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Leica M11-M could be coming sooner in the product cycle than previous monochrome versions

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Leica’s latest M digital, the M11, has been on the market for less than a year. Yet there is growing evidence that a monochrome version, the M11-M, could be with us much sooner than previous schedules would suggest.

M11 Monochrom schedule

In November, I reviewed the list of possible new Leicas for 2023 and 2024. I pointed out that if the M10 model schedule were to act as a blueprint, we would not see an M11 Monochrom until as late as 2025. The M10-M arrived three years after the M10. However, as I said then, it is now likely that the M11 Monochrom will come sooner rather than later.

The M10 Monochrom was launched nearly three years ago, but Leica Rumors has now reported that the camera is listed as discontinued at two major US dealers.

According to the same story, the M11-M development under the codename Rene is well advanced. I would not be surprised to see it launched in the first quarter of 2023, well ahead of the M11-P, which is usually the first major update to the basic model line.

Most users will welcome the early arrival of the monochrome variant since it will run in parallel with the M11 for a much longer time than has been the case in the past. The monochrome version’s continuance long after the base model’s discontinuation has always seemed illogical.

Screenless thoughts

While an early M11-M is welcome, one variant of the M11 would really spark my enthusiasm, a possible resurrection of the stripped-down digital — an M11-D.

Previously I thought that the M10-D had been discontinued prematurely in August 2020 because of a lack of demand. However, I now believe the loss of the -D could have been purely a result of production logistics. The M10 ceased production at the same time, thus supporting this argument.

This hypothesis is supported by continuing demand for used examples of the M10-D. They are snapped up as soon as they appear on the market.

In the past month, I have been approached by four readers, including two very well-known photographers, asking if I could point them toward a used M10-D. One of these photographers managed to secure a good example from an Australian enthusiast, while the others are still searching.

I was always a great supporter of the M-D and M10-D. The concept of screenless digital appeals to many who want the simplicity of film shooting parameters without the restrictions of film — such as the 36-frame limit and the cost and hassle of processing. There is a definite niche market here among photographers who want minimal options and the ability to concentrate on taking pictures without distraction.

I hope that the M10-D was discontinued for logistical reasons and that the boffins at Wetzlar are even now working on an M11-D. Fingers crossed.

What do you think? Would you welcome the return of the -D screenless digital?



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20 COMMENTS

  1. I’m still undecided about the M11.

    There are so many reports of issues that it makes me reticent to spend so much on what still comes across as a beta product.

    • I’ve stayed away from M11 due to reported issues and also the cost, slightly higher than I would like. I wonder if we will see a black paint M11. I’m rather waiting for that than a “D”. PS- I understand the appeal
      behind having a D but I’m not sure how having a screen will make camera old as someone has mentioned. 😂

      • ha ha 😂 that’s how we are different. Fortunately. But if my M9 (ME) didn’t have a screen (which is really bad) then the camera would be more timeless. But today the screens are better and the difference from generation to generation of new cameras is not that big. But that’s what I meant. Love my MD ☺️

        • And the MD appears to be almost non-existent on the used market. Either they didn’t sell many, or they sold enough, but the owners hang on to them. I hope Leica is taking notice because I think a new model would sell well.

      • From what I can see some people still report lock ups… and it seems to happen with some people but not with others… Leica also seems to be replacing cameras as needed rather than having a good grip on the situation and being able to fully resolve the issue…

  2. I saw the Australian M10-D as well and thought about buying it. Then I reminded myself why I did not buy this model in the first place: the inability to assign lens profiles to uncoded lenses.

  3. I understand well your point of view. Let me explain. I have the screenless Leica M-D. I think it’s a bit like with a Monochrom I don’t have the option to peek at the screen. At the same time, it makes the camera completely timeless. It is often the screen that makes the camera old. Maybe it’s just a feeling but I am REALLY happy with my M-D. If it was a regular 240 it would have been replaced with the M11 long ago. Now I’m keeping it and thinking I’ll buy an m11 as nr two camera house.

    • Thankfully we are all different and feel things in different ways. Thank you for answering. I never tried the screenless digital Leica, who knows?, maybe I could get converted… About the M11, I really don’t have the small change for that, I will have to pass and be happy with the MP240 and the Mono246. But then again, who knows?, if I could get the M11 on my hands, I would not want to go back. It’s part of the game, isn’t it? Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year enjoying your Leicas, I also love them!

  4. Sorry, but I don’t really understand the appeal of a screen less digital camera. As I don’t like to see people constantly, for each photograph, watching the screen. My solution? I turn my screen off, and only turn it on when I want or need to! I don’t really get the point of discarding the possibility of checking up histogram, focus and so on. After all, that is also part of the advantage of using digital. I use M cameras since 1979, I don’t need to feel like film, I used film for many years in all formats up to 8×10 inches. Wish I could have had a screen back then…

  5. I hung on and on and on for an SL2M itching to get using those SL lenses on it. Looks like it is not coming and I will again confront the RF issue if M11 M comes into being in the first quarter. Assuming it removes the filter from the 60MP sensor the resolution on offer might just be as good as FF gets. I am banking on the new EVF working at full resolution instead of the watered down version the software dictates on the M10 models.

    • I do not see Leica doing a specialty SL camera but who knows? I was hoping for a SL M camera but went for the M10 m. Life us short, go for the M11 M, even for only one lens!

  6. Mike, the M10M was launched virtually three years ago, not two. I was able to place an order with Leica Store UK on 3rd Feb 2020 and received this marvellous device on the 6th Feb.

    • Thanks for this. I’m slipping. I think I found the one instance… Since we are nearly into 2023 you are right about the M10-M being nearly three years old rather than the two. Could you check again to make sure it is now all ok.

      The M10 was introduced in January 2017 and discontinued in July/August 2020. The M10 Monochrom arrived in January 2020 and the M11 in January 2022.

      The M10 was retired prematurely as a result of the introduction of the M10-R and that probably explains why the M10-D was also dropped at the same time.

      Mike

      • All correct, Mike. Tempus fugit & all that.
        From a production standpoint it makes sense for M11 variants to be introduced early in the cycle. I bought a black M11 a few months ago and certainly appreciate the numerous improvements over my nine-year old M240 but I do not envisage an M11M tempting me to ‘upgrade’.

  7. I so hope you are right about a new screen reader M11-D. 🙏🏻 I have M-D (240 censor) I will not hesitate a second to buy an M11-D. It should have LCD viewfinder option like M10-D. My M-D doesn’t have that. I only need it to use my M35 APO for close focusing. My M-D is such a lovely camera. If the M11-D doesn’t come, I’m keeping the M-D forever 😊

  8. I am patiently waiting for the M11 monochrom. My hopes were improved with the M10 M being shown as discontinued on B&H.

    • I suspect Leica has listened to customers who want to have a Monochrom more or less concurrent with the colour. I know it’s a marketing strategy to spread out the variant models throughout the life cycle of the range. Still, most buyers would ideally prefer to have a choice of colour, monochrome and P version from the beginning. I think you could be lucky this time around.

      • I always wanted a large format view camera when I was starting to shave. I eventually went to a store to look at a Sinar with my fresh wife and she thought I was insane and thought I she be a wee bit more pragmatic. Go figure.

        I believe that the M11 M will be my stealth large format camera – albeit without movements. The M10 M blew my socks off. The M11 is incredible and the new EVF is Leica worthy-finally. So I will have to further minimize my system for the M11 M . I am going to put my preorder in January to my friendly camera store.

  9. Hi Mike,
    I
    Could not agree more with you about the M-10D. Any focus group would ha e discounted this camera as a folie, those who have one or wish to have one do recognise the joy of using this machine. I will not sell mine. Could one ever imagine the solid hardcore M11MD, the ultra purists dream…
    Thanks for all your great articles

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