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  1. #1
    hughitb's Avatar
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    I'd like a Leica but ...

    ... I probably can't afford one. Or can I? I need some advice here ...

    I have a notion to try and get me a nice 35mm rangefinder. As a stick-in-your-pocket and carry everywhere thing. I mostly shoot medium format but I feel an urge to go back and do some 35mm and maybe get the more spontaneous kind of shots that occur unexpectedly on the street.

    I'd like to get something compact with a wide lens, a low aperture and a built-in light meter. I don't think I really need more than one lens but the one lens would have to be good quality as I do care about sharpness and so on. After that I'm not too fussy about anything else ... I'll buy used, no problem.

    I have about 500 dollars from the sale of a lens recently and I also have a Bronica RF645 and a Fuji 6x9 GW690 both of which I might be willing to sell or trade to fund or part-fund this if necessary (I have a Mamiya 7 so I don't reckon I need either of those cameras any more).

    So, if I was going to try and get a Leica, which one would suit my needs and how much would it be likely to cost? Or should I be looking a Bessa's or other sorts of rangefinders instead?

    I do want something good - life's too short to me messing about with crap cameras.
    I have a photo blog ... and a Flickr ...

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You might just get a Leica M3 for $500, and possibly a Leicameter, but there may be no lense

    Any M series Leica's good if it's been properly serviced, and if you sold the Fuji or Bronica you could get a body, meter & 35mm f2 Summicron if you shopped around.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    You might just get a Leica M3 for $500, and possibly a Leicameter, but there may be no lense

    Ian
    I'm not sure a nice M3 is do-able for $500, and it definitely won't have a lens. Also, will an M series fit in a pocket? A III would, barely.

    Dan

  4. #4
    hughitb's Avatar
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    M3 bodies on ffordess.co.uk for £339 which is $569 so you are both (kindof) right :-)

    They also have a 50mm f2 Summicron for £329 so that is all do-able if I manage to sell one of the other two cameras ... I would prefer a wider lens though

    I am gonna ask some dumb questions now ..

    1. Do the M cameras have built-in meters? If not, is this leicameter an external hand-held one or some sort of attachment?

    2. What's the deal with R cameras? Are they SLRs or rangefinders?
    I have a photo blog ... and a Flickr ...

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    An M3 with a Summicron fits my pocket but a collapsible Summicron would be better.

    The decent III an f or g would be more than an M3, I have a great IIIa with flash synch (added after WWII) but it's not exactly what the OP's after. A good M3, without a lens, is definitely doable for around $500 in the UK/Ireland if you know where to look.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    For the same price, or less, you can pick up a Zeiss Super Ikonta B - a medium format rangefinder that shoots 6x6.... just a thought

    Not to mention the 6x6 Voigtländer Bessa...
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
    .

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    No M3's take a separate meter that couples to the shutter speed dial, so you read of the aperture. The M5's, 6's & 7's have built in meters but they fetch far higher prices.

    The R series are SLR's.

    Ian

  8. #8
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, I tried Leica and didn't like it all that much. It was a great camera and I may buy one some day again. I found that the camera (M6) was only a bit smaller than an OM1 and a whole lot more expensive....and neither was all that small. For $500, you might be able to get a Leica CL which is definitely smaller than another M camera.....or a Canon 7 or Canon P. You could also consider, though, I'd get one of the better 70's era rangefinders and get it overhauled. That way you have a pretty amazing lens and a small camera that is a pleasure to use. Take a look at all the reviews in cameraquest.com and dantestella.com.

  9. #9
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    For what it is worth, I tried Leica and didn't like it all that much. It was a great camera and I may buy one some day again. I found that the camera (M6) was only a bit smaller than an OM1 and a whole lot more expensive....and neither was all that small. For $500, you might be able to get a Leica CL which is definitely smaller than another M camera.....or a Canon 7 or Canon P. You could also consider, though, I'd get one of the better 70's era rangefinders and get it overhauled. That way you have a pretty amazing lens and a small camera that is a pleasure to use. Take a look at all the reviews in cameraquest.com and dantestella.com.
    None of the cameras you listed above are in the same leauge as the Leica M series and the Sumicron or ASPH lenses. Not even close.
    Don Bryant

  10. #10
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Here is an example of a much newer M6TTL Leica than the M3. It has TTL or through the lens metering. The lens is very good quality and wider than he 50mm mentioned. You may want to sell the gear you have so you can act quickly when you see what you want. This example was sold about an hour after it was posted.
    See the Classified section of the range finder forum for rapidly posted and quickly disappearing Leica gear. http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...ieds/index.php

    “Two many cameras and lens, I hate to let them go, but I have to get funds for my new condo and baby. All there gears are my collection, I like photo gear more than photography. These equipments are all in excellent - new conditon.

    1. Leica M6 Rangefinder Camera in Chrome. In Mint Condition. Complete with Leica body cap, strap, presention box, original manual and paper works.
    The body is very very clean, no ding, no dent, only 2 very light and minor marks. one is on the top plate and the other is on the back. The finder is crystal clean and bright. All the shutter speeds are working well. The bottom plate still has the original plastic protector on it.
    I am asking $1200 USD including express shipping and paypal.


    2. Leica M Summicron 35mm F2 Version 3 In excellent condition. It comes with both front and rear caps, leica hood. The glass is absolutely perfect, no mark, no scratch, no fungus, no mold. Lens body is also in excellent condition, very light used mark.
    Asking $860 USD including express shipping and paypal.”

    John Powers

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