Leica M-E - First Click

Well, here it is - the very first shot off my new 18MP Leica M-E (Typ 220).  Shot wide open using the Carl Zeiss Biogon 2/35.  I'll admit, I am in love. Here, I present you the unmolested image straight from the camera - ISO 160 f/2 1/125 second shutter:

SOOC - Leica / Zeiss
SOOC - Leica / Zeiss

To be honest, there really isn't much that I need to do with this file.  Here is a slightly warmed up version with tighter crop:

Warmed up a tad
Warmed up a tad

For you pixel peepers, below is the 100% crop with the warmed tones.

100 Percent Crop
100 Percent Crop

So, first impressions. Well, let me give you my day of waiting for the Leica.  I ordered the camera from Willoughby's in Manhattan, NYC on Tuesday.  They gave me a call to verify shipment and offered me some pretty amazing discounts on Leica glass with the order (though at this point, I have not taken advantage yet).  The Zeiss glass was already in my hands.

The camera was scheduled for delivery by UPS for yesterday.  Also scheduled, was a full-on blizzard.  I was so nervous that the shipment would be post-poned till Monday, but still sat in my chair, face pressed to the window and waited.  And waited.  Finally, around 3:00pm, the UPS beautiful, glorious brown truck stopped in my driveway.  I sprinted out the door and signed for the box.  The guy said to me, "You're lucky, this is my last stop of the day - they called me to return ASAP."  Oh, I was ecstatic.

But I didn't rip into the box.  I took my time to enjoy the unboxing for as long as possible.  Carefully pulling back the tape, then scrapping off the packing peanuts, the wonderful gray Leica box shone through.  I carefully pulled it out and worked my way through all the exquisite packaging of the product - packaging that would make Apple proud.

I pulled the battery and charger and plugged in for the excruciating 3 hour charge.  In that time, I read the manual cover to cover.  I usually don't, but I had the time.

Once the charge was complete, I mounted my new Zeiss 35 lens, placed the battery in, then the 32 GB SD card.  It needed to be formatted as well.  It took almost an hour.  Ugh, the stress of not getting to click has now drawn out for 4 hours!  But I tell you, it was worth the wait.


So, I've only held this little gem in my hands for a few hours at this point.  After so many years on Nikon D/SLR's with bags of lenses, strobes, stands, etc. converting to this little guy was a bit of a culture shock.  But it's a very welcomed shock.  The Leica seems so tiny in my hands - but solid beyond belief.  It weighs in at just 585g (20oz).  The D700 was 995g (35oz) plus the grip at 453g (1 pound) 1448g (51 ounces) before you attach a lens.  So it's really noticeable.

The menus and controls are so simple - you feel like you're really controlling a camera to it's full potential with zero fluff.  Solid manual dials, all clicking into place in a quite solid way.

As for focusing, this will take some adjusting.  A DSLR shows you your focus with the whole picture, as your viewfinder is TTL.  With a rangefinder, not so.  I'll address this more at a later date.

Anyhow, this isn't a review yet - just my thoughts after ONE CLICK.

More to come.  Much more to come. Like this: