Leica revealed the new Leica M11 Monochrom for the facile price of 111.000 (!) Swedish Krona or something like 9195 $ or 9450 €. The higher Swedish price likely has to do due to the weak currency and the tax difference between Germany and Sweden (19% vs 25%)

It is an admirable camera, no doubt what so ever - and Leica has really come far in their M-Line. ON top of that, the Monochom versions of their M cameras, is in a league of its own. Another thing i apprechiate is that the design is less clumsy today. For example the latest external electronic viewfinder, is way more handsome compared to the old, clumpsy one (which was inherently an Olympus design, much bigger and not really suitable for a Leica M camera look or the handling of rangefinder cameras).

Now that's been said.

It is quite fascinating how extreme the Leica price levels have risen. They have risen BEYOND. Even the new Leica Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH (year 2023) has been presented - for the extreme price of 53000 Swedish Krona, or 4900 €.


82% more expensive in 10 years

I bought the Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH 2004 version back in 2013 for the price of 29.000 Swedish Krona. Now 10 years later, the price has risen by 82%.

The new version is said to be made for higher resolution sensors, but the MTF resolution charts between the 2004 vs 2023 lens version, appear to be rather abysmal. The only major difference is that the closes focus distance has been lowered from 70 cm down to 45 cm, and that the aperture has gotten 11 blades instead of 9.



Don't worry - be happy !

If you are a owner of the previous Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH version - don't worry. It is as good as it possibly can be. That I can assure you, and many who have used it extensively, will too.

First: The likelihood that you will spoil any true "enhancements" with the new version 50 ASPH II version is granted: Due to Micro-blurriness you get with a super high resolution 60 MP sensor using a 50mm lens, when using hand-held shutter speeds, even up to 1/250 sec. The problem isn't as prominent with a 18 MP sensor, to be sure, even if I did start to notice it, when i switched from the 10 MP Leica M8 to the M9, i saw that the rule of focal length = Min shutter speed, started to become invalid.

Second: Misfocus. I notice a lot of people misfocusing. Yeah even the semi-pro's who make images for photo magazines, etc. do it more often than not.

For example in portraits, when you get really close in the final images, the focus is slightly off set. So... there you go. What's all the sharpness for, when it is placed somewhere else ? DOes a new 2023 version work better than a 2004 version of the 50/1.4 ASPH lens ? One wonders. I don't think so. The 2004 version is very sharp in the center.

The proclaimed enhancements 2023 of the 50/1.4 ASPH version compared to it's predecessor from 2004, seem to be... well, can you really spot the MTF difference without actually become a nerd ? I can barely see any differences in those MTF charts. Are there practical difference ? Maybe extremely faint ones at best, but I personally doubt it.

I am a bit sceptical of the enhancements that Leica is now presenting. The same goes for the new Leica Summilux-M 35/1.4 ASPH. Both lenses, exhibit now much closer Minimum focus, yes. But both previous lens version have been stellar... So that pegs the question... what is this really all about ? Higher prices ? A consolidation of existing products in a much tougher, digital photographic world ?

There is of course nothing wrong with enhanced versions - which Leica has been doing for during the many decades of its existence, with excellent results. But the latest ones in recent times, appear to me more like cosmetic changes and show-offs. In a world where "everyone" needs to have the next version - sure, it gets tricky. Small theoretical differences hyped to a degree, where a mouse is made into an elephant (by the admirers of Leica & Co)


A benefit of closer focus distance in the new lens(es)

e.g. the 50 Summilux II and 35 Summilux is of course welcome - because it is useful, no doubt. Albeit, it isn't supported by the Leica M right of the bat: its rangefinder only goes down to 70 cm. Below that, you have to use lifeview instead... *uhm*


I love Leica - but make no mistake.

I am done with it, and that for quite some time. Then I also noticed that despite the beauty of the latest Leica M11 Monochrom, and "oh" and "ah"... I also realize how wonderful the old Leica M6 (film), Digital M8 and Fullframe M9 are - despite their limitations.

And one of the "fun" aspects of those having only 10 MP vs 18 MP, instead of now a whopping 60 Megapixels is - that if you really want to get SHARP images with a 60 MP monochrome camera, you truly have to shorten the shutter speed SIGNIFICANTLY.

In the latest dPreview image gallery made with the Leica M11 Monochrom, so many micro blurry images where shown... When pixelpeeping - the benefit of a high-res 60 MP monochrome sensor, was basically being thrown out of the window by 90%.

It was awful, to be honest. (The RAW files were very nice, though - so you can iron things out a bit, and the RAW files were very fascinating malleable). But 60 Megapixels without IS (Image stabilization) - seem to be a waste of sensor potential.


If you use a 28 mm wide angle lens

on a full frame film camera, you can as a rule use a longest shutter speed, freehand, of 1/30 sec - in order to be able to get sharp, images without jitter.

But with 60 MP Leica Monochrom - you 90-99% blurry photos using 1/30 sec. As a rule you should at least shorten the shutter speed by factor 4x. Not below 1/125 seconds !

It's that sensitive. Even at 1/125 sec, you will still encounter micro shake. It is that sensitive.


Portrait 2014

I made a portrait of a work colleague, with the Leica M9 and the Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH (2004 version). The shutter speed was only 1/45 sec at ISO 1250. The shutter speed was of course already too long, showing micro blurriness - but I did not want to go up to ISO of 2500 (which is the Maximum). So, I had no other choice than choosing 1/45 sec shutter speed.

The Leica M9 sensitivity is highly limited, and the light at the lunch room has always been weird, dull, and complicated. It is very tricky to make good portraits there. They have spotlights hanging from the roof, and the overall light levels are often rather low.


Man, it has been 9 years !

It also means, that I met Sal for the first time, 9 years ago (in Oct 2014). Mama mia. It's both fascinating as well a bit weird, too. Time has been highly weird- especially the past 3 years have been one of the strangest time frames in modern history. The only thing that has come close was 9/11.

Which just "happens" to be another significant other rabbit hole

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