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View Poll Results: What's your position on Leica LTM (not Leica specific), in light of an M?
I had/have both (M and LTM) and prefer the LTM 72 14.60%
I had/have both (M and LTM) and prefer the M 149 30.22%
I have both (M and LTM) and like them equally 148 30.02%
Only ever had an LTM and need look no further 68 13.79%
Only ever had an M and need look no further (was just here by accident or curiosity) 52 10.55%
I have no interest in either (M or LTM) - either prima facie or a priori 4 0.81%
Voters: 493. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-14-2014   #41
MaxElmar
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Quote:
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Beautiful, but an even worse rust-bucket than the early 911. Why do so few 356 Porsches survive outside California?

Cheers,

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No, you're beautiful, Roger. I knew with that analogy you would understand, even if you do not agree.

Alas, you are also very right about the 356. "Tinworm" has taken so many 356s - I almost never see one here on the east coast. And they are so valuable now. For me, a late 356 with four-wheel disc brakes and a sunroof? It would be heaven.

Cheers to you, sir.
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Old 05-14-2014   #42
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The Barnacks are beautifully crafted machines. I really love them and have owned quite a few. They are slow to use if course especially film loading. I have had film loading down to 45 seconds but neede a table and a place to sit. Loading film while standing in some street corner with the bottom plate somewhere is an experience in frustration. When I sold my IIIF last year I tried demonstrating to the buyer on how to load film but for the life of me couldn't get it to load. At that moment I was glad to be rid of it but then sort of regretted it later on.
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Old 05-14-2014   #43
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IIIa's have been my Favorite
I have alwys preferred a Barnack to an M
However since wearing glasses its just too fiddly trying to focus so I'm back into M bodies

Oddly though I could finish a roll faster with my Barnack than an M....go figure

Barnacks are truly Magnificent in Design & 'look'
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Old 05-14-2014   #44
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Ltm lenses can be used on ltm and M bodies.
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Old 05-14-2014   #45
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Ltm lenses can be used on ltm and M bodies.
Yes exactly. Why limited yourself with a body that can only take some of your lenses?
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Old 05-14-2014   #46
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They often are also less costly.
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Old 05-14-2014   #47
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They often are also less costly.
Again you summed it up nicely.
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Old 05-15-2014   #48
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I like them equally but I prefer to use my M's only.
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Old 05-15-2014   #49
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I don't really like the Barnack leicas. They look pretty and they're made well, but they are to rangefinders what Exaktas are to SLRs. Functional and attractive - but fiddly and slow - and weird.

The biggest problem is the tiny viewfinder which works fine if you just need something to help you point the camera in the right direction, but is basically hopeless if you want to actually compose an image with some thought put into it. I thought maybe the IIIg would solve this problem, but while it is better, it's still not good enough. I spent a long time looking over a IIIg at a shop agonizing over whether it would come home with me or not. Then I remembered I already had a Zorki 4, and that it had a much better viewfinder and rangefinder. There was no point to the IIIg going home with me. To me, being able to see the photo I am going to take is more important than such frivolous qualities as how smoothly the wind knob turns or how well the brand name is engraved.

Canon made a series of LTM cameras which also knock the socks off any of the LTM Leicas (or soviet clones). Of course the M2 and M3 knock the socks off those too, so I suppose my answer would be the M series wins hands down.

Of course one can take perfectly good pictures with all of them. It just depends on how much you're willing to put up with and how much you're willing to compromise.
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Old 05-15-2014   #50
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I have had screw-mount Leicae now for almost seven years ( hardly a fort-night ), and they have become my go-to film camera.

My user kit is a 1934 chrome III, with: 3,5 cm Elmar, 35 mm Canon f:1.8, 50 mm Summicron, 90mm Elmar, and 135 mm Hektor. All except the Elmar 35 are coated. Also in the kit are: Nikon Varifocal finder, barn-doors for the 50 mm, FIKUS for everything else, manicure scissors for leader prep, and a light meter.

Last year, a good and trusting friend loaned me his mid-1950's M-3 DS kit so that I could experience that aspect of Leicadom.

I have shot several rolls with it, with good results, but so far have not liked it enough to seriously consider buying one of my own.

Pros:
> open back for easier film loading
> Single, large, bright VF/RF with internal frame-lines.
> Lever-wind
> Integrated meter connection with shutter speeds

Cons:

> large size
> heavy
> expensive
> lenses are larger and heavier

That said, I'm VERY used to my Barnacks by now.

The M is an all-new camera, and takes some getting used-to.... folks complain about the LTM being "fiddly"... the first couple times out with the M-3, I found that damned Leica-meter to be pretty darned "fiddly" and cumbersome.

I will say that the combined VF/RF is beautiful, and probably the single biggest advantage, as far as I'm concerned.

For the price of the M and M-lenses that are not duplicates of LTM, I think I'm happier with my Nikon S-2 kit: I bought a nearly-mint body with 50/1,4 and 135 lenses, hoods, and cases, Varifocal finder, and some sundries all for less than I could buy just an M-3 body in similar condition.

But then, the Nikon S was the very first "real camera" I ever saw / used.

For what all that is worth... I also like and use Exaktas, in spite of having Canon FTbQL, Pentax Spotmatic, Minolta XG-1, and Olympus OM-10 kits...
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Old 05-15-2014   #51
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People here are mixing up ltm cameras and ltm lenses. Which did the OP mean for this thread?
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Old 05-15-2014   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
People here are mixing up ltm cameras and ltm lenses. Which did the OP mean for this thread?
Took it to mean camera...certainly could be wrong though.
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Old 05-15-2014   #53
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Well, having an M-mount camera opens-up the options of using the later M-mount lenses, most of which are faster than their LTM predecessors, if nothing else.

While it is true that one can use any Leica RF lens on an M, Barnack users are limited to LTM lenses.

I don't know if that detail alone is enough to push folks into spending more for the M...
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Old 05-15-2014   #54
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The real issue is why choose an M mount lens when there is a near identical but less expensive ltm version of the lens on the market.
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Old 05-15-2014   #55
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Traveled from Mpls. to Houston.

Left the M camera home.

Used only IIIf.

Worked great.

I like the LTM cameras!
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Old 05-15-2014   #56
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This thread has the potential to cause me a little anxiety. Some days ago I purchased a near mint IIIf/Summicron 50/2 from a German camera shop having never shot with one. It should arrive on Monday (currently Friday here in Sydney). Hmmmm, have I done the right thing???

At the same time I've been musing over a Titanium Non-TTL M6 but chose the IIIf really on its small size. The M6 will happen another day...

I have a number of cameras - film/digital and a couple of rangefinders, no Leicas and my rationale on this purchase (as far as rationalism comes into it...) was/is:

- I love to be 'closer to' or more immersed in the shooting experience (I love using my 4x5 a lot more than my D700, depending on the situation) and the little Leica will certainly slow things down,

- it's physically tiny and will probably spend a lot of time in a jacket pocket on my travels (out with the little Fuji X10),

- it represents what I consider to be quite a technical achievement in its day and

- it is, to me a thing of great beauty - rather like an old Patek Philippe, but that's probably more emotional than rational. Perhaps I'm a little drawn to quirkiness.

No doubt I'm a bit of a sentimental fool but I suppose I can sell it if needs be. I'll put a few rolls through it asap and report back on my experiences in the appropriate thread.

Great read and great insight - many thanks! Fingers crossed I'll get some sleep between now and Monday.

Cheers,
David
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Old 05-15-2014   #57
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I've never used an M, but I had a Leica IIIf for awhile. I loved using the camera, I had to sell it to cover some unexpected expenses. I'd absolutely love to have another. The LTM cameras offer something in the shooting experience that most other cameras don't, and one considers that when choosing the camera. For me, personally, I prefer SLR's for 'normal' photography, so I would probably prefer a nice LTM w/ collapsible 50mm over any Leica M. With an LTM, I get something that my SLR can't give me. With an M, I think I would miss the WYSIWYG view. But, having never handled an M, I can't say for sure...

Anyone want to lend me one so I can find out for sure? Hehehe.
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Old 05-15-2014   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deldridg View Post
This thread has the potential to cause me a little anxiety. Some days ago I purchased a near mint IIIf/Summicron 50/2 from a German camera shop having never shot with one. It should arrive on Monday (currently Friday here in Sydney). Hmmmm, have I done the right thing???

At the same time I've been musing over a Titanium Non-TTL M6 but chose the IIIf really on its small size. The M6 will happen another day...

I have a number of cameras - film/digital and a couple of rangefinders, no Leicas and my rationale on this purchase (as far as rationalism comes into it...) was/is:

- I love to be 'closer to' or more immersed in the shooting experience (I love using my 4x5 a lot more than my D700, depending on the situation) and the little Leica will certainly slow things down,

- it's physically tiny and will probably spend a lot of time in a jacket pocket on my travels (out with the little Fuji X10),

- it represents what I consider to be quite a technical achievement in its day and

- it is, to me a thing of great beauty - rather like an old Patek Philippe, but that's probably more emotional than rational. Perhaps I'm a little drawn to quirkiness.

No doubt I'm a bit of a sentimental fool but I suppose I can sell it if needs be. I'll put a few rolls through it asap and report back on my experiences in the appropriate thread.

Great read and great insight - many thanks! Fingers crossed I'll get some sleep between now and Monday.

Cheers,
David

The LTM Leica pretty-much pioneered 35mm "miniature photography"... they did a decent job then, and they still do a decent job today, so long as the lenses are clean and the camera is functioning properly (true for any optical device).

Henri Cartier Bresson did well with them, as did Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz, to drop a few big names...

Your Summicron lens should be a safe investment, as long as the glass is in decent condition...

Enjoy your III-f... it's a quality camera; if you decide it's not the machine for you, sell it and move-on... at least you will have had the experience of owning and shooting one.

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Old 05-15-2014   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deldridg View Post
This thread has the potential to cause me a little anxiety. Some days ago I purchased a near mint IIIf/Summicron 50/2 from a German camera shop having never shot with one. It should arrive on Monday (currently Friday here in Sydney). Hmmmm, have I done the right thing???

At the same time I've been musing over a Titanium Non-TTL M6 but chose the IIIf really on its small size. The M6 will happen another day...

I have a number of cameras - film/digital and a couple of rangefinders, no Leicas and my rationale on this purchase (as far as rationalism comes into it...) was/is:

- I love to be 'closer to' or more immersed in the shooting experience (I love using my 4x5 a lot more than my D700, depending on the situation) and the little Leica will certainly slow things down,

- it's physically tiny and will probably spend a lot of time in a jacket pocket on my travels (out with the little Fuji X10),

- it represents what I consider to be quite a technical achievement in its day and

- it is, to me a thing of great beauty - rather like an old Patek Philippe, but that's probably more emotional than rational. Perhaps I'm a little drawn to quirkiness.

No doubt I'm a bit of a sentimental fool but I suppose I can sell it if needs be. I'll put a few rolls through it asap and report back on my experiences in the appropriate thread.

Great read and great insight - many thanks! Fingers crossed I'll get some sleep between now and Monday.

Cheers,
David
The poll shows that 60% of people are as happy or happier with an LTM. That gives you pretty good odds :-)

Mind you it also shows that 70+% are as happy or happier with an M.
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Old 05-15-2014   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deldridg View Post
This thread has the potential to cause me a little anxiety. Some days ago I purchased a near mint IIIf/Summicron 50/2 from a German camera shop having never shot with one. It should arrive on Monday (currently Friday here in Sydney). Hmmmm, have I done the right thing??? At the same time I've been musing over a Titanium Non-TTL M6 but chose the IIIf really on its small size. The M6 will happen another day... I have a number of cameras - film/digital and a couple of rangefinders, no Leicas and my rationale on this purchase (as far as rationalism comes into it...) was/is: - I love to be 'closer to' or more immersed in the shooting experience (I love using my 4x5 a lot more than my D700, depending on the situation) and the little Leica will certainly slow things down, - it's physically tiny and will probably spend a lot of time in a jacket pocket on my travels (out with the little Fuji X10), - it represents what I consider to be quite a technical achievement in its day and - it is, to me a thing of great beauty - rather like an old Patek Philippe, but that's probably more emotional than rational. Perhaps I'm a little drawn to quirkiness. No doubt I'm a bit of a sentimental fool but I suppose I can sell it if needs be. I'll put a few rolls through it asap and report back on my experiences in the appropriate thread. Great read and great insight - many thanks! Fingers crossed I'll get some sleep between now and Monday. Cheers, David
No anxiety. Screw mount Leicas are wonderful. I think that if you have chosen IIIf and that fantastic collapsile summicron, you are right. Tactile experience with a barnack leica is unique. They are only a bit slow, certainly slower than M sisters, but not too much. I also shot in 4x5 and understand what you mean. Be happy. Let us know when your german pure mechanical csmera is arrived there in Sidney (I'm in Rome-Italy) and, if you want, post some images of it. The Patek-Philippe analogy is right, but IIIf takes also photos...
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Old 05-16-2014   #61
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The poll shows that 60% of people are as happy or happier with an LTM. That gives you pretty good odds :-)

Mind you it also shows that 70+% are as happy or happier with an M.
Hi,

So Leica owners can't go wrong as 130+% of us like them... ;-)

Regards, David
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Old 05-16-2014   #62
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Hi, So Leica owners can't go wrong as 130+% of us like them... ;-) Regards, David
Statistic bias😏 applied to leicaworld
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Old 05-16-2014   #63
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Statistic bias😏 applied to leicaworld
Of course, that's what statistics are for; that and gross over simplification...

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Old 05-16-2014   #64
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Quote:
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People here are mixing up ltm cameras and ltm lenses. Which did the OP mean for this thread?
Hey Raid. Mate as the OP I meant LTM vs. M 'cameras' - sorry I should have been more specific albeit in this subject folder. Having said that, I have found there does seem to be a very different LTM to M 'experience' to which the lens lends itself. A differing overall philosophy..that Barnack bent where size really mattered.

Irrespective of my vagueness, this has been such an interesting thread - THANKS ALL! Thoroughly constructive and no petty bickering (I haven't jinxed it I hope).

@deldridg, David, mate, another guy from Oz. I got back into this malarky with a IIIf and Summicron - sourced and serviced by YYe. You'll have a ball it's an absolute gem of a camera (it'll slow you down and breathe life back into the fundamentals of photography)….and even more so with an SBOOI…trust me! I have a Bessa R3a coming to complement the IIIf (thanks Juan!) and we'll see it how it pans out. Jeez, I might like it so much that I could sell you my hard-found SBOOI and other bits and pieces

Either way, after it arrives I'll be better informed enough to vote.

If I compare my old life with the M2 (QL kit, M6 finder) to the life I currently have with the IIIf, the Barnack wins by a convincing nose. So let's see if there's some parity with the Bessa.
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Old 05-16-2014   #65
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I would suggest there is a small element of bias in this thread, as one who has used an ltm camera since 1965 I am biased.

Buying a new M6TTL didn't really change that bias, buying a Ricoh GRI did and so did buying a Nex...each to his own

Ah well, it comes to us all
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Old 05-16-2014   #66
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Hi, very interesting...my first leica was a IIIf...loved it also the elmar 5cm that came with it was superb.

After several years of having only m mount cmaeras i received last monday a iiif...

Wow...i can´t find enough reasons to prefer the M over this iiif...the m is larger heavier, the iiif just fits in every pocket and it´s better for slow speeds...it´s lighter, smaller and does the same thing.

I always think leica should do a cloth shutter and manual advance digital camera...like a III model.
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Old 05-16-2014   #67
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Hi, very interesting...my first leica was a IIIf...loved it also the elmar 5cm that came with it was superb.

After several years of having only m mount cmaeras i received last monday a iiif...

Wow...i can´t find enough reasons to prefer the M over this iiif...the m is larger heavier, the iiif just fits in every pocket and it´s better for slow speeds...it´s lighter, smaller and does the same thing.

I always think leica should do a cloth shutter and manual advance digital camera...like a III model.
Hey Monochrom, nice to see someone else with the IIIf and sporting the same two lens line-up of 28 and 50mm - albeit mine is the CV28/3.5 and 'Cron 50 (both LTM). I just hope the LTM lenses adapt well to the R3A arriving soon - so I might have my lazy modern man's kit (Bessa) and the control freak's kit (IIIf) with the same two lens arsenal.

With the SBOOI, the Barnack addresses the pokey VF. The one modification I wish I could do to the IIIf is something to improve the loading. I'm not so fussed about cutting the leader (though be even happier if I didn't) but maybe an M3-style hinged door would help the process. No big deal but compared to the modern cameras this is a drawback….or more accurately an advance I'd like to be able to retrospectively address.

You are 100% right about the feel of the IIIf in-hand though. I have experienced nothing else like it in either the digital on film worlds.
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Old 05-16-2014   #68
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All this talk about the IIIf makes me think of mine.
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Old 05-16-2014   #69
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All this talk about the IIIf makes me think of mine.
I hope it is still sitting on the shelf just waiting for your attention Raid….you did not sell it did you sir?

This is shaping up to be a nice weekend to shoot a roll in a Barnack I reckon….whichever hemisphere you might be in.
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Old 05-16-2014   #70
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No, I stopped selling equipment a while ago, and I bought stuff instead. The IIIf and the Standard Leica work well with wide angle lenses.
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Old 05-16-2014   #71
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No, I stopped selling equipment a while ago, and I bought stuff instead. The IIIf and the Standard Leica work well with wide angle lenses.
Great news Raid. Look forward to hearing how the IIIf performed for you over the weekend.
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Old 05-16-2014   #72
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The Barnacks are fine for 50mm, but everything else requires an external finder. The M's nice bright viewfinder with the framelines and integrated RF make them much easier to use for me. Many of the older external finders are hard to use with glasses.

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Old 05-16-2014   #73
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The one modification I wish I could do to the IIIf is something to improve the loading. I'm not so fussed about cutting the leader (though be even happier if I didn't) but maybe an M3-style hinged door would help the process. No big deal but compared to the modern cameras this is a drawback….or more accurately an advance I'd like to be able to retrospectively address.
Have you tried no leader at all? Not as straightforward to load as a long leader but it does work better than a short leader.
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Old 05-16-2014   #74
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The Barnacks are fine for 50mm, but everything else requires an external finder. The M's nice bright viewfinder with the framelines and integrated RF make them much easier to use for me. Many of the older external finders are hard to use with glasses.

Mike
I have no difficulties at all with using the Canon 19/3.5 on a ltm Leica with a 20mm finder. It makes composition even more fun.
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Old 05-16-2014   #75
Monochrom
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stillshunter

I must tell you i´ve changed my biogon 28 for an orion-15 & a red scale elmar!!!


And about cutting the leader off???, back then when i had my first iiif i just ended up using my teeth just like opening a fried potatoes bag!


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Originally Posted by stillshunter View Post
Hey Monochrom, nice to see someone else with the IIIf and sporting the same two lens line-up of 28 and 50mm - albeit mine is the CV28/3.5 and 'Cron 50 (both LTM). I just hope the LTM lenses adapt well to the R3A arriving soon - so I might have my lazy modern man's kit (Bessa) and the control freak's kit (IIIf) with the same two lens arsenal.

With the SBOOI, the Barnack addresses the pokey VF. The one modification I wish I could do to the IIIf is something to improve the loading. I'm not so fussed about cutting the leader (though be even happier if I didn't) but maybe an M3-style hinged door would help the process. No big deal but compared to the modern cameras this is a drawback….or more accurately an advance I'd like to be able to retrospectively address.

You are 100% right about the feel of the IIIf in-hand though. I have experienced nothing else like it in either the digital on film worlds.
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Old 05-16-2014   #76
Keith
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I like both equally I think and these days I have one of each .... an M2 and a very pretty little black paint Leica ll. If push came to shove I think the M2 would go first.
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Old 05-17-2014   #77
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The "fondle-factor" of an LTM (I have a very nice IIIf RDST) is pretty much unsurpassed - they just look and feel and sound wonderful - if you "get" mechanical things; if you don't, it will probably seem like a quaint anachronism. All those knobs and dials and levers... I've never owned any camera that had such a ratio of "play-time" to shooting time.

But... in the end cameras are for taking pictures... *sigh*... and while I can deal with the squinty VF, separate RF/VF eyepieces, and no meter, I still find loading the IIIf a somehow jarring experience compared to an M (let alone a swing-back camera). For that reason alone I would be reluctant to take it on vacation with me, unless it was maybe as a 3rd camera. I wouldn't have any such reservations with say an M6.
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Old 05-17-2014   #78
Davidhel
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My vote was for the LTM... I've been using them now for over 20 years and the black III has been my primary daily camera for the last 6 years or so. I've always liked the idea of trying an 'M' but they have always been out of reach price wise...and as I pretty much exclusively use 50's and 35's the multiple viewfinder of the M is of less appeal to me. With the Leitz external 50mm and 35mm finder the LTM is transformed into a totally different shooting experience!
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Old 05-17-2014   #79
Mike-D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I have no difficulties at all with using the Canon 19/3.5 on a ltm Leica with a 20mm finder. It makes composition even more fun.
I have to agree that with lenses like ultra wides the LTMs work particularly well. The IIIf was always my favorite camera for the 15/4.5 Heliar
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Old 05-17-2014   #80
NeeZee
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I only have a IIIf which I love. Lately I'm using it as a scale focus camera mainly with the Snapshot Skopar. The only thing that drives me nuts is rewinding the film - takes ages (longer than loading the film once you did it 50+ times ). I'd also like a Leicavit but I definitely won't buy one for the price of two LTM bodies.
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