On this page, I would like to present optional accessories that I added to my Leica M (Typ 240). Of course, there are so many accessories for the Leica M that this page means carrying owls to Athens... Therefore, I constrain myself to just the few things that I added myself (a couple of them are co-used on the Leica X Vario...).
The Leica M (Typ 240) is primarily a rangefinder camera. But it also offers live view and therefore belongs to the (rare) category of cameras that offer an LCD screen for this and the additional option of using an electronic viewfinder, which is attached to the flash hot shoe, for this purpose. Wile the LCD screen is of good quality (900 K pixels), I belong to the rare species of photographers who prefer an eye-level viewfinder, be it optical (OVF) or electronic (EVF). I am used to this kind of viewfinder, and I also found that I can hold the camera more stable when pressing it against my forehead. An EVF also saves me from using glasses, which I find quite convenient. And last, but not least, I often use the viewfinder tilted 90 degree upwards...
You can either use the Leica EVF (Leica Visoflex EVF2) made by Olympus or the original one from Olympus (VF-2, see photo below), both offering a resolution of 1.4 Megapixels. This resolution is sufficient for me when I focus manually with activated screen magnification (which offers a good image quality).
Figures: Views of the electronic viewfinder Olympus VF-2 (click images for larger versions in a new window)
In the meantime, Olympus introduced the VF-4 electronic viewfinder with 2.5 K pixels, but it will not find its way to the Leica M240 and X Vario cameras...
The half-case made of leather serves for protecting the camera and for holding it more easily with the hands. It came already with the camera that I bought at eBay, is colored in black and made by Artisan & Artist (Japan). See photo below:
Figure: Leica M with half-case, Olympus VF2-electronic viewfinder, and shoulder strap
All in all, it is similar to the X Vario's protector and serves the same functions. Some X Vario users reported that the protector "protects" them from inadvertently touching the rear buttons on the left and the direction pad. It looks as if the half-case of the M has a similar effect...
But I also have the same gripes as with the Leica X Vario's protector - you have to remove it every time you need to recharge the battery or remove/insert the SD card.
Well, lenses are not really "accessories" to a camera, they are the essence of a camera system. Therefore, I will not list my M-mount and M39 lenses on this page. Instead, I would like to point you to my overview page My M-Mount Lenses, in case you are interested in cheaper lenses for the Leica M. But I would like to remind you of Ken Rockwell's opinion that he repeats several times (in similar words) in his Leica M (Typ 240) review:
And maybe some more of this... For me, it looks, however, as if Rockwell gave this advice with a wink of his eye...
M-Mount lenses are not well suited to close-up and macro photography because the shortest distance of the lenses is relatively large, for example 1 m for a 50 mm lens (in my case the Zeiss Sonnar 1.5/50). So, if you are not willing to spend a lot of money for specific macro lenses, you have two choices:
Leica offered some very good achromats for close-ups (various Elpro versions), but these are expensive even if bought used (I do not know whether they are still manufactured). As an alternative, you can buy cheaper achromats from Marumi, Raynox, and other companies. If you want to have it even cheaper, you can buy simple close-up lenses (for example, from B+W or from China).
After some experimenting with close-up lenses on the Leica X Vario, I bought at first one, and later another Marumi +5 achromat (see photo below). They have a filter diameter of 52 mm and need a 43-52 mm step-up ring on the X Vario.
Photo: Marumi achromat +5; it has a filter thread of 52 mm and required me to also buy a 43-52 mm step-up ring.
My Voigtländer 75mm f/2.5 lens has the same filter diameter, so I can re-use the achromats on this lens. Results can be found here.
Find my experiences with the Marumi +5 achromat and various lenses at the Leica M (Typ 240) on page Close-Up Options (Live View) - Part 2: Practice I.
The Leitz OUFRO (16469Y) is an extension ring with M bayonet and an optical thickness of 1 cm (production era 1959-1983). It can be used to decrease the minimum focusing distance of rangefinder lenses, which tend to have a fairly long one (for example, about 1 m for a 50 mm lens). The Quenox Extension Tube for Leica M, distributed by enjoyyourcamera.com, is a modern replacment for the Leitz OUFRO / Leitz 16469Y andso I bought it (not knowing that I would also need it for my extension bellows - see below).
Photos: Quenox Extension Tube for Leica M
Find my experiences with the Quenox Extension Tube for Leica M at the Leica M (Typ 240) on page Close-Up Options (Live View) - Part 2: Practice I.
Extension bellows are based on the same principle as extension tubes. They are more flexible than extension tubes, because you can select any extension within the extension range of the bellows. But they are also bulkier und therefore typically used on a tripod or with a hand grip. There are also special lenses, called lens heads, which lack a distance setting mechanism, available for extension bellows.You can also use lenses that are destined for enlargers (which lack a distance setting mechanism).
After I had bought the M-mount expansion unit for the Ricoh GXR, I purchased a old and used Leitz extension bellows (Bellows II, 16556) at eBay with the standard adapter (16558) for lens heads but it rested only on the shelves. After purchasing a Leica M (Typ 240), my interest in the extension bellows revived, and I revived the bellows as well and bought the missing M39 adapter so that I could use my Nikon enlarger lens head with the bellows. Luckily, I had already bought the Quenox Extension Tube for Leica M, because I learned that it is mandatory for mounting the bellows to the Leica M (Typ 240) body.
Photos: Bellows II with Quenox Extension Tube and two M39 lense (EL-NIKKOR 1:4/50 mm enlarger lens and Voigtländer Color Heliar 75mm f/2.5)
Find my experiences with the Bellows II at the Leica M (Typ 240) on page Close-Up Options (Live View) - Part 3: Practice II.
Not satisfied with the Laica strap fro my X Vario, I stumbled across the Leash and Cuff strips from Peak Design - and that's my current solution for the Leica M as well. But here I use only the shoulder strap (Leash), for the wrist strap the M is too heavy.
|Figures: Leica M with Peak Design anchors (left) and with Leash shoulder strap (right)|
For details, see page Peak Design Straps.
At the beginning, I used my Orca bags for the Leica X Vario, but they were not optimal. So I pondered, which bag to buy for my X Vario and some additional stuff, but I found it hard to judge the usefulness of bags from advertisements only... In March 2014, I had the chance to buy a used black ThinkTank Retrospective 5 bag for my Leica X Vario equipment and some additional stuff (for example, binoculars, Ricoh GR, purse - but not all of this at once) - and I did so. Here is is:
When I purchased the Leica M (Typ 240), I was insure whether I should revive my Orca bags or "steel" the ThinkTank bag from my Leica X Vario. For the moment, I decided to use the ThinkTank for both cameras. Here is an example of how I can fill the bag:
Figures: The attached viewfinder requires that the bag is soft so that the M (Typ 240) can fit into it. The ThinkTank Retrospective 5 bag satisfies this requirement...
When I go on short trips in my vicinity, I usually carry the camera without any bag. I will also use the Orca bags for my lenses, mostly for transportation when we are "on tour". When I fill the larger Orca bag with all my lenses, it is far too heavy to carry it around on a walk... The smaller one could be used for the camera and 3-4 lenses - but that would also be already a lot of weight (the ThinkTank would weigh about the same with this load, though...).