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Incoming M3
Old 02-17-2019   #1
stvn66
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Incoming M3

Hi,
My name is Steve, I live in the UK and this is my first post.

I have an incoming Leica M3 that I am very excited about; I currently have a Nikon FM2n that I use for colour photography.

I would like to shoot black & white with the Leica and I have a few simple questions please.
  1. Can I take accurate light meter readings using my digital Nikon P300?
  2. If the camera needs a CLA, can anyone recommend someone in the UK, in the London area would be nice.
  3. Ilford HP5 at 800 ISO or 400 ISO with yellow filter?
  4. Ilford XP2 at 320 ISO or 400 ISO with yellow filter?
  5. Out of the two films above what would be your preference and why?
    I would like to achieve as much contrast as possible with minimum grain....at the moment.
Thank you
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Old 02-17-2019   #2
madNbad
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Get a meter app for your phone, its faster and easier than carrying two cameras or just get a hand held meter.
Cameraworks UK or Camera Repair and Restoration
Light or dark yellow? Anywhere from 1/2 stop to 2 stops depending on the density of the filter. There are plenty of filter factor guides available.
Can't tell you, I'm a TMax fan.
Welcome to the forum and enjoy your M3. Come back, visit often and share an image or two.
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Old 02-17-2019   #3
mcfingon
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Welcome to the forum, Steve. You can also get some compact light meters to carry separately or put on the top of the M3, like the Sekonic L-208. I use Delta 100 and 400 film in my Leicas and always use them at the box speed. I prefer a film I can develop in standard developers myself like Xtol to one that is designed for colour processing like XP2. Those two films have opposite characteristics: the HP5 will give more contrast but the XP2 the least grain. I feel I am getting good contrast and low grain with the the Delta films. The Leica I use the most now is an M6, but I did use and enjoy an M3 for some years. John Mc
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Old 02-17-2019   #4
CharlesDAMorgan
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Welcome!

I adore my M3, such a stunning piece of design, beauty and engineering quality.

I mount a Voigtlander MC Meter II on mine, I do have a Leica Meter but it's pretty inaccurate. There are others like the Sekonic.

CameraWorks come highly recommended, Richard Caplan on Pall Mall get service work done competitively (via external repairers) and Newton Ellis in Liverpool are excellent. All take their time.

I would always go for HP5 over XP2 for contrast, I do develop my own so it's easier to say that, XP2 is much cheaper to process. I don't use filters that often, I'd rather get contrast from developing and/or pushing. HP5 can be a bit grainy, but a professional film photographer friend is getting very suave results in Ilford Ilfosol 3.

For lower grain and good contrast I'd also consider Delta 400 and Tmax 400.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 02-18-2019   #5
Ko.Fe.
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Ilford Delta with yellow filter at the box speed or less for those who afraid of film nature (grain).

XP2 is crappy film for those who can't develop by themselves and brings it to regular C-41 and only lab.
HP5 is great film at OK cost (if in bulk) to be pushed @1600.

I prefer Kentemere 400, because it currently best price/performance bw film (if in bulk).


Hey, it looks like OP has M6 and Nokt 50 1.5 as well
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Old 02-18-2019   #6
retinax
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This reads like you'll be scanning rather than wet printing? In that case, you probably want to add contrast in digital post processing (an S-curve), too contrasty negatives will likely result in blown shadows and digital noise in the highlights, less pretty. I don't know either of those films well, but it looks like HP 5 isn't easy to scan, as most examples found online don't look great to my eyes.
As someone said before, if you won't develop your own film, XP2 will be cheaper to have developed, so why not start there and see how you like it? It doesn't have the same grain structure as normal b&w films, but one can't see that in normal scans anyway - the "grain" in anything but the highest resolution scans is actually grain aliasing.
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Old 02-18-2019   #7
Dirk Mandeville
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Weird. I just got back into shooting film by buying an old Nikon FM2n and a few lenses about a month ago. Then I happened upon a deal on an M3 just last week. I plan to use a hot shoe mounted meter on the M3, either a Leica MR or the current Voigtlander one.
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Old 02-18-2019   #8
ChipMcD
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I agree with not carrying a second camera for a meter. I use a Gossen Digipro incident light meterright now, but you will not go wrong with any Gossen or Sekonic meter, includung the least expensive models. I prefer incident meters to give me a starting point, but that's just a personal preference. The M3 viewfinder is a dream with a 50mm lens.
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Old 02-18-2019   #9
gb hill
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Get my light meter pro & download the app to your smartphone. Very accurate. Iíd shoot Delta 400 and develop it yourself. You do what feels comfortable to you. Most of all welcome to RFF & donít be a stranger. Hope to see some results soon.
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Old 02-18-2019   #10
richardHaw
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get a VC meter

the absolute best

for night shots, nothing beats a spotmeter (and zone system).
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Old 02-18-2019   #11
CharlesDAMorgan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Mandeville View Post
Weird. I just got back into shooting film by buying an old Nikon FM2n and a few lenses about a month ago. Then I happened upon a deal on an M3 just last week. I plan to use a hot shoe mounted meter on the M3, either a Leica MR or the current Voigtlander one.
I have a Nikon FM2n and a Leica M3 too - as manual cameras go they are absolutely up there. If I had to dispose of most of my cameras I'd probably end up with just these two.

I have a Leica MR - choose with care, mine came with an M2 attached and the readings underexpose. Hence why I bought the Voigtlander - it's not coupled, which does slow things down, but it's very reliable and like all such meters not great in very high contrast scenes.

I used a phone app but frankly got fed up with having too many things in my hands.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 02-19-2019   #12
David Hughes
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FWIW, meters can be repaired, rebalanced or recalibrated. I have one or two outfits from the 1930's that I use with a 1930's meter and so on right through to my M2 that I use with the old MC meter or else a Weston meter. The important point is that daylight ruins them but ones stored in boxes or cases are usually OK and seldom need more than checking and tweaking.

The trouble is that people chase after the best and really don't need it. I manage to use a Leica model II even though it only has a top speed of a 500th and these days an 8000th is seen as essential; at times I wonder how I manage. And I manage somehow to get around in a car with only a top speed of 130mph...

Regards, David
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Old 02-19-2019   #13
jamin-b
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FWIW, I received my Leica M3 a few years back with an original Leicameter attached, and it has always worked just fine. For other cameras I use a very small meter or a phone app (depends on your phone though whether the meter works well). b/w and negative film are anyway quite forgiving, and if you make a point opf paying attention pretty soon you'll be taking a sample meter reading when venturing out and adjusting based on the specifics by guesswork. Good luck and enjoy your purchase! There is definitely something inspiring about using an old Leica M3!
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