Thursday, November 05, 2015

Why get the Leica M-A?

Why get the Leica M-A when we have the MP, M6, M3 etc available and cheaper... 
Disney's Magic Kingdom
Shot on the Leica M-A, Lux 50mm, Portra 400
It is more a philosophical argument and less a technical one. I am sure there is no possible technical way you can justify creating a new Leica M unless you would dilute the lineage by introducing frivolous digital-type technology. 

For the film Leica M purist Leica M-A is a completely new camera that is fully mechanical and does not have a meter and needs no batteries - hence it is closer to the M3/M2 in lineage. 

In my opinion even though it is not "different" than an MP, if you have, like me, shot used Leicas in the past, this gives you an opportunity to shoot with a brand new M body. Every thing is buttery smooth and it feels like a "new" M camera - which is an experience probably my dad had when he got his Leica M 35 years back and I never had. 

That may not mean much in terms of imaging quality as I am sure you can get same images from any of the Leica M bodies with good glass. But considering the big picture it shows that Leica is committed to the film fraternity and is investing in this space.

I have the Leica M2, M3 and an M6 and I still got the M-A because it just felt like a modern take on every possible good thing from past Leicas (Like the deviation from the plastic ISO dial at the back to a metal one - small detail but makes the camera look and feel so much better). If we read regular blogger reviews that delve in the technical mumbo jumbo of camera bodies, surely you will come away feeling underwhelmed. I love the pull-up grater style film rewind and some people just hate it. So most of your decision will be based on what you feel the M-A is worth. Technically it is not a better camera than MP or an M3 or even and M2. 

The Leica M-A has that "Je Ne Sais Quoi" as the french say - something pleasant but hard to describe. I would recommend going to a Leica store and holding this beauty in your hands - It looks and feels much better in person.

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