Leica vs. Nikon on the issue of ergonomics
Hello to the forum!
I have recently decided to switch back to shooting film after trying out the dSLR thing for a few years and it disappointing me miserably. I was a Nikon F-301 user before the move to the EOS 7D, and I am now looking at two cameras, between which I cannot decide.
The combination I am looking at is either a) Nikon FE2 with a Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2, or b) Leica R6(.2) with a Summicron-R 35mm f2 (I mainly shoot this focal lenght, so this is the start before I purchase a 85/90mm portrait lens, which is all I would use). These combinations both cost the about the same, but I cannot find anyone around here that has a Leica R-series camera, so I could try it out. I have searched through this forum as well as other sources, and this question is usually not as represented as comments on its reliability, viewfinder, etc. My main issue is that my hands are of a slightly-below-average size, and I have struggled with the control of some more squarely-built cameras. So my main question would be, is the camera hand-holdable for hours while you're shooting?
Any help would be appreciated!
I have a Leica R8, and smallish hands. It's basically too big, and I find that the exposure compensation system is, well, sub-optimal. However, I think the R6 would be a much more manual affair, and probably nicer to use all round. It's pretty small compared to the R8 too.
I think you'd likely be happy with either if you like simple, manual cameras. I do, and that's why the R8 does not work for me.
I have FEs/FMs and find them really easy to use and carry.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
There was recently an FE2 vs. OM4 thread- it contains some very useful user feedback on the FE2: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum52/1...s-om-4t-i.html
Personally I would go for the Leica R6 + Leica 35/2 any time, just because of the lens. It renders b&w sooo much nicer than the ZE/ZF line of lenses (I find those kind of harsh, high-contrast). Also, I could never get to terms with the on-off 'switch' on the FE2; check this thing out before you buy.
I don't own an R6, but the form factor should be very similar to the R5.
Ergonomics: Are very subjective!
I prefer the R5 to the FE2 mainly for size & placement of the shutter release and speed dial. More comfortable position the first, easier to actuate with one finger the second (again, assuming the R& uses a similar dial).
For me the R5 is more comfortable for hours.
Viewfinder: the R5 is definitely nicer (brighter, snaps into focus better).
The FE2 has a needle which indicates the shutter speeds which becomes nototriously hard to see in low light.
Reliability: Nikons are notorious tanks, but the R6 should have no problems. Incidentally, the R6.2 is purely mechanical while the FE2 is electronic.
Lens: the Summicron 35mm is probably my favorite all-round 35mm lens (I have many! ). Actually, the Zeiss 1.4 might be my absolute favorite, but it usually stays home because it's big & heavy. The 35mm ZF is undoubtedly excellent as well.
For more or less the same price, the R6.2 + 'Cron seems a steal.
Getting more lenses for your R6 will definitely cost more than getting Nikkors, but if you choose wisely, you can get some truly great lenses for not too much.
The 35mm 'Cron isn't especially large & heavy, but many R lenses are: a factor to keep in mind if you get an entire kit and want to carry it around for hours...
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
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It is actually all about the placement of the dials, and the Leica seems to be the winner here. I also remembered that the F-301 that I used also had an awkward placement for the shutter dial, which used to be frustrating as I missed some shots in crowded places.
Thank you all, you were of much help!
Fist time you see pictures taken by the Leica....
Leica hands down!
" A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~
I have only very briefly handled a Leica R6.2 and couldn't see any major ergonomic problem. On the other hand, I have used FM series cameras quite a lot and in my opinion they are not very good ergonomically. I wear glasses and mostly use my left eye, so the advance lever poking into my right eye has always annoyed me. Also, to see the entire screen you constantly have to move your eye around. Although they are very durable and capable tools I would prefer and F2 or F3 if I had to choose from Nikon.
One thing that surprised me with the Leica R6.2 was the noticeable shutter lag. There was this thread about it: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum52/9...ormal-not.html
All in all, for the same price the Leica looks like the better buy, mostly because of the lens. But I don't know how much that shutter lag would annoy me in the long run.
If you liked the F-301, you might find the FE2 a bit uncomfortable to hold because it doesn't have a grip. How about F3? Size is about the same as FE2, it's a bit heavier but not so much to make it hard to shoot for hours, it has a great grip and its finder is much better too.
The R is a giant brick. I can't imagine using it.