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Which Leica to choose after some Bessas and Leicas?
Old 11-25-2018   #1
Ko.Fe.
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Which Leica to choose after some Bessas and Leicas?

I'm thinking of replacing two M mount film rangefinders by single Leica.

I have M4-2 which has to go and R2M to follow.
Can't get connected with Bessa. M4-2 ... as RFF member Pioneer mentioned it just an old overobused horsie.

I had Bessa L, R and T before R2M. TTL is handy. I had M4-P and M3.
Newer one was less refined and M3 has no 35mm frames, which is my most and most likely only focal length I'm considering to use.

I would like to have M6 TTL to match M-E controls, but M6 TTL electronics (some of them) are not available anymore as spare parts from Leica.
M6 seems to be not affected, but I might be wrong.

MP, M-A are out of my reach, they are around 4K used.

Yes, M5 is nice, but I like small cameras. One of the reasons I can't get alone with R2M.

So, I'm thinking between M6 and M4. Which one will lasts another ten+ years with available parts and not separating RF optics?
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Old 11-25-2018   #2
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I have had an M2, M3, M4, CL and M5. My personal favorite being a button rewind M2. For your purposes however I would recomend the M4 over the M6, as long as you can go without an in camera meter I think the M4 is the best choice available and will last far more than 10 years on available parts.
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Old 11-25-2018   #3
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Thank you. Nice to hear from person with experience!
I'm Ok with meterless during day, but once light is more tricky I still measure it.
My Seconic TwinMare shows signs of use as well now.
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Old 11-25-2018   #4
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KF, I recently sold my MP and went back to an M4 (though black paint). I really love the M2, but the 4 is faster to load. If you watch the bay....you can find a reasonable one.... sometimes free shipping from Japan.
But this one is a steal https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-M2-an...9X5Z:rk:3:pf:0
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Old 11-25-2018   #5
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Thank you. Good to know about M4/MP.

This time I'm thinking of getting M after recent CLA.
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Old 11-25-2018   #6
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KF, Most reliable is to find one you like & then get the CLA yourself. Sometimes just because someone says it was done....may not be accurate.
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Old 11-25-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
So, I'm thinking between M6 and M4. Which one will lasts another ten+ years with available parts and not separating RF optics?
I'm new to M cameras so don't have much experience, but it seems like this choice comes down to 2 things.

1- Do you want/need internal light meter?

2- Do you want/need 28mm framelines?
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Old 11-25-2018   #8
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Sherry Krauter has an M4 overhauled for $1240.....

I've never had problems with M2 or M4 in decades of using them. I like them better than M6 (had 2 of those) & MP (too many viewfinder outlines)
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Old 11-25-2018   #9
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I like the M4.
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Old 11-25-2018   #10
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Black chrome M4 that might not have many bidders https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-M4-Bl...6Xpp:rk:1:pf:0 $1400 starting bid
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Old 11-25-2018   #11
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get a leica m6 ttl. they are not dropping like flies, and if you're ok with a meterless camera, it won't be a tragedy if the meter ever fails and you don't have the money to get a parts body. you should be able to remove the meter electronics, battery compartment, and get new frameline masks and leatherette to cover the battery cap. then you end up with very cool custom leica.
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Old 11-25-2018   #12
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If you are looking at 10+ years, who will service your old M camera for that long, will DAG or Youxin still be working then? I'd say get the camera you're most comfortable with today and hope for the best. I'm hoping to use my M6 for years but know that there is always a risk with older gear.


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Old 11-25-2018   #13
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I've owned a M6 Classic (early one marked Wetzlar), a M6 TTL in black chrome with bubbles and a M6 TTL Millennium, which took a long expensive trip to the factory for some upgrades. I also owned a M2 which was my favorite of all. The M6 finder is prone to blanking out in certain conditions. There are various fixes for it but the best way is to have the MP upgrade. It's also the most expensive. The TTL also benefit from upgraded shutter seals, replacing the old material with a better synthetic Leica uses in the current shutters on the MP and M7. The M6 Classic uses older electronics which simply run the meter. If they die, the flash will still work. The TTL's board run both the meter and the flash. The metering on the TTL's is very good and the center confirmation dot is a bonus over just the arrows on the Classic. If you find a nice TTL for a good price, get it. If you are not bothered by cosmetic condition, the ones with a bubbly finish can be found at a bargain price. Have fun with your search and keep us posted.
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Old 11-25-2018   #14
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I think you're fretting too much over this. When it comes to the issue, your choices are what Colton astutely defined: internal meter and 28mm framelines. The optics in the viewfinder and rangefinder are like a shot in the dark, i.e., age won't be a determining factor necessarily. I speak as the owner of an M2 (repainted; needed a new RF), former owner of an M3 (sold it because I like 35mm lenses), an M4, an M4-2 and an M4-P, two M5 bodies and two M6TTL bodies (which are showing problems with the TTL electronics, not the meter). When I think of a camera to shoot on a trip and enjoy the process, I reach out for my M2... or any of my M4 types. Why? They have 35mm framelines, nice, wide viewfinders, and feel like an extension of my hand. From them, only the M4-P has 28mm framelines.

Let's hope this helps...
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Old 11-25-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
Black chrome M4 that might not have many bidders https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-M4-Bl...6Xpp:rk:1:pf:0 $1400 starting bid
Not surprising it looks thrashed and has some dents on the lever side. For $1400 it should look much better.
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Old 11-25-2018   #16
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Like many here I have owned a number of Leica M cameras (M6TTL, M2, M3 DS, M3 SS, M4) and the Leica M I use the most is an M3 SS. Because, for these aging eyes, the M3 is the easiest for me to focus accurately. (I use an external finder for 35mm & 28mm lenses).

Best,
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Old 11-25-2018   #17
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Quote:
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Not surprising it looks thrashed and has some dents on the lever side. For $1400 it should look much better.
You drive a hard bargain Huss. It's not an M4-2. And if black is a requirement...you may not find one much cheaper. It's a 44 yr old used camera.
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Old 11-25-2018   #18
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Having owned every Leica made (not counting rare models) I second the M4. get the M4-R meter which works exceedingly well and don't look back. for the last few years (decade?) I've used an M4 bought used and an M7 bought new. I love the M7 meter and AE mode but like the view finder and overall feel of the M4 more.


As an aside, I bought the M6 when it first came out, trading a very well used M4, and ended up hating so much I got rid of it in 6 months. Shortest owned model of any Leica I've ever owned.
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Old 11-25-2018   #19
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I'll vote for the M6 classic Kostya. I've owned M2, M3, M4-P and now M6. My M6 is the sweetest and fastest to operate of all the Leicas I've owned. It's quick to load and unload and quick to meter. Yes, the RF patch sometimes flares, but I only have to move my eye a little to clear it. Yes, the framelines are not perfectly accurate, but I only have to move my brain a little to visualise the end result. I got it for a less expensive price than usual because someone had partially blocked out the script on front and the red dot. That is now fully blacked. So mine is a stealth model. Shown with other stealthy black camera I have.

John Mc
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Old 11-26-2018   #20
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If you are planning to concentrate on a 35mm lens, consider a .58 viewfinder or an M2. The 35 frame lines appear by themselves. For a metered body, that means an M6TTL, M7, or MP.
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Old 11-26-2018   #21
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I have been a Leica user for more than a decade with two M7 bodies. For the past few years I started shooting mainly Rolleiflex TLR and a Hasselblad SWC. Rolleiflex 3.5F, Rolleiwide and an SWC make an awesome travel kit! However medium format with slowish lenses are too often less than ideal in certain situations. I have missed shots with medium format due to format constraints. A big beautiful 6x6 negative of a shot I didn’t get or a tiny Leica neg I did manage to get? So I am shooting more Leica and choosing my tools more carefully. Anyway I have learned to love the incident light meter and no longer want any built in meter especially AE. The M7s will be sold and I’ll shoot with M2/M3.
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Old 11-26-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
If you are planning to concentrate on a 35mm lens, consider a .58 viewfinder or an M2. The 35 frame lines appear by themselves. For a metered body, that means an M6TTL, M7, or MP.
I'm no M Leica expert. I have, however, owned a Konica Hexar RF. Consider one if you want a modern film Leica. They are 100% compatible with even goggled Leica lenses. 0.6 VF so better for 35mm and useless over 90mm.

Put one to the test if you can. They are a nice camera, load film like a proper modern camera, motor driven, metered manual or AE. They aren't a Leica but they are what Leica should have built.
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Old 11-26-2018   #23
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Thank you all !

Black was just most available color for M4-2 and R2M . I was covering M4-2 top plate with white masking tape this summer. I don't like then cameras getting touch hot.

I like the idea of converting M6 TTL with non repairable electronics to meterless Leica with modern ISO reminder and newer light seals. Just how much would it cost to upgrade frame-lines to metterless and get rid of 75 and narrower frames...
All I need is 35, sometimes 50 and 28 is good option, but I frame 28mm by entire viewfinder in M4-2 and R2M and it works fine.

Maybe getting user M2 and sending it for VF service, upgrade and to install new main light baffle and curtains?
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Old 11-26-2018   #24
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I have an (black chrome - mostly now anyway) M4 from a batch which I believe were used as cruise ship cameras - for taking pictures of guests which were then sold to those guests. It was very trashed when I got it and now has a new body shell from an MD2 as the original was cracked (the top was and is dented in various places too) and held together with epoxy resin. I have no idea how may photos its taken but I'd guess many thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. - a lot! Despite this Malcolm Taylor rebuilt it and no parts were needed other than the body shell. And it still works fine, although its now a 'custom' M4 with neither self timer nor frame selector.

I really wouldn't worry about an M4 and parts. They are rarely needed and if the time comes when they are no doubt there will be donor cameras available. The M4 remains my favourite film Leica and you can't go too far wrong with one - get it CLA'd though for peace of mind and to ensure that it runs for the next few decades. Unless you are going to put vast quantities of film through one, it should carry on fine. They are tough little cameras - mine shows this.
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Old 11-26-2018   #25
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Sounds good! My maximum rate is four bulks of bw and two dozens of color per year.
The only drawback of M4 is no hot shoe, but I have working flash with PC cable.
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Old 11-26-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Sounds good! My maximum rate is four bulks of bw and two dozens of color per year.
The only drawback of M4 is no hot shoe, but I have working flash with PC cable.
What exactly are the differences between the M4 and the M4-2? Is it the cluttered viewfinder you don't like?

The M4-2 does have a hot shoe and 28mm frame lines though.

Personally I chose the M4-P as my single Leica. But it could've been the M4-2 had I found that first. I need the hot shoe for flash (without cables) and I just never got along with the knob rewinds. I prefer black too.
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Old 11-26-2018   #27
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I can see how people can compare the M4 to the M2. I've had both and I would say that I preferred the M4 over the M2 for a few reasons.

1 being the exposure counter. It's super easy to bump the exposure counter on the M2 and then end up not knowing when you're going to be finished the roll.

Faster loading as mentioned already is a plus

Framelines are basically the same. The M2 does come with a DOF scale built into the RF patch though. Not sure if this is something you're into but it's worth noting. I've never used it in my life but it's neat to look at.

M4 does have the canted advance lever vs the classic solid advance lever of the M2.

Something that people don't often bring up is the frameline accuracy. I've read that Leica changed it's RF design starting with the M4-P and newer. This might not be a deal breaker for you but I constantly find inconsistencies between my M5 and my M240, the 240 sharing the same newer RF design which is wildly inaccurate. M4 vs M4-2 or M4-P, the M4 will have more accurate framelines. I didn't find the same inconsistencies between the M5 and the M4.

Also, I PMd you about an M6 kit I know for sale in the area. If you are still sold on an M6. I can't comment on how the M6 stacks up with the M4 or M2 because I've actually never shot or owned an M6.
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Old 11-26-2018   #28
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M6 TTL. Widely available, affordable. 'modern' and if you don't like the internal light meter, just ignore it.
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Old 11-26-2018   #29
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Used M3,M4,M5, M4-P, M6 and Bessa R2 and Bessa T.
Still have most of them (sold M3 and Bessa R2).

Based on your description, would suggest M4 or M6 Classic for you. M4 feels great and got (IMHO) the best viewfinder of the bunch. M6 got a light meter so is great for indoors and tricky light environments.

Wish you luck.

Best regards
Marcelo.
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Old 11-26-2018   #30
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In your case a late M6 classic. Relatively young, reliable and easier to fix than the M6 Ttl. IMO the modern classic Leica.
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Old 11-26-2018   #31
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Ko, Let us know what you end up with. We might still be here discussing what's best for you ;-).
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Old 11-26-2018   #32
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Having used the M2, M4, M5, M6, CL, M7, and MP, I still own the M2. It’s just so “pure”. Great viewfinder. No plastic parts.

However, I will admit to wishing I still had the M4 as well.
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Old 11-26-2018   #33
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It will take some time before I will update with real update.
I asked in advance. Now I have to sell R2M and M4-2 and most likelly 50 Cron of I'll take M6 (TTL) route.
I was hesitant to start this thread, but it was very helping with all of your reply and information.
So, let's keep this thread open. Canada Post has huge backlog due to the strike.
And this is how I"m getting it delivered to me if it is not local deal.
But here is alternatives to Canada Post for me to ship.
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Old 11-26-2018   #34
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It is convienient to have the shutter speed diai turn in the same direction as the exposure arrows. Plus the dial placement and size alows you to keep the camera at eye level while making the changes.
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Old 11-26-2018   #35
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Something worth bearing in mind regarding the M6TTL (which may or may not be helpful):

My understanding is that Leica no longer have certain parts to fix the internal meter - so if you're not planning on using the meter, you can pick up M6TTL cameras with a duff meter considerably cheaper than normal price.....


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Old 11-26-2018   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Like many here I have owned a number of Leica M cameras (M6TTL, M2, M3 DS, M3 SS, M4) and the Leica M I use the most is an M3 SS. Because, for these aging eyes, the M3 is the easiest for me to focus accurately. (I use an external finder for 35mm & 28mm lenses).

Best,
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I heard today from a Leica certified tech that The M2/ M4 have a brighter VF than the M3. I have the M3 and will go w/ the external VF for the wides too...
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Old 11-26-2018   #37
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M2 M3 or M4. I would not stray from those. I am going to have a meter inside the finder then i want aperture auto and that´s the M7.
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Old 11-26-2018   #38
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Quote:
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What exactly are the differences between the M4 and the M4-2? Is it the cluttered viewfinder you don't like?

The M4-2 does have a hot shoe and 28mm frame lines though.

Personally I chose the M4-P as my single Leica. But it could've been the M4-2 had I found that first. I need the hot shoe for flash (without cables) and I just never got along with the knob rewinds. I prefer black too.
I prefer silver . M4-2 has no 28 frames. It is simplified M4.
But you raised valid point. I could exchange one run down M4-2 to fresh one.
It should be quicker and less $$$ solution.
M4 is on M2, M3 guality build, I guess. My M3 DS ELC was different from M4-2 in this regard.
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Old 11-26-2018   #39
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M2/4 brass top..... M6 zinc
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Old 11-26-2018   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I prefer silver . M4-2 has no 28 frames. It is simplified M4.
But you raised valid point. I could exchange one run down M4-2 to fresh one.
It should be quicker and less $$$ solution.
M4 is on M2, M3 guality build, I guess. My M3 DS ELC was different from M4-2 in this regard.
I believe there is a silver M4-P on ebay...
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