New Leica M6

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by osprey48, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. osprey48

    osprey48 Subscriber

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    I've just become the proud owner of a Leica M6 Classic, having won a bid on Ebay for £690. Its a wonderful piece of kit, and feels good just to hold it, compared to my Minolta SLR I've been using for 25 years!I think thats quite a bargain, including presentation box and original packing box. What do you think? I can't see any less than £700 on the second hand sites I've looked at. I never thought I'd ever be able to own one, or even hold one, so now I can't wait to try it out. But first I need a lens, and I'm thinking about getting a Voigtlander Colour Skopar 35mm, as dedicated Leica lenses are way too expensive for me. Has anybody used Voigtlander lenses with their Leicas? Whats your verdict?
    I've rather neglected 35mm over the last few years and concentrated mainly on medium format with my Mamiya 7II, but I think the Leica will start me up again.
     
  2. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    I have owned the 35/1.7, the 28/1.9, the 25, and 15. All were great lenses. The 28 in particular was one of the best lenses I've ever had, in terms of definite personality. The 35 lacked nothing at all, and surely beat the pants off the old 35/1.5 Canon, and RF Summilux I had previously owned (which were also a couple of decades older), as well as my current 35/2 Nikkor (which is more modern). The 25 was forgettable, and the first one I got rid of.

    My impression from those was that their slow lenses are fine enough, but the fast ones are better in terms of having an indefinable something, and probably the lens you mention would not be my first choice. The 35/1.4 looks awfully pretty in the pictures, and quite compact. You already spend a bunch of money--is now the moment to go cheap? :smile:
     
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  3. segedi

    segedi Member

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    I think the Voigtlander line is quite capable and a very nice bargain. I've recently acquired a 21mm f/4 and really like how it handles. I went the more expensive route when building up my Leica kit, but doing it all over again - an M6 with Voigtlander lenses is a great option that would have saved me a lot of money. There is nothing that compares to the 50mm Summilux ASPH in my book, but for almost the same capability and nearly 1/10th of the cost, you can still take great pictures with the Voigtlander line. If you are patient thought you can pickup a Zeiss ZM Planar f/2 for less than US$700 and it is a wonderful lens as well.

    Enjoy the M6 and post some photos when you can!
     
  4. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    I already had a range of Voigtlander lenses from my R3A and R4A bodies when I bought my M6. I mainly use the CV 35/1.4 on it. I sold the R3A with its Nokton 40/1.4 but kept the R4A as I like to shoot wide and the R4 cameras have frame lines from 21mm top 50mm. The M6 stops at 28mm and has a frame for 135mm which I'll never use.
     
  5. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    I do not know, obviously, what your budget is, or how nasty importation charges are in the UK, but a site I recommend checking out here in Canada is www.vintagevisuals.com. I have dealt with the company for several years and have always come away quite satisfied with my purchases (I have probably spent something in the neighborhood of $25-30,000 Cdn ((12-15,000 UK pounds?)) over the last several years). VV's inventory varies, and much of it goes quickly. Prices, for the most part, are, in my estimation, quite reasonable: on several purchases (my 50mm Summilux ASPH, my 35mm Summicron, as well as an assortment of Leica black and white filters), prices were lower than the same items available through the redoubtable KEH. So...do not "write off" a Leitz purchase before checking around...
     
  6. RJStent

    RJStent Member

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    Re Leica M6 and voigtlander lenses

    I have a Bessa 3a with 40mm f1.4. Liked it so much I treated myself to a Leica M7 as a retirement present to myself! Beautifully made and in a league of its own. I also thought the price of S/H leica lenses was unaffordable. So bought some S/H voigtlander ones. 35mm f2.5 is small and pin sharp. Bought a 50mm f1.5 Nocton off ebay (39mm screw thread) and cheap adaptor ring. Bit big but great lens for low light. Now added S/H 28mm f2 (ebay) and S/H 75mm f2.5 (screw mount). Also got S/H Rokkor M 90mm f4. Heard that this is the same design as Leica 90mm f4. I have bought many second hand lenses for all sorts of cameras on the grounds that glass never wears out no matter how much light goes through it! My final money saving DIY tip is this - but be very careful. The screw thread lenses focussed slightly beyond infinity when adaptor was fitted and the focus mark was not at the top when the lens was mounted on the camera (Voigtlander and Leica). Sorted this problem by use of a small amount of plumbers thread tape wound VERY CAREFULLY on the thread of the lens.
     
  7. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Never used the 35mm 2.5, but have nothing but good reports on it. I used to have the 35mm 1.7 but sold it recently for the 35mm 1.4....both are brilliant. I have an M2 with the 50mm Summicron, but that is the only Leica lens that I own for RF, the rest are Voigtlanders. Every one that I have performs really well, with the 75mm Heliar and the 21mm Skopar being standouts.
    Congrats on the M6, they are rather special.
     
  8. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I have a M6 and a color skopar 35mm/2.5: it is a very good combination, small lens with fast focusing tab and sharp results and very decent price.
     
  9. osprey48

    osprey48 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the tips

    I'll start with a voigtlander as a cheap option just to get me started, then keep an eye out for a used leica lens when I've accumulated a bit more cash. At least I've got the body, so thats the main thing.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Enjoy!
     
  11. jhw

    jhw Subscriber

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    And if you want to go a bit longer, the Nokton 1.5 is a fun lens. As some have said, there are a few Zeiss ZM lenses that are standouts...in those focal ranges, give it a whirl to save up. Until then, most everything now is state of the art, and you're going to have a blast with the Skopar; I have the 28mm and it works quite nice. (And, if you're parting out that Mam7 and have a spare 65mm...:smile: )
     
  12. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Hopefully, you complete the circle by enlarging those M6 B&W negs on a Leitz 1C.
     
  13. mls64

    mls64 Member

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    I highly recommend Sean Reid's subscription site for in-depth reviews and comparisons of most of the Voigtlander, Zeiss, and many Leica lenses. It is a paid site, with an irritating flash interface, but the reviews are worth it if you are getting in to lens purchasing.
     
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  15. rpsawin

    rpsawin Member

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    FWIW...

    If you locate any of the Konica Hexar RF lenses (M mount) they deserve serious consideration. Excellent build quality and optics. There are some reports of focusing problems with some Leica/Konica combinations (read here http://cameraquest.com/konicam.htm ). I had no problems and find them to be a great pairing with Leica M's.

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
  16. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Indeed and equiped with a good clean Focotar 5cm 3.5 lens.
     
  17. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I dont own one and have no insight, but do post your results to the gallery when you get some film run. CONGRATS on your new rig!!!!!!!
     
  18. Bateleur

    Bateleur Member

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    Congratulations, the M6 is a lovely camera body to use!
     
  19. osprey48

    osprey48 Subscriber

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    Thanks guys. I've gone for the skopar 2.5, purely for economy, but I'll keep my eye open for a better one. Should get my first chance to use it later this week.
    Sorry JHW, the 65mm (ebay again) on my mamiya7 has become my standard lens, and its the 43mm that has become almost redundant, although its great for interiors.
     
  20. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I would be wary about replacing your voigtlander lenses with older used leica ones. I've been told that the current voigtlander lenses are actually better than some of the older leica ones. Lower price does not necessarily mean worse quality.

    I have a similar dilemma. I would like to replace my SLR with a rangefinder outfit, but I've come to the conclusion that in this country at least, (UK) Leica gear is now priced to attract investors rather than photographers, for instance, a secondhand recent 35mm f2 Summicron will set you back well over £1,000, which is crazy.
     
  21. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    You got the 35/2.5 right?

    Great choice. I've owned this lens myself and found it very sharp with nice oof rendering.

    To me personally the choice between Zeiss, Leica, Voigtlander and the rest is not so much a matter of better, but of personal preference for particular charasteristics. For example the Voigtlander 35/2.5 is very sharp and very contrasty. A less contrasty lens will not be anything worse, just different.

    Pity that Leica M lens prices have sky-rocketed. Long live digital mirrorless...

    Well, one day the digital crowd (myself included) will start dumping these systems and their lenses again, in trade for something newer and 'better'. Prices for 30-year old optics can't be this consistently high, can they? Hm, perhaps they can :sad:
     
  22. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    What exactly does "better" mean? To each his own of course. When the V lens were hot a few years ago I tried a few. Sharp? Yes. Well-built? Well enough. But for my B&w shooting and what I wanted I just felt they were too clinical and boring. Totally subjective I know. Much happier with my 50/2 Summicron DR, 50/1.5 Summarit and classic 50/3.5 Elmar. Just me of course but other than the 75/2.5 the Voigtlanders are not my cup of tea.
     
  23. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The only easily detectable difference betwen the various lenses that you may buy is between the multi coated and the single coated. The single coated is nicer with mono or color, but may flare more in extreme sceanes.

    The 5cm Elmar from 58 on is a bit soft in corners, the earlier 3.5 is better, but you might not detect this difference, the modern post '94 Elmar is modern, and performs well.

    You may be more annoyed by the handling differences of the lenses, finger size and length dependent... I have to slug any of mine with heavier lube to stiffen the rings

    There are other LTM or M lens suppliers e.g. Konica

    Noel
     
  24. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    That's what I wanted to say as well, but I didn't want to spoil the party too much. I still don't, but it has always seemed to me that the Voigtlander 35 Skopar has a sort of harshness (high contrast) in b&w that is totally opposite to the subtle rendering of my Contax G lenses and the Leica Minilux 40mm/2.4.

    This is all about personal taste, nothing about better. The 35 Skopar has many other qualities and is a joy to work with. I had the LTM version with the little 'stick' instead of a focusing tab- worked great.

    I've never used the Skopar for colour.

    The OP can always upgrade/downgrade to another brand/line/lens at some later time. The great thing for now is that he can use his new Leica for real!
     
  25. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    bla bla bla...
    ... for me owning a Leica lens is more important than the body (LTM world). But IF I shot M-mount I would want an M body too.


    Yes I used Voitlander 21, 35mm lenses. They are nice... but I like Leica qualities better in the 35mm format.
     
  26. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I have an M2, just haven't had enough cash to buy a Leica lens. I really wanted a Summilux 35/1.4. I bought a Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.4 and also the Nokton 50/1.1. I am so happy with these lenses. I am so happy with these lenses. They are wonderful and are a great value for the money. I would not hesitate to buy Voigtlander glass in the future.