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I would like to buy an M7 but...

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Good morning everyone,

Im thinking Of buying an M7 in really awesome conditions. 
My only problem is that I’m not sure that this could be a care that will last for all my life or for 20 years at least cause it has lots of electronic inside. I don’t care if in the future it will need some works but do you think that I will find all the parts?

second questions, the price is quite high cause I’m buying it from a Leica store but it doesn’t came with the case but just with the box, and for 2600 € this is kind of annoying to me... I don’t even know if they will give me the original strap with it.

what do you think about this potential purchase?

 

thanks in advance.

 

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If it's like new, i tink te price is not that bad.

I think there will always (at least for a very long period) spare parts on te market. I have 5 different M7's (silver chrome, black chrome flag, black chrome ALC, black paint ALC, black chrome standard) an never had an issue with mechanics or electronics. 

 

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Note that there is far less electronics than you may have been led to believe. The shutter is the same as any other film M. The electronics, such as they are, govern the shutter curtain movement (I.e. the timing mechanism). That's it, which is why it runs on siluch small batteries that last forever. It's also why the timing is more accurate than in other film Ms.

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Well thank you so much, this will definitely help my decision! 
 

have you ever had problem with battery? For example during cold periods 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Mark T said:

Note that there is far less electronics than you may have been led to believe. The shutter is the same as any other film M. The electronics, such as they are, govern the shutter curtain movement (I.e. the timing mechanism). That's it, which is why it runs on siluch small batteries that last forever. It's also why the timing is more accurate than in other film Ms.

Sorry, but this is not correct. I own an M7 now for the second time. First of all, if the batteries are dead, you can only work wit 1/60 or 1/125. This is quite different from M2 - M6. The shutter has continuous times, which is special for an M, but implies battery dependency. Even the flash time is electric driven. It does not run on small batteries, it has two quite large batteries compared to M6. My experience is that they do not last very long and you have to be alert in shutting the camera down to prevent unintended light metering, especially when it travels with you in your bag. 

Other considerations:
Another thing that stands out compared to other film M’s is its weight. For me it is noticeably heavier than my M4. 
The prices of all film M’s BTW might be annoying to OP, because they have all exploded the last three years. I did not see the camera but €2600 for a camera that shines and comes with 6 months warranty for instance, is on the lower side. 

Edited by otto.f

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1 hour ago, otto.f said:

It does not run on small batteries, it has two quite large batteries compared to M6. My experience is that they do not last very long and you have to be alert in shutting the camera down to prevent unintended light metering, especially when it travels with you in your bag. 

Other considerations:
Another thing that stands out compared to other film M’s is its weight. For me it is noticeably heavier than my M4. 
 

The batteries for the M7 are 2 x DL1/3N, whereas the M6 takes 1 x DL1/3N. Not particularly large batteries and I find they last very well. As far as weight is concerned the M7 is 653g, the M4 is 559g and the M-A is 578g

 

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There may be more issue with film availability and processing in 20 years than whether the M7 becomes irreparable. And will you really still use the same camera in twenty years? Just buy it for now, use it well, and let the future come as it may.

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Yes I would like to buy something that I will be able to use forever and maybe to give to my son,  hope as late as possible ahaha

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Then don't buy an electronic camera.

The Ms most likely to survive for at least 20 years are the M2 and M3 (judging by mine which are very young at around 60 years). I'd be less certain about my M5, and have insufficient knowledge of the later models to know.

 

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3 hours ago, Charles Morgan said:

Then don't buy an electronic camera.

The Ms most likely to survive for at least 20 years are the M2 and M3 (judging by mine which are very young at around 60 years). I'd be less certain about my M5, and have insufficient knowledge of the later models to know.

 

+1, M4 will also do very well

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The main problem here is if an M7 goes wrong (due to electronics) then Leica aren't able to repair them as there are no more parts available. Whether any independent techs can make up new pcb's or whatver is another matter.

I'd be hesitant to spend that kind of money of a camera that might not be repairable, especially when you can probably find a really nice M6 or maybe even an MP for the same money. The M7 is the only film M with auto exposure though. The M6/MP have meters but the shutter is totally mechanical.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, otto.f said:

Sorry, but this is not correct. I own an M7 now for the second time. First of all, if the batteries are dead, you can only work wit 1/60 or 1/125. This is quite different from M2 - M6. The shutter has continuous times, which is special for an M, but implies battery dependency. Even the flash time is electric driven. It does not run on small batteries, it has two quite large batteries compared to M6. My experience is that they do not last very long and you have to be alert in shutting the camera down to prevent unintended light metering, especially when it travels with you in your bag. 

Other considerations:
Another thing that stands out compared to other film M’s is its weight. For me it is noticeably heavier than my M4. 
The prices of all film M’s BTW might be annoying to OP, because they have all exploded the last three years. I did not see the camera but €2600 for a camera that shines and comes with 6 months warranty for instance, is on the lower side. 

Sorry, but it is correct. The curtains, rollers, springs and brakes are the same as those in other film Ms. Maintaining the characteristic horizontal, rubber cloth shutter was a big consideration in the development of the M7. The timing mechanism is different. As you say, this is continuously variable and is more accurate as a result.

I don't really want to argue about batteries and weight but this is worth discussion. Yes the M7 has different sized batteries than say, an MP (you must use double the MP sized batteries to operate the M7). Seriously, the batteries are tiny. Your weight minimisation philosophy would have to extend to lenses as well? I would argue that there are far more significant savings to be made there. I would expect you to carry only E39 filter-sized lenses if so that is the case - and fair play to you, if you do. However, as soon as you introduce a Summilux to the equation, your weight saving is gone. The M6 TTL also has electronic flash drive, does it not? That camera is known to be heavy on batteries. However, you never hear people complain about this?

The bottom line is that the M7 is a good, reliable camera that just gets the job done. It is newer than most other film cameras in the market and should be all the better for it (without the extra decades of use). The fact that there are repeated internet claims that it's a scary "electronic camera"  means that it is a relative bargain purchase as well. Users are advised to carry two extra tiny batteries with them on long trips, and that's it. Have fun with one of the last and most advanced film Ms ever made.

Edited by Mark T

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14 hours ago, Charles Morgan said:

Then don't buy an electronic camera.

The Ms most likely to survive for at least 20 years are the M2 and M3 (judging by mine which are very young at around 60 years). I'd be less certain about my M5, and have insufficient knowledge of the later models to know.

 

Why would you claim the former, in light of the latter?

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10 hours ago, Lorenzoooo said:

And they Leica stopped producing the m7 in 2015...

From what I understand, Leica only discontinued the M7 last year. They should have parts for another 10 years, but after that, it's uncertain. If you are that concerned about having a camera that will last without access to electronic parts, get a well serviced or as-new mechanical M like a M3, M4, M4-P, M6, MP or M-A. Go find a M-A and hold it, black or silver, and prepare to be thrilled. If you like the M body aesthetic, you will love the M-A. I have a silver chrome stock M7 because I prefer auto exposure, but would quite happily have it converted to a MP style top plate and leatherette because I like that look.

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13 hours ago, earleygallery said:

The main problem here is if an M7 goes wrong (due to electronics) then Leica aren't able to repair them as there are no more parts available.

Do you know that as a verified fact or are you just speculating? I know the model has been discontinued but I do not recall Leica stating that they can no longer repair the camera.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Mark T said:

carry two extra tiny batteries with them on long trips

Exactly, there no such preoccupation with an M6. I don’t want to quarrel about this with you, I just gave my personal opinion about my beloved M7 as a consideration for the OP given the fact that he finds 2600€ already too much. The ideal camera does not exist and I prefer my M7 above an M6. This summer I went for three weeks to Italy and had to change batteries and this was after three month or so. This does not happen with an M6 and I find that short. The batteries are not as easy to find at the supermarket as those from the M6. I had to go to a specialized photography store. And the shutter is not the same, as I said: you only have two times left when the batteries are dead. And that is quite something because you have to have a separate light meter with you. For me that is no problem because I mostly bring my Gossen Digisix for my M4; I prefer two bodies, color and B&W. But it is certainly worth knowing and considering if you plan to buy an M7. 
And indeed if you start using Summiluxes that extra 100 grams is getting noticeable. For me. 

Edited by otto.f

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6 hours ago, otto.f said:

The batteries are not as easy to find at the supermarket as those from the M6. I had to go to a specialized photography store.

I don't understand this comment.  The M7 uses the exact same battery type as the M6, only that you need twice as many.
The M7 will take either two CR1/3Ns or four SR44s (or as a last resort, LR44s).

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14 minutes ago, eric_bowles said:

CR1/3N

Can hardly be found in general stores. Four 44’s  are quite a hassle. 

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