The Future Price of a Leica M6
Old 07-30-2018   #1
twhittle
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The Future Price of a Leica M6

I am considering purchasing an '86 M6 body only from a friend. I do not need it at all but the price is good and I could afford it now if I knew that I'd get a good return on it.

I just got into film cameras before the prices really went up, and then I remember thinking they'd reached their summit- but still prices have gone up. With the combination of part scarcity, age of the camera, technicians retiring without passing their trade on and film supply in constant flux:

Do people think that film camera prices have plateaued? Are they still going up? Will there be a crash?
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Old 07-30-2018   #2
Ko.Fe.
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Take it easy. Are you into taking pictures with film Leica M adventure or into worrying with accounting and predictions on big data involved?

From my Leica film M shooter perspective and buying, service experience prices didn't went up, they are steady.
Do not look at speculants listings. Have a look for how much M6 is sold for real.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...at=0&LH_Sold=1
Same prices I have seen couple of years ago.

You really need to buy M only once .
I'm keeping just one film M for now. It is trashed well enough by me, so I'll keep on sending it for service (hopefully, I'll be able to afford it for some time) and using it until I'm able to buy film.


Just think about it. iPhone is purchased for 1K every other year by many as soon as "new" model is shoveled on the market. Basically millions of people are speeding 1K every other year to buy some prestige and nothing else.
M6 is purchasable in the range of 1300-1500 even from eBay. So, private user to user sale should be at least 10% less.

Again, just think about it. If you'll get M6 now and buy film in bulks, plus chemicals you could have five years of shooting M6 experience. Autonomic, like submariner on expedition to Arctic. Serviced and not over-abused M6 will make it for five years. Film and chemicals lasts five years at easy. I just developed #29 and #30 C-41 rolls of film in one year old kit, which was purchased 4+ years ago.

Within this period of time iPhone crowd will spend much more on updating their prestige status. And those who are buying every digital camera made by Leica Camera AG will spend much more.
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Old 07-30-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Take it easy. Are you into taking pictures with film Leica M adventure or into worrying with accounting and predictions on big data involved?

From my Leica film M shooter perspective and buying, service experience prices didn't went up, they are steady.
Do not look at speculants listings. Have a look for how much M6 is sold for real.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...at=0&LH_Sold=1
Same prices I have seen couple of years ago.

You really need to buy M only once .
I'm keeping just one film M for now. It is trashed well enough by me, so I'll keep on sending it for service (hopefully, I'll be able to afford it for some time) and using it until I'm able to buy film.


Just think about it. iPhone is purchased for 1K every other year by many as soon as "new" model is shoveled on the market. Basically millions of people are speeding 1K every other year to buy some prestige and nothing else.
M6 is purchasable in the range of 1300-1500 even from eBay. So, private user to user sale should be at least 10% less.

Again, just think about it. If you'll get M6 now and buy film in bulks, plus chemicals you could have five years of shooting M6 experience. Autonomic, like submariner on expedition to Arctic. Serviced and not over-abused M6 will make it for five years. Film and chemicals lasts five years at easy. I just developed #29 and #30 C-41 rolls of film in one year old kit, which was purchased 4+ years ago.

Within this period of time iPhone crowd will spend much more on updating their prestige status. And those who are buying every digital camera made by Leica Camera AG will spend much more.
Well, yes. The OP admits he doesn't need it, so why is he buying it? If it's just because he wants it, that's fine too, but if it's an investment, as you say, what is he going to do with ?
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Old 07-30-2018   #4
Ko.Fe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Well, yes. The OP admits he doesn't need it, so why is he buying it? If it's just because he wants it, that's fine too, but if it's an investment, as you say, what is he going to do with ?
One of the books I have is with prints taken by film M.
Author of this book grabbed M4 just because it was available and cheap.
It spend couple of years in his office desk (newspaper reporter) before he realised what it was all he needs camera.
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Old 07-30-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
One of the books I have is with prints taken by film M.
Author of this book grabbed M4 just because it was available and cheap.
It spend couple of years in his office desk (newspaper reporter) before he realised what it was all he needs camera.
Ah, yes. I had assumed, foolishly and without any basis whatsoever, that he already had a Leica. But of course you are right: everyone has to start somewhere.

But even if he bought it; hated it; and sold it for half what he paid; well, if he can't afford to take a modest risk and a loss of a few hundred, can he afford to buy it anyway?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-30-2018   #6
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I think Ko.Fe is right. In the scheme of things one should not fear stepping onto Leica territory. My second-hand dealer told me over a year ago that prices of second-hand film cameras are going up. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if they have have or have not plateaued. Another year of our lives has gone and that’s much more important. Do I regret buying the Hasselblad and the IIIf in that time? No way.

The OP would like to have an M6. He really ought to get it. Wonderful camera, maybe the most successful Leica of all. Fate brought him to this opportunity. He must take it. The alternative hardly bears thinking about.
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Old 07-30-2018   #7
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I predict that all Leica cameras will increase in value beyond what we can imagine, or they will become curious paperweights and be worth a few dollars. The future is fuzzy.
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Old 07-30-2018   #8
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When I was considering purchasing a Leica m4-p to replace the CL I had I was told if the price is right, you can't go wrong. If anything it's an investment and in a few years you'll make a couple bucks if you decide to sell, or at the very least get what you paid for it.
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Old 07-30-2018   #9
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Hmmm, it's not a rule carved in stone but, in general, prices go up and, in general, they sometimes go down. It really depends on a lot of things and there's no way you can be absolutely certain. I've bought cult cameras for a tenth of their ebay peak price for some years* and think it's mostly a matter of keeping your ears and eye working and knowing what you want...

And luck comes into it.

Regards, David


*The last two within the last couple of months.
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Old 07-30-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbharrill1 View Post
When I was considering purchasing a Leica m4-p to replace the CL I had I was told if the price is right, you can't go wrong. If anything it's an investment and in a few years you'll make a couple bucks if you decide to sell, or at the very least get what you paid for it.

Hi,

It might work over a "few" years but use it and keep it long term and you'll find it going back for repairs and general servicing. Add that cost to the original price and you'd be better off putting the money in a savings bank.

That's based on my Leica CL and M2 and ignoring inflation.

Regards, David
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Old 07-30-2018   #11
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My cameras, like my cars, are not treated like investments -- At all.

When I acquire a camera, I don't think of resale value at all. The price I pay needs to be weighed against my desire for it, and the value it will provide me in terms of making photographs. I own Leicas, and it was a big decision to spend the money required to get them, but it was done without any regard whatsoever to selling them at any point in the future. Just coincidence that some of them seem to sell for higher prices today, but most of them sell for less! Not a problem for me

Having said that, I have indeed sold some of my photographic gear from time to time in order to fund another photo-related purchase. But, it was all based on current situation. In other words, no planning or strategy of any kind. I simply looked in the closet and noticed that I wasn't using the Rollei 2003 system much anymore, and I would prefer to have a digital M. So, sold some stuff, bought some stuff. Thus goes the spinning world...
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Old 07-30-2018   #12
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I did this two years ago. Not much change since then:

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Old 07-30-2018   #13
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In the past, I've done pretty well buying and selling Leicas, but I was aided by a couple of (once-in-a-lifetime?) factors: The Japanese "bubble economy" of the 1980s, and the boom in Chinese luxury buying up until 2012 or so. Yes, for a brief while, it was possible to buy a lens for $2600 new, play with it for a few years, then turn around and sell it for $4700 or more, but those days are over.

Today, I think if you can buy secondhand Leica M gear, use it for a few years then resell for 80% of your original price, you are doing pretty good.

I do get the sense that some prices are rising, but to me it looks like a lot of mini-trends which come and go seemingly overnight, and the total dollar amounts are pretty modest.
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Old 07-30-2018   #14
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M6 won't go up noticeable over the next few years, so this would not be a good investment.

But if you have money and time, you can make more money. I have a friend who bought empty lots in metropolitan areas in sketchy neighborhood for peanuts in the 80s and 90s. Now he is selling them for six figures apiece! Another friend of mine bought new VW Beetle convertibles each time he had a little bit of spare money in the 80s and put them in his barn. He is selling them now for big bucks because they are essentially new with maybe 10 miles on the odometer.
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Old 07-30-2018   #15
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I never buy a camera anticipating I will sell it in a few years. I pull the trigger only if i am pretty sure at that moment I will keep it for the foreseeable future.

But I must say prediction is hard, in particular about the future. I may sell me cameras when money is tight. Or when one day I change my mind to go full digital. Who knows?
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Old 07-30-2018   #16
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In Australia, we are a small market and so the cost of globally traded goods like Leicas are largely dependent on foreign exchange rates.
I bought my first Leica (a beat up M6) for A$750 and sold it eight years later for A$1750. It appears that I made A$1000 with eight years use, but over the same time the A$ went from buying US$1.05 to US$0.65, so I would have made a large chunk of that buying US$, and the rest from inflation.
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Old 07-30-2018   #17
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i don't view cameras as investments. They are tools to be used. That being said film Leica M's hold their value better than any other cameras I can think of. If you want one buy a good one use it and if the time comes you must sell it you'll get a better return than most cameras out there.
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Old 07-30-2018   #18
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No one knows. I have seen these things go up and down for several decades. When the Japanese started collecting lots of cameras, prices went up. When they recently started selling them, prices went down. But that's only true for some cameras and in some markets.

There are so many variables that have nothing to do w/ anything else, you can't get a grip on it. If we could, we would all be rich playing the stock markets.

In general, buy at what the market rate is (or lower), condition and functionality are everything unless it's a collectible, and buy what you like to shoot. I would never advise someone to buy photography gear as an investment. If you find a steal at a cheap price, then you can flip it, but "investing" is not what I would suggest.
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Old 07-30-2018   #19
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i would buy it. film production is reestablishing itself for smaller quantities, and new repairmen are indeed being trained. on the other hand, the manufacture of new film cameras with the same mechanical complexity as a leica m is uncertain. i think prices for an m6 are going to keep creeping up for the foreseeable future.
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Old 07-30-2018   #20
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prices IMO are not going up, M cameras are keeping their value over time but you can still find bargains here and there. I wouldn't buy a Leica M as an investment unless is half price of the average price and I would resell it right away.
Maybe this website helps:
http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/Leitz/M6.html
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Old 07-31-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twhittle View Post
Do people think that film camera prices have plateaued? Are they still going up? Will there be a crash?
The general trend in the last 2-3 years for more sophisticated cameras (higher end models) has been increasing prices.
Some models have been more affected, some less.
With increasing interest in film photography by young "digital natives" it is to be expected that the trends will continue.
At least it is more unlikely that cameras will become cheaper in the future.
An important role will have China. Some Chinese distributors of film and paper told me that they have increasing demand in the 10-30% range.
So if the big and increasing Chinese market "is discovering film photography" eventually in the next years we will definitely see increasing prices. Especially for Leicas. I've been there, and the Chinese generally love German brands. Leica is very popular there.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-31-2018   #22
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This is all very interesting discussion.

I wouldn't buy as an investment solely; I shoot a lot of film and love rangefinders. I was perhaps more interested in how the values might change in the next few years.... and if I need to see it rather than another camera, would I loose money.

Here in the UK the Leica M6 in the last 5/6 years has gone from 500-600 to 1200-1400 for a good condition TTL recently serviced and sold through a used dealer. That's a pretty good return especially if you have been able to use that camera in the meantime.

I think there are a number of reasons for the increase in interest/ price which could be unique to the UK (I would be really interested in other's opinions):

-UK based Youtube channels such as the very popular Negative Feedback promoting the use of Leica's, specifically the M6.

- General increased interest in higher spec/ more professional cameras. People have "done" Lomo/ Polaroid/ Disposable etc and now want a more sophisticated tool.

- The rise in female interest in analogue photography. I would say that I see more women using film cameras in Edinburgh/ London than men.

- These aforementioned small producers of interesting new film. A bit of variation and increased availability has fuelled the market.

- An increased number of used camera shops run by younger people and so free of the sometimes outdated geeky atmosphere that used camera shops can have. Plus their graphic design and web nowhow makes these shops look cool.


Is this the same where you are?
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Old 07-31-2018   #23
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Originally Posted by twhittle View Post
Here in the UK the Leica M6 in the last 5/6 years has gone from 500-600 to 1200-1400 for a good condition TTL recently serviced and sold through a used dealer. That's a pretty good return especially if you have been able to use that camera in the meantime.

I think there are a number of reasons for the increase in interest/ price which could be unique to the UK (I would be really interested in other's opinions):

-UK based Youtube channels such as the very popular Negative Feedback promoting the use of Leicas, specifically the M6.

- General increased interest in higher spec/ more professional cameras. People have "done" Lomo/ Polaroid/ Disposable etc and now want a more sophisticated tool.

- The rise in female interest in analogue photography. I would say that I see more women using film cameras in Edinburgh/ London than men.

- These aforementioned small producers of interesting new film. A bit of variation and increased availability has fueled the market.

- An increased number of used camera shops run by younger people and so free of the sometimes outdated geeky atmosphere that used camera shops can have. Plus their graphic design and web knowhow makes these shops look cool.
Good read. I think it is a well made analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twhittle View Post
Is this the same where you are?
In Germany the situation shows similarities and differences:
Germany has always benefitted from the effect that here a higher percentage of photographers (in comparison to other countries) have been loyal to film and kept using it even in the digital boom phase.
The lab infrastructure is excellent here (one of the best worldwide). And you can get film and development at "every corner of the street" because all drugstore chain shops are offering it. And they offer it at extremely cheap prices.

But we also have regional differences:
Berlin is the film photographer capital of Europe: More than 15 professional film labs, some of them specialised and top level, the Fotoimpex shop as a magnet for film photographers, the new click&surr used camera shop, the new Fotomax shop which is also very active in used film camera selling, camera repair companies, lots of photo galleries and exhibitions, photo museums.
And in Berlin lots of very young photographers are using film. And with a high percentage of female photographers, too.

In other big German cities the situation is also good, but the film photography scene is not as active as in Berlin.

With 'aphognext' Germany has an excellent film photography online forum for years. That has also helped.
And several excellent online distributors for film photography with Fotoimpex being the best and the most active to support the film photography scene.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 08-03-2018   #24
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The only "investment" I consider when talking about Leica is how long it has taken me to come around to the idea of actually owning one. I'll be 65 in a couple of months, and today I ordered an M4-P after all these years of messing around with FSU, and Japanese knock-off gear. It was two years ago when I got my R3, which was quickly upgraded to an R7. And earlier this year I got a CL.


I tried a lot of cameras over the years. It seems I can always find lenses I like, but the cameras are what usually come up short of expectations. I was able to handle an M4 at Robert's Camera last time I went home, and I must say it just felt correct right off the bat. And having a raft of lenses for the CL already makes it all that much easier to pull the trigger on the M4-P (plus the expanded range of the viewfinder frame lines).



It's certainly an "investment" I intend to enjoy for a long time.


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Old 08-03-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
The only "investment" I consider when talking about Leica is how long it has taken me to come around to the idea of actually owning one. I'll be 65 in a couple of months, and today I ordered an M4-P after all these years of messing around with FSU, and Japanese knock-off gear. It was two years ago when I got my R3, which was quickly upgraded to an R7. And earlier this year I got a CL.

I tried a lot of cameras over the years. It seems I can always find lenses I like, but the cameras are what usually come up short of expectations. I was able to handle an M4 at Robert's Camera last time I went home, and I must say it just felt correct right off the bat. And having a raft of lenses for the CL already makes it all that much easier to pull the trigger on the M4-P (plus the expanded range of the viewfinder frame lines).

It's certainly an "investment" I intend to enjoy for a long time.

F
This sums it up so well. Cameras are NOT a monetary investment for me. If I had to call it an investment, it would be an investment in my lifetime enjoyment. Its only a bonus if the financial stuff works in my favor, and its really not of much consequence anyway because I'm not much of a seller of gear. I try to thin out the "collection" now and then and pass along the stuff I just don't use or appreciate, but mostly I just acquire and use.

The M cameras honestly do just "feel right". Don't they? So many people try to chalk that up to "Leica mystique" and justification, etc. But, it really isn't that. The M cameras (film and digital) just plain feel right for me. And that's a big part of the lifetime enjoyment I mentioned earlier. Of course I wish Leica didn't cost so much.....and its a valid topic of deliberation whether it really needs to. But, that's another day, another beer. I do find it unfortunate how Leica has firmly positioned itself as a "luxury brand". That should say something....

But, I used my M2 for a portrait this morning, and I'll take the M240 to the rodeo this evening. The seamless transition in comfortable use between the M cameras is sure nice. The fact that I just enjoy using them helps ensure I actually take photos (not necessarily good ones). The frequent use and lack of "getting tired" with the M bodies has helped me become very familiar with them, and thus my rote competency improves. But enough of my "justification" eh?

Well done farlymac. About time you got a camera that feels right in your hand. I suspect its well-deserved and your investment in lifetime enjoyment will be a good one.
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Old 08-04-2018   #26
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Thanks, rfaspen, and John. And twhittle, I hope you get the M6. It sounds like you already have lenses for it, so getting it at a friends bargain should make the deal all the sweeter.


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Old 08-04-2018   #27
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Darlings,
I miss my Leicas. But I don't miss film. Not one bit. And many a poor woman has "paid twice" getting to where they should be. The M6, especially the TTL, is a very good camera. Any Leica is a very good camera. They are "in and of themselves" objects of beauty. And absolutely functional objects they are as well.



If the OP wants one, sure. Of course. He should get one. If he wants the pleasure of simply making pictures, well, any point and shoot will be fine - film or digital. If he likes the gestalt of the controls philosophy, then he should buy an M9 or an X100f or, or, or....


If he wants to speculate financially, maybe some mineral stocks would be better....



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Old 08-05-2018   #28
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Hi,

If it's an investment then you ought to get back the money you spent and that means covering inflation and the cost of repairs.

And you also should get back more than if you put your money in something safe like a bank and were paid interest on it; or an investment fund of some sort - but that brings luck into the equation.

And I don't think that's possible. I've had my Leica CL for decades and have spent a lot of money on it because, from time to time, it has had to be checked and adjusted and so on; mainly because I use it.

My first repair bill was for 120 pounds in 1988, up that in line with inflation and it becomes* roughly 250 to 440 pounds, just to get back the cost of the repair. It's too early in the morning to search for all the bills and upgrade them and then upgrade the cost of the camera and then bring in the interest I'd have got from a savings account but I can't see the total being what I'd get for the camera if I sold it...

EDIT; I wondered what return you'd get if you were crafty and realised repairs and so on would take their toll and so invested in something that wouldn't deteriorate. Using a 1961 Leica price list I reckon buying a screw to bayonet adapter and then locking it in the safe; you'd have to sell it for about 54 to 200 pounds just to keep pace with inflation. And the same for a new in 1961 lens cap then you'd have to sell for 9 to 32 pounds and, for comparison, the M2 body 2055 to 7615 pounds. Have a look at the web site I used for these values to understand.

Regards, David

* Using;- https://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ppoweruk/
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Old 08-05-2018   #29
Richard G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
The only "investment" I consider when talking about Leica is how long it has taken me to come around to the idea of actually owning one. I'll be 65 in a couple of months, and today I ordered an M4-P after all these years of messing around with FSU, and Japanese knock-off gear. It was two years ago when I got my R3, which was quickly upgraded to an R7. And earlier this year I got a CL.


I tried a lot of cameras over the years. It seems I can always find lenses I like, but the cameras are what usually come up short of expectations. I was able to handle an M4 at Robert's Camera last time I went home, and I must say it just felt correct right off the bat. And having a raft of lenses for the CL already makes it all that much easier to pull the trigger on the M4-P (plus the expanded range of the viewfinder frame lines).



It's certainly an "investment" I intend to enjoy for a long time.


PF

Wonderful. Congratulations and enjoy it. And what a great answer to the OP.
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Old 08-05-2018   #30
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I can only add that I have an '86 M6 and love it. Smooth and quiet, and very functional.

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Old 08-05-2018   #31
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John Mc , it's a lucky nr.7 Leica that you have , haven't seen one before !
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