Leica Club Welcome Pack – Digital Leica M Cameras
Hello and welcome to the Leica Club! To help you enjoy your new purchase I’ve listed some information below to get you started and answer some of the common questions I receive.
- Leica M camera accessories – Top 11
- 5 tips for using your Leica camera
- Best lens for your Leica M camera
- Leica M camera YouTube videos
- Join a Leica community
- Photo editing tips
- Leica services and recalibration
- Remote Leica support
- Leica photowalks
- Master your Leica
Leica M camera accessories – Top 11
After buying your Leica camera there are certain accessories you may want to get. Here are my top 11 –
1. Spare Battery
This is a must have. You can use Leica branded batteries or 3rd party batteries. I use both types.
- Leica M8/ Leica M9 – Check eBay UK or eBay COM
- Leica M240 models – https://geni.us/T2kl
- Leica M10 models – https://geni.us/JvjLg0T
- Leica M11 – https://geni.us/VVSy
2. LCD Screen Protector
3. Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) – See on YouTube
These are a gamechanger! When using a Leica M camera with an EVF (Visoflex) you can now focus non-rangefinder coupled lenses such as Leica R lenses and even Nikon lenses. See the lens adapters section below*.
- Leica M8/ Leica M9 – Not available for these cameras*
- Leica M240 models – EVF2 – Check eBay UK or eBay COM
- Leica M10 models – Visoflex (Typ 020) – https://geni.us/ACiOns
- Leica M11 – Visoflex – https://geni.us/FfJl
4. Soft Release Shutter Button
An affordable way to customise your Leica camera is with a custom shutter release button. I have red buttons on some of my Leica cameras.
- Shutter Release Button – https://geni.us/0VWAevu
5. Strap (Neck Strap and/or Wrist Strap) – See on YouTube
Your Leica camera is supplied with a neck strap. A new strap is another easy way to customise your camera. I use wrist straps for street photography and a neck strap for events. Peak Design products are a popular quick release camera strap system if you use multiple cameras. There are lots of nice luxury cameras straps available too.
6. Leica Viewfinder Magnifier – See on YouTube
These are a must have for me if I want to accurate focus a fast 50mm, a 90mm or 135mm lens via the rangefinder. The diopter screws into the eyepiece of your Leica M camera and magnifies the view making the focus patch appear larger. Available as 1.4x and 1.25x. I use 1.4x version.
- Leica M8, Leica M9, Leica M240 – Leica viewfinder magnifier will fit – Check eBay UK or eBay COM
- Leica M10 models, Leica M11 – You will need the Leica adapter to fit the smaller diameter legacy magnifier
7. Thumbs Up Grip Support
Do you need a thumbs up grip support for your Leica? If you use on camera flash or triggers on the hotshoe then I would avoid the thumbs up grip as it blocks the hotshoe. If you use larger heavier lenses then it definitely adds comfort and helps balance the camera.
- Leica M8/M9 – Check eBay UK or eBay COM
- Leica M240 – https://geni.us/m7Yw1
- Leica M10 models – https://geni.us/wdRql
- Leica M11 – https://geni.us/1522d0u
8. Camera Hand Grip
Leica M cameras are not really designed to fit the hand. If you want a more secure grip and/ or use larger heavier lenses a grip adds comfort and helps balance the camera.
- Leica M8/M9 – Check eBay UK or eBay COM
- Leica M240/M262 – Check eBay UK or eBay COM
- Leica M10 models – https://geni.us/xZPik5
- Leica M11 – https://geni.us/PbJAG
9. Half Case or Camera Bag – See on YouTube
As with camera straps camera bags are a personal choice. Ona and Billingham are popular brands. This is what I use –
- Billingham Hadley Digital Camera Bag – https://geni.us/UM7ecIz
10. Leica M lens adapters
The Leica M8 and Leica M9 are not ideal for adapting non-rangefinder coupled lenses as they don’t have Live View. All later M models can be used easily with Leica R lenses and other lens brands. Here are some adapters I use –
- Novaflex Leica M-R Lens Adapter – https://geni.us/ctGEAjV
- Nikon F Lens – Leica M Adapter – https://geni.us/LQFMr
- Minolta Lens – Leica M Adapter – https://geni.us/ACAKrPK
- M42 Lens – Leica M Adapter – https://geni.us/SgI5MsJ
11. SD Memory Cards
My preferred memory card brand is SanDisk and that is all i’ve used for the last 5-7 years.
- SanDisk Extreme – https://geni.us/JWjEf
5 Tips for using your Leica M camera
In addition to carrying a spare battery (with the Leica M10 cameras especially), here are some tips you might find useful –
- To see light better I set the camera to B&W JPEG mode giving a B&W preview (even if capturing DNG only colour files)
- Live View is great if you want to compose a lens wider than 28mm and don’t have an EVF/ Visoflex (and for shooting from the hip)
- Live View let’s you accurately focus at less than 0.7m without an EVF/ Visoflex (and/ or let’s you check your rangefinder focus accuracy)
- Leica M cameras are particularly great paired with small 28mm and 35mm lenses (less optimised for fast 50mm, 90mm and 135mm)
- Tape up your camera red dot logo for a more stealthy street photography setup
Best Lens for your Leica M camera?
Best is different for everyone depending on your needs. Check the big list of Leica M mount lens reviews (written reviews and YouTube). You can enjoy any rangefinder coupled lens and focus via the built in Leica M viewfinder/ rangefinder. If your Leica M camera has Live View you can also use non-rangefinder lenses such as Leica R lenses or Nikon F lenses (mounted via an adapter). You will need to focus these lenses via Live View/ an EVF. For rangefinder coupled lenses here is a very simplified summary –
- Premium Leica M mount lenses – from Leica M, Voigtlander VM, Zeiss ZM
- Cheaper Leica M mount lenses – from TTArtisan, 7Artisans, Lomography
- Premium vintage screw mount lenses (“LTM, L39”) via LTM-M adapter – from Leica
- Cheaper vintage screw mount lenses via LTM-M adapter – from Canon, Nikon, Voigtlander
- Cheapest vintage screw mount lenses via LTM-M adapter – Soviet rangefinder lenses: Jupiter and Industar
If you are still not sure what lens to buy make use of my Leica support service.
Leica M camera YouTube videos
If you want to see Leica YouTube reviews from other photographers see the Leica YouTubers directory.
Watch my Leica M camera YouTube playlist here –
Join a Leica Community
If you are new to Leica you might want to find a friendly Leica community. You can find Leica groups on Facebook and you can also join our Patreon group where we have a private Facebook group and 2 monthly Zoom calls.
Photo Editing Tips
If you don’t enjoy editing I recommend setting your camera to JPEG mode. JPEG can be posted and shred without any editing. To capture more detail set the camera to DNG. To use DNG files you will first need to process the files via software such as Adobe Lightroom. If you use Lightroom, give your DNG files a finished look in as little as 1-click by applying MrLeica LR Presets (colour and B&W).
Leica Services and Recalibration
The most likely problem to occur with your Leica M camera is the rangefinder patch will be knocked out of calibration (vertically, horizontally or both). You can adjust this yourself with the correct tool or send it to a Leica service centre near you.
Remote Leica Support
Join a small group of fellow Leica photographers for a photowalk workshop with MrLeica.Com.