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  1. #11
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    I would say the #1 choice for a cheap Leica would be an R3. Lots around, amateur-owned and in great shape, often mint but suffering from having lain unused in a drawer for a number of years. I bought 3, each with 50 mm lens (2 Summicrons, 1 Summilux), each cost between £125 and £150 (bought on e-bay Germany). Each needed a CLA, the seal around the film cartidge viewing window in the back of the camera is very likely to need replacement, a commutator ring inside the camera gets tarnished and makes the meter inaccurate, everything fine after the CLA.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    ... you get far more for your money with Nikon than with Leica.
    Depending on the individual's subjective valuation of image quality.

  3. #13
    keithwms's Avatar
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    How about putting a shiny new ZF lens on that fm3a...
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  4. #14
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telyt View Post
    Depending on the individual's subjective valuation of image quality.
    True, but only to a point.

    I'm a real tea snob. I drink expensive Darjeeling teas. I order them by mail most of the time (and picked up a few when I was in Europe last autumn).

    Right now I'm drinking a delicious first flush Darjeeling tea that I bought at Harrods in London.

    This tea cost me 13.50 pounds for 100 grams. That's 135 pounds, or about $270, per kilogram.

    Is this tea twenty times better than a good loose Kenyan orange pekoe at $13 a kg? Absolutely not. Do I prefer to spend the extra for the quality? Absolutely. I can afford it, and I can discern the difference. However, I would never say that the Darjeeling is a better value. It isn't. The Kenyan tea is 80% as good at 20% of the price. If you want to do that numerically, that makes the Kenyan tea four times the value of the Darjeeling.

    If a person is on a budget (and most are), the Nikon gear will give far better return for the economic investment.

    If the person is not on a budget, then yes, the Leica gear will give somewhat higher quality. Not all will notice but some will. If the original poster is one of those people, and has the budget to match, the Leitz gear will be a worthwhile purchase.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  5. #15
    DBP
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    That seems a bit steep for a Leicaflex, compared to KEH prices. Are lenses included?

  6. #16

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    From what I have seen , many seem to believe the R6.2 is the best non electro Leica.
    Take it for what its worth.
    Bobby

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    True, but only to a point.... If a person is on a budget (and most are), the Nikon gear will give far better return for the economic investment.
    Agreed, assuming the return delivered by the Nikon meets the photographer's needs. $20 spent on something that doesn't meet your needs (vs. $100 spent on something that does) is not a good value. Despite my (very) limited discretionary cash supply, I traded Nikon for Leicaflex and the additional $ return from the Leica more than made up the price difference.

  8. #18

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    Keep the FM3a, spend the extra on some Zeiss ZF lenses. The SL was a very good body for its era, but its era was 40 years ago and things have moved on. Other than sheer build it can't compare to a gem like the FM3a, which is arguably the best mechanical SLR made.

    Personally, I've long thought the R series stuff is a great lens kit looking for a halfway decent body. The SL was good, the SL2 a nice update but years behind the competition. The early R stuff was rehashed mid-range Minolta kit for ridiculous prices and the more recent stuff seems to be half-baked copies of the later Contax kit. Great lenses though, but if I was going to buy into a german SLR kit, the Contax stuff seems the way to go to me, German glass on Japanese bodies.

  9. #19

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    An FM3A is a much more modern camera and should prove to be reliable for a long time. Whenever I read that someone likes the color rendition of one lens vs. another I have to wonder what film is being shot and how prints are being made if they are. If you shoot color print film and have prints made then you are probably having the negatives scanned and getting prints made digitally. Subtle color rendition differemces will be difficult or impossible to see under these conditions. If you shoot slide film and have prints made then you are also probably getting scans (or making them yourself) and then printing digitally. You will not see big differences between lenses unless you shoot slide film and then look at the slides on a light table or project them. I don't think anyone has to apologize for the optical or mechanical quality of manual focus Nikkor lenses. The E series lenses were budget models. Some were quite good optically but none of them had the build quality of a Nikkor. Where macro lenses are concerned, anything from the 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor P of the mid 1970s to the 55/2.8 AIS is excellent. The 55/2.8 often has oil on the blades but this can be easily remedied. At this point I don't know whether it matters that a Leica 60mm lens might be mechanically more sturdy. You aren't likely to be using either lens, at least with a film camera, 25 years from now.

    If you want to spend $500 you might want to look for an F3 in good condition. You get a lot more focusing screen choices than what you have with the FM3A and you also get interchangeable finders. An F3 is much more modern than an SL2 and should be at least as reliable at all shutter speeds after an overhaul.

  10. #20
    Philippe-Georges's Avatar
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    What about a K 1000 (or a MX/LX) with Zeiss K mount lenses?
    "...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
    (freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)

    PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...

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