Often when I go for a walk, the only camera I have is my iPhone, unless I am after shooting something in particular. This last weekend I took Timmy the Greyhound for a country walk and took the Leica M8 with a slow 24mm lens, a wrist strap and shot in manual the whole time.
There has been a lot of debate on Leica Forum’s about the growing weight of Leica M cameras and that they are no-longer, a camera to hold in your hand for a whole day.
Modern cameras with sensors, and rear LCD screens have to be heavier, larger and thicker then old film cameras. This is one reason why the two latest rangefinders released by Leica have provoked so much interest. The M262 is a cut down version of the latest M. With a aluminium top and bottom and styling closer the the old M9 is a welcome lighter M. The new Leica M-D with its lack of rear LCD, while no lighter or slimmer is also easier to handle due to the leather rear covering.
So with these thoughts in mind I took my M8 out for a long walk with just a wrist strap. This would force me to carry it in hand and I also made myself shoot only in full manual with manual ISO.
I got one to two nice shots and shooting in manual was not too much of an issue as long as I metered occasionally when the light changed so that I would always be ready for a potential shot.
Having to hold the camera for a number of hours was a different matter and after the walk I was glad to be able to put it down. It was less the weight and more the sharp angles on the top plate. Possibly with a thumbs up grip it would be better. Certainly with the latest M-P being 680 grams and my M8 only being 591 grams its something to consider. The new cut down M 240, the M 262 is possibly the best of both worlds. The latest M sensor and the slightly more hand fitting body but weighing only 600 grams.
Certainly at the moment if your looking at buying a rangefinder the M262 is the one to get. I am really looking forward to Septembers Photokina. If the new M is any heavy or large then the current M-P i’ll be ordering a M262 and a Thumbs Up grip.