddenly obtain from one day to the other, or by receiving a document from a school or other authority, the same way you shouldn't expect to master a new camera from one day to another.

 

Napier, New Zealand. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Napier, New Zealand. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I mention this because the hype about the Leica M Type 240 has been a little too much. Would the CMOS sensor perform just as well as the Leica M9's CCD sensor? (which was a sensor that those with a memory longer than three years will remember was criticized for not being CMOS when the Leica M9 was released in 2009).

We don't know, or at least I don't. So I take one photo at a time. Not to find out which camera is the best, but to see what works for me.

If you look at all great photographers, what they did was photographing a lot, and by doing that they made one great photo once in a while, from time to time. They didn't acquire their whole portfolio suddenly. A portfolio of great images is the bi-product of a photographer who keeps trying and keeps loving to take photographs.

Loving your tools, loving to wear your camera, understanding that camera and those lenses, and keep on using them is more important than how highly some reviewer thinks the resolution or sharpness of one camera compares to another. Remember, reviewers usually don't make photographs of life, they make reviews about cameras.

Hence, photography is more about you, the motivation of you, and the image you can make with the camera. One photo at a time.

 

Felix Reichert and my daughter Robin Isabella in Paris. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Felix Reichert and my daughter Robin Isabella in Paris. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

By the way, it is an interesting thing to do, to look at the books of Helmut Newton, Greg Gorman, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Richard Avedon and others and notice how many (or few, actually) photos their portfolios consist of. It is also interesting to notice that the best of the great photographers photos did not necessarily come about in the end of their career when they had the experience, knowledge and economy to own the best cameras. Some of their greatest photos may have come about in the beginning of their career when they knew less than they did later. Sometimes you can tell that they had the fortune to experience places and people that made them enthusiastic and enabled them to get those photos.

But if you notice for example Henri Cartier-Bresson, his generally most famous photographs are not from the important events in his career when he met Gandhi a few hours before Gandhi died, or from his many - and important, he thought himself - reportage from war and crisis. No, his most famous photos are from seemingly walking about in Paris and other places without much happening. Most of his famous photos are from empty spaces rather than happening spaces (which is ironic because HCB thought his reportage from the world's hotspots were more important than the landscapes Ansel Adams did at the same time period; but what remains popular in our time is Ansel Adams landscapes and Henri Cartier-Bresson's quiet days in Paris).

 

       
 

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This tells me that one cannot know if it is more important to travel to a dangerous country with the aim to report about subjects that one perceive to have importance to mankind, or if the photographs taken on an early Sunday morning in a quiet neighbourhood, will be the most important photographs in your portfolio.

What it tells me is that one should choose ones equipment with love, and always wear a camera. Shoot to share, to preserve, to create emotions. Shoot what you feel makes sense, to you. One photo at a time. Later you will know which ones have value, and which ones that are the best of the best.

This of course also has a lot to do with editing. The more I photograph, the more I realize that editing - meaning selecting what to take photos of, as well as which of the taken photos to use - is perhaps 1/3 of the skill set of being a good photographer. Editing is a subject I hope to return with more about, at another time.

Competence is to observe, decide and execute. You wear a camera as you look at the people, the light and the world around you. You see a photo, and you decide to take it, as well as how and when to do so. And then you take it.

In much photography, the focus is on execution only. Cameras are sold for their ability to execute a photograph in so and so many megapixels, how many executions they can do per second, and so on. As such, if you follow that finger-trigging temptation, you omit to include in your photography the real values you have as a person; which are the abilities to observe, reason, foresee and prevision images, and plan your vision to be executed at that exact decisive moment where the image will tell that story and convey that emotion that you - as a matter of fact - created.

In photography, as in many fields of art, this repeat itself when you later have to yourself and the raw material you produceed in your attempts to communicate something. Again you must observe what you see on your screen fromt he viewpoint of an audience, decide to either let it go into the abyss of your hard drives, or if you are going to make the few necesary changes to it to make it a final picture. And then do so in a way so it becomes a final photograph, ready to use.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Robin Isabella von Overgaard in Paris, May 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Is the Leica M 240 the new Leica M9..?

Should I get the Leica M 240 or the Leica M Monochrom, or stay with the Leica M9?" is the question I have gotten the most. I think that, if you ask like that, you already know if you can live without the Leica M 240 or you simply just have to have it. If you have used a Leica M9 for some time and you were happy with it, the M240 must be just as good or better. And it is.

I dare claim that Leica M9 is and will always be a classic Leica M digital rangefinder as the first full-frame, and at the same time a "real Leica" that feels like a film camera in many ways. It's a very charming camera. The Leica M240 improves on all points, such as magapixels, speed of buffer, that you can add an EVF to preview a photo 'live' on the back screen or via the EVF (Electronic ViewFinder), and then video is added, which is a first opportunity to see how Leica M lenses works for moving pictures.

 

Why is it called the Leica M240?

In 2012, Leica announced that they would name their cameras like Apple Computers name their Macbook Pro. It's always the same name, but then each new slightly improved model has a model number to distinguish it from the previous and the future ones.

Hence the Leica M Typ 240 is basically what should have been called the Leica M10, but was now named Leica M and then "Typ 240" following this naming strategy. In retrospect (because I updated this article later), that was a bad idea that confused people. And if you are new to the Leica, you are rightful confused that there was Leica M8, Leica M9, Leica M240, Leica M10, M10-R, Leica M11 ... and as we can easily agree now that we are all older and wiser, the M240 doesn't really fit into any of this logics.

While it was a greaet idea with the Typ 240, Typ 246 and so on names, maybe the fascination with Apple was a little too much for a moment at the headquarter at Leica. In any case, Leica returned to the traditional naming strategy, but for a while between 2012 and 2015, there are Leica S, Leica D-Lux, Leica C and other cameras that are outside numbers, and once Leica returned to their traditional naming strategy, they simply continued with Leica M10, Leica D-Lux 7, Leica S3 and so on as if M240 never happened.

Part of the strategy of making updated versions within the model type did become rality with the Leica M10-R that basically is an upgraded Leica M10 (24MP sensor) with a 40MP sensor and not much else changed. But that is actually so far the only Leica M that was updated within the same model name.

So that is why it is called Leica M240.

 

One of the first photographs I did with the Leica M240 to see how it handled tonality and noise at "high ISO". Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 @ f/5.6. 800 ISO, 4 seconds. © Thorsten Overgaard.
One of the first photographs I did with the Leica M240 to see how it handled tonality and noise at "high ISO". Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 @ f/5.6. 800 ISO, 4 seconds. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

     
 

A Leica camera revisits its path

JJust to add to the confusion about names, the Leica M240 was being re-launched in June 2019 in what was called a "limited run of 750 cameras", as a Leica M-E 240.

It's the Leica M240, but in a grey-silvery version and with a 2GB buffer (as known from the M-P 240 version). The genius about this, is the price of just $3,995, making it the cheapest Leica digital camera to be launched in a long time (forever, actually). The Leica M240 silver that was still available at that time, with basicalluy the same specifications (except the 2GB buffer), was selling for $5,995.

The genius about the re-launch of the Leica M-E 240 is the price of just $3,995, making it the cheapest Leica digital camera to be launched in a long time (forever, actually).
The genius about the re-launch of the Leica M-E 240 is the price of just $3,995, making it the cheapest Leica digital camera to be launched in a long time (forever, actually).

 
     

 

 

Black & White Photography with the Leica

The Leica M Monochrom is the new standard in black & white digital photography. One might argue that people won't always be able to tell if a black & white photo came from a Leica M9, Leica M Monochrom or a Leica M 240. But that is really not the point of the Leica M Monochrom.

What a black & white camera has to offer is mainly the mental process of not having to bother with colors. It can be very rewarding.

One of the side-effects of shooting exclusively black & white though is that you suddenly see and value colors; so in that sense using a monochrom camera might make you want to shoot colors again (but with the clear difference that you now actually see colors more distinctly).

For the one new to Leica who would like not to get the most expensive camera around (which is currently the Leica M Monochrom), both the Leica M8 and the Leica M9 offer an alternative.

The M8 is available for very good prices and are excellent black & white cameras. With the Leica M Type 240 coming to the market the Leica M9 is selling from $3,000 and up, less than half the price of a new Leica M Type 240.

 

 

       
 

Overgaard video on monochrome photography

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Magic of Light Photography Television by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

As I updated this article, here is also an updated video (Nov 2020) about photographing black and white with Leica cameras.

 

 

       
 

Leica Color Photography

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica M240 Masterclass Video by Thorsten Overgaard    
  "Color Photography and the Colors of the Leica" by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

Leica Color Photography

The Leica M Type 240 is the new standard in Leica color photography. As simple as that. One may argue that the CCD sensor of the Leica M9 and Leica M9-P and Leica M-E looked different (more film like for example) than the Leica M 240. But for me that is simply workflow; meaning that it is a matter of getting your image files to look the way you want them to look. It always takes a few weeks or months to calibrate a new sensor and camera to the look you are accustomed to. I always find it painful to change anything that works, but in the ned I usually get what I want - and then a little more detail or color fidelity.

But in terms of shutter sound, speed of operation, ISO and overall feel of the camera, the Leica M 240 is the new Leica M9. There is probably no turning back to Leica M9 when you get the Leica M 240. You may keep the Leica M9 for sentimental reasons and tell yourself it is nice to have as a backup. And you might even (as I have done) take out the Leica M9 to enjoy a cozy vintage moment in the cafe, reading the newspaper or for a walk in the sunshine. But when you get back to real business, it'll mostly be the Leica M 240 you take with you. It can do more, faster.

But understand that the Leica M Type 240 is not the only choice. The Leica M9, Leica M9-P and Leica M-E will continue to give great results for all those who can resist the temptation to upgrade. It worked once, so why wouldn't it still work? It's not like a smartphone or computer that needs to get upgraded because the software gets more complicated.

For more on color photography with the Leica M 240 read my article "Color Photography and the Colors of the Leica" (which is page 41 of this article).

 

On the Oslo ferry from Denmark to Norway. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
On the Oslo ferry from Denmark to Norway. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

 

       
 

Comparison of Leica M models

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica and Leitz Camera Compendium by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

For comparison and to get the thoughts straight, here is an overview as of 2019.

 

Model M8 M8.2 M9 M9-P M-E
Type 220
M
Type 240
M-P
Type 240
M-E
Type 240
MM
Type
246
Nickname           "M10" "M10" "M10" "Elliott"
Start 2006 2008 09/2009 06/2011 09/2012 03/2013 11/2014 09/2019 05/2015
End 2009 2009 2012 2012 - - - 2020 -
MP 10 10 18 18 18 24 24 24 24*
Sensor CCD CCD CCD CCD CCD CMOS CMOS CMOS CMOS
B/W
Format 18x27 18x27 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36 24x36
AA filter No No No No No No No No No
Video           Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adapters           R
Nikkor
R
Nikkor
R
Nikkor
R
Nikkor
Shutterless No No No No No No No No No
Mirrorless Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live View No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
EVF No No No No No Extra Extra Extra Extra
Framelines           LED LED LED LED
DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG DNG
JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG JPG
Base ISO 160 160 160 160 160 200 200 200 400
Max ISO 2800 2800 3200 3200 3200 6400 6400 6400 25,000
Processor           Maestro Maestro Maestro Maestro
Buffer No No No No No No 2GB 2GB 2GB
Frame selector Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
USB port Yes Yes Yes Yes No Extra Extra Extra Extra
GPS           Extra Extra Extra Extra
Battery pack No No No No No No No No No
Weather sealed No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight     580g 600g 585g 680g 680g 680g 680g
Digital color filters for B&W           Built-in Built-in Built-in  
Price $US new 4,800 5,995 7,000 8,000 5,450 7,250 7,250 3,995 7,450
Price Pounds 2,990   4,950 5,395 3,900 5,100 5,100    
Price Euro     5,000 6,000 4,800 6,200 6,200   7,200

 

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Jean//Phillip Design, Denmark. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

         
 

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Istanbu workshop. Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
The Leica pusher in Istanbul, Burak Daldaban, photographing with Leica M Monochrom during the Overgaard Workshop in Istanbul. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

How to deal with the Leica M Type 240

I shall spare you for the unpacking video. But do imagine me opening the box, already having most of the extras available at hand: Stereo microphone, macro adapter, electronic viewfinder, R-to-M adapter and spare battery.

It was impossible not to get overwhelmed and confused with all the new possibilities.

Therefore my advice is to start out with the Leica M 240 as if it was a new Leica M9. Don't add anything new but simply use the analog rangefinder mechanism as always and learn the new menus and the different sounds and feel of the camera - before entering onto using the new EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) and the video features.

The preview button top left of the display on the back is now LV (Live View, which open up the shutter curtain and shows a live image on the preview screen). That takes some days to get used to not pressing that button when you want to see a preview of an image, because it sits in the muscle memory to press that top left button to see the photo you just took.

I am fairly certain you won't follow this advice but want to try out Live View, video and everything else as soon as possible. And you will try to avoid studying the menus, because it is in so many ways the new Leica M9 and you will try to tell yourself you really don't need to read the manual to use it.

So let me just warn you that all these new things in a camera model that used to be relatively simple will make you feel a little stupid and tired. The good thing though, is that you will get the feel of it after some days or weeks, then it all will become muscle memory.

If you want to speed up the learning progress, read the manual and put the manual on an iPad or iPhone, take the camera out to some quiet location where you can do the same photos again and again, study the behaviour and refer to the manual when needed. In the bottom of this page is the basic standard settings of the camera I recommend. Start with those, then concentrate on one new thing at the time.

 

         
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Working hard on Facebook. My daughter Robin Isabella in Istanbul. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Working hard on Facebook. My daughter Robin Isabella in Istanbul. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

     
 

Why is it called a "camera"..?

The word Camera is today's short name for Camera Obscura (which originally means “a dark room”).

Origin of the word Obscura means "dark" or "covered", and the word Camera means Chambre and was used originally only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers' rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”.

In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”.

Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.
Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.

The concept of Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.

Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 
     

 

 

Like a Leica M9, but stronger and faster

The Leica M Type 240 should not be much of a surprise. New Leica M cameras come out every three years (the Leica M8 in 2006 and the Leica M9 in 2009). The unusual thing about the Leica digital rangefinders is that they stay relevant for more than three years. Look at the Leica M8 from 2006. Still a lot of happy users. The Leica M9 and Leica M9-P was and still is a very rewarding camera to use ... and will remain to be so for many years to come.

What has been anticipated with some anxiety has been the new CMOS sensor and the "new electronic features" such as digital viewfinder (EVF), video and the possibility of attaching Leica R lenses (and Nikon F lenses, and anything you can find an adapter for, basically).

I will admit that I got a bit more overwhelmed than I had expected when I got the camera.

I saw the Leica M Type 240 at Photokina, the prototype, and to me it seemed pretty much like the Leica M9 with some ugly microphone holes on the top plate and a different sound of the shutter. A Leica M9, but stronger and faster.

 

Neville Porter, Auckland. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.
Neville Porter, Auckland. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

I remember when the Leica M9 came out, how troublesome the image quality was in the beginning. People didn't like the warmth of the images, too much red, and often too much orange and yellow. But we got it under control in a matter of weeks trying different camera profiles in Lightroom.

The Leica M240 have similar challenges. The blue colors stick out as a little too strong and cold - a bit 'digital' or 'japanese' in their look. Something to calibrate in your workflow, to get the same look as you are used to like.

 

 

Getting stuff to work

I like to get things done. I am not happy with trying new things or changing ways. I like to get it to work and keep it working. Some people love trying new cameras, new screens, new software, new tricks. I don't. Even thought I am a first mover in many areas of life, I do things to get them to work. Not to toy with them.

This terrible period of not knowing which leg to stand on comes with everything new. Managing the look of images is a very personal thing. It's not like getting a new iPhone. It is more personal and disturbing. As a painters materials or a musicians instruments. You want it to be exactly the way it was yesterday, because that is the result of years of work and experience.

 

Paris. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.
Paris. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

 

 

 

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I have made a few essential Presets for Lightroom which do minor adjustments to the Leica files, so as to get the tones exactly how I want them.

The Presets have as their ideal, the Leica M9 sensor, as well as the Kodachrome film (which also happens to be the ideal for Leica, when they developed the Leica M9 sensor). Not that it matters much, but that is the reason why I made my own Presets: To get the that look, rather than a “digital sensor look”.

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The Styles have as their ideal, the Leica M9 sensor, as well as the Kodachrome film (which also happens to be the ideal for Leica, when they developed the Leica M9 sensor). Not that it matters much, but that is the reason why I made my own Styles: To get the that look, rather than a “digital sensor look”.

 

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This was how it was when I got my first film scanner, and every time I got a new film scanner after that one. The first digital cameras and every new digital camera after that one. Always a desperate attempt to work towards the old with new tools and new rules. You have to stop, look at it, see what it is that needs to be changed, and then see if you can find a slider in Lightroom or Capture One that can make taht happen. And then, after a while, you get there. It starts to sit in the fingers, and you may very often realize that the overall quality has gone above the previous level. But until then, it's a bit like Bambi floundering on the ice in the Disney movie.

New ways force you to question your methods and review it all again. Sometimes it's fun to go back to something that were. As in getting a vinyl record player again after you haven't had one for eons. When you travel far enough back in time and technology, you experience the same uncertainty because the tools aren't calibrated to work with those files or materials.

It has it's charm to go back to an older and more imperfect look of photography, just as it has a lot of charm to go back to vinyl records and hearing the dust sparkle and the needle making it's own noise. Or getting back into a car you used to drive. So familiar, but then also usually lacking so many more modern things that you actually don't want to live without.

When faced with a new workflow, I look for things I recognize, places to put my feet. That's how I do it. Those are the things to hold onto, then take each new element that sticks out as not being in haramony, work with it till it fits in. One image at the time, and then I start getting a feel of what I am working with and how to make it mine.

 

Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Learning a new camera

I went out to a local cafe to show the camera the city and learn more about it in a relaxing way. This somehow lead to doing a very quick video with the Leica M240 and the Leica Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 wide open.

It was straight forward and very easy to do, and quite exciting, but also led to a kind of overload of new things in too short a time. After having released the video the response from videographers took some time to address, and I think I finally got that answered and finalized by doing a video with Austrian videographer Johnnie Behiri who flew to Denmark to do a project (as it can be seen on page 36).

After this intermission I felt I had overcome the video and could focus on what I actually wanted to use the camera for. Which is the same as the Leica M9; for portraits and atmosphere around the world.

 

 


From Den Gamle By when I went about to test the camera settings in a place where not much move. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

 



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I think the way to learn a new camera is to study the camera and the manual a bit and then go out and do something that is not moving that fast.

I took the camera to The Old Town in Aarhus where I could work with interiors and exteriors without too many people. The houses are from 1600 and 1800, so they've been around for a while.

 

From Den Gamle By when I went about to test the camera settings in a place where not much move. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.
From Den Gamle By when I went about to test the camera settings in a place where not much move. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

You have to take it out. You have to make some interesting pictures and not just test photos of your desktop or backyard. It's a better learning experience doing something where you have time to stop, study the menu and try different settings. Then do the same photo again and see what changed. Which you can't if you are doing a commissioned portrait, a wedding or a concert.

 


Interior from 1800, when cobolt blue was in fashion. Very close to Yves Klein I would say. From Den Gamle By when I went about to test the camera settings in a place where not much move. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

 

Wearing a camera

I wear a camera most of the time, including in the car and in airplanes. That means that I have the camera strap across the chest so that the camera rests on the hip, but is always there. I can sling it behind my back so it isn't seen and isn't in the way. Or I have it to the side in front of me so it is more visible and ready.

Some like to carry the camera in a hand-strap but I prefer to have both hands free and the camera 'next to me.'

My camera is always on. In the suggested Menu settings furher down this page, you can see I have the camera set to "power off after two minutes" and the preview is 1 second or off. This will make the camera battery last for a day, easily, for most things. For intensive use, I bring a spare battery.

 


I made my own brand in camera straps and camera bags, "Always Wear A Camera". Nice italian handmade things to last a lifetime, made for daily use and travel. Camera straps have to be simple, durable, soft and have a length so the camera rest on the hip with the strap across the chest (125cm for most people, 145cm length for taller people). Here is the Yosemite camera strap on the Leica M240, and next to it is The Hemingway Messenger Bagfor camera storage and travel.

 

Waking the M240 up from power nap

When I enter a room or see something at a distance that might be an image, I will slightly touch the shutter release so I am ready to take the camera to the eye when I approach the subject. The light touch of the shutter release wakes up the camera, and it will be ready in less than a second.

 

Choosing the right SD card

With the SanDisk 64GB 95MB/sec SD-card the wake-up time for camera and EVF2 is a little more than 1 second. With other cards (including the 32GB version of the 95MB/sec card, the wakeup time can be 3 seconds or slower). As you can see further down, I have tested the speed of different cards and found which ones make the camera works the best. Newer models and/or more expensive and advanced SD cards is not the same as better. They have to match the camera.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 


The new Leica M240 acessory is the EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) which allow you to see "live view" of what the sensor sees. This was is made possible by having a CMOS sensor (and not possible previously with the CCD sensor in the Leica M9).

 

Switching between screen and EVF

With the Leica M 240 you will spend some time on the Live View and the EVF2 electronic viewfinder: Is LV on, and is it showing the image on the preview screen or the EVF2? It shows the image where it did last time the camera was active. And if on the screen, you have to press the button on the EVF2 to get it there instead. Or press the button on the EVF2 again to get LV off. You see the confusion, right? But when I got that sorted out, the camera and the EVF2 is ready after a second or so after I touched the shutter release.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Istanbul. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Diopter correction on the EVF

If I use the EVF2 I have to make sure the diopter (eye correction) on it is set correctly. For me that is a little to the + side of the middle. But the rubber ring that adjust the diopter moves when the camera hangs over the shoulder, and if the diopter is set wrong it tires the eye and make focusing difficult. So I sort of check that when I grab the camera and lift it to my eye: I quickly notice that the white line of the diopter adjustment is where it is supposed to be.

 

Jose Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Jose Salcedo photographing in Berlin. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Focus aid (focusing zoom) in the EVF

With the EVF2 set to automatically 10X the image (focus aid), the 10X focusing is activated when you touch the focusing ring on the lens. After a few weeks I have finally gotten into the rhythm of this: I lift the camera to the eye and quickly have an idea of what the frame is and start focusing. This gives a 10X enlargement of the center of the image, and as with the Leica M9 and Leica M Monochrom, I will move the center of the frame to what I want in focus. Then I slightly touch the shutter release to get back to the 100% frame, finish the framing and shoot.

Using the EVF2 is very precise as to focus, but the analog viewfinder is much faster and more intuitive for shooting things moving.

 

Setting the focusing aid in EVF to 5x or 10x

The Leica M240 usually comes with the focusing aid set to 1x, which means that when you focus, it doesn't zoom in. This has left a few people confused how this works. But notice then, that while it 'focuses', you can turn the thumbs wheel to 5x or 10x zoom. And it will stay on that selection the next time and in the future. I Find that 5x works for 50mm, 75mm, 90mm and 135mm, while for wide angle lenses, it can be set to 10x. Reason being that if you use 10x for a 90mm lens, the selction you look at tend to be so tiny you cannot figure out what part of the scene you are looking at.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Istanbul. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Battery info

The Leica M 240 does not have any battery information in the preview display. You have to press INFO on the right side of the display to get the info about battery, what is left of space on the memory card left and settings in general. If you press INFO when you preview an image you get the info about the image, not the camera. So the camera has to be on and the screen black (no preview on the screen) to get the info about the camera when you oress info.

The battery is so powerful it is not really a problem. The first notice about battery drain will be an alert on the screen when it is at 20% and then you still have some ways to go. But the next alert will be that the camera is low on battery ... please switch it off.

If you switch off the camera and then switch it on again a little later you can usually squeeze some more photos out of it. But else you need to charge or change battery.

 

The well tempered shutter

The Leica M 240 shoots a little more than three images per second where the Leica M9, Leica M-E and Leica M Monochrom shoot two frames per second. And on top of that the whole shutter mechanism and body has been redesigned and modified so the Leica M body now is one piece of metal (except a plate slit in into the front holding the M bayonet mount). It is a very sturdy camera body with very tight high-precision assembling, including weather sealing.

All in all the faster shoot rate and new design of the mechanism result in a very determined sound that almost sounds like a small guillotine. But after some weeks with a good handfull of actuations the shutter sound will be softer and more relaxed, yet still very determined and brief. Where the initial sound is a bit embarrassing, like a Death Star laser, the sound of the well-used shutter is well tempered and ... addictive.

 

The Leica M240 will 'brass' as it gets used and the black paint wears off. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica M240 will 'brass' as it gets used and the black paint wears off. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

A new design of the same camera body

You will feel how well built the Leica M240 is from the first moment. It is not that the Leica M9 was not built to last more or less for generations. It is. The Leica M Type 240 is just built even better. More precision in everything, and a redesigned body that is made out of one piece of metal so there is no assembling in the bottom of the camera. It's quite a piece of work. It's basically one brick of metal drilled out to contain the parts of the camera, and then a front plate is screwed on to hold the M bayonet that holds the lens.

As mine starts to show the brassing I appreciate the build quality more and more. For some reason I felt that the Leica M 240 was more of an 'electronic camera' in the beginning, but the more I use it, the more it feels like a classic Leica M4.

The silver version doesn't brass but maintain it's silver look throughout many years of use.

 


The Leica M240 silver with the handgrip acessory (and the 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Rigid). © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

             
 

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The "Always Wear A Camera" soft leather camera pouch for Leica M and Leica Q2 cameras. See more here.
The "Always Wear A Camera" soft leather camera pouch for Leica M and Leica Q2 cameras. See more here.

 

       
 

Which memory cards to get for Leica M240

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

 

For the Leica M 240 I would recommend the SanDisk 64GB with writing speed of 95MB/sec. The 16GB and 32GB SanDisk with writing speed 30MB/sec and 45MB/sec will work fine, but for larger data sizes and for shooting video, a faster card is to be preferred. It will make offloading images from the card to the computer faster.

The Sandisk 64GB Extreme Pro 95MB/sec offer faster startup time than the 32GB version of the same card. Go figure, but the fact is that with the 32GB card the startup takes 2-3 seconds, with the 64 GB the startup time is reduced to half.

The speed of the SD-card (30MB, 45MB or 95MB/sec) will not affect the frames per second of the Leica M 240.

For the Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E and Leica M Monochrom the SanDisk 16GB and 32GB with writing speed of 30MB/sec and 45MB/sec is fine. There is no reason to use faster card in these. On the contrary a more advanced/newer/faster card may just complicate matters.

 


From left the non-SDHC 2 GB 15MB/sec card for the Leica Digilux 2 and DMR (digital back for R9). The wireless Eye-Fi card (orange) that will work in the Leica M 240. And then the four cards to the right will all work fine in the Leica M 240 ... But the 95/MB sec card to the right (gold green) is the one I would recommend, but as 64GB (which has twice as fast startup-time for the Leica M 240 as the 32GB).

 

Go for the speed, not the name
It is worth to take a note that SanDisk continuously rename their cards so that what is now "Pro Extreme" will be "Extreme" in the future, and even further into the future just a grey un-sexy looking card called "Ultra". The speed given on the card is what matters as the Pro Extreme name (that sounds so reassuring) written in gold on the card is simply the name for the currently fastest cards.

 

SanDisk Eye-Fi wireless card
The Leica M 240 has a piece of plastic in the bottom plate so that wireless SD-cards can transmit easily. In the Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E and the Leica M Monochrom the bottom plate in solid metal prevented the signal. The installation of the software to communicate with the wireless SD-card is confusing because of the instructions given from Eye-Fi. But it can be set up in half an hour and may or may not then work properly. Though some times there will be a great delay before the images arrive, at other times they arrive immediately. No explanation as to why. Later Leiac M cameras as the Leica M10 and Leica M11 are equipped with wife and Bluetooth, which enables you to communicate easily with the camera and download photos wirelessly. But the Leica M240 doesn't have that technology.

 

New Zealand photographer Pamela Tinning in Napier, April 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
New Zealand photographer Pamela Tinning in Napier. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.


       
 

Formatting SD-cards
when they have lost speed

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  SDFormatter for Mac    
  SDFormatter for Windows    
       

 

For different reasons the SD-card can go slow, for example when used in other cameras or formatted in other cameras or on other computers. The way to get the SD-card back to top speed is to download the free SDFormatter for Mac or SDFormatter for Windows and format the card.

I had borrowed out my Leica M 240 to a film crew and after some days when I got the camera back, the 64GB 95MB/sec had gone slow in startup time (from 1 second to now 3 seconds). After formatting it in SDFormatter for Mac the card speed was back to 1 second.

Generally I do not format my cards but drag the image files to the Trash on the Desktop after I have downloaded them. Then I Empty Trash and put the card back in the camera. Only if I experience problems with a card I will format it with in the camera, with SDFormatter or try other handlings. And some times the card is simply corrupt beyond further trust, and if it is within warranty, I return it.

SDFormatter

 

       
 

Continuous shooting at 3.5 frames per second

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

 

The M240 will shoot a little more than three frames per second for the first two seconds, then slow down. More precisely it will shoot the first six frames in 1.7 seconds, then the camera slows down to write and shoot at the same time.

When shooting 6 images in continuous mode, this will happen in 1.7 second. Then the buffer will be busy writing these images for the next 10 seconds after which the camera is ready for another 6 frames in 1.7 second.

If you continue shooting, the frame rate will go up and down from the 7th image in the continuous burst.

After the first 6 frames the next six frames will take 5.9 seconds to complete; but the frame rate will go up and down from 0.25 to 1.4 seconds per frame. This is not practical as the rhythm will be unpredictable. Of course, if it is action and you want to make as many frames as possible, it may make sense to squeeze as many shots in as possible (despite the uneven rhythm after the first 6 frames). But for portrait for example, and most other photography, you will want to predict your timing.

When you use the camera a lot you sort of get the rhythm in so you never really stumble against the buffer limit. The Leica M240 has a definite advantage over the Leica M9 and M9-P in for example portrait shooting where most people will stumble into the buffer wall using M9.

2 frames per second with 1600 ISO
When the ISO is higher, the speed of frames per second goes down on the Leica M240. The frames per second is reduced drastically to (less than) two frames per second for the first four images at 1600 ISO.

Using EVF2 digital viewfinder and Live View
The fps will be the same with Live View and using the EVF2 digital viewfinder. At least in Classic mode of the light metering. The Live View itself does not slow down the frames per second. The use of Advanced Metering and Spot metering that depend on the camera reading and analyzing the Live View image to figure out the proper exposure may delay the process.

Battery charge or memory card will not affect the frames per second
The fps remain the same with a 30% charged as a 100% charged battery. Nor does it affect the frame rate if you use a 45MB/se or 95MB/sec card.

 

Speed at 200 ISO compressed DNG + JPG Fine Leica M 240 Leica M9
fps (frames per second) 3.5 fps 1.7 fps
First 6 frames in single burst 1.7 seconds 3.6 seconds
First 12 frames in single burst 7.6 seconds 29.9 seconds

 

Buffer speed

One frame takes about 4 seconds to write, but 5 continuous images will take 10 seconds on the Leica M 240 to be stored. In other words, you may develop a rhythm of shooting 5-6 frames in 1.4 - 1.7 seconds, then pause for 8 - 10 seconds before you resume photographing. This may sound limiting, but if you imagine shooting portraits or models, you would shoot 1-2-3 shots, then pause, then shoot another 1-2-3 and would never stumble into having to wait for the buffer, unless you get too eager.

In shooting portraits the face expression will change slightly over one second, but if you shoot 1-2 pictures per expression you will have sufficient. If you shoot more, you will have more to edit of the same. Hence it is better to develop a rhythm of shooting 1-2 frames of one face, then ask the model to change the face or position a bit, then shoot 1-2 frames of that and so on.

 

Leica M240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 LHSA black paint edition and "Always Wear A Camera" camera strap Concorde 125cm. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 LHSA black paint edition and "Always Wear A Camera" camera strap Concorde 125cm. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

       
 

Recovering lost JPG, DNG
and video files from SD-cards

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

 

If you have a corrupt SD-card the camera can't read, or simply deleted files on the SD-card you shouldn't have deleted, download Data Rescue test version from Prosoft Engineering, Inc to see how much you can restore. Their trial version allow you to preview up to 10 images or files from what it finds via the trial version, and then restore up to 10MB of data for free. If you need more than that, you'll have to pay for their software which is around $99. It takes about half an hour to scan a 32GB card (deep scan) and half an hour to one hour to restore it all. Much less if it is only a few files. It will rename all files with default numbers from 00001 and some times rename DNG to TIFF. But it works (and the TIFF files will behave as DNG in Lightroom).

This is also the type of software you can use to recover images you deleted whilst a big security guard breathed down your neck. You can always get files back as long as they were not overwritten.

You may want to remind your teenage kids about that software, because you can get any data from a SD-card that has been on that SD-card; as long as it hasn't been overwritten. Basically, if you take a seemingly empty 32GB SD-card and run it through the software, you will get 32GB of data. So private pictures one thought were gone, will surface again. Good to know for the teenage son who wanted to impress his new girlfriend with his photographic skills and thought the evidence was all gone when the card was erased.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Berlin. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Getting used to the Leica M Type 240
when coming from 6 - 12 frames per second

If one are used to cameras with very high frame rates, one may have developed a shooting style of shooting a series of 6-12-18 frames per pose or simply always end up with 6 frames every time one press the shutter. That is overkill but will work if one works fast in editing and concentrate on looking for the few good photos (and omit comparing what is duplicates). But it is killing the model. High frame rates are for action photo, not landscape and model shoots.

When coming from high frame rates to the more moderate Leica M Type 240 you will stumble into the buffer wall simply because you are used to too many frames per second. You will have to get used to look at the subject and stop listening to the frames per second. It takes one click to get a photo.

 

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Understanding DNG and raw file formats

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  Resources:    
  Lightroom Survival Kit by Thorsten Overgaard.    
  Capture One Survival Kit by Thorsten Overgaard.    
  Editing photos in Photoshop Video Class by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

What is DNG..?

DNG stands for Digital Negative and is an open lossless raw image format developed by Adobe.

RAW simply means raw, basically a file containing all of what the sensor recorded of raw data, unedited by camera software. Raw formats can be proprietary, meaning that each manufacturer has their own raw type, requiring their software to read that raw data. The DNG that Leica uses is an open standard, meaning that it does not require a certain software that only one manufacturer make.

 

Birgit Krippner
Birgit Krippner at her exhibition in Napier, New Zealand, April 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

The DNG is a way of packaging the 1) raw image data with 2) EXIF data from the camera, 3) XMP data about the editing of the image and 4) IPTC data such as keywords, copyright information, captions for the photo, etc.

 

     
 

Definitions

DNG = Digital Negative, an open standard developed by Adobe. It is a single file that contains the raw image data from the sensor of the camera as well as date, time, GPS, focal length, settings, etc.
The alternative is a RAW file + XMP file where the RAW file contains the image information and the XMP contains the rest of information about where, how and when the picture was taken, as well as editing data when the photo is edited in Lightroom or Capture One.
A Camera Raw profile (that is specific for that camera) in the computer helps the software program, for example Adobe Lightroom, to translate the RAW data into the image. Camera producers provide a Camera profile with their camera, and Adobe makes their own 'refined' Adobe Raw camera profile for all new cameras.

A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.
A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.

 

EXIF =Exchangeable Image File, a file generated in camera and enclosed in the image file that contains recording information on the image such as shutter speed, exposure compensation, what metering system was used, aperture setting, ISO setting, date and time the image was taken, whitebalance, which lens was used, camera model and serial number. Some images may even store GPS information so you can see where the image were taken. The data from the EXIF file continues to follow any later editions of the image and can be read in photo editing software such as Capture One and Lightroom, as well as Photoshop (go to the menu File > File Info). There is also software available that can read EXIF data from any file, like Exifdata.com.


The EXIF data is all the information about shutter speed, metering method, ISO, etc. - and then some more that you don't see on the screen (such as camera model, serial number, lens used, etc).

 

XMP = Stands for extensible markup platform (also known as XMP sidecar) and is a standard developed by Adobe and standardized by the International Organization for Standardization ISO. XMP is a 'sidecar' to an image that contains the EXIF data (camera settings) as well as other data about the image recording and editing that would norally be in proprietary formats (only readable by certain software). XMP in short is a container enclosed with the image as a 'sidecar' that contains all available information (EXIF data about settings, IPTC data (who took the photo, copyright info, image captions, etc), but most noteable, the XMP allow you to include information about the editing that was performed to the raw or DNG file, so that when you open the image file in another editing software, the raw data, as well as information about the crop, exposure compensation and other editing you did to the photo, is included).
In Adobe Lightroom Classic, one should make sure to select that editing information is written to the XMP file of each image (go to Lightroom > Catalog Settings > Metadata and then click "Automatically write changes into XMP").

 
     

 

The Leica M Type 240 (and most Leica cameras) use the DNG format, which is the Adobe format that basically is the raw file with the xmp data file enclosed (one file for each photo, instead of two).

The US Library of Congress states that DNG is a recommended alternative to other raw image formats:
"Less desirable file formats: RAW; Suggested alternatives: DNG".

The Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow (dpBestflow) project, funded by the United States Library of Congress and run by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), singles out DNG, and states "DNG files have proven to be significantly more useful than the proprietary raw files in our workflow".

As covered in my Lightroom Survival Kit and Capture One Survival Kit one should not depend on a raw/DNG format to be a usable standard in all future. In my opinion, and that is my advice to all, one should use Lightroom or Capture One or similar raw workflow tool to read the raw/DNG files, edit them and then export them to a format that can be read in the future (JPG and/or TIFF). In short, I suggest one finish editing of ones images every day, export hires JPG files as 'final print editions' (and still keep the raw/DNG files for reference and eventual later use).

Basically the same workflow as we used to have when we photographed film: We stored the negatives in one location, after we had made final paper prints of the selected photographs. Whenever someone wanted to use a photo, they werre sent the original final print to scan (and it was returned to the archive again after they had finished scanning it). With digitial workflow we do the same; we maintain all the negatives in one location, and the 'final digital prints' in another.

But consider the hires JPG your original. Or make TIFF if you believe that to be better (and be aware that they are 10x the file size, so it takes more hard drive space).

More about all of that in my Lightroom Survival Kit and Capture One Survival Kit. Somewhat 450 pages of insight and advice, based on 25 years of film and digital workflow, to be precise.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard. 3200 ISO
Hotel room, New Zealand April 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. 3200 ISO.

 

Compressed DNG or Uncompressed DNG?

As with the Leica M9 I recommend shooting Compressed DNG as this is lossless*. This basically means that when you shoot an image, the image contain a lot of 'empty' information, and compressing the DNG image simply is not storing the empty fields of information. This is how the size of the file is reduced to half.

The discussion of lossless is ongoing. Will future technology be able to make information out of 'empty' fields? I don't believe there is any information in the empty fields, so I decided to shoot lossless. And if there were information in the 'empty' fields, my policy is to finalize photos today to final editions, not to re-open old photograph to re-edit them later.

If you are unsure, shoot Uncompressed. It will take twice the space and make the camera writing to the card slightly slower as well as working in Lightroom slightly slower. But it is not the end of the world.

 

Lossless*

Lossless compression basically is when you can compress something and 'unpack' it later or somehow get it back to it's original form. Like compressing a zip file that will turn back to it's original form when unzipped. As the Leica M9 Compressed file can never be brought back to it's original form, it is not really lossless. What you removed, you lost. You may never need it, but you can't get it back in any case.
The Leica M 240 is different, thought currently I do not understand the concept exactly of how it is now lossless.

       
 

Black & White and Color at the same time
(DNG + JPG Fine)

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica M240 Masterclass Video by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

I set the Leica M Type 240 to shoot color DNG and black & white JPG Fine at the same time. This way the preview I see on the cameras preview screen (or in the preview shown in the EVF2 when I use that) is in black and white. I prefer to see the preview in black and white as I only want to see the exposure and the graduation of the tones. What the colors looks like, I'll wait and see till I import the images to Lightroom or Captures One.

I don't really think in color or black and white when I photograph. It's a strange thing, but I really seldom aim at specific colors, or specific black and white looks. I more photograph an atmosphere and emotion, and I guess somewhere in the back of my head I do decide if this is going to be a great color photo or if it is meant to be a black and white photograph. But what it comes down to is that it's simpler to look at a monochrome preview on the screen than a color: It contains all the information that I need, which is framing, focus and exposure.

When importing the images to Lightroom or Capture One, I see the color and black and white images side by side, allowing me to quickly see the potential of the image. Do I instantly like the black & white or the color, versionor perhaps want to edit and use both versions.

This is a great way to get to see the potential of black and white, because in the normal workflow most people have, they only see color versions of their photos, from camera to computer. Very often a photo that doesnt really look special in color, might be a great one in black and white, and this is the way to easily see it.

This setting the camera to photograph in color and black and white at the same time is a 'trick' we first learned with the Leica M9. So it is not a new thing. The Leica M9 have great black and white JPG files - which is not a given, because the look of the black and white images is determined by the way the cameras firmware is set up to translate the colors. A dark red could be translated to a 80% black, or a 70% black, and the orange tones in skin could be translated to 20% black, or 15% black. When you combine all the possibilities, you see that some translations would add more drama and 'film look' than other softer translations, and skin tines that are always of great interest for any photographer, can be washed out or more contain a more true and alive texture, depending on how the mix of red, orange and yellow is translated.

The Leica M9 had and has a great look, and the Leica M240 is not bad either. It's slightly different, but is within a range. If a black and white JPG doesn't look awesome, you can still edit the DNG in color into black and white and edit each color channel to your likings. And you can also adjust the color balance (kelvin) in a DNG file that is turned into black and white, and that will change all the colors from warmer to colder; and thus the black and white look.

Straight out of the camera the Leica M240 produces nice black and white photos. As I love the look of the Leica M9 black and white files, I made a Lightroom Preset as well as a Capture One Style that translates Leica M240 color DNG files into "the look of M9 black and white". These also works for Nikon, Fuji and Canon files, as well as other Leica DNG files from the Leica SL and Leica S and so on.

 

People generally think this is a photo that must have been taken with a secret prototype of a new Leica M Monochrom camera (Leica M246), but the truth is that it is a JPG file from the Leica M240. Generally, of the light is great, the black and white photograph will be great. Any high-quality sensor won't be able to make a bad light photo into a good one. Leica M 240 with  Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.  © Thorsten Overgaard.
People generally think this is a photo that must have been taken with a secret prototype of a new Leica M Monochrom camera (Leica M246), but the truth is that it is a JPG file from the Leica M240. Generally, if the light is great, the black and white photograph will be great. Any high-quality sensor won't be able to make a bad light photo into a good one, but most low-dynamic sensors and film will be able to make a beautiful lit scene into a high-quality looking image.
Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.  © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Quality of DNG versus JPG

The DNG and the JPG Fine file are both 24MP files, so the resolution for large print is the same. There is no difference. The DNG files contains "layers of information" which is why you can adjust a DNG file up and down in exposure without much loss. The JPG file contains "a slice of information" and any adjustment of exposure, shadow details, etc will be algorithms (calculations) in Lightroom or Capture One. With light adjustments, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but once you want to increase the exposure for example 3 stops in an under-exposed image, the DNG contains the layers of information to make that change almost 'loss-less' whereas the JPG file depend on how good an engine Lightroom or Capture One provide.

There is one very easy way to determine if it if good enough, and that is simply to look at the picture: If it looks good, it's good enough. As simple as that.

Nobody looking at your photo later in a magazine or as a print on a wall will ever be able to determine if the original was from a DNG or a JPG file.

 

How to set up the Leica M240 to do both DNG and JPG

The way to get both is to go to SET > File Format > DNG + JPG Fine.

Then to change the preview of the JPG to black & white:

MENU > Scroll down to Film Mode on the 2nd page > Black-and-white

Now you see the black & white preview, and both the color DNG and black & white JPG is saved to the SD-card.

 

Napier, New Zealand. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.
Napier, New Zealand. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

       
 

Leica M240
Digital color filters for black & white

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica M240 Masterclass Video by Thorsten Overgaard    
  Page 39: "Digital Color Filters in the Leica M 240" by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

An interesting feature in the Leica M Type 240 is that the menu offer additional black & white settings in that one can select digital color filters. I shall return to this later. But basically the sensor is made to believe there is a colored filter (red, green, yellow, orange, blue or other) in front of the lens and this will result in the same effect in black & white photos as if you used real color filters in front of the lens.

A red filter in front of the lens - or in this case digitally manipulated - will make red colors appear brighter in the black & white image, and the blue will appear considerably darker.

A traditional Yellow filter slightly darkens skies, helps to cut through haze, and improves overall contrast. Yellows and reds within the scene are also lightened.
A traditional Yellow filter slightly darkens skies, helps to cut through haze, and improves overall contrast. Yellows and reds within the scene are also lightened.

 

I am sure this is a feature I inspired, because I had wondered about why nobody had implemented this in digital cameras with color sensors. As you can easily manipulate the colors of a color photo, so can you easily manipulate the way the sensor see colors; and hence make believe there is a solored filter in front of the lens. I mentioned this to product manager Stefan Daniel at Leica, and some months later it was part of the Leica M240.

I thought about it because there was so much talk in forums and elsewhere about color filters to make the black and white photography with a digital Leica M even more exciting and 'old school', and I must admit I personally never really found it exciting to use in the Leica M240. On the other hand, I never found it exciting to use color filters for any photography in the past, even I had a good selection to choose from. I simply seldom used them.

Not many have found these 'digital filters' exciting to use, and I think the people who find color filters exciting to use, does so because it's great fun, and a little bit 'old school' to use filters. So offering a modern and simpler way of using color filters might not be as popular: It's the fun of having the filters and using them that adds joy to the act of photographing itself.

Read more on Page 39, "Digital Color Filters in the Leica M 240"


My silver Leica M (with orange engraving on top) with a Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE and the ventilated lens shade that goes on the outside screw of the lens, leaving the filter screw for filters. I designed this lens shade for myself, and then many people asked, where can I get it, and thus I started a production so you too can buy the lens shade in Black Paint, Silver, Safari Green or RED on this page.
My silver Leica M (with orange engraving on top) with a Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE and the ventilated lens shade that goes on the outside screw of the lens, leaving the filter screw for filters. I designed this lens shade for myself, and then many people asked, where can I get it, and thus I started a production so you too can buy the lens shade in Black Paint, Silver, Safari Green or RED on this page.

 

 

       
 

Leica M240 Camera Menu Setup

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica M240 Masterclass Video by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

To get started: Basic Menu setup for the Leica M Type 240

As mentioned, the sound and feel of the new Leica M 240 will take a little time to get used to when coming from the Leica M9. It will continue to confuse you the first days or weeks that the preview button on the back has now moved one step down and the top left button to the display is LV (Live View) that will activate the shutter with a click and show a preview of Live View on the display. But you will get used to it.

 

Sample photo Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 © Thorsten Overgaard
Women's Liberation. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Next thing is to get used to is the new and expanded menu. The single item that takes the longest to get used to is that the selection of black & white is on 2nd Menu screen and is called Film Mode (instead of two clicks away it is now two clicks and 9 scrolls down and another click).

 

To get started with the menu (Firmware Version 2.0.12)

I shall get into the Version 2.0.1.5 menu later, for now this is the basic setup I recommend. If you set your camera like this it will work. The battery time will be long, the preview will be black and white ... this will get you started and you can start examining the menu items your self.

(For basic video settings, see page 36 of this review/article).

There is a SET and a MENU button on the back of the camera.

The SET screen is quite simple one screen:

SET screen 1 of 1
 SET  
200
White Balance Automatic
File Format DNG + JPG fine
JPEG Resolution Off
Video Resolution 1080p@25fps
Exposure Compensation Off
Exposure Metering Center-weighted
User Profile ---
 
 

* If you live in the US or Japan, the Video Resolution should be 1080p@24fps.

 

The MENU screen consist of five screens.

Notice that as you scroll down the menu, the page indicator on the left changes (yellow here but white on the camera), and the subject/title on the top of the page changes:

Menu screen 1/5 "Camera"
 MENU  CAMERA 
Automatic
Self Timer 2 s
Light Metering Mode Classic
Exposure Bracketing Off
Flash Sync. Mode Start of Exp.
Auto Slow Sync. 1 / focal length
   
   
 
 
Menu screen 2/5 "Image"
 MENU  IMAGE 
Standard
Saturation Standard
Contrast Standard
Film Mode Black-and-white
Color Space sRGB
DNG Compression On
   
   
 
 
Menu screen 3/5 "Setup"
 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
 
 
Menu screen 4/5 "Setup"
 MENU   SETUP 
Off
Image Numbering LEICA / L100
Horizon  
Sensor Cleaning Off
GPS On
Audio Standard / Off
   
   
 
 
Menu screen 5/5 "Setup"
 MENU  SETUP 
2 minutes
Date / Time 2 s
Acoustic Signal Off
Language English
USB Mode PTP
Reset  
Format SD Card  
Firmware 1.1.0.2
 
 

I shall get back to more on the menu and what each menu item does.

 

© Thorsten Overgaard 2013
Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

       
 

Leica M240 Firmware

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica Camera support website    
       

 

Leica M Type 240 Firmware Version 2.0.0.11

Released on October 8, 2013 replaces the original firmware released on March 1, 2013. Download from Leica.

- Improved performance of the white balance: The accuracy of the white balance presets and the auto white balance function is higher with version. This results in better skin tones and better general colour rendering.

- Improved Video quality: The visibility of compression artifacts is reduced due to lower video compression.

- Lens calibration: For coded Leica lenses, the image homogeneity (colour shift) has been improved.

General fixes:
- Improved stability using Live View, both with and without EVF-2
- Issue with display settings in combination with “Sharpness high”
- Issue with exposures after switching the camera on
- The “Auto Power Off” function showed unexpected behaviour
- The recording dates for video files have been incorrect occasionally
- Issue with Copyright and Artist Information in EXIF Data
- Improvement of general system stability
- Several minor bug fixes

Download Firmware Version 2.0.0.11 from Leica Camera AG.

 

 

Leica M Type 240 Firmware update 2.0.1.5

July 1, 2014: I shall get into the updated menu settings with the new firmware later. The fixing of the "occasional" lock-ups may be the most important improvement in my opinion. Download from Leica.

  • Improved description of the lens type in Exif-Data

  • Live view is now possible with every lens (including older screw lenses via an adapter) using “manual lens detection”

  • A “Video off” option is now available in the Set menu (see submenu item “Video recording”). The M-Button on the Top-cover is deactivated when this option is chosen.

  • The Horizon (level) is now visible in Live View, overlaying the live image. This additional info-screen is enabled using the menu item “Horizon”

  • New menu item “Exposure Simulation”

    Exposure simulation -> Permanent: Live View accurately shows image brightness according to the shutter speed and aperture set in manual exposure (as long as the chosen exposure time is shorter than 1/30s)

    Exposure simulation -> Release button half-pressed: Image brightness in live view is adjusted for best visibility, regardless of the actual exposure.
    Half pressing the shutter button shows the actual exposure.

  • Extended Auto ISO options
    - All Auto ISO options are now visible using the ISO button
    - Extra options for “Maximum Exposure Time” - 1x, 2 x, or 4x focal length - can be selected to help avoid camera shake when using auto ISO and long lenses.
    - “Auto ISO in M mode” is now offered as an option. This varies ISO sensitivity for correct exposure when shutter speed and aperture are set manually.
    - AlternativelythecamerachoosesthepreviousmanuallychosenISOspeed

  • Crop marks
    In Live View, new crop marks for 3:4 / 6:7 / 1:1 / and 16:9 aspect ratios can be displayed. By pressing the up/down keys, the crop marks are superimposed on the live view screen (without additional information)

  • Korean is now available as a menu language

  • During video recording, 1/25s is now used instead of 1/24s. This reduces flicker effects with 50Hz mains voltage

  • Exposure bracketing settings are now saved when the camera is switched off

  • Direct exposure correction

    An “EV correction” option in the menu enables direct adjustment. So EV compensation can be altered by turning the thumb wheel, without having to press additional buttons.

  • New Light Metering Mode “Classic / LV disabled”
    In this mode, only Classic light-metering is possible; the LV button is disabled to avoid the activation of live view by accident.

  • New menu item “Focus Peaking”
    For improved visibility, the color of focus peaking can now be set to red, green or blue.

  • Better display of GPS location data
    Position is now shown for JPG files in Adobe Lightroom®
    Where the GPS signal is weak, the last position is now deleted after 5min instead of 24h as in previous firmware versions.

  • Bugfix in Live View at high temperatures
    "Occasional" malfunction of Live View at high temperatures has been fixed

  • Bugfix in light metering (Live view)

  • Bugfix regarding sensor cleaning function

     

       
 

Installing new Leica M240 Firmware

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

 

  1. Format an SD memory card in your Leica M.

  2. Turn off the camera and insert the card into an SD card reader – either integrated or connected to your computer. (A reader is required for Firmware updates).

  3. Download the Firmware file from the Leica M site using the “DOWNLOAD” link.

  4. Save the file M_240-2.0.1.5.FW at the top level of the card’s folder structure.

  5. Remove the card properly from your card reader, insert the card into the camera and close the bottom cover.

  6. Press the “INFO” button and hold it, simultaneously turn on the camera using the main switch.

  7. The update process takes 2 - 4 minutes.

  8. When the update is done, a corresponding message appears on the screen. The Message disappears after some seconds.

 

A Guided Tour of the July 1, 2014 Firmware
Version 2.0.1.5
by the Beta tester

Jono Slack has written a very helpful article about the update here, "Leica M Firmware Update v. 2.0.1.5" as he has been working on the beta-testing of the new firmware for months with Leica Camera AG.

 


The above photo is © Jono Slack 2014, Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Summilx-M ASPH f/1.4

 

Enjoy the latest articles on the Leica M 240:

This is a continious user-report by Thorsten Overgaard. See more articles here and make sure to join the mailing list to stay in the know.

     
Page 42 in the article series on the Leica M
Color photograhy and the Leica M
  Page 42 in the article series on the Leica M
Focusing the Leica M - Five pages about that...
     

 

 

 

 

 

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  #2131-1222      

 

 

     
 

Continues on page 2 -->

"Learning the new Leica M 240"

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

       
 

Leica M240 Definitions

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica and Photography Definitions    
  Leica Camera Compendium article by Thorsten Overgaard    
  Leica Lens Compendium article by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

  1:2/50 the description says.
But what does it mean?
  1:2/50 the description says.
But what does it mean?
   

1: = Basically means 1 divided with. On the lens to the right, it means that the diameter of the hole throught he lens is 25mm.
We would normall call it a 50mm f/2.0 lens. The writing of 1:2/50 is a tradition from the 1800's of specifying a lens, which reveals quite a bit about the construction:
Focal length 50mm simply means that the distance from center of focus inside the lens to the focusing plane (the sensor or film) is 50mm, and the aperture of f/2 or 1:2 means that the diameter of the hole the light comes throught is 25mm (50mm divided with 2 = 25mm).
In traditional lens design, one could usually tell from looking at the length of a lens if it was a 400mm, 100mm or 35mm. Newer designs with mirrors (in tele lenses) and more corrections (in wide lenses) can make the size of the lenses shorter or longer, but the distance from center of focus to sensor in a modern 50mm lens will still be 50mm for a 50mm and 400mm for a 400mm, and so on.
See Focal length and Aperture further down for more.

 

35mm

a) 35mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 63°vertically, 54° horizontally and 38° vertically within a 35mm film frame or "full-frame" 24x36mm digital format. See Focal length further down.
b) 35mm focal length: the distance from center of focus inside the lens to the focusing plane (the sensor or film) is 35mm.

  35mm film format (also known as full-frame) © Thorsten Overgaard
  35mm film format (also known as full-frame)
   

c) 35mm film format (also known as full-frame in digital sensors) was a standard film format that came about in 1892 where the width of the film roll was 35mm, and it's been the most used format ever since. Only a format of 24 x 36mm is used for the photo on the film roll.
35mm film format was first used in 1892 by William Dickson and Thomas Edison for moving pictures with frames of 24 x 18mm, using film supplied by George Eastman (Kodak), and this became the international standard for motion picture negative film in 1909. Later other motion picture formats came about, such as Academy Ratio (22 x 16 mm), Widescreen (21.95 x 18.6 mm), Super 35 (24.89 x 18.66 mm) and Techiscope (22 x 9.47 mm).
The inventor of the Leica camera, Oskar Barnack, built his prototype Ur-Leica in 1913 as a device to test film stock and\ motion picture lenses and had it patented. Putting 35mm film format into a small camera gave him the idea "small negative, large print" and he decided to increase the size of each frame on the 35mm film to 24x36mm (for more detail and sharpness), and then invented an enlarger to make large prints from the small negative. The length of a film, 36 pictures, is said to have become the standard because that was how far Oskar Barnack could stretch his arms (when cutting film from larger rolls to put them into film rolls for the Leica camera).
d) 35mm equivalent is often given as a standard when talking about lenses in small compact-cameras or large format cameras with other sensor/film format than the 24 x 36mm frame. Example: A camera with a 12 x 18 mm sensor has a 14mm lens on it, and even the lens is actually a 14mm, it is specified as a 28mm lens because the viewing angle that ends up on the sensor is equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm of full-frame camera.

 

  The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M 
ASPH f/2.0 lens
  The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M
ASPH f/2.0 lens
   

50mm

a) 50mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 47° vertically, 40° horizontally and 27° vertically within a 35mm film frame.
b) 50mm means there is 50mm from the center of focus inside the lens to the focal plane (sensor or film).
c) 50mm lens is often compared to the human eye. Not because of viewing angle (how wide it sees) but because of size ratio (how it sees). The 50mm lens is the lens that comes closest to the size that the human eye see things. Whereas the human eye has a much wider angle of view [120-200°] than the 50mm lens [47°].

 

 

 

 

AF = Auto Focus. The idea is that the camera does the focusing itself (the word auto comes from Greek "self").

Aperture = The same function as the iris and pupil has in the eye. The pupil in the eye is the dark circular opening in the center of the iris of the eye, varying in size to regulate the amount of light reaching the retina (the sensor area inside the eye).
Aperture on a camera is the f/ stop on the camera that regulates how much light passes through the lens by increasing or decreasing the hole through the lens. On a f/2.0 lens the lens is fully open" at f/2.0. At f/2.8 the aperture inside the lens make the hole through the lens smaller so only half the amount of light at f/2.0 passes through. For each f/-stop (4.0 - 5.6 - 8.0 - 11 - 16) you halve the light. The aperture of the lens is basically the focal length divided with the f/-stop = size of the hole (50mm divided with f/2.0 = the hole is 25 mm in diameter).
Besides regulating the amount of light (so as to match the correct exposure), the aperture also affects the dept of field: , which is how deep the sharpness is. To get the sough-after photos with narrow depth of field where the background is blurry, the lens has to be wide open at f/2.0 or so. Stopping the lens down to f/8 or f/16 will result on more depth of field, meaning the background will start becoming in focus. To maintain narrow depth of field, one can use the ISO sensitivity and/or the shutter speed to match the correct exposure (as aperture is only one of three ways to control the exposure; the correct amount of light).
ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

The aperture blades inside the consist of a number of blades that - as the aperture ring on the lens is rotated - narrow into a smaller and smaller hole. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The aperture blades inside the consist of a number of blades that - as the aperture ring on the lens is rotated - narrow into a smaller and smaller hole.
© Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 
  The camera in Aperture Priority Mode
   

Aperture Priority Mode = When the shutter speed dial on top of a Leica M camera is set to A, it is short for “Aperture Priority” and allows the user to set a specific aperture value (f-number) while the camera selects a shutter speed to match it that will result in proper exposure based on the lighting conditions as measured by the camera's light meter. In other words, you set the aperture as priority (f/1.4 for example), and the camera calculates a shutter speed (1/250 of a second) that matches that. If you change the aperture to f/2.0 by changing the aperture ring on the lens, the camera will re-calculate the speed to 1/125 so as to get the same amount of light to hit the sensor (f/2.0 is half the light through the lens as f/1.4 and 1/125 if twice the amount of light on the sensor as 1/250).

 

APO corrected basically means that the red, green and blue has been corrected to meet more precisely in the same spot. Clarity of colors and definition of details would be the result.
APO corrected basically means that the red, green and blue has been corrected to meet more precisely in the same spot. Clarity of colors and definition of details would be the result.

APO = in lens terminology stands for "apochromatically corrected". In most lenses, optical design concentrates the focus of blue light and green light into a single plane, but red light falls slightly into another plane of focus. In APO lenses, the design and expense has been put in to making red light focus on the same plane as blue and green. Under a microscope you would see that all light subject is now in focus, creating a sharper image overall. Many manufacturers offer APO designs, but in most of these only the very center of the lens is APO corrected. Leica prides itself on making most of the frame APO corrected.
APo-correction has traditionally been used for long tele lenses (and periscopes), but in recent years APO-correction has been applied to 50mm and wide angle lenses as well. One will notice that the colors are really bright and alive, almost more real than to the eye, in lenses like the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 and 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
Apochromat; ORIGIN early 20th century, made of the two words; apo (Greek origin, away from) and chromatic (Latin origin, meaing relating to color).

  spherical (ball)
spherical (ball)
  a-spherical (non-ball)
a-spherical (non-ball)
   

ASPH = (Aspherical lens) stands for "aspheric design". Most lenses have a spherical design - that is, the radius of curvature is constant. These are easy to manufacture by grinding while "spinning" the glass. This design however restricts the number of optical corrections that can be made to the design to render the most realistic image possible. ASPH lenses (a-spherical, meaning non-spherical), however, involve usually 1 element that does *not* have a constant radius of curvature. These elements can be made by 1) expensive manual grinding, 2) molded plastic, or 3) Leica's patented "press" process, where the element is pressed into an aspherical ("non-spherical") shape. This design allows Leica to introduce corrections into compact lens designs that weren't possible before. Practically, the lens performs "better" (up to interpretation) due to increased correction of the image, in a package not significantly bigger than the spherical version.

There is another Aspherical lens manufacture technique: an uneven coating layer is applied to a spherical lens. The coating is thicker on the edges (or on the center, depending). Canon "Lens Work II" calls these "simulated" aspherical lenses. Simulated and Glass-Molded (GMo) asphericals show up in non-L Canon lenses, while the L lenses have actual ground aspheric elements.

A- means non, or without. From Latin, ex.
Sphere: ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French espere, from late Latin sphera, earlier sphaera, from Greek sphaira "ball".

     
Normal spheric lens (grinded)   ASPH (note the shape of the glass as result of pressing rather than grinding)

 

Auto- means “self”. The idea is that when a camera has auto-(something), it does that (something) by itself.

Banding = Noise in digital images. Horizontal lines in a horizontal picture (if the camera is in portrait mode/vertical, the lines will obviously be vertical). It's simply noise; the result of uncontrolled algorithms working overtime with an image the sensor really can't see because it's very dark. (If your image has vertical lines in it, it is more likely that the sensor needs remapping).


This image at 6400 ISO, underexposed and then brought up to correct exposure in Lightroom, displays banding: Horizontal lines in the image. Leica M-D 262 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
This image at 6400 ISO, underexposed and then brought up to correct exposure in Lightroom, displays banding: Horizontal lines in the image. Leica M-D 262 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

Base ISO = The ISO the digital sensor was born with. Even a digital sensor goes from say 50 ISO to 25,000 ISO, it only has one base ISO. Any other setting is an algorithm that figures out how the image whould look if there was 64 times more light, or half the light, etc.
When you go down from Base ISO (for example 200 to 100 ISO), you can expect a decrease in quality. When you go up, the decrease is much less. For some sensors, you loose 2-3 stops by going down 1 step in ISO, but can go 8 steps up and only loose 1 stop in dynamic range. Basically, your ISO range should be from Base ISO and as far up as you can, before you see visible decrease in quality (mostly 3200 ISO - 6400 ISO).
Base ISO for Leica M9 is 160 ISO, for Leica M240 it is 200 ISO. For Leica M10 it is around 160 ISO. For Leica M Monochrom it is 320 ISO. For Leica Q and Leica Q2 it is around 100 ISO. For Panasonic Lumix S it is 200 ISO. For most Canon cameras the base ISO is around 100, for most Nikon cameras it is around 200 ISO.

 

  Barrie Gledden
  Bokeh of a Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. British composer and producer Barrie Gledden.
© 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.

Bokeh = The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens: It's a matter of taste and usually photographers discuss a 'nice' or 'pleasant' bokeh (the out-of-focus area is always unsharp, which is why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens). The closer you get to something, the 'more' bokeh' you get (in that the focus becomes less for the background and foreground at close distances than at long distances). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzzines' or 'blur.'.

 

Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

C = Continuous shooting. When the ring by the Shutter Release on top of the camera (or in the menu of digital cameras that doesn't have such a feature on the outide of the camera) is moved from OFF to C, the camera takes series of images as long as the shutter release is pressed down. In some cameras the speed of continious shooting can be adjusted.

 

Camera comes from Chambre, mostly in relation to Spanish soldiers’ rooms. Obscura means 'dark', so a dark room is basically the derivation for the word camera.
Camera comes from Chambre, mostly in relation to Spanish soldiers’ rooms. Obscura means 'dark', so a dark room is basically the derivation for the word camera.

Camera - is today’s short name for Camera Obscura (meaning “a dark room”). Camera means Chambre and was used only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers’ rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”. In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”. Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.
Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 

     
 

Why is it called a "camera"..?

The word Camera is today's short name for Camera Obscura (which originally means “a dark room”).

Origin of the word Obscura means "dark" or "covered", and the word Camera means Chambre and was used originally only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers' rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”.

In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”.

Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.
Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.

The concept of Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.

Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 
     

 

CCD sensor (as used in Leica M8, M9, Leica S) = (Charged Coupling Devices) - The first digital cameras used CCD to turn images from analog light signals into digital pixels. They're made through a special manufacturing process that allows the conversion to take place in the chip without distortion. This creates high quality sensors that produce excellent images. But, because they require special manufacturing, they are more expensive than their newer CMOS counter parts.

CLA
An acronym for "(C)lean, (L)ubricate & (A)djust", whereby the item is merely re-lubricated, fine-adjusted and calibrated rather than repaired. "I just got my equipment back from CLA at Leica"

CMOS sensor (as used in Leica CL, Leica T/TL/TL2, Leica M10, Leica M 240, Leica M Monochrom Typ 246, Leica S Typ 007, Leica SL, Leica Q, Leica Q2, Leica M10, Leica X, Leica D-Lux, etc.) = (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) chips use transistors at each pixel to move the charge through traditional wires. This offers flexibility because each pixel is treated individually. Traditional manufacturing processes are used to make CMOS. It's the same as creating microchips. Because they're easier to produce, CMOS sensors are cheaper than CCD sensors. CMOS allow Live View and use less energy than CCD.

Collapsible - Usually refers to a collapsible lens such as the Leica 50mm Elmarit-M f/2.8 Collapsible, or Leica 90mm Macro Elmar-M f4.0 Collapsible, etc. A collapsible lens is one that can collaps into a compact lens when not in use.

The Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 Collapsible on a Leica M10-P Safari. Here extruded for use; it can collapse into the camera so as to be more compact when not in use. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 Collapsible on a Leica M10-P Safari. Here extruded for use; it can collapse into the camera so as to be more compact when not in use. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Contrast - The degree of difference between tones in a picture. Latin contra- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand.’

 
Normal to low contrast   High contrast
     

 

D-Lux (Digital Lux) = A series of compact digital cameras by Leica Camera AG developed with Panasonic since 2003. See my article "Compact Digital Leica Cameras" and my Leica D-Lux 7 review. Lux comes from Latin and means Light.

 

 
  Lens distortion looks like this. The lines are not straight. Our eye uses distortion correction. Lens designers can design lenses so they have very little distortion, or they can make less complicated lens designs and "fix" the distortion in software.
   

Distortion = In photo optics/lenses: When straight lines in a scene don't remain straight because of optical aberration.

Lens designers can correct for distortion to a degree so the whole image field is perfect corrected and all lines remain straight. In modern lens design many designs rely on Software Distortion Correction (SDC).

The eye adjusts for distortion so we always see vertical and horizontal lines straight when we look at things. Even when you get new prescription glasses (if you use such), you will often experience distortion in your new glasses. After a few days they eyes have adjusted for the glasses and the distortion you saw to begin with is now gone. Software Distortion Correction (SDC) is far behind what the human eye can perform of adjustments. (Also see my definition on Perspective for more on the eye and optics)

 

DNG = Digital Negative, an open standard developed by Adobe. It is a single file that contains the raw image data from the sensor of the camera as well as date, time, GPS, focal length, settings, etc.
The alternative is a RAW file + XMP file where the RAW file contains the image information and the XMP contains the rest of information about where, how and when the picture was taken, as well as editing data when the photo is edited in Lightroom or Capture One.
A Camera Raw profile (that is specific for that camera) in the computer helps the software program, for example Adobe Lightroom, to translate the RAW data into the image. Camera producers provide a Camera profile with their camera, and Adobe makes their own 'refined' Adobe Raw camera profile for all new cameras.

A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.
A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.

 

Narrow Dept Of Field in use: The face is in focus, the hand in front is slightly out of focus, the background is much out of focus and blurry. Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 at f/1.0 and 2.5 meters distance to subject in focus. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Narrow Dept Of Field in use: The face is in focus, the hand in front is slightly out of focus, the background is much out of focus and blurry, reduced to an atmosphere. Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 at f/1.0 and 2.5 meters distance to subject in focus. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 
50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.4.   50mm f/1.4 lens at f/5.6
     

 

  The lines on this 28mm lens indicates the DOF. Here the focus is on infinity, and if the lens is stopped down to f/1.6, objects from 1.8 meter to ininity will be 'acceptable sharp'.
  The lines on this 28mm lens indicates the DOF. Here the focus is on infinity, and if the lens is stopped down to f/1.6, objects from 1.8 meter to ininity will be 'acceptable sharp'.
   

DOF = Depth of Field (or Depth of Focus), an expression for how deep the focus is, or (more often use to express) how narrow the area of focus is. This is how much of the image, measured in depth or ditance, will be in focus or "acceptable sharp".

The appearance of the DOF is determined by:
1) aperture (the smaller the aperture hole is, the deeper is the depth of field, and opposite, the wider open a lens you se, the more narrow will the DOF be) and
2) distance to the subject (the farther away, the larger area is sharp; the closer the subject in focus is, the more narrow the DOF gets)..
The DOF scale measurement on top of the Leica lenses shows lines for each f-stop that indicates from which distance to which distance the image will be sharp. Shallow DOF is a generally used term in photography that refer to lenses with very narrow focus tolerance, like f/1.4 and f/0.95 lenses, which can be used to do selective focus; making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).
in modern cameras like the Leica SL2, the camera has a DOF scale inside the viewfinder. As DOF is the same for all lens brands and designs, only depending on focal length, distance and aperture f-stop, the camera can calculate it and show a 'digital DOF scale" in the viewfinder.

Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm, same lens with different aperture settings from f/2.0 to f/8.0.
Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm, same lens with different aperture settings from f/2.0 to f/8.0.


Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Dynamic range. The grade of ‘contrast range’ (or number of tones) a film or sensor, or simply a photograph, possess between bright and dark tones. The human eye is said to have a dynamic range of 10-14 ‘stops’ (but because we scan area by area and compile a concept of the overall scene, they eye is often thought to have a much higher dynamic range), Film used to have 7-13 ‘stops’ and some modern sensors have up to 15-17 ‘stops’.

E - Diameter in Leica filters and screw diameter, as in E46 which means that the filter diameter is 49mm for this lens. In general language, one would see Ø46 used, as Ø is the general symbol for diameter.

 

Elmar = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f3.5 . Historically derived from the original 1925 50mm f3.5 Elmax lens, which was an acronym of (E)rnst (L)ieca and Professor (Max) Berek, designer of the original lenses. Later that year the 50mm f3.5 Elmar superceded the Elmax, which was discontinued due to its complexity and high cost of manufacture.

 

Elmarit = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f2.8 . The name is obviously derived from the earlier (and slower) "Elmar" designation. Not every f/2.8 lens is called an "Elmarit" though, the most obvious current exception being the 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M collapsible lens which for nostalgia and marketing reasons has kept the original 1930's Elmar name (the 50mm f3.5 collapsible Elmar, manufactured 1930-59, was one of Leica's most famous and popular lenses). Vario-Elmarit (and Vario-Summicron, etc) is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses.

 

Elmax
Elmax lens named after = Ernst Leitz + Max Berak. Ernst Leitz was the founder of Ernst Leitz Optical Industry which later became Leica. Professor Dr. Max Berak was employed at Leica in 1912 and was the architech of the first Leica lens which Ernst Leitz asked him to design for the "Barnack's camera" (the 1913-prototype named after Oscar Barnack who invented it). The lens was a f/3.5 50mm and was known as the Leitz Anstigmat and later the Elmax.

 

Elmax (Ernst Leitz Max Berek) by Marco Cavina 2010
The Leitz Elmax 50mm f/3,5 (1925-1961) on the Leica A camera (1925) camera. Photo by Marco Cavina.

EVF = Electronic ViewFinder. A viewfinder where you look at a small screen through optics/prisms. The advantage is that you see what the sensor sees.


The EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) on the Leica SL 601.
The EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) on the Leica SL 601.

 

EXIF =Exchangeable Image File, a file generated in camera and enclosed in the image file that contains recording information on the image such as shutter speed, exposure compensation, what metering system was used, aperture setting, ISO setting, date and time the image was taken, whitebalance, which lens was used, camera model and serial number. Some images may even store GPS information so you can see where the image were taken. The data from the EXIF file continues to follow any later editions of the image and can be read in photo editing software such as Capture One and Lightroom, as well as Photoshop (go to the menu File > File Info). There is also software available that can read EXIF data from any file, like Exifdata.com.


The EXIF data is all the information about shutter speed, metering method, ISO, etc. - and then some more that you don't see on the screen (such as camera model, serial number, lens used, etc).


Exposure Bracketing = The possibility to set the camera to automatically record a series of images where the exposure is above and below what the camera measures. The idea is that at least one of the images will be correctly exposed.

f/ (f-stop, also known as aperture).

f- (focal length). Often given in mm, for example 90mm. In the past they were often given in cm or inch, for example 9.5 cm or 3.2 inch.


f-stop = the ratio of the focal length (for example 50mm) of a camera lens to the diameter of the aperture being used for a particular shot. (E.g., f/8, indicating that the focal length is eight times the diameter of the aperture hole: 50mm/8 = 6,25 mm); or the other way around, the hole is the focal length divided with 8).
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from f (denoting the focal length) and number.
One f-stop is a doubling or halving of the light going through the lens to the film, by adjusting the aperture riing. Adjusting the f-setting from f 1.4 to f.2.0 is halving the light that goes through the lens. Most Leica lenses has half f-stops to enable the photographer to adjust the light more precicely.

 

 

Filters = Glass filters you put in front of the lens. A much used filter is the claer UV filter that is supposed to protects the front of the lens. Other filters are color filters that add effects to black and white photography by changing the color balance. Other filters are ND (Neutral Density) filters that reduce the amount of light coming through (used for for example video recordings as video is usuallu filmed at 1/50th second shutter speed and thus most lenses are too bright wide open. Or they are used for long exposure photography in order to record for example stars movements over the sky. Other filters are filters that create star effects, or blur the view, and almost any effect you can think of.

A traditional Yellow filter slightly darkens skies, helps to cut through haze, and improves overall contrast. Yellows and reds within the scene are also lightened.
A traditional Yellow filter in 49mm diameter to screw onto the front of the lens. The yellow filter is used for black and white photography where it slightly darkens skies, helps to cut through haze, and improves overall contrast. Yellows and reds within the scene are also lightened.

 

Flare = Burst of light. Internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. Mostly, flare has a characteristic "space travel" look to it, making it cool. Particularly in older lenses with less or no coating of the glass surfaces to suppress this, it can be a really cool effect. In newer lens designs, the coatings and overall design try to suppress flare and any reflections to a degree, so that there is seldom any flare to be picked up (moving the lens to pick up a strong sunbeam), but instead a "milking out" (or "ghosting") of a circular area of the frame; meaning simply overexposed without any flare-looking flares.

 

Sunlight creating (fairly supressed) flare in the bottom right quadrant of the image of a modern lens.

  The camera moved slightly to avoid the flare.

Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.

Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).
Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).

Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)
Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)

Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 
Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 

 

FLE = See "Floating Elements"

Flickering in the EVF is very normal and will apear often without the vertical lines you see in the EVF will be in the picture.

 
  Floating elements (a group of lenses or can also be s aingle lens element). .

Floating Elements (FLE) = Near focus correction in a lens by having a single lens or a group of lenses floating independently of the other lenses. Most lenses are born with poor performance at their closest focusing distance. Center sharpness may be good, but aberrations and corner softness increase when you’re shooting closeups. Floating elements are lens elements outside of the primary focus group that change position when the lens is focused on a close object, correcting aberrations and improving close up performance. 
Floating Elements originally was coined by Canon in the 1960's and quickly became the general term for this feature. Other brands came up with new names for the same thing, Minolta called it Floating Focusing, Nikon used the term Close-Range Correction (CRC), Leica call it FLE/Floating Elements.
Floating elements are for close-focus improvement of image quality and not for reducing "focus shift". Floating elements by themselves cannot reduce focus shift, but by reducing the impact of focus distance on performance, they give the designers more freedom in other areas - which could include minimising focus shift.
(As a side-note, when a lens "rattler when moved, it is not the floating elements "floating around" but can be the IS (Image Stabilization) elements for elense that has that, AF elements for auto focus lenses, or the aperture cage that rattles (as in the case of the Leica 35mm Summilux-M f/1.4 FLE - if you stop down the Summilux to f/16, the sound is usually not there).

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = Originally focal length referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens (28mm, 50mm, 400mm, etc). Today one call it effective focal length (EFL) as a 400mm lens is not nessesarily 400mm long due to optical constructions that can make it shorter. The 35-420mm zoom on the Leica V-Lux 1 is for example only ca. 135 mm long. Nobody uses that measurement, except those who construct lenses! For users of lenses, focal length refers to how wide the lens sees. The viewing angle, which is often given in for example 90° viewing angle for a 21mm lens, 74° viewing angle for a 28mm lens, 6° viewing angle for a 400mm lens, etc.
Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120° to 200° angle of view, but focus only in the center.

 

Focus, in - Sharp and clear in appearance. Focus - “The burning point (of a lens or mirror)”. In Latin the word focus meant fireplace or hearth. The word was probably first employed outside of its Latin literal use as “the burning point of a lens or mirror” in optics, and then came to mean any central point. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first recorded the word in this sense in 1604.

Focus shift = That the focus of a lens shifts as the aperture changes. For example, if one focus a 50mm lens at f/2.0 and then stop the aperture down to f/8, the focus may change, especially noticeable in close focusing. Modern lenses with floating elements (FLE) where the floating elements adjust for image quality in close-focusing may also help avoid focus shift.

Four Thirds - Also known as "4/3" - The Four Thirds System is a standard created by Olympus and Kodak for digital SLR camera design and development.
The system provides a standard which, with digital cameras and lenses available from multiple manufacturers, allows for the interchange of lenses and bodies from different manufacturers. Companies developing 4:3 cameras and/or lenses are Fuji, Kodak, Leica, Olympus, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sigma. See www.4-3system.com
A further development in this was Micro Four Thirds Systems.

 

Frame lines = the lines inside a viwfinder that indicates the edger of the frame. In a Leica M, the viewfinder always is as wide view as 24-28mm. A mechanical contach on the lens (triggers the camreas frame selector) so the viewfinder shows the frame line of that lens. In the Leica M, the frame lines comes in sets, so there are alwaus twop sets of frame lines shown at any time (see illustration below).
(This is different than in most cameras where you only see what the lens captures: SLR cameras was the evolution in 1940's where the image from the lens was displayed directly onto a matte screen inside the camera via a mirror. Later mirrorless cameras, the viewfinder shows the exact picture that the sensor sees through the lens).

Frame lines of the Leica M, here showing the set of 35mm and 90mm framelines.
Frame lines of the Leica M, here showing the set of 35mm and 90mm framelines.

 

 
  Full Frame is "king of photography"
   

Full Frame (FF) = The size of the sensor is 24 x 36mm which is the format Oskar Barnack and Leica Camera AG invented with the first Leica that was introduced in 1925. Many other formats invented since, such as APS, APS-C and all usually refer to Full Frame ratio, by which it means what size they have compared to Full Frame. The "full frame" technically deifinition thouhg is a sensor that camtures the full frame in one go (as the early sensors as in Leica S1 scanned the image/senor over a period of time).
The 24 x 36mm Full Frame format is so "king of photography" that it has continued to be the ideal for all cameras. Besides this, there exists Large Format cameras such as 4x5" (100 x 125 mm) and Medium Format 6x6 (60 x 60mm amongst other sizes in that area).

 

Ghosting = Secondary light or image from internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. The reflected light may not always be in focus, so overall it looks like a "milked out" image. A subject in focus has brightened patches in front of it that come from reflections inside the lens. the most elementary look of ghosting is when you look in a rear-view mirror in a car at night and you see doubles of the headlights behind you (a strong one and a weaker one), because the headlights are reflected in a layer of clear glass on top of the mirror glass.

   
Degrees of ghosting from strong sunlight entering from outside the frame. To the right the outside light has been shielded with a shade.

 

ISO = Light sensitivity of the camera sensor is given in ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It's a standard that was used in film and is now used in all digital cameras also. The base ISO for the Leica TL2 sensor is around 100-150 which means that this is what the sensor "sees". All other levels are computer algorithms calculating the effect as if the sensor could "see" more (hence noise at higher ISO levels).
ISO goes in steps of doubling: When the ISO is raised from 100 ISO to 200 ISO, the camera only need half the amount of light to make the same picture. For each step in ISO to 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc. the light sensitivity is doubled for the sensor (and the camera sensor only need half the light of the previous ISO to record the same image).


6400 ISO indoor photo. With modern cameras the ISO can go to 3200, 6400, 12,800 and even higher without loss of dynamic range and without digital noise. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

JPEG = A standard for picture format made in the 1990's by Joint Photographic Experts Group). Mostly referred to as JPG as in L1003455.JPG which would be the name for a JPG file from the camera.

 

Leica L-mount bayonet.
Leica L-mount bayonet.

L-mount = Lens bayonet mount introduced by Leica for the Leica T in 2014 and used for Leica TL, Leica CL and Leica SL. Since 2019 the L-mount has also been shared with Panasonic, Sigma and others who produce cameras and lenses that are compatible with Leica L cameras and lenses lenses, and vice versa.
The L-mount has a diameter of 51.6 millimeter which is big enough for any design we could wish to design, and at the same time compact enough for the L-mount to be used on compact cameras such as Leica TL and Leica CL with APS-C sensor sizes. Leica chief lens designer Peter Karbe spent years calculating this ideal size, large enouhg for any design, yet as compact as possible. Read my article "Small Camera, Large Print" (2019) with interview with lens designer Peter Karbe for more.
After Leica introduced this new bayonet mount in 2014, Nikon (Z-mount 55mm), Fuji (G-mount 65mm) and Canon (RF-mount 54mm) followed with similar new bayonet mounts, but with bigger diameter, making them less able to produce compact lenses.

 

Lantern slideshow in 1897.
A screen on a camera is often referred to as "LCD Screen" for no particular reason (illustration is the back of the Leica Q2 special limited "James Bond/Daniel Craig & Greg Williams" version (2021).

LCD = Screen. LCD itself means liquid crystal display, which is slightly irrelevant (what it is made of) as the expression is mostly used to simply mean "screen".

Leica = A compound word derived from " (Lei)tz" and "(ca)mera". Apparently they were originally going to use "LECA", but another camera company already used a similar name in France, so they inserted the 'i' to prevent any confusion.

 

The word lens derives from lentil, because of the similar shape.
The word lens derives from lentil, because of the similar shape.

Lens - A piece of glass or similarly transparent material (like water or plastic) that has a shape so that it can direct light rays. The word “Lens” is used both for single piece of glass as well as a camera lens with several lenses that works together. From ‘lentil’ because similar in shape.

A camera lens consists of several shaped lens elements of glass. The lenses can also be made of simple cheap plastic as in "kit lenses" (sold with a camera as a kit to make a workable cheap package), but it is mostly very exotic glass (that can be heavy or light in weight, very hard or very soft in surface (esay to scratch or very resistant) with each optical glass recipe made to develop very specific qualities in how the glass and final lens treats light. As a general rule, high quality glass is soft, which is why some lenses has as their front and back element, a non-optical lens element that is there to protect the actual optical glass from scratches. As a side noite, Leica made their own glass laboraty, The Leitz Glass Laboratory, from 1949-1989, which deveopled 35 new glass types and took out more than 2,000 patents of glass recipes from more than 50,000 experimental melts of glass. These designs, or recipes, are still used today by the lens designers to obtain very specific optical results. Other lens manufacturers in the world of course have had their glass laboratories, and today one will find an interchange of glass patents amongst production facilities that service Leica, Nikon,, Fuji and so on with optical lens elements.
A camera lens consists of several shaped lens elements of glass. The lenses can also be made of simple cheap plastic as in "kit lenses" (sold with a camera as a kit to make a workable cheap package), but it is mostly very exotic glass (that can be heavy or light in weight, very hard or very soft in surface (esay to scratch or very resistant) with each optical glass recipe made to develop very specific qualities in how the glass and final lens treats light. As a general rule, high quality glass is soft, which is why some lenses has as their front and back element, a non-optical lens element that is there to protect the actual optical glass from scratches. As a side noite, Leica made their own glass laboraty, The Leitz Glass Laboratory, from 1949-1989, which deveopled 35 new glass types and took out more than 2,000 patents of glass recipes from more than 50,000 experimental melts of glass. These designs, or recipes, are still used today by the lens designers to obtain very specific optical results. Other lens manufacturers in the world of course have had their glass laboratories, and today one will find an interchange of glass patents amongst production facilities that service Leica, Nikon,, Fuji and so on with optical lens elements.

 

Lens hood = (also called a Lens shade or Ventilated Shade). A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. In the past where lenses were not coated to prevent internal reflections inside the lens, the lens hood was often essential. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves just as much as decoration and protection (bumper) as well.
ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.

Lens hood or Lens shade or ventilated shade. In the picture is a ventilated shade with clip-on mount to a 50mm f/2.0 lens. Ventilated means it has openings that allow for view from the viewfinder.
Lens hood or Lens shade or ventilated shade. In the picture is a ventilated shade with clip-on mount to a 50mm f/2.0 lens. Ventilated means it has openings that allow for view from the viewfinder.

 

Lens names of Leica distinguish which widest aperture the lens has:

Noctilux f/0.95 - f/1.25
Nocticron f/ 1.2 (Leica-designed Panasonic lens)
Summilux f/ 1.4 - f/1.7
Summicron f/2.0
Summarit f/2.4 - 2.5
Hektor f/1.9 - f/6.3 (used 1930-1960 for screw mount lenses only)
Elmarit f/2.8
Elmar f/2.8 - f/4.5
Elmax f/3.5 (only used 1921-1925 for the 50mm Elmax f/3.5)
Telyt f/2.8 - f/6.8 (used for tele lenses)

 

Light = Tiny particles called photons that behaves like both waves and particles. Light makes objects visible by reflecting off of them, and in photography that reflecting off of subjects is what creates textures, shapes, colors and luminance. Light in its natural form (emanating from the sun) also gives life to plants and living things, and makes (most) people happier. So far, nobody has been able to determine exactly what light is. The word photography means “writing with light” (photo = light, -graphy = writing). Read more about light in my book Finding the Magic of Light.

 

Live View = This is the ability to see the image the sensor see, live, via the screen on the back of the camera, or via an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

LMT - Leica Thread-Mount: Also known as M39, is the screw mounted lenses for Leica cameras. It’s a simple as that; you screw on the lens, and back in 1932, the possibility to change the lens was the big news hwen introduced by Leica on the Leica III. The M39 system was updated with the M Bayonet from 1954 for the Leica M3. The M bayonet is a quick way to change lenses and is the current mount for Leica M digital rangefinders.

M (as in "M3", "M6", "M7" etc.)
A) The M originally stands for "Messsucher", which is German "Meßsucher" for "Rangefinder". The "3" in M3 was chosen because of the three bright line finders for the 50, 90 and 135 mm lenses. Later the numbers of the M cameras were more or less chosen to follow each other.
M-body evolution in chronologic order:
M3 - MP - M2 - M1 - MD - MDA - M4 - M5 - CL - MD-2 - M4-2 - M4-P - M6 - M6 TTL - M7 - MP - M8 - M8.2 - M9 - M9-P - MM (black and white sensor) - ME (Type 220) - Leica M (Type 240) - Leica M-P 240 - Leica M 246 Monochrom - Leica M-A (type 127, film camera) - Leica M 262 - Leica M-D 262 (without a screen) - Leica M10 - Leica M10-P, Leica M10 Monochrom, Leica M10-R.
B) M also refer to M-mount as the M bayonet that couple the Leica M lenses to the Leica M camera. Before the M bayonet the coupling between the camera and lens was screwmount.
C) M nowadays refer to the Leica M line of cameras rather than the "Messsucher".

 

The Leica M bayonet on the Leica M10.
The Leica M bayonet on the Leica M10.

M-mount: The Leica M-mount is a bayonet that was introduced with the Leica M3 camera in 1954 and has been used on all subsequent Leica M cameras, as well as on the Epson R-D1, Konica Hexar RF, Minolta CLE, Ricoh GXR, Rollei 35RF, Voigtländer Bessa, and Zeiss Ikon cameras (2019).
Compared to the previous screw mount (M39), the M mount requires a quick turn of the lens, and ithe lens is mounted. The patent for the M-bayonet ("Bajonettvorrichtung für die lösbare Verbindung zweier Kamerateile") was registered by Ernst Leitz GmbH 10 February 1950 (patent number DE853384). Hugo Wehrenfennig was credited with the invention.

M9
Leica M9 is a model name for the Leica M9 that was introduced on September 9, 2009 (as the first full-frame digital Leica M). It was the latest model designation using the M and a number. From their next model, Leica Camera AG introduced a new model system so each camera would simply be a Leica M but then with a model designation like Typ 240, Typ 246, Typ M-D 262 and so on. The idea was inspired from Apple who name their computers for example MacBook Pro and then it has a sub- model number designation which model it is (and which would define speed of processor, etc).


Leica M9 digital rangefinder (2009). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M9 digital rangefinder (2009). © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

MACRO = Macro lens. The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro-R ASPH f/2.8 is a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro lens. The Leica Q lens can be turned to Macro which enables you to go close so as to enlarge smaller subjects. The Leica M cameras becomes Macro when you add a Macro ring "Oufro" or "Leica Macro M Adapter" that increases the lens' distance to the sensor. The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’

 

The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.9 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc as well as a near focus macro. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.8 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Mandler, Dr. Walter (1922 - 2005)
Legendary Leica lens designer and CEO of Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN) 1952-1985. Read more in Leica History.

Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.
Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.

 

Megapixel (or MP) - Millions of pixels. See pixel further down. How many units of RGB is recorded by a given sensor by taking height x widt. A Leica M10 delivers a 5952 x 3968 pixel file = 23,617,536 piexls. On a screen the resolution you choose determines the size of the image. Say you have a 5000 pixel wide file and your screen is set for 8000 pixels wide. Then the image will fill only the 5000 pixels fo the 8000 and the rest will be empty, If you then change the screen resolution to 5000 wide, the image would be able to fill out the whole screen.

Meßsucher = (rangefinder or distance finder) = Mess = range, sucher = finder. It is always correctly written with the "ß". There are technically not three "s", rather the "ß" and one "s" because it is a word constructed by the combining of two precise words.

MF (Manual Focus) for lenses that are focused by hands, as opposed to Auto Focus.

 

Focal length is determined by the distance from focus inside the lens to sensor surface to, and is given in milliemeters (mm). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Focal length is determined by the distance from focus inside the lens to sensor surface to, and is given in milliemeters (mm). © Thorsten Overgaard.

mm = millimeter(s), as in a 50mm lens. (Earlier in lens history lenses focal length was given in cm = centimeters; as in a 5 cm lens). For anyone used to centimeters and millimeters, it’s no wonder. But if you grew up with inches, feet and yards, you may have had a hard time grasping what a 50mm lens was. But as lenses were designed first in Europe, the metric system with centimeters and millimeters was used to describe lenses.
(Leica and others made lenses for a while with either meter scale or feet scale; but then eventually started including meter and feet on all the lenses (two scales, usually distinguished with different colors). However, the lens' focal length remained always 50mm, 75mm and so on).
The reason a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is that there is 50mm from the focus plane (the film or sensor surface) to the center of focus inside the lens. When photography was a young subject, it was engineers who made it all, and the users were expected to understand. The engineers were so into the making of the lenses, that it apparently never dawned upon them that today’s users would think of a 21mm lens as a wide angle lens rather than a lens where there is 21mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the optics.

MP
a) Stands for Mechanical Perfection, as in the Leica M-P.
b) Megapixels (millions of pixels).
c) Megaphotosites (millions of photosites).

ND
Neutral Density filters are grey filters function as 'sunglasses' for lenses. They simply block the light so that a lens can work at for example f/0.95 or f/2.0 in sunshine.
If a camera is set to 200 ISO and the maximum shutter speed is 1/4.000, this will usually result that the lens has to be at f/2.8 or smaller aperture in sunshine. Else the image will over-exposed. So in order til stay within the maximum shutter speed of 1/4.000 and still use a lightstrong lens wide open, one mount a ND-filter that reduce the light with 3 stops (8X) or 6 stops (64x).
For video ND-filters are used quite a lot (as the shutter speed for video is 1/60), and ND-filters are also used to reduce the light for really long multi-exposures at night (stop-motion video and stills).
ND-filters also exist as variable ND-filters so one can adjust the amount of light going through from for example 1 stop (2X) to 6 stops (64X).
ND-filters also exist as graduated ND-filters where the top of the filter is dark and then gradually tone over in no filter (so as to reduce the skylight in a landscape for example).
The ND filters are called Neutral because it is a neutral filter. It doesn't change colors, only the amount of light.

ND-Filrers. Neutral Density. Photo © Thorsten Overgaard
ND-filters / gray-filters.


Noctilux = Also known as "King of the Night" because "Nocti" means Night and "Lux" means Light. The f/1.0 lenes from Leica are named "Noctilux". The first Leica Noctilux lens was the 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 which shortly after it's introduction was improved to the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0. In the current model the f-stop has been improved further to f/0.95.
"Noctilux" refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.0 . "Nocti" for nocturnal (occurring or happening at night; ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus ‘of the night,’ from nox, noct- ‘night.), "lux" for light. The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 is famous for enabling the photographer to take photos even there is only candleligts to lit the scene. See the article "Leica Noctilux - King of the Night"

The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the 0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black, the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.
The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the f/0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black), the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.

 

No.
Number, on this site Leica catalog numbers or order numbers. Some the numbers changed depending on the number of cams in the lens: The Elmarit-R f2.8/135mm started life as No. 11 111, however when fitted with 2 cams for the SL became No. 11 211, yet another No. for the 3 cams lens and a fourth number for 3 cam only at the end of its life. Number changes also applied to M lenses depending on whether they were screw-thread, bayonet or for M3 with “spectacles”. Thus the No. in the Thorsten Overgaard Leica Lens Compendium list is a guideline but not a comlete list of existing catalog numbers.

 

Optic = Eye or vision. From French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos ‘seen.’

 

Leitz Oufro part no 16469

Oufro (model 16469Y)
An original Leitz Extension Ring (produced 1959-1983 as part no. 16469). Used with Oubio for all the longer (125mm+) Visoflex lenses and without OUBIO for 35/50mm. OUFRO can 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 and even 21mm lenses).

The OUFTO on Leica M Type 240The OUFTO on Leica M Type 240 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

 

Perspective = The way objects appear to the eye; their relative position and distance. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of perspective (also see Three-dimensional). A wide angle "widens" the perspective and makes objects further away appear smaller than they are to the eye; and objects closer, relatively larger than they are to the eye. A tele lens will "flatten" the perspective and often objects further away will appear relatively larger than close objects than they are in real life. A 50mm lens is the one closest to the perspective and enlargement ratio of the human eye.

The word Perspective comes from the latin word for optics (perspicereper- ‘through’ + specere ‘to look’), and so-called Renaissance painting is simply painting done within the framework of optics and the linear perspective it presents.

 

Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 
  Vanishing points are the points where lines meet. This is how you make perspective in paintings and drawings (and some times make movie sets or theatre stages appear more three-dimensional than they are)
   

Painters works with vanishing points, which is where the lines meet, so as to create an illusion of perspective and three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional painting or drawing.

The human eye corrects for perspective to an extreme degree. We always see vertical lines vertical and horisontal lines horisontal: The eye has a angle of view equivalent to an 8mm wide angle lens, a size ratio equivalent to a 50mm lens and we focus on relatively small area of the viewing field - one at the time. Three things happens that are worth paying attention to:

1) We compile areas of our view that we focus on, to one conceptual image that "we see". Ansel Adams, the great American landscape photographer pointed out that a large camera used for landscape photography capture every detail in focus and sharp so you can view it in detail after; but the eye does not see everything in focus when you try to compose the landscape photography, the eye scans only one part at a time and stitch the idea together. This makes composing or prevision of a landscape photography challenging.

2) We compile areas of our view that we individually adjust the exposure of. A camera adjust the exposure of the whole image frame to one exposure. That's why what looks like a nice picture to the eye of houses in sunshine with a blue sky above, becomes a photograph of darker buildings with a bright white sky: The camera simply can't take one picture that compare to what we "compiled" with our eyes, adjusting for each type of light.

3) Objects (on a table, for example) in the bottom of our viewing field will appear 100% perspective corrected - to a degree that it is impossible to correct in optics, with or without software correction. A wide angle lens, even with little distortion, will exaggerate the proportions of the closet part so it - to the eye - looks wrong.

 

Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).

Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.  Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).
Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

  A graphic illustration of the typical Bayer Color Filter Array on an RGB sensor. It's called a Bayer filter because Bryce Bayer of Eastman Kodak invented the technology of filtering incoming light into RGB and distribute it into the the photosites that each read just one color (R/G/G/B).
  A graphic illustration of the typical Bayer Color Filter Array on an RGB sensor. It's called a Bayer filter because Bryce Bayer of Eastman Kodak invented the technology of filtering incoming light into RGB and distribute it into the the photosites that each read just one color (R/G/G/B).
   

Photosite - The unit in a digital camera sensor that records intensity of either red, green or blue. Unlike the output of a sensor, measured in pixels (and where each pixel contains RGB), the photosite records only one color each, and it's intensity (how bright it is). A photosite can not distinguish colors, which is why there is a Color Filter Array (basically a prism) above them to filter the colors and send information to the photosite if 's a R, G og B color. See illustration below. In a monochrome sensor (as in the Leica M Monochrom and the Phase One Achromatic), all photosites are recording intensity of light only as there is no concern which color it is, and there is no color filter.
The ratio of photosites to pixels is not a given. Each block of 4 contiguous photosites contains one photosite sensitive to low wavelengths (blue), one photosite sensitive to high wavelengths (red), and two identical photosites sensitive to medium wavelengths (green). So four photosites would be the minimum to create one 'full-color' pixel. Apart from that, depends on the sensor specifications, which is different from brand to brand. Sometimes four photosites (two Green, one Red and one Blue) makes up one pixel, at other times it's more photosites to one pixel; and there is also pixels sampled from photosites across (sort of overlapping patterns).

 

Pixel - Made up word from Pix (picture) and el (element). A pixel is the smallest full-color (RGB) element in a digital imaging device. The physical size of a pixel depends on how you've set the resolution for the display screen. The color and tonal intensity of a pixel are variable, meaning that each pixel contains RGB. This is different from a camera sensor's small eyes (photosite) that are an intensity of either red, green or blue. You could say that the digital sensor's photosite (where each unit collects just one color; red, green or blue) is the input technology, whereas the pixels on a screen (where each pixel contains red, green and blue) is the output device. So while sensors are measured in megapixels (mega = million), it's their output unit of pixels, and not the input unit of photosites that is measured and stated. See illustration below.

 

Here's an illustration of how light goes into photosites that each record either R, G or B and then - combined - makes up one pixel containing RGB. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Here's an illustration of how light goes through a color filter that enables the underlying photosites to each record if it';s an R, G or B color - combined - makes up one pixel containing RGB. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

R = Resolution, in the name Leica M10-R camera model (2020).

 

Rigid - Refers usually to the Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "Rigid" of 1956.
It is called "Rigid" because, unlike the 50mm Collapsible, this one is not able to be changed.
Rigid means stiff, uable to be forced out of shape. Not able to be changed. From Latin rigere, "be stiff".
The name is a little confusion nowadays as all or most lenses are rigid today, but back in 1925-1956, many lenses were collapsible so the camera was compact when not in use. Just like compact cameras today often has a lens that extrudes when the camera is turned on, and collaps into the camera body when the camera is turned off.

RF
(R)ange (F)inder - the mechano-optical mechanism which allows M Leicas to focus.
Alternative meaning - RF is also shorthand for Hexar RF , Konica's motorised "M-lens-compatible" rangefinder camera released in 2000.

S = Single image. When the ring by the shutter release on top of the camera (or in the menu of a digital camera in case it does not have this ring on the ourside) is moved from OFF to S, the camera takes only one photo at the time (Single). The other possibility is Continuous where the camera takes pictures continiously as long as the shutter release button is helt down. (see above).

 

Saturation: How colorful, intense or pure the color is. Less saturation would be less colorful, more saturation would be more colorful. In today’s photography, de-saturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full de-saturation would make it into a black and white photo.

A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.
A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Sensor = A device that detects a physical property (like light) and records it. A camera sensor is a plane plate with thousands of small “eyes” with (photosites) a lens in front of each (CFA, Color Filter Array), which each individually records the amount of red, green and blue light rays that comes through the lens. Together, Red, Green and Blue form all colors of the spectrum, which becomes a pixel. Sensor comes from Latin sens- ‘perceived’.

Sharpness - See “Focus”

Shutter speed dial - The dial on top of the Leica M where you can set the shutter speed manually. It can also be set to A which stands for Aperture Priority (where the camera suggests a shutter speed; or when you move the dial away from A, the camera will show arrows in the viewfinder, suggesting which direction to change the Aperture to, to get the correct exposure).

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
Shutter speed dial set to 1/1000 of a second.

 

  The 6-bit code on the flange of the lens is read by the sensor on the Leica M bayonet of all digiral Leica M cameras since 2006. © Thorsten Overgaard.
  The 6-bit code on the flange of the lens is read by the sensor on the Leica M bayonet of all digital Leica M cameras since 2006. © Thorsten Overgaard.
   

Six-bit code (6-bit code) - An engraving on the flange of M-lenses that makes it possible for digital M-cameras to recognize the lens that has been mounted. The camera can include information on the attached lens and its focal length in EXIF data and make digital corrections for lens-specific flaws, such as color-cast or vignetting. Six-bit coding was introduced for all M-lenses sold since 2006, but many older lenses can be retrofitted with the code at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar.

 

SL = Abbreviation for Single-Lens as in the Leica SL that is a camera without reflex (mirror).

 

SLR = Abbreviation for Single-Lens Reflex; the lens that forms the image on the film/sensor also provides the image in the viewfinder via a mirror. Newer camera models has aen EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) that displays in the viewfinder what the sensor sees in real-time.

 

  Leitz Wetzlar Mikro-Summar 42mm
  Leitz Wetzlar Mikro-Summar 42mm f/4.5 lens anno 1910 might be the first lens carrying the name Summar.

Summar - (or a story of name development)
The 1933 lens 50mm f2.0 Summar: It started out as Summar(f2.0), then the Summitar (f2.0 in 1939), then the Summarex(f1.5 in 1948), then the Summaron(35mm f.2.8 in 1948, then later f2.0, f3.5 and f5.6 lenses), then the Summarit (f1.5 in 1949 and used again for the 40mm f2.4 on the Leica Minilux in 1995, then again for the 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm Summarit f2.5 in 2007) then the Summicron(f2.0 in 1953 for the collabsible 50mm) and finally the Summilux(50mm f1.4 in 1959).
ORIGIN of Summar is unknown.

 

Summarex
The great thing about being a lens designer is that you get to name the lens. Dr. Max Berek who worked for Leitz from 1912 till his death in 1949 named lenses after his two favorite dogs. One was Sumamrex named after his dog Rex, the other Hektor named after his dog Hektor.

 

Summarit
Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.5.

 

Summicron = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/2.0 . There are many guesses how this name came about, a popular one being that the "summi" came from "summit" (summit means the highest point of a hill or mountain; the highest attainable level of achievement) while the "cron" came from "chroma" (ie. for colour). Not so: The name (Summi)cron was used because the lens used Crown glass for the first time, which Leitz bought from Chance Brothers in England. The first batch of lenses were named Summikron (Crown = Krone in Deutsch). The Summi(cron) is a development from the orignal Summar (the 50mm f2.0 lens anno 1933). Vario-Summicron, Vario-Elmarit is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses, for example the Vario-Summicron f/2.0 as the one that is on the Leica Digilux 2.

 

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In Leica terminology a Summilux is always a f/1.4 lens and a Summicron is a f/2.0 lens.

 

Telyt
Lens nomenclature - short-hand for " telephoto " (tele- is a combining form, meaning to or at a distance) and used in names of instruments for operating over long distances : telemeter. The name has been used for a number of tele lenses from Leica.
ORIGIN: from Greek t?le- ‘far off.’

 

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. In photography and lens design, three-dimensional effect is also the perception of even small micro-details; the texture of skin can appear flat and dead or three-dimensional and alive. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of depth. Also see Perspective.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Leica T is the compact camera developed by Leica Camera in 2014 as a touch-screen operated camera that can take the Leica L mount lenses made for this camera and the Leica SL and Leica CL. This camera series was names Leica TL later. See my article Compact Leica Cameras for more.

 

The Leica TL2 (2017) with a 35mm Summilux-L f/1.4 lens, compared with the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica TL2 (2017) with a 35mm Summilux-L f/1.4 lens, compared with the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

TTL
(T)hrough (T)he (L)ens light metering, usually WRT the flash metering capabilities built into the R6.2, R8, R9, M7 & M6TTL cameras.

 

V-Lux is a series of compact SLR-like digital cameras by Leica Camera AG developed with Panasonic since 2006, starting with the Leica V-Lux 1 (2006), V-Lux 2 (2010), V-Lux 3 (2011), V-Lux 4 (2012), V-Lux Typ 114 (2014), V-Lux 5 (2018). See my article "Compact Digital Leica Cameras".
To add confusion, Leica also made a Leica V-Lux 20 in 2010, V-Lux 30 in 2011 and a Leica V-Lux 40 in 2012 that was a temporarily renaming of the Leica C-Lux series.

 

Vario- is the Leica Camera AG name for zoom lenses. Vario-Elmarit, Vario-Elmar and Vario-Summicron and so on.


The Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8 ASPH (left) and the Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmar-R ASPH f/4.0 (right)

 

Ventilated shade on a 35mm of Elliott Erwitt's Leica MP camera.
Ventilated shade on a 35mm of Elliott Erwitt's Leica MP camera.

Ventilated Shade - A shade is a hood in front of a lens that provides shade from light going straight onto the lens from outside what you are photographing, which could cause internal reflections like flare, which would make the picture less contrasty.
The ventilated shade has holes so it doesn't obstructs the view from the viewfinder. In many of today’s mirrorless cameras where there is no viewfinder looking ver the lens, so there is no actual need for a ventilated shade; but they are considered classic or vintage looking and are still in high demand. It makes no difference for the purpose of the shade (to create shadow) if it is ventilated or not.


Ventilated Shade for the Leica Q. I make ventilated shades for most lenses and sell them from here.

Viewfinder a device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens. Also known as the German word "Messucher" (or Meßsucher).
1) A built-in viewfinder in a camera that simply show the frame you get when you look through the viewfinder.
2) A rangefinder viewfinder which is also used to focus the lens. In Leica M cameras two pictures has to meet and lay 'on top of each other' for the picture to be in focus.
3) An external viewfinder, usually on top of the camera in the flash shoe, so as to show the field of view of lenses vider than what the built-in viewfinder can show (15mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm etc viewfinders exist)
4) Very simple "aiming-devices" on top of a camera that is simply a metal frame without any optics. Just a frame, as for example very old cameras (the original Leica), or when using cameras in diving where you can't look through the camera.
5) A Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) that shows what the sensor sees "live".

WB = Short for White Balance:

White Balance = (often referred to as WB) in camera menus. See my aticle "Adjusting the White Balance in Photoraphy" for explanation, illustrations and examples.

WLAN = German short for WiFi. In camera menus, Leica may refer to WLAN, which is simply German for WiFi, (and for some reason they refuse to believe that the rest of the world doesn't call it for WLAN like they do). WLAN stands for wireless local area network.

X1 - The Leica X1 was released in September 2009, the Leica X2 in 2012, and Leica X Typ 113 was released in September 2014, all with a fixed 23mm f/1.7 lens. Leica X Vario Typ 107 and Leica X-E Typ 102 was released later. A Leica X-U underwater edition was released in 2026. See my article Compact Leica Cameras for more.

XML = Stands for extensible markup language, which is a way enclose information to a document about how to format it, and more.

XMP = Stands for extensible markup platform (also known as XMP sidecar) and is a standard developed by Adobe and standardized by the International Organization for Standardization ISO. XMP is a 'sidecar' to an image that contains the EXIF data (camera settings) as well as other data about the image recording and editing that would norally be in proprietary formats (only readable by certain software). XMP in short is a container enclosed with the image as a 'sidecar' that contains all available information (EXIF data about settings, IPTC data (who took the photo, copyright info, image captions, etc), but most noteable, the XMP allow you to include information about the editing that was performed to the raw or DNG file, so that when you open the image file in another editing software, the raw data, as well as information about the crop, exposure compensation and other editing you did to the photo, is included).
In Adobe Lightroom Classic, one should make sure to select that editing information is written to the XMP file of each image (go to Lightroom > Catalog Settings > Metadata and then click "Automatically write changes into XMP").

Zone System -A system of 11 greytones. Ansel Adams worked out the Zone System in the 1940's with Fred Archer. It may look as simply a grey scale (and it is) but it's the use that has troubled many. If you use a normal external light meter, it will give you the exact amount of light and you can expose your photograph based on that and it will be correct. The Zone System by Ansel Adams

What Ansel Adams basically did was that he studied (by measuring with a spot meter), what the exact grey tones were of the sky, the clouds, the sand, the water, the skin and so on at different times of the day.
You could say that he built up a conceptual understanding of how different materials of different colors and reflective surface would look in black and white at different times of day (or different light conditions). He also realized that a tone changes for the human eye depending on it's size and in which context of other tones it is seen. 

In short, you could say that the Zone System is know how something would look in black and white when looking at a scenery. Some who have struggled with the Zone System have done so because they think it is a rule. It is not.

How Ansel Adams made New Mexico look:   How most people see New Mexico:
 
The artistic use of the Zone System.

Ansel Adams developed the Zone System to understand light for himself, but also as a fundament for teaching the light, exposure and making the final photograph. How will it look if you do the usual, and what will it look like if you manipulate it. But most interstingly; how do you work with light, cameras and photographic materials to achieve the look you envision. 

The Zone System is meant as a basis on which to create your own aesthetic style and communication.  Photography is painting with light. The greyscale is our palette. Ideally we should have a conceptual understanding of the tones and be able to use them intuitive. That was his vision for us all.

Thorsten Overgaard in New York, explaining the Zone System in his "Street Photography Masterclass"
Thorsten Overgaard in New York, explaining the Zone System in his "Street Photography Masterclass".

 

Ø - Diameter. As in Ø49 for example which means that the filter diameter is 49mm for this lens (or if a filter is Ø49, it is 49mm in diameter and fits that Ø49 lens). Leica uses E to express their filters sizes, as in E49 for a 49mm filter size.


   
   

 

– Thorsten Overgaard

   


 

 

Index of pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246
as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
M9 Mono 20 21 22 23 24 25      

                     
M 246 Mono 26 27 28 29
30
31      

                     
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44            
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                        
Leica M10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8                         Video
Leica M11 1 2 3                                    
Leica SL / SL2 1   3   5 6 7                              
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 / Q2M 1                                          
Leica TL2 1 2                                        
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books


Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M digital cameras:   Leica L digital cameras:
Leica M11   Leica SL
Leica M10   Leica SL2
Leica M10-P   Leica SL2-S
Leica M10-R   Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica M10-D   Leica TL2
Leica M10 Monochrom   Leica CL
Leica M9 and Leica M-E   Leica L-Mount lenses
Leica M9-P   Leica R digital cameras:
Leica M9 Monochrom   Leica R8/R9/DMR
Leica M240   Small Leica mirrorless digital cameras:
Leica M246 Monochrom   Leica D-Lux
Leica MD-262 and Leica M60   Leica C-Lux
    Leica V-Lux
Leica M film cameras:   Leica Q2 / Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica MP   Leica Q
Leica M4   Leica Digilux 3
    Leica Digilux 2
Leica M lenses:   Leica Digilux 1
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica Digilux
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4    
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R film cameras:
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R8 / R9
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leica compact film cameras:
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.2   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4    
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 250mm Telyt-R f/4.0
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
Leitz Cine lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
Leica Cine lenses from Leitz Cine Wetzlar    
    Leica S digital medium format:
History and overview:   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica History   Leica S2
Leica Definitions   Leica S
Leica Lens Compendium    
Leica Camera Compendium   "Magic of Light" 4K Television Channel
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Which Computer for Photographers?   Lightroom Survival Kit (Classic)
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Lightroom Brushes by Overgaard
Quality of Light   Capture One Software
Lightmeters   Capture One Survival Kit
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love   "Composition in Photography" eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
X-Rite   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
    "Why do I Photograph?"
     
Leica Photographers:    
Ralph Gibson   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier   Jan Grarup
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Learn with Thorsten Overgaard:
More than 250 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica M240 Masterclass (video course)
Leica Forums and Blogs:   Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Leica M11 / M240 / M10 User Forum on Facebook   Leica Q2 Masterclass (video course)
Jono Slack   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog   Adobe Photoshop Editing Masterclass
I-Shot-It photo competition   The Photoraphers Workflow Masterclass
    Adobe Lightroom Survival Kit 11
    Capture One Survival Kit 22
     
    Thorsten von Overgaard Academy Online
    Thorsten von Overgaard Free Online Masterclass
   
Connect with Thorsten Overgaard:   Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses
Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram   Overgaard One-on-One Training
Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List   Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing
Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook   Commision Thorsten Overgaard
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Ventilated Shades "Always Wear A Camera"   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Camera Straps "Always Wear A Camera"   Ventilated Shade E46 for old Leica 35mm/1.4 lens
The Von M Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
The Von L Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
The Von Mini Messenger Walkabout Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Desk Blotters 'Always Wear A Camera"   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Sterling Silver Necklace   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Signed Thorsten Overgaard Gallery Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Computer Shade for MacBook Pro   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
    Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade for Leica Q and Leica Q2
 

 


 

Above: New Zealand photographer Pamela Tinning in Napier, April 2013. Leica M Type 240 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0

 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

 


Leica M240 in silver/chrome


Leica M240 in black


Leica M240 in black
with EVF (electronic viewfinder)

 

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

 

Quick links:

Basic Menu setup
for the Leica M Type 240

How to install firmware update

Which memory card to get

Formatting memory cards

Frames per second (frame rate)

Black and White JPG and Color DNG at the same time

Digital color filters for black & white

Recovering lost JPG, DNG and video files from SD-cards

Leica models (comparison)

Compressed DNG or
Uncompressed DNG?

What is DNG..?

Latest Leica M Type 240 Firmware
update from Leica Camera AG

Camera Raw 7.4 Beta and later
(with support of Leica M 240)

 

Leica M9 & Leica ME firmware

 

 

<---
To read "Photokina 2012 - First Impressions of the Leica M240" read Page 29

 

Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard in Berlin.
Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.
Photo by Jose Salcedo.

 

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
Books by Thorsten Overgaard
Street Photography Masterclass Video
Adobe Photoshop Editing Masterclass
Adobe Lightroom Survival Kit 11
Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Lightroom Brushes by Overgaard
Capture One Software download
Capture One Survival Kit 22

Capture One Styles by Overgaard
Signed Original Prints by von Overgaard

Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Ventilated Shades by Overgaaard
Leather Camera Straps
Camea Bags
Calfskin Camera Pouches
Leather Writing Pads
Sterling Silver Camera Necklace

Leica Definitions
Leica History
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon 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 35mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0

Leica 40mm Summicron-C 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
7artisans 50mm f/1.1
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
7artisans 75mm f/1.25
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summilux f/1.5
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses
Leica L lenses
Leica M11
Leica M10
Leica M10-P

Leica M10-R
Leica M10-D
Leica M10 Monochrom
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M9 Monochrom
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 for video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262

Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL
Leica SL2
Leica SL2-S

Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica R9 dSLR
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
Leica D-Lux

Leica C-Lux

Leica V-Lux

Leica Digilux

Leica Digilux 1

Leica Digilux 2
Leica Digilux Zoom

Leica Digilux 4.3

Leica Digilux 3

Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
The Story Behind That Picture
"On The Road With von Overgaard"

Von Overgaard Masterclasses:
M10 / M9 / M240 / Q / Q2 / TL2 /

 

 

 

Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

You can follow him at his television channel magicoflight.tv and his on-line classroom at overgaard.com

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

 

 

 

     
Buy eBooks by
Thorsten Overgaard
     
"A Little Book on Photography"   "A Little Book on Photography"
Add to Cart  

Add to Cart

     
"The Leica Q Know-All eBook"  
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"Finding the Magic of Light"   "Composition in Photography - The Photographer as Storyteller"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"The Freedom of Photographic Expression"   "The Moment of Emptional Impact"
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Add to Cart

     

The Portrait Book
How to Make People Beautifu
    Add to Cart
     

Preorder: The Noctilux Masterclass
    Add to Cart
     
Extension Courses
     
The New Photography Extension Course"   "New Inspiration Extension Course"
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"Lightroom Survival Kit 7"
Lightroom
Survival Kit
  "Capture One Pro Survival Kit"
Capture One Survival Kit
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Video Classes
     


Workflow
Masterclass

  Street Photo
Masterclass

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Leica Q2
Masterclass

  "Leica Q Video Masterclass"
Leica Q
Masterclass

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  Add to Cart
     
"Leica TL2 Quick-Start Video Course"
Leica TL2
Quick-Start
Video Course
  "Leica Q Video Masterclass"
Preorder:
Leica M9
Masterclass
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"Leica M10 Video Masterclass"   "Leica M 240 Video Masterclass"
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Lightroom Presets
     
Lightroom Presets Leica M10   Lightroom Presets Leica M9
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Lightroom Presets Leica TL2   Lightroom Presets Leica Q
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Lightroom Dutch Painters Presets by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
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"Hollywood Film Presets"
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Hemingway Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
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201 Lightroom Presets
+ 4 Export Presets
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Capture One Styles:
     
    Leica Styles for Capture One by Thorsten Overgaard
    Add to Cart
     

17 Capture One Styles
Add to Cart    




 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

     
     

Join a Thorsten Overgaard
Photography Workshop

I am in constant orbit teaching
Leica and photography workshops.

Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
30% of my students are women.
35% of my students dotwo or more workshops.
95% are Leica users.
Age range is from 15 to 87 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level ranges from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.

I would love to see you in one!
Click to see the calendar.

     
St. Louis   Chicago

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Rome

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Berlin

  Madrid

Münich

 

Barcelona

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Amsterdam

Vienna

 

Paris

Cannes  

London

Reykjavik   Portugal
Roadtrip USA   Milano
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     







 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong



 


 


 

 

     
Buy eBooks by
Thorsten Overgaard
     
"A Little Book on Photography"   "A Little Book on Photography"
Add to Cart  

Add to Cart

     
"The Leica Q Know-All eBook"  
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"Finding the Magic of Light"   "Composition in Photography - The Photographer as Storyteller"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"The Freedom of Photographic Expression"   "The Moment of Emptional Impact"
Add to Cart  

Add to Cart

     

The Portrait Book
How to Make People Beautifu
    Add to Cart
     

Preorder: The Noctilux Masterclass
    Add to Cart
     
Extension Courses
     
The New Photography Extension Course"   "New Inspiration Extension Course"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"Lightroom Survival Kit 7"
Lightroom
Survival Kit
  "Capture One Pro Survival Kit"
Capture One Survival Kit
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Video Classes
     


Workflow
Masterclass

  Street Photo
Masterclass

Add to Cart

  Add to Cart
     
     


Leica Q2
Masterclass

  "Leica Q Video Masterclass"
Leica Q
Masterclass

Add to Cart

  Add to Cart
     
"Leica TL2 Quick-Start Video Course"
Leica TL2
Quick-Start
Video Course
  "Leica Q Video Masterclass"
Preorder:
Leica M9
Masterclass
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"Leica M10 Video Masterclass"   "Leica M 240 Video Masterclass"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Lightroom Presets
     
Lightroom Presets Leica M10   Lightroom Presets Leica M9
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Lightroom Presets Leica TL2   Lightroom Presets Leica Q
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Lightroom Dutch Painters Presets by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"Hollywood Film Presets"
Add to Cart    
     
Hemingway Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
Add to Cart    
     

201 Lightroom Presets
+ 4 Export Presets
Add to Cart    
     
Capture One Styles:
     
    Leica Styles for Capture One by Thorsten Overgaard
    Add to Cart
     

17 Capture One Styles
Add to Cart    
 
           
  · © Copyright 1996-2022 · Thorsten von Overgaard


 

© 1996 - 2022 Thorsten Overgaard. All rights reserved.

 

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