Is it still a good idea to get M9 these days?

Discussion in 'Leica M Camera Forum' started by chris0202, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. chris0202

    chris0202 Leica Place Rookie

    Aug 13, 2017
    Good day from a film Leica user.

    As my current collection of RF lens is growing, the thought of getting an M9/M240 is lingering in my mind from time to time. However, I do realize M240 has banding issue and M9 doesn't do well in dim lighting.

    I have looked at thin-filter mod for Sony cameras. But they have their own set of problems and I don't think life would be a lot easier.

    Maybe I should just keep improving my skills developing (C-41) and digitizing my film.

    I'd like to find out thoughts of fellow M-camera users here. I'd appreciate any feedback.

  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I like mine, also have the M Monochrom.

    If buying one used- would go for one that has the new sensor in it. Leica also does a CLA on the camera for the sensor replacement, so those cameras are recently serviced.

    I have no problem using my M9 at ISO2500, use a fast lens on it and LightRoom 6 for processing. I just use the default settings for noise reduction. Use encompressed DNG for best results, especially at High ISO.

    ISO 2500, 50/1.1 Nokton wide-open, 1/125th second.

    27786342042_b0323997d3_o. Skate and Fun Zone by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
  3. chris0202

    chris0202 Leica Place Rookie

    Aug 13, 2017

    Nice shot, Brian.

    Thank you for the input. Maybe I am just spoiled by modern cameras. I have been with Nikon for a while and I mostly use it to digitize film these days...

    I do see an refreshed M9 at a good price at the moment. It is burning me from the inside.
  4. M. Valdemar

    M. Valdemar Leica Place Regular

    Aug 5, 2013
    New York City

    I'm happy with my M9. I got it as a refurb years ago. Leica just replaced the sensor in July. It is perfectly usable, I like the CCD sensor, and I never had a single problem with it.

    Leica replaced the sensor, but even before they did I only noticed a minimal problem.

    I've taken it all over the world, most recently to Japan, and I used old and modern lenses on it. Next month I'm going to China and I will take it.

    My travel kit is now a Lumix GX85 with a few lightweight lenses, and the M9 with a few older lenses for more deliberative shooting.

    I would buy another M9 without hesitation. I agree with Brian. Get one with a replaced sensor, it should be good for years to come.

    PS: I have no problem using M9 at 1600 ISO and sometimes above. The camera speed has been a non-issue for me. Of course, I don't consider the M9 the correct tool for fast action shots. But in a pinch, I could make it work. The photo is my daughter shot with M9, Chinatown, NYC.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  5. chris0202

    chris0202 Leica Place Rookie

    Aug 13, 2017
    Thank you, Valdemar.

    It looks promising. I am still hauling around an dslr with 2 big lens (24-120 and 35). It is getting painful with more and more strict TSA protocol.

    I saw one recently refresh for $2300 (FM post by n8fyn).

    PS. I have been thinking of getting mirrorless but haven't determined to do so yet. I have tried Fuji and Sony. With these, sometimes I feel I pay more for less. My friend's 2-yr-old XE2 has at least 3 hot pixels with 2000 shutter count...
  6. rflove

    rflove Leica Place Regular Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    I don’t have experience with the M9 so I’ll leave that to those who know. However, I don’t understand the “banding issues” of the M240. I purchased mine used a few years ago and frankly I find no issue with banding.. it does appear but only in rare circumstances. I find it extremely useful and it produces fabulous images with any decent lens. Also, the low light capability is actually quite adequate if not compared with cameras made for that purpose.

    I do concur with the idea that using the Leica mount lenses adapted to other cameras is not very satisfying.. Unless you use a rangefinder body like the Epson or Leica, they just don’t work out as well. I’ve tried using them on micro four thirds cameras like the Olympus and Panasonic offerings (EM5, EM1, GX7, etc.) and it’s not fun...
  7. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    M9and M240 both produce stunning results and both are quite reasonably priced these days.

    I use M-D (almost same sensor as M240and had M-E before that and also use CCD (M9)which is very doable with perfect exposure and slow cards.

    M240 very clean ISO 3200 with banding only a problem when exposure not spot on. Even 6400 is usable if you nail exposure. I’ve used 6400 even in good light when I wanted motion blur AND deep depth of field with a 50mm lens and there was no banding. Banding is only an issue when trying to make night into day, which I usually don’t do as night looks better as night to me.

    M Monochrom (original)limit and beyond with post processing.

    Good luck.
  8. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013