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  1. #1

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    Leica M4-2 Opinions

    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

  2. #2

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    I'd recommend an M6 TTL model over the M4-2.

    The M4-2 is fine, and will do the job. Just like the choice of viewfinders and the meter in the M6 TTL.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  3. #3

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    I think the "mixed reviews" are a little alarmist -- those steeped in Leica might notice a difference but the vast majority of us would not have anything to complain about. Andrew Nemeth's writeup is very informative, if you haven't seen it: http://leica.nemeng.com/016b.shtml

    Have you considered a Canon P? Talk about an interchangeable rangefinder with a clean, simple look, and probably 40% of the price of an M4-2. Here's the CameraQuest writeup (OK, most of the pictures are of a black body): http://cameraquest.com/canonp.htm

  4. #4

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    Nick,
    Thanks for the pointers. I see why the M4-2 Wetzlar cameras command a premium. The article was helpful.

    -Fred

    I really like the lines on the Canon but what are the odds of finding one that nice!?

  5. #5
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    I've had an M4-2 for some 20-odd years, and though I need to send it off now for a rangefinder adjustment and CLA, it's been an excellent camera. I began shooting ballet and theater with it, and it has served me well. Later I added an M3 and more recently, an M6 0.85 to my kit. The M4-2 is better for the 35mm lens, whilst the M3 and M6 are better with the 90 and 50. In the theater, I would typically shoot with the 35 on the M4-2, 90 on the M3, and 50 on the M6.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  6. #6

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    I've not used the M4-2, but do have two Canon P's. The Canon P is a fine camera, but is limited to screw mount lenses. The shutter is a bit louder than my M3 and M2, but is stainless steel. The finder is quite good, but has "brightline" for frames rather than the Leica projected frames. The 35mm framelines are almost impossible to see with glasses; but the 50mm lines are great. Chose the Canon P to go to the beach with the 5cm f1.5 Sonnar on it.

    The M4-2 can use thread mount with the adapter. The older M-2 is also worth looking at, prices have come down. No problem seeing the 35mm framelines on it with my thick glasses.

  7. #7

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    I can't offer an opinion on the M4. I've only ever used an M6, and that only briefly. My impression is that it is a nicely built tool and a real pleasure to use, but far too expensive for my needs. If your budget won't hold for a Leica, there are alternatives. Canon P's have long been out of production and may need work that may or may not be easy to source. There are the Voightlander/Bessa cameras available new for maybe about the same price as a used Leica. Unless you plan to beat on it day after day for months on end in less than favorable environments, it should be sturdy enough for your needs. The viewfinders are better than good and there are models that accept screw and bayonet mount lenses. Screw mount lenses can be fitted to bayonet mount cameras with no difficulty simply by adding an adaper to the lens. Rangefinder coupling is maintained. The shutter is louder than a Leica's, but being a vertically travelling shutter, will sync up with electronic flash at higher speeds - a big help if you want to use fill flash outdoors.
    Frank Schifano

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post
    Nick,
    Thanks for the pointers. I see why the M4-2 Wetzlar cameras command a premium. The article was helpful.

    -Fred

    I really like the lines on the Canon but what are the odds of finding one that nice!?
    Just to be clear - all M4-2 cameras were made in Canada. The original M4 was made in Wetzlar.

  9. #9
    BradS's Avatar
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    less is more.....adding...see the paradox?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemo999 View Post
    Just to be clear - all M4-2 cameras were made in Canada. The original M4 was made in Wetzlar.
    Canada = quality

    I am, of course, completely unbiased .

    Matt

    P.S. if any wish to disagree, then I would be happy to accept their M4-2 donations, without question (Canadian made Leica lenses will be accepted as well )

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