There is heated debate on this camera. I warn most of you that what I’m about to say will likely infuriate most film shooters, Leica fans, and even my beloved M5 community at large. The bastard son of Leica can be more if we let it.
Lots of the reasons I love this camera is because I started off shooting on a trusty Canon AE 1. Simple, no-nonsense – set the aperture to auto, click the shutter dial to and fro a few times and you’re off. Much of the reasons I inevitably purchased the M5 was because of Hamish’s original review here. A particularly important part to me was:
Once the decision about aperture is set, the camera can be raised to the eye and an appropriate shutter speed can be chosen based on the light meter readings displayed in the finder. Whilst this isn’t an automatic aperture priority, the process is much closer to aperture priority shooting than anything else.
Indeed much like Hamish’s post, I am that kind of shooter he was talking about. The sort of semi-automated way of flipping through a few shutter speeds just seemed to make sense to me. And thus, I took the plunge.
The camera really is divisive. Even walking around Leica fans will mention how strange it is. The size, sure; the way the meter works, definitely. But for me, it’s a brutal let down to know how much this design was so utterly abandoned by the company – and make me treasure it all the more.