The jubilee has passed almost unnoticed: This summer saw the twentieth episode of The M Files. And the most comprehensive series we have ever had on Macfilos will continue. The idea is nothing less than to create the largest knowledge base for non-Leica M-mount lenses, cameras and accessories.
The M Files anniversary is a remarkable one. In 20 episodes, our author Jörg-Peter Rau from Germany has covered an astonishing range of cameras, lenses and other items that fit the Leica M-Mount standard but are not part of Leica’s own M-System line-up. These include rangefinder cameras and lenses from Voigtländer, Zeiss, Konica and Minolta. In some side projects, Jörg-Peter also reviewed attachable light meters for mechanical rangefinder (and other) cameras, as well as external viewfinders. And his review of the Pixii, the new digital rangefinder camera from France, is also related to this project. The Pixii article is, by the way, the most read story on Macfilos this year.
All reviews are focused on practical aspects
The M Files jubilee episode, number 20, is quite typical of the series. Many articles are joint reviews of two or more lenses (or a camera and a kit lens, or otherwise well-matched lenses). This is a deliberate choice, says Jörg-Peter: “I tend to think in terms of small kits that might be of interest to working photographers. They are my target group for the M-Files, rather than collectors”. So for episode 20, he combined a fast 21mm and a fast 75mm (Voigtländer Nokton 21/1.4 and Nokton 75/1.5) and tested them for their practicality as a high-end travel kit.
Many new readers come to Macfilos thanks to the M Files
For Macfilos, the M Files jubilee marks a success story. Even the back episodes continue to attract a wide readership, often enthusiasts who discover our site by googling for an in-depth review of a Minolta CLE, Hexar RF or Zeiss ZM camera. Since January 2021, the series has grown to include no fewer than nine cameras (including the Pixii) and 33 lenses. Many of the products are attractive and affordable alternatives to Leica products, which, as Jörg-Peter says, are “without question also attractive, but often not that affordable”.
No benefits from manufacturers or dealers
While the M Files project continues to evolve, the core principles remain the same. All products are reviewed after extensive practical use, usually over several months. No gifts or benefits are accepted from manufacturers or retailers. If an item has to be borrowed, it is usually from private individuals who simply want to support the project. So the M Files remain independent. And they remain focused on practical use, without MTF curves and series of pixel-peeping comparison images. One last unique aspect will also be continued: The M Files will appear simultaneously in English here on Macfilos and in German on Germany’s biggest rangefinder photography blog, www.messsucherwelt.com. In fact, Jörg-Peter writes each article twice.
The M Files jubilee is a step, but not the end
After the M Files jubilee and 20 in-depth articles, there is no end in sight. “It neither bores nor strains me so far”, says Jörg-Peter. He still loves putting unknown gear through its paces and making unexpected discoveries. He plans to create about five new episodes per year. This frequency maintains the character of the series while allowing enough time for careful testing and writing as well as for creating relevant images that show the characteristics of a particular lens. In 2023 we can expect two more episodes. “One will be about an M-mount camera that many people do not even know exists,” says Jörg-Peter. The other will be about Voigtländer’s answer to Leica’s legendary Summilux and Noctilux 50mm lenses.
The M Files Navigator gives access to all reviews
All M Files content is accessible via the unique M Files Navigator, a dedicated page here on Macfilos that systematically lists all reviewed products in a logical order (first, cameras – second, lenses by focal length and speed – third, accessories). Feel free to try this access to a fascinating world and all the articles with their interesting product and sample images. The navigator will be updated after each new episode is published.
On the occasion of the M Files jubilee: Might we ask for your help?
We know from many readers that the M Files have been a great support to them. They have told us how, after a few costly mistakes, they finally found the lens they really wanted. Or that the M Files reassured them about which lens would not suit them. So as well as being entertaining and informative, the series has a proven practical use. For this reason, we take the liberty of reminding you of our fundraising efforts. If you find Macfilos useful, please consider making a one-off or regular donation. All funds are used to cover the costs of running the site. We never buy equipment or cover travel expenses with our readers’ donations.
The M Files: Get in-depth knowledge of M-Mount lenses, cameras and suitable accessories
The M Files is an ongoing project on Macfilos that focuses on photographic equipment with or for Leica M-Mount, made by companies other than Leica or which are otherwise not part of Leica’s M system. It follows a more or less encyclopaedic approach without being scientific. The focus is always on the real-life use and usability of cameras, lenses and other items. Products covered by The M Files include cameras, lenses, viewfinders, light meters and more. Brands on the growing list include Contax, Konica, Minolta, Rollei, Voigtländer and Zeiss.
Die M-Files: M-Mount-Objektive, -Kameras und passendes Zubehör jenseits von Leica M
Die M-Files sind ein Langzeit-Projekt, das sich auf Foto-Ausrüstungsteile mit oder für Leica M-Bajonett konzentriert, die von anderen Firmen als Leica hergestellt wurden oder die nicht zum M-System von Leica gehören. Es verfolgt einen mehr oder weniger enzyklopädischen Ansatz, ohne wissenschaftlich zu sein. Der Schwerpunkt liegt immer auf der praktischen Nutzung von Kameras, Objektiven und anderen Produkten. Zu den in den M-Files besprochenen Produkten gehören Kameras, Objektive, Sucher, Belichtungsmesser und mehr. Einige der Marken auf der wachsenden Liste sind Contax, Konica, Minolta, Rollei, Voigtländer und Zeiss. In deutscher Sprache erscheinen die Inhalte auf www.messsucherwelt.com.
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