I can't make the M work for me

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by jerrybro, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    A while back I came into a dream system. M4, 21 3.4SA, 35 1.4 Lux, 50 Cron Rigid. All in beautiful condition and well cared for by it's only other owner. I've run about a dozen or so rolls through the kit but never saw the quality results I expected. On my last roll I decided to put the M on a tripod and saw what people have raved about, especially with the 50mm. There is nothing wrong with the hardware, I just can't make it work in my hands.

    Now I'm not new at this, I've been shooting for over 40 years and have some nice stuff in 35, 120 and 4x5. I can handhold my other 35s and my Rollei and Blad with no issue. I think the M is just too small for me, I can't actuate the shutter without moving the whole camera. I've tried a soft shutter and it was a little better, but still not reliable.

    As much as I love the hardware for it's mechanical qualities, at current prices I think I may just let it all go and add to my other kits. Or maybe keep the 50 and look for a M compatible body that fits me better. Has anyone else run into this?
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I get along with certain cameras too. No shame in moving on.
     
  3. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Yes, I'm going through this now.

    I've had my M2 since 1980 and my M4-P since 1986. These cameras worked for me one once but now they don't seem to. I took them on a trip to Cuba in January and
    took some of the worst crap I've ever done (this is saying something). I seem to do better with an SLR, like my F3hp or old F2.

    Times change, we change too, I guess.

    I'm happier with my beat up old Rolleiflex K4B or my Hasselblad stuff.
     
  4. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    It may be the size, or perhaps in part it's the shape. Some people especially have trouble with the rounded ends of the Leica body. Other M-mount cameras - C/V Bessas, Zeiss Ikon, Hexar RF, CL/CLE, even the M5 - have different shapes and, in particular, generally more squared-off ends. One of those might provide a more secure grip for you.

    Or maybe not. If the system doesn't work for you, you should certainly feel free to move on. Nobody ever need apologize for selecting the tools that are right for them.
     
  5. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    photography is only 5 percent equipment, 95 percent you and your head -- for me different cameras work in different situations -- My Leica CL is really really good for street shooting and travel, I find the Leicaflex models more useful for more planned out photography and actually tend to use them less. The TLRs are cameras that I always kick myself for not using more when I do use them, but again, they're really good at specific types of photography. If the Leica doesn't work for you, well, it doesn't.

    If you decide to get rid of the Leica outfit, I'll give you $100 for all that worthless junk ... :whistling:
     
  6. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    I have a hard time with rangefinders too. Gorgeous mechanics, but frustrating as hell to use, especially if you like shooting wide open like I do.
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I had an M6 for a few years. I never thought of it as small. Excellent build, and the Summicron was also predictably excellent.

    In the end, I was much more comfortable shooting with other cameras, so I sold it.

    And I never found advancing the film to be a life-changing experience, which one person claimed about a decade ago.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Paul:

    One other thing that does change is our eyesight.

    So there may be other factors involved as well.
     
  9. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Do you have some other 35mm rangefinder, or other 35mm equipment are all SLR's? Maybe this is well know syndrome "rangefinder after long SLR usage"?

    Other M bodies beside M5 are very similar to M2, you will find no big changes there. For me while shooting M3 or M6 (I have both): only difference is in viewfinder, not in body design.

    I would also like to say something that I saw once on Leica forum: "never ever sell Leitz equipment if you absolutely don't need to - on the end you will be buying same stuff later anyhow". I can confirm this for 90mm lens that I have sold and later bought again :smile:
     
  10. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    agree.
     
  11. ath

    ath Member

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    Compared to modern SLRs I think the grip of the M's is inferior. I can handhold my EOS3 at longer times than my naked M2.
    Adding a halfcase improved the situation of the M2 significantly.
     
  12. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I installed corrective eyepieces on both cameras, which certainly overcame the eyesight issue, some time ago.
    I have Leica 35, 50 and 90 mm lenses.
    The cameras are well maintained.
    The images are very sharp and seem to have all the Leica attributes.
    I get technically good results with transparencies as well as print film.

    I think I'm beginning to not be so enchanted with 35mm film and it's small size.
     
  13. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    The halfcase is certainly the way to go. Who's case did you get, if I may ask?
     
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  15. ath

    ath Member

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    I have a zhou case, you find him on ebay as jiozhou and lots of reference over at rff.
    I didn't want to have an original (old) one and the added pad is nice. The italian variant (Luigi) was too expensive for me.
     
  16. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    Glad I'm not the only one. I do have a Nikon S2 that works for me without issue. I use my FMs with and without motors. I used an F3 for years without motor and had no problems. I think it is time to move this hardware to someone that can really use it well. Thanks.
     
  17. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    Glad I'm not the only one. I do have a Nikon S2 that works for me without issue. I use my FMs with and without motors as well. I used an F3 for years without motor and had no problems. I think it is time to move this hardware to someone that can really use it well. Thanks.
     
  18. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The other option is a Leica M grip or cheapo Ch clone. Camera shop should have used ones.
     
  19. crsantin

    crsantin Member

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    We change physically as we age, eyesight, steadiness of hand etc but also in temperament. If the Leica no longer works for you it's not that big of a deal. My eyesight is worsening as I approach 50. I'm still able to use my Nikon FE just fine but there are times when I struggle a bit with my eyes and manual focusing using the split prism. Also, like your Leica, there is no real grip on the FE. So I picked up a Nikon F90x dirt cheap in great shape and the autofocus on that is very reliable and there is lots of grip. Just use a camera that works for you and enjoy yourself, life is too short to fret over a particular camera (yes even a Leica).

    When I was younger I loved driving stick, and I would scoff at automatic transmissions. I would hate to have to drive stick now, especially in traffic, my aging knees just don't need that kind of work. Such is life.
     
  20. M Stat

    M Stat Member

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    I have the Leica M4 and before I bought the accessory hand grip, I used to occasionally accidentally press the lens release button and drop my 35mm Summicron Aspheric lens on the ground (once it actually dropped onto my wood deck and rolled off into the flower bed). I prefer the way the camera feels without the accessory grip, but I dare not use it without.
     
  21. one90guy

    one90guy Member

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    I had the same problem with a Bronica, my daughter used it with prefect results. I now have my trusty Ricoh TLR back. I had never had a problem like that, I sure liked the Bronica, felt good in my hands but was not to be:^(
     
  22. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    First of all, I think is a valid suggestion that of thinking twice, or more, before selling that kind of equipment.

    Second, I think this is due to some "blur anxiety", a psychological condition which is not extraneous to me. By fearing you are not keeping the camera perfectly still, you actually move it.

    In your case the problem is aggravated by the fact that it is an unusually light camera for you.

    My suggestions:
    Sustain the camera with the left open palm while keeping your left hand fingers on the focusing ring or diaphragm ring. The right hand only presses the shutter release. The right hand does not sustain the camera.

    Practice without roll, during the day, paying attention to your movements.

    Breathe, release your breath by a little bit, stop expiring, take picture.

    Keeping the camera still must come from inside. A Zen exercise not a muscular one. Think "I and my subject are one". "I am the subject". Feel the union of all things: Photographer-Camera-Subject. Immerse yourself and your camera in this whole. Think about it 200 times x day. Become one with your camera. You and your camera are one. You and your camera are one...:happy:
     
  23. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Subscriber

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    Is there a grip that extends its height a little? Try that.
     
  24. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The Leica grip adds about 1cm to height but does not impede film load. The half cases do impede.
    If you want 20x16 you need a mono pod or pillar and 1/125 or faster.
     
  25. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I love the Ms but after getting my CL, they just do not feel right in my hand, too large. Odd as my main shhoter is a Bronica and until the shutter oiled up a Rolleiflex.
     
  26. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Highlight: exactly. And what works for one won't work for another. I loathe the idea of crippling my Leicas with half cases, bolt on grips and soft releases, and I find them vastly eadier to hold than today's bloated SLRs, which to my eyes resemble partially formed turds. But that's just me. For everyone who agrees 100%, there'll be someone else who disagrees vehemently.

    To the OP: the purpose of photography is to enjoy yourself taking pictures. It is not to purify the soul through suffering, or to accumulate 'dream outfits'. If you don't enjoy the way things are going, do something else (including changing jobs if you're a professional). Or at least try doing things a different way.

    Back to crsantin. I'm 62; sold my last car with a slushbox (Scimitar GTE) years ago; and vastly prefer my Ms (film and digital) to any autofocus I've ever used. It's ALL personal.

    Cheers,

    R.