Probably can't afford a Leica. Probably can afford a Canon 7. Should I buy?
So I'm in the market for a rangefinder camera. My main interest is doing documentary work, currently of musicians.
Easy/smooth to use
good performance in super low light
Basically I'm getting this kind of picture with a Canon 5d:
but I'd like to be doing that with film instead. For one thing, I don't like the mirror blocking my view on a long exposure. And I'm trying to imitate the look of pushed film, but I'd rather just push film, or at least try.
So. There's a very slim chance that I might be able to get a good price on a Leica, but probably not. There's also a Canon 7 in good condition available to me for $200. Money is a huge issue right now as I'm in school and living off loans.
I'm attracted to the Canon 7 but do feel like if I somehow got my hands on a Leica, the journey would be over and I'd have my camera. However it's a pretty far reach, I'm having trouble just paying my bills right now.
Any advice? I've only ever had my hands on a Leica once, the Canon never, so I don't really know. I just want to be able to have a camera I can trust and rely on.
PS My other alternative is to sell some Canon digital stuff I have to make up the money for a beat up Leica, maybe with a CLA. I can sell a 100mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4 and 24 2.8 lens and probably clear $850 or so, leaving me with my beat up 5d, 35mm f2 (the only lens I really use anyway) and 85mm 1.8 (which I haven't used in a year or so, but kind of want to hold on to one long lens).
The only issue is that this is the camera that I used to use to make money. I'm currently not doing that, and the camera is kind of long in the tooth anyway, but I wouldn't turn away work if it appeared on my door.
Advice? Since you're having trouble paying your bills right now, make do with what you have. Or sell what you do have to buy something else. Or buy a Canon GIII for $50-60 (40mm f1.7 lens, focuses down to about 3 ft.). There are other fixed lens RFs from that era with f1.7 to 1.9 lenses.
If you're not really having trouble paying your bills right now, or that's not really the kind of advice you want, then buy the Canon and sell it when you can afford a Leica.
Or consider the FED2 on the classifieds here.
I agree with MGB. The thing with Leica is that you can buy a decent body for 500$ but to replace the lenses you listed there you're going to spend an absolute mint. When it comes right down to it you're eye and lenses are what really makes the difference with the photos you take. I bought a leica about six months ago and, although I love shooting with it, it didn't revolutionize my photography the way the Leica-Hype would have you to believe. I'm as guilty as the next guy about getting the camera buying itch but if money is tight shoot what you have and make the most of it.
I got my Leica M4-P by trading in some Nikon equipment. I then sold 30 rolls of slide film and bought a CV 35mm lens.
If you're only using your 35/2 lens, then consider using the other lenses as trade items. Check 2nd hand places for 'user' condition Leicas. Investigate Voigtlander lenses to see how much fast versions cost 2nd hand. With luck, you could get a body and CV lens through a trade plus a little cash. Be patient, deals do come by.
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Thanks for the advice so far. I don't want to make too much of a thing about money. I could totally afford the $200 Canon 7 for instance.
I actually have a Fed 2 and have taken some really amazing pictures with it in the past. However, for what I'm trying to do now, it's not really functional (wonky timing adjustment, viewfinder scratches the hell out of my glasses, viewfinder is teensy weensy). But I'll probably get back to using that.
The Canonet 17 would be good but seems like the lowest shutter speed is 1/4. 1 sec would be pretty useful.
perkeleellinen, when you say "2nd hand places" what do you mean? Keh maybe and what else?
I'm realizing that the M mount lenses $ would be the stumbling block. Would I be happy with a screw mount lens in an adaptor?
Also, the KEH "bgn" category of roughed up but useable cameras, have people had good luck with them?
and still really interested in any practical comparisons between a ex cond Canon 7 and a beater Leica.
I bought a KEH "bgn" N90s about a month or two ago for $29. Was amazed at the condition. If I were to guess, I would say it was a camera shop demo.
I'm sure not all are like that. I'm assuming they might have had an over-abundance of N90s on hand and wanted to unload a few. But just because it says bgn, doesn't mean 'beat up".
Unfortunately, I'm in the UK, so my places to look are of little use to you.
Originally Posted by Sully75
Canon 7 is a bit larger than a M-series Leica. This is quite irrelevant really.
Canon 7 does have a light meter but it's probably dead or at least inaccurate, old Leicas don't have light meters either.
Canon 7 is LTM (Leica thread mount) and cannot use M-bayonet lenses whereas any Leica can use LTM-lenses with an adapter. Again a relative nonissue while there are a lot of LTM lenses around and they are cheaper than M-lenses in general.
Canon 7 doesn't have a flash shoe. This is probably the only relevant negative thing.
Canon has hinged back door while loading a Leica is PITA (I have both so I'm entitled to say this)
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