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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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Old 10-17-2009   #81
Tom A
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Micheal. I will just corroborate Eric's statement. The M-mount 503.5 is a better lens than the LTM version - partly because it is easier to use (at least you can set f-stop without finger prints on the glass!).
It works fine on a SOMKY and is actually very good as a close up lens - though I would stop it down to f8 for that.
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Old 10-17-2009   #82
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First pictures of my new M2...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3994830823/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3996994766/

...
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Old 10-17-2009   #83
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... and from the first roll taken with my new M2
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4020293769/


I've owned an M4, a CL and an M6. I like this one the best.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4021049746/
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Old 10-21-2009   #84
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M2 you can't beat them I love mine!
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Old 10-21-2009   #85
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I like that one - a well seasoned M2 with a 'Lux 35 on it. That and a bag of film is really all you need - though it is nice to have choices now and then.
That looks like a M1 by the way. Did you have it converted to a M2 rangefinder - or are you shooting " scale focussing" with it?
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Old 10-21-2009   #86
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No its a M2 but was originally chrome.
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Old 10-21-2009   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
You have 140 IXMOOs?!? No wonder they cost 20 bucks apiece out here in the real world!
Actually he may have more... minus one .I bought one from a batch bound for Tom last month from Jem. Don`t feel too bad now I know that you have plenty to spare
Interesting that you seem to favour the CV 40 SC. I use mine all the time and thinking of getting the 35 SC for my M2. Either that or the MC version. Can`t decide.

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Old 10-21-2009   #88
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I like your BP M2, Simon. Was that rewinder on it when you got it? Would like one myself, you know.

Erik.
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Old 10-21-2009   #89
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That rewind is known as the "Magnum Rewind" as most of them are found on ex-magnum users cameras!
Hmm, I better connect with Jem - just to stop him from selling off any more IXMOO's. I am short about 10 for doing 1200 ft of film!!!!
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Old 10-21-2009   #90
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TA, 1200 ft? That should last you about a week. Right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom A View Post
That rewind is known as the "Magnum Rewind" as most of them are found on ex-magnum users cameras!
Hmm, I better connect with Jem - just to stop him from selling off any more IXMOO's. I am short about 10 for doing 1200 ft of film!!!!
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Old 11-28-2009   #91
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Photos taken in Bangkok, with M2 (below) and Cron IV, Velvia 100.

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Old 11-28-2009   #92
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gcsk76: Fabulous work!
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Old 11-28-2009   #93
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gcsk76: Fabulous work!
Thanks amateriat, must be the ostrich skin on the M2.
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Old 11-29-2009   #94
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At the moment, my M2 is laid low by a loose rewind knob (actually, the top/outer portion came off). I'll try and run it by Nippon this week for a hopefully-inexpensive fix, and it'll be back in action. No more need to regale me with lofty Leica lore (henceforth referred to as L3): I'm hip now.

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Old 11-29-2009   #95
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I didn't know you had been subducted Barrette ... what happened to the Hexars
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Old 11-29-2009   #96
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I might be wrong but I remember Barrette bought a set of m2 with lens from a friend of his for good price... It's been too long. Sorry if I have mistaken anything.
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Old 11-29-2009   #97
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Stewart & fbf: The Hexen are alive and well and very much in-use. The M2, in fact, makes for a hell of a great trio (I've wanted a third, non-motorized M body for a long time, and the M2–on long-term loan to me from a client, who hopefully will eventually sell–is a pleasant, "high-mech" counterbalance to the Hexar RF's high-tech élan. Shooting with it on a regular basis has made me appreciate the Leica M's gestalt more than I ever have from sporadic shooting with assorted Ms belonging to friends and colleagues.

Funny thing is, the first time I ever perused the idea of getting an M, the M2 was at the bottom of my list because–heavens to Mergatroid!–the frame-counter seemed primitive and uncool compared to the one on the M3/4/6. Yes, a silly thing for me to think, but, obviously, I got over it.

Hard? Easy? Expensive? Cheap(ish)?

And, as luck would have it, there is a roll in the thing right now.

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Last edited by amateriat : 12-17-2009 at 07:35. Reason: Whoops...wrote M3 when I meant M2!
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Old 12-16-2009   #98
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Having a fun time with mine ...

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Old 01-01-2010   #99
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Love my M2:s too. Got two now and one M3. I proudly walk around with one M2/Cron IV and one M3/SA. And my battered but perfectly working M2 on the shelf, just standing by ready for action...

Pics will come when my scanner arrives.
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Old 01-01-2010   #100
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Lately, my M2 is getting even more action than the MP.







All with Elmar-M 50/2.8
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Old 01-01-2010   #101
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everyone seems to have a MAGIC M2....miss mine ;(

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Old 01-01-2010   #102
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Maybe there is some magic to the M2! Somehow, there is less "stuff" to contend with. You just stick a 35 on it, load it and shoot. No fiddling with dials, no "extra" frames to be confused by - just pure photographic joy. It is truly a minimalist camera. Exposures can be guessed, it is easy to hyper focal shoot it. Few things to go wrong - and they tend to last a long long time. After a while a M2 just slips in to your hand and fits it. Instincts take over. You will often find yourself getting ready to shoot and finding out that you have the shot already - pure instinct.
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Old 03-18-2010   #103
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Ever since I got my M2 all my other cameras have been seriously neglected... my Canon digital line up has been relegated to paying gigs only... my TLR's sit on the shelf... and my R3A has seen almost zero action. I'm so in love with the viewfinder of the M2 that I'm thinking of selling my R3A to fund a second. I thought shooting without a meter would be a pain... I used the Leica MR meter that came with the M2 for about 4 days... now I double check my exposures once in a while with a handheld meter but for the most part just guestimate... and the weirdest thing is my exposures have gotten BETTER, especially the ones at night which is exactly the opposite of what I would have thought.

One question... I've seen so many beautiful shots of aged and brassed black paint M's... but I can't seem to find any pics of similarly abused chrome ones... did pro's just not shoot chromes and as such they just didn't see as much use as the black paints? I just want to know what my chrome M2 will look like 30 years from now so I have something else to look forward to

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Old 03-18-2010   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disaster_Area View Post
One question... I've seen so many beautiful shots of aged and brassed black paint M's... but I can't seem to find any pics of similarly abused chrome ones... did pro's just not shoot chromes and as such they just didn't see as much use as the black paints? I just want to know what my chrome M2 will look like 30 years from now so I have something else to look forward to
I wonder the same thing about my chrome M2, but it's 48 years old now and looks pretty good, chrome wise. I think you would have to say that chrome wears far better than paint.

I'd think your camera will look pretty good 100 years from now.
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Old 03-18-2010   #105
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Rereading this thread made me realize I was neglecting my M2. It's loaded up and ready to go (with Summar) for the weekend.

Vince's run of pictures up there is just stunning.
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Old 03-18-2010   #106
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i have seen "brassy" chrome M2's - but that usually meant that they were worn down everywhere else too. One that I had - had the metal below the advance worn to the thickness of paper. It would actually 'flex" when you advanced the film!!! The chrome is more resistant to wear - but it looks uglier when worn.
It would take a 10-15000 rolls to really get it down to bare brass though.
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Old 03-18-2010   #107
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I've just been bitten by the M2 bug also this week after getting my hands on one, now I know why Tom has so many in his collection - I had to smuggle it into the house past the wife but I think the bright DHL van outside gave it away.

It just feels so right in the hands, can't explain it & my M8 just does not feel like it despite it being within a few mm the same size/shape almost.
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Old 03-19-2010   #108
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anyone have any pics of a really well used chrome M2? I've searched google and flickr in vain to find a pic of a beat up brassed one... they all look so nice.
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Old 03-19-2010   #109
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I'm putting in entry #130 (or thereabouts) in this thread. I'd call that a good deal of M2 love.

The one in my possession (chrome) has had relatively little wear. Which is a good thing, sinc it's going to get a workout once I get the blasted rewind knob thingy fixed properly!


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Old 03-20-2010   #110
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Quote:
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anyone have any pics of a really well used chrome M2? I've searched google and flickr in vain to find a pic of a beat up brassed one... they all look so nice.
I have to admit, I kind of idly rub mine with my thumbs while I'm walking sometimes...there's an engraving on the back (somebody else's name) and I would love to wear it off eventually. But I can't bear the thought of intentionally taking some sandpaper to it.

The chrome seems amazingly sturdy--more so than the black chrome on my M7, which is more visibly worn, even in just the year I've had it.
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Old 03-20-2010   #111
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I notice I commented on this a year ago, just over. Since then I have taken a good few thousand frames with my M2, and it's need of a CLA big time (shutter blinds sticking, rewind knob is loose...) but then I have got great use from it.

The problem is I can't afford the CLA at the moment, it could cost me £250 or so if I need new shutter blinds.

Sometimes it's fine, other times you get this bright overexposed strip, not more than a mm across probably less, but it can appear right down the middle of the frame ruining a shot.

But I can be happy about it too, because since getting the M2, I have almost completed my first real documentary project (the Milton Keynes one), which I have had one exhibition of, one coming up, and 2 more with dates tbc. So it's been a good camera to me. I even sold my first photo last week, so you know. Baby steps.

But it sure ain't paying for the bills yet. Not by a long shot, maybe never, but it's fine. It just needs fixing up a bit.

Vicky
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Old 03-20-2010   #112
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I notice I commented on this a year ago, just over. Since then I have taken a good few thousand frames with my M2, and it's need of a CLA big time (shutter blinds sticking, rewind knob is loose...)
Vicky, I bought on an M2 last month and it's a great camera. It is also 48 years old and cost as much as a new Bessa. Is the Bessa built as well? Probably not. (I have an R4M.) It's also not 48 years old. Is the M2 a dead cinch to be more reliable than the Bessa? Not at all, I think.
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Old 03-20-2010   #113
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Vicky, I bought on an M2 last month and it's a great camera. It is also 48 years old and cost as much as a new Bessa. Is the Bessa built as well? Probably not. (I have an R4M.) It's also not 48 years old. Is the M2 a dead cinch to be more reliable than the Bessa? Not at all, I think.
Hard to say, about reliability. I've seen inside a Bessa L, I'm afraid and would put little stock in the thing lasting as long as a 48 year old Leica.

What I have seen of the Bessa L:
-The base is not metal, but very thin plastic held on with tiny self threading screws. Very bad.
-The escapement has at least two plastic gears. Very bad.
-The internal metal parts I've seen so far are stamped tin.
-The top is plastic.
-All the knobs are plastic.
-The shutter is metal but really crappy.
-The advance lever is stamped thin metal covered with a thin sheath of plastic.
-The camera back is all plastic.
-I think wherever plastic could be used it was used.

-It ain't a Leica M
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Old 03-20-2010   #114
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Hard to say, about reliability. I've seen inside a Bessa L, I'm afraid and would put little stock in the thing lasting as long as a 48 year old Leica.

What I have seen of the Bessa L:
-The base is not metal, but very thin plastic held on with tiny self threading screws. Very bad.
-The escapement has at least two plastic gears. Very bad.
-The internal metal parts I've seen so far are stamped tin.
-The top is plastic.
-All the knobs are plastic.
-The shutter is metal but really crappy.
-The advance lever is stamped thin metal covered with a thin sheath of plastic.
-The camera back is all plastic.
-I think wherever plastic could be used it was used.

-It ain't a Leica M
A Bessa R4* is not a Bessa L. Your description of the L does not match my R4M.

Besides, being made of metal -- brass, zinc, or otherwise -- is no guarantor of reliability. Modern plastics are often lighter and stronger than metals. If you doubt this, I suggest you don't fly.
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Old 03-20-2010   #115
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A Bessa R4* is not a Bessa L. Your description of the L does not match my R4M.
I'm glad if this is the case. I'm not likely to find out unless someone else posts pics of inside the camera.

I also agree that many modern plastics are as good as or better than metal. Too bad these weren't used in my particular Bessa L.

Before I sound too bitter I must add that I also have a Voigtlander Heliar 15mm f4.5 LTM lens. This appears to be a well made lens and I really enjoy using it. I cannot assume the lens and the camera were made by the same company. I may consider getting a 50mm Voigtlander lens in the near future.

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Old 03-20-2010   #116
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Vicky, I bought on an M2 last month and it's a great camera. It is also 48 years old and cost as much as a new Bessa. Is the Bessa built as well? Probably not. (I have an R4M.) It's also not 48 years old. Is the M2 a dead cinch to be more reliable than the Bessa? Not at all, I think.
Well, given mine is 52 years old (quite an early one, lever rewind but no self timer) I think it's done pretty well. Not sure if it's had any attention since 1958, it must have at some point. But I scored it at a price that I could easily have paid almost double again so it was a good bargain. The problem is the people I bought it from went out of business before the warranty was up.

But no matter, because I love using the M2 so much, and because I know it can be fixed up, it seems rather irrational spending upto £250 on a camera to have to have it all brought up to scratch, but the degree to which I like my M2 is irrational; and money doesn't figure in it really. Never would I think of not fixing it up, it's a matter of time, I'd do anything to keep it going. And I know if it is done properly, it'll give it a real new lease of life.

Will it need another CLA at 70 years of age, probably, but in 20 years time I'm probably gonna need some attention here and there too

I have never used a Bessa extensively so couldn't comment.

But my point is just that £250 is a lot of money to spend on what is an old camera, but it's one I have a very irrational devoted relationship to, it's been good to me

Vicky
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Old 03-20-2010   #117
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But my point is just that £250 is a lot of money to spend on what is an old camera, but it's one I have a very irrational devoted relationship to, it's been good to me

Vicky
"irrational devoted relationship"
-I bought my M2 in 1980. It was made in 1962. I recently paid $250.00 cdn. to have a proper CLA.
-The camera cost me $100.00 cdn. in 1980.
-The CLA $250.00 cdn
-I can sell the camera for about $700.00, plus I've had the pleasure of using it since 1980.
-I would net $350.00 if I were to sell it. (which won't happen)

I think you are being quite rational.
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Old 03-20-2010   #118
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Folks, I'm not knocking the M2. I understand the irrational part of owning one, otherwise I would not have purchased mine. I just think that it is, in fact, also irrational to expect anything as old as any M2 to be perfect. As for the Bessa, I was just pointing out that for the price of an old M2 in user condition, you can also buy a brand new Bessa. My Bessa may not be hand built, but it also wasn't made in 1962 like my M2. I think that counts for something.
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Old 03-21-2010   #119
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Ahh the M2 won't be perfect at the ages they are for sure. Like I say I can't comment on the Bessas because it wouldn't be fair to, I haven't used one enough, but the short time I used one for, very nice camera.

So I know you're not knocking the M2, and even if you were, I'd be fine with that too, not everyone must like what I like. The world would be a much duller if more peaceful place if we all were like that

As for being rational, maybe I am, I mean I'll get the CLA done and that'll last a long time, and I have no plans to ever sell my M2 so, I'd rather put money into it, than to something that in 10 years time will be obsolete and I may have trouble getting drivers working with the latest and greatest OS. Maybe that won't be a problem with USB now being around and standardised memory cards.

Regardless, to me, spending 80% of what I paid for my M2 on a CLA with shutter (you have to be so careful, I next to U, I dunno!) replacement seems like a good idea to me.

Just hoping that a bit of kickback from performing well at work comes through this week. It'll be the first time ever if I do.

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Old 03-21-2010   #120
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... I'll get the CLA done and that'll last a long time, and I have no plans to ever sell my M2...
Sounds rational to me. I'd certainly pay to have mine serviced, if and when it needs it.

It's funny how many people of us choose a camera based on comfort, feel, reputation, etc., and not on an analysis of its technical capabilities depicted as a long list of performance statistics. Folks here choose rangefinders, old or new, for varied reasons, which we all love to explain to each other. But, have you ever seen someone justify a purchase by posting a dpreview-style list of stats? No, because that's secondary.

The numbers are important for digital purchases, because digitals are in the position of personal computers in the eighties and early nineties, when a percentile of improvement would distinguish you in that immature market.

RF's, by contrast, are so simple and so much alike that we have the luxury of focusing on things like reliability, the number of framelines and whether or not they're visible to eyeglass wearers, what the thing is coated with, etc.
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