Leica M -Typ 262
Old 10-19-2016   #1
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Leica M -Typ 262

On sale as a bundle:
  • LEICA M (Typ 262), laqué noir (10947)
  • LEICA SUMMARIT-M 1:2,4/35 mm, noir (11671)
  • LEICA flash compact SF-40 (14624)
  • LEICA sacoche système, taille M, nylon, noir (18748)
at the equivalent of USD 6,868 at the Leica store in Geneva, Switzerland. This price is compatible with those in the USA and Germany -when you add shipping cost.



I would appreciate comments from those who have bought this camera. Many thanks, Peter
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Old 10-19-2016   #2
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I think it is a terrific camera. Somewhat lightened compared to the M Typ240 and the shutter is reputed to be smoother and quieter. Since I did not own the 240 I can't testify to it being a fact.

I do enjoy mine for all the reasons I like my Leica M film camera. I try not to hold the fact that it is digital against it.

Seriously, since I had the M9 and MM previously I was a bit worried over the image being as good as the M9. To be honest, it may even be a little better, though I cannot vouch for that for sure. What I do know for sure is that it produces very fine photographs.

However, since it is a Leica digital M, it will not be as sophisticated and full of features as other manufacturer's offerings. For me this is a positive, for others, perhaps not.
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Old 10-19-2016   #3
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Take a look at my review of the Leica M262
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Old 10-19-2016   #4
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I bought an M 262 earlier this year, having found one at a good price second hand and only a few months old. This is my first digital Leica.

It is an ok camera that does what it claims to do, and which is very close to my M7 in functionality and handling.

In handling, the M 262 is very similar to the M7. It is slightly lighter and thicker, but similar enough that I still occasionally find myself trying to find the film advance lever. The build quality is better than the M7, with a much sturdier tripod mount - although the lower density, hollow shutter sound and rear LCD makes it feel a bit cheap. It is too early to tell if the rangefinder is better sealed against dust. The shutter can run two stops faster, which is useful if you want to use faster lenses wide open, and the options for auto ISO and easy control of exposure compensation are good.

The viewfinder is excellent - much brighter and clearer than my M7 (which being 14 years old probably could use a service).

Image quality is excellent up to ISO 800, where it easily beats my 5D III for dynamic range and sharpness. However, from ISO 1600 and up the performance rapidly falls off - so much so that I do not really consider ISO 6400 as usable. The sensor is also very prone to dust and currently needs cleaning with a blower every few days (we have a lot of clear blue skies here). In contrast, the 5DIII has only ever needed manual cleaning once in four years...

Overall, the 262 is largely what I expected. The downside is that my expectations for digital are much higher and there are a lot of poor design decisions (no long exposures, no auto sensor cleaning, the stupid baseplate which makes card and battery access impossible on a tripod, the omission of any option for live-view).

I am still unclear whether or not I will keep my it, or whether I will eventually trade it for a second M7 body. For me, the M 262s main role is for colour photography, but half of the time that I use it I am pineing for a good black and white film, and the nicer feel and sound of an older film M...
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Old 10-20-2016   #5
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I have found the quality is good through 3200 and still usable at 6400 as long as you are not trying to pull up shadows. So 3200 and up you really need to nail exposure and not underexpose. Not to much different than 5DII and IIIs.

Here's an event I recently shot with the former president of Ireland Mary Robinson. M 262 at 3200 and 75 Summarit 2.5 lens. Very usable in my opinion.
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Old 10-21-2016   #6
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Many thanks! I saved Jim's extensive review of the camera for a careful read later.
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Old 10-21-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
I have found the quality is good through 3200 and still usable at 6400 as long as you are not trying to pull up shadows.
My impression is that ISO 3200 on the M 262 has about the same quality as 6400 on the 5DIII - but you are right, you really do need nail exposure well, and maybe I need to try raising the exposures more. Most of my high-ISO shots are night scenes, where the contrast always makes judging the optimal exposure difficult.

I realised that earlier post sounds a little negative. I forgot the main reason for shooting a digital Leica: the way the lenses work with the sensor at lower ISOs. For example, the ZM 50m C-Sonnar really seems come alive with a pop that I was never able to get with colour film, and lenses like the 21mm SEM and ZM 1,4/35 are just astonishing.
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Old 10-21-2016   #8
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I actually prefer Leica glass....

I find the M 262 to be about the same as the 5DII when it come to low light performance.

I prefer the MM over both in low light.
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Old 10-21-2016   #9
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One of the nice things about the LM mount is the number of available lenses and rendering options.

Here are some of the first M 262 images that I took when first testing the camera a couple of months ago . The first two are with the Zeiss C-Sonnar:





This with the Zeiss ZM 1,4/35:



And lastly two shots with the Summilux 50mm ASPH - in black and white partly because of the subject matter, but also because the mixed lighting in the market is terrible. I generally prefer the Summilux for low-light street shooting, mainly because of the focus tab which I find easier to use:





I may be a bit lukewarm about the M 262, but from an image quality standpoint I have been quite pleased with the results.
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Old 10-21-2016   #10
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My 35 Lux FLE is my go to street lens and I usually only use my MM for street.
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Old 07-03-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim0266 View Post
Take a look at my review of the Leica M262
Great review. Waiting on a new to me 262 to arrive at my doorstep.
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