Leica M240 LiveView mode – 6 Reasons why I Love it!
After moving from a Leica M9 to the Leica M240 here I detail 6 reasons why I love the Leica M240 LiveView mode
Leica M240 LiveView vs Optical Viewfinder!
When buying the Leica M Typ 240 camera I didn’t think for a minute that I would be be using the rear 3 inch LCD display for anything other than chimping and changing menu settings. I was used to optical viewfinders and optical rangefinders to focus and compose my photos.
Leica M Rangefinder
I bought the Leica M camera as I enjoy using and get my best results from focusing with the Leica optical viewfinder (rangefinder focus system). I now struggle to use a DSLR accurately with manual focus lenses. I confidently focus my Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens wide open via the rangefinder system.
I did my first Leica wedding with the M 240 camera rather than my usual Leica M9 (that I part exchanged in for the M). I suddenly found the LCD had multiple advantages I had never really considered. I am sure there are more but here are some features that I love about the Leica M 240 LCD.
6 Reasons why I Love the Leica M240 LiveView mode
1. Gorilla glass cover
The Leica M LCD has super tough Gorilla Glass so it hopefully wont get chipped /cracked liked my old M9 LCD display.
2. Exposure preview
Pressing the shutter button half way down on the Leica M gives an exposure preview via the LCD live view mode. I am strange in that I normally guess my exposure, take a shot then adjust up or down as needed. That is how I used the Leica M9. The Leica M lets me preview the available light exposure so I can adjust as needed before taking a photo. The only exception to this is when I am using a combination of strobes and continuous light when I would then do a test photo.
3. Wide lens composition
With the Leica M9 I used auxiliary external viewfinders for lenses wider than 28mm such as the Zeiss Biogon 21mm and 25mm f2.8 lenses and the Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5 lens. For fast shooting I still use the external finders especially in bright conditions but the LCD live view now gives me an alternative option to compose wide lenses without needing an external finder if required.
4. Shooting height, low and from the hip
I love the waist level viewfinders of my medium format cameras such as the Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II, Mamiya 645 Super and Rolleiflex SL66E. I shoot low and from the waist with ease. It is not always practical to lie on a dirty floor to line up the optical rangefinder against the eye with a Leica M camera. The M 240 LCD live view lets me both compose but also focus when shooting above head height, waist level and low level too.
5. Focusing lenses that needing recalibrating
Some of my older lenses need recalibrating to be able to focus them accurately via the Leica M rangefinder focusing system. The LCD live view and focus peeking lets me focus any lenses accurately and easily. Using various adapters on the M 240 I can focus a whole range of non Leica M mount lenses such as Leica R glass, Nikon glass, Mamiya glass or any others I have.
6. Focus lenses closer than the 0.7m rangefinder closest focus distance
I use both Leica glass but also Voigtlander and Zeiss lenses on the Leica M cameras. One common feature seen on non-Leica glass is that some lenses can be focused at 0.5m instead of the standard 0.7m Leica rangefinder lens distance. On the Leica M9 I could only focus these lenses accurately at 0.7m. With the Leica M 240 the LCD live view mode lets me focus these lenses at 0.5m using the focus peeking. One lens the really benefits from this is the Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.2 ASPH II lens as the depth of field at f1.2 and 0.5m is very shallow and gives a slight Noctilux look.
Leica M9 vs Leica M240
I will post more thoughts on the new Leica M 240 camera as I get to use it more. So far I have no regrets in terms of camera handling and features vs the Leica M9.
Leica M240 example images
Example photos taken with the Leica M240 where I used the M240 LiveView mode display to compose and focus the photo.
- Leica M 240 + Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5
- Leica M240 + Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.2 ASPH II @f1.2
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