Lighter Leica - M Lite?

on December 06, 2015

I asked my colleagues this week to tell me things that I could turn into columns for this weblog. I don't think that I can necessarily use " Go Away " and " Stop Pestering Me " as inspirational material but I did come away with the thought that we should talk about the racing Leica. The stripped-down version. The PRU model that zips over the target, takes a picture, and is gone in a flash. Not seen, not heard.

Note for the newbies. PRU means Photo Reconnaissance Unit - the RAF used Spitfires and Mosquitos that had been specially prepared and painted - they went higher, faster, and farther than other fighter planes because they took out the guns and other heavy bits and polished and smoothed the external surfaces - they were painted a peculiar light blue to blend in with the sky. I shouldn't wonder if they didn't fly over Wetzlar at some stage of the game...

Well, Leica AG haven't painted their M-series camera light blue - or waxed the outside, for that matter - but they have slimmed down the specification, reduced the weight, and quieted the camera body. All to make it one of the most discrete of Leicas. If you are in the business of discretion you may be interested. Discretely...

The next model up in the Leica range - the Typ 240 - has a certain level of shutter noise in single - shot mode. The Typ 262 has less noise.

The Type 240 features video and Live View mode - the Typ 262 eschews these. You just get to take pictures quietly.

The Typ 240 has a marvellous top cover milled from brass and chrome plated in silver or painted in black. The Typ 262 has a marvellous top cover milled from aluminium...less weight.

The Typ 262 concentrates the Leica experience into the essentials without adding complication - the menu is just two screen pages. Compare that to some of the electronic sagas dished out on the back screen of other maker's top cameras. Leica shooters will be pressing the button on the top of the camera a lot more than the buttons on the back - and this is really how it should be.

The end result will be more well-timed images with the Leica trademark of resolution and clarity. Some of them will be possible because it is a Leica and some of them will be possible because it is a quiet, discrete Leica...