Why do I want it so bad?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Thomas Bertilsson, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    So I'm testing a Leica M4-P, a camera borrowed from a generous fellow photographer. The camera is as it should be - used and wonderful.

    I'll hand it to us Leica lovers: It is a marvel to use; a symphony in mechanical perfection, ease of handling, and precision.

    My rational side says I don't need one. The other, not so rational, side to me screams I must have this camera, or another one like it.

    Why do I want it so bad, when all I am really interested in (rationally) is the print and its quality?

    Prints from either look remarkably similar at moderate enlargements of about 6x8 and 9x12. Some negatives cropped to using about 1/2 the negative area at those print sizes.
     
  2. decolorante

    decolorante Member

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    I guess photographers aren't at all immune to the musician-typical Gear Acquisition Syndrome. :smile:
    And I know something about that!
     
  3. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Both a Volkswagen and a Ferrari will get you down the road; the ride, however, is much more enjoyable in the Ferrari.
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I know how do you feel :smile: I wanted it also for long time: and on the end I got M6 and 50mm summicron. It is beauty and joy to use - but I don't see diference in print when comparing to nikon F3 (and 50mm or 105/2.5). I print up to 26x40 cm.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    One aspect I didn't think of is the long term investment. The camera is a little bit newer than the Pentax KX system I use now and about 5x the price tag.

    The Leica, to me, feels mechanically more solid, so I would imagine it's more reliable.

    One thing that irritates the b-jeebus out of me, though, is that I can't focus the durned thing while in vertical mode AND wearing eye glasses (blind as a bat without them). The ghost image disappears.

    But it is lovely, and it handles well. And I will with 99% certainty purchase one.

    Just making sure I'm not the only one feeling this way. :D
     
  6. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Start meditate about which lens you will buy first :smile:
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You mean like a mantra?

     
  8. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    Don't do it Thomas! Just kidding...I like to rock the boat now and then. ;-0
    Personally I have too many cameras (according to my "other") but if I could afford it... :smile:
     
  9. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    It comes down to how much the confidence in your system plays into the image making process. Hassleblad, Leica, Mamiya, all have their following for many reasons. What we want and what we need are different, but all play a factor into the equation. Having known and admired your work for some time now, the camera is the least important aspect that I can see. However, if a specific camera helps you fulfill the way that you see and helps you convey your vision, then it's a no brainer, go for it. IF not, move on. Now if it appeals purely on an aethetic basis, that's different and always down to personal preference and no one but you can decide that in the end. What do you need in a camera? Reliability, consistency, accuracy, build quality. A leica will deliver all of that and more. However, I doubt it will change the quality of your images, as you are up there right now with the tools you currently use.

    I know you want 'The Precious' though, so your mileage may vary and all advice aside. You can also treat yourself when you need to. You work, and work hard. You've also had a tough year. SO I'd say f**k it.. I'm treating myself! :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2010
  10. jeffm2009

    jeffm2009 Member

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    Lol I think this is pretty common with us photographers - that Gear Acquisition Syndrome isn't just for musicians. I mean, remember when you got your first lens? and then your second... your third... probably followed soon after. And not because you needed them :smile:
     
  11. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Just remind yourself of the sub-miniature size negatives the Leica produces, and you'll get over it very quickly, Thomas. :wink:
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    This gets better and better. Somehow I fool myself into thinking that things will get better by asking the question here. Now I have to fend off all your voices IN ADDITION to the ten voices already in my head. LOL

    Yeah, I'm convinced my pictures will not technically be better, but I think I work more carefully with the Leica. It's a bit easier to set up. It's a bit more enjoyable to use.

    It is definitely not for aesthetic reasons. The Pentax lenses I currently use are, as far as I can tell from prints, every bit as good, or 99% there. Not enough to trouble me.

    But that feeling when you forward the film winding crank, when you focus the lens, or set the aperture... It feels so much more natural and intuitive. So I'm trying to fool myself into believing that those factors will definitely make my pictures better. And that's final... :D

    And, interestingly, I have been on a mission to simplify my camera arsenal for a couple of years. I have a pinhole camera, a 35mm (Pentax), a Hasselblad, and a 5x7 portrait camera. Not more. Not less. If I get this camera I don't think I'll drop the Pentax, because it can do some things the Leica can't. Like DOF preview, macro, meter light, and make noise.
     
  13. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    People may not know what kind of brush Michelangelo used, but they do know his work.
     
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  15. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    I understand.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Thomas, part of the joy of photography or being a musician or a bicycle race or any other endeavor that involves gear is the gear itself...To some people it means absolutely nothing, it's just a tool like a hammer. But... to so many of us it is not only about the final result...the print, it is also about the process of capturing the image.

    I know from dealing with musicians that a new instrument will cause them to wan to practice more, to spend more time discovering the nuances if the instrument which in turn cause them to be a better musician.
    You don't really need a reason, if it makes you happy get it. You can always sell it or sell something else that sits unused if that helps rationalize the want????

    LOL, I love it, because I can feel your angst...I have experienced it...wait do I hear the UPS guy at my door? Gotta go!
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Now just get on with it and buy the thing! You know you want it. :D
     
  18. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Me wants it.... me wants the precious. Yes, Smiegle take the precious :smile:
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Why do you want a Cadillac DeVille even though your Chevy Impala gets the job done just fine? Because it is a nice and luxurious fricking car!

    You want it because it is a fun camera to shoot, feels great in your hands, is well built, simple to use, and is incredibly convenient to have at all times as an every-day shooter. All good attributes. With Leicas, the attraction is not the pix you get from using it. There is far less difference between these and non Leica cameras than most would believe. It is about the actual use of the camera. It is a joy to use well built tools, and the convenience factor combined with the imaging capabilities of 35mm film are a formidable combination. You take this camera when you would not take other cameras, simply because it is not so much of a hassle, yet you still get the image quality you get from a relatively bulky SLR. It is a convenience/luxury item, and you want it for the same reason you want any other convenience/luxury item.

    If you are in love with the M4, wait till you try an M3 or M2...or a screwmount, for that matter!
     
  20. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    A voice of reason (huh? Me?!!):
    If you choose your lenses very carefully (maybe also considering the Zeiss line), you could well end up with lenses which are somehow better than your Pentax ones (not to put Pentax down at all!).
    A rangefinder can also bring some qualitative and practical advantages in some situations (though endless arguments can be made whether a Bessa would do just as well).

    By all means keep your Pentax kit: A rangefinder does NOT do everything!

    At one point you mention the rangefinder patch disappearing in vertical holds, that is a defect! I wear glasses, had the M4-2 and have the M6 (both should have similar RF construction as the M4-P, with the M6 being identical IIRC) and never experienced the rangefinder patch disappearing! Make sure the camera you buy doesn't do that....

    Most importantly, enjoy! ;-)
     
  21. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Mr. Bertilsson, if you really want help in resisting temptation, just keep reminding yourself of how teensy-weensy the 35mm negative is. Otherwise, enjoy yourself and have some fun with it.
     
  22. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Wondering if that could be an odd polarization problem, perhaps with coated glasses?

    Lee
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Or just getting your hand over/in front of the rangefinder window.
     
  24. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    well for me it's simple. I've held no camera in my hand that feels as good as a leica M2. Also there is no joy as great for me (when it comes to looking through viewfinders) than looking through the finder of a leica m2.
    By the way I'm in the same situation you're in except I have even fewer cameras (I just got rid of my last large format camera) so for me it's leica II, leica M2 and Rolleiflex Standard IV. I'm on my third leica M. I've had an m4 and another m2. I let them go because I thought the same thing: "why have a tool that is so expensive, when I can get the same results using gear that costs 10-20x less"?
    Which could lead to this sentence: "Never sell a leica, you'll just end up with anohter one"
    I know my Leica M2 stays where it belongs... with me.
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thomas

    i guess your "1 camera 1 lens"
    is now out the window :wink:
    i thought you were simplifying
    enjoy yourself, whatever you decide to do ..

    john
     
  26. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I recently got a Leica M6. I sold off some gear I knew I'd never use for stuff I know I will.

    A big part of my decision was wanting to go smaller, more compact and more unobtrusive than the usual 35 kit I've carried for some 20+ years.

    This may not apply to you, but a few photojournalist type photogs say a camera like a Leica is good because of how it affects others -- they're not so put off by a huge SLR pro kit. For me, that factored into it but I also liked the notion of a much quieter camera, too.

    You can't discount the notion of optical quality, either, neg size aside. Just ask: will it help your craft? Would you still use it if you covered up the Leica logo?