Accessorising The New Leica M Camera
Rather than changing the classic lines of the Leica rangefinder, Leica have instead opted to bring out a range of accessories that transform the image making machine into an even more capable tool, taking it beyond it’s traditional charm and ability as a classic rangefinder.
Leica R-Adapter M
One of the big upsets amongst Leica users who had the R range of Leica SLRs and lenses has always been the lack of an DSLR solution. The Leica S2 definitely brought the DSLR aspect, but is firstly aimed at the studio environment with it’s medium format chip, but also has it’s own S lenses, making the R lenses still unusable. Thankfully, the Leica M changes things and with the R-Adapter M, the majority Leica’s superb R lenses can now be used. This now opens up the ability to shoot with telephoto, macro and zooms, for photography as well as video. The adapter will be priced at £215 and as with all the new accessories, available from early 2013.
In the old days of film, some Leica M models had Visoflex attachments which brought SLR abilities. These were cumbersome and slow to operate. Thankfully, the modern day equivalent isn’t. The EVF2 is a 1.4 megapixel electronic viewfinder that allows through the lens viewing when using Live View for both photography and video. It simply slots onto the hotshoe and into the small interface slot under the hotshoe, on the back of the camera. It can also be tilted 90 degrees, allowing for low angle work with comfort. Having seen the quality of the image from this viewfinder on the Leica X2, it is going to provide an ideal solution for shooting with the camera to the eye. Although the rear screen of the camera can be used for using Leica R lenses or shooting video, the EVF2 will extend the way the camera can be used, and will for most I suspect, be a must buy item. The EVF2 will be priced at £360.
This smart grip brings with it several functions; it incorporates GPS, allowing tagging of image location straight into the image’s EXIF.
The grip also offers the ability to use a flash when the normal hotshoe is occupied with the EVF2, using a dedicated SCA adapter and hotshoe, duplicating all of the normal hotshoe’s flash abilities.There will also be an extension cable with a flash bar to allow off camera flash using the grip. For those who prefer it, the grip also offers the ability to attach finger loops, first seen on the limited edition Leica M9 Titanium. The Multifunctional Handgrip-M will be £630. For those who may not need these functions, there is also going to be a Standard Handgrip-M for £209. I think for using the much larger and heavier Leica R lenses, a handgrip is going to be an absolute necessity.
Microphone Adapter Set
An absolutely essential aspect of video is great audio. Most people who work in the film business will in fact tell you that sound is 60% of the final product. It’s great to see that the Leica M is going to have the ability to use an external microphone, for which this adapter will be required.
The adapter slots into the hotshoe and plugs into the interface on the rear of the camera, allowing mono and stereo mini jack microphones to be used. Although the press release or the supplied images do not show this, I’m hopeful that there may be the ability to also mount a microphone to the secondary hotshoe available on the Multifunctional Handgrip-M. If this doesn’t turn out to be so, there are many other options already on the market for attaching a microphone, so I’m not too worried, although this would be an extremely neat solution.
Mounting the brilliant yet tiny Rode VideoMic Pro to the Leica M should make for a superb, compact and ultra high quality video shooting setup. I really cannot wait to try this out! The Microphone Adapter Set will be £150.
Leica Press Release
New accessories for LEICA M
Range of accessories for new LEICA M camera expands potential beyond traditional rangefinder capabilities
Photokina, Cologne, 17 September 2012: Leica Camera AG has unveiled a new range of accessories for the Leica M, increasing the potential use of the camera far beyond the classic capabilities of rangefinder photography. The accessories include the Leica R-Adapter M, Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder, a Multifunctional Handgrip-M with optional finger loops, and a Leica Microphone Adapter Set, all compatible with the new Leica M, which was also announced today.
The Leica R-Adapter M enables almost all Leica R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the new Leica M. Users can access a list of 20 dedicated profiles – including calibrated imaging workflows and Exif lens recognition – for a range of R-Lenses covering wide-angles, telephoto, zoom and macro options. This comprehensive portfolio opens up new potential for Leica M photographers, including, for example, video recording with Leica R zoom lenses.
The optional accessories range also includes a high-resolution, electronic Visoflex viewfinder. The Leica EVF2 has a resolution of 1.4 megapixels, and offers 90° rotation for capturing images from unusual angles. When mounted on the camera, it displays all significant exposure parameters and allows precise subject assessment, and is particularly useful when shooting in brightly lit surroundings. Using the R- Adapter M, R-Lenses and viewfinder, the Leica M can be used independently from its monitor in the same way as a DSLR camera.
Also new is the Multifunctional Handgrip-M, which features an integrated GPS module. With this handgrip, the user can record precise geographical information in the image’s EXIF data (i.e. geotagging), enabling the photographer to sort and display images according to location. Facilitating the use of a separate flash unit when an accessory viewfinder is mounted on the camera, the Multifunctional Handgrip-M also provides a dedicated SCA hot shoe that communicates with the camera in the same way as its own hot shoe. The Leica SCA Adapter Set is also available for this purpose. The set comprises a flash bar and a spiral cable with a hot shoe. In addition, the Multifunctional Handgrip-M provides a socket for a remote power supply, as well as a DIN/ISO X-sync socket for studio flash systems. An optional remote power unit (DC Adapter) is also available.
Furthermore, the Leica M can be connected directly to a computer workstation via the handgrip’s integrated USB socket. This allows full remote control of the camera with the ‘Leica Image Shuttle’ software provided, and the transfer of image files directly to the computer by USB cable.
The Multifunctional Handgrip-M is also a valuable aid to safe and steady handling of the camera, particularly when shooting with heavier R-lenses. The optional finger loops, which come in three sizes (S, M and L) further enhance safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. These can be used in combination with the standard Handgrip-M, which is also available as an optional accessory.
Ensuring high quality sound with the 1080p Full HD video capability of the Leica M, a Leica Microphone Adapter Set, consisting of an adapter and stereo microphone, is also available. Other brands of microphone may also be connected using this adapter.
A new ever-ready case completes the range of accessories for the Leica M.
Pricing and availability
The Leica M range of accessories is scheduled to be available in the UK from early 2013 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk. Suggested retail prices including VAT are as follows:
Leica R-Adapter M – £215 Multifunctional Handgrip-M – £630 Standard Handgrip-M – £209 Optional Finger Loops (S, M, L) – £80