Rather obviously, you don't *need* one.
However, I've owned a few Leicas (not anymore) and they are fantastic cameras indeed.
If I had to in some way justify the purchase of a Leica. I'd say this:
'They are beautiful items, 100% functional, and hardly anyone makes beautiful items any more. It's a chance to own something remarkable".
... trying to review the LEICA M3 is about as meaningful as trying to review any other immortal masterwork, like Beethoven's 9th Symphony or the Mona Lisa.
You want a Leica, you don't "need" one.
A) Used normal (not special edition/material) Leicas are expensive relative to your other cameras, but they are not "expensive". A body is as much as an entry level DSLR...600-800 dollars.
B) Get a Voigtlander lens if you can't find/afford used Leitz lenses...a 35/2.5 or 35/1.4 for an M2 is a sweet little package.
C) Have you used a Leica before? They are, after all, just cameras. Built to an exponentially higher standard than something like a Canonet, but still just a camera.
D) Best finder magnification, in my opinion, is the .72ish range. Allows for 35mm lenses, feels good with a 50, and I don't use anything longer than that so couldn't care less about what the 90 frame is like.
But does your wife know what all your cameras are worth? Sell them and tell her with the money raised you can now afford a Leica with enough left over to buy her a pair of shoes.
Originally Posted by BetterSense
It's easier to buy it and apologize than to ask permission.
Originally Posted by elekm
Buying a Leica and using brand X lenses is counterintuitive, after all you need a Leica.
Here is my rationalization....errr, I mean rationale.......it is a beautiful, functional object that simply doesn't exist anymore and it will not depreciate much if any if I want to sell it. If you buy a user grade m2 or m3, you are looking at $5-600. Add a vintage Canon 50mm or older 50mm rigid summicron and you have something to enjoy and will probably be able to sell for close to what you buy it for. Hard to find a better deal than that. By that measure, a Leica is a pretty good deal.
You might try a Leica Barnack screwmount (iiic or iiif) to start with if your vision can handle the squinty viewfinder. They are cheaper ($600-800 with lens) than the M series, yet can take great photos. All the ones I've had needed CLAs, but then worked like charms. Try to get as new as possible (late 50's). The iiig is the best of the screwmount Leicas, if you can afford it (about $1K with lens); nice larger viewfinder. I got an early M3 and have had a lot of problems with it, like the counter not working, and my CLA person unable to fix it; again, look for as new as possible/avoid the early numbers.
Best of luck; there are a lot of these available! Careful, they can get addictive.