The purpose of rangefinder camera is to work in available light usually at very low speed and wide open. It is very common to shoot between the second up to 1/8 hand held. So many great photographs have been made exactly this way.
Originally Posted by Donald Boyd
Having a Leica to use it on tripod defeats almost all his attributes and in that case it's better to use an slr or a large format camera...
The compact Elmar (when closed) on a M body fits easily in a pocket, f/2.8 is a very acceptable trade off. This is an excellent all around lens. Now if you really need these extra stops the summilux is amazing wide open... even at one second hand held.
If you are in the market I have a couple of 50mm Leica Summitars that are really pretty. Each could be had for rather a bit less than $500 to $750!
Please PM if interested.
[QUOTE=shicks5319;426900]I have recently purchased a Leica M3 ... Are there reasonable alternatives for finding a replacement front element for an older lens such as this?
2. What make/model lens would you folks recommend should I replace the entire lens? I am hoping to stay within a budget of $500 - $750 per lens...]
My lens guide should help you, see
You can also use 35 instead of a 50 and would be easier to focus under the conditions that you describe. The cv lenses at cameraquest are within you budget.
Softness can be the "Leica look"
Many of the Leica/Leitz lenses have what is often described as a "glow." Many photogs use older period lenses to get that look. My collapsible Summitar and 50/1.5 Summarit both produce results that are softer looking than those produced by my Summicrons. Out of the Summicrons, the pre-asph version (with the built-in hood) is more "technical" looking than my ~50 year old collapsible, fixed or dual-range Summicrons...
I also agree that the CV line is a great bargain for new lenses...Good luck!
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I'd be careful about choosing a 35mm lens. The M3 has 50, 90, and 135 framelines. The original Leica solution was external "eyes" for 35mm lenses that convert the viewfinder. There are other solutions such as external finders. If you go with an external finder, you might want to consider a 28mm lens instead, given that the 35 and 50 are fairly close.