Hi, there. I own a M3 with a 50mm cllapsible lens and have used it on some occsasions. I'd like to use it as much as I can because of the quality of the pictures it produces, which hardly takes much work. But there was one event in the past that kind of changed the way I handle my camera.
My experience with the repair service at Leica USA years ago left me thinking about finding an alternative. To get my M3 repaired, I remember it took close to one year with a few check-ups with the service response unexpectedly unprofessional and cost me and more than 500 USD to replace the sutter parts. Prior to that time, I also had heard there was also a woman who used to work for Leica, living in Upstate New York or somewhere and does Leica repair. I kind of regretted afterwards to see what would've happened if I had asked her instead. I might simply have had a bad luck, though.
So, while waiting for my M3 to come back, I just needed to do a little thinking on the side. I had a Nikon SLR with its old (non-Ai) lenses, but that was hardly able to fulfill my needs.
Since then I've been mostly shooting with Canon New F1, a SLR with NFD lenses, but it's not just any camera I picked up for the replacement of the M3 to use in the field. The optics of NFD lenses are quite good, producing very satisfying results with its contrast being rather low. It has also taught me to learn to see with different types of lenses from very wide to telephoto without losing any quality(at a moderate cost and time), and I can't think of any other camera for the most part.
But years have passed and I feel like I can explore more with a Leica rangefinder again. I missed the feel of it when I carry around a camera. Now I have a good buddy-camera Canon on my side for the quality of my pictures in consistency, so I guess I'm ready to take another chance a bit higher. Yes, I'm ready to fall in love again, but this time with perhaps a (beatup) M4-P or M4-2 (to primarily use a 35mm lens) and travel around with it. The chrome M3 will stay home for taking portraits because of its gentle look that appeals to the subject I choose. And I'm sure there are other cameras to come along, but I just haven't started to look for any.
Thanks for reading my story.