Slide film in my case (reduces a lot of variables). Color saturation is one of the big reasons I switched from Nikon to Leicaflex SL (bokeh is another big reason). Some of the Nikkors I've used have great color saturation, some have good bokeh, I haven't found in Nikkors the combination of image detail, color saturation and decent bokeh that I see regularly in the Leica-R lenses.
Originally Posted by dynachrome
I agree with Telyt. I have used lenses from all major makers over the last 35 years, and the difference between Leica lenses and everybody else's can (most of the time) clearly be seen even in the conditions described by dynachrome. I switched to Leica R after decades of using Nikkors, and only regret that I didn't do it sooner. Bodies are a different matter, though.
The real question you must answer is, Do you want to take photographs or do you want to admire the mystique of the Leica?
If you want to take photographs, the the Fm3A wins hands down. My history of Nikon usage started out with two Nikon F's in the 1960's for newspaper work and has ended up with a Fm3A which in my opinion is the best film SLR, Nikon has ever made. You can review qualitative criteria about lenses until "the cows come home" but Nikkor lenses are very good and the range is wide.
If you want to admire the Leica SLR and lenses, you can certainly forgo your Nikon and acquire a Leica SLR. It won't do a better job than the Nikon but you will feel better and you might impress someone but not me.
BTW, I have Leica M3, M6, two M7's with a complete set of Leitz RF lenses for the M3 and set of Leica ASPH lenses for the M7's, so I do appreciate the ability of the Leica M system and lenses but I use them to take photographs and don't spend any time admiring them or the lenses.-Dick
"The real question you must answer is, Do you want to take photographs or do you want to admire the mystique of Nikon?
If you want to take photographs, the the SL2 wins hands down..."
I used Nikon for decades before switching to Leica.
(And still love my Nikon F and FE-2, can't get rid of them even though I don't use them anymore)
The only way in which the FM3a is "better" than the SL2 is if you are looking at size, weight, AE or using a winder.
The SL2's viewfinder, mirror & shutter dampening, ergonomics and (often) lens quality are without doubt superior.
I know where my priorities lie...
(and haven't even wanted to use my Nikon bodies since getting my SL2).
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
I had a similar choice recently, since I wanted a decent 35mm camera. I can't afford medium format yet, besides I find them all heavy and awkward. And I need to see the frame accurately, so an slr won out over a rangefinder. So I went with the leicaflex sl with 50mm summicron. I can't afford any of the other lenses, but the price was probably less than the nikon fm3a w/ 50mm (going by keh prices). The other lenses are very expensive, but I don't need them, and I can't be bothered carrying them around anyway. I'd only lose them in a ditch somewhere. The only problem with the sl is it's somewhat big and heavy. Otherwise it's a perfect camera. I wish it was the size of a pentax mx (i.e. just about pocket size), but with the same lens.
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If folks want to keep going on about personal favorites, this is probably the place to do it, and it may serve others with the same question.
However, the original post was made well over three years ago, and I suspect he's decided the question for himself by now.
Although Leica gears are generally worth more money wise than Nikon gears but the FM3a is quite a collectible camera and I think it's worth more than the SL2 which I don't think many people would want it.
I would keep the FM3a and get some Zeiss lenses. I have handled the Leica SL2, they are really nice cameras and the optics are insane good. That being said, their are more Nikon techs then there are Leica techs especially those who fix older Leicas like SL2s. Bear that in mind.
"Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."