I am looking to buy a second hand M series Leica. My main camera is a Canon 5D2 but I want to go back to using film for my own work and satisfaction.
Is there anyone who can give some good advice on which M and single lens is a good combination? I want to be able to take it with most places and will be looking for used on ebay. (Used rather than mint collectors item)
I'd go for an M6 (classic or TTL) for the body. Usually the least expensive M body with built in metering. The TTL has TTL flash metering and is about 3mm taller. Otherwise there's not much between them. Personally I prefer the classic. The lens is more of a personal choice but either the 35mm or 50mm summicron would be excellent. I am fortunate enough to own several bodies and lenses but my M6 classic and 50 'cron seem to spend more time round my neck than any of the others. Just my opinion but hope this helps.
I love the combination of an M3 and collapsible Summicron 50. How's your search going. Or how did it go?
Thanks for the replies. I ended up getting a classic M6 with very old 50mm Summicron. Love it. I now have very expensive Leica GAS. The 50 is a great lens, although not with back lighting and I would probably prefer a 35mm as it would probably suit more due to where I stand in relation to my subjects. All my personal stuff is now done on film and mainly the Leica. It is surprisingly fast to use once you "get it" with using Leica.
As an aside I have added a Contax 645, eos1V and am looking for a TLR for,the square format.
I am seriously looking at taking my business back to film as the post production time is virtually nil for me. More expensive up front for the developing costs but the saving is days NOT spent on the Mac and file processing.
You might look at an older Rolleiflex for your 6x6 format. They aren't cheap, but so much lighter than a 6x6 Mamiyaflex.
Take a look at the M4-P body - they can be found in good user condition for $700ish, twice that for a mint LNIB example. An M6 classic (non-TTL) would also be a good body to consider. The 0.72 viewfinder is a good all-around choice, although some who wear glasses prefer the 0.58 viewfinder.
As far as lenses, look at the Summicron 50mm and 35mm - they offer fantastic performance at decent prices with an f/2 maximum aperture.
Also consider the 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit for a wide angle lens.
For a budget 50, look at the 50mm f/2.8 Elmar. I recently saw one in near mint condition priced at $575.
here are some places to shop -
Also, talk to Ken Hansen - his email is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you look hard enough, you can get started in the world of Leica for in the $1000 to $2000 price range for one body and one lens. Of course, a $1000 camera & lens will be used with alot of cosmetic wear (a "user" camera) - but it's a place to start.
A user Leica still beats the pants off of any other 35mm rangefinder - or SLR, for that matter (JMHO).
i have used the leica m6 with a 50mm and i loved it. i switched over to the leica m4 with a 50mm, 35mm, and 50cm.
i use an external light meter but usually just eyeball it.
these RF cameras are the best in 35mm hands down. or, that is my opinion.
I would recommend either an M4-P or M6 classic body with a 28mm f/2.8. Elmarit lens. The M4-P has no meter and requires hand metering but is a great M body.
The 28mm focal length is a wee bit wider than the much loved 35mm lens but is a viable alternative nonetheless. The 28 was used by many news photographers back in the pre digital days due to its ability to let the shooter get very close to his main subject while not cutting out all the background environment. This was a great help in telling the story at hand with camera and film.
You stated that you are looking for a TLR for medium format. TLRs in excellent condition are getting quite pricey and they do not have inter-changeable lenses. Repair for them is a difficult process and often expensive because of the lack of trained technicians. A much easier medium format camera is the Hasselblad 501 series. They are plentiful with interchangeable lenses and backs. They are priced lower.