Thanks for your comments. I held a few Leicas and they felt fine in my hand. Haven't tried the others, Bessas, Voigtländers etc. I get the same feeling from my FED's, but the viewfinder is too small. That's why I think Leica.
I want to get rid of most of my Nikons and Soviet cameras and think less about gear.
Cosinas can be very reliable but if they fail they may need parts/modules Leicas can be the same but less likely normally shutters can be rebuilt from generic parts. The Cosina LTM &M lenses are solid workhorses.
Originally Posted by Pioneer
Leicas dont need regular service you can use them till they fail- my IIIc not been touched at least since '75, when I bought it, it is near 65 years old.
ContaxII are not uber reliable the ribbons snap regular a Nikon S3 a better shooter.
The Zeiss M is a Cosina module replace camera.
The choice of a rangefinder is do you like the finder? Is the wind on ok?
Subjective things but that is why people buy them.
Like I said, I love working with Leica cameras. And I love working with the rest as well.
Originally Posted by Xmas
I have Leica cameras that have been working for a long time. I also have Leica cameras that seem to need adjustment every year or so. I am not personally sold on the reliability of Leica but that has been my own experience. Others have different experiences.
In the end you pay your money and you take your chances. Fortunately for us they are all great cameras and we can have great fun using them. :D
Hi again. Found a nice M4-P for sale in Stockholm today. It feels solid, just one thing, the rangefinder does not line up at infinity. I guess that's easy to fix, but it stopped me from buying it. The asking price is SEK 5 000, which approximates to 554 Euro or USD 760, which feels just a little on the expensive side.
I'll be grateful for any advice.
Another thing - the little waxed black dot above the lens mount did not have any engraving. Should I worry about that?
thanks in ahead.
Id not worry about the dot only Leica service centres and a few repair people ever bothered.
Originally Posted by Erik Petersson
If you want the camera for shooting a horizonial error is focus error a vertical error is distraction - at least. Setting the rfdr is difficult some of the service people don't bother much.
Lots of people set them on shelves in glass cases so there is a large premium on condition try to get a dinked shooter that has a 'bounce' noise at 1/15 and a clear and accurate rangefinder.
An 3rd party M service (not Leica factory) in London is 120 GBP ... a factory is kidney.
If it were me I would just keep looking.
When buying a camera that is already in good shape, where everything works when you buy it, you know that everything is in good condition at the time of purchase.
When buying a camera that is already not working correctly, you are assuming that everything is in good shape and just needs an adjustment. You are probably right, but you could be wrong.
A good one at the right price will show up eventually. Besides, this is allowing you an opportunity to learn those things that should be avoided.
Have a look in London first.
Red Dot cameras.
Aperture UK - near British Museum
There is place on the Strand near Waterloo bridge (I forget the name).
If you dont get it serviced when you buy it, you will need a service within a few years. I prefer a service when I buy it.
They are all good. My preference is M3 for 50mm lens. I have the .85 viewfinder on the M6 which is good for the 75mm and a .58 viewfinder on an M7 for wide angle lenses.
I didn't see it mentioned yet but the earlier M3s had a film advance that required two strokes to advance a frame (because the Leica folks thought a single stroke would have enough torque to rip the film). Later serial numbers have a single stroke advance. The point is that the double stroke advance cannot be repaired except by replacing it with the single stroke mechanism-quite a bit more expensive. There is also some legend that seven digit serial numbers (1 000 000 +) are "the best" because...well, I don't know why. Maybe it takes the Germans a long time to learn how to properly build something they created. ;) . Seven digits command a premium. My 979 xxx M3 has been fabulous. You might find the M3's viewfinder limiting as regards 35mm WAs but Leica made a quarter of a million of them so you'll run into them a lot as you search around. You're across that ocean but you might search/email Youxin Ye, a well known Leica repair/sales guy. He always has some cameras around and seems to be a pretty straight shooter. He CLA'ed my M3 before I purchased it (from another party).
Thanks everyone for all your excellent advice! And look what I found in London!