Quote Originally Posted by rakeshmravi View Post

@Nicholas: I thought about getting a cheap setup first. But I am afraid that if the lens and build quality-wise if it is not as smooth as Leica, I might get discouraged for the wrong reason.
If your primary interest in the Leica is how it feels when you're fondling it, you probably won't be disappointed with the Leica, so you might as well buy it now.

What you really need to know regarding using a rangefinder camera to actually make photos is whether the viewing and focusing system works for you. Any good example of a fixed-lens rangefinder camera will give you a good idea of this, even if the finder's not that of an M3 or the film advance doesn't quite feel as smooth when you play with it sitting at home. It'll at least put you in the ballpark, and frankly, as the owner of an M3, I think the Leica Myth is alive, well, and misleading. It's definitely a nice camera, but not some kind of tactile orgasm. And even if it was, that still won't change the photos you make with it.

If the optical quality on the fixed-lens you try isn't there, you know you can get it with a Lecia or Bessa; but still, most fixed-lens rangefinders had quite respectable-to-excellent lenses. And many of them lack the rather quirky (to those weaned on SLRs) loading of the Leica.

All that said, if you find a good deal on a Leica you can probably resell it for at least around the price you bought it for...maybe more. So if you've got the liquid cash and just can't stop yourself, you likely won't lose out in the end, even if you hate it.