Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Leicas and other Leica Mount Cameras > Leica M Film Cameras

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Why Leica? - a confession of equipment junkie
Old 10-16-2004   #1
denishr
アナログ侘・寂
 
denishr's Avatar
 
denishr is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Croatia
Posts: 867
Why Leica? - a confession of equipment junkie

After some interesting comments and thoughts in the "Camera and Coffee" thread re. Leicas, I just wanted to hear why the other people get a Leica.

My (long) story is as follows:
I am (was? - I'm not sure I'm cured yet!) an equipment junkie
I've been shooting various stuff for years - gone back to "serious" photography about 5 yrs. ago, after a long hiatus. By "serious" I mean other than P&S shots of holidays
First I got a serious camera (Nikon FM) and a good 50/1.8 lens, after my old Yashica FR broke. After that, it's been a trip down the "el cheapo zoom lane"... Disappointing. Some good shots, but mostly just average pics. Also got a Nikon AF camera due to failing eyesight - and I had to have sharp photos of my kids running around
Then, after reading a lot on the Internet, I thought medium format would be nice - and I got warmed up for a Speed Graphic, which I finally bought (2x3, i.e. 6x9 format). It was nice, and I did some nice shots, but I realized it's big and bulky - and I don't do that many landscapes on a tripod.
Then it was a Koni Omega. Very nice camera, good lens. Bit on a heavy side, though, so it mostly stays at home. More reading, drooling over "German engineering", etc. - and then came the Rolleiflex T.
You see a pattern here, I guess: "I must have that camera! My photos will surely be better with it!"... And a beginning of eBay addiction
Well, some of the photos *did* get better, but not on the account of camera. MF shooting has taught me to slow down and really SEE the ground glass/viewfinder image, check the corners, etc...

Along the way, I've also realized that I've become more of a collector than a shooter - which was not a very pleasing realization. However, I did learn to tinker with old cameras - a good thing, IMO.
More deliberate shooting followed (MF only), and the results improved somewhat. More browsing on photo.net and other sites, and comparing photos with those of my friends (mostly amateurs like myself).
Then a friend got an opporrtunity to shoot a few rools with a Hassie, and we were blown by the "3D" effect in the shots. Beautiful bokeh, sharp - in short, better than anything I've seen so far. However, relatively big and bulky, not for quick shooting, unpredictable handheld results, etc... And expensive! My friend decided he had to get a Hassy - but I wanted something smaller, of equal glass quality.
But, now I knew what I was looking for. I started paying more attention to OOF rendition, and looking more and more at Leica shots on the Net. I also did some tests shooting with almost all of the glass I have, to see the OOF rendition, gradation between sharp and unsharp areas in the photo, etc... My Nikons did not exactly excel in this respect. However, Jupiter 8 on a Kiev 4A was nice.
I realized I like the "old-time" quality in a lens, and got warmed up for Leica glass more and more. I was thinking about getting just a lens to put on my Zorki or Fed, but others on the Net advised against it - you know, in the vein of "not really being the right stuff".... Finally, I coughed up some serious dough and went to the nearest store which had some Leicas. Took a roll of Fuji Superia with various lenses offered at the store, and based on the resulting photos, decided on the lens. I got an M2 with a Summicron 50/2 and a Summitar 50/2. I was blown by some of the shots I took later. What's most important, I was now shooting like mad - I shot more in the first month of having the Leica than almost the whole previous year...
And I'm pleased with the purchase. Maybe I bought into "Leica mystique", and I'm actually seeing something that's not there, but still... I immensely enjoy shooting with this camera - more than with any other. And I got more lenses for it (on the cheap side - even a Jupiter 12 ). I got an M2 instead of an M6 which was also offered (the price difference was not that significant), because I liked the older camera more. I have a thing for older cameras, I guess - probably like most people here on RFF

In short, it wasn't an impulse purchase (too expensive for that!), I did not buy it for the hype (at least it wasn't the main reason), but an informed, and researched decision. I knew what I wanted and why I wanted it - I knew what photos I was after, and I knew that Leitz glass would be suited for that kind of shots.
And my photos *did* improve - probably only because now I shoot more, and now have a larger number of "keepers"
Also, my burning desire to get more and more photo gear has dwindled - instead of more cameras and lenses I now buy more developers and films - in bulk!

And what's your Leica story?

Denis
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #2
Gordon Coale
Registered User
 
Gordon Coale's Avatar
 
Gordon Coale is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Whidbey Island -- north of Seattle
Age: 74
Posts: 817
I have a couple of Soviet rangefinders coming (Zorki 6 and Fed 2). They are quite a bit less money then new shutter curtains and a CLA on my grandfathers Leica IIIc. (Someday I hope to get it done.) The Zorki has a Jupiter 8 on it. I was considering using the Summitar 50/2 from the Leica on one of the Soviet rangefinders. Any words as to the differences between the Summitar and the Jupiter?
__________________
What I am currently shooting:
35mm: 1949 Leica IIIc, 1937 Leica IIIa, 1935 Leica Standard, 1951 Canon IVSB, Voigtlander Bessa T, Asahi Pentax K, Nikon F, Nikon F4s
Medium Format: Bronica SQ-A, Isolette II, Mamiya C330
Digital: Panasonic GH3, Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2, Olympus Pen E-P2 converted to IR
gordy's camera straps for sale * my feedback
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #3
denishr
アナログ侘・寂
 
denishr's Avatar
 
denishr is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Croatia
Posts: 867
Quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Coale
I was considering using the Summitar 50/2 from the Leica on one of the Soviet rangefinders. Any words as to the differences between the Summitar and the Jupiter?
To my untrained eye, (my) Jupiter has less pincushion distortion than the Summitar. OTOH, the Summitar is better in rendering 3D "feel" in the photos. Just my impression, after a small sample of photos, all in B&W.
Not very conclusive, given that the shots were not done under same conditions (different rolls, different times, different light, etc...).
If you already have the Summitar, go ahead and give it a try. If you're planning a purchase, thinking it will be miles ahead of Jupiter, I don't think you'll notice a very visible difference. But, for a good price, it is a good lens.
I wouldn't have bought it separately - I got it as part of the kit, together with the M2 body. The Summitar was listed as "bad" - meaning the focusing was way off, and I practically got it free. After some DIY disassembly and lubing, it now works quite OK However, I'm not sure it's up to specs - haven't got it checked by an expert. As I said, it works fine by my standards.
Still, my collapsible Summicron 50/2 is better - but has a problem with damaged front element coating, so I have to avoid flare-inducing situations.

Denis
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #4
Brian Sweeney
Registered User
 
Brian Sweeney's Avatar
 
Brian Sweeney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14,912
My first Leica was a IIIf; I got it as part of a $50 camera grab bag that the manager of a professional camera put out. The look on the salesman face turned from laughter that anyone would buy a grab-bag in a camera store to a "are you crazy" look shot to the now laughing manager. I paid $130 to have the Finder rebuilt and the camera put back into perfect working order. I intended to sell it. I kept it. Last year I ran into an M3 with lenses for a very good price and sent it and the lenses to Essex for CLA. They resilvered the finder while they were at it. The M3 has become one of my Favorite cameras. The Leica lenses render an image that is very pleasing. It is able to pickup subtle variations on color and contrast that tend to get lost with "picture postcard colors".

Most of you can guess that I love my Nikons. My collection looks like the old Peter Max Nikon poster done for the inftroduction of the F2. But there is something to this Leica stuff that sets it apart from the pack. Yesterday I got my first Leica lens built after I was born, ie after 1957. It will be interesting to compare the later Summicron to my Type I Rigid Summicron and Summarit.

Last edited by Brian Sweeney : 10-16-2004 at 05:06.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #5
Oldprof
Registered User
 
Oldprof's Avatar
 
Oldprof is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 441
I have never owned a Leica, but I think of the original Leica as the "Ur Camera" for 35mm photography (Ur was an ancient Mesopotamian city - i.e., the beginning of civilization). I see all modern 35mm cameras as descendants of Oscar Barnack's original design. His goal was to invent a "small and transportable camera capable of making big pictures." He achieved that and started a revolution in photography.

My first 35mm camera was a used Argus C3 I purchased from a high school classmate for five dollars. This was around 1959. In 1960 I got a more modern and full-featured Japanese fixed-lens rangefinder (the Beauty Super II, which I got on sale for $35). I considered it to be more "modern" and "full-featured" than the C3 because it had a rapid-wind lever, a rewind crank, a fast f/2.0 normal lens, shutter speeds from 1 sec. to 1/500 sec., a self-timer, and both M and X flash synchronization.

From the very beginning, I was "blown away" by the quality of the enlargements I got from my little Japanese rangefinder. Even today, I have some large 16x20" prints from this camera on display. People who see them are impressed and often say, "Wow, what camera did you use to make these pictures?" Sometimes I say, "A Beauty." This usually ends the conversation and leaves the questioner perplexed. More often I just say, "A 35mm camera."

Because I was on a limited budget and getting such outstanding results from my little Beauty rangefinder, I never was tempted to get a "real" Leica. In 1970 I shifted to SLR photography, and got excellent results with those cameras and lenses too. But I have always loved the looks of Leica cameras and their contributions to photographic history. I'm just not convinced that viewers of fine photographic prints can discern that "Leica glow" that is so often talked about. If blind tests were conducted I doubt many people could identify which brand of lens was used to make an image.

Last edited by Oldprof : 10-16-2004 at 08:21.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #6
SolaresLarrave
My M5s need red dots!
 
SolaresLarrave's Avatar
 
SolaresLarrave is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DeKalb, IL, USA
Age: 59
Posts: 7,475
I started with an SLR (a Minolta X370, like the one used in the CSI TV series) and soon went for a Nikon AF SLR, thinking my eyesight was going to the pits and I needed the AF.

Nope. I needed a smaller, discreet camera.

I got a Canonet. Loved it! Took it with all over the place, learned to see through a rangefinder, had more time to compose, started playing with settings better... In sum, I learned, and my photos improved a bit. The best measure was my wife's taste. And, after a trip to Colombia, from where I came back with a nice number of keepers, I decided to reward myself with a Leica.

The first had a light leak. DAG in Wisconsin declared himself unable to fix it. I, brokenhearted, decided to sell it while it was still in the shop, and finance a second body from that particular sale. But how can you offer for sale something damaged? I was thinking about it when I spotted a black Leica... and bought it. What the heck!

To make a long story short, I decided to keep both bodies. A used Konica 35mm joined my initial 50/2 'cron. Now, I'm in debt, but extremely happy. In fact, I took both bodies to Barcelona in March, and came back with another nice number of keepers.

BTW, my Nikon stayed home...

That's the story...
__________________
-Francisco
Check out
My Leica M4-2 Blog and/or
My Nikon D700 Neophyte's Guide
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #7
Rich Silfver
Batteries Not Included
 
Rich Silfver is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,687
I really didnt start taking photos until about 8 years ago.
Then with an SLR - Canon.
Things went really well for me and within 2 years I had a couple of exhibits, sold prints, interviewed in papers and online publications.

I then did what any sensible person would do - I stopped taking photos...

Didn't touch a camera for a few years until one day I started tinkering with the Canon again and discovered I didn't like my photography. Felt that I had 'lost the eye' if I ever had one.

Trusted myself into 'something different' and got a Hasselblad 500c/m camera. Loved it. It made me slow down and I felt that my photography now got better. But I needed a small companion for it - and after some research got an Olympus 35SP (there was the start of my RF camera usage).

I had always secretly kinda ridiculed Leica owners and felt that that was the last kind of overpriced camera that I would ever get - by the Oly led me to more RF cameras and a deeper interest in classic cameras and now also lens design. I finally 'broke down' and got a Leica M3 - thinking that I could turn it around and sell it quickly if I didnt like it. Loved it. It is now THE 35mm companion camera to my Hasselblad and I can't imagine parting with it.

The results I get from my 'cron from the 60's blows most of my other 35mm stuff away and the camera body is a pure pleasure to handle.

Does one need a Leica? No but the quality in both feel and results are to me a combination I could only find in a Leica camera and Leica lens.
__________________
My favorite RF cameras right now:
Leica III (F), Leica M3 and Contax IIIa



.........................
Blog.........................Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #8
Pherdinand
the snow must go on
 
Pherdinand's Avatar
 
Pherdinand is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: by the river called the Gender
Age: 42
Posts: 7,819
Rich, your last paragraph sounds really really convincing ever tried to work in the political campaign business?
__________________
Happy New Year, Happy New Continent!
eye contact eye
My RFF Foolery
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #9
rover
Moderator
 
rover's Avatar
 
rover is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Connecticut
Age: 53
Posts: 13,923
Leica is part of what attracts me to rangefinders, even though I don't own a Leica body. They are way cool. My opinion right now though is that a camera body doesn't have to be the best. So, I am the perfect customer for Cosina, I will use their good quality products to shapen my skills, and really enjoy my hobby, and then someday I will go out and treat myself to a Leica when my responsibilities are less. Right now I have the 50 'cron, and maybe some day I will decide to swap some stuff for a 35 'cron. In my eyes that will allow me to use the best glass to capture the majority of my shots, which ultimately is what I think is most important.

I guess you can say that Leica was the RF bait for me, and CV stuff was the hook.
__________________
Dad with a Camera

Millennium M6TTL with Voigtlander 35/1.2 Nokton

rover's world at flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #10
Brian Sweeney
Registered User
 
Brian Sweeney's Avatar
 
Brian Sweeney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14,912
Francisco: I just cannot believe that a Light Leak Cannot be fixed! Have you tried using the Leica in a Well fitted Case? If the back door is the culprit, the fitted case will put some pressure on it and cut off most of the light that hits it. Looking at my M3, it is hard to imagine it leaking light from anyplace but the flip-up back.

If you end up selling it, you will take a loss.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #11
Oldprof
Registered User
 
Oldprof's Avatar
 
Oldprof is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Silfver
... Does one need a Leica? No but the quality in both feel and results are to me a combination I could only find in a Leica camera and Leica lens.
I don't doubt the high quality of Leica lenses and bodies. But if the quality of Leitz lenses was demonstrably superior to anything else out there I think they would still be the first choice of professional photojournalists. This is not the case. Even back in the late 1930s Contax cameras were preferred by many photojournalists and Zeiss lenses were said to be generally sharper than Leitz lenses. The Leitz Summicron is widely recognized as one of the finest normal lenses of all time, but there are competitors whose performance is very close, if not equal, to the Summicron. Again, I think few viewers of fine photographic prints could identify whether a Leitz lens or another brand was used to make an image.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #12
FrankS
Registered User
 
FrankS's Avatar
 
FrankS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Canada, eh.
Age: 62
Posts: 19,391
Or, sell it to me for a loss!
__________________
my little website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

photography makes me happy
  Reply With Quote

Fine cameras, however...
Old 10-16-2004   #13
Honu-Hugger
Registered User
 
Honu-Hugger is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sun Valley, ID Corona del Mar, CA
Posts: 1,526
Fine cameras, however...

I realize nobody asked, and probably fewer care. This is why I do not use Leicas:
  • My father and older brother use Leicas: what would we argue about at Thanksgiving?
  • Henry Scherer: the man is a National Treasure. He completely rebuilds Contax rangefinders to "better than new" specifications.
  • 21mm f/4.5 Biogon
  • 35mm f/4.5 Orthometar
  • 35mm f/2.8 Biogon
  • 50mm f/2.8 Tessar
  • 50mm f/3.5 Tessar
  • 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar
  • 50mm f/2 Sonnar
  • 85mm f/2 Sonnar
  • 135mm f/4 Sonnar
The Contax IIa is my absolute favorite camera to use, followed quite closely by the II and then the original version from the thirties (now called the "I"). My choice of cameras is purely personal, I never have and never will impose it upon others. I have always thought that the most important thing to do is grab something and go shoot, which is exactly where I'm headed on this beautiful autumn afternoon. Good light to all and my best wishes for a fine weekend!

D2
__________________
D2
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #14
Brian Sweeney
Registered User
 
Brian Sweeney's Avatar
 
Brian Sweeney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14,912
Francisco: This light leak problem really has me bothered! If you take off the lens, shine a light into the mount (like a flashlight, well mated to the opening), go into a dark room, maybe you will see where it is coming from. Have you tried anything like this? At work we have done some strange things to find reflections and light leaks in the infrared.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #15
SolaresLarrave
My M5s need red dots!
 
SolaresLarrave's Avatar
 
SolaresLarrave is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DeKalb, IL, USA
Age: 59
Posts: 7,475
About leaks... the camera is very arbitrary and leaks light in the beginning, middle or end of a roll. DAG came to the conclusion it wasn't the camera, but the film handling at the lab. However, when I got a couple of slides back from Color-Reflections (where they process Scala) with noticeable leaks, he tried to reproduce it and couldn't get it. He already had changed the light baffles, he told me (I believe they're in the front, but don't know). I also tried to see if I could detect something by shining a light through the front (kind of through the shuttercurtain).

But then, after I got the camera back from Don, with an apologetic note and an invoice for $0.00... the camera didn't leak any more light in three or four rolls. And the only leaky exposure came once, in a roll of Scala (of all things).

No, it wasn't poor handling; I got leaks with film developed in three different labs. That'd be too much of a coincidence.

In sum, Brian, I had contemplated sending it to Leica in NJ to have it refurbished. Dave Elwell assured me it would take about 3 weeks and cost a bit over $300. The first test rolls I shot after getting the camera back from Don showed no leaks, so I kept it.

No, won't sell it. It's the very first Leica I purchased and I'm unreasonably attached to it.

Here's one of the leaky shots.
__________________
-Francisco
Check out
My Leica M4-2 Blog and/or
My Nikon D700 Neophyte's Guide
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #16
SolaresLarrave
My M5s need red dots!
 
SolaresLarrave's Avatar
 
SolaresLarrave is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DeKalb, IL, USA
Age: 59
Posts: 7,475
Brian, I haven't done the flashlight trick. I simply tried to see through the camera and shuttercurtains a long time ago...

It's not the lens either. The shot above was done with my first 'cron (a model made in 1956). Check this one out, done with the 1936-Elmar and Scala film; the coarse, red lines show the leaks:
__________________
-Francisco
Check out
My Leica M4-2 Blog and/or
My Nikon D700 Neophyte's Guide
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #17
denishr
アナログ侘・寂
 
denishr's Avatar
 
denishr is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Croatia
Posts: 867
Francisco, that first (color) photo looks more like an internal reflection/flare than a light leak to me
But then, I'm no expert - if DAG couldn't pinpoint it, who am I to say anything...

Denis
__________________
アナログ侘・寂
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #18
SolaresLarrave
My M5s need red dots!
 
SolaresLarrave's Avatar
 
SolaresLarrave is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DeKalb, IL, USA
Age: 59
Posts: 7,475
Richard, like you, I once swore I'd never ever ever would buy a Leica; in fact, I stated once that only snobs and poseurs used them.

I guess I wouldn't quite find myself a very interesting chap if I ever meet my self again...
__________________
-Francisco
Check out
My Leica M4-2 Blog and/or
My Nikon D700 Neophyte's Guide
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #19
Brian Sweeney
Registered User
 
Brian Sweeney's Avatar
 
Brian Sweeney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14,912
Light Leaks: These leaks are in the direction of film travel. Off hand, I can think of two possibilities:

1) The shutter is not capping all of the time when advancing the film and cocking the shutter. It is "marginal" and lets some light in. This is a pain: but cap the lens while advancing the film for a while.

2) The back is leaking at the sides. It is occasional, depends on how it is held, etc. Try using the camera in a fitted case. That will prevent bright light from getting in.

Just some thoughts. You can advance the film and watch for the shutter not capping. I have an Olympus OM1 that does this. Very Annoying!

Do the leaks affect the area in between the pictures?
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-16-2004   #20
Doug
Moderator
 
Doug's Avatar
 
Doug is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pacific NW, USA
Posts: 12,941
I must predate the snobs and poseurs! :-) By the mid-sixties I was a confirmed Pentax enthusiast with a newish Spotmatic that followed a Petriflex, Pentax H2 and an H3v.

I found a 10-yr-old button-rewind M2 at a shop in Seattle and bought it along with a new 35mm Summicron v1. The idea, as I recall, was a second body dedicated to a wide angle lens. Indeed I traipsed about carrying both the M2+35 and the Spotmatic with 1.9/85mm. Worked out pretty well.

At that time wide angle lenses for an SLR were less common, and then slow, bulky, and expensive. SLR users often had just a 55 and a 135. So the RF made sense to me.

Why a Leica? Well, not that I was a great photographer, but surely the best camera wouldn't limit me. I could be sure any lapses in picture quality were MY fault, thus correctable.

In that respect it's like anything at the top of its category, Hasselblads, Macintoshes, BMWs, etc. No excuses! Expensive, but giving top service throughout its service life, and that has its satisfactions. I tend to keep stuff for a long time, so it works out well for me.
__________________
Doug’s Gallery
RFF on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-17-2004   #21
peter_n
~
 
peter_n's Avatar
 
peter_n is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 8,772
And what's your Leica story? - Denis

Well mine is simple. I am/was an SLR guy, started with a Zenit 3M, then a Pentax Spotmatic, then a Nikon F3 which I still have (but don't use). I used to get the magazine Leica Fotografie mainly for the pictures, so when I decided I wanted something portable that I could take anywhere there was only one camera I knew about. I did a fair amount of research and decided on an M6ttl as the best value and bought one just over a year ago from a dealer in NYC (Rich Pinto, PhotoVillage - highly recommended). I had never handled or even seen a Leica before I bought one, so I was surprised (and pleased) at how small the camera was.

I've been through a succession of lenses and I now have a 21, 35, 50 and 90 with which I'm happy. I'm planning on getting a 135mm Jupiter-11. I think the Leica lenses are optically excellent but build quality/QC is poor in my experience. The best quality lenses I have used are the Hexanon-M series made by Konica and I'm surprised that there isn't more interest in these fine lenses here on the RFF. They are up to Leica quality in glass and way beyond them in build quality - Leica could learn a thing or two from Konica.

I have no interest in older Leicas. I understand why people collect things but it's just not for me. I would like to get a second body with AE and I'm very interested in the new CV R3A because of the low price but I'm worried about the shutter noise. I have no interest in the Zeiss Ikon so I might end up with an M7. I might also get a Canonet QL17. To me the camera is just a tool and I'm much more interested in the prints.
__________________
_
~Peter

My RFF Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-17-2004   #22
Todd.Hanz
Registered User
 
Todd.Hanz's Avatar
 
Todd.Hanz is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Age: 54
Posts: 4,184
Simply put, it's the best tool I have used to get the results I want. Loved mine!

Todd
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-17-2004   #23
back alley
IMAGES
 
back alley's Avatar
 
back alley is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: true north strong & free
Posts: 49,133
hey todd,

been thinking about ya. hope all is as ok as can be.
maybe think about dropping in on a chat one of these nites. there is no schedule that i know of but i just drop in and see if anyone is home.
might be a good place to 'vent'

joe
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2004   #24
Todd.Hanz
Registered User
 
Todd.Hanz's Avatar
 
Todd.Hanz is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Age: 54
Posts: 4,184
Will do Joe!

Todd
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2004   #25
Peter
Voigtlander Mann
 
Peter's Avatar
 
Peter is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Singapore
Age: 46
Posts: 1,115
Good to see you back here Todd!
__________________
See with your mind's eye!

My RFF Gallery
My PBase Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2004   #26
AndColor
Registered User
 
AndColor is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 41
the leica is a superb, loveley, nearly perfect piece of equipment. and the lenses --- oh the lenses. wait a minute, most of you guys shoot black and white. i am a color shooter mostly - what you may not see shooting b/w is the leica lens ablility to render color. it is amazing. and reason enough to use a leica.

andcolor...maybe i should change my name to 'occasionally black and white'...
__________________
<a href='http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=470'>My Gallery</a>
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2004   #27
jdos2
Registered User
 
jdos2's Avatar
 
jdos2 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Shaker Heights, Ohio USA
Age: 51
Posts: 1,188
That looks like a rangefinder/top plate light leak to me- it would be on the right hand side of the negative, and that triangle shaped (inverted on the negatve) puts the light leak at the top of the camera, shining down on the film- again, rangefinder area. Just a guess, of course, but I'd try the flashlight trick too.

I've had three Leicas and each was usable in terms of photography, though all rather less so than any of my other camers.

1) IIIg. Pinhole leaks in the shutter. Elmar 50mm so fogged as to be quite noticable on film. I bought it to use, so I sent it back when I found the troubles, though I really did like the look of the replacement lens I bought, the CV 35mm f/1.7. Pinholes, as previously mentioned, were a bother.

2) Leica M3 (Sold to a forum member) and a Summicron 50mm (4th generation). Bought it with shutter capping problems (didn't know until I shot a couple rolls- Do'h!) and some rangefinder mis-alignment. Fixed the later, the former was never fixed. The B&W prints that I could print were very nice and sharp- I like the 50mm lens, except for the flare trouble. The color were nice too. Exceptional? Sadly, no. This camera showed me that for whatever reason, I don't have the ability to bring whatever-it-is to bear and create images that I'd call "outstanding."
3) Leica 6TTL (Black) Very pretty camera. had the 35mm Summi ASPH on it, and eventually bought a 90mm for it. I bought it "nearly new," the previous owner probably having not put more than a couple rolls through it. Black paint wore off the camera body in the corner where the ever-ready case rubbed. It was a "competent" camera, making nice images in black and white and color. Flare was horrible if I kept the UV on it, and removed, didn't make for "wonderous" images, like the M3 above. Perhaps it's true what's said about Russian cameras, the good ones are simply kept by their owners, the bad ones are sold off to someone else in an effort to get a better one. Or it's probably even more true that "I simply can't acquire the particular skills to bring out the best of these great tools." I can own that. ("No bad Leicas," and all)

My experience with the Leica line has been marred by cameras with problems, or worse, by expectations that the images taken with them would be similar or better than the ones out of my G2, which simply produces more pleasing results to me.

Leicas are nice cameras, don't get me wrong, but for me they are so expensive as to be unapproachable, at least for one that works well, provides nice images, and doesn't fail to function when need for it to do so. I would say that I'm "non-plussed" by them. I've not experienced any "mystique" that would make me at all enthusiastic about the line. I'm looking forward to the new M mount camera from "Zeiss-Ikon," and with that, I might have better luck. We'll see. Lens butts are less important to me anymore than the lenses themselves, especially when I'm spending time to shoot them wide-open, where their character is out there for all to see.

I'm not giving up on the Leica line, as I do wish to be a convert to the best of the best, but from my perspective and experience, I just can't "get it."

Last edited by jdos2 : 10-18-2004 at 08:11.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2004   #28
Brian Sweeney
Registered User
 
Brian Sweeney's Avatar
 
Brian Sweeney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14,912
"Perhap it is true what's said about Russian cameras, the good ones are simply kept by their owners, the bad ones are sold off to someone in an effort to get a better one"

In my case, I think the odds of me finding another really good Russian camera are about the same as finding another Leica in a $50 camera grab bag.

I agree about the Leica lenses used with Color film. i have used Nikkor's for over 25 years. The they have great contrast, and produce Picture Postcard Colors. But the Leica lenses pick up subtle variations in light and color that is lost by high contradt lenses. I love my Summarit as it has a personality that is distinct from everything else I use. I had both of them CLA'd at Essex; otherwise the "fogged" elements would really affect the pictures.

I use the Leica and Other RF's as "the Family Camera".

BTW: At the Fall festival in fairfax Virginia yesterday, most people were using Film Cameras. No RF's going down the Giant Slide (but my M3), but lots of SLR's and P&S. About 2:1 in favor of Film vs Digital. Many families with kids. A lot of Young Moms using AF SLR's for shots of their kids.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2004   #29
digitalox
RF Extraordinaire
 
digitalox's Avatar
 
digitalox is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Texas
Age: 45
Posts: 379
I ran into a guy with a Leica at the bookstore Saturday night. He was passing through town and happened to stop there on his way back from taking photos in Galveston. We chatted for a bit and I got to handle his M6. It had a CV 15mm on it. It was really nice, had a very solid feel to it and was very quiet. I'd probably buy one if I had that kind've money to throw around. But I'll wait to see how quiet the R3 is, if its quiet I may get one of those. I'd like to have something a bit quieter than my G1 and bessa-l.

He said he lurks at the leica forum on photo.net, I told him about our site and hopefully he'll be joining us here soon.
__________________
<a href='http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=381'>My Gallery</a>
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2004   #30
Kin Lau
Registered User
 
Kin Lau is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 1,680
"Why Leica? - a confession of equipment junkie "

I don't have a M series, only a IIIa w/ 50/3.5 Elmar & 50/2 Summar and a few Zorki's, but I'm an equipment junkie also.

I've only been serious about photography for about 2 years now, with my main systems being Minolta MF SLR's & the DReb, SLR's being the more versatile choice for nature shots. Rokkor primes being so much cheaper than brand new EOS glass.

The RF's are mostly fixed lense models with very good glass and all old and cheap ... which leads me to the Russian Zorki's & Kiev. The Leica, just looks beautiful and feels great and also fits in my pocket. I must admit that the Canon GIII QL17 has been the user due to it's small size, fast glass and working meter.

I'll probably be trying a few more rolls on the IIIa with HP5 pushed a couple of stops in Microphen this weekend.
__________________
Of course I have a photographic memory: over exposed, under developed, grainy and out of focus

<a href='http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=583'>My Gallery</a>
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2004   #31
StuartR
Registered User
 
StuartR's Avatar
 
StuartR is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Age: 41
Posts: 1,394
Well, I am new to this forum, (a bit older at the photo.net one), but I figured I would share my experience.

In 2001, I graduated college and went to live in Vladivostok, Russia for a year on a Fulbright. I knew nothing about photographry other than what I picked up from my dad. He is a very good amateur photographer; he pointed out to me things like the quality of light at different times and places, the rule of thirds etc. I started with an Olympus XA when I was in 8th grade, but it was stolen when I was in high school. That pretty much ended it until Vladivostok. I bought a canon S30 to go there and took a number of photos. I did not really feel they measured up in quality though.
When I got back, I remained interested in photography. My dad offered me his SLR setup. It was Canon FD: a T90, F1-N and 3 lenses -- 24/2, 50/1.2L, 85/1.2L. My photography got MUCH better. Not so much because of the much better cameras and lenses as the TTL viewing, manual focus and so on. I entered graduate school and shot all the time. I moved to Japan the next summer for research and took this system. I loved the quality of the system and I took the whole setup with me everywhere I went, but the weight wore on me. I also wanted a camera that was not so incredibly loud (the F1 and T90 are both very loud cameras). After getting back from Japan, I decided to shell out for a Leica. I wound up with an MP and a 50 cron. I have had it for a year now, and it never leaves my side. I still love the FD setup, but the Leica is just phenomenal. I love the simplicity, the incredible image quality, small size and quiet operation. It is just a joy to use.
Sorry if I am rambling on...

Last edited by StuartR : 10-25-2004 at 08:51.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2004   #32
Pherdinand
the snow must go on
 
Pherdinand's Avatar
 
Pherdinand is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: by the river called the Gender
Age: 42
Posts: 7,819
"My dad offered me his SLR setup" Man that was THE SLR setup!!! two f/1.2L lenses and a 24/2! with THREE bodies!
__________________
Happy New Year, Happy New Continent!
eye contact eye
My RFF Foolery
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2004   #33
StuartR
Registered User
 
StuartR's Avatar
 
StuartR is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Age: 41
Posts: 1,394
two bodies...the T90 and the F1N. Yeah, he bought the T90 when it came out and used it for years. I still think it is the most ergonomic camera I have used. My dad is very much a proponent of buying quality things once, and then not buying anything again until they break. He bought the F1 as a backup several years ago in case the electronics ever fail on the T90. Three super-high quality lenses and two excellent bodies. They still take fantastic pictures.

Last edited by StuartR : 10-25-2004 at 08:58.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2004   #34
Doug
Moderator
 
Doug's Avatar
 
Doug is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pacific NW, USA
Posts: 12,941
So, Stuart, is your Dad still shooting, and if so what is he shooting with? It seems you share his views on getting quality and keeping it... so do I.
__________________
Doug’s Gallery
RFF on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2004   #35
StuartR
Registered User
 
StuartR's Avatar
 
StuartR is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Age: 41
Posts: 1,394
He is not shooting that much anymore, but when he does, he uses an M6 classic and a 50mm summilux. They are now his only camera and lens.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2004   #36
FrankS
Registered User
 
FrankS's Avatar
 
FrankS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Canada, eh.
Age: 62
Posts: 19,391
Quote:
Originally posted by StuartR
He is not shooting that much anymore, but when he does, he uses an M6 classic and a 50mm summilux. They are now his only camera and lens.
Very cool. I hope to get to that point one day.
__________________
my little website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

photography makes me happy
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-25-2005   #37
jdos2
Registered User
 
jdos2's Avatar
 
jdos2 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Shaker Heights, Ohio USA
Age: 51
Posts: 1,188
My Leica Story:

I've owned several, used, and never did I ever find one that didn't need a complete overhaul. M3, M6ttl III-g, several lenses, all needed major shutter work (M3, III-g), finder work (M6ttl) or had lens problems with the included lens (III-g).

I've given up.

I bought one. A couple days a go. An MP, black, .72 finder, with two lenses, the 35mm Summilux ASPH and the 90mm Summicron.

I spent too much. Income tax and bonus time play havoc with desire and wishes!

I'm going to sell off a bunch of stuff to help afford it. I've not bought a new camera in 20 years- this was exciting, frightening, and fun. Anyone want a Voigtlander Prominent kit, or a Canon 10D (with lenses!)? How 'bout a Moskva 5? Mamiya 645?

:-)

I'm keeping the G2 with lenses. I've finally got the dream set (minus Very Wide Angle Lenses) in 35mm, all in black; Leica and G2, I'm spoiled!

Now, if I can just figure out how to coax decent images from the Leica, I'll be ahead of the game. Yes, I'm trying again. The MP just feels so nice, doesn't need finder work shutter work, or have any other problems. It's competent. We'll see.

Last edited by jdos2 : 02-25-2005 at 21:37. Reason: Sleepiness
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-25-2005   #38
Doug
Moderator
 
Doug's Avatar
 
Doug is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pacific NW, USA
Posts: 12,941
Oooooohhhh nice! I even like the knob rewind. What an elegant machine. And those two lenses should be incredible. Same focal lengths I've had for my M2 since the 60's, but a stop faster on each, and of course more modern optics. Anyway, a good combination I think. If you don't get comfortable with this outfit, then you'll know you needn't try again; Leicas just aren't for you! Otherwise, something to keep for life, and pass on to future apprectiative generations!
__________________
Doug’s Gallery
RFF on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-26-2005   #39
ddimaria
Registered User
 
ddimaria's Avatar
 
ddimaria is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boston
Posts: 242
"I've been through a succession of lenses and I now have a 21, 35, 50 and 90 with which I'm happy. I'm planning on getting a 135mm Jupiter-11. I think the Leica lenses are optically excellent but build quality/QC is poor in my experience. The best quality lenses I have used are the Hexanon-M series made by Konica and I'm surprised that there isn't more interest in these fine lenses here on the RFF. They are up to Leica quality in glass and way beyond them in build quality - Leica could learn a thing or two from Konica."



I at least would love to get some of the Konica lenses, but where are they being sold? Can they be bought new? Anyone got a 50/1.2 they don't really need anymore?
__________________
No Particular Place
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-26-2005   #40
peter_n
~
 
peter_n's Avatar
 
peter_n is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 8,772
ddimaria I'm reading through your post and I'm saying geez I really agree with this guy and then I say wait a minute - I wrote that!!

I don't think there are many M-Hexanons being sold new any more. I posted a link last year of a dealer in NJ who was selling a new 90/2.8 but I assume that is long gone. I think Konica Minolta have washed their hands of the Hexar and the M-Hexanon lenses. I had both the 35 and the 90 and both were optically excellent. The other one I was interested in was the dual 21/35mm, not a zoom but a dual focal length lens. About a year ago there was a dealer in California who sold a succession of those dual lenses on eBay. I think prices have risen because of the scarcity of the lenses (a 50mm sold on eBay the other week for $540) and the main places to look now are eBay and the FS and Classifieds on photo.net.

BTW, did you have any luck with the 21/2.8 from that dealer in NY?
__________________
_
~Peter

My RFF Gallery
  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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LEICA MP, a new tool for professional and dedicated amateur photographers MP Guy Leica M Film Cameras 32 01-04-2016 06:21
Leica Digital M camera??? MP Guy Rangefinder Photography Discussion 1 05-07-2013 20:07
Leica Digilux 2 MP Guy Rangefinder Photography Discussion 12 08-18-2007 19:35
LEICA DIGITAL-MODUL-R in preparation MP Guy Off Topic 4 05-15-2006 08:13
Leica SLR digital camera MP Guy Rangefinder Photography Discussion 0 10-02-2003 14:26



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:51.


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.