A Day Out with a Second-Hand Leica M10: Is It Worth $6,000?

With the release of the M10-R — Leica’s newest, digital rangefinder with a brand new 40-megapixel sensor — there’s probably no better time to buy its predecessor, the M10. Photographer Evan Ranft takes one on a day out to give his verdict on just how tempting it is to drop six grand on a second-hand body.

The Leica M10-R was announced just a few weeks ago, commanding a price of $8,295. Essentially it offers a significant step up in terms of resolution over the M10 which had a mere 24 megapixels. Beyond that, the design is essentially still the same: the traditional dials giving you control over shutter speed and ISO sit on top while the buttons and sleek lines remain minimal and unobtrusive.

Given their prices, you’d be forgiven for assuming that Leica cameras are exclusively the domain of those with near-infinite wealth. Ranft doesn’t fall into this category, but he genuinely appreciates the rangefinder when it comes to composition, and understands why the Leica experience is so alluring beyond its branding. If you want to give it a go, Ranft is correct: you can now pick up a used M10 for $5,811.95.

Where Leica definitely doesn’t differ from other manufacturers is its naming conventions. For those confused, Ranft refers to the Leica M (Typ 240), a camera released in 2012 which was the successor to the M9 and M8. Leica then produced the Typ 246 and 262 before reverting to the original numbering sequence with the M10 in 2017. If anyone can explain this, I’d be grateful if you could leave a comment below!

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24 Comments

Deleted Account's picture

Andy Day - I'm confused. What does this have to do with Racism? Isn't that your thing?

Tom Pinches's picture

You disagree with the Martin Parr controversy. We get it. Let’s move on.

Deleted Account's picture

No. It's a result of numerous articles over a long period. Feel free to move on; you don't need to wait for me.

Tom Pinches's picture

Okey doke. Have fun shouting at the wall!

Deleted Account's picture

I'm used to it.

Andrew Mackauley's picture

Gentlemen, may we please stick to photography here and not bring in race or any other controversies unnecessarily please?

Deleted Account's picture

Entirely my point to Mr. Day. Commenters argue about that to each other but it's mostly the fault of the authors, and Mr. Day the biggest offender.

Andrew Mackauley's picture

I do not wish to be caught up in whatever quibbles you've had in the past, and I (and I would assume others on this page) would much rather focus on the present content. Whatever the case may be, this post had nothing to do with race, so please do not bring it up to stoke unneeded fires.

Deleted Account's picture

I made a one-time comment to Mr. Day and it would have ended there. I was not addressing you or Mr. Pinches or anyone else. Good day to you sir!

Andrew Mackauley's picture

Might I recommend a private message in the future? A public forum addresses us all.

Deleted Account's picture

I didn't realize you could PM a writer. Thanks!

Andrew Mackauley's picture

I don't know the intricacies of this forum; I am new. But I guess you are welcomed, and am pleased you (and hopefully others) will use the comment section for their intended purpose in the future!

Andrew Mackauley's picture

I for one am amazed that the price of the Leica M-10 has not decreased with the advent of the M-10R. I cannot afford either (ha!) but certainly would love to own one a some point. Are there those in the forum who have used both?

Thank you for the informative video.

Andrew Mackauley's picture

I might help with the numbering confusion (although I do not own a Leica I do lust over them and follow the company's progress): The numbering convention for these rangefinders began in the 1950s with the M3 (followed years later by the M2 - Leica has a long history of confusing numbers!). The company broke with tradition in 2012 by naming the successor of the M9 just "M." The camera was a major departure as it was the first M with video capabilities, and the company asserted this technical leap with the new naming convention. Internally, Leica named the next iterations with the "Typ" moniker to differential models. The practice was picked up by photographers soon after. Typ 246 was a Monochrom version of the M, Typ 262 removed video capabilities. The success of the "back to basics" approach of the Typ 262 pushed Leica to develop the M10 which, because it was more in-line with the ethos of previous film cameras and the early digitals M's, restarted the naming convention of "M/#"

I hope this is useful information

Nick Rains's picture

The single letter M designation was a nod to Porsche. Everyone knows a 911, do you need a sub-model number? Porsche thought not. Leica tried this approach - an M is an M. Problem was, buyers need to know more, hence the initial unofficial adoption of the (Typ. xxx) moniker. This 'stuck' and eventually Leica gave up and returned to a more conventional naming protocol.

Andrew Mackauley's picture

Yes, a worthy addition! Is the Porsche component your (very good) assessment or is it truly what Leica executives envisioned?

Nick Rains's picture

As related to me by Leica executives at Photokina.

Andrew Mackauley's picture

Wonderful insight!

dierk topp's picture

what did you do to your colors, they look very unnatural (and ugly)?
Try the M246 for low light, you will love it!

Michel Higuet's picture

If Leica would sell its cameras cheaply, their fans would be very disappointed ... A good marketing works always! :-) Ugly colors here...

chris bryant's picture

Of course it is. Silly boy.

Yuri Feng's picture

I owned a M(typ 240) before I replaced it with a M10 and now I have used the M10 for two years. The typ 240 was such a crappy camera due to its chucky size, poor white balance and a somewhat laggy shooting experience. I think they name it as the M to imply this is the purest M camera simply to boost sales. The M10’s overall experience (also better image quality especially for high iso) is just so much better than the typ 240.

chris bryant's picture

With heart breaking deep regret, I had to sell my Leica M (TYP 240) to get myself out of a financial hole due to the Covid situation. I loved mine. Beatiful camera. When I can afford it I am going to buy another.

Nursing Essay Help's picture

I like this camera...I am also a photographer at https://www.essaycorp.co.uk/law-essay-writing/