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  1. #21

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    If TTL is not an issue, (would be for me!), the M4 is the last all mechanical Leica. I don't believe it has a frameline for 28mm, 35mm would be the widest lens you could use with it. For the next model, (technically the M5, but that had a lot of transitory technology and is larger than a classic M) the M4-P, production moved from Germany to Canada, viewfinder modified to frame as wide as 28mm, but rangefinder patch can flare and make it hard to focus, sometimes in side lighting. M6 had TTL metering and is worth consideration, drawback is that the older ones are getting long in the tooth and may need an expensive replacement of the metering circuitry before long. BTW if you have a serial number for camera or lens you can check the Leica website to determine the year of manufacture.
    The M6 TTL (named for inclusion of TTL flash) is the first model I'd consider. It's sure to be new enough that the electronics are good for a while. I'd recommend the .72 finder magnification for all frames from 28mm to 135mm. It a good compromise. All of these models are subject to rangefinder flare.
    The current production models are the M7 (has electonically controlled shutter and shutter priority auto exposure capability) and the MP a kind of retro look and is high priced relative to features. It's all mechanical except for the meter.

    I own an M6TTL and really love it. If I were buying used this one would be at the top of my list in terms of bang for the buck. You can expect to pay about $1200 for a good one. the M4 has some appeal, too, as the last of the mechanical (no meter) German M's.
    Take care,
    Tom

  2. #22
    Helen B's Avatar
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    'All of these models are subject to rangefinder flare.'

    Whether or not that's a real problem is one of those things that varies from individual to individual. Some people manage to shift their eye so that the flare goes away - I've never come across an occurrence of it that couldn't be eliminated by moving the camera relative to my eye, but it does distract you for a split-second. The early M7s did not have the current M7 viewfinder when they came out of the factory.

    Leica, and independent Leica repair people, can install the new viewfinders in old cameras. All sorts of magical transformations are possible. Leica USA charge USD 262.50 for the viewfinder replacement, others charge less.

    Tom, I'm at a loss to know why a camera made in Germany has more appeal than a camera made in Canada. How about the ones, like your M6TTL, that were made in Portugal? Does the country of manufacture affect the quality of the photographs? Of course it doesn't (and I know that you aren't suggesting that it does). Please, can we leave that country-of-origin stuff for the camera collectors?

    Best,
    Helen
    BTW of all the Ms I've ever used, the M7 is my personal favourite - and I've been using Ms, and their kid sisters, since '73. I have three at the moment - two to carry and one spare.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helen B
    Tom, I'm at a loss to know why a camera made in Germany has more appeal than a camera made in Canada. How about the ones, like your M6TTL, that were made in Portugal? Does the country of manufacture affect the quality of the photographs? Of course it doesn't (and I know that you aren't suggesting that it does). Please, can we leave that country-of-origin stuff for the camera collectors?
    Helen,
    If you're going to spend that kind of money on Leica, make sure it's made by little elves in the Black Forest.

    Seriously, Jim is spending a considerable amount of money and I thought he ought to know some of the factors that affect pricing. He may pay more for certain models, but he'll also recoup this if he decides to sell.

    Leica prices and collector interest are intrinsically linked. This is a fact of life whether or not you want to buy one "just" to take pictures.

    By the way, I share your long term enthusiam for Leicas. I first used one (the school's camera) in 1966 as a sophomore in high school. Can you imagine school with a full Leica system, including Visoflex, for its yearbook staff? It gave me a chance to compare prints from the Leica's 50mm dual range Summicron vs. my Minolta's 58mm f1.4. Those who say you can't tell the difference between pictures taken with a Leica lens and something else have never done a real comparison. (probably the same people who say you can print a 35mm neg to 16x20 without a problem, but never mind).

    My own first Leica was a Leicaflex SL, which I bought in 1969. Great camera, but not a quiet rangerfinder. I bought 2 M4s in 1974, briefly had an M6 and bought my current M6TTL in 1999. I would'nt trade it for the world.
    take care,
    Tom

  4. #24

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    One of the neat things about using a Leica is that you become part of an "elite and opinionated crowd". That comes with the anachronism of using a camera that hasn't changed much since the first M-series was made in the 1950's.

    My opinion: the viewfinder ain't no problem. I've had the over-40 eyesight condition since I was 34 and I wear progressive lenses. I can use the framelines fine in the .72 viewfinder. At one time, I used a 28mm with an M4-P, and didn't have any difficulties with the 28mm framelines. I couldn't always see the entire frame in the viewfinder but I knew where it was and what I would get on the film. The viewfinder flare condition has happened a total of one time to me.

    I consider the Leica a superb camera for quick shooting of candid subjects. Because of this, precise framing is not a priority and zone focusing is quicker than using the rangefinder. An SLR is more precise.

    When you get one, we'll teach you the secret handshake.

  5. #25
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    I stopped by one of the local camera shops today to see if they had any used Leica's.

    He said that they very rarely get them in. But the did have a new MP in stock along with a 90 1:2 APO-Summicron M Lens.

    I am in love........

    The MP is $2350 and the 90 APO is $1998

    Hmmmmm...... Time to go through my stuff and sell some things I'm not using.

    Jim

    P.S. Thanks again to every for all the advice.
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

  6. #26
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    I went to a different camera shop today and they had a M3 w/50mm & 135mm lens. The lenses looked to be in great shape, but the body was not that great. He also said that they still need to send it in to have an pin hole in the shutter fixed.
    The asking price was $1350

    So I went back to the other shop to look at the new MP again.

    I couldn't resist and I am now the happy owner of a new MP and 90 1:2 APO-Summicron M Lens.

    Lee, I'm now ready to learn secret handshake

    Jim
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

  7. #27
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Let us know when the garage sale starts LOL. I've heard of people being house poor, but camera poor?
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  8. #28

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    Congratulations Jim, 2 years from now you won't remember what you paid for the camera and you'll still have it. I've used, but don't own, the 90 ASPH. It is an unbelievably sharp lens. My Leica M6 TTL will be the last camera I part with.

  9. #29
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricR
    Let us know when the garage sale starts LOL. I've heard of people being house poor, but camera poor?
    Eric, It's already started. Check out the equipment for sale forum

    While I was there I asked the store owner (I've known him/shopped there for over 20-years) if they had any Hasselblad lenses and he told me that they do not stock ANY Hasselblad stuff anymore. "Digital" has killed off most all of his medium format sales.

    But he offered to sell me his personal 150mm (he no longer shoots weddings) at a hell of a price. I couldn't pass it up and told him that I would be back in 2 weeks to pick it up.

    So I will be listing more stuff for sale very soon

    Jim
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

  10. #30
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Duffy
    Congratulations Jim, 2 years from now you won't remember what you paid for the camera and you'll still have it. I've used, but don't own, the 90 ASPH. It is an unbelievably sharp lens. My Leica M6 TTL will be the last camera I part with.
    Thanks Tom,

    I'm very excited to start using it. To busy today and I have to work tomorrow, but weather permitting I'll be out shooting Sunday

    Jim
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

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