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Help me choose a one and only camera and lens system
Old 10-26-2019   #1
gzisis69
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Help me choose a one and only camera and lens system

Hi, i finally decided to get into the leica film system after a long time of thinking. Im not a collector, ill use my equipment to photograph and not let it in a box for the next generation. As a camera from what i have read i think the m6 is the best buy for me cause it has a photometer and is easier to load and use as an m3 or an m2 for example. The newer models are extremely expensive and for my use dont justify the price tag. I cant decide which magnification is best for me cause im not so experienced and have only tried two m6 from friends. I wear glasses for nearsightendness all the time if thats important to decide. Or maybe is the lens decision first more important to decide after the camera model ? im leaning towards 35 or 50mm. Im not sure which one though cause i really like both and have used both in the slr world for many years. For me its important the small size
and weicht.I dont want the lens to block the wiefinder. I would surely prefer 1,4 but if that happens with all 1,4 lenses,ill settle with a summicron option. If the summicron quality is the same
as the summilux i will surely not discard the summicron option. Critical focus is realy important and i have read that summicron focus easier but i havent compared both. i wont buy another lens in the future cause one is enough so that must be really good. And now the use, ill travel for the next 2 years the world so the use will be general. What would you suggest ?
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Old 10-26-2019   #2
zuiko85
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If I could travel then I’d definitely take two lenses. RF lenses are quite small and a 28mm will get you into tight spaces where you cannot back up.
Just me but a 28 and 50 combo + body + film could all be carried in a small bag and would not be too heavy.
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Old 10-26-2019   #3
ktmrider
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Meter or no meter? The best meter Leica ever made is in the M5 which will be much cheaper then an M6. Yes, it is an odd size but it was the last of the hand assembled M cameras and has the same film loading and rewind as later M cameras.

No meter? My favorite is the M2 as the single frames which come up are pure heaven. It and a 35 are perfect together. And it does not need to be a Leica lens either as the Voightlander 35f2.5 is great or the 35f1.4 or possibly the sharpest 35mm lens, the Zeiss 35f2.8 C Biogon.

In 50mm there are also great options from either Voightlander or Zeiss. The 50f1.5 is outstanding and can be had for $600 used. It has been compared favorably with the pre ASPH Summilux.
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Old 10-26-2019   #4
SolaresLarrave
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Yout post shows you're suffering from opinion overload syndrome, which comes from reading too many things written by people who don't share your experiences.

Think: have you shot meterless cameras? If so, did you like it? If yes, go for one. If you didn't enjoy it and saw yourself doing it forever, just ditch it.

When you photograph, what is it you want, expansive views or careful detail? If the former, get a wide angle. If the latter, get a 50mm.

Now, will you be able to live with third-party lenses or do you absolutely want your first lens to be a Leica brand? I know I wanted not just Leica, but as new as I could get, and in the end, once I found the used market (and the third-party used market!!), I realized that the lens is just a means to an image, not the end of the road. Hence, I'd recommend that you consider used glass, used or new Voigtländer, or used or new Zeiss-Ikon. To a great extent, they're all comparable (with very slight differences).

The M6 is a great camera, but you may also want to consider the M6TTL, an improved version that came out some time later, which has an easier to handle shutter speed selector dial and electronics for through-the-lens flash metering (using a dedicated Leica flash). You don't need the flash, but the camera will be newer than the M6.

Again, have these ideas in mind while you shop and forget what you've read or heard about lens performance and a lot more. Enjoy photographing things instead!
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Old 10-26-2019   #5
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I was once in a position similar to yours.

Based on the experience I had with a Nikon F2 SLR with a 35mm f/1.4 and an 85mm f/1.8, I knew that I wanted two similar lenses for my rangefinder.

I considered the Leica M2, M6, and MP. I probably would have been happy with any of them; however, I stumbled upon an M6 for a reasonable price.

For lenses, I decided on a 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss and a 90mm f/2 Summicron. Yes, the lenses block a portion of the viewfinder but I need the faster glass more than I need to see the corner of the viewfinder.


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Old 10-26-2019   #6
Deardorff38
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GZ, You'll be fine with one lens...whichever suits the way you see (50 or 35mm). BTW Summicrons are absolutely superb lenses and both smaller and lighter than the 1.4 Summiluxes. I've photographed for years with a similar set-up & although i've had other lenses, i most likely shot 80% with an M (film) body and a 35mm f2 Summicron.
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Old 10-26-2019   #7
gzisis69
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thanx for the quick and very important answers. ill try to answer some of your questions and opinions to help you help me more and possibly also other people who are in this path. First of all i don‘t want a camera without lightmeter. i have tried that and thats simply not my thing. i can see the good light for sure but for sure a lightmeter is very important to have precise light control. For the camera model i dont care much. the lens is more important and will be for sure a leica one. if i wanted a voightlander or Zeiss lens id buy also the cameras from those companies. i have tried from a friend an m9 with a 50 summilux 1.4 and that blocked the viewfinder, which drove me crazy so i want a lens that doesnt do that. I think from my photos that a 50 is more natural to my eye( i checked the exifs and the most are with 50mm) so maybe i could live with the 50mm. The only thing that makes me think of the 35mm is the possible versatility otherwise the 50 is good for my eyes. from the 50mm lenses which one would you suggest ? and are all 1.4 so big that block the viewfinder ? if yes then only summicron is for me..
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Old 10-26-2019   #8
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Get an M6 and a 35mm lens. The M6 now is about $1600-$1800. A 35mm lens can be anything from $250 (7Artisans 35f2) to Leica Summicron Asph (thousands$$) with fantastic options in between from Voigtlander and Zeiss.
The question really is how much do u want to spend on your lens?

Sorry just saw u want it to be a Leica lens and 50mm. Summicron 50 whichever is in ur budget.
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Old 10-26-2019   #9
a.noctilux
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The large choices narrow down to M6 + Summicron-M 50mm .
Which Summicron 50mm ?
That can be difficult as I have/use some.


- Collapsible 5cm LTM with adapter can be a fun choice if limited to 1m same as Rigid in this aspect.
- Rigid 50mm (version II) or Somni (so called DR Cron ) which have same optical cell has some "flaws/or characters" depending on user

- Version III this is good choice if some users don't declare "flare prone"
- IV or V can be had with or without sliding hood with same optical cell, the most expensive but newest



As second choice M5 + Summarit-M 2.4/50mm or cheaper 2.5/50mm , this is my choice if I use only one kit.


Anyway your project can also change over time


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Old 10-26-2019   #10
Tim Gray
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I’d get a Leica M6 and a Zeiss ZM 35 or 50, depending on your preferences. Voigtländer lenses are nice too. Don’t worry about viewfinder magnification unless you shoot a lot of 28mm. The ZM 35/2.8 is supposed to be a wonderful lease. I had a Leica 50 Summicron, and while it was nice, I’d definitely go for one of the ZM 50’s over and save the money.
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Old 10-26-2019   #11
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Sounds like an M6 (original, not TTL) is what you are thinking of. It is 0.72 magnification, which was the “standard” magnification for Leica M for most models. It will be perfect if you are using a 50, and very likely useable if you are using a 35 with glasses too.

Since you want a Leica lens (which I think is only natural, and the reason for using Leica in the first place) a V4 or V5 50 Summicron will be hard to beat.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-26-2019   #12
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Let me throw a small spanner into this debate...

Consider a Contax G1 or G2 with either the fabulous 28mm Biogon f/2.8 or the similarly fantastic 35mm Planar f/2.0. Add a 90mm Sonnar f/2.8 and voila! Your new Leica-alike kit!

Some will no doubt argue that the Contax G is an 'ancient' camera - true, it dates to the 1990s, but is the M6 any younger? Metering is excellent. Focus takes a bit of practice but once you've nailed the (simple) technique involved, you will be fine. The lenses are far ahead of the camera bodies, but a G1 can be bought on the used market (Japanese sellers seem to have an endless stock of them) for very little money, so if your G1 goes bad on you, just buy another and go on shooting.

My first was bought in 2004 and I have since added three bodies for (on average) A$200 or less. So I am set for life.

Just a few thoughts for your consideration. If not suitable, my good wishes to you for the very best of luck in finding your dream M6 and Leitz lenses. Be sure to take lots of money with you when you go out shopping...
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Old 10-26-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolaresLarrave View Post
Yout post shows you're suffering from opinion overload syndrome, which comes from reading too many things written by people who don't share your experiences.

Think: have you shot meterless cameras? If so, did you like it? If yes, go for one. If you didn't enjoy it and saw yourself doing it forever, just ditch it.

When you photograph, what is it you want, expansive views or careful detail? If the former, get a wide angle. If the latter, get a 50mm.

Now, will you be able to live with third-party lenses or do you absolutely want your first lens to be a Leica brand? I know I wanted not just Leica, but as new as I could get, and in the end, once I found the used market (and the third-party used market!!), I realized that the lens is just a means to an image, not the end of the road. Hence, I'd recommend that you consider used glass, used or new Voigtländer, or used or new Zeiss-Ikon. To a great extent, they're all comparable (with very slight differences).

The M6 is a great camera, but you may also want to consider the M6TTL, an improved version that came out some time later, which has an easier to handle shutter speed selector dial and electronics for through-the-lens flash metering (using a dedicated Leica flash). You don't need the flash, but the camera will be newer than the M6.

Again, have these ideas in mind while you shop and forget what you've read or heard about lens performance and a lot more. Enjoy photographing things instead!
This is the best advice I have read in this entire thread - even better than mine, ha!!

Cameras are about loading them with film, taking them out and using them - and making the best of the camera you have in your hand at any given time.

Common sense prevails throughout. Also saving money.

Good on you, SolaresLarrave for having written this.
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Old 10-26-2019   #14
Bill Clark
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First Leica for me, M4 with a 50 f2.8 Summicron lens version 3.

I don’t own any Leica cameras with electronics such as an on board light meter or digital.

Sekonic L-158 light meter.

F.Y.I.:

Truth be known, for me, I’m using my iPhone 6s more and more. Our grand daughter, who lives in L.A., was in a school play of Aladdin and I made a nice photo of the entire cast with it.
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Old 10-26-2019   #15
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Have you shot many rolls using a rangefinder yet?
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Old 10-26-2019   #16
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This is an opinion only..based on experience as a pro, now retired.
Basic question, have you used a film camera!
A Leica used or new is a cosiderable investment.
They need maintenance and adjustments..expensive.

If a First film camera, get a SLR , Pentax KM or K1000,
Canon AE-1P, Minolta X series, Nikon F3, FE..
Bodies between $10 to $200 (F3).
The less expensive usually no meter working (Pentax).
The Canon's are all semi auto. and are stunning.

My Pentxes used pro have never reqd. a service..
If heart set on Leica M6TTL, there ae no more circuits if fails..
The frames are particularly lousy with 50mm len,
Rather a 35mm.
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Old 10-26-2019   #17
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Here's my 50+ years of experience. Onc camera, one lens - buy a nice Kodak Signet. Or splurge and get a Canon IIIQ, or better yet an Olympus SP.


I've got tons of Nikon, Fujifilm, Leica M4, M7, M9 and a ton of lenses. The above named cameras will take pictures just as stunning. I have money to buy toys thus the Nikons, Fujifilm, Leica and many more. Save your money and buy film.
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Old 10-27-2019   #18
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One Leica, One lens: If you settle on a 50mm, don't get an M6 because the 50mm frameline is very undersized. It only covers the field of a 60mm lens at normal distances. The M2, M3, M4, or M5 all have better framelines. The M3, with its .91 magnification, is OK with the 50mm lens, even with eyeglasses. The M2/M4/M5 are usable with 35mm and glasses, but you will be shifting your eye around in the finder to see the edges and corners. If you want the 35mm focal length, then since you wear glasses, you will be happiest with an M6 with the .58 finder. The view with the 35mm lens while wearing glasses is very comfortable with the .58 finder!

Do you want a compromise between 35mm and 50mm? Get the 40mm Summicron modified to bring up the 35mm frameline, and use it on an M6, because its 35mm framelines, being just a little undersize, are perfect for 40mm! Here too, get the .58 finder.
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Old 10-27-2019   #19
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Quote:
Here's my 50+ years of experience. Onc camera, one lens - buy a nice Kodak Signet. Or splurge and get a Canon IIIQ, or better yet an Olympus SP.

I've got tons of Nikon, Fujifilm, Leica M4, M7, M9 and a ton of lenses. The above named cameras will take pictures just as stunning. I have money to buy toys thus the Nikons, Fujifilm, Leica and many more. Save your money and buy film.

+1.
Not same but similar here. 50+ years as amateur. Have many toys (Nikon FM2, 3-lens kit, Mamiya C220, 3-lens kit, etc). But most often I go out shooting with a modest Olympus 35RC. And the other half of the story is in the darkroom. If your goal is ownership of a Leica, just go and buy the most expensive you can afford.
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Old 10-27-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gzisis69 View Post
Hi, i finally decided to get into the leica film system after a long time of thinking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
Here's my 50+ years of experience. Onc camera, one lens - buy a nice Kodak Signet. Or splurge and get a Canon IIIQ, or better yet an Olympus SP.
Here's my 60+ years of experience. The man wants a Leica. Let him buy a Leica.
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Old 10-27-2019   #21
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Okay, so you want a film Leica with a meter, but you don't want to spend the kind of money that the MP and M-A cost. Your best option for that is the M6 classic or M6 TTL.

If you are willing to look outside of Leica, the Zeiss Ikon ZM is magnificent. About the same price as a good condition M6, much larger and nicer viewfinder, lighter, easier to load, and has a longer rangefinder base which means slightly more accurate focusing. The only caveat is that if the electronics are irreparable, it becomes a paperweight.

Another option is the Hexar RF, which is pretty much like a M7 but built by Konica. The shutter sound is louder, from what I understand.

As for lenses, two, or a maximum of three lenses will do you fine as long as you know what kind of images and subjects you like to shoot. My travel kit is 21, 35 and 50. My everyday two lens kit is 28 and 50, and my one lens kit is a fast 35.

There is a huge range of Leica lenses from over the years if you must have Leica, some being a reasonable price depending on age and quality.

The Voigtlander lenses, particularly the M mount versions, range from great to superb. The 35mm f1.4 Nokton was purportedly intended to emulate an earlier 35mm Summilux. Correspondingly, it is a bit glowy wide open, but sharpens up considerably as you stop down. I use this lens for my fast 35 and it's great. The Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Distagon is a larger and very differently rendering lens, much more contrast, no glow wide open, and sharp as heck even at the widest aperture. I have been playing with the thought of trading in a few lenses and replacing them with the Zeiss ZM 35mm Distagon, but you mileage may vary.

I have a 50mm Summicron and a Zeiss 50mm C Sonnar, and both are excellent for different reasons. The Summicron is very sharp wide open, although the bokeh can be a little more harsh than other lenses. The C Sonnar has a beautiful glow which makes it perfect for people photography, renders gorgeously, and is a bit faster than the Summicron. I haven't tried any Summilux lenses, so I couldn't tell you about them.

Zeiss lenses can be a bit hit and miss because some develop a 'wobble' in the lens ring. My oldest Zeiss lens, a 28mm bought in 2008, has become very dry and scuffy to focus. My 25mm is going in that direction, and my 50mm C Sonnar has a slightly 'loose' focus ring but is still smooth and slick. The much less expensive Voigtlander lenses have never had these issues.
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Old 10-27-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Here's my 60+ years of experience. The man wants a Leica. Let him buy a Leica.

Exactly, but I think he/she wants to know about blocking the VF and that's hard to answer until we know the model. It looks like some sort of M6, so can the M6 users take it from there?

The other thing I'd ask is does the lens quality matter so much? Few of us produce posters all the time and a lot of us never go over 12 x 8 or that silly 10 x 8 which isn't even full frame. So a middling lens can be excellent.

Regards, David


PS It took me years to realise that the print size is an important factor in judging lens quality. Stick to 4x6 and it doesn't really matter...
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Old 10-27-2019   #23
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M6 Classic + 35 v4 Summicron.
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Old 10-27-2019   #24
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thanx for the quick an interesting answers. From what i read i consider:
1) leica m6 with 50 summicron
2) zeiss 35 2.8 lens with a camera( wich camera would you suggest ? if the lens is not a leica the body will sure not be leica but must have great viewfinder size functionality reparability and of course price. Also the 2.8 is a litte too dark i think so the lens must be really exceptional)
3) contax t3. a friend suggested that yesterday but i have not seen the camera and its crazy expensive for such small thing. Is the lens comparable to
the zeiss 35 2.8 you suggest ?
4) the olympus small rangefinder sound great but i want a 35 or 50 lens and i dont k ow if there is one with normal lenses( why the hell would someone have a 42 lens ? i dont like the idea at all, sound the worst of both worlds)
5) another combo with 35 or 50 lens and a body that is small and cheaper as a leica and not compromising would probably do.
I have shot the last 10 years with film only. I have a Pentax mx,lx, 3 good lenses and a nikon fm2 with 50 1.4. What i dont like with the nikon is the huge size and weicht and the pentax lenses really are not the quality i need( also have some problems with foccusing sometimes with the pentax idk why. critical focus is a must for me).
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Old 10-27-2019   #25
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Too much decision paralysis in your mind:
Just go for the M6 + 50/2, shoot a few dozen rolls then all will be clear.
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Old 10-27-2019   #26
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Old 10-27-2019   #27
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The FM2 isn’t huge, by any stretch. Not much larger and maybe even lighter than an M6 body. Get a Nikkor 50/1.8 pancake to drop size and weight from the 1.4 setup...

I’d suggest actually shooting with a rangefinder to see if you enjoy it, before spending a large sum on an M6 and Leica lens.

There are many fixed lens RFs for little money that would enable this.

If you *do* like it, that’s when to start making large purchase decisions....

There are also alternatives like the ZM and Hexar RF that you might consider. Coming from those SLRs, they both have much easier and quicker loading (unlike any Leica M) as well as auto exposure. And the Hexar is much more economical...

(And don’t discount 40mm lenses out of hand! The 40/2 Voigtlander just mentioned is fantastic and has super close focus. There is also a 40/1.2 not to mention the Leica 40/2 which is the best bang for the buck of any Leica lens...)
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Old 10-27-2019   #28
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And don’t discount 40mm lenses out of hand! The 40/2 Voigtlander just mentioned is fantastic and has super close focus. There is also a 40/1.2 not to mention the Leica 40/2 which is the best bang for the buck of any Leica lens...

I had the chance to try out a Minolta 40/2 a while ago, and it was so cool. Tiny lens, great performance. Yeah, kind of bloomy when wide open, but that's part of the character. I found 40mm to be a very versatile focal length.
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Old 10-27-2019   #29
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ill travel for the next 2 years the world so the use will be general. What would you suggest ?
My two cents. Not a 35mm camera. Because the film based infrastructure, especially outside North America and Western Europe, has been largely wiped-out. You'll find it hard and expensive to source, develop and scan film. Cheers,
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Old 10-27-2019   #30
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Sorry, but it is gearhead long talk in OP. Real user, not collector or status pusher, knows which one and only lens works best. Often it comes not right away, but within sometime after use.
And if money is concern here is no reason to overpay for status lenses and camera which is often overpriced due to higher demand from those who are coming from AE side.

Get any serviced M were 35mm frames are present. It is nothing but myth about difficulty to load m2/3. Get not the status but real user lens, like Nokton 35 1.4 II and Ultron 50 1.5.
Use them for one year and take exposures regularly, not just to showing your status here and where.
To learn exposure use free mobile phone app or Viogtlander mini meter or Seconic Twinmate. Any of those will teach you much more about exposure than TTL in M6.
Within three month of regular use, you might become meterless or measure just once in a while.
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Old 10-27-2019   #31
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Here's my tu'pence worth:-

M6 and Summicron

Your original choice and I think the one you should go for but be warned that there are a lot of different Summicrons and there's the question of VF blocking that I can't answer. FWIW I like the CZ 50mm and some much older lenses.

Zeiss f/2.8 35mm

If you want a Leica because it's a Leica then stick to Leica lenses. There's an elderly 35mm f/2.8 Leica Summaron that everyone loves, btw. Worth thinking about with the M6 and you might buy the M2 later etc, etc.

Contax T3

Expensive but small and you could take two easily as back up on important trips but it only has one lens and that's 35mm but as that's on the list I doubt if it will worry you. There's a Yashica that makes a good substitute and is a lot cheaper...

42mm Lenses

Years and years ago the ideal was that the lens should have a focal length the same as the diagonal of the negative. FWIW it's a usable specification. FWIW many wonder what the point of the 50mm lenses is/are.

Small Cameras

I have to point out that the M cameras are not what I'd call small or light. Take another as a back up and you'll soon notice the weight... To me a small RF with a decent lens means something like the Konica C35 but it's 38mm and f/2.8 and "P" mode only. Or the Leica CL with it's 40mm Summicron. "CL" as in "compact Leica" made in the early 70's with CW'd metering.

Film

As our friend Out to Lunch says, film is more and more difficult to find and get processed. For extensive travel I'd take digital and a lot of small media cards; currently I use the Panasonic LX5 following the demise of the Leica version of my previous one. And I've film in the Konica C35, FWIW.

Anyway, have fun and don't take it too seriously, it's only a camera.

Regards, David
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Old 10-27-2019   #32
RObert Budding
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Hi, i finally decided to get into the leica film system after a long time of thinking. Im not a collector, ill use my equipment to photograph and not let it in a box for the next generation. As a camera from what i have read i think the m6 is the best buy for me cause it has a photometer and is easier to load and use as an m3 or an m2 for example. The newer models are extremely expensive and for my use dont justify the price tag. I cant decide which magnification is best for me cause im not so experienced and have only tried two m6 from friends. I wear glasses for nearsightendness all the time if thats important to decide. Or maybe is the lens decision first more important to decide after the camera model ? im leaning towards 35 or 50mm. Im not sure which one though cause i really like both and have used both in the slr world for many years. For me its important the small size
and weicht.I dont want the lens to block the wiefinder. I would surely prefer 1,4 but if that happens with all 1,4 lenses,ill settle with a summicron option. If the summicron quality is the same
as the summilux i will surely not discard the summicron option. Critical focus is realy important and i have read that summicron focus easier but i havent compared both. i wont buy another lens in the future cause one is enough so that must be really good. And now the use, ill travel for the next 2 years the world so the use will be general. What would you suggest ?
To travel where? To take what sorts of photos? What is the risk that your gear might be lost or stolen? How easy is it to repair your camera in the places where you will travel?
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Old 10-27-2019   #33
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I'm not helping anyone by adding my personal opinion to another's personal choice, but if I were to be on a trip around the globe with one camera and one lens it would be my Nikonos V with 35mm f/2.5. Or maybe my Pentax MX with 50mm f/1.4. Or maybe my Leica M4 with DR Summicron. Or maybe my 4x5 field camera. Or maybe my Yashica D. Or perhaps my Gundlach Korona VI. Maybe my Konica T3 would be best with the 50mm f/1.7 but do I bring the black paint one or the chrome body? Or maybe one of my restored Bell and Howell 70s but do I take the DL or DR? Maybe even the KRM with a 400ft magazine.
Perhaps just get your Pentaxes fixed and freshen up your lens selection with either newly serviced lenses (your own) or new lenses altogether. A Leica lens is not going to be any better than a Takumar or SMC-M or SMC-A, and you can't focus and compose more precisely with a rangefinder than you can with an SLR, if these things matter to you, as you say they do.
See, it's all just gear nonsense. I'd probably just use my phone like everyone else...
I'm certainly not going to tell another person my personal opinion about which Leica to buy or take and which lens to stick on it. If you have the Leica itch, you're going to scratch it. Buy one, use it, figure out if it's right for you.
This is all conjecture of what we all would use and everyone has their own opinion. Many of these threads have come and gone as well, all with the same outcome, as many opinions as there are people who are posting.
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Old 10-27-2019   #34
David Hughes
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Problems focusing the Pentax could be a simple matter of adjusting the mirror, unless both the LX and MX do it. They do a nice 40mm lens for the Pentax which makes it very small and neat.

And two Pentaxes means one to carry as a back-up...

Regards, David
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Old 10-27-2019   #35
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I have enjoyed cameras since my childhood and best fit into the class of the "occasional photographer". I was more active with my photography when I was younger. These days I find that sometimes I have the itch, most of the time I don't. I own a M6 TTL and both the 35mm Summicron and 50mm Summicron lenses. I had never owned or operated a rangefinder camera at the time of my M6 purchase. I have no doubt that I romanticized that purchase, yet I have never regretted it. While the 50mm lens does see use, I find that it is the 35mm lens that remains mounted to the camera the vast majority of the time. The lens hood on my 35mm Summicron does extend into the frame, partially obscuring the view within the frameline (the amount of which depends on the focusing distance due to the parallax correction). For me the impact is minimal and it has never bothered me, not once. But your mileage might vary as this is a concern for you.

Here's the thing, I bought my M gear new back in 2000. I doubt that anyone would have thought it a wise purchase. Had I decided that it wasn't for me it surely would have been a bit painful from a financial perspective. As you would be looking at used gear and prices are on the rise, if a M6 and a Summicron lens is what you want I would say go for it. If your budget won't be overstretched by such a purchase this strikes me as an ideal time for such a purchase as prices on used film gear continues to rise. Just make sure that you do so in advance of your travels and spend a few weeks hauling your camera around with you wherever you go. Discover how the experience impacts you good, bad or otherwise. If you find that you do like it then great. If not then sell the camera and lens and move on. At least you know that there is a good market for the gear so unless something breaks down or you somehow damage the camera or lens you are likely only out the time and effort involved on your part.

By the way, I don't think that one needs to be a Leicaphile to enjoy such a purchase even if it is a bit over the top. I for one will never wear out my gear. Like yourself, I did, and do, desire an internal light meter in my camera. If the meter should go out on my M6 TTL then so be it. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it if it happens at all. I also don't get worked up about all of the other M film models. They are no doubt all great cameras and as long as a person is happy with what they are using then more power to them. I remain happy with my M6 and should that ever change I will simply sell my gear and move on, just as life itself does.
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Old 10-27-2019   #36
Bill Clark
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I like the responses here.

It’s great to read about your philosophy of photography, your equipment and how it has affected the photos you make.

Great job!

Wonderful forum.
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Old 10-27-2019   #37
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If I had my chance to do it again I would get an M2/4/6/P/A and a 35mm lens. The details are not important. I'd go for one of the following two options, deciding if you want a home or a black camera.
Chrome: M2 with a 35/2.8 Summaron (or a 35/2.8 CZ C-Biogon as a modern option)
Black: M4(-2,-P) or M6 with a 35/1.4 Summilux v2 (or a 35/1.4 CV Nokton as the budget option)

Actually, I just use an X100F now, it's a much easier 35mm compact travel option.
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Old 10-27-2019   #38
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An M6 in good condition would certainly be a fine body if you prefer having a meter in the camera. The M6 finder is .72x magnification, which works fine for me and my glasses. 28mm frame lines are a bit difficult to see with glasses, but eh? You just frame using what you can see and get to know what the lens sees.

(When it comes to film M bodies, I prefer the often disparaged M4-2. It has no meter, and the first run of them had exactly the same viewfinder characteristics as the M4 which preceded it: only 35/50/90/135 frame lines, simple and uncluttered. A properly serviced M4-2 is usually less expensive than most other M bodies and is every bit as good a camera as any of them. A light meter app on your smartphone will do just as good if not a better job than the in-camera meter of any film M, and it keeps the body simpler and less likely to need repair. But that's just my preference and feeling; I've owned nearly all the different film M bodies over the past 50+ years and this is what I prefer.

I've carried Ms on many trips, over many years, and often one was my only/main camera. A typical and very handy kit is a body with normal, wide, and short tele lenses. For me, this usually means a 35/50/90 lens kit, although I sometimes have used 28/50/75, and other times have used 21/35/50. I consider either of a 50mm or/and 35mm lens to be an essential for M use .. It's what the camera works best with, in my opinion. My last trip with an M, I carried only 35 and 50 lenses, and used the 50mm lens for all but twelve photographs out of the 300 plus I made.

While it's always nice to have ultra-fast lenses for some shots, by and large with an M you will be fine with an f/2 or f/3.5 lens. The smaller, lighter, slower lenses keep the camera compact and handy, and are much less expensive. There are a lot of choices to be had, don't discount the Voigtländer and Zeiss M lenses as well as Leica's ... Nearly all the lenses made for M-mount are at least very high quality, and they've all got their own specific character.

Keep it simple, don't overthink it. Most film Ms (excepting the M5) are pretty similar in use. The M5 was a brilliant camera with many advancements over the M4, but a bit of an oddball in the line. It didn't sell particularly well and service/support for the M5 is somewhat limited compared to any of the other Ms. I wouldn't suggest one as the best choice for a new M user, but that's my feeling. As much as the M5 is an excellent camera, it never appealed to me because of its size and shape.

Remember that the older bodies will be more likely to need a service before you want to rely upon them. I find it best to buy from a reliable vendor that supplies good service and a warranty unless you are already very familiar with the cameras and can rely upon your own judgement. I can't say enough good about Dan Tamarkin and his crew at http://www.tamarkin.com (Chicago, USA) in this regard: I've been doing business with him for a couple of decades now and he has always been a pleasure to do, offered very sound advice, and offered equipment that proved to be both trouble free and a delight to use.

Good luck with whatever you decide upon.

G
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Old 10-27-2019   #39
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I have not posted here for over a year I believe. But after reading your post I feel that I may really be able to give you some insight. I had a Pentax Mz-5n, Then an LX alongside a Pentax MZ-S. I had the 20-35mm f/4 zoom alongside the first three original limited lenses (31, 43, 77). Before these lenses I had the FA50 1.4, the FA 28mm 2.8 and the 40mm pancake lense. I travel a lot and shoot only slide film... I've been shooting with slide film since 2000. Quality slide projection requires that you use only the best lenses and best projector lens and bulb. Now everything I have is Leica. I sold all the Pentax equipment because I just wanted to lessen the volume and simplify the equipment. Here are the things that I came across when deciding on my one body and one lens combo for Leica.

1. I got the Leica MP with a .72... the standard viewfinder. I got it mainly because I knew I would want it even after buying an M6. The red dot really bothers me and I heard the MP has a brighter viewfinder. (I've compared it side by side with the M7 and it is true. The view in the MP are more vibrant and bright). I wear glasses for driving so I added a -2 diopter. Now I can focus and see all the settings inside without wearing my glasses. I just flip my glassses up to my forehead and shoot away.

2. I shot with a Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 for a year and then decided that I wanted to get a 50mm. I knew I wanted the 50 over a 35 for a couple of reasons. First, the ability to get out-of-focus background with a 35mm is limited. Second, it is much easier to compose with a 50mm because you have less clutter in the background to deal with since it has a narrower angle of view. Third, the 50mm works well as a portrait lens, street lens, travel photography lens, landscape lens, etc. And lastly, with a 50mm, I know I'll never want longer but I will want something wider. I tried a 20mm voigtlander but didn't like using the external finder. So lately I've been thinking of a 28mm f/2.8... perhaps even a voigtlander or zeiss.


3. I knew that I wanted the best 50mm quality wise but still something that would pack down small for travel.

4. I opted for the 50mm summilux aspherical for a few reasons. First... this is the king of 50mm lenses (in any 35mm brand) and I knew I would not have to drool over it had I bought any other lens. Second... it has the finger focus tab which I love (there is no tab on the summicron). Third... The lens hood is built in and collapsible. Which means the thing packs down smaller than any other f1.4 50mm lens with a hood. The voigtlander and zeiss lenses with the hoods on are slightly larger. In fact, the summilux asph (with hood collapsed) and the summicron (with hood on since it can't be collapsed) are the same size. And fourth, the creaminess of the summilux asph bokeh is unmatched... and I'm not talking only at f/1.4. Even at f/2.8 or f/4, the lux asph has very creamy bokeh which makes your in-focus subject appear more 3-dimensional and sharper.


5. I sent my MP to youxin ye for a CLA. I even asked him to erase some of the framelines. Now my MP only has one frameline box on each of the three settings... 50mm, 35mm, 28mm. When I shoot, I don't have to bother with any distractions. I just have the one box to frame things in.

6. I had been thinking of getting something wider for the leica. I thought of the Leica 28mm f/2.8 elmarit for the longest time. But in 2011 I ended up getting a Contax T3 for about 400 dollars (I had an Olympus XA bought new for 16years since I was a kid). I made sure I got the 'double-tooth' version of the Contax T3. It came in mint condition from Japan. It has been going strong all these years through bicycle tours and world travels. I sometimes think I should sell it because its worth a lot more and I could replace it with an olympus RC or even a minolta CLE with a Leica 28mm lens (which could also be used on the MP)

There's not much that I would do differently. I have yet to get a 28mm lens... but I'm really happy with the 50mm. When I need something wider, the Contax does the job but that requires me to carry two cameras loaded with film. On long days of walking I have thought to myself that I would much rather be lugging around a lighter 50mm. But then stop at a cafe and remind myself that at least I don't have my old SLR system burdening my shoulders.

I hope this helps. I have gone through a journey. But ever since getting a Leica MP with 50 lux aspherical, I am content. I don't have GAS anymore. There really are only two focal lengths, in my opinion, you need for travel photography... a standard (50mm) and a wide (28mm). And seiously, photography is much more enjoyable with a simplified system... especially for travel and travel photgraphy. The ONLY thing I sometimes wish the MP had is a self-timer for selfies using a tripod.

I should let you know that I've never bought a digital camera and shoot only 35mm slide film and some color and b&w print with my rollei.
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Old 10-27-2019   #40
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First Leica for me, M4 with a 50 f2.8 Summicron lens version 3.

I don’t own any Leica cameras with electronics such as an on board light meter or digital.

Sekonic L-158 light meter.

F.Y.I.:

Truth be known, for me, I’m using my iPhone 6s more and more. Our grand daughter, who lives in L.A., was in a school play of Aladdin and I made a nice photo of the entire cast with it.
Sounds to me that the meterless M4 was not a good choice for you and you just dealt with it and a separate meter. You should have used an M7 or Zeiss Ikon or pretty much any camera with AE.
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