The Year of The M


The Year of The M

by Louis Ferreira (

Like many Leica faithful, I’m an M fan first. It’s one of the only cameras I have ever owned that compels me to get out and shoot. It’s also due for updating in the immediate future and I think we can make some predictions from the recent lens announcements.

The new enhanced image performance of the Summicrons and Elmarit that were announced recently hopefully hint at a higher megapixel sensor than the 24MP sensor seen in the Leica Q and SL. These lenses were already very good on the M240, but maybe they needed to be updated for the new sensor in the upcoming M.

This wouldn’t be an unprecedented move by Leica. We saw similar refreshes before the first digital M’s and the announcement of the 50mm APO came alongside the Monochrome that fully demonstrated the sensors resolving capabilities. So now might be an excellent time to buy these lenses if you’re definitely going to buy the next digital M because they are only going to become more difficult to obtain when the next M comes out. I just wish they added weather sealing across the board to match the sealed M body.

I’m cautiously optimistic that Leica is going to do right by M shooters, but if they do not I might do something readers could find novel. Go back to the M9/ME and get a medium format camera. I love my M240, but I miss the size/feel of the M9/ME and the look the camera helped me create. The M240 addressed a lot of complaints people had about the CCD based M’s, but the body was too bulky and the new sensor never really surpassed the look of the M9 that many fell in love with.

Let me know in the comments what would be your ideal refresh of the M and if you have any similar reservations or plans. Would you be ok with an aluminum body instead of a brass one to reduce weight? Do you think any other lenses might be refreshed before the announcement? Right now the new 28, 35 Summicron, 28 Elmarit, 28 Summilix, and 50 Summicron APO are the only lenses we can be certain will deliver the best performance possible on the next M especially if they increase the megapixel count of the sensor.

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