Leica Basics: In Need of Some Leica Education

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by arealitystudios, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    Hello All

    So I’m relatively new to the wonderful wide world of Leica mount rangefinders and I swear it’s like being a kid in the candy store again. There are just soooo many goodies out there on the used market and though I’m not the kind of photographer that just hoards all sorts of lenses and finders, it’s still fun to shop around and browse on KEH and Ebay and such, especially when I’m hiding in my cubicle and avoiding work. 

    My questions is, does anyone know of any good websites that give a breakdown or explain the difference between all the Leica M and Screwmount lenses? Whenever I’m looking around I see names like Noctilux, Summilux, Summarit, Summicron, Elmar, etc. etc, some made in Canada, some made in Germany, all with huge variations in price. It’s rather mind boggling. When you add in all the other brands that make Screwmount and M mount lenses it gets even worse! Hahaha.

    Anyway, if anyone has a recommendation for me I would really appreciate it.
     
  2. raizans

    raizans Member

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    cameraquest.com explains evvvvverything.
     
  3. cmo

    cmo Member

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  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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  5. rjr

    rjr Member

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    In short, the lens names state the speed of the lens, the maximum aperture. A Summicron is always a lens with f2, a Summilux has f1,4 etc.pp.

    Erwin Puts used to host a free (and limited) copy of his Leica Lens Compendium:
    http://www.amazon.com/Leica-Lens-Compendium-Erwin-Puts/dp/189780217X

    He removed it while he is working on a new edition, but Archive.org has it archived:
    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.imx.nl/photosite/comments/llcforweb.pdf

    It will help you a bit with your endavour.
     
  6. Paolita

    Paolita Member

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    A very interesting French site
    /www.summilux.net, with a lot of infos, PDF files of brochures and manuals for almost all LEICA models
     
  7. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Well It is a lot cheaper getting a Canon P and the equivalent Canon lenses.

    Unless you swap lenses more then you use film the P is a lot faster then any leica M body, and I dont count the M8 - nasty digital rubbish.

    Noel

    P.S. I do have an M or two...
     
  8. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I second the Cameraquest pages for screw mount and M mount lens info.
    LTM
    M
     
  9. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    oh thank you everyone. More reading material than I could have hoped for!
     
  10. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Lots of good links here in the first ten posts for people who want the basics, so I've made this a sticky thread and updated the title.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I am not in the market for a Leica yet, but this is great information. I have been sorting out Leica information for years. Thanks.

    Steve
     
  13. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    Hahahaha, now my ignorance can be remembered forever! :smile:

    Seriously though. Thank you everyone for all the great links. A lot of my questions and confusion has been cleared.
     
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  15. Steve Bellayr

    Steve Bellayr Member

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    Go to Leica Forum and click on Leica Wiki at top.
     
  16. elekm

    elekm Member

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    There's also the Leica Users Group. Bring a hard hat, from what I understand.
     
  17. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Member

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    +1 on the antiquecameras site. The first time I visited it, Google had curiously flagged it as a malicious site but I ignored it and kept reading. I learned the first chunk at cameraquest but antiquecameras went into further detail regarding the various versions of lenses. Before I bought a 50 Summicron, I did my homework and that site helped me out a lot.

    Another one that I found very useful over the years is mir.com which can be found at:
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/Leica/index.htm

    He doesn't have a dedicated lens section yet but it is always being updated so perhaps we can expect it in the future. I found it while looking for info on my Contax RTS system and the site has lots of information about it as well including many other makes and models. Happy learning!
     
  18. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Naaa asbestos fire persons suit and helmet with cold air 'tail' normally all you need
     
  19. 35mmDelux

    35mmDelux Member

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  20. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    For detailed information I refer to The Leica: A History Illustrating every Model and Accessory by Paul-Henry van Hasbroeck. Another good resource is Leica Manual by Willard D. Morgan and Henry M. Lester, published over many years in several editions.
     
  21. pantelis adiavastos

    pantelis adiavastos Member

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    well i dont think that you can ever make some rules categorizing by mount. - i declare that i dont own any leica equipment, only soviet stuff -

    talking about leica lenses you should know that they change their patents all the time trying to get the 3d-est picture. same labeled lenses differ usually much in practice. earlier m39 lenses dont have coating, or some others have some coating which seems to atract cleaning marks. some of these have been coated afterwards by their owners. other usual problems are haze and fungus in some particular models. anyway some versions like say "red focusing scale" are more sought after by photographers, because they say they have better results than the normal say "black label" lens and the hunt goes on....

    Later Ms seem to have abolish the "old look" of m39 lenses that people loved or hated.
    gandy's list should educate you, but is it again subjective.

    generally today's voightlanders and Ms seem to be closer to the contemporary pictorial standards.

    but again i can't find the reason why most leica people buy the expensive leica stuff and dont look on the canon and serenar stuff. i think that most leica people are stuck on the perfectness that leica carries in the name, like the popal what you call it... unmistakeable whatever. even gandy too...i dont think that everything is so perfect anyway

    hope i helped. my opinion comes from reading rather than experiencing leica gear. good luck
     
  22. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Maybe the same reason Mercedes Benz owners don't take their prize to Walmart for an oil change.:D
     
  23. Atlo

    Atlo Member

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    I second rangefinderforum, lots of leica love over there.
     
  24. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    Leica-M, Advanced Photo School from Günter Osterloh

    All explained from early Leica's to the recent ones (non-digitals).
    ISBN 1-57990-637-0
     
  25. T42

    T42 Member

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    Ditto.

    I also have found that the Morgan and Lester book has some very useful information about fundamentals and techniques of 35mm rangefinder photography. It would probably be of considerable interest to those who shoot with FSU Leica inspired cameras too.
     
  26. zeta3

    zeta3 Member

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    The things you learn the hard way:-
    Always check the lens cover is in your pocket
    When loading a film, check the rewind knob moves as you wind the film on
    Check you have set the right exposure
    - and if coming directly from a SLR; dont forget to focus