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  1. #101
    stevebrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aron View Post
    /*

    I take the courage to ask a slightly OT question in hoping that some of the Leicafans here will have an answer:

    What can be considered the largest safe aperture for the shutter if I carry the camera all day long in full sun sans lenscap?

    */
    To clarify some of the above comments, it is not the brightness of the scene as much as it is the risk of subjecting the shutter to sharply focused direct sun. Sort of like burning ants using a magnifying glass. The rule of thumb is to keep the lens capped when not actively shooting if there is a risk of having the lens point at the sun in general handling. As for the value of filters or a hood


    Steve

  2. #102

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    Leitz made excellent cameras, and they were always somewhat of a "luxury" item. Not too outrageous, but maybe something like a BMW or Mercedes might be today. They were this ubiquitous force in cameras for a long time – about 30 years – and their name became legendary and synonymous with the high-end 35mm camera.

    Then came Nikons, and they took over quickly because they were the first camera system in a long time that was significantly better than or equal to Leicas in almost every way that counted to working photographers. All that was left for Leica was the legendary status, and, less so, the fact that, although outmatched in almost every way, they were still well-made cameras. When your product is not even close to being able to take on the competition (i.e. Nikon in this case), you can no longer rely on the product itself to keep you in business.

    The Leica mystique was always perpetuated to some degree by the company, and when the cameras gradually phased out in the wake of Nikons, I think Leitz came to rely on their legendary status to keep themselves in business. The sentimentality of those who had grown up with and made their livings on the legendary Leicas of yore was stoked by the company and passed down from generation to generation.

    Now we have exorbitantly priced cameras that are no better than what the company made when Nikon first blew them out of the water. Think about it. How the heck else is a company supposed to stay in business with a product that was handily outmatched fifty years ago? You don't sell the product. You sell something more than the product. The product simply becomes a vehicle for the purchase of status. With the cameras appealing to a much smaller market, prices had to go up both to support the myth, and to simply make enough money for the company to stay afloat. Make no mistake. Leicas are primarily luxury/leisure items, and have been for decades.

    The way I see it, the trick to getting around this overpriced idiocy, and to simply get your hands on an excellent rangefinder camera, is to realize that the company has made no significant upgrades for 90% of truly serious shooters since the M2. If you want a quality rangefinder that simply gets the job done in an old-fashioned manner, don't buy anything past the M2, and do not fall for any of the collector garbage. Realize that no matter how good everyone proclaims the optics and mechanics of the cameras to be, they are over all an outdated and inferior tool to SLRs. The slight advantages in optics are more than outweighed by disadvantages in other areas. Leicas are worth owning and shooting because they are a well made example of a convenient, fun, and loose, seat of the pants style of camera of the past. You shoot one for the same reason you drive a '61 Cadillac: because they're fuggin' cool, and fuggin' fun, not because they are the best in the world in a technical sense (though they may have been at the time they were made).

    That attitude would keep anyone in their right mind from paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for one. But no. Everyone is so convinced that having a Leica makes them a serious photographer. Everyone is convinced that they are vastly superior in quality to any other camera. Balls to that. The proof in pictures says otherwise. People shoot the same crap with Leicas that they do with any camera, and often it is even crappier because rangefinders are such a pain in the ass to use compared to SLRs. Leicas are cool because they are fun and old fashioned. Embrace that, and don't take them so damned seriously. You'll get out cheap, and have a million times more fun and get a million times better pictures than all the bozos paying big bucks for them so that they can think of themselves as serious photographers. Get an old thread mount camera or an early M and you've got everything that was ever good about using a Leica in the first place. You usually escape for well under a thousand bucks too.

    The Leica mystique is due to the fact that people do not know how to objectively judge something, take it for what it is, and just enjoy it for the hell of it. They've always got to attach some sort of twisted value to it beyond what it actually is: a fuggin' bitchin' old camera that used to rule the world.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 01-06-2011 at 01:08 AM. 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)

  3. #103
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Embrace that, don't take them so damned seriously, and you can get out cheap, and have a million times more fun and get a million times better pictures than all the bozos paying big bucks for them so that they can think of themselves as serious photographers. Get an old thread mount camera or an early M and you've got everything that was ever good about using a Leica in the first place. You usually escape for well under a thousand bucks too.
    My yardstick for current Leica's prices were examples being offered locally at a brick 'n mortar camera store with a reputation of having high prices to begin with on virtually everything in their store, cameras being offered on EvilBay, and cameras offered for sale on various forum sites. Using these prices as a guide, and for less than what I would have paid for a Canon 7D body only; I purchased both a camera body that is in mint condition, case, instruction manual and an excellent lens with hood at a price that everyone else was asking for just the M5 body alone!

    Considering the condition some of the cameras that were being offered for sale were in, I could have easily paid twice as much for less.

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Leitz made excellent cameras, and they were always somewhat of a "luxury" item. Not too outrageous, but maybe something like a BMW or Mercedes might be today. They were this ubiquitous force in cameras for a long time – about 30 years – and their name became legendary and synonymous with the high-end 35mm camera.

    Then came Nikons, and they took over quickly because they were the first camera system in a long time that was significantly better than or equal to Leicas in almost every way that counted to working photographers. All that was left for Leica was the legendary status, and, less so, the fact that, although outmatched in almost every way, they were still well-made cameras. When your product is not even close to being able to take on the competition (i.e. Nikon in this case), you can no longer rely on the product itself to keep you in business.

    The Leica mystique was always perpetuated to some degree by the company, and when the cameras gradually phased out in the wake of Nikons, I think Leitz came to rely on their legendary status to keep themselves in business. The sentimentality of those who had grown up with and made their livings on the legendary Leicas of yore was stoked by the company and passed down from generation to generation.

    Now we have exorbitantly priced cameras that are no better than what the company made when Nikon first blew them out of the water. Think about it. How the heck else is a company supposed to stay in business with a product that was handily outmatched fifty years ago? You don't sell the product. You sell something more than the product. The product simply becomes a vehicle for the purchase of status. With the cameras appealing to a much smaller market, prices had to go up both to support the myth, and to simply make enough money for the company to stay afloat. Make no mistake. Leicas are primarily luxury/leisure items, and have been for decades.

    The way I see it, the trick to getting around this overpriced idiocy, and to simply get your hands on an excellent rangefinder camera, is to realize that the company has made no significant upgrades for 90% of truly serious shooters since the M2. If you want a quality rangefinder that simply gets the job done in an old-fashioned manner, don't buy anything past the M2, and do not fall for any of the collector garbage. Realize that no matter how good everyone proclaims the optics and mechanics of the cameras to be, they are over all an outdated and inferior tool to SLRs. The slight advantages in optics are more than outweighed by disadvantages in other areas. Leicas are worth owning and shooting because they are a well made example of a convenient, fun, and loose, seat of the pants style of camera of the past. You shoot one for the same reason you drive a '61 Cadillac: because they're fuggin' cool, and fuggin' fun, not because they are the best in the world in a technical sense (though they may have been at the time they were made).

    That attitude would keep anyone in their right mind from paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for one. But no. Everyone is so convinced that having a Leica makes them a serious photographer. Everyone is convinced that they are vastly superior in quality to any other camera. Balls to that. The proof in pictures says otherwise. People shoot the same crap with Leicas that they do with any camera, and often it is even crappier because rangefinders are such a pain in the ass to use compared to SLRs. Leicas are cool because they are fun and old fashioned. Embrace that, and don't take them so damned seriously. You'll get out cheap, and have a million times more fun and get a million times better pictures than all the bozos paying big bucks for them so that they can think of themselves as serious photographers. Get an old thread mount camera or an early M and you've got everything that was ever good about using a Leica in the first place. You usually escape for well under a thousand bucks too.

    The Leica mystique is due to the fact that people do not know how to objectively judge something, take it for what it is, and just enjoy it for the hell of it. They've always got to attach some sort of twisted value to it beyond what it actually is: a fuggin' bitchin' old camera that used to rule the world.
    Hi
    Not my recollection, Leica slugged it out for sales with Canon and Nikon after WWII until Nikon and Canon went to SLRs, they outsold Nikon, and nearly held their own against Canon, although there was a cost premium.
    May be good marketing cause I still use Canon Ps.
    Their volume has remained static compared with Canon and Nikons. They are now like marcupials in an environment with no competing mammals... Although Cosina are rescently denting their volume a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    My yardstick for current Leica's prices were examples being offered locally at a brick 'n mortar camera store with a reputation of having high prices to begin with on virtually everything in their store, cameras being offered on EvilBay, and cameras offered for sale on various forum sites. Using these prices as a guide, and for less than what I would have paid for a Canon 7D body only; I purchased both a camera body that is in mint condition, case, instruction manual and an excellent lens with hood at a price that everyone else was asking for just the M5 body alone!

    Considering the condition some of the cameras that were being offered for sale were in, I could have easily paid twice as much for less.
    A beaten up M2 and a LTM CV f/2.5 in 35mm or 50mm (plus adapter) is comparable in £ with a new CV system. The results wont be much different from a new MP system. You should be able to get a cheap separate meter for color. An old weston is only a few rolls of film.

    Noel

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    You shoot one for the same reason you drive a '61 Cadillac: .
    Though your post was well-constructed and argued, that line pretty much says it all for me, as an owner of an old vehicle and a Leica. Sadly the vehicle isn't a '61 Caddy, but the sentiment's the same!

    Steve

  6. #106
    Aron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    The Leica mystique is due to the fact that people do not know how to objectively judge something, take it for what it is, and just enjoy it for the hell of it.
    Although I enjoyed reading your mini article, Keith, there are a few points I think about in a different way.

    Over all rangefinders can be considered outdated if one primarily uses long lenses, if one prefers to shoot at 3+ fps or take macro shots without a dedicated setup. However, for anything under 90-135 mm, I believe rangefinders are still the better choice: I just love composing using the framelines and prefer focusing the rangefinder way, wether the ongoing action is slow or moderately fast (not too fast as to reach for an auto-everything camera) and I believe I'm not the only in thinking so.

    I agree some photographers/collectors are over the top with the (their) Leica mystique, however, mystique can be good and trying to judge everything objectively can be harmful. Strong emotion (and subjective judgement) is needed to fuel imagination when one tries to create wether it's a new aircraft engine or a photograph.

    If you take a nice viola from an experienced musician and give him another one of the same make, even if they are almost completely identical, the player will know which one he prefers. As long as we don't photograph in order to have an excuse for having nice cameras, I see no problem in loving our tools to create art.

  7. #107
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    All that was left for Leica was the legendary status, and, less so, the fact that, although outmatched in almost every way, they were still well-made cameras.
    Nikon won the commercial battle and cornered the professional market, but certainly not because they were "better in almost every way".

    Leica was expensive and entered the SLR market late (and, at the very first, poorly), by the time they had an SLR which could knock the socks off a contemporary Nikon (1968), it was too late.

    For years I used and loved my Nikon F and F2, but in comparison to their Leica contemporaries (Leicaflex SL & SL2), they are clearly outmatched (the Nikons, that is).

    In Leica's case, it isn't (only) just a matter of mystique, but of real technical and ergonomic advantages.
    Unless the only advantages you consider important are the number of "features" and automatic functions a camera has.
    Of course any "serious" camera today *absolutely needs* 1/16000 and the ability to shoot at 12 fps... (I think Super 8 actually achieved 24 fps)

    Now I use my Leicaflexes nearly every day and my former beloved F & F2 are collecting dust..
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    Nikon won the commercial battle and cornered the professional market, but certainly not because they were "better in almost every way".

    Leica was expensive and entered the SLR market late (and, at the very first, poorly), by the time they had an SLR which could knock the socks off a contemporary Nikon (1968), it was too late.

    For years I used and loved my Nikon F and F2, but in comparison to their Leica contemporaries (Leicaflex SL & SL2), they are clearly outmatched (the Nikons, that is).

    In Leica's case, it isn't (only) just a matter of mystique, but of real technical and ergonomic advantages.
    Unless the only advantages you consider important are the number of "features" and automatic functions a camera has.
    Well the pros did not think anything of the Leica SLRs, they were buying the best camera for the job, they bought Nikon F, and then F2, and then F3,... in enormous numbers and they hammered them to death. The hobby people ditto, cept for pampering. They are still buying Nikons and Canons, Canon had great trouble competing with Nikon, for the pro market, they did better earlier with rangefinders, Leitz just did not appear to try with SLRs.

    The customer is allways correct, if it does not sell it is the wrong product.

    My Nikon F '63 was more reliable than my M4 '68, although there was more to go wrong in a F than a M4. I still use an F2 when I need a SLR, it has not gone wrong - yet.

    Noel

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
    Well the pros did not think anything of the Leica SLRs, they were buying the best camera for the job, they bought Nikon F, and then F2, and then F3,...
    Short answer before sleep: if we all blindly followed what the "pros" do, we'd all be using D*g*t*l and there would be no Apug....
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #110

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    [QUOTE=2F/2F;1117237...The Leica mystique is due to the fact that people do not know how to objectively judge something, take it for what it is, and just enjoy it for the hell of it. They've always got to attach some sort of twisted value to it beyond what it actually is: a fuggin' bitchin' old camera that used to rule the world.[/QUOTE]

    Spot on: my take precisely!



 

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