Old School Photo Hack

Alert Observer

Osprey watching from afar -- Central Maryland (May 2014)Leica M 240 + Leica Telyt 560/6.8

Osprey watching from afar
Central Maryland (May 2014)
Leica M 240 + Leica Telyt 560/6.8

12 thoughts on “Alert Observer

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Nope, I just have the long one. And I don’t use it much since it’s such beast to haul around. However, I really like the images I get from it when I do go shooting with it.


  1. krwilliamsonphoto

    I think you would have to have a special purpose for it. I have contemplated purchasing my all time favorite 400 the Canon FD 400 4.5 and get the adapter. Used they are around $600. The lens is fairly small and lighter than the new autofocus beasts. It would be fun to put on the M240 and see how much you have to go through to use it.


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Sounds like you’re talking yourself into getting one! 😉

      I was surprised by the big Telyt. I bought it back when I owned an M240, and I mounted it with the Leica R-Adapter M, only to discover that the image it projected didn’t cover the entire M240 sensor, which you can see in this image: https://exploratorius.us/2014/05/09/were-your-friends-to-the-bitter-end/

      Eventually I stopped using it on full-frame sensors and just used it on APS-C sensors for better coverage and the absence of physical vignetting.


    2. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Nope. I had too many issues with my M240, so I sent it off to eBay.

      Problems included system lockups that required the battery to be removed before the camera would respond again, which happened at least once each day that I used it and sometimes a lot more frequently (and — frankly — should not occur at all on a camera this expensive).

      Chromatic aberrations were horrible on fast lenses when using the widest aperture, particularly the Noctilux 0.95 — unless you converted to monochrome (here’s a Noct example that looked terrible before conversion to B&W: https://exploratorius.us/2014/03/15/swirl-of-daffodils/). I had other examples where I was shooting trees wide-open in low light with the Noct, and the images were nearly pure magenta because of all the CA. Leica even analyzed the RAW files when I complained bitterly about them, then had the audacity to tell me to stop shooting the Noct wide-open.

      Then there was the issue of CA in the corners when using wide-angle lenses, which affects nearly all full-frame cameras. Yes, I know it can be addressed with CornerFix, but I got tired of dealing with all the shortcomings, quirks, and other issues… not to mention that it was the biggest dust magnet I’ve ever used, and cleaning the images of dust motes was a real exercise in patience.

      Add to all of this the recall of Leica digital cameras that used CCD sensors in June 2015, and I was just DONE with them and the M240.


    3. krwilliamsonphoto

      I can see the frustration. Dust magnet yes but I have solved it to some extent. The CA does not seem as bad with the M-P 240 I have must be a better copy or something. I traded up from my M9 when it was in for a sensor fix with the recall.
      I don’t shoot everything wide open anyway mostly 5.6 or higher with the landscape stuff. Sometimes with people I’ll shoot wide open with the 50 at 1.4. So far I’m fairly happy with it. But most of my shooting has been with Canon for work but now that I am semi-retired I’m using the Leica more.


    4. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      For me it doesn’t really matter much now, as I made the decision a couple of years ago to do an about-face and head back to film. I’m just about finished with that migration; I only have a few digital things left to sell off.


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