Kai reviews the Leica M type 240 camera, Photozone reviews their first Leica lenses

There is a new Leica M type 240 review by the always entertaining Kai from DigitalRev.

Photozone (one of the better review websites available today) published their first Leica reviews of the Summicron-M 50mm f/2 and Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lenses (on Leica M9). The verdict for both lenses is very positive except in the price/performance category.

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    Bad review as most of dr reviews

    • MJr

      More interesting than DxO, brick walls or biased bloggers.

  • Pablo Ricasso returned

    Horrible photos from one seriously over-priced digicam…

    • genotypewriter

      Oh yes…and where is that “Leica look” now, that many Leica cameras m’sturbators have been banging on about?

      Yeah, right.

      • Nice to see a fan

        • JakeB

          Responding to your own posts originally written while logged-off to promote self gratification, is bordering on nauseatng to the rest of us less egocentric folk here.

          • There are gullible people and there are people like you who go looking to get mislead.

            What a weak attempt… given up on learning the subject I see.

          • Maurice Prell

            Don’t feed the troll, see below, he’s already ‘bitten’ and attacked back in his well known fashion…

          • Lol I must have hurt your feelings so bad. Wish I remembered how.

  • Photozone’s reviews are only good for the center resolution. As soon as you go off-center, they’re not indicative of the real performance and this is a problem they’ve been running away from for a long time, even when it was pointed out.

    Their choice in using a M9 is proof of this limitation… They focus on the center and measure corner resolution. If they’re “bracketing focus” at these resolutions it’s another joke.

    Speaking about the M9, apart from lacking live view, it’s a bad choice for testing lenses also because of the off-set microlenses. I doubt the corner performance is consistent between the M9 and the M-240… so they’ve just wasted their money in the long run, getting a difficult to use, out-dated camera for testing. If they couldn’t get a M240, they could have gone for a VG-900… sure it doesn’t have offset microlenses but at least it lets you focus in the corner of the frame in live view.

    Also the whole “border” and “extreme border” resolution measurements aren’t the most indicative of real-world performance for the reason explained below:

    • fjfjjj

      The M9 is outdated? Last I checked, Leica was still selling it as the M-E.

      • The context here is the sensor. The M9 sensor was bad even compared to the a900 sensor. It was approximately 2 generations behind at the time it was released.

        • A. Lurker

          I know what you’re saying but in the digital hardware world aren’t *all* camera sensors behind at release? The folks that make the M’s sensor have, now, a 72MP sensor on the market. Perhaps it’s just terrible for use in a camera and is better suited for microscopes or telescopes or periscopes. Sensors can become better in only a few areas: Pixel count, high ISO signal cleanliness, contrast and probably some kind of color balance thing. What if it’s the end of the road for really new tech? Video in camera e.g., isn’t new by any stretch.

          Perhaps the real question is: ‘How good are the pictures the camera makes?’ except the real real question is ‘How good are the pictures the photographer makes?’. Problem is Marketing can’t run very far with that, can they…

          • Something can’t be behind at launch if there’s nothing ahead at the time 🙂

            Getting back to the original topic, the real problems in using a M9 for testing lenses are its lack of live view, its inability focus off-center and its offset microlenses. Its noise levels, dynamic range, etc. play a very minor role when testing lenses this way.

    • mst

      Interesting that you’re still trying to dis us wherever you can…

      — Markus
      — photozone.de

      • It’s interesting that you’re still trying to hide the serious limitations in your tests.

        I have raised legitimate questions about your technique. If you think what I’m suggesting is wrong then please clarify how that is so… it’s never too late.

        • mst

          We’re not trying to hide anything, in fact we’re as open about the testing procedure and its limitations as we can be, in the reviews, our FAQ, our forum or many other places around the web where we participate in discusssions.
          Several people, myself and others, have answered your question several times, in our forum, over at dpr and wherever else you posted them.

          The testing procedure is documented in our lens test FAQ. If you consider the spots we measure as inadequate for real world usage, than you question not only photozone reviews, but the majority of lens reviews out there.

          We do use focus bracketing for several reasons. It’s the only way to reliably find the best resolution at each measurement spot and at the same time rules out field curvature (which we do on purpose).

          The M9 is as good as a test camera as any other camera we have used so far. We use the sensor at base ISO, where noise and other drawbacks are no issue at all. The shifted micro-lenses may have a small influence on the results of some lenses (both positive and negative), but that wouldn’t be any different with the M 240, which to my knowledge does not have shifted microlenses. The influence would happen on the M240 sensor, too, just in the opposite direction.

          The sensor used in the M9 is most likely the one that the majority of digital M shooters uses today. It was used in the M9, M9-P and is still sold in the M-E. M 240 users so far are a very rare species. Apart from that, the resolution difference between the two sensors is minimal. What shines on the M9, will most likely do so on the M 240, too. What’s crap on the M9, will hardly be better on the CMOS sensor.

          One more regarding focusing: it doesn’t really matter if one uses live view or not. LV helps a little to narrow down the range for focus bracketing, but that’s about it for the testing procedure. In addition, the LV implementation is not the best one, IMO, especially since one is limited to the center of the image… just as with the rangefinder.

          — Markus
          — photozone.de

      • davethevet

        Thanks for this Markus, I`ve been looking forward to seeing this. Be good to see more, any chance of a 50 summilux and a 35 summarit?

        • mst

          The Summarit 35 is on my list (all Summarits, in fact) but the current Summilux 50 is hard to get hold of. I do have a loaner offer for a pre-ASPH Lux 50, though.

          Next Leica reviews to be published: Noctilux ASPH and its latest competitor, the SLR Magic Hyperprime. However, I have some Nikon work to do, first…

          — Markus
          — photozone.de

    • Daniel Kennedy

      Interesting. As a former Sony Employee I can tell you that the VG-900 and in fact all Sony sensors are impractical for testing Leica lenses due to the depth of the overall sensor package. Do a little googling about the corner smear with M lenses on the VG900.

      I also enjoy how much you like to bag Leica then you act all humble when you ask to review their products…

  • dannybuoy

    Can this really be called a review? It’s just Kai wandering about with his boss’s new camera.

    • MJr

      True, but at least it’s real-world use. It’s an opinion-based review, but it’s a review. Even though the photos he takes are cr*p.

  • grape

    Just fyi – there is another site that has already done reviews of Leica M lenses:


    imho he guys at lenstip know what they are testing, and they are really competent.

    Regards, Ralf

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