View Full Version : Replacing an M4 with an M3?
I have a very nice M4. Over the past year or so I've come to realize that I rarely use anything other than the 50mm (Summicron.)
I've heard folks say that the M3 viewfinder is "perfect" for use with a 50. I've never used anything other than a .72 mag (M6 and M7) viewfinder so I'm not completely clear what improvement I'd see with an M3.
If you knew you were going to live pretty much full-time with a 50mm lens, would there be any real benefit to switching to an M3?
I can't vouch for the M4 as I've not used one. However, I do have an M3 and have also owned an MP, M7, M6 and M2 and I've sold them and kept hold of the M3. If you are a 50mm user then it's just perfect. There's a loveliness to the quality of the build, the smoothness of the shutter release and the film wind on that is, somehow, different from the others. I adore mine, simple as that.
Depends on what you like about the Leica VF. I quite like the VF in a .72 M for a 50mm lens, and find the M3 pretty difficult for a 50. Perfect for a 90 and a 135 however. There isn't much 'extra' in an M3 VF and the 50mm framelines seem pretty lame- big, thick and with rounded corners.
I am like you reguarding the 50. I thought about it but if you are satisfied with the M4 why change? All you downgrade from the M4 to M3 in my view outweight the better finder. Maybe all you need is a nice loupe like the genuine 1.25x? I don't know I have the cheap copie of it and I don't like it because the eye relief is narrow and its poking in the eye in an unconfortable way.
If the loading and rewind doesn't bother you I would definately go for it or just keep both that's the best!
I think you need to go somewhere that has an M3, leave your M4 behind the counter and ask if you can go out and shoot a roll of film with it.
The viewfinder in the M3 is preferred for 50mm, IMHO, but you give up easier loading. That 1.25x magnifier sounds like a good idea. :)
I couldn't justify *keeping* both right now, but I could pick up an M3, try it for a while, and sell the one I love less. At least that's what I'm telling myself.
The magnifier looks like a neat idea, but I'm seeing prices of around $300. For that I'm halfway to a user M3!
I prefer the M3. But only you can decide - trying sounds like a good idea.
On the loading- buy an extra spool and pre-thread the film with it. Keep film/spool in the bag for the next load.
I prefer my M3 over the M2. But, I also will keep both in the bag. M3+50 and M2+35.
if u had M6 or M7 the solution was a X1.4 maginifier and it would be even better than M3 but i dont know if X1.4 maginifier fits M4 eyepiece. M4 is a superb camera by the way.
From my experience (I had three different M3) and wearing eye-glasses, the 0.91x M3 VF is not optimal but the 0.85x is for 50mm (had an M6TTL 0.85x for some time). I now only have 0.72x VF Leicas and use occasionally a 1.25x Leica magnifier. Try an M3 for some time to see if it works for you, for me it did not really.
I have a M3 and wear glasses. If I use my right eye, I can see the full frames. If I use my left eye, I cannot. I shoot with my left eye anyway and just use whatever I can see in the viewfinder for my approximate framing.
My M3 sees most of its time sporting an 85/2 Nikkor or a 135/2.8 Elmarit, both of which use the 90mm frame line. The rest of the time it's usually wearing a 21/3.4 Super Angulon.
Most of time I use a Canon RF camera and not a Leica.
I wouldn't make it a problem to decide which Leica model to use. I use what I have, and if it is not a Leica, then this is also OK. Your M4 is a good Leica camera.
Why lose money on selling the M4 and thren buying a different M model. If you want to try out an M3, you maybe should try a loaner M3 for a week to see how much/little you appreciate any differences from the M4.
I love my M3 but I also love my 0.85 classic M6.
I wear glasses. For me the M3 + 50 is great! I also have a M4-P which I keep a 28mm on lens on most of the time. In contrast to the M3+50 framelines, on an M4-P the 28mm framelines with glasses are very hard to see.
Don't... unless you plan on keeping both bodies.
I have metered and unmetered Leicas. With the M6TTL and M4-2, I use wide-angle lenses (either 35 or 28mm), but with my M3... only 50mm. Why? It's so much fun to use a lens like that in the M3 (at least to me) because the VF leads you to think "you're getting it all in."
In short, the M3 was made to shoot with a 50mm lens. If that's your cup of tea... try one, but don't replace your M4 with it. They're not quite comparable... to me.
You see that's another thing. I've been using an 85/2 on an OM-2n and finding that it's a fun focal length. This surprised me. If were to try hard enough, I could probably convince myself to keep the M4-50 combo and add an M3-90 combo. You know, just because :)
Sigh. I'd love to try an M3, but surely don't *need* to. I'll just keep my eye open for a user with a ding or two. Anything wrong with getting the older, double-stroke version as long as the RF is in good shape?
> keep the M4-50 combo and add an M3-90 combo
Sorry, I realize that last comment contradicts my whole premise of getting an M3 specifically for a 50mm lens.
I don't think it would be wise to give up the M4. It seems the best solution is to have both. I'll just find something else to sell so I can pay for it.
If you wear glasses: the eye-relief on the M3 Single Stroke model is slightly better than the double stroke model. The diameter of the eyepiece was increased. I have both, wear glasses, and do not have a problem seeing the framelines with either. The Single Stroke model does have more margin.
Evaluating the finder over the internet is tough. When I bought my M3 I went to a camera market and looked through a good 50 M3's before I found one with the best combination of price and finder. Some of the finders were really terrible...
The spool loading speed and difficulty on a M2 or M3 is a red herring. With a bit of practice, it is just as fast, if not more positive and effective, than the tulip loader on M4s and later M models, particularly if you buy a few extra spools.
The M3 VF is best if you like high magnification finders. I do. Use the highest magnification finder that you can with the focal lengths you like. In my view, you'd be most pleased with your 50 and the M3; I'd even consider trying contacts to make the experience of the 50/M3 combination smokin' hot ;P
Try a Nikon S2 if you like 50mm lenses, with the lifesize view you can shoot with both eyes open. :) But nothing beats the M3 RF patch, IMHO. If I were shooting Leica, I'd shoot an M3 with a 28/35 CV minifinder. That way you get the larger RF patch, most accurate focusing, and can still easily use wider lenses. I've shot with 35mm with no external finder on an M3, with practice it can be reasonably accurate framing if you are ok with your eye hunting around the viewfinder.
I tried opening both eyes for a while, but being left-eyed, it just made things worse :)
Me too. I've had to train myself to shoot right-eyed. ;)
It seems pretty clear you shouldn't do it. I also wonder about the M3, but I would not like the rounded corners of the framelines. I would certainly not give up the M4, but mine was stolen. Love the M2 and the space around the 50 framelines with my glasses on. If I am serious about greater magnification for an M with the ZM Sonnar 50 I will look for a 0.85 M6/M7. I don't think I would be at all comfortable with that 1.25 magnifier sticking out of the back, digging into my ribs. The truth is that I would just like to have an M3 at some point, and I think you are no different. But we don't need it.
I use 50's 99% of the time and I haven't noticed much of a difference shooting daylight with either .91 or .72 viewfinders. They look different but the frame lines do the same job. The .91 has rounded corners and the .72 and has cut away corners.
The only time I appreciate the bigger viewfinder is shooting wide open at night, which for me doesn't happen often.
I've used the HK supplies magnifier for .72 bodies. They work but a word of caution, watch out how far they protrude from the body. I've almost poked my eye out a few times with that.
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.