MP vs M7 vs M6?
Old 03-26-2015   #1
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MP vs M7 vs M6?

So, I presently have an M9 and an M2. I want to add another film body and am having a hard time deciding.

I have owned an M6 and M6TTL but have never owned an M7. To me, the MP is a slightly upgraded M6 with retro controls appealing to the nostalgia generated by all film M's.

Tamarkin has an MP for $3100 and a couple M7's for $2000 and you can find nice M6's for $1400-$1500 all day long. I am leaning toward an M7 as I do find the AE on the M9 useful. What is your opinion?
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Old 03-26-2015   #2
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I don't know if the M9 has any AE, but if it didn't have it, I'd go for the M7. It's still in production (like the MP) and newer than your other choice.

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Old 03-26-2015   #3
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For digital I currently shoot with a M240 but I used to have the M8 and M9. I've bounced around quite a bit with film bodies, M3, M2, M4-P, M6, M7 as well as a Bessa R2, and Zeiss Ikon ZM. In the end the M7 was the body that seems to 'work' for me. I think it's based on the familiarity of operation between the digital and the film bodies ... the camera just doesn't get in the way. I had recently tried the M6, but never got used to it as I had to re-orient my thinking when I picked up a different body. Traded my M6 for a M7 (my second) last weekend and immediately felt right in sync with the camera.
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Old 03-26-2015   #4
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i would say what are you looking to get by buying another film M body?
the M7 has an automatic exposure but needs a battery to fire at all speed
the MP has the advantage of better build than the M6
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Old 03-26-2015   #5
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Buy an M7. You already have a M2 for the full retro Leica experience and a nice digital body. Sometimes you just want to wander around and take pictures without worry and there's no better point and shoot than an M7.
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Old 03-26-2015   #6
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M7 for sure. Just a great camera.
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Old 03-26-2015   #7
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The build on an MP is imo, much better than the 6 and probably the 7. Brass gears so everything feels much smoother. and heavier. This comparing cameras I have had and still have (M4-P and a couple of 6's). Never touched an M7 so ymmv.

If you can afford the MP, I'd go with that vs any other you're thinking of.
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Old 03-26-2015   #8
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Funny, everyone yells about the zinc gears on an M6. Well, Leica switched after the M5 so they could use motor drives on subsequent bodies. And lots of people seem to forget that the M6 was in production longer then any other film M. Again, do not get me wrong as I often find myself checking the film rewind knob in the middle of a roll of film on my M2 because it is so smooth.

I think digital photography has pretty much put the battery bug a boo to sleep. And if it has not, I would remind everyone that cameras with electronic shutters and aperture AE have been around since the early 1970's (remember the Miranda SLR's). If you can carry rolls of film, I think there just might be room in your pocket or bag for a spare battery. And if memory serves, the batteries last a LONG time.

So, I bought my first Leica in 1975 (CL) and have owned M3, numerous M2's, M4, M4-2, M4-P, M6, M6TTL. I owned them when they were new and then tried their successor. Do not get me wrong as there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of them. Of all the M's I have owned, my favorites are the M2 and M6. Sometimes it is nice to have a meter.

And I frequently use the AE mode on the M9 and my X100. So perhaps it is time to try the M7.
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Old 03-26-2015   #9
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I have owned all of them. I liked the M7 the most but always felt that the extra electronics was a cause for more repair. (turned out I was right). I agree with you on the MP (although a wonderful rig). I would go for the M6.
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Old 03-26-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
(...) Tamarkin has an MP for $3100 and a couple M7's for $2000 and you can find nice M6's for $1400-$1500 all day long. I am leaning toward an M7 as I do find the AE on the M9 useful. What is your opinion?
I recently bought a very fine M6 for 700 € / $760 via the big auction site. I consider your other options far too expensive -- but that's just me.
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Old 03-26-2015   #11
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If you are interested in the meter, go for the M7. That way you have more options. Obviously you don't have to use them but at least they are available.

Of course, I prefer the Zeiss Ikon to the M7. Much better viewfinder and slightly lighter camera with far improved film loading. I also prefer the AE lock on the back that quickly allows exposure and recompose.

The Bessa R series cameras also provide some great options to consider. I love being able to shoot with both eyes open when I use my R3M.

But, a lot of people are blinded by the Leica name and mystique so end up with the M7. Choice is nice.
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Old 03-26-2015   #12
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I have two M6TTLs and a Zeiss Ikon. I owned an M7 for a couple of years but for auto exposure prefer the ZI. For me the M7 never quite hit the spot, for example the exposure compensation dial on the back of the camera is very much inferior to the ZI solution where compensation is integrated into the shutter speed dial. It also takes more batteries and tends to eat them up. However, the M7 was more reliable than my M6TTLs, both of which have needed repair.
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Old 03-26-2015   #13
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I think for street shooting the M7 is the best camera invented, although some will say the Ikon is its equal in this respect. If that isn't your focus -- if for example, you're into travel or portraiture or some other genre, then I think the MP may be your ticket.

As to the assertion that the MP is somehow superior internally to the M6, the repair people I've talked to say that they are essentially identical. The MP adds a better exterior finish and a retro appearance, but no functional difference.
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Old 03-26-2015   #14
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Well, I did not really want to mention it but both Leica repair legends that I have talked to say the M6 is a lot more camera for the money then the MP.

If you spend $1500 for a mint M6 and then $300 for the viewfinder upgrade, you are still at least $1200 ahead of the price of a used MP.

Checking Tamarkin, KEH and Classic Connection, I see prices for used MP's from $2800 to $3100, used M7's from $2000 to $2300, and used M6's (mint/like new condition) for $1400 to $1700. Used M4-2's and M4-P's can be had for $650-800. Of course, Classic Connection has a black paint M4 50th Anniversary model for $3400. I would love to get the black paint M4 but a camera that pretty would get dinged up quickly. And we know the price of a new MP or M7 or MA.

So many cameras, so many decisions. Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong.
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Old 03-26-2015   #15
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i would go for a late model used M7. things to look for:
Optical dx reader, MP finder.
Great camera and very much like an M9
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Old 03-26-2015   #16
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I think for street shooting the M7 is the best camera invented, although some will say the Ikon is its equal in this respect. If that isn't your focus -- if for example, you're into travel or portraiture or some other genre, then I think the MP may be your ticket.

As to the assertion that the MP is somehow superior internally to the M6, the repair people I've talked to say that they are essentially identical. The MP adds a better exterior finish and a retro appearance, but no functional difference.
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Old 03-26-2015   #17
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I am just not sold on the MP hype. I love my M6. But I would get the M7. Its accurate shutter times are one thing, and AE an important other thing, but perhaps better than all of that, it is the quietest Leica.
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Old 03-26-2015   #18
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It's all very personal isn't it ? I've been using Leica rangefinders for long enough and I still prefer the feel of the MP over all the M6 and M4-P cameras I've owned.

Also prefer a camera that gives me more than two shutter speeds if the batteries go south

good luck and enjoy whichever camera you end up getting !
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Old 03-26-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
Well, I did not really want to mention it but both Leica repair legends that I have talked to say the M6 is a lot more camera for the money then the MP. .
Yes, this is very true. M6 may not be as glamorous as M7 or MP but it's a workhorse, and generally more reliable.
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Old 03-26-2015   #20
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I like the M7. The AE is really helpful and the VF crisp and clear (my copy has the MP-type VF and optical DX reader). The camera has been a couple of times at Leica for service but so has my former MP.

My problem with the M6/MP is that I fail to see the advantage of the LEDs in the VF to set the correct exposure because I can`t set easily the shutter-speed dial while looking through the VF. The M5, M6 TTL, and also M7 with their larger shutter-speed dials are much easier to use, IMO.
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Old 03-26-2015   #21
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...But shutter is not as responsive as M6-MP....
What does that mean, exactly..??
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Old 03-26-2015   #22
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What does that mean, exactly..??
M7 has a delay of about 2sec after switching it on before the shutter will be responsive.
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Old 03-26-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
Yes. But on top of that, it's sinoly not as "nervous" as a regular mechanical M.
With a Leicavit, fir example, I can't fire a M7 as fast as with a MP. There's a lag between the moment it's fully depressed and the shutter firing. I've had 2 M7 and it was the same. It's not very pronounced but it's there. Maybe my present M7 needs more breaking-in. I'm working on it...
I think you may be mistaken Ned. An M7's shutter lag is in the vicinity of 12 milliseconds. Not sure what the lag on the MP is, but the M3, considered a pretty responsive camera, is around 17 milliseconds.

However, even if those numbers were reversed, a 5 millisecond difference is hardly noticeable, particularly when our own shutter finger delay is between 200 to 250 milliseconds.

Besides, I think the idea of shutter lag in most film cameras is a bit of a white elephant anyway. I can't honestly say that I have missed a shot with film because of the shutter not firing when I wanted it to..

...unless yours truly forget to wind on.
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Old 03-26-2015   #24
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perhaps Ned means that he needs to press the release deeper than with the M6 or MP before the shutter trips.
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Old 03-26-2015   #25
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perhaps Ned means that he needs to press the release deeper than with the M6 or MP before the shutter trips.
Ned,
Tom's Soft Release took care of that same feeling on my M7. May work for you.
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Old 03-26-2015   #26
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M7.........
get an extra battery.
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Old 03-26-2015   #27
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The batteries for the M7 last fairly long and are very small from what I have seen. I already carry a couple for the M9 and X100.

I really do like meterless M's with the M2 being my favorite. I just do not get all the fuss about carrying a spare battery. I mean we carry extra film and the camera would not work very well if we ran out of film.

If you think about it, I can carry a very, very small SD card in the M9 and take 350+ RAW images so the spare battery is just a bit of extra weight. The batteries for the M7 are so small as not to be a factor especially if you carry ten rolls of film to get the same 350+ exposures.

I do not know for sure but it seems to me that having two M bodies which can both be set to AE, have pretty much the same viewfinder, and one is shooting film and the other shooting digital would be pretty slick!
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Old 03-26-2015   #28
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I used to have an M6 millennium and an MP, and currently use an M7. I'd vote for M7 for its quietest shutter of the three and AE. Just watch out for lemons before buying.
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Old 03-27-2015   #29
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I've been trying to decide between a M2, M6 or M7. Not sure if I am 'brave' enough to go meter less.
I didn't realise there would be so much love for the M7. Dealers I have spoken to have often been rather negative about it, not sure why
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Old 03-27-2015   #30
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I suspect the negativeness around the M7 has more to do with the Leica customer base then the M7 itself. Leica lovers tend to be very conservative and hate change. The Minolta CLE offered aperature priority twenty five years ago. It is not a new or radical concept for most people but you would think the ski had fallen because the shutter needs a battery to operate.

I remember when the tilted rewind crank caused hysteria when it appeared on the M4. Thus the old and slow (but strong) rewind knob on the MP.
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Old 03-27-2015   #31
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I like the travel of the shutter release button on my M2 best. After that I prefer the M9/Monochrom. I like least the M6 and M5 on which I have to depress the shutter release a long way to trip the shutter. I tried to have the M6 adjusted to be like the M2 and was told by the tech that he couldn't improve it.
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Old 03-27-2015   #32
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If I was rational (who on this forum is?), I would just use the M2 and M9. There is even a Leica R6.2 in the closet that seldom gets used.
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Old 03-27-2015   #33
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in that case, sell the r6.2.

how much use does the m2 get? is the lack of ae a problem?
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Old 03-27-2015   #34
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I have M6, M7, and MP. First of all, while I think it's nice that the M7 has electronically controlled shutter speeds, I find nothing wrong with my M6/MP exposures. I wouldn't take the M7 on a shoot in preference to the MP just for that.

I would take the M7 under rapidly changing light conditions, with the sun going in and out every few seconds--like it can do in Colorado, for instance. I can grab a reading off any reasonably "average" subject area, squeeze the button halfway, recompose, and shoot before the sun goes in--or out. Of course, I can do this with my Nikon FE2 or FM2a, just as well. Apart from this, I don't really need an M7, because I like to take a few moments to think through my exposures--a reading here, a reading there, decide, set the camera, and shoot. Old school.

Yes, the M7 is quiet, but so is any Leica RF. It's not that different. My quietest camera is my X100, which makes no sound at all.

The M7 shutter release has a "notchy" feel. I have to press through a hard point to get from the meter reading to the shot. NOT a deal-breaker; but the feel is different from any of my other Leicas. It is different from your M2 and M9; you will notice the difference, and it does interrupt your mind/brain/body/camera connection when using a another Leica along with the M7 and going back and forth.

I generally would rather shoot my MP or my M5 in preference to my M7.
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Old 03-27-2015   #35
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I like the travel of the shutter release button on my M2 best. After that I prefer the M9/Monochrom. I like least the M6 and M5 on which I have to depress the shutter release a long way to trip the shutter. I tried to have the M6 adjusted to be like the M2 and was told by the tech that he couldn't improve it.
When i got my M6 it was the same, really long press before it fires. 2 second adjustment in the bottom from the repair guy fixes it forever, totally retire my soft release. I like the M2 shutter fire too very assuring
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Old 03-27-2015   #36
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M7 can start having brain farts if it gets exposed to water, at least the one I used to own did. If you ask Sherry Krauter, she will tell you to stay away from it if you do any serious work because there are too many parts that can fail (she said that she has replaced numerous on/off switches on M7s, for example).
M6ttl is more reliable and still has the shutter dial that turns the same way as your M9.
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Old 03-27-2015   #37
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My M2 is my go to film camera. Both my SLR's (R6.2 and 500CM) do not see much use. I suspect it is more due to the fact that I prefer rangefinders after using them almost continuously since 1975 (especially for the type of photography I do these days). And I have absolutely no problem with using my M2 and an incident meter. Perfection in film may very well be an M2, 35mm lens, TriX and an incident meter. As Tom likes to say, Leica really got something right with the M2.

Funny, but I also find myself using both cameras (X100 and M9) that have AE more and more in the AE mode. I do not mind technology and using it's capabilities to make life easier. I turn the AE off when the lighting gets complicated.

As I said before, you really can not go wrong with any Leica M. Of course, for the money I may spend, I could also upgrade the M9 to the M240.

And as I said before, too many decisions. If a meterless Leica, then M2, 4, 4-2 as I really like the uncluttered viewfinder. If a meter camera body, then I will put up with the clutter in an M6. Do not use flash so M6TTL does not appeal (had an early one and it ate batteries until sent back to Leica for correction). And other then being a newer camera, the MP is too similar to the M6 for more then twice the money. If film AE, then M7 or Zeiss.
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Old 03-27-2015   #38
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I still use the M2 but it was given to me by my father and I look after it more than the other cameras. Maybe I should get a user M2. That viewfinder is magic. The 50mm frame lines so perfect. I still can't work put the 50 frame lines in the M9.
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Old 03-27-2015   #39
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As I expected, we each have a favorite Leica M model and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. I have been leaning toward the M7 but when I really think about it, the M2 or M6 is just as appealing. And I have never tried the M5 so maybe I should give it a chance.

I was going to order the M7 today from Tamarkin. But I am in Xela, Guatemala, for another ten days working on my Spanish. I am thinking about visiting his store in Chicago instead. I will be heading to St Louis to visit my sister at the end of April and it is only 300 miles from STL to Chicago. It might be fun to walk in and explore every option in the Leica display case including a possible new M7/MP or even MA.

I certainly do not have to be in any rush and who knows, an excellent deal may just pop up here in the classifieds. Aloha, Rich
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