I want a Leica film camera, but...

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Steve Mack, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    ...while I can afford, say, an M4-P, I can't afford the body AND a Leica lens. Would a Zeiss lens be an acceptable substitute for the Leica glass? Or are there other suggestions?

    Thanks to all who reply.

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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  3. Photografity

    Photografity Member

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    Have you considered the other option? Buy a Leica lens, and buying a Zeiss or a Voigtlander Bessa body? Should you upgrade to digital at least you have the "glass".
     
  4. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Did you just say upgrade to digital? :tongue:
     
  5. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Here are lenses I can recommend:
    21mm Voigtlander f/4 P
    21mm Zeiss f/4.5
    25mm Zeiss f/2.8
    35mm Zeiss (either, f/2.8 or f/2)
    50mm Zeiss Planar f/2

    So yes, you can save a bit of money buying the alternatives and have great photos made with your Leica M camera. Buying them second-hand is an even better option for cost savings. Don't sweat it!
     
  6. MDR

    MDR Member

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    You could buy a Leica M3 or M2 and use it with Leica Bargain lenses say a Summaron with the goggles on the M3 great and underrated lens. Voigtländer and Zeiss lenses can be used as substitute but they have a different look with the Summaron and some other bargain lenses you'll get the Leica signature look and quality. The Summarit for the M3 comes to mind as a cheap Leica made M lens saw one for 250 Euros at the Leicashop.

    Dominik
     
  7. fotch

    fotch Member

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    What is your lens budget?
     
  8. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Buying a Barnack, You are getting the original Leica camera and a time machine, combined and probably will cost half of what You are gonna pay just for M4 body.
    All the chicks will be yours.
     
  9. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    Lens budget is ~$1100.00.

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  10. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    An M-Leica is an amazing shooter and if all you can afford (all!) is a Zeiss lens, then get one, it will be wonderful, Zeiss makes wonderful glass.

    A new zeiss lens is going to be better, optically, than an old Leica lens -- better coatings and computations and so on.

    Bottom line, get what you can afford and shoot. An M3 would make an excellent and much cheaper choice that an M4 P, for example.
     
  11. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I am not up with the prices of Leica lens however, I would think you could find a decent Leica lens for your budget. If you buy anything else, you may end up always thinking, I wonder if I should of.........

    Good Luck. Don't forget to save some money for film.
     
  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Try to find an older pre-ASPH summicron.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have used 50mm Summicron and Summitar lenses. Honestly, the lens is not the limitation to how my pictures turn out, and in my prints I don't really wonder which is which. That's 16x20 prints.

    I also use Voigtlander Nokton lenses, in 35mm and 50mm, and am just as happy with those prints as I am with the Leica glass. They are not as well built, so probably will not last you as long. But, they are damned fine lenses, and it's a good lens to tie you over until you can afford your dream Leica lens. A 50mm Nokton draws a stunningly beautiful picture for you, and within your budget you could find two used lenses, like a 35mm and a 50mm, which compliment each other nicely in different shooting situations.

    - Thomas
     
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  15. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    No lens can compete with an Leitz glass , if you buy a zeiss lens on to Leica , you will not be a Leica owner. If you cant decide what to do with Leica problem , you are not a Leicaphile and you dont deserve that camera.
     
  16. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    The body holds film and lens and opens and closes the lgiht hitting the film. The lens determines the quality of the negative/transparency provided the film is flat, the shutter accurate and the lens mount parellel to the film; most bodies, even the lower end do a decent job in doing their job. Many lenses are good but more important in the process than the body in delivering the quality.

    I am not promoting either Leica or Zeiss glass. Both companies have had good to excellent. Look for the glass that you appreciate and like and then make a decision. Remember if on a budget, there is also the Leica CL that can use the Leica and Zeiss M mount and is 1st rate as a user body at a bargain price compared to an equiv. M body. I use the CL and after 20 years would not upgrade to a M body in lieu of buying a lens to use with it. Also, the is the Minolta CLE that is where Leica probably would have gone if it continued development of the CL.
     
  17. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

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    1960's lenses are excellent and can get you into the Leica world at a reasonable price.

    I owned a 60's 50mm Summicron for 11 years and believe me it was a fine lens...
    but not as good as the 2008 Summilux ASPH that now goes with my M3 :whistling:

    And now for the question you didn't ask : are you sure you can adapt to the rangefinder system? I did in 5 minutes but there are some people (incl. pros) who never could and who went back to SLR's...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012
  18. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    If you buy lens that is not Leitz - you will always wonder "how would it be if I have Leitz lens..."
    So you should go for the leica lens - and then you know - this is it, now my limitation is for sure just me :smile:.
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Snob.
     
  20. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    If anyone can tell the difference between a image taken on Leica glass vs and image taken on Zeiss glass they are more psychic than observant.
     
  21. fotch

    fotch Member

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    :eek:
     
  22. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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  23. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Depends on the lenses. Not to get into which is "better", but lenses do have their own looks, some more than others. This can be observed with less than supernatural powers.
     
  24. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    mustafa is obviously a man of strong opinion. That's fine, but one needs to keep in mind that the Leica "look" was, often as not, the result of carefully calibrated lens errors and areas of focus. I have no clue if modern lenses made by Leitz still have those considerations built-in, but I do know that the differences between all fine lenses made today are minimal, and i say this as a user of leica glass exclusively (except for the pinhole stuff, of course).

    You have to find the leica (or whatever) body that does what you want it to do -- this is where the Leica rangefinder is supreme for street shooting and journalistic purposes -- and then put the best glass on it you can afford.

    But you also have to keep in mind that good photography is 5 percent equipment and 95 percent you. A really good photographer using an old box camera will do better than a bad photographer with a Leica.
     
  25. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Wonder if this thread will go on for at least 7 pages or more.

    Personally I own 1 VC lens a 50mm f1.5 ltm w an M adapter, one Zeiss 21mm f2.8 and I enjoy them as much as my fathers LTM lenses and the 1970s M mount Leitzs. Yes one can see a difference, but a simple clean M2 with a 35mm elmar makes a winning combination.
     
  26. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Check out the lower priced Canon LTM lenses if you want a vintage look. Or Voightlander if you want something with a more modern look. 95% the quality results of higher end Leica at a small fraction of the price. The latest Leica lenses are hard to beat but the Canon/Voightlander lenses compete well with older Leica glass.

    There are plenty of great, affordable options out there. If you are buying older glass, condition will be as portent as what you buy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012