I just received (last week) my new LCD-less M and mounted a Tri-Elmar MATE to see what would happen. I wanted to try the noon-day sun outside and see how it handled the shadows, as well as medium ISO inside with window lighting. The first example is below.  You can click on the images to see a much larger version, but it may take a moment to load them.

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lady walking dog

I used the Sunny f/16 rule erring on the side of under-exposure (rather than over-exposure like one would use in film). The results were that many of the outside images were under-exposed and I added between +0.8 to +1.4 in the exposure slider in Adobe Lightroom 5.7. 

You can see in the first image that the shadows bounced back nicely with no degradation of the image (shot at ISO 200). I added exposure of +0.65, contrast +24 and whites +63.

The second image is at ISO 1600 inside and I wanted to see how it would handle all of the whites with different lighting. I actual reduced the exposure here by -1.2 and boosted contrast +48. Otherwise untouched.

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Amelie’s chandelier

I really liked the increased pebbling in the leather wrap. Without the LCD it is easy to hold the body in portrait or landscape and I don’t worry about smudging. The weight and use is the same as the M240 and M246. The ISO is tight, but using two fingers on the ribs of the dial is plenty of leverage to adjust the ISO. It will not accidentally move which is great.

This last example is of the bronze doors in the old US Post Office building.

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Bronze post office doors

The Leica MD captured the colors and tones well here as you would expect.  I do not know if the sensor is the same as the one in the Leica M240, but it behaves just as well if not better.

Two items worth noting. One, the power switch is much stiffer and harder to turn on – I like that. I have often pulled my other M’s out of the bag only to see I flicked the power switch when putting it back and lost some battery time. Two, to set the clock, I had to hold the function button for about 12 seconds (as the instructions say), but I could only get that to work if I did it first thing right after turning on the power switch. Doing anything else seemed to negate that ability.

I would dearly have loved to see the interface on the bottom work with the multi-function handgrip for flash and GPS purposes, but that was not in the cards. Overall? First Day? I loved the experience.  After a little more time, I’ll give a more thorough review.

I also have to say thank you to Leica Store Miami and Josh Lehrer.  They are always extremely helpful!

UPDATE:  Here is the detailed review of the Leica MD.

About The Author

David taught film photography and development for 3 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1989-1991). He began using Leica cameras in 2000 and still shoots 70-100 rolls of film through a Leica M3 and Leica MA while enjoying the challenges of the Leica Monochrom and the new Leica MD 262. David has written about photography and is working on several volumes documenting changes and artistic merit throughout Old Town in Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA. His full-time job is as a CPA, but spends free time with a camera at the ready.

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