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roscoetuff
01-15-2017, 14:24
Curious how those new to Leica M's decided to make the transition from whatever you'd been shooting - especially if you've been shooting digital. Why? Did you think about a film Leica first, or had you had a film M before hand so that it was natural? Were rangefinders new to you? What's your primary camera? The Leica M or some DSLR or mirrorless? The pickle of the expense makes the whole a bit of a wonder for me, but I hear the story of "buy, try, and sell off if you don't like it... 'cause the re-sale value seems to hold." I'm likely to buy used btw... as I increasingly do in this pursuit.

If there's something written on this you'd recommend, that'd be great, too. I'm especially keen less on the lore, and more on the data... if there is any and whatever we can consider it to be. Yes, much is subjective, and my transition from one camera to another has been narrowing down what I like and how I like to shoot... so I recognize ergonomics / working style... and that makes a lot of sense to me. Hard to articulate sometimes, too.

I'm not an AF guy... and though I like to have it somewhere, don't actually have any AF lenses any more. Yes, I miss some shots, but it's not a heartbreak (mostly) because the ones I get... make me happy. I have a Sony A7II and lot of Zeiss Loxia and old Contax CY. Zeiss and it satisfaction here that is actually a large part of what piques my interest in Leica. And I like to print 17 X 25... so quality images are sweet. I've had an X-PRO2 and loved it, but used the EVF more than the hybrid simply because it was there and easy. Since I know we mostly will use what's there unless we don't like it for some reason, what drove me out of Fuji were the size of the lenses as they seemed to "grow" larger and larger. Tried Olympus and liked the size but switched to Zeiss for the handling, sharpness and color. Leica's that appeal intellectually are actually those like the MD and Monochrom that force a way of thinking and style of shooting... since I like manual and use my LCD screen mostly for menus and data on the camera set-up. Odd and quirky as I am... that's a draw. Thanks for whatever you care to share.

Ko.Fe.
01-15-2017, 15:57
I jumped back to film for my own photography in 2012. Got family FED-2 working and have tried almost everything on film. From Minox to 4x5. Leica was beating all of it. FED-2, Smena-8m or Leica on film to me.
On digital I was very happy with Canon 5D, but it started to act up just after Canon stopped supporting it. Canon 5D MKII was non working with 50L lens (known issue) and 50L itself became loose just after use. Canon took money, but never repaired to be as it was. I get frustrated with this and ditched the Canon FF DSLR line and L lenses.
Spend money from sale on Leica M glass and film M bodies.
In October 2016 I have free choice to make which camera to get for three thousands dollars. I went with new M-E. I didn't wanted another FF DSLR to haul it on me even at home and Sony FF is making me dizzy if using EVF and their lenses are something utterish.
With M-E all lenses perform fine, way better comparing to how lenses do on DSLRs. I have used old SLR lenses on Canon 5D and it was so-so. On M-E even old FSU lenses are good.
Every time I need AF and ISO 6400, I have Canon Rebel 500D consumer DLSR, btw. :)
About half hour ago we went with my wife through pictures taken in different time with different camera. M-E files are not always great, but they are standing out!

If you want to read more about people switching to digital M, it is often mentioned at http://blog.leica-camera.com/
Right now they have perfect example: http://blog.leica-camera.com/2017/01/14/camera-improved-outcome-veins-god/

Doug
01-15-2017, 16:09
My move to the digital M was sudden and irreversible! With a used M8 I intended to use for black & white only, I discovered I was basically a color shooter, and the B&W interest was mainly due to the B&W darkroom and the difficulty of dealing with color in the darkroom. Digital color offered so much more control in post that it just took over!

At the time I already had a digital p&s for business documentation, jpeg output was simply utilitarian. And I already had an unused Pentax dSLR that finally got used after the M8 came along. After a long history of film (including an M2) in all formats from 16mm up to 6x7, there was no looking back... At this point I am using digital M along with Pentax dSLR and Leica S system.

Chubberino
01-15-2017, 16:45
I didn't abandon my other kits, just added an M8 as another tool.

narsuitus
01-15-2017, 19:05
What's your primary camera?

The Nikon SLR is my primary 35mm camera. However, when I need to shoot quietly with a small number of lenses, the Leica M6 is my camera of choice. Wedding ceremonies, funerals, theatre, and recording studios are examples of places where I need to shoot quietly. The 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss (left), the 90mm f/2 Leitz (right), and the 18mm f/3.5 adapted Nikon (not shown) are the only lenses I need to use my Leica rangefinder.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/585/30918518133_c35c48e1c9_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/P7aufR)
Rangefinder (https://flic.kr/p/P7aufR) by Narsuitus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Frontman
01-15-2017, 21:00
I tried it, but I didn't like it. I decided on an MP to satisfy my Leica lust, and to do digital with my Nikon.

uhoh7
01-15-2017, 21:54
I bought an M9 as a last resort, especially for this lens:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5544/11864321064_7cc9b43bcb_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/j5pKiJ)
L1000152 (https://flic.kr/p/j5pKiJ) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), ZM 18/4

That was on the first day I owned the camera. This structure appeared in the movie "Bus Stop" BTW.

I found the Rangefinder absurd, the files sublime. But gradually I began to learn and love the OVF.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/422/20194164530_8a952c387d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wLunyw)
Steep Slope at Sundown (https://flic.kr/p/wLunyw) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), ZM18

For the UWAs, which the camera shoots superbly, first I tried the frankenfinder. It was useless. I don't think I ever took a level shot with it, despite the internal level. But the ZI 18 and 21 finders are even better than the OVF.

Eventually I found a 135 APO:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3850/15002579225_4a0646d806_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oRJ984)
Boulder Knob (https://flic.kr/p/oRJ984) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5706/21361743753_c07f0c426b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/yxEwbM)
Yellow (https://flic.kr/p/yxEwbM) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

My M9 has seen 250,000 frames now. Been though 1 shutter. I have dragged it all over the mountains and shot it in every light indoors and out. Landscape, sweet, sports, events, birds, wildlife, portraits, pets, fashion, candid and canned. I've shot 18/21/28/35/40/50/75/85/90/100/105/135 Fls from 1937 to 2011 DOM.

I crave a DSLR like a toothache. I help people use them, but you could not give me one. Fujis, sorry I know many love them, no interest here. My 2013 A7 is still in one piece because the M9 has done all the heavy lifting and the A7 was unusable for me until thin-filter mods became possible. Now it's a good 2nd back and nice for the longer glass.

The nasty little TV they call a EVF I tolerate often at the expense of Ibuprofen.

Today I skied from 8:30am to 4:30pm in soft conditions, much of it off-piste, with the M9 and three lenses, as I do much of the winter.

I don't crave a 240, MM, 262 or M10, though I would certainly put any of those to use if one fell into my hands.

My other favorite 135:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5323/30614688421_dfbe02031a_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NDjhgx)
Take My Hand (https://flic.kr/p/NDjhgx) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), 135/2.8 Elmarit.

The M9 will out focus anything if you know the lens. That has been a pleasant surpise to me. I can't say what will be the best camera for anyone else. Certainly this one is not perfect. The shutter noise is preposterous. It should be smaller and lighter. But to my view there is no camera which can shoot a sweeter lens set better, even if I must use the Sony for my 180/300/500 favorites.

Images under the gun for money, sure those fast zooms deliver. But that's a compromise of bulk and quality I am fortunate not to endure. :)

The M9 is such a simple, fundamental tool, true to the heart of photography, so much more forgiving than the M6. But the ultimate value of digital M for me is clear channeling of optical masterpieces like the SEM 21, 28cron, CV35/1.2, 50 cron v4, 75 lux, and the great classics: sonnars, elmars, Drs, 8-elements, plus those exotics, the .95 which I will never own.

Great shooters may plan and realize their shots with precision. I don't pretend to be one or aspire to be one. The magic of my camera is it's ability to surprise me. A twinkle imparted to dusty reality. I see some shot two years later and I can't stop a smile. Moments in precious life otherwise washed over, lost in the sound and fury, but caught in a diary, which more often than not mean nothing to anyone else.

I'm not writing the journal for posterity. It's to make the most of my life now. Pen and ink are M and lens.

roscoetuff
01-16-2017, 06:03
UHOH: Beautiful shots! Nice work! Like: "Great shooters may plan and realize their shots with precision. I don't pretend to be one... the magic of my camera is its ability to surprise me." Thanks for sharing these! Challenge for me lies in doing a fair amount of indoor shooting.

mdarnton
01-16-2017, 06:34
I have always thought of it as the difference between knowing the picture in my eye and mind, ahead of time, and finding the picture using the camera as a compositional framing device.

With an SLR the view looks like a picture already, which encourages composition by moving the view around within the finder until something good clicks. Zoom lenses reinforce this behavior. RFs don't present the same kind of finished-looking view, so you need to know what the picture is before you put the camera into it, and having the camera at your eye doesn't make anything more obvious--you really do need to know what the picture is rather than "feel" it.

This isn't a diss of either style, and I flip back and forth between the two systems easily and depending on the mood I am in. Often I will use one or the other for months at a time, but I always end up switching at some point, perhaps to get a new take on things that have become stale.

I am comfortable with any focal length that will fit either system. Unlike the popular perception, I think long lenses and narrow DOF lenses focus better with RF systems, and prefer to use wide wides, where focus matters less but near-far compositional issues are more fragile, with SLRs

Fraser
01-16-2017, 06:44
I bought an M9 as a last resort, especially for this lens:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5544/11864321064_7cc9b43bcb_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/j5pKiJ)
L1000152 (https://flic.kr/p/j5pKiJ) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), ZM 18/4

That was on the first day I owned the camera. This structure appeared in the movie "Bus Stop" BTW.

I found the Rangefinder absurd, the files sublime. But gradually I began to learn and love the OVF.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/422/20194164530_8a952c387d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/wLunyw)
Steep Slope at Sundown (https://flic.kr/p/wLunyw) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), ZM18

For the UWAs, which the camera shoots superbly, first I tried the frankenfinder. It was useless. I don't think I ever took a level shot with it, despite the internal level. But the ZI 18 and 21 finders are even better than the OVF.

Eventually I found a 135 APO:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3850/15002579225_4a0646d806_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oRJ984)
Boulder Knob (https://flic.kr/p/oRJ984) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5706/21361743753_c07f0c426b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/yxEwbM)
Yellow (https://flic.kr/p/yxEwbM) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

My M9 has seen 250,000 frames now. Been though 1 shutter. I have dragged it all over the mountains and shot it in every light indoors and out. Landscape, sweet, sports, events, birds, wildlife, portraits, pets, fashion, candid and canned. I've shot 18/21/28/35/40/50/75/85/90/100/105/135 Fls from 1937 to 2011 DOM.

I crave a DSLR like a toothache. I help people use them, but you could not give me one. Fujis, sorry I know many love them, no interest here. My 2013 A7 is still in one piece because the M9 has done all the heavy lifting and the A7 was unusable for me until thin-filter mods became possible. Now it's a good 2nd back and nice for the longer glass.

The nasty little TV they call a EVF I tolerate often at the expense of Ibuprofen.

Today I skied from 8:30am to 4:30pm in soft conditions, much of it off-piste, with the M9 and three lenses, as I do much of the winter.

I don't crave a 240, MM, 262 or M10, though I would certainly put any of those to use if one fell into my hands.

My other favorite 135:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5323/30614688421_dfbe02031a_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NDjhgx)
Take My Hand (https://flic.kr/p/NDjhgx) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), 135/2.8 Elmarit.

The M9 will out focus anything if you know the lens. That has been a pleasant surpise to me. I can't say what will be the best camera for anyone else. Certainly this one is not perfect. The shutter noise is preposterous. It should be smaller and lighter. But to my view there is no camera which can shoot a sweeter lens set better, even if I must use the Sony for my 180/300/500 favorites.

Images under the gun for money, sure those fast zooms deliver. But that's a compromise of bulk and quality I am fortunate not to endure. :)

The M9 is such a simple, fundamental tool, true to the heart of photography, so much more forgiving than the M6. But the ultimate value of digital M for me is clear channeling of optical masterpieces like the SEM 21, 28cron, CV35/1.2, 50 cron v4, 75 lux, and the great classics: sonnars, elmars, Drs, 8-elements, plus those exotics, the .95 which I will never own.

Great shooters may plan and realize their shots with precision. I don't pretend to be one or aspire to be one. The magic of my camera is it's ability to surprise me. A twinkle imparted to dusty reality. I see some shot two years later and I can't stop a smile. Moments in precious life otherwise washed over, lost in the sound and fury, but caught in a diary, which more often than not mean nothing to anyone else.

I'm not writing the journal for posterity. It's to make the most of my life now. Pen and ink are M and lens.

Nice post!
I notice looking at your flickr you have a picture of M9 with 5cm elmar f3.5, i've just got one of these tiny lenses and even though I originally bought it for my M2 seems perfect for a nice compact lens on my M9 when collapsing the lens on the m9 does it ever worry you/have you put any spacers in to stop it going in so far?
Thanks.

Out to Lunch
01-16-2017, 07:16
As uhoh7 I also love the Zeiss Distagon 4/18. My introduction to a Leica M came by way of an Epson R-D1, a camera I still use today.

Ko.Fe.
01-16-2017, 07:22
Challenge for me lies in doing a fair amount of indoor shooting.
Some of us using flash for clean looking indoor color shots for CCD M9 sensor and low ISO, others using M240 for higher ISO, no flash. I'm happy with M-E bw SOOC JPEG1 files at ISO1600-2500 which is enough for indoors often without flash.

I don't find that to be true at all. Perhaps that is just your personal mental approach when you use an RF and an SLR.

Just from what I actually see I'm finding it to be true about finishing-looking view in SLR VF.
Winogrand and Meyerowitz have spoken about similar thing.

Ko.Fe.
01-16-2017, 08:44
The advantage of the rangefinder is that you can see outside the frame lines which may make composition or anticipating action easier.
To me is equal to RFs don't present the same kind of finished-looking view.

And it is honor to have same mental approach with Winogrand and Meyerowitz. Personally, to me :)

Nyc Dito
01-16-2017, 10:55
Well my transition was plainly because when I was younger I always wanted a Leica. I couldn't afford one at an earlier age and went to Nikon. Started with a used FM. Then went on to many, many bodies, FE, FE2, FG, FM2, FM10 then finally settled on a new FM3a when it was released, or a little after. I have also had a lot of cameras that I bought on a whim or on a good deal. OM1s, Canons. But deep within I still wanted a Leica. My thoughts were always towards an M6 but thankfully to this forum I was able to decide on and purchase an M2.

For me Leicas were the Porsche to get, although I was already driving a BMW hehe.

So, since I'm still a newbie to this system, I can see WHY people can stay within the brand. I really enjoy shooting with a rangefinder system. So light. I'm trying zone focusing for real with this camera as well.

I still have and plan to keep my Nikon F100, my Pentax 67, my Yashica TLR and other little gems I have aside from the Fuji X100 I just bought. And I do plan to pick up an FM/FM2 since I sold my FM3a.

So this was my transition, and I can say that for me it has been great =)

JonB
01-16-2017, 12:14
I'm a writer, and have been since before I can remember when. Photography is my counterbalance to the whole-cloth de novo craft that is worthsmithing; my photography requires seeing things in the world, anticipating them, responding to them, and using those chaotic cues to tell an entire story without a single syllable of my own insertion. It wasn't until a few years after college that I came to appreciate the relief of photography, which I had the good fortune to enjoy with a Pentax K1000 during a high school course. Naturally, I turned to Pentax gear for not only familiarity but also its exceptional cost:benefit ratio.

After a while, I came to develop longitudinal chromatic aberration as a pet peeve, and classic Pentax lenses have green bokeh fringing in *****s. Not so much that anyone else saw it when I shared my images, but enough so that I couldn't see anything else when I viewed the same. I needed an upgrade. So I started pixel peeping all of the 100% crops I could find, and I found a friend in Leica. Of the samples I could find -- which, in retrospect, meant that I didn't give a fair shake for less popular makes such as Zeiss C/Y and Konica M-Hexanon -- Leica was the only brand that consistently delivered images that pleased me.

Mind, a crucial reason I was shooting Pentax was the affordability of Takumar and manual SMC lenses. So there was no way I could move over to the Leica M system. I simply couldn't comprehend those who could afford it. There was, however, the option of shooting the same Pentax camera, using Leitax adapters, and using Leica R lenses. I adopted this strategy tentatively with the cheapest 35mm f/2.8 lens I could find, looked at the results, and fell in love.

Over the next few years, gainful employment allowed me to collect more than a few R lenses. Having solved my longitudinal CA problem, the next hurdle became focusing. Simply, autofocus cameras don't manual-focus as well as I'd like. I practiced, I tried bracketing, I tried different screens; nothing satisfied. That's when I moved into the EVF world. I started shooting Sony NEX, then using a Speed Booster, then moving to an A7 II, All of these allowed me to focus and meter more reliably. Having solved focusing, the next hurdle became tonality. While Sony cameras are technically fine to excellent, they lack soul. I was shooting along my hometown riverside one morning, loving the sunrise and the scene it illuminated, but hating the way it looked every time I brought the camera to my eye -- and hating the way it looked every time I pulled up the resulting files on my computer later that week. What I needed was an optical finder.

I bought my first Leica M lens and camera as a leap of faith. I had never used a rangefinder before. I had never paid that much money for a camera before, much less one that was old and nominally obsolete. The first time I picked it up, though, the mechanical operation of the camera felt intuitively correct. It didn't take long to learn how to focus the system, and soon I was focusing more quickly and more accurately than I ever achieved with an SLR or EVF.

I've been shooting the M system almost exclusively for over a year now. It offers lenses that delight, both optically and haptically; it maintains predictable camera operation, avoiding automation surprises; and yields image files that I simply enjoy looking at. Even though I've enjoyed taking pictures for a while now, my Leica images are the first ones that I'll sit and stare at.

Leica certainly isn't for everyone. That's not a statement about cost; Leica equipment is particular, and some people don't get on well with its steep learning curves or its narrow niche benefits. But, for me, it has been a delight. Now my challenges are with Leica service: getting that M9's sensor replaced, figuring out timing on getting focusing issues calibrated, having common if not frequent electrical glitches, etc. But, none of that militates against my passion and presence when taking images. Leica M has been wonderful for me, and I honestly can't imagine finding a better photographic capture system for my needs and wants than this one that has been virtually unchanged for over 60 years.

Obligatory winter sample:

https://photos.smugmug.com/Snapshots/i-JZGz6n5/0/L/L1361532-L.jpg (http://www.jonpb.photo/Snapshots/i-JZGz6n5/A)

Cheers,
Jon

Ko.Fe.
01-16-2017, 12:35
Well, Winogrand used both a Leica M and a Nikon F so he's got you covered both ways in the honor department. Take your pick. Meyerowitz is a great photographer, but he is also a paid shill for Leica, so I always take what he says with a grain of salt. He photographed using all formats during his long career.

I have seen many Winogrand photos of him with Leicas, all videos with him are Leicas. And just one photo in Arizona archive with SLR in his hands. Where are two M4 of his as iconic picture. No Nikons of his used so much I have seen.
I have no idea what Meyerowitz has on official level with Leica. I just have seen his pictures taken with RF, pictures speaks louder. I have also seen documentary about him, using Leica and LF camera. I went to see his actual prints from both. I like more those taken with RF.

Vivian Mayer was using Leica, but I'm not going to speculate on this:)

Roger Hicks
01-16-2017, 13:55
Ms are big and heavy and clumsy compared with proper Leicas -- I came to an M3 from a IIIa in the 1970s -- but the convenience of lever wind and the projected-frame viewfinder make up for the drawbacks. Pretty much, anyway.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
01-16-2017, 13:56
I would think that "soul", which is unique to each photographer, would be better addressed in post processing, rather than baked in the RAW files.
Real cameras don't deliver RAW files. They use film.

Cheers,

R.

Ko.Fe.
01-16-2017, 14:38
Here's a Gary Winogrand selfie with a Nikon F. He could just as easily taken it with a Leica.

https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=https%3A%2F%2Ffarm4.static.flickr.com%2F321 4%2F2978022245_c978cd2ff3_o.jpg&t=1484603975&sig=mAoAPnULofTf6c.e36ProQ--~C


Is it the one and only one I already mentioned? My browser is refusing to show it. :D

... I run hot and cold on getting an M2/M4/M6 and 35mm Summicron. It is perfect for street photography. But I always back away. For the $2500-$3000 it would cost, I just don't do enough street photography. Just can't justify it. That kind of money buys a lot of film for me in all formats, and chemicals and paper.

Actually, I used M4-2 (700) and Color Skopar 35 2.5 (300) street, which is 1000$, not 2500$. But I do feel limited on the street with another formats. :)

gdi
01-16-2017, 15:14
Real cameras don't deliver RAW files. They use film.

Cheers,

R.

Very true, Roger, at least for Leica in my view.

I tried a few digital Leicas and they just don't do it for me because - 1) the great handling is spoiled by the overstuffed body and 2) the results of the Leica sensors (at least the M8 and M9) are just middle of the road.

But my old film M's and other rangefinders really handle better than anything else in my opinion, and when loaded with B&W the whole process is immensely enjoyable.

So, OP, in my view, get a film M, if you see that as an option, and get the traditional experience and then decide if you want to try the digital version.

Ko.Fe.
01-16-2017, 15:22
Why buy a Leica and shoot with a non-Leica lens? Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it? I thought the magic was in the Leica lenses.



Yes. You are right. I am wrong. Gary Winogrand only took one photo with a Nikon. All the rest of the eight gazillion rolls of film he shot during his lifetime he ran through a Leica M4. So if you ever again shoot with an SLR, you will not have the honor of following his mental process, and the resulting photos will be completely unredeeming.

For street the fiddling is more important than brand. Leica M camera gives it for camera and Color Skopar 35 2.5 is good for quick handling.
Not as good as Leica on images, but nothing to call as bad.

Here is one video with Winogrand were he explains why Leica is better than SLR, not so much explaining, but more like declaring it to one of the students. I have tried classic SLR on the street. For how I shot it is safety issue. Ditched it after first try.

mdarnton
01-16-2017, 16:44
James Ravilious felt so strongly about the compositional disadvantage of RF, of having to inevitably deal with non-compositional clutter in the finder, that he used Imarect finders with his M Leicas, to get the framing compositional advantage of the SLR while still being able to use RF cameras.
https://goo.gl/images/Z2wdGa

roscoetuff
01-16-2017, 17:55
As a fan of Kevin Mullins and one-time fan of Fuji, that's a real interesting bit of trivia. Tends to argue: "Keep shooting Sony and move along."

Were I to pick up a Leica, it'd increasingly look to be digital and an M 262. Much as I like the MD idea and the Monochrom idea as well, restriction to one half the spectrum by the camera makes no sense to me. This is where film beats digital. Want to be restricted to B&W? Buy Tri-X and you've a 24 or 36 frame restriction. Ditto if you buy Fuji color. I can see an MD or Monochrom if you already have an M... but not necessarily as your one and only. Thoughts?

Yes, I'm still waiting for the Bayside home someone was supposed to give me in Annapolis... but apparently forgot to back in 2009. Ah but what to do?

Ko.Fe.
01-16-2017, 18:21
Safety issue?
Yep. Walking with head turned to the side, one eye closed and dull image in another eye was disorienting. This is what I have with SLR. For those who don't walk while framing and taking it is not safety issue, but I walk.

uhoh7
01-17-2017, 00:07
Nice post!
I notice looking at your flickr you have a picture of M9 with 5cm elmar f3.5, i've just got one of these tiny lenses and even though I originally bought it for my M2 seems perfect for a nice compact lens on my M9 when collapsing the lens on the m9 does it ever worry you/have you put any spacers in to stop it going in so far?
Thanks.

TY for kind words, Fraser.

I did a bunch of research before I pushed that Red Scale in, I'll tell you that :D

You mount it extended, and then mine is fine pushed in, though officially it's a no-no.

I learned these are assembled to incredible tolerances because that's what the very simple formula needs to work properly. One of the reasons for going to more complex designs like D-Gauss was they could be looser and thus easier to assemble. Apparently nothing today is so tight as a good elmar. They go for a song, as I'm sure you know and some have soft coatings. I was looking for samples with the M9, but I don't think I tagged them, however here two shots with the Kolari A7 which is modded to shoot RF glass decently:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5686/30770216666_d2310fec45_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NT4pp1)
Baroque (https://flic.kr/p/NT4pp1) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), Elmar WO

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5506/30505869070_a5a5ec68d1_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NtGy4Q)
Confluence (https://flic.kr/p/NtGy4Q) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), Elmar F/8

Why buy a Leica and shoot with a non-Leica lens? Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it? I thought the magic was in the Leica lenses

It truly is possible to know less than nothing, but it takes hubris ;)

1954 Canon 100/3.5 WO on M9:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1680/24713110276_51f2d470d8_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/DDP9Gd)
New Fall (https://flic.kr/p/DDP9Gd) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

these can be had for 100 bucks even. They are so tiny and so light and so sharp, also very easy to clean.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2910/14024133877_0753c158f4.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nngmpF)
photo (2) (https://flic.kr/p/nngmpF) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

When it comes to shooting the biggest number of interesting prime lenses as they were intended nothing can match the M on film or digital. Yes, there are a few wides which don't quite work on the digital Ms but not that many. People try to pidgeonhole the older lenses, "low contrast" or other generalizations. The really fun to shoot and popular Sonnar 5cm lenses are actually quite high contrast, but they are not so strong on the edge as other designs. However many lenses of the 50s were VERY strong all over, like the Nikkor 8.5cm or Canon 50/1.4 LTM. It did take a long time to make a 28 that just rips technically, like the cron, but there have been many sweet attempts along the way :)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5573/30615009465_a1548f9ffe_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NDkVGM)
Centerpiece (https://flic.kr/p/NDkVGM) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), 1952 Nikkor 8.5cm WO

This classic Nikkor portrait lens is completely off the hook by any standard and defined the Nikkor name--to this day they have not made a lens I like better. No german lens could match it in performance or build quality as was proved in tests at Eastern Optical in 1950. LIFE switched to Nikkor because of their Leica mount lenses. Mine is contax mount, but I want one in LTM. Very hard glass, and really well made. The 75 Lux is wonderful and a real titan by f/4, but really overall this lens is sweeter to my eye and strong right to the edges at f/2. By f/8 it does infinity to any landscape standard.

With mythic meters like DXO making numbers it is hard for some to just LOOK at the raw clarity of an M9 at base ISO with a mere .8mm of IR coverglass between the CCD and the rear element of a nice M/LTM lens or adapted Nikkor/Contax.

Catharsis for those who do. :)

With a weapon like this you don't have to be HCB. You just point it at parts of your life and they become extraordinary. That's the magic of great design. :angel:

:: Mark
01-17-2017, 02:40
Why buy a Leica and shoot with a non-Leica lens? Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it? I thought the magic was in the Leica lenses.

I think that it would be more accurate to say that the magic lies in Leica M-System lenses. For example, to my eye the ZM 1,4/35 has better sharpness and bokeh than the Summilux, and even if it is a big lens in Leica terms, it is still ~half the size/weight of comparable DSLR or mirrorless lenses.

There is also an amazing range of current and old glass that gives unique rendering, such as the various Sonnars or pre-ASPH 35mm and 50mm Leica lenses. These are difficult to emulate with classic lenses on other digital cameras, in part because of the filter stack thicknesses.

I am not a great fan of current Leica digital bodies, which I think manage to lose much of the magic of older film bodies while simultaneously failing to deliver the features and performance to match contemporary digital rivals. However, they are the only (digital) game in town if you want to get the best out of the lenses or if you want a manual-focus range-finder based user interface.

ACullen
01-17-2017, 03:20
I returned to film about 18 months ago. I'd used and still do a mix of Nikon and Fuji digital. It was the X100 which drew me to the world of rangefinders. On a whim I picked up a Leotax F and quite quickly after an M2. I just love the feel of the cameras and some how this helps my creative juices. In the last year I've shot more with the M2 than all my other cameras combined. I had fully intended to restart printing but I've had a lot of satisfaction scanning B&W negatives and then manipulating in LR. The best of both worlds,. I do want to get better at wet printing though and that's a plan for 2017

airfrogusmc
01-17-2017, 05:40
Curious how those new to Leica M's decided to make the transition from whatever you'd been shooting - especially if you've been shooting digital. Why? Did you think about a film Leica first, or had you had a film M before hand so that it was natural? Were rangefinders new to you? What's your primary camera? The Leica M or some DSLR or mirrorless? The pickle of the expense makes the whole a bit of a wonder for me, but I hear the story of "buy, try, and sell off if you don't like it... 'cause the re-sale value seems to hold." I'm likely to buy used btw... as I increasingly do in this pursuit.

If there's something written on this you'd recommend, that'd be great, too. I'm especially keen less on the lore, and more on the data... if there is any and whatever we can consider it to be. Yes, much is subjective, and my transition from one camera to another has been narrowing down what I like and how I like to shoot... so I recognize ergonomics / working style... and that makes a lot of sense to me. Hard to articulate sometimes, too.

I'm not an AF guy... and though I like to have it somewhere, don't actually have any AF lenses any more. Yes, I miss some shots, but it's not a heartbreak (mostly) because the ones I get... make me happy. I have a Sony A7II and lot of Zeiss Loxia and old Contax CY. Zeiss and it satisfaction here that is actually a large part of what piques my interest in Leica. And I like to print 17 X 25... so quality images are sweet. I've had an X-PRO2 and loved it, but used the EVF more than the hybrid simply because it was there and easy. Since I know we mostly will use what's there unless we don't like it for some reason, what drove me out of Fuji were the size of the lenses as they seemed to "grow" larger and larger. Tried Olympus and liked the size but switched to Zeiss for the handling, sharpness and color. Leica's that appeal intellectually are actually those like the MD and Monochrom that force a way of thinking and style of shooting... since I like manual and use my LCD screen mostly for menus and data on the camera set-up. Odd and quirky as I am... that's a draw. Thanks for whatever you care to share.

I picked up an MM and a 35 Summilux FLE little more than 4 years ago. I hadn't liked a camera as much as I do the MM since I bought my 500 C/Ms in the 1980s. My Canons (which I used for my commercial/advertising work) were really getting very long in the tooth (needed to be replaced) a little over a year ago so because of how well Ms seem to work with the way I see and work, I sold all the Canon gear and picked up a new M 262 and a used M-E and some Leica and Zeiss glass. I now have an M 262, M-E, 24 2.8 Elmarit ASPH, and 35 Summilux ASPH FLE, a Zeiss 35mm 2.8 Biogon C and a 75mm 2.5 Summarit.

Like you I am an all manual shooter and have been for decades. In my opinion the Leicas I now shoot with just get out of the way and they let me create. If you like a lot of the bells and whistles that dominate the DSLR and mirrorless world then this might not be the camera for you.

If you like simple menus then cameras like the original MM and the M 262 have very simple menus and they could be for you.

Also I prefer the Lux FLE over the Zeiss for both the way the lens renders and the overall look of the image but this is suggestive and i know other photographers that like the look of the Zeiss better. Some like the look of really old Leica glass. Nice to have choices. I feel in the auto feature crazy FPS world of digital photography today some Leica Ms are a REAL alternatives and reason why I choose Leica M.

I doubt I will ever go back to the DSLR world. Love my Ms because they fit perfectly with the way I see and work.

roscoetuff
01-17-2017, 07:34
If you like simple menus then cameras like the original MM and the M 262 have very simple menus and they could be for you. I feel in the auto feature crazy FPS world of digital photography today some Leica Ms are a REAL alternatives and reason why I choose Leica M.

Yeah... whether the switch for me may start with an M2 as an "inexpensive" forray into Leica M's or whether the orignal MM (cheaper than a 262 by some measure)... remains to be seen. It's a bit of a pickle to unravel at the moment. Likely a 2nd camera... and we can only do so much. I do a fair amount of Macro... and that's gotta run on the Sony. But for pushing toward simpler is just more fun. Pulling the trigger... is waaaaay harder than I thought.

airfrogusmc
01-17-2017, 07:42
If you pick up an M and you want to do macro with one, these can be had for pretty cheap. A friend of mine gave this to me a while back. It was his fathers. I don't do a lot of macro but this is perfect for it.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Close%20Up/L1055144_zpsd3scpyaa.jpg

Results
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Close%20Up/L1003886_zpsypwc7ook.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Close%20Up/L1055423_zpsnq0k3ldl.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Close%20Up/L1003894_zpsmjcmmpnl.jpg

roscoetuff
01-17-2017, 08:49
What do you call that thing?

airfrogusmc
01-17-2017, 09:03
Its a 65mm 3.5 Elmar and a bellows. Not sure what the official name is...Anybody out there know. I know that it works. I might be willing to sell it if anyone is interested. (PM me)

I think it's pretty old.

roscoetuff
01-17-2017, 09:07
Did you think through the Film vs. Digital bit when you went to Leica? or do I take it from this old piece of equipment you'd already done the Leica film M...? For me, the alternatives are to keep pushing on Sony and upgrade from a Sony A7II to Sony A7RII, or to pick up something different like a Leica M Monochrom, M2 or one day, M-262. A film Leica would be easier on the budget (?)...

airfrogusmc
01-17-2017, 09:32
I lost my darkroom and darkroom access some years back and after working with the MM for my personal work the ability to go from 320 ISO to 3200 ISO from one frame to the next with insanely good large prints from 6400 ISO it was a no brainer for me. A true rangefinder works for me and the way I work. I tried Fuji and Sony and I bought Leica M.

If I had all the $$$ I spent over the decades buying equipment when I was just settling I could have bought the stuff I really needed many times over. For me the original MM will be my camera for my personal work and pro work when it requires B&W until it dies and I can no longer get it repaired,. No reason to upgrade. I feel that way on the color side with the M 262.

sepiareverb
01-17-2017, 09:34
I worked out a deal to swap a bunch of my Nikon outfit for an M7 and some glass without ever seeing one in person. After shooting with the G system I decided to just go for it with the M. I've not shot a 35mm SLR since and not missed it. I find the M much easier to focus, and find the lenses much better.

Ko.Fe.
01-17-2017, 10:10
....A film Leica would be easier on the budget (?)...

Color or bw? Color film pricing, processing is something for low frame count shooter. Ten rolls per year. To get few negatives printed in real lab (just a few of them are available). It is next to paintings experience.

BW film is obtainable in bulks, cheap to develop at home, doesn't require super-scanner and low ISO, 400 at box speed bw film scans are very printable with pigment inkjets. Darkroom equipment is obtainable for free or next to free. If paper size is kept at 5x7 it isn't very expensive.

Cheapest used M9 which is closest and less expensive digital M to 135 film is about 2500 USD. Which is 1500-1800$ difference from possible to find 500$ film M plus around 200$ for scanner.

If I take as many frames with film M as I want on bw film it is 200$ (four 30.5 bulks) for film and around 50$ for chemicals.

I have bw inkjet prints and darkroom prints. InkJet prints are much more easy to do. Wet prints are closer to the art. With darkroom, I could print randomly, maintenance free. With inkjet to keep printing at lower cost, I need to use CISS and print at least twice a week.

With little darkroom enlarger (easy to find free or next to free) I could print up to 11x14. Bulbs lasts for long time and not expensive.
With compact inkjet I could print 8.5x11 and if it goes caput it is about 150$ for new printer and CISS.

Time saving is significant with digital M. With M9 experience is very close to fllm M cameras. No difference in focusing, framing. Cameras feels very identical.

gdi
01-17-2017, 16:27
Its a 65mm 3.5 Elmar and a bellows. Not sure what the official name is...Anybody out there know. I know that it works. I might be willing to sell it if anyone is interested. (PM me)

I think it's pretty old.

I think it is a Visoflex III with bellows - quite a contraption!

airfrogusmc
01-17-2017, 16:47
I think it is a Visoflex III with bellows - quite a contraption!

Yes it is quite the contraption but it works really well and I think you might be right about the name THANKS....

uhoh7
01-17-2017, 17:41
Yes it is quite the contraption but it works really well and I think you might be right about the name THANKS....

The visoflex III also supports some long lenses which are pretty strong and quite nice, from the 60s, you probably know. I nearly went the whole way in, as it's not too expensive.
Bartender knows them:
(https://www.cameraquest.com/LMVisoflex.htm)
I would love one of these for my M9:
http://harrysproshop.com/90mm_Macro_Elmar/Leica_90mm_Macro-Elmar_03975294_Horizontaltn.jpg

When I first started drooling over these, they were well over 3k, now I seem them under 2K at times......so dangerous....please stop me. ;)

Those gogs so dainty compared to my Elmarit 135m which is the ugliest M lens:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5588/15071421021_5d8744f0ae.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oXNYoz)
DSC00925 (https://flic.kr/p/oXNYoz) by unoh7 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
But despite WW2 Heavy tank styling, they work and that is my favorite 135 overall. They are cheap.

Allen, you make the FLE look easy as 28cron. Really it's a bit more tricky I have lately learned. That ZM is more forgiving, I guess. :)

airfrogusmc
01-17-2017, 17:57
Thanks for the link WOW....

What do your think the bellows, chimney and 65 Elmar might fetch?

What is that a 90?

gdi
01-19-2017, 18:58
Thanks for the link WOW....

What do your think the bellows, chimney and 65 Elmar might fetch?

What is that a 90?

Probably a few hundred at most for the Visioflex and bellows (the complete Elmar is worth more, of course) - they saw a temporary resurgence in popularity on the digital RF Ms back before there were other better through the lens options for the lenses. I think some will disagree but it has largely been reduced to a mere curiosity today, IMO. (At least for digital)

airfrogusmc
01-19-2017, 19:46
Probably a few hundred at most for the Visioflex and bellows (the complete Elmar is worth more, of course) - they saw a temporary resurgence in popularity on the digital RF Ms back before there were other better through the lens options for the lenses. I think some will disagree but it has largely been reduced to a mere curiosity today, IMO. (At least for digital)

Thanks....

airfrogusmc
01-21-2017, 07:34
Probably a few hundred at most for the Visioflex and bellows (the complete Elmar is worth more, of course) - they saw a temporary resurgence in popularity on the digital RF Ms back before there were other better through the lens options for the lenses. I think some will disagree but it has largely been reduced to a mere curiosity today, IMO. (At least for digital)

So would $400 for the lens and the Visoflex be a good price?

roscoetuff
01-31-2017, 17:59
This was a great thread, and I came back here after a few days. Thanks to everyone for their help. There's a lot more here than I thought.