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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rakeshmravi View Post

    @Nicholas: I thought about getting a cheap setup first. But I am afraid that if the lens and build quality-wise if it is not as smooth as Leica, I might get discouraged for the wrong reason.
    If your primary interest in the Leica is how it feels when you're fondling it, you probably won't be disappointed with the Leica, so you might as well buy it now.

    What you really need to know regarding using a rangefinder camera to actually make photos is whether the viewing and focusing system works for you. Any good example of a fixed-lens rangefinder camera will give you a good idea of this, even if the finder's not that of an M3 or the film advance doesn't quite feel as smooth when you play with it sitting at home. It'll at least put you in the ballpark, and frankly, as the owner of an M3, I think the Leica Myth is alive, well, and misleading. It's definitely a nice camera, but not some kind of tactile orgasm. And even if it was, that still won't change the photos you make with it.



    If the optical quality on the fixed-lens you try isn't there, you know you can get it with a Lecia or Bessa; but still, most fixed-lens rangefinders had quite respectable-to-excellent lenses. And many of them lack the rather quirky (to those weaned on SLRs) loading of the Leica.



    All that said, if you find a good deal on a Leica you can probably resell it for at least around the price you bought it for...maybe more. So if you've got the liquid cash and just can't stop yourself, you likely won't lose out in the end, even if you hate it.

  2. #22
    kapro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rakeshmravi View Post
    Hey guys,

    Have anyone with some experience in using Nikon SLR share their experience when switching to Leica. Especially some details on everyday shooting benefits and drawbacks how much more you were able to do what you couldn't with Nikon?
    I paste my post from anther thread:

    I was shooting with NIkon (F801S,F100, F,F2,F3,FM2,FM3A) whole my life until I tried Leica M6.
    The main problem for me was to get used to "opposite direction" of focusing ring. When using wideangles the lenshood covers the right bottom corner of the rangefinder so you have to guess sometimes what you're shooting.

    Extraordinary lenses (especially the new 1.4 versions),unbelievable bokeh, small, quiet (M7 makes only very quiet "tsss" while shooting), absence of mirror-with steady hand I can use 1/8 and 1/4s with wideangles (with practice I use to shoot even 1/2s hand held) - this is no chance with mirror cameras which make noise and shake like Russian Katyusha and it's probably the most important Leica's benefit for me.
    For large percentage of my shots I use "blind shooting" with camera hanging on my neck or even hidden in the pocket. I took all my shots from inside mosques this way and lot of Cuban shots as well. I tried to shoot a fire of petrol or diesel storage tank in Cuba and I made couple of good shots "from the pocket" while arrested. When Cuban police confiscated the film from me I was able to change it and gave them empty film..

    As mentioned in the pasted post I shot a lot in mosques all around Turkey.
    It wouldn't be possible with noisy SLR. Nobody but me knew I had a camera and even was using it inside..

    I think it's worth starving couple of days and to buy Leica for saved money..
    Last edited by kapro; 01-22-2012 at 10:00 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: missing word

  3. #23
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    I've used Leica since 1952 and Nikon SLR since 1967. Leica seems much better for street photography. I could set shutter speed and aperture without looking at the camera, and even approximatly focus by feeling the position of the lens's infinity lock. Others have mentioned more advantages of the Leica for street photography. The M4 I've used since 1970 is still my favorite 35mm camera for many tasks. In that time a few Nikons and Nikkormats have come and gone. Those are obviously better where reflex viewing and long lenses are needed.

    The suggestions of fixed lens 35mm cameras is valid. Some offer decent fast lenses and most are quiet. For the price of renting a Leica for a test drive, you can own an inexpensive (and expendable) camera. Do try one out before buying, though. Some may be much better or worse than others for your style of handling. Little details like the position of controls and the presence or absence of neck strap lugs can make a difference.

  4. #24
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Couple of other options to consider. An Olympus OM-series sits between the Leica and the F6....more toward the Leica in my mind. Very small, very manual, good prime lenses. Another thought is an M2 (or M3) and a vintage or Voightlander lens. The best Leica lens bargain to me is a DR Summicron missing the goggles. I picked one up for $300 and it needed another $50 in cleaning. The older Canon rangefinders and lenses are a pretty good deal also. I have an OM1 and an M2 with the cheapest 3 lens set imaginable that wasn't made in Russia. They both take great pics, but I prefer the Leica simply because it is really fun to use. It really doesn't matter which you try as long as you get a decent deal on it since reselling isn't all that hard anymore.

  5. #25
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    The main point here is that you are thinking of moving to a rangefinder camera as opposed to an SLR. The most important difference is that a rangefinder camera with a bright-line finder will allow you to see above, below and outside the side to side image through the viewfinder, thus acting as an aid to composition. This alone, for me is worth any advantage gained by an SLR. The M2 has a wonderful bright-line finder, but if you want the most beautiful design coupled with tactile handling perhaps a Leica IIIg will suffice.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAP View Post
    I don't know if it helps with your decision or not, but it is a really bad time to buy into M-series Leica gear. During the past year or so the prices for 2nd hand Leica cameras and lenses have been going insane (you would definately be buying high).

    Would you have to sell your F6 to fund the Leica? If so, I wouldn't do it - why trade in a camera that you really like for a total unknown. At the very least I would look into buying a cheap 2nd hand Cosina voigtlander camera/lens to help you decide if you even like using rangefinders before jumping in with both feet.
    Yes I have been watching the prices as well on Keh, ebay, and craigslist, and so far for the last 6 months or so its been crazy. Everything from bodies, lenses, and accessories have been selling for outrageous amounts.

    So I'm holding out as well, there are definite swings in the photographic world, as the purchases of older bodies in good condition could be viewed by collectors as investments, but sooner or later there is always a downswing, and thats when you buy.

    And if you really think this purchase will make you a better photographer, just always remember its the photographer that makes the images, the camera is just a tool, many photographers have gotten by with much less in the last 100 years.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newt_on_Swings View Post
    .....

    And if you really think this purchase will make you a better photographer, just always remember its the photographer that makes the images, the camera is just a tool, many photographers have gotten by with much less in the last 100 years.
    I never said anything about making me better with Leica. If I thought that, I would have had a Leica years ago. I have sticked with Nikon for over 6 years and will forever I make pictures.

    My friend in FL is letting me borrow his unused Leica IIIg for a while. I think I will mess around for couple of months and see if it can really fit to my style before I make the purchase.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    The main point here is that you are thinking of moving to a rangefinder camera as opposed to an SLR. The most important difference is that a rangefinder camera with a bright-line finder will allow you to see above, below and outside the side to side image through the viewfinder, thus acting as an aid to composition. This alone, for me is worth any advantage gained by an SLR. The M2 has a wonderful bright-line finder, but if you want the most beautiful design coupled with tactile handling perhaps a Leica IIIg will suffice.
    Points well made. Like the OP, I began shooting with a 35mm SLR (a Nikon F2AS), later progressing "through the ranks," acquiring a couple of Hasselblads (a pair of 500c/ms and a 553el/x) as well as, about 12 years ago, a 4x5 Linhof. Along the way (about five years ago), I picked up, on a whim, an M6 with a 50mm Summicron, thinking that the camera would serve as little more than an adjunct to my 35mm shooting. It took a good year or so to feel comfortable shooting with the camera - curiously for the very advantages you named above. Once I became familiar with the camera, however, and came to realize its many virtues (unobtrusive, quiet, quick focusing, low light accuracy, etc), I began using the camera for a greater portion of my 35mm shooting. In fact, I have come to love shooting with the camera so much that I have added an additional body and five additional lenses - in effect building a separate system that I use almost exclusively for my street shooting and documentary work.

    What is important to point out, I think, OP, as others have suggested, is that the rangefinder is a different beast intended for different purposes. Your dilemma should not be framed as an either/or proposition. Keep the F6 and build a second system. For macro work, for shooting with super-wide angles and for shooting with telephotos, the SLR excels. But for candid shooting, street and documentary work - for pretty much anything in the moderate wide angle to short telephoto range (I refuse to use the auxiliary viewfinders) - Leica rangefinders are primus inter pares. Yes, they are expensive; no argument there. But amortized over a lifetime their cost is quite reasonable.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rakeshmravi View Post
    I never said anything about making me better with Leica. If I thought that, I would have had a Leica years ago. I have sticked with Nikon for over 6 years and will forever I make pictures.
    Then whats the point if you don't think it will make you better? Didnt you say in your first post you wanted it's (Leica's) advantages to street shooting?? Your not really making much sense.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newt_on_Swings View Post
    Then whats the point if you don't think it will make you better? Didnt you say in your first post you wanted it's (Leica's) advantages to street shooting?? Your not really making much sense.
    I never said Leica will make me a better photographer. I said I am considering it "simply because of the weight and quality package for my street shooting". I don't think it will make my photographs any better than it already is.

    Hopefully the camera arrives soon from my friend. Lets see how it goes.

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