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  1. #11
    hughitb's Avatar
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    Thanks all .. lots of food for thought.

    Walter: I already have an MF rangefinder. I'm thinking about something small and compact and 35mm.

    John: Thanks for that link. That M6 + lens still comes in at about 2000 dollars though which is a bit rich for my blood.

    Ian: Cheers .. that clears that up.

    I think I would like the functionality of the M5 onwards .. e.g. meter in particular.

    What about the Voigtlander Bessa R3A's? 40mm f1.4(!) lens + all the functionality of the latter-day Leica's and under 1000 dollars all in .... what's the catch? Is the lens not up to scratch?
    I have a photo blog ... and a Flickr ...

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hughitb View Post
    What about the Voigtlander Bessa R3A's? 40mm f1.4(!) lens + all the functionality of the latter-day Leica's and under 1000 dollars all in .... what's the catch? Is the lens not up to scratch?
    I wonder too...what camera is the "bang for your buck" price point/value in used RF's??

  3. #13
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    A few random thoughts Hugh. First of all, if you want wide with Leica written on it then it won't be cheap, and if you're going wider than 35 it will be way above £500 for the lens alone. There is a lonely little 21mm tucked away on Ffordes at £1,749, but 24s and 28s are cheaper. Then again there are Voigtlander lenses which are much cheaper, yet are pretty good. I have the 25mm f4 Skopar, but it needs a separate viewfinder in the hotshoe to compose the shot and then you have to use the rangefinder to focus. Check out the Cameraquest choices on lenses at the link below. The first metered Leica was the M5,so you should be thinking in terms of a suitable meter for the M3. Again it may be that Voigtlander comes to the rescue with the VC11, but then that might take you closer in price to a metered M6. Basic Leicas can be had for reasonable money, but start looking for meters and fancy wide-angles and watch the price soar.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/mlenses.htm

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by hughitb View Post
    Walter: I already have an MF rangefinder. I'm thinking about something small and compact and 35mm.
    I only mentioned the zeiss super ikonta because it folds up making it quite compact. Maybe 1.5 leicas in total size. And it's *bloody sharp*.

    But yes, you're asking about 35mm stuff.. so ignore me
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
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  5. #15

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    The Bessa R2's and R3's are very nice cameras at a good price. To be sure, they are not built to Leica standards and don't have that silky feel that the best Leicas have and they are a bit louder. They however certainly are quite capable. The R3's have a very nice 1:1 finder and if you don't wear glasses is fabulous with the 40mm Skopar which is a terrific lens. It's small, light weight, fast, and qiute sharp. I have the single coated version and like it a lot.

    Richard Wasserman




    Quote Originally Posted by hughitb View Post
    What about the Voigtlander Bessa R3A's? 40mm f1.4(!) lens + all the functionality of the latter-day Leica's and under 1000 dollars all in .... what's the catch? Is the lens not up to scratch?

  6. #16

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    I wanted one for the exact same reason - opurtunistic shots. Ive decided on getting a Leica Minilux.

  7. #17

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    Your budget of $500 is a bit low for Leica living. You might be able to do that for an LTM body but you really couldn't touch an M mount. Or if you could, you wouldn't have much or any money left over for a lens.

    I would approach it in this manner:

    1) If you really want a Leica, hold out for a bit longer, build up your camera fund and then find the body/lens combo that suits you. There's no reason to buy a lesser camera if it's a Leica that you really seek. There's nothing wrong with this. But it doesn't make sense to buy cameras and lenses twice. Wait until you have the money, buy it just once and be done with it.

    2) If you're really more interested in the rangefinder experience, consider other alternatives, such as the Cosina Voigtlander Bessa cameras and lenses. They are lower-cost options that deliver good mechanical quality and very good to excellent optical quality. If you buy a used body and lens, you should be able to stay within your $500 budget.

    You could also consider buying a used classic camera, but this opens up an entirely different avenue that includes paying to have a camera and/or lens serviced, finding a good camera and other things.

  8. #18

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    For $500 and some patience you could pick up a Leica CL with the 40/2 on it. I did. It's small and nicely built. The VF is good. I've used a Canon 50/1.5 on it without problems, as well as a 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit. It has a meter: mine is good, but like the M5 it uses a CDS cell on a swinging stalk. After 35 years, you can get problems.

    I end up shooting with the Canon P as much or more than an M3 and M2. The viewfinder is very good, 1x magnification. or $500, you could pick up a Canon P, Canon 50/1.8, and Canon 35/1.8. I just picked up a Canon RF 35/2 "dirt cheap" for $125. VERY sharp. It will also go well with the Leica CL. It's small. The Canon P does not have a meter. Get a handheld meter, is easy to use.

  9. #19
    peter_n's Avatar
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    Hugh many people like the M6, but as you say it may be a bit rich for your blood. One place to keep an eye out for used rangefinders is the RFF classifieds. There is a difference between using Leicas and Voigtlanders - I use Leica MPs and used to have a Voigtlander R4 and there is obviously a quality difference given the price differential between the two bodies. If you're patient you could pick up an M6 and a Voigtlander 40/1.4 for a reasonable price. The CV lens is of the pancake variety so the package would be small - great for street shooting and such, and the lens is fast so you can cover indoors/night shots too. Plenty of them on the used market.

  10. #20
    Sjixxxy's Avatar
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    I bought an M3 a while back with a collapsable Elmar with the illusion of being able to stick it in my pocket. Indeed, sticking it in my pocket did work, as long as it was winter and I had a big coat with a bog pocket on.

    It also didn't take long to realize that sticking it in my pocket was only a good methodology if I wanted to watch great things pass in front of me while I wrestle with getting a camera out of my pocket, taking the lens cap off, and uncollapsing the lens. So Now I just carry it over my shoulder at all times ready to go. It hasn't seen any form of pocket for well over a year.
    Gear: Camera, Brain, Light.
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