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Why I didn't buy a Leica M9

Published March 15th, 2012

Having used my Fujifilm X100 for a few months now, I’ve come to appreciate the high quality output coupled with the compact, lightweight discretion when used on the street.

The only down side is the fixed 35mm (equivalent) lens. It’s just not wide enough for what I want.

So my thoughts turned to the Leica M9. I read all the rave reviews and soaked up all the tech knowledge about it, and very nearly bought one on the Internet.

This would have been a serious investment and mistake!

So a little due diligence was needed. That came in the form of a visit to Red Dot store in Old Street, London. They are Leica specialist retailers.

The service there is superb, I was allowed to handle, feel and shoot with this most expensive camera. The salesman was polite, accommodating and knowledgable.

But, the M9!

Most tests rave about this beast and it’s legendary quality.

What I found was disappointing; it was heavy, slow, and noisy.

The rear screen is small and dark and the view finder is like my 1980 Minolta XG. The worst part being that for any lens below 28mm you need to buy an additional clip in view finder, and they are around £500! Oh and by the way it’s manual focus.

After about 20 minutes with the Leica I knew this wasn’t for me. It may take great quality pictures but there are just too many downsides to it. I’ve not even mentioned the price! Check out what it would cost for the M9 body and a couple or three lenses. The price of a new car.

So I left it there on the shelf and my love affair with Fuji grew.

I’m awaiting the Fujifilm X Pro-1. When announced I thought this was expensive, but it’s chicken feed compared to the Leica.

So back to my Nikons and X100

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