Leica M2 x 2 = Leica M4?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by David H. Bebbington, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Just curious - I have developed a sudden craving for Leica M and acquired an M2 in need of servicing, otherwise Exc ++, for just over £200 on e-bay. It seems examples of M4 are going for £500 plus, and I was wondering if anyone had a view on why. Of course, an M4 is likely to be 10 years younger, and it has a 135 v/f frame and a quick-load take-up spool, but are these features worth so much money?

    Regards,

    David
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    When it comes to Leica cameras, all reason and rationale can be dismissed. Seriously.
     
  3. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I am reminded of the Mark Twain admonition: "All generalizations are false, including this one."

    Only 58,000 M4s were produced, as compared to 225,000 M3s and 83,000 M2s, so M4s are more rare. For the M4, add in a rewind crank rather than a knob, framelines for the popular 35mm focal length, often considered normal for rangefinder shooting (the M3 needs "frog eyes" or auxiliary finder for a 35mm lens, but has greater finder magnification), a self-resetting frame counter, all making the camera friendlier for someone who actively uses it, then consider that the build quality was more akin to the M3 and earlier camera, more brass gearing, smoother film advance, etc, and fewer corners cut to meet a price point as in later models, and it all adds up to a more expensive camera, one preferred by both collectors (rarity) and users because of the features. So its used price is higher.

    I guess some might consider this irrational. It seems like reasoning pretty well grounded in reality to me. It's up to the buyer to decide if the differences are important. As Roger Hicks has pointed out, the cost of a Leica M amortized over its working life is pretty low, so you might as well get the features that fit your needs if it's within your budget.

    Lee
     
  4. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    Well David, I've been toying with buying a Leica for a little while now and have been following prices on the auction site. I'm probably one of the many who seek guidance from Steven Gandy at http://www.cameraquest.com/mguide.htm , and he pretty much suggests the M4 as having the best mix of qualities. What has been a bit scary this past week or so has been about 3 or 4 zero rated sellers suddenly producing black paint M4s. One went for £1200 while another went for under £200, so it's hard to get any kind of handle on where the prices should be! :sad:
     
  5. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    One thing to think about if you are a bulk loader. Get a film come loose from the cassette and you have a problem on your hands getting it out of the camera with an M4 type takeup, whereas the take up on the M2 and M3 will slide out easily.
    Mark