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Old 10-27-2019   #41
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I wish I could advise you but I don't think I can. But I do agree with Ko Fe. Neither the brand of camera nor lens matter in the least. All that matters is that you really use that camera.

No matter what you buy; use it to take lots and lots of pictures. Choose at least one negative from each roll and have it printed. It really costs very little to have a negative printed nowdays and you will learn so much from that print and each one after that.

Photography is so much more than the camera and lens. That is only the start. In the beginning just pick a camera and lens you can afford and then plan on wearing it out by the end of your year of ownership. Plan on papering your walls with actual prints that you and others can look at and that you can learn from.

If you do this without fail for the next year then you might have an idea of what tool you need next. And that may not even be a camera or lens at all. It could be a flash, it could be a tripod, it could be a filter or a lens hood. Whatever you need to make your next year's prints even better then your first year's prints.

I doubt that you will actually do this, not many do. Instead, like so many others, you will go buy another camera or another lens. But none of that will actually make you a really good photographer. But it will make you a collector of cameras and lenses.
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Old 10-28-2019   #42
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I read all your very interesting options and suggestions and they all made me think a lot about my photography plans. after all i hate equipment for what it is. it is just a tool to help you make your art. and as a tool it should not stay in your way. i dont want to throw a bunch of money for something i wont use. i can also understand that every choice is a compromise in something. price size weight image quality low light capabilities. I decided to get a camera and lens and use it for the next three months in my everyday life to see how it goes. the pentax mx with the 50 1.4 is something i carry often with me. the size could be a little smaller but its sure not extreme bad. I think that a 50 would suit me good because its the focal length i use most. the equipment must not be leica and nothing else but when its not it must be a lot cheaper with not many compromises. I read some reviews about the 35 2.8 Zeiss and saw pics and the lens seems to be really good and small. which non leica camera would you suggest for such a setup ? is there a similar( small, really good image quality ) 50mm lens ? which 50mm lenses are good choices for a non leica body ?
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Old 10-28-2019   #43
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Originally Posted by gzisis69 View Post
I decided to get a camera and lens and use it for the next three months in my everyday life to see how it goes. the pentax mx with the 50 1.4 is something i carry often with me. the size could be a little smaller but its sure not extreme bad. I think that a 50 would suit me good because its the focal length i use most. the equipment must not be leica and nothing else but when its not it must be a lot cheaper with not many compromises. I read some reviews about the 35 2.8 Zeiss and saw pics and the lens seems to be really good and small. which non leica camera would you suggest for such a setup ? is there a similar( small, really good image quality ) 50mm lens ? which 50mm lenses are good choices for a non leica body ?

The Pentax MX and 50/1.4 is a great combination. Interestingly, a rangefinder 50 will be smaller and lighter, but the body won't be much different apart from the protrusion of the lens mount. I have the Pentax ME and 50/1.4, and the complete package feels lighter than the M7 and 50mm Summicron.


The Zeiss 35/2.8 is a superb, superb lens. It really is. It's sharp, contrasty, has great colours, and renders beautifully. I got to try one a few years back, and loved it. I prefer the Zeiss knurled focus ring with finger bump over the Leica smooth ring and tab, too. It's much more tactile for me, allowing a quick grip at any place. I have a Zeiss Ikon which I love, although the electronics have packed up out of nowhere and it needs repair. Also, the strap lugs are a soft metal which wears out over time. Haha, maybe go for a good condition M6 after all.



Just about every non-Leica body is fine with every 50mm lens, AFAIK. There was some talk of the Konica Hexar RF being incompatible with a particular Leica lens, maybe it was a 21mm Super Angulon? But I'm not sure.


There are many great 50s including:


Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 - small and sharp

Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f1.5 - smaller and slightly dreamy wide open, has focus shift, and minimum focus distance of 90cm as opposed to 70cm like most. Image quality at f2.8 is just as sharp as modern lens designs.

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.5 - I'm told it's the best of both worlds, sharp and with smooth rendering

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.2 - larger than the f1.5, but really amazing. Look at some images of and from the lens.
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Old 10-28-2019   #44
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All the 50s are good.

You've already got something perfectly acceptable, frankly speaking...check the thread of the Pentax 50/1.4 used on a Leica body!

If you want something smaller than your 50/1.4, which is actually quite small (I have that lens, if indeed it is the SMC-M) then maybe get the 40mm Pentax pancake and you're done.

Or get a 50/1.8 Nikkor pancake for your Nikon.

The question here is if you want to dabble with rangefinders to see if that fits your shooting style or way of seeing.

A great way to do that, is with any number of fixed lens RFs which are very economical.
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Old 10-28-2019   #45
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My Pentax MX with a 50mm f/1.4 SMC-M and a roll of film weighs less than my Leica M4 with DR Summicron and no film. The Pentax body is slightly smaller as well, save for the pentaprism. The way to really get smaller and lighter with a rangefinder is to either get a Barnack with a collapsible lens or a fixed lens camera like a Kodak Retina IIa.
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Old 10-28-2019   #46
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The old Barnacks are fun and nostalgic and entirely pocketable with a collapsible Elmar, but actually *using* them for true photographic pursuits is another matter. Using them as an ode to photographic history, that's what these cameras are for.

The tiny MX with a 50/1.4 or an FM2 with it's unsurpassed, fabulous viewfinder and focusing screen are pure joys to use, the machines never get in the way...
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Old 10-29-2019   #47
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My only advice would be to try using a rangefinder for a while if you’ve just shot SLRs before. It’s a different experience for sure.

Is there someone you can borrow one from for a while or hire one for a weekend ?
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Old 10-30-2019   #48
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There have been many replies and all are good advice.
In my experience the difference between RF-Leica M and SLR-Pentax MX or whatever is manner of viewing.
The SLR is very accurate in framing, often assisted by light metering.
SLR is one sees what one is getting.
The RF is extremely accurate* in focussing esp. wide angles.
RF framing is mainly based on faith and hope, but still very adequate!

If I use SLR my exposure rate is very low..not better, just less.
Using an M (M3 favorite,M2 and last M6TTL),;
I "see" way more photographic possibilities..
I think way more creatively!

* accuracy in my case limited to f2.0 50mm lenses.
Extreme depth of field with hi-speed lenses is really pushing Leica M. YVMV.

Get your feet wet! Expose film or sensor..
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Old 10-31-2019   #49
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i read all your comments many times. i took a look at my pics and i thought of what i want to achieve with a new camera and lens and how it could help me evolve my photography. i decided and put on sell the pentaxes and the lenses. since something doesnt make me happy anymore with the system i get rid of it and start a new journey. i decided to go and try the Zeiss 35 2.8 since i really liked the fotos i saw from him. but which camera is the best option for this lens ? id love something a tad smaller as the leica ms but i dont know if thats possible.
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Old 10-31-2019   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gzisis69 View Post
i read all your comments many times. i took a look at my pics and i thought of what i want to achieve with a new camera and lens and how it could help me evolve my photography. i decided and put on sell the pentaxes and the lenses. since something doesnt make me happy anymore with the system i get rid of it and start a new journey. i decided to go and try the Zeiss 35 2.8 since i really liked the fotos i saw from him. but which camera is the best option for this lens ? id love something a tad smaller as the leica ms but i dont know if thats possible.
If you want something that's a tad smaller than the Leica M, but still with the M-mount for your Zeiss 35/2.8, check out the Leica CL or the Minolta CLE. Neither has 35mm framelines, but you can approximate using the 40mm framelines:
https://www.cameraquest.com/leicacl.htm
https://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm
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Old 10-31-2019   #51
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Have never handled one, but the Zeiss ZM might be an option if you can find a used one. I don't think it is any larger then a Leica M and I am sure it is lighter. From what I have read, the viewfinder is better and it does have aperture priority auto exposure.

I shoot with a 35f2.8 Zeiss C Biogon and it may be the sharpest 35mm lens currently made. It teams well with a 90f2.8 Tele Elmarit M for travel.
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Old 10-31-2019   #52
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Yes, a lot lighter, easier loading, better viewfinder, and AE.
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Old 11-01-2019   #53
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Originally Posted by FrozenInTime View Post
Too much decision paralysis in your mind:
Just go for the M6 + 50/2, shoot a few dozen rolls then all will be clear.
+1. Or an M5 and a 50/2. The M5 isn’t much bigger really, and can be a bit less expensive.

The recent Zeiss Ikon RF is another good option, slightly less cost than an M6, with a very nice viewfinder.
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Old 11-01-2019   #54
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Lots of great opinions here. Here is mine.
I collect cameras, and I shoot with them I have over 100. Out of all those cameras big and small 35mm 120 or 4x5 I always go to my M3.
When you hold that camera in your hands you feel something different.
It becomes a part of you. You slow down, look around, take a few shoots.

Nothing better.
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Old 11-01-2019   #55
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Originally Posted by raydm6 View Post
M6 Classic + 35 v4 Summicron.
This.

After owning almost EVERY leica lens and camera over the years, I would still revert to what I originally had from the start; M6 classic and 35 Cron IV from 20 years ago.
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Old 11-22-2019   #56
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i finally managed to check the m2 with the zeiss 35 2.8 and i found the lens pretty small and sharp. the body showed it age. im thinking i would love the lens but i dont want a so old and heavy. are there other( cheap) options for camera ? it doesnt need to be leica
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Old 11-22-2019   #57
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If you want a lighter option M mount then a Voigtlander Bessa R2 It has metering, but it's now about the same price as an M2.
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Old 11-23-2019   #58
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Easy: an RX1Rm2; probably the best IQ in a small box you can get.
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Old 11-23-2019   #59
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I kept my Pentaxes with lenses when i upgraded to Nikon-F.
I 've never understood why Pentax not considered good for serious work..
My reason for Nikon-F was easier to focus as I was at time, short sighted (myopic).
Pentax SP, KM,K1000, perfect for those far sighted !
Leica CL and CLE (Minolta) are not reliable..

As a photographer , one must be totally familiar with one's equipment.
I can load my M3/M2 and M6 in the dark..extra frames.
Use same camera bodies and matching lenses, so focus and aperture settings are similar.
The more you shoot, the quicker one gets..
Judging light, setting camera as one moves around.
Photography is NOT rocket science.
There is no faster focus camera than a Leica M.
If one does not "play" with super wide apertures, 1.4,1.2, and 0.95..
the rangefinder is good for years..
Leica Film cameras are a great investment as are the lenses esp. those by LeiTZ.
I carry I carry a camera every day, everywhere.
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Old 11-23-2019   #60
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Other rangefinders to consider... Minolta CLE, Zeiss Ikon ZM, Konica Hexar RF, and the Voigtlander R2A, R3A, R3M, etc.
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Old 11-23-2019   #61
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If the Leica M is a little big and heavy, the Konica Hexar RF is basically the same.

For something smaller or lighter, stick to the Zeiss Ikon ZM, Voigtlander Bessa, Minolta CLE, and Leica Cl. I'm not very confident about which one is going to be the most repairable in the long term, but I think it's probably the Bessa R2 because it has a mechanical shutter and it's relatively young.

Since you prefer compact lenses like the 35/2.8 Biogon C, I'm sure you'd like the Nokton 35/1.4, Color Skopar 35/2.5, and Ultron 35/2 as well.

If I had to pick, I'd go with a Bessa R2 and the Ultron 35/2.
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Old 11-23-2019   #62
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its a pity that all these cameras are super expensive. i dont want something heavy and super expensive. i want a camera that can fit a 35mm m-mount without breaking the back or my back. the cl and cle are great size but i dont get that. i dont want the 40mm, will they work with a 35mm ? will i be able to focus and compose ?
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Old 11-23-2019   #63
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Quote:
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. . . There is no faster focus camera than a Leica M. . .
LOL! I guess that's why sports photographers always shoot with leicas!
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Old 11-23-2019   #64
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its a pity that all these cameras are super expensive. i dont want something heavy and super expensive. i want a camera that can fit a 35mm m-mount without breaking the back or my back. the cl and cle are great size but i dont get that. i dont want the 40mm, will they work with a 35mm ? will i be able to focus and compose ?
They aren't ideal for 35mm and are also not cheap. I did not get on with the rangefinder patch on my otherwise excellent CL.

Sadly now none of the M system lenses or cameras are cheap in any way. You should though be able to move from an M2 to a Bessa R2M without more money and it is a quarter of a pound lighter. With a Biogon on the front you are pretty much as compact and light as you can get on a full fat M system camera.
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Old 11-24-2019   #65
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it's a pity that all these cameras are super expensive. i don't want something heavy and super expensive. i want a camera that can fit a 35mm m-mount without breaking the back or my back. the cl and cle are great size but i don't get that. i don't want the 40mm, will they work with a 35mm ? will i be able to focus and compose ?
You'll have to estimate the 35mm framing as the CL frames are for 40, 50 and 90. The CLE's are for 28, 40 and 90mm. The CL VF can be used for 35mm by ignoring the frame lines but I've never tried it nor needed to.

They take M mount lenses but there are 2 or 3 individual lenses from Leica that should never be used in the CL. I don't know about the CLE nor other makes of lens. And I'm wary, now, of all electronic cameras like the CLE.

In other words they take and focus M mount lenses but...

As for composing, since a lot of people take 2:3 aspect ratio photos and hack them down to 8" x 10" I just can't even guess but small, neat and cheap auxiliary VF's are available; the Japanese Helios come to mind first.

BTW, the CL's 40mm f/2 Summicron is a very useful lens, a lot of people love it.

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Old 11-24-2019   #66
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LOL! I guess that's why sports photographers always shoot with leicas!
It depends on sports!
I use a Leica M3 with 50mm lens.
Favorite "sports" shoot a rodeo, where dust fell like soft rain..
I used ONE roll capturing a number of great action shots..

Modern Digital Leica and now the new Nikon,Canon,Sony etc, are so expensive, as to be impossible for a pro to use or own..
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Old 11-24-2019   #67
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It depends on sports!
I use a Leica M3 with 50mm lens.
Favorite "sports" shoot a rodeo, where dust fell like soft rain..
I used ONE roll capturing a number of great action shots..

Modern Digital Leica and now the new Nikon,Canon,Sony etc, are so expensive, as to be impossible for a pro to use or own..
I shoot rangefinders, too. But I acknowledge that there are situations where they are not the ideal choice. So shoot rodeos with a rangefinder if you like, even though a modern DSLR with AF would be a far, far superior choice.
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Old 11-24-2019   #68
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Opinions vary whether equipment matters. From a technical standpoint, of course not. But we are creatures and haptics do matter. You have to find your muse, if that’s autofocus, RF, pano, SLR, P&S or pinhole. Whatever releases your mind or inspires. This takes trial & error.
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Old 11-24-2019   #69
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Start simple....
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Old 11-24-2019   #70
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its a pity that all these cameras are super expensive. i dont want something heavy and super expensive. i want a camera that can fit a 35mm m-mount without breaking the back or my back. the cl and cle are great size but i dont get that. i dont want the 40mm, will they work with a 35mm ? will i be able to focus and compose ?
Ok, why not an Olympus XA? Unfortunately, M mount = expensive.
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Old 11-24-2019   #71
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... I finally decided to get into the Leica film system after a long time of thinking. ... I think the M6 is the best buy for me cause it has a photometer ... I wear glasses for nearsightedness all the time if that's important to decide. ... I'm leaning towards 35 or 50mm. ... For me its important the small size ... I dont want the lens to block the viewfinder. I would surely prefer 1,4 but if that happens with all 1,4 lenses, I'll settle with a Summicron option. ... If ... quality is the same as the summilux ... I wont buy another lens in the future cause one is enough so that must be really good. ... I'll travel for the next 2 years the world so the use will be general. What would you suggest?
Highlighting the pertinent concerns for you I'd say you actually have several options:
For an "all Leica" one-body one-lens option you can't beat an M6 mated with a 35mm Summicron Asph. It's ultra compact, sharp, and the plastic shade doesn't show up much in the VF. If you're traveling I would see a 35 FL as less limiting compared to a 50. But the 50mm Summicron (the pre-apo version with the collapsible shade) is also unbeatable (but I think you'd be happier with a 35). Only you can decide this! The pre asph versions of both the 35 and 50 Summilux options are nowhere near as sharp as the comparable Summicrons. But if cost of no object, get the latest 35mm Asph Summilux from Leica - it's reasonably compact, very sharp, but also very expensive!


M2-6 [FrankenLeica] and 35mm [LHSA] Asph Summicron.

As has already been mentioned, however, there are numerous non-Leica options. I think I would recommend the 35mm Nokton (version II) from Voigtlander. It won't be as sharp as the Leica lens, but it's about 1/4 the price of the Asph Summicron and has the f/1.4 aperture you want. It's better than the pre-asph Summilux, which is about the same size.

And FWIW, the v.4 Summicron is a very nice lens, but it'll cost you about the same as the latest Asph Summicron on the used market. As a shooter, I'd go with the Asph version!
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Old 11-24-2019   #72
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i finally managed to check the m2 with the zeiss 35 2.8 and i found the lens pretty small and sharp. the body showed it age. im thinking i would love the lens but i dont want a so old and heavy. are there other( cheap) options for camera ? it doesnt need to be leica
If you're into RF style photography I can't recommend any non-Leica option. The CV Bessa cameras are now discontinued and unsupported and are now selling used for more than what they sold for new (simply not worth it, IMHO). The Zeiss Ikon (also discontinued and unsupported) comes nowhere close to a Leica. The RF patch whites out very easily if you don't center your eye perfectly on the RF patch. And neither of these cameras are particularly durable. I have no experience with the Konica Hexar, but its electronic issues are infamous - and, again, they're also discontinued and unsupported.

However, the Leica CL (or the "Leitz Minolta CL" Minolta variant) is a very nice camera. The RF patch is good and has framelines for 40, 50, and 90. The RF base-length is the same to that of a CV Bessa and they're very compact and light. The Leica and Minolta variant (designed by Leica in cooperation with Minolta) are identical and were produced in the same factory in Japan.

Based on your clarifying comments, I'd go for a CL and a CV 40mm Nokton MC lens. It's a nice compromise between a 35 and 50 and it's very sharp. The whole kit can be had for less than $1,000 (even if the camera needs a CLA).

Yes, the CL is also discontinued, but spare parts are still available and they can still be repaired by qualified technicians.
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Old 11-24-2019   #73
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its a pity that all these cameras are super expensive. i dont want something heavy and super expensive. i want a camera that can fit a 35mm m-mount without breaking the back or my back. the cl and cle are great size but i dont get that. i dont want the 40mm, will they work with a 35mm ? will i be able to focus and compose ?
You can use a 35mm with the Leica CL if you imagine what the angle of view will be. This video has a good illustration and explanation:

https://youtu.be/nBf5en0GKbo?t=806

See also this thread: https://www.photo.net/discuss/thread...ca-cl-to-35mm/


Why do you want a 35mm instead of a 40mm? How strong is this preference? The 40/1.4 Nokton is a pretty good lens (though I'm not a fan of its bokeh wide open and close up, but it is admittedly not as harsh as the 40mm Summicron), and it makes a great package with the Leica CL.

You might also want to consider the Voigtlander Bessa R2S and 35/2.5 Color Skopar (which does have a focusing tab). Because the S-mount is less popular, you can get a good deal for about $1000 and have something unique.
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Old 11-24-2019   #74
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Originally Posted by gzisis69 View Post
its a pity that all these cameras are super expensive. i dont want something heavy and super expensive. i want a camera that can fit a 35mm m-mount without breaking the back or my back. the cl and cle are great size but i dont get that. i dont want the 40mm, will they work with a 35mm ? will i be able to focus and compose ?
If M mount bodies and lenses are super expensive for you I'd suggest sticking with your Pentax and Nikon SLRs.
Your not going to be able to notice a difference in quality between Pentax, Nikkor and Leica glass
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Old 11-24-2019   #75
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The difference between the 35mm and 40mm is about the same as the focus breathing of any lens in either of those focal lengths.
As was said above, the rangefinder will be no panacea, and between brands, you won't be able to discern which lens took which photo. Pentax has made a few of the finest, most highly regarded lenses ever. This is why we have threads with RFF members sticking their SMC-M and Takumars on their Leicas.
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Old 11-26-2019   #76
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One and Only?

It's nice to have a permanent relationship for a while.
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Old 11-26-2019   #77
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Originally Posted by BillBlackwell View Post

Yes, the CL is also discontinued, but spare parts are still available and they can still be repaired by qualified technicians.
When I bought a CL in the Wetzlar Leica Store this summer I was explicitly told by the specialist there responsible for the older cameras that it had no warranty. The reason being that Leica no longer has any parts for the camera and does not support it.

The leading UK Leica repairer Camerworks will no longer service or repair the CL (or M5).

Anybody buying one today will be faced with an ever-diminishing number of people who will service them or have parts.
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Old 11-27-2019   #78
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As several posters suggest, chopping and changing camera systems may not provide the results you are seeking That achievement lies entirely within you.

Asking others to make choices for you is basically evading the point - what system and which lenses suit you best? Only you can make this decision. You alone will know best what your interests and preferred subjects are, in which directions you intend to go in your future photography, and how you want to go about it.

In my long lifetime (I'm in my 70s) I have worked with three major camera systems - Rolleiflex, Nikon and Contax G. I still have and use cameras in the three systems - including the first Rollei TLR I bought, a 2.5E2 I bought in 1964, also several others I purchased in the 1990s and lastly, a greatly loved Rolleicord Vb I picked up in 2016. Alas, I nowadays shoot less film than digital. As for my Nikons, I got into the brand in the 1970s with two Nikkormat ELs and then added FT2s and, about 15 years ago, two F65s (aka N65). My digital Nikons were D90s, D700s and this year a new D800. I also have a good selection of Nikkors both manual and autofocus, and a small but greatly loved range of Contax G Zeiss lenses which I use when I travel. Alas, my F series Nikkor lenses almost never get used now and I seem to be making the most of four D lenses (20, 28, 60 and 180). As for the Nikkormats, I fully intend to take them out of mothballs and shoot with them before I move on to that big darkroom in the sky, long from now may this be.

My most used lens in the Nikkor 28, followed by the 85, then the 60 micro. YMMD, of course. Again, you will know best what the answer to this is.

To sum this up, as I see it, the camera system that will best suit you is the one that will give you the results you want with the least fuss and bother. For me, this would be my Nikons which I've used and greatly loved since 1974, then the Rolleis, and finally the Contax G1 system.

I wish you the best of luck and all the enjoyment you can possibly attain from your quest for a system. It can be (almost) as much fun to seek (and I hope, find) as it is to use the equipment, although without careful consideration as to what you intend to buy and why, moving into a new system in this day and age can be fatal to your finances.

Above all else, enjoy the quest.

(Added later) As your focus (pun intended) seems to be Leica, I bought into the M system in the mid 1980s. And it almost bankrupted me. At the time I was a poor newspaper journalist, and buying an M2 and M3 and three lenses cost me almost half a year's income, as well as another nail in my (future) divorce. A year later I sold the entire lot. Too poor at the time to be into Leicas, and now, in the so-called wisdom of old age, too wise to go down that costly road again. A cautionary tale here.
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Old 11-27-2019   #79
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Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
When I bought a CL in the Wetzlar Leica Store this summer I was explicitly told by the specialist there responsible for the older cameras that it had no warranty. The reason being that Leica no longer has any parts for the camera and does not support it.

The leading UK Leica repairer Camerworks will no longer service or repair the CL (or M5).

Anybody buying one today will be faced with an ever-diminishing number of people who will service them or have parts.
Perhaps I was speaking from within my own bubble. Don Goldberg ("DAG") is my go-to repair guy and he does have spare parts for the CL. He services them regularly.
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Old 11-27-2019   #80
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i finally managed to check the m2 with the zeiss 35 2.8 and i found the lens pretty small and sharp. the body showed it age. im thinking i would love the lens but i dont want a so old and heavy. are there other( cheap) options for camera ? it doesnt need to be leica

My recommendation would be the Zeiss Ikon ZM. It was my first rangefinder, and I loved it until it just stopped working one day. It has to go in for repair. But otherwise, it's a great camera with a huge viewfinder, good light meter, easy loading, and much lighter than any Leica M. You can also get a grip attachment which makes handling even better. The rangefinder baselength is longer, which makes it slightly more accurate to focus, too.
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