Rent a Leica M for the Day: Only £5,100 deposit....
Renting a Leica isn’t something I’ve thought much about but my curiosity was aroused by an article on the LensRentals site in the USA. It seems they have at least one M10 available for hire. I decided to have a look round the UK to see what's renting; but couldn’t find an M10 anywhere and what is available — M240, S, SL, Q — have price tags to make your eyes water.
Procentre in London have S, SL and Q but no M10. As an example, a Leica Q rental costs £85 a day. They need ID (of course) and a deposit “for the value of the equipment you are renting." Wilkinson Cameras will also do you an M240 for £90 a day (with a deposit of £5,100) plus a 50mm Summicron for £25 a day (£1,750 deposit). All this is clearly not for the faint of heart and I wonder just who is prepared to put up such a deposit for a day’s fun.
If any readers know of better deals in the UK I would be interested to know.
But back to LensRentals, where you can find an M10 for hire. Their stock has been in high demand, no doubt fuelled by the general short supply of the new M. But staff member Joey Miller, a genuine Leica fan, managed to get his hands on an Ten for a weekend and has written a short review which I would recommend. Some good pictures, too, from Ryan Muirhead.
I think Joey and I would agree on the M10: there isn’t much not to like. It is by far the best digital M ever produced (as it should be, of course) and I am hard pressed to think of any faults. On the negative side, however, battery life is not so impressive. I know, thin body means thinner battery and, on balance, its a good trade off. But we were spoiled by that enormous bank of cells in the M240 — that chunky chip would power a Tesla at 90mm down the M4 any day of the week. It’s perhaps significant, though, that this is the only thing I have found so far that isn’t as good as the outgoing M240.
Joey sums up his test:
“Leica made a fantastic camera in the Leica M10. It’s the most classic Leica I’ve seen in years, and it plays to all their strengths, while still maintaining all Leica look and feel that so many have come to love. With mirrorless cameras so plentiful and much cheaper than Leica, it’s hard to justify the price for a Leica in the modern age. Sony and Fuji have made some amazing cameras at less than half the price of a Leica, and there are adapters to use M mount lenses on those cameras. But the romance of rangefinder work has its merits and is worth trying once or twice, maybe just for a weekend. I’m glad Leica got back to what they’re best at, and I look forward to more of this new ‘old’ direction in the future.”
Postscript: See Stephen Jenner's comment below in which he outlines his success in borrowing an SL outfit from Leica City (London) at a reasonable cost of only £80 — and no deposit because he is a reputable chap with good ID. It's worth contacting your local Leica-owned store to see what's cooking. No harm in asking.....