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Leica M shutter noise
Old 10-26-2006   #1
FrankS
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Leica M shutter noise

It's not silent, and most of my photography is not noise sensitive, but when it is, the Leica shutter is just quiet enough to usually go unnoticed and the Bessa R2 shutter is just loud enough to usually be noticed.

There is a difference (I've experienced it) when taking pictures of people at a function, of their reaction to being photographed (when they notice) with a quiet shuttered camera, than when using a louder shuttered camera, especially slr's. For some reason, people seem to object more to the camera with the audible shutter sound. Perhaps they think that you decided not to take their picture if they don't hear the shutter, I don't know. It's almost like the difference between using available light and using flash on people.

There are quieter cameras for sure (usually leaf shuttered) but the Leica M shutter sound is usually quiet enough and strangely satisfying (to my ears) to hear.

I hope this doesn't sound elitist, I'm just saying I like the Leica M shutter sound and that it works for me.
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Old 10-26-2006   #2
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The thwapp of the Leica is a godly sound.
I cant wait to replace the Thunk of my FSU's with it
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Old 10-26-2006   #3
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I did have a sweet sounding Fed2 once.
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Old 10-26-2006   #4
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this may be really perverse on here but I love the THUNK SLAP WHAP! of my Bronica ETRSi...


I also like the cat like silence of my CL
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Old 10-26-2006   #5
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My Bronicas (S2 and C) actually frighten birds and dogs when they go off!
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Old 10-26-2006   #6
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My F3hp actually makes small children cry.

I got to shoot some blanks(no film in it) with a professor's(won a pulitzer, used to shoot for Geographic, Time etc. . . basically my hero) M4-P today and it was transcendent. (groin grabbingly transcendent if your a simpsons fan) That was my first ever touch of a Leica, and its like getting bit by a zombie. Soon I will become one, and wander the night in search of brains.

People arent crazy when they say that leicas are this good.

My canonet is nice and quiet but at 1/8th or slower it makes that wind-up toy buzzing sound. Leica does no such thing. just the thwap. sweet sweet thwap.

I want one now
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Old 10-26-2006   #7
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Heheh I like the Zombie analogy.
I genuinly believe that people who do the whole Leica aint worth it thing just plain aint ever shot one yet. Their in a different world IMO.

Thwapp
Mmmmm
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Old 10-26-2006   #8
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Old 10-26-2006   #9
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I'm afraid this may be turning into a Leica is the best and anyone who doesn't agree doesn't get it. Honestly, I do not want that to happen. In another thread tonight, I defended Bessa users for making their choice. It's a personal choice. Live and let live. Let's appreciate what we have without criticism of alternative choices.
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Old 10-26-2006   #10
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Old 10-27-2006   #11
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You can never have enough soul.
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Old 10-27-2006   #12
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Leica M bodies that I've used in order of descending shutter-sound-sweetness:

M4-p > CLE > M4 > CL >>>>> Bessa R2
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Old 10-27-2006   #13
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the quietest camera I have is minox 35gt. Its nearly silent, plus people seem to think its some kind of toy and barely pay attention. Now I dont think the camera has to be absolutely silent, people see that you take pictures anyway, but it does seem to be of advantage when the camera has a silent, pleasant sound like my M2 The loud shutter in 'decisive moments' at say some kind of event brings out following reaction: 'what, you took a picture now?'

just my 2 cents
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Old 10-27-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead
Leica M bodies that I've used in order of descending shutter-sound-sweetness:

M4-p > CLE > M4 > CL >>>>> Bessa R2
I've never used the M4P or Bessa but would like to add the M3 to the list.
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Old 10-27-2006   #15
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I've never handled an M3 (or even seen one "live"), but I hope to have the opportunity one day!

From what I've read it represents the zenith of Leica mechanical build quality, so I can easily believe that it's sound is sweet. What was a little surprising for me was that my M4-p sounded a tad quieter than my chrome M4 (now sold). But the difference was REALLY slight. Could have been my example of M4, perhaps needed a tune up...
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Old 10-27-2006   #16
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My M7s are just beautifully quiet, even at low speeds due to the electromagnetically timed shutter. I had a couple M6s earlier and they were quiet at high speeds, but had rather noticeable noise at lows speeds from the escapement timer.

Interestingly, I got a used M4-P, which is much quieter at low speeds than I recall the M6s to be. It's being cleaned and adjusted now because sometimes 1/2 and 1/4 second were not working right and the finder was foggy. I can't wait to get it back.
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Old 10-27-2006   #17
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The M3 in my opinion was the best of the bunch.
I still have 2.
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Old 10-27-2006   #18
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I don't know how M3 sounds, but my Contax sounds quieter than both MP and M8.

Would still love to get an MP though
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Old 10-27-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS
It's not silent, and most of my photography is not noise sensitive, but when it is, the Leica shutter is just quiet enough to usually go unnoticed and the Bessa R2 shutter is just loud enough to usually be noticed.

There is a difference (I've experienced it) when taking pictures of people at a function, of their reaction to being photographed (when they notice) with a quiet shuttered camera, than when using a louder shuttered camera, especially slr's. For some reason, people seem to object more to the camera with the audible shutter sound. Perhaps they think that you decided not to take their picture if they don't hear the shutter, I don't know. It's almost like the difference between using available light and using flash on people.

There are quieter cameras for sure (usually leaf shuttered) but the Leica M shutter sound is usually quiet enough and strangely satisfying (to my ears) to hear.

I hope this doesn't sound elitist, I'm just saying I like the Leica M shutter sound and that it works for me.
Today I went back to LCE in the Strand to have a closer at the Bessa I spoke about in another thread. Some lucky sod had it reserved for tomorrow but I asked to handle it once more, so that I could just listen to the shutter noise.

Well, it's not bad. It is not exactly a camera to take to the library (BTW I am in the library right now) and I see your point that when it is too quiet that camera does not go unnoticed. Just for the heck of it, I will trip the shutter of the M2 (yes, it's a very well read M2), right now, as I am in the library.

...


Thwaap!



Nobody bated an eyelid. There. QED.
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Old 10-27-2006   #20
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The Fed 2 I just bought from Oleg has the sweetest shutter sound of any of my cameras ... I was amazed.

A very quiet "shwoopclack"

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Old 10-28-2006   #21
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Old 10-28-2006   #22
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The quietest camera I own is the Ricoh GR-D. The Epson R-D1 is noisier, but not noisy enough to ever be a problem, and I do a lot of close-quarters street photography with it. I think the number of photographers for whom a deadly quiet shutter is a frequent necessity must be very small indeed, although it seems to get no end of discussion on internet forums for some reason. FWIW my DSLR is a Canon 300D, and the shutter on that is pretty quiet too.

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Old 10-28-2006   #23
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I'll have to agree with the point that once you use a Leica, you become obsessed with owning one. I haven't made the purchase yet, but an m6 or m7 is definitely in my future. That being said, my quietest camera is the Konica Hexar AF - in normal mode it's quieter than the Leicas, and in silent mode it is REALLY silent.

-Daniel
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Old 10-28-2006   #24
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Of my three M4s (well actually two M4s and an MDa) the MDa is definitely the quitest. It's also the smoothest, slickest of all the cameras I have (click signature below). Its film transport, shutter cocking, release, everything is just wonderful to experience.
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Old 10-28-2006   #25
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