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Thread: Double honors for the LEICA M7

  1. #61

    Default Re: Leica bashing

    Originally posted by ewelch
    ....There's one thing Leica needs to do to make it the ultimate camera for this century - make it digital.....
    I believe they try to make it digital with The LEICA DIGILUX 1 which is merely a prettied-up and re-badged version of the Panasonic DMC-LC5, with the only differences being the memory card RAM size, the lack of a profiled rubber hand-grip on the RHS front and differences in the software which comes with the camera.



    The LEICA DIGILUX 1 at a glance

    - High-speed aspherical Leica lens with optical 3x zoom

    - 4-Mega-Pixel CCD

    - Perfect harmony between lens, sensor, electronics and software

    - Minimal exposure delay, extremely short image storage time and decidedly fast signal processing

    - Largest LC display (2.5") with a resolution of 205,000 pixels

    - Numerous manual setting choices for individual creative freedom

    - Many familiar operating elements and functions adopted from analog cameras

    - Memory card with exceptionally high capacity of 64 MB

    - Powerful rechargeable battery with an active readiness time up to 3 hours

    - Timeless styling

    - Unusual scope of delivery

  2. #62
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    Unfortunately, the DigiLux is not truly made by Leica. It's another version of the Panasonic Lumix LC-5. Handling unfortunately is not as good as the Panasonic - the thing feels slippery and plasticky. Costs only $1699 I think.

    What Leica needs to make is a Digital M6 at the film M6 price.

    Regards
    CK

  3. #63
    PhotoNuts
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    Originally posted by ckiang
    Unfortunately, the DigiLux is not truly made by Leica. It's another version of the Panasonic Lumix LC-5. Handling unfortunately is not as good as the Panasonic - the thing feels slippery and plasticky. Costs only $1699 I think.

    What Leica needs to make is a Digital M6 at the film M6 price.

    Regards
    CK
    Frankly speaking, I don't really think that Leica will make a new body known as the Digital M6! But I think Leica will more likely to introduce a digital back for the M-system (makes more sence coz there are already lotsa M-system users around the world). If I am not wrong, I had heard of a article about a Magnum photographer taking about the digital back of a M6 camera!

    ps.. every capenter will chose his own tools, just like every photographer will chose his own cameras! So cool down and stop bashing about other system!
    Telling ya a joke, most people heard of 'how diffcult is to load a film in a M6', but how many of them had actally use or even touch the M6 b4??? think about it!

  4. #64

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    I think Eric has put his finger on it. The Leica is considered the ultimate tool for perhaps the most "prestigious" type of photographer - the photojournalist working in horrid conditions(although I would still prefer to use an EOS 1D at ISO 3200 with maybe a 16-35L if I had the choice, but it would be a little less unobtrusive).

    The problem, of course, is that we are NOT all photojournalists. We are mostly amateurs with delusions of grandeur. But having the "right" equipment can (we hope) cause some of that romantic photojournalist glamour to rub off on us. This is a vain hope.

    A great sculptor uses the sharpest chisels to create his masterpieces. He would settle for nothing less. In the hands of lesser men, the sharp tools may cut fingers rather than create works of art.

    To use another analogy, Lance Armstrong riding the latest Ti-alloy wonderbike can make it fly. If I bought a similar bike and imagined that it made me like Lance Armstrong, well, I enjoy my delusion and the rest of the world laughs at me. But actually I CAN ride just that little bit faster than the other AhBeng riding his Aleoca. But not against Lance on the Aleoca.

  5. #65

  6. #66
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    Originally posted by PhotoNuts


    Frankly speaking, I don't really think that Leica will make a new body known as the Digital M6! But I think Leica will more likely to introduce a digital back for the M-system (makes more sence coz there are already lotsa M-system users around the world). If I am not wrong, I had heard of a article about a Magnum photographer taking about the digital back of a M6 camera!

    ps.. every capenter will chose his own tools, just like every photographer will chose his own cameras! So cool down and stop bashing about other system!
    Telling ya a joke, most people heard of 'how diffcult is to load a film in a M6', but how many of them had actally use or even touch the M6 b4??? think about it!
    I used a M3 for a month and handled a M6 for a while. Film loading on the M3 is a pain, luckily the M6 improved on that. While both cameras are nice machines, one has to admit that they are overpriced for what they do. I think about 1/2 or more of the current price will be about right.

    Regards
    CK

  7. #67
    ewelch
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    Originally posted by ckiang
    Unfortunately, the DigiLux is not truly made by Leica. It's another version of the Panasonic Lumix LC-5. Handling unfortunately is not as good as the Panasonic - the thing feels slippery and plasticky. Costs only $1699 I think.

    What Leica needs to make is a Digital M6 at the film M6 price.

    Regards
    CK
    And why should Leica be held to a standard tougher than the rest? which professional digital camera costs the same as the professional film camera? This is the perfect example of the unreasonable expectations Leica faces based on price.

    All well-built items are increasingly expensive while quality grows in diminishing leaps as the quality approaches the absolute best possible for current lens making capabilities.

    My company builds microscopes for gemologists. We use Leica optics and we build the bases. They cost a whole lot more than average microscopes. Why? Becuase they are the best in the business. Not everyone is going to pay what we charge, but who cares? We also use them ourselves, and we won't compromise on quality for any reason.

    I photographed the neice of Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) who is a heart researcher at the University of Misouri Medical School in Columbia, MO. (I was a grad. student at the time). She noticed I was shooting with a Leica and I commented her microscopes were Leica too. (Note: Leica cameras and microscopes are no longer from the same company, but they have the same high standards).

    She commented that she has a hard time convincing her committee to fork out five times the cost of other brands of microscopes (Nikon or Olylmpus I think she said, but not sure), but she said it was worth it. Why? Becuase the image quaity was better, and when you're doing research, you want the absolute best optics.

    Yes, most of us won't ever be photojournalists, but that doesn't mean one can't benefit from tools. Next time you're working fast in a difficult lighting situation, turn off your autofocus and auto exposure and see what it's like to work like a pro. You'll be surprised, you spend more time on the subject, rather than on which focusing box is on the right part, locking the focus and expsoure at just the right setting. If you don't work like that when they're turned on, then you aren't realizing the potential of your camreas and lenses - no matter what brand.
    Last edited by ewelch; 3rd September 2002 at 10:14 PM.

  8. #68

    Default Dun want to pay for a overpriced Leica camera?

    Buy those Russian Leica II imitations!!!!

  9. #69
    dzeanah
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    Came here from a link on the Leica Forum.

    So if you're a truly competent Leica user, please share with us how you could reasonably justify that extra cost. No emotional here, just logical reasons.

    I don't know what "truly competent Leica user" means, and I'm not sure that I qualify. I'll try and answer the question though.

    As background, my camera ownership over the last decade has gone something like this (assume some overlap): Canon AE-1p, Canon F1N, Canon T90, Lubitel, cheap Japanese 6x6 TLR, Rolleiflex Automat-MX, Canon EF, Canon F1n (mechanical), Bronica ETR, Hasselblad 500C, Leica M4P, Konica Hexar-AF, Nikon F5, NIkon F3HP, Konica Hexar-RF, Rolleiflex 3.5E, Leica M6.

    I've used my share of cameras, and I think I've shot enough frames in different situations that I know something about my needs. I'm now at the point where most of my work is people photography (weddings with the smallest touch of portraiture), and my kit has changed somewhat to reflect that. I don't do macro work, or nature shots (defined as long-lens critter work), and find that automation in cameras (whether the F5, or Hexar-RF) tends to disengage my brain -- I think less about the work, produce lower quality work, and get less satisfaction out of it. I discovered when I owned a (manual except for the light meter) F1n and a T90 simultaneously -- features sell cameras, but they aren't necessarily a help. In fact, they can get in the way.

    I've discovered two things about the Leica M kits:

    1) They weigh less than "standard" outfits. I used to shoot weddings with the following gear: Nikon F5, 16/2.8 AF-D, 35/2 AF-D (piece of crap -- never buy one. Had it repaired 3 times!), 50/1.4 AF-D, 85/1.4 AF-D, 180 EDIF-D AF, SB26, extension rings, spare batteries, battery pack in-camera. That was the 35mm kit, I also carried a Hasselblad 500C, 50C, 80C, 150C, bracket, Sunpak 120J + battery pack, 4 backs.

    This was a killer for an 8-10 hour wedding, plus a logistical nightmare. It lead to back pain for days following the wedding, I would sweat like mad while running here-and-there with the kit, and (as with most of us) I don't function at my best when fatigued. Not to mention the times when part of my gear would get locked away because the wedding party would move and a church functionary would lock the room where I left my gear and disappear for an hour or so (you can't carry all of that with you all the time). And you can guess how much attention I attracted, while trying to be unobtrusive...

    Now I use a pair of M6's (one at a time, though that might change), 15/4.5, 35/2, 50/2, 90/2.8. I use a 285HV/omnibounce with a Battery 1+ when I have to shoot at night. As a result, I attract less attention, experience much less fatigue, and do better work while shooting less film (= better profit when paying for proofing). I've swapped the 'blad for a Rollei TLR that actually produces better images, but I'm finding no-one really cares about having formals in medium format.

    I discovered the same thing on vacation, when I realised that walking around in AUstria and Italy with 55 lbs in camera gear is no fun, but I was younger and more foolish then...

    2) Leica rangefinders work better for low-light people photography than any other camera I've tried. Period. Minimal camera shake, rangefinder focusing, a DOF scale you can actually read (should you have enough light to use it), lenses that excel wide-open, lenses that are very resistant to flare, excellence with wide-angles, etc.

    So, for me, doing the sort of work that I do, Leica M's allow me to get greater satisfaction and better images than any other camera I've used. But then, I don't need auto-wind or auto-focus or auto-exposure either. I just want a camera to do what I tell it to, and do what it does excellently. And it's really hard to beat an M6 Classic for that.

  10. #70
    dzeanah
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    I forgot to address the "cost" question. It turns out that in most cases you actually have to spend money in order to get into a situation where you make money. And we get to the point where people simply can't understand buying patterns that don't match their own.

    Is it worth the additional money to get a diesel engine in a truck that's going to see much use? What about buying Cisco routers for branch offices instead of something less expemsive? Is SCSI worth the additional cost for a server over IDE? What about hardware RAID cards -- how can someone justify spending $1000 for a high-quality SCSI-160 RAID card when modern operating systems come with software RAID built in!? And what's the advantage of buying a "server" anyway, when you can just use a "desktop" instead?

    I don't see an M6 outfit as more expensive than an F5 outfit (what I used previously), and as it actually allows me to do better work and saves me on film costs shooting the way I shoot for about the same investment, one could argue that in my case it's less expensive than the comparable Nikon. Note that this is the same argument that high-volume shooters use to justify high-end digital -- when all is said and done, they've spent less money than the would have with the "less expensive" option.

    But then, it's hard to value subjective issues like quality-of-output. How to you value something that allows you to produce better work? Unless you can sharply define the difference, and market specifically on that difference, and begin to charge more for that difference alone, then there's nothing approaching objective proof. The best you can say is "I know my situation, and I quantify the difference as $xxx or $y,yyy."

    In my case, I used to average about 1300 frames per wedding. My cost (film + proofing at a pro lab + shipping) is something like $0.64per frame that I shoot. Now I find that with the Leica I get more keepers, but I also shoot something like 20% less frames (the rangefinder allows you to predict action better than SLR viewing, which results in less "gambled" shots). 20% of 1300 is 260 frames less per wedding, which comes to $166.40 that I save on each wedding versus the Nikon F5.

    How many weddings would I have to shoot with that kit before you think it's more cost effective? And no, I'm not ready to go to digital yet: I'm not sure it would actually save me money once you factor in time, and I'd have to go back to a god-awfully heavy kit again since there are no M-ish digital rangefinders...

  11. #71
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    but opinions remain opinions because ppl are stubborn... so what we need is a leica introductory workshop yes yes?
    I have NEVER touched a rangefinder although I know how it works. I have only touched an FM2 and it was slow and heavy to me and being a novice I have no idea what exposure to use except to accept the + o - on the viewfinder.
    Until I tried my SLR tele recently I thought it was the same as my digicam, that F2.8 was same everywhere.
    Some ppl want the best because they feel restrained by the lesser ones. Some don't need it some don't care.
    So headbutting is here no matter how logical or objective you are... because the more pro you are the bigger your latent ego is, especially when defending your choices.
    I rather "hmmm that's nice, but not my cup of tea."

    Anyone think this thread getting too generically philosophical?

    PS: How about that workshop yeah? I have been to a Canon workshop and it was cool to hold and tryout the pro models...
    "I'm... dreaming... of a wide... angle~
    Just like the ones I used to know~"

  12. #72
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    Ewelch,

    You seem to have a good amount of experience and I applaud you for that, and respect your views as such. But who decided that the Leica M was the single most desired PJ camera in the world? As a working PJ, I for one wouldn't want it for my work. Nor, I can quite safely say, would a good number of my colleagues in the general PJ field.

    You talk about the same old comments, you're absolutely right. Like what you're coming up with. Like repeating again your M setup is no more expensive than an F5 setup. Don't you know the old reply to that as someone who's been there and done that? In fact, it was handled a few times by CK in this very thread, if not myself. Just to be clear:

    [1] The M6 photojournalist outfit costs the same as an F5 setup? Hogwash. Take a look at these prices:

    M6 TTL - US$2000
    35/2 - US$2000
    50/1.4 - US$2500
    90/2 - US$2000

    Total - US$8500 +/- 500

    F5 - US$2000
    35/2 - US$250
    50/1.4 - US$300
    85/1.8 - US$350

    Total - US$2900 +/- 200

    That's an almost 200% increase. About the same? Right... Okay, so maybe you didn't say "system" but just the M6 and the F5. But that's a stupid comparison and you know it. I don't care how good your red spotted M6 is, it still needs lenses to take pictures.

    [2] IF, and that's a VERY big if, prices are the same, as CK has gone on ad nauseum, you get a lot more bang for your US$2000 spent on an F5 than on an M6. Feature set wise. I don't care if an M6 is hand built, I don't care if it's labelled in sweat, blood and tears. An F5 tends to work as well as a general rule, so it doesn't really matter how it's produced does it?

    And as to that analogy with microscopes... yes, if optical quality is all that important, then don't use the Leica. Sad, but true. Been there and done that my friend? Then you already know what the stock response is. Think big.

    Dzeanah,

    You too seem to have lots of experience. But sorry, if shooting automatic stuff makes you lazy, then the problem's not your camera equipment, it's your self discipline. Sad but true.

    Second, ever consider buying a different all manual setup like an FM2 or whatever, heck even an FE10 for all I know, that would be about, literally, 10 times cheaper than an M setup? Achieves the same slow-me-down thing, at a fraction of the cost.

    Third, if you really want to slow down more and increase your keeper percentage hence saving on film costs, shoot more with your 'blad. Oops, you sold that. The Rollei then.

    Fourth, your killer kit. Yes, it's stupidly heavy I agree. But how much for that is down to the Blad with three lenses and four backs? I know the Nikon setup would definitely be heavier than the Leica (with, if I'm really nitpicking, one extra lens as well that you included along the way), but let's not weight the illustration and argument unnecessarily okay (no pun intended)? Leave out the Blad

    Now to all Leica people, I say again, as I did at the start (or actually in RD's other thread I believe). I don't give a toss if you use Leica and think the world off it. It's your choice, your money, and I don't care. But let's not start confusing fantasy for fact on certain issues, such as price for starters. Just use your d*** cameras and don't feel the need to defend them please...

    And BTW, two very knowledgeable and well-experienced (not to mention well-heeled) professionals springing up in Clubsnap with two posts each and only in this thread both defending Leica? If I didn't know better, I'd say it was co-incidence. But as they say, curiosity (and stupidity) killed the cat so I really should know better.

    Or as someone with a better head than me just at the current moment would say, re-inforcements. How convenient. Nice one. And BH, tsk. I'm shocked, honestly.

  13. #73
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    Originally posted by Jed
    [1] The M6 photojournalist outfit costs the same as an F5 setup? Hogwash. Take a look at these prices:

    M6 TTL - US$2000
    35/2 - US$2000
    50/1.4 - US$2500
    90/2 - US$2000

    Total - US$8500 +/- 500

    F5 - US$2000
    35/2 - US$250
    50/1.4 - US$300
    85/1.8 - US$350

    Total - US$2900 +/- 200
    Jed, i don't know the US prices, but your prices for the Leica lenses are way off, at least by SGD dollars. 35f2 ASPH, latest version should not cost more than SGD$2300 (in fact, i got mine for much less than that new...so...again it's where u look...) US $2000 makes it almost SGD$3600, going by current exchange rates. that's the price of a Summilux 35mm f1.4, not f2 version. Even then, the f1.4 version quite possibly cost less than SGD $3600. (the last time i checked, Cathay equote for that lens is lower than $3600)

    ditto for the other lenses. the most expensive lens in the lineup is the Summilux 35 f1.4 for focal lengths less than 50mm.......(i think)

    maybe they are more expensive in the US or UK. not too sure myself.

    and of course, yes, the cost of owning an M system is still higher than a Nikon manual focus system. But not as high as u presented here.


    Now to all Leica people, I say again, as I did at the start (or actually in RD's other thread I believe). I don't give a toss if you use Leica and think the world off it. It's your choice, your money, and I don't care. But let's not start confusing fantasy for fact on certain issues, such as price for starters. Just use your d*** cameras and don't feel the need to defend them please...
    Again, not pointing fingers at you or anyone (esp CK, who remains my good friend despite his different views), we didn't choose to talk about Leica ownership cos we got nothing better to do. You non-Leica users started it!

    If similar "provocative" (i'm using that term loosely here to include even humourous well meaning jabs) comments were made in the Nikon equipment forum, i wouldn't expect Nikon users to sit down and shut up as well.

    in fact, if u look at the start of the thread, no Leica user ever posted anything at all. ok, i started the thread, but even then, i wasn't comparing brands, i was posting news!


    And BTW, two very knowledgeable and well-experienced (not to mention well-heeled) professionals springing up in Clubsnap with two posts each and only in this thread both defending Leica? If I didn't know better, I'd say it was co-incidence. Heck they've even both got vaguely similar handles in so far as having small initial letters and otherwise weird letters. But as they say, curiosity (and stupidity) killed the cat so I really should know better.
    u're right Jed. it's no coincidence. Word somehow got around 2 Leica mailing lists and at least 1 Leica forum about this thread (yes ClubSnap is now known internationally!) and a number of them came over to take a look.

    only Eric and Dzeanah actually posted anything here. most chose to comment in the respective mailing lists instead of getting past the registration process to post a reply here.

    the fact that it's no coincidence shouldn't invalidate anything that both of them has said. And just in case u're wondering, no they are not the same person and no, they have never visited ClubSnap before. they came over to share their experiences and i think that's a REALLY GOOD THING (tm).

    i would surmise there are a lot more Leica owning lurkers (both Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans) than we know.........

    in fact, and i only discovered this yesterday, there is a discussion going on right now in one of the forums regarding this thread. (a thread discussing another thread......interesting )
    David Teo
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  14. #74
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    Originally posted by Red Dawn
    Jed, i don't know the US prices, but your prices for the Leica lenses are way off, at least by SGD dollars.
    B&H as usual. Nice, independent site.

    and of course, yes, the cost of owning an M system is still higher than a Nikon manual focus system. But not as high as u presented here.

    See above. At any rate, okay, so even if it doesn't cost 3.6k but 2.3k. Still, the Jap equivalent costs $450. You're still miles and miles away.

    Again, not pointing fingers at you or anyone (esp CK, who remains my good friend despite his different views), we didn't choose to talk about Leica ownership cos we got nothing better to do. You non-Leica users started it!

    Like I've never talked about it with you before either. And I intend to keep it that way.

    u're right Jed. it's no coincidence. Word somehow got around 2 Leica mailing lists and at least 1 Leica forum about this thread (yes ClubSnap is now known internationally!) and a number of them came over to take a look.

    Sorry, but this is the understatement of the year. Canvasing for support, first from Greg then yourself? That's why I'm shocked. Does it mean so much to you that you need to win an argument, mebbe perhaps to justify your M6? I told you, I don't care. I told you ages ago I rated you as a photog and I still do.

    Word "somehow got around". Wow.

    only Eric and Dzeanah actually posted anything here. most chose to comment in the respective mailing lists instead of getting past the registration process to post a reply here.

    If you don't mind me saying, amen for that. Not because we don't welcome new people here, and that includes Ewelch and Dzeanah, but because it would have started an almighty mess.

  15. #75

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    Nothing wrong with people coming in to make a point right? I surely hope this is not a close forum? don't be too sensitive when other forums are talking about the same topic, it's good since it offers many point of views, personally I think the topic is getting to personal here, I see constructive comments elsewhere too.

    I made a very early posting and that was my point then, not sure why the overprice thingy cropped up but it's a good discussion.

    still one sentence from me, use what you need to get the results you want, then feel good about it. The price thing, it's a subjective matter, I think the right word is 'affordability', drop the expensive term. $3000 might mean a big sum to many, but not to all.

    So more pics from everyone? (you may use any camera )

  16. #76
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    Oooh... let's see how hot we can make this thread. After so many posts, I still haven't got the answer I wanted. So I am posting the questions again, food for thought. Can ANY LEICALITE please not sidestep the issue with answers like "it's good, it does what I want so it's worth it?"

    1. Why does an old tech camera like the M6 has to cost as much as a EOS 1V or nearly the cost of an F5 when the latter 2 are technologically more advanced (again, not that you need all the features)? Being a "bare bone" camera, should it cost "bare bone" price as well? At least the Voigtlander R2's cost is much more bearable. Besides, the M6 is essentially a Nikon FM (sorry, I couldn't find any other reference cameras from other makers) minus the mirror and ground glass. And the FM is no lesser built than the M6. Both are mechanical, both can be used without batteries, and both have top speed of 1/1000. Very limited if you are using fast film and fast lenses in bright light and you want f/2.0.

    2. Lenses - again, no doubt they are a lot better built than the equivalent japanese 'crap' plasticky AF lenses. So let's compare to the old MF ones. Again, the Nikon 35mm f/2 AIS is no more than $500 used, I would think the Canon FD equivalent is around there as well, but even a 35/2 Summicron is going to be > $1000 used. Same for the 50mms. Quality wise, the non-Leica lenses (or even the V-C ones are not going to be that far off unless you are printing 20 x 30".

    3. M7 - Ah, need I say again? What took Leica so long to figure out how to do AE on their bodies? Like I said, back in 1976, Nikon has already came up with the FE, which has Aperture Priority autoexposure. Without batteries, it works at B or 1/90. On the M7, without batteries, it works at 1/30 and 1/60. Both of which cannot be used with flash.

    Ah, but the FE has been superceded by the FE2, then Nikon decided to merge the highly popular FM2 with the FE2 features and came up with the FM3A recently. Unlike the M7, the FM3A works at all shutter speeds without batteries. Top shutter speed? 1/4000. And it's just as well built.

    Doesn't deserve any award, I'd say. The M7 is really nothing great. A Digital M6 WOULD be something great. Leica always give me the impression that they are technologically backward, they don't even have digital cameras (Leica doesn't believe in digital? and no, the Digilux doesn't count )

    So, where does all the extra money go to?

    If one would pay $3000 for a M6, would you pay $6000 for a EOS 1V or F5 given that it's so much more advanced, therefore should cost more?

    Regards
    CK

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    Originally posted by Jed

    Sorry, but this is the understatement of the year. Canvasing for support, first from Greg then yourself? That's why I'm shocked. Does it mean so much to you that you need to win an argument, mebbe perhaps to justify your M6? I told you, I don't care. I told you ages ago I rated you as a photog and I still do.
    thanks that's good to hear from you. (last statement)

    seriously i don't need to justify my M6, and i can't, for the hell of me, understand why others think that i have to.

    look i bought it for wat seems like a long time ago now, after much research. i have ran more than 30 rolls through it, and decided that yes, the way it works suits me, and it works very well for me.

    i posted pictures (after i have the capability to do scanning myself) taken with it, and made absolutely no comment about other camera brands in relation to Leica.

    So why the beef with it, or wat i am doing? (from others, not u)

    i have already mentioned here, it does wat i want to do, and it allows me to take the kind of pictures i want to take, and it's a system that i will keep along with the Canon system. i've already said that earlier in the thread, and was to have been my last word on it. should have been, anyway, until i saw your posting.

    as for canvassing support, when i saw that thread yesterday night, i decided to jump in. and why not? more viewpoints from the other side of the camp is always good no?

    and i dare say both sides are just as eager and zealous to point their point across, not just Leica users. The non Leica users are just as vehement.


    If you don't mind me saying, amen for that. Not because we don't welcome new people here, and that includes Ewelch and Dzeanah, but because it would have started an almighty mess.
    yes i get wat u mean. totally agree.

    right this should REALLY be my last post on this topic.
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  18. #78
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    Originally posted by dzeanah
    I forgot to address the "cost" question. It turns out that in most cases you actually have to spend money in order to get into a situation where you make money. And we get to the point where people simply can't understand buying patterns that don't match their own.
    That's simply what I said as 'cost justification'. Everybody has his own need to justify the cost he has to pay, so you're right in that respect.
    Each time somebody blow Leica name to top, I always ask him whether he really know of its advantage or really need it. why? it is useless to talk with somebody who own a Leica as 'status symbol' or a Leica-fanatic.

    The popularity of Leica achieve a near cult status, some of its users understand fully all of its advantage and they need it, but some of them are just followers proud of it as 'status symbol'.
    The Leica owe much to its rangefinder design which excel among its few competitors. There is not many option to choose for a rangefinder able to meet professional needs (seems as the Japanese didn't want to go into this niche market). This is contrary to SLR market where competition is tight enough.
    You may notice that all of 'pro-Leica' people will give reasons which is actually property of rangefinders (e.g.: small, quiet, lightweight, etc.) instead of Leica's own advantage.
    Fine craftmanship quality and narrow market lead to a highly priced products which to certain extend may not sustain the business in today's competitive world. Especially in the emerging of digital technology which can challenge those rangefinders' advantages.

    Both 'pro-Leica' and 'contra-Leica' people have their own reason to justify based on their needs. So there should be no generic definition on the cost issue. It may be cost-effective for photo-journalist who need robust rangefinder camera with good quality lens, but just a waste for wildlife or sport photographers who need the long tele with fast AF. Arguing along this line will never reach an end.

  19. #79
    dzeanah
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    Overall cost as referenced in my post. Let's use my kit for starters:

    M6 and 35/2 : swapped for my F5 + 85/1.4
    50/2: 350 (used from LUG)
    90/2.8: 750
    15 Heliar: 250
    ---------------
    difference: 1350

    Versus comparable Nikon:
    35/2: 250 (piece o crap -- buy another instead if you want it to stop down reliably.)
    MN-30 battery: 130 (try shooting more than 13 rolls without this -- I dare you)
    50/1.8: 110
    85/1.4 + F5: See above
    15mm: 1600
    ---------------
    ~$2100.

    Now that's not quite fair for 2 reasons:

    1) I bought the Leica stuff used, and the Nikon gear new. A big part of that is because your average used Leica gear has been babied a *lot* more than comparable Nikon gear.
    2) I used the 16mm fisheye instead of the 15mm 'cause I didn't think I could afford it, and the 15mm Voigtlander might be the best 15mm lens in the bang-for-your-buck category, but that's comparable. Throw in a 16mm instead and you bring the Nikon price down to about the (used) Leica price. You're welcome to come back with used Nikon prices (KEH is probably a decent source for numbers) if you'd like to continue this. Now again I'm only speaking from my experience, but for me the cost was comparable. Accept that or not.

    And as to that analogy with microscopes... yes, if optical quality is all that important, then don't use the Leica. Sad, but true. Been there and done that my friend?

    Wife is an MD, and isn't the gear-hog that I am (she wants another Canon EF and an FD-mount 50/1.4, as ours broke). She's run into Leica microscopes in use (only bought with grant money of course -- hospital won't authorize nicer than Nikons) and she can see a huge difference. As can her colleagues. Of course, we're talking about a different company than the one that makes cameras, and oil-immersion lenses, and crap like that, but it's got a name in the medical community for a reason. Hell, even med students can see a difference. Don't know that it's relevant to the thread, but can't see where you're coming from with that comment...


    But sorry, if shooting automatic stuff makes you lazy, then the problem's not your camera equipment, it's your self discipline. Sad but true.

    Ah, I forgot. "I get better results with manual cameras" didn't really mean that, did it? It must have meant that I'm really undisciplined. Which means, of course, that my choice of low-automation in cameras is actually a crutch, right?

    Sorry dude, this is the way it works when I shoot. With me, it goes one of two ways:

    1) Automation gets in the way: "which focus-point is going to be optimal in the next few seconds," "crap -- she's backlit -- need to increase exposure 1.3 stops with the wide-angle," "Did I knock the camera off matrix metering the last time I threw it over my back," "ARRRGGGHHH - the friggin focus point is locked because it needed to be for the flash to focus in low light 2 minutes ago," etc.
    2) Turn the camera on Aperture priority, trust the AF, and concentrate completely on the subject instead of the light.

    I'm sorry -- call it what you will (incompetence, lack of discipline, whatever) but this is how automation affects my photography. Believe it or not, there are a lot of us like that out here. With the Leica (or a Canon F1, or F3HP though I never liked its "vibe") it's a matter of figuring out what the light level is and shooting. Simple as that.

    ever consider buying a different all manual setup like an FM2 or whatever, heck even an FE10 for all I know, that would be about, literally, 10 times cheaper than an M setup? Achieves the same slow-me-down thing, at a fraction of the cost.

    It's not about slow (last wedding I was at I got a wonderful 7-frame sequence of the cake cutting, manual-wind), it's about usability. Re-read my past list of cameras and you'll see an F3HP, owned concurrently with the F5. Might be that if I had purchased MF lenses with better (less-sensitive) feel and real DOF indicators I would have liked it better. Still wouldn't have addressed the weight issue though, or give me a viewfinder that allows me to see outside the frame, etc.

    if you really want to slow down more and increase your keeper percentage hence saving on film costs, shoot more with your 'blad. Oops, you sold that. The Rollei then.

    You're focusing too much on "slowing down." Believe me when I say that wasn't my point, and your off-the-cuff answers aren't a solution to the issues I raised. "Slowing down" wasn't the issue -- better work was (and less film used if talking about "cost.") I gave some reasons why, too.

    A question for you: is a Nikon F5 a better low-light people-photography camera than an M6 in your mind? Is it better with wide-angles? Is it better at letting you pick the moment the action peaks to press the shutter? Is it better at staying unnoticed so you don't influence the events you're trying to photograph?

    Is it rational for someone to include these issues in their choice of tools, if that is the main sort of photography they do?

    I know the Nikon setup would definitely be heavier than the Leica (with, if I'm really nitpicking, one extra lens as well that you included along the way), but let's not weight the illustration and argument unnecessarily okay (no pun intended)? Leave out the Blad

    There's still no comparison. Trust me on this, or don't -- go to B&H and gather the comparable weights for an M6+35/2+50/2+90/2.8+15 and compare it to your comparable F5 kit (don't forget the weight of the battery pack!). Then imagine bulk -- it's a Domke F5XB versus a Domke F2 Original. Big difference.

    I don't give a toss if you use Leica and think the world off it. It's your choice, your money, and I don't care. But let's not start confusing fantasy for fact on certain issues, such as price for starters. Just use your d*** cameras and don't feel the need to defend them please...

    But I don't believe you when you say this. I say "the M6 kit does the kind of work I do better than anything else I've tried," and you come back with "if so it's only because you've got no discipline, and besides, the weight issue isn't that big of a deal."

    Sounds like an emotional argument:
    1) All automated = more disciplined approach to photography than all-manual camera. Anyone who gets better results with the latter is a slob.
    2) Weight? You've got a bad back? Dude -- don't dis' the Nikon, it ain't that big of a difference, even after 10 hours of it..."

    We're different in the way we choose our tools. Probably the same with cars -- I drive a TDI (diesel) Jetta because it was the best choice for me. Arguing with that choice because an Explorer is better for you (or even most of the people you know) is, well, pointless. So we're different? So what?

    And BTW, two very knowledgeable and well-experienced (not to mention well-heeled) professionals springing up in Clubsnap with two posts each and only in this thread both defending Leica? If I didn't know better, I'd say it was co-incidence.

    It's a conspiracy! Or, wait, maybe that's covered by the first line I posted here?

    Or as someone with a better head than me just at the current moment would say, re-inforcements.

    Either that or someone asked "how can anyone rational justify the additional cost of a camera that clearly loses in any comparison based on features," and I thought I'd offer (what I thought was) a rational take on it.

    Didn't know I was offering the "undisciplined" take on it though. My apologies to the group.

    By the way, you didn't address my second post. At a savings of $160 per shoot, how many shoots would you have to shoot a year before the difference in film costs made choosing the "more expensive" system a rational choice? Assume either camera system will last at least 10 years.

  20. #80
    dzeanah
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    --------------------------
    CK:
    --------------------------

    Can ANY LEICALITE please not sidestep the issue with answers like "it's good, it does what I want so it's worth it?"

    I tried once: I get better work with it, it's a better camera for the kind of work that I do, and overall it saves money in reduced film costs.

    Sorry if this is non-responsive -- rephrase and I'll try to do better.

    Why does an old tech camera like the M6 has to cost as much as a EOS 1V or nearly the cost of an F5 when the latter 2 are technologically more advanced

    'Cause that's how the market values it? The cameras have a large following, and the used market is now pricing M6 "classic" cameras at around $1,100.

    At least the Voigtlander R2's cost is much more bearable.

    As in the Konica Hexar-RF (whose 50/2 is better than the 50 Summicron, IMHO).

    Quality wise, the non-Leica lenses (or even the V-C ones are not going to be that far off unless you are printing 20 x 30".

    Uhmmmm. Close enough, I guess. Part of the problem is we're talking about minor differences in build quality or resistance to flare or whatever, but minor changes result in big changes in price. That, and limited production versus the economies of scale that come with high sales (how many F5's have been sold, anyway?) influences things a lot.

    M7 - Ah, need I say again? What took Leica so long to figure out how to do AE on their bodies?

    Good question. Note that I'm in no hurry to move to the 7 though. And you're completely right about the trade-offs in going with an electronic shutter. Not that I think it will ever matter in my work (unless the wife and I do the overseas medical-mission next year), but for someone like Tina Manly it can matter a great deal.

    If one would pay $3000 for a M6, would you pay $6000 for a EOS 1V or F5 given that it's so much more advanced, therefore should cost more?

    I wouldn't, but I might pay #3000 for a new production Nikon S3 with a meter in the body. Say if it had a lens mount that took Leica/Hexar lenses, or something that actually works well in manual focus mode (unlike the Contax G2, iirc.) You want to talk about an expensive camera?

    The Nikon S3 with a 50/1.4 is sold at B&H for five thousand dollars. Why so expensive?

    ---------------
    tsdh
    ----------------

    You may notice that all of 'pro-Leica' people will give reasons which is actually property of rangefinders (e.g.: small, quiet, lightweight, etc.) instead of Leica's own advantage.

    That's exactly right. Give us the option of an S3, or a G2 that wasn't autofocus and had focusing scales on the lens and a non-horrid viewfinder, and some of us might switch. Believe it or not, it's just a tool for some of us -- for others it's a status symbol, or something they lock away in a display case, or something they buy at auction and x-ray to verify the serial number because they don't want to open the box.

    I can't explain all that crap -- I just like to use the cameras.

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