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Which Leica


Shaunb
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Hi All

I wonder if you can help? I am about to buy my first Leica as an upgrade from my Canon DSLR. I appreciate that this is a difficult question....but which Leica should I buy? I am quite keen on the Leica Q, but am concerned that I may regret not being able to change the lens. So, should I be looking at an M with a 35mm lens to start and build from there? If so, which M should I be looking at? Budget in total is around £7000 including lenses/ accessories. I am happy to buy used if necessary.

Thanks in advance

Shaun

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What do you want a Leica for? You must have a reason in mind for switching and what you expect to achieve - this will help provide you with answers. 

 

What sort of photography do you do? Presumably you want a digital camera rather than film?

All good questions. Let me add some extra:

- How important is compactness to you? This is one of the things I like most about my Leica M, so I want my lenses to be as small and light as possible, to make a package even smaller than the Q.

- Do you have experience with range finders and do you like manual focussing with it?

- Do you require video capability?

- Do you think you can live without live view or EVF? (lots of people can of course)

i.e. without LV all lenses used on the M need to be rangefinder coupled and closest focussing distance will be 0.7m. Tele will be limited to 135mm.

Of course the sharpness of the Leica M sensor makes cropping to about 200mm equivalent a valid option.

Nevertheless, LV and EVF opens possibilities for real macro to 1:1 with macro lenses of almost any make (R lenses or other brands), as well as tele focussing > 135mm.

Edited by dpitt
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Are you going to use only 28mm lens? I never used in on Canon...

You have to make list of the lenses you need on Leica. It could be Leica made and at this case you'll be limited with couple of lenses if you want decent and fresh digital M.

If you are OK with less expensive lenses made by Cosina Viogtlander/Zeiss and used, you'll have more lenses. Do you need flash, it is at least 250 USD for used Leica and TTL? Case and spare battery adds another 250-350 USD.

But M10 and 50$ 50, 35 mm FSU lens will also do!

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Get a used Leica X2 or equivalent ......$600.ish  Use it ALOT for a year.

 

Then:

Visit a Leica store fondle some cameras .......play with a rangefinder.

 

Read reviews and info ....tons of stuff on line.... some useful ......some not so much

Price some used lenses of focal lengths you like to shoot with.... Leica, Voigtlander, Zeiss

 

Ask questions of this Forum

 

Learn Lightroom or equivalent.

 

Reevaluate and decide exactly what you want a camera for ?

 

Reevaluate your budget ....... and choose the Leica  will suit your needs?

or perhaps another camera brand would be a better choice?

 

Honestly only you can decide what its the best camera system for you, your budget and your needs.

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Best way to get to know rangefinders is to try one out. Ideally if you know some way to rent it, or have a friend nearby that owns a Leica M. Or you can buy a good M2 or M3 user with an old Summicron 50mm collapsible and shoot a few films. That will set you back about 1000 GBP and you will get your money back on resale.

 

If you want to try digital, a used M8 or M9 with a summicron 50 will do. You will have to fork out about 1500 - 2000 GBP for that, but it will not loose much value if you want to sell it later.

 

After this trial you will be ready to spend 7000 GBP and dive in with confidence.

 

My trial was with a M2 and Summicron 40C and I was sold immediately. 3 months later (2009) I invested in a Leica M8 and never looked back

Edited by dpitt
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@Shaunb,

 

Welcome to the forum!  We all hope that you will become a long term member here.  The first question that came to my mind was "film or digital?" 

 

If you want to shoot film, there is truly a myriad of excellent M cameras on the used market to choose from.  My personal favorite is the M4-P but others will swear by other models like the M3, M5, M6, M7 and others.  If you want to go that route, do yourself a favor and do a good amount of research before buying.

 

With a budget of around £7000, you have a lot of options; if you want a digital M camera, you could certainly afford a used M240 and a couple of lenses like the 50 Summicron, the 28mm Elmarit or a 35mm Summicron.  There are several versions of some M lenses so be sure you know which version you are getting before buying if you are getting a used lens.  Your budget would also permit you to pick up a used M240, a used film Leica and a used lens (or maybe even two) if you wanted to go that route. 

 

It is very important to know what you want before you spend your money to be sure what you buy will be a good fit for your wants, needs and desires.  Think about what you want in terms of lenses and film M vs. digital M.  Then do your research.  Then do your shopping.  When you find the camera and lens(es) you need, buy them with the knowledge that you are making the right choice.  Shopping and buying are the most fun parts of the process, but they come last, not first IMHO.

 

Hope this helps...

Edited by Carlos Danger
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