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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 05-18-2014   #81
mretina
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I like them almost equally and probably M2/M3 are the best cameras of all, but I must say that beyond merely taking pictures and its result (a field where SLRs cannot be discounted), there is a unique pleasure in shooting and accessing the wide array of barnacks, leica copies, canon and other japanese LTM cameras and lenses that I do not get from the M system.
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Old 05-18-2014   #82
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The Leicavit certainly makes these cameras fast handling. It adds about 2cm to their height, making them comparable to the M series cameras in height. Instead of the somewhat slow knob winding, you can really zip along frames with the Leicavit. They are very expensive though, about 3-4 x what a good used Leica Motor M would cost. I had mine relubricated by DAG prior to use, and it is like greased lightning!

Knob rewinding - sure, it is tedious. I read that old timers used to use both hands in rewinding. One hand with the knob itself, and the other hand moves the camera body in the opposite direction. I think collectively you can get over 180 degrees of wind before you have to reset your fingers and wrist.

Among the endless accessories that Leitz made for their cameras are the close-up adapters that were made for specific lenses. I was using my ADVOO this morning with the 50mm collapsible Summicron and my IIIG. Very nice for flowers and such. For the IIIF there was the SOOKY.
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Old 05-18-2014   #83
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You could put an eye out with that Leicavit. I use the alternative rapid-winder SCNOO: lower profile, cheaper, 2 fps easily, no pointy bits.

Shooting my M4 and IIIb are different experiences, and equally enjoyable.
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Old 05-18-2014   #84
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The knob rewind doesn't bother me that much. If you're in that much of a hurry, you probably shouldn't be trying to use a Barnack in the first place.

For me, the worst part of rewinding the film in a Barnack is taking-up the slack... once that's done, winding the film back is a fairly quick process.
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Old 05-18-2014   #85
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Update, having handled a few M's at an FPP event, I definitely prefer the M. I tried an M4 and an M2R, and they stole my heart.
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Old 05-19-2014   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssmc View Post
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.
I really appreciate the paeans to the IIIf, even the ones that are slightly underhanded. The IIIf is certainly much more than a quaint relic or a nostalgic piece; it is a very usable little mechanism--handy, rugged and surprisingly quick. Regarding the limitations of the camera, I am somewhat surprised that loading is a big issue; squinty viewfinder, sure, separate vf and rf windows, absolutely, but film loading? I admit that it takes getting used to, but once you get it down it really isn't a big deal. For a trip, I pre-cut the leaders and am good to go.

The one and only reason I feel compelled to try a M is the combined VF-RF. Somehow with the Barnack I feel i am missing something important.
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Old 05-19-2014   #87
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I am an admitted LTM devotee, whether that is rationally justifiable or not, but I have to say that the M-Leica's VF / RF is mighty nice...
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Old 05-21-2014   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler_101 View Post
I really appreciate the paeans to the IIIf, even the ones that are slightly underhanded. The IIIf is certainly much more than a quaint relic or a nostalgic piece; it is a very usable little mechanism--handy, rugged and surprisingly quick.
Not intended that way at all... I went back and added the qualification at the last minute because I almost expected someone who doesn't "get it" to chime in and say how pointless that was. Obviously that was a mistake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler_101 View Post
Regarding the limitations of the camera, I am somewhat surprised that loading is a big issue; squinty viewfinder, sure, separate vf and rf windows, absolutely, but film loading? I admit that it takes getting used to, but once you get it down it really isn't a big deal. For a trip, I pre-cut the leaders and am good to go.

The one and only reason I feel compelled to try a M is the combined VF-RF. Somehow with the Barnack I feel i am missing something important.
Poorly worded on my part. I was trying (failing) to express that the loading was sort of the last straw, for me, especially while burning through a significant amount of film and trying to keep up with a fast-paced group of hikers.

The combined VF-RF is a revelation if you've never used one. It just makes picture-taking seamless in a way that (IMO) the Barnacks do not.
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Old 05-21-2014   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssmc View Post
SNIP
I was trying (failing) to express that the loading was sort of the last straw, for me, especially while burning through a significant amount of film and trying to keep up with a fast-paced group of hikers.

The combined VF-RF is a revelation if you've never used one. It just makes picture-taking seamless in a way that (IMO) the Barnacks do not.
a) The secret to fast changes on-the-fly (IMHO) is cutting the leader and having multiple takeup spools. Have each film-and-spool set ready to just drop in. Takes time to prep but is like lightning when shooting. Faster, I suspect, than any other loading system in any other camera since threading the takeup spool is already done.
b) I do agree here. The nearest equivalent to the VF-RF separation I find is manual focus on a "mirrorless" where you use enlargement to focus then cancel that and reframe. Compared to that two-step process the combined VF-RF is almost autofocus.
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Old 05-21-2014   #90
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I have always photographed with M cameras due to the fact that I do not own a Leica thread mount.

Yet.
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Old 05-21-2014   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
I have always photographed with M cameras due to the fact that I do not own a Leica thread mount.

Yet.
Get an Exakta instead.
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Old 05-21-2014   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrambler View Post
a) The secret to fast changes on-the-fly (IMHO) is cutting the leader and having multiple takeup spools. Have each film-and-spool set ready to just drop in. Takes time to prep but is like lightning when shooting. Faster, I suspect, than any other loading system in any other camera since threading the takeup spool is already done.
Geez... I dunno why I never thought of this

Thanks for the tip!

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Old 05-21-2014   #93
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The smallness of my IIIf is one of the reasons it follows with out. My M has very nice handling, good CZ lenses make sharp pictures.
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Old 05-22-2014   #94
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I recently started out with Leica M's and then bought a IIIf and really like the way it looks and handles, it is just fun for me.
The only things I have done to make it easier for me to use was to make a fixture for cutting the longer leader and making a thin plastic cover to go over the back of the SB001 viewfinder so it cannot scratch my glasses.
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Old 05-25-2014   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmadco View Post
I recently started out with Leica M's and then bought a IIIf and really like the way it looks and handles, it is just fun for me.
The only things I have done to make it easier for me to use was to make a fixture for cutting the longer leader and making a thin plastic cover to go over the back of the SB001 viewfinder so it cannot scratch my glasses.
Always good to hear from a newcomer who has both and comes to appreciate the LTM's qualities.

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Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
I have always photographed with M cameras due to the fact that I do not own a Leica thread mount.

Yet.
LOL!
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Old 06-04-2014   #96
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Although I am mainly shooting M's, I have decided to shoot my coming trip to the Netherlands with a IIIf+BL finder and col summicron, loaded with 100 ISO film.
I expect doing mostly landscapes/urban landscapes with this combo, so no high speed shooting, and the tiny size is a plus. I must say that the feeling of these cameras is fantastic. Better IMO than the M's. Still, M's are the better shooters for lots of things, and I think that sometimes in the future, I'll sell the LTM gear which doesn't get enough use.
(The M2 will be with me too in NL with 400 ISO and a 28mm)
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Old 06-04-2014   #97
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Originally Posted by sanmich View Post
Although I am mainly shooting M's, I have decided to shoot my coming trip to the Netherlands with a IIIf+BL finder and col summicron, loaded with 100 ISO film.
I expect doing mostly landscapes/urban landscapes with this combo, so no high speed shooting, and the tiny size is a plus. I must say that the feeling of these cameras is fantastic. Better IMO than the M's. Still, M's are the better shooters for lots of things, and I think that sometimes in the future, I'll sell the LTM gear which doesn't get enough use.
(The M2 will be with me too in NL with 400 ISO and a 28mm)
That's cool. The IIIf is tiny isn' it?

If I may ask: what's the fastest focusing lens that you use on the M2?
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Old 06-04-2014   #98
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That's cool. The IIIf is tiny isn' it?

If I may ask: what's the fastest focusing lens that you use on the M2?
I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "fast focusing".
When shooting a Barnack, focusing is not really what slows you down.
recomposing, rewinding, changing film is.

I am down to two 50mm lenses in LTM: a summicron and a Summar.

I used to have a CV 28mm which is a killer lens for hyperfocal shooting on the streets when coupled with a IIIf.
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Old 06-05-2014   #99
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As the Summaron 35mm f/3.5 came along, Leica suggested in a '54 ad that it could be set at f/11 and 11 feet and that everything from 5-1/2 feet to infinity would be in sharp focus. Seems they had "fast focusing" in mind.
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Old 06-05-2014   #100
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Originally Posted by pete hogan View Post
As the Summaron 35mm f/3.5 came along, Leica suggested in a '54 ad that it could be set at f/11 and 11 feet and that everything from 5-1/2 feet to infinity would be in sharp focus. Seems they had "fast focusing" in mind.
Yeah . . . there is nothing faster than hyper focal shooting, but I never think about that with a 35mm lens; thanks for pointing that out.

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Originally Posted by sanmich View Post
I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "fast focusing".
When shooting a Barnack, focusing is not really what slows you down.
recomposing, rewinding, changing film is.

I am down to two 50mm lenses in LTM: a summicron and a Summar.

I used to have a CV 28mm which is a killer lens for hyperfocal shooting on the streets when coupled with a IIIf.
Well, recomposing isn't much of an issue if you are shooting hyper focal or scale focusing.

No, I wasn't referring specifically to the Barnack versus M issue; it just seems to me that some lenses focus faster than others. Maybe it's illusionary, but I have found the CV 35/2.5 Color Skopar to be particularly fast.

Thanks for the tip on the 28mm! I have the CV 25mm "Snapshot Skopar" but i've never tried it for street shooting, thinking you have to get awfully close and when you do you have too much distortion of faces. But you say the 28mm was a great shooter for street?
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Old 06-05-2014   #101
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I sold my Bessa R to fund the purchase of a Bessa R2.
I didn't take to the R2 so I sold it and bought another R.

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Old 06-06-2014   #102
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you guys will have to explain my new Canon IVSB2 to my GF...
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Old 06-08-2014   #103
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Well I've put myself in a precarious situation. Following advice from this very thread, I went and got me an R3A to complement the IIIf. Now I'm torn again. Once I got the R3A I also 'had' to get the CV40/1.4 S.C. Well I got to say, this CV combination is outstanding!!! I now find myself reaching for the R3A over the IIIf. I've had an M2 in the past and (cover your ears Leicaphiles) I find the R3A far, far better. I think it might be the 1:1 finder, but it must be more than that as I also had my time with a Canon P and the R3A is so much nicer again.

So now I am at a cross-roads.

bodies: R3A and IIIf (rd)
lenses: CV28/3.5, CV40/1.4, Cron50 (ltm)

I could live with just the R3A and lenses - or 28 and 40mm if pushed. If I were pushed on the lenses I could keep the 40mm on the R3A and the 28mm on the IIIf. But then the rendering on the first Summicron is just so unique and beautif….

…see what you've done Juan! (see Page 1 members of the jury)
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Old 06-09-2014   #104
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you guys will have to explain my new Canon IVSB2 to my GF...

What's to explain? It's a mechanical jewel and a great shooter.
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Old 06-09-2014   #105
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As I have gotten older I like the IIIc a lot more than my M3. I still use the M3 but mainly around the house or visits with friends and family..
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Old 06-09-2014   #106
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M

I've had both, you can be blazing fast with an M Leica. I only miss a shot when I'm not prepared.

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Old 06-26-2014   #107
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M

I've had both, you can be blazing fast with an M Leica. I only miss a shot when I'm not prepared.

Sam
I can be even faster with a Canon EOS 1V, but I prefer to shoot a Barnack.
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Old 06-28-2014   #108
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. . .
I could live with just the R3A and lenses - or 28 and 40mm if pushed. If I were pushed on the lenses I could keep the 40mm on the R3A and the 28mm on the IIIf. But then the rendering on the first Summicron is just so unique and beautif….
So now you have two good cameras . . . Keep what you have, but also acquire a Voigtlander Super-Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical Screw Mount lens. When you go out with two cameras, you have the 40 on the R3A and the 15 on your IIIf. Great combo. And even if the R3A-40mm combo is your main squeeze, it will be nice on occasion to take out your IIIf with the Summicron.

By the way, does anyone know if you can use the 35mm Nokton on the the R3A/R3M-shooting with the 40mm framelines?
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Old 06-28-2014   #109
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So now you have two good cameras . . . Keep what you have, but also acquire a Voigtlander Super-Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical Screw Mount lens. When you go out with two cameras, you have the 40 on the R3A and the 15 on your IIIf. Great combo. And even if the R3A-40mm combo is your main squeeze, it will be nice on occasion to take out your IIIf with the Summicron.
I'm maintaining a minimalist philosophy and after 'rigorous' testing, the R3A w/- 28 and 40mm will stay and the IIIf and Summicron 50 have just been listed on the Classifieds.

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By the way, does anyone know if you can use the 35mm Nokton on the the R3A/R3M-shooting with the 40mm framelines?
No problem. Framelines on the Bessa are dial selected only - mount machining does not come into play (which is cool when buying adapters). So you can have 90mm lines with your 50mm mounted or 50mm with your 90mm upfrontůor even a 40mm frame for your 35mm. Actually many just use the outer edges of the viewfinder to approximate 35mm - sort of like WYSIWYGů.all with 1:1 goodness.
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Old 06-28-2014   #110
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My first Leica was the IIIc. I still own it and love it. The size of the viewfinder bothered me a bit, but I added a SBOOI viewfinder and wow! Totally a different animal now. Zone focusing with the Summitar 50mm works great with that combo. I can compose faster than with my M4-P, assuming I don't have to refocus. The camera is very small and handy. Here it is next to my Pentax for size:



I do use my M4-P more but it is mostly because I prefer the 35mm focal length to the 50mm on the IIIc, and of course the viewfinder is faster to use than the IIIc/SBOOI combination when focusing is needed. The IIIc is not collecting dust however. Sometimes I carry both in a small F8 bag. I might get an LTM wide angle and viewfinder to use with zone focusing. Here in Florida it's 1/500 f16 all day, every day. So using the IIIc is pretty simple. When it gets dark, I switch to my X100S anyway.

For the price ($225) how can you go wrong? I got the Summitar 50/f2 for $350. For a Leica lens, that's pretty affordable. Ok, I spend a bit on a CLA with a new beam splitter, but now my IIIc is ready for another 20 years.

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Old 09-10-2014   #111
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Hi,
Years ago I traded in my Leica IIfs on an M4, which I still own. Later I bought an M2 as a second body; the M2 has become my favorite.
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Old 09-10-2014   #112
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I voted for the LTM. I have owned my IIf RD 1/1000 for about three + years now and acquired an M2 about a year ago. Although I love the M2, I must say that since I use a CV 28/3.5 almost exclusively... I prefer it on my Barnack. I just prefer the size and weight of my IIf especially when I have to use a lens that requires an external finder. The bottom loading, and knob film advance does not bother me at all. The separate VF/RF is no problem when I am using a lens that can be scale focused in decent light and little problem otherwise. The only thing that I wish were different on my Barnack is having to lift up on the shutter speed dial to change settings. Bottom line (for me) is that if I could only own one or the other, it would be the M. However, since I own both, I find myself with the Barnack in my hands +80% of the time. If I used longer or faster lenses on a regular basis, I would probably feel differently. YMMV.
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Old 09-10-2014   #113
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I now have 2 M bodies (M3 and M4) and 2 LTMs (Leica II and IIIf). I really enjoy them all. At one time I got rid of almost all my screwmount stuff, only to re-acquire a bit later. Now, if I really had to keep only one… it might just be the IIIf, after all. The small size is a joy to carry and I have way more LTM lenses than M mount, actually.
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Old 09-12-2014   #114
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The Barnack cameras are "real Leica" cameras in my opinion. This is just in the sense that they convey to me a feel of classical cameras with history. I have a IIIF and a Standard Leica to enjoy as pieces of history.
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Old 09-12-2014   #115
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I couldn't pick between them. I travel a lot, and the IIIa gets more use because it fits in my briefcase a little more easily. On the other hand, the M3 with an f/1.1 Nokton is just amazing.

With the IIIa


With the M3
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Old 11-14-2014   #116
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Hi,
I once had a pair of Leica IIfs . Read the review for the M4. Didn't know how shooting both cameras would work out, so I traded my IIfs in on the M4. Later I bought an M2 and then another M2. I'm happy with my Ms, but might buy another LTM camera.
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Old 11-20-2014   #117
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I use early Leicas because they are comfortable to use and easily fit into a pocket, even a shirt pocket. Comfortable is a strange thing at times. I have used I's through IIIf but ceased using anything later than a IIIb because the rest of them, though only a couple of mm larger and grams heaver than the early ones simply seemed 'to big'.
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Old 11-20-2014   #118
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Totally!

I do prefer my Ltm to M

After long years of owning almost every film M camera and using them extensively i still consider a better shooter the IIIf

Having lots of great m glass (all gone) I still regard (and use) the elmar 5cm f3.5 redscale to be unbeatable.
I left my wides in favour of an orion 15 Ltm and couldn˝t be happier!

Nevertheless i┤m the happy owner of an m9 which i have since there is no ff ltm digital camera available yet.

Also i must admit there are two pieces of equipment that i find superbe, that is the ZI camera and the ZM 50mm sonnar.

I made this conclusion not only because optics, but also about performance/size relation which i consider crucial.

As you can imagine i don┤t like to shoot hydrants nor benches at night @ f1.
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Old 11-20-2014   #119
Timmyjoe
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Used to own an M6TTL, M2 and iiifRD. With the collapsible Summicron, the iiifRD was by far the smallest package, and I really liked that about the camera. But even after having it service by Leica Solms to try to brighten up the viewfinder and rangefinder, I finally gave up as it just took me too long to focus and frame with the camera. It kind of killed the idea of capturing spontaneous moments.

Incredibly well made camera though, and seemed to be very durable.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 11-20-2014   #120
Richard G
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I bought on RFF classifieds a II with the totally collapsible 50 Elmar. With the 1950s Brightline external finder attached I find it a great, easily useable, compact package, and the slight haze behind the front element produces such dreamy pictures, sometimes. It needs the hood, and changing aperture is a pain. For my next project everything will be taken with this. The Monochrom and the M9-P don't produce the same character. I might try a Lightroom emulation of an uncoated Elmar.....
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