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Need help with m series

M

miatadan

I decided that I want to purchase MP body or M7 but I need more info to make proper choice.

None of the camera dealers in Sudbury display M series Leicas, they have the compact cameras such as the CM and Minilux models.

First thing I really need to know is:
How hard is it to focus compared to SLR camera?

Is it easy to look though viewfinder? I find the view finder window to small in the Minilux.
I used to buy SLR's because it was easy to see though compared to squinting though small finder windows.

The lens I plan to purchase is the Leica Elmar F2.8/50mm.
How important is the .58, .72 and .85 finder choice? Which is best to focus the 50mm lens, second lens at later date most likely to be 35mm.
I was more interested in the M7 but seen a lot of posts re problems unloading films due to DX contacts.
Since the MP has TTL metering, manual control only not a problem to me.
Most pictures outside will be of my Miata or car show stuff , other subject for outside photos is landscape.

Inside pictures mostly family stuff.

Dan
 

jim0266

Well-Known Member
Dan,

Before you invest a good sum of money into a new M7 or MP sight unseen, you should first try to see one in person. I'd hate to see you plunk down a big chunk of change only to find that you really don't like the M system and then sell for a big loss.

A .72 finder would be the option I would suggest for a new body. I would only suggest a .58 body for 35mm or 28mm users who wear glasses. A .85 body isn't a good idea for a user who may also add a 35 or 28 down the road. The .72 finder is the most versatile, especially for a one-M system.

I find a RF camera easier to focus than a SLR. But RF focusing is not something you pick up in a few days. Depending on how much you use the camera is may take you several months to get the hang of it so be patient.

If you don't think AE is necessary for your style of shooting I would go for the MP. It's a great camera in that it's just a touch more refined than the M6's and rivals the older M's. Having said that I would consider a used M6 body as a first foray into the M system. If you do decide to sell it down the road you will take less of a hit selling an M6 you purchased used.

Jim
 
S

stefan_shanghai

Hi Dan,
the change from SLR to leica M system is not that easy, even though you will eventually appreciate the feeling of it. However, the leia MP just as the M6 or M7 viewfinders are not comparable to a compact camera. Focussing is easy, even easier than SLR once you are used to the frames and the fact that the size of the view does not change with the range of the lens, just the frame. Once you are used to it, though, you will find it great, especially the fact that you can see what's beyond the frame. This is a great adventage for composing the pic.

As for the viewfinder: The 0.85 makes it easier to focus. If you wear glasses I wouldn't advice you to get it, though, because starting from 35mm downwards, you will have problems seeing the frames. Generaly saying, the 0.85 viewfinder is for people who prefer 50/75/90/135mm lenses, the 0.72 or even 0.58 are more for the wide angle lenses and people with glasses.

The 2,8/50mm Elmar is a nice lens. Go ahead with it!
cheers, stefan
 

mknobloch

New Member
good advice, Jim.

Dan (or anyone else), i have an M4-P (comparable in features to an MP) in EXCELLENT condition i'm about to put up on ebay... the finder is brand new and the whole camera is clean and recently serviced by an authorized tech... shutter speeds are perfect. if you're interested in buying it (i can provide photos of it) before i list it on ebay, please email me at me@mikeknobloch.com.

thanks,

m.
 

ruben_blaedel

Well-Known Member
depending on what in the car show you are going to shoot I would prefer a 35 mm instead of the 50 mm - focusing and composing with a leica rangefinder is very different from SLR - it is jus a cristal clear bright view of things that does not change except for the framelines adjusting to the lens on the camera. You can not stop down the lens to se the depth of field in the finder etc. When I went from my Canon EOS autofocus 5 pbs etc. to shooting Leica I experienced that i got a much higher percentage of good shots on a film with the Leica - sometimes the only bad shots were when i accidentally pressed the bottton when the camera was still in the bag -- so for what iti is worth I would buy the MP with a 34 mm summicron and shoot with that combination for about at least a year before i baought a second lens.
 

jem

Member
> [Dan, I almost wonder if you're prepared to buy this camera on other's reccomendations without trying one out... That would be the worst thing to do, not that others won't offer advice, but whether that advice is applicable to your needs, tastes and requirements we could only guess! You really need to take a trip from Sudbury and go find some real M Leicas to hold, touch, look through, play with and test, only then will you know whether you find it easy to focus, easy to view and whether the v/f is too small. As the AMericans say, 'Your mileage may vary'. If you wear glasses that makes a difference to which magnifcation finder you might choose, for ex&le. Find a friendly dealer and take a trip. regards, Jem Kime]
 

agp

Well-Known Member
I strongly agree with the other posts. I think you would be ill-advised to spend £3000 or so on a camera (unless you're phenominally rich, of course, in which case go ahead!) without looking at the options first. Used to teach near Sudbury, and it's not so far from many excellent dealers. I used Wey Cameras, and received excellent advice. I've also used "The Classic Camera" shop near Holborn Kingsway tube station, and this may be more convenient. Surely the train to London followed by a short underground journey isn't a problem!
Beware, though. I always wanted a Leica, so went to Wey Cameras for a second-hand one. Came out with a new M7 and lens, and a large credit card bill!
One question I think you should ask is why you want a Leica. What type of photography do you do which you think might be done better than with your SLR? Leica M series aren't good for everything - for ex&le, they're weak at close-ups and sport. I use Leicas, SLRs, Digital, Medium and Large format. Use the digital for sport, large format rarely for architecture, medium format for serious landscapes (incidentally, I think that the Mamiya 7II is better than the Leica), and the Leica for taking around for the opportunistic photo and for use in concerts, etc., where discretion is important.
Whatever, don't buy without looking.
 

ellie

Well-Known Member
I too would second the suggestion that the M and R series have optimal applications that might be some-what different. Of course one might use either camera for virtually any application, but the use of zoom lenses ( for ex&le ) on the R together with longer focal length lenses and ease of fill in flash sets the R series apart. For portability and sheer enjoyment nothing beats the M cameras. The Trielmar lens adds quasi zoom capability, and the tactile sense of holding a wonderful machine that is manufactured to accomplish a specific purpose really has no equal ( unless one can afford one of those Patek watches! ).

Elliot
 
M

miatadan

I am going to Toronto tomorrow to see M series in person and compare it to R series.
Dan
 

cmdr

Active Member
Dear Dan,

I would suggest that you go to a camera store, and try an R9 and an M7. I use both an R9 and an M7, and each have their own individual strengths. For doing wedding and portraits, I find that the wider selection of lenses within the R system makes it more versatile for just about any situation. I recently purchased the 28-90 Vario Elmarit 2.8-4.5 zoom lens, and find it so much more convenient to use than compared to when I use to have rush to switch lenses back and forth in order to catch a fleeting moment. I find that the R9 works better with fill flash when using a Metz 54MZ3 flash. When you have to shoot 400-500 shots a day, I find the larger viewfinder window of the R9 to be less of a fatigue factor than compared to looking through an M7 and taking that many shots. For portraits, I find the 180 APO 2.8 Elmarit lens to be one of my most used lenses with a very unique background blur that I can't get with the M7 since 135mm is the maxium focal length available for the M system. Where the M7 really shines for me is with a 50mm 1.4 ASPH lens, or a 35mm 1.4 ASPH lens. Using ASA 160 film, I find that I can take pictures in most situations without the need for a flash. Because the M7 hardly has any recoil or shake when the shutter clicks, 1/15 sec at f/2 is not a problem, and this is where the M7 really has the advantage over the R system. Moreover, with an M7, I can easily carry it under my coat without anyone noticing that I'm carrying a camera at all. With a fanny pack or a jacket with large pockets, I can carry a 50mm and a 90mm lens, with the 35mm 1.4 ASPH mounted on the M7, and you have a complete set that can handle just about any photographic situation. The R9 is much larger so it doesn't conceal as well. I really enjoy shooting with both, so it really comes down to which system makes you feel more comfortable, and which system offers the features and focal lengths that you will find most useful for your needs.

Regards,
Dale
 

ellie

Well-Known Member
Dale: I don't think I have heard the pros and cons of the M vs. R systems explained any better, or more concisely. Having both systems as well, the only thing I might add is that the Trielmar lens, although some what slow, is the perfect travel lens. Carried with the 35/1.4 Asph and perhaps the 21Asph one can record virtually anything needed.

Elliot

Elliot
 

vishalvora

Well-Known Member
My two cents: I don't think Leica are famous for their SLRs. For amazing lens quality and not a lot of money try the Olympus OM series cameras + Zuiko lenses. A lot of M users also have OM setups - I do and changing between the two systems is pretty easy.

Hope this helps,

Vishal
 
H

hektor

Dear Vishal,
There are a few informed people who consider the Leicaflex series to be the reflex version of the M3, however Leica is famous for it's reflex lenses. Camera dealers tell me they quickly sell ever second-hand one that is part traded. The professionals are adapting them to digital cameras where they display the superiority for which they are famous.

To follow-up on your Olympus remark, on a visit to Wetzlar in 1975 I was told that Leitz considered the only challenge came from Zuiko lenses, however that was only as to optical performance. Other than Zeiss, IMHO no one makes lens-mounts as well as Leica.

Kind regards,

Justin
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Hi Justin,

Could you elaborate why Leitz consider the challenge came from Zuiko and not Zeiss in terms of optical performance ?
 

vishalvora

Well-Known Member
Oh dear - I think my comments may have upset a few folks! Sorry, that was not my intention! I too love Leica however I think I am true in saying that most professionals use Leica for their M series cameras. For SLR - pros use Canon and Nikon. I am using professional photographers as the benchmark here as their kit is abused and they are the true commenters of which kit serves the best purpose. I think sometimes people get too wrapped up in kit - I particularly dislike those who are armchair photographers - there is nothing wrong with that - its just that I do not wish to be classed as such.

It makes me sad to think that a proportion of Leica kit will never be used to actually make photographs. Just a personal point. I think at the end of the day one must use kit which they feel good with. I switched from Contax SLR to Leica - the first time I used my M3 I hated it, I thought it was slow and not for me. I lived with it for a while. I sold the M3 and got an M6 - I was in love. It worked for me... its true to say that I didn't realise what I was holding when first using the M3 - I was only 19 years old and didn't realise what the M3 stood for. I do now and think back to the M3 days, although I wouldn't swap the MP for anything.

To sum up - my advice to folks wanting to get into the Leica system; whether it be M or R is to make sure it works for them. I know many folks who regard Leica users as not serious photographers - I think they are wrong, however I do feel that their are those out there for whom being a Leicaphile is all about owning the right kit - as they say, 'all the gear, no idea'.

Just my two cents - if what I have written offends anyone - please be sure this is NOT my intention. I am merely speaking my mind, however what I have written, I think to a certain point is true. Basically, in one line, what I am saying is that make sure you MAKE photographs which you and others enjoy; regardless of the kit you own.

To the defence of the OM system - the lenses are great, super sharp in their own ways and the actual cameras are small, small enough to compare with Leica's M system.

Best wishes of the season to all,

Vishal
 
H

hektor

Dear Joseph,
The conversation was thirty years ago, and I have forgotten the context of the discussion. It is just the remark about Zuiko lenses that surprised me and was memorable. I would have thought Zeiss lenses were a challenge, but at about that time the Contarex line was all but finished. Sorry I cannot add more.
Regards,
Justin
 
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