Buying my first Leica

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by WalterE54, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. WalterE54

    WalterE54 Member

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    I am planning on getting either a M4 or M2, leaning toward the 4. I plan on getting a 35mm lens, probably a Zeiss ZM. Which M would you recommend? From what I've read, the M3 needs the goggles for a 35mm lens....
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I'd recommend the M4, so that demand for M2's does not increase! :D

    But seriously, if 35mm is "your" lens, then go for the M2. They are cheaper, and some will argue better in build quality than the M4-2's. If you think you might want room for a 28mm some day, and/or prefer having a large "gutter" in your viewfinder, go for an M4-P or M6 IMO.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2011
  3. Morry Katz

    Morry Katz Member

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    I have an M4 and the ZM f2 35 Biogon. It's a wonderful combination that will keep you smiling for years.
     
  4. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    Although I don't have an M4, the ZM f/2 Biogon is a beautiful, beautiful lens to my eye.
     
  5. aluncrockford

    aluncrockford Member

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  6. softshock

    softshock Member

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    M2
     
  7. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    M2 or M4, either is great.

    The loading on the M4 is very fast, if that matters to you.
     
  8. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    I would say that an M4 is a better user: better rewind knob, no resetting the frame counter - probably more expensive though.

    While Zeiss ZM lenses are as good as, or perhaps better than, Leica equivalents, they are hard to find used. I'd choose according to price: a used Leica might well be a better deal than a new Zeiss ZM.
     
  9. LeicaM3

    LeicaM3 Member

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    M2 for 35
    M3 for 50

    If speed of film loading is a concern, just get a spare take up spool. Preload film and dump it in. Beats any M4/5/6/7/P for speed.
    Plenty of used 35 ZM's for sale via rff/fm/getdpi.

    It is rare that a company gets it right the first time, but Leica did with the M3. From then one, cost cutting started to set in (couple of my family members worked there for 30+ years, great stories). Compare the VF of the M3 to that of an M4 and you will see.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. chioque

    chioque Member

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    Again I vote for M2. Is this not a voting thread.... No? :smile:
     
  11. WalterE54

    WalterE54 Member

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    That's what I was thinking, I do like the rewind since my experience started with a Nikon F in '69. I went on to larger format from there, and, haven't really used 35 in a long time...digital in my job for several yrs, but it is kinda boring...bought a G2 and love it, but am still wanting what I have never had or used: a Leica! Loving the G2, but......
     
  12. Micky

    Micky Member

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    I haven't had the M2, but I have or have had the M3, M4, M6, M7, and the MP. Of these cameras, the M4 is my favourite (but maybe partly because it was black). Built the same as the M3 with 35 lines, self timer still, and quick loading and rewind.
     
  13. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Use Leica lens with Leica camera , They are built for each other. I could never loved Zeiss lenses .
     
  14. 35mm.photo.bureau

    35mm.photo.bureau Member

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    6 years ago I had to make a similar choice. I went for an M4-P (1983 made) and 35mm Summicron (1971 made). You can get old Leitz lenses for very good prices and they are damn good lenses. Check out the Leica lens section at www.kenrockwell.com. if you go for the 8-element model made between 1958-1969 you can't go wrong.
     
  15. lns

    lns Member

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    Good choice. I don't think you can get a better lens, of any brand, than the Zeiss 35mm f2 lens.

    Between an M2 and M4, I would pick the M2. The M2 has three stand-alone framelines, which is sweet and simple. And it's probably the best priced Leica. I also prefer its old fashioned rewind, personally.

    That said, you can't go wrong with the M4 either.

    -Laura
     
  16. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Just curious, which Zeiss lenses don't you like and why?

    There are a few I don't like especially, but am wondering if they're the same...
     
  17. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Rol Lei Nut ,

    I am collecting magazines and annals wide spread to last 60 years and I bought all my 5 Leicas with selecting from them. I did not ask anyone , get any opinion and did whatever I liked.

    First of all , zeiss lenses seemed to me too much different from Leica generic Nikons , Leicas and all other big format lenses. I found zeiss lenses have colors I dont like and the skins are too much flat.

    I have two sonnars now , used kiev sonnar , planar copies also and every little bit light change effect the photograph too much. If you go 2 stop darker , shadows remain black but highlights dies also , there is no glow.

    Leica lenses have glow and texture and their spherical correction makes every woman more organic , zeiss deletes the details I guess.

    And look for the tests of modern distagon to modern leica , more flare , less color , blacker reds , shorter degrades and harsher look.

    But I think triotar is another story and I find it excellent on Rolleicord.

    Umut
     
  18. Fern

    Fern Member

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    I find the Zeiss 35f2 ZM to be a very fine lens. For a general 35mm, it would be difficult to find anything better. Personally, I'm very much appreciate the nuances in various lenses. That's why I have twelve 50mm lenses and six 35mm lenses.:confused: My favourite 35mm lenses is the current 35f2 Summicron-M ASPH and the classic 35f2.8 Summaron-M for different reasons.
     
  19. thomasw_

    thomasw_ Member

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    Hard to recommend a M without knowing your budget. I use a M2-r, M3 and M4 a lot. All 3 are superb to use for different reasons. As you mention a preference for a 35 lens, I'd stick with either the M2 or M4. If you have the money for a late serial no. M4 (125XXXX or later), and can afford to have the M2/3 levers put on it, I'd go that route. If not, get the M2. It is the pinnacle of design simplicity; nothing more needed, nothing to get in the way.
     
  20. chrismoret

    chrismoret Member

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    I've got a mint '86 M4p with a new Biogon f2/35mm. And found that it is a great entry combo to start off with the M-series when you are on a budget. The set did cost me in the summer of '10 €1650,-. No small potatoes for my budget.
     
  21. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Any M with a goggled lens is a seriously heavy camera and not that enjoyable to hang from your neck all day.

    The M2 seems to be very popular. I probably would go a step further and look for an M6.
     
  22. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Here is another vote for an M2. I shoot mostly with 35 and 50mm lenses. Until recently, I was using a summitar 50/2.0 LTM with an adapter. I now use a Nokton 35/1.4 and a NOkton 50/1.1. The bright line rangefinder is great, I have no problems loading the film. This camera is just great.
     
  23. Bateleur

    Bateleur Member

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    Lot's of good advice here, personally I'd go for the M4 for speed and convenience. But if you are on a budget, you would get a better deal on a good M2.
     
  24. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    They're all heavy but the difference in body weight is negligible. Lenses with goggles are slightly heavier but the only significantly heavier lens is the DR Summicron.
    With that said, the M2,4,4-2 IMO have the best viewfinders. .72 with three or four framelines.
    Cameras with six framelines M4P & newer are very busy. M3 .91 finder I find difficult to see the edges of the 50mm frame but it is slightly easier to focus.