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View Full Version : Returning to the fold, so to speak.


derekfulmer
12-18-2015, 15:44
I have been sans-camera for a little less than a year. Partially because I stopped freelancing and started working full time in a different field, and party because I did not know what I wanted, even needed, out of my camera(s).

I have owned a number of the Fuji X series cameras, Ricoh GR, Nikon D3, D700, D300s, Canon 5D2, 1D2, etc. Enjoyed them all for varying reasons. But, I do not need the heft and high powered speed of an SLR.

In February, I had the pleasure of shooting with a friends Leica M240 for a couple of days and really enjoyed it, as I expected to.

After some time has passed, I'm considering going all in with the Leica system, at the very least an M body. A Voigtlander or Zeiss lens suits my budget much better than Leica glass.

I could shoot an M8 or M9 (at the top of my budget) for my digital workflow and/or an M4 as my 35mm workflow.

My concern is this: Jumping into the Leica/Rangefinder world when it is such a small/niche area of photography.

Do I shoot a whole year with something like a Fuji camera and a fixed lens rangefinder or a Voigtlander R2 and lens and see how it fits into my life and determine my answer that way?

ww2photog
12-18-2015, 16:46
Horses for courses, Leica rangefinders are phenomenal, but not the answer to every photographic situation. To me it's a perfect "art" camera, great portraits, compelling street photography, even nice for moody low light deserted street kinda stuff. If your trying to photograph your granddaughters soccer game, or a Sunday at the drag races, you're going to be disappointed. I'd love to get back into Leica, but I've got too much tied up in medium format. Decide what u like to shoot and choose accordingly.

derekfulmer
12-18-2015, 16:50
Horses for courses, Leica rangefinders are phenomenal, but not the answer to every photographic situation. To me it's a perfect "art" camera, great portraits, compelling street photography, even nice for moody low light deserted street kinda stuff. If your trying to photograph your granddaughters soccer game, or a Sunday at the drag races, you're going to be disappointed. I'd love to get back into Leica, but I've got too much tied up in medium format. Decide what u like to shoot and choose accordingly.

I agree with the horses for courses analogy. My shooting is more methodical and thoughtful now. I'm no longer doing paid gigs, I'm not shooting live performances like I once did. I'm only 26 but I'm hoping to take my photography in a direction that is more focused on documenting my life rather than chasing a pay check.

ww2photog
12-18-2015, 17:21
Then I think Leica is perfect for you.

FrankS
12-18-2015, 17:24
Welcome back, my son! ;)

jaapv
12-18-2015, 17:36
Horses for courses, Leica rangefinders are phenomenal, but not the answer to every photographic situation. To me it's a perfect "art" camera, great portraits, compelling street photography, even nice for moody low light deserted street kinda stuff. If your trying to photograph your granddaughters soccer game, or a Sunday at the drag races, you're going to be disappointed. I'd love to get back into Leica, but I've got too much tied up in medium format. Decide what u like to shoot and choose accordingly.Are you sure that medium format is more suited to drag races or soccer games than a Leica M?;)

jaapv
12-18-2015, 17:39
I have been sans-camera for a little less than a year. Partially because I stopped freelancing and started working full time in a different field, and party because I did not know what I wanted, even needed, out of my camera(s).

I have owned a number of the Fuji X series cameras, Ricoh GR, Nikon D3, D700, D300s, Canon 5D2, 1D2, etc. Enjoyed them all for varying reasons. But, I do not need the heft and high powered speed of an SLR.

In February, I had the pleasure of shooting with a friends Leica M240 for a couple of days and really enjoyed it, as I expected to.

After some time has passed, I'm considering going all in with the Leica system, at the very least an M body. A Voigtlander or Zeiss lens suits my budget much better than Leica glass.

I could shoot an M8 or M9 (at the top of my budget) for my digital workflow and/or an M4 as my 35mm workflow.

My concern is this: Jumping into the Leica/Rangefinder world when it is such a small/niche area of photography.

Do I shoot a whole year with something like a Fuji camera and a fixed lens rangefinder or a Voigtlander R2 and lens and see how it fits into my life and determine my answer that way?
Have you considered a Leica Q? Yes, it is expensive, but it is a powerful package of camera and lens in one.

seakayaker1
12-18-2015, 17:49
Go for it, a used M8 or M9 with a M film body, could be Leica, Zeiss or Voigtlander. Choice of lens new or used could be Leica, Zeiss or Voigtlander as well.

Just look at it as a rental, if you decide to get back out the resale value is usually reasonable with the rangefinder so it is not a complete loss.

Good luck with your decision.

ww2photog
12-18-2015, 18:11
Are you sure that medium format is more suited to drag races or soccer games than a Leica M?;)

Absolutely not, I don't shoot those, and yes I'm thinking about getting back into Leica screw mounts. Thinking about letting my 2.8 Rollei go

derekfulmer
12-18-2015, 18:45
Have you considered a Leica Q? Yes, it is expensive, but it is a powerful package of camera and lens in one.

I've not considered it, for two reasons other than price. If I'm going with a fixed lens camera, it has to be 35 or 50mm and I want something I can have 1 or 2 lenses to work with.

derekfulmer
12-18-2015, 18:46
Go for it, a used M8 or M9 with a M film body, could be Leica, Zeiss or Voigtlander. Choice of lens new or used could be Leica, Zeiss or Voigtlander as well.

Just look at it as a rental, if you decide to get back out the resale value is usually reasonable with the rangefinder so it is not a complete loss.

Good luck with your decision.

Not a bad way to look at it. Even with potential resale, I hate to drop the cash for a few months to then flip it. I've done that so many times over the past 3 years, I want to buy into a system and stick with it until I can no longer use it for whatever reason.

Demodres
12-18-2015, 19:18
Hi - I think many of us can recognize your dilemma in the world of material decision making and GAS:-)

As Seakayaker1 suggests above, have you considered a M film body for recreational shooting, a Sony A7 digi (or similar) for everyday shooting and a nice Zeiss or Voightlander prime lens that can be used on both cameras..Bought second hand, I guess a set like this will be around $2000-2500

I am currently getting rid of my Canon DSLR and L lenses and I am very temptered to try out such a combo..

Good luck and hope you find peace ahead..

uhoh7
12-18-2015, 19:34
In February, I had the pleasure of shooting with a friends Leica M240 for a couple of days and really enjoyed it, as I expected to.

My concern is this: Jumping into the Leica/Rangefinder world when it is such a small/niche area of photography.


You really already answered your own question. If you can afford it, get a 240 (3800 used) and the EVF.

The camera will do anything except autofocus. You can mount a nikkor 500/4 P on there and shoot birds if you want to. :)

With M9 I shoot skiing all the time. Landscapes. Obviously it's the best street camera in the world. Macro.....you get the incredible 90 Macro Elmar.

If you like the camera, that's it. :)

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5640/23684077006_e60cd2c955_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/C5T5Xh)
Following (https://flic.kr/p/C5T5Xh) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), M9 50 cron

Ko.Fe.
12-18-2015, 19:40
Well, doesn't matter what size of the Leica/RF niche is, it is great tool for documenting.
You don't have to get M4, M4-2 will do with CV lens and where are some to choose in 35/50 mm range.
Try it, see what focal length works for you. After it you'll know M8 or M9.
Cheers, Ko.

Mute-on
12-18-2015, 19:54
If you are after a film camera, and the Leica system specifically, just buy an M2 and a 35 2.8 Summaron and shot with that for a year. At the end of that time you can sell it for at least what you paid. I predict you will want to keep it.

On the other hand, if you want a digital, or can't decide, do the above and add a Ricoh GR or Fuji XE-1 (or wait for the X pro 2).

If you have the budget for an M9 and a Ziess lens, you have the budget for this.

In any case, the sooner you decide, buy, and start shooting, the sooner you will know, and the more fun you will have.

All the best.

J

derekfulmer
12-18-2015, 20:54
These are probably the most sound and empathetic responses I've received in a forum.

Having not owned anything other than Nikon, Fuji, Canon I'm unfamiliar with Leica repairs.

If I still had my 1D2 or D700, I would still be shooting those. And they came out in 04 and 07 respectively. If you look at it that way, there is no reason the M8 isn't a viable option.

It's that 'I have to buy newer' mentality we're sold. I only get concerned about it needing service for an accident or if a board goes bad.

FrankS
12-18-2015, 21:15
there is a difference in buying vintage film cameras and vintage digital cameras though. The film cameras use modern sensors (film). Digital is not a mature technology yet and improvements are significant. Who buys a 5 year old computer?

Tim Murphy
12-18-2015, 21:54
These are probably the most sound and empathetic responses I've received in a forum.

Having not owned anything other than Nikon, Fuji, Canon I'm unfamiliar with Leica repairs.

If I still had my 1D2 or D700, I would still be shooting those. And they came out in 04 and 07 respectively. If you look at it that way, there is no reason the M8 isn't a viable option.

It's that 'I have to buy newer' mentality we're sold. I only get concerned about it needing service for an accident or if a board goes bad.

Dear Derek,

So you buy an obsolete camera for a couple hundred dollars and you enjoy using it and it fails. What prevents you from buying another of the same camera for less money and continuing on your merry way?

A camera is merely a tool. A person who uses a camera who thinks he needs the latest camera to take a picture is also a tool, but a very different kind of tool.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

jaapv
12-19-2015, 00:22
I've not considered it, for two reasons other than price. If I'm going with a fixed lens camera, it has to be 35 or 50mm and I want something I can have 1 or 2 lenses to work with.
Which means you have considered it and decided it is not what you want :p

If I were you I would go with an M9, a Zeiss Biogon-C 35/2.8 and something longer maybe a Voigtlander Color Skopar 75. A 50 is a bit close to 35 for my taste. I would say a 28-50 or 35-75 combo is more versatile whilst still involving only a limited amount of foot-zooming. On my Monochrom I use the Biogon-C 35 and a Tele-Tessar 85/4.0 as preferred lens combo. YMMV.

David Hughes
12-19-2015, 01:55
Um, well, um, what were you using for your own pleasure? It seems to me you had a work camera (or two) and perhaps had another one you carried for pleasure when not working?

If you did then that, film or digital, might be a good starting point and you'd be more relaxed with it and not be wondering how it worked. And it would be a first stepping stone to wherever you decide to go.

Whatever you decide, I'll wish you luck.

Regards, David

leicapixie
12-19-2015, 03:01
[QUOTE=derekfulmer;2563455]I have been sans-camera for a little less than a year. , and party because I did not know what I wanted, even needed, out of my camera(s).

I have owned a number of the Fuji X series cameras, Ricoh GR, Nikon D3, D700, D300s, Canon 5D2, 1D2, etc. Enjoyed them all for varying reasons. But, I do not need the heft and high powered speed of an SLR.


After seeing what you had and used, was without a camera for a year, I doubt a Leica or any camera will make you happy..
I have never not had a camera, even used P/S from Goodwill.
Photography is a passion for me. Making photos the joy.
Leica is not a general tool like a SLR.
Good luck in a decision.

derekfulmer
12-19-2015, 08:10
[QUOTE=derekfulmer;2563455]I have been sans-camera for a little less than a year. , and party because I did not know what I wanted, even needed, out of my camera(s).



I have owned a number of the Fuji X series cameras, Ricoh GR, Nikon D3, D700, D300s, Canon 5D2, 1D2, etc. Enjoyed them all for varying reasons. But, I do not need the heft and high powered speed of an SLR.





After seeing what you had and used, was without a camera for a year, I doubt a Leica or any camera will make you happy..

I have never not had a camera, even used P/S from Goodwill.

Photography is a passion for me. Making photos the joy.

Leica is not a general tool like a SLR.

Good luck in a decision.


Half of those cameras were used for work purposes. When I stopped freelancing, I got rid of them.