Fell in love with a Leica today.
Old 06-03-2013   #1
Alowisney
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Fell in love with a Leica today.

I was dropping off a roll of color film to be developed at my local camera shop and got to talking with the owner. I just happened to mention that I'd never seen a Leica in anything other than pictures and he told me to hang on just a second. He went into his camera bag and pulled out a Leica III C or F (he wasn't sure and neither was I) with a 50mm Summarit attached.

He let me handle it for a bit and I was smitten. I've never held a camera that felt more right in my hands. I loved the heft of it, the precision feel of the controls, heck, I even loved the split viewfinder/rangefinder. I was so sad to hand it back. He told me that he might have a price for it soon and had just shot a test roll though it over the weekend.

I can't go back. I can't pick up any of my other cameras and get that same feeling. Everything else is just paling in comparison. It's going to be quite some time before I can afford to get a Leica, but that camera stole my heart today.
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Old 06-03-2013   #2
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Uh oh, you're in trouble. My first Leica was (still is) a iiic. It's a dangerous little seductress. Once you start flirting, it's all over.

I say go for it!!
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Old 06-03-2013   #3
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Doomed. DOOMED!

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Old 06-03-2013   #4
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Welcome to Leica-users Anonymous,

Actually, Go have a look at a Leica III, a IIIa or a post-war IIIc, they are shockingly affordable
Lenses a little less so, but even the common Elmar 50 f/3.5 won't disappoint.
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Old 06-03-2013   #5
slava
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Just got myself Leica M6 that is my first leica body and it was a BIIIG mistake... now I can't even think about using any other body.......

-Slava
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Old 06-03-2013   #6
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Very funny comments here, and the bare truth is they won't help you one bit in curing that Leica bug-bite!

But, ask to take it out for a test spin if you consider buying that camera. Most of my friends can appreciate the feel and look of my little Leica's, but not many can handle and use them and remain happy shooting them... i.e. shooting a rangefinder is not for everyone, some people get bl**dy annoyed using one!

Good luck! The best camera is the one you have with you, ready to shoot! No matter what kind of camera it is!
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Old 06-03-2013   #7
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i admit the smaller Leicas are not for me.
The loading is one, the other i prefer the M viewfinder.
I have shot with those(111 series) and rec'd magic images..

i started with an M3, getting my 1st in 1966.
Nothing feels like a Leica. Nothing shoots like a Leica.
The camera becomes part of one!
If you don't bond, move on..to regret a lost love.
A friend used a Canon 5d EOS system.
I warned him that Leica are jealous of other cameras..
The bag would be cleared of the Canon and lenses..
Indeed that did happen.
You are DOOMED to buy.
Enjoy when you do.
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Old 06-03-2013   #8
Jerevan
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I'd go with the above advice - get to try one out. It's the small details that make or break it.
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Old 06-03-2013   #9
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Be aware that this III[cf] will only be the entry drug .....

Welcome to the club.
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Old 06-03-2013   #10
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One touch, no fancy marketing required!
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Old 06-03-2013   #11
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Leica's are hit and miss. Some people instantly fall for them and others just can't seem to grasp why they exist.
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Old 06-03-2013   #12
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I prescribe a postwar IIIc and a Serenar 50 1.8.

Pay attention to the magic feeling you describe in the OP about having the machine in hand. I submit that this the basis for great photographic art--the connection with the ghost inside the machine.
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Old 06-03-2013   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slava View Post
Just got myself Leica M6 that is my first leica body and it was a BIIIG mistake... now I can't even think about using any other body.......

-Slava
Sounds like me, All my slr stuff is sold/for sale after gathering dust for months after getting my M6 (first leica) a few months back. I went shooting with a friend the other week, he had his D700 with 24-70. The usual "you spent how much on a film body from 35 years ago" was gone once he shot a frame. He didn't want to give it back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swoop View Post
Leica's are hit and miss. Some people instantly fall for them and others just can't seem to grasp why they exist.
I think the second group read spec sheets and make their mind up before the use one.

It is the first camera that I've used where I don't think about the inadequacies of the equipment, which is rather odd, because there are heaps! Manual focus only, manual exposure only that you can't see the shutter speed or aperture setting in the viewfinder, inaccurate framing, long min focus distance etc...

Welcome to OP to the hard to describe love for a expensive camera that can't do a lot of things a really cheap one can do!

Last edited by michaelwj : 06-03-2013 at 16:07. Reason: added second quote
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Old 06-03-2013   #14
gb hill
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I can feel your pain (or envie) I'm seriously considering selling my Sun record collection to finance a IIIc to house my 50 elmar which sits on my Zorki 2c.
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Old 06-03-2013   #15
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They're not hugely expensive either IMO ... my 1933 ll cost me a couple of hundred dollars and another one hundred and twenty for a CLA and new covering courtesy of Youxin Ye.

Even though I barely use it these days I love that little black Leica.

Photography at your fingertips, literally ... because that's the way you use them!
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Old 06-03-2013   #16
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Do it GB.... A Barnack is mighty Special !!
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Old 06-20-2013   #17
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I entered the Leica starting with an M6. I then went through M4, M3, M2, CLx3, IIIfx2, II, III, IIIa, MP, M8.2x2, M9-P.

My love and faith are with the IIIf and M2 now.

Be warned! And welcome.



...And be warned!!
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Old 06-20-2013   #18
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My main machines are two M5, but I keep a IIIF or IIIG all the time.
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Old 06-21-2013   #19
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Welcome aboard Alowisney.

It's surprisingly affordable to get "a" Leica. I think my first was a IIIa with an Elmar, and it cost me about $275. I'd love (love) to find a 1933 II black for a couple hundred as Keith did, but those seem to be higher priced these days.

Anyway, get the affordable combo (if not an Elmar, the Canon 50/1.8 suggested above is an *excellent* choice, just not Leica). I have no qualms about putting my FSU lenses on the barnack. Fine results.

Get that camera, then shoot away. Get used to how the camera handles. As mentioned above, its not for everyone. I still use my barnack Leica's because of that special feel you had, but its the M2 and M3 that I can really use. Mostly because of the viewfinder. No, completely because of the viewfinder. I don't mind switching windows on the barnacks, but they're so darn "squinty".

Chances are you'll pick up a IIIa or IIIc/IIIf for an affordable price. Then you'll get another, then you'll need a lens, and another, then you'll be curious about M cameras (which will use your screwmount lenses happily), and before you know it, you'll be surrounded in Leica. The odd thing is; you won't feel quite like you mortgaged the house to get all this stuff. You just fed your addiction slowly, methodically, and dutifully. Any of us can quit at any time. Probably upon my death. Actually, I can say that periods of unemployment will halt the Leica bug's progression. You'll need to budget frugally for film instead.
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Old 06-21-2013   #20
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Uh oh. Better wash yer hands......
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Old 06-22-2013   #21
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Just start off slow. Get a working body, add a 50mm f1.8 Canon lens and go from there. The money you save getting the canon lens could be put towards a 90mm Elmar. They are a pretty good bargain.
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Old 06-22-2013   #22
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My first Leica is the M3. What impressed me most was the shutter, smooth as butter and magic to the ear. Forewarned that when you Leica, you will Leica all the way; there is no turning back. My opinion is if you were to buy the IIIc (f) or any other vintage Leica model, buy a LEICA lens of the same vintage, preferably the 50mm Elmar, for the total feel.
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Old 06-22-2013   #23
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The IIIc is a delightful camera. If that's what you've fallen for, just save up and get a good clean one. A period-consistent Leica Elmar 5.0cm f/3.5 lens is a beautiful match to it. They're not too horrendously expensive if you buy right, but be willing to pay extra for one that has been recently serviced if you plan to use it a lot.

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Old 06-23-2013   #24
David Hughes
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Hi,

If I was starting out again and knew what I know now I'd start with a model II (classic) and a Summitar or Elmar. Then go for a IIIc body. This gives a classic and usable body and a classic and usable lens and you can get the body and lens in the same year (or lens a year older) for an authentic outfit for either the II (uncoated) or the IIIc (coated). It means sharing the lens with both bodies but so what.

Worry about wide angle when you've bought the M2 or M4 or M6 body. Then there's the CL and M5 route to explore...

Have fun and be patient and they will all turn up at prices you can afford.

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Old 06-24-2013   #25
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David's advice is excellent. I did the same when the RF bug hit me two years ago. Only difference was that I went for the first version of IIIf (the black dial) instead of the IIIc: they are very close, but I read film loading is a bit easier with the IIIf. There are some things you have to get used to:such as remembering to advance the film BEFORE you change shutter speed, living through finger cramps from rewinding, dealing with an external light meter or learning the sunny 16 system, and mastering film loading. It's taken me a year and half to develop some competence loading the camera and I would hate to have to do it standing up outside.

Lens: I agree about the Elmar 50/3.5. Small, incredibly light , collapsible and very good. I tell you -- a IIIc or IIIf with an Elmar is the most portable camera conceivable. I carry my combo everywhere.

So far I have avoided the Ms, partly because I also have a Bessa T camera (Voigtlander) that I like and want to keep using, but also by channeling my addiction away from more cameras and into acquiring lenses--old Leica or Canon and new Voigtlanders. Wait until to you get the great Voigtlander wide angles!
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Old 06-24-2013   #26
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ah! tempting me to get out with my IIIa now. Maybe I'll throw a roll of plus-x in and see what happens...
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Old 06-24-2013   #27
Steve Bellayr
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You realize that the 50mm Summarit SM will mount on an M with an adapter. Let us know the outcome. The only serious issue or drawback with those cameras is the metal viewfinder that easily scratches eyeglasses.
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Old 06-24-2013   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swoop View Post
Leica's are hit and miss. Some people instantly fall for them and others just can't seem to grasp why they exist.
I belong to the first group.

Go back and ask for a price. If it's halfway reasonable, go for it!

Money is losing value when put an a bank account. The Leica will be fun!
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Old 06-24-2013   #29
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Looking for the feel of a classic "modern" Leica? Still got that M4 for sale in the classifieds here....
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Old 06-25-2013   #30
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...the connection with the ghost inside the machine.
Nail. Head. Hit. On The. Robert.

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Old 06-25-2013   #31
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I fell in love with the idea of a Leica 7 years ago, and held an M7 with 50 Summilux ASPH 3 years later. Not a day goes by without me thinking about selling all my equipment and running away with a Leica. If you're seriously thinking about picking up a model III (or whatever you decide), I say go for it, and do it right.
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Old 06-27-2013   #32
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No Leica, but I have a Canon IIS2 which is an awfully nice Barnack copy. The feel of everything is very nice. Lovely to use.

But loading film into the thing might cure you of the bug. maybe, just maybe.
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Old 06-27-2013   #33
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hahaha another sucker like me! Whatever you do dont start collecting all of the Leica related paraphenalia like accessory viewfinders, filters, winder attachments, etc etc etc. I have a wonderful big book on these in all their wonderful chrome, german glory and found its much cheaper to pay $100 for a large coffee table book about Leica accessories than it is to start buying them. Problem is, it hasn't
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Old 06-27-2013   #34
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Don't do it. It took me years and lots of money to get over my Leica lust. I am finally over it.

No, really, I am..
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Old 06-28-2013   #35
David Hughes
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Quote:
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Don't do it. It took me years and lots of money to get over my Leica lust. I am finally over it.

No, really, I am..
I believe you, honest...
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Old 06-28-2013   #36
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Boy do I understand ...... a IIIc bit me many years ago and I still have that one... oh plus 4 other Barnacks, including a IIIc (K) Stepper.

Your sunk!
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Old 06-28-2013   #37
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My entry drug was a Leica M2, which I still have and love to shoot with. But I moved on to a IIIc, which in its own way is a wonderful little shooter if you can live with the idiosyncracies (I can and do). I also acquired an M4-2 along the way, so you're on a slippery slope...

As others have said, a IIIc with a 50 Elmar is a great and compact shooting combination. The Barnack Leicas also balance well with the little CV Skopar 50/2.5, if you want a modern glass option. Either way, you'll have a quality shooter that will easily slip into a coat pocket. If you get a Barnack, budget for a CLA...
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Old 07-08-2013   #38
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Quote:
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remembering to advance the film BEFORE you change shutter speed
On my II(D) it feels as if the dial "struggles" or "opposes" turning if the film isn't wound - could it damage gears or such inside by lifting-turning the dial with the film unwound?

I've thought about whether to get another Barnack but to me this camera is perfect. So far I've not often felt the need for 1/1000 or even sub-1/20. I like that the RF and VF windows are a bit apart because it makes it easier to look in the right one when I lift the camera to my eye, and I like that the body is very small. It's something very special using a camera which performs accurately in its 9th decade. And the sound of the shutter is really delightful.

Edit: I do agree re the Summitar. It is a very nice lens. The collapsible Summicron has been on my radar a bit but I've so far not gone for it because I like what the Summitar gives. Some say they don't like the colour-rendition of the Summitar but I find it is really quite good.

On the issue of film loading, I took the liberty of making a video not long ago about how I do it using a card. I know there are people with strong opinions about this but for me and my camera this works very well.

http://articles.philipus.com/how-i-l...arnack-camera/
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