M3 vs M2 , 40mm 'Cron vs 35mm Skopar

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by argyrotype, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. argyrotype

    argyrotype Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    vashon islan
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Hi--i am in a bit if a quandary---I have a mint MF Fuji GW680III to trade, and have a couple offers----a Leica M3, no lens, new CLA, excellent condition. The other offers are "user" M2 with 40mm 'Cron and an M2 with some brassing a small ding, with 35mm 2.5 Skopar for the Fuji. Opinions welcome!!! I have no 35mm gear at all, have been MF and LF shooter since the 1980. What would you do, and why???
     
  2. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,594
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The M3.

    Lenses can be nice but condition is the most important thing with cameras this old, and the M3 is supposed to be mint and has had recent service.

    Just my opinion.
     
  3. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

    Messages:
    915
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Portland Ore
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Completely spitballing here but:
    M3 - 600$
    M2 w/ 40mm - $700
    M2 w/ 35mm - $600
    Fuji GW680iii - $500
     
  4. 250swb

    250swb Member

    Messages:
    394
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    Peak Distric
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A 40mm Summicron on its own should be worth $700, but of course there is no frame line for it on the M2 and it will bring up the 50mm frame. The 35mm Skopar is an excellent lens and punches well above its price. The M2 is a more useful camera than an M3 for most modern photographers who prefer a wider lens option. But the two M2 bodies sound a bit dodgy and a CLA would add $500 to the cost. Conclusion, don't bother, wait for a better M2 body and get the lens you want for it, if budget is a concern then the Skopar is a great choice.

    Steve
     
  5. argyrotype

    argyrotype Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    vashon islan
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
  6. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,822
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The value of the CLA can vary quite a bit, both the price charged and the quality of the work.
     
  7. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Leica exchange bank is fickle.
    I think "middle grade" Leica bodies will be harder and harder to get good prices for as time goes on. User cameras, will sell cheap and still be used. The top end will be as crazy as ever, until the market for unused, cameras NIB dries up, and I bet it will in 50 years.

    35mm will be obtainable, and there will be plenty of people with frozen 10-year old Tri-x speculating on e-bay and apug, so film is not a worry, I just don't know how many people will be using film in 2024 and doing it with a Leica. Hell will the F6 I got last month still be reliable in 2024? I bet Nikon won't service it! I know my FM2 will still work though.

    Took me most of a year to get 80% of what I "thought it was worth". (M3, 35mm with eyes, and 90mm Sumi)
     
  8. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,195
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    A Cron has high resale value is single coated and nice signature lots will have been nail filed for 35mm frame 4cm is close to the M2s 35mm frame...

    The Skopar has higher IQ and is multicoated for a high contast look.

    If you are buying without a return warrant a rescent CLA is meaningless, my IIIc not seen maintenance since before '75.

    If you want to take photos a CanonP and LTM Skopar is cheaper and faster handling.
     
  9. 250swb

    250swb Member

    Messages:
    394
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    Peak Distric
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So you do like wider lenses. In that case the M3 isn't for you, it would require an accessory finder for anything wider than 50mm. An accessory finder isn't so much of a pain with something like a 21mm as the lens can be pre focused on the DOF scale to get most thing sharp, but for lenses with shallower DOF like a 28mm or 35mm using the viewfinder for focusing then the accessory finder for framing does slow things down. An M4-P would be around the same price as a good M2, and give you the option of many more frame lines.

    Steve
     
  10. markaudacity

    markaudacity Member

    Messages:
    99
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    That said, I would always start in the M system with the M3. The viewfinder on the M3 is the best that was ever made, and you sort of owe it to yourself to experience it at least once.

    As for the selection of framelines, I've found focal lengths don't "shoot the same" on a rangefinder as they do on an SLR. I shot with an F3 for years that had a Nikkor 28 on it 100% of the time, but I hardly ever feel cramped with a 50 on my M3. Something about being able to see outside the edges of the frame makes it easier to crop things out.

    I say get the M3 and throw a 50 'Cron on it. If you don't like it, you can always sell it on and get an M2 (or an M4!)
     
  11. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,485
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Bath, OH 442
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    All the praise in the world for Leica, but
    do you want to work with a negative that is 1/5th the size you are used to?

    Obviously looking at my picture you know my answer, but
    there are limits to what you can do with a big camera.

    It all depends on what you value.

    John Powers
     
  12. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,358
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bega N.S.W.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For what you do I think the M2 is a no brainer...but try for a good one. You don't need a Leica lens, the 35mm Skopar is a gem, as are most of the CV lenses. Going from a Texas Leica to 35mm may come as a bit of shock, like going from the Penthouse to the one room basement :smile:
     
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,058
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Chicago area CL or 40 Summicron or M-Rokkor is in the $400.00 range. $700.00 is nuts.
    M2/M3 bodies from ~$500.00 to ~$1000.00(!) There's a black chrome M4 someone is asking $1900.00 for.
    There's always an optimist in the crowd. It is very clean though.

    Brassing on a black camera is pretty normal. On a Chrome camera it means it's been used. A lot!
    If the M2 with brassing is black it's very unusual and likely worth much more that the 680.
    Get it, sell it, and put the money towards a clean M camera & keep the change.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. argyrotype

    argyrotype Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    vashon islan
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    The M2 is chrome. Appreciate the comments. And what about the image quality of the Skopar vs the Summicron???


    JOhn K---PM sent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2014
  16. Rolfe Tessem

    Rolfe Tessem Subscriber

    Messages:
    204
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Egremont, MA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    M2 versus M3 values have yo-yo'ed over the years.

    At one point, you could hardly give an M3 away. Over the past 20 years or so, the M3 has made a comeback. Why? Who the hell knows.

    My guess is that it was the M2's reputation in the late '60s and early '70s as a photojournalistic mainstay that secured its premium, even though it was originally conceived as a lower cost alternative to the M3. Today, people are much more savvy about the superb M3 finder and less put off by the lack of 35mm frame lines. Maybe we are just seeing things differently today :smile:. I will say that after decades of having a 35mm lens bolted to either an M4 or M6, I now use my M3 with 50mm more and the 35mm sees less usage. I have no idea why.
     
  17. Knjy

    Knjy Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Location:
    Surrey Engla
    Shooter:
    35mm
    M2, and any lens that fits it will do a great job. I agree with those who suggest a body in good condition first, and then CLA it yourself/send it to a good tech for peace of mind.

    It seems to me that there are few bargains anymore so bite the bullet and go.

    Kevin
     
  18. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,195
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The Skopar is miles ahead in a drag race, the cron is an auto from the 70s. But you need slow film and tripod to see how large the difference is.

    The cron is single coated so does pastel colours and low contrast mono. If you like different paint brushes you need both.
     
  19. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,801
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have the 40/2 Summicron and think it's great. I own a couple of VC lenses but I've have bought and sold more than I've kept. On paper they are sharp and contrasty. In character, at least IMHO, they are often sterile and nothing special. But that's me. My favorite 35mm lens for M-mount is the 50/2 Summicron DR because it's sharp but has a nice moderate contrast, which is what I love for my B&W work and I've found is generally not what I get from most VC lenses.
     
  20. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,195
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Yea confirmed the multi coated (MC) lenses are sterile the single coated (SC) pastel and lower contrast

    Cosina make the 40 and 35 /1.4s in both SC and MC.

    I have a set of both MC LTM and SC LTM lenses to use dependent on weather forecast, Canon SC LTM from the 60's, for SC, Cosina LTM for MC.

    Sold my Leica ones insurance too difficult.

    Noel
     
  21. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

    Messages:
    607
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Location:
    MiltON.ONtar
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Personally, to me main benefit of Leica M is in frame lines, which gives me precise framing. Getting any lens which doesn't match the frame lines makes no sense to me.

    I owned CV 35 P LTM version, it was razor sharp wide open. Sold it with Bessa R and purchased PII M mount version of the same lens for my M4-2.
    Also good lens in terms of sharpness and details in the scan and on the print. Nothing particular in the character, but I prefer 50mm lenses if I want something special in the rendering.
     
  22. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,537
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Let's remember the M2 came after the M3 (not that chronological progression means anything). However, in my opinion the M2 is a better camera than the M3 by virtue of a better viewfinder and brightline frames.
     
  23. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,195
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The M2s 35mm frame is closer to 40mm than 35mm, so many 40mm lenses have their lug filed to show the 35mm frame rather than 50mm. Leica changed the frame sizes for the M6 and later I think.

    Cosina say the 35mm LTM and M have the same optic design.
     
  24. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

    Messages:
    607
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Location:
    MiltON.ONtar
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    My LTM was different in the lens coat color comparing to my M version. But on the B/W scans and prints they are equal.
     
  25. daleeman

    daleeman Member

    Messages:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    M2 user here. Blessed with many lenses but not either a 35 VC or a 40 Cron.
    I've looked through a M3 and will agree it is a great viewfinder but the M2 offers more options for lenses. Many believe brassing and covering peeling a badge of honor, not going there other than I just had my M2 recovered as I sent it to Youxin Ye for CLA. Having the camera recovered was a no brainer considering the crud building up in the bottom of the camera bag from the covering breaking off.

    Go with one of the M2s, take off the lens, open the film door, watch the shutter move at all speeds and pick the best lens/camera combo, the Cron sounds better to me.
     
  26. leitner

    leitner Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I don't know if the OP has already decided, but for what he wants to do, an M2 with a 35 mm would be better, as several people have pointed out. I also agree that he should get a "nice" M2 :smile: I don't know about either of the lenses mentioned, but, of course, he should get neither and look for a summicron 35 :smile: