Jump to content
plasticman

Almost impulse-bought a T

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Been a while since I've written anything on the forum.

I was in a local camera shop yesterday looking for a filter, and a used black T caught my eye in the display. I've never seen one in black before, and I have to say I couldn't conceive why anyone would choose the silver.

The assistant took it out, I switched it on and immediately fell in love with the menu-interface. I know I'm shallow - but what an amazingly beautiful camera - and the price was so low that I decided on the spot to buy it, to use with some M-lenses.

The store itself had none of the extra accessories - the Visoflex or an M-to-T adapter, so I while I stood there I quickly googled the options, and realized why the T is now so cheap.

Not only were the Leica-brand accessories breathtakingly expensive (even used), the options were also really confusing. I saw there was a third-party adapter selling for around $60 in the States, but ordering it locally (no-one had any T-adapters whatsoever in stock) would cost about the same as Leica's own version (around $350), and other T-adapters (like the Novoflex) were for some unknown reason not imported to Sweden (amazon.de actually stated that 'no sellers deliver this item to Sweden').

As for the Visoflex - that was also an order-only item. And secondhand prices were pretty much the same as new. The viewfinder alone cost almost as much as the camera itself - even though the body was in beautiful condition (looked new to me).

So I left the store without it, after all.

I'm jealous of anyone who uses digital cameras by holding them up like a phone, or who live in a town where they can walk directly into a store and choose from a broad selection of adapters off the shelf.

The T is so much nicer than other cameras (like the Fuji XE3) which incredibly now cost more used than the Leica. But (at least here in Sweden) the platform feels abandoned. No-one I spoke to in several camera stores seemed to know anything at all about it (I didn't have time to make it over to the only specialist Leica store we have here), and it really seems odd and disappointing that no third-party accessories were available anywhere here.
Is it like that everywhere?

It's probably best not to buy cameras on external looks and menu interfaces, in any case. But I've tried and really failed to like any other digital camera the last few years, and looking at and handling the T made me genuinely feel like this camera could be different. But maybe I'll never get to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How very frustrating. You probably made the right decision. Technology moves on. Adapters are worth their cost if they enrich your options sensibly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, plasticman said:

 

I was in a local camera shop yesterday looking for a filter, and a used black T caught my eye in the display. I've never seen one in black before, and I have to say I couldn't conceive why anyone would choose the silver.

The assistant took it out, I switched it on and immediately fell in love with the menu-interface. I know I'm shallow - but what an amazingly beautiful camera - and the price was so low that I decided on the spot to buy it, to use with some M-lenses.

The store itself had none of the extra accessories - the Visoflex or an M-to-T adapter, so I while I stood there I quickly googled the options, and realized why the T is now so cheap.

Not only were the Leica-brand accessories breathtakingly expensive (even used), the options were also really confusing. I saw there was a third-party adapter selling for around $60 in the States, but ordering it locally (no-one had any T-adapters whatsoever in stock) would cost about the same as Leica's own version (around $350), and other T-adapters (like the Novoflex) were for some unknown reason not imported to Sweden (amazon.de actually stated that 'no sellers deliver this item to Sweden').

As for the Visoflex - that was also an order-only item. And secondhand prices were pretty much the same as new. The viewfinder alone cost almost as much as the camera itself - even though the body was in beautiful condition (looked new to me).

So I left the store without it, after all.

I'm jealous of anyone who uses digital cameras by holding them up like a phone, or who live in a town where they can walk directly into a store and choose from a broad selection of adapters off the shelf.

The T is so much nicer than other cameras (like the Fuji XE3) which incredibly now cost more used than the Leica. But (at least here in Sweden) the platform feels abandoned. No-one I spoke to in several camera stores seemed to know anything at all about it (I didn't have time to make it over to the only specialist Leica store we have here), and it really seems odd and disappointing that no third-party accessories were available anywhere here.
Is it like that everywhere?

It's probably best not to buy cameras on external looks and menu interfaces, in any case. But I've tried and really failed to like any other digital camera the last few years, and looking at and handling the T made me genuinely feel like this camera could be different. But maybe I'll never get to know.

In the USA, one can buy a pre-owned T in the $500-600 price range. The visoflex for somewhere around the $350-400 range (as it is still quite popular since it can be used on the M10 t00) and a Leica M to T(L) adapter for around $300, so for a grand total approximating $1300.  One can also shoot the T using the rear screen, but it can be problematic in bright sun and is probably not best to do so if manually focusing an M lens. 

The T is a beautiful design, quite nice with the software updates, and so solidly built.  Pressing the shutter button is sublime! A real conversation starter. I happen to like the silver, but to each his own. It will work quite nicely with M lenses or even give it a try with some of the TL lenses and you'll be quite impressed, as well. 

Rob

P.S. Make certain all of the firmware updates are done. It is a much better performing camera with the software downloads, compared to how it performed when released.

 

Edited by ropo54

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The T is a great camera if you know all of its foibles. It’s not fast but with the visoflex and decent manual lenses it is a joy to use. I have a T, a TL2 and a Sony A7r2 and I like using the Leicas better than the far superior (feature wise)  A7rii

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the TL2 as a backup to the CL for a recent holiday. IMO the whole point of having one of the T series is that one doesn't want to use the visoflex, which just adds an unsightly lump to a svelte body. I have a visoflex, but never use it. Of course, if you're going to put M lenses on the T body you need adapters, and a visoflex, but why would you want to do that? You're just trying to turn the T into something it wasn't really designed for (though, like every Leica since the Barnack, there are add-ons that let you use it for something else). I have a couple of adapters, but I'd never use them on the TL2, just on the CL or SL, where focusing a manual lens makes some sense.

Get the T for what it is, with an 18mm or 23mm AF lens, and enjoy it for how it is meant to be used: out of the pocket, held at arms' length, for fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, wda said:

How very frustrating. You probably made the right decision...

Indeed, David - nothing more frustrating to a red-blooded male than not being able to buy himself a new toy whenever he feels like it. :)

I'm over the initial disappointment though, and I think I even located a source in Germany willing to export the more reasonably priced Novoflex adapters. I'll try to decide over the weekend - I might be surprised by someone snapping the camera up, but otherwise I've seen the silver models sit on the used shelf for months on end without selling, so I think I have some time to consider.

It seems to me that the rock-bottom price of these bodies combined with the fact that they just don't shift even at this price is indicative of a platform problem: early-adopters selling the camera probably keep hold of their lenses and the viewfinder for use on newer bodies (I've never seen the bodies being sold with either), and the lack of really affordable and accessible adapters means new users aren't drawn into the used body market as a platform for their existing lenses. Just a guess - it might be a geographically local thing.

In any case I did see a rather discouraging mini-review from a photographer wanting to use the T the same way I do: with an adapter and M-lenses. He had a problem never being able to turn off the post-shot preview - even after half-pressing the shutter. I wonder if that particular bug has been fixed in later firmware updates?

Here is the review of the camera from the photographer using M lenses: would be annoying to encounter his main problem. Anyone know if the firmware updates have fixed it?

Paul is probably right about how to get the most out of the camera. But it would defeat my aim: a cheap and cheerful way to use my M lenses on a digital camera (I very very rarely shoot digital these days).

Thanks for the comments!

 

Edited by plasticman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

When I bought my TL2 second time round (I bought a new one, sold it for the CL, then bought a used one as a back up), it was noticeable how the TL2 used prices were holding up with not a big discount from new - I eventually found one at a better than normal price from Vienna, but nowhere near as low as Ts are selling for. The TL2 lost the flash, but gained in speed, and a resolution that matched the CL, so, to me and I guess others, seemed more attractive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just checked my TL2: with AutoReview set to OFF, there is no review. There is a momentary blink/freeze (not a literal blackout, and not as fleeting as the CL, let alone the non-existent blink of the SL) as the shutter works and LV comes back on stream, but it is not an actual review. I checked with the TL wide angle zoom, with and without visoflex. My adapters are not with me at the moment so I can't check with M lenses.

Obviously I can't speak for the T/TL with latest firnware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

I bought the TL2 as a backup to the CL for a recent holiday. IMO the whole point of having one of the T series is that one doesn't want to use the visoflex, which just adds an unsightly lump to a svelte body. I have a visoflex, but never use it. Of course, if you're going to put M lenses on the T body you need adapters, and a visoflex, but why would you want to do that? You're just trying to turn the T into something it wasn't really designed for (though, like every Leica since the Barnack, there are add-ons that let you use it for something else). I have a couple of adapters, but I'd never use them on the TL2, just on the CL or SL, where focusing a manual lens makes some sense.

Get the T for what it is, with an 18mm or 23mm AF lens, and enjoy it for how it is meant to be used: out of the pocket, held at arms' length, for fun!

I agree. I have a T I got used and have a Visoflex since it was useful for particular things with the M. In my opinion its strength is what it was initially designed for and it’s a very svelte object while intended for a different market than traditional M users for example. I think that the CL is a better choice to use adapted lenses for example and a more traditional experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, plasticman said:

Indeed, David - nothing more frustrating to a red-blooded male than not being able to buy himself a new toy whenever he feels like it. :)

I'm over the initial disappointment though, and I think I even located a source in Germany willing to export the more reasonably priced Novoflex adapters. I'll try to decide over the weekend - I might be surprised by someone snapping the camera up, but otherwise I've seen the silver models sit on the used shelf for months on end without selling, so I think I have some time to consider.

It seems to me that the rock-bottom price of these bodies combined with the fact that they just don't shift even at this price is indicative of a platform problem: early-adopters selling the camera probably keep hold of their lenses and the viewfinder for use on newer bodies (I've never seen the bodies being sold with either), and the lack of really affordable and accessible adapters means new users aren't drawn into the used body market as a platform for their existing lenses. Just a guess - it might be a geographically local thing.

In any case I did see a rather discouraging mini-review from a photographer wanting to use the T the same way I do: with an adapter and M-lenses. He had a problem never being able to turn off the post-shot preview - even after half-pressing the shutter. I wonder if that particular bug has been fixed in later firmware updates?

Here is the review of the camera from the photographer using M lenses: would be annoying to encounter his main problem. Anyone know if the firmware updates have fixed it?

Paul is probably right about how to get the most out of the camera. But it would defeat my aim: a cheap and cheerful way to use my M lenses on a digital camera (I very very rarely shoot digital these days).

Thanks for the comments!

 

I tried to duplicate the problem (using the Leica M adapter and M lens) and did not find more than a second or so hesitation before being able to shoot the next shot. Not a 5 second lag.  And, yes, when requesting "no review" it still leaves the taken image on the screen for a short duration.  (I was not as annoyed by this as was the reviewer).

Definitely, the RAW images are much better than the jpegs.

The CL is certainly a faster performer and having the built in viewfinder is a great convenience, but the T is quite capable, and very usable with M lenses, albeit at a slightly slower pace than the CL camera. For the pre-owned prices now, it is a wonderful option, and quite versatile should you choose, albeit at a slower pace than the CL.

Edited by ropo54

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s rarely a good idea to buy something technical on impulse. 

Even your little research on your phone whilst the salesman was packing the camera up made you second guess your decision!

Best to research more thoroughly and given that you want to adapt the camera for lenses it’s not designed to use, at least try one out first. 

Yes I have bought on impulse too and ended up with stuff that’s no use to me!

Edited by earleygallery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James is right . . . but the Leica T for $500 is something you could buy and then flip without likely losing much money, should it not be to your liking. Temptation, temptation!  :)

9 hours ago, plasticman said:

I think James is right.

Thank you for listening - I’m really not sure I had anything useful to say.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is auto-review impossible to disable on T/TL/TL2 cameras? Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, lct said:

Is auto-review impossible to disable on T/TL/TL2 cameras? Just curious.

See post #8

Edit: and #10

Edited by LocalHero1953

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, lct said:

Is auto-review impossible to disable on T/TL/TL2 cameras? Just curious.

The bug as described in the blog I referred to above is that when using an adapter and manual lenses, the setting to switch off preview doesn’t work. In fact, for that person the setting was overridden so the preview lingered for longer than the normal period, and effectively disabled his ability to use the camera for several seconds after each shot. 

I think his biggest pain-point was the fact the camera was probably no longer receiving updates.

Edit: Paul posted as I was writing, and it’s worth underlining that this seems to only affect the original T.

 

Edited by plasticman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plasticman, you are referring to a year old blog, since then, Leica released two major firmware updates : 1.8 & 1.9  

So much for being pessimistic, and saying that Leica will not release anymore update for this 4+ years old camera. 

We are not even sure that the blog guy has used firmware 1.7 released just days before post date. 

Leica forum T user confirmed to you several times that, there is no issue about blackout today. 

So who do you choose to believe ? An unknown reviewer, with old firmware T or even worst with a defective T ? Or our members ? 

However, no other recent reviewers report such bad behaviour. 

 

Leica stellar follow-up with the T , with more than a dozen of major firmware updates, convinced me to buy a cheap brand new in box T. I will receive it next week. I will report any issue, if any  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nicci78 said:

Plasticman, you are referring to a year old blog, since then, Leica released two major firmware updates : 1.8 & 1.9  

So much for being pessimistic, and saying that Leica will not release anymore update for this 4+ years old camera. 

We are not even sure that the blog guy has used firmware 1.7 released just days before post date. 

Leica forum T user confirmed to you several times that, there is no issue about blackout today. 

So who do you choose to believe ? An unknown reviewer, with old firmware T or even worst with a defective T ? Or our members ?

Haha I'd forgotten the charming tone of the forum - this reminded me why I haven't been around for a year. You did see how cautiously I asked whether the problem had been fixed?

As I said, I think unfortunately that this beautiful and uncomplicated camera isn't for me, much as I'd like it to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Visoflex allows : A) Twisting viewfinder , so you look downwards , and people don’t know your shooting in a crowd . B) Camera can be held low to the ground for foreground bokeh , framing still with the viewfinder. C) Eyepoint is positioned over centrepoint of lens , for a gun -like like sighting of ‘target’ . I feel these three points place the TL2 with Visoflex in superior light over CL use , contrary to some statements I read .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...