Which LTM body?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by mablo, May 15, 2009.

  1. mablo

    mablo Member

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    I'm searching for a good user LTM body primarily to be used with my CV 21mm lense and occasionally with a collapsible 50mm Summitar.

    I've been looking hard after Leica II- and III-bodies but I've learned that a good examples cost around 300-400€.

    My second option would be one of the FSU-bodies, FED-2 being my favorit of these. I could buy a good one for 40-50€, but as we all know that they might be a bit unreliable occasionally.

    As I already have a nicely working Canon P, I feel tempted for an early Canon Barnack-copy, I think I could get a good one for around 150€.

    I'd like to hear your opinion before I'll make my decision. Should I play it safe and buy a real Barnack or should I try to save some cash for additional lenses and film and buy a FED-2 instead?
     
  2. Graham.b

    Graham.b Member

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    There is all ways the bessa R. LTM use old leica lens if so wanted, and there are a good selection of new and used out there.

    Graham
     
  3. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I have a Bessa R and a FED2. The downside of the Bessa is that I don't think you could collapse the Summitar fully. I understand some people put o-rings or rubber bands to keep it from fully collapsing and damaging the shutter. My FED2 is a fine and functional camera with a pretty poor rangefinder spot, rough mechanics and no meter. I also believe it will be functioning nearly forever and is very cool in a rustic, beat-up way. The Bessa is a great camera....modern shutter, meter, amazing viewfinder, and decent build quality. The Bessa is more functional than the Canons, Leicas or FEDs, but not nearly as elegant.
     
  4. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Hello,

    I have a Minolta 35 Model II that is a wonderful LTM "user". Picked it up for around $85 and spent another $95 for a full workover. When it came back from the CLA it looked and worked like a brand new camera.

    It's a great camera - solidly built of metal, no plastic - and the Rokkor lenses are one of the best kept secrets in the RF world.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    There's nothing wrong with Canon Leica. The problem can be that there is so little wrong with them that they really aren't much cheaper than a Leica Leica! Most might set out on a search for a Leica, and "settle" on a Canon instead. Opposite of most people, it was the Canon IV-SBII that got me hooked on Barnack-style cameras...and in my search for the right one, I found a Leica IIIc instead, and for less money than IV-SBIIs were going for. Having used both, I would say that both are comparable in quality, and the Canon actually has a quicker combined VF/RF, while the Leica sits better in my hand due to its rounded corners versus the Canon's cut corners. The Canon I used had a scratched up Serenar, so I can't really compare it to my near-mint Summitar. The P is an option as well. The Bessa R would be good if you would make use of all the junk it has like metering, etc. Not sure how cheap a Bessa R would be compared to a Barnack Leica, however...though they usually sell on E-Bay for less than what it would take me to fix the issue that has come up with the IIIc.......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    If what you are looking for is a USER, not a collectible, IMHO, the Bessa R is clearly the way to go.
     
  7. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    I would recommend the lllF Red Dial. I understand it has an improved shutter over the previous models. Currently shooting lllF black dial w/summar&VC 35 Color Scopar as a "carry camera". Paid $250 for body $140 for Summar both in EX+ & $185 for VC Mint-. Nothing else is the same. Your investing in the future, in your work, reputation and your self "image". We're only talking about the cost of the body here, lllF RD if kept in good cond will be worth more as time goes by... when/if you sell it,it will have been free. Nothing else will have been. Looking for a VC 21 myself...
     
  8. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Canon 7 is my favorite although many prefer the Canon P

    See My Canon Camera RF page here: http://www.antiquecameras.net/canonrfcameras.html

    In Leica, I too like the IIIF - prices are WAY down....

    See my Leica Camera Page here: http://www.antiquecameras.net/leicascrewcameras.html

    and as others have said, a Bessa for a more modern camera

    The Minolta-35 is nice, but was poorly built with the shutter curtain prone to failure... the lenses are quite good if free from haze and marks...my old Minolta-35 page here: http://www.antiquecameras.net/minolta35rf.html

    Good luck

    Dan
     
  9. davela

    davela Subscriber

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    There are lots of choices, but the Bessa R is usually an issue-free camera.
     
  10. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Along this same lines, what is a great lens for a LTM?
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Any of the Leica 5cm 2.0s (Summar, Summitar, Summicron, in order of decreasing age and increasing technical "quality"), plus a variety of lenses by other makers, the Canon Serenar f/1.8 included. My personal favorite is the Summar, as it looks the most unique by far. With the other ones, I really do not see a breathtaking difference from my Canon FD 50mm, Pentax 50mm, or Nikkor 50mm lenses...except that these SLR lenses do not flare as badly. The difference is there; is is just not huge like with the Summar. All Summars were uncoated, to my knowledge, and I love the way they "fog" the shadows (not really; they are just low contrast lenses), and the way they render the out of focus areas. I wish there was an SLR lens that created this look exactly. IMO, all the "problems" with this lens that the later models improved upon are really what make the lens so wonderful.