For someone in your position, I'd say Voigtländer every time. A new one should keep going until you graduate and well beyond without attention, and its rangefinder will be much brighter than an old Leica. An M2 for £300 would certainly be a basket case, I would think you'd have to pay £550 to £600 (body only) at least for something worthwhile. The only aspect in which a Leica absolutely has the edge is quietness - Voigtländer cameras have an extra white-painted baffle in front of the shutter used for metering (which is center-weighted and quite good). This has to drop out of the way to take a picture and makes a certain amount of noise doing this. Whatever focal lengths you like, Voigtländer has them - 35, 28, 25, 21, 15 and 12. Lens performance is consistently good, although the 50 mm f1.5 flares against the light a little more than a state-of-the-art modern lens. For me in the UK, the biggest downside of owning a Leica (my last was an M3) was the need to send it to Leica UK for servicing - shatteringly expensive and not very good!
Last edited by David H. Bebbington; 06-06-2005 at 12:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.