The Leica M is an extraordinary camera. And it is most often found in the hands of extraordinary people. People who see the big picture, who look twice, question triviality and recognise the unusual in everyday things. They think outside the box, look beyond the everyday and expand their own horizons.
This all requires a particularly special tool – the Leica M.
M – as in ‘Messsuchersystem’
‘Messsucher’, the German term for a combined rangefinder and viewfinder, found in every Leica M, presents a bigger picture - a broader view of your subject - and opens up a whole new world of creative freedom. The rangefinder system enables the capture of authentic, natural images, taken from the heart of life. Photographers become part of the action and frame, whatever they wish to capture in the viewfinder – a scene, a mood, a moment.
Meanwhile, the photographer can still see what’s happening outside the viewfinder frame. A decisive advantage in stark contrast to the dictates of the view through the finder of a single-lens reflex camera. Here, you will see a finished picture in terms of framing and levels of sharpness. The rangefinder of a Leica M widens the photographer’s artistic horizons. The photographer has complete control over all creative aspects of composition and subject framing at any moment in time.
Size does matter
The depth of the body of the Leica M11 measures only 38.45mm. This makes the M11 one of the world’s most compact full-frame cameras.
The M-Lenses also benefit from the short distance between the mount and the image plane, and are therefore extremely small and light. The extraordinary compactness of M-Cameras and their lenses makes them an ideal camera system for travel and reportage photography.
Made in Germany
Long before sustainability became a familiar expression, the Leica M and its legendary lenses represented the epitome of enduring value, and were passed down in families from generation to generation.
And it lives on. The timeless design, the manual craftsmanship and the use of only the finest materials guarantee unrivalled performance every day and an exceptionally long working life.
This is also true of the system compatibility of these precision instruments. A lens dating back to 1954, for instance, can be used without hesitation with the latest digital models in the Leica M range. More than ever, the evolution of the Leica M has been characterised by the consistent implementation of a single concept: at the time of its launch, every M-Camera represented the pinnacle of the ‘technically possible’ – including only the features essential for photography.
The combination of mechanical and optical precision, and absolute discretion, has been at the root of the Leica M-System’s success since its introduction more than 60 years ago – and has remained a winning formula for the future.
Leica M-Lenses - Unrivalled. Even in low light.
Leica M-Lenses meet the highest demands of quality. They enable the creation of images endowed with an unmistakable character – not only in terms of contrast and resolution but also with uncanny sharpness, tonal depth and a unique natural signature that is especially evident under adverse lighting conditions.
M-Lenses reveal their full potentials when mounted on M-Cameras, as the sensors are precisely matched to their optical characteristics. Together, M-Lenses and M-Cameras are the perfect duo when it comes to ensuring maximum picture quality.
In the footsteps of iconic photographers
Whether Nick Ùt or Magnum photographers like Elliott Erwitt or Thomas Hoepker - the heart-of-the-action immediacy of the rangefinder principle, a determined concentration on essential photographic needs, fulfilling the most stringent demands on quality, make the Leica M the preferred instrument for exceptional creative talents. The results are iconic photographs that influence our perception of reality and, with this, our view of the world around us.
The exhibition “36 aus 100” at Leitz-Park Wetzlar showcases an exclusive selection of these photographs.
On display are works that breathe life into the Leica legend and follow the traditions established by Oskar Barnack with his Ur-Leica, now more than a century ago. This was the first successful 35 mm camera, and it established an entirely new genre – namely, reportage photography. Both a legacy and an inspiration for every photographer exploring the world with a Leica M, to transform the images of the mind’s eye into photographic reality.
© Elliott Erwitt
© Nick Út
© Thomas Hoepker
A witness to history, graced by the hands of legends. A one-of-a-kind Rangefinder Camera System. Fascinating photographers and enthusiasts since 1954 with its Design, Made in Germany Quality and the legendary Leica Brand. From the first camera until today. Because an M is an M and remains an M.
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