I love how Leicas work, I think the Leica M3 is about as nice as cameras get. Incredibly simple, beautiful to (be)hold, and I find range finder focusing so much easier than the SLR split screen.
However, Leicas of course cost a lot, and don't have the accurate framing of an SLR. An SLR setup comparable to a Leica M3 can be had for 10% of the cost, and they really are just as good. Leica lenses are great, and nice to use, but they're not unbeatable. I've shot Leica and other glass, I can't say the best lenses were Leica.
Leicas are outstanding, no question, but as a general rule, SLRs are probably more useful. Having said that, I'm a sucker for a beautiful camera, so if I wanted a nice 35mm camera, I'd be getting a Leica. You can keep prices down with a screw mount Leica, or perhaps a Bessa or Zeiss Ikon range finder, the Ikon in particular is very handsome, and very functional.
Are you talking about the body or the lens? The body has next to nothing to do with resolution, and most of the 1970s fixed lenses probably fall somewhere in the middle of the pack when compared to screwmount normal lenses.Quote:
Try those lowly 35RC vs Leica or Zeiss RF's on film capable to resolve the differences, print optically with a capable enlarger, then go look at the mirror and see who's is amazed.;)
Nothing quite matches a Leica for build, looks and feel, but there are specs of the 35RC that exceed the leica's. Look it up!
Range finders excell with wide angle lenses since there is no mirror to interfer with their design. SLR wide angles must include extra elements in their design to prevent the lense from extending into the camera body.
RF lenses are also simpler in design because no stopdown mechanism is needed. They are therefore smaller and lighter than SLR lenses.
Seeing that you already have a Nikon system, you might want to explore a higher-priced rangefinder system. If you don't want to spend a fortune -- yet or ever -- you can try the Cosina Voigtlander bodies and lenses, which give you the interchangeable-lens rangefinder experience on a budget.
The Cosina bodies have very nice viewfinders. Make sure that the rangefinder alignment is good.
If you buy used, you probably can pick up a used body and two lenses for a fraction of the cost of a single new Leica lens (or certain Zeiss lenses).
Of course, a Cosina isn't a Leica, although they are very good bodies.
If you really enjoy rangefinders, you can continue to build out your system or move up to the higher-priced gear.
And if you don't enjoy the experience, you probably can sell the gear for the same price you paid and get out without a loss.
But find what works best for you.
Lately, I've been using SLRs with a sidetrip to an Argus A2B an several other viewfinder cameras. Still love my Contax IIA.
Thanks for all your input. I have come to my conclusion and it is this:
A Zeiss Icon rangefinder and a collection of zeiss, leica and perhaps voigtlander lenses.
Now all I need is the money!