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I'm a long-time photographer and almost as old as dirt.  Back in the late 1960s, the US Army gave me a job as a combat photographer and issued a Leica M-2R and a Nikon F.  Those cameras served me well and, after years of using various Nikons, I'm ready to get "back to the basics of life," as Waylon once crooned.  

 

After some research, I've decided upon an M-P (240).  The lenses I think I need are a 50mm 1.4, 35mm 2.0 and, maybe, either a 90mm or 135mm.  Am I going in a wrong direction?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Mike

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Welcome Mike. In the absence of clues regarding your photographic goals as far as subjects are concerned, I would suggest you search the forum for lens choices. It is so personal. For many years I worked with M3 + 28/50/90 with the 90 least used. When I adopted M8 digital I added 35 (Summicron) and 75 (Summarit). With full-frame I favour 28+35+50 with occasional use of longer lenses.

 

I fear you will receive many variants and finish up being confused by the recommendations. I suggest you analyse your most recent full-frame digital photography to see which of your focal lengths served you best of all. That should provide you with a sound bench-mark for selecting your new collection. (I use Lightroom to carry out the exercise I have just suggested to you. Just filter twelve months work by selecting focal length in the metadata  panel)

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Thank you, gentlemen, for the fast responses!  David, you inquired about photographic goals and I should have expressed that in my original post.  I've retired about 18 months ago and have been doing some traveling.  I ride a motorcycle every chance I get and love long distance touring.  In Alaska last summer, I put my Nikon to good use capturing beautiful vistas along with quite a bit of animal life.  My wife and I spent a couple of weeks in Europe last month and I was quite busy with things catching my eye, i.e., street scenes, people going about their lives, more vistas, etc.  Closer to home, my three grandsons are frequent subjects (I couldn't find an eye roll emoji).

 

With my NIkons, a D3 and a Df, I find myself using manual settings almost all the time.  I know it sounds stupid but I'm rekindling my love of photography.  I remembered my old Leica from my Vietnam days and thought, what the heck, it's time to get another camera.

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Hi,

 

You sound experienced enough to know which focal length lenses you prefer but then it comes down to choice of actual lens, but there's no 'duff' choices to worry about.

 

I don't think Leica make a 135 M now so it's a 90 or 75.

 

As said a new M model is expected next year but nobody knows for certain if, when or what!

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If you can afford it the lenses you mention are a very nice and complete set to begin with. But you might find that some of these lenses end up sitting in your bag more often than not.

 

Maybe consider going for 35mm Summilux(F1.4) and 50mm Summilux F(1.4) or even 50mm Summicron F2.0 to start with and see where this will lead you?

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Have you thought about renting? You don't say where you live except "USA," but Lens Rentals (https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/photo/leica) has the M240, 35/2, 50/1.4 three choices in 90mm and the 135/3.4 available. It wouldn't be cheap to rent your proposed kit for a week (about $850 for the M240, 35/2, 50/1.4 and 90/2), but you'd know for certain if you like them. The proposed M10 will still be a rangefinder, and it seems you haven't used a rangefinder in a long time, so maybe you'll fall back in love with it, or maybe you'll hate it, so testing out the M240 will let you know for certain, and you can then buy one or wait for the M10.

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If you can afford it the lenses you mention are a very nice and complete set to begin with. But you might find that some of these lenses end up sitting in your bag more often than not.

 

Maybe consider going for 35mm Summilux(F1.4) and 50mm Summilux F(1.4) or even 50mm Summicron F2.0 to start with and see where this will lead you?

That's sound advice, Dirk.  Thank you.  That's just what I'm looking for. 

 

Mike

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Have you thought about renting? You don't say where you live except "USA," but Lens Rentals (https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/photo/leica) has the M240, 35/2, 50/1.4 three choices in 90mm and the 135/3.4 available. It wouldn't be cheap to rent your proposed kit for a week (about $850 for the M240, 35/2, 50/1.4 and 90/2), but you'd know for certain if you like them. The proposed M10 will still be a rangefinder, and it seems you haven't used a rangefinder in a long time, so maybe you'll fall back in love with it, or maybe you'll hate it, so testing out the M240 will let you know for certain, and you can then buy one or wait for the M10.

Drew, I'm in North Carolina.  You're right, I've not used a rangefinder since 1970.  I've handled a friend's M9 and that gave me the impetus to look at a Leica.  It was like an old friend.  Anyway, I've done a bit of research on the M10 and believe I'll wait and see what that looks like.  From what I've read, it doesn't have "video" recording capabilities and that's fine by me. 

 

Mike

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The main problem with the M10 is that it is still up in the air and nobody really knows what it is going to be like... nor when it will be available. Or even whether it is going to be an M10.

Yes, sir, that is my understanding, as well.  I'm prepared to wait a little while but, if that doesn't come to fruition, an M-P would suit just fine.

 

Mike

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I would wait until after January the 17th, whatever comes out, prices on new/demo M240 will drop and bargains will be available

.

 

Regarding lenses, I would start with buying just the camera and one lens. For "lightweight" the Cron 35 is very nice, but I never quite liked how it drew (very subjective) so I traded it for a Lux 35 FLE which is the best lens I have ever used, it's just amazing. Now I have more lenses than one would ever need, but I find myself using either the 35 "for everything" or put on a 50 when I want to get close to my subjects. The 35 is more versatile so for a ”one lens” kit I would prefer it. Anyway, it’s more fun to build up your set as time goes by instead of buying everything at once (even if you have the cash), at least this has worked for me

:).

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Jaap, yes, sir, I've done a bit a research and continue to do so.  This site has been quite informative!  Thanks to all.

 

 

Mm_2, the faster lenses have my attention and the Lux 35 looks to be, as you stated, "amazing."  I tend to base my "need" for other lens based on past experiences with my old M2R and the many Nikons I've had over the years.  I must admit I've been pretty lazy in the last few years and have been using variable focal length lenses.  I know, I know . . . heresy!  This past summer, I rode my motorcycle from North Carolina to Alaska and took around 3000 photos.  Virtually every picture was done manually.  I did the same thing last month when my wife and I went to Europe.  Those trips have awakened the reasons I got into photography so long ago.  Anyway, your advice is sound and I appreciate it.  I've told my wife that, if she'd take a few more shifts working at McDonalds, I could get the lenses I think I need.

  To date, she's been rather humorless on that subject. 

 

Thank you both for replying.

 

Mike

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Selling kidneys is otherwise popular to fund Leica gear

.

 

//Joakim

Oh, that's good!

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

I always recommend people do what I say, not what I do... you know how that goes. :-)

 

With the M, my lens use has pretty much centered around an old 'Lux 35 v2 (1972 vintage) and a new Summarit-M 75 for the past year and some. Occasionally, I fit a 50 or 28, or the WATE (Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21). Even less frequently, I fit a 90 or 135. I went from using the M-P240 to the M-D262... I love its simplicity and lack of configuration: Use it just like a film M but have the advantage of digital capture.

 

If I were starting fresh, knowing what I know now, I'd buy an M-D and either a 50 or 35 mm lens. After a thousand exposures or so, I'd decide between a more tele or a wider lens, and probably stop there for a good long while. F/2-f/2.8 is really fast enough, but I love the options with and rendering of the f/1.4 lenses. Pick one and shoot with it for a long while, get to know its every nuance: that's where the magic really lies.

 

The upcoming new model, whatever it is, should be really nice. As always. But... eh? They're all really nice, and the M-D just hits my buttons right... :-)

 

Good luck with your decision and your new camera!

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