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  1. #11

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    No big difference.
    The M4 has 35/50/90/135 frame lines as does the M4-2, The -2 also has a hot shoe.
    I personally would pass on anything more recent than the 4 because I don't see the need for a meter or ttl flash.
    I really think the M2 is the best of 'em all... 35/50/90 frame lines, if you can find one with the original rangefinder it has a depth of field indicator in the VF, only for f5.6 & f16. The 4's are a bit easier to load because you don't need to pull the take up spool out to load the camera and they also have a crank on the rewind knob.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  2. #12
    butterflydream's Avatar
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    I second John's opinion, actually I intended to write the same words. If you don't need 135mm, which is not very useful with rf camera, clear frame of M2 is much less cluttered. For me, I use MP à la carte with the option of 3 frames for the same reason.

    For easier film loading to M2 you can look for the quick loading spool from ebay. This works more naturally with M2 than M3 because you reset frame counter manually for M2. Of course there is also a special version of M2-R or M2 KS-15 (millitary) with quick film loading but you have to pay for its rarity value.

  3. #13

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    Thanks, everyone, for your contributions. I do understand that the m4-2 was made in Midland but some are stamped "Wetzlar" and command a premium. Can anyone comment on why this is? Is it just that the later (Wetzlar) models were produced much higher on the learning curve?

    Also, I have had a couple of M3s years ago and wanted to put the M2/M3 on the short list but have recently read a number of horror stories about "dim rangefinders, de-silvering rangefinder prisms" which I understand are non-repairable and I don't particularly want to buy into that risk. I also see this problem mentioned on some of KEH's offerings also.

    Is this a common problem now that the early Leicas are nearing 55 years old?

    Thanks again, everyone!

    -Fred

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post
    Thanks, everyone, for your contributions. I do understand that the m4-2 was made in Midland but some are stamped "Wetzlar" and command a premium. Can anyone comment on why this is? Is it just that the later (Wetzlar) models were produced much higher on the learning curve?

    Also, I have had a couple of M3s years ago and wanted to put the M2/M3 on the short list but have recently read a number of horror stories about "dim rangefinders, de-silvering rangefinder prisms" which I understand are non-repairable and I don't particularly want to buy into that risk. I also see this problem mentioned on some of KEH's offerings also.

    Is this a common problem now that the early Leicas are nearing 55 years old?

    Thanks again, everyone!

    -Fred
    There ARE a small number of Wetzlar-made M4-2s according to literature (Denis Laney's Leica Collectors Guide - the book does not give details of serial numbers, dates of production, etc.).

    The whole Wetzlar versus Ontario quality problem was apparently that M Leicas were assembled from parts made to only moderate tolerances and required a lot of input from skilled personnel in terms of trial-and-error fitting of parts, fettling etc. to make them work properly. The appropriate skills were not necessarily at the right level at the start of Canadian production.

    Yes, you can experience de-silvering of rangefinder prisms with Leicas of appropriate age (I've had it with an M3 and a postwar IIIc). My repairpeople (Newton Ellis of Liverpool UK) can fix this, the cost was about £100. By and large Leica M2s and M3s are cheaper by an appropriate amount compared with M4 and M6, so a prism repair is by no means uneconomic.

  5. #15

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    have read the latter m4-2's were assembled back at wetzlar.

  6. #16
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Get an M2 or M3 and you are set with the same pix for less money. Anything they've released since has been thoroughly unnecessary, and I do not understand the price differences on the used market. M6s and M7s are way overpriced and M2/M3 bodies are way underpriced. You might find it wise to concentrate more on what glass you want, and put it on a cheap body like a Voigtlander. That will also take care of your aversion to getting an old camera.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-20-2008 at 08:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post
    I am a "less is more" guy and I have been toying with adding a simple rangefinder with interchangeable lenses. I have been considering a Leica M4-2 because of its clean, simple look.

    I did some research and it seems to have mixed reviews and I couldn't find anything relevant on APUG.

    Anybody have one and care to share information? Any horror stories?

    -Fred
    The M4-2 is a cheapened version of the M4. Check cameraquest for more details.

  8. #18

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    The M4-2 is a lifetime camera, just like all Leica RFDR cameras are. I prefer an M6 just because of the built-in meter, but when I shoot Color and B&W together, I use my M4-2 and the M6 together. I find no reason to fault the M4-2.

  9. #19
    Trask's Avatar
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    Lens Hacker -- take a Canon P with a 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar (or Serenar) lens TO THE BEACH?! Oh my lord, what the sand would do to that nice gear. I've got both; I'll leave them at home and take my Olympus RF instead -- I could at least live with myself if it was damaged.

  10. #20

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    I've taken a Nikon SP with 8.5cm F2 and 5cm F1.4 to the beach. I'm fairly careful with them, use a sealable plastic bag and do not do this if the wind is blowing. I've not had them damaged.

    Last month, me and my Nikon S3 went down the giant slides and Hay rides during a local Fall festival.

    What's the point of having these classics if you don't use them?

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