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Why Leica/ Leitz at all?


Well-Known Member
Mark IIs>

Aren't there newer models on the way?

I shoot slides.

A year ago most of the SLRs behind the counter of my local Jessops were 35m m and they had a great trade in second-hand gear, displayed in the window. Th e other day I went in there for the first time in a while (I was in Canada fo r a few months shooting a film). I was quite surprised to see that now there is only one new 35mm body, and no second-hand gear in the window, just digital point and shoots.>

The same here in America. Outside of a Leica offered in small quantities if at all in some stores and a few other bodies, a beginner most likely be exposed to film.

Although the digital market has slowed, the gears for film are worn. Kodak has gone knee deep into digital, essentially on a self-destructing path not only in film products, but also digital.

I think the next major step in digital cameras will be to eliminate the ISO references and at that point the thought of film will be gone.

I just hope that 20 years from now, I'll be able to shoot some slides with my then 20, 45, 56, and 70 year old cameras.

BTW- beware per the Mark II manual, page 9 that the batteries can get so hot that the body may burn your skin.

Good Luck:



New Member
I'm re-posting this message -- I pasted in all of Andrew's orginal post by mistake. Andrew: I, too, just bought a Canon EOS (but the 5D, half the weight and price, nearly the same features) plus the 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, and 70-200mm f2.8 IS. Haven't yet put up the Leica R's for sale, but probably will. I'm bought several R to EOS adapters to use with a few more special purpose lenses that I shoot mostly wide open and manually focus anyway (80 f.14, 60 macro, 15 f3.5, 800 f6.3). Don't forget about adapters before you sell off the glass -- the lenses were Leitz's forte anyway. I can't believe the quality and ease of use for the Canon. With the vertical grip, it hefts about the same as the R9 with motor (a bit lighter, perhaps), and doesn't feel as fragile as I thought a mostly plastic camera would. As much as I didn't want to do it, I just couldn't wait any longer for the DMR. Not only is it $6000, it was supposed to arrive over two years ago, making it a Bronze Age item in today's technological timeline. Why bother? I shall, however, keep all my rangefinder stuff, as it has a different purpose in the photographic scheme of things. Just wanted you to have some positive feedback to balance out your collection of rude replies.


> > I too purchased a 5D, but still retain my R8 and M2 with various lenses. There are several issues that drive the process. 1.) my use of images (web based as well as print) now require digital files. I have over 16,000 kodachromes and about twice that in B+W and color negatives. My Nikon film scanner produces great scans, but it takes a long time to do very many. 2.) in the cold, I find my 5D and 10D begin failing at -10 to -20 F here in Alaska if the cameras get cold soaked. My SL, R3, R8 and M2 will keep on working as long as one is careful about brittle film. I have even used the M2 at -40. The result? Digital as the norm, film for special purposes.


To answer the original question, "Why LeicaLeitz at all?" I would submit the following which are in no particular order and are related to the M system:

The lenses
The image quality (sharpness, color rendition, contrast)
The fast maximum apertures available
The Noctilux lens
The fingerprint of each lens (the way it renders) is unique
The durability and reliability of the cameras and lenses
The rangefinder way of photographing
The quietness of the cameras
The small size of the cameras and lenses
The quality and craftsmanship of the cameras and lenses
The design of the cameras and lenses
The view through the rangefinder when composing
The rangefinder focusing mechanism
No autofocus (which is pretty much useless in low light shooting)
The near instantaneous shutter release of the film M cameras
Lens compatibility between film M and digital M bodies
The feel of the M camera in the hand
The light weight of an M kit compared to a DSLR kit
The bargains to be had on the secondary (used) market with M lenses and bodies
The image quality of vintage M lenses
Having total control of the camera (the photographer works the camera, not vice versa)



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wow, that is a long list. I was surprised when your wrote about bargains on the secondary market. I do not have the feeling that there are bargains out there. At least in Germany, Leica/Leitz are stilll very expensive second hand...

best wishes


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It all depends on where you shop for used Leica M gear; it sounds as if prices in Germany are high, so you have to look outside of Germany.

Sherry Krauter has a small selection that is priced within reason -
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I would also look at anything offered by Ken Hansen on eBay.

Camera West has a large selection with prices that are somewhat of a tossed salad - some good deals, some standard retail for used M, some a bit on the high side. These are good guys to do business with, though. I have bought a lot of kit from them over the years and have no problems or regrets:
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Tamarkin has a used department that is well stocked with nice M gear; prices also vary from bargains to standard used retail to a bit high:
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Do not overlook the Tamarkin Connoisseur's Corner:
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Another possibility is Used Photo Pro, located in Indianapolis. They have around a hundred pieces of Leica gear on hand. Their prices seem to be within reason:
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The used Market for Leica M gear is strong, and there are favorable prices to be found if you know where to shop. Favorable prices are dependent on the balancing act that takes into consideration price, condition, scarcity of a given piece and demand.

It is important to educate yourself about used Leica M gear in order to avoid the pitfalls that can be a part of the used market. Due diligence is always in order. That having been said, I would not hesitate to buy from any of the above sources.

Hope this helps...


Well-Known Member
I've found that after the adapter generation started it has become more difficult to find any lens bargains of any make or manufacture. There used to good bargains in Leica R lenses, but now with Sony A7 FF things have gotten out of hand. If Ricoh had continued with their GM line things could be worse with the M line.


New Member
in the mid 70ies I was young pupil and a classmate had his father's Porst-refllex with him.
My look through the reflexfinder was like a epiphany, I knew I HAD TO HAVE a SLR.
It took two more years and some summer jobs until I could afford a Canon AE-1 with 1.8/ & Vivtar Zoom. At this point I should have stooped to visit any photo store....
But I'm a weak person and did enter this /$"!?(%()-shop in the next bigger town.
and there she was!

unawakend resting on the shelf, waiting for ME!

Leica R3 Safari with 2/50 Summicron

I became breathless with exitement, she was the one I had to have!
Of course this non-seller stayed there until I was able to take possession of her, several more jobs and a sold kidney later she was mine!

Today I take pictures with seveal camera systems, preferred M9-P & Monochrome, but never got rid of the Safari-virus:





New Member
The leitz eulogies above mainly refers to their past prowess.

No doubt,, their current optical devices are excellent and well worth premium prices. Their recent Panasonic clones, however, may possibly benefit from stronger quality control, but cannot be expected to have the longevity of the original rangefinder bodies. My former M3 for instance survived a rainstorm unscathed where my wifes´ OM-1 was destroyed and I still use selected R-optics on a 40 something Megapixwael digitakl body.