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Which camera would be the most reliable in the long run?  Does the M2 risk rangefinder separation?  I have an M4 and am looking to relegate it to "backup" status and purchase a new camera to use as my number one.  I'm young (24) and want this purchase to last me for the rest of my days.

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And then there are the idiots that see their regular Leica repairers shutting down, report doom and gloom, but don't realise that is a business opportunity for somebody. You need to understand that 'Leica technicians' are essentially called that simply to bring in work from a known source, in this case Leica users. If they weren't servicing Leica's they'd be servicing Nikons, and visa versa. Being a 'specialist' is just to make the work easier to manage, but a mechanical camera is just another c

Don't worry about it. I get the impression that some of these old guys think they're gonna live forever: "film won't be around for your lifetime", "your camera won't last a decade without a CLA" blablabla.   People say this stuff year-in, year-out. Then you see some forum message that the person has died. And film carries on, just as usual. Cameras keep working, just as usual.   Life's too short to worry about it.   I bought an M2 that's older than I am myself - right now it's working su

The ‘film is disappearing’ idiots put me off trying film for years. Truly wish I hadn’t been such a fool and believed them all those years ago. Missed about a decade of fun. Don’t make the same mistake I did!

The best camera is the new camera. Brand doesn't matter. I hope, you realise what no film Leica will lasts without CLA. Even if they kept not in use.

 

Film in current business form is not going to last for defined by you time frame.

Film Leicas either. Hopefully we will still have someone able to service them in next decade and Leica ownership will not change to digital only for another decade as well.

So, parts will be sold for sometime as well.

 

But no electronics film M is the right choice, IMO. 

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Why are you 'relagating' the M4?

 

The M2 is older than an M4 so it seems an odd decision to 'replace' the M4 with an M2.

 

Any Leica M body is essentially a film back. Yes there are differences to consider (framelines, meter/no meter, personal preference) but if you already have an M body that does what you need then I would just use it.

 

If you have the funds for a new M-A though it would be tempting to own a new mechanical Leica.

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Why do you need a backup at all if you have an M4? If you are shooting with two film bodies, as I do, it’s not a backup at all

 

Yes the M2 risks rangefinder separation. However for 20% of the cost of an M-A, I’d risk the M2. If fact, I did.

 

M2 is far better made than new film Leicas in my opinion. I have MP, M2 and M4. The M2 is the nicest.

 

Cheers

 

J

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M2/M4 or M-A  is NOT for life long I fear (if you are young 24

).

 

But if for use it for decades, each M can be in use as long as the camera is maintained regularly.

 

As personal story, no M or whatever camera I use(d) can last decades without regular maintenance.

Plus at sometime in the camera life, the maintenance cost can be more expensive than buying another stuff.

My M4/M2 by now are in this case = so I bought M-A for pleasure of new M and for use as long as they would last (with regular maintenance, of course).

With new cameras, I put that chance at the last.. to last.

 

Leica Camera (maybe Leitz ?) wrote somewhere that the parts will stay available for 30 years after the last availability of the camera.

You would be 54, if I count well

.

I don't know if that's true but all mechanical camera can be maintained with rebuilt parts (3D print ?).

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Don't worry about it. I get the impression that some of these old guys think they're gonna live forever: "film won't be around for your lifetime", "your camera won't last a decade without a CLA" blablabla.

 

People say this stuff year-in, year-out. Then you see some forum message that the person has died. And film carries on, just as usual. Cameras keep working, just as usual.

 

Life's too short to worry about it.

 

I bought an M2 that's older than I am myself - right now it's working super-smoothly. Viewfinder's bright and precise, everything's working great. If something breaks tomorrow, I'm confident the pieces to fix it can be found.

 

Also bought some film today - something internet 'experts' confidently predicted would be long gone by now.

 

All this stuff is gonna outlive us. Make a choice, go out with whichever camera you finally choose, and have fun.

Edited by plasticman
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The best camera is the new camera. Brand doesn't matter. I hope, you realise what no film Leica will lasts without CLA. Even if they kept not in use.

 

Film in current business form is not going to last for defined by you time frame.

Film Leicas either. Hopefully we will still have someone able to service them in next decade and Leica ownership will not change to digital only for another decade as well.

So, parts will be sold for sometime as well.

 

But no electronics film M is the right choice, IMO. 

 

I can't imagine that in 10 years there will be nobody left to service Leicas.  As for the longevity of 35mm film, while I agree that color film may not survive, I think it's likely that b&w will outlast us all.

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Leica Camera (maybe Leitz ?) wrote somewhere that the parts will stay available for 30 years after the last availability of the camera.

You would be 54, if I count well

.

I don't know if that's true but all mechanical camera can be maintained with rebuilt parts (3D print ?).

I saw that too, and Leica was referring (at that time) only to the MP. One of those things one wishes to have copied. In any case beneath the skin I'd bet the M-A and MP share a lot of parts, because it makes sense to. That's the important bit; parts availability. For less money OP could buy a beater M4 for future parts needs but an MP/M-A would be so new and shiny. There's something to be said for that.

 

In 1978, at twenty-four, I bought a new Rolex. I'm wearing it now. Buying a new film Leica is such an optimistic thing to do.

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I can't imagine that in 10 years there will be nobody left to service Leicas.  As for the longevity of 35mm film, while I agree that color film may not survive, I think it's likely that b&w will outlast us all.

People are too lazy and stupid to realize what here is no difference between color and BW film. Both are the same in terms of developing at home. So, color will go out first and soon. Kodak will go next, FujiNoFilm is slotering its own films left and right.

Ilford and couple of another in EU will stay longer. But without color and labs it will not last for long. People, especially young ones are lazy and people wants it in color.

 

Leica is the last manufacturer of seriously made 135 format camera. And they are making only few hundreds per year, if I'm not mistaken. So, demand is next to null.

 

Where I'm two lLeica trained persons passed away. Third one quit on my M4-2. He is too old to continue. Only one who still takes them in left. He is also old. Once he quit, here are ltwo old certified by Leica who are very busy and they are across the border. It is not uncommon to get repair done by them whitin one year or longer. And maybe two more who will take Leica across the border.

One Leica own service left on the continent is know for overpriced, long and very sloppy service.

This is the reality where I'm, yours might be different. And I hope so...

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I doubt you would go wrong with either an M-A or an M2. I'm lucky to have three film M cameras, all made by Leitz. One is a 1966 M2 - bought it in 2013, had a proper CLA done on it, and I use it regularly. It's a joy to operate. 

 

The M2 has nice features the M-A doesn't have, such as real vulcanite, a self-timer (well, some M2s do, some don't), recessed windows (harder to get finger prints on them), and the removable take-up spool. I know many hate the removable take-up spool, but I love it, it's absolutely 100% solid and reliable, no slippage or mistakes. Just a bit slower. Viewfinder is also less cluttered on the M2, it's my favourite of any M. I also rather like the mechanical, tool-like shot counter on the M2.

 

However, the M-A is brand new. Hard to argue with that. The black one looks nice, especially in stealthy black chrome, with no engraving.

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Film is not going to disappear any time soon. Just the military and civil surveillance use of film is enough to keep B&W going for decades. 

 

You're 24. An MA or an MP will last well into your senior years if not the entirety of your lifetime--given that you maintain it and protect it from damage. 

 

The bigger issue will be that in the span of your life something will come along more compelling and more to your current needs than film. You (and society) will outgrow it before it outlasts you.

 

I suppose this means you have returned the M10? Or are you funding your retirement with these things?

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One thing that I'm sure that the M2/M-A (analog M of your choice) will outlast well over your M10

.

 

I use sometime a Leica I transformed to Leica II built in 1925 or 1926.

 

Post #1037/38 from this thread : https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/13639-ltm-users-its-time-to-stand-up-and-be-counted/page-52

Edited by a.noctilux
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And I have seen those who makes a lot of bla-blabla about film and Leicas lasts forever, but on practice they are idiots who only brags on forums, but ratelly shot any film.

 

That's a bit harsh. I'll add some real-world experience. When I and my staff members used at least one Leica M daily, usually M4, one M2, we had them checked every year and shutter speeds were usually due for adjustment, but not very far off for B&W. Unless a camera was dropped the rangefinders were almost always good!

Edited by pico
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Those who claim Leica last forever may not use their Leica, and would never know when the cameras need CLA

.

 

When I used my M4/M5/M6 the M4 had to be adjusted or repaired more often than the other two (M5/M6) so I had more than one M4 along (before M5/M6).

 

So for me (just for me ! ) M4 is the less lasting, cost more in maintenance, when in use.

M4 when need repair where about 1/2 the cost of second hand M4.

 

I now have also M2s waiting for CLA but as I don't use  much, they are waiting the day I'll fancy to use them.

 

I don't know how would be M-A maintenance cost, but I don't care now as I use also other stuffs.

Edited by a.noctilux
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I don’t have a M2, so can’t directly answer the OP. However, I have an M4-P and I very recently bought a new MA. There is not much to separate them in terms of mechanical satisfaction, but the MA rangefinder is clearer, crisper and less flare prone. It is my favourite camera at the moment.

 

If the concern is long term reliability, I can’t see the M2 (last manufactured in 1968) coming close to the MA, which embodies the same no compromise approach but is modern and can be bought new. Realistically though, an M4 is reliable if maintained, mechanically superb and takes the same photos, so I doubt you need to upgrade/sidegrade due to reliability concerns.

 

When I was 24 owning an M4 was a blue sky dream. Some decades later I’ve treated myself to an MA. Do I prefer it... yep... the rangefinder is better. But the M4 is a gem, the photos are no diffferent and if I it was my only body the rewind lever on the M4 is better.

 

If at the ripe old age of 24 money doesn’t matter anymore, hats off and grab an MA. But it won’t take photos any better than an M4.

Edited by Alistairm
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