Old 2 Weeks Ago   #41
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Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Most people use cameras to "search" a picture by looking through the viewfinder. However, the Leica M3 is a camera that "takes" the picture once you've found it by looking through your eyes.

Erik.
Isn`t that valid for all cameras?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #42
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Underwhelemed by M3

It's okay, you missed the party.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #43
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Rangefinder cameras are certainly not for everyone but I actually enjoy working with them and find them to be very responsive for me. In truth it really doesn't matter to me whether I am using a Leica III, an M3, an M-A, a ZI or the Bessa R. For my use they are all terrific cameras and very easy for me to use.

But for some it almost seems to be some sort of religion. To be honest it really doesn't matter which type of camera you enjoy working with as long as you are using it. Like everything everything else, the more you use it, the better you get at using it, and oftentimes the more a certain type of camera will begin to appeal to you. Just buying one and trying it out for a week or two will not be enough to help you push through that unfamiliarity you feel, particularly if you naturally favor a different mechanism.

But really, why bother. If you really enjoy working with a TLR or an SLR, life is probably too short to worry about becoming fond of working with another style of camera. Your best exposures will almost always come from the camera that you are most comfortable with.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #44
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There is something about the smoothness of stuff build in that style/era. I've only owned the later M4-P and M6 versions which I thought I loved, but then came the Nikon S2. Everything just clicked (pun intended) for me. It just felt like an extension of my hand/fingers.

I purchased my first SLR as the OM system was just starting out, I went Nikkormat. Years later I purchased an OM-1 and a couple of lenses and found it a lot of fun, but it didn't have the same feeling that I get from my Nikkormat or F2 plain prism.

Oddly enough my Bessa L / CV 25 Snap-Shot combo felt like an extension of me too. New metal lens, pretty much plastic body, but it just felt right. My T was fun, but not the same.

I've used lots of different cameras over the years, but only a few provide me with the feedback that I can only describe as being a part of me. It's completely subjective, perhaps I need to up the meds again, but that's me.

People are attune to different things. Feelings that they can describe and understand, rumblings from inside they can't identify, and sometimes don't want to. Others aren't sensing those wave lengths. Nothing wrong with either side of the continuum long as they respect the other.

B2 (;->
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Most people use cameras to "search" a picture by looking through the viewfinder. However, the Leica M3 is a camera that "takes" the picture once you've found it by looking through your eyes.

Erik.
Yes. When I look at a scene, my brain puts a frame around it. Usually a 35mm frame, but it could be 28, 50, 75, or 90. Or even a 24mm.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #46
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The M3 is a good camera, but not every good camera is right for every person. I prefer the M4-2 in the Leica M line, for various reasons. But it really doesn't matter much at all. Use what inspires you to make photographs that satisfy you.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #47
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The best film rangefinder that Leica ever made was probably the M5 which failed largely because it wasn't an M3. In many ways the M3 held Leica back.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #48
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The difference is that with the M3 you can set the self timer, throw the camera up in the air, and by the time it comes down (and you catch it..) it will have taken an incredible decisive moment pulitzer price worthy photo.
Try this with any other camera, and the best you'd get is a cat picture.
You got it!

I bought my first M2 and them M3 in 1968 when I started working as a PJ in college. At that time the pro choices were Nikon RF and SLR and Leica. I didn't like the lens mount of the Nikon RFs and hated the finger wheel so I bought Leicas and soon after a Nikon F.

Today I still do similar work and because of familiarity I still use 4 M bodies. I carry M2, M3 SS for my 90 f2, MP with Leicavit and M4P. My reason for the M3 is focusing the 90 f2 at max aperture is easier with the higher magnification RF and the 90 frame is much easier to compose in. I prefer my MP x.85 for my 75 summilux and M2 and M4P for 21-50mm.

I've shot M's so long I know them like the back of my hand and see no reason to change. I'm the same way about my F and F2.

I agree Leica is a religion for some just because of the name and a lot of folks have convinced themselves there's a superiority to Leica. My response to that has always been, if there's a true superiority to Leica ( or fill in the blank __) for those of us that make a living with photography, we would use nothing but Leica (or _ fill in the blank________).

I bought an R2 just to see how I liked it and I thought it was a great camera. The RF base is a bit short for accurate long fast glass I felt but it was a very nice camera.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Leica M3: In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister.

Goethe.
Das glaube ich auch.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #50
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The best film rangefinder that Leica ever made was probably the M5 which failed largely because it wasn't an M3. In many ways the M3 held Leica back.
Beethoven would have said "The M3 brings melodies to my head"!

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #51
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As others have noted, you’ll probably struggle to find a truly epiphanic answer because much of it has to do with personal preference; akin to asking why someone likes red more than green and such.

I’ve have the similar M2-R, and I have absolutely no desire for any other camera. Before the M2, I used a Bessa R2M and then a Leica iiif. I initially alternated between the Bessa and Barnack, but I naturally began to gravitate towards the Leica, and that was it.

The M2 followed, slightly edging out the iiif, although I will still keep both the Bessa and Barnack around.

And the reason largely centers on tactility: the buttery smooth operation, to which you yourself noted, and even the weight. If I wanted lighter, I’d go back to the iiif, which is also superb in regards to ergonomics…unless, of course, it’s not…it’s personal preference.

I simply enjoy using the M2 more than any other camera, and the whole photographic process is important to me, not just getting the shot.

As for modern technical amenities, I was pretty much using my Canon 350D DSLR as an archaic contraption (manual focus only lens, single shot, manual exposure, etc) before completely shifting over to film.

The Bessa is a great camera, one that I would highly recommend, but the ‘feel’ of the M2 remains unsurpassed for me, maybe not for others…

Oh, and the M2, not M3, is the “best camera in the world.”
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #52
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Did Goethe or Beethoven mention the M2?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #53
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Quote:
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Did Goethe or Beethoven mention the M2?

You're being very flippant ... I like it! lol
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #54
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LOL. The Flippant Raid!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #55
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After a series of LTM cameras from the IIf, IIIf, IIIg, Canon 7s, and Bessa R, I finally graduated to a Leica M7. Of the LTM cameras, I'd say that the Bessa R is the easiest to use with its built in meter, and excellent viewfinder.

The one thing that I like best about the M7 and M5 are their decent sized shutter speed dials. (I've not tried the M6TTL, but it's similar to the M7 in shutter dial size). In the meantime, I got the M2, M3, M4-2. All of these have tiny, unusable shutter speed dials. True, the iIIf and IIIg also have small shutter speed dials, but since you need to lift them up to change speeds anyway, it's not a problem. Only when you put the Leicameter on these cameras do they make ergonomic sense. Then you have the big overhanging shutter speed dial similar to the M5. To me, this is the fatal flaw of the MP and classic M6. They have no way around the atrophic shutter speed dial.

Initially, I was underwhelmed by the M2 and M3. However, their solidity and quiet elegance have started to win me over. I like the rewind knob better than the crank on the M7 and others. At least they don't roll back when your hand slips off.

I also appreciate that the M2 and M3 have self timers. Those that don't have them are really annoying when you want that feature. I have an Autoknips spring wound self timer for the M7 and M4-2. It's fiddly to use, but it works.

So, of the Leica M cameras, my personal ranking for use is M7, M5 and M4-2 with Leicameter MR-4.

Having said that, I feel that Leica is a huge money pit. For the price of Leica gear, you can (and I did) buy medium format gear. Rolleiflex 3.5F, 2.8F, Voigtlander Bessa IIIW and the Fuji 667 folder. Even the Voigtlander Bessa RF and Kodak Medalist II 6x9 format cameras. Leica lenses are superb. However, on a 24x36mm piece of film, there's only so much you can do. These medium format cameras with their also excellent lenses can really put out an image with smooth tonality and tons of detail.

So, this is my long and rambling way of saying that you've tried the M3 and it isn't for you. It's not the end of the world. There are many other cameras out there for you to try. Every camera has some quirk that you have to either learn to live with, or give it up.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #56
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Leicas aren't money pits as they don't depreciate. Just don't drop them or pay too much in the first place.

I had an M3 at 18 and it was a great camera, I really enjoyed it. That was a few decades ago. They *still* are great cameras, but as someone mentioned above, I view them now from an historical perspective moreso than from a user perspective. The exquisite engineering and manufacturing that went into these cameras is unmatched. I've had many more Ms, pretty much all models multiple times, since then. I have many Leicas now, but I prefer the Barnacks, although I do still have an M2.

There are just too many great cameras that were manufactured since the M3 debuted in 1954 that have superior usability features, like built-in meters, quick loading, auto exposure, etc.

I still use old cameras, don't get me wrong, I have lots of them. But they are almost always used when I specifically want to go on a photo junket with an old camera.

For regular life, I use a more modern film camera, usually a Contax 159 or an N1, or digital.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #57
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Perhaps "money pit" isn't the best way to put it. But, Leica film cameras are expensive, and they are still only for 35mm film.
These days, that same money can buy you an excellent medium format camera.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #58
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Take 100-150 rolls of film with the M3.
Then go back to your favorite Other 35mm camera.

See!


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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
Isn`t that valid for all cameras?
No, certainly not for SLR's with zoom lenses.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #60
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It did take a few rolls to warm up to the M3, at first I found it inferior to the Bessa as well - heavy, lacking ergonomic grip, no meter. Now, I wouldn't even consider buying another Bessa, with it's crappy finder that always goes out of sync, that tiny rangefinder patch and lack of balance due to the low weight body and erroneous placement of strap lugs.
The shutter dial is my biggest issue with the M3, but I've learned to set the shutter speed in advance, so it becomes a non issue.
Bottom loading is a feature: with this you always get the same place for your frames, if you want to change film mid-roll; and it has a 100% success rate, no more rewinding and finding out that the film was never wound up.
The OM1 can compete with the M3, but the lack of mirror is like having a 1-2 stop IBIS in comparison - valuable with the low ISO of film.

I have two M3 currently, and they would probably be the last cameras I'd liquidate in a crisis.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #61
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I bought mine used, on line from an eBay auction a few years ago of the estate of a Yale professor who was the first owner and had used over the years apparently for vacations and with no evidence it had ever been serviced. Since then I have had zero - ZERO - issues: rangefinder is perfectly on, shutter speeds down to 1 sec. are on, clean viewfinder, film never jams or gets cut. Even the slight crumbling of some of the vulcanite is to my mind a feature rather than a problem. Every time I pick it up to my eye and look through I am wowed. I have Bessa R3A, R4A and L cameras also, which I really appreciate in their own way, and my Leica CL is, predictably, with DAG repair at the moment, but I am definitely a convert in the cult of the M3...for 50mm or 90mm on a rangefinder it can't be beat.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #62
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Most people use cameras to "search" a picture by looking through the viewfinder. However, the Leica M3 is a camera that "takes" the picture once you've found it by looking through your eyes.

Erik.
What about a Yashica Electro 35? You don't even need to change shutter speed. It really "takes" the picture.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #64
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Leica for me is all about the look, the rendering of the lenses. So, yes. All about the lenses. Then their build and precision. Then I look at the camera. Precision. Nothing like it. I also enjoy Olympus - it's a very fun camera. Lovely viewfinder, as good as the Leica SL. I have acquired lots of lenses for the OM System, but incomparable to Leica and the rangefinder. One type of camera has advantages over the other - but if you can't appreciate the M3 to like it enough, well - you have a heavier wallet either way.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukecoke View Post
What about a Yashica Electro 35? You don't even need to change shutter speed. It really "takes" the picture.
It is a good camera, but lacks the feel of an M3. The lens is nice, but is not a Summicron.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
The best film rangefinder that Leica ever made was probably the M5 which failed largely because it wasn't an M3.
I am convinced the M5 failed because it didn't look like an M3 (or M4).
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Viewed differently ...
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #67
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Viewed differently ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoPhoto View Post
Okay, I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Church of Leica and all, but I recently picked up an M3 and I really don't know why people love this so much. It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money. Yet it's also heavy, and for all the mechanical goodness of it all, it's harder to load film, harder to set shutter speeds and the lovely viewfinder really isn't hundreds of dollars more lovely than the Bessa R2 or my Olympus OM-1n.

I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

(Mine will probably show up in the classifieds soon)
I used a SS M3 for two decades, along with other film Leica bodies, but never thought that it had any "magical" properties, other than a nice viewfinder to support Leica (50 and 90mm) lenses. In fact, I sold my last M3 body years ago when my working environment required faster film handling and the need to accommodate 28mm lenses, etc.

You never mentioned anything about the photographs that you made with this camera? If the dimensions, weight, or basic controls have impacted your ability to create the kinds of photograph that you envision then what difference does the engraving on the top plate, or the "provenance" make?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #68
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Quote:
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Perhaps "money pit" isn't the best way to put it. But, Leica film cameras are expensive, and they are still only for 35mm film.
These days, that same money can buy you an excellent medium format camera.
That's what I did, a friend sold me his Hasselblad 500CM I just needed a
lens (he had a 150) and that was it, love the square!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #69
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I switched to RF photography after getting a mint M3 with a few lenses that looked like new. A gentleman had bought this set in Germany new. The receipts were still included with the (very old looking) paper wraps. I was mesmerized. I entered the "Leica World" once I held that M3 in my hands. I never looked back. It was a good feeling.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #70
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Leica M3 1038265, Summicron-M 50mm f/2 v4 3593652, 400-2TMY.

The M3 offers very precise framing with a 50mm lens. You will not only see what will be in the picture, but also what you are leaving out.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #71
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M3 is a beautiful object, particularly ones built in the late 1950s or so where they still had details like the bright chrome shutter speed dials, but new enough to have frame preview lever. But as a picture-taking machine, there are a lot of other options available, and most of them are more accommodating to wide angle lenses.

If I had to buy another film Leica today, perhaps I'd try an M7 with standard 0.72x viewfinder because I grew comfy using "A" mode with M8 and M9.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #72
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I bought an M3 a while back, thinking I would like to own the first M rangefinder camera. Using it I like the viewfinder, especially while using a 50 Summicron lens. It also has a different sound when clicking the shutter compared to my other M cameras. For me it is easy to load film.

At any rate, I like the M3.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #73
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the M3 is sex, in brass.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #74
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Isn`t that valid for all cameras?
No. With an RF/optical viewfinder type camera you see the world in front of you and snip moments, with an EVF camera, for instance, you see the photograph you are going to take and record it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #75
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No. With an RF/optical viewfinder type camera you see the world in front of you and snip moments, with an EVF camera, for instance, you see the photograph you are going to take and record it.
How romantic.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #76
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How romantic.
Well, romantic ...

Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #77
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I also bought an M3 after selling my nikon s3. The s3 was awesome and I'd love one again, but my example had a dim patch, which apparently most do.

I picked up the m3, thinking I'd never sell it, that it would live up to the hype and likely surpass the hype. Like you said, it was a stellar camera in build and so forth, I just did not connect with it. I didn't like it. I tried to like it and use it all the time, it just ended up getting sold to a friend who has used it extensively for years now, so that was good.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #78
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Well, romantic ...

Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.

Erik.
Not even close? Wow, those are some pretty slow SLRs. Old lube? Unless photographing bullets in flight, from the side, they should really be pretty close.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #79
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There is always a time lag as the SLR mirror flips up before exposure. That is why no one has ever taken an iconic photograph with an SLR.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #80
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Not even close? Wow, those are some pretty slow SLRs. Old lube? Unless photographing bullets in flight, from the side, they should really be pretty close.
No really not, the M Leica is always much faster, just like an old two eyed Rolleiflex.

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