Nikon F2as or Leica R6

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Daniel_OB, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    Nikon F2as or Leica R6
    I wish to have full mechanical camera and intend to get one. The choice is between F2as Nikon which I never had in my hand, and Leica R6 which is also very fine camera. The most important thing, this moment, is reliability. Regardless lenses can someone express his experience with F2as or even with both.
    Thanks

    www.Leica-R.com
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    mechanically the F2 is a brick house

    I still own my first F2

    can't speak for the R6

    the question is how are you going to be using either camera?
     
  3. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Both the F2 and lenses for the F2 will likely be more affordable, if price is an issue.
     
  4. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    And, Sover Wong can fully maintain the F2 for a long, long time. Search for his info about repair, he did an F2A for me that is now so nice, like new, with excellent prices especially for what he does. I'm pretty certain that repair and maintance issuses would be more expensive for the Leica. You may also want to talk to either DAG repair or Sherry Krautner (sp?) about the R series Leica, they'll have more real info about the longeveity of each model. I'd go the F2 route.
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Sherry Krauter:
    http://www.sherrykrauter.com/

    Don A. Goldberg
    http://www.dagcamera.com/

    Don recently did a CLA on an R3 and 50 Summicron-R set for me, first service it needed with 27 years of moderately heavy use, and for well under $200 including shipping. The lens was disassembled and re-lubed.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2006
  6. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    For a SLR I cannot recommend Nikon highly enough - especially the F2. The F mount lenses are inexpensive and usually very good. If you need "german glass" - Zeiss makes some new F mount lenses that are supposed to be pretty good.

    While I do not have a F2A, I have a FM2 and love it - it is a real workhorse, and good lenses can be had for not very much money.
     
  7. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Bought my R4 somewhere in the early eighties and apart from needing new light seals it has never let me down...and...uh..can I sing the praises of the Leica glass?

    Hans
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Same with my '86 R4s, so I had no repairs to comment on. Cost of new pre-cut seals from Leica was about US$11 and did it myself.

    You can sing about the glass, but you could end up feeling like you're observing seder in a mosque.... perhaps a bit underappreciated. :wink:

    Lee
     
  9. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    I have had a Leica R4S modified to an R4SP, still have an R4SP, an R7 and a R8. All have been very reliable with little problem over the many years. I have not used a Leica R6 or the updated R6.2. Both should be very fine and reliable cameras. As to the Leica glass- they are superb. You will not be disappointed. The feel and operation of Leica lenses mechanically is legendary. No mechanical 35mm or medium format feel and operate like Leica lenses. They use self lubricating helixes of brass on aluminum.

    Rich
     
  10. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    F2AS. I still have mine. One of the finest cameras ever made IMO.

    Steve
     
  11. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    No doubt - agree. For a cost no object situation, Leica is a truly amazing thing. And the used R lens prices are a little less stratospheric than the rangefinder - so is a relative bargain.
     
  12. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I bought my F2A new in 1979. Aside from replacing the seals two years ago, it's been an incredibly reliable piece of equipment. Electronics in the camera are limited to the metering head, which has performed without any problems over the years. I was going to say flawlessly, but I'll have to think about that.

    ... yes, flawlessly.

    I agree that there is a huge amount of Nikon manual-focus glass available for reasonable prices.
     
  13. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I have an F2A, and of all my Nikons, I must admit it is my favorite. Note however that with the motor drive attatched (MD2) it weighs as much as a Volkswagon. As far as overall cost with lenses, Nikon will be less expensive in the long run. Have you thought of what lenses you wish to get? What type of pictures will you be shooting? If you plan on purchasing several lenses, you might want to factor in the added cost to your purchase. The only two Nikon lenses I have ever had a problem with were the 35mm series E which fell apart, and the 18-70 DX kit lens that came with a D70 I purchased. The cheap construction and poor optical quality of that lens was very unlike other Nikon lens I have ever seen. Nikon built its optical reputation with its manual focus lenses. All of my other Nikon glass produce outstanding results.
     
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  15. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    Nikkor vs. Series E - the guy has a point!

    I have a 28mm/2.8 series E that has been though a lot and has held up - bought it used, didn't look like it had been used much when I did, though it isn't built as well as the Nikkors. If you plan on beating them mercilessly, they won't hold up like current AF from Nikon. I got it for under $75, and I really needed a wide angle immediately at the time so it was hard to pass up - served me well over the years.
     
  16. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    Thanks to eveyone for your time spent to help. And F2 and R6 are really good machinery. I have several electronic cameras, but traveling to exotic places with thinking about batteries is not very good, and it is why I wish to avoid my R8 or F6. What intrigue me is that F2 keep on price (on e-bay) nearly the same as it was introduced a long ago, nearly before I was born. Is that machine really so good? Well all says it is. Again thanks to all.

    www.Leica-R.com
     
  17. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Howdy Daniel: I shoot with F2s and Leica M-6s so I can't speak to the Leica R series. But the F2s combined with Nikkor glass are wonderful cameras. They operate smoothly and pretty quietly, you can use them to pound fence posts with, can still get them repaired, and if you happen to have paws that are as big as mine, a pleasure to have in your hands. Just a sturdy, flexible, well-made piece of equipment with a ton of available accessories and lenses.

    BTW, you can find some excellent deals on F2s at KEH.com in Atlanta. They have a 30 day warranty and 15 day full refund policy. Also, get the Moose Peterson "Nikon Compendium" to give you some historical aspects of these things and help you navigate the vast sea of Nikon. ;>)
    Take it light.
     
  18. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    Nikon F2as... I have touched it just yesterday that belongs to my friend.
    I have Canon F-1 (old version) and was thinking about going back to Leica R6.2 but I think I was very much attracted by Nikon F2as. Very solid feeling and the light meter was much better than Canon F-1.

    Only two things bother me:
    - Too heavy and big (the reason why I want to move from F-1 to R6, my hands are small)
    - The focusing ring and aperture ring turns opposite direction of Canon/Leica.

    I have never used Nikon before. Is this opposite direction difficult to adapt?
     
  19. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    If you want a particular camera you should get it (sounds like you are attracted the the Nikon F2A). I don't think anything else would be satisfying to you - because you will always be saying "what if" every time you take a picture. I also don't think any of the camera you are considering are bad - all are wonderful cameras.

    I tend to analyze a lot before purchasing - and I was trying to compare a rangefinder to SLR's - so completed a list and fleshed it out with a R6 entry for you (I know you didn't ask, but I already had 80% of it, so what the heck! :smile: )

    I hope this helps you - I decided to include it because you mentioned you were concerned about weight and size of the camera!

    Size and weight (w/o lens)
    Leica R6: 148 x 97 x 57mm : ~627g (web search)
    Leica M7: 158 x 101 x 62mm: ~890g (web search)
    Leica MP: 158 x 101 x 62mm: ~790g (Web search)
    Ziess Ikon RF: : 138 x 78 x 32mm: ~500g (Zeiss website)
    Nikon F2A: 152 x 102 x 65mm: ~840g (web search)
    Nikon FM2: 142 x 90 x 60mm: ~540g (FM2/T is ~515g I think) (Nikon site)

    Lens weight:
    Nikon 50mm/f1.8 AIS F-mount lens weight: ~210g (weighed mine on scale)
    Leica 50mm/f2 SLR R-mount lens weight: ~290g (web search)
    ZI 50mm/f2 RF M-mount lens weight: ~210g (Robert White's site)

    Not counting UV filter and lens cap.

    So a kit might weigh:

    Nikon F2A with 50mm: 985g
    Leica R6 with 50mm: 917g
    Nikon FM2 with 50mm: 750g (confirmed appx right with kitchen scale)

    For comparison (I did mine in reverse - I was considering the below):
    Leica MP + 50mm:1000g
    Leica M7 + 50mm: 1100g
    ZI RF + 50mm: 710g

    You can see that the F2A isn't too bad compared to Leica rangefinders, but if you want a similar experience, the FM2 is a light weight camera (and when I got the ZI package with a 35/f2 Biogon, my wife was surprised they felt about the same weight, and while the FM2 was a bit bulkier, they all handled appx the same! :surprised: )

    You probably know what you want already - so you should get that, but if you want some additional data to think about, I hope this helps! :smile: :wink:

    Also - the focussing directions won't be an issue - though there will be some new habits to be learned - but since each person is wired differently, YMMV.

    Good luck and tell us if you decide anything! :smile: :smile:
     
  20. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    I have two F2AS. Both are still running perfectly and have never had any service whatsoever (actually, one of them just stopped syncing with flash, so I guess it should go in for service....but since I bought an 8x10 I haven't shot a frame on smaller format). My experience with Leica is that the collectors drive up prices beyond their value to me as a shooter (YMMV). Granted, my experience is with Leica-rangefinder gear, and the same may not be true for Leica-reflex gear.

    While the original post said "excluding lenses", to me the point is the difference in the glass. I see a real difference between Leitz and Nikkor lenses. It's subtle, but it's discernable. When I look at the pictures I've done with Leica glass they're a little smoother, maybe a little less contrasty (I was using mostly 50's and 60's glass), with a special quality that I like. I like Nikon glass, too, but it seems snappier, less romantic. This may be complete BS and totally psychological, but it's my perception. :smile:
    Neal
     
  21. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    If you don't need miror lockup and detatchable finders, I find the FM3A to be a great backup to my F2AS. Its all mechanical but can work with batteries to (hybrid shutter). It will likely cost you more but it is almost brand new compared to 30 year old F2AS.

    That being said, I am almost always picking up my F2AS. There is something about the mirror "kerlunk" that just makes me feel like I am taking a better picture.

    Lastly, another option is an Olympus OM-3Ti, a fully mechanical camera with great lenses and a nice spot metering option.

    --Jeffrey
     
  22. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    I can see that - might be the coatings - or the MTF across the lense apreture. Who knows? You know the Leitz stuff's look is a deliberate exercise kind of the way Cooke optics soft focus lens (a beauty BTW) is deliberate.

    Nice thing is that Zeiss has a couple of lenses for USD $600 appx that goes on a Nikon F mount - making hanging on to my old Nikon even more compelling!:smile:

    Agree about the "Leica collector effect" keeping prices high - though it seems to be easing a bit in the digital era on bodies, though their glass seems as high as ever.:sad:
     
  23. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I own a Nikon F2 and I played with my brother's Leica R4. I will state right off, both are amazing cameras. I would lean towards the Nikon F2 as it is an almost indestructable camera, can be had for a reasonable cost and will last for generations.

    The R4 is a really nice camera but deep down make Leica a rangefinder for me.

    I have not played with the OM-3(Ti) but that is also another option as Zuiko glass is really nice too speaking as an OM-1 and OM-4 owner.

    Bill
     
  24. michaelosullivan

    michaelosullivan Member

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    Agree 100 percent! Still have mine also.....built like a tank!...and fabulous selection of lenses available.

    Michael F2AS
     
  25. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    You touched the point. :smile:

    I and my friend will test each other's camera for a month. I test his Nikon he tests my Canon.
     
  26. mayokevin

    mayokevin Member

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    One point in favor of the Nikon is the viewfinder shows 100% of the picture area. That is one reason I favor the F series Nikons.
    Kevin