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Jay2654

Using 28mm glass on an M3 body

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First of all, hey y’all. This is my first post on the Leica forums. I’ve been a photography hobbyist for a while now and have been browsing the last few months for what I think would be my perfect camera set-up to start saving up for. After quite a few weeks learning the ins and outs of pretty much every camera body under the sun, I think I’ve finally settled on the M3. I love the all-mechanical body, the brass casing, and the quiet shutter—so far I only have one concern.

 

My focal length of choice is 28mm, and occasionally 35mm. Does anyone have much experience using 28mm glass with an M3 body? I am not opposed to using an external viewfinder, but I’m worried that it would sort of interrupt the pure, smooth, and ‘invisible’ sort of experience I’m hoping for with a Leica. 

 

 

I know Joel Mererowitz used wider focal lengths back in the 60s and 70s, does anybody know if he was using an external viewfinder or if he just knew his machine well enough to estimate?

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Welcome to the Forum and congrats to the M3. Ocassionally, I have used my M3 with a 28mm Summicron ASPH. I used it with a Leica 21mm external viewfinder (in silver) that contains also a 28mm frame (originally build for use on the M8). It worked as you prefocus using the range indicator on the lens and the external viewfinder for frameing the picture. With an additional 50mm you have a perfect two lens set. And also it looked quite nice.

 

Kind regards

Swiss Leica Fan

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Garry Winogrand used wider focal lengths. Up to 21. His main choice for decades was 28mm lenses on M4 with external VF. Videos on YouTube are available showing him using it. 

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Welcome.

 

I think you should reconsider your choice of M and go for one of the models with frame lines for 28 and 35mm lenses.

Further to this sage advice, the M3 provides neither 28mm nor 35mm frame lines. There is no application for this body using your chosen focal lengths that is without compromise. In this sense, an external finder is a compromise since focusing and framing are done separately, rather than through the appropriate viewfinder.

In unmetered bodies:

M2 has 35mm frame lines

M4-2 and M4-P have 28 and 35 frame lines

 

Cheers

 

J

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Mute-on

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No, M4-2 has no 28mm frames.

Whoops! Apologies for the misleading reference.

 

Thanks for the correction, Ko

 

So M4-P only then, unless you go for a metered body ....

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Further to this sage advice, the M3 provides neither 28mm nor 35mm frame lines. There is no application for this body using your chosen focal lengths that is without compromise. In this sense, an external finder is a compromise since focusing and framing are done separately, rather than through the appropriate viewfinder.

In unmetered bodies:

M2 has 35mm frame lines

M4-2 and M4-P have 28 and 35 frame lines

 

Cheers

 

J

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I think I may have to compromise no matter what, because ideally I would love an M body that is fully mechanical, brass housing, and has 28mm lines.

 

To your knowledge, is there an M model that is both fully mechanical and has 28mm lines? Those are the two things I'd like most in an M body. 

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I think I may have to compromise no matter what, because ideally I would love an M body that is fully mechanical, brass housing, and has 28mm lines.

 

To your knowledge, is there an M model that is both fully mechanical and has 28mm lines? Those are the two things I'd like most in an M body. 

 

You might want to consider the M2, completely mechanical and with 35mm frame lines. In a pinch you could use the entire viewfinder for the 28mm lens and get a fairly close approximation of what you will get on film.

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I think I may have to compromise no matter what, because ideally I would love an M body that is fully mechanical, brass housing, and has 28mm lines.

 

To your knowledge, is there an M model that is both fully mechanical and has 28mm lines? Those are the two things I'd like most in an M body.

Sure

 

MP in either 0.72 or 0.58 viewfinder. I have and prefer the 0.58. These are à la carte now, but available second hand.

 

J

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Guest )-(

FWIW I think M2 or M3 are indistinguishable 'in the hand'. If you want a capable classic worthy of the occasional fondle, I think either is a superb choice.

The M3 is 'all about' that 50mm frameline, so maybe not the usual choice for 28mm lens users.

 

If you are using your 28mm lens prefocused in some way then a 28mm finder is easy. It gives a nice clear view, and you can take it off the camera when you're not using it.

I like mine but also have the option of a 0.72 body for when I prefer it.

 

With the M2 as suggested, you can definitely wing it and just use the whole viewfinder to get close enough for a 28mm view.

 

But if you're only using a 28mm lens, it'd really make sense to get something with the appropriate framelines.

 

The M6, M4-P, MP, M-A are your primary choices with those.

 

I'd expect as many different recommendations as there are models of M film camera, they all have their plus points.

 

You could always try the flowchart here:

http://macfilos.com/photo/2015/8/28/leica-m-how-to-choose-the-right-film-camera

Edited by coogee

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There's no problem using an M3 with a 28mm finder. While later Ms have framelines for a 28, the view is nowhere as good as that from the external SLOOZ finder.

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Thanks everybody for all the advice! This is all super helpful. It's sounding like the best option for me is probably an M2? No option is really "perfect" (IE each has its own compromise), but it looks like I may need to use an external viewfinder no matter what with the other body specifications I want and a 28mm, and I might as well get the 35mm lines that come with an M2, since that's my second-most used lens. 

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Thanks everybody for all the advice! This is all super helpful. It's sounding like the best option for me is probably an M2? No option is really "perfect" (IE each has its own compromise), but it looks like I may need to use an external viewfinder no matter what with the other body specifications I want and a 28mm, and I might as well get the 35mm lines that come with an M2, since that's my second-most used lens. 

 

Well, one of the M bodies with the 28mm frames is more 'perfect' for your needs IMHO. Yes of course you can use shoe mounted finders or just guess, but if you're setting out to use a 28mm a lot of the time it seems logical to go for an M with those frame lines.

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Welcome.

 

For a long time my only Leica was an M3 with 28,50 and 90mm lenses. My most used lens was the 50. Eventually I added an M6 TTL and still used those three lenses. The viewfinder on the M3 is optimised for the 50mm lens. I bought the Leica 28mm viewfinder which worked well provided you allowed for parallax.

 

If you want a Leica dedicated to 28mm photography, consider the Leica Q, but it requires more funds. Read the forum section devoted to that camera.

 

Back to the M3; many war reporters used the 28mm lens, usually on a dedicated body.

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It all depends. Some people due to their vision needs external VF. But if it would be me, I'll get M4-P at the same or less cost than M2 and decent 28mm VF. In fact, this is what I exactly did while I was owning Elmarit-M 28 2.8 III

.

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I think I may have to compromise no matter what, because ideally I would love an M body that is fully mechanical, brass housing, and has 28mm lines.

 

To your knowledge, is there an M model that is both fully mechanical and has 28mm lines? Those are the two things I'd like most in an M body. 

 Fully mechanical and 28 ? ---> M4-P ; it's surely less "classic" ("fascinating") than an M2/M3, but for me is one of the best buy for film : so better if you find one of the last with M6 "window" and zinc top...

 

Another thing, in case you value usage more than originality... years and years ago, when the VF/RF of my M2 went broke for a "bike inducted" shock, a skilled repairman told me that he could exchange the whole RF/VF with a new one with 28... I didn't embark in the operation (left the M2 "as is"... had an M4 too and used a lot the Visoflex, in those years...   

) , but he was a serious technician (Milano) and tend to think that what he said was not false. 

It could be (I think) an alternative in case you find a "cheap" M2 in need of a significant restoration work.

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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28mm works well with an M3, I like the Voigtlander 28-35 viewfinder, nice and compact.

 

DSCF7942.jpg

Works very well, I have been using that finder on my M3 for about 12 years, does for my 28mm Ultron 1.9 and also when I use the Summicron asph 35 rather than the vers 1 with goggles.

 

Gerry

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