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Is anyone selling their Leica M6 (I dare to ask)

I am looking for an M6 and a 35 mm lens, f/1.4. Anyone selling theirs???

Also, while on the topic, I would like a bit of advice / opinions on the M6. Obviously, it is legendary and (second to the original M3) the “photographer’s” camera, albeit, in terms of image quality and durability (and this is probably a question for film-users), is it worth the purchase? Can you REALLY tell a difference between its results and that of another 35 mm camera?

I have read negative feedback on the M7 and M8 on LS, and heard that after M6 the quality began going downhill. Just wanted a few more opinions (even on any general Leica advice) before spending countless hours bidding on Ebay or on KEH. Thanks!

by [a former member] at 2009-04-16 05:25:00 UTC Austin, Texas , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

hi erin, my highly subjective opinions on this matter:

Go for what is called a M6 “classic” — this is the original model — later they made “TTL” models, which I don’t think you need, being that only works with a few Metz flashes anyway, and most people don’t use their Leicas to shoot with flash that often. The TTL models are more expensive and slightly bigger.

You may also look at the model previous to the M6, the M4-P. This does NOT have a light meter, the M6 does, they are identical in every other way. Both have 28mm framelines, the M4-P was the first to have those. M4-Ps are cheaper than M6 because of the lack of a meter.

M7 is a different camera entirely because it has an electronic as opposed to mechanical shutter. You do get auto-exposure. But yes, according to Sherry Krauter (the famed Leica repair lady), the M7 is definitely less reliable and, going forward many years from now, it will be hard to find parts. Whereas mechanical devices can always be jury-rigged somehow. M8 is digital, of course.

So if you want a lightmeter in your Leica, M6 is your best option. If you don’t need a lightmeter, M4-P. Avoid the M4-2, those were not made as well.

Images made with the Summicron lenses (f/2.0) really do have a pretty special look to them. The Summilux (f/1.4) lenses are a stop faster but opinions differ. Some people like the Summicrons more. They are a bit cheaper, too.

Look at www.rangefinderforum.com, there are good deals to be had there.

by [former member] | 16 Apr 2009 05:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
I agree with Alan on the M4 issue. While I love my M4-2 and it’s done some great things for me I have had it break once. The problem is that some of the internals were replaced with plastic instead of metal pieces for cost production savings. This obviously leaves some issues with them being a bit more fragile if they’re dropped or just wear out.

Quite honestly I’ve been hard pressed to find the difference when using the M4-P and the M6 (sans lightmeter).

Since this is on Leica advice in general I’ll also add that in addition to Alan’s lady I’d suggest DAG out of Oregon, Wisconsin. He does fantastic work for very reasonable prices and is willing to work with professionals who need fast turn around. He repaired my film advance and gave me a 3/4 CLA in three days plus travel time.

-Christopher

by Christopher Guess | 16 Apr 2009 05:04 | Madison, Wisconsin, United States | | Report spam→
Erin,

There is a difference shooting with a Leica vs. an SLR. Besides being smaller and less conspicuous, it is quieter, but what really is different is the fact that you are framing through a range finder as opposed to the screen of the SLR. You feel yourself in the scene more and without shutter blackout. So, framing and shooting will feel different, freer. You will feel looser with a Leica as compared to a 5D say and that huge 35mm 1.4 L lens. I have the 35mm f./2 Aspherical which is smaller than the f./1.4 you are looking for and it’s all I ever needed. You can hold a Leica to slower shutter speeds than you can with a hefty SLR.

I actually most liked the M6 TTL because I could choose to have the .58 viewfinder which was great for both the 28mm and 35mm lenses as it made it easier to see the framelines in the camera’s viewfinder (without an auxiliary brightline finder).

It’s interesting you are going for a film Leica here in 2009. After 12 years of using film Leica Ms, I’ve just bought an M8.2. . .

In saying all this I just remembered that you shoot with a Mamiya. A Leica is just a smaller version!

by Davin Ellicson | 16 Apr 2009 11:04 (ed. Apr 16 2009) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, I use an M6 with a 35 summicron (f2), and also with a 50 year old 50mm Summarit (f1.5). It is a Rolls Royce of cameras – silky smooth, discreet: people not into photography ignore you because they assume that you are NOT a photographer! As has been said, it is a different kind of photography, and it is the only camera I actually get pleasure from using, although my Mamiya 6 comes close, but then again, it is from a similar mould. I have often thought of selling mine as I do not use it as much as I should, but just can’t bare to part with it!

by Michael Cockerham | 16 Apr 2009 12:04 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Alan was kind enough to introduce me to Sherry Krauter, who is fantastic, as a technician and individual.

www. sherrykrauter.com is equipped with a for sale section and she has three M6’s for sale ranging in price between $1550 and $2500, along with a slew of MP’s, M3’s and other various leica and non-leica camera bodies at a good price that I am sure were overhauled by her and in impeccable working condition.

That is where I would go. All my knowledge on the subject stems from Mr. Chin’s replies in my posts and I believe him a reputable source.

by Finn | 16 Apr 2009 13:04 (ed. Apr 16 2009) | Hudson Valley, United States | | Report spam→
Also, the dial direction on the classic matches the older M models. The dial on the TTL matches all the newer models. If you plan on ever working with a M6 and a newer M at the same time you might want the TTL so the dials work the same.

by Mark Ovaska | 16 Apr 2009 15:04 | Rochester, United States | | Report spam→
Go for the M6 TTL!

by [former member] | 16 Apr 2009 15:04 | Budapest, Hungary | | Report spam→
oh my, erin, you didn’t just ask..

watching this can of worms.. :-)

by [former member] | 16 Apr 2009 16:04 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
I think the M6 classic is a fine camera. Or you could get an M3 with a meter that clips on the top, that seems to work well for me. Flash is not a problem, I find it very easy to use on these cameras. I don’t know if there really is a “Leica Glow” but the points made by others about the size and smoothness are very true. A word of caution, I now feel like I really stick out when I go back to using a DSLR. This is of course silly of me but you know, I’m kind of a silly person.

Here is an M6 Classic for sale that just had it’s price reduced:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost-classifieds/showproduct.php/product/15299/cat/3

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 16 Apr 2009 16:04 (ed. Apr 16 2009) | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→
Some photographers do their best work with the M6, others can’t get used to the rangefinder focusing. I have a 35mm Summicron (pre-aspherical, V.4), and a 35mm 1.4 aspherical. I prefer the summicron mainly for size and weight. The summilux has occasionally flared. Some say its better not to use any filter on this lens. Yes, I see a difference in prints made from Leica-M lenses, especially 16X20, B&W. I see much less difference in magazine reproduction. Optics aside, the M6’s other attributes make it well worth the investment.

by Joel Sackett | 16 Apr 2009 16:04 (ed. Apr 16 2009) | Puget Sound, Washington, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, the one Juan links to not only has dropped his price but is now seeking offers. Here’s your chance!

by [former member] | 16 Apr 2009 17:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, get an m6 classic and a 35mm summicron instead of a ’lux, use the remaining cash to buy a second body…they are not built like the myths speak of…my M6 classic failed on me in Laos. First time I realized that having a second body was a requirement not a luxury.

Hope all is well…keep in touch.

Oh and Lance is right the worms have escaped the can and they all have an opinion.

-M

by Matt Wright-Steel | 16 Apr 2009 19:04 (ed. Apr 16 2009) | austin, texas, United States | | Report spam→
Another Leica question?! Ye gods! You’re a braver man than I am, Gunga Erin…

by Akaky | 16 Apr 2009 20:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Well… actually I’m not a Leica owner neither push the release button ever. My option is quite different and cheap, a Zorki 4 serie 67xx/
A smooth watch spring system mechanism, and a ultra tech Jupiter 8 cristal lens.. beautiful optical piece.

sorry if this are some kind of confusing voice, but after read a lot of fan comments I thought, go for the former URSS and phootography lovers/…

I’m not a brand lover, I’m a light lover

by Rodrigo Llano | 16 Apr 2009 21:04 | Santiago, Chile | | Report spam→
M6 is not as good looking as you, Erin… Get a ContaxG2 or Zeiss Ikon and save your money for Xpan, which might look better than you though…yikes…

by | 16 Apr 2009 21:04 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
had one but sold it…it’s much better than an SLR, a smaller version of Mamiya 7, quiet, reliable and simple to use. have to buy one again…

by [former member] | 16 Apr 2009 22:04 | Lisbon, Portugal | | Report spam→
Oh my Lord. A can of worms is right! All of this is very helpful. It will take me a while to dissect all of this… and i’m on the road. Will write more when stationary. Thanks!

by [former member] | 16 Apr 2009 23:04 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
I have the M6 with a Summi 50 f/2 and love it. Best camera I have ever bought.
Like Davin, I tend to shoot “different” with my M than dSLR and I tend to like my Leica shots more.
If you get a chance buy the M6 and have Sherry CLA it. You wont regret it one bit.
But all that’s in the past. Im going video, baby!

by Bill Putnam | 17 Apr 2009 00:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Erin. I never could buy a 35 f 2 so less a 1.4. What i can say is that i used an m3, a cl and a m6 and one time you shot with this thing is simple: you love it or don’t. I love it and love film, my sour times are in the scan session. But i think always have my reward for that hard way. So, if any have to sell a good summicron 35 i love to know how much to begin to think if i can get the way to buy it without too much cost in the delivery.

by Hernan Zenteno | 17 Apr 2009 01:04 (ed. Apr 17 2009) | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
by the way, 35 1.4 is a lot difficult to focus with a canon 5d in a rush with the f in 1.4. With a leica, no bother what model of M, is near impossible. My two cents.

by Hernan Zenteno | 17 Apr 2009 01:04 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
as a leica shooter for many years (starting with a m4-2 in 1994) i can safely say to listen to alan. don’t buy a m4-2. however i can also say the m4-p is much better built than any m6 i have ever used – but it’s got no meter. so, either buy a m4-p or a m6 classic and get a leica lens.

it’s the glass that makes it noticeably different than other cameras. and if you get one from sherry you can be sure it’s in great shape, she does amazing work. as for the 35mm glass. don’t get the first generation f1.4 lens, it was not sharp at 1.4, get an aspherical one if you go that wide or get the f2 version.

as for what hernan says, i disagree completely. if you are a rangefinder shooter you can focus much faster than the 5d in low light.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 17 Apr 2009 03:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
But not in a hurry, y mean

by Hernan Zenteno | 17 Apr 2009 03:04 (ed. Apr 17 2009) | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
Erin – you asked if anybody was selling an M6 with a 35mm f1.4 Summilux-asph. Just stick with what you asked about for sale. You knew the answer. That is what you asked about and that’s what you should stick to. If you get up this direction call and we can grab lunch at Mommas Daughter’s Diner.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 17 Apr 2009 13:04 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
good eyes john, i missed the specifics of that in erin’s post.

so, erin, my advice is to talk to sherry krauter she has some m6’s
http://www.sherrykrauter.com/productsPage.php?category=mCameras
or look for a deal for one on ebay – but be prepared to pay for a CLA on it.
or check out photo village, ken hansen or tamarkin. also keh camera in atlanta has some good prices.

good luck on your hunt and happy shooting.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 17 Apr 2009 14:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Can’t go wrong with the M6. Shot with it for 5 weeks backpacking through Mexico with a f/2 aspherical. Focusing is fast and faster if you use hyper-focal distance focusing. Its really sturdy and not intimidating at all; so people are a lot more open to having their picture made. V

by Vinit Satyavrata | 17 Apr 2009 22:04 | Oxnard, United States | | Report spam→
I shifted to an M6-TTL with a Zeiss 35/2 some months ago. Before I used to shoot with different Nikons (F3 and F90X). The difference in image quality is much higher than I thought it would have been!

I think that the biggest factor is the construction of the lens and how it can be closer to the film plane. I don’t think that an M6 or an M7 will have a differing image quality… maybe more a matter of reliability…

by Bruno Trematore | 17 Apr 2009 23:04 | Santiago, Chile | | Report spam→
Erin – I have a classic M-6 in excellent condition which i loved, have switched to the M-8, so although (until this minute) I had considered selling would be happy to discuss since i only use the m-8 now – I wouldn’t be able to sell my 35 mm lens since i use it on the m-8 – i do have a beautiful chrome 90 that i would consider selling as well – if you are interested you can contact me at marcyf64@yahoo.com

by Marcy Cohen | 18 Apr 2009 15:04 | new york city, United States | | Report spam→
By the way, focusing with Leica lenses is amazing. I have the M-6 with the 35 mm f2 Summicron-M and, according to the lens markings, when set at f8, everything from infinity to 30 inches is in focus. On the other hand, at f2, the range of focus is from infinity to 10 feet. Not great for portraits, but good for street shooting and pop-up situations.

I love mine, and to fuel it I just bought a small brick of rolls of rebranded Tri-X 400 from Freestyle Photo in LA (they were $1.99 a roll, I seem to recall).

by [former member] | 18 Apr 2009 19:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Neal, are you sure about that range of focus? My 28mm Elmarit shows a distance from infinity to just more than 5 feet at f8. Or am I reading the scale incorrectly?

by Barry Milyovsky | 18 Apr 2009 19:04 (ed. Apr 18 2009) | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Ok, I have finally read all of these posts. WOW, the advice and tips are great, the LS community is so helpful in this manner…

I’ve decided to either go w the M4-P or the M6. I am leaning toward the M6 because of TTL, which I love using flash, so this could be an important aspect. I don’t mind the absence of a Light meter, as I usually meter hand-held anyway.

As for lenses, I am going to TRY to go for the 35 mm 1.4 summilux Asph if I can find a good deal. I am on a tight budget and can’t spend a ton of money. If I can’t find a 1.4 for a decent price, then I’ll go for the 2.0 Summicron. Both sounds like great lenses.

I haven’t shot 35mm film in over 6 years (since I was getting my photography degree at college, really). In fact, the idea of shooting 35mm film makes my cringe a little… I feel like I am technologically going backwards! But after shooting with a DSLR for 4 years professionally, I want some rejuvenation and a boost towards creativity (which I always feel more with film). I love my 5D, as its my bread and butter and a superior camera in most aspects, esp when it comes to processing Raw color files, its a beautiful piece of equipment. But when starting a long-term project (and when filing isn’t an issue), and when slowing down and really connecting with my subjects becomes a main priority, it seems like a Leica will be the optimal camera. (Besides, I am already almost 6 feet tall, so anything that can make my presence more discreet is a plus!!!) I am a believer that the photographer makes the photograph, not the tool. However, its also true that we ALL can feel a bit more connected to our story when we’ve got a first-class and fine piece of machinery in the palm of our hands (not to mention, we look cooler when using them :)

My only concern (which is not a big one) is focusing, which with my Mamiya 7 is a bit of a pain, as I do not prefer the ghost image. For years I focused with a Beattie Bright split screen on a Hasselblad, which to me was simply perfect. However, I imagine it is something I can get used to. All in all, based on everyone’s opinions, I think the Leica will be a well-made investment. And if I end up hating the Leica, it seems there are at least enough Leica fans on LS to where it will have potential resale value. :)

one last thing… (and my apologies if this is a really ignorant question), but can someone tell me what CLA is?

by [former member] | 18 Apr 2009 19:04 (ed. Apr 18 2009) | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Its always possible that it is I who is reading incorrectly, Barry. But I think you move the infinity mark to the upper 8 number to get the full range. If you do that the lower 8 is half way between 2 and 3. I have been reading lenses that way my entire photographic life (before such markings disappeared). But I have had long-held erroneous notions before.

Alan, where are you?

by [former member] | 18 Apr 2009 19:04 (ed. Apr 18 2009) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
That is what I did. And the distance at the lower 8 number shows a reading of just over 5 feet.

by Barry Milyovsky | 18 Apr 2009 19:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Can those lenses be that different?

Frankly in use I don’t think I get quite that depth of field (I have never really tested it), but I still get a substantial DOF at f8 (which I use a lot).

by [former member] | 18 Apr 2009 19:04 (ed. Apr 18 2009) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Gunga Erin, there are no ignorant questions, unless you’re my brother asking me for money. This is not only stupid, but indicative of mental disease, as the answer to this question is no and has been since 1967. As to your question, CLA is an acronym for cleaning, lubrication, adjustment, a process that all Leicas must go through on occasion, or so I am told, as I dont own one myself. I do, however, own a Canon FTb, which I must, every so often, bring into the shop in order to have all of the above done to it. They are fairly nice people, all in all, so I don’t usually mind them gouging me outrageously on the bill. I imagine that Leica CLAs are done by a guy named Otto or Wolfgang, who looks at you as if you were the most insignificant piece of bird guano to ever hold this marvel of the Fatherland’s photographic engineering genius, and then charging you an arm and both legs for the privilege of even looking at your Leica. You will be expected to enjoy the CLA as well.

by Akaky | 18 Apr 2009 19:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Actually, Akaky, Leica CLA’s are done by a gal named Sherry Krauter (among others). Sherry is “a character”, an excellent technician, her work is meticulous, and she loves to talk on the phone, especially to folks who use Leicas professionally (as opposed to the collectors).

Another thing – since you are on a budget consider the Voigtlander branded lenses made for Leica M-mount by Cosina. They are excellent performers, well made, and cost a small fraction of the Leica lenses. They have a 35mm f1.4 for around $580 US (new) that is incredibly sharp, an excellent lens in my opinion and I use it side by side with the 35mm Summicron. Check it out here:
http://cameraquest.com/voigtlen.htm

by Pablo Delano | 18 Apr 2009 20:04 (ed. Apr 18 2009) | Hartford, Connecticut, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, the way to tell if your camera needs a CLA is to take a picture of Akaky with it. If he is sharp and in focus you can be sure there is a problem.

by Barry Milyovsky | 18 Apr 2009 21:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, after some painful reflection,I have decided to sell my Leica M6, 0.72 but as a package deal with two lenses: Summicron 35mm 2.o and Elmarit 28mm 2.8. I have it listed on ebay, but though the package might be beyond your budget, if you are interested by all means contact me. The camera is like brand new, so are the lenses. I just dont use it anymore, so what good does it do me? Still, it aint easy to part company with an old friend like this.

by Jon Anderson | 18 Apr 2009 21:04 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Barry, does that work with old Canons as well as Leicas? Because then I can disregard the advice I’m getting from the camera folks to get yet another CLA for the FTb and just go with the flow.



by Akaky | 18 Apr 2009 21:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Akaky, you vill klean your camera vhen you are told to do so!

by Barry Milyovsky | 18 Apr 2009 21:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
I think it’s interesting that Erin says “I want some rejuvenation and a boost towards creativity (which I always feel more with film)”. Many photographers claim that the camera is simply a tool and that there is no real difference between film and digital. I, too, like working with film more. I like the tactile quality of it, from loading the camera, to developing it, to taping it in a film holder. I like how you have no idea what you actually got until its developed, a day, a week or a month or more later. With film, you are always concentrating on the next shot whereas with digital, even if you limit how much you check the back of the camera, invariably you do. At the vert least your subjects ask you to show them the shots you took. While this can facilitate further photographing, I think you get what I mean about digital. Digital is great on a deadline and there is a great ease to it all and wonderful creative possibilities with RAW and Lightroom/Aperture now. BUT, digital photography is not the same as film photography. It’s photography, but it IS different—for me at least. The immediacy and lack of mystery changes the whole photographic experience for me somehow.

But here Jonas Bendiksen speaks of how his 5D is producing better images than medium format film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw8h8mtJz80&feature=PlayList&p=E971E542F30F08F1&index=0&playnext=1

And another plug for the 5D MK II and combining stills with video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbgsAsQtEsg&feature=PlayList&p=E971E542F30F08F1&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1

by Davin Ellicson | 18 Apr 2009 23:04 (ed. Apr 18 2009) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Neal, you are reading Meters instead of Feet.
For the 35mm f/2.0 Summicron, depth-of-field should be as follows:

f/16: 4 feet / ~1.2 meters to inf.
f/11: 5.5 feet / 1.75 meters to inf.
f/8.0: 7.5 feet / 2.5 meters to inf.
f/5.6: 11
feet / 3~ meters to inf.
f/4.0: ~20 feet / 5 meters to inf.
f/2.0: ~25 feet / ~10 meters to inf.

If you want TTL flash to work on a M6 TTL, you must have a “SCA-compatible” flash, which I believe are made only by Metz and Leica. And remember that the TTL cameras are a bit bigger than non-TTL ones.

Also with the TTL cameras there are “.58,” “.72,” and “.85” rangefinders.
The standard for M4-P and M6 was “.72,” this means that what you see through the window should be 72% life size.

the .58 and .85 versions were made were wide-angle preferred and long-lens preferred users, respectively.

In practice none of it should matter that much, but that’s what those numbers mean when you see the cameras advertised for sale.

Focusing with a Leica should be brighter and clearer then through a Mamiya 7. The Leica rangefinder-units are definitely a big part of why the camera costs so much. Over time there can be build-up of fog and haze but that shouldn’t be happening yet with M4-P/M6 cameras yet, as they are only (!) 30 years or less old. More of an issue with 50 year old M3!

Regarding Canon, the Ftb is a bit clunky but the lenses are all excellent. Like Gary Winogrand, I’m a big fan of the Canon Leica-compatible lenses such as the 35mm f/2.0 and 50mm f/1.4. They’re comparatively cheap, roughly the same price as the new Voigtlanders but much better made, being from the ’60s.

by [former member] | 19 Apr 2009 00:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
The .58 M6 TTL in my opinion is the ultimate Leica for reportage. The 35mm frame lines are easier to see than on the .72 version and the 28mm frame lines are viewable too whereas on a .72 they are hard to see at all (impossible almost if you wear glasses). Even with the .58, I always use the auxiliary bright line viewfinder when shooting with a 28mm lens since I like how clear and bright it is.

by Davin Ellicson | 19 Apr 2009 00:04 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Oh, most worthy Alan, you have solved the mystery that Barry and I have been puzzling over in PMs today. Thanks. It was HE who suddenly realized that this German object just MIGHT be in metric measure…..duhhhh! But it still has a solid DOF at f8.

by [former member] | 19 Apr 2009 00:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
This, of course, is all Ronald Reagan’s fault. If he had not rejected American conformity to the metric system we would not have these problems.

by Barry Milyovsky | 19 Apr 2009 01:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
I would agree with Davin about the .58 vs. .72. I wear glasses and use a Canadian 35f2, which I am thinking is about 30+ years old, and the viewfinder is a bit cramped with glasses. When I use my 50, no biggie, but for the 35 I wish I had a little more space. But that was not an option for me when I bought the camera.

Good luck on finding on what you want in the price you want. I could not buy what I have today for the amount I spent, which is a shame. I was just looking at the prices on the new lenses, wow.

Akaky is making me want to get my Canon FTB CLA’d, just not sure where….

by Tom Leininger | 19 Apr 2009 02:04 | Denton, TX, United States | | Report spam→
Yeah, Tom, Leica prices have sky rocketed on account of the strength of the Euro in past years. . .

by Davin Ellicson | 19 Apr 2009 02:04 (ed. Apr 19 2009) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Erin,

So, I am curious why you would want another rangefinder if you were not happy with your Mamiya 7. Which 7 did you have? the 7ii or the regular 7? I used to have a 7ii as well as Leica’s and I can tell you that the 7ii focusing and the leica were very similar. The Leica does focus closer than the Mamiya – substantially closer, but the focusing mechanism is nearly the same. So, if you don’t like rangefinders you might want to consider an old Nikon FM.

If you still want a rangefinder (I personally love them) I suggest you get either the M4-P or the M6 (*non TTL). I have a M8 now and the TTL is simply awful on it. It would be a waste of money on a M6 in my opinion. Get yourself a flash with an auto thyrstor and you will be fine. or better yet, get an old M4-P and get a Seconic flash meter and you will be fine.

As for lenses, you might want to know that the 35 f1.4asph is a low contrast lens, more so than the f2.0 version. In case you shoot chrome or care to know that. It’s something that I never really noticed until I got my M8 (since I did not shoot much chrome). That said, the M6 meter is great for chrome – much better than the mamiya meter.

Anyway, good luck with your choice and enjoy.

PS> if you don’t like rangefinders – don’t buy a leica! I tried out a old Argus before I bought my first Leica… if that does not work try an old manual focus slr camera with a fixed lens, it might be a better fit for you.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 19 Apr 2009 03:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
One more thing, Olympus made a camera called a XA, it was a point and shoot, Aperture priority, Rangefinder, Manual focus, 35mm camera with a 35mm f2.8 lens and detachable flash. It makes great images, something you might want to test out before buying a leica also – if you are not 100% sure about rangefinders.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 19 Apr 2009 03:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Aaron, comparing the rangefinder in a Leica to the one in the Mamiya, they are not at all the same. The Leica’s should be brighter and easier to use. Mamiyas are great cameras. But they are not really Leicas on steroids as their appearance might suggest. They are very different beasts indeed. Trying an Argus before your first Leica is a bit like riding a bicycle before driving a car — irrelevant — because using a Leica is so idiosyncratic that it’s really not like anything else.

Now, a camera geek essay on frustration and redemption:

I, for one, actually don’t like most rangefinder cameras. I prefer the Rolleiflex TLR over the Mamiya 6, the Fujica 645, and the Plaubel Makina — I own all three of those medium format rangefinder cameras — because for years I was trying to duplicate the experience of a Leica with a bigger negative. But no luck. They’re all such beautiful machines, but none of them really feel right. I use them from time to time, but always go back to the Rolleiflex for medium format.

And the small rangefinders, that everyone raves about, like that Olympus XA, or the Canon G-III QL 17, they have cult followings. I tried them both, even their expensive Leica cousin, the CL, for a small, pocket camera. Forget it. They’re fine for a stroll. But once you start taking pictures in earnest, you long for the real thing. This has happened to me, you’re just going around town, and stumble into something that has to be photographed. You start shooting with the little dinky rangefinder, and your fingers begin to hurt and you have to squint. Better than not having it, of course, and the pictures will be fine. Which is the point of those cameras. But they’re not for front line use.

And the Leica screw mounts, the Russian copies, frankly, they all suck. Canon almost got it right with their late rangefinders, like the L and the P and the V-T and VI-T, and the 7. Those were the closest anyone made to Leica M, but suffered from the time-consuming screw mount and really inferior rangefinders. But at least they feel good in your hands, and are easy to use.

Nikon came close as well, but they had their awful Contax-inspired lens mount which isn’t compatible with Leica. And collectors make the prices for rangefinder Nikons higher than for Leicas. So they suck too.

Of more recent offerings, in another thread I’ve ranted against the Zeiss Ikon. The Konica Hexar RF of a few years back was nice, a radical and innovative redesign of the Leica M concept, with a built-in motordrive, auto-exposure and electronic shutter. Kind of like merging a Leica with a Contax G — actually the M8 is in some ways a digital version of the Hexar RF. But the motordrive sucked, too slow.

Voigtlander, these days, makes a whole line of M mount cameras, cheap, really good value for what they are. But their biggest flaw is their shutters with metal curtains which are as loud as a SLR, almost. So much for that much vaunted advantage of a super-quiet camera! For $500 brand new you can’t complain, but a Leica it ain’t.

So you see, the Leica M cameras are really unique. It’s not about it being a “rangefinder” — it’s the whole package — ergonomics. Even when they themselves deviated from the tried-and-true design, like with the M5 or the CL, the results are less than satisfactory. They got it right with the classic approach. The camera is rounded so it fits nicely in your hands. Just big enough to be comfortable, but smaller than almost any SLR. Quiet shutter. Good motordrive. Even better Leicavit trigger winder. Decent enough light meter. Bright rangefinders.

So you can be like me, “don’t like rangefinders” — and love using a Leica.

Does this sound like a cult-like description? Absolutely! That’s why all these losers like myself can debate all this foolishness. Nobody gets this worked up about any other camera.

by [former member] | 19 Apr 2009 04:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Alan, please know that your expertise is much appreciated! You are no loser.

by Davin Ellicson | 19 Apr 2009 04:04 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Yeah, if Alan is a looser then I am a looser wannabe! Besides, if it were not for us Leica users, who would the other photographers make fun of?

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 19 Apr 2009 05:04 | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→
Alan,
I agree with you about the Argus not being a Leica. However, for me it it was a great tool to try out a rangefinder with before making the investment in the Leica system. As for the XA, it’s a great point and shoot – period. It is not a camera that I would want to shoot a job with, but it is nice to carry around when I don’t feel like carrying my Leica.
However, I do disagree with you somewhat about the Mamiya 7 and I also agree with you. No the Mamiya7 (& 7ii) is not a Leica, It can not realistically be used like a Leica. (I do feel like the Fuji 6×9 can be to a degree, but that is a different subject and it’s much slower as well.
Back to the Mamiya. The rangefinder on the first 7 is simply awful, however the rangefinder on the 7ii has a wonderfully bright rangefinder. That said, the rangefinder on my Leica is the best that I have ever used (the m4-p being better than the m6 one) the framelines are accurate and the focusing is spot on target (thanks to sherry for my cla).
I have also tried out a few of the Leica copies and found them all to be lacking in all that a Leica is (side note, the M8 is also lacking in all that a leica is).

But the bottom line in answering Erin’s comment in that she does not like the ghost image focusing that a rangefinder uses. If someone does not like the ghost image focusing then there is no reason to buy a Leica. It’s that simple.

I usually tell people that find the Leica confusing and frustrating to shoot 200 rolls of film through a it and using it will most likely become second nature.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 19 Apr 2009 14:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Local San Diego PJ selling a few of her Leica cams. LMK and I’ll link you

by Nick Morris | 19 Apr 2009 19:04 | San Diego CA, United States | | Report spam→
Barry, the metric system is a vile European plot to dominate this our Great Republic, like soccer and asparagus. Remember, the people who invented the metric system routinely put mayonnaise on their French fries. People who are willing to do that to an innocent French fry are capable of any enormity.

by Akaky | 19 Apr 2009 19:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Aaron,
I couldnt agree more about how frustrating the M series can be at first and your point about just shooting to “get it.” I did that and dont regret it one bit. Now, five years and hundreds of rolls later, it seems way more “natural” than my dSLRs.

by Bill Putnam | 19 Apr 2009 20:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
I used the Hexar RF along with an M6 for years, and in the end, I preferred the Hexar for most work. Sure, the Leica could be quieter — manual wind — but the Hexar RF never screwed up. Also, the light meter on the RF was superior.
Remember, the EOS 5D has (please, no fights over this one) more detail than a 35mm camera if you’re shooting 200+ ASA film. Even a 25 ASA shot from my Leica doesn’t seem to have much over the EOS 5D — if at all. So, you may find using film is a step backward in that sense.
Frankly, the only reason to go a film camera, as far as I’m concerned, is to get to use the small, quiet, rangefinder camera. Film is a pain — remember? Calibrating your enlarger; dust; scratches; x-ray machines at airports; humidity; etc.
Oh, also, Leica quality? I get so much degradation from heat, x-rays, etc., that the difference between a Hexar and a Leica isn’t noticable…if it exists.
BUT — I miss shooting Leica. The SLR’s are too big for me.
Conclusion: you can buy a Hexar — the 35mm lens is fantastic — and save a ton of money. Then, get a Leica if you’re feeling rich.

by David Gross | 20 Apr 2009 04:04 | Los Gatos, United States | | Report spam→
Apropos David’s post above, keep in mind that there are TWO Konica Hexar cameras:

The one I’m talking about is the Hexar RF, (1999-2003) which is an interchangeable lens M-mount camera, with a built-in motordrive, auto-exposure, and electronic shutter. Konica also made 6 lenses for this camera: 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0, 50mm f/1.2, 50mm f/2.0, 90mm f/2.8, and a 21-35mm “zoom”. There was talk of tiny differences with Leicas making the lenses and bodies not fully interchangeable without calibrating what you had, but probably that was over-rated. In other words, you should be able to use a Leica (or any other M-mount lens) on the Hexar RF body, and any Konica Hexar lens on a Leica (or any other M-mount body.) However that controversy, along with a pretty slow and terrible motordrive, meant that the camera never quite took off. Then Konica became Konica-Minolta and then that became Sony. So what was a very interesting design died. Used ones should be $600-800. Not that expensive. But parts will be impossible to find in the future.

see: http://www.cameraquest.com/konicam.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexar_RF
http://nemeng.com/leica/010ba.shtml

The other, earlier Konica Hexar (1993-2000 or so?) had a built-in, non-interchangeable 35mm f/2.0 lens. It came in two versions, black and silver. ALL black Hexars have a “Silent Mode” which is probably the absolute quietest shutter on any 35mm film camera. The Silver Hexars don’t have this mode advertised, due to patent issues that came up, but it’s ACTUALLY IN THERE. You have to find the instructions on the internet and program your camera, and then it works. Most Hexar owners used their cameras a lot, and they were not built that well, as it was supposed to be a point-and-shoot, so used ones in good shape are hard to find for a reasonable price. They average around $400, which is a lot of money for a plastic camera, and as much or more as it cost when it was new.

see: http://www.cameraquest.com/konhex.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konica_Hexar

by [former member] | 20 Apr 2009 04:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
An update on my Leica hunt:

I had a long conversation with Sherry Krauter (the Leica goddess who has been fixing Leicas for 25 years), and she had LOT of interesting things to say. I have never in my life met someone so passionate about a camera brand. She is indeed, a character!

She suggested that I NOT get the M6 with TTL, which she explained are not made as well as an M6 w/ non TTL. She further suggested that I consider getting an M5 instead. After listening to about an hour of Leica’s history, I was informed that (and this is not verbatim, but rather a general gist, as I can’t remember everything that she told me) Leica’s manufacturing processes were taken down a notch after different managing took over, and shortly after the M5 was introduced. She said that an M5 body from the 1970’s would probably out last a new M6.

I know M5’s are bigger (12 mm in length), and one of the points of buying a Leica is that they are so small. But honestly, I have rather large hands (man hands, in fact! :), so holding a camera slightly bigger probably won’t be an issue for me. Sherry swore by this camera, said it was her favorite Leica body, and that it had a spot on meter— the best meter in any Leica camera (I meter hand-held, but its nice to have a reliable in-camera back up).

As far as lenses are concerned: I’ve been told by several colleagues to only by ASPH lenses. Sherry had an slightly different opinion: The ASPH on the 35 mm 1.4 summilux is mandatory, as the pre-ASPH 35 summilux’s were NOT sharp at 1.4. However, with Summicrons, she said that 35 mm 2.0 ASPH is not necessarily sharper than a 2.0 pre-ASPH. The ASPH lenses make negatives slightly more contrasty and minimize depth, which gives images the appearance of sharpness. However, the pre-ASPH lenses have more character, adding depth and further tonal ranges. Esp the ones that were pre Version 4. Meaning, if you are going for the “Robert Capa” look, go with the pre ASPH and Pre version 4 Summicron models.

So… is anyone selling their M5??? :)

In response to Aaron’s post: I am very happy with my mamiya 7 (which is not a 7 II), but its a completely different beast than a 35 mm camera. I probably wasn’t very clear, but what I meant was that the viewfinder it is difficult to focus in low-light, not necessarily because its a rangefinder, but rather a low-quality view finder. Yes, I prefer focusing with an SLR (hassies are my favorite for 6×6), but I don’t mind focusing with the ghost-affect. Esp with a clear and bright view finder, it can be a LOT easier. I prefer to use an alternative camera for certain projects, because I want a slightly wider frame, and I hate only getting 10 frames per roll (or even 20 when use 220), and its more expensive to shoot Medium format. So, as much as I love the 6×7 format and I like my Mamiya 7, its just not what I want to use currently.

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 22:04 (ed. Apr 22 2009) | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Erin. I’ve been using classic M6s for more than 10 years. There are several important points to be mentioned.

The finder. I often wear glasses and it has never been a problem in framing, using the 2/35, the 2.8/28 and even the 2.8/24 (WHITHOUT the external finder), all with their hoods mounted. What’s more, after some time you get used to shoot both eyes opened and you just don’t mind the lower right hidden corner. And I’m a maniac in precise framing…

Reliability of the M6s. It happened to fail once. The film was blocked in the shutter. Fortunately I had a second body…

The cell of the M6 is very acurate. I’m always surprised how my slides or bw negs are precisely exposed. By the way, for the purists, you may have some differences in the EV range between M6, M6TTL, M7.

Lenses. The big drawback : you’ll become very eager to critics towards other lenses. And I had almost had all brands. It’s not a myth, they’re just wouahou, and losts of the old ones too. I spend hours and hours in the dark room and it’s such a pleasure to enlarge those negatives.

This said, the 35mm. I used to have the 2/35 not ASPH, really not as crispy as the ASPH one and I’ve seen so many samples with black dust of paint from the blades of the diaf’. Mind the flare, then ! I’m now so happy with the 2/35 ASPH.

Flash. TTL, what for ? I use a Vivitar 2800 (cheap and sturdy). Of course you need a bit of use, but I never felt I needed something else. See David Alan Harvey, he used something equivalent on his film bodies.

Taking pictures. Ahhh ! You learn again what instinct means in photography. We probably all loose that sensation when we turn back to the SLRs.
After all this time with my classic Ms, as was saying Stephane Duroy, I just don’t expect any improvement. If the pic is bad it’s my own fault.
Just give you some time with it. It took me more than one year to get used to it and to understand why it was well worth it. Enjoy the tool and good pics with it, Erin !

by Seb Geo | 22 Apr 2009 22:04 | Sivignon, France | | Report spam→
Erin,

I suggest you try to hold a M5 before making the decision to buy one. If you really do hand meter, then i suggest getting a M4-P It’s the same size as a M6 but does not have a meter and is built better than a M6 and is also easier to find and cheaper than a M5.

As for lenses, generally the asph lenses are slightly more contrasty but the 35 f1.4 asph is less contrasty than the other asph’s.

Also, regarding characteristics of how the various lenses render, that is not something that I ever got into so I will let other’s chime in regarding that. However, I will say that the 28 f2.0 and 75 f1.4 are two of my all time favorite lenses for how they render colors and contrast and everything else.

Leica does make a booklet that talks about all the various characteristics of their lenses old and new. I only saw it at their NJ facility but I am sure they can get you a copy if you want to learn more about that subject.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 22 Apr 2009 22:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Is being “a character,” a positive or negative quality?

by Barry Milyovsky | 22 Apr 2009 22:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Sherry loves the M5, that’s for sure. She says that I wouldn’t have to go to her with broken cameras so often if I was using a M5. I played with one of hers for 20 minutes the last time I was up there. But I’m NOT convinced….

…because it really IS bigger than a M4-P or a M6, and for me, at least, it just doesn’t feel right in my hands. Even a few millimeters makes a big difference with a camera like a Leica. And i don’t like the film rewind on the BOTTOM of the camera.

Although if you are used to Canon SLR, the M5 will still feel pretty good.

take a look at http://www.cameraquest.com/m5.htm

for a detailed explanation of the M5 and also size comparison with M6. The other, smaller, camera in those photos is a Leica screw-mount, don’t worry about those.

also: http://photo.net/equipment/leica/m5/

What is cool about the M5 is that almost no other photographer of your caliber, erin, would still be using one. In all these years I’ve only seen two or three of them in the field actually being well used by real photographers.

So you’d be pretty unique almost anywhere you go with it!

The best thing to do would be to borrow one of each, a M5 and a M4/M6, shoot a few rolls with each, and see which one you like better. It won’t be hard to get your hands on a M4/M6 (from me, for example), but I don’t know where you’d get to test a M5.

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 22:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Alan! You are the bomb. Hey, if you let me borrow one of your M6’s, I’ll take you out for beers in Texas… :) And wow, I am definitely digging out the gear nerds on this post. I am surprised that I am the only FEMALE on here! I love tech-talk… I’m a nerd too!

Sherry swore up and down about the M5, saying that she had a “love affair” with it in her early years (which is pretty awesome!)
I need to borrow an M5 from someone. Sherry basically said I’d be a fool not to buy an M5, that is was the best Leica. HOWEVER, I just got off the phone with a guy named Alex who has sold thousands of leicas out of Setdel Studios in Toronto, who said that the M5 is a piece of junk, and I’d be an idiot to buy one. He told me to instead to get the M6 classic or an early edition M6 Wetzler.

So I now have two Leica experts with contradictory opinions. Hmmm. I didn’t know it would be this complicated! :)

I think I should try both out before purchasing. Now… to find an M5 in Texas…

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 23:04 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Barry: being a “character” is a great quality! it basically means you’re funny and you have a really unique personality.

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 23:04 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Sounds patronizing to me. Is there anyone on this thread who would like to be referred to as a character?

From the OED: 18. colloq. An odd, extraordinary, or eccentric person.
1773 GOLDSM. Stoops to Conq. II. i, A very impudent fellow this! but he’s a character, and I’ll humour him. 1832 G. DOWNES Lett. Cont. Countries I. 473 ‘Ahi lassa’, added with a sigh the old man, who was a bit of a character. 1839 LD. BROUGHAM Statesm. Geo. III (ed. 2) 270 He was..a character as it is called: By this is meant a mind cast in a peculiar mould.

by Barry Milyovsky | 23 Apr 2009 00:04 (ed. Apr 23 2009) | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
I don’t think there are any photographers of my caliber shooting an M5 either, or a Canon, or Nikon. In fact, I really should never be let near a camera :)

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 23 Apr 2009 02:04 | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→
All the people on this thread are characters…certainly me, Alan Chin, Bill Putnam, Akaky. We are all odd (and certainly extraordinary) to be spending all this time yammering electronically about a camera type that only about 2% of the world’s camera users ever heard of.

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 02:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Damn Neal you nailed it.

BTW, in Texas to be referred to as a “character” is highly regarded.

-M

by Matt Wright-Steel | 23 Apr 2009 02:04 | austin, texas, United States | | Report spam→
FYI Juan, Eli Reed shoots (or at least used to shoot) with a M5.

As for Sherry, she is a wonderful person. Yes she is odd, but which one of us is not odd in some way…

And regarding your contradictory comments from sherry and the other leica guy. I would believe Sherry when she says the M5 is the best leica for whatever maintenance reasons. But I can’t see myself ever getting one. I would rather deal with whatever repairs are needed for a M4-P or M6 (classic) – but dont get a M4-2, they are not good. And like I said before, if you use a handheld meter get yourself a M4-P you will be in photog heaven…

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 23 Apr 2009 03:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Eli Reed lives in Austin…

by Tom Leininger | 23 Apr 2009 03:04 | Denton, TX, United States | | Report spam→
I really like Eli Reed, cool to know he used a M5!
I was just making a self depreciating remark earlier about my caliber, just to clear up any confusion. Also, I shoot with a real Leica, the M3.

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 23 Apr 2009 04:04 | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→
I agree, if Sherry says the M5 is best it probably is when it comes to mechanical reliability. But it’s big and kind of ugly. I’ve had a pair of M6ttls for almost ten years and they work great. The only problem I ever had was a bent rewind knob that was probably my fault for banging it around.

I would agree that the older bodies, the M4P if you don’t need a meter or the M6 (classic, non-ttl) are probably made better than the M6ttl. But I’d take whatever deal I could get on any of those choices. Mine have seen some rough use and are still a pleasure to work with. If you have the cash the MP is beautiful, but expensive. I’ve never used an M7 but the autoexposure and electronic shutter don’t interest me at all for a film camera. I use the M8 more than my film cameras at this point and it’s a great camera despite some of the early negative reports.

If you’re looking for a 35mm lens you can’t go wrong with any of the Leica lenses. The current 35/1.4 is great, as is the current 35/2. The F/2 (summicron-asph) has a bit more contrast which may or may not be a good thing depending on your needs. The pre-aspherical version of the summicron is also a great lens, some say it has a more old-timey look with lots of, uh, character. It’s reputed to be very sharp but have less contrast and a less harsh look. I’ve never used one.

I’ve used both of the modern 35’s and they’re amazing. Also there is a new 35 F/2.5 summarit which is a bit cheaper and is supposed to have similar performance to the pre-asph summicron. I borrowed one when I was first trying out the M8 and it’s a great little lens if you don’t mind the f/2.5 aperture.

Can you tell the results from other 35mm cameras? Maybe. I don’t really know. I use rangefinders since I like that method of viewing and focusing better than SLRs. I like that I can see my frame with infinite depth of field, I find I compose better that way and end up needing to crop less since I can see the frame better. This may sound odd since rangefinders aren’t known for exact framing accuracy, but it’s what i find in practice. Also, the cameras are small and quiet, which may or may not help you do better work depending on your tastes. The lenses are first-rate and I think they do have a different look from the nikon and canon lenses I’ve used, but that’s not the reason I shoot with leicas.

by Noah Addis | 23 Apr 2009 04:04 | São Paulo, Brazil | | Report spam→
As someone who was just using a mamiya 7 side by side with a leica (albeit a digital one) I can tell you the focusing on the leica is a lot easier, faster, smoother, and the format is smaller so the DOF isn’t so exaggerated, and the lenses are sharper and distort less. I really didn’t expect much of a difference because the 120 negs are so nice, but I sold my 7 after getting the Leica. Just kept my mamiya 6 and ’blad set up. the 6×7 was too in between.

by Peter Hoffman | 23 Apr 2009 05:04 | Athens, Ohio, United States | | Report spam→
uh, when it comes to cameras, full disclosure: i am a total “character,” whatever that means. I know it’s very un-cool for real, working photographers to be camera geeks. Almost everyone I know owns the three or four cameras they need, maybe three or four other ones they wore out or outgrew or picked up for fun, and that’s it. My friends and colleagues mostly have nothing in common with collectors, hobbyists, “fondlers.”

Now here goes, my public confession, that actually, despite being a true working photographer who has done nothing else for a living for the last 15 years, I’m an addicted collector. I go to flea markets. I scour eBay, craigslist, all of it. I own something like 50 working cameras, including 9 Leicas:

M2 (which i bought from one of my professors in college, and was my main camera for a long time)
2 M3 (one was my father’s, the other was my first Leica that was my other main camera along with the M2)
M4-2 (which I got to finally graduate to the “newer” black cameras with the faster loading and rewind, and motordrive/rapidwinder capability, but this camera was not great, it was pretty beat when I got it and it’s only been in and out of the shop since)
CL (the small Leica to walk around)
IIIc (a screwmount 1946 Leica that I got because the serial number is my birthday. yes, that’s true)
Voigtlander R2 (a “back-up” camera. really i just thought it was great that somebody else started making M-mount cameras)

and my main cameras now are a M4-P and a M6 classic.

So is this crazy or what, right? I can only justify it by knowing that other people spend their money on crack cocaine or donations to extreme right-wing groups, or whatever, and that compared to them, my camera geekery is pretty harmless. And a legitimate business expense off of my taxes.

It also does mean that I have used these cameras professionally for the last 20 years, and know their quirks and eccentricities pretty well. I’ve also used, extensively, lots of Nikons, Olympuses, and now Canons. But with the exception maybe of the Nikon F and perhaps the OM-1n, none of those workhorses come close to the aesthetic pleasure and practical attributes of the Leicas, which simply are almost perfect for their intended role.

They do have real flaws, too. Putting a flash on top of such a small camera tends to mess up the balance of it in your hands, unless it’s a small flash. You really can’t use any lens longer than a 90mm, and even that kind of sucks. 50mm and wider is what Leicas are good for. The bottom loading has become instinctive, but having the bottom baseplate come off completely is very annoying, you have to hold it in your hand or stick it in your pocket as you load. The maximum 1000 shutter speed is limiting, but it’s the price you pay for a quiet cloth shutter. Leaving it pointed at the sun will burn a hole in that curtain. The rewind knob always gets banged up and breaks eventually. The rangefinder can go out of alignment. Repairs are expensive. The list can go on…I know of more than one photographer who gave up on Leica to go back to a Nikon FM-2 or some such…

so it really just comes down to whether you like it, or not.

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 06:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
My apologies for disturbing the Leica worship, folks, but I’d just like to point out that the word unique is an absolute and therefore does not take a qualifier. There are no degrees of uniqueness; like being pregnant or dead, something is either unique or it isn’t. I would like to thank everyone participating in this thread for putting up with my indulging yet another of my grammatical bugaboos. Let us return now to our regularly scheduled Leica program already in progress.

by Akaky | 23 Apr 2009 14:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
(this post in response to Akaky saying that I’m an addict, which he amended to a grammatical post instead)

i know i’m an addict. i state it plainly in the above post. and really, 50 is probably too low of an estimate…maybe more like 60 or 65. And this does not include Kodak Brownies or Polaroids or other functionally useless machines. In addition to the nine Leicas, I have ended up with something like ten Nikons, two Olympuses, three Minoltas, four Contax/Yashicas, two Rolleiflexes, two Hasselblads, none of which are even that interesting. These cameras all came from various sources; I inherited one of the Hasselblads from my father and the other was his college graduation gift to me; the Rolleiflexes ARE my main medium format cameras, etc.

The Minoltas were pure Gear-Acquisition-Syndrome. I certainly didn’t need another SLR system, not when my whole pre-digital career was with Nikons; then later the Olympus was attractive for its small size and low weight; then with digital, prices for film cameras dropped and I got the Contaxes for their great Zeiss lenses. But Minolta? In 2006 or 2007?!? This was pure lunacy. I saw two of them, a SRT-101 and a SR 505, black bodies, in the bargain bin of a photo store, something like $30 each. Nothing was wrong with them. The shutters and film advance of Minoltas are actually very smooth. These were not chintzy cameras. Well, one thing led to another, and a few hundred dollars later, I have not only the cameras but the fastest lenses I could get, like the 35mm f/1.8 and the 28mm f/2.0. I shot a friend’s wedding with them, and also the 2007 anniversary of 9/11, and maybe a few other things. And they’re actually lovely cameras to use. But what is the point??? When obviously they are still not as practical as the Leica, Nikon, Contax, and Olympuses I already owned….

So the smart thing would be to sell them, right? I could recoup my investment or close to it on eBay, not a big deal. But the whole fun was in finding out about them, the history, the different models and lenses, and then going into the real world and shooting 20-30 rolls with them. What stops me from selling them is that if I did, eventually I will spot another orphan Minolta at a flea market…whereas now the Minolta niche is solidly filled. Which is what a collector and not a professional photographer usually does. But so what that I used them for real work?

NEXT CONFESSION: The actually interesting cameras that I collected.

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 14:04 (ed. Apr 23 2009) | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Akaky, please. This is no place for name calling, you contemptible lout!

by Barry Milyovsky | 23 Apr 2009 14:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Damn email. I deleted that post because the more I looked at it, the more insulting it looked, and since that wasn’t my intention, I canned it. I forgot about the email going out whether I deleted the thing or not. Curses, foiled by technology again!

by Akaky | 23 Apr 2009 15:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Erin,
This may help you, it’s a brief history of Leica M cameras and their pro’s and con’s regarding features:
http://www.cameraquest.com/mguide.htm
Also, I am not sure if it’s a typo but if it’s not then I would suggest you buy the M4 for $995 from Photo Village. It’s listed as chrome, a nice shooter (which means it shows lots of usage signs) But the M4 is a great M and it’s got a self timer (nothing after that before digital had them).

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 23 Apr 2009 17:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
The trouble with you guys (Barry and Akaky) is that you are both characters…..

Erin, aren’t you glad you posted this question?

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 17:04 (ed. Apr 23 2009) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Oh, and one other thing, I find that one’s mouth is the best place to put the baseplate while changing film…

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 23 Apr 2009 17:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Drop a base plate….ding….and your done shooting until it gets fixed. Worth carrying a spare.

by Joel Sackett | 23 Apr 2009 17:04 (ed. Apr 23 2009) | Puget Sound, Washington, United States | | Report spam→
I guess I should knock on wood, but so far I have dropped my baseplates plenty of times, and so far so good. (knock wood).

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 23 Apr 2009 17:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
True Neal— The Rosencrantz and Guilenstern of LS.

by Barry Milyovsky | 23 Apr 2009 18:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
I hesitate to point this out, a rhetorical construction I’ve never understood since what invariably follows your saying that you hesitate to point something out is the very thing you say you hesitate to point out, but Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern had their heads lopped off by the English king. Couldnt we be the Heckle and Jekyll of LS instead? or the Tom and Jerry? Martin and Lewis? Smith and Dale? Smith and Wesson?

by Akaky | 23 Apr 2009 18:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Hey, to add a little spice to the Leica talk, I just talked someone from Leice today and he confirmed that a full format sensor M9 with S2 intelligence is coming in the end of 2009. So save your money for something that sounds like something we all have been waiting for….

by Hans Herbig | 23 Apr 2009 19:04 | Munich, Germany | | Report spam→
Funny you mention this Hans. A Leica dealer told me something similar but I took it with a grain of salt. It was mentioned in a very matter of fact way as if it was common knowledge. I can’t imagine how they’re going to cram a ff sensor in there and have their wideys work well in the corners. I’m very happy with the MP 21/35 setup.

by Fred Lum | 23 Apr 2009 19:04 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Prediction: The FF M9 will cost $8,000.

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 19:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
After the rebate :)

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 23 Apr 2009 19:04 | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→
haha.. that was my guess as well.. but said it would be “a little more” than the m8.2
anyways we’ll see early enough.

by Hans Herbig | 23 Apr 2009 19:04 | Munich, Germany | | Report spam→
Akaky, you forgot Abbott and Costello. This Leica post is definitely turning into a “Who’s on First” sketch… quite entertaining!

And yes, in Texas, being thought of as a “character” is a compliment. I consider myself to be a character, and I’m sure Sherry Krauter does as well.

Ok, so here is my plan: I will borrow Eli Reed’s M5 for a few days (if he will let me!) and also rent an M6, and then decide on which one I want. I found someone selling their M6 classic and a 35 mm 2.0 Summi lens for around $1,300. According to a source that I trust, it is a great camera, about 13 years old, and has only shot 50 rolls of film, but has been used at least once a year.

Sounds like a steal, right?

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 20:04 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
buy that m6 kit! – it sounds like a great deal. you can always upgrade on lenses later if you find the need to.

and if you get eli on the phone please tell him i still want that copy of the photo he took of my wife and i before we were married.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 23 Apr 2009 20:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
And Alan, I TOO am a collecting addict. I LOVE old cameras, I can’t get rid of them. I have about 30… including two Canon AE1’s (my very first camera I bought when I was 14 years old), a few brownies, polaroids, really tacky point and shoots from the 1970’s, and a Anniversary edition baby speed graphic that my Grandfather used to photograph Red Cross efforts during WWII! Don’t worry, I’m sure there are others out there who just aren’t fessing up yet. And really, I thought being a camera nerd / working professional was a cool thing… :)

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 20:04 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
I wonder how I missed Abbott and Costello? I also wonder if anyone will need a bailout from the Feds in order to buy the M9. By the way, does anyone know if the M9 is any good?

by Akaky | 23 Apr 2009 22:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Will someone PLEASE sell Erin the f!@#ing camera already! :):):)

by Gregory Sharko | 23 Apr 2009 22:04 | Brooklyn, New York, United States | | Report spam→
Well, Akaky, “here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”

by Barry Milyovsky | 23 Apr 2009 22:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Yes, please. I beg of you. I have about 20 people trying to sell me a camera because of this damn post, and I can’t decide which one I want. Its madness. BTW, this post is nothing compared to the one I posted two years ago, inquiring about a decent camera / travel bag. I think I seriously got over 250 replies…

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 22:04 (ed. Apr 23 2009) | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
hmm, what’s that they say about supply and demand…

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 23 Apr 2009 22:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Erin… I’m not sure where you’re at currently in your camera search, but I just thought I’d let you know (in case you hadn’t looked yet)… Precision Camera here in Austin has an M4-P that is in great condition, and I think even a 35/2. Not sure about the prices though…

Cheers – Bear

by Roberto (Bear) Guerra | 24 Apr 2009 13:04 | Austin, TX, United States | | Report spam→
A great Leica technician in Tokyo, Mr. Igarashi, now retired, told me that the M body needs at least 30 rolls a month going through it to exercise the shutter and get the lubricants to move around. That was very easy to do when I was still using those bodies to shoot assignments. But now it mostly for personal work. So, I guess this is a reminder to exercise those mechanical cameras to keep them happy. How to do that with more than 3 or 4 such cameras is hard to imagine.

by Joel Sackett | 24 Apr 2009 18:04 | Puget Sound, Washington, United States | | Report spam→
Hey.. i don’t know if you’re still looking but a friend in new york is selling his M6 TTL.
Let me know if youre still on the lookout for one!
cheers

by [former member] | 25 Apr 2009 04:04 | Mumbai, India | | Report spam→
Is someone still interested in Leica gear?

I am selling:

Leica M6 classic, black
Summicron 2/35
Summicron 2/50
Nokton 1.2/35
Voigtländer 4/21 with finder with Leica M adapter
Canon Serenar 3.5/135mm with Leica M adapter

And some collectibles (that can also be used):
- Zeiss Contarex Biogon 4.5/21mm with finder and an ultra-rare Leica M adapter (!)
- Zeiss Sonnar 1.5/5cm, wartime version, with Leica screwmount (original, no fake)
- Canon 2.0/100mm Leica screwmount lens, built in 1961, black, like new
- Canon VT deluxe, a Leica copy with a built-in Leicavit
- Canon 2/35mm, Leica screwmount, also known as the “japanese Summicron”

If you want even more, I have a 6×7cm Zenza Bronica GS-1 with three lenses, and a Broncolor 304 powerpack (1500WS) and three lamps for it.

I ship worldwide and I am also interested in trade offers. I am looking for Canon “L” zoom and prime lenses and super-telephoto lenses of other makes. a

by Clemens | 25 Apr 2009 19:04 | Mainz, Germany | | Report spam→
We’re doomed, aren’t we?

by Akaky | 25 Apr 2009 22:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Erin,
not sure if you bought your Leica yet, but I wanted to let you know about this M5 for sale
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost-classifieds/showproduct.php/product/15612

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 26 Apr 2009 03:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
See
http://www.summilux.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25385

>Posté le: 26 Avr 2009 19:38 Sujet du message: LEICA M6 noir + Nokton 35 mm 1.4
Bonjour,

Je me sépare de mon M6 et de mon 35 achetés ici même en novembre à un summiluxien.

Le M6 (0.72) est en très bon état et sera vendu dans sa boîte d’origine, par précaution je l’ai mis en révision avant la vente c’est pourquoi je n’ai pas de photos pour le moment.
Le 35 Voigtländer est comme neuf et encore sous garantie (+ 2 ans), vendu avec un filtre UV, un filtre rouge et le pare-soleil, le tout dans la boîte d’origine avec la garantie et la facture (439 €).

Je vends l’ensemble 1200€ frais de port inclus.

by Daniel Legendre | 26 Apr 2009 22:04 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Just one question to add to this amazingly long list – must have hit some kind of nerve: What is the time lag on the shutter release of the digital Leica M8 compared to the film M series cameras? – or for that matter to anyother film camera. When it comes to digital vs film the ridiculously slow shutter release time lag on most digital cameras seems to be the most crucial issue of all.

by Nigel Amies | 27 Apr 2009 08:04 | Vientiane, Laos | | Report spam→
I’m sorry…I just saw the thread lying there doing nothing and I…(sobs)…I couldnt resist. The temptation was just too strong to resist, I HAD to bump this damn thing back to the top of the pile…I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…”

Yes, this is yet another poor wretch afflicted with Leica Thread Syndrome. Advances have been made in treating this horrific disorder, but more research needs to be done, so please, give generously to the LTS Foundation. Thank you for your support.

by Akaky | 30 Apr 2009 14:04 (ed. Apr 30 2009) | New York , United States | | Report spam→
I am wondering what is the history of using Leicas in the photography of Shakespeare’s plays?

—Rosencrantz (or Guildenstern)

by Barry Milyovsky | 30 Apr 2009 15:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Wow! You could knit a suit out of this thread! I used to work at a Ritz Camera in California ages ago, and customers used to ask “what is the best camera?”. Now I’ve always been a hardware nut of sorts (I had about 40 cameras at one point, from Minox subminature to Crown Graphic 4 × 5s) And I used to tell them “a camera is like any tool, a hammer or pliers or whatever, you’ll only get great results if you enjoy using it, it fits your hands and you understand how to use it”. So try to get hold of a Leica M, Hexar, or Contax G, and see how it fits your hands and if the control placement works for you. I started out using Minolta SRTs, and that’s one reason I love my M6 TTL. The direction of the Speed dial is the same as on an old Minolta, unlike most Leica Ms, where it goes in the opposite direction. It’s a small thing, but it made me immediately comfortable with the camera, since, even though I no longer used SRTs, it made me feel at home. My Leica has been with me everywhere (same with my Canon G9, these days). Though Leica lenses are legendary, the choice in optics has never been better or cheaper for M mount cameras. I use an old Minolta M-Rokkor 28mm f2.8 that was made originally for the CLE, it’s very small, light, nicely made and they can be had for less than 500 USD (I think I got mine for 350 USD in mint shape). I also carry a 50 f.2 summicron and a 35 f.2. If you want to shoot film you do have to go Leica M. Shooting with the Leica is an experience unlike anything else (I know I sound like one of those Leica Zombies, but it’s true).

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 30 Apr 2009 18:04 | New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
What is the best hammer?

by Barry Milyovsky | 30 Apr 2009 18:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Barry, that’s easy, the Leica Digital M8…

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 30 Apr 2009 18:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Well, Aaron, that statement should get the thread moving again.

by Barry Milyovsky | 30 Apr 2009 18:04 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Barry, didnt Shylock want his pound of flesh and two Leica M3’s in mint condition in The Merchant of Venice? I think I read that somewhere.

by Akaky | 30 Apr 2009 18:04 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Dude, the best hammer is the one that lets you whack the stuffing out of things with comfort and precision, and lets you make exactly what you want to make. I like the Estwing E16S 16 oz. straight claw with the leather handle (you did ask).

Has anybody used the M-mount Voigtlander lenses? Especially the very wide ones. I’ve heard various things about quality and they seem lighter and more fragile than the Leica stuff. How about the Zeiss stuff? Good, bad, comments?

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 30 Apr 2009 18:04 | New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
Akaky, many scholars think that what Shylock actually said was, “…a pound of flesh and then I would like a breath mint for my condition.” Hence the erroneous introduction of the the Leica in mint condition in the First Folio.

by Barry Milyovsky | 30 Apr 2009 19:04 (ed. Apr 30 2009) | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, funny you mention the camera bag thread….you may remember it was that thread (via a google search while I was looking for a new bag myself) that introduced and got me hooked on LS….

Are you going to LOOK3? If so, bring the Leica. We will then be able to wait for Akaky to appear.

by Andrew Brinkhorst | 30 Apr 2009 20:04 | Lexington, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Akaky will appear just behind Gilden…..

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 00:05 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
youre compensating. and it aint for parallax

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 14:05 (ed. May 1 2009) | | Report spam→
Parallax always sounds like an over the counter laxative for skydivers to me.

by Akaky | 01 May 2009 21:05 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
But Neal, will he have a flash in hand?

by Andrew Brinkhorst | 02 May 2009 00:05 | Lexington, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Hi all,

I am purchasing a Wetzlar M6 with a 2.0 Summicron. Thanks for all the help, advice and feedback… really helpful. And please don’t worry about emailing me about Lieca’s for sale… I have found my baby! :)

by [former member] | 04 May 2009 01:05 | Chicago, Illinois, United States | | Report spam→
Mazel Tov Erin!

One last question, Chrome, Black or Panda?

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 04 May 2009 02:05 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Aaron! Its black. I was hoping for Chrome, but hey, I couldn’t beat this deal… the whole kit for $1300 USD. Not bad at all. Panda… very cute. :)

by [former member] | 04 May 2009 02:05 | Chicago, Illinois, United States | | Report spam→
The Pandas are very nice, which is why I refuse to part with mine. Chrome body, black parts, hence, Panda.

by Tom Leininger | 04 May 2009 02:05 | Denton, TX, United States | | Report spam→
Leica threads are like kudzu, arent they? Or purple loosestrife, if you come from the North. Once started, they just grow and grow and grow…

by Akaky | 04 May 2009 13:05 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
For crying out loud – I hadn’t checked this thread in a cupla weeks and WHAT happened? M5. I’m surprised nobody brought up 2-lug or 3-lug M5 options. Good grief. Erin if I’d known this was going to turn into a drama I would have gladly shipped you my M6 for a tryout. Sounds like you’re fixed up. I assume the “2.0 Summicron” is a 35mm?

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 04 May 2009 14:05 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Congratz on the M6! The m6 is my primary body with my trusty m4 as a second— you’ll have no regrets!

by Marco | 17 May 2009 00:05 | Boston, United States | | Report spam→
Black is the way to go! Now let’s see some images, shall we?



by [former member] | 17 May 2009 16:05 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

by Akaky | 17 May 2009 17:05 (ed. May 17 2009) | New York , United States | | Report spam→
M6
Sorry-I couldn’t find my old photo of an underpass on the M6 , (motorway)… so this one will have to do instead.

by JR, (John Watts-Robertson). | 18 May 2009 10:05 | rothwell, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I’m going to be an asshole and ask if anyone in the States wants to trade my Leica M3 DS for a Canon 1V. I have one too many M-mount bodies at the moment. Good condition and recently CLA, I’m also including a 50mm Canon 1.4 lens and VCII meter. God I feel like an ass!

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 19 May 2009 01:05 | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→
This thread needs more photos…



by [former member] | 19 May 2009 17:05 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
The thought

by Barry Milyovsky | 19 May 2009 18:05 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
how do you add a photo?
thanks.
j.

by John Robinson | 20 May 2009 07:05 | kwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | | Report spam→
You need to add it from an external site, such as Flickr. If you use Flickr, then go to ‘all sizes’ and copy and paste the HTML in box 1 directly into your LS post. Box 2 will result in the photo appearing, then eventually disappearing, as under the terms of Flickr you have to link back to their site. You have the option to just make the photo available to friends for viewing rather than all and sundry and we are all ‘friends’ here on LS ;-)

Here is an example of the code in box 1, with a few bits added to stop it showing my photo!

pointy thing then a href=“http://www.flickr.com/photos/45775364@N00/3541533385/” title=“M6 by John Watts-Robertson, on Flickr”>another pointy thingthenimg src=“http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2179/3541533385_733f3f955c_o.jpg” width=“800” height=“536” alt=“M6” />

So it’s just a bit of HTML to point out whatever server your image is already posted on.

Hope I haven’t confused you with my ramblings!

by JR, (John Watts-Robertson). | 20 May 2009 08:05 (ed. May 20 2009) | rothwell, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
i know a good shop in London, you can order on internet. check is. www.apertureuk.com as far as I know, they have an M6 in excellent condition, with a 35/1,4 lens, but they always have some Leica for sale, so take a look. I hope, it was kinda help.
good luck.

by bea kallos | 01 Jun 2009 21:06 | Budapest, Hungary | | Report spam→
I’ve been shooting my M7 with a 28 f2 lens for about five years. I have taken it all over the world with no surprises and excellent results.

by Chi Modu | 09 Jun 2009 08:06 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
I had an M6 titanium and an M4P with 35mm and 50mm summilux – and now I have a voigtlander Bessa with 21mm 35mm skopars and a 50mm ultron leica screw fit – Before I get taken apart I have to say I think the Bessa is great – the glass does 97% of what Leica glass does and all at throw away prices. Haven’t had any problems, have used higher flash sync for a little bit of filler – useful compared to leica sync rates – and I treat them rougher than i ever treated the leica’s. Wind on a touch rougher and the shutter more metallic as it isnt cloth, but still very quiet.

by Richard Crawford | 09 Jun 2009 09:06 | Baghdad, Iraq | | Report spam→
A statement of purported fact, wherein the word Leica does not appear in any capacity.

If you are at all like me, and if you are at all like me then you regard thirty-minute home pizza delivery as one of the fundamental characteristics distinguishing truly civilized societies from those inchoate masses of culturally benighted heathen hearts who place their trust in reeking tube, iron shard, and those English muffins topped with mozzarella and tomato sauce, which are most definitely not almost as good as the real thing, trust me on this one, then it necessarily follows that you must also regard the now almost constant loss of various and sundry body parts by skydivers as they plunge towards the Earth as an especially irksome phenomenon and one with disturbing implications for the long term electoral viability of the Republican Party.

Now, I am all for debating the long term electoral viability of the Republican Party with anyone who wanders down the pike, provided that they themselves are pikeless and I have Smith & Wesson’s latest and best bit of hardware in my pocket, just as I am in favor of debating anyone about anything, up to and including sex, religion, race, and whether or not jars of mayonnaise should give the contents’ calorie from fat percentage on the label—I think the label should just say Yes at that point; if the oily white goop you’re putting on your chicken sandwich to make it even halfway palatable after that dried out chicken’s been sitting in the back of your refrigerator since last weekend doesn’t get 100% of its calories from fat, then the oily white goop you’re putting on your chicken sandwich isn’t real mayonnaise—at least, that’s my opinion; I am not, however, in favor of debating anything with anyone so long as there is a prosthetic leg, complete with Reebok running shoe, protruding from my windshield. In this situation, I don’t care one way or another about the long-term electoral viability of the Republican Party; I want to know who’s going to pay to fix the damage to my car. And don’t tell me to call my insurance company; I refuse to let those thieving skunks jack my rates through the roof just because some dope started coming apart at the seams some 5,000 feet up.

You might not think that dealing with the ongoing plague of disintegrating parachutists might not be the most important problem of our modern age, but it is one that will grow in size and intensity as the baby boom generation ages. This generational cohort, stuck as it is in a perpetual adolescence, will refuse to grow gracefully as previous generations did and will spend an inordinate amount of time doing things any normal person would think beyond the physical capacity of someone of an advanced age. But the baby boomers, for whom life means never really having to grow up, will try to deny the biological effects of passing time and as a result of this denial the skies over this our Great Republic will soon fill with dentures, limbs, pacemakers, walkers, bifocals, AARP membership cards, and the occasional veteran of the Summer of Love, all of them raining down upon an unsuspecting populace like so much unwanted space debris. Things will definitely get uglier hereabouts before they get any better, folks.

In any case, and yes, I am about to digress from the point here; I thought you’d want to know that before I actually did it so you wouldn’t be wondering just how this other subject came up without any prior notice—there was a time in this country, and I know that a lot of the young people here will find this hard to believe, when it was possible for an ordinary citizen without any sort of prolonged psychological training whatsoever to walk down any street in a fairly good-sized American town and be able, with a fair degree of accuracy, tell which of their fellow pedestrians was a complete raving lunatic. Your average citizen required no special skills for this task; loonies, being a polite lot in general, made detection much easier with their constant habit of carrying on conversations with people not immediately observable to the naked eye.

Modern loonies still carry on conversations with themselves, of course; no one willingly gets rid of a good gig; but detecting loonies from the broad mass of people is now so much harder to do that many people simply give up and hope that the man sitting near the emergency exit muttering to himself is on the phone to his broker and not someone who thinks that aliens from the planet Mongo are out to steal his brain waves with fly paper and Gorgonzola cheese. Modern communications technology has brought us to this; phones are now so small that they fit in your ear and I am sure that some clever scientist somewhere is working on a model that the phone company can insert directly into your brain, the better to bill you for thinking about calling someone outside your family circle.

Such technological compactness may be a good thing, for all I know, but I think I can speak for many people when I say that I find people I do not know suddenly starting conversations about their private matters as I am trying to read my newspaper disconcerting in the extreme. No, I do not want to hear about your cousin’s wedding and no, I don’t care what the bride was wearing or whether the maid of honor had had to much to drink when she brought up that bit about her sleeping with the groom the night before and wasn’t it wonderful that the lawyer was a friend of the family and would only charge half his normal fee for handling the divorce (if I were a betting man, I’d say that the answers to both questions is yes, but what do I know? I could only hear one side of the conversation). Clearly, someone must devise a system whereby those of us who are merely wandering by can tell whether or not people are on the phone or just speaking to the top tenor in the choir invisible. Perhaps if people on the phone could hold up a sign and let the rest of us know one way or the other, this would be a nice gesture, I think. Life is hard enough here on the ground as it is, what with crazies raining down on us all the time these days.

by Akaky | 09 Jun 2009 14:06 (ed. Jun 9 2009) | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Get me my aluminum foil headgear! The rays are coming from outer space and affecting our fellow man…soon the aliens will be moving into our bodies…OHHHHhhhhhhhooooooo!

Get my M6’s aluminum foil cover too…….

by [former member] | 09 Jun 2009 22:06 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Your M6 is made of metal, no aluminum foil needed!

For the camera, that is, you should definitely protect yourself.

by Noah Addis | 10 Jun 2009 00:06 | Philadelphia, United States | | Report spam→
are we there yet ?? He He

by Nick McGrath | 10 Jun 2009 10:06 | Melbourne, Australia | | Report spam→
In case anyone is still reading this… I’ve been shooting with my new Leica for a month now and I’m in love. :)

by [former member] | 25 Jun 2009 03:06 | Texas, yeehaw, United States | | Report spam→
Looking forward to seeing some pix…

by [former member] | 25 Jun 2009 03:06 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, you’re doing this to taunt the rest of us, arent you?

by Akaky | 25 Jun 2009 16:06 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
That’s very refreshing Erin that you’re in love with your Leica. How many photogs are in love not just with their photographs, but with their camera too? I think I was once in love with my Konica Hexar – the poor man’s Leica – but it died on me recently. Then there’s my Mamiya 7. I’m often in love with the results, but the camera is a bit to heavy to love unreservedly even though its qualities approach, or even exceed, those of the Leica M. My Holgas I’ve never loved as cameras, but the images: total adoration.

by Nigel Amies | 26 Jun 2009 09:06 | Vientiane, Laos | | Report spam→
+1 to Damaso’s post….c’mon Erin, show us some of the results with your new love interest!

by Andrew Brinkhorst | 29 Jun 2009 14:06 | Sanford, NC, United States | | Report spam→
None of you ever hear of the much more affordable and M-mount compatible BESSA R series? (R2 – R3 – R4)

Bessa R4 basically is a leica (with .5ev steps included lightmeter) and the low priced bessa R2A allows aperture priority, is affordable (~400€) and takes pretty much any Leica M lens!!!
You don’t get the little red goodness though (but who cares)

=> Voightlander Bessa
(or Zeiss Ikon, they’re kinda cool too :D But way too expansive

by Lpongo | 30 Jun 2009 01:06 | Maas, Netherlands | | Report spam→
Now if Bessa,(Cosina), made a full frame digital version I reckon they would wipe the floor with Leica.
At least until Leica caught them up in 10 years time ;-)

by JR, (John Watts-Robertson). | 30 Jun 2009 10:06 | rothwell, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

(k i’ve been wanting to post that on this thread for like 2 months now.)

now that i have that out of my system, wanna see a real revolutionary camera, not some rehash of some antique crap from a previous generation of cult artifacts, you know, something that might actually be facing forward instead of back? (one word. HD video. oh. that’s like 2 words.)

e-p1, baby!

RALMAO

(running away, laughing my ass off. i just made that up.)

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2009 11:06 (ed. Jun 30 2009) | | Report spam→
RALMAO”…

That’s bound to lead to a (Olympus) trip…

Humble apologies.

by David White | 30 Jun 2009 11:06 | Bristol, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
The Pen is mightier than the Leica. Well, cheaper any way.

by JR, (John Watts-Robertson). | 30 Jun 2009 11:06 | rothwell, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
i’ve always loved the Pen

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2009 12:06 | | Report spam→
Hi Erin,

Not sure if you’re still looking for Leica gear, but I just saw this post.

Darren Abate in San Antonio is selling some Leica gear, or least was a couple of weeks ago. Google his name and you’ll be able to contact him.

Cheers,

Eric Kayne

by Eric Kayne | 09 Jul 2009 20:07 | St. Louis, MO, United States | | Report spam→
Further up I had listed some gear that I want to sell. Sorry to those who sent a mail, I did not reply for a long while.

Here I have the list with prices:

Leica M6 classic, black – 700 Euros
Summicron 2/35, black – 600 Euros
Summicron 2/50, black, with original hood – 600 Euros
Nokton 1.2/35 – black, with original hood – 800 Euros
Voigtländer 4/21 back with finder with Leica M adapter black, with original hood – 300 Euros
Canon Serenar 3.5/135mm with Leica M adapter, black – 200 Euros
- Zeiss Contarex Biogon 4.5/21mm with original Zeiss finder and an ultra-rare Leica M adapter chrome 1100 Euros
- Zeiss Sonnar 1.5/5cm, wartime version, with Leica screwmount, chrome. This is an original, no fake. Henri Cartier-Bresson used a lens of this type in the 50s – 400 Euros
- Canon 2.0/100mm Leica screwmount lens, built in 1961, black, like new, a rare beauty – 800 Euros
- Canon VT deluxe, a Leica copy with a “built-in Leicavit”, chrome – 300 Euros
- Canon 2/35mm, Leica screwmount, also known as the “japanese Summicron”, 350 Euros

Most of that Leica gear was CLA’d a year ago.

If you want even more, I have this, all fully working:

- 6×7cm Zenza Bronica GS-1 with Waist-level finder, 6×7 magazine with slider, three lenses (50, 110 Macro, 250 and original 2x concerter) – 800 Euros
- a Broncolor 304 powerpack (1500WS) and three lamps, softbox, standard reflector, barndoor shade and lightstands for it – 900 Euros
- an IMACON 646 “virtual drum” scanner, complete with many masks, just had maintenance by Hasselblad, got new lamps and many other parts – 5500 Euros

I ship worldwide and I am also interested in trade offers. I am looking for these lenses:

- Canon 400 DO IS
- Canon EF 4/500 L IS
- Canon EF 14/2.8 L USM II
- Canon EF 35/1.4 L USM
- Canon MP-E 65mm 1:2.8 1-5x Macro Photo

- Canon ES71II lens hood

- Olympus bellows heads 20mm and 38mm (multi-coated versions only)

by Clemens | 12 Jul 2009 16:07 | Mainz, Germany | | Report spam→
This thread is never going to go away, is it?

by Akaky | 12 Jul 2009 23:07 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Akaky, should we shut down this thread? I left it open because it seems that everyone keeps wanting to talk about Leica… :)

I found an interesting site today: http://www.cameraquest.com/mguide.htm. Its obviously from the point of view of a passionate Leica enthusiast, who candidly explains the history of Leica, the different cameras, etc. Not as objective, but a really useful site.

by [former member] | 13 Jul 2009 04:07 | Texas, yeehaw, United States | | Report spam→
This thread should have been put out of its misery long long ago. If your looking for a Leica there are many better places to find one with Ebay for a start or try rangefinder.com

Lets keep techy stuff out of this forum.. oops.. think I may have started another wave of postings here..

Erin.. KILL IT!

by Stewart Weir | 13 Jul 2009 09:07 | | Report spam→
Not true Stewert. I got a great deal on an M6 TTL .85 through one of the members here. What I don’t understand is why people who hate this thread keep on reading and posting to it? Why not just ignore it, that’s what I do to the countless annoying threads on LS…

by [former member] | 13 Jul 2009 14:07 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, this thread and its neverending pullulation was annoying at first; obsessive Leicaphilia in its most rabid stages is never a pretty thing to see and it does make me wonder if we ought to stage an intervention for the most out of control sufferers-it’s for their own good, after all; but now I have to admit to a certain morbid fascination in watching the thing grow like digital kudzu all over the place.

by Akaky | 13 Jul 2009 16:07 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Well, just wait until I sold all my gear ;-)

by Clemens | 14 Jul 2009 06:07 | Mainz, Germany | | Report spam→
“What I don’t understand is why people who hate this thread keep on reading and posting to it? Why not just ignore it, that’s what I do to the countless annoying threads on LS… "

That’s possibly the most sensible piece of advice I’ve ever read on Lightstalkers.

Sorry to continue the thread by the way ;-)

by JR, (John Watts-Robertson). | 14 Jul 2009 07:07 | rothwell, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Leicaphilia, noun.
love, like, or passion of leicas.

leicaphobia, noun.
fear, dislike, or hatred of leicas.

by John Robinson | 14 Jul 2009 08:07 | Pietermaritzburg, South Africa | | Report spam→
Akaky have you ever used a Leica for an extended period (more than a week)? Why do you care if other people are obsessed with a particular kind of equipment? I’m pretty sure the people on this forum, including myself, who use Leicas have very good reasons. So why not just ignore us and move on with your life?

by [former member] | 14 Jul 2009 15:07 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→


by | 14 Jul 2009 16:07 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Damaso, I’ve never used a Leica; even used ones are beyond what I can afford to pay for a camera; so I have no basis for comparison. I am not criticizing the cameras themselves; I am sure that they are everything they are cracked up to be and for what Leica charges for them, they damn well better be. What I find alternately annoying and amusing are the Leicaphiles themselves. These are people who would, no doubt, find a teenager’s absolute fascination with muscle cars amusing in the extreme without realizing that they are engaging in the exact sort of fetishization (is that even a word?) with their Leicas. And in the end what matters is not the tool, but the product. No one calls Eugene O’Neill a better writer than Tennessee Williams simply because O’Neill wrote Long Day’s Journey into Night with a No. 2 pencil and Williams wrote The Glass Menagerie on a typewriter.

Ali, how come she doesnt deliver stuff on my route?

by Akaky | 15 Jul 2009 13:07 (ed. Jul 15 2009) | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Akaky, You need to order a Leica for her to deliver on your route.

by Barry Milyovsky | 15 Jul 2009 13:07 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
I’d have to disagree to a certain extent. There are things you can do with a 4×5 or a SLR you can’t do with a Leica. Tools do matter. I would say having switched from SLRs to Leicas there are things I can do, namely walk around for a day without lugging 30 pounds of equipment. Did I get great images from my SLR? Yes. Do I get great images from my Leicas? Yes. Am I happier with my Leicas? Yes.

Leicaphiles can be annoying but I don’t think we see them here in this thread so I think you annoyance is misplaced. Go checkout rangefinderforum if you really want to get your bile up. The people here actually shoot their cameras and don’t put them on the shelf.

Why is it more annoying that I think a Leica (used by the way they are a lot cheaper than a Canon 5DII btw and at the apex of film cameras ten years ago a Leica M6 was about on par with a Canon Eos 1N though the glass is more expensive, as it should be since it does have the best resolving power in the world) are the best camera? I know for a fact their are plenty of people here who feel the same way about Nikon and Canon.

So again, what’s you beef? If people want to spend too much on something that is not worth it how does that impact you? No one is forcing you to read this thread or look at images produced with a Leica, right? I think you owe it to yourself to at least shoot with one if you’re going to have such a negative attitude about it, at least then you would have a basis for the dislike…



by [former member] | 15 Jul 2009 14:07 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→

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