In praise of the Leica M7
Old 01-18-2012   #1
kshapero
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In praise of the Leica M7

I had one, loved it but got paranoid of its reliability. Am I overacting? Have another chance at an attractive price.
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Old 01-18-2012   #2
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I had two for about three years, nothing ever really went wrong with them although I had the MP finder and optical DX upgraded by Solms under warranty on one. I never suffered from paranoia but had my own sneaking suspicions - let's put it that way.

So I sold them and replaced them with two MP bodies with the same magnification; a 0.72x and an 0.85x. So far the MPs have been great and I don't even think about the cameras. I liked the M7s a lot but I don't miss them particularly and I don't feel that I'm not getting shots that I otherwise might have gotten if my cameras had AE.



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Old 01-18-2012   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
I had one, loved it but got paranoid of its reliability. Am I overacting? Have another chance at an attractive price.
Go for it. Mine has been trouble free since I got it 5 years ago.

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Old 01-18-2012   #4
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My M7 has gone three times to Leica for service and my former MP two times ... As a reliable camera I prefer M4-2 / M4-P...
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Old 01-18-2012   #5
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Mines been trouble free since I got about 3 years ago. In the meantime, my M6 developed a sticky frame selection lever.

I just don't get the reliability paranoia about the M7. The one I'd be worried about is the M9 :P
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Old 01-18-2012   #6
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No trouble from my M7 either, and it still has the original mechanical dx reader and viewfinder to boot!

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Old 01-18-2012   #7
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I have been using 2 M7s for about 3 years. One purchased new with the upgraded finder and one purchased used without the upgrades. So far no issues.
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Old 01-18-2012   #8
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I'll chime in too. I've bought mine new almost 8 years ago and have never had a problem.
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Old 01-18-2012   #9
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Being offered a M7 Chrome at around 2200USD, mint. Without the upgraded finder and DX reader, and out of warranty.

Having doubts about the reliability, thinking of going MP!
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Old 01-18-2012   #10
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I had an M7 and MP at the same time. The MP developed a fault, the M7 was fine.
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Old 01-18-2012   #11
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I found the AE to be spot on on mine. Sold it several years ago to finance purchase of the M8. It was the only new M camera I have bought and I enjoyed it immensely. However, I found that my own habits kept me from using the AE and because of this when I had a choice between the M6 and M7 to sell, the M& went. If I was going to buy another M body today, it would be the MP rather than the M7 again.
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Old 01-18-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
My M7 has gone three times to Leica for service and my former MP two times ...
For what? ?
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Old 01-18-2012   #13
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My M7 has never presented a reliability problem since I got it, used, in 2005 even though it is my most heavily-used film body. I did have DAG install the RF patch fix & it's been to Leica NJ twice for repairs, but for problems that I caused (damage from a fall & a burnt shutter curtain). I've never noticed a problem w/the DX detector, but I've always set ISO manually, anyway.

Bottom line, probably my favorite modern M body as a user & the M8 & M9's BFF.
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Old 01-18-2012   #14
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Used a M7 for four or five weeks and ran several rolls of film through the camera without any problems.

. . . . . then went into the camera shop one day and they had just received a new Black Paint MP. I did want a fully mechanical body, AE was not a feature that I needed, I had other cameras with AE.

>>>>GAS<<<<

Traded the M7, since I bought the camera used from them they provided a 100% credit and there have been no regrets.

If the MP was not there at that moment in time I most likely would still be using the M7 with no regrets.
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Old 01-18-2012   #15
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I've had a M7 for a few years now. No legitimate issues ever. Maybe once or twice the film advance acted peculiarly.

The amount of quirks I've witnessed in a few short weeks with my M9 makes the 7 look like a long distance runner...
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Old 01-18-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austerby View Post
I had an M7 and MP at the same time. The MP developed a fault, the M7 was fine.
I know someone else who had a similar experience.
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Old 01-18-2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
For what? ?
M7:

1) to repair a jammed shutter (curtain stuck in open position) Leica USA
2) to adjust un-even frame-spacing (after repair #1 ...)
Leica USA
3) to adjust un-even frame-spacing / faulty ISO dial (after repair 2) Leica Solms

(camera came back with test-certificate and new one year warranty)

The M7 has still un-even frame-spacing and sometimes a faulty ISO-setting in DX mode. The camera was bought used with 1 year warranty and factory refurbrished (with optical DX reader and MP "upgrade" VF)


MP:

1) to service bouncing shutter at 1/1000s & 1/500s, faulty electronics, loose rewind knob, and sticky shutter button (Leica Japan)

2) to service again sticky shutter button and put a cable back into the camera that stuck out from below the top-plate after service-trip #1

camera was bought used with remaining 3 years passport warranty
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Old 01-18-2012   #18
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I loved mine enough to throw an M6TTL Millennium top plate on it. Should be back from DAG within a month or two.
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Old 01-18-2012   #19
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Miss mine a great deal, sold it a few months back. I'll be buying another, the best camera(s) I've ever owned from the German guys.
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Old 01-18-2012   #20
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Mine, bought in 2004, has been trouble-free, until last year when it developed a small electronic problem. The exposure meter stayed on all the time the camera was switched on -- would never go off -- and when the camera was switched on, it did not display the film speed for 2 seconds as it should but went straight to the meter display. I've had it repaired, and all seems fine now, and at the same time the optical film speed reader was installed, and it was generally serviced.
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Old 01-19-2012   #21
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I like to use my m7 (0,58) the only point where I'm not sure is that at least once a year I have to realign the rangefinder. Of course if shooting landscape with a 35mm lens at f 8 it would be not necessary but I do not like when the RF images are not correctly aligned. No other problems with this camera. Maybe I should learn not to care so much...
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Old 01-19-2012   #22
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I have two M7 0.85, both sent back to Solm's for optical reader and finder upgrades.
Other than the original mechanical reader, there have been no problems. The finders were upgraded at the same time because they were already in Germany and for the new one, no cost to me. Finder upgrade has not made any discernible difference.
The M7's in AUTO allow one to concentrate on action and composition in a manner that no other analog M can do. I shoot mostly people and people move and many times are moving fast.
No more adjusting the aperture ring to make the light centered, just shoot.
For scenes where there is a lot of bright sky, the exposure hold feature of the M7 is the best I have seen. Expose for the area you want and partially depress the shutter and the exposure is held.
I use Motor M's and the only problem is that the exposure is only held for one shot. Only thing I don't care for in the M7.
Never use my M3 and M6 anymore.-Dick
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Old 01-21-2012   #23
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I'm using a lovely M7 bought from this forum for personal black and white work, haven't touched my beloved MP in a while. The EA works so much better for me. I think they are a superb camera and I've found they allow me to get the best out of my Leica lenses. They are the most accurate Leica film body. I have the upgraded finder but not the upgraded dx reader... Not had any problems so far, touch wood, while the MP has been back to Solms thrice for different issues. Perhaps the clockwork ones are a little more fragile after-all ... I'm kidding of course, I don't buy the one vs the other build quality conversation. They are all well crafted tools - look after them and fix them when they go wrong.
Yes, praise for the Leica M7...
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Old 01-21-2012   #24
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I have an M7 and have mixed feelings about it because I don't think they got the design quite right. I don't like the exposure compensation wheel on the back as it's fiddly to use and can sometimes turn by accident and I don't like the flashing LED to show that the camera's set to a non-DX EI (why do I need to be constantly reminded about this?). Actually I think the latest Bessas are better designed in some ways, particularly the exposure compensation on the shutter speed dial. I sometimes miss those lovely clockwork sounds of the earlier models and although I'm not saying it's a bad camera and it's never actually broken down, it just doesn't endear itself to me.
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Old 01-21-2012   #25
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Quote:
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Finder upgrade has not made any discernible difference.
Peter, of CCR in Luton, is of the same opinion i.e. waste of time/money doing this.
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Old 01-21-2012   #26
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Peter, of CCR in Luton, is of the same opinion i.e. waste of time/money doing this.
Interesting. I can certainly see a difference between the finder on my MP and that on my very, very early M7.

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Old 01-21-2012   #27
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My first M was an M7, and I still have it, original DX and all. I've had several other M7 bodies over the years, and still have a .58 M7, latest version. It was gotten as Leica refurbished through Popflash. It arrived with the meter nearly a stop off, and underexposed everything. Popflash made it right in extremely quick order (fantastic customer service there). I still use both, but rarely compared to the MP bodies. I find the M7 bodies to go through batteries far faster and just annoy with wacky readouts- the shutter speed readout when in A mode can go from 30 to 5000 to 180 to 45 within two seconds aimed at anything- but not always. The random blinking dots are annoying as well. I've found these problems are always remedied by spinning the ISO dial back and forth and on the rare occasion that does not work replacing the batteries is the cure. Cold weather and the M7 are not always a good combo- and here in Vermont the cold is here a lot. I tend to put the M7s away in November and pull them out again in April so as only to not be surprised with a dead camera.

If choosing between an M7 and an MP I'd vote for the MP. If I had to sell off all but one M I'd keep an MP. Some of us lived without AE for a very long time.
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Old 01-21-2012   #28
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I bought mine 2nd hand 5 years ago. Original DX reader and never let me down.
I think the M7 is the most useful of all the M's because of its AE.
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Old 01-21-2012   #29
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I Love My M7 ,looking For A 58 M7 Also I Use It Hard Ever Day .
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Old 01-21-2012   #30
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Ive owned two M7s: the first I couldn't get into the electronics and sold it. Owned it about 2 years without any problems. My latest M7, which I've owned for about three years I have not had any problems. Leica NJ installed the upgraded optical finder. Camera works like a charm, just don't forget the batteries! I like the ability to use it in manual mode or AE.
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Old 01-21-2012   #31
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Two of mine have worked fine for years. The other two have DX reader or ISO wheel issues on occasion. If a thump on the bottom under the film cassette doesn't do the trick, a quick spin of the ISO wheel does. Even when the camera's flashing the wrong ISO or has the damn dot flashing, it seems to meter just fine. My only complaint is the lag from switching it on to shooting.
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Old 05-07-2012   #32
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I know this thread hasn't been active for a while but I thought I would breathe some life into it ...

+1 for the M7. Bought mine used from a fellow RFF'er in 2011. It has the upgraded VF but the original optical DX reader. Never had any issues, and I've used the camera frequently since I bought it a year ago.

Quirks that I've noticed:

a. as presspass noted above, I don't like the 'power on' lag. IMHO that takes too long. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to miss a shot because I'm waiting for the damn ISO indicator to go away.

b. I have also experienced the wildly fluctuating metering issues mentioned by sepiareverb. The first time it happened to me, I became extremely concerned! I kept my calm, and started with the simple and obvious: let's try a fresh battery. Problem solved. That being said, the M7 seems to devour batteries faster than other cameras I own. Not a big deal, though. I just make sure I keep a spare in my camera bag.

c. the flashing dot in the VF is odd. It doesn't bother me, but I can see how it would drive other people a little bonkers. That being said, a film SLR with a vertical Christmas tree of LED's is much worse.

d. Interestingly, I can definitely notice a VF difference between the M7 and the .72x black M6 that I also own. The M7's viewfinder is superb. Clear and crisp in all kinds of lighting. I have had intermittent flaring with the M6 and THAT drives me bonkers! Extremely annoying when it happens. If I didn't love that M6 so much I'd probably sell it and just use the M7 all the time.

A final note: I think the M7 is a beautiful camera. It's a pleasure to use, and definitely has its own character. In fact, I think it's relatively under-appreciated in the pantheon of Leica M bodies.
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Old 05-07-2012   #33
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not to be blatantly promoting, I just stumbled on this thread, but I have an M7 in the classifieds that I _need_ to sell and for which I've had no responses yet, if anyone's interested check it out
(sorry for the ad break )
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Old 05-07-2012   #34
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+1 for the M7. I bought it used (not one roll of film went to it) from Popflash with updated VF and DX reader. I LOVE the AE. The camera is just a joy to use. I would of course love to have an MP but I feel I would sometime miss the AE. I guess the ideal is to own both. :-)
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Old 05-07-2012   #35
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Well it's funny because I just bought an MP and I'm selling the M7, I feel there's no need to have both (also the MP needs to be paid for )
I don't know if I'll miss the AE, which is the very reason I bought the M7, we'll see...
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Old 01-31-2017   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
I had one, loved it but got paranoid of its reliability. Am I overacting? Have another chance at an attractive price.
After all these years I am getting another M7. Excited.
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m7 love
Old 01-31-2017   #37
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m7 love

congratulations on getting another m7.
it is the one leica i bought new. it never missed a beat and i loved using it. i take it out to exercise the shutter now and again...as i do with it's chrome .85 mp counterpart.
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Old 01-31-2017   #38
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I wish Leica never introduced the DX reader on the M7. Every other camera I have had that had a DX reader worked perfectly. Whether it was $50 or $2000.
My M7, a high serial # build with the latest everything, still is occasionally flaky.
But I still love it.
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Old 01-31-2017   #39
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I wish Leica never introduced the DX reader on the M7. Every other camera I have had that had a DX reader worked perfectly....
My M7, a high serial # build with the latest everything, still is occasionally flaky...
Is the newer optical DX reader an issue? The M7 I had and sold was purchased new in 2003, which means it was an early model with the DX reader with metal spring loaded pins. Never had a problem with it.
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Old 01-31-2017   #40
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Is the newer optical DX reader an issue? The M7 I had and sold was purchased new in 2003, which means it was an early model with the DX reader with metal spring loaded pins. Never had a problem with it.
The newer reader was/is the one that is meant to be reliable!
I'm almost thinking that the issue could be with the ISO dial for many of these cameras. But the fact that Leica changed the reader was due to the initial one being 'inconsistent'.
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