Proper kit for IIIf ?
Looking to put together an appropriate kit for a IIIf. The idea behind this is a compact, fully mechanical kit with no more than 3 lenses for "walking around" photography.
Would like one lens with fair low light capability, probably on the short end of the scale. Nothing in the kit should be over 50mm, as I like it up close and personal....
Oh yeah... I don't want to mortgage the house and sell my digital equipment to fund this newest obsession!
a 50 elmar & lens shade. A light yellow filter.
Shoot a year before you get a second lens.
lots of tri-x or plus x
the most important accessory ? a focomat enlarger
have a good time !
A traditional outfit would be some awful old Leica 35mm, a 50mm Elmar, and a 90mm Elmar, but I'd get one of the smaller Cosina/Voigtlander 21mm or 28mm lenses, both of which are appropriately tiny, and great lenses. Another nice lens, since you like wides, is the C/V 15mm, which makes a tasty small package on LTM Leicas. For a fastish 50, the collapsible 50mm Summicron rules.
Personally, a C/V 21mm/50 Summicron kit would be perfect for me. Having gotten rid of my Leica stuff, I'm carrying basically that combination in Nikon SLR equivalent, and it's not nearly as compact as the Leica version. When I had the 15 I didn't use it much, so I'd leave that out, myself. Either the 21 and the collapsible Summicron fit comfortably in a pocket. Squeeze in an extra roll of film, and you're done.
If you really want a fast W/A, the last Leica thread 28 I had was the C/V 28.1.9. It's a wonderful lens--the best 28 I've ever had--but large on a small Leica. It's discontinued, but Cameraquest still has some.
Once you start getting into wide angles, then you have to think about auxiliary viewfinders, and the amount of things rolling around in the bag starts to grow. Also, remember that you should budget for a light meter, if you don't already have one.
A lot of people simply guess, but if you're going to ever shoot slide film, then you'll need a meter. And if your sole experience has been with digital, you'll definitely need a light meter. I recall that one person said that their exposure estimations were more accurate than a light meter, which is preposterous.
I would suggest getting a IIIf and a Summitar or Summarit and then shoot with that for a while. Changing lenses on a Leica takes a bit of time, because they screw onto the body. Also remember that loading film takes longer than other 35mm cameras.
Good luck. A Leica is a great classic camera. The screw-mount models are svelte, unobtrusive and great shooters.
If you're looking for a classic Leica look, traditional ltm lenses are the way to go: Elmar, Summar, Summitar, Summaron.
If you want a compact mechanical body with modern optics, the Cosina Voigtlander 15mm, 21mm and 50mm's are unbeatable for price to performance. For 'fast', the Summitar f2 of the ltms and the Nokton f1.5 of the CVs are very nice and fairly inexpensive.
The Summitar is a beautiful lens wide open with gorgeous bokeh and pretty darn sharp stopped down and the 35mm f3.5 summaron w/ hood and is a fine, beautifully machined, tiny lens that makes negs I routinely enlarge to 11x14 and am satisfied with. You'll have fun either way.
Last idea: do a flickr search of images made with some of these lenses..theres lots of examples on there.
If I would have budget for IIIf and 3 lenses, plus finders etc, I would rather go to a M2 body and one lens.
Great info so far! Thanks for the responses!
The Ms are beautiful cameras, and I was originally considering going that way, but I just love the mechanistic-feel of the IIIs. I've shot film with old Minoltas and Canons and, more recently, with a Mamiya C330... Looking for a stone-simple 35 kit that is small and capable. Don't need "quick" as I tend to go out shooting with --at most--2 lenses even with my digital kit. Those are most likely to be primes, so I'm used to moving my feet to get the shot.
IIIf is great camera and is the top of the screw mount leica, but I feel it's overpriced these days especially when it's clean. And if you need other lens than 50mm you need finder which is expensive as well. That was the reason why I would prefer M2. IIIc is slightly different from IIIf, but the price is much less. That said, a well CLAed IIIf shutter is a pleasure, though. And SBOOI finder will make you see the world brighter than it really is. :)
The 'classic' Leica experience doesn't involve the pleasure of looking through a finder,
but removing as much camera as possible from between you and the world through which you move.
It is about a single lens for the simple reason that FEW photographers could afford more than a single lens.
It is about adding a camera to your life, not living for your camera.
It is about transforming yourself, not buying a ton of stuff.
When you can walk a busy street, and with your mind's eye, project a frameline around the scene,
and set the focus of the camera without looking at it, you're at the beginning of the trip.
As butterflydream suggested the lllC is a good alternative. You only lose the flash capability & everyone knows you don't use flash w/a Leica:D.