Continue with M-E and M4-2 or M-E and ... ?
Old 01-11-2017   #1
Ko.Fe.
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Continue with M-E and M4-2 or M-E and ... ?

To me RFF is not just place to talk about RF gear and show, see some pictures. It is also place where it is allowed to vent little bit about something insignificant, not practical, but intimate .


After getting M-E in 2016 as birthday present it has grown on me. I learned how to get from it bw I like and how to get it printed with close to darkroom prints archival quality.
M-E gave me freedom from "night-shifts" in the darkroom, which is good for family. And it is the only digital camera I have joy to use.

With M-E I'm leaving family room for one hour and coming back from the basement with "easy to read" bw prints. Even color family album printed at home is possible now!
With M4-2 I'm leaving same family room down to the same basement and it is about same time just to get film developed. If I want to print I have to say "see you tomorrow morning" before I'm going to the basement.

Since 2016, here and now the cost of fresh 100 sheets of darkroom 8x10 FB Ilford paper became not so different from buying of small new inkjet printer with set of pigment (archival) inks and 100 sheets of matte 8.5x11 paper. I'm talking about something like 30 CAD (25$) difference

If I'm trying to use cheap RC paper, often I see how my prints getting grey, dull after sometime if they are on the wall. Pigment inks are more archival, they say.
Every time my wife seeing bulk film, darkroom paper bills it is addressed to me with concerns. My darkroom prints are also questioned for their quality and any value if no family members are on the print. And, yes, many of my darkroom prints might be done better.

But I'm also realizing what using under 1K$ film M is less stressful if shooting is adventurous (skating for couple of hours under falling snow and -20C) and if I want to toss it in everyday bag for weeks without worries about battery and spare battery. I don't want to risk M-E for this.

And I have also some moral obligations with use of M-E. Person who paid for it have seen me taking strangers pictures on the street and in the public transit. . The comment was what M-E hopefully will be used for something more serious.

But this is what I like to do with any M-mount Leica for sometime now. As result M4-2 is waiting for CLA and parts .
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Due to all of these, I'm about to cut my darkroom time back to once a month. Not twice a week as it was in recent time.

I'm going to sell as much of film gear as I could. In 2016 it cost me next to nothing to CLA FED-2 and Jupiter-3, simply because it is something I'm capable of DIY. Even if I will have to do it every year and get some parts, it is still going to cost next to nothing.

What digital M to get after sale (if I'll be lucky to sell) to be able to have fun and joy from use?

Before getting M-E I was about buying used M8.
It is Leica. It has 10mp sensor which I'm finding optimum for goofing around on the streets and in the fields. It has batteries which doesn't cost 175$, because M8 could handle not OEM batteries. It is OK for BW, which I like for my own photography. It is most affordable M for me. But it has highest lottery factor and will be out of support sooner than any other M.

M9 is more costly itself, needs two OEM batteries, if I want to take it every day with me. But I will not need extra lens and support might be longer than for M8. And it is just same as M-E, the only digital camera I like to use.

It will take time to sell all I want to sell and if M10 will become available around same time, then used M240 price might become slightly visible on my gear horizon. It is less desirable digital M for me, but it is most practical one for durability, battery and support for street and for any other nothing serous use...


Sorry for this long reality self-check. I have to admit, what I'm just not mature enough yet to get x100t and be done with it!
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Old 01-11-2017   #2
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Nikon Df, goes perfect with the ME just like a Nikon F and a M2!
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Old 01-11-2017   #3
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I can understand! I just bought a box of Ilford MG RC just the other day. $110!! The last time (2012) it was $66! But, I print infrequently and shoot infrequently, so the cost of materials is the same, or less then, than digital camera "devaluation". Analogue, for me, is more fun, although colour is another kettle of fish. If I could get a colour head for my Omega...

Always the journey...
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Old 01-11-2017   #4
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Nikon Df, goes perfect with the ME just like a Nikon F and a M2!
Personally, I don't like to use any SLRs or like at all.
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Old 01-11-2017   #5
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Sounds like you're loving digital. Keep the M-E but get a cheaper digital camera for the rough stuff? Used, maybe weather sealed? Might be an idea.
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Old 01-11-2017   #6
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Get a first generation Sony A7 with the Voigtlander VM-E adapter. They are a couple hundred less than $1k.
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Old 01-11-2017   #7
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These days, I only shoot film because I enjoy using RF gear. I do not enjoy the darkroom experience as much as I used to. Maybe it's just a phase I'm going through or maybe it's permanent. In any case, if I ever have enough discretionary funds to purchase a DRF, I may give up film altogether.
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Old 01-11-2017   #8
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Sounds like you're loving digital. Keep the M-E but get a cheaper digital camera for the rough stuff? Used, maybe weather sealed? Might be an idea.
I was looking at P&S like these, but their image quality is too compromised due to the insulation of the lens.
But where are 100 CAD water sealed Vivitars at local Walmart. I'm thinking of getting one for summer, swim season.


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Get a first generation Sony A7 with the Voigtlander VM-E adapter. They are a couple hundred less than $1k.
I've had its EVF into my eye once. It was causing me motion sickness.
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Old 01-11-2017   #9
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Couldn't you get a scanner, continue using film, and just scan and print the photos from the M4-2?

DJK
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Old 01-11-2017   #10
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Couldn't you get a scanner, continue using film, and just scan and print the photos from the M4-2?

DJK
Someone's got to develop the film first.
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Old 01-11-2017   #11
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Originally Posted by expwmbat View Post
Couldn't you get a scanner, continue using film, and just scan and print the photos from the M4-2?

DJK
This is how I re-started with film. I have two scanners. Scanning also takes time and not always sufficient with film grain as enlargers do. Basically, with scanners I have it limited to low grain, box speed ISO films if I want to print from inkjet printers. If ISO400 film pushed at 1600 it looks not so good on scans prints, but under enlarger grain is low.

With M-E bw ISO1600 is as good as ISO400 bw film...
M-E ISO160 bw is plastic, but ISO1600 bw is organic.
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Old 01-11-2017   #12
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you mentioned your real issue is being uncomfortable using an expensive digital camera under the snow. two solutions:
+ just use the m-e with care under those situations. they are built t be usef. worst case send back to leica for a cla. prob cost as much to fix as to buy an M8 and you get all the file quality of the ME and use your 35 as 35.
+ buy an M8 to try out bc its cheap and you dont mind using it on bad weather days. if it goes out of order, well use the ME.
if im in your shoes i wont sell the last M film body (in case you have another M body then get rid of one is fine). shoot film when you enjoy (less frequent) and dev in bulk (4-8 rolls) at once instead. i have back log of film and do a few sessions every few months to see the results.
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Old 01-11-2017   #13
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Well Kostya,

You and I are more alike than I thought.

I have completely curtailed my printing in the darkroom. I haven't printed for some years now. I still use my film M's because I love to, and I scan negs from film developed at home. Yes, I limit film to ISO 400 (and EI 400) maximum. I can still be with my family while developing film -- I do it at the kitchen sink and our adjacent main room and dining room are where the family hang out. No more nights in the garage darkroom making prints. However, I did keep all my gear just in case I ever need to print again.

I use an M9 for digital, and enjoy that very much as well. I wish it had slightly better high-ISO performance, but no big complaints yet. I really go back and forth between the film and digital continuously. I often have one of each with me when I do things where I know I will have opportunity to do photography. If I can only bring one camera along, its always a tough choice. But I feel lucky to have such a choice.

My dual approach is working great! My primary film expenses now are: film, chemistry, and negative binder sheets. And of those, film is the only expense that my wife calls attention. Caffenol is super cheap, and if I ever run out of my bottles of Rodinal and HC-110, I can still whip up caffenol for next to nothing. Fixer is the only chemical that I have to purchase, and I usually grab a couple/few powder packets at a time (Freestyle) which lasts quite a long time. Long enough for my wife to forget about. Scanned negatives print quite well after some experience.

I fear you are considering selling your M4-2 as part of acquiring a second digital M. I understand why, but you might regret that. When the power goes out, or when all your batteries finally get exhausted, you're done. I've been in that situation....while traveling recently, the batteries for my M9 both went dead and I could not get to a location to charge them for another day! Because I had an M2 along, I still made plenty of photographs. Then, when we got to the hotel, it turned out that one of my batteries was completely forever dead. So I was left with just one good battery and a few more days of travel. I'm very glad I had the M2 and film with us.

I had an M8 too. I really liked it but I sold it to help afford the M9. I really wish I could have kept it too, but you know.....$$$ Chances are you would like the M8, but if I were you I would not invest too heavily in an M8. I encounter perfectly good working M8's in the $800-900 range these days, but usually after they sit unsold for a while at higher prices. You might get lucky.

BTW, my current printing is not done in a darkroom or with an inkjet printer. I just started printing cyanotypes from my backlog of large format negatives. The new cyanotype chemistry is an improvement over the old stuff. Interesting results. I do need to be careful with the UV light.
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Old 01-11-2017   #14
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I've had its EVF into my eye once. It was causing me motion sickness.
Fujis do that to me. No other brand. Shame as I really like Fujis.
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Old 01-11-2017   #15
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Now we are talking!

If I could get M8 under not speculative price, I don't have to sell M4-2. Most likely it is going to be repaired and CLA'ed after sometime and it will be good for another five years of use. I will need one 25 or 28 Color Skopar for M8, which is also manageable without selling of M4-2.

I have enough chemicals to process film for another two, three years. Also plenty of old paper for lith printing. And one bulk of film, it might last one year.

For M9 I have to sell all three M-mount 50mm lenses. I see no problem to use some cheap to get and easy to shim FSU or old LTM Canon.
I would only need to sell M4-2 and keep on saving for sometime to get used M240.

I don't see it as the problem if I sell all film M. As I mentioned in OP, my family FED-2 is something I never hesitate to use and Jupiter-3 I have aligned for it is good enough. After I cleaned it and applied white lube on focusing helicoid, it is as smooth as Planar 50 2 ZM.

I have one more concern about M8. I know what I will get from M9, but M8... I have two DNG files in my possession which are M8 ones. I just printed them in black and white. Low ISO is smooth, but ISO 1250 is rough, still good on print, but I'm afraid if it is maximum ISO for bw at M8. On M-E at ISO1600 bw just begins to me and up to 2500 is how I like it...
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Old 01-11-2017   #16
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Ko, 1250 on M8 is max for me. And I definitely apply noise control and such. But really 1250 is max for me on the M9 as well. Reflects my personal preference for a level of acceptable noise.

But, I think you'd like 1250 on the M8 (possibly maybe 2500?). I've seen your posted prints and you clearly like the grain you get with 400 film pushed to 1600. There are also some tricks to getting better high ISO performance from the M8. They've been posted here on RFF and if you need links, let me know. Also there's a menu-dance that gets you uncompressed RAW files from the M8 that are potentially better. All stuff you'll find with a little searching on RFF (and elsewhere), but just ask and we can point you to them.

I would not be keen on selling any of my M lenses (I happen to like them all), unless it was a lens I definitely didn't get along with. I would personally do other financial gymnastics if I were after an M9. I will definitely not sell any of my M lenses when I make the next move up (probably to 240). Besides, I can wait as long as necessary because I'm pretty darn happy with my film M's and M9 (similar situation to what you have now). I doubt I would consider selling my M2 or M3 either.

BTW, You might PM me sometime if you're interested in some older expired paper. Stored well, but no guarantee the fog of time hasn't crept in. I last printed about 4 or 5 years ago with some of it and all was well...... Shipping from OR to Toronto is a factor, but its a thought....I have quite a bit of paper. I plan to keep the 4x5 Azo, but not much else.
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Old 01-11-2017   #17
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Sounds like quite the dilemma Kostya.

You want something more "heavy duty" for when you don't want to take the M-E, but I'm not sure you'll use (or enjoy using) most of the alternatives. An M8,9,10 will be just as delicate, and you might as well take the M-E, so unless you just want a second body, there's no point. I say this as a dropped M8 will cost the same to repair as a dropped M-E, regardless of the initial purchase price.

My 2c are to get a fixed focal length p&s for the job where you don't want to take the Leica. An X100, GR, or even Leica X or their variants depending on the features you want will fit the bill as a less delicate, less fuss, carry skating in the snow type camera.
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Old 01-12-2017   #18
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I bought the M9 to shoot at private parties and such, since the turnaround time with film was getting ridiculous since I got my son. This works great IMO, most people don't care for prints anymore anyway.
Now I'm sometimes too afraid to take it with me whenever I know it is going to be a heavy drinking event.
I had no such problems while I had the X100 for this, sadly I sold it to finance the M9. If I ever feel like I need a secondary digital (other than my phone) I'd go with the 1st generation X100 again (but wishing I'd be rich enough to not care about the well being of my M9). I specifically would go with the non s/t model since I didn't like the output of the 16mp xtrans sensor of the XE1 I had briefly - the 12mp sensor kinda had it's own charm. (they are also really cheap now)
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Old 01-12-2017   #19
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If I was in your shoes, I would save for a nice example of a pre-owned M240.
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Old 01-12-2017   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
If I was in your shoes, I would save for a nice example of a pre-owned M240.
Ko you seem to shoot a lot of B&W then maybe an original MM?

Or an M 262....

If you still plan on shooting film then I would suggest proofing with RC paper but you final prints you should really consider using fiber paper and archival processing. That would be a very strong and fast fix cycle with a long rinse and selenium toning to seal the silver.
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Old 01-12-2017   #21
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I'm reading between the lines here but from what I see, you are telling us that a non-photographer is telling you how to do photography. Umm........hmmmmm.......

Digital Leicas: People love them when they are new; they ride the newness wave. But rugged like a M3 they are not. It would be wise to consider the dollar cost of maintaining an obsolete device and maintaining digital files longer term say 30-40 years. Those costs can take far more time than processing film ever will because the devices have to be paid for by your time. It just at work instead of in a darkroom.

The M4-2 could outlast your children if cared for.

It's just some thoughts Ko.Fe. Hope it all goes well.
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Old 01-12-2017   #22
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Haha, no new gear will make you a better photographer. Pretty funny to see your posts every month or so looking for advice on new leica. Get busy. This is pure rangefinder forum porn.
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Old 01-12-2017   #23
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Hi Ko. Fe,

You have an ME. Use it for digital and buy something newer, better when it becomes necessary.

Shoot the M4-2. You'll miss the film eventually. One thing time constraints and film will show you is that most pictures don't need to be printed, or uploaded. Just do the good ones. Too busy for that, then just do the really good ones. Still to busy, just do the great ones. I do a digital proof sheet of each roll (camera scan on light table). I print mine out for filing, but most people don't care about that anymore.

Of course I happen to like the darkroom. I develop a short roll most days and it takes very little time for me. I think you may have to do more setup so probably not as convenient for you.

It would be shame to not have more pictures from you of Canada with a Canadian Leica.
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Old 01-12-2017   #24
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Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post

I would not be keen on selling any of my M lenses (I happen to like them all), unless it was a lens I definitely didn't get along with...
Thank you for the info and giving me chance on paper!

I have three M-mount 50mm lenses just because I was curios to try them. None of them are real keepers to me. My only M lens I want to keep and use is Summarit-M 35 2.5.


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Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
Sounds like quite the dilemma Kostya.

....
After dropping on M4-2 on the concrete, I'm stopped using of hand straps. Any camera is on me and at neck stripe or it is in the bag.

I'm not biased on Leica cameras. I'm aware of their limits. But I just don't want anything which is non-Leica. Pure fetish, I know. I was reading about Leica X. Regular Sony sensor inside, AA filter, similar to my Canon DSLR in rendering. Leica X series has battery door problems, hopefully it isn't catastrophic. But lack of VF/OVF is one huge "-" to me. I'm not getting alone with external viewfinders either.

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Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
Ko you seem to shoot a lot of B&W then maybe an original MM?

Or an M 262....

...
M, 240, 262 just too expensive for me.

I'm done with RC paper once I finish last box. My family seems to have wet fingers often, lots of going on at the kitchen, as result RC paper plastic surface getting wet and sticking to the back of the print above while it is in box for storage. I have several prints damaged due to this. Pigments inks prints are just perfect for my family. They could almost dine on those prints...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl J. View Post
...

The M4-2 could outlast your children if cared for.
Cared by whom and for how much? In 2016 two local Leica repair persons passed away and here is no new ones. Most of remaining Leica repair persons I'm aware of are old and here is just one, who is not so old. Leica own service is expensive. If my kids ever wants to do it on film, here is our family FED-2. Which is easy to DIY service. And it is in use by our family since sixties....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scapevision View Post
Haha, no new gear will make you a better photographer. ...
It is part of the game since I can't afford used M240. I keep on buying less expensive things to try, just a few, and sell after sometime to get more expensive one.

Getting M-E as present helped to have fun and joy while taking family pictures. If I'm using DSLR for the party, someone will grab it and I'll have two hundreds files to deal with. With M-E guest is grabbing it and... can't even focus!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark C View Post
...
It would be shame to not have more pictures from you of Canada with a Canadian Leica.
It was just something which came naturally due to the daily use of M4-2. And any project has not only start, but the end. Except home improvements...
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Old 01-12-2017   #25
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I feel for you. On one hand, you have a compelling reason to shoot digitally. On the other, you have well-established skills and pleasing results from film.

I don't know what to say. I have one film M and, because my shooting has to favor digital capture, it sees less and less use. But I haven't let it go.
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Old 01-12-2017   #26
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It was just something which came naturally due to the daily use of M4-2. And any project has not only start, but the end. Except home improvements...
Yes, but I still think you will miss and come back to film for many other reasons. I could well be wrong; I often am, as my wife is quick to point out.

Still, I very much like your home improvement quote.

Enjoy your picture taking whatever approach you take.

Mark
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Old 01-13-2017   #27
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Hmmm, FWIW, I think that - like the FED 2 - a lot of P&S digital cameras are capable of far more than their owners get out of them. And mobiles, while I'm on the subject.

Having said that I know what we all mean about the long term worries of digital. Perhaps the answer is to sell everything except the FED 2 or similar/better (?M2 or ?M4) and spend the money from the sales on better quality paper?

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Old 01-13-2017   #28
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Get some insurance for the ME and just use that.
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Old 01-13-2017   #29
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I became a positive user of P/S digital cameras.
I had a serious heart attack req. 3 stents.
Unable to carry or use my full sized cameras, till I regained health.
P/S or phone cameras cameras are perfect for family gatherings.
Leica M film and Leica digital for "serious" shooting.
The M-E already discontinued ?, is great.
Get insurance and add spare batteries should Leica stop making/selling.

Oh! I still carry the P/S every day, film only on special days.
I have never carried my pro rig since 2009.
Enjoy your camera(great gift) and keep shooting film.
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Old 01-13-2017   #30
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It seems to me you are way overthinking it. Keep your M4-2 and M-E and lenses. Lose everything else. No need to give up the darkroom. Shoot and process film when you want to. Shoot digital when you want to. It's all good. Just fit it in your family lifestyle.
This.

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Old 01-13-2017   #31
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It seems to me you are way overthinking it. Keep your M4-2 and M-E and lenses. Lose everything else. No need to give up the darkroom. Shoot and process film when you want to. Shoot digital when you want to. It's all good. Just fit it in your family lifestyle.
x3 the way it should be.

You shouldn't need 14,000 options. Many people get hung up on finding the perfect camera for EVERY scenario even though they don't shoot much of them but rather like to have the option. Find what works for you and stick with it.
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Old 01-13-2017   #32
MIkhail
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I think you are trying to be practical in matters where the practicality of simply inapplicable. It's a hobby, the thing is impractical in nature. One does not earn money by hobby, one spends money on hobby instead. Do what you enjoy doing the most. Life is so short. Why else do you go to work for, if not to be able to spend on something that gives you pleasure?
If I had and enjoy digital Leica, I would take it everywhere with me. Risk of being robbed in Canada is fairly low… to my experience.
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Old 01-13-2017   #33
Ko.Fe.
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Thanks for replies above, I appreciate the understanding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
Get some insurance for the ME and just use that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
Get insurance...
Thanks for good reminder! I checked on-line and so far just couple of options, one sounds like real and local.
Will ask our insurance broker as well.

Still, with insurance or not, I can' use M-E for street, candid. Due to request from person who has paid for it.

UPD: the black ink cartridge (23 CAD) is signaled as empty after I printed less than twenty 8.5x11 prints...
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Old 01-13-2017   #34
brennanphotoguy
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So you'd rather spend as much money on the exact same thing just to use it on the street? That makes no sense. Just pay that person back what they paid for your camera and use it whenever you want.
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Old 01-13-2017   #35
Daryl J.
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If whoever "gave" you that camera is telling you what you can and cannot do, it was never a gift and is not yours as that person is controlling the item. A gift that is actually a gift cedes control.

Return it to them and be done. Never again accept a "gift" from them. Control issues like that destroy lives, not build them.

End of story.

Sorry man.
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Old 01-13-2017   #36
Godfrey
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I tend to agree with Daryl on this. That's no gift if you are burdened with following the dictums of some other person in its use. I'd give it back, or put it on a shelf and cherish the thought.

Then I'd sell off whatever else and raise the money to purchase a new or used M typ 240 or 262. They're much more responsive than the M-E and have better performance in low light, the rangefinder/viewfinders seem a bit better too. I wouldn't go backwards for an M8 series camera. Personally, I have both the M-P 240 and M-D 262 ... I love working with the M-D, it's my M4-2 in digital form but with a meter like the M6. Perfect, best of both worlds. If I could only have one M camera now, it would be the M-D. My M-P is likely up for sale soon, the M4-2 and CL get far too little use; since I bought the M-D, all I use is it and the SL.

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Old 01-13-2017   #37
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I really want to pick up an M-D but if you need an LCD then the 262 is a wonderful camera and as mentioned a lot more responsive, better in low light and quieter than the M-E.
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Old 01-13-2017   #38
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Thanks for more and honest opinions! I already mentioned it some time in another thread. M-D is my camera, but I have to wait for ten years from now before I could afford it used.
For used M240 I have to sell all lenses, but 35 2.5 Summarit, sell both film Leicas and save money for year or two.
The reason to me for M240, it is weather sealed, might stay longer in support and larger battery. High ISO, LV and such are not needed.

M-E is my mother gift to me. But she was shocked to see me with M4-2 taking pictures of strangers on street and in public transit. Few weeks ago she has mentioned over the phone what she don't wants M-E to be used for it. Honestly, I'm OK with it. I like to use it for other things and not to risk it. And my mother doesn't mind at all about me using our family FED-2 for street photography It was wedding gift to my mother and father...
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Old 01-13-2017   #39
David Hughes
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Didn't I say so? Enjoy photography or earn a living from it that's all the choices available.

Regards, David

Last edited by David Hughes : 01-13-2017 at 14:18. Reason: Finger trouble
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Old 01-13-2017   #40
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Love my M-E to...

Or earn a living from it and enjoy it.
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