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Would you buy a Leica X 113?
Old 10-08-2014   #1
kknox
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Would you buy a Leica X 113?

As most of you know we don't need a new camera, it's a want. I have sold off my Leica digital a while back. Moved to a Fuji X-Pro & XT-1, with a number of lens. These are great cameras, but I shoot mainly 35mm in full frame format. The 23 Fuji X is a big lens, when I shoot my film M4 it's always with a 35mm.

The 35 1,7 Summilux looks like is great combo on the Leica X 113, for ago to camera to carry daily.

Your thoughts?
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Old 10-08-2014   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kknox View Post
As most of you know we don't need a new camera, it's a want. I have sold off my Leica digital a while back. Moved to a Fuji X-Pro & XT-1, with a number of lens. These are great cameras, but I shoot mainly 35mm in full frame format. The 23 Fuji X is a big lens, when I shoot my film M4 it's always with a 35mm.

The 35 1,7 Summilux looks like is great combo on the Leica X 113, for ago to camera to carry daily.

Your thoughts?
I bought one. I was interested to look at the X113 because I already own the X2 and find that the simplicity of controls and quality of photos out of the X2 is just more to my liking than any other fixed lens digital camera I have used, but I wished for improved manual focus control, a little more lens speed, and even a little bit larger body (my hands are on the large side). The minute I handled the Leica X, I knew it was exactly what I was hoping for.

To give you an idea of the simplicity: I took it out of the box, fitted a battery and memory card, and then walked through the menu. The camera was completely set up and ready to shoot about 3 minutes later, without looking at the instruction booklet. Finally a digital camera that is as simple to understand as my Leica M4-2! There are a couple of details in the instruction booklet worth reading it for, but otherwise this is a camera in the film camera aesthetic of simplicity.

The improved build quality and feel, the excellent AF/MF focusing control, improvements to responsiveness, LCD resolution, EVF resolution, and the truly excellent new Summilux lens makes this camera shine. The X2's Elmarit is a very, very good lens ... the X's Summilux is a healthy jump better performing.

A couple of things to be aware of about the Leica X:

- The X lens does not collapse or extend at all (internal focusing), and the body is a bit larger than the X1/X2 (it's quite close in size to my M4-2 body-wise, although lighter). So it carries more like a lighter weight M4 than the X2, which carries more like a lighter weight Barnack Leica.

- To retain the best quality possible when shooting at close range, the Summilux f/1.7 lens is programmed to reduce maximum aperture by closing down the diaphragm a bit. Here's the curve of its operation:


So at sub-4' distances, the maximum aperture you can use regardless of what you set the dial to follows that curve. This is not a big deal to me ... I mean, really, what sensible photographer uses a 35mm wide angle lens wide open at very close focus distances like that other than when they have made a mistake? ... but there are a few folks outraged by this on DPReview and Steve Huff made a big deal of it in his usual goofy review of the camera. (He also moans and wails about the lack of a built-in EVF...) This behavior is well documented in the instruction manual, and Sean Reid's review mentioned it too.

- There's another exposure-related limitation on the X as well: regardless of what shutter time you set, you'll only get up to 1/1000 second if the lens is set to anything smaller than f/3.5. This is due to the fact that the leaf shutter cannot open and close fast enough with a small lens opening to achieve the 1/2000 second shortest exposure time.

Personally, I like the Leica X typ 113's slightly larger size and the two exposure related limitations don't bother me at all. The size makes it a more comfortable camera to hold and work with, and neither aperture nor shutter limitation makes any difference in my shooting at all. The EVF is a bit bulky, but I tend to use the camera with either a Leica or Voigtländer 35mm OVF fitted instead, just like I use the X2.

G
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Old 10-08-2014   #3
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they are all playing catchup to Fujis X100, other than that its just another camera which will suit some.
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Old 10-08-2014   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireblade View Post
they are all playing catchup to Fujis X100, other than that its just another camera which will suit some.
I tried the Fuji X100 when it came out and was not pleased at all, not with the lens nor the controls, nor the fussy menus, nor with processing of the raw files. That's why I bought the X2—it was better than the X100 on all those counts. The X Type 113 is even better than the X2, and the image quality seems far nicer than the X100S to my eye.

Of course, none of these cameras is perfect nor can do everything well. They are all compromises in one direction or another. I find the X2 and X extremely suitable for me.

G
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Old 10-08-2014   #5
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I wish it had a VF.... But I suppose using an external one works fine
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Old 10-08-2014   #6
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The close focus is annoying, but not a deal break.

I agree with Huff, though. A camera of this price should have an EVF, built-in or bundled.
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Old 10-08-2014   #7
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Marketing boys at Leica don't understand how many more units they would sell if they threw in an EVF, even at cost price to move the X113....as is it won't break any records nor will it get a look-in.....but do they really care?
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Old 10-08-2014   #8
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I already have an x1 with VF. Upgrading? It's tempting but too expensive for my budget. I would prefer to put beside the x1 a camera with possibility to shoot longer lenses, like the xt1. If I had not the x1 I would seriously consider the 113.
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Old 10-08-2014   #9
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Nope. To my eye, the X113 is one of the best looking digital cameras I've ever seen, I like its controls and I'm sure it's made very well, but it doesn't have a viewfinder.

It's close to what I think of as maybe an ideal every day camera, but too many flies in the ointment. I'm sure Leica will get there eventually, but this isn't it.
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Old 10-10-2014   #10
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I was looking for an everyday "take along" camera as a companion to my M240, and the 113 was on the short list. Although I was ver impressed, in the end, I ended up with (a great deal) the X2.

Some reasons:

1. The Typ 113 wasn't pocketable enough, so I figured if I was willing to bring around a bigger and heavier camera, I'd take the M240 + 35 Cron.

2. I already had the EVF2, so at least no more extra expense for a VF.

The Typ 113 is a great camera, though. If I didn't already have the M240, and had either an X1/X2, I would probably upgrade. I also had the Fuji X100s in the past, but for some reason, I fell out of love with it. It was a great camera, though, especially for color work.
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Old 10-10-2014   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
I already have an x1 with VF. Upgrading? It's tempting but too expensive for my budget. I would prefer to put beside the x1 a camera with possibility to shoot longer lenses, like the xt1. If I had not the x1 I would seriously consider the 113.
robert
I'm thinking the ideal camera to have in the bag alongside the X is the V-Lux type 114... Aside from the M4-2 with a 50mm on it, that is. :-)

G
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Old 10-11-2014   #12
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I'm thinking the ideal camera to have in the bag alongside the X is the V-Lux type 114... Aside from the M4-2 with a 50mm on it, that is. :-)

G
I use very oft my x1 beside the M7 (or sometimes the Rolleiflex) which is the main camera in this case. I have an 100 iso film in the analog camera and use the x1 if I need higher iso, like in interior. It' s a good combination, I know the purist will be horrified by this combination film + digital!

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Old 10-11-2014   #13
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I guess it's horses for courses but I would find a lens that changed aperture by over a stop between infinity and minimum focus distance a little annoying.

Aside from this it seems like a very nice camera.
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Old 10-11-2014   #14
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Ming Thein had a look at it:

http://blog.mingthein.com/2014/10/11...113/#more-9660
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Old 10-11-2014   #15
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A pretty fair review. I think his lukewarm conclusion is more Ming's usual ambivalence to the 35mm FoV than any real fault of the camera; Ming is happier with the FoV of the GR's 28mm equivalent FoV. Those who use the 35mm focal length as their standard will likely be more taken with it.

Keith, remember that max aperture is limited only between 4' and 8". The rest of the way from 4' to infinity it is f/1.7 (see table earlier in the thread). You don't generally notice it unless you're shooting small objects indoors, and then the little bit of added DoF is actually a plus. I don't find it affecting my photography in any practical way.

G
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Old 10-11-2014   #16
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Just not competitive on specs or price. Nothing remarkable about IQ either.
Fuji is still king in the area.
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Old 10-11-2014   #17
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Would you buy a Leica X 113?
No. A beautiful camera way behind the curve in many aspects.
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Old 10-12-2014   #18
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I'd give it very strong consideration; I have the Fuji X100, which I quite enjoy, but the Sony RX1 is another contender. What draws me to the X113 is the film-M-like body size and shape, the shutter speed dial and manual focus right with hard stops. The lens is a touch faster than the X100's and according to Ming Thein gives better subject separation than the X100. The X100 can produce some lovely images, but I feel they lack something, a clarity or pop combined with a naturalness that I have yet to be able to wring out of Lightroom.

The Sony RX1 has been on my 'maybe' list for some time, particularly because of the full frame sensor and f2 lens, which will produce the best subject separation at the 35mm focal length. The sensor is reportedly excellent and the lens/sensor combination has been very favourably compared with the Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron. But it doesn't handle/feel like a M body, which appeals to me very much.
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Old 10-12-2014   #19
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I wish it had a VF.... But I suppose using an external one works fine
Helen has noted a reason I wouldn't. Plus I've recently bought an M type 240, so I'm broke. And in many (expensive) ways rather removes the need. I suspect it's a wonderful camera, but it just doesn't suit my purposes and needs right now...

...Mike
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Some resolution testing...
Old 10-12-2014   #20
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Some resolution testing...

Responding to a person on DPR who accused the X of having a soft lens, I did some resolution testing.

Setup:
  • Camera set up at 6' distance from my usual target, a very busy bookcase.
  • Image processing settings: Standard, Super Fine JPEG, 16M, + DNG set.
  • ISO locked to 200.
  • Shutter set to A mode.
  • Focus mode set to Spot.
  • Camera on sturdy tripod. Each frame exposed with 2 second delay.
  • Series 1: Each frame is allowed to AF on the same target.
  • Series 2: Manual focus on target point, focus setting not touched throughout test afterwards.
  • Each frame stepped the lens aperture, first from f/1.7 to f/2, then in whole stops to f/16.
Results:
  • Examining the JPEGs at center, right edge, and top left corner, ALL frames are acceptably sharp and crisp. The right edge and top left corner improve slightly from f/1.7 to f/4, center is virtually unchanged. A small degradation (presumably diffraction) sets in at f/11.
    *
  • Examining the DNG files, processed at the LR 5.6 defaults (sharpening = 25 on LR's), all frames show distinct need for input sharpening with slightly soft rendering through all apertures. Moving the sharpening to 40 nets sharpness equal to the JPEGs at all aperture settings. Moving the sharpening to 50 nets increased sharpness with minimal halo'ing, again all frames.(For example, even at f/1.7, 5 point type located in the corner of the frame at 6' distance is clearly readable with 2:1 magnification). This implies that the Leica X sensor has a medium strength AA filter, since the same correction produces the same improvement across all apertures. It also demonstrates that focus shift is extremely minimal (via the manual focus tests).
The same test of the X2 in 2012 showed significantly more variation in corner and edge quality from f/2.8 to f/5.6, and also needed additional sharpening of the DNG files, of a similar nature, determining again that the X2 has similar strength AA filter.

When next I have time to do so, I will repeat the same test with the Leica M9 and the Color Skopar 35mm f/2.5 and the Sony A7 fitted with Leica Summicron-R 35mm f/2. (I don't have a Summicron or Summilux 35mm in M mount at my disposal at present.) It will be interesting to see how those two compare.

But be that as it may, I cannot see any evidence to support the statement that "the lens is soft and only starts to deliver the 'Leica-magic' from f/5.6." As far as my test shows, the Summilux 23mm f/1.7 on the Leica X is a very high quality performer across all f/stops. It's sweet spot is broad, best performance ranging from f/2.8 to f/11 when diffraction starts to intrude on ultimate resolving power.

Beyond the evidence of this resolution test, I was at the annual All Italian Day car and motorcycle show with the Leica X today. I made about 80 exposures at all apertures, using primarily autofocus on "Face Detect/11 frame pattern" mode. Every frame is crisply, clearly focused, and all frames show beautiful sharpness. At the wide open end of the spectrum, defocus bokeh is beautifully progressive and lacks any jangly feeling even wide open.

IMO, this is a stunner of a lens, fully deserving of the name Summilux.

(Unfortunately, pictures will have to wait. I have other commitments this evening and best get to them now. Maybe later if I get done early. )

G
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Old 10-12-2014   #21
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Not for me, the clip on finder is off putting, and I'm not mad about EVFs anyway. For me the X-Pro 1 is far more my kind of thing.

As for the lens, I think every lens in production is more than good enough for me, I don't need wide-open performance, nice bokeh etc.
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Old 10-13-2014   #22
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Some pictures from the All Italian Day Car & Motorcycle Show 2014 made with the Leica X typ 113 are here:

http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...76#post2403676

enjoy,
G
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Old 10-13-2014   #23
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Nice photos. Thanks for sharing them.
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Old 10-13-2014   #24
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i wouldn't waste my money on it.
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Old 10-13-2014   #25
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for the same price, get yourself a Sony A7S
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Old 10-13-2014   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubb Jubb View Post
for the same price, get yourself a Sony A7S
LOL! I already have a Sony A7. It's a totally different camera, in every way.
Only reason it produces photos on the same quality order as the Leica X is that the only lenses I use on it are Leica R lenses... ;-)

G
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Old 10-14-2014   #27
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LOL! I already have a Sony A7. It's a totally different camera, in every way.
Only reason it produces photos on the same quality order as the Leica X is that the only lenses I use on it are Leica R lenses... ;-)

G
then i'd spend the money on an investment like some Leica glass for the a7 rather than a fixed lens camera that will depreciate in a few years...

or just stick to the a7 and spend the money on a holiday
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Old 10-14-2014   #28
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Quote:
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then i'd spend the money on an investment like some Leica glass for the a7 rather than a fixed lens camera that will depreciate in a few years...

or just stick to the a7 and spend the money on a holiday
- Just got back from a week's holiday to Maui.
- Already have a dozen Leica R lenses for the A7. (And ten Leica M lenses I can use on it, and five Nikon F lenses I can use on it too.)

You just don't understand the X. It's a very simple camera with an excellent lens. Light, compact, no equipment decisions to make, no distractions, superb controls, excellent sensor. Darn near silent in operation too. It's just right to carry every day, very low impact.

It's worth it to me as it focuses me on making photos, not playing with gear. I may ultimately use it more than the A7, the E-M1, the M9, and all the others.

G
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Old 10-14-2014   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
- Just got back from a week's holiday to Maui.

It's worth it to me as it focuses me on making photos, not playing with gear. I may ultimately use it more than the A7, the E-M1, the M9, and all the others.
G
well LUCKY You ... Maui and a 113
sounds like bags of Fun
and that last sentence took me by Surprise
it's lovely to be smitten, more so when the driving force is the Creative
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Old 10-14-2014   #30
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Godfrey, are you seeing the irony in your last paragraph?
The irony is that if the Leica X had been available in 2011 when I started back down the path to Leica stuff, I most likely wouldn't have bought the GXR, M lenses, M9, Leica R lenses, and A7. I have the X2 as well, but it just missed on a couple of things that the X now has.

I would have bought the E-M1 kit, though, as I'd been waiting for that sensible development of the FourThirds format since Micro-FourThirds came out in 2008. It is the logical next step replacing my E-1 and E-5 system cameras.

There are times when I need a full system kit for various purposes. But most of the time, my needs are easily fulfilled by a simple, high quality camera with a single 35mm FoV lens. The X does that as well as the M9 does, costs a third the amount, and is smaller and lighter to boot.

G
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Old 10-14-2014   #31
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Godfrey, are you seeing the irony in your last paragraph?

John
exactly. sounds like you're focusing on gear...
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Old 10-14-2014   #32
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Yes, I have been focusing on equipment in this conversation. This is, after all, an equipment forum.

I haven't yet found anyone here truly focused on discussing photography.

G
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Old 10-15-2014   #33
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I have been tempted by the X1, X2, and the X113, but that latest is getting fairly close to M camera size now. Having an M8 will serve I think, despite not featuring AF... but it also doesn't have an AA filter either! Thanks Godfrey, for your commentary from the basis of a user...
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Old 10-15-2014   #34
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I'm not sure if I'd buy one or not... I'll never say never. I'd be happy to use one, but I can think of a few others that may suit me better.

How's the AF speed on it?
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Old 10-15-2014   #35
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I don't know, given the OP's apparent preference for full-frame with a fast high quality 35mm lens in a notably compact body - I'd take a serious look at an RX1/r before pulling the trigger on a Typ 113. I've owned an X1 (and a GXR + A12 M, GR, DP2M and A6000) and I shoot digital and film M's but my new-to me RX1r has been a bit of a revelation. Not without its faults and minor annoying quirks but I am fairly smitten with mine at the moment as a most capable carry everywhere with phenomenal IQ.
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Old 10-15-2014   #36
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Quote:
johnwolf spake:
That must be a pretty good feeling to have really connected with a camera. ...
Indeed. The Leica X is exactly what I started looking for in 2010-2011 when I'd closed the photo business and wanted to stop carrying all the heavy equipment. Took a couple of years for the right thing to surface, but now that it's here I'm very happy.

As to the B&W output, the in-camera JPEG engine does a pretty darn good B&W (I use BW High Contrast film mode, knocking back the contrast and sharpness one notch as otherwise it seems a little too aggressive). My B&W work, however, is generally rendered from raw (see below).

Well, back to making photos. Enough of the equipment chatter on this one. ;-)

G


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Old 10-15-2014   #37
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I think the Leica X tip 113 is what the x1 had to be a few years ago. It took time, maybe too much but at the end the Leica engineers (and marketers?) listened what clients were saying!
AS for me the idea to upgrade from my x1 to this camera is tempting but I do not plan now to do it. For sure I would buy it if I had not already an x1.
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Old 10-15-2014   #38
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Great response on to buy or not to buy. I did buy the X-113 in Silver. I have shot M film cameras of many years, Hand and sold an M8. The size is so similar to my film M's, the workmanship and design are top notch. Yes, it doesnt have a view finder i know, all cameras have drawbacks. I also have the Fuji X-Pro and XT1, I shoot 35mm comparable lens 90% of the time. The Fuji 23 is a huge lens, and $800.00, the X 113 is a much smaller package with an outstanding lens. It just feels good in my hand & has some heft to it that the X-Pro lacks. Part of photography for me is the journey, not just 500 clicks of the same subject. I travel with my job, this camera is prefect to fit in my briefcase, along with my work computer and related item. I enjoy my Film M's, but not much time for processing film any longer. So the X113 fit a want and need for me, I can't wait to get out and shoot it this weekend. Keep all the comments coming, thanks.
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Old 10-15-2014   #39
Godfrey
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Good luck with the X, kknox!
I hope you enjoy shooting with it as much as I do.

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Old 10-15-2014   #40
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Thanks I'm sure I will, thanks for all your input. The color rendition looks very similar to my M8 I had. Very realistic, the lens and size of the body was a big factor in my decision.
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