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Thread: Nikon vs. Leica

  1. #21
    Sean's Avatar
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    I used a nikon 8008s with 3 lenses for about 5 years. I then upgraded to a Leica M6 with 28mm elmarit-M. When I got my first roll of slides back from the Leica I was beyond floored. I'm not sure how people can say the optics are the same. My nikon slides in comparison to the Leica slides were absolutely flat and dreary. The leica images look 3D as if they are jumping out of the emulsion. Amazing clarity and contrast. I no longer have the M6 because I've gone up to 645 and 8x10, but if I were going with a serious 35mm setup it would be hard to use anything other than a Leica after owning one. The Leica's are pricey though, the main drawback..

  2. #22
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I can't speak to the newer Nikon glass as everything I own is from the 70's and early 80's. But I can say that the old Nikkor glass is better than the new stuff for subjective image quality. I don't do charts, just images. So Sean if your comparing the new Nikkor to Leica I can't argue on that one.
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  3. #23

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    Hi Ara,
    Your post really caught my attention because I've been considering exactly the same thing. Moving to a rangefinder has some really attractive benefits. Like the smaller, less intrusive size, quieter noise, and sooooo much more convenient for travel and candid work. I also use a Nikon 35mm, and I regularly compare results with a friend who uses an Olympus OM2 with the same slide film. He consistently gets better colour rendition and contrastier results than my prime lenses in exactly the same situation. I can only assume a rangefinder without mirror movement and significantly faster lenses will consistently get better results. And the Leicas are such beautiful cameras - definately an attraction.

    Lees comment is something to consider .... "It's not as versatile as an SLR, however, and I would suggest you keep your Nikon to be able to use long lenses, do close-ups, etc". Fast autofocus and long focal lengths are the things I'm personally scared of giving up. I believe the Leicas are limited to 135 or 150mm max (?) So nature/wildlife photography could be more challenging - if this is a consideration. There are a few photographs I'm glad to have (and I'm convinced I would not have, if it were not for the Nikons' excellent spot metering and fast AF).

    Would be very interested in hearing what you decide. Good luck.

  4. #24
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Although, I would have to agree with Sean as far as the lens quality is concerned, a Leica is not in my immediate future. I looked up some prices on eBay and I was shocked to say the least. Basically, I would have to sell the F3, both lenses and motor drive, the Hasselblad setup, and still not have enough for any Leica. I love working with my F3 for most of the work I do, it's just the size and the noise that are prohibitive. But then again, I'm also the guy that used to own an RB67 and use it without a tripod, so at first the F3 was like lifting a feather. I'll probably be working on getting the darkroom going, it's going to cost much less in the long run and there are so many negatives to print. Thanks for all the advice. I found the forum about a week ago and you guys and gals have already been extremely helpful.

  5. #25
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    Why don;t you get a used Zeiss Contaflex/Contina/Contessa or a Voigtlander Vito/Vitessa as a starter VF camera. They don;t cost more than $100 and except for the lightmeter are usually fully operational.
    If you are lucky you may even be able to buy a Contax II or III for not too much money. Or one of the newer Contax G1/G2.

    Also a russian copy of a Leica/Contax (FED or Zorki) can be a good starting point for you to get a feel of how a Rangefinder feels/holds/shoots, etc.

    None of these cameras (excpet for the conatx) will be as high quality as a Leica but they will igve you an idea of how the RF feels
    Mama took my APX away.....

  6. #26

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    Also .... not printing your negs is missing out on about half the fun.

    OK maybe more for some of us

  7. #27
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    not printing would be missing 3/4ths of the fun in my case
    Mama took my APX away.....

  8. #28

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    I love the people that tout the "Leica" look. Subject matter, maybe, but telling me that one negative looks more like it was shot with Leica glass than Nikon or CZ is hogwash. Use whatever you like that helps you get the pictures you want. If you want to spend $4000 on a set up to shoot only black and white, be my guest. I understand the desire for the "best", but sometimes it is a little too much to buy into the mystique.

  9. #29

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    Every party needs a pooper, that's why we invited you...

  10. #30

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    I'm afraid Andrew you're sounding terribly like my wife! BTW I *know* she's right .....but ...... well ...... it's a Guy thing.

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