Leica M5 any opinions?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by hmb, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. hmb

    hmb Member

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    I have used the M7, loved it. Wondering if anyone could give me any insight on the M5. What I have heard is quite mixed.
    Thanks!
    Heather
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    The M5 is the forgotten Leica.

    If you enjoy the light meter arms shadow in your negative when it doesn't swing out of the way as you press the shutter release, then it is the camera for you. Stick to the M7, or M6 TTL.

    The Minolta CLE was a better Leica then the Leica M5.
     
  3. DanielOB

    DanielOB Member

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    if you like Leica M the best choice is M3 and MP (the last one MP still available is fine too).
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Member

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    Why M3 over M6 TTL?
    Walter, you made me laugh!
     
  5. nik4s

    nik4s Member

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    M5 is a great camera, and although bigger than the regular m's its a fine camera. I use a M6TTL and it is fine and a great bargain today
     
  6. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    There seems to be little middle ground on the M5--most people either hate it or love it. If you haven't used one of the other Leica M cameras, it may suit you okay. If you have used other M bodies, the M5 seems foreign. It's bigger with the levers and other controls being in different places. It wasn't very "Leica-like" to camera buyers when it was released so it didn't do well in the marketplace.

    I like the M6 "classic" (non-TTL). I don't use flash so the TTL option doesn't appeal to me and the shutter speed dial on the TTL models operate in the opposite direction than other Leicas. Some like the TTL dials because they turn in the direction of the lighted arrows of the exposure meter.

    'Course all this just comes down to personal preference, like just about everything else in the world.
     
  7. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    What are you talking about? How does one go about getting this effect? I can't make Bigfoot or Bubba do that.

    Those who own and use the M5 love it.

    Those who neither own nor use the M5 seem to dislike it.

    Go figure. :wink: :D

    Wayne
    Who left Louisiana and found Texas on August 29, 2005.
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The shadow's caused when the meter arm doesn't move completely out of the way. Doesn't happen often but it does happen.
     
  9. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Hasn't happened to me yet. I don't shoot all that fast. Maybe that's why.
     
  10. hmb

    hmb Member

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    My biggest reason to stay away was the size of it. I bet if not having used the other Leica's it would be a non issue. Thanks for the input!
    H
     
  11. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    The M5 is exactly the same height & depth and 1/4" longer than my Canon VI-T. Folks who shy away from the M5 because of it's shape and size help keep the price down for those who enjoy actually making photographs with the M5.
     
  12. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    A few things to consider. The M5 is the best built leica camera, period, they simply went all out and consequently it was extremely expensive to manufacture, this is the reason leica almost went under when the m5 wasn't a succes.
    It's also the most quiet Leica. (I have tested it against all the others, MP included, and it's definately quieter.)
    The shutter speed selecter is more cleverly placed than on "normal" Leicas. The finder is identical to the M4 except the lightmeter. So the finder is better than any leica that came after up untill the MP.
    The only thing it has going against it is it looks, simply because it's different than all the other leicas.
    I love it, I think it's the coolest leica there is. Go figure...
    Best Regards
    Mads Hartmann
     
  13. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    I realise with that someone will probably try to chop my head because of my statement: "The M5 is the best built leica camera".
    Well I personally think it is, but if I have to moderate it a little I would say that it's at least as well built as the m3, m2 and m4, and much better built than any leica that came after up untill the MP.
    I hope I'll get to keep my head...
     
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  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Heather, don't get me wrong, I think the older Leicas are wonderful. I played a bit with an M5 and I think it's fine, I just never enjoyed loading these things. Great fun to shoot though.

    But... my broader question is, how does anybody expect the company to stay afloat when everybody is using decades-old used cameras! Why not get a new one or get a ZI or bessa if the new Leicas are out of your range.

    We need to encourage purchases of new cameras rather than rehashing all the various issues of decades-old ones... that's my thesis :wink: No PM flames, please, I have the well-being of the current film camera industry at heart!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2008
  16. haris

    haris Guest

    I totally agee with you. But, when you live with 500 EUROS of monthly income like I do, then new stuff, especially Leica priced are really hard to afford. Saying that, I bought more new than secondhand equipment :smile:

    I bought new Canon EOS500n, EOS3, Bessa R2A, including lenses, I bought secondhand Yashica MAT, Mamiya RB, including lenses, enlargers and lenses for them, all other laboratory stuff I bought new. I got as gift Olympus OM1. With my monthly income I think I contribute as much as I can.
     
  17. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    I wonder how many people who disregard the M5 have used one on a regular basis, or are just quoting what they've read...

    I have carried an M5 (and an M3 and a CLE) all over Afghanistan and the M5 is still - as it was prior to that - my favorite M camera for real usage. It doesn't look as sharp as the M3 or the other M's, but it consistently works miracles - with the emphasis being that it WORKS. I am 7,000 miles from my camera repair guy and I can use the M5 out here with confidence knowing that it will consistently function and yield incredible pictures every time. I love the CLE - mentioned by someone earlier - but it's not built to the same tough standards as the M5 and if it breaks there are NO PARTS for a repairman to use to fix it. The M5 is larger than the other M's, but not too large. Mine is slightly bigger than my palm and I carry it with one hand, only raising the other to focus - same as with the smaller RF's. WIth a 28mm, f/2.8 it's still an unobtrusive camera. And it looks WAY COOL with a DR Summicron attached.

    If the camera works as well and reliably as the other M's, then it boils down to a matter of preference. I prefer the M5.

    It took me a roll or two to get reacquainted with spot metering, but now I remember why I liked it so much as a young photographer. You can have the meter calibrated for modern batteries if you prefer, but the mercuries are still available overseas.

    I recommend the three lug version which has a 28mm frame. That's what I use most often.

    As mentioned before, people either love or hate the M5. If you're happy with what you've got - don't change. If you don't care for your current setup, try an M5 - borrow one if you can and shoot with it for a week. You'll know the first day if it's right for you.
     
  18. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    A well adjusted M5 will never have this problem!
    When you push the button, the first thing that happens is you 'pushing' that arm away. This arm is directly connected, via a lever with the release button, no spring no undepended mechanism!
    If you doubt it, put a LTM to bayonet adaptor ring on the camera (no lens) and push, you will see...
    They ware not that stupid in Wetzlar...

    Good luck,
    Philippe
     
  19. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    I have old books, where Mary Ellen Mark, among others, talked about how remarkable, the old Leica 28 mm lens was.

    Wasn't there an issue of Leica having to redesign their wide-angle lenses, to clear the meter flag. I believe, they went to a retro-focus wide angle design, duplicating their SLR lenses.

    I have experience using this design with a Minolta CLE, I used to own. I used the 28 mm Summicron, ( the one that took the 48 mm filters ).

    I now use a Contax G2, with the 28 mm Biogon. This is a true wide angle design. I understand what Mary Ellen Mark, was talking about. This lens, stretches like a 24 mm, but without the distortion. I always thought that 28 mm was boring, until I shot with that lens.

    If this was done because of the M5 & CL, ( meter flag ), then I say, that Leica should have been vilified, because, when they went to the M4-2, they didn't bring back the better, ( in my opinion
    & apparently others ), design.
     
  20. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Hello,

    As you can see, it's a love/hate relationship. Some people hate it - others (like myself) love it. After purchasing mine, I almost never shoot my M3. It is a better fit for my large hands and the built in meter is so much nicer than using the Voightlander II on my M3 - which is always coming off as I walk and shoot. The spot meter is refreshing to use - and for me, the best thing about the M5 is that it (the 3 LUG variety) has 28mm finder lines in it. That means no guessing when shooting my 28mm. That's worth the cost of an M5 by itself. I have had ZERO issues with the meter showing up on negatives or slides and have never heard that from anyone I know who shoots an M5 (not to say it didn't happen).

    If you don't mind - or like - the bigger size, built in spot metering and 28mm frames, the M5 is the rangefinder for you!

    Let us know what you decide.
     
  21. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    The best vibration damper is mass-the M5 has it
    Mark
     
  22. ray*j*gun

    ray*j*gun Member

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    Well, oddly it seems the M5 is bringing higher prices lately given the renewed interest in the camera and its limited supply. I have 5 Leicas from the IIIa to an M6 and M4-P. I never liked the feel of the M5 which has been pointed out is very un-Leica like. I guess my all time fav is the M4-P but i never use on board meters anyway.

    Ray
     
  23. Jim Edmond

    Jim Edmond Member

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    I've owned an M2 and M5 for over 30 years. The M2 is better for fondling, but the M5 is a shooter! The M5's controls are designed better. You can adjust shutter speed easily without removing the camera from your eye (shutter speed is displayed in the viewfinder). The rewind crank is larger, simpler, and faster. The narrow angle meter pattern is more selective than later models. The analog meter display gives a more intuitive idea of under/over exposure than blinking LEDs. The slightly larger size provides for good handling without the need for silly add-on accessories.
     
  24. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    I had an M5 and an M6 a couple of years ago. I liked the M5 way better. The metering is easier, just cross the 2 needles, and the shutterspeed is visible in the viewfinder. As has been written, the shutterspeeddial is also much easier to turn without taking your eye of the viewfinder. The M5 dial can also be set in between the shutterspeeds. Try to get a 3-lug model, the shutterspeed dial on these models has clickstops and thus doesn't turn to easy.
     
  25. Jim Edmond

    Jim Edmond Member

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    My 2-lug M5 has click stops also, so I'm not sure when that may have changed.
     
  26. ellisson

    ellisson Subscriber

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    I like the relatively large size of the M5. As a pentax 67 user, this is a non-issue for me. I like how this camera "area" meters and displays the settings in the viewfinder, and how the shutter speed dial overhangs for easy adjustment while viewing.