Leica or Zeiss

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by H.veng.smith, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. H.veng.smith

    H.veng.smith Member

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    Hi
    So I have been shooting film with an slr for a bit and finally would like to make the move to a rangefinder.
    I was going to get the Zeiss ikon, but now thinking of a Leica mp.
    Any advice???

    I know the price difference is huge which I’m fine with, I’m looking for quality and so forth.

    Thanks
     
  2. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    First determine which lens i.e focal length and max aperture that you would like to use. Zeiss has some fine lenses as well as Leica.
    I use the Leica ASPH lenses and therefore I use Leica M's. they will work with the Zeiss body and vice vesas for the Zeiss lenses, but on the whole, it's Leica for me because of the ASPH lenses, build quality of the M body and the M7, which i particularly like with the Motor M.-Dick
     
  3. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    If resale value is an indicator follow the trends on the rangefinder forum classified section. Zeiss ZM turn over often with less than a year ownership at far below purchase price. Leica MPs don't change hands very fast unless the seller is going digital. The price is always high.

    The other factor is that the Leica name has achieved cult status. The two factors together would drive any price up.

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost-classifieds/index.php

    My father’s advice was to buy the best you can and keep it as long as you can. It seems to work well with most things except electronics. The Rolex chronograph he gave me on my 21st birthday in 1961 and the 1955 Porsche Speedster I bought 30 years ago have certainly confirmed that thinking.

    John Powers
     
  4. segedi

    segedi Member

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    I like the feel, the shutter and the look of my MP. The Zeiss is nice, but if you have the funds go MP. Or M7 - I like having AE on my cameras. But give them all a try if possible.

    One of the things you will hear about the Zeiss is the nice finder, big and bright. The other thing you will hear about is that you have to place your eye directly center to the finder patch. It's my preference to use the Leica viewfinder as the slightly smaller size doesn't cause the eye placement issue.

    Zeiss lenses are very nice. I have the 50mm f/2 planar and the 25mm Biogon. Both are very sharp and you can buy both for less than the cost of a used Leica lens. The Leica 50mm Summilux is a dream and I use it about 75% of the time. But they are pricey and near impossible to find.

    My only warning is that rangefinders are quite addictive. I now have 4 of them!
     
  5. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Go to Art Galleries and see the Leica shots from original prints. You will be attracted.
    Noone reached the optical engineering mathematics and glass research knowledge as Leica.
    In my belief , older the Leica better the Leica. Dont waste your money to modern Leicas , buy a series III and a Summar , Summitar , Elmar , Summaron , Hektor , Telyt and you will reach the top of RF mountain.
    You will invest 1/10 price and get 10x quality.
    If you dont believe me , look at how people dressed like at 30s and 70s. After WW2 , all quality dropped.
    Old Leicas are made by elegant people for elegant people.
    Its sad , now old Leitz sold at corners like a Potato.
    You cant see the details and quality of Leica at a LCD screen also.
    Before investing thousand , invest 100 dollars and buy photography books and magazines .
    If you are not a human photographer , you wont use its capacity , if you use non Kodak film , you will ruin the results , I am strongly believe this.

    Umut
     
  6. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I wonder if in 60 years or so someone will wax so rhapsodic about my Canon G11.
     
  7. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    In 60 years, your G11 will have been obsolete and/or landfill for 57 years (as will all my digital SLRs) but a III series Leica will still have that special feel. My first 35mm camera was a 40 year old IIIc. I stopped using it in favor of a Canon A-1 and now EOS stuff. While the III is quite capable, I have to believe the Canon glass is better, particularly the Ls. But, for shear joy of use, it's hard to beat the III. The modern Canon cameras look and feel like the plastic they're made from. The Leica has surprising heft for its size, and a wonderful machine age look and feel.

    Dan
     
  8. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    There is a massive difference in handling between any camera with unified rangefinder/composition. Heck, the difference between the III and IIIc feels significant while shooting.

    I'm not saying these cameras are bad or incapable of good shots, but definitely try to handle whatever you are thinking about getting before the purchase if at all possible.
     
  9. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    With Leitz , machine whispers , photographs speak.
     
  10. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I think it depends on what characteristics you are looking for in a lens. The latest Zeiss ZM wide angles are better than the Leicas in my opinion. Every bit as sharp all the way across the frame, and with less distortion. They are incredible.

    Can you explain a little more why you recommend the older Leica lens designs though? I don't uderstand your reasoning on this. I know you love the summitar, but let's be realistic here, it is nowhere near as good as a summicron if you're talking about Leica's opitcal engineering and technology.
     
  11. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I have a nice little iiif. For sheer class it beats the dickens out of my G11.

    I seems that we get all excited (I know I do at times) about old stuff, whether it was a good idea or not. Vinyl vs CD, book vs Kindle, telegraph vs iphone etc.

    I'm just speculating that in 60 years someone will have collected all the G series Canon digital cameras. There will be a book. Preferences will be discussed. One model, maybe my G11, will be preferred for all sorts of esoteric reasons.
     
  12. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Leica was the most expensive camera its day , now Leica S2 goes from 35000 dollars and most expensive commercial one. Your plastic camera will be recorded to Japanese Design History as a shame.

    I owned Summicron 50mm on Leicaflex , it is not better , it is more modern , its for the tastes of modern colors.

    I still like the colors of old Rolls Royce cars , its about elegance. And my haptics psychology , shark skin surface tells me to take more serious shots with older ones.

    When it comes to Summitar , it is definitely impossible to understand the quality with LCD screens.
    And Summitar made from one of the highest index glass ever used. Making was dangerous and newer lenses never used such a glass , except Noctilux , it is 11000 dollars new.
     
  13. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Do you take pictures too?
     
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  15. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Dad taught me on a IIIF ST RD that my uncle pocketed and walked past customs while returning from Germany. I learned to love photography using that camera and he still has it. Today I own an M2 and a M8.2. Well made creatures, great heritage.

    I use a mix of Leica, Ziess and even CV glass. Each has its own look.

    Today if I were going to get a new film camera I would get a M7 and have the finder upgraded to MP so I could have a light meter and the great MP viewfinder.

    Kudos on the Summitar lens. They can paint pleasure on your brain when ever you use one.

    Lee
     
  16. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Totally agree , I owned two IIIF with one coated , one uncoated Summitar and it was the best thing I have ever owned. I did not see more original photographs and long degrades in my life , smoother and sharp tones , microscopic details.
     
  17. thegman

    thegman Member

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    My Zeiss Ikon is probably the only camera I kind of regret selling, they are fantastic cameras and in my opinion the best all round range finder. I've never had a Leica MP, but I've had a Leica M6, which is practically the same camera. I did not rate the M6 at all, and promptly traded it for an M3, which I love. Money no object, I'd get the MP, I'd miss the AE of the Zeiss Ikon though, but the MP has an allure which defies my own logic. I've had a quick play with an M7, and didn't like it, it's like an M6 with a pointless DX code reader.

    If you want the option to shoot aperture priority, the Ikon is a fantastic camera, for pure good looks and grace, the MP.
     
  18. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    And Leitz Summitar have %20 cooler colors than Sonnar. Sonnar takes ordinary pictures but Summitar takes photographs. If you look to their comparison , skin tones , textile tones , architecture photographs are faraway more elegant. And sometimes , it records a glass object like an swedish art glass. Objects have an dimension and details floats on the print. It is extremelly three dimensional and light washes the objects like North Pole , Nordic Baltic Sea light reveals the color of a diamond , that pure light.
     
  19. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I like my Zeiss rangefinders, in fact I like all my Zeiss cameras.

    If you are that good, and you can afford it get the Leica.

    For me it's simple, I am a lousy photographer but a smart one. I could go out and buy a Leica and I will still be a lousy photographer but I have a Zeiss and the money I saved sits in a fund that pays enough interest in a month to cover some of my film and processing costs.

    I can be a lousy photographer with any camera, but by not owning a high priced top of the line camera I can afford to learn to maybe be a better photographer. Until then my Leica fund will be paying for me to learn. I am learning the same lessons with a Zeiss that I would with a Leica, I just have more money to spend learning. Maybe some day I will have a Leica, but not while I am still a lousy photographer.

    Yes, I really did invest my Leica money, and yes it really is that much.
     
  20. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    I have seen better pictures form Holgas then I have seen from Leica III fanatics, its not the camera or the glass, its what you do with it and the message you want to send.

    Mustafa Umut Sarac: Leica S2 is not the most expensive professional camera, have you had a look at the new 60 MP and 200 MP (yes, 200 Megapixels... ) Hasselblads?

    I like Leica, have several of them, I like Zeiss, if I have to choose I pick my Hasselblad 503cw/H2/H4 any day over my Leica gear, but I choose my leica gear when i want to go light and 35 mm.

    cheers
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2011
  21. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    Five years ago I bought a Leica MP and the only thing I regret is that I didn't buy one ( or its predecessor ) at least 25 years ago. The camera is absolutely wonderful, and even if it was one of the most expensive pieces of equipment that I have ever bought, it is still the one that has given me the best value for the money.
    Good luck with whatever you will choose.

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  22. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    I had some good laughs at the fanaticism displayed in this thread.
     
  23. H.veng.smith

    H.veng.smith Member

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    It seems like the mp would be the better choice for the long run.
    And I would still use for now at least zees lens I love them.

    I read that the mp does have a metering system though which would be nice to have, and with the less electronic stuff in it will keep me on my feet I guess.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    M2 or M3 with a lens, and a Sekonic L-398a. You are in for two grand or less, and have pictures just as good, if not better, due to using the incident light meter. Save the other $10,000 you would have spent for your house, vacation, or darkroom.

    There are Bessas as well, which are the biggest bang for the buck out there, and which as a bonus have viewfinders better than any Leica ever made IMO.

    I'm sorry, but I don't think any camera to be used for actually taking pictures is worth much more than a few thousand dollars, tops. Historical museum pieces are another story. I can see why they might go for big money. They are more than picture takers at that point. But not a film camera, especially not a 35mm one, in this age.
     
  25. erikg

    erikg Member

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    If you get into rangefinders for any length of time you will at some point hear the siren's call of the leica, at least most folks do. If you can swing it get it start there and get it out of your system. Nothing wrong with the ikon or bessas for that matter except they aren't Leicas. If you are asking this question that gives you some idea of what that means to you.
     
  26. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Go Leica quality on a budget to start and get a nice CL with the Summicron-C lens or just the body and a Leica 50mm Summicron. See if you like the results. Whether you have a CL or a M3, the results are from the lens IMHO. If you like the results get a M4 or M6 though I do like the M5 though it defintely violates the small camera dictate of the original design of Barnack. The CL then can be a backup body or a daily pocket carrier. CLs with the 40mm can be had in serviced excellet condition for less than a good user M series. The 40mm Sum-C is an excellent lens and tack sharp.

    Zeiss glass can be as good as the Leica and that counts for a lot but the reliability and ergonomics of the bodies for me just don't seem to be up to the level of the Leica designs.