Just to mention the switch from Nikon Fs to Leica Ms - There is a definite learning curve.
The focusing is reversed (clockwise versus counterclockwise) - sort of like switching from a Nikon to a Canon.
I find that framing and focusing is more of a challenge with the Leica (if you've been living in the Nikon F-world).
The other issue is metering. If you'll permit me an automotive metaphor - if you compare metering to transmissions - the Nikon F100 is a Toyota Prius and the Leica MP is a vintage Ferrari.
It's hard to give any rational reason to buy an MP over a M6 (or M4, M3). After all, they are all basically the same camera.
But, if you want an MP, buy one. Life is too short to wonder "what if?''
BTW, I own an MP and a M3.
An M6 is a fine camera that can take Leica and Zeiss M mount lenses, so it is true that you can make wonderful captures, but it is not an MP and does not feel like an MP in operation. The only thing I dislike about my MP is that it does not have the larger shutter speed dial of the M7, which makes it slightly harder to operate.
I've had a K1000, and numerous Canon SLRs and DSLRs and for me, none of them match the quality of images that I get from Leica + Leica or Zeiss lenses. The SLRs also don't have the pleasant shutter sound, especially at lower speeds. When compared to digital, nothing matches the simplicity either. Holding the camera will further persuade you to own one, it's small but solid, the feeling of quality.
You will undoubtedly get a variety of opinions, most I suspect trying to convince you you are unwise both fiscally and emotionally. But from an actual MP owner, I can advise you that they are correct. And that it does not matter, as you will appreciate the MP. If you do have the funds, consider the a la carte program so you can customize the MP and make it yours.
1. I prefer manual/mechanical cameras.
2. I have used Leica but never an MP.
3. For a long time, I have wanted to own a Leica MP.
4. The MP is such a beautiful and expensive camera that I would want to collect it instead of use it. Therefore, I would be more inclined to get a user camera such as an M2 or M6.
5. My two “must have” Leica lenses are: 35mm f/1.4 and 90mm f/2.
6. I own a Nikon system.
7. I really appreciate the dependability and reliability of the Leica and Nikon cameras I have used.
8. I could never exchange my entire 35mm Nikon SLR system for a Leica rangefinder system; however, I would use a Leica rangefinder camera in addition to my Nikon system.
9. My manual/mechanical Nikon F2 with 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8 lenses perform so well for me that they prevent me from economically justifying their replacement with a Leica MP equivalent.
1. If your interest in the MP is as a collector, sell the Nikon system to generate the cash needed for the MP.
2. If your interest in the MP is as a user, get the MP but keep the Nikon system for a few months before you get rid of it. This will give you the time needed to determine if the MP will be able to replace your Nikon system.
If you are going to get then get a black paint or even an alacarte, the BP fast wind crank really sets it off.
2nd hand ones scuffed up are cheaper, and the brass showing really looks good
Well, I've owned M2 (chrome), M3 (chrome and BP), M4-P (black chrome -- eurgh!), MP (BP), and used M6, M7, M6ttl. For me, the MP is the nicest of all (especially with the Leicavit), followed by the M2. I don't like M3s (wonderfully smooth but no 35mm frame, no meter, strange rounded frame corners) and I sold my last one years ago. Between the M2 and the MP, viewfinder flare has been a problem for me
Does this mean I'm wrong and M3, M4 and M4/6/7 owners are right? No. Does it mean they're wrong and I'm right? No.
Everyone has their own priorities. Choose yours. No-one can really do any more than tell you what worked for them, often on the basis of not having tried very many Leicas, and sometimes on the basis of never having used some of them very much.
Ive been monitoring prices for while on M2, M3, and M6's for quite awhile, as of recent there has been quite a big jump, especially noted with M3's where they averaged ~$500 on the bay completed and ~$550+ BGN or needing a CLA on Keh, now they are going for ~$800-1000 at both places which is crazy for about the same condition, and only within the last 6 months is this happening at this rate.
I own 2 MPs. Not different then any other M, not particularly better. I much prefered theM4-P framelines and VF, for example. However, the MP is Black paint and both my cameras show brassing all over and that's priceless. I shoot a lot and I always have a camera with me. All the scratches in the Paint finish is something that I really like for the look and also because it's extremely personalized: My MPs are mine and I shall pass them on to my kids. I'd never say that about any other camera.
Also, another feature of the MPs Black paint finish is that it sticks in your hand. The whole shooting experience is great. Yes, a Black Paint M2 or M3 or M4 would be the same (price-wise as well as experience-wise).
Yes, Pluto, unfortunately I impart what is called 'tough love'.
I know Pluto had his heart set on his wish being confirmed. But I might have saved him some future misery. 'Leica' today is not merely a quality camera that is was back when the Deutschmark was worth only 25 US cents (pre August 1971). NOW, of course, that currency does not exist but the value of the Deutschmark when the EURO was introduced was over one US dollar!! And, when the Euro was introduced the Euro was worth 89 US cents! Despite the financial turmoil in Europe that Euro is now worth about USD 1.30! As far as the Pentax K1000 not being able to deliver the image quality that a Summitar can deliver, I do beg to differ.
Folks, German products are ridiculously expensive because the US dollar is so weak. You are now paying for the name and the fantasy. And that does not necessarily produce quality photographs. Japan 'solved' that strong currency problem by outsourcing the manufacture. (Germany and Angela Merkel, please forgive my indiscretion.) - David Lyga