Leica M (TYP 240) Fast Start

Lesson 6/14 - Back Side Controls


Leica M (TYP 240) Fast Start


Lesson Info

Back Side Controls

Working our way over into the back side of the camera, we have our viewfinder. There are available correction lenses. So, if you normally wear glasses and you would like to correct the focusing in the viewfinder, you can do so with the correct correction lens here. So when you look through the viewfinder, we talked about this in the welcome to Leica section, you're gonna see the entire area of where the camera is pointed at. In the middle you'll have your focusing patch, and if you want to change your frame selector over on the side, which is available on some but not all the models. It's not on the M Typ 240, but it is on the M-P, the M Monochrom and the M-D, so there are some models that have this. And so for the models that do have this, when it is in the inward position, it's gonna show you the 28 and 90 frame. On the M Typ 240, whatever lens you put on it's gonna adjust for that lens if it's available, and it's gonna show you one other frame line as well. So they have, they're sho...

wing the frame lines in twos, and there's three groups of them. The first group is 28/90. In the middle it's gonna be lenses that are kind of in the middle. The 50 and the 75, and then out away from the body is their longest lens, the 135, and the 35 in here. And so if you have one of the cameras that have the frame selector on it, you can just push that back and forth while you have any lens on to see what those lenses might look like. So if we look at all the different potential frame lines in here, this is what they look like. And something to note is that the frame lines are very accurate, and they are calibrated for subjects that are two meters in front of the camera. So they'll be very, very accurate with those subjects. But the further away you are, you're gonna get a little bit more around the edges of the frame line, and for subjects that are a little bit closer, you're gonna get a little bit less, and so there is a little bit of an error in there. Now the frame lines will move to the upper left and to the lower right as you are focusing to compensate for the parallax correction, but they are not expanding and contracting for the different types of magnification that you are getting. And so it's not able to fully and completely compensate for having the viewfinder offset. And so just be aware of that if you're very, very critical about your compositions. Down at the bottom is going to be some LED information. And this has a lot of, it has a wealth of information in a very small area, so let's take a close look at this. First up are the numbers. You will see shutter speeds displayed in the viewfinder down here. If you have a long, bulb, or a time shutter speed, it's gonna have a countdown to let you know when that exposure is going to end. If you are overexposed it will blink 4,000 at you because it doesn't have a shutter speed fast enough above 4,000. That's the top shutter speed in this camera. If it's longer than 60 seconds, it is something that will blink at you as well. That means it simply doesn't have enough light. If you do use exposure compensation, you will see that in the viewfinder on a regular basis, and so if you dial in exposure compensation, one of the most important things is resetting it to zero, and this is a good little warning that you haven't done that if you see that in there. And then finally it might say Full and that is if your memory card is full. And so, hopefully that won't happen but if the camera doesn't work and it says Full, it's just time to reformat or put a new memory card in the camera. There are some arrows that are going to indicate exposure. If the arrow is pointing to the left, you are overexposed. If the arrow is pointing to the right, you are underexposed. Make adjustments with the shutter speed, aperture, or ISO to fit what you need to do with that particular exposure. If they are blinking, you're just simply out of the range. So what's kind of handy about these arrows is that they tell you which direction to turn either the aperture dial or the shutter speed dial, and so it's very intuitive looking at the dial, making changes to get the right exposure. The dot on the upper portion of this LED information is letting you know that you've locked the exposure. So when you have the camera in aperture priority, and you press halfway down on the shutter release, it's gonna turn on steady and it's gonna lock that shutter speed in. The dot on the bottom is gonna flash when you are using exposure compensation, so yet another little warning that you are using the camera with some sort of exposure compensation set. And then finally we have our lightning bolt to let you know when you have a flash attached. It'll be steady when it's ready to fire, or it will be blinking when it's not quite ready. So, the camera has a .68 magnification, and there are a variety of other cameras from Leica that have different magnifications. They started off with a .91 magnification back on the M3. The newest M10 is .73, and so it's a tight viewfinder in there myself I think, and so if you are shooting with a 28 millimeter lens, you gotta get your eye really close to the viewfinder to see the whole frame lines. If you're using glasses you'll never see the 28 millimeter frame lines in their entirety. The camera does work really well with 35 and up, but with 28 you kind of have to move your eye around if you can't get it close enough. They do also make an Angle Viewfinder M. If you want to use an angled viewfinder for viewing down for potentially copy work or holding the camera in a more comfortable position. We've talked a little bit about the accessory port, using the Visoflex EVF2 on there, the microphone set. Those are really the two main things that you're gonna plug in there. And so, just for adding electronics. You don't have to use a battery power in any of those devices. And of course you can use the Olympus VF-2 in there as well. The setting dial on the back of the camera is gonna be used for a number of different features that we will play with, and work with throughout the rest of this class. Mostly, I think the most valuable setting is going to be for exposure compensation. You'll be able to program the menu system so that by turning the dial you are changing the exposure compensation on the camera without any other controls. Now with the exposure compensation, as I said you can set your camera up to do that customize, but it will do it right now. And so the way it does it is in the aperture priority mode. It's a little bit of a trick. You go around to the focus button on the front of the camera, and you press that while turning the setting dial, and you'll be able to adjust the exposure from minus for dark to plus for bright. It's a little bit of a trick, and let me do a little example here with you. And so first thing we'll do is set our camera, get out of live view, into aperture priority. So this is where the camera is taking care of the exposure. I'm just gonna kind of point it generally straight ahead, and we'll go ahead and take a photo, and we're getting basically a decent result. And so what I'll be able to do is I'm gonna be able to dial this to the left, but actually I've got to go in and press the front of the button, and so I'm pressing the button on the front, and now I'm gonna dial to the left and this is going to be a dark exposure. And then I'm gonna go in and turn this, that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and take a photo, and that's gonna be on the brighter side. Now, I'm gonna do something I haven't tested out. Let's see if I can do this in live view, and so in live view you can see that I am going plus and minus, but I do have to have my finger on the front up here pressing that focus button, which is once again this high silver button in here. So I've got to press that button while turning the dial on the back of the camera. And so, when I press and I turn, I can go lighter and darker, and I will see those results when I press down halfway on the shutter release. So that's darker by 2/3. Press in and go up. That's brighter by a stop, and as always, reset it back to zero. Now it's a little hard to work with so I'm not a big fan of that. They've done that I think on purpose so that you don't accidentally set an exposure compensation. The dial is gonna be a pretty good system for a lot of people when we get to customize it, and if you want to customize it, here is where you do it. You go into the set menu, you go into exposure compensation and you enact the direct adjustment, so you can have a direct adjustment overexposure by just turning that dial, without having to press the focus button on the front of the camera. The directional pad in the back of the camera is gonna be used for navigating the menu and moving the focus point around, and a variety of needs that we'll use, and so we'll see that as we look at the other features throughout the camera. The Info button right here, that's a nice little button to press because that's gonna give you some quick information about how the camera is set. Notably it's gonna give you battery life and tell you how much life you have left on the memory card, and how much data you've used up, and your basic memory card status down there on the bottom. So, nice little check there that's quick and easy to do at anytime. The speaker down here, so if you are playing back movies and there is sound with it, that is where the sound is going to be coming from. There's an LED status light which is letting you know if the camera is recording information to the memory card. And so if it is blinking that means it's working and you should wait to take the battery out of the camera, or take the bottom cover off and the memory card out. So if it's blinking, that means it's generally working, and so you want it turned off in normal situations. The LCD on the back of the camera is using this Gorilla Glass which is a very tough and strong glass that allows you to hopefully not get it scratched in any sort of way. Live View button is gonna open up the shutter release and allow you to see with the back of the camera what your camera is pointed at. Now one of the critical things to know about when you're using this, when you are focusing, because you can focus using Live View and we'll do that here in just a moment, is that your aperture when you close it down, it's gonna show you the image with greater depth of field, and it's gonna be hard to pinpoint focusing with that aperture closed down all the way. And so, you typically want to do it wide open when you are focusing. So in the Live View mode you're gonna get some information about your shutter speed information, your ISO that you have set on the top row. By pressing the Info button repeatedly, you can cycle through the different options from Basic, a Level which lets you know if you're correctly positioned for a level horizon. And then the Histogram as well. So let's go ahead and put it in the Live View mode and take a look at a few of these settings here. And so, let's get our camera pointed in generally the right direction. Put it into the Live View mode and by pressing the Info button you can see our level in here. And let's see, I'm gonna set this so that you can see things a little bit more easily. And so as I point it down and up, you can see one level turning, and then as I get that level it turns green, but if I tilt it, there is a second one that tells me if I'm tilted to the side. And so if I'm trying to get it right in the middle, I'll get everything green right there. And so then I know that I have my camera perfectly level. And so that's a nice option to have in certain situations. And then we have extra information, and then going back to the full image right there. All right so that is our Info button. If you go up and down on the back pad you can change the aspect ratio. Now if you're shooting a RAW image this is not going to change your image, but it allows you to see where those crop marks are. If you know that you're gonna be shooting for a square, it's kind of nice to see what it would look like on the back of the camera as you compose and frame the shot up. So we have a nine by 16 which is what we're shooting a lot of our movies and videos in. Three by four, kind of a traditional aspect ratio. Our square, one by one, and then another 16 by seven aspect ratio down there. So you can just kind of cycle through those by going up or down. The focus button on the front of the camera will help magnify the view so that you can go in and focus. You can change the magnification by turning the dial, and you can change it between one, five, and a 10 times magnification. So let's go ahead and run it through a little test here. And so, there's a number of things going on. Let's start by putting our camera in Live View. Okay, so if we press the focus button on the front of the camera, it's not gonna do anything until we turn the dial on the back of the camera. Actually, do we have this set? Okay, so let me correct myself. You just press it in, give it a press and release. Now you'll see this comes up here, we're at one times magnification. We can go up to five times magnification, and 10 times. Now that's kind of a hard place to focus so I'm going to reposition the camera ever so slightly. And now I'm gonna come down here and I'm gonna focus. And I can see my focusing right there very clearly. And so, if I don't like that I can go back to the five times or the one times, and so if I like to just go back and forth between the five times and the normal view, it remembers where I last had it. At the five times, and I can say let's go at up to 10 times, and so now when I press that focusing button on the front of the camera, which once again is this button up here. This lower one is for taking the lens on and off, and so that's our focus button. But it's more of a function button because it can work with exposure compensation as well. And so if you are wanting to get critical focus, you want to do that. Now, I want to show you what the difference is between focusing at f/16 versus focusing at 1.4. And so if I'm trying to focus on this subject here, there seems to be a pretty wide range where it is in focus, and that's because the aperture is fully closed down. If I focus this up or I change the aperture to 1.4, you can see that it is definitely not in focus, and I need to adjust this so that it is in sharp focus there. So if you are focusing with Live View, open your lens up to the maximum aperture. Now one of the options in this camera is that you can go into the setup menu and you can turn the focusing aid on, and what happens then is that as soon as you start manually focusing, the magnified view automatically turns on in the Live View finder, or in the electronic finder that you have on the top of the camera. So if you want to critically focus, you can do that with the EVF or the LCD in the back of the camera, and just as soon as you touch the lens and start focusing, there's just an ever so slight lag time of about a half second. It will then automatically jump into the magnified view so that you can see a really closeup image for proper focusing. The LCD on the back of the camera has a brightness that is controlled by the brightness sensor on the back of the camera. That's just looking at how bright it is and it's adjusting the brightness so that when it's really bright out, the sensor or the screen is a little bit brighter, and when it's really dark out it's not as bright to destroy night vision potentially with nighttime photography. But if you want to go into Monitor Brightness you can adjust that brightness yourself. So when you are in the Live View option we talked a little bit about this before, you can hit the movie recording button on the top. It's one press to start, one press to stop. You can hit the Info button to control information, and you can also control the audio if you want by going up and down. You do have to have the audio selected in the manual mode, and I think I'd like to show you how that works on the camera. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna set my camera up in the Live View mode for shooting movies. But what I want to do first before I really start going into the movie mode is I need to set the recording, the audio recording in manual, so I'm gonna dive into the menu real quickly, and I'm gonna look for my video functions. Let's see. I'm forgetting where this is, but here we go, audio right here. And so I'm gonna go to the right to enter this and audio adjustment. I'm gonna come down to Manual, and I'll go to the right here. So now I can adjust my volume higher and lower, and you can see the levels there go, and as I talk you can see the display changing on us. So I have set it manually and I'm going to hit Menu to kind of kick out of this. And Menu again, and again. And so now when I'm ready to shoot video I'm gonna turn on the Info button. So as I record information here, I should be able to, did I? Let me double-check, I may not have done something right here. Audio adjustment. Ah, I didn't select Manual here, I've got to select Manual. So it is in Manual, that's good, that's good. Back out of this now, the Menu button. So I didn't fully get that. Now, you know what I did wrong? I keep forgetting this on this camera. This is a good example. I'm making a mistake so you don't do this. Hit the Set button down here in the bottom. That locks it in, and so once that is there, then we're set in there. Now, when I go into record video, there is our audio signal over on the right, and if I want to have a higher level I go up. If I want a lower level I can hold this down and you can see those numbers down at the bottom going down. And so if you want to manually record sound, so it does give you a very nice option, but any audio engineer will tell you, you know, to change the volume, it takes clicks. Listen. (clicking) You've got to click that button in the back, so it is an imperfect way of controlling the manual recorded sound, but at least you can do it. So I think we should probably stop recording that video right there. All right, good enough. All right, the playback button is pretty obvious. It's gonna play back the most recent images, and if you want you can hit that and then scroll through your images. If you want your camera to automatically playback images after you've shot it, make sure that the Auto Review is turned on. Some people like to conserve battery power, or they don't want to be tempted to look at every single photo they take right afterwards, and so they turn off the Auto Review. If you are playing back images, you can go forward and backwards using the pad over on the right-hand side to go through your different images. There's a Delete button and then you would hit the Set button to confirm that you want to delete that particular image. And then the Info button will allow you to cycle through a bunch of different information windows. Basic, the histogram will show you exposure information. The highlights and shadows will blink areas in red that are overexposed or blue that are underexposed. And then Info which is gonna show you your date, time information, and a little bit of technical information about how the camera was set in that regard, and so hitting the Info button never hurts anything. It's always just a change of what you see as to how much information that you're going to see. So, cycle through, play with those, and figure out which ones work for you. When you are playing back images you can magnify in to see if they are sharp images. Let's go ahead and give that a try on the back of the camera. So what we will do is we're gonna go ahead and playback an image, and then what we can do, that's a video I can tell right there. I'd prefer to find a still image. Let's go back, and here we have a still image. I can turn this dial up on the top, and go into very close magnification. I can see I did not get that very sharp but I think I was focused on the background, which looks sharp there. I can go back, back, back, and I can go into thumbnails which will make it easier for me to go through large groups of images more quickly. You can see the, let's see how far back we can go here. So you can go back page by page if you had hundreds of images in there. I don't have a lot of images in there right now. And then zoom in, oops, I'm getting in the way there. So you can get in very, very tight to see if you are sharp on focus or not. Press halfway down on the shutter release and that kicks you out of that mode right there. So you can navigate around left and right using the pad over on the right-hand side. And another little secret for you, this is a good one. If you are in the high magnification mode and you've taken a number of images in a row and you're trying to tell which one is the sharpest, by pressing the Menu button and the left or right arrow you'll be able to go through your images at high magnification. You normally can't do it because the navigate button is for navigating the magnification, and the dial is changing the amount of magnification, so by pressing the Menu button and going left and right you can switch images, and so it's a good little shortcut when you're trying to find the sharpest image. The Set button on the bottom of the camera is a button that you'll need to press on a repeated basis so that you can confirm entry, but in the playback mode, what it does is it's gonna go into an image protection mode and allow you to protect your images, which means you will not be able to delete them in camera. Be forewarned, you can still reformat a memory card, you can still delete images on the memory card later on. It is what I would consider a very low level of protection. You saw this a bit earlier, in the playback mode you'll see a little video camera in there when it is a video that you want to playback. And so in here you can hit the Info button and get the controls to popup on the camera. You will then use the tab to go back and forth to choose which one of the settings you want. And since we have a video on there let's go back and play that video. So I'm gonna hit the playback button on the back of the camera, and I want to look for one of those video cameras. And I think this second one had a fairly long video so I'm gonna hit the Info button, and now we have all these different controls. We have go back to the first frame, backwards, normal play, forwards, to the end of the frame, and then just get out of this. So, if I hit this Set button then it's gonna play the image, and if I wanted to go to fast forward, I could hit Set, and it's gonna go fast forward. We can see the numbers moving a little bit more quickly. And if I go back here, I can go back and hit the Info, what? No, hit the Set button here, and I can go back in time, you can see the timeline going back and forth. I can go to the end of the frame here by pressing the Set, and it goes all the way to the end. And then when I want to exit, I'll hit the Set button and I'll exit out of that, and so you can playback your controls. It's not the greatest control in the world but you can do everything, the tools are all there if you need them. Next button to talk about is the ISO button. We've already talked a little bit about this one, but this is the one that you need to press and hold while turning the dial in order to make the changes between the different ISO settings, which is the sensitivity of the sensor. The Menu button, now we're gonna get into this in the second half of the class. There's a lot of items in here. This is the ones that are a part of the PDF, and so when you get the class, there is a PDF printout that you can make that has the entire listings. We're gonna go through each of these different settings in the second half of this class. The Set button is also a menu, but it is a menu of the most important items that you are likely to change on the camera. So in here we're gonna have our ISO, our file formats, some very important settings that we would do on a regular basis. So most of those shooting things that you might need, the picture parameters as Leica calls it, will be in here with the Set button, and we'll be going through that when we go through the menu system as well, because they both link the items that have similar type items in it, but generally the more important ones are in the Set menu.

Class Description

Purchasing a Leica camera is a major investment, and it’s important to know how to maximize the features of your new camera. Join expert photographer John Greengo as he gives you all the information you need to understand the camera's capabilities.

In this class John will cover:

  • The subtle controls which house an abundance of options.
  • How to work with the Leica lenses and their descriptive depth of field scale.
  • User profiles of shooting settings
  • A full explanation of menu items along with a list of recommended settings.

The Leica M (Typ 240) is the first Leica model to offer live view and the option of using an electronic viewfinder. This camera also is the only Leica in the M series to offer video recording. As the camera body is so similar, this course appropriately covers all Leica cameras in the M family. John will explain all of the special highlights of this camera so that you’ll be able to capture the images you love.