View Full Version : An introduction and a request for advice

11-02-2006, 10:00
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking here for a few months. I'm a three-year DSLR shooter, but I made the mistake of putting an MP to my eye this summer at B&H. Since then I've been researching obsessively about rangefinders (mostly here, Mr. Gandy's site, and Ms. Nakamura's site).

My original plan was to purchase a starter kit and, if I liked it, eventually move on to an M6. I couldn't decide between the CL and the Bessa R3A, and picked up a used one of each with the plan of reselling them. I found that I can't get over the shutter sound of the R3A, so I've been using the CL exclusively and enjoying it very much. I then happened across quite a good deal on a Zeiss Ikon, and realized that -- like the M6 -- it's a suitable long-term upgrade. Unfortunately, I've found even its shutter sound (although slightly different from the R3A's) too harsh.

Basically, do I need to get over my problem with the shutter sound? The Ikon is otherwise a beautiful camera, one that I could use for a long time. Also, I plan to get a full-frame digital rangefinder should one be released, which will surely have a metal shutter, so I'll have to get over it eventually. For now, though, I'm considering these options (after selling the R3A):
1. Keep the CL
2. Keep the Ikon
3. Sell both and pick up an M6 (non-TTL)

My hesitation to going for an M6 immediately is that I, like Kyle, want to end up with an MP (actually an MP-6, or an equivalent a-la-carte). If I get the M6 now, that puts me a little further away from my eventual goal. I should note that I like low-light shooting, and am contemplating the ZM 50 f/1.5 Sonnar, which I believe the CL will just be able to focus, but obviously the Ikon or the M6 would be better.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

11-02-2006, 10:11
Stick with the CL for a few months than make the Ultimate move. I have an R3M which is just slightly softer than the R3A, which I also own. It is rarely a big deal. But why an MP6? Isn't that just paying more money for an MP, which my mind is perfection incarnate.

11-02-2006, 10:26
Thanks, that's my inclination, too. My only fear is it'll take more than a few months for me to justify "the ultimate move" (nice term, by the way). But I really like the CL (especially the shutter dial), so I guess that wouldn't be so bad.

Oh, I don't particularly like the covering of the MP. The MP6 offers the traditional vulcanite for potentially less than a-la-carte, with the traditional engraving tossed in.

11-02-2006, 10:32
But the...................$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Oh the humanity!

11-02-2006, 10:33
Hello Shenkerian,

welcome to the forum. I empathize with your concern with the shutter noise. Camera noise is really minuscule compared to ambient noise but unfortunately the very characteristic sound of the shutter turns many heads around.

I have listened to the sound of the ZI shutter in Mike Elek's website and compared it to the M6 and in my opinion there is not much difference in the actual dBs produced by each shutter BUT the important aspect is that you as a user feel that the noise makes you self-conscious about the photographic activity when you least desire it. For this reason I suspect that the best will be to make the move to the M6. Buying one until you raise the money for the MP will give you your peace of mind, and when the time comes fo the MP you can sell it with minimal losses.

The point you raise about the noise of the electronic shutter of a digital full-frame rangefinder is not really valid IMHO. I believe we choose our equipment on relative merit (and perhaps that's what makes the simple decision of buying a camera a casus belli for users of other cameras). Without a quieter shutter in the digital arena (assuming always that that is indeed the case), you will hardly notice the shutter of your digital rangefinder however loud that may be.

Best of luck with your quest,

11-02-2006, 10:34
Ha, I did say it'd take more than a few months to justify it!

Maybe I should stick with an M6...

11-02-2006, 10:35
I am still hyperventilating but now at least I am not fainting. Good plan.

11-02-2006, 10:52
Hi Telonous, thanks for the welcome and the advice. I think you're right about the M6 as a stopgap (or, as kshapero sensibly suggests, a final stop). I haven't heard an M6 in a while, but I listened to an M7's mechanical 60 and 125 yesterday and the difference startled me. The Ikon sounds much closer to the R3A than M6 to me.

I agree with you about the digital rangefinder to a point. Compared to other digital rangefinders and SLRs, the sound will be comparable (or better, if it lacks the M8's annoying shutter cock). But with film rangefinders still around, and even shutterless compact digital cameras, I'd still much prefer a cloth shutter sound on the digital rangefinder. Unfortunately, only Leica could do it, and they chose not to.

Anyway, I think I'll try to sell the Ikon and the R3A to free up funds for an M6, then decide the CL's fate. Thanks again to you and kshapero.

11-02-2006, 10:55
Much obliged. I always take a shot of whiskey to celebrate a new purchase of gear. If I had more money I'd surely be an alchoholic.

11-02-2006, 11:20
For what its worth, here's my advice: If you want the MP, then get the MP. I know, its easier said than done, but if thats what you really want, you probably will not be satisfied until you get it. If you'd like to make an upgrade over your CL in the meantime, I'd go with the M6. Don't get me wrong, the ZI is a wonderful camera, but the resale value seems to be all over the place, and you'll lose a lot of money if you buy and resale a new camera, and you'll still more than likely lose money if you get a used copy. If you get an M6, however, you'll be able to resell it for what you paid (unless you overpay).

Also, Leica will re-cover an MP with the vulcanite which you prefer for a reasonable cost. Mint, low use MPs sell for $2000. If you find a good seller like I did, he'd be willing to go through Leica for you to help out with warranty issues, should you need them. I basically ended up with a close to BNIB MP with 4 years of warranty left for $1500 off of regular retail. If you can find a deal like that, even if you pay Leica $100+ to reskin it, you still come out well ahead IMHO. There's not much of a point in spending so much money just to get the vulcanite. Just something to consider.

11-02-2006, 11:22
Get the M6 now, not later. You will be able to sell it for what you bought it for so you will be effectively renting it for free.

11-02-2006, 11:31
Get the M6 now, not later. You will be able to sell it for what you bought it for so you will be effectively renting it for free.


I just got an M6 TTL which by all rational logic was a financial fall down a very long flight of stairs. However, If I end up having to sacrifice it for something a bit more practical for work such as a mark II or something down the line, Its more like a rental M6, as I should be able to sell it again for marginal loss and cover a substantial portion of any new gear.

I say go for it. I started out on a canonet with no meter which was fun, but well . . . inconsistant. I thought about going for a mid range, CL or Bessa, but figured it would only be a marginal improvement. Might as well aim high. I had to save for another few months, but alas in the end it was well worth it.

Good luck!

11-02-2006, 12:13
Thanks all for the advice. I expect I'll be making a couple posts to the classifieds this weekend, and I'll start keeping an eye out for a clean M6. I'm sure once I get all that sorted out, I'll be back asking about which standard lens should replace my 40mm Summi-C...

11-02-2006, 12:30
I agree with kyle. If you want cool coverings, see: http://www.cameraleather.com/
What a website. I have heard good things about these guys.

Flyfisher Tom
11-02-2006, 13:08
Butch has a mint one in the WTT section he might be willing to sell if he can't get a trade.

btw, Butch is a great guy to buy from. Welcome!

11-02-2006, 13:40
The plan sounds too complicated and time-consuming. You can save equal amount of money in the same period. If you think you need a better gear, then a MP or M7 is the best bet. You can resell for almost the same amount. Otherwise you keep dancing around and always looking for the newer and better thing.

Two thousands dollar sounds a lot of money but when you really think about it, it is about one vacation trip, or two international airline tickets, or a computer. I am sure you can find somewhere to save the money. Also, when you sell, you get at least 80% back.

11-02-2006, 13:51
Hi Tom, thanks for the welcome and the heads up. I think for my purposes I should look for a .72x finder though. Also, I prefer the pre-TTL M6 for its shutter speed dial (I especially like vertical orientation of the CL's, since it's a nice segue from my Canon's).

11-02-2006, 14:06
Mervyn, you make some valid points of course, but I think for me an M6 is a better fit for now. I'd rather spend the price difference on a couple lenses, then decide whether to go for the MP or whatever digital RF is available at that time (I hope Zeiss steps up to the plate in the next year or two).

Flyfisher Tom
11-02-2006, 15:02
Chaser also has a M6TTL for sale, can't remember what his mag is.

(btw Chaser is a great trading partner/seller as well)

good luck

11-02-2006, 15:21
My two bits-
If you are concerned about shutter noise, be aware the individual M's can very. My M4 was quieter than the M4-P I had until I sent it off to repair a busted main roller. When it came back I swear it was quieter than my M4. These differences may be small but they are noticeable. Something to think about if you are really concerned about shutter noise, that you may get a used M6 that is nearly as loud as the Ikon you tried.