Canon 7 vss Leica M

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by jimgalli, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I'm a large format guy and really clueless about Rangefinders so bear with me.

    So I horse traded for a clean Canon 7 and 2 nice lenses...but...it seems really heavy to me. I guess with all the fuss and the $$ folks are willing to pay for these I expected a camera that was light as a feather and REALLY easy to use.

    Does the Leica feel and weigh about the same as the Canon? I realize that part of my problem is lack of history and ease of use would come in time I suppose. Just wondering if the mythical Leica is really any lighter and easier to use than the Canon.
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    A Leica is heavy too. Don't know if it is more or less than a Canon 7.

    The weight of a Leica always surprises people. It's all metal. Very very solid.

    I suggest you find out for yourself by walking into a store that sells Leica M cameras to ask to hold one.

    If you want a lightweight camera, go for a modern plastic one.
     
  3. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Never having handled the Canon 7, I can't compare its weight with the Leica M but Leicas have never felt heavy to me. One of the things that I like about Leica rangefinders has less to do with their weight than it does with their size. They're small. What's even better is the lenses are tiny in comparison to SLR lenses. The lenses usually weigh less than comparable SLR lenses as well. A couple of Leica bodies with lenses attached, a couple of other lenses, meter, filters, lots of film and lots of "stuff" fits nicely in a small shoulder bag with room to spare. It's pretty light too which is good for my arthritic neck and back.:smile:
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Does the Leica feel and weigh about the same as the Canon? Yes, roughly.

    Having owned a couple of Canon 7s and about eight or ten Ms (I currently have 5), I have no doubt which I prefer. I'd suggest that either you 'get it' or you don't when it comes to RF cameras. Put a few rolls through it, and if you still don't like it, get rid of it.

    And I'll second everything Lee says too, except about not having owned Canons.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  5. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Good answers and appreciated. I probably won't get it. Neither good or bad I suppose. Just who I am. I bought my wife a Yashika T4 and it's laying around somewhere, but it definitely lacks snob appeal. I'll have to force myself to get to the 5 roll level I think.
     
  6. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, Jim, you mean it lacks clueless showoff appeal. A real snob values the final product more than, um, vulgar display of wealth. If the T4 shoots better, use it and look down on the people who take worse pictures with flashier cameras.
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Or, just don't take pictures at all, but cultivate an air of lordly superiority.

    (Sorry, I just realized that could be taken as a personal insult, but it wasn't meant to be -- it was more mocking myself, though I do take the occasional picture as seen in the galleries at www.rogerandfrances.com).

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  8. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Dan, we're all snobs or we wouldn't be at APUG. If all I was interested in was using the camera that shoots better......I'd sell all the 35's except the D100.
     
  9. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I reach into my camera closet, grab my 7s and my M2, and head to the kitchen to use our digital scale. Tale of the tape: 7s is 640 grams, M2 is 575 grams, both without body cap but 7s with battery. So a difference of 65 grams, which is equal to about half the weight of a later generation screw mount Canon 35mm lens. Not significant. I'd go for whichever fits you better. My M has better fit and finish, though the Canon is very good -- and I do like the fact that the metal shutter curtains in the 7s cannot be burned through by sunlight through the lens. As with all aspects of photography, results have more to do with the photographer than the camera used.
     
  10. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    No one mentioned the ranefinder. It's been a long time since I had a 7s in my hands but I clearly recall that the rangefinder never came close to that on my M3.
     
  11. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I had a Canon P, which was really similar to a 7. I loved it, but they ARE heavy. The Leica wouldn't be much lighter due to it being made of brass.

    The main draw of the Canon 7 is the ability to mount the monstrosity that is the 50mm f/.95 lens that Canon made for the thing without having to resort to machining the mount. I highly recommend one if you plan to use that lens...otherwise I'd say that a Leica or a Bessa with an M-mount would do you better at this point. Considering that either a new Bessa or a Leica can mount M and screwmount lenses, you have more lens choice options that way. It's the way I've chosen to go eventually.
     
  12. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Thanks folks. So the Leica rangefinder is better than the Canon?
     
  13. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    They're different. They both have their ups and downs. Both are built really well. *shrug* I'd say use both and just get what feels better to you.
     
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  15. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Don't give up on it too easily. Rangefinder cameras do take a bit of getting used to, but its worth it. I still use SLRs most of the time, but rangefinders beat everything for the things they are good at.

    David.
     
  16. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    And above all do remember that a 40-year-old rangefinder camera may well have tarnished rangefinder prisms which can make focusing difficult to impossible. It is a really good idea to at least try a new rangefinder camera before deciding whether you "get " the idea or not.

    Regards,

    David
     
  17. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Yes, my M4 has a better rangefinder than my Canon 7. That metal shutter in the 7 might not burn through as easily as the cloth Leica shutter, but it crinkles easily when poked by tiny fingers. My M4 hasn't let me down in 36 years, while the Canon has a few problems. The Leica, as Savage said about their pistols, ". . . fits in your hand like the hand of a friend."
     
  18. frank

    frank Member

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    If you are looking for a RF camera that is lighter, consider the Bessa R. It has a screw mount, and a clear and large viewfinder.
     
  19. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I'm not really looking folks. My perspective is that of one with no experience or history in 35mm rangefinders who was surprised that they are not as freeing as all the legendary hype had led my uninitiated mind to believe. That's why I asked about the Leica. According to what I've read here I wouldn't have had a different reaction with a $5500 Leica than I've had with a $550 Canon. That was my question and you have answered it. My pre-conceived romantic notions were in error. Fair enough. I still like the idea but I'll have to get used to it. I had this romantic idea I'd be floating a foot above the ground with this little rangefinder making photographs I never could dream of with my usual ilk. Call me silly.
     
  20. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    hey Jim,

    I have a $55 Canonnet. I never thought I'd out-cheapskate Jim Galli, but there it is...

    I will say that as a non-rangefinder addict, it has offered me opportunities I couldn't otherwise get. My absolute all-time favorite photographs were taken with this toy. The reason--stealth.

    I had this camera with me when my first son was born (OK, I had it with the second as well). I had fast film and no flash. I was able to take images from 5 feet away where my wife later said, "I didn't know you had a camera then!"

    No flash, quiet shutter. Looks dorky, so it doesn't register as a camera in a lot of people's minds.

    Now, as a point of heresy--the other camera that proved it's value was the digital point-and-shoot. With the first kid, he was in the NICU and my wife was stuck in bed. I was able to take pictures of him and show them to my wife on a laptop. For the second kid, they had free wireless, so I was able to upload images to the family instantly. I think I developed a roll of film from my folder that had images from that visit...oh, a month ago.

    Matt
     
  21. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    You're right. It's like WT paper described as having 'chocolatey' blacks when in reality it's just a little warmer than normal paper.

    Having said that, I've been hooked on Leicas since maybe 1970, and have owned most of the screw models as well was a lot of Ms and various other RF cameras, including two Canons. The Canons were the nicest of the old Leica-screw-compatibles, but Leica Ms are nicer (I think I'd rather have a late Canon than a Leica screw-mount), and quite honestly, I'd prefer a current Bessa to the Canons for the coated viewfinders and TTL meters (and ability to take M-mount lenses as well as screw).

    The Canon lenses were very good for their day, though few at the time rated them as highly as contemporary Leica glass, and both Leica and Voigtlander have come a long way in the 40 years since Canon RFs were discontinued.

    This is not said to put you off your purchase: they're excellent cameras and great fun to use. But I'd predict that if you do 'get it' you'll want a Leica M sooner or later.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  22. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    This freeing myth, well.... :rolleyes: As most myths this is a disappointment too when it comes to the reality check.
    The RF concept was beaten completely in the 60s by SLRs, and there were good reasons for that successful change.

    BUT the SLR concept isn't free of severe compromises, and that helped the RF Concept to survive in a niche.

    There are several environments and situations, where the RF concept still beats the SLR hands down. If you ever have seen how easy and reliable you focus a fast lens in low light you will hardly use a SLR for that ever again, neither AF nor manual..
    As a 35mm photog one should have both options IMO.

    Regards

    Bertram
     
  23. Steve Bellayr

    Steve Bellayr Member

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    Rangefinders v. SLRs. SLRs to me are telephoto, zooms, and motor drives. The rangefinders are mostly used with 35mm lenses, although the older ones do not have the framelines necessary. The Canon 7 should have the framelines for the 35mm. My Canon P does. Rangefinders work well on the street and tighter places. The don't have the loud sounding shutter of the SLRs. As for weight I don't know about the 7 but my P is heavier than an M6 or a Nikon S series. I think I read that you have a 35mm lens. You should do very well.
     
  24. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    Don't forget the additional weight of the lens. A modern Leica standard 50/2 lens (black) weighs 240 grams, the standard 50/1.8 lens for the Canon 7 weighed 290 grams. So, the total package is 815 g for the Leica, 930 g for the Canon 7, or about 14% heavier.
     
  25. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    howza bout macro?
     
  26. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Leica solved that long ago when SLR meant an Exacta. However, macro work with a Leica is inconvenient and expensive. SLRs do have a few advantages!