When a new Leica M comes along it’s sure to raise eyebrows. As the German godfather of 35mm photography attempts to balance new features with traditionalism, Ian Farrell finds out if the M Typ 240 measures up as a serious photographic tool.
Leica M Typ 240 review – White balance and colour
Image: Skies are well rendered, with a natural shade of blue and no hint of cyan
The M Typ 240 delivers bold colours without going over the top. We never saw a cyan sky or an oversaturated red post box. Photographing streets in east London on a sunny day gave great-looking vibrant results.
White balance is spot on, too, resulting in accurate skin tones even when strong coloured backgrounds are present, although strangely our test chart came out a little on the green side. In artificial light, the camera compensated for the colour temperature of tungsten and fluorescent light without eradicating it completely, giving a natural result. In mixed lighting situations, the M did as well as any camera tends to, picking a mid-point white balance that can make extreme colour temperatures look a bit odd.
In the camera’s menu there are now three film mode options: vivid colour, smooth colour and black & white, which can be fine-tuned. Each of these is very well implemented without being gimmicky; the smooth colour option is particularly good if you like your colours muted.
Images: The Leica M is a camera for street photography, as can be seen in the two portraits above