I was visiting Wetzlar early in July, and visited the new Customer Care Reception (where the store used to be). First of all I wondered at what a brilliant job they had done renovating my well travelled WATE (Wide Angle Tri-Elmar). Then, when I looked at the display cabinets I realised they were filled with startlingly a la carte M9 cameras. Michel explained that they had the space . . and they had the cameras and the sensors and the shutters and thought it might be a good idea to put it all together.
I was so impressed I thought it might be nice to say a few words about what seems to me to be a great idea. I know so many people who regret selling their M9, but are worried about buying a second hand camera which might be 10 years old. This is a great opportunity to get a guaranteed camera in a sexy cover at a great price.
For what it’s worth I was not asked to write this, and I don’t stand to benefit in any way – I just really like the idea!
CCD vs CMOS
The CCD vs CMOS argument has been raging for years now. I wouldn’t dream of getting involved, but it’s certainly the case that the feel and colour rendition of the Leica M9 cameras have been pretty universally loved by photographers. Indeed, some blind research done by Leica showed that users preferred the M9 images over the M240 and the M10 (although they couldn’t actually say which was which!).
Because of this the M9 has become something of a cult camera, despite the fact that it’s nearly 10 years since it was first announced (September 2009) and a good copy can sell for around €3,000 on ebay.
Leica traded up many users in the sensor replacement scheme, and as a result had a good stock of bodies and sensors, it seemed silly to let them go to waste.
a la Carte
It isn’t compulsory to have an M9 with pink or purple leather (although they look pretty cool!). you can choose from many different leather covers of smooth or textured leather.
If you drop in to Customer Care they can usually put on the leather you would like in an hour or so.
At the moment you can choose between an M9 or an M9p, later on there will be M9 MM cameras for sale as well (I don’t know the price at the moment.
Each camera has a brand new sensor (which won’t corrode). The shutter will have no more than 2,000 actuations (50,000 is an average of cameras checked by customer services, but they have seen lots of cameras with a shutter count over 150,000). Any worn parts are replaced or repaired. It comes with a Service Certificate showing the testing and shutter count. It also comes with a 1 year Leica Warranty. The body itself will be in excellent condition but may show some signs of use.
Cameras come in Black Paint and Chrome.
M9 is €2,800, M9p is €3,000
How To Get One
You can visit Wetzlar and pick one up from Customer Care (have lunch at the Leitz Cafe whilst they make up your ideal camera).
Alternatively you can contact
Michel-Alexandre Razafimahefa at Leica Customer Care: firstname.lastname@example.org
He will be able to help you.
I’d be very tempted myself . . . but I already have an M9. I imagine that these will sell well, if you want one, I should hurry whilst stocks last!