Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cainstead

Help with choosing Leica cameras

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I need a little help here, I inherited my fathers Pentak and Leica camera - M8 (used) and M6 (never used) with lenses and accessories. I am thinking of keeping one of the cameras to take pictures of my kids, ie. Sports, vacations and general pictures. My limited experience with cameras are my Iphone 4 and $100 Nikon, Kodak, and Sony pocket cameras. What would make the best camera for my needs and abilities - please consider I am willing to learn how to use the camera!

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

 

Leica Summaron 1:2.8/35 Leitz Wetzlar Lens

Leica M8

Leica Summicron – M 1:2/35 ASPH E39 Lens

Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 1:4/135

Leica 1:2.8/28 mm ASPH

Leica 1:2/75 mm ASPH

Leica 1:4/90 mm

Leica macro-adapter-M

Leica SF 24D Flash

Leica Elmar-M 1:2.8/50

Leitz Camera tripod

Leica M6 Green

Pentax K20D No lenses

Pentax K10D No lenses

 

Doug Cain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would donate the Pentax to my kids and keep the Leica and Leitz goodies.

M6 or M8 depends if you want to shoot film or digital but there is a learning curve anyway if you've never used rangefinders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Doug, welcome to the forum!

 

You probably already know this but you have some very valuable photographic equipment - the Leica equipment is worth $15-20,000 on the used market. The Pentax cameras are less valuable but should net a few hundred. This is a Leica forum so we're going to suggest that you keep and use the Leica equipment but in this case it's straightforward because you have no Pentax lenses and you can't use your Leica lenses on your Pentax cameras.

 

My advice would be to get to know your M8 (digital) camera first. It might take a little time but it will be well worth it in the end because the M8 produces superb pictures and you have some exceptionally good lenses. When you're used to your M8 you might decide to try some film in your M6 but think about it carefully because your green M6 has never been used and it will start to drop in value if you use it.

 

For a general purpose lens to get you started I suggest the 1:2/35 Summicron ASPH; get to know this lens first and then move onto longer lenses like the 1:2/75 Summicron ASPH after that. Leave the Elmar 1:4/135 till you're comfortable with the viewfinder because the viewfinder image of a 135 mm lens is very small - about the same size as the viewfinder patch.

 

Take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the M8's manual before you start and it will be time well spent with this camera.

 

If you have any questions - even ones that seem stupid - ask them here because we've all had to start in the same way you are and there's plenty of people on the forum who are keen to help.

 

Pete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice collection.

 

The M6 must be the 'safari' model - it's really a collectors camera and one to either keep boxed/unused as an investment, or sell as is.

 

Although I prefer film, as you're used to digital cameras so far, I'd suggest keeping/using the M8 - or - if you prefer auto everything, sell the Leica gear and buy a couple of lenses for the Pentax bodies.

 

The Leica is manual focus, needs IR filters (you should probably find a few filters in the collection) and needs familiarity with digital post processing. You're more likely to find the Pentax cameras easier to use (auto focus, matrix metering, full program 'auto everything' modes etc) and they probably produce out of camera jpeg shots that you can use without the need for post processing.

 

It really depends on how much you want to get 'into' photography. Leica M equipment is amongst the best you can get, but it is very much for the serious amateur or professional photographer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I need a little help here, I inherited my fathers Pentak and Leica camera - M8 (used) and M6 (never used) with lenses and accessories. I am thinking of keeping one of the cameras to take pictures of my kids, ie. Sports, vacations and general pictures. My limited experience with cameras are my Iphone 4 and $100 Nikon, Kodak, and Sony pocket cameras. What would make the best camera for my needs and abilities - please consider I am willing to learn how to use the camera!

 

I've owned and used Leicas for 4 decades and am as much a Leica lover as anybody, but here I will take the contrarian stance and recommend you sell the Leica equipment and use a small fraction of the proceeds to buy a couple of zoom lenses in Pentax mount. Vacations and general pictures are not hard to learn to do with the Leica. Kids (in motion, not portraiture) and sports take quite a bit more practice and experience to do satisfactorily with the Leica compared with an AF reflex.

 

If you want to give the Leica a try and have the best of all worlds, I suggest selling the M6, M8, both 35mm lenses, the 75mm and 135mm, use some of the proceeds to buy an M9. Not to disparage the M8 (I had one) but the M9 has less quirks, and will come with a warranty. The M8 needs special filters on all the lenses, and repairs on the camera could be quite costly with respect to its monetary value. You'll still have 28-50-90 lenses which is a fairly complete outfit, and enough money left over to get a 15mm Voigtlander and/or a second-hand 21mm Elmarit [non-ASPH] when you feel the need for something wider. Plus a couple zooms for the Pentax bodies, and probably some left over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Another option is to sell the pentax and the M6 & M8 an use that money to buy an M9 then use the lenses with that. That's what I would do but you would need to think hard about what to do yourself.

 

 

Cheers, Macjim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doug, a very warm welcome to the world of Leica and the Forum!

You have inherited a veritable treasure trove of equipment and I guess your father was a real enthusiast. Some of that must have passed down to you!

 

Before moving on to the Leica collection, don't underestimate the utility and performance of the Pentaxes. I have the K20D with mainly excellent prime lenses but Pentax also has a good range of useful zooms. It is puzzling that your father left no Pentax lenses with his two bodies. Otherwise I would suggest using them to see how their ergonomics appeals to you. They are seriously underestimated cameras of excellent quality. Maybe you could buy or borrow a standard zoom lens to test the water. The Pentax would be superior in any close-up photography you might undertake in the future. It is not a strong point of rangefinder cameras, despite your having a specialist macro lens.

 

As you are familiar with digital, perhaps the M6 could go unless there are sentimental reasons for keeping it. I tend to agree with those suggesting you upgrade the M8 for an M9, using some lenses to fund the purchase. But before doing so, do read the M8 instruction manual with camera in hand and then shoot - shoot and shoot. Only by using the M8 camera can you discover if it is for you. If you like it, but would prefer a full-frame sensor, visit a dealer and arrange to 'test drive' one. In the UK such a scheme has been introduced. A trusted Leica dealer could be your best friend in organising trial and trade-in/purchase and advising you if you decide to go for an M9.

 

The M8 has a crop factor due to its less than full frame sensor. That means that your 28mm lens behaves like a 35mm lens on full frame. I suggest you try that combination as a first step. I would next try the 35mm Summicron, probably the most popular lens among Leica owners. (I would sell the Summaron because you are unlikely to explore the historic characteristics of a lens made in the 1950s and 1960s The Summicron is far superior). The 90mm Macro is a specialist lens requiring some skill to use properly. It is a current lens and is valuable. The 135mm Elmar is worth keeping for the time being. Search the forum for several threads on old 135mm lenses.

 

Take your time to reach your decisions and do let us know in due course. Enjoy your legacy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I need a little help here, I inherited my fathers Pentak and Leica camera - M8 (used) and M6 (never used) with lenses and accessories. I am thinking of keeping one of the cameras to take pictures of my kids, ie. Sports, vacations and general pictures.

 

Leica Summaron 1:2.8/35 Leitz Wetzlar Lens

Leica M8

Leica Summicron – M 1:2/35 ASPH E39 Lens

Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 1:4/135

Leica 1:2.8/28 mm ASPH

Leica 1:2/75 mm ASPH

Leica 1:4/90 mm

Leica macro-adapter-M

Leica SF 24D Flash

Leica Elmar-M 1:2.8/50

Leitz Camera tripod

Leica M6 Green

Pentax K20D No lenses

Pentax K10D No lenses

 

That's a remarkable legacy to receive. Worth a packet, even on the secondhand market, as you've been told.

 

It's a bit surprising that you have the Pentax bodies but no lenses, but that leaves you in an interesting position. The Pentax DSLR bodies would have been easier for you to use initially, but since you have no lenses, that does give you much to do with them. The Leicas will require you to do a lot of learning, but will most likely give you more pleasing results in the longer term.

 

I'm amazed that you have a mint green M6! I wouldn't even touch that camera as it is a real collector's item, and can fetch increasing amounts of cash as the years go by. Even now Leica prices are going up and up, so hang on to the M6. It's a film camera, and as you are used to digital, stick with digital for now.

 

For photos of the kids like sports, vacations and the like, your best bet is with the M8 and a handful of lenses. This is a matter of taste, but if I had a Summaron 35 and a Summicron 35, I'd keep the Summicron as it is a newer lens and capable of taking better photos in lower light (all other things considered).

 

The Elmar 135 might be a bit too long to focus accurately on the M8. Give it a go and see what it is like. The same goes for the 90mm lens. These are telephoto lenses, so you will be able to shoot sports, although the M8 is not the best camera for this.

 

If you don't have any experience with a rangefinder, you'll need to look up the basics of focusing with a rangefinder - it seems that you've got all the boxes and papers, so there should be a manual for the M8 somewhere. This forum also has excellent threads on how to quickly and accurately focus the M8.

 

The M8 gives the best image quality when you shoot in raw, so you will need to use a good raw processor program like Adobe Lightroom. Most of us use it, and there is a great digital processing forum here and elsewhere, so there is a lot of help to be had.

 

Really, I would sit down with the camera, and place the lenses in order of focal length like this:

 

Leica 1:2.8/28 mm ASPH

Leica Summaron 1:2.8/35 Leitz Wetzlar Lens

Leica Summicron – M 1:2/35 ASPH E39 Lens

Leica Elmar-M 1:2.8/50

Leica 1:2/75 mm ASPH

Leica 1:4/90 mm

Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 1:4/135

Put each one on the M8 and shoot test photos with it. Get familiar with the look that each lens produces, and how well you can focus it. This will give you a better idea of which lenses you might use more than others, and which lenses are good for different circumstances.

 

For general photos of the kids, your best bets are probably going to be the 28mm and the 35mm Summicron. At longer distances, the 75mm, 90mm and possibly the 135mm (if you can focus it accurately) will be the ticket. But familiarize yourself with all of the lenses first and come to your own conclusions.

 

(On the other hand, and this will be heresy on this board, but if you wanted to, you could sell all of this gear for a very tidy sum and buy yourself a good DSLR like the Pentax K5, a couple of lenses, and have oodles of cash to spare. The K5 is weathersealed, compact and robust, and is used as a second system by a number of Leica shooters.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a beautiful setup. Your father certainly chose his gear carefully (and well).

 

If you want to use the camera your father did, then keep and use the M8. Certainly the M9 is an improvement, but the M8 is an incredibly good camera in its own right. I'll bet your father got many outstanding pictures with that very camera, how can you improve on that?

 

So keep the M8. Keep the 28, 50 and 90. Use the 28 as a standard lens---it's the easiest of the three lenses to focus, and makes an outstanding small, light package.

 

Also keep the Pentax K20D, and get a good small zoom for it (the Pentax 17-70 has a good reputation).

 

I think you'll end up liking and using both cameras. At the very least, this approach will give you time and experience to decide what you want for yourself.

 

Until later,

 

Clyde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never sell a Leica lens said my grandmother.

i wish i listend to your grandmother;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never sell a Leica lens said my grandmother.

 

Fully agree. Don't sell any of the Leica equipment, unless you need the money now. It will only appreciate in value relative to "worthless" confetti (paper) money.

Use the M8 with the 28mm to learn RF photography.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't use the M6, don't even handle it.

 

If you are just into taking photos of your kids and don't have a serious interest in photography, sell all the Leica equipment. It's not for you. Using them will just degrade the value, keep them pristine with the boxes, etc.

 

Get rid of the M8 soon, the value will drop quickly. The lenses may appreciate more quite a bit more, hard to predict with certainty. They are at all all-time high as of this writing.

 

If you're not familiar with eBay, find someone to help you. Don't trade into a camera store, you will lose a huge amount of money.

 

I think you have much more in value in the Leica equipment, maybe close to $30,000.

 

Get a few lenses for the Pentax, maybe a Tamron zoom and a prime or two, and use those for kids photos.

 

Buy some one ounce U.S. bullion gold coins with the money, keep them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I need a little help here, I inherited my fathers Pentak and Leica camera - M8 (used) and M6 (never used) with lenses and accessories. I am thinking of keeping one of the cameras to take pictures of my kids, ie. Sports, vacations and general pictures. My limited experience with cameras are my Iphone 4 and $100 Nikon, Kodak, and Sony pocket cameras. What would make the best camera for my needs and abilities - please consider I am willing to learn how to use the camera!.....

After all this informed advice and you have gone into hiding?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy