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Thread: Double honors for the LEICA M7

  1. #81
    dzeanah
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    Oh crap. 3 pages now (and I have a lot of posts per screen.)

    Maybe it's time to quit? Lots of people see no appeal in "obsolete" camera designs (hell, it was introduced in 1953 right? More obsolete than the Hasselblad 500C which was introduced 4 years later, but not as obsolete as the Rollei TLR's which have been here since before the war...)

    And you need to understand, I've done some very fulfilling work with Nikons, Canons (only MF -- never used the AF Canon), Hasselblad, Rollei -- even the Lubitel was capable of showable results.

    I chose to equip myself the way I do because it works best for me doing the kind of work that I do. If I shot sports, or had to get images to the client ASAP, or was a John Shaw kind of macro guy, or whatever, I might very well choose differently (not for travel photography though -- Leicas rock in that arena too).

    Kind of like my TDI Jetta -- my friend told me I was a fool to drop an additiona $1,200 on the diesel engine back when fuel was still $0.79 per gallon. It took 70,000 miles before I saved that amount (gotta love 42 MPG at 85 mph cruise), but now (4 years after buying the car) with 147,000 miles on the car, I know I made the right choice. Is a diesel right for everyone? Nope. Is a Leica M? Nope.

    But it is for me.

  2. #82
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    Hi,

    Originally posted by dzeanah
    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.
    Sorry it is. Yes, the M6 does the work for you, it's the better camera for you (and for several other users as well), but doesn't hide the fact about the overpricing. I tend to believe it's more of a brand issue than anything else. A M6 should not cost what it costs now for what it does. A Bessa R2 or Hexar RF would probably do 99% of what the M6 does for you, no? At more than half the cost too. And the savings can go into film, another lens, a nice holiday with your wife, whatever.


    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).
    Right. You are starting to get me. So what's with using the original Leicas?


    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.
    That's the problem - limited production. High prices doesn't help. It's a vicious cycle. High prices -> less people buy -> low demand, so they can't make more -> can't lower prices


    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.
    M7 is a disappointment, if you ask me.

    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?
    That IS expensive, no doubt. For that kind of price, I'd rather get a Leica. Or even a medium format system which will beat any 35mm (Leica included) in terms of image quality anyway. Of course, then portability becomes an issue.


    Regards
    CK

  3. #83
    mmmmmm
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    I have an EOS system consisting of an EOS-3, 17-35/2.8, 28-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 300/4.0, EF1.4x, filters, close up lens, 550EX, etc. This kit barely fits into a Nature-trekker backpack.

    I accumulated all of this great equipment, but I wasn't enjoying photography. I have a few 16x20 prints from the zooms. For portraiture they are good, but for nature shots they look flat. I wasn't happy with the sharpness and contrast. I wanted to do better, but I didn't know how.

    I looked back at what had worked for me in the past. The best photos of my life came from the Pentax spotmatic and 50mm/f1.4 that I had when I was in college. My hi-tech 45 position AF computerized plastic whiz box was giving me fewer keepers than my old spotmatic.

    I had a decision to make. Should I dump the zooms and go for primes? Was the lens quality the only thing that was wrong?
    What if I bought the primes and still wasn't happy?

    Should I switch to Medium Format? My kit was already too big and heavy. Did I really want to switch to another kit that was even bigger?

    Then I stumbled onto an article about the Leica M7. I did some research. I was intrigued. This camera had every feature my old spotmatic had, plus AE. It was smaller, had modern optics (that are considered the standard to which others are compared) and could be taken into a crowd without attracting attention (a big problem with the EOS).

    After some additional research and sole searching I decided that I wanted to be more in touch with the photos that I was taking. I wanted to choose the precise point of focus, not which of 45 AF sensor points to use. I wanted to choose the part of the scene to meter, not let a microprocessor second guess what I was trying to do. I wanted to see what was coming into the frame before it arrived. I wanted to take the exposure precisely when I push the button, not a few hundred milliseconds later. I wanted a kit that I could sling over my shoulder and carry around all day without getting tired, or attracting attention. I wanted a camera that would allow me to use an compact light weight tripod, not the Bogen monster that I had to carry.

    To make a long story short I bought an M6TTL plus 4 lenses. I bought the M6 instead of the M7 because I didn't want to fall back into relying on automation to do my thinking for me. Also because of the deep discount on the M6. I bought gray market lenses to keep the price down. Still, I spent a bundle.

    I still have my EOS kit. The only lens I ever use is the 300/F4. For telephoto work it is great. I use the Leica for everything else.

    Was the Leica worth the money? You bet. For me it was the perfect solution given the situation I was in. For me, shooting with my EOS-3 is like kissing my sister. Shooting with the Leica is like kissing (you fill in the blank). How much is that worth to you?

    David

    P.S. I have to admit that sometimes I feel the need to impress someone who doesn't know squat about photography. On those occasions I drag out the EOS backpack. My knowledgeable friends couldn't care less.

  4. #84
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    Considered the cheaper rangefinders like the Bessa R/R2s, the Hexar AFs, etc? The would offer you 99% of the M6.

    Regards
    CK

  5. #85
    Ozz
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    [Bessa R/R2..] would offer 99% of M6. - sounds like a joke from Anthony.

  6. #86
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    Originally posted by Ozz
    [Bessa R/R2..] would offer 99% of M6. - sounds like a joke from Anthony.
    As in the Anthony of Anthony's Collections?

    Seriously, besides a better build and more silent shutter, I don't see any more differences besides price and the red dot.

    Regards
    CK

  7. #87
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    Originally posted by ckiang


    As in the Anthony of Anthony's Collections?

    Seriously, besides a better build and more silent shutter, I don't see any more differences besides price and the red dot.
    ok i know i'm not supposed to comment anymore...but.....

    i think Ozz is referring to Anthony's Collections, yes. I think best not to thread there............we don't want to talk behind any vendor's back.........besides they are also trying to do business.

    on to the Bessa.....

    isn't better build worth more money?
    isn't a full metal body worth more than a plastic one, even if it's good grade polycarbonate?
    there's a reason why the robustness of the F5, 1v, M series bodies are revered....cos they last....

    The original Bessa is quite flimsy compared to the Bessa R2, which is much better. None of which, of course, feels as good or is as robust as an M.....i did seriously consider a R2 paired with Leica lenses.

    Both have short effective rangefinder baselengths, which means u're going to be in trouble when u try to focus a 75mm f1.4 lens at f1.4, or a 90mm f2 lens at f2.......

    above 50mm, and even 50mm at near wide open apertures, focus accuracy drops drastically. For wide angle use it's perfectly fine. For longer focal lengths, its best to stop down the lens.

    maybe that's why Voigtlander doesn't make very fast telephoto lenses. Their fastest is f2.5 i believe. Both the 75 f1.4 and the 90 f2 i mentioned are Leica made M lenses.

    In the CV mailing list, users were lamenting the Bessas also suffer in low light metering, where its meter wouldn't work at certain levels. (how true this is, i don't know.) it's certainly not as sensitive as the M.

    Having said that, however, I think CV (Cosina / Voigtlander) is one of the most enterprising camera company ever, considering how fast they took to introduce the Bessa line and the rangefinder lenses.

    They also have brought shocking innovations which neither Canon, Nikon nor Leica ever has. An example is the rectilinear super wide angle 12mm f5.6 Heliar - and at an affordable price to boot. The last time i checked, both the Canon 14mm f2.8L and the Nikkor equivalent costs an arm and a leg. (not to say they are not useful when u need them)

    To me, their lens offerings at wide angles remind me of Sigma. i like sigma wide angles

    A Bessa R2 is definitely a good entry level rangefinder for anyone who wants to get into rangefinding without the high cost. But saying it's just as good as a Leica M is well, pushing it

    ok no more posting in this thread just want to get this bit about Cosina / Voigtlander off my chest.

    They are a good company, IMHO. Best value for money.
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  8. #88
    dzeanah
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    Seriously, besides a better build and more silent shutter, I don't see any more differences besides price and the red dot.

    And it's been on the market for how long?

    You may be right -- my interest in it is because it's got a higher flash sync (better outdoors), but the 2 issues you referenced have value too. My F5 in "silent" mode attracted people's attention while shooting a wedding ceremony, while no-one appears to notice the M6. And built quality is important if you're shooting a once-ina-a-lifetime event, or if you've got a client to please.

    Is it easier to explain a camera failure to a client when you've used a cheap camera because it was "just as good" as the one known for better build quality, or does the "I'm shocked -- this is a $2,000 camera!" line work better? Think Elan versus Eos-1x, or N70 versus an F5. Does durability matter when you're getting paid $2,000+ just to show up and shoot?

    What price quality? Again, this is a subjective issue, and we're all going to evaluate things diffferently. I've never held a Bessa 2, so I can't comment on build quality. But I always chose the F1n over the AE1, the F3HP over the FE, the F5 over the N90 -- it's worth it to me, even though you could make the argument that "the pictures from each body will look the same, and build quality is probably good enough for anyone!"

  9. #89
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    Originally posted by dzeanah
    Seriously, besides a better build and more silent shutter, I don't see any more differences besides price and the red dot.

    And it's been on the market for how long?

    You may be right -- my interest in it is because it's got a higher flash sync (better outdoors), but the 2 issues you referenced have value too. My F5 in "silent" mode attracted people's attention while shooting a wedding ceremony, while no-one appears to notice the M6. And built quality is important if you're shooting a once-ina-a-lifetime event, or if you've got a client to please.

    Is it easier to explain a camera failure to a client when you've used a cheap camera because it was "just as good" as the one known for better build quality, or does the "I'm shocked -- this is a $2,000 camera!" line work better? Think Elan versus Eos-1x, or N70 versus an F5. Does durability matter when you're getting paid $2,000+ just to show up and shoot?

    What price quality? Again, this is a subjective issue, and we're all going to evaluate things diffferently. I've never held a Bessa 2, so I can't comment on build quality. But I always chose the F1n over the AE1, the F3HP over the FE, the F5 over the N90 -- it's worth it to me, even though you could make the argument that "the pictures from each body will look the same, and build quality is probably good enough for anyone!"
    True, the F5 is noisy (so is my F100). You are also right about the build quality issues when in critical assignments. Unfortunately, I don't get $2000+ assignments.

    Regards
    CK

  10. #90
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    Default dzeanah,

    ..."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."...

    hey, cm'on dont knock others and their 'crap' just because their reasons for owning an M is not as practical as yours.


    ed
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  11. #91
    Ozz
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    OK, let's not talk about Cosina /Voigtlander. (Do you ever wonder why Cosina. a cheapo brand, must disguise as Voigtlander, a vintage German brand?? )

    If Bessa R2 can be considered to be 99% of M6, would one then consider the Konica Hexar RF as more than 100% of M6? And it is much cheeaper! (4000 top speed? 125 flash sync, built-in motor, AF, etc.. with a 50f2 which some said is better than the summicron, plus a flash, all for about S$2200 only!!) Some people even said that Leica should have made their M7 this way.

    $ for $, every one would go for the HEXAR rather than the M7, logical?? Check with CP or those few second hand camera shops and see since they brought in those few sets, how many got sold Where is the LOGIC?? Everyone is insane or what?

    Talking about price (or, overprice), would you agree with me that if Leica is priced at Cosina level, it may NOT even sell?!

    (To be continued)

  12. #92
    Ozz
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    What is my point then? Leica (M) sells not on features. It sells because it feels so good (or shiok, if singlish) to use a Leica. You simply can't find that feeling in a HEXAR, let alone a Cosina, period. Let's face it, a lot of people in Singapore (BW Teo excluded ) who buy Leica just for show off (lawyers, richman son, doctors, etc. Most don't really know how to take pictures. They call themselves collectors.) And Leica needs these people to survive. Some greats like HCB, Garry Winogrand, and Sebastiao Salgado indeed USED Leica to produce some great images, but that is another story.

    Quote: "To me, the name Leica does not imply technology but emotion. The camera lends my work a certain >>aura<< "
    - Ljaija Kuznetsowa, 1990.

  13. #93
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    Originally posted by dzeanah
    Is it easier to explain a camera failure to a client when you've used a cheap camera because it was "just as good" as the one known for better build quality, or does the "I'm shocked -- this is a $2,000 camera!" line work better? Think Elan versus Eos-1x, or N70 versus an F5. Does durability matter when you're getting paid $2,000+ just to show up and shoot?
    Originally posted by OzzTalking about price (or, overprice), would you agree with me that if Leica is priced at Cosina level, it may NOT even sell?!
    The above quotes are answers to CK's question regarding overpriced Leica. There're reasons beyond technical matters which able to justify the cost, yet those reasons will only apply to certain people, not general users.
    Beside its good craftmanship, smaller market than SLR, high operational cost of european manufacturer, etc. which all lead to a high price, Leica still has additional point to add further into its price; brand image. Some people need this, and willing to pay for it. For people such as Dzeanah, the Leica add strategic advantage toward his customers. For some amateurs, it add more confidence into their pride (the camera itself will say "my pocket is deeper than yours").

    So beside all of the applauded technical excellence, the Leica has additional embedded cost paying for intangible benefits it can offer, which make it regarded as 'overpriced' by people who don't need those intangible benefits.

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