Rumor: Leica to Announce Digital Rangefinder Without an LCD Screen at Photokina


How’s this for a strange rumor? According to the folks over at Leica Rumors, several sources have been tipping them off to the existence of a Leica digital rangefinder without an LCD — a limited edition camera that will supposedly arrive at Photokina.

This one should be swallowed salt-side-first, but that being said, it seems the tip comes from various sources and Leica is certainly no stranger to weird limited editions.

According to LR, the camera will come with an ISO dial on the back instead of an LCD screen, will use the same sensor as the M240, will only capture uncompressed RAW files, won’t be able to shoot video, and will cost a bit more than the M240 in the bargain… apparently less really is more where Leica is concerned.

Photo via Leica Rumors

Photo via Leica Rumors

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time rumors of an LCD-less Leica rangefinder have come up, so it’s possible (as with any rumor) that the rumors stay rumors. Still, it’s an interesting idea that should at the very least solve the problem of chimping for those fortunate souls who can afford to drop the kind of cash Leica usually asks for limited edition models.

  • Ian

    There’s definitely a crowd that would be interested in this, but it sure seems like a step backwards. For those (un)fortunate (but wealthy) souls who can’t avoid chimping, they can simply turn off image review in the menu, assuming Leicas have that option.

  • James

    Lieca has the unique ability to release cameras that cost twice as much as my car, with terrible “features”, that some how I still wish I could buy.

  • jasdempsey

    Early Leica coupled rangefinders (such as on the IIIc) had side by side viewports — one for the viewfinder and one for the rangefinder. You’d slide your eye a few millimeters to the right to focus and then back to compose. If they could fit it in the M240, how about a dual viewport — one for the optical rangefinder and one for an EVF. That would be traditional and functional.

  • yamaha83

    why not just buy the M240 then and put black tape across the back to cover the screen?

  • DickCheney

    Time for the standard comment on a Leica story: “That’s so stupid. I’d love to have one.”

  • dannybuoy

    Perfect if you’re a ‘chimping’ snob. Some folks are so resolute that looking at the screen after taking a photo is the work of the devil that would have H.C.B turning in his grave.

  • DickCheney

    Only if the tape is hand-buffed for 10 hours by a man named Fritz.

  • Jeff Ladrillono

    I don’t get it.

  • MJ Coffey

    Hey Leica; How about a limited version of the M that lacks the rangefinder, too? The new Leica MD-M for all the purists out there! Put a $15.000 price tag on it and you’re good to go! Maybe even produce another Hello Kitty version of said cam!

  • Federico Montemurro

    Non-sense rampage to emulate the film experience with digital cameras. I love the same way both my Pentax 67II and my Fuji X100

  • Jason Yuen

    It’s another collectible limited edition. It doesn’t need to make sense. It’s about the exclusivity of owning it. Most people who buy it will be putting it in a display case.

  • ksporry

    so when will Leica do something that actually adds value…?

  • Vin Weathermon

    Perfect response….ridiculously perfect!

  • faloc

    they have enough features, just the ones u need :P they’re awesome

  • faloc

    well their lenses adds value….and there’s the one and only M Monochrom ^^

  • lexplex

    That’s a sensible, forward thinking idea which is practical and valuable. So Leica probably won’t be considering it.

  • lexplex

    Ahh yes the old ‘we took the exact same sensor and removed the colour filters and charged more for it even though it delivers the exact same B&W capabilities’ gag.

  • faloc

    ever tried it? its the only sensor that produces film-like B/W filmgrains and quality from fine to rough… it’s amazing, used to be £7000, now it’s down to £5800 which is a pretty good reduction..I rather get it second handed though.

  • Vin Weathermon

    I would be happy with a Leica that is reasonably priced with a few reasonably priced lenses. This is not going to be one of those cameras.

  • Felipe_Paredes

    no screen, no menu, so maybe they are adding some extra controls or at least labelled differently?

  • C. G.


  • Adam Cross

    just give me the Pentax 645Z

  • Fernando Callo

    Why not shooting film instead? Is way cheaper and you get the real “film-like” result.

  • Zamfirescu Vladimir-Alexandru

    Funny how I don’t think any of those people are photographers. I’m fairly certain there are more snobs with cameras than people who only care about the final result. Of course I think it’s easier to be a snob if you can afford to drop 10k$ on a camera like this…

  • Zamfirescu Vladimir-Alexandru

    For that many pennies, you’d be shooting a lot of film!

  • jrconner

    This is a camera for old guys with money who wanted a Leica when they were young but couldn’t afford one. It’s a harmless extravagance. I used an M3 when I was young, but I now much prefer my modern autofocus cameras.

  • Aaron Tsuru

    It would be like shooting film.

  • kyoken74

    Have you checked the price of film lately? If you roll your own and process your own, it’s about $6 per roll. $8000 / $6 = 1333 rolls. That’s only 48,000 exposures. If you shoot 1000 a week, you go through that in just one year.

  • kyoken74

    I would love to see a digital M without rangefinder or LCD! That would be so strange and cool. Not that I would buy one, of course, unless I win a big lottery.

  • kyoken74

    I wish if I were so unfortunate… :-)

  • Cinekpol

    Zeiss Ikon SW in digital version with a red dot?
    Yes, you got it right – someone already thought about making rangefinder without rangefinder.

  • David Liang

    I would applaud Leica if they actually did this, not a joke at all. Nikon has egg on their face for trying to do the “Pure Photography” thing with the DF, great camera but not what it’s supposed to stand for. This is as pure as digital can get to a film shooting experience.

  • TheGloriousEnd

    If they knocked a grand off the price for the drop in features maybe…..

  • Fernando Callo

    Well that’s the point. 1000 photos in a week? dafuq? it’s too much. I only shoot like 500 a month including personal and professional projects. But it also depends where you are. Here in my country, film and developing is very cheap compared to other places

  • TheGloriousEnd

    Oh my goodness. That’s utterly brilliant.

  • faloc

    nah, too slow workflow afterwards, I like my Leicas digital :P Shooting film costs a lot more in the long run as well!

  • faloc

    and the Digital Leica Ms are rated at 150,000 exposures in total ^^

  • faloc

    in my opinion, M3 is still a nicer camera than an LCD less digital Leica :P

  • Seika

    Because real photographer know distance by their heart and eyes.
    No need for that mechanical concoction they call a rangefinder

  • Seika

    LCD screen is much scarier than the Devil’s whispers.
    Even the most hardcore purist snobs can’t refuse the temptation from a screen (and auto). If the feature is there, they will use it no matter how much they hate it.

    That’s why they want a camera without features. They can not fight the temptation.
    Besides, not having video doesn’t make the still image quality become better. And removing software features doesn’t make the camera significantly cheaper.

  • Troitsky

    I wish Contax still made cameras… They would do everything these guys don’t do……

  • Tomala

    Or, by a man named Joaquim.

    Many Leicas are made in Portugal ;)

  • Martin Davey

    I have a zorki 4 that has that facility ;)

  • aciel

    I like leica, they’re the only company that steals from the rich and not the poor

  • Jason H

    Fritz comes to your house and connects it to his laptop then does the setting changes you need. Just like an F1 car

  • Jason H

    They should release an M with a 180 degree LCD that can pull up rotate 180 to face in and close again. The trip is to make it a screw in secure. It’d be too much effort to unscrew to chimp. When you finally get to sit down then unscrew it flip it over to review.

  • Pawel Zietek

    You know what is exactly just like shooting film? Shooting film.

  • Pawel Zietek

    Digital, I shoot less than that (unless there’s an event), I don’t think I’d shoot 1000 weekly with an analogue camera. And if you’re a full time pro – your analogue cam would’t be your first choice for work…

  • kyoken74

    I picked numbers to make the arithmetic easier. That’s all.

    1000/week –> 1 year. This means, 100/week –> 10 years, which is more of your situation. Maybe digital is not worth it for you. I shoot about 500/week. In my case, in just a couple of years, digital becomes cheaper than film. I agree with your point that it depends on where you live. I was using the price of film where I live to derive these numbers. You’ll have to work it out for yourself. I was just responding to your previous comment “way cheaper” because that was not true for me.

    By the way, I shoot film, too. I shoot film not because it is cheaper (for me), but because I like the way it looks.