My New Leica M-5!

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Nokton48, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Subscriber

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  2. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Wonderful camera. well done.
     
  3. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Can't look at it because I'm at my daughter's house and the kid blockage on their internet gate won't let me get to ebay. Would have liked to take a look. Son in law runs the servers for a major hospital, and he gets carried away.

    I got my M5 on ebay also, and while it is in wonderful amazing condition cosmetically, I suspect it sat on the shelf for a long, long time. The slow speeds seem right on, but the high speeds are out of balance. It is a good thing to check for this before committing film. It shows up if you view the film plane with the back off, and the lens off, going through the high speeds while holding it up against something like open sky. One side will appear darker if the problem is there, and it gets worse the faster the speed. This is not just a Leica problem; any camera with the old cloth focal plane shutter can develop it and we are seeing lots of issues like this since those cameras are not getting any newer. It would be a very unusual seller who would know to check for this, or maybe who would want to check for it.

    Since your camera needs skin and (is CRIS a battery modification? I don't know the term) anyway a CLA will repair this problem, and you may not have it anyway. I just figure that if you get a good deal on a wonderful camera, having to have service done on it is a reasonable thing to expect.

    The M5 is a fabulous camera, in many respects possibly the best they ever made, at least for those of us who like mechanical shutters, a really great meter, and a great weapon to hit a mugger with. It was where I started with leica (a loaner) and I've been partial to it ever since, even though I like the others too.

    Congratulations!! and enjoy it. I know you will.
     
  4. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Subscriber

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    Here it is......

    My new M5, with my favorite Canon F1.2 Lens:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2009
  5. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I've been using my M5 almost exclusively for the past several months. Having been a news photog and fashion shooter years ago I can see why the wizards at Leica designed the M5 the way they did. IMHO the design is far superior to the other M's for professional shooting. At least in those arenas anyway. I can change the shutter speed and f-stops without having to take the camera away from my eye or move my right hand away from it's normal shooting position and the spot meter is deadly accurate. I even like the 2 lug design I have because when I have the camera either around my neck or over my shoulder it doesn"t swing the way a normal lug design does. I realize most M users are hobbyists so speed isn't a major thing for them, but the M5 is a very fast and intuitive camera to use. If I had to go with another M design I suppose it would be the M-4P.
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    A CRIS adapter allows you to use a Silver Oxide battery instead of the M5's original Mercury battery.
     
  7. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I've been happy with the Wein cell. Are there any advantages of the CRIS adapter, other than, possibly, ease in obtaining the batteries?
     
  8. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I use hearing aid batteries. To set the asa I just meter something with my Sekonic. Say it says f16 at 1/250 for 400 asa. I then set the f stop and shutter speed on the camera and then adjust the asa dial until the meter needles line up. Works like a charm. Typically the asa ends up being set to 1/2 of the rated asa. ie 400 asa film is dialed in at 200 asa on the camera. ymmv.
     
  9. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Great idea. I don't think I'll do it, although I like things like this. I have a feeling that when I change films, I'd forget sometimes, and underexpose everything. If I only used one film/developer combination, it would be great, but I not only change films, but developers too. So, the fewer other things I need to remember the better.
     
  10. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I only use two b&w films in 35mm, APX 100 and Classic Pan 400. Both souped in D-76. The nice thing is I can develop them together as they take the same development time. Bonus!
     
  11. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    I like the long time shutter dial of M5. I don't know why they eliminated it with M6 and on.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    re: M5s. I have a funny story. I walk in to Samy's Camera in L.A. It's the biggest camera store in these parts. I go up to the Leica area to get a lens cap for my IIIc. There is a used M5 sitting there. I ask to see it. The salesperson says: "Why? It is a useless camera." I laughed in his face and said "Cameras aren't useless. Only photographers." To his credit, he lightened up and let me see the camera.

    Personally, I think the M5 would be a very useful camera for much of what I shoot. I just don't understand why, since they are so "hated", that they cost more than an M2, M3, or M4, which people rave about.

    Congrats on your camera. Use it and use it well (so I am not proven wrong by the weirdo salesperson at Samy's!)
     
  13. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    The M5 has been the pariah of the line since it was introduced, and I guess its failure on the market put the company into deep stress. This is really weird, because it is a great camera. It was my entré into the Leica system during the '70's when it was new; a dealer lent me one for a month or so, and I immediately understood what a hungry monster it was. I had to settle for an M4, though, because I got a deal on it, and an M2, both of which I used heavily for editorial work. I'm back to the M5 now, although I use an M2 also.

    It has not been my experience that the M5 costs more; seems to me the prices are still lower, quality for quality. My buddy at Glazer's (big camera store in Seattle) confirmed this a couple of months ago when I asked; he's their Leica guy. The prices used to be ridiculously low, but they've come up. I think that more people are beginning to catch on to what a superb camera it is. The objections people have to it seem to center on its weight and shape. True, the other design -- M2, 3, 4, 6, etc. -- is delightful, but I don't mind the more boxy shape. The meter and the superb mechanical shutter system are as good as it gets.

    I would suspect that eventually, the M5 WILL cost more, since fewer were made due to its short production life.

    If I come into a pile of money, I'll be looking for a second M5 body.
     
  14. maddoc2003jp

    maddoc2003jp Member

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    I am a total hobbyist but what I like about Leicas is the simple and sturdy design, ideal for intuitive photography. So far my favorite camera is the M4-P (I have sold an MP in favor for the M4-P) and I just added a M5 for the spot-meter, 2 lug design, and large shutter speed wheel.
     
  15. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    The M5 was "hated" by Leica purists because it didn't look like a traditional M camera and because it was "too big". Its sales were low in part because of that and because Leica had the CL on the market at the same time. The CL was smaller, had the same spot meter and continuously variable shutter speed on a similar dial setup, was built to a lower price point, and stole a very large part of the M5 market. The CL even has the same one-side strap lug set up. Low sales and production of the M5 make it rare, so the collectors value is rising relative to other M's. People are also finally realizing it's an ergonomically brilliant shooter's camera even if it's different from other M's. When the M4-P came out, Leica had dropped both the CL and M5, so it wasn't competing with a cheaper body and it "looked like a Leica", so sales rose again.

    Lee
     
  16. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Apparently the M5 is an either "love it" or "hate it" camera.

    The friend I bought my first M, an M3 from recommended I try an M5. It was love at first site. I had been shooting Nikons so although it took some getting used to in order to shoot the M3 intuitively, the M5 immediately felt right. Also, the in-frame metering felt much like the FM I had begun on as a student years prior.

    Probably most important to me though, was that the three lug version I own has frames for 28mm, which is what I shoot most of the time.

    Needless to say, I am one of the "love it" M shooters.

    Jeff M
     
  17. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    I once had an M5 and and M6. I liked the M5 a lot more to photograph with. Great metering system, beautiful camera. In my opinion the best camera Leica ever made, the ultimate M.
     
  18. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Subscriber

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    I'd agree with all of that, completely. It is a wonderful compliment to my M2, which I tend to use more for "sunny 16" photography. The M5's spot meter is truely amazing, and control layout, intuitive handling, user-friendliness, is the best I have ever used, period. And I've used a lot.