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Advice on 'vintage' Leica digicams


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hi all

i'm look for some advice on which 'vintage' Leica digicam to get - the priority will be on JPEG colour / look. ideally having something that captures the 'look' between 2000 and 2010

this camera will only be used to shoot portraits. IQ, sharpness, dynamic range and ergonomics etc doesn't concern me as this will be 1 of 3 cameras i take on shoots (the others being the m246 and the GFX100s). the priority is very much on 'character'. i plan to use the images only for social media and maybe print some on location with my instax printer

key requirements

  1. CCD sensor
  2. at least 3mp 

desirable but not mission critical

  1. flash for that classic deer in the headlights look
  2. covers at 35mm to 70mm (prime lens is also ok)
  3. at least 1/1.7 sensor

thanks in advance 🙏

 

 

 

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I can only think of 2:
Digilux 2 and Digilux 3

I've been using the 3 for the 17th year now. However, the "old lady" is hardly used anymore. But what still flashes me is the coloring in combination with the CCD sensor. The zoom is very bright and the sharpness leaves nothing to be desired.

If you are interested, please PM.

 

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8 hours ago, stuny said:

Also the D2.  However, there were a lot of sensor failures which Leica replaced until their supply ran out.  All else being equal, get one that has had the original sensor replaced.

Try to find one with a replaced sensor. (and proof that it was replaced). Survivors should keep working but you never know.

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Not sure if my X2 falls within your definition of vintage. But I can recommend it, maybe even more than the D2. Of course you have a wide angle only for portraits but with a crop of 1/2 you get an equivalent of 70mm and still have 4MP left.

One thing though, I need my Olympus VF2 to work it in sunlight, so that needs to be in the package for me.

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thanks for the response so far. it seems Digilux 2 is the clear favourite, but sensor failure is a big issue (i guess that will explain all the 'for parts only' cameras i see on eBay). 

in terms of the other recommendations:

  1. X2 is out for me for 2 reasons COMS sensor and 28mm focal length (cropping is not quite the same)
  2. Digilux 3 is also out for me for 2 reasons COMS sensor and the 4/3 sensor will give me a similar look as all my Olympus gear (i.e. too good for that 'point and shoot' vibe)

 Digilux 2 (with the replaced sensor seems like a bit of a unicorn and doesn't seem to exist) which just leaves the Digilux 1. There are a few more examples of this camera on eBay. does any still shoot this camera?

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My camera is the wonderful D2, for exactly the 'character' you're looking for. If I had to go to another camera, of everything out there I'd choose the Leica X Vario. Its max 3.5 aperture doesn't meet your specs, but between higher ISO and AI software such as Topaz, that wouldn't be a limitation for me. I'd need the Olympus viewer (for the D2 that's built-in). The X Vario, like the D2, has an incredible lens.

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On 1/24/2023 at 11:57 PM, sometimesmaybe said:

thanks for the response so far. it seems Digilux 2 is the clear favourite, but sensor failure is a big issue (i guess that will explain all the 'for parts only' cameras i see on eBay). 

in terms of the other recommendations:

  1. X2 is out for me for 2 reasons COMS sensor and 28mm focal length (cropping is not quite the same)
  2. Digilux 3 is also out for me for 2 reasons COMS sensor and the 4/3 sensor will give me a similar look as all my Olympus gear (i.e. too good for that 'point and shoot' vibe)

 Digilux 2 (with the replaced sensor seems like a bit of a unicorn and doesn't seem to exist) which just leaves the Digilux 1. There are a few more examples of this camera on eBay. does any still shoot this camera?

I have the Digilux 1  adn Digilux 2 and IMHO they are not even in the same league. The D2 is everything the D1 wanted to be and more. Only 1 MP difference, but the D1's results are obsolete while D2's are still very competitive when everything clicks just right. So IMO it does not leave the D1 as a recommendable vintage camera.

Don't know how much time you have, but here in Europe the D2 is offered from time to time. Prices seem to be going up lately. Proving that it has a replaced sensor can be an issue because the papers may be lost.
I bought mine over 10 years ago and I seem to remember it had a replaced sensor, but I would have to search hard for proof. Can anybody confirm if Leica can confirm replacement based on serial number?

Anyhow, if the sensor has not failed yet after 15+ years IMO it should be as good as any replaced sensor. Any digital camera of that age is not serviceable but the D2 quality is worth the risk IMO. Do not take my word for it, just look here. It is probably the longest thread on the forum with 162 pages and still counting!

 

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On 1/24/2023 at 11:39 AM, M Street Photographer said:

I can only think of 2:
Digilux 2 and Digilux 3

I've been using the 3 for the 17th year now. However, the "old lady" is hardly used anymore. But what still flashes me is the coloring in combination with the CCD sensor. The zoom is very bright and the sharpness leaves nothing to be desired.

If you are interested, please PM.

 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

As a Digilux 2 owner, I rejected the Digilux 3 for its output - and for the second-rate viewfinder.

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On 1/24/2023 at 11:57 PM, sometimesmaybe said:

thanks for the response so far. it seems Digilux 2 is the clear favourite, but sensor failure is a big issue (i guess that will explain all the 'for parts only' cameras i see on eBay). 

in terms of the other recommendations:

  1. X2 is out for me for 2 reasons COMS sensor and 28mm focal length (cropping is not quite the same)
  2. Digilux 3 is also out for me for 2 reasons COMS sensor and the 4/3 sensor will give me a similar look as all my Olympus gear (i.e. too good for that 'point and shoot' vibe)

 Digilux 2 (with the replaced sensor seems like a bit of a unicorn and doesn't seem to exist) which just leaves the Digilux 1. There are a few more examples of this camera on eBay. does any still shoot this camera?

I would say that most of the Digilux 2 sensors have been replaced.

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On 1/27/2023 at 12:34 AM, dpitt said:

I have the Digilux 1  adn Digilux 2 and IMHO they are not even in the same league. The D2 is everything the D1 wanted to be and more. Only 1 MP difference, but the D1's results are obsolete while D2's are still very competitive when everything clicks just right. So IMO it does not leave the D1 as a recommendable vintage camera.

Don't know how much time you have, but here in Europe the D2 is offered from time to time. Prices seem to be going up lately. Proving that it has a replaced sensor can be an issue because the papers may be lost.
I bought mine over 10 years ago and I seem to remember it had a replaced sensor, but I would have to search hard for proof. Can anybody confirm if Leica can confirm replacement based on serial number?

Anyhow, if the sensor has not failed yet after 15+ years IMO it should be as good as any replaced sensor. Any digital camera of that age is not serviceable but the D2 quality is worth the risk IMO. Do not take my word for it, just look here. It is probably the longest thread on the forum with 162 pages and still counting!

 

I'm in the EU and got my sh D2 in 2008 said to have the sensor replaced. However before buying, I contacted Leica Customer service by phone with the serial number of the camera (those days in Solms) and they could confirm that the sensor was replaced. I don't know if Leica Customer Service still has records.

Best

Edited by rjans
EU
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