Leica 0.72x & 28mm
I have an M2 and and M3 and want a 28mm lens. Obviously I will not have framelines... I'm thinking of composing with the entire window and/or adding an external viewfinder for now. However, it seems that many people are much happier with a ZI or a lower magnified M body, as the framelines are easier to see. I will go this route in the future, perhaps.
1. Are all 0.72 viewfinders the same size? In theory, I guess they can be the same magnification but just larger and thus make 28mm framelines easier to see. I ask because some of the later M's have 28mm framelines but are of the same magnification. In theory I can just add 28mm framlines to my M2, I think.
2. Anyone know how much it costs to add 28mm framelines onto an M2/M4/M4-2. I don't have an M4/M4-2 but incase one body is easier to work on than the others.
3. What's a good price on a 0.58x M6? I believe those are the cheapest low-magnified Leica M's? I know that there are other options out there (Hexar RF, Zeiss Ikon, Bessa) but I'd prefer to shoot only Leica bodies because I like the ergonomics/feel. I also prefer mechanical shutters and don't need a meter (so perhaps maybe if I'm lucky I can find one with a broken meter?).
I think the best option is to buy your 28mm lens and an accessory finder (a cheaper CV finder is fine). Then two things happen. You can decide if you like the 28mm lens, and then decide if you like working with an accessory finder. If the first is a 'yes' you didn't need to buy a new camera, but if the second is 'no' you can expect to see an improvement in ergonomics with an M6. But don't get drawn into the idea that a .58 viewfinder is the way to go. It makes all the other frames look like a pea on a plate, and if you can see around the edges of the 28mm frame on a .72 camera this is a much better option. I bought a .58 M6TTL because I wear glasses, thinking it would be terrific. But the view with any other lens is so compromised that I went back to a .72, and because of my glasses back to quickly 'scanning' around the edges of the frame when using a 28mm. But if you only want one camera body to dedicate to a 28mm lens, then I admit the .58 finder could be the best.
250swb, thank you for your response.
I actually do not wear glasses so a 0.72 Leica is probably sufficient. Ive thoguht about this some bit and I think that I will plan on going the cheaper route and going with an external viewfinder first. That or just getting an SLR + 28mm. That is a cheaper way for me to discover how much I really like 28mm.
I tried a 2.8/28 mm on my M 6/0.72. Even without glasses it is a little bit difficult to overwiew the whole 28 mm-frame at the same time. With glasses it is impossible. Furthermore the lines show more or less only the picture of a 30 mm rather than a real 28 mm lens.
The 0.72 viewfinder window in the M 4-P and later types was widened a little bit compared to the older types with only 35 mm lines. If you really want to shoot more wide angle you should use an external viewfinder or a 0.58 camera. But remember that the 0.58 wide angle rangefinder is not precise enough for a 1.4/75 mm a 2.0/90 mm, all 135 mm's, a 1.0/50 mm Noctilux, maybe even for a 1.4/50 mma at full aperture.
0.58x viewfinder is nice for 28mm, I've looked through it once, but because they are quite rare I was not able to find one in my price range.
You should be aware that only M6TTL, M7 and MP have been made with this type and only MP has the classic body size and shutter speed dial direction. That narrows the selection considerably.
You could use the entire M2 window as a guide, the 28mm framelines are at the very edge.
However I think the external viewfinder is good choice (depending on your style) - and depending on the size of the lens you'll be getting it might be the only choice. Large 28mm lens can block a large part of the built-in viewfinder even if it's 0.58x.
Thanks for the responses.
I have little interest in any super fast lenses. 50mm f2 is probably the most demanding lens I'll use, maybe a 50mm f1.4/f1.5 in the future, but I don't foresee a 50mm f1.0 in my life time.
I didn't know much about the rarity of the 0.58 finders but the prices of M6's, M7's, and MP's make the external viewfinder more attractive :).
If you are comfortable with a hand held meter or if you share with me a preference for one over an in-camera meter, then I would recommend the Leica M4-P. Get one with the older, more pronounced 50mm lines and brass top (SN 159.... or less) and you will be satisfied. As long as you don't wear glasses, the M4-P 28mm lines work well -- here's a snap of mine:>