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When do you buy a Leica M.


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Kupepe

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 14:16

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If you start cycling ... you read reviews you buy a flashy carbon aerodynamic road bike. After some years you end up in a Colnago with Campagnolo groupset. Tradition, craftsmanship, longevity.

It cost you some thousand of Euros and a few thousand kilometers on the bike to understand what matters and what not.

At what point one must consider to buy a film Leica, when he is shooting film just a couple of years and his actual photos have a significant room for improvement? When the time is right for the investment needed?


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#2 michaelwj

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 15:03

The right time is when you want to and can afford it. Once you have the first thought, there is only one option... it is inevitable. :)
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Cheers,

Michael

 

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#3 Ko.Fe.

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 16:12

Running bicycle for thousands km gives no visual result, but moment of glory, so, my analogy with film M photography is fishing. In both cases, you might get some results. Fish or photo. "Catch of the day" is perfect term for both. HCB was the hunter, for real and in photography. 

 

Well, I also understand analogy with well balanced bicycle. Rod, line, bobber, sinker and hook works only if all is balanced as well. But fishing is the key to understand why you don't need fancy dress and expensive bicycle or hand crafted commercially made rod, sonar from military ship and nothing, but Lund boat.

 

The common mistake among beginners in photography or those who never started, but have money to buy most expensive cameras and lenses, because of primitive assumption what expensive is the best, technically; is what Leica is super camera. It is not and it is far from it. Some Fuji X will beat digital M and Nikon SLRs are more advanced technically than film M. But same is in fishing, where fancy crowds are getting out-fished by locals with simple tackle, film M are allows you to keep it simple, yet balanced. And just like fishing, the moment of opportunity for fish willing to bite is short, so knowing waters and fish behavior is the key. Advanced and expensive gear is not. By the time you have it reviewed on the sonar, get your fancy ten rods out, local boy will cast the line, get the fish and gone. Because fish is willing to bite once. 

 

Three (technical) steps to realize what you need film M.

First, you'll need to realize what having VF (where everything always "in focus") in the corner allows you to have both eyes open, keeps your noise free for breathing and let you head to stay strait. If you think it is not something significant... you are Nikonian then. Assuming what having VF with always clear view and head straight is simply safety operational issue we could move forward to the next step towards film M. We are not always tend to keep both eyes open. SLRists lives with tunnel vision. Yes, they have noise squished, head turned and all they see in VF is what lens allows them. If you think is it awkward way to photograph... Step number two. The Frameline. It sets you free from tunnel vision. Film M has them. They say, so what, some Zeiss and else has it too. Step number tree. Do you like your bicycle to be balanced in operational way? Only film M does it. You could fiddle it. Film M is extremely well balanced to be operated in the fast and intuitive way. No grips, thumbs-ups, soft releases are needed. Film M are designed to be fast and conformable to hold for hours by being "naked". Do you put fancy spoiler on bicycle? 

 

If you have all three steps made, you'll be able to get the catch of the day with film M before most of Nikonians will be able to focus on the same subject.

 

But all what I'm saying could be nothing but rubbish to you. I'm 100% ready to accept it. One and very simple step (emotional) to film M is at the time then you are realize what film M is nothing but sexy thing. And it is, oh, yeah. Can't wait to get home and touch it!     :rolleyes:   


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#4 spydrxx

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:27

Years ago, as a young man who grew up with rangefinder cameras and was later smitten by SLR cameras, I had a golden opportunity to get whatever I wanted at an incredibly good price as a naval officer overseas. I was really ogling a new SLR which had recently hit the scene, but a fellow officer who had been a Leica salesman in his former life, lent me his M3 and any lens/s I wanted to try, including a full range of Visoflex ones for 3 weeks, and took me under his wing. That experience won me over and I became a Leica M user for life (and later Barnacks and R bodies and lenses sucked me in). Yes I still have a bunch of top notch SLRs...but my Leicas always call me first. So, as far as I'm concerned, the time to buy a Leica RF, is when you want to play with the big boys, and have the resources to do so.


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#5 pico

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:07

So, as far as I'm concerned, the time to buy a Leica RF, is when you want to play with the big boys, ...

 

Are you playing with the big boys? Really? Have you scored yet?


Edited by pico, 14 July 2017 - 04:10.


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#6 michaelwj

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 08:32

Fun and games aside pico...

You try one and you like it or you don't. That's all there is to it, but you'll never know until you try. Reminds me of Dr Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham :D

Cheers,

Michael

 

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#7 spydrxx

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:47

Pico - only once in a lifetime. I was on assignment with staff photographers from Time, Life, & National Geographic for several weeks, and yes, I did score big time.



#8 Frase

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 15:45

Just before you buy a Canon :)


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#9 pgk

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 15:57

At what point one must consider to buy a film Leica, when he is shooting film just a couple of years and his actual photos have a significant room for improvement? When the time is right for the investment needed?

 

A Leica M is one of the best 'training' cameras available. Assuming you don't go for an M7 (or if you do that you don't use it on aperture priority) then everything is manual and you will learn quickly quite simply because such a camera puts you firmly in control and is unforgiving in the way it will show up errors. Personally I now think that the learning curve is faster with a digital M (again use manual exposure control) because feedback is immediate, but the traditional film route will just be a bit slower. So the time is right whenever you are prepared to buy one.


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#10 Lorenzo Lietti

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 17:51

A Leica M is one of the best 'training' cameras available. Assuming you don't go for an M7 (or if you do that you don't use it on aperture priority) then everything is manual and you will learn quickly quite simply because such a camera puts you firmly in control and is unforgiving in the way it will show up errors. Personally I now think that the learning curve is faster with a digital M (again use manual exposure control) because feedback is immediate, but the traditional film route will just be a bit slower. So the time is right whenever you are prepared to buy one.

 

This might be the one reason to get one...what I earned from the M3 I could have never learned with a SLR or digital


Documenting life with a Leica M3


#11 skucera

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:28

For me, it was when I held my wife's grandfather's M3, after being asked to pack it up to send it to her uncle after her grandfather's death on the other side of the continent (who coincidentally lived in the same city I did).  I picked up his M3, and felt the precision of the controls, the smoothness of the lens adjustments, and looked through the viewfinder at the excellent rangefinder patch with automatic parallax correction.  Oooohhhh....  It was so obviously better than my own prized EOS 650, which I really enjoyed until my daughter pulled it off a table by its strap to its doom, and the other Leica lenses were equally smooth and precise.  What a beautiful camera kit!  So, I packed it up very carefully for shipping and wrote a letter on where he could inquire around Eugene about the Leica's care and feeding.

 

Funny thing is that my wife's uncle remembered that letter, and 20 years later gave me the camera, his father's prized Leica M3 camera kit assembled over 15 years, because he knew his own mortality and he knew I would enjoy it and put it to good use.  And I have....

 

Scott


Edited by skucera, 15 July 2017 - 04:41.

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#12 Graham (G4FUJ)

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:52

What a great story Scott :)


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#13 Lux Optima

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:20

As a former cyclist I pretty well understand what a really perfect bike (I can't agree more with Kupepe's description) and a really perfect camera have in common: If poperly used they become extensions of of your body. They are more than a tool. They become a part of... you.

 

I literally walked by my Leica store in Vienna, Austria, for hundred times without any interest. I have a lovely Nikon! It was just a shop. Some time ago I entered it and found a used Monochrom 246. Made some pictures and was stunned by the beauty of the camera and the pictures. The question was not, if I really would need this camera but only how I could affort buying it with a proper glass. I made a good deal for the camera and a Summilux 50/1,4. For me it was fate.

 

I did't feel I would buy a Leica. I felt like reuniting with my father's passion for photography and with myself when I was a boy and admired his beautiful camera kit.


Edited by Lux Optima, 17 July 2017 - 12:54.

Herzlichst,

Stefan


#14 SilentShutter

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 13:50

Just before you buy a Canon :)

 

Right after you sold you Canon.......  ;)


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#15 gnuyork

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 13:04

Steel is real (regarding bikes)  ^_^



#16 arno_nyhm

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 20:21

At what point one must consider to buy a film Leica, when he is shooting film just a couple of years and his actual photos have a significant room for improvement? When the time is right for the investment needed?
 

 

the leica will not improve your pictures all by itself. it will just be a great tool that helps you to take your pictures the way you want it instead of getting in your way.

 

as long as your actual camera does this (actually a lot of cameras do), there is no need for a leica.

 

but you might want one. if that is the case: it's time to get a leica! no reason needed.



#17 semi-ambivalent

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 02:04

"I believe that no man can be completely able to summon all his strength, all his will, all his energy, for the last desperate move, till he is convinced the last bridge is down behind him and there is nowhere to go but on."

 

- Heinrich Harrer

 

Any camera is good enough, but once you have a film Leica you've pretty much painted yourself into a corner.

 

Welcome!

s-a


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#18 stevesurf

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 15:58

"I believe that no man can be completely able to summon all his strength, all his will, all his energy, for the last desperate move, till he is convinced the last bridge is down behind him and there is nowhere to go but on."

 

- Heinrich Harrer

 

Any camera is good enough, but once you have a film Leica you've pretty much painted yourself into a corner.

 

Welcome!

s-a

 

And that, can be a good thing :)

 

374px-Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_138.jpg

Van-Gogh.-Starry-Night-469x376.jpg

 

For me, the right time to buy a Leica is when you are fortunate to have a lens like the 50 Summilux or 35 'Lux.  For me, it's about the lens; as someone said so accurately here, you get a new sensor every time you advance the film :)


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