I can't make the M work for me
A while back I came into a dream system. M4, 21 3.4SA, 35 1.4 Lux, 50 Cron Rigid. All in beautiful condition and well cared for by it's only other owner. I've run about a dozen or so rolls through the kit but never saw the quality results I expected. On my last roll I decided to put the M on a tripod and saw what people have raved about, especially with the 50mm. There is nothing wrong with the hardware, I just can't make it work in my hands.
Now I'm not new at this, I've been shooting for over 40 years and have some nice stuff in 35, 120 and 4x5. I can handhold my other 35s and my Rollei and Blad with no issue. I think the M is just too small for me, I can't actuate the shutter without moving the whole camera. I've tried a soft shutter and it was a little better, but still not reliable.
As much as I love the hardware for it's mechanical qualities, at current prices I think I may just let it all go and add to my other kits. Or maybe keep the 50 and look for a M compatible body that fits me better. Has anyone else run into this?
I get along with certain cameras too. No shame in moving on.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Yes, I'm going through this now.
I've had my M2 since 1980 and my M4-P since 1986. These cameras worked for me one once but now they don't seem to. I took them on a trip to Cuba in January and
took some of the worst crap I've ever done (this is saying something). I seem to do better with an SLR, like my F3hp or old F2.
Times change, we change too, I guess.
I'm happier with my beat up old Rolleiflex K4B or my Hasselblad stuff.
It may be the size, or perhaps in part it's the shape. Some people especially have trouble with the rounded ends of the Leica body. Other M-mount cameras - C/V Bessas, Zeiss Ikon, Hexar RF, CL/CLE, even the M5 - have different shapes and, in particular, generally more squared-off ends. One of those might provide a more secure grip for you.
Originally Posted by jerrybro
Or maybe not. If the system doesn't work for you, you should certainly feel free to move on. Nobody ever need apologize for selecting the tools that are right for them.
photography is only 5 percent equipment, 95 percent you and your head -- for me different cameras work in different situations -- My Leica CL is really really good for street shooting and travel, I find the Leicaflex models more useful for more planned out photography and actually tend to use them less. The TLRs are cameras that I always kick myself for not using more when I do use them, but again, they're really good at specific types of photography. If the Leica doesn't work for you, well, it doesn't.
If you decide to get rid of the Leica outfit, I'll give you $100 for all that worthless junk ...
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I have a hard time with rangefinders too. Gorgeous mechanics, but frustrating as hell to use, especially if you like shooting wide open like I do.
I had an M6 for a few years. I never thought of it as small. Excellent build, and the Summicron was also predictably excellent.
In the end, I was much more comfortable shooting with other cameras, so I sold it.
And I never found advancing the film to be a life-changing experience, which one person claimed about a decade ago.
Originally Posted by Paul Goutiere
One other thing that does change is our eyesight.
So there may be other factors involved as well.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Do you have some other 35mm rangefinder, or other 35mm equipment are all SLR's? Maybe this is well know syndrome "rangefinder after long SLR usage"?
Originally Posted by jerrybro
Other M bodies beside M5 are very similar to M2, you will find no big changes there. For me while shooting M3 or M6 (I have both): only difference is in viewfinder, not in body design.
I would also like to say something that I saw once on Leica forum: "never ever sell Leitz equipment if you absolutely don't need to - on the end you will be buying same stuff later anyhow". I can confirm this for 90mm lens that I have sold and later bought again
Compared to modern SLRs I think the grip of the M's is inferior. I can handhold my EOS3 at longer times than my naked M2.
Adding a halfcase improved the situation of the M2 significantly.