View Full Version : M4-2, the ugly duckling?
I read of the position of the M4-2 in the collective mind set of the Leica collector, confirming in my own mind that much hype has turned this model into an ugly duckling.
This is where years studying the financial investing of Benjamin Graham, and his student Warren Buffett, came into use. Go for real value - don't be swayed by market sentiment (requires courage to put into practice).
Proudly holding the ugly duckling, I'm typing this post with one hand (continuing another thread about one-handed typing).
The guy in the shop said this one was worn as a piece of jewellery - hung around someone's neck and hardly used. The ugly duckling was hundreds of dollars cheaper than it's beautiful swan sisters. Get the test roll processed this afternoon and will post results (think there's a self portrait on it).
Very excited! And I'm loving the lack of light meter.
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn Pro".
my fav gonzo journalist, hunter s thompson!!
so you got a leica m4-2!! soon we will need to change the name of this forum.
congrats to you.
years ago i had an m4-p which i sold because i could not get used to no meter.
in fact, i think i (unconsciously) refused to get used to it because i really wanted the latest 'gee whizz' electronic camera of the moment.
and now i'm going retro! who woulda known??
looking forward to the pics.
Welcome to the fold brother ;)
I looked at an M4-P and came real close to getting one, I will probably get one for a second body eventually. I like the brass body more than the painted chrome/zinc of the current crop (sans M7), they tend to look better when the paint wears. So the question now is .....black or chrome?
Another one :)
As Todd said - welcome to the fold.
Funny this Leica-shopping-spree that has gone on over the last couple of months. Well - it's a great camera and better use them while we still have film ! ;)
You'd get a second body too, Todd?
I think the M4-2 was much maligned by the Leica purists (wherever they are...) on account of its (alleged) lower quality; it is said in whispers that there are plastic parts in it!! :eek:
I always liked one. In fact, a year before getting into this Leica thing, I was about to bid on one that showed up on eBay. The seller even lived at a few miles away from town! Camera and lens flew for some $600.
Congratulations, Sumo du Jour! What glass did you get with it?
Congratulations, Sumo! Consider the lack of internal meter as an asset to be exploited. It will help you meter properly with a separate hand-held unit. Metering once for the light and then snapping away as the light remains the same will give you more consistent negatives that are easier to print. There's also the glory of tradition to be treasured. :-)
You scare me guys ! :eek:
I now feel like Asterix, in that small fortified village, with my Canon, my pancake and some FSU glass against the roman legions, all them holding Leicas in their hands ! :p
I'll resist !
Congrats Sumo ! Could we know how much ? Inquiring minds want to know... ;-)
I am really itching guys, but Oscar I am with you, I must resist!!!
There is a sweet M4-p over on ebay ending in an hour though, for a fair price still at this time.
rover - resist, resist, resist...
ok, make a list of all your cameras and rate them compared to the m4-p.
would this new acquisition make you a better shooter?
would leica glass really take/make a better photograph?
ah, hell! who am i kidding?
Got the Bessa eight months ago second hand. This was a low budget strategy to test enthusiasm for my first Rangefinder. Not long for the disease to take hold.
I hate to say this, but there's a big difference in "feel" between the Leica and the Bessa. It's like driving in traffic in the girlfriends new Peugeot sports car and my 1980 truck. The Leica is truly exquisitely smooth, leaving the Bessa feeling clunky.
Didn't buy glass with the body. Got a couple of adaptors for the screw mount Summarit 50, and the Ultron 35.
I've read that plastic was used in the gearing arrangement that turns the film counter. There's a plastic support for the film roll mounted on the loading door. That's all the plastic I've seen.
Now, here comes a personal confession...
The first roll of (slide, unmounted) film through the Leica is a lovely strip of black plastic. I've messed up the take-up on the winder end. D'oh!
And it's the easy-load model. The next roll is winding properly - so there's another wait to see any results. D'oh, d'oh, d'oh!!!
Good luck on the next roll ;)
Btw - and I'm stating something obvious here - if you are using lenses on the M4-2 that you've used on other bodies in the past you are probably not in for any major surprises when you get the first roll back. The main difference you've already had - the feeling of using the Leica body. End of the day the body is in this case just a light-tight box and will ofcourse not effect the way the images are rendered on the strip of film :)
I really like my 50/2.0 summicron for it's out of focus rendering and what I think is a pretty good 3d-effect. Very sharp and fairly contrasty as well.
Looking forward to seeing some examples though - especially with that Summarit of yours :)
Sumo... the Summarit is a f1.5 lens, right? It's another "maligned" one, as those mean Summicron users had the habit of calling the Summarit soft.
I've seen Summarit shots, and it's not soft, but you'll notice a certain increase in coolness.
Regarding the loading... check your PMs! ;)
"Regarding the loading... check your PMs! "
Yes, Summarit 1.5, nice and heavy.
There's a couple of shots in the gallery with this lens on the Bess R. "Restoring Aussie muscle", and "Barista Action". I really like the results with this lens.
The out-of focus area is softer than what I've noticed of other lenses. Yes, the infamous Bokeh. I'm not buying into that "discussion".
Surprised to hear the M4-2 is the ugly duckling. I always thought Leica afficionados considered the M5 a lesser cousin of the swan...
Sumo, "PM" is Personal Message. You will see a box on the home page if you are signed in telling you that you have a "PM."
I am saving my money right now and will shortly buy a camera. Time to step up from the Bessa R, which will become the rear cap for my 21/4 Color Skopar. The biggest draw for me though to an M mount body though is the Summicron. So if I choose to save a couple $ on a Bessa, I will happily invest that in a 50/2.
I went to sleep and passed on the M4-p. I'll go check to see what it sold for. It was bid to $510 when I signed off last night.
CLA'd by DAG 2 years ago, the M4-p with cosmetic wear sold for $661. A pretty fair deal in my eyes.
How cosmetic was the wear? Any idea? Because you can get the cameraleather.com fix for $25.
Too bad you missed it, but don't dismiss used equipment stores; they offer something the eBay sellers don't: a store warranty.
It was a nice camera Francisco. The black finish was wearing well adding nice character. I actually pointed it out about 2 hours before the end of the auction just in case someone may have been looking. I am not ready to take the Leica jump yet, but I am very tempted like most around here.
The wear of the black chrome is similar to the barrel of a new rifle. The look of dull black steel suits the camera even though it is very different to the wear of the enamel paint model, which I also like very much.
The choice of leather would be different for the steel-black and the paint-black. Matte finish vs. gloss; aligator vs. snake skin.
"Which leather does sir prefer?" asked the PVC clad girl.
There's a rough picture of the M4 next to the plastic black of the Bessa R on a post about "Baseline length".
Here she is. A pretty user going to a new home.
One would have to try all the various models to make fair comparisons. I have an M4-2 that I bought new in 1983, shortly after the M4-P had come out. I opted for the M4-2 for two reasons: 1) the store wanted $100 more for the "P", and 2) I only wanted the 35, 50, and 90mm lenses, since I had other cameras. I've long since bought those three, and have no desire for any others.
The main difference between the M4-2 and the "P" was that the "P" had frames for the 28mm and 70mm lenses.
As for the M-5, it was considered an ugly duckling because it broke the mold as to size and its meter was a little touchy. The M4-2 was the successor to the 5 and is sometimes credited with keeping the Leitz company from going belly-up after the relative failure of the 5.
For some interesting, if rather personal, reading on related topics, go to www.cameraquest.com. That's Steve Gandy's somewhat opinionated medium.
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