Two Film Ms - B+W and Color
Old 07-24-2019   #1
Ionex56
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Two Film Ms - B+W and Color

Anyone out there shoot with two film Ms, perhaps one for each film (B+W and color, or different speeds) or maybe one for each lens/focal length?

I recently saved up and got myself a MP and I love it. Most of the time I prefer shooting B+W since it's easier to develop by myself but sometimes I find the need to switch to color. Til now I've been using a F3HP as my second body. It's a workhorse and excellent for longer lenses, but I would prefer carrying something smaller and of the same mount, so I don't have to lug around two lens systems.

Just wanted an opinion on whether it is worth it to buy a second M (or M-mount camera like the Bessa R2M/A) solely for the convenience of switching from B+W to color, and if anyone else does this too
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Old 07-24-2019   #2
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Yes I have often used a pair of film Leicas. It could be two Ms or two IIIc. Black and white and color is one reason. Or, two cameras, both with Black and white, with different lenses. The max I will ever bring on a trip is three Leicas: Typically two film Ms and my M9.

Sure, it's worth it!
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Old 07-24-2019   #3
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Garry Winograd did it, apparently. There are obviously benefits to taking that approach, some of which you mentioned. As well as costs. So, it’s just the usual cost/benefit analysis, something which will yield different results for different people.

Personally, I get more benefit from carrying two different makes of camera bodies, or two cameras in different formats, as that gives me a much, much wider range of photographic results than just choosing between color and B&W, or being stuck with nothing more than different focal lengths from the same mfg.
Most people don’t think that way, however.
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Old 07-24-2019   #4
Michael I.
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I do, M2 and M4. works pretty well
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Old 07-24-2019   #5
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For me it's the F3P or MP (b&w & a 50mm) plus the x100t (23mm fixed / 35mm equiv). Shooting both film and digital has the advantage for me of instant social media updates. The film process takes longer and usually, but not always, "better" images. I print 1-2 enlargement per year... not the "best of", rather an image that I enjoy for any of various reasons... on average it's about equal between film and digital prints.
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Old 07-24-2019   #6
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Sending my M4 off to DAG today for a service. Out this morning with the M6 shooting some Porta 400 landscapes.

Soon as the M4 is back, one for color and one for b&w is exactly what I will be doing.
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Old 07-24-2019   #7
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I've done this before with an M4 & M3, but I found that I use the camera with B&W 95% of the time, so I stopped carrying the other one.

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Old 07-24-2019   #8
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I have in the past. Not for black and white/color necessarily (though that has happened), but more for focal lengths. One for 50/90 and one for 28/21 (x0.58 finder). It works well for me.
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Old 07-24-2019   #9
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Thanks everyone for the all the input. Looks like I will be looking for a second M body soon
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Old 07-24-2019   #10
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I have a few times (M6 and M2) When I do it, I tend to use the M6 as a meter instead of my usual handheld for the M2.
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Old 07-24-2019   #11
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I'm curious about this setup as well, but the added weight I find to be an annoyance. One of the biggest advantages of the Leica system (ltm or M) is the smaller lenses, but adding an extra body seems like a distraction to the process, and even a hindrance when it comes to walking around all day.

Do most people have a bigger bag/backpack for this kind of setup? I'm currently using an ONA bowery bag, and enjoy it for its size and weight ratio.
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Old 07-24-2019   #12
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To keep the weight and size down, I often take a Leica IIIc, or a Rollei 35, or an Olympus XA as a second camera, along with a Leica M.

A Leica M2 (with black and white) and an Olympus XA (with color) has been a great travel combination for me.
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Old 07-24-2019   #13
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If you can afford one Leica, why not get two for twice the price!

Seriously - carry one body (one system) and multiple lenses. I've always managed to get the shots I needed this way.
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Old 07-24-2019   #14
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Not a Leica shooter but I bought a second Fuji X Pro 2 just so the Fuji 35mm 1.4 would always be mounted. The rest of the lenses have to take turns on the other body.


No doubt many M shooters use the same strategy for their favorite 'cron, 'lux or whatever.
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Old 07-24-2019   #15
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HCB at some point has three M. One was for assignments with color film.
I currently have M4-2 with bw and R2M with E6.

Every time I load color film in separate camera it lasts very long in this camera.
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Old 07-24-2019   #16
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Back when I deployed to Iraq in 2004 I shot with two Leicas only so I didn't have to change lenses often or ever. I used two bodies, an M2 and an M4, as well as three lenses, a 28mm Kobalux, 50 DR Summicron, and a 90 Elmar. The 50 lived on the M4 and the M2 usually had the 28mm on it. It had Abrahamsson M2 rapidwinder 003 as well. The M4 almost always had Plus-X loaded while the M2 had either Plus-X or Kodachrome.
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Old 07-24-2019   #17
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I usually carried two on trips, that way I had a backup camera in case something happened. I didn’t always carry both but most of the time I did. Easier than swapping lenses. I use a think tank retrospective 5.
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Old 07-24-2019   #18
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depends on your style
I once used M2/35mm and M3/50mm (90mm)
but after several years; I found that i tend to use 35mm lens 90% of time.
Hence I sold all and Keep ONLY M2 and 35mm lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionex56 View Post
Anyone out there shoot with two film Ms, perhaps one for each film (B+W and color, or different speeds) or maybe one for each lens/focal length?

I recently saved up and got myself a MP and I love it. Most of the time I prefer shooting B+W since it's easier to develop by myself but sometimes I find the need to switch to color. Til now I've been using a F3HP as my second body. It's a workhorse and excellent for longer lenses, but I would prefer carrying something smaller and of the same mount, so I don't have to lug around two lens systems.

Just wanted an opinion on whether it is worth it to buy a second M (or M-mount camera like the Bessa R2M/A) solely for the convenience of switching from B+W to color, and if anyone else does this too
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Old 07-25-2019   #19
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For a while I carried two Leica film cameras - one loaded with B&W film and the other with color. Where I ran into frustrations was the film speed. I use a handheld light meter. I shot the B&W at one speed and the color film at another speed. I often messed up converting the reading on the meter to match the camera I was using. Sure, I can set two different ISO's on my meter, but I still got it wrong as often as I got it right. I guess if I were working slowly, I could have managed it better, but I was often trying to take pictures of my daughter, whose patience is limited. If I were to try this again, I would shoot both cameras at the same ISO. I hope you have better luck than I did!
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Old 07-25-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Hellman View Post
For a while I carried two Leica film cameras - one loaded with B&W film and the other with color. Where I ran into frustrations was the film speed. I use a handheld light meter. I shot the B&W at one speed and the color film at another speed. I often messed up converting the reading on the meter to match the camera I was using. Sure, I can set two different ISO's on my meter, but I still got it wrong as often as I got it right. I guess if I were working slowly, I could have managed it better, but I was often trying to take pictures of my daughter, whose patience is limited. If I were to try this again, I would shoot both cameras at the same ISO. I hope you have better luck than I did!
You should get an on-camera light meter like the VC meter II! That way you can differentiate the metering between two cameras. I've used both the VC meter and a handheld meter, and I actually prefer using the handheld meter, but in your case where speed is critical an on-camera meter can do wonders.

I have a MP so there's a built in light meter but if I do pick up a second body, most likely a M2/M3, I will probably get a VC meter II to avoid the frustrations you pointed out.
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Old 07-25-2019   #21
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I don't have two Ms but I do find myself occasionally bringing a 2nd camera (or more) and I actually find it crippling vs beneficial. I find when I just concentrate on one camera going forward it's more rewarding.... Yes a lot of times I have B&W loaded and wish for color, or the opposite...but sometimes that forced limitation promotes creativity.
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Old 07-25-2019   #22
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I don't have any Leica but I have brought two cameras on vacation. Fast and slow film, but mainly to avoid changing lenses and the little bit of anxiety of dropping one. I mostly end up walking around with just one of the cameras anyway though.
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Old 07-25-2019   #23
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This was my main way of working for a long time, Two M bodies, one color and one b&w or both the same film type and different lenses. Translated this into a two M9 body kit for a long while as well. I rarely carry more than one body at a time now.
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Old 07-25-2019   #24
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M6+R2A+R4M. BW, color negative, color slide.
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Old 07-25-2019   #25
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I really find I can't shoot colour and black and white successfully at the same time (some might say or instead of and). If I want to cart around two bodies - with reluctance nowadays - it would be one 35mm and one medium format.

I did for a while shoot an M2 and M3 at the same time but they are heavy beasts when you add lenses and other kit such as meters. It's a bore.
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Old 07-25-2019   #26
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M4 black and white body M9 or d810 colour.
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Old 07-25-2019   #27
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I'm more likely to carry an M (film) and a medium format camera on longer trips. Not that i usually carry them at the same time though....
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Old 07-25-2019   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
I really find I can't shoot colour and black and white successfully at the same time (some might say or instead of and). If I want to cart around two bodies - with reluctance nowadays - it would be one 35mm and one medium format.

I did for a while shoot an M2 and M3 at the same time but they are heavy beasts when you add lenses and other kit such as meters. It's a bore.
I have had the same issue with B&W vs color; I can adjust my thinking to one or the other but not both interchangeably. Back in the day doing urban street shooting I often carried an M2+35 below a Spotmatic+85 both with Tri-X and that worked ok. More recently I recall hiking around San Juan PR with two Contax G2 cameras and three lenses and that bag got awfully heavy well before the end of the day! These days I may have two cameras available but carry only one at a time. And... when adopting the M8 I discovered that I'm really a color shooter, so that simplifies that!
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Old 07-25-2019   #29
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+1
Simple is better!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
I have had the same issue with B&W vs color; I can adjust my thinking to one or the other but not both interchangeably. Back in the day doing urban street shooting I often carried an M2+35 below a Spotmatic+85 both with Tri-X and that worked ok. More recently I recall hiking around San Juan PR with two Contax G2 cameras and three lenses and that bag got awfully heavy well before the end of the day! These days I may have two cameras available but carry only one at a time. And... when adopting the M8 I discovered that I'm really a color shooter, so that simplifies that!
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Old 07-25-2019   #30
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FWIW, I sometimes carry multiple bodies because I don't like changing lenses. If I'm on a big trip I might carry 3 bodies with 21mm, 35mm, 90mm lenses. Ive done this a few times and been glad to be able to grab the camera/lens setup when I see the composition I need that lens for. If its too much to carry my bag all day I just leave it in the hotel room and take one body with the 35mm.
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Old 07-25-2019   #31
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I gave up on the fright of switching lenses in the street long ago.
Quite often I shoot two M's: one with a 50, the other with a wide (28 or 35).
I shoot B&W only.
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Old 07-26-2019   #32
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Two bodies, two different focal lengths, two different (colour) films:

MP 0.58 with 28 Elmarit M ASPH and Ektar 100
M2 or M4 with 50 Summicron and Portra 400 or 160

No lens changes, and always film in at least one camera. My favourite travel setup!
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Old 07-26-2019   #33
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Having had a film body fail on a trip (through operator error), and having one become unexpectedly unavailable right before a trip, I always figured three is the minimum number (assuming those are your only cameras). With three you're reasonably assured to have two for a trip.
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Old 07-27-2019   #34
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The less clutter on my back, the more my mind is free to conceptualize and shoot. I don’t even like having a strap with me. If I know I’ll be out all day, sometimes I’ll keep a small P+S with me for indoor flash snapshots, which makes for more of an impact than color vs. B+W IMO.
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Old 07-27-2019   #35
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This was my setup a couple of years ago shooting film at the local dragstip for a season. Black paint M4 and an early double stoke M3. One for colour, one for b and w. It was great for the duration of the project but I didn't find another project to justify keeping them and they are both sadly gone.
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Old 07-28-2019   #36
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When I did air shows I carried two cameras because you need a tele lens for planes flying but a WA or Std for things happening on the ground and may not have time to swap lenses and so on...


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Old 07-28-2019   #37
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Sometimes I carry 2-3 bodies of different brands/formats/film types.

One thing you need to be careful: if the films are of different speed, setting exposure requires extra caution with respect to which camera you're now using. It has happened to me multiple times that when I set exposure I mistakenly set it for one film speed on a camera loaded with a different speed film
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Old 08-02-2019   #38
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I do sometimes. I have two M3's and one M2. Plus a few LTM.
But most of the time I just pick the one I want to shoot with that day.
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Old 08-02-2019   #39
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I usually use digital cameras, but since a week, I am using the M3 with color film and the Standard Leica with B&W film. I felt like a change away from digital only.
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Old 08-02-2019   #40
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When I was shooting weddings and other events with film cameras, I tended to carry two M's with different lenses and usually (but not always) the same film in each. If I was still doing event work I'd prefer to have two digital bodies with a fast prime on each rather use zooms. I still have two M film bodies, but now that they are just for personal use I normally only carry one unless I'm traveling somewhere I doubt I'll go again. Sometimes I'll carry two or even three lenses with me, but most of the time I just carry one, especially if I'm just carrying a camera about my daily routine. More often lately I will put something like a little Olympus XA in my bag to have another lens option but still keep my carry kit small and light. Low weight and small size has always been a priority for me, and has only gotten more of my focus as I get older. The more important my photography is as part of what I'll be doing, the more gear I am willing to carry - but I always have an eye on size and weight.
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