Leica is better because the diaphragm is close to the front of the lens. What the hell is with that anyway?
My dad's got a couple of 50's-era M-series Leicas. They are solid and heavy and work really well. But they're just 35mm cameras. You'd have to look pretty hard to see the difference between output from a Leica and any other camera with a well made modern lens. If optics is your primary concern, get a medium format rangefinder and the format difference alone will already kick Leica's sorry butt (except maybe if you're shooting some coveted rare stock of leftover techpan or something really fine grain, in which case the Leica might come close).
For half the price of a Leica you can have top notch Canon L glass and a used 35mm SLR body to go with it. Or any of a number of great medium format cameras. I think even the excellent Mamiya 6 & 7 rangefinders are cheaper than Leica schlag.
Historically they were excellent cameras. Now it's a sentimentalism & branding thing; like collecting old jaguars or something, but not quite as expensive. And they don't need continual repair like classic cars.
I sure do love that metal and leather smell when dad pulls out his old Leicas though.
The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
Um... They still are. You are quite right that if you don't mind big, heavy cameras that have to be reloaded every 8 to 15 frames, and where f/2.8 is a fast lens, you'll get better quality from rollfilm. But if you want small, fast-handling cameras with a good range of fast lenses, to borrow your own imagery, Leicas will kick any MF camera's sorry butt.
Originally Posted by walter23
Most people who use RF cameras (regardless of brand) also find that they can hand-hold them for one shutter speed longer than reflexes, quite apart from the fact that reflex camera bodies are bigger than RFs and most reflex lenses are huge next to most RF lenses.
You prefer MF cameras and reflexes. That's fine. I also have MF cameras and reflexes. But I just prefer using Leicas, which is why I get most of my good pictures with Leicas. If I preferred using (say) 5x7 I'd get most of my good pics with a 5x7 camera. The OP was clearly already hooked on RF, and was asking about Leicas, not MF cameras or SLRs.
Last edited by Roger Hicks; 09-15-2007 at 03:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"...A rose is a rose is a rose..."
Dixit Gertude Stein
P.S. "... A Leica is .......
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
This explains why I feel compelled to buy a new Leica, whenever I sold off the old stuff, usually to finance the purchase of something else. I get a visit from two elves, Vinny and Lefty last time, who tell me I better do the right thing and buy a new Leica, otherwise my car might explode next time I start it.
Originally Posted by FilmSprocket
P.P.S. The black paint Leicas work best.
What's a Rollei?
Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible
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The same holds true for Alpa, Hasselblad, Nikon, Graflex ...
One can extend that even further: Rolls, Bugatti, Rolex... Vincent Black Shadow...
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Ahhh! Vincent Black Shadow; now you have my attention. Two please.
Temujin -- A camera body is rather more than a box to hold the film and lens. The Leica rangefinder assembly is complex and extremely precise. The Leica film advance is very smooth in comparison to some other cameras. The shutter is quiet. I've managed to wreck two Leicas over many years, but it wasn't easy. Perhaps few other cameras would have survived. Certainly some didn't. I bought a new M4 body in 1970 for about $210. It has provided reliable photography for less than $6 a year, a tiny fraction of the film cost. One lens is as old, the other four are older. They also have performed flawlessly. Some of my Nikon gear has been almost as reliable. A few cheaper brands have been less camera for their cost.
Products from decades ago may not predict the quality of current items. In some rapidly evolving areas of photography, a lifetime investment in equipment may be less practical than it once was. At my age (74) I wouldn't invest heavily in cameras that should last many decades. However, I'm glad I did that when I did.
Yes, but where does the mystique come from? And what sustains it?
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Frances has just been printing some recent negs of mine from the Pentacon Six TL: zero mystique. They're very nice: any shortcomings are down to me as a photographer, not the camera. It's a great camera. But it's not an Alpa.
Alpa, Graflex, Nikon, Graflex I have or have had. Wouldn't touch a Graflex 4x5 press camera: rather have MPP, but the XL is underrated (mine is modified to take RB backs). Nikon? Yes, but it's merely a very good tool, like a Lee Enfield: it's as much history as magic, at least for me. But there is something different about the Alpa for me: a higher percentage of 'magic' pictures.
Rolls? Nah. Considered it; driven friends' cars; decided I wouldn't get my money's worth with any Roller I could afford. If I had that kind of money, it's a Bristol, no question (and I've driven more Bristols than Rollers). Bugatti: dunno, but again, if I had the money, Bentley wins hands down.
Rolex? Waste of money. When I found I could actually afford one -- just -- about 25 years ago, I went to the local agents' with a good bit more than half an intention of buying one. If I were a very rich man who didn't much care about watches, I might buy one, but I'd rather have a Patek Philippe. As it is, my old Omega Seamaster just needs a new strap.
Shadows are of course completely different, but even then, if I had the money, I'd be at least as tempted by a Hesketh or a Brough (both of which I've ridden).
By the time you're in the stratosphere of mystique, few people have direct experience. Even fewer have the money to indulge their whims (I'm definitely in this category) and they may also consider their money better spent elsewhere.
Then again, I can't think of any pistol for which I'd trade my .45 Colt National Match, but in that case, there's sentimental attachment: my late father-in-law bought it new in the 30s. Mystique? Only partly.
But cameras are not that expensive. Surprisingly many people can, if they are prepared to give up other things, afford a Leica (though not necessarily an Alpa). Sure, some people buy 'em on mystique alone. Others buy them because there is no other camera they'd rather use. I think Lee is with me on that one. It ain't just mystique!