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-   -   Leica M5... good choice? (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30549)

rool 11-01-2006 12:21

Leica M5... good choice?
 
Hi everybody,

For the first time, I'm asking you -super-competent rangefinder freaks ;-)- for advice...

I'm seriously considering buying a Leica M5. I like the look and the features of this camera but I'm still torn between the M5 and the M6.
My main concerns are the cost of the repairs for the M5 and its size.

I found a black 3 lugs one for under $850, 60 days warranty.
Do you think it's a good price? For people who use a M5, what do you think about it as a street shooter?...etc...

I'd love to hear opinions about this camera -btw, I've searched a lot on here and p.net but would like to have "fresh" opinions :-)

Thanks,
Raoul

butch 11-01-2006 12:38

Am not one of the Magi, but you asked. I think the price is good. That said, my mind set will not allow me to be comfortable with the battery issue. An M6 for a few hundred more is the better buy IMO.

venchka 11-01-2006 13:02

I love mine. I was offered a beater, litterally-had a crushed corner near the shutter wheel, 2 lug for $750. I passed. Check the shutter wheel. Sometime during the run, Leica stiffened the detents. You want that. My M5 was an early 2 lug with the soft shutter wheel detents. The previous owner had Sherry Krauter turn it into a 3 lug stiffer shutter late version.

Once more, I love my M5. The price is good. The Wein zinc-air battery cells work!

ray_g 11-01-2006 13:05

Sounds like a good price. If you like the M5 as you said, then I would get it. You can always find an M6 if you find you prefer that, but the other way around is not so easy.

clintock 11-01-2006 14:07

I have two M5 and I really believe they are perhaps the most under-appreciated devices conceived by man. Sure there are but two popular names on the internet who service them, but the world is bigger than the internet, and the meter system, even the arm could not be simpler. The viewfinder is great and so intuitive..
A fine fine camera. I like the side lugs too.. bandalier style.. no belly bounce..

The shutter is essentially the same as the other early m types, and by now the early models' snafu of the problematic shutter drum or whatever has surely been sorted out of any working bodies around.

rool 11-01-2006 14:19

Thanks for the input guys.
More and more interested in buying this cam...

Trius 11-01-2006 14:31

Battery issue? Oh please. There are at least 3 solutions to this, it is NOT a consideration.

rool 11-01-2006 14:59

Yeah, I'm not thinking of the battery as a problem. Heard that a C.R.I.S adapter would do the job, right?

butch 11-01-2006 15:03

"the fault lies not in our cells but in our selves" I know there are remedies but the problem is in my mind and I did not know if the questioner knew that there was a battery issue. When I used the Wein cells I covered up the holes between shootings to ensure the battery's life. When I used the Cris adapter or had DAG adapt my CL to modern cells, I could not get the idea that the voltage curve of silver cells is not the same as mercury cells. Every thing I said was "in my opinion" and that was all I offered even though it comes from the mind of an anal retentive.

rool 11-01-2006 15:05

Hey, no pb Butch!
I'm happy to hear opinions, that's what I asked for.

venchka 11-01-2006 15:17

OK, the loss of mercury cells is a problem. Not just for the M5 but also Gossen meters, and a zillion cameras. There are work arounds. The M5 shutter is fully mechanical. No battery. No meter. Shutter is fine.

Did anyone mention that the M5 shutter is continuously variable from 1/2 sec to 1/1000 sec? That is most useful!

Did anyone mention that the M5 is the last of the hand fit and adjusted Wetzler bodies? Hey? I swear you can feel it.

It's a brick. But what a lovely brick it is. $850 for a 3 lug? I'm envious. I'd pay that for a second M5. Sell my Canon RF bodies.

Keith 11-01-2006 15:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by rool
Hi everybody,

For the first time, I'm asking you -super-competent rangefinder freaks ;-)- for advice...

I'm seriously considering buying a Leica M5. I like the look and the features of this camera but I'm still torn between the M5 and the M6.
My main concerns are the cost of the repairs for the M5 and its size.

I found a black 3 lugs one for under $850, 60 days warranty.
Do you think it's a good price? For people who use a M5, what do you think about it as a street shooter?...etc...

I'd love to hear opinions about this camera -btw, I've searched a lot on here and p.net but would like to have "fresh" opinions :-)

Thanks,
Raoul

I bought mine a about a year ago for around $800.00 US from a German eBay seller. I was amazed when I unpacked it to discover it was lke new! Bit of a lottery buying things off the bay sometimes but this camera is a gem and works as new, and feels like it must have been CLA'd .... it's as smooth as silk.

They're a funny camera ... some people seem to hate the look of them ... I like it ... and as a photo taking machine they are more than a match for the rest of the Leica range! Japanese collectors seem to pay big bux for them on eBay if they're mint.

Of course ... if you get an M5 you have to have a matching CL. It's only natural! :D

enochRoot 11-01-2006 15:39

i owned one briefly. i love the look of them. i love the function of the shutter-speed dial (and position). i love the meter and viewfinder feedback. i love the side carry strap lugs (i had a 2-lug). i love the weight. but the size was just too much for me. people say the difference is slight, and maybe in measurements it is. but it feels like a big camera to me. i do have small hands though. the other m bodies just fit me better. if you don't mind the size...jump on it!

rool 11-01-2006 15:42

Very nice one Keith! a new M5 for $800. Now that's a bargain.
How does it compare to your other M's?

Note: I contacted a Japanese M5 user to have his opinion about the cam; he told me he bought his for $1900!! I might buy a bunch here and go sell them over there :-)

venchka 11-01-2006 15:44

I don't have another M body for comparison. I do have a pair of Canon VI-T bodies. Side by side, top to bottom, the M5 and VI-T are the same height and thickness. The M5 is maybe a 1/4" longer. Add a winder to any other M body and the differences almost disappear.

clintock 11-01-2006 15:53

There is sort of a battery issue- the battery compartment can't just take a normal '44' silver oxide cell. The contacts are such that the big 645 case or the wein adaptor ring needs to be on there.. Or just slap these in there, calibrate the meter for the new voltage and bam, no more battery problem..
http://www.batteriesinaflash.com/ind...08d4e64a165bc2

The meter has adjustment potentiometers, so no diodes or adaptors are needed.

Keith 11-01-2006 16:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by rool
Very nice one Keith! a new M5 for $800. Now that's a bargain.
How does it compare to your other M's?

Note: I contacted a Japanese M5 user to have his opinion about the cam; he told me he bought his for $1900!! I might buy a bunch here and go sell them over there :-)

I don't use it a lot as there are so many other toys in the toy box. Everything about the camera feels right though and being able to see your shutter speed in the viewfinder while you are using the excellent meter was brilliant for it's time. I have largish hands which suit it and anyone who thinks the camera is too big ... overlooks the size of the SLR's of that era!

Leica put themselves squarely in the *** when they made it and had to do a lot of scrambling to reclaim disgruntled customers. Now there's people tripping over themselves to get them ... they disappear pretty quickly off eBay and I was extremely lucky!

It's ironic! :rolleyes:

Magus 11-02-2006 02:57

Post deleted by posters request

PHOTOEIL 11-02-2006 04:17

No Doubt, Go For The M5!

awilder 11-02-2006 05:06

If it's a late sr. # like 134xxxx or higher grab it! Leica got all the bugs out by then. If it's early like 129xxxx there may be expensive shutter drum issues down the road unless already taken care of.

Trius 11-02-2006 05:29

Sorry to be back late for the battery questions... yes, the C.R.I.S. adapter works well from everything I've heard, and my OM tech recommends them for those who don't want to modify the cameras.

Other solutions are: Zinc-air hearing aid batteries with o-ring or other spacer. The advantage is the batteries are very cheap and available, even though the life is much shorter than mercury or silver.

Wein zinc-air cells; same as above but the form factor is the same as the mercury cells, so no spacers needed.

Modification of the circuit with diodes to reduce silver cells to the expected 1.35v of the mercury cells. This is what my Olympus tech does with every CLA on the older bodies that take mercury cells. In addition to being the ultimate solution, it means I don't have to have more than one battery type. Getting ALL my old cameras modified would be expensive though since a good CLA is not cheap.

Trius 11-02-2006 05:31

Oh, and if I had the opportunity to buy an M5, I would go for it. The only other Leica I would crave is an M4 and/or an M4-P.

Flinor 11-02-2006 18:58

I know that I'm late to the discussion, but I'm the guy who sold a pair of M6's and kept the M5. IMHO it's the best user M.

Leica Geek 11-28-2006 09:05

I just bought an M5 in really nice condition for $710. I wanted the M6, but I guess I'll just have to live with this beautiful and robust Leica M5 for awhile. I'm buying me some nice lenses with the money I saved!

Happy!

venchka 11-28-2006 09:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leica Geek
I just bought an M5 in really nice condition for $710. I wanted the M6, but I guess I'll just have to live with this beautiful and robust Leica M5 for awhile. I'm buying me some nice lenses with the money I saved!

Happy!

I'm envious. I paid more for my twins. Subtracting out DAG & Sherry K's bills for the cameras brings the price down to that neighborhood. An M5 under $1k is a DEAL!

Trius: Got yours yet? :D :cool:

ERV 11-28-2006 09:49

I'd like to add to this M5 lovefest.
I also have two and they are the easiest M to use for street shooting because everything is seen in the viewfinder, meter (which I like; I also have have non-metered M's) and shutter speed. Its also great to be able to rotate that big ole shutter speed dial while looking through the finder.
I also like the oversize body because there is more to grip on to. It doesn't look like a Leica, so people don't notice it as much. They just see a big black brick. The ratched re-wind crank on the bottom plate is a work of art.
I've also been following that M5 28 lens thread, since I recently got a Zeiss 28 and have been using the whole finder with great results.
Heck, I may just have to get me another one of them m5's..

venchka 11-28-2006 10:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERV
...The ratched re-wind crank on the bottom plate is a work of art.
I've also been following that M5 28 lens thread, since I recently got a Zeiss 28 and have been using the whole finder with great results.
Heck, I may just have to get me another one of them m5's..

Amen to the rewind lever & the whole bottom plate. Hell for stout and layed out perfectly.

M5+28 is a match made in heaven! :angel:

rool 11-28-2006 10:13

Well, in the end, car repairs din't allow me to buy this M5.
My Bessa will do for now, but when I buy a Leica, I'm pretty sure it will be a M5.
Thanks for all the info guys.

venchka 11-28-2006 12:02

Persevere! I waited since the original introduction until May of this year.

You and Trius will join us soon enough! :cool:

ERV 11-28-2006 14:12

Until then, You can check out the Leica M5 group on Flickr!

Or, for everyone who has drank the M5 kool-aid (as we say in my office) join the group! :)

Trius 11-28-2006 14:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by venchka
Trius: Got yours yet? :D :cool:

I have a feeling mine will be VERY expensive. Divorce attorneys don't come cheap, I hear. ;)

venchka 11-28-2006 15:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trius
I have a feeling mine will be VERY expensive. Divorce attorneys don't come cheap, I hear. ;)

No worries. I just reckon that my camera purchases are double the price & spend the change on my Sweetie!:cool:

Trius 12-03-2006 04:40

BTW, anyone here the winning bidder for 260056957681? Not a bad price, I think, at least for a user.

thomasw_ 12-03-2006 06:13

I have had both the M6 and the M5; I still own a M5. Why? I admire the build quality of my M5. I use it regularly with a summicron 50mm; for it is my favourite and most functional lens. If you have large to medium size hands, the M5 will fit snugly and safely into your grip; this is the ergonomic reason for getting the M5. My M5 is an earlier one by s/n, but I have had no problems with it at all. I would be sure, however, that the shutter and viewfinder are in good shape BEFORE you hand over any money. The wein battery is easily acquired and works well. I recommend the M5 highly. Without a doubt I recommend it over a M6, which, for me never had the manly toughness and snug presence in my hands. Get that M5 and cherish it!

Trius 12-03-2006 06:46

Thomas: Post some shots of that balmy lower BC weather you had recently! :D

srtiwari 12-03-2006 07:00

Just came across this thread- Yes, I love my M5. Sherry K. had told me that it was (in her opinion) the best metered M body, and "if you start to use the M5, its hard to return to the other Ms" (or something like that).
No, there is no battery issue. Wein cells are plentiful, and if you are very frugal, you can remove the outside ring and reuse it on a (675) hearing aid battery- that sells for about $5 for a pack of 8 of them.
So, yes, please buy it before someone else runs off with it
Subhash

SolaresLarrave 12-03-2006 07:00

I crave an M4 (be it a P or a -2) in black, but I dream of an M5. I didn't know there were solutions to the battery issue, and that's why I never angled for one. However, I'm pretty happy with my M6TTL bodies. What would I recommend? Any Leica body will do well! :)

Topdog1 12-03-2006 12:09

Hurray. I just became the proud owner of this M5 on eBay! :D:D:D

http://cgi.ebay.com/LEICA-M5-Black-E...QQcmdZViewItem


Regards,
Ira

emraphoto 12-03-2006 13:37

ira's m5
 
congrat's ira!!! it looks like a beauty! i think the gent you bought from is i fella i have dealt with (terrible ups, voigtlander 75mm debacle) and he is a real class act!
...i'll try my best to hide my bitter envy

venchka 12-03-2006 13:48

Ira,

Welcome to the very select club. You done good!


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