Leica Launches New M9-P Digital Rangefinder and 21mm F/3.4 Lens


JUNE 22, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Leica tweaked its M-series digital rangefinder line-up today with the new 18-megapixel Leica M9-P. Like its predecessor, the M9, the M9-P features a full-frame 24 x 36mm  (35mm format) sensor in a discreet but solid metal rangefinder camera body.

The M9-P is designed with an even more understated, stealthy look than the M9, featuring no model name or branding on its front plate. According to Leica, “the Leica red dot logo and the M9 lettering on the front have been omitted and replaced with the Leica name in classic script form engraved on the top plate, making the M9-P the quintessential unobtrusive tool.”

The M9-P also features a scratch-resistant, sapphire crystal covering on the LCD screen. An anti-reflective coating on the screen is designed to let you see your images better in bright lighting conditions.

The M9-P, like its predecessor, will be available in a silver chrome or paint black finish.

Leica also announced a new lens for its M rangefinder line: the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH.

The new camera and lens will be available in July 2011. UPDATE: The M9-P will have an MSRP of $7,999 and the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH will be priced at $2,995.

More info in the two Leica press releases below.

PRESS RELEASE

THE NEW LEICA M9-P: THE ESSENCE OF DISCRETION

Designed particularly for professional photographers, new ultra-discreet version of the Leica M9 added to Leica rangefinder portfolio

Solms, Germany (June 21, 2011) - Leica Camera AG is proud to present a new version of the world’s smallest, full-frame digital system camera: the Leica M9-P.  This new model will sit alongside the Leica M9 in the company’s rangefinder portfolio. Providing an alternative, even more discreet and resilient design that further reinforces the classic nature of the M9, the M9-P specifically meets the needs of professional photographers.  The new model is now available in a classic silver chrome or subtle black paint finish.

Featuring the compact size, full-frame, 18 megapixel 24 x 36mm sensor (35mm format), sophisticated image processing and robust construction of the highly successful Leica M9, the M9-P also incorporates features designed for professional users or photographers who prefer a pure, even more unobtrusive styling.

The Leica M9-P includes a scratch-resistant, sapphire crystal covering on the LCD screen. Produced using special diamond cutting tools, this screen is fashioned from one of the world’s hardest and most resilient materials. Extremely resistant to wear and almost unbreakable, the sapphire glass LCD cover offers many years of reliable use. Additionally, the anti-reflective coating on both sides of the cover improves the review of images on the display after capture, particularly in unfavorable lighting conditions.

Finished in vulcanite leatherette, the external covering of the body of the M9-P is particularly resistant to wear. This leathering features a more coarsely-textured finish that ensures a steadier grip when shooting, making the M9-P feel particularly safe and secure in the hand.

Fulfilling the needs of many professional photographers to capture the decisive moment as discretely as possible, the Leica M9-P’s minimalist styling highlights its most essential features. The Leica red dot logo and the M9 lettering on the front have been omitted and replaced with the Leica name in classic script form engraved on the top plate, making the M9-P the quintessential unobtrusive tool.

Since 1954, the Leica M-System has represented an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style and allowed photographers to capture, document and interpret life’s fleeting moments in all fields of photography, from photojournalism, reportage and ‘available light’ to the capture of portraits and aesthetic, fine-art images.  With a Leica M, the photographer becomes a ‘part of the action’ when capturing challenging, authentic and creative images. The frame lines frame precisely the shot the photographer envisages, while allowing a clear view of the scene outside the viewfinder frame.

The functions of the Leica M are consistently constructed for extreme durability and a long working life. The highest quality materials, intricate manufacturing processes and meticulous manual assembly at Leica Camera’s facility in Germany guarantee functional reliability for years to come.

The Leica M9-P will be available from Leica dealers in two different finishes, black paint or traditional silver chrome, beginning July 2011.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW: THE LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 21MM F/3.4 ASPH.

Compact M lens with improved imaging performance sets new standards in wide-angle photography

Solms, Germany (June 21, 2011) - Leica Camera AG adds a new, high-performance wide-angle lens to its portfolio of short focal length lenses for Leica M cameras. The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. sets new standards in imaging performance. It is characterized by its particularly compact size and suitability for a wide range of photographic situations. Whether used for photojournalism, architecture or landscape photography, the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. provides photographers with an extremely small, light and versatile wide-angle lens, particularly suitable for travelling.

The performance of the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is reminiscent of one of the all-time favorite classic M lenses, the Leica Super-Angulon-M 21 mm f/3.4. This highly praised lens was an integral part of the Leica M lens portfolio from 1963 to 1980 and made its name and reputation as an ideal tool for available light photography and photojournalism. Even today, the Super-Angulon-M 21 mm f/3.4 remains extremely popular and one of the most sought-after M lenses amongst connoisseurs of fine optics.

The new Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is a worthy successor, with further improvements over the already outstanding performance of its forerunner model. The lens reveals its excellent reproduction of detail and superior contrast at maximum aperture. Of particular note is the extremely effective optimization of flare characteristics of the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH., which allows the capture of fascinating ‘contre-jour’ images with absolute clarity and contrast.

The intricate optical design and construction of the lens are responsible for its outstanding sharpness and imaging qualities. The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is constructed with eight lenses in seven groups. At the same time, the use of one lens element with two aspherical surfaces and four lenses with anomalous partial dispersion ensure that aberrations are reduced to an absolute minimum.

As with all Leica lenses, the Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. was designed and developed by Leica specialists in Solms, Germany and represents the perfect combination of optical and technical expertise. Particularly reliable and with enduring value, every Leica lens is manufactured from only the highest quality materials and is assembled with meticulous precision, completely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and extremely thorough manufacturing processes guarantees consistently excellent quality.

The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is supplied with a high-quality, all-metal lens hood, which should be mounted at all times. The hood not only protects the lens effectively against reduction of contrast by extraneous light, but also against damage and the accumulation of dirt on the front lens element.

The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH. will be available from Leica dealers beginning July 2011.

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