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View Poll Results: Why did you decide NOT to buy a digital Leica M?
it is too expensive 337 60.07%
there are other (digital) camera options that suit me better 127 22.64%
I am using only film cameras 144 25.67%
other reason ... [explain] 77 13.73%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 561. You may not vote on this poll

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Why did you decide NOT to buy a digital Leica M?
Old 12-19-2014   #1
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Why did you decide NOT to buy a digital Leica M?

Why did you decide NOT to buy a digital Leica M?


I am curious to see why so many RFF members did not buy a digital Leica M (M8, M9, M240, ...). The obvious reason we can just state and that is the cost.
If you bought a digital M, then the poll will not show this option.
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Old 12-19-2014   #2
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Combination of reasons. Cost, yes - especially the cost of chasing lenses.
Also too limited a platform, compared to other options. I shoot landscapes, grandkids, various odd projects, low light, travel. Other than travel, the M platform would get in my way more than help.

Had an M8 a few years ago; that was my experience. Now that some used Ms are more affordable, I'd still not go back. Unless I won the lottery and could build a wide-ranging kit - an M might fit in there . . .
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Old 12-19-2014   #3
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Cost is the only one... But I don't have a full frame DSLR at the moment for the same reason...
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Old 12-19-2014   #4
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$ + Other digital options (that give more for the money, IMO)….
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Old 12-19-2014   #5
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My photography interests are film and Barnacks and similar 1-level FSU. Also don't require CFO approval.
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Old 12-19-2014   #6
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For digital shots, my Nikon D700 does all I want or need. I like shooting film with my Leicas.
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Old 12-19-2014   #7
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I actually DID buy an M9. However, I would definitely NOT have purchased it were it not for a great opportunity. An M9 was in the classifieds here on RFF and it was right here in Portland. The price was great so I went for it.

Contributing factors were:

1. I already have a good complement of Leica lenses, so no need to buy any glass.

2. I was planning on selling my RD-1 (which I will put up in the classifieds very soon) that the M9 would replace. That way, the net hit to my pocketbook would be less.

3. I already own the D700, which is great for my needs, but I wanted something smaller and lighter to carry around.

So, in the end, I decided to buy it. But if I hadn't come across a good price here locally, I wouldn't have done it.

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Old 12-19-2014   #8
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Long term viability. I'm not a pro, rangefinders work for me. Over the years I have accumulated a nice bunch of Leica bodies and lenses on the understanding that I can use them and get most of my money back out of them someday. That assumption does not seem to work with digital Leica. I'm not wealthy but not weeping so I want to be sensible where the money goes. 2015 will be 25 years with Leica for me. Joe
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Old 12-19-2014   #9
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What Livesteamer said.

Gear turnover is a given for me, so depreciation is a big factor.

I did own an M8 and was lucky to get it sold before they took a big hit.

Other factors against, even if gear turnover was minimal...spotty reliability record, significant repair turn-around time.
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Old 12-19-2014   #10
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How can I correct the typos in the poll title?
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Old 12-20-2014   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
I corrected them, in future just PM a mod.
Good advice. Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2014   #12
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I can not justify 7k+ + special computer equipment, storage, & programs for the number of photos that I take. Barely, get to use the film cameras that I own.
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Old 12-19-2014   #13
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Had an M8. Sold it about a year ago.
Could not justify any of the other digital Ms. And I'd love to get the MM.
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Old 12-19-2014   #14
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I first got the M8, followed with a partial trade/cash for the M9. I bought both cameras used, and the total cash amount for both cameras was less than $5000. I tried to plan ahead for depreciation.
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Old 09-02-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I first got the M8, followed with a partial trade/cash for the M9. I bought both cameras used, and the total cash amount for both cameras was less than $5000. I tried to plan ahead for depreciation.
I don't think I have $5000 in my entire collection.

I have a film M and a Voigtlander, and I shoot a bunch of different stuff from Pentax (D)SLRs, a Pentax 67, Mamiya C330, Medalist, 4x5 and 8x10. The digital M wouldn't be as versatile as the Pentax digitals by themselves, and I would likely have to sell all of it just to afford the body, let alone lenses.

The value for money just isn't there for me.

EDIT: In fairness, I am thinking I probably have breached 5k for all of it, maybe even double that...but $5000 for a single camera body is still an IMMENSE proposition, considering the most expensive single item I've ever bought for Photography was $700 (Sony RX100).
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Old 09-02-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unixrevolution View Post
I don't think I have $5000 in my entire collection.
I don't think I have $5000 in my entire.
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Old 12-19-2014   #17
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my rd1 has a 1:1 viewfinder that tremendously enhances my user experience. it produces beautiful images up to iso1600, which btw, seems to equal iso3200 + in aperture/ss on many other digicams i use ( wonder why...). it has been around since before the m8, needs no uv filters, doesnt have focus issues, doesnt have color cast issues, the sensor doesnt degrade over time because of an engineering flaw, it is still serviced by epson although they didnt make any more advanced cameras, it costs a fraction of a digital m, it IS a digital rf, actually the first digital rf! oh yeah, and epson never kept defects from me nor lied about them to me. i do not think i will gain anything from an m but heartache and money outflow on the onehand and i lose all of the above on the other. hmmm....tough choice. what isnt a tough choice is buying beautiful and superbly made and excellent-reputation-deserving leica m39 and m mount lenses to use with my rd1
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Old 12-19-2014   #18
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Had them, have been considering another for about the last month. In fact, I came this >< close to buying one yesterday. But, something is holding me back -and, no, it has not really been the rocky history. While I find film M's immensely engaging, I find the digitals, well, a bit boring I guess. In other words, I am not running to buy one.
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Old 12-19-2014   #19
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reading your post hit me like lightening.... this sentence says it all for me



Quote:
Originally Posted by burancap View Post
While I find film M's immensely engaging, I find the digitals, well, a bit boring I guess.
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Old 12-19-2014   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burancap View Post
... While I find film M's immensely engaging, I find the digitals, well, a bit boring I guess. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill_HH View Post
reading your post hit me like lightening.... this sentence says it all for me
This thread has been fascinating reading. I haven't participated in the poll because I did buy a digital M, like it, still have it, and shoot with it regularly. But these last two comments have been the most interesting. I had to think about them for a bit.

I find all cameras immensely interesting, but only a few engaging after the first blush of learning them. In fact, once I know how a camera works and whether I like it or not, I don't really find the cameras engaging at all: I just use them. It's the photography I find engaging. The camera becomes my vehicle to do the photography, and the more it gets out of my way and lets me concentrate on the photography, the less I think about it and the more I like it at the same time. So perhaps the word "engaging" isn't the right word for what I feel about a camera that I want to use.

I like my film and digital Ms for the same reasons: They're easy to learn, they "just work," and they get out of my way almost immediately. The same is true of a few other cameras I've owned, notably the new Leica X I bought recently, the Nikon F that I had 45 years ago, and a dribble of others through the years in between.

I don't really know what's more engaging about a film M vs a digital M. With the same lenses on either, the difference in images is down to how a film records the image differently from a digital sensor, but how does that make the camera more or less engaging? The digital models are a bit bulkier and a bit heavier than the film models, true, but is it bulk and weight that is affecting your sense of engaging? or what?

It would be great if either of you could expand on these notions a bit more.

G
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Old 12-19-2014   #21
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Quote:
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It would be great if either of you could expand on these notions a bit more.
I will add more later, but real quick: A film M is almost gun-like if you will. Loading an IXMOO is like pressing your own rounds. The loading ritual, the advancing -sometimes with a trigger. The meterless exposure thoughts. Protecting the shutter from the sun, rolls in your pocket. Mixing the chems, hanging to dry, scanning -the whole thing! It is so intimate. You, the camera, the process. It is engaging. Enthralling. Intoxicating. At least more so to me than charging batteries and formatting cards.

But now, to not digress into another film vs. digital debate, I was talking about digital M's. I do find many other digital cameras to be a great deal more engaging and fun, but still nothing like a film M.
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Old 12-19-2014   #22
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Had an M8 but couldn't deal with the necessary filters, crop factor , terrible high ISO performance and obnoxiously loud shutter and cocking mechanism. Nowadays with the M9 et al I just don't get the feeling they are durable or reliable relative to the price. I like my film rangefinder, M6, and my x100T. That being said if M digital bodies were in the $3k range I would probably bite.
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Why DID I decide to buy an digital Leica M?
Old 12-19-2014   #23
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Why DID I decide to buy an digital Leica M?

Interesting responses, burancap and helen.

It's easier for me to say why i DID buy a digital M...

In 2002, I sold my Ms (two bodies, five lenses) to buy a Hassy 903SWC. Partly because at that time it was unclear that making a digital M body was even possible, and partly because at that time I'd wanted to work with a Hassy SWC for 35 years and what I had in Leica gear was about the right value to turn over for the SWC. I did it.

Come 2011, much water under the bridge. I'd closed the photo business at the end of 2010 as being insufficiently profitable, took a three-month writing contract, and made twice as much money in the first three months of the year as I had in the previous three years. In late August, I was offered a full-time position on the staff and took it.

Meanwhile, in the course of that year, I'd acquired an M4-2 again, after 7 years of shooting exclusively with digital. I enjoyed using an M again that as the year went on I said to myself, "hmm, I'd like this same camera with a digital sensor." So when the 2011 tax return was filed and I realized I had over $10K coming back because of an accounting error that took out taxes for double what I was actually being paid, I realized I could do whatever I wanted and bought the M9.

I've had no regrets at all from buying it. It's been a completely reliable, excellent M that does exactly what I expected: it works very much the same as my M4-2, modulo the built-in meter and AutoISO, produces beautiful results with the same lenses, and makes the images I want without the additional work of having to process and scan film. It's a little heavier and thicker, otherwise, to me, it's the same "get out of my way and let me see" experience. Better in one respect: I don't have to manage loading/unloading film, or wind the lever between exposures.

I'll eventually update to the M-P or its successor; the typ 240 series model is even more responsive and addresses a couple of quirks of the M9. But I'm in no rush.

I like using the M9 in the same way and for the same reasons that I like using the M4-2.

G
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Old 12-19-2014   #24
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Quote:
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That being said if M digital bodies were in the $3k range I would probably bite.
M9s can be had on the bay for under 3K.
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Old 12-19-2014   #25
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can't buy a camera that costs more than both of my cars and my two scooters combined. and that's body only ...
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Old 12-19-2014   #26
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I loved the M8. Used a pair for 4 years. It was a great "compact" compliment to my DSLR.
When it came out I tried and then took a pass on the M9. It was not enough of an upgrade and I had a 5Dii when denser files were desired.
Then the Fuji line with it's similar form factor, great light capturing ability, and 50mm Summilux asph like lens rendering (XF35mm) came along and displaced the M8 from my workflow. I mostly use digital for work projects and color.

The Digital M's are great tools and fun to use but if final output and performance in use is the goal there are better options (much).
I'm still very, very intriqued with the MM and may one day jump in.
I enjoy B+W film workflow for now and get my RF kicks there
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Old 12-19-2014   #27
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before the stone throwing and nailing me to the cross
I have had numerous digitals for brief stints... RD1, Ricoh grd I,II,III, Olympus E1, DP1M,DP2M
IN Leica digital: DLux 3, Digilux 2, X1, X2, M8, M-E
they ALL preformed with ease, Beautiful in fact, but my heart was not in it

I'm not knocking DIGITAL, just for me I get bored
with film there is always a level of anticipation and suspense while developing

Quite simply I'm envious of you ALL who succeed with creating a beautiful digital file
me, I'm never happy with what I produce
so I go back to what I know and love...Film
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Old 12-19-2014   #28
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I voted "it is too expensive" but I have to qualify that. The cost of the gear I currently own easily exceeds the cost of an M, but while I have no qualms about buying gear over time, I find it difficult to shell out $5K+ on any one piece of gear. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but that is what is holding me back from buying an M240.
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Old 12-19-2014   #29
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Weird question to me - I bought two M8, an M9, M240 and a Monochrom over the years.

To me the only valid answers are

1. can't/won't afford it, although, with the present M8 prices even that response has limited validity.

2. Prefer something else.
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Old 12-19-2014   #30
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I can see you are still grappling with your digital Leica M demons Raid.

Well I have been down this path too. As you know from my earlier post on one of your threads I did buy one - an M8 but have to admit to being somewhat disappointed with it principally due to its technical limitations. So for me the question is, would I buy one again? To which I think the answer is almost certainly, "no". I say this very, very reluctantly as I dearly want to say yes.

I never the less have to fess up that I love handling my digital M. It feels so good in the hand. It looks so good. I frequently get comments from young women (go figure) admiring my camera - always young women (go figure-again).

But I simply do not get the joy from it I had hoped for and that I previously had gotten from film Ms. Somehow the film Ms had a sophistication that made them a pleasure not just to handle but to use. This had to do with things like the soft, smooth shutter button, the smooth quiet film wind on / shutter recocking, the large bright viewfinder and the quiet shutter sound when fired. My M8 lacks all of these things. It kind of feels a little - well, clunky by comparison.

I look at it this way. If you are going to buy an expensive European car you want it to behave like one. After all it gets you from point A to point B just like a Nissan, say. The extra cost is about the enjoyment you get from it (and maybe a little status appeal). A sophisticated interior, car doors that close with an almost silent click, not a clunk and clatter, a quiet interior when on the road etc are all part and parcel. And of course it needs to perform well enough at least to do the job.

Same with what at the end of the day is a very, very expensive European camera like a Leica M. It has to feel good to use. And my M8 is lacking something in this department. It is not horrible. It just lacks those seductive things that used to make me feel good about parting with so much money. This is expecially so knowing that digital cameras have a limited life. I cannot imagine my M8 being in working order in 40 years time as is so often the case with mechanical Ms. So unless you are paying a lot to get a lot of enjoyment, why bother. Cheers and good luck with your thought processes.
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Old 12-19-2014   #31
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For me, it comes down to - Is it worth the expense? for me?
The answer is no.
I can afford all digital M's but can't justify spending thousands on gear, since I only shoot for pleasure.
My digital appetite is easily satisfied by my GF1.
I like shooting and developing film, that's what I have been hoarding.
I have >100 film in my freezer which I intend to use over the next couple of years, I think I am set.
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Old 12-19-2014   #32
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I have not bought a digital M because film is still available. Easy.
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Old 12-19-2014   #33
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I had to check 'OTHER'.

When the M8 first came out I sent a letter to Leica expressing my interest, requesting a brochure, and some questions regarding how to obtain a place in the delivery queue.

Weeks later I received a succinct reply.

"After reading your letter of October 17, 2006 and examining your work from the links provided therein, Leica Camera AG prefers you refrain from ordering the M8.

We realize our decision will initially be a source of disappointment. Please understand Leica Camera AG firmly believes we are saving you from needlessly wasting financial resources on the pedestrian, derivative work your limited creative talents are doomed to produce until you die. We are confident that eventually your disappointment will turn into gratitude.

We have forwarded copies of your letter to Nikon Americas | USA and Canon USA Inc. Both companies offer photographic equipment that are commensurate with your you potential."




...............lol.
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Old 12-19-2014   #34
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I initially thought this was rather a strange poll ... but it's actually quite interesting to hear people's various reasons for not getting the digital M.

I have no reason because I actually bought an M240 but it took me the best part of a year to convince myself to do so. I really wanted what the 240 can do ... but the price! That was some hurdle! A friend picked up my 240 last night ... well I handed it to him actually and when I told him what it had cost me he put it down again quite quickly with a rather shocked look on his face!
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Old 12-19-2014   #35
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Too thick, too buggy, uber slow turn around on maintenance, battery dependent, no .85 option and I can't load Tmax 400 into it...:-)
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Old 12-19-2014   #36
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'Daveleo', Did I hear 'FIRE'....
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Old 12-20-2014   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill_HH View Post
'Daveleo', Did I hear 'FIRE'....

No No ! .... I meant that as a generic comment on what I see on the internet - people shooting (IMO) mediocre images with very expensive equipment.
Definitely not meant as a "cheap shot" at Leica.
I am sincere - the technical output of even average digital cameras far exceeds the talent level of the average picture maker, IMO. (I include myself in that lot ). I simply came to that realization - most pictures made aren't worth $10,000 worth of gear.

Okay .... I am gone for a week, so count me out of any further brawls on this
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Old 12-20-2014   #38
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No No ! .... I meant that as a generic comment on what I see on the internet - people shooting (IMO) mediocre images with very expensive equipment.
Definitely not meant as a "cheap shot" at Leica.
I am sincere - the technical output of even average digital cameras far exceeds the talent level of the average picture maker, IMO. (I include myself in that lot ). I simply came to that realization - most pictures made aren't worth $10,000 worth of gear.

Okay .... I am gone for a week, so count me out of any further brawls on this
This probably sums up my reason for selling my digital M bodies. I use digital for work so the high expense of top end CaNikon gear pays for itself easily over the course of their lifespans. Unfortunately I couldn't say the same for my M8 and M9 as these were used 99% of the time for personal/hobby pursuits and so it was a simple decision based upon my financial situation and alternative options. I can now use two XPro bodies and a clutch of lenses for some of my work (reportage style weddings) and hobby pursuits for the price of one new digital M. Plus I have enough spare cash to indulge my enjoyment of film with an old M6 and Hexar AF.

I did love my M9, no issues with it whatsoever thankfully, but for the use it was getting I felt I had more money tied up in it than I could reasonably justify. I'm glad I had the opportunity to own one for a while though.
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Old 12-21-2014   #39
seagrove
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveleo View Post
I am sincere - the technical output of even average digital cameras far exceeds the talent level of the average picture maker, IMO. (I include myself in that lot ). I simply came to that realization - most pictures made aren't worth $10,000 worth of gear.
Same was true in film days. All I can do is keep trying.....

As far as the question posed here, I would love to have given a Leica a go during my pro days but the cost and limited usability for shooting for a small newspaper just would not have worked. I shot Olympus for 20+ years before needing autofocus to increase usable image output and shifted to Nikon. Did quite well with a pair of Nikon D2H bodies for a decade before layoffs started in 2008 at the paper.
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Old 12-21-2014   #40
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I currently use four digital compact cameras; none of which have all the features I desire. Some have some of the features but all lack certain features I need (such as rangefinder manual focusing).

The digital Leica M cameras also lack some of the features I need (such as dependability). Plus, the digital Leica M cameras cost a heck of a lot more than the four digital compacts I am using.

Therefore, I voted for "there are other (digital) camera options that suit me better."

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