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New film M but can't decide which one


9ine

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So it's the the end of the year and I want to treat myself but I am going in circles here. 

I own a Leica M6 and a Leica M10-R and always thought I would never need anything else for years to come. 
But I really want a second film body for a few reasons. I want to have different film stocks ready so I don't have to waste
film anymore on pictures I would not normally take just to finish the roll. Also I really don't want my M6 to fail on me 
and be stuck without an analog M until Leica service can get it fixed. 

The real question is, should I buy an M-A and be happy but poor or just get an M4-P as a backup and invest in more glass...?! 

The M4-P does not get a lot of love, but I think as a tool it fits the bill. The M-A would be my dream Camera which I would probably never sell.
That being said, they both make the same pictures but one has a 3x premium of the other. 

First world problems I know.... 

Edited by 9ine
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  • 9ine changed the title to New film M but can't decide which one
Just now, a.noctilux said:

M4-2, M4, M2 can be in the equation too if for backup.

+1
They are just as good as a second camera.
Use the light meter in your M6 or M10. Or use a light meter app on your phone.

And I love the single frames of the M2 for 35/50/90 mm

On top of that it just feels different and maybe even inspiring to use a camera that was made before you were born.😎

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17 minutes ago, dpitt said:

+1
They are just as good as a second camera.
Use the light meter in your M6 or M10. Or use a light meter app on your phone.

And I love the single frames of the M2 for 35/50/90 mm

On top of that it just feels different and maybe even inspiring to use a camera that was made before you were born.😎

If you going to use phone as light meter why not use the phone to take pictures?  Imagine fixing ISO in your M10 to determine exposure for your meterless film camera, how about Seconic.
I would go for film M camera fitted with built in meter, why fiddle with external device when built in meter doesn’t degrade camera performance if battery dies, applicable to M6 and MP models.

In my mind M-A is designed to ponder to camera collectors rather than picture takers. 

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2 lines of thought that I see here:

A ) ultimate consistency: M6

B ) ultimate flexibility:

- different/complimentary viewfinder magnification and framelines than M6 (M3 or something non 0.72?)

- different/complimentary aesthetics: chrome vs BP vs BC and branding (this pushed me towards M-A vs M-P)

- aperture priority? (TTL/M7)

- extra compactness? (CLE)

- vintage/modern combo: add M2/M3

- old/brand new combo: add M-A/M-P

- alternative ergonomics: M5/Bessa/Zeiss

- even bigger flexibility: non-M camera (SLR, medium format, etc)

 

Only you know which is more important to you.

 

If one of my 2 cameras was constantly in repair for a long time, I'd go with A.

 

In practice I don't think it will. Which means I would personally go with B.

I don't shoot more than one film stock at the same time, and go through them rather quickly. That would make a second M-A redundant for me.

If I was a pro and had to have a backup I'd go opposite.

My current long-term thinking is to compliment my M system with a medium format (not sure which yet), a Nikon SLR and a 4x5. Those will keep me entertained when M-A would need to go for a service.

Edited by burchyk
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Funny, I also have a M10-R and a M6 and also wanted another film body... and I got a M4-P.

While this silver M4-P is not my second film body (just another one) and it is a special edition "70 years" and I also own more than one M10 body I still think it is a brutally awesome and versatile film camera and it gets more love than my other M film bodies at the moment. I have put up a little thread for the camera. Hope you decide in favour.
 

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4 hours ago, 9ine said:

So it's the the end of the year and I want to treat myself but I am going in circles here. 

I own a Leica M6 and a Leica M10-R and always thought I would never need anything else for years to come. 
But I really want a second film body for a few reasons. I want to have different film stocks ready so I don't have to waste
film anymore on pictures I would not normally take just to finish the roll. Also I really don't want my M6 to fail on me 
and be stuck without an analog M until Leica service can get it fixed. 

The real question is, should I buy an M-A and be happy but poor or just get an M4-P as a backup and invest in more glass...?! 

The M4-P does not get a lot of love, but I think as a tool it fits the bill. The M-A would be my dream Camera which I would probably never sell.
That being said, they both make the same pictures but one has a 3x premium of the other. 

First world problems I know.... 

spare some pennies, you will always have the feel to need (want) another film bodies

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4 hours ago, mmradman said:

In my mind M-A is designed to ponder to camera collectors rather than picture takers. 

Have to disagree on that. The M-A was my first new Leica. I use it everyday. Back to the OP. I would go with an M4 for my backup. Just saying.

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When using two film Ms as a pair, different film stocks and/or different focal lengths, my experience has been:

1. Use the metered body as the primary/first choice film/focal length, in my case 0.58 MP with 28 Elmarit ASPH and Kodak Ektar;

2. Use an unmetered body for secondary film choice/focal length, and as a backup in case of failure, in my case BP M4 or M2 with 35 Summaron or 50 Summicron, loaded with Kodak Portra 400. 
 

My only failure was the backup M2, as it happened, but on an overseas trip the redundancy is warranted. 
 

In your case I would choose the M4-P. Same frame lines, advance and rewind levers. Another benefit is a metal frame line mask, rather than glass sandwich as in M2 and M4, which can delaminate. Save your money for lenses and film. A well maintained M4-P should easily last the next 20 years of your life, if not much longer. 

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Thanks for the replies... I think it will get an M4-P or another M6 (Classic). The M-A is just the perfect camera in terms of looks and functionality, but at the same time it feels like this is a case of GAS. My M6 never failed on me and I love it. I think I'm just lusting over a new and all black M-A to compliment my silver chrome M6 for no other reason but to want it, to have it. That being said, lets see how this ends. Will try to find a used M4-P to look at somewhere and hope it's enough to satisfy me and if not I see myself walking into the Leica store next week and leaving with a M-A... 😅

Edited by 9ine
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3 hours ago, Mute-on said:

When using two film Ms as a pair, different film stocks and/or different focal lengths, my experience has been:

1. Use the metered body as the primary/first choice film/focal length, in my case 0.58 MP with 28 Elmarit ASPH and Kodak Ektar;

2. Use an unmetered body for secondary film choice/focal length, and as a backup in case of failure, in my case BP M4 or M2 with 35 Summaron or 50 Summicron, loaded with Kodak Portra 400. 
 

My only failure was the backup M2, as it happened, but on an overseas trip the redundancy is warranted. 
 

In your case I would choose the M4-P. Same frame lines, advance and rewind levers. Another benefit is a metal frame line mask, rather than glass sandwich as in M2 and M4, which can delaminate. Save your money for lenses and film. A well maintained M4-P should easily last the next 20 years of your life, if not much longer. 

This is interesting, i usually have my second body, meterless too but its for the BW film while the primary with metered is for color film but i love the idea here and find it exciting that we almost have the same idea 

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As side note not relating to this thread.

Leica had done very good job offering new old-timer M-A (I could not resist in 2014).

This is so retrograde move that was something I could not believe, a new blending of M2/M3/M4/MP.

While I used happily at that time MP, I bough M-A when available and never go back.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/236926-i-love-my-m-a/?do=findComment&comment=2707807

A second M-A came later when I sold (trade-in may be more accurate) MP.

Very expensive M but I have no regret at all.

Comparing to digital M, these film Ms are cheap when we think about their life spand.

Edited by a.noctilux
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11 hours ago, mmradman said:

If you going to use phone as light meter why not use the phone to take pictures?  Imagine fixing ISO in your M10 to determine exposure for your meterless film camera, how about Seconic.
I would go for film M camera fitted with built in meter, why fiddle with external device when built in meter doesn’t degrade camera performance if battery dies, applicable to M6 and MP models.

In my mind M-A is designed to ponder to camera collectors rather than picture takers. 

  1. Why not take pictures with my iPhone Pro 11?
    It does not work  with Ilford HP5+ like my M2 does. I only use my phone for quick snaps, so that I have the relevant GPS data.
  2. Fixing ISO?
    If I can translate Sunny 16 rules to my ISO 400 HP5, I can use any ISO on my M9 except auto ISO (do not have a M10) and calculate what it needs to be for ISO 400.
  3. Seconic
    One of the things I love about full mechanical bodies, is that I do not have to worry the meter is off because batteries are low. I have several meters to slide in the hot shoe, but if I have my phone or other camera with me they just add to size and bulk of the camera.
  4. M-A and collectors
    Any RF camera is a dinosaur in some way. The M-A just goes one step further. Not for everyone, agreed, but I found that the more limitations and simplicity my gear has, the better my user experience (photographic) is. So I can get it. I would rather spend my money on a M2+M3+M4 than spend it on 1 M-A though.
Edited by dpitt
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For those wondering why would anyone get an M-A vs M-P:

Aesthetics: black chrome with no branding = less "bling".

Metering:

- Not everyone likes average meters.

- 2 arrow LEDs are not very convenient to take a few measurements to see which zone they fall on.

- Some prefer spot or incident.

- Some prefer external meters which can be used with other cameras.

Price: M-A was slightly cheaper.

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I like incident metering, QED, it doesn't matter which one I'd choose. However since advice is free and worth what you pay for it, GO WITH YOUR GAS...

that way you won't always wish for something better. As they say, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

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On 12/5/2023 at 6:46 AM, 9ine said:

I think it will get an M4-P or another M6 (Classic).

I have the twin set that you envision. At some point, I was thinking of swapping the M4P for another M6. I did not, and here is why:

The M4P has the hair-trigger-style trigger of all non-metering Leica Ms because there is no double-press system in the trigger for metering. You only have to install a soft-trigger button and you will add another stop to your camera. 

Other than that, the M4P is as good as any other M for taking photos. Collectors see that differently as they have other priorities. Of course you can be both collector and photographer. But then, again, Ms are equally good in taking photos.

There’s one thing that's better since the MP arrived and that's the reduction of glare in the viewfinder on some rare occasions. 

BTW, I use my iPhone for metering and can't complain.

 

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