Leica learning material
Old 12-20-2018   #1
Sega
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Leica learning material

Hello all, does anyone have some good reference points on learning about Leicas in general?

I have been wanting one for years and had years ago nearly saved enough for an M2 until an Ex drained my savings (long story and fortunately long gone), my current girlfriend has encouraged me to try and save up for one again as she knows it's my dream bit of kit (And its probably easier to house than the cars).

Obviously it's not something I'll manage overnight and it's not something to do lightly, they are precision made tools that like the performance cars I play with need proper care and maintenance to keep them working, so I want to get to know how to tell what's good to go and what's likely going to need work and even potentially how to maintain one myself to keep costs low as like my M3 it'll be something I'll keep til I drop.

Digital or Film I don't mind as both are worth considering and the more research I can do the better off I'll be when the time comes when I can afford it.
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Old 12-20-2018   #2
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cameraquest.com and the Leica FAQ are the best resources.
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Old 12-20-2018   #3
Ko.Fe.
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I knew only very few people who are able to maintain their M.
In fact I knew only one. Vladimir Panasenko.
His story is almost gone by now.
http://www.citysnaps.net/blog/2009/0...ie-and-mickey/

Read this first:
http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manual...m2_service.pdf

99.99% ain't capable of doing it. And depends on mostly old by now few techs and on very expensive Leica.
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Old 12-20-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
cameraquest.com and the Leica FAQ are the best resources.
Thank you, I'll have a look through.
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Old 12-20-2018   #5
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This site is actually very useful:

https://kenrockwell.com/leica/index.htm

It's how I learned about Leicas. Some people for some reason hate him but as long as you understand that some of the time he is making fun of the stereotypical Leica owner, you'll be ok.
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Old 12-20-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I knew only very few people who are able to maintain their M.
In fact I knew only one. Vladimir Panasenko.
His story is almost gone by now.
http://www.citysnaps.net/blog/2009/0...ie-and-mickey/

Read this first:
http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manual...m2_service.pdf

99.99% ain't capable of doing it. And depends on mostly old by now few techs and on very expensive Leica.
I see what you mean about the page as it's mostly missing, It's not nessacerliy the M2 that I'd go for, it was purely back then the first Leica I properly noticed and fell in love with since I took up photography.

I'm willing to give anything a go, I grew up around engineering and qualified as a Mechanic and IT tech, I've also restored all sorts of vintage things and built stuff for friends and familiy, really fine tuned stuff I may hand over due to lacking the kit but most things I do try to fix myself and usually keep until they turn to dust.
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Old 12-20-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
This site is actually very useful:

https://kenrockwell.com/leica/index.htm

It's how I learned about Leicas. Some people for some reason hate him but as long as you understand that some of the time he is making fun of the stereotypical Leica owner, you'll be ok.
Thank you, I often come across guys like that in the car community and I'm a bit the same (I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I overhear the purist rants about my M3s Retro racer sticker bombing), I'll deffo give it a read.
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Old 12-20-2018   #8
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Prioritize man! Messing with cars is always a net loss, and if you stop spending money on women, you will have enough for a decent M2 or M3 with lens in a week or two.
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Old 12-20-2018   #9
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You might consider buying a Zorki 4 with a Jupiter 8 lens to see if a rangefinder is something you would be comfortable with. Further, if you can take apart the Zorki and get it back together it might be good practice for something more complex. Good Luck however you decide. Joe
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Old 12-20-2018   #10
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Prioritize man! Messing with cars is always a net loss, and if you stop spending money on women, you will have enough for a decent M2 or M3 with lens in a week or two.
Funnily enough the Cars about to be pulled from the road for a bit and she doesn't like me spending money on her and told me to try for a Leica again, she's a keeper if there ever was one.
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Old 12-20-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
You might consider buying a Zorki 4 with a Jupiter 8 lens to see if a rangefinder is something you would be comfortable with. Further, if you can take apart the Zorki and get it back together it might be good practice for something more complex. Good Luck however you decide. Joe
I've had one for nearly a decade and in the process of a Restomod on a 4K, I take my original '67 out more than any other camera and she's got the paint wear to prove it, I get on with it a lot better than most SLRs.
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Old 12-20-2018   #12
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Then you would probably like one of the Leica M cameras. May I suggest a thought from old cars. It is usually cheaper to buy the car you want, already restored and serviced than to buy a basket case and fix it up. Don't ask me how I know. You might also consider buying from a dealer who would stand behind the product altho RFF is a good place to buy if you are patient and wait for the camera that's right for you. Joe
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Old 12-20-2018   #13
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I've got a Pink Oktober Zorki 4 and while I really enjoy it, there is no comparison or replacement to a Leica M.
But why would there be? The prices are stratospherically different.
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Old 12-20-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
Then you would probably like one of the Leica M cameras. May I suggest a thought from old cars. It is usually cheaper to buy the car you want, already restored and serviced than to buy a basket case and fix it up. Don't ask me how I know. You might also consider buying from a dealer who would stand behind the product altho RFF is a good place to buy if you are patient and wait for the camera that's right for you. Joe
I was thinking more just it's maintainence than a fixer upper like the 4k is, I'd be going dealer only with a Guarentee, I've got one that gets used gear in thats trustworthy near by but rarely gets Leicas in sadly, wierdly though it was Cash Converters (Pawn shop chain in the UK) where I saw an M2, were asking 500 for it and what looked like a Leica 50, sadly had no job at the time and naturally it got snapped up.
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Old 12-20-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I've got a Pink Oktober Zorki 4 and while I really enjoy it, there is no comparison or replacement to a Leica M.
But why would there be? The prices are stratospherically different.
That Camera is in part the reason the 4k is being altered slightly, I've got red pleather to be cut and go on and I'm making a fresh lever tab in wood to mimic a Mosin or AK stock, meds side effects and Christmas stuff has slowed it a bit but I'm hoping to be done by mid January complete with zoomed star, sickle and hammer embossed on the rear.
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Old 12-21-2018   #16
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Here is another:
http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manual...c%20repair.pdf

Personally, I would only do it if on-line video with how to get it apart, where and how to clean, where and how to lubricate, where and how to adjust and how to put it back is available.
For repair parts are needed and it is only available from Leica. Few remaining certified techs and Leica service have access to them. I don't think it is possible to order spare parts from Leica, like it is possible with Canon (modern lenses and digital cameras parts).
Parts sold for M elsewhere are often at outrageous price.
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Old 12-21-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Here is another:
http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manual...c%20repair.pdf

Personally, I would only do it if on-line video with how to get it apart, where and how to clean, where and how to lubricate, where and how to adjust and how to put it back is available.
For repair parts are needed and it is only available from Leica. Few remaining certified techs and Leica service have access to them. I don't think it is possible to order spare parts from Leica, like it is possible with Canon (modern lenses and digital cameras parts).
Parts sold for M elsewhere are often at outrageous price.
Thank you, by the sounds of things it's not far off BMW is with it's special edition parts, I do have on my side though my Father who's still an active engineer, it may be possible to create mechanical parts in Gibbs and get one of the CNC machines to make them.
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Old 12-22-2018   #18
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I would suggest Erwin Puts for Leica lore:

http://photo.imx.nl/
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Old 12-22-2018   #19
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Any of the books by Jonathan Eastland are excellent. The more comprehensive ones stop with the M7, but all give good overviews of M series Leicas and lenses past and present. The equipment information is well supplemented with practical shooting techniques and even choices of kit for various scenarios. Don't overlook Roger Hicks' excellent information on his website.
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Old 12-22-2018   #20
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Hi,

Old Leica catalogues are a very useful source and well written and illustrated. They turn up frequently on ebay at a wide range of prices.

The Hove Foto books are also useful reference sources and, of course, "Leica the First 70 Years".

Regards, David
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Old 12-22-2018   #21
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Thank you all, I'll look up what I can, I will probably have to stick to the freebie stuff for now until I've got my back sorted out but theres plenty of time.
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Old 12-22-2018   #22
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Go for a film camera - not for a digital one if I interpret your post correctly. You don't want to be caught up in the present-day obsolescence cycle. The digitals do not require any maintenance at all, apart from an occasional -and rare- rangefinder adjustment and more frequent DIY sensor clean.
As for maintenance of analog Ms- these cameras do not require much. Have a good technician like Will van Manen do a CLA (clean-lubricate-adjust) when you get it - it is not expensive- and the camera will be good for many years.
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Old 12-22-2018   #23
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Come to think of it, you might like a screw-mount camera. A good iiig is not expensive, the lenses are quite affordable as well. These little gems are a joy to use. Have a look at the website of Red Dot Cameras. https://www.reddotcameras.co.uk/207-screw-equipment
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Old 12-23-2018   #24
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Thanks, they do look like a more affordable entry point too, my only worry would be size if my Zorki 1c is anything to go by as I have big hands.
Tech's I'll have to look up, not a great fan of posting expensive things (was an ebay seller until my injury put a hold on it) so I'd be looking at transporting it to somone myself by car or train, the shop near me do offer it as a service but no idea if they are Leica certified.
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Old 12-23-2018   #25
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I don't live in UK, and only visited a couple times, but it looks like CRR Luton is awfully close to you in Stevenage. They are highly regarded Leica techs.

Jaap suggested a IIIg. I've been intrigued by the IIIg myself, but only because I already have Ms. I find the flexibility to use both M and LTM lenses on an M body to be useful...its only LTM lenses on the IIIg.

Like me, you will probably not satisfy the Leica itch until it is an M model. Get whichever good condition M2, M4, M4-2, M4-P, M6, M6TTL comes your way. Any of these will be wonderful and all of them are the classic Leica M experience. I didn't suggest M3, M5, or M7 (or MP, digitals, etc): the M3 is wonderful but most of us want to use 35mm lenses at some point (yes, we all know about goggled lenses, but...), the M5 seems to be a great camera but its not the classic design -- you'll still be longing for a classic M. The M7 is also a great camera, but more electronic than mechanical and usually more expensive than my suggested models.

So I repeat: grab the first decent M2, M4, M4-2, M4-P, M6, or M6TTL you come across. For you, the differences among are marginal and not that important. FWIW, I love my M2, M3 and M6 just the same when they're working (a couple need repair). Heck, I've been enjoying my MDa recently; I just like how the M bodies feel in the hand.
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Old 12-23-2018   #26
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I don't live in UK, and only visited a couple times, but it looks like CRR Luton is awfully close to you in Stevenage. They are highly regarded Leica techs.

Jaap suggested a IIIg. I've been intrigued by the IIIg myself, but only because I already have Ms. I find the flexibility to use both M and LTM lenses on an M body to be useful...its only LTM lenses on the IIIg.

Like me, you will probably not satisfy the Leica itch until it is an M model. Get whichever good condition M2, M4, M4-2, M4-P, M6, M6TTL comes your way. Any of these will be wonderful and all of them are the classic Leica M experience. I didn't suggest M3, M5, or M7 (or MP, digitals, etc): the M3 is wonderful but most of us want to use 35mm lenses at some point (yes, we all know about goggled lenses, but...), the M5 seems to be a great camera but its not the classic design -- you'll still be longing for a classic M. The M7 is also a great camera, but more electronic than mechanical and usually more expensive than my suggested models.

So I repeat: grab the first decent M2, M4, M4-2, M4-P, M6, or M6TTL you come across. For you, the differences among are marginal and not that important. FWIW, I love my M2, M3 and M6 just the same when they're working (a couple need repair). Heck, I've been enjoying my MDa recently; I just like how the M bodies feel in the hand.
Thanks,I was frequently working in Luton until recently so I'll track them down as theres a Lab there I need to look into too.
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Old 12-23-2018   #27
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If you understand French, I can warmly recomend this site: http://www.summilux.net/

An excellent source of all things Leica.
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Old 12-23-2018   #28
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If you understand French, I can warmly recomend this site: http://www.summilux.net/

An excellent source of all things Leica.
I don't but a quick test on chromes translate and it seems to work mostly bar where the text is classed as an image, I do need to brush up on my languages as they kind of went south when I was at school (in part though I think it was more not getting on with the teachers than intrest)
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