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TaoPhoto
11-07-2017, 11:35
Okay, I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Church of Leica and all, but I recently picked up an M3 and I really don't know why people love this so much. It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money. Yet it's also heavy, and for all the mechanical goodness of it all, it's harder to load film, harder to set shutter speeds and the lovely viewfinder really isn't hundreds of dollars more lovely than the Bessa R2 or my Olympus OM-1n.

I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

(Mine will probably show up in the classifieds soon)

SolaresLarrave
11-07-2017, 11:42
"You have the right to remain silent, but anything you say may be used against you in the public court of opinion. You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one... may god help you in your dire hour of need, after saying such things about the Leica M3"

... said nobody, ever.

Yours truly also bought an M3 some years ago. I sincerely tried to like it, but I never managed to feel a passion for it simply because I'm not a 50mm kinda guy. I like wider lenses, so I'm in awe of cameras like the M2, all the M4 family and the M5s.

Best of luck with the sale and don't sweat too much about not liking the Leicas! :)

Lux Optima
11-07-2017, 11:48
Can anyone understand the true meaning of "love" anyway? Why not for a camera?

No one who will be interested in buying it from you will give you any pro - simply out of fear that you would rise the price.

(You are so right! It is worthless! No one really likes it! Not even me. Have already two M3. Just bought them for humanitarian reasons: Preventing mankind from a horrible fate... Maybe I will sacrifice myself again!)

Ko.Fe.
11-07-2017, 12:00
I sold my OM thing quick and some of my Bessa cameras went on sale as fast as OP M3 announced sale is going to be. I kept M3. I didn't find OM and Bessa as something worth to keep. I also see no difference in speed switch from M4-2, it is one finger switchable.

I'm just a rod, line, bobber, sink and hook guy, not downriger and sonar troller :)

davidnewtonguitars
11-07-2017, 12:04
It's the "soul". Other cameras don't have soul.

furcafe
11-07-2017, 12:05
Ha! Fortunately, camera ownership is not a religion (AFAIK :D).

The M3 is a camera design classic but needs to be viewed in historic context. If you compare it to what was available in 1954 (just like the OM-1 in 1972) & consider how useable it still is today, you might be able to appreciate it more.

Okay, I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Church of Leica and all, but I recently picked up an M3 and I really don't know why people love this so much. It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money. Yet it's also heavy, and for all the mechanical goodness of it all, it's harder to load film, harder to set shutter speeds and the lovely viewfinder really isn't hundreds of dollars more lovely than the Bessa R2 or my Olympus OM-1n.

I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

(Mine will probably show up in the classifieds soon, if anyone is looking for one)

TaoPhoto
11-07-2017, 12:07
Don't worry: pros for the M3 won't lead to price increases. I'll be happy if I can get something near what I paid for it. It might be nice, actually to understand why some love the M3 so much.

It seems every year or so I give the Leica M's another chance. I really wanted to like them, but I think it's a square peg/round hole kind of problem.

I'll put the camera and lenses in the classifieds and hope that I can get out of this year's experiment with minimal loss. I like to give rangefinders for sale a try here before resorting to ebay and similar.

davidnewtonguitars
11-07-2017, 12:18
So I was joking about the "soul". I build guitars and guitar guys are worse than camera guys about holy-grail seeking.

I see the whole Leica M-film line as a monolith, except for various features from model to model.

If the thing doesn't fit your hand, it is a no-brainer to move on.

f16sunshine
11-07-2017, 12:33
Take a picture you really love with that camera and it will be on!
Seriously... there are few machines that live up to their hype.
The M3 is not a Rolleiflex ;)

flagellum
11-07-2017, 12:41
I think it's just about what clicks. I hated my M3 and sold it, but am giving an M4 a try instead for the diff. viewfinder. But when I had it, I didn't find the M3 much better built than my Canon F-1, which I clicked with immediately. On the opposite end, I immediately fell in love with a 500cm I picked one up, despite not having run a roll of film through it yet.

Seems to me that the brand is quickly forgotten if you absolutely love a camera, but it will haunt you if you don't click with something prestigious/legendary/what-have-you.

AlwaysOnAuto
11-07-2017, 12:49
Don't feel bad. I inherited mine and once it was cla'd I put a roll thru it. Couldn't figure out what all the hype was either. Besides being heavy, it wasn't very easy to hold IMO, until I put a grip on it, but, even then it wasn't as easy to hold as say my D7000 which is quite a bit heavier.
The one thing I've come to appreciate about it, even though I haven't used it since that first roll, is how quiet the shutter is and how free from vibration it is. All good points in my book, but it still doesn't out weigh the cost of film/developing/printing enough for me to justify using it more. (sigh)

Range-rover
11-07-2017, 12:50
You should of purchased a M4 more modern feature's and all.

johannielscom
11-07-2017, 12:51
...

(Mine will probably show up in the classifieds soon)


Sell it.

I bet it'll be less than six months before you regret it.

There's something weird about classic Leicas. Even when you think you don't need them and you sell them and are happy they're gone, they come back to haunt you.

Addiction doesn't cover it. It's more an affliction that you can't shake. An infection.

I suck at shooting rangefinders but they still call me like Sirens...

must.resist.must.resist.must...

flagellum
11-07-2017, 13:06
There's something weird about classic Leicas. Even when you think you don't need them and you sell them and are happy they're gone, they come back to haunt you.

Addiction doesn't cover it. It's more an affliction that you can't shake. An infection.


This is definitely true, to an extent. Though I'd argue it's mostly the hype generated around Leicas, rather than anything intrinsic to the cameras themselves. That hype is what made me end up getting another one, because I felt like I was missing out on some experience. But I'd argue that you could just as easily come to terms with not liking Leicas and live happily with whatever works better. Might not be an easy process with most outside media sources telling you it's the pinnacle of all things photography, but it can certainly be done (especially if you have a camera you're already loving/secure in using).

Michael Markey
11-07-2017, 13:24
I first bought an M3DW ,then an M2 and fairly recently an M4.
Like furcafe says you have to view them in their historical contex.

I think that you`re trying too hard to see something in them that just isn`t there.
Stack `em up dispassionately against any number of modern alternatives and they just aren`t as versatile a tool.

For 80% of what I do they aren`t practical but I`d never sell mine.
Once in a while when I want to do some simple straightforward photography there isn`t anything better.

Richard G
11-07-2017, 13:56
Okay, I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Church of Leica and all, but I recently picked up an M3 and I really don't know why people love this so much. It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money. Yet it's also heavy, and for all the mechanical goodness of it all, it's harder to load film, harder to set shutter speeds and the lovely viewfinder really isn't hundreds of dollars more lovely than the Bessa R2 or my Olympus OM-1n.

I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

(Mine will probably show up in the classifieds soon)

A man after my own heart. I will be your attorney and won't charge a cent. Of course, I won't be able to get you off, but I think I can reduce your sentence. Or play chess with you most evenings if I am in the next cell.

The M3 is sort of capable and almost as good as an M2. What horrified me when I held one and looked in the viewfinder is those awful rounded corners of the fabled M3 50mm frame lines. I didn't drop the camera but I put it down very quickly and patted my camera bag in which the vastly superior M2 was sitting. The truth is, the M6 blows both out of the water and might be the best Leica ever. But I do love the M2 50mm frame lines. And the 35mm frame lines. Oh, sorry you won't have seen those in your camera, and nor will anyone else with an M3......

Graybeard
11-07-2017, 14:07
Okay, I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Church of Leica and all, but I recently picked up an M3 and I really don't know why people love this so much. It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money. Yet it's also heavy, and for all the mechanical goodness of it all, it's harder to load film, harder to set shutter speeds and the lovely viewfinder really isn't hundreds of dollars more lovely than the Bessa R2 or my Olympus OM-1n.

I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

(Mine will probably show up in the classifieds soon)

If you find it necessary to ask the question you may, very well, not understand the answer.

Erik van Straten
11-07-2017, 14:14
I bought my first M3 in 1979. It is still my favorite camera. I use mine only with 50mm lenses. But then, I only use 50mm or 35mm lenses. For 35mm lenses I use an M2 or an M5.

Erik.

TaoPhoto
11-07-2017, 14:16
If you find it necessary to ask the question you may, very well, not understand the answer.

That is almost certainly true. The question requires a language and culture I don't know. Too bad Duolingo doesn't offer a course for it.

taemo
11-07-2017, 14:22
I'm one of those that loves the M3, it is made of heavy brass, 50mm frame line difficult to see with glasses, no quick spool load, takes forever to rewind and remove film, and I don't shoot with it often either, but there's something unique and special that attracts me to the M3.

I've shot with most film SLRs (OM, Ai-S, FD, Pentax, Minolta) and the SLR that I'm most attached to now is the Pentax ME Super or MX.

Erik van Straten
11-07-2017, 14:27
Leica M3: In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister.

Goethe.

Timmyjoe
11-07-2017, 14:31
It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money. Yet it's also heavy, and for all the mechanical goodness of it all, it's harder to load film, harder to set shutter speeds and the lovely viewfinder really isn't hundreds of dollars more lovely than the Bessa R2 or my Olympus OM-1n.

Not having used a Bessa R2 or an Olympus OM-1n, I can't compare it to an M3. But everything you find good about the M3, buttery smooth winder, bright, contrasty, super accurate viewfinder, superbly well made; I also find good about the M3. And I've never found it to be unnecessarily heavy, hard to load, or hard to set the shutter speeds. Maybe your M3 needs service.

Also, it could be a case of "personal taste", what some of us find delightful, others find old school and clunky.

Best,
-Tim

pesphoto
11-07-2017, 14:33
i tend to agree, bessa R2/A is the best rangefinder, i found the bottom loading of the leica too fidgety...Also use an Olympus OM 2n....these 2 cameras cover it all.

froyd
11-07-2017, 14:38
I really clicked with my first RF, and R2a. I like it right out of the gate as a welcome departure from my beloved F4s, which was too heavy and "too much camera" for everyday use.

I figure, if I love the R2a, I will like the ZI even better. I picked one up and gave it a 6 month try, but it just did not resonate with me, probably because I expected it to be more than it was given the hype. So, I perfectly understand where you are coming from, only I wonder if you gave yourself enough time to get use to the M3. I can see how one could make an argument that you should not go out of your way to get used to something if your first impression is negative, so YMMV, but by giving it 6 month, I now know that the ZI (and the ZM lenses) is never something I'll want to go back to.

Interestingly, when I later picked up an M4 for not too much money locally, I did not like it. The R2a had a brighter viewfinder, less weight, a film window, and no obnoxious self-timer lever to dig into my curled middle finger. Yet, after 3 months, something clicked (mostly the absence of meter and VF uncluttered by LEDs). My hands got used to gripping it without releasing the lens from its mount (!!!) and it's since become a mainstay in my camera rotation. I also feel that my photography has improved significantly though my use of it, which has not happened with any other camera for me other than the Rolleiflex.

Keith
11-07-2017, 14:40
Cameras that come with expectations can let you down and though I didn't really feel that way when I got an M3 I subsequently sold it and moved on. One camera that also came with expectations was my OM1 and that was the opposite experience, I loved the thing the moment I laid eyes on it and using it confirmed my feelings. :)

Jack Conrad
11-07-2017, 14:41
I've had several M3's over the years and I've come to realize it's
the black paint that makes the camera. :D

giganova
11-07-2017, 14:42
You should of purchased a M4 more modern feature's and all.

I agree. To me, the M4 is the ultimate M: pure mechanical perfection, but with a better film loading mechanism and with a much cleaner design (e.g., no metal edges around the rangefinder windows).

Huss
11-07-2017, 14:43
The difference is that with the M3 you can set the self timer, throw the camera up in the air, and by the time it comes down (and you catch it..) it will have taken an incredible decisive moment pulitzer price worthy photo.
Try this with any other camera, and the best you'd get is a cat picture.

Pfreddee
11-07-2017, 14:53
Talk about opening up a can of worms....:eek:

With best regards,

Pfreddee(Stephen)

Larry Cloetta
11-07-2017, 14:56
I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing?

I'm kind of the same way. One reason I haven't sold mine is actually because of all the hype, I honestly think maybe I just don't get it, but I will completely understand the attraction if I just keep trying. It's a nice camera, but there are lots of nice cameras. It's as a "thing" that I seem to appreciate it a little more; a pretty nice camera, but an exceptional "thing".
I do enjoy using it, but I can say that about every camera I own, pretty much in equal measure.

Rob-F
11-07-2017, 15:22
Well, I feel the same way. I know Eisie photographed Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein with an M3, but I've had two of them and have never really bonded with the M3. The lack of a 35mm frameline and hard to see 50mm frameline are the deal-breakers for me.

slantface
11-07-2017, 15:25
I certainly understand the M3 experience by the OP. Don't get me wrong, I really do like my M3, but something isn't quite as good as an M4 for me. It might be the quick load/rewind, it might be the frame lines, and it might be something intangible that is just off for my tastes. With that in mind, I have since ended up with 3 M4's and after selling my M3, I bought another about a year ago. At this point, I feel like my M3+50mm rigid Summicron is my "must have/keep" camera, and my M4's + all other lenses are my "must shoot" cameras.

TaoPhoto
11-07-2017, 15:27
Not having used a Bessa R2 or an Olympus OM-1n, I can't compare it to an M3. But everything you find good about the M3, buttery smooth winder, bright, contrasty, super accurate viewfinder, superbly well made; I also find good about the M3. And I've never found it to be unnecessarily heavy, hard to load, or hard to set the shutter speeds. Maybe your M3 needs service.

Also, it could be a case of "personal taste", what some of us find delightful, others find old school and clunky.

Best,
-Tim


There's nothing wrong with the shutter speed setting, just the placement of the control and it being rather small for my fingers.

You are right, it is a matter of personal taste.

Dave Jenkins
11-07-2017, 15:30
Most of my photo-heroes are Leica shooters, and I longed, oh, how I longed, to be able to see the world through the viewfinder of a Leica as they did. I struggled with this for more than 40 years.

My first Leica was a IIIc with an f2 Summitar that I bought for $40 at the Bird Road Drive-In flea market in Miami in 1969. I owned many Leicas over the intervening years, but always wound up selling them. As hard as I tried, and I did try very hard, I simply could not attain real proficiency with rangefinder cameras. I made a few good pictures with them, but ultimately, they just did not work for me. I sadly sold my last Leica, an M3, to Ornate Wrasse on this forum in 2010. I think she still has it. Leicas (and rangefinders in general) are wonderful, but they're not for everyone.

In my heart I’m a globe-trotting, black&white film, Leica-shooting photojournalist in the mold of Elliott Erwitt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, or Josef Koudelka. But the bitter truth is that I am an autofocus, SLR, zoom lens, color photographer. That’s what I am, and I just have to deal with it.

jeffrypittman
11-07-2017, 15:36
It was ground breaking when released. I appreciate mine and use it from time to time but usually opt for the MP when shooting film.

AlwaysOnAuto
11-07-2017, 15:45
I will admit this. When fondling my M3 for one of the first times, installing the meter, taking it off, marveling at how it tried to make picture taking as 'automatic' as possible, I realized that for @1955 technology it was a tremendous camera. Comparing it to my D7k or now my A7ii, I can see why it caused such a storm in the camera world. I like the 'mechanicalness' of it tremendously as I'm a tried and true 'gearhead' at heart. I can appreciate the fine machine work considering what was state of the art in machines back then too.

Pioneer
11-07-2017, 15:49
My ZI is what the M3 should ultimately have evolved to...

but it didn't...

so it was up to Zeiss and Cosina to do it...

Thank goodness someone did it.

The M3 is a wonderful and important part of history and everyone should buy one so they can CLA it and keep them alive. But a lot of water (and cameras) have passed under the bridge since 1954. Even Eisenstadt and Bresson would have moved on by now.

Huss
11-07-2017, 15:58
My ZI is what the M3 should ultimately have evolved to...

but it didn't...

so it was up to Zeiss and Cosina to do it...

Thank goodness someone did it.



Yes, thank you Minolta for the wonderful CLE.

:D

Erik van Straten
11-07-2017, 16:03
Most people use cameras to "search" a picture by looking through the viewfinder. However, the Leica M3 is a camera that "takes" the picture once you've found it by looking through your eyes.

Erik.

maddoc
11-07-2017, 16:12
For me Leica is all about the lenses, especially the ones designed by Dr. Mandler at ELC. Therefore I always focused on the lenses and used the most versatile and affordable Leica M cameras out there, the M4-2 and M4-P. I sold them off last year to buy a BP M4, which lacks some of the features of the newer M4-2/-P (hot-shoe, ability to use a winder) but to me the M4 is the best compromise between old-school Leica design and easy handling (35mm frame lines, angled rewind, film loading). I had a couple of M3s but found the camera to limited, especially due to the high magnification VF that does not allow to use 35mm lenses.

maddoc
11-07-2017, 16:13
Most people use cameras to "search" a picture by looking through the viewfinder. However, the Leica M3 is a camera that "takes" the picture once you've found it by looking through your eyes.

Erik.

Isn`t that valid for all cameras?

DwF
11-07-2017, 16:18
It's okay, you missed the party. ;)

Pioneer
11-07-2017, 16:39
Rangefinder cameras are certainly not for everyone but I actually enjoy working with them and find them to be very responsive for me. In truth it really doesn't matter to me whether I am using a Leica III, an M3, an M-A, a ZI or the Bessa R. For my use they are all terrific cameras and very easy for me to use.

But for some it almost seems to be some sort of religion. To be honest it really doesn't matter which type of camera you enjoy working with as long as you are using it. Like everything everything else, the more you use it, the better you get at using it, and oftentimes the more a certain type of camera will begin to appeal to you. Just buying one and trying it out for a week or two will not be enough to help you push through that unfamiliarity you feel, particularly if you naturally favor a different mechanism.

But really, why bother. If you really enjoy working with a TLR or an SLR, life is probably too short to worry about becoming fond of working with another style of camera. Your best exposures will almost always come from the camera that you are most comfortable with.

BillBingham2
11-07-2017, 16:50
There is something about the smoothness of stuff build in that style/era. I've only owned the later M4-P and M6 versions which I thought I loved, but then came the Nikon S2. Everything just clicked (pun intended) for me. It just felt like an extension of my hand/fingers.

I purchased my first SLR as the OM system was just starting out, I went Nikkormat. Years later I purchased an OM-1 and a couple of lenses and found it a lot of fun, but it didn't have the same feeling that I get from my Nikkormat or F2 plain prism.

Oddly enough my Bessa L / CV 25 Snap-Shot combo felt like an extension of me too. New metal lens, pretty much plastic body, but it just felt right. My T was fun, but not the same.

I've used lots of different cameras over the years, but only a few provide me with the feedback that I can only describe as being a part of me. It's completely subjective, perhaps I need to up the meds again, but that's me.

People are attune to different things. Feelings that they can describe and understand, rumblings from inside they can't identify, and sometimes don't want to. Others aren't sensing those wave lengths. Nothing wrong with either side of the continuum long as they respect the other.

B2 (;->

Rob-F
11-07-2017, 17:24
Most people use cameras to "search" a picture by looking through the viewfinder. However, the Leica M3 is a camera that "takes" the picture once you've found it by looking through your eyes.

Erik.

Yes. When I look at a scene, my brain puts a frame around it. Usually a 35mm frame, but it could be 28, 50, 75, or 90. Or even a 24mm.

Godfrey
11-07-2017, 17:56
The M3 is a good camera, but not every good camera is right for every person. I prefer the M4-2 in the Leica M line, for various reasons. But it really doesn't matter much at all. Use what inspires you to make photographs that satisfy you.

Keith
11-07-2017, 18:19
The best film rangefinder that Leica ever made was probably the M5 which failed largely because it wasn't an M3. In many ways the M3 held Leica back.

x-ray
11-07-2017, 18:20
The difference is that with the M3 you can set the self timer, throw the camera up in the air, and by the time it comes down (and you catch it..) it will have taken an incredible decisive moment pulitzer price worthy photo.
Try this with any other camera, and the best you'd get is a cat picture.

You got it!

I bought my first M2 and them M3 in 1968 when I started working as a PJ in college. At that time the pro choices were Nikon RF and SLR and Leica. I didn't like the lens mount of the Nikon RFs and hated the finger wheel so I bought Leicas and soon after a Nikon F.

Today I still do similar work and because of familiarity I still use 4 M bodies. I carry M2, M3 SS for my 90 f2, MP with Leicavit and M4P. My reason for the M3 is focusing the 90 f2 at max aperture is easier with the higher magnification RF and the 90 frame is much easier to compose in. I prefer my MP x.85 for my 75 summilux and M2 and M4P for 21-50mm.

I've shot M's so long I know them like the back of my hand and see no reason to change. I'm the same way about my F and F2.

I agree Leica is a religion for some just because of the name and a lot of folks have convinced themselves there's a superiority to Leica. My response to that has always been, if there's a true superiority to Leica ( or fill in the blank __) for those of us that make a living with photography, we would use nothing but Leica (or _ fill in the blank________).

I bought an R2 just to see how I liked it and I thought it was a great camera. The RF base is a bit short for accurate long fast glass I felt but it was a very nice camera.

raid
11-07-2017, 18:23
Leica M3: In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister.

Goethe.

Das glaube ich auch.

Raid :D

raid
11-07-2017, 18:24
The best film rangefinder that Leica ever made was probably the M5 which failed largely because it wasn't an M3. In many ways the M3 held Leica back.

Beethoven would have said "The M3 brings melodies to my head"!

:D

sjones
11-07-2017, 18:24
As others have noted, you’ll probably struggle to find a truly epiphanic answer because much of it has to do with personal preference; akin to asking why someone likes red more than green and such.

I’ve have the similar M2-R, and I have absolutely no desire for any other camera. Before the M2, I used a Bessa R2M and then a Leica iiif. I initially alternated between the Bessa and Barnack, but I naturally began to gravitate towards the Leica, and that was it.

The M2 followed, slightly edging out the iiif, although I will still keep both the Bessa and Barnack around.

And the reason largely centers on tactility: the buttery smooth operation, to which you yourself noted, and even the weight. If I wanted lighter, I’d go back to the iiif, which is also superb in regards to ergonomics…unless, of course, it’s not…it’s personal preference.

I simply enjoy using the M2 more than any other camera, and the whole photographic process is important to me, not just getting the shot.

As for modern technical amenities, I was pretty much using my Canon 350D DSLR as an archaic contraption (manual focus only lens, single shot, manual exposure, etc) before completely shifting over to film.

The Bessa is a great camera, one that I would highly recommend, but the ‘feel’ of the M2 remains unsurpassed for me, maybe not for others…

Oh, and the M2, not M3, is the “best camera in the world.”

raid
11-07-2017, 18:41
Did Goethe or Beethoven mention the M2?

Keith
11-07-2017, 18:49
Did Goethe or Beethoven mention the M2?


You're being very flippant ... I like it! lol :D

raid
11-07-2017, 18:54
LOL. The Flippant Raid!

Robert Lai
11-07-2017, 19:23
After a series of LTM cameras from the IIf, IIIf, IIIg, Canon 7s, and Bessa R, I finally graduated to a Leica M7. Of the LTM cameras, I'd say that the Bessa R is the easiest to use with its built in meter, and excellent viewfinder.

The one thing that I like best about the M7 and M5 are their decent sized shutter speed dials. (I've not tried the M6TTL, but it's similar to the M7 in shutter dial size). In the meantime, I got the M2, M3, M4-2. All of these have tiny, unusable shutter speed dials. True, the iIIf and IIIg also have small shutter speed dials, but since you need to lift them up to change speeds anyway, it's not a problem. Only when you put the Leicameter on these cameras do they make ergonomic sense. Then you have the big overhanging shutter speed dial similar to the M5. To me, this is the fatal flaw of the MP and classic M6. They have no way around the atrophic shutter speed dial.

Initially, I was underwhelmed by the M2 and M3. However, their solidity and quiet elegance have started to win me over. I like the rewind knob better than the crank on the M7 and others. At least they don't roll back when your hand slips off.

I also appreciate that the M2 and M3 have self timers. Those that don't have them are really annoying when you want that feature. I have an Autoknips spring wound self timer for the M7 and M4-2. It's fiddly to use, but it works.

So, of the Leica M cameras, my personal ranking for use is M7, M5 and M4-2 with Leicameter MR-4.

Having said that, I feel that Leica is a huge money pit. For the price of Leica gear, you can (and I did) buy medium format gear. Rolleiflex 3.5F, 2.8F, Voigtlander Bessa IIIW and the Fuji 667 folder. Even the Voigtlander Bessa RF and Kodak Medalist II 6x9 format cameras. Leica lenses are superb. However, on a 24x36mm piece of film, there's only so much you can do. These medium format cameras with their also excellent lenses can really put out an image with smooth tonality and tons of detail.

So, this is my long and rambling way of saying that you've tried the M3 and it isn't for you. It's not the end of the world. There are many other cameras out there for you to try. Every camera has some quirk that you have to either learn to live with, or give it up.

As they say in fishing, catch and release.

splitimageview
11-07-2017, 19:41
Leicas aren't money pits as they don't depreciate. Just don't drop them or pay too much in the first place. ;)

I had an M3 at 18 and it was a great camera, I really enjoyed it. That was a few decades ago. They *still* are great cameras, but as someone mentioned above, I view them now from an historical perspective moreso than from a user perspective. The exquisite engineering and manufacturing that went into these cameras is unmatched. I've had many more Ms, pretty much all models multiple times, since then. I have many Leicas now, but I prefer the Barnacks, although I do still have an M2.

There are just too many great cameras that were manufactured since the M3 debuted in 1954 that have superior usability features, like built-in meters, quick loading, auto exposure, etc.

I still use old cameras, don't get me wrong, I have lots of them. But they are almost always used when I specifically want to go on a photo junket with an old camera.

For regular life, I use a more modern film camera, usually a Contax 159 or an N1, or digital.

Robert Lai
11-07-2017, 20:05
Perhaps "money pit" isn't the best way to put it. But, Leica film cameras are expensive, and they are still only for 35mm film.
These days, that same money can buy you an excellent medium format camera.

Daryl J.
11-07-2017, 20:18
Take 100-150 rolls of film with the M3.
Then go back to your favorite Other 35mm camera.

See!


😀👍

Erik van Straten
11-07-2017, 23:49
Isn`t that valid for all cameras?

No, certainly not for SLR's with zoom lenses.

Erik.

Jockos
11-07-2017, 23:51
It did take a few rolls to warm up to the M3, at first I found it inferior to the Bessa as well - heavy, lacking ergonomic grip, no meter. Now, I wouldn't even consider buying another Bessa, with it's crappy finder that always goes out of sync, that tiny rangefinder patch and lack of balance due to the low weight body and erroneous placement of strap lugs.
The shutter dial is my biggest issue with the M3, but I've learned to set the shutter speed in advance, so it becomes a non issue.
Bottom loading is a feature: with this you always get the same place for your frames, if you want to change film mid-roll; and it has a 100% success rate, no more rewinding and finding out that the film was never wound up.
The OM1 can compete with the M3, but the lack of mirror is like having a 1-2 stop IBIS in comparison - valuable with the low ISO of film.

I have two M3 currently, and they would probably be the last cameras I'd liquidate in a crisis.

jamin-b
11-07-2017, 23:58
I bought mine used, on line from an eBay auction a few years ago of the estate of a Yale professor who was the first owner and had used over the years apparently for vacations and with no evidence it had ever been serviced. Since then I have had zero - ZERO - issues: rangefinder is perfectly on, shutter speeds down to 1 sec. are on, clean viewfinder, film never jams or gets cut. Even the slight crumbling of some of the vulcanite is to my mind a feature rather than a problem. Every time I pick it up to my eye and look through I am wowed. I have Bessa R3A, R4A and L cameras also, which I really appreciate in their own way, and my Leica CL is, predictably, with DAG repair at the moment, but I am definitely a convert in the cult of the M3...for 50mm or 90mm on a rangefinder it can't be beat.

Huss
11-08-2017, 00:03
Some people like filet mignon, others like spam.

As for me? I'm a pescatarian pastafarian.

nukecoke
11-08-2017, 02:05
Most people use cameras to "search" a picture by looking through the viewfinder. However, the Leica M3 is a camera that "takes" the picture once you've found it by looking through your eyes.

Erik.

What about a Yashica Electro 35? You don't even need to change shutter speed. It really "takes" the picture.

teddy
11-08-2017, 02:15
Leica for me is all about the look, the rendering of the lenses. So, yes. All about the lenses. Then their build and precision. Then I look at the camera. Precision. Nothing like it. I also enjoy Olympus - it's a very fun camera. Lovely viewfinder, as good as the Leica SL. I have acquired lots of lenses for the OM System, but incomparable to Leica and the rangefinder. One type of camera has advantages over the other - but if you can't appreciate the M3 to like it enough, well - you have a heavier wallet either way. :)

Erik van Straten
11-08-2017, 02:54
What about a Yashica Electro 35? You don't even need to change shutter speed. It really "takes" the picture.

It is a good camera, but lacks the feel of an M3. The lens is nice, but is not a Summicron.

Erik.

css9450
11-08-2017, 04:18
The best film rangefinder that Leica ever made was probably the M5 which failed largely because it wasn't an M3.

I am convinced the M5 failed because it didn't look like an M3 (or M4).

Tom R
11-08-2017, 04:26
Okay, I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Church of Leica and all, but I recently picked up an M3 and I really don't know why people love this so much. It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money. Yet it's also heavy, and for all the mechanical goodness of it all, it's harder to load film, harder to set shutter speeds and the lovely viewfinder really isn't hundreds of dollars more lovely than the Bessa R2 or my Olympus OM-1n.

I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

(Mine will probably show up in the classifieds soon)

I used a SS M3 for two decades, along with other film Leica bodies, but never thought that it had any "magical" properties, other than a nice viewfinder to support Leica (50 and 90mm) lenses. In fact, I sold my last M3 body years ago when my working environment required faster film handling and the need to accommodate 28mm lenses, etc.

You never mentioned anything about the photographs that you made with this camera? If the dimensions, weight, or basic controls have impacted your ability to create the kinds of photograph that you envision then what difference does the engraving on the top plate, or the "provenance" make?

Range-rover
11-08-2017, 04:46
Perhaps "money pit" isn't the best way to put it. But, Leica film cameras are expensive, and they are still only for 35mm film.
These days, that same money can buy you an excellent medium format camera.

That's what I did, a friend sold me his Hasselblad 500CM I just needed a
lens (he had a 150) and that was it, love the square!

raid
11-08-2017, 05:05
I switched to RF photography after getting a mint M3 with a few lenses that looked like new. A gentleman had bought this set in Germany new. The receipts were still included with the (very old looking) paper wraps. I was mesmerized. I entered the "Leica World" once I held that M3 in my hands. I never looked back. It was a good feeling.

Erik van Straten
11-08-2017, 06:18
Leica M3 1038265, Summicron-M 50mm f/2 v4 3593652, 400-2TMY.

The M3 offers very precise framing with a 50mm lens. You will not only see what will be in the picture, but also what you are leaving out.

Erik.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4501/37830391991_7277dd27d1_c.jpg

JeffS7444
11-08-2017, 08:00
M3 is a beautiful object, particularly ones built in the late 1950s or so where they still had details like the bright chrome shutter speed dials, but new enough to have frame preview lever. But as a picture-taking machine, there are a lot of other options available, and most of them are more accommodating to wide angle lenses.

If I had to buy another film Leica today, perhaps I'd try an M7 with standard 0.72x viewfinder because I grew comfy using "A" mode with M8 and M9.

Bill Clark
11-08-2017, 08:30
I bought an M3 a while back, thinking I would like to own the first M rangefinder camera. Using it I like the viewfinder, especially while using a 50 Summicron lens. It also has a different sound when clicking the shutter compared to my other M cameras. For me it is easy to load film.

At any rate, I like the M3.

DanskDynamit
11-08-2017, 09:23
the M3 is sex, in brass.

jaapv
11-08-2017, 10:01
Isn`t that valid for all cameras?
No. With an RF/optical viewfinder type camera you see the world in front of you and snip moments, with an EVF camera, for instance, you see the photograph you are going to take and record it.

ptpdprinter
11-08-2017, 10:10
No. With an RF/optical viewfinder type camera you see the world in front of you and snip moments, with an EVF camera, for instance, you see the photograph you are going to take and record it.
How romantic.

Erik van Straten
11-08-2017, 10:23
How romantic.

Well, romantic ...

Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.

Erik.

Hogarth Ferguson
11-08-2017, 10:28
I also bought an M3 after selling my nikon s3. The s3 was awesome and I'd love one again, but my example had a dim patch, which apparently most do.

I picked up the m3, thinking I'd never sell it, that it would live up to the hype and likely surpass the hype. Like you said, it was a stellar camera in build and so forth, I just did not connect with it. I didn't like it. I tried to like it and use it all the time, it just ended up getting sold to a friend who has used it extensively for years now, so that was good.

Larry Cloetta
11-08-2017, 11:16
Well, romantic ...

Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.

Erik.

Not even close? Wow, those are some pretty slow SLRs. Old lube? Unless photographing bullets in flight, from the side, they should really be pretty close.

ptpdprinter
11-08-2017, 11:19
There is always a time lag as the SLR mirror flips up before exposure. That is why no one has ever taken an iconic photograph with an SLR.

Erik van Straten
11-08-2017, 11:21
Not even close? Wow, those are some pretty slow SLRs. Old lube? Unless photographing bullets in flight, from the side, they should really be pretty close.

No really not, the M Leica is always much faster, just like an old two eyed Rolleiflex.

Erik.

Huss
11-08-2017, 11:26
There is always a time lag as the SLR mirror flips up before exposure. That is why no one has ever taken an iconic photograph with an SLR.'


Come now, you can troll better than that!

Highway 61
11-08-2017, 11:28
Beethoven would have said "The M3 brings melodies to my head"!

:D

Beethoven was so deaf that he kept thinking he was painting all his life long.

:p

css9450
11-08-2017, 11:30
This thread is getting silly!

Huss
11-08-2017, 11:35
This thread is getting silly!

Did u type that or the monkey from ur avatar?

css9450
11-08-2017, 11:36
Did u type that or the monkey from ur avatar?

He helped... He's pretty good with an M3 too! He couldn't shoot squat with a lesser camera.

ptpdprinter
11-08-2017, 11:37
Okay, I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Church of Leica and all...
You can't be excommunicated if you don't own a holy relic, so offload the M3 fast.

Larry Cloetta
11-08-2017, 12:00
'


Come now, you can troll better than that!

I refuse to be trolled. At least this once.

zuiko85
11-08-2017, 13:32
After longing to own an M rangefinder for years I finally backed into the system because a neighbor in my apartment building was selling a couple of CV lenses at a good price. So then, after buying the lenses I could justify looking for a body. The only thing I could afford was a M4-2 and after the first 3 months the thrill wore off and I discovered that I really (really, really) like SLR viewing and focusing. My OM-1 with a matte screen would do everything I wanted in 35mm and was almost the same size. Still have the M4-2, sold the 21mm f4 CV lens, kept the 35mm f2.5 PII and added a 52mm f2.8 FSU lens because I wanted a 50, am retired and on a tight budget, so $22 (includes the Chinese LTM to M adapter) is what I can afford. Right at the moment I've ignored all my 35mm toys so I can play around with paper negatives and homemade pinhole cameras.

The conclusion, for me at least, is I could have saved $1300 in the first place, had I only been honest with myself.

If we lie at all, it is most likely to ourselves.

zuiko85
11-08-2017, 13:33
Double post.

Pioneer
11-08-2017, 13:57
Well, romantic ...

Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.

Erik.

THIS is what sold me on Leica.

I became very good at timing moments with my Pentax cameras, and still am. But there is nothing to me like the feel and responsiveness of the Leica shutter. I don't think anybody does it better.

Huss
11-08-2017, 15:17
That's it with all you ingrates! I've had enough. I'm taking my puppy, I mean M3, and going home.

M3 SS, Summaron 35 3.5 goggled, Fuji C200, Nikon D750 scan.
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4553/37562216744_768ccc8d93_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ZefboC)Nov8s-1 (https://flic.kr/p/ZefboC) by desmolicious (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Erik van Straten
11-08-2017, 15:26
Yes, all those M3 haters around. Bwah.

Leica M3, Summicron-M 50mm f/2 v4, 400-2TMY, Perceptol.

Erik.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4565/38273374821_d72c691075_c.jpg

hendriphile
11-08-2017, 17:26
THIS is what sold me on Leica.

I became very good at timing moments with my Pentax cameras, and still am. But there is nothing to me like the feel and responsiveness of the Leica shutter. I don't think anybody does it better.

Ah yes, the reflexes of the M! I'm sure many here have a story they can relate to such as this:
A couple of colleagues and I were set to have a confrontational meeting with a mean nasty bully at our workplace. I knew where he had to be to enter the conference room and knew the light. As he entered scowling, I quick lifted the pre-focused M & as the lens cleared the shoulders of the person in front of me, pressed the shutter. He never glared at me or even made a peep; I honestly do not believe he knew he had been photographed. But I got his mug's magnificent meanness right on film, and that image gives us a good laugh to this day.
I doubt that an SLR or digital camera would have gotten that shot.

hendriphile
11-08-2017, 17:29
Delete duplication

ptpdprinter
11-08-2017, 17:34
I honestly believe no SLR or digital camera would have gotten that shot.
Some people honestly believe in Bigfoot. Doesn't mean they are right.

Robert Lai
11-08-2017, 17:39
Good thing the shutter is quiet too. It can be masked by shuffling sounds or a cough.

I'm not down on the M3. I own one that I put considerable money into to rebuild it like new. (Outwardly it was mint to start with). However, all the Leica M cameras are so nice, to me the M3 doesn't stand head and shoulders over the others.

My point is that for the price of Leica gear, sometimes better value can be obtained with medium format gear.

As for me, I still own a lot of M cameras, AND Rolleiflexes etc.

Huss
11-08-2017, 17:40
I honestly believe no SLR or digital camera would have gotten that shot.

My goPro on my bike helmet would totally have got that shot!

maddoc
11-08-2017, 18:51
There is always a time lag as the SLR mirror flips up before exposure. That is why no one has ever taken an iconic photograph with an SLR.

What is about "Afghan Girl" by Steve McCurry (Magnum Photos), that was taken with a Nikon FM2?

ptpdprinter
11-08-2017, 18:59
What is about "Afghan Girl" by Steve McCurry (Magnum Photos), that was taken with a Nikon FM2?

I was being sarcastic.

Keith
11-08-2017, 19:25
Good to see there are still a few flat earthers around.

css9450
11-09-2017, 04:30
Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.



Assuming its enough of a difference to make any practical difference in the field... Couldn't the same thing be said for ALL film rangefinders? Canon, Nikon, LTM clones... How about vertical-travel shutters? Leaf-shutter cameras? My unscientific theory suggests they might be even quicker.

davidnewtonguitars
11-09-2017, 07:50
So far I am somewhat in awe of Leica, but there is something about a Zorki 1 that gnaws at the edges of the legend.

Isn't it great that we have so many choices in cameras, and choices within choices!
There have been great pictures taken by every type & size of camera since the very first camera, this discussion just illustrates how geeky photographers can be.

Ko.Fe.
11-09-2017, 09:03
There is always a time lag as the SLR mirror flips up before exposure. That is why no one has ever taken an iconic photograph with an SLR.

I have Nikon FG-20 SLR which with 50 mm lens allows two eyes framing, focusing. Much advanced camera, but I just can't force myself to use it instead of M3. Especially now with low light season of 1/8 shutter speed while handheld.

Pioneer
11-09-2017, 09:12
Ah yes, the reflexes of the M! I'm sure many here have a story they can relate to such as this:
A couple of colleagues and I were set to have a confrontational meeting with a mean nasty bully at our workplace. I knew where he had to be to enter the conference room and knew the light. As he entered scowling, I quick lifted the pre-focused M & as the lens cleared the shoulders of the person in front of me, pressed the shutter. He never glared at me or even made a peep; I honestly do not believe he knew he had been photographed. But I got his mug's magnificent meanness right on film, and that image gives us a good laugh to this day.
I doubt that an SLR or digital camera would have gotten that shot.

Pretty sure my K1000 would have gotten the shot but he would have known he'd been photographed the moment the shutter fired. Subtle it isn't!

DominikDUK
11-09-2017, 10:52
The M3 is an iconic camera but not the camera for everyone. Haptics and feel are extremely important in the choice of tools. If the feeling isn't there after a certain amount of time the tool is not the right choice. Also just because something is iconic doesn't mean it's the best.
Regarding shutter lag an Olympus XA in good condition has certainly less shutter lag than a Leica.

Bingley
11-09-2017, 13:37
Underwhelming or not, I just bought a late-ish model M3 in Classifieds.

raid
11-09-2017, 15:39
Good for you, Steve.

jsrockit
11-09-2017, 16:14
It's mechanically beautiful, the DS winder is butter smooth, the rangefinder is bright and on the money.

and then... I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

Uhm...I think you already answered your question as too why people like it a lot.

hendriphile
11-09-2017, 19:35
Assuming its enough of a difference to make any practical difference in the field... Couldn't the same thing be said for ALL film rangefinders? Canon, Nikon, LTM clones... How about vertical-travel shutters? Leaf-shutter cameras? My unscientific theory suggests they might be even quicker.

As a long-ago owner of a Vitessa T (leaf shutter, even quieter than the Leica), I must agree!

nukecoke
11-09-2017, 20:08
Well, romantic ...

Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.

Erik.

I bent the release spring slightly outwards under the bottom plate on my Zorki-1 to achieve that. But it was actually quick enough as was.

Rob-F
11-09-2017, 20:28
The M3 is sort of capable and almost as good as an M2. What horrified me when I held one and looked in the viewfinder is those awful rounded corners of the fabled M3 50mm frame lines. The truth is, the M6 blows both out of the water and might be the best Leica ever. But I do love the M2 50mm frame lines.

The rounded framelines are a little corny, but I wouldn't call them awful.
But the M6 blows the M3 and M2 out of the water? Not with its awful 50mm framelines, it doesn't! :eek:

teddy
11-09-2017, 20:43
The M3 and M2 are supposed to be the simplest, most elegant Leica's. Particularly in their viewfinders.

I have both. I would still love an M6, but I think the M3 and M2 are technically the epitome of Leica. Sometimes I debate within myself whether which of the Leica M3 or the M2 is the quintessential one? ...

Also, back to the topic. I think if one is having trouble finding rapport with one's Leica - then shoot, say; 50- to 100 rolls on it. Then grab your OM1, Nikon, Canon - what ever. Then go back to the Leica and THEN compare.

drewbarb
11-09-2017, 20:47
My first Leica was a barely used M3 I inherited from my great uncle. I was well used to the Nikons, Hasselblads and large format cameras I'd been using for years, and didn't think I'd care about the Leica mythos- but the camera sure was pretty. I put a roll of film through it and was simply blown away by the results- but I struggled with the slow loading and fiddly rangefinder focusing. But the beautifully sharp, almost 3-D looking images made me keep using the thing- and the photographer friends who raved about Leicas made me curious. After a year or two I noticed I would pick up the M3 more and more, and my other 35mm gear wasn't being used. I inherited a 50mm DR, 35mm goggled 'cron, a 135 f4 Elmar, and a visoflex housing and 400mm Telyt along with the M3 (my great uncle didn't do anything half assed...) and I added a 90mm lens and couple of the then new Voigtlander wide angles to my kit and kept using the thing when I wanted to shoot 35mm because the results looked so nice. Eventually I got used to the rangefinder focusing, and learned how different it was to use quickly and effectively (no small thing, coming from SLR focusing, which is an order of magnitude in difference). At first I was putting up with the weirdnesses and difficulty and weight of the camera for the results, but after a few years of organically gravitating to it I came to love the Leica, and wanted to add another body. I bought an M4-2, then an M6- but I found them a pale drink of water compared to the M3. The finders in those cameras were small and dim and the RF patch flared out on me all the time. I was spoiled by the big, almost life-size magnification of the M3 and the rock solid dependable RF patch. I sold the others and bought another M3. I've looked through a few M2's, and would love to shoot a 35mm lens without the bulky goggles, but I find the lower magnification and flare of the finders unacceptable after the M3.

It's 20 years now since my great uncle gave me his M3 (and seven years since he went to his reward) and I'm still shooting with that pair of M3's for 95% of my 35mm film shooting. At this point I'm unfazed by the slightly slow loading (now I can do it in the dark, and I always get 39 frames from a 36 exposure roll); I have come to prefer a camera without a built in meter, and I can correctly focus my M3's faster than any other camera I own. I can still remember when I used the camera despite it's shortcomings, but at this point familiarity and affection have erased the impression of those shortcomings to the extent that I no longer really know what they were.

But I know one thing for sure about cameras and people at this point: to each his own.

pepeguitarra
11-09-2017, 22:02
Then, I got the M2, then the M5, and later the M6. I do not need all of them, but I cannot part with anyone of them. I certainly like the construction of the M3, the camera will go nowhere in the next 100 years. It is sturdy. I do get much better focussing with the 50mm lenses on the M3. I certainly love the M5 the most, big and heavy, perfect for my heavy lenses. When I want to be discreet, I take the M6, another jewel. I have tried to consider selling one or two of them, but I cannot do it.
To complicate things eve more, I found a perfect canon P, which is definitely a really good camera.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7371/27890515526_bbc85ffdbc_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/JuAbzm)Camera Chief (https://flic.kr/p/JuAbzm) by Palenquero Photography (https://www.flickr.com/photos/palenquero/), on Flickr

Wenge
11-09-2017, 22:35
this is not the dp review forum, come on, man.

Sarcophilus Harrisii
11-14-2017, 07:47
Well, romantic ...

Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close.

Erik.
The Canon EOS-1N RS and RT weren't exactly slow. As I recall Canon quoted a shutter delay of 6 and 8 milliseconds respectively in the appropriate shooting modes. Granted they both have pellicle mirrors but are, nevertheless, SLRs.
Cheers
Brett

Erik van Straten
11-14-2017, 09:47
The Canon EOS-1N RS and RT weren't exactly slow. As I recall Canon quoted a shutter delay of 6 and 8 milliseconds respectively in the appropriate shooting modes. Granted they both have pellicle mirrors but are, nevertheless, SLRs.
Cheers
Brett

That is fast! The first curtain of the Leica-M shutter enters the film aperture approximately 12 milliseconds after the release of the shutter.

Erik.

Pioneer
11-14-2017, 10:17
The Canon cameras using the pellicle mirror technology, and lately the Sonys, are quick, but there are problems which meant they never really caught on.

The viewfinders are typically dimmer then an SLR with a normal mirror (less light directed to the viewfinder).

When the mirrors accumulated dust (which they all do) that dust impacts the image quality similar to dust on your digital camera sensor. With a normal SLR mirror the mirror flips out of the way so any dust or spots don't record on the film. Cleaning a pellicle mirror isn't easy and usually required the services of a camera service shop. I only owned one for a short while (bought it for macros since they are supposed to be the best slr macro cameras out there) but never really gelled with it. Having never cleaned the lens I'm not sure whether the newer tools intended for digital sensors would have been useful or not.

But, those Canons were certainly very quick, and there was no mirror vibration as the mirror doesn't move. Nice idea. I may have to try out one of the Sony A55s since they use the same technology on digital.

creenus
11-22-2017, 19:23
I am besotted with my chrome M2, especially with an M2 Tom Abrahamsson RapidWinder attached and a Version III 50 Cron. Feels perfect to me, but I have nothing against the M3. I'm sure it's a great camera, and I'd like to get one eventually.

Erik van Straten
11-22-2017, 23:42
The M3 - and his brother the M2 - in top condition is an instrument that is an invitation to photograph, just as a Stradivarius is an invitation for a violonist to play. The camera can always be brought back in top condition.

Leica M3, Summicron-M 50mm f/2 v4, 400-2TMY, Perceptol.

Erik.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4579/38341085076_b7d7a023b1_c.jpg

Daryl J.
11-23-2017, 01:18
The M3

It fit my hands
It fit my face

It didn't make me a better photographer. Taking photographs did.
It didn't make me a better person. Moral compass does that.
It didn't make me elite. Nor did I expect it to.
I like the renderings of a 2/55 Takumar on a Pentax Spotmatic.

I use my SRT-102 and inexpensive lens about as much. I love the renderings. I use my M's with various glass and love their renderings too.

The M3 is a simply a photographic tool. A very well made, durable photographic tool. One that can mount incredible lenses. But the job of creating the image is up to me.

Maybe that's why my favorite photograph came from my Holga.

Ko.Fe.
11-23-2017, 06:42
... But the job of creating the image is up to me.

Maybe that's why my favorite photograph came from my Holga.

If it would be Olympus Trip or Smena-8M, I would buy the "creating the image up to me". But Holga is the camera which creates image for you. Just like pinhole. I think, LC-A is in the creativity meridian . :)

Pioneer
11-23-2017, 10:57
If it would be Olympus Trip or Smena-8M, I would buy the "creating the image up to me". But Holga is the camera which creates image for you. Just like pinhole. I think, LC-A is in the creativity meridian . :)

Nah.

A Holga is really no different then any other camera. Once you get used to how they work, and you do figure them out if you use them, then you begin to create.

In that respect a Holga and an M3 are very much alike. Both of them have strengths and weaknesses. They both depend on their users to understand them and use them in a way that emphasizes their strengths.

Among other things, the build quality of a camera has a direct impact on its durability and repair-ability, not its creative potential.

That is entirely up to you.

xayraa33
11-23-2017, 11:05
The cure is to ditch the M3 and get yourself a Nikon SP

Even if you never put film in the SP, it is still nice to own and handle and it is good looking camera too.

Ko.Fe.
11-23-2017, 11:13
Nah.

A Holga is really no different then any other camera. Once you get used to how they work, and you do figure them out if you use them, then you begin to create.

In that respect a Holga and an M3 are very much alike. Both of them have strengths and weaknesses. They both depend on their users to understand them and use them in a way that emphasizes their strengths.

Among other things, the build quality of a camera has a direct impact on its durability and repair-ability, not its creative potential.

That is entirely up to you.

Nah, indeed.

Holga has crappy lens and light leaks, it applies strong effect on image by the camera for you, not by you. Also M3 with Summar which has front element in the "ground glass" state will do it for you.
Both cameras will do the same, applying the effect, which will be noticed first and foremost, but not what you did.

Then I'm taking image with M3 and clean, sharp lens like the Cron and then I apply my vision what I want it to be printed as lith or bromoil only then the image is created by me, not by special effects camera like Holga is.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1499/25893791545_3c6f3d648d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Fs9s6P)
M4-2 and Elmar-M 50 2.8.

ptpdprinter
11-23-2017, 11:27
But Holga is the camera which creates image for you. Just like pinhole.
Surely the photographer has some part in creating the image. Composition? Subject matter? It can't be all up to the camera, can it?

Pioneer
11-23-2017, 11:39
Nah, indeed.

Holga has crappy lens and light leaks, it applies strong effect on image by the camera for you, not by you. Also M3 with Summar which has front element in the "ground glass" state will do it for you.
Both cameras will do the same, applying the effect, which will be noticed first and foremost, but not what you did.

Then I'm taking image with M3 and clean, sharp lens like the Cron and then I apply my vision what I want it to be printed as lith or bromoil only then the image is created by me, not by special effects camera like Holga ...

Nice shot and nice print.

As you observe, all lenses impart their own effect or signature on your image. You may prefer the signature you get from the Cron but both lenses have one. You may not like the signature of the Holga's "crappy plastic lens" but it is there to be used if you wish. Creativity is possible with either one.

In fact, it could be argued that the "signature" you impose on your photograph is far more important then the signature of any lens.

Ko.Fe.
11-23-2017, 12:24
...
In fact, it could be argued that the "signature" you impose on your photograph is far more important then the signature of any lens.

Thank you! :)


If we put on the tripod DSLR with sharp lens and take brick wall image and then on same tripod, same brick wall, but Holga. Which image you would prefer? I would take home Holga. How much of "Composition, Subject matter" mentioned above are involved here from those who pressed the shutter button? Zero. It is dull lens with de-centered, vignetting lens which made it looks interesting. You just have to print it right :)

Or you could take digital camera with great sensor, sharp lens and make it looks crappy:

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2268/32861995385_9f795d5777_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/S4Ujkk)
M-E and Summarit-M 35.

Who created it like this? Not the crappy lens and leaky camera, but me.

You create with camera which creates special effect for you, or you have vision and taking it according how you will create the final image. To me second way is more creative and more challenging. Polaroid, Holga is easier and often all looks the same way, IMO.

gnuyork
11-23-2017, 12:24
It's the "soul". Other cameras don't have soul.

Except the M2

gnuyork
11-23-2017, 12:28
So I was joking about the "soul". I build guitars and guitar guys are worse than camera guys about holy-grail seeking.



Ain't that the truth. I'm also trying to build a guitar (well painting and putting one together anyway (pine esquire - probably much easier than what you are doing) and I demand perfection! It will take me a year to find the right pickup.

maggieo
11-23-2017, 12:58
Well, the whole problem is you got an M3 when what you really need is either a '65 Fender Mustang or a pine and padauk Telecaster.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4413/37050659841_b62c1027f8_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Ys3jm2)
1965 Fender Mustang, September 12, 2017 (https://flic.kr/p/Ys3jm2) by Maggie Osterberg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mediawench/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5828/31116107852_1dfbcfa112_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/PpCbN9)
Bowery Pine Tele With Padauk Neck, November 26, 2016 (https://flic.kr/p/PpCbN9) by Maggie Osterberg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mediawench/), on Flickr

There you go. Oh, and M2s R00L! ;)

steveyork
01-02-2018, 12:05
I shot Leica rangefinders, the 0.72 variety from old (M4/5) to modern (MP/6/7), exclusively from circa 1997 to 2007, and then slowly got away from rangefinders totally. When I got back into rangefinders over the last year or so, the tinted viewfinders with higher magnifications appealed (Nikon S2, Leica M3), and that has made a big difference in terms of enjoyment. So yeah, for me, the M3 is the best Leica rangefinder, but I'm more of a 50mm guy.

After shooting SLRs pretty exclusively for 7-8 years, and now shooting some rangefinders again, I really notice the lack of shutter vibration. Something I didn't fully appreciate with my first go round of rangefinders.

But you can take great pictures with any camera, obviously. And yes, Leica rangefinders ect. are a bit overpriced, and overhyped.

steveyork
01-02-2018, 12:30
… Another advantage of the M3 (and the other Leica M's for film) is the extremely short interval between pushing the button and the start of the exposure. No SLR or digital camera comes even close …

Try a Leicaflex SL. That same instant shutter in an SLR.

Gregm61
01-02-2018, 13:21
I just don't understand all the "M3 is the best camera in the world" hype. What am I missing? Why all the love?

Why do some like Exakta cameras? Contarex SLR's? Russian rangefinders? Beats the heck out of me, and there's no use anyone trying to figure out what anyone else likes or not.

All that matters is, someone else does. No doubt, someone will take it off your hands and you can go back to....whatever it is you do like.