Vintage Digital – Leica M Type 240 Part 2: KEH to the rescue. Aka, The Return.

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I did it. I did the thing. Like I said in a recent post:

And we all know that eventually one day I will likely buy that Leica.

Leica Files Part 1: The Arrival... Followed by a Departure.

As described in Part 1 all was not well at first. But more on that later.

How did I get here? Recap below with edits.

Vintage Analog/Digital Price Flip Flop

There was a time when analog M mount cameras were the way to go because digital Leica M bodies were prohibitively expensive. But they are not what one would call cheap either. As previously mentioned I took quite the walk down analog M mount lane. Went from the Leica M3 to the Voigtlander Bessa R2, to the Leica CL. But none did the trick. Mainly because I really wanted a Leica M6. Or at least what the Leica M6 offered. Namely:

  • In body exposure that the M3 did not offer.
  • A longer base length than the Bessa and CL offered.
  • Better ergonomics than the CL.

Held back by the price of older M6s I waited to see how the new Leica M6 would be priced. As expected it brought a premium. From the time I had started considering an M6 their values steadily rose. Not surprising since this is the case with just about all of the analog M mount bodies. Had bought both the M3 and Bessa R2 for less than a thousand and they have risen to over a thousand dollars since. The M6 once priced in the two thousands has now cracked three thousand dollars. That is when the Konica Hexar RF popped up. At a fraction of the price of an M6 or M7 and less than a Bessa R2 or M3 with a full host of features, I jumped on it. And so far I could not be more pleased. Added the pluses of the M6 with the added benefit of AE and AEL aperture priority modes. A win in my book.

TTArtisan M 28mm F5.6

To say I have been happy with this camera would be an understatement.

Some may correctly point out that being all electronic once it dies it is game over. But at 1/3 the price of an M6 I am ok with that. Could buy another Hexar RF and still be up a grand at current prices.

Then something else happened. The Hexar was purchased in an attempt to quell my desire to obtain a digital M, but that backfired spectacularly. The Hexar RF was so much fun I now wanted a digital M even more. I stopped shopping for digital M bodies a while ago because of the high price of entry. But I wondered if digital M bodies were appreciating in value like the analog ones. Sure, the analog cameras are rising but digital bodies usually depreciate regardless of brand. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Leica digital bodies were not climbing at the same rate as their analog counterparts. But only one digital M body really interested me.

The two that have been somewhat affordable had significant issues.

Leica M8

  • Crop sensor. That about did it for me. The same reason I have not seriously considered a brand new Pixii.
  • I have no interest in dealing with equivalent focal length crop factors. I really like a 50mm being a 50mm. Your mileage may vary.

Leica M9

From here I will work backward.

Leica M11

  • A lovely camera, but at this price point I could not ignore the similar MP’d, many more feature having, and $5,079 less expensive Sony A7RV.
  • Could purchase the A7RV and used digital M and still spend less.

Leica M10

  • A lovely camera not quite as expensive as the M11, but still more than I wanted to spend.
  • Looking at things from strictly a basic feature mindset it did not offer much of an advantage over the camera that preceded it. Other than higher usable ISO levels most changes had to do with body and feature differences.

I have not mentioned mid model cycle variants like monochrome models or special editions. All often remove features (no color, no live view, and even no screen), do little more than add a celebrity association (Exhibit A and B) or body material, and raise the price. Nope. Fine for others and I am not here to judge. Whatever floats your boat. Just not for me.

The Goldilocks M on paper. The Leica M Type 240.

First off the name makes no sense. In a series that runs from M1 to M11 this is the only one that tossed the number after the M. Whatever Leica was on they snapped out of it with the M10. Will call it the M240 from here out.

First off the price.

As much as makes no sense to me while the M6 steadily increases in value the Leica M240 has held relatively steady and has now dipped below it. I was stunned by this. Makes sense that this would occur eventually, based on trends, but I did still find it surprising. But KEH had yet another surprise.

Before I get to that what is so great about the M240? Welp.

Addresses my issues with the M8 and M9.

  • Full frame.
  • No corrosion or reliability issues.
  • 24MP (Which I consider my full frame MP sweet spot.) as opposed to the 10.3MP of the M8 or the 18MP of the M9.

Adds a few key features that are Leica firsts.

  • Aforementioned higher 24MP resolution.
    • Carried on with the M10.
  • Live View.
    • Heresy to some but a welcome add-on.
    • That being said I do understand the contradiction this presents for a camera built on its rangefinder heritage.
  • EVF compatibility.
  • Battery.
    • Long lasting battery. Lasts days according to reviews.
  • Video.
    • Heresy to just about everyone that was quickly abandoned and has not been seen on an M body since.
    • Removed on the, more expensive used, Type 262 and bodies since. I will simply ignore the M button and not use it.

Some point to other more esoteric, flowery prose M mount rationalizations, but most can be successfully emulated elsewhere for me. Until Konica, Zeiss, and Voigtlander resurrect their past analog Hexar RF, Zeiss Ikon, and Bessa Rs in digital form, respectively, (I will not be holding my breath.). Not counting this fairly rare, odd, and APS-C contribution from RICOH. Leica is the only digital rangefinder game in town.

You have to want a specific experience. A rangefinder experience.

And I count myself in that number.


I put this in quotes because Leicas technically have many downsides when compared to other cameras on the market feature for feature. But Leica M cameras are not feature for feature proposition.

That being said the M240 has its detractors in Leica-dome.

  • Thick body.
    • Many have complained about this but it rates as a meh in my book.
  • Less than stellar high ISO performance.
    • Yeah… I happily shoot with film and SIGMA Quattro sensors (Better kept at ISO 800 or less.) so usable 1600 or 3200 ISO sounds great to me.
  • Video.
    • I fully realize that this was listed above, but video is best left ignored. Which I plan to do.

But all of that still did not get me fully there. Slightly less than an M6 still typically costs almost $3,000. Then KEH hooked me. A Bargain grade M240 for little more than the typical asking price for a potentially corroded sensor riddled M9? But that still did not get me fully there.

My wife gave me the last push. Over Christmas weekend I muttered aloud, “This is an issue.”, when I saw it. She heard me and was concerned. When I told her what it was about she said, “That is it? Buy it tonight before someone else does based on what you have told me in the past.”… Yes, ma’am. And that is exactly what I did. What a lovely woman.

The First Arrival.

This is perhaps the second time I have held a digital Leica M in my hands. Only did so briefly ion my local camera shop. It was every bit as impressive as I have read and remembered.

Leica Files Part 1: The Arrival... Followed by a Departure.

Leica goodness.


It is hard to believe that this is a camera that was released 10 years ago. It feels as well put together as anything on the market now. I am not surprised. The Leica M3 I owned a while ago felt the same way and was made many decades ago. I had second guessed the purchase multiple times but all doubts washed away once I held it in hand.

User Experience.

Switchgear moved positively with solid clicks. Viewfinder was bright and the correct frame lines came up. Pressed the shutter button and there it was. That wonderfully light click. Menus were easy to navigate and I quickly set the camera up.

Image Quality.

It is there. Even when using my 7Artisans lens I could see the look on the back screen.

Back screen focus.

Easy to use and was able to grab focus quickly.


Looked through the rangefinder, lined up those two images quickly and click. Quickly looked at the back of the camera. Looks good at first glance. I keep going. Then I went back and started zooming in on the images…

Dun, dun, dun.

Oh no. Tried my other lenses and more of the same. Set the lens to infinity and it was off. That confirmed the issue. While I expect some of my lenses could possibly need adjustment I have used them enough with film that I knew there was no way that ALL of them were out of adjustment. The M240’s rangefinder is out of calibration. My first reaction was, “To the internets!” Four options arose:

Path 1: Send off for repair.

After a quick search of repair options, it looked like a trip to home base in Germany, quite a bit of money, and quite a bit of time was needed for repairs.

Path 2: Adjust the lens.

Theoretically possible. There is a huge issue with this approach though. If I adjust the lenses to line up with the M240 they will no longer focus with the Konica Hexar RF or any other rangefinder camera. Additionally, this does not address the root issue. Nope.

Path 3: DIY?

Nope. The instructions were fairly straightforward, but I did not want to risk it. Was already apprehensive about making things worse and watching what needed to be done did not help. A definite nope. And what if this was a more catastrophic issue than simply being out of calibration. I could make things even worse, which I am sure would complicate the return process. Nope.

So I landed on…

Part 4: Acceptance.

Came to the conclusion that I had to send it back. Sure, I could pay the extra hundreds required to buy the Excellent grade M240 but I did not want to ask any more of my wife. This was the outer limits of what I was willing to spend for a pure want. This just may not be the time.

Then came a surprise.

Called KEH, they apologized, offered to refund my purchase, but then offered yet another option.

KEH: We will repair it if you want us to.

Me: What? For free?

KEH: Yes.

Me: If it cannot be fixed will I be refunded my purchase price?

KEH: Yes.

Me: That works for me.

KEH: I have set up the repair and will send you the shipping information.

Cool. Kudos to you KEH. And this was no special treatment. I wrote for them for two years but the person on the phone would not have known that. Just great service.

The Departure.

It took a while to get there due to the holidays, but it is back in KEH’s hands. The expected repair turnaround is four weeks and fingers crossed all will go well.

As I said in the last post, regardless of the outcome KEH has impressed me.

While Away.


  • Received an email 3 business days after it arrived that it was now in the hands of KEH Repair. Said that the expected turnaround was two to three weeks. Longer if parts were needed. A slight improvement over the initial four week estimate.
  • In a small fit of impatience, I called to ask if repair queue tracking was a thing or would I just have to wait for another email. As you likely guessed I would have to wait for another email.
  • With that, I stood down and took on some side projects to keep myself distracted. All while pushing aside concerns that it was beyond repair.
  • In two weeks and two business days, I received an email update that the M240 had been repaired and was being shipped back.
  • All for no cost. Cool.
    • Also nice to know if further service is ever needed KEH is potentially a viable option.
  • Then…

The Return.

KEH added a KEH branded small carrying bag to the mix. Nice.

According to the work summary they also did a full clean and service bring it back up to “GWO”, which the Google tells me means Good Working Order. Nice.

But does it focus?

Yes, I am glad to report.

Had just verified that the new arrival 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4 was properly adjusted with the Konica Hexar RF so that was the first lens up. It focused perfectly.

Leica M Type 240 - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

A huge sigh of relief.

To recap.

  • KEH sold me a Bargain grade M240 for less than the going rate for an M9 that looked just fine. It sported three small dings (One in the top plate and two in the {repaceable} base plate.) but was otherwise in fine shape and very clean.
Leica M Type 240 - 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1
  • It arrived and needed rangefinder calibration.
  • KEH customer service offered to repair it.
  • Repair (calibration) and additional service was completed and returned in a timely fashion well within the time range quoted. Importantly at no cost.
  • It now works perfectly and KEH included a carrying bag when returned.


That is a win all around in my book. While it took some time I could not be happier with the outcome. I have long been a KEH customer. Have always been happy with their offerings and service. I was honored when they reached out to me to write a regular Spotlight column for them a few years ago. While that relationship only lasted two years once they pivoted to internal blog staff and relationships/collaborations with Youtube darlings I have no hard feelings at all. I remain a happy customer to this day and I always look to KEH first when I am looking to make a gear purchase. And I regularly visit to see if any of my dream cameras have dipped in price to a point of attainability. And that is what happened with the M240.

Leica M Type 240 - 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1

Now I can add repairs to their menu of services I will make use of in the future.

There will be additional posts in this series as I gain experience with it. Next up will be a post about what I have learned about my M obsession in only a few days, how this now serves as a 7Artisans lens calibration tool, and a formal review once I have gained more experience with it.

Happy capturing.


Leica M Type 240 - 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1

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