I love your site and the pictures that you post. They are a great inspiration for me to get better at being a photographer. I follow your blog and have been very curious about the M240 and M9 debate, or the CMOS and CCD sensor battle. I have an M9 and have been thinking about moving into the M240. Mind you I have only been shooting Leica for about a year now. But when I see your images and read about what you have to say about the CCD. Then I don’t want to get the M240 anymore. Part of the reason why I would like to get the M240 is to be able to use the higher ISO for when shooting at lower light situations. Anyway, I’m still holding on to the M9. Any tips on what to do when shooting in lower light with the M9?
Keep up the great work!
First of all, thank you so much for your nice comments.
Now, to address your questions, which are all excellent…
Yes, I’ve always believed, and continue to believe, that CCD sensor cameras produce images at base ISO that are more pleasing than CMOS sensor cameras. However, in low light, CCD sensors struggle relative to their CMOS counterparts.
The introduction of the Leica Monochrom did much to close the performance gap, but of course you’re limited to B&W photography when using this camera.
Quite simply then, if you wish to continue to photograph in low light situations using an M9, you need fast (aperture) lenses, like the Summilux (f/1.4) or even Noctilux (f/1 or f/0.95) lenses. If your subjects are relatively still, then of course a steady hand and slow shutter speed are very useful (as are monopods and tripods, but most of us who shoot rangefinders do not make use of such additional equipment).
It’s also critical to expose properly with the M9 when shooting in dark environments, especially when employing high ISO. This can be a problem, since I rarely feel comfortable shooting above ISO 1250 with this camera. Others limit their maximum ISO to 640 and then “push” the exposure up during image post-processing. I do this frequently.
I said above that your questions are excellent, which is very true. It turns out, however, that your questions are timely too…
I have decided to purchase an M240.
I know I will be sacrificing low ISO image quality, in the form of the “crispness” I currently see in my images, but I am willing to give the M240 a try.
Most of the time, the light in Toronto is poor, as the winters here are long and dark. Having a camera that can comfortably shoot above ISO 1250 has increasingly become a priority for me.
And, after selling off most of my equipment over the last few days, I’ve decided I don’t want a Nikon D800, or Sony A7/A7R, or an Olympus E-M1, or Fuji X-E2.
No folks, I still want a digital rangefinder (please see the previous post, Rangefinder Cameras)
And as far as digital rangefinders go, there’s still only one game in town.