the price of perfection
The M6TTL would be used, unless you can find new old stock, which might be possible. A used M6TTL and new 75mm f:1.4 would go for perhaps US$4,400 to US$4,700, but that's a guess on the used body price, I'm not up on that market. (Anyone feel free to correct me on that if you know better than I.)
Originally Posted by Nicole McGrade
Well, he did say "perfect", right? I'm sure the post was at least partly in jest. But it is a beautiful setup, and built to last, and we all would like to see the work you'd get from it.
An R3A and 75mm f:2.5 from Cosina Voigtlander costs about US$900, but not so perfect and about 2 stops slower, and with autoexposure.
Follow Bjorke's advice if you need autofocus, autoexposure, and a price somewhere in the middle. The Contax G2 does have a zoom available, but IIRC, doesn't share the Leica bayonet or thread mounts common to many other rangefinders, so you have 7(?) Contax lenses available, all high quality. It's sort of a hybrid, an interchangeable lens P&S on steroids with fine lenses.
One more candidate
Very little press has been given to Zeiss re-entering the rangefinder field by resurrecting the Ikon trademark. They will market thru Hasselblad a camera body made by Cosina..in my opinion the most beautiful camera that I have ever seen. Introduced with it are the following lensed 15mm 2.8 Distagon, 21mm2.8 Biogon, 25mm 2.8 Biogon, 28mm 2.8 Biogon, 35mm 2.0 Biogon, 50mm 2.8 Planar and 85 2.0 either a Planar or Sonnar I forget which it is.
I have to tell you that a firm of Zeiss's stature bringing out a new FILM ONLY camera and a rangefinder at that is extremely heartening to me. It is Zeiss's intent to offer lenses indisputably superior to all other lenses on the market. The battle between Leica and Zeiss should be very interesting. The MFT charts are provided for some of the lenses and are fabulous. Take a trip over to www.carlzeiss.de.
You do not have to own product or be a fan of Zeiss's to learn an awful lot obout photo gear and photography. It is a really groovy web site. If you contact them with a technical question about one of their products you will most likely receive an answer from somebody with a doctorate.
I would hazard a guess that the equipment will be voraciously expensive.
Nicole when photographing children in 35mm where ease of precise focus is of the utmost importance to the photographer an optical rtangefinder is almost impossible to beat. Extremely easy to focus and very quiet are they.
...But never take it out of the box or put a roll of film in it.
Originally Posted by rbarker
That will turn it into a lowly "User".camera.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
While the new Zeiss Ikon camera looks nice I don't think it will live up to it's price tag (thinking of Rollei's expensive Cosina rangefinder).
Personally, I would go for a Bessa setup if I had the funds:
Bessa L $69 (cheap rangefinderless body to be used with the 15 and 21mm)
15mm f/4.5 $345 (plus screw-M ring $55)
21mm f/4 $335 (plus hood $45 and screw-M ring $55)
40mm f/1.4 $349 (plus hood $45)
75mm f/2.5 $299 (plus screw-M ring $55)
2 Soft Shutter releases $15 each
This is a total of $2281, which is over $500 cheaper than the cost of JUST 1 Black Leica M7 .85X camera from B&H (that's right, NO lenses).
Take away the 15mm (a luxery in my opinion because of the number of shots it would be used for) and you come in under $2000 ($1881 to be precise).
With this setup I could photograph 99.9% of anything I would photograph today with 35mm. If I had even more hypothetical funds I would replace the 75mm f/2.5 with the Leica 75mm summilux or the rumored summicron and add an extra R3A body, but other than that I would be set. In addition, I would actually prefer the R3A and it's lifesize rangefinder to any other available in 35mm. After using a M3 for a while I loved the "floating frameline" sensation of shooting with both eyes open and the lifesize viewfinder in the R3A would make this even easier to accomplish. I'm already saving up for my graduation present to myself which will either be a setup much like this or a brand new Canham 5x7--we'll see which it ends up being....
Last edited by Jeremy; 01-18-2005 at 12:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: added prices from www.cameraquest.com and www.bhphoto.com
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
Thanks Claire. I'm just a little concerned it may not give me the flexibility an SLR does. Being quiet and unobtrusive, small and light weight is wonderful. I enjoy reading your posts.
Originally Posted by Claire Senft
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A used M6TTL in good shape can usually be found for around $1200-1600, and that's about what I paid for a used 75mm 'Lux, as well. Before investing that sort of money, it's a good idea to be sure that the rangefinder style of shooting works for you. Not everyone adapts to the difference in style. The new Bessa offers a good intro at a fairly reasonable price.
The ideal situation would be to find a Leica user in your area, and see if they'd let you try it out.
There are people like Neal describes, who keep their Leica gear unused in-box, but they are collectors, not photographers. My Leica gear works for a living.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
No they are not as flexible
I would view the regard the rangefinder as unparralled for candid or journalistic photography that can be accomplished with very wide thru short telephoto. If however you start needing lenses longer than 90mm, certainly longer than 135mm range finder cameras take a definite backward step. A 135mm lens on a range finder camera is very hard to do sophisticated composition with since it ordinarily involve a very small portion of the viewfinder and is more difficult to achieve focus with. With a rangefinder you have the advantage of seeing elements outside your photo area but you do not have the ability to do depth of field preview. It is possible to attach ground glass viewing to rangefinder cameras that take the Leica M mount thru the use of the visoflex III which is no longer made but available used. Many of the Leitz lenses from 65mm and longer were usable. Diaphram operation was manual. I do not have a clue if the current Leica lenses offer this feature. This, the Visoflex, was capable of first class resilts for nature, scenic and still life work or anything else where a 35mm format was usable and the subject would stay put. It is today pretty much very outdated.
For myself, I find that if I have more than one camera system one of the two becomes an orphan hidden in the closet and the other gets regular excercise.
Since so little of my photography involves people, my granddaughter excepted, and because I like using 35mm cameras I am working exclusively with a 35mm SLR and my 4 lenses and Mamiya RZ67 body is resting.
So then the rangefinder is nice but specialized equipment that is unbeatable for a narrow field of work and somewhat or very much comprised for all of the rest.
I totally agree. My SLRs are my main workhorse cameras. However, a couple of years ago my photography was in a bit of rut, I needed something different, so I brought a Bessa R2. OK, it's not perfect and it's not as flexible as my SLRs but I do enjoy using it. It's ideal for wide angle to 75mm or 90mm but as Claire says anything longer then you have to use an SLR. The quality of many of the M & L mount lenses is excellent. For my SLRs I'd have to buy Canon L series to reach the quality of my reasonably cheap Voigtlander lenses.
Originally Posted by Claire Senft
The main thing though is that it's put the fun back into my photography!
Gee, I hope I haven't hijacked this thread or at least adding interest to it...
I'm about to inherit a 1970's Konica C EF rangefinder which will be a good little introduction I guess.
So, please correct me if I am wrong, are the quality of lenses often better/sharper/faster for rangefinders than many SLR lenses (I shoot with a Nikon F90X and have the Nikon 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 lenses that I use most the time)?
I hope this question doesn't sound like I'm an absolute 'dill' - I do my best not to be :P
Claire wrote, on the subject of the mighty Visoflex:
'Many of the Leitz lenses from 65mm and longer were usable. Diaphram operation was manual. I do not have a clue if the current Leica lenses offer this feature.'
None of the current Leica lenses can be dismantled for use with the Visoflex at infinity focus, to the best of my knowledge (not that that means anything). For the sake of APUG I have tried this with all my Leica lenses, and can confirm that, even after taking them apart, they do not focus on infinity on the Visoflex.
PS Does anyone know how to tell which way round the bits of glass are supposed to go? I'm having a bit of difficulty getting my lenses back together. I found a dead mouse in my Noctilux. That's typical for those trashy Canadian-made lenses though.