Just Announced: The “Leica 60” Special Edition M Digital Rangefinder

Share

Wow! Somewhere a Leica product engineer is raising an arm in triumph. After a slew of impressive camera and lens announcements at photokina 2014, Leica puts the cherry atop the sundae with the introduction of the Leica M (Typ 240) Edition "Leica 60" Digital Rangefinder. The “Leica 60” provides the basic features of the current Leica M (Typ 240) but strips it down to its photographic core. By omitting the LCD monitor, removing all but the basic buttons and dial and shooting only in DNG (RAW), the camera insists that the fundamental tenets of photographic control―manual focus, aperture setting, shutter speed, and ISO―be adhered to and respected.

Only 600 “Leica 60” units have been produced and they are presented in a handmade presentation box with the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 lens and a comprehensive set of accessories. Produced in collaboration with Audi Design, the beautiful Spartan look of the camera is complemented by its stainless-steel top and base plates, magnesium-alloy casing and specially embossed cowhide leather covering. The back of the camera features a stainless-steel ISO dial, and a hot-shoe mount is supported. The camera is compatible with all Leica M lenses from 16mm to 135mm and enables communication between lens and camera via 6-bit coding for automatic placement of frame lines in the viewfinder and metadata storage.

The sensor on the Leica 60 is a 24MP full-frame (23.9 x 35.8mm) CMOS sensor and the Leica Maestro I serves as the image processor. ISO sensitivity runs from 200-6400 in 1/3 ISO increments. A dual-type focal plane shutter offers a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000-second with 1/180-second flash sync and a burst rate of 3 fps. White balance is automatically controlled and only the Adobe RBG color space is provided. TTL metering is strongly center-weighted, as the light is reflected by the gray blades of the first shutter curtain onto the measuring cell. Aperture priority and manual modes determine exposure settings.

A bright optical viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation and LED-illuminated frame lines is located on the rear-left corner and provides 0.68x magnification. Camera settings, as well as battery and memory card information, are displayed in the viewfinder. An optional electronic viewfinder, as well as flash units, can be utilized via the hot-shoe mount.

Lens Mount Leica M 
Image Sensor Full-Frame CMOS
Effective Pixels 24MP
Maximum Resolution 5976 x 3992
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Still Image File Format DNG
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC
Card Slot 1 x SD
Viewfinder Type Optical, Split, or superimposed image rangefinder shown as bright field in the center of the viewfinder image, parallax-corrected
Magnification Approx. 0.68x
Diopter Adjustment Fixed - 0.5 dpt with optional corrective lenses from -3 to +3 dpt available.
Shutter Type Dual type focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 60 sec.
Flash Sync Speed 1/180 sec.
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 8 fps
Metering Method Center-weighted average metering
Exposure Modes Aperture priorty, manual
ISO Sensitivity 200-6400
Focus Modes Manual
External Flash Interface Hot shoe
White Balance Modes Auto
Power Source Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack, 7.4 VDC, 1800 mAh
Operating Environment Temperature: 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Dimensions 5.5 x 1.7 x 3.1" / 139.0 x 42.0 x 80.0mm
Weight 1.58 lb / 720 g with battery

As mentioned, the camera is paired with the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens for an inclusive, moderate wide-angle perspective that is germane to the Leica heritage of documentary and street photography but also ideal for day-to-day shooting, landscapes, interiors, and group portraits. Its particularly fast maximum aperture is very effective in low light and provides shallow depth-of-field control. Nine optical elements in five groups, including one aspherical lens, produce sharp, high-contrast images with minimized aberrations and that renowned “Leica look.”

Focal Length 35mm
Aperture Maximum: f/1.4
Minimum: f/16
Camera Mount Leica M
Angle of View 63°
Minimum Focus Distance 2.30' (70 cm)
Diaphragm Blades NSBM
Elements/Groups 9/5
Aspherical Elements Yes, 1
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:17.5
Autofocus No 
Filter Thread Diameter 46mm
Dimensions (Diam x L) Approx. 2.20 x 1.80" (56 x 45.8mm)
Weight 15.49 oz (439 g)