Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Classic Film RangeFinders & Other Classics > SLRs - the unRF

SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Leicaflex!!!
Old 04-28-2018   #1
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,900
Leicaflex!!!

Now that I have a moment to be distracted, it is time to get your opinions on a Leicaflex...

Which one?

This is a short movie that I found years ago and it has given me the crazy idea to actually trade up to a Leicaflex but life has gotten in the way time and again.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mMn5Znta3EU

Life is short.... so,

Which one?

__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #2
Larry Cloetta
Registered User
 
Larry Cloetta is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jackson, WY
Age: 69
Posts: 1,450
Hi Dave,
There’s not much Leicaflex in that movie!
I have only ever had the SL and the SL 2. I don’t think you can go wrong with either. The R series take the same lenses, but those bodies are an entirely different kettle of fish, pros and cons. Tons of info on web. Some people like them some don’t.
Meter on SL2 is marginally better than SL. Both as good as meter in M6, in day to day normal use. Battery is a total non-issue, just get a pradthai adapter and problem solved, so don’t get distracted by that. The 50mm Summicron is not expensive, though the others certainly can be. You’re going to get a ton of conflicting opinions, not all of them perhaps valid for you. Only way to know is to buy one and find out for yourself. Just get a good one from someone you can trust, and it should be very reliable. I prefer them to Ms if forced to choose, but a completely different experience. Others will differ, but that’s a personal choice, neither right nor wrong.
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #3
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,433
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Now that I have a moment to be distracted, it is time to get your opinions on a Leicaflex...

Which one?

This is a short movie that I found years ago and it has given me the crazy idea to actually trade up to a Leicaflex but life has gotten in the way time and again.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mMn5Znta3EU

Life is short.... so,

Which one?

I think what you really need is a Harley.
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #4
leicapixie
Registered User
 
leicapixie is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Toronto.Canada
Posts: 1,585
The SL and SL2 are old!
There are issues with the prism losing reflective surfaces, foam disintegrating, and some have issues with large shutter drum.
The lenses are great. The Summicron 50 mm was one of the sharpest lenses ever tested by the defunct magazines "Camera 35" and " Modern Photography".
I have enough trouble having services and repairs on an M!
The Leicaflex is totally Leica unlike the rebadged and messed electronics of the "R" series.
Those are really Minolta which have really nice lenses, much like Leica..
If the price is good, you have possibility of repairs, go slowly.
At worst the lenses easy on digital.
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #5
Timmyjoe
Registered User
 
Timmyjoe's Avatar
 
Timmyjoe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,949
That video is an interesting style and made me want to find out who Roberto Rossi is. Looks like he's an Italian custom Harley Davidson builder. Found this very similar video on him as well. Shot in the same style. No Leicaflex though.

Best,
-Tim
__________________
http://www.timcarrollphotography.com

New Photo Books
Sturgis Stories
& Scenes From Sturgis
now available
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #6
Timmyjoe
Registered User
 
Timmyjoe's Avatar
 
Timmyjoe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
I think what you really need is a Harley.
Done!



Oh, you were talking to David. Sorry.

Best,
-Tim
__________________
http://www.timcarrollphotography.com

New Photo Books
Sturgis Stories
& Scenes From Sturgis
now available
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #7
BillBingham2
Registered User
 
BillBingham2's Avatar
 
BillBingham2 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ames, Iowa, USA
Posts: 5,891
I owned and SL2 and SL2-MOT (worlds first weaponised 35mm).

The SL2 just felt smooth and solid in my hands. While the MOT was bigger it was the best sounding motor driven camera I've heard.

B2 (;->
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #8
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,900
Argh... you guys are mean!

We sold our Road King a year ago after a 17 year life with it to patially fund a start-up business for my wife I made age in order to produce a small income to offset her increasing medical bills. I am still ok with that.

Yeah, I would love another. Do I need one? Not anymore, my therapist says so.
LOL...!!!!
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #9
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
I owned and SL2 and SL2-MOT (worlds first weaponised 35mm).

The SL2 just felt smooth and solid in my hands. While the MOT was bigger it was the best sounding motor driven camera I've heard.

B2 (;->
Good points, Bill, thanks.

I will say that Sherry Krauter has a couple for sale and I am quite comfortable buying from her... the price is going to take a minute to deal with though...
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #10
Godfrey
somewhat colored
 
Godfrey's Avatar
 
Godfrey is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9,033
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Now that I have a moment to be distracted, it is time to get your opinions on a Leicaflex...

Which one?

This is a short movie that I found years ago and it has given me the crazy idea to actually trade up to a Leicaflex but life has gotten in the way time and again.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mMn5Znta3EU

Life is short.... so,
Lovely little movie. I may ride a different bike—Moto Guzzi—but the dream of riding in the emptiness and beauty of early morning's cool, slowly, drinking in the glory of another sunrise, and making photographs with such a beautiful machine as a Leicaflex SL is the dream I woke to for most of my life. For if I can see another sunrise, and hear the quiet chug of the machine taking me across this world, I have been able to live another day. And there is no greater joy than that.

The Leicaflex SL I first came across at the camera shop in my home town, Camera Craft, in 1969. I picked it up and fell in love with it instantly. Heavy, solid, beautifully made, every surface on it a joy to touch. Owning one was a fantasy until 2013, when I found that no one was valuing the Leica reflex cameras for some odd reason. I had two for a while, and a big batch of lenses, and they were every bit as wonderful to hold and use as my fantasy had held them to be all those years.



I kept one of them, a black one made in 1972, and a modest kit of lenses (19mm, 50mm, 60mm macro, 90mm, 100mm macro, 180mm). I use it rarely and always with great joy. Although I have a great fondness for the Nikon F plain prism that reminds me of my first "real" camera, the Leicaflex SL is my all time favorite 35mm SLR. No other 35mm SLR has ever had that feel or those lenses ... brilliant and superb.

They're expensive to repair, parts are scarce, meters are sometimes funky as heck, prisms are old enough to be delaminating, etc. None of it matters to me.

G


Leicaflex SL + Summicron-R 90mm f/2
ISO 400 @ f/2 @ 1/500
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #11
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,900
Thanks for the input, Larry. As always, sound advice.

I still have my R4, minus lenses I sold to pay rent a few years ago. That camera is no Leicaflex but it is very satisying to use! TBH, I do prefer an SLR over a rangefinder. So, I am considering selling something for a Leicaflex, just for the experience...

Life is too short not to.

__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #12
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Done!



Oh, you were talking to David. Sorry.

Best,
-Tim
Hahahaha! Tim, that looks similar to my first motorcycle, a 94 Harley Convertible. Loved that bike!
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #13
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Lovely little movie. I may ride a different bikeóMoto Guzzióbut the dream of riding in the emptiness and beauty of early morning's cool, slowly, drinking in the glory of another sunrise, and making photographs with such a beautiful machine as a Leicaflex SL is the dream I woke to for most of my life. For if I can see another sunrise, and hear the quiet chug of the machine taking me across this world, I have been able to live another day. And there is no greater joy than that.

The Leicaflex SL I first came across at the camera shop in my home town, Camera Craft, in 1969. I picked it up and fell in love with it instantly. Heavy, solid, beautifully made, every surface on it a joy to touch. Owning one was a fantasy until 2013, when I found that no one was valuing the Leica reflex cameras for some odd reason. I had two for a while, and a big batch of lenses, and they were every bit as wonderful to hold and use as my fantasy had held them to be all those years.



I kept one of them, a black one made in 1972, and a modest kit of lenses (19mm, 50mm, 60mm macro, 90mm, 100mm macro, 180mm). I use it rarely and always with great joy. Although I have a great fondness for the Nikon F plain prism that reminds me of my first "real" camera, the Leicaflex SL is my all time favorite 35mm SLR. No other 35mm SLR has ever had that feel or those lenses ... brilliant and superb.

They're expensive to repair, parts are scarce, meters are sometimes funky as heck, prisms are old enough to be delaminating, etc. None of it matters to me.

G


Leicaflex SL + Summicron-R 90mm f/2
ISO 400 @ f/2 @ 1/500
Absolutely perfect story! I feel exactly the same way!

I love your description of early morning rides with two fab machines. A motorcycle and a camera. The older I get the more I appreciate both but long for those simple rides and the same fantasy as you described.

Thanks Godfrey!
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #14
davidnewtonguitars
Family Snaps
 
davidnewtonguitars's Avatar
 
davidnewtonguitars is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Beaumont, TX
Posts: 1,365
You can tell a real Harley guy when he goes straight for the water-filled pothole instead of turning slightly to the left or right.
__________________
Leica M2 / 7artisans 35-f2 / Canon 35-f2 ltm
http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #15
Hatchetman
Registered User
 
Hatchetman is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 223
I have the original version or "standard" as I've heard. Bought it about 5 years ago. Works perfectly. Great camera. I changed the light seals with some wool thread. Sometimes you get lucky when buying old cameras, and this time I did.
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #16
Dralowid
Michael
 
Dralowid's Avatar
 
Dralowid is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,588
Still have but now rarely use SLMOT. Sold the 560mm Telyt, son has appropriated the 65mm but 21mm is still here! Since this picture was taken I have found another, better, motor. Whatever the Nikonistas may say it is a great camera!

SL MOT by dralowid, on Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-28-2018   #17
Timmyjoe
Registered User
 
Timmyjoe's Avatar
 
Timmyjoe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Hahahaha! Tim, that looks similar to my first motorcycle, a 94 Harley Convertible. Loved that bike!
Yeah David, one of the things I really like about the Sporty is it truly is a "convertible". Here's how it's set up for riding around town:



And here's how it's set up when I ride it out to Sturgis, with the bigger tank, more padded seat, and sissy bar for packing:



Fun bike.

Best,
-Tim
__________________
http://www.timcarrollphotography.com

New Photo Books
Sturgis Stories
& Scenes From Sturgis
now available
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-30-2018   #18
gbealnz
Registered User
 
gbealnz is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Posts: 147
Get one and try it Dave, not a lot of outlay.
Like others have said, I too prefer the R to the M, owning both.
My SL is here forever, and the Summicrons 35/50/90 as well.
Gary
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-05-2018   #19
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac's Avatar
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 6,174
One way to look at it, Dave, is the SL/SL2 take the two-cam lenses, which seem to require a lower outlay in cash since you can't use them in full mode on the R series cameras. Every time I saw a really nice price on an R lens, it was usually a two-cam model.

So if Sherry has a nice SL2 for sale, you would be getting a camera that has just been serviced, and any extra that might be can be saved on the price of the lenses.

PF
__________________
Waiting for the light
  Reply With Quote

ROM lenses on the Leicaflex?
Old 05-05-2018   #20
sarkleshark
Registered User
 
sarkleshark is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2
ROM lenses on the Leicaflex?

Sweet!! Please tell me, Can you use R ROM lenses on the lecicaflex II or will you damage the ROM contacts??
thanks
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-05-2018   #21
Freakscene
Deregistered user
 
Freakscene's Avatar
 
Freakscene is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: In exile
Posts: 1,600
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarkleshark View Post
Please tell me, Can you use R ROM lenses on the lecicaflex II or will you damage the ROM contacts?
http://www.photoethnography.com/Clas...as/Lens-R.html

No. Leica used to modify some ROM lenses to work on the Leicaflex SL and SL2, but I don't know if they do it anymore.

Marty
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-07-2018   #22
analoged
Registered User
 
analoged's Avatar
 
analoged is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: HNL/TYO
Posts: 343
DAG can modify the SL to take ROM lenses, not sure if the same applies to SL2.
__________________
M6, 35mm Pre Asph Lux, 50 Elmar M

IIIasync, 5cm Summar, 5cm Sonnar, 3.5cm Elmar, 13.5cm Sonnar

Leicaflex SL, Leicaflex SL2, R6.2, 28mm Elamrit Ver II, 80mm Lux, 100mm Apo Macro Elmarit, 180 Elmarit, 400mm Telyt, 560mm Telyt

Epson R-D1
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-07-2018   #23
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,508
Quote:

So if Sherry has a nice SL2 for sale, you would be getting a camera that has just been serviced, and any extra that might be can be saved on the price of the lenses.

PF
not sure i would recommend that. there was a thread here recently about someone buying a serviced M from her and it had issues that she would not address.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-07-2018   #24
Calzone
Gear Whore #1
 
Calzone's Avatar
 
Calzone is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hell Gate, Madhattan
Age: 61
Posts: 9,871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
http://www.photoethnography.com/Clas...as/Lens-R.html

No. Leica used to modify some ROM lenses to work on the Leicaflex SL and SL2, but I don't know if they do it anymore.

Marty
Marty,

Sherry bought up much of the parts from Leica New Jersey for the M5. I'm not sure Leica does this anymore either.

I bought a 50 Lux "E60" ROM and wanted to fit it to my SL2-MOT. I then bought a Leica Macro extension tube from B&H for parts that was a two or three cam to cannabilize for parts (cams and rear flange).

Had to mill (file) one of the cams to convert it to F1.4. Only cost about $45.00. Essentially I downgraded to a three-cam so I could use it on a R8 that I got from Dave and my SL2-MOT.

The cam I had to cut down is a parallel straight line to the original slope cut for F2.8. I just cut to fit and it ended up being perfect. Anyone that does not have sausage fingers can do what I did. The operation did take some patience thought for the many trial fitings required to avoid over trimming down the cam.

Cal
__________________
"Vintage Hipster"
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-07-2018   #25
Calzone
Gear Whore #1
 
Calzone's Avatar
 
Calzone is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hell Gate, Madhattan
Age: 61
Posts: 9,871
Dave,

I found my SL2-MOT at Adorama for $275.00 that dates back to 1975 by serial number. Pretty much was a shelf queen.

I suspect the CDS cell died early on because the camera was not used. Another issue with the camera was that the prism was desilvering.

Only about 1000 SL2-MOT's were ever made so it is a remarkably rare camera. It was also been said that Leica lost money on every one they sold. Sherry says that the SL is overbuilt, but on the SL2 Leica went crazy, and says they are a pain to work on and take apart. She called the build quality, "Redickulas."

So I found a chrome SL2 at Adorama for $199.00 as a parts camera. It offered a perfect prism and a working meter. This camera was well used, and some people would say it was hammered. It had mucho dents like as if it was used to mug people or had been in many a street fights. The lens mount had worn through the heavy chrome and I say the lens mount needed replacement because it was so worn, but the meter was spot on.

So I called Sherry. I'm one of those cusomers of Sherry's that is a pain. Pretty much I always ask for custom work, but Sherry like me. Basically I asked her to build me one good camera out of two parts cameras. I doubt that she would do these challenging custom jobs for others. On some of my earlier requests on other cameras she simply refused. LOL.

Because of the SL2-MOT I don't own any Nikon F2's anymore, because the SL2-MOT has taken their place. On one hand I do still love the F2 for the 100% VF'er, but the SL2-MOT has spot metering in its favor. I figure my experience with CDS cells is that past a certain point they have longevity. The bad points of the desilvering prism also has past the test of time in my samples.

I will say this about the Leica "R" glass: my 50 Lux "E60" I currently utilize a Leitax "Almost Auto Aperture" lNikon F-mount flange; I use this Leitax adapter to mount this fabulous 50 on a Nikon F3P and on my Leica SL digital (mirrorless). Being able to open the iris for focus snap on a mirrorless camera closely replicates a SLR experience of focus and shoot. When I let go of the lever the diaphram stops down because it is spring loaded. I use auto exposure with spot metering so the camera takes care of all the rest.

The point I'm trying to make here is the "R" glass has big legs that can span Nikon, Leica "R" and is brutally great on a Leica mirrorless. Keep all this in mind. BTW a SL2 is a heavy camera.

Cal
__________________
"Vintage Hipster"
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-09-2018   #26
steveyork
Registered User
 
steveyork is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 694
Having owned multiple copies of each, based on actual user experience (800+ rolls), the one to get, in terms of practicality in the field, and joy of use, is the Leicaflex SL. Each of the three versions has a clear, smooth, dimensional viewfinder, with a big 0.9x finder, and plenty of eye relief, but the SL has this crazy micro prism screen (fine micro prism circle surrounded by a field of coarse) where the subject just pops into focus in a dramatic way. Focusing is as much fun as getting the picture. Very easy to focus; quicker then autofocus even. The stock SL2 uses a comparatively boring split image, and the original has a central micro prism dot, analogous to a rangefinder patch.

The SL2 has a known defect at higher shutter speeds 1/500+ which results in blank frames. Depending on the technician, some claim it is a design defect that can only be temporarily fixed (Sherry), and others claim a flushing and relube permanently fixes the problem (DAG).

Sherry, by the way, is the premier repair technician for this model camera. Apparently she purchased all the spare parts from Leica USA. She's repaired many of them for me. Expensive to fix, but spare parts are available. Not many old cameras can make this claim. Sherry will tell you to get the SL. She calls it 'the M3 of the Leica reflex.'

They all have this effective braking system that allows shooting a stop or two slower then the competition. Not vibration free, but less shake then other SLRs. Not unusual to grab sharp images, hand held at 1/15. Very cool.

In terms of meter sensitivity, the SL2 is 10x more sensitive then the SL, and the original (non TTL) is in the middle. As a practical matter, the SL meters down to hand held levels. Hasn't been much of an issue in the field, but I'm usually out an about during daylight hours.

The original is the smoothest. It also has the brightest viewfinder.

They are all heavy (about 745 grams for the SL & SL2, 845 grams for the original) but actually lighter then much of the competition -- Nikon F & F2, Canon F1, ect. Lighter, smaller bodies were around the corner -- e.g., Nikon FM -- but that came at a cost of a smaller, squinty viewfinder.

I've owned them all, but quickly settled on the SL. Used them almost exclusively for 6-8years, burning through 800 or so rolls of film. Still have a couple. Just got tired of using the same camera all the time, but every time I pick one up, I think, 'This may well be my favorite camera.'
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-09-2018   #27
Steve M.
Registered User
 
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,381
If you can live w/o TTL metering, the original Leicaflex Standard is built to a higher standard (which is hard to believe because they are all built exceedingly well, but it is). That model and the SL are my favorites.

The important questions to ask when buying are whether the viewfinder is streaky or otherwise not clean (prism deterioration is an issue), and is the meter working? You can find good examples of the SL on ebay for $100 to $150 if you're patient. $200 would be a high price unless it was guaranteed to be fully working and in exc condition. The black cameras tend to be more money, and don't look as nice as the silver ones to me. Not sure about the original Standard prices, but they're probably comparable, or a little more. Note: these are large and heavy cameras, which is why I went back to shooting R glass on Nikon bodies. A 90 R Summicron on an FG is a small package that delivers the goods in manual stop down metering or AE mode.

There are known issues w/ the red plastic stop down button on the front, as well as the film take up spool, but I have never had any problems w/ any of that. If it has made it this far on a camera, it is probably not gonna give you any issues. Forget getting a CLA on one. It's very expensive, and you would never get your money back on a sale. Just ask good questions before you buy and deal w/ reliable sellers that will honor a return if needed. Or buy a $50 Nikkormat and mount the R lenses w/ a cheap adapter :]
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-10-2018   #28
Calzone
Gear Whore #1
 
Calzone's Avatar
 
Calzone is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hell Gate, Madhattan
Age: 61
Posts: 9,871
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveyork View Post

Sherry, by the way, is the premier repair technician for this model camera. Apparently she purchased all the spare parts from Leica USA. She's repaired many of them for me. Expensive to fix, but spare parts are available. Not many old cameras can make this claim. Sherry will tell you to get the SL. She calls it 'the M3 of the Leica reflex.'
Steve,

Plus one that Sherry prefers the SL over the SL2 as her personal camera.

Thanks for a lot of good information.

I also agree that "R" glass on a Nikon is the way to go, especially with the Leitax Almost Auto Aperture. This allows you to exploit the focus snap of having the iris all the way open for focusing.

Cal
__________________
"Vintage Hipster"
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:46.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.