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  1. #21

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    start up pros always bought black F or F2 and if they looked to new dimpled them with punch and hammer.
    crockus cloth was effective as well...

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1956 View Post
    There is no redeeming quality to a Leica whatsoever. Nikon is all you need, Leica is an absurdly expensive toy.
    The man that dies owning the most toys wins.


    In over thirty years I have never had a Leica rangefinder adjusted, in professional and plenty of amateur use. I did always buy second hand examples that were accurate, and new cameras never needed it. They have bumped together, clattered into Nikon F's, and they just carried on working. It isn't impossible that I will need one adjusting in the future, on the basis that if it can happen it will happen, but it is a problem created in peoples minds more than in reality. And usually it is a problem created by internet forum's especially with newcomers. They are already nervous and learning a new camera, and the first advice they always seem to get is 'send you camera for a CLA' or 'set up a test chart' even before they get the hang of the rangefinder. Expectations are driven to fever pitch by comments like 'I can hand hold my Leica at 1/8 second', and 'l zone focus', or 'I always use my lens wide open'. No wonder there are so many out of focus and blurry images that worry the newcomer, but these concerns are transferred to the general ambit of Leica photography as yet more myth and things to worry about.

    So if you have a Leica M use it, you may not be able to bounce it down the road like a Nikon F, but if that is the only good thing to recommend a camera you've got a more serious question to answer

    Steve
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_barnett/

    book
    wood, water, rock,
    landscape photographs in and around the Peak District National Park, UK.

  3. #23

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    Reading this thread everyone's experiences are different and that's what will form their opinion. I like to use both rangefinder and SLRs, but in my experience Nikon SLRs are very reliable whereas the legendary reliability and sturdiness of Leicas have been overstated.

    I have an M3 and used it for years, then dropped a camera bag with it inside from about 1m. Mirror separated and viewfinder went black. I was then going to use it for wide-angles with an auxilliary viewfinder, but the shutter then jammed.
    I have had an M2 shutter jam. Luckily disassembling the shutter release collar seemed to fix the problem and everything now works fine.
    I have a Leicaflex Standard that had a shutter break (I think a string broke holding the shutter curtain).

    3 x Nikon F4, Nikon F3, F90X and FM2n - no problems whatsover (and I am much less gentle with the Nikons).

  4. #24
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    The proper alignment of the optical system of an SLR is visual where in a Rangefinder the alignment is on good faith of the manufacturer or the last technician who worked on it.

    Highly precise equipment will always be sensitive. The higher the quality of the output, the more
    Precision Required of such a device, will often cause it to need more repair and adjustment and care in general. An Imacon film scanner for example needs adjusting much more frequently than an Epson V750, but the Imacon will do things the Epson won't. Rangefinders Are highly precise and require near perfect to perfect alignment of all parts of the system to function properly. If you need a rangefinder for the work you do, or prefer it ergonomic ally, or aesthetically, or for whatever reason, it's fickle nature is a necessary burden. I have dealt with many issues of collimating lenses and rangefinder alignment, but once you get a feel for your system and when it needs a checkup or may be "sick" you can stay ontop of the problems. A second body is helpful too.

  5. #25

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    Nikon cameras are very good and have a reputation for dependability. However, the attention to detail that is given to Leicas transcends what anyone would normally expect. It has to do with the German psyche. For many years a Leica could be sent back to Leitz to be refurbished. The camera would be completely disassembled and any worn parts replaced. The body would be rechromed or repainted and the leather replaced. If necessary the lens would be repolished and the coating redone. This service applied not only to current models but all previous ones too. It involved the pride of Leitz in all their products. I am not aware of any other manufacturer that had a similar service.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 09-24-2013 at 12:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikanon View Post
    The proper alignment of the optical system of an SLR is visual where in a Rangefinder the alignment is on good faith of the manufacturer or the last technician who worked on it.
    Not true. There are several things that can make the visual image in an SLR be different from what is delivered to the focal plane different. A misaligned mirror or view screen can cause problems.

    As a reply to several posts may I say that it is a pointless exercise to try to say which is better a RF or an SLR. One is comparing apples and oranges. Each system has it's good points and bad ones.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 09-24-2013 at 12:34 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #27

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    I'm the one who chimed in about Leica being pointless. At the same time I know full well that the Germans really do make the best of the best. They make some junky stuff too, but all in all, when they make the best, it IS the best. As for me, I just don't see paying Leica prices. Being a poor man, there's a point of diminishing returns, and Leica prices have passed that point for me. If I won the lottery, which I don't even buy tickets for, I'd probably find me a mint M4 original. Right after I found a gorgeous 30 year old blond to marry.

  8. #28

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    You certainly have your priorities right Tom. Although gorgeous blondes tend to take you for all you're worth, so maybe you should buy the M4 and hide it somewhere first...

  9. #29

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    I used to have an old Leica M3 double stroke. I cannot imagine a more reliable and solid camera to save my life. It felt like one solid block of metal in your hands, and the film advance on the double stroke crank was just wonderful. The fact that it took Leica M and m39 lenses (w/ an adapter) was icing on the cake. But I prefer using a SLR because there's just something about seeing the image come into view in the viewfinder, and shoot Nikon SLR's now. Works out fine. I get to use Leica glass on them too if I wish, w/ an adapter. So why don't I have a Leica M3 anymore? Pure economics. All of my photography gear put together, including a fine old medium format Rolleicord, cost less than one Leica M3 body w/o a lens.

    Canon and other makers made fine handling and reliable SLR's too, but I wouldn't compare any Japanese camera, even the Nikons, to the build point of a German Leica M. The fit and finish are not similar, and the fact that their old, cloth shuttered cameras still work like new when given a CLA speaks to their quality and superb design. I mean, these are OLD cameras.

    I think the person who dies w/ nothing "wins". You cannot take it w/ you.
    Last edited by momus; 09-26-2013 at 11:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowly View Post
    Reading this thread everyone's experiences are different and that's what will form their opinion. I like to use both rangefinder and SLRs, but in my experience Nikon SLRs are very reliable whereas the legendary reliability and sturdiness of Leicas have been overstated.

    I have an M3 and used it for years, then dropped a camera bag with it inside from about 1m. Mirror separated and viewfinder went black. I was then going to use it for wide-angles with an auxilliary viewfinder, but the shutter then jammed.
    I have had an M2 shutter jam. Luckily disassembling the shutter release collar seemed to fix the problem and everything now works fine.
    I have a Leicaflex Standard that had a shutter break (I think a string broke holding the shutter curtain).

    3 x Nikon F4, Nikon F3, F90X and FM2n - no problems whatsover (and I am much less gentle with the Nikons).
    Just an addendum to my post. In my frustration at getting my M3 working after a year, I banged it on the workbench a couple of times on the top and bottom. Suddenly the shutter release worked and I could cock the shutter. So it's true, you can use Leicas as a hammer - in fact you need to if you want them to work

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