My first Leica, WOW!

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Fast14riot, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Fast14riot

    Fast14riot Member

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    I have recently received my first Leica, a R4 with Summicron 50 f/2 lens. I have been a Nikon shooter for years and will not give them up, too much equipment invested in already, and I have been quite happy with all my Nikons film and digital. Aside from the focus being backwards, and learning the functions of this camera I am very impressed! I never really believed all the hype about optics quality associated with Leica, but just holding this lens up I can see a difference in contrast! The clarity, the color, very bright is quite impressive!

    Still working through my test roll of Fuji Superia 200, but I noticed how smooth and quiet the camera functions compared to som of my others! I can see the allure of these now, and even though I think the prices of the lenses are a bit inflated, understand it better. Will I ever give up my Nikons? Don't think so. But, I will really think twice about which camera I grab for the day! Using it has been quite a joy! I might slow down on buying other cameras trying to save for more glass, but I can see these being addictive for sure!

    Curious, who else here uses the Leica R series? I can see picking up another body eventually, but really would like more glass!

    [​IMG]


    -Xander
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Just wait to hold a Leica rangefinder camera!
     
  3. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    You'll find that life's a GAS!
     
  4. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    One believes what one wants to believe. If you believe the Leica is superior we will soon see your superior photographs. :smile:
     
  5. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    But a very good machine to practice on.
     
  6. Fast14riot

    Fast14riot Member

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    Oh, I don't believe it alone will take superior photographs, I know that its all up to me! If I took photos side by side with my Miranda F and 50 f/1.9 and the Leica 50 f/2 I really doubt I will, or anyone else, be able to spot the difference. But as a machine to use it is quite nice in hand! My rusted, dented, primered '66 VW beetle gets me to work just like a Rolls Royce would, but using the equipment is far more satisfying in is own way! I enjoy quality engineering.

    I was just eyeballing the M4-P that was in the classifieds here, someday I would like to own one!


    -Xander
     
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Quite impressive.

    Jeff
     
  8. pen s

    pen s Member

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    I was just eyeballing the M4-P that was in the classifieds here, someday I would like to own one!


    -Xander[/QUOTE]

    Overall the M series are very nice interchangeable lens RF's. I have an M4-2 coming back from repair tomorrow and look foward to a few projects with it. My one main gripe is that Leica didn't build adjustable diopter into their otherwise well thought out M series film RF cameras.
     
  9. Fast14riot

    Fast14riot Member

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    Same thing with the R series, I would have to get extrnal diopter lenses for the VF eyepiece if shooting through my glasses was too much of a pain. I may get the rubber eyecup though.


    -Xander
     
  10. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    Good fo you, practice is better when tools are appealing (regardless the final result).
     
  11. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    the R series bodies are amazing bargains right now -- practically giving them away, which is a shame in a way -- the lack of respect for such a fine machine. I've got to SL2s and an R4 and they're all superior machines. The automation on the R4 requires the usual intelligent work-arounds, but that's life.
     
  12. miha

    miha Subscriber

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    Congratulation, I did the same route - from Nikon to Leica R. I do sometimes notice the difference between the lenses, especially wide open. The build quality is the same - Nikon is good! Your Summicron-R 50mm is among the very best lenses, you can shoot it wide open with confidence. I do find the camera (R4) too small for my mediu-sized hands - it's the size of an OM-1 ater all - so I did get myself a MD with a grip. There are several grips by the way: the R4 grip, the R4-R6.2 and the R7 grip which is a bit longer to accommodate for the taller R7 body an therefore too long for other cameras. The quality feel of the R cameras is not comparable to a Leicaflex or an M Leica, but hey, the are small quiet and disposable.
    Enjoy it.
     
  13. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    I shoot the Leica R lenses (although, in it's own way, the Nikkor H 50 2.0 I have is every bit as good and a heck of a lot lighter). Never cared for the R cameras, except for the original Leicaflex and SL models. Those cameras are really nice, but far too big for a 35mm camera! A nice setup is a R 90 Elmarit w/ adapter screwed onto something like an EM or FG. I use my N8008s when I need more exact metering and the higher shutter speeds, but my Nikkormat FT2 works well in other situations. Sorry to say so much about Nikons, but their cameras really are superb. To me, the R series is about the glass.
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Years ago I had the use of an R-3 MOT with the Summicron. I now have two of the 50mm Nikkor Hs, and comparing slides made with the two lenses, there is a slight difference in contrast and color balance; the Nikkors are reputed to have some barrel distortion but not having taken pictures of brick walls and test charts, I can't see it. There is a difference between the Summicron and the Nikkors but you have to work to see it. Those Nikkors are d@mn nice lenses!

    The Leicaflex SL2 was the last 'echte' Leitz reflex, the R3 was actually based on a Minolta.
     
  16. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Congrats on the new set up. Which Nikons have you used? If you have not used an F2 try it. I half-jokingly call it the Leica of the Nikon bodies. Smooth operation...like butta'.
     
  17. jetcode

    jetcode Member

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    The following are my favorite Leica R lenses. I have owned them all at some point or another. Today I have the 100 and 280.

    Leica 19/2.8 II
    Leica 100/2.8 APO macro
    Leica 180/2.8 APO
    Leica 280/4 APO

    These lenses are the best of the best. Amazing color rendition and contrast. These lenses are getting very very expensive on the used market and I have made money turning several copies over the years.
     
  18. Fast14riot

    Fast14riot Member

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    The Nikons I have are FG, F100, N60, D200. I have used an F2 (among others), and am still looking for one at a reasonable price. Don't get me wrong, I love my nikons and they surely do have some excellent glass out there! Part of my decision to go for the R leica is the glass can also be used on my Nikons. I happen to enjoy the compact size of the R4, and even though the design was originally partnered with Minolta, Leica still did quite a bit their own way. It is not just a Minolta body.

    The R 90 Elmarit is the lens I have been looking at getting. Fortunately, my local lab/studio owner is a Leica fan and has the R lenses from 21 to 180 and a 70-200 zoom, she said I can try them out and see which one I would want to buy next.

    Anyways, I am really enjoying using this camera!


    -Xander
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    No, it isn't. The R3 was a joy, so was the CL I also had the use of. I believe Minolta made the body casting, mirror box, electronics and other parts, but the camera was assembled and finished by Leitz with a Leitz/Copal electronic shutter, some in Germany and most in Portugal. The Minolta series developed in parallel with the R3 was the XE- series. My point was that the SL-2 was the last purely Leitz SLR, much as the 1931 8 Litre was the last true Bentley.
     
  20. f8&bthere

    f8&bthere Member

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    Actually, it's the size of a Minolta XD-7/11 - exactly the same size. :wink:
     
  21. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Shooting with a LEICA is like a long tender kiss, like firing an automatic pistol, like an hour on the analyist's couch. - Henri Cartier-Bresson
     
  22. f8&bthere

    f8&bthere Member

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    True.

    Leica designed their own metering and electronics - which unfortunately were plagued with reliability issues for the first few years of production.

    Still, an R4 at the right price [with replaced boards hopefully] can be a great way to use R lenses.
     
  23. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Was the R4 created in cooperation with Minolta?

    Edit: Never mind. I just some other replies.
     
  24. Fast14riot

    Fast14riot Member

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    Yes, a joint venture, Copal made the shutter as well. The top plate and controls are Leica design though.

    The electronic issues were pretty much limited to earlier ser.no. below 1,600,000. Mine is 1615969, so looks like I shouldn't have to worry about it much, but I've read that if by now one hasn't started acting up it probably isn't very likely to or has already been repaired.


    -X
     
  25. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    That HCB quote is brilliant......somehow only the French can say stuff like that!
     
  26. tommyleicaR4M5

    tommyleicaR4M5 Member

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    Congrats on your R4 and 50mm 'cron. I've got an R4 with a Vario Elmar 35-70mm and an M5 with a Summicron 35mm f/2. How do I feel about my Leicas? I'll refer to the Henri Bresson quote someone posted a few posts back and that's that. Nothing like Leica cameras. Even the compact digital ones are amazing, never mind the digital M's. But the camera is only as good as what you create with it through your own composition.....the camera's just a tool, but you might as well have the best tools for the job!