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Rangefinder Man
11-19-2006, 03:57
Hello All
I'm thinking adding a M7 or MP to the flock, but not knowing much Leica M Bodies, what is a better choice? Does one model have more problems over the other one? I would get a Leica 50mm to start with and use my Canon lens with a adapter and add more Leica lenses latter. Has anybody used Canon RF lenses with a Canon external viewfinder and still get the correct view? Sorry to ask silly questions, but a Leica is a big investment for me. A Leica body is a want not a need. Talk about getting a Leica bug! Maybe I'm reaching too high and should start off with a M4 or a M6.

Thanks
Andrew

mfunnell
11-19-2006, 04:10
For me, on aesthetics, I'd go the MP while for practical shooting I'd probably go the M7. At least so far (and I haven't had more than a couple of months at the RF game) I find myself more inept than I'd like to admit at non-automatic exposure (hence the M7 preference). However, I'm working away dilligently, and may change my tune further down the track. (But auto exposure, given its ability to run the shutter at any and whatever speed is required, is always going to be more accurate.)

...Mike

Nachkebia
11-19-2006, 04:13
If you shoot negatives go with MP, if you shoot slides go with M7 :)

Keith
11-19-2006, 04:22
The stepless shutter combined with aperture priority on my M7 is amazing. Meter on whatever part of the scene is appropriate ... lock the shutter speed by holding the button halfway down ... and you have to be completely inept not to be able to get correct exposure nine times out of ten when you take the shot. Or ... use it manually!

My heart said MP (gorgeous) ... my inexperience said M7! (practical)

Actually ... I'd like both. !!!!

sgy1962
11-19-2006, 04:28
The reason I got into rangefinder photography in the first place is to get away from the electronics. Ergo, MP would be the answer or a used M6. I suppose if I was going to consider a AP camera, I would consider the Zeiss Ikon too. Zeiss clearly offers more bang for the money.

mfunnell
11-19-2006, 04:42
Hey! I'f we're not talking Leica, then my personal preference is for the Konica Hexar RF. A truly terrific camera that offers (IMO) more than either the M7 or ZI in practical features. Not a lot of support from the manufacturer, though, so you'd be buying an "orphan". It's what I chose to do, though.

...Mike

(P.S. The M-Hexanon lenses from Konica are wonderful and will work on any M-mount camera)

Avotius
11-19-2006, 04:50
in my mind you cant go wrong with a m7 or if brand doesnt mater and money does, a zeiss ikon. If you shoot lots of photos of stuff that doesnt move, like potted plants then go for a mp, no hurry right? If you are taking shots of things moving around then it might be wise to try out a m7 but dont discount the zeiss just because it doesnt say leica.

peter_n
11-19-2006, 06:07
For me, on aesthetics, I'd go the MP while for practical shooting I'd probably go the M7.MP: Mehcanical shutter. Basically a more finely tuned M6 Classic.
M7: Electronic shutter. Great for fast shooting in Aperture Priority mode.Both these posts encapsulate the differences. They are fine cameras you just have to make your mind up about your own needs/desires. If you lean to the MP then maybe an M6 would be a good idea to test the waters. You can sell it for the same price you bought it for so what's the harm?

Turtle
11-19-2006, 06:25
I agree with the previous posts in that as a whole the M7 is more practical while the MP is smaller and prettier. But, I did not particularly need or want automatic exposure (Aperture priority) as I find that 'best' shadow exposures dont bounce about as much as automatic area meter readings do. I would therfore prefer to set a reading for ambient light and then not have to worry about the meter twitching (along with the automatically set exposure) if I then point twds the sun (the result being a grossly underexposed frame). The M7 is manual too, but as i dont plan on using the AP mode, did not see the point on the slightly bigger camera. The MP shutter speed dial also goes in the same direction as the majority of leicas made, so it is easier to pick up a second M6 classic body or an m4 or m2 and be familiar with it. If you shoot an M7, there are no probs, you can pick up a M6TTL body which has a shutter dial rotating in teh same direction as the M7, but again, like the m7, it is taller than the M6 classic/MP .

If correcting automatic exposure with the M7 you can use the exposure compensation feature (versus aperture or shutter speed on MP). I find myself having to adjust the 'auto exposure' decided upon by my Eos 3 a fair bit and it has a far 'smarter' meter than an M7. Remember that the M6 or Mp has a meter and it will tell you when you are 'on' for the cameras metered exposure. Sure, I lose a bit of speed as I will need to periodically recheck my 'zero', but I also dont get the prob of turning thru 90 degrees towards water and finding the quick imulse shot I have taken has no shadows because the meter went off like a rocket because there was water behind the subject. Chose your 6 or half dozen! I took this apporach since one day in Spain when I spot metered some grass in shade and set off with my Rolleicord and no meter. I got 12 sound exposures in shade, out of shade, on a sun backed sandy track etc because nothing could fool the basic reading taken by metering shadow and closing down 2 stops. Just take 'anchor readings' with a manual camera occassionally....

If you plan on ever getting a digital M, the M7 makes more sense as the M8, m7,m6TTL share the common shutter dial direction.

In terms of running out of batteries on teh m7, how hard is it to take a few spares with you - they are tiny so this is a 'nice to have' not a show stopper.

Anyone know which has the most reliable shutter i.e. which goes to the repair shop most MP mechanical or M7 electronic?

Remember that there are some great Zeiss ZM lenses out there. You can get a 50 f2 planar for $600 from Popflash - about half the price of a summicron and arguably just as good. The 35 biogon is also half the price of a 35 summicron asph...they all tend to be half price. Just another option as are the voigtlander lenses

peter_n
11-19-2006, 06:37
Anyone know which has the most reliable shutter i.e. which goes to the repair shop most MP mechanical or M7 electronic?Good question. I have never seen any data on that. I have two M7s and one thing I do between each roll of film is I "exercise" the 1/60 & 1/125 mechanical speeds. :) A while back one of them was at the shop being calibrated with a lens so I tried to use my M6TTL as a backup and the lens lock wouldn't move! I think I'll stick with my "electronics". ;)

humanized_form
11-19-2006, 07:02
i think the M7 in auto mode can actually _increase_ the control you have over the exposure.

i think of it in auto mode as simply having a live light meter with the shutter speed visible in the viewfinder. you can scan a scene and get precise meter readings for highlights, shadow, mids, whatever. then you can make choices on how you want the exposure to be.

you really are in control just as much(if not more precisely so), as you are with with any totally manual camera.

i shoot slides and love it.

Avotius
11-19-2006, 07:26
i think the M7 in auto mode can actually _increase_ the control you have over the exposure.

i think of it in auto mode as simply having a live light meter with the shutter speed visible in the viewfinder. you can scan a scene and get precise meter readings for highlights, shadow, mids, whatever. then you can make choices on how you want the exposure to be.

you really are in control just as much(if not more precisely so), as you are with with any totally manual camera.

i shoot slides and love it.


I can agree with that, it took about 10 seconds of looking through a m7's veiwfinder at the shutter display as I was tinkering around with one to know that it was for me. Having the shutterspeed right in front of the eye is great for me with streetshooting if you wander into a low light zone or whatever and that plus the ap shooting was enough to steer me away from the mp.

Turtle
11-19-2006, 09:02
Totally. I did not mean to suggest that you have les control with the M7 as you can go manual if you want. I simply meant that while the M7 saves time in general, its those snap shots where auto exposure can catch you out. You gain in most other scenarios, but for me I tend to have more time in those other scenarios. My RF645 has the same set up as the m7 and the exposure compensation lever on the back is as fast as you like. I remember some shots in NY with my Eos 3 which I missed (a classic case of where a manual focus lens set for zone focus would have been better) due to the AF being ON but not in servo. I also know auto exposure would have gotten it wrong too (sudden opportunity to left, two seconds to get the image and heavily backlit) and I would have had no time to correct for it.

I know many disagree. My second MP is on the way due to a person who shot lots of bands etc in clubs finding the MP too slow and trading for an M7. In such lighting I would go for an M7 too as each frame would likely have its own lighting.

abenner
11-19-2006, 09:34
rangefinder man

Others have done a good job pointing out the virtues of each.

m7 - ease of use
mp - mechanical precision

I started out with an m7 as my first leica and loved it. Manual control, but could go to AE mode when needed.

Now I've got one of each, and actually am looking to sell one; preferably the m7. It's cosmetically excellent+, just some bright marks here and there, and functionally perfect. If you're interested, send me an email (just click my username). It'd be a good deal.

Good luck, and welcome.

mervynyan
11-19-2006, 11:17
If I were to choose again, I still go with MP, without questions. the MP works without battery at any shutter spped. the lenses can adjust 1/2 stop, so aperture priority doesn't have advantage here, unless you bracket and compare, you won't see any differences.
i have used MP for a year, now I am pretty much on mark of expouse (still guessing-:), but educated guess) Once you have it, you don't want to use other cameras.

steve garza
11-19-2006, 11:53
I agree w/ Mervynyan. You will learn far more about exposure with the MP. If you can become adpet at "reading" the light, you will be able to make adjustments as you go through your own scenarios. I know the AP is great but I don't think it will make much of a difference in terms of speed. Learn to scale focus, and make exposure adjustments based on the Sunny F16 rule and all you will have to do is raise the camera, compose and shoot! From what I've discerned, Sunny F16 is always more accurate than any in camera meter and it seems that my Sekonic 558 is calbibrated to the rule. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread. The MP offers a very fine in-camera meter as well, so learn to interpret it and use that for indoor shots. I've not used an M7, but I can tell you that the MP puts my TTL to shame in terms of smoothness of operation, size and I think the shutter is even a little quiter (that might be my little fantasy though). The M7 shutter is electronic and will not have the same feel as a traditional mechanical shtter. I may be incorrect on this, does the M7 offer a higher shutter speed? that is typical w/ electro-shutters. If so, that in my opinion, would be the greatest advantadge allowing for wide open shooting bright daylight w/ fast lenses to achieve shallow depth. That's a big deal in the Kingdom of Leica and rangefinders in general. The truth is no one really needs a Leica body...there are other lesser camera bodies which will work with Leica glass....but the M body is very nice to use. Good luck whatever your choice may be. Remember.....advice is always free and abundant on RFF.

Benjamin Marks
11-19-2006, 12:02
Ah, the timeless questions . . .

I think a lot has to do with where you are going to be and what your metering practices are. If you are going to be beyond the bounderies of civilization, eschew the electronics in the M7 and get the MP. If you like to use in camera manual metering or a hand-held meter, get the MP. If you prefer (or need) AE, get the M7.

I have an M7, F4, G2 and Mamiya 7II when I want AE.
I have an M2, M3, M6, Pentax 67, 501 CM and Rollei TLR when I am using a hand held meter.

When my subject is static, or coming to sit at a studio, I use LF.

When I travel, I go with manual cameras. When, I set up lights in a studio, I go hand-held meter. When I am doing street photography, or a friend's wedding, I go with AE. Either method can produce good results, if you don't turn off your brain.

The vast majority of things I have had go wrong with Leicas have been with electronics - not, in my opinion, Leica's strong suit. (Wonky AE on delivery in M7, dead meter after 15 years of service in M6, dead magnets/switches in an R4s (also in a 15 year old camera) -- the only manual camera problem I've had is a dead second shutter curtain in a 50 year-old M2).

Good luck in your choice -- you've got a lot of frames ahead of you whichever you choose.

Ben

Bosk
11-20-2006, 00:44
Would I be right in guessing that an MP will probably retain it's value on the used market better than an M7 will?
That could be another factor in your choice if so.

peter_n
11-20-2006, 07:42
Who knows? A camera isn't a particularly good "investment" though... ;)

Rangefinder Man
11-20-2006, 16:07
I think I'll start off buying a used M6 off a photographer I know and start with that. It's not like I can never buy a MP or M7 at a latter stage. Does anybody know a good website that talks about different M lens and comparing the old ones with the newer versions? Thanks.

LazyHammock
11-20-2006, 16:34
Go to Cameraquest.com - He has his scoop on most, if not all M lenses. BTW the M6 is a great choice.
Nick

peter_n
11-20-2006, 18:37
I think I'll start off buying a used M6 off a photographer I know and start with that. It's not like I can never buy a MP or M7 at a latter stage. Does anybody know a good website that talks about different M lens and comparing the old ones with the newer versions? Thanks.Good decision. Below is the lens link into the Cameraquest site, which can have confusing navigation:

http://www.cameraquest.com/mlenses.htm

Pistach
11-21-2006, 04:01
BTW the M5 has continuous shutter time regulation. So it does it all, because it is of course mechanic (and TTL). But beware of the two lugs ones (on the same side) like the CL. I don't know what crossed their minds. Fortunately it went out of fashon quickly. I know of a photog that added a lug to his CL

edodo
11-21-2006, 11:09
Take the chrome MP it is gorgeous! Or... the black paint one, that once worn will look terrific believe me! If you want a more serious aproach of shooting without a meter but still want a M, then buy a beater M4 and have it repainted by Shintaro!

mw_uio
11-22-2006, 14:11
Charles,

That photo of your camera showing the brass is awesome!