M9’s undying legacy


This was taken using my M9 two years back. Edited using my current preference.

It happened again. I read it before in Prosophos’s blog about how he find the M9 CCD’s sensor different during his workflow processing. Today however, i met
an old veteran in photography, Mr.Chua. Mr.Chua owns one of the first version of the Kodak 2mp digital camera back in early 2000, it cost him USD 15k. Today his works are used in Canon’s marketing brochures in Asia and marketing materials.

After showing me some beautiful images he made in portraiture and landscape suddenly he pointed out one of the images and said “this one is taken with the M9, see how beautiful the dynamic range and contrast are. The shadows and recovery is really good”. He went on to say how he find the new M 240 produce images that resembles too much of japanese cameras. At the back of my mind i was thinking, “is this the CCD vs CMOS effect?”.

Digging up some of my old M9 files, i begin to inspect some of it. Looking at it at 25% and 100%, is there something different here that i didn’t notice back then?
After much viewing, i still could not convince myself that there is anything significantly different. What i did find is that there is a different “feel” to it when looking at the image from an overview. Perhaps this “difference” is what is driving many to choose M9 over M240.

M9 is the camera that brought honor back to Leica in terms of producing a digital body. Back then M8 and M8.2 was full of issues so much so that anyone who is honest with himself could not help but wished for some serious fixes. Those fixes came in M9. Nobody complained about the M’s image quality, i know i never did. I was at war with myself when it comes to using rangefinder because of its archaic way of center focusing and less than stellar technology (read : LCD)

But now that the new M240 comes with much better LCD, live view and everything one would have wanted in the M, folks are reminiscence of M9.

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