M3 vs M2 , 40mm 'Cron vs 35mm Skopar
Hi--i am in a bit if a quandary---I have a mint MF Fuji GW680III to trade, and have a couple offers----a Leica M3, no lens, new CLA, excellent condition. The other offers are "user" M2 with 40mm 'Cron and an M2 with some brassing a small ding, with 35mm 2.5 Skopar for the Fuji. Opinions welcome!!! I have no 35mm gear at all, have been MF and LF shooter since the 1980. What would you do, and why???
Lenses can be nice but condition is the most important thing with cameras this old, and the M3 is supposed to be mint and has had recent service.
Just my opinion.
The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.
Completely spitballing here but:
M3 - 600$
M2 w/ 40mm - $700
M2 w/ 35mm - $600
Fuji GW680iii - $500
A 40mm Summicron on its own should be worth $700, but of course there is no frame line for it on the M2 and it will bring up the 50mm frame. The 35mm Skopar is an excellent lens and punches well above its price. The M2 is a more useful camera than an M3 for most modern photographers who prefer a wider lens option. But the two M2 bodies sound a bit dodgy and a CLA would add $500 to the cost. Conclusion, don't bother, wait for a better M2 body and get the lens you want for it, if budget is a concern then the Skopar is a great choice.
Thanks for the helpful replies!! I should have been more informative, I want to use the camera for taking pics of buildings and folks in Venice and Tuscany, see my portfolio on the rangefinder Forum for a couple-3 examples:
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The value of the CLA can vary quite a bit, both the price charged and the quality of the work.
The Leica exchange bank is fickle.
I think "middle grade" Leica bodies will be harder and harder to get good prices for as time goes on. User cameras, will sell cheap and still be used. The top end will be as crazy as ever, until the market for unused, cameras NIB dries up, and I bet it will in 50 years.
35mm will be obtainable, and there will be plenty of people with frozen 10-year old Tri-x speculating on e-bay and apug, so film is not a worry, I just don't know how many people will be using film in 2024 and doing it with a Leica. Hell will the F6 I got last month still be reliable in 2024? I bet Nikon won't service it! I know my FM2 will still work though.
Took me most of a year to get 80% of what I "thought it was worth". (M3, 35mm with eyes, and 90mm Sumi)
A Cron has high resale value is single coated and nice signature lots will have been nail filed for 35mm frame 4cm is close to the M2s 35mm frame...
Originally Posted by 250swb
The Skopar has higher IQ and is multicoated for a high contast look.
If you are buying without a return warrant a rescent CLA is meaningless, my IIIc not seen maintenance since before '75.
If you want to take photos a CanonP and LTM Skopar is cheaper and faster handling.
So you do like wider lenses. In that case the M3 isn't for you, it would require an accessory finder for anything wider than 50mm. An accessory finder isn't so much of a pain with something like a 21mm as the lens can be pre focused on the DOF scale to get most thing sharp, but for lenses with shallower DOF like a 28mm or 35mm using the viewfinder for focusing then the accessory finder for framing does slow things down. An M4-P would be around the same price as a good M2, and give you the option of many more frame lines.
Originally Posted by argyrotype
That said, I would always start in the M system with the M3. The viewfinder on the M3 is the best that was ever made, and you sort of owe it to yourself to experience it at least once.
As for the selection of framelines, I've found focal lengths don't "shoot the same" on a rangefinder as they do on an SLR. I shot with an F3 for years that had a Nikkor 28 on it 100% of the time, but I hardly ever feel cramped with a 50 on my M3. Something about being able to see outside the edges of the frame makes it easier to crop things out.
I say get the M3 and throw a 50 'Cron on it. If you don't like it, you can always sell it on and get an M2 (or an M4!)