Leica or Hasselblad for street photography?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Karl K, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

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    I'm considering the best 35mm camera for extra-wide angle B+W street photography. I have a Leica M2 and an M3, which are fitted with 21mm and 15mm rectilinear lenses. What bothers me is that I have to use the Leicas with external viewfinders and shift my eye back and forth between the viewfinders of the cameras to the external finders for focusing and composing. Metering is difficult as well, so I usually guess and bracket the Tri-X or Ilford XP-2.

    I borrowed a friend's Hasselblad X-Pan with the 45mm lens and enjoyed the automatic film loading and advance, the double frame wide angle, and the automatic exposure system. The viewfinder and the build quality are almost as good as the Leicas, but I hate only getting 21 exposures on a roll and the custom processing necessary for the extra wide frame size. No accessory finder is needed, which is great for quick focusing and shooting.

    The 45mm Fuji lens doesn't require the center spot filter for my B+W work and there is no distortion at the edges. The 21mm Super-Angulon is superb all the way out to the edges. The Voigtlander 15mm Heliar lens falls off a tiny bit on the edges, but I like the exaggerated effect, anyway.

    I'm trying to determine the angle of view of the Hasselblad negative (24x60) shot with the 45mm lens versus the Leica negative with either the 21mm Super-Angulon or the 15mm Heliar lenses. I usually crop off the top and/or bottom of the Leica frames when I print, so the aspect ratio is about the same as the Hasselblad X-Pan prints.

    Can anyone help me decide? By the way, I usually print about 5x12 inches.
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    I would say go with the Xpan. Not because I love mine but because you kind of have two cameras in one.

    The Xpan is a wonderful camera.
     
  3. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Take the M3 with Leitz glass, still unbeatable after all this years:smile:!

    Cheers

    André
     
  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    What really matters is getting out on the street to make photographs. The gear you carry isn't as important as challenging yourself to shoot. I sometimes take a Zero Image 35 mm pinhole camera to make street pictures, and other times I use a Crown Graphic 4x5. It doesn't matter what gear you use in the end. Worrying about this or that camera or lens is an excuse to procrastinate from shooting. I say get the Xpan and use your Leicas are the same time. Just do it.
     
  5. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    with that wide-angle leica why can't you just zone focus?