I just received this camera in the mail yesterday. If you can’t tell it is a 35mm film SLR! It was released in 1973, while the original model previously named M-1 was released in 1972. The name change was due to the fact that another company, ‘Leica’ complained about the similar name to it’s M1. The designer of this camera took many inspirations from the Leica, this you could say this is the Leica of SLRs. Just in case you didn’t know Leica is a German company that produces premium grade camera and equipment. So premium that is almost not affordable for the average salary. Even the M1 still sells at over $1000, so you can imagine what the M9’s price would be.
I paid a little extra to import this second hand camera from Japan. I made the right choice! The camera body was well looked after, almost as if it were brand new. The lens was purchased separately and locally. It was in good shape, but just very dirty. I spent some extra time getting rid of as much dirt, dust, and grim as I could. Oh by the way the lens is a 50mm f1.8! A very popular lens, it’s great for street photography! Another benefit of film is it is full frame, if you compare it to a digital camera’s sensor. Which means I don’t have any crop factor to worry about! So my 50mm lens gives me a focal length of… 50mm!!
It’s completely mechanical! No automation at all! Everything you take is achieved by your own skill. Which is what I want to do to improve my skill as a photographer.
Looking through the viewfinder, I had the most troubling time trying to focus on a subject. The reason was my eyes were out of focus haha. I needed to where my glasses in order to focus comfortably.
This camera is just so beautiful! Compared to my $1000 Sony NEX-6, it has more weight to it, and a more sturdy build. Basically making the NEX feel plastiky and inferior to it. Both camera and lens are made in Japan, while the NEX-6’s is made in Thailand.
So to become a photographer, you must become a master of light! And maybe time…
Just like how a DSLR’s optical viewfinder works.
All your controls from the top of the lens are your aperture, focus, and shutter speed.
Manual controls for your film speed, shutter, and film advance lever. Hidden to the right is the exposure counter, helps to keep track on how many shots you have take.
On the other side you’ll find the rewind crank, as well as the on and off switch for the light meter.
This camera is just so cool, if you really love photography, and want to learn, I highly recommend this camera as a cheap starting point! It’s a work of art!