Staying with what i have or drop $2300 + for a leica?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by scyzoryk_o4, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. scyzoryk_o4

    scyzoryk_o4 TPF Noob!

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    Hey, i have recently discovered the fun of working in a dark room and so i am dropping digital photography until i master the darkroom. Essentially what i am interested in is becoming a better photographer and taking pictures that no matter how many times i look at, they will still impress me.
    Now here is the dilemma:
    I am selling my D200 with all the accessories
    I will get around 2500(cdn) dollars for this, now im debating whether i should use that money to buy a lecia M3/6/mp or save the money and simply use the film camera i have now which is a Zenit xp (its a nice camera but a bit restrictive. its a bit hard to focus perfectly, and im having a hard time finding decent glass for it)

    So is it worth it for me to upgrade to the leica or should i just learn to work with what i have really well.
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Not sure why you want a Leica. They are nice cameras. Have you been to CameraQuest Home Page and seen the extensive range of the Cosina-made Voigtlander Bessa R-series of 35mm film rangefinder cameras and the extensive lens seletion that's available today?

    Leica lenses and cameras hold their value quite well. But a three-lens Cosina set of the 35mm f/1.7 aspherical, the f/1.5 50mm aspherical Nokton, and a 75mm f/2.5 Color-Heliar, PLUS a pair of R2 bodies, can be bought for about the price of an M6 body,with no lenses.

    I'm not sure the rangefinder mystique and the rangefinder operational tendencies really help a person become a "better photographer"--I think that is mostly a holdover from the 1950's and 1960's, when so much 35mm SLR stuff was just so-so and rather crappy, while the Leica M3 and thread mount III-series bodies were already in their third and fourth decades of refinement. Anyway, if you want to learn darkroom work--film processing, contact printing, and enlarging, I do not think a Leica is a necessity. You could shoot the film using a Bessa rangefinder with three or four lenses, and learn about framing and focal length choices that way, and have thousands of dollars left over. Making pictures that will impress yourself for long periods of time could be done with any camera.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are a few cameras between a Zenit and a Leica that you might
    want to consider. ;)
     
  4. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I love my Leica. I think it was worth every penny, but if you've never used a rangefinder camera before (maybe you have and that's why you want one?) then you might be better off buying a cheap one (Canonet, Yashica Electro, etc. lots of info on the web) just to see if you like rangefinders before you drop a lot of cash, because I find myself working differently with rangefinders than with slr's.. most people i've read, have the same experience. It's not for everyone. Some people are more comfortable looking through the lens in an slr.

    You could also keep your Nikon lenses (that aren't dx versions) and get something like an F100, or if you want manual and small, an FE/FE2 for example.

    edit: I should note, that side by side, my FE and M6 are roughly the same size with lenses attached. The Nikon being slightly taller due to the viewfinder housing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Buy a Leica because you want a quality rangefinder and glass to go along not just because of the name/prestige.... listen to bhop.

    If you want to try it out, you can look for M-mount or screwmount voigtlanders from cameraquest.com. The lenses are compatible with Leica AND they are relatively affordable with excellent IQ. I have a few and am not disappointed..

    Love mine too...
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One more thing.... if you do go the leica route, do your research on which model fits your needs. There are distinct differences between the m3 m2 m4 m5 m6 m7 beyond just being incrementally newer models. Especially with framelines and viewfinder magnification

    Good resource under camera profiles on cameraquest website
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Were I you, I'd go straight to medium format. A Pentax or Mamiya 645 would approximate a 35mm SLR with a negative size that will give you the results you are looking for.

    A 6x7 would be better.
     
  8. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    Buy a MF camera and save youself $2000!
     
  9. Pete Grange

    Pete Grange TPF Noob!

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    am not up to the level of alot of you guys (money, experince, and skill) so from that point of view my advice would be gettin a better slr to start with, you can bodies for virtually nothing, and unlike digital the body has less importance, the glass is important

    i have a cheap pk body (cosina C1) and the pk glass is dirt cheap i have a very nice 50mm was under £20 obviously this glass is not up their with lecia but i am very plesaed with it

    also i found a medium format was very good on improving my shots i only get ten shots a roll (mamiya rb67) so you have to consider each shot, framing takes longer, i can spend hours on a location now and only take a couple of pictures, but i will have a roll of good images. The downside of medium format for you would be in the dark room you would need an enlarger which can take medium format, i so far have not been able to produce a single print in dark room with my mamiya as i can not gain access to an enlarger which will do 6 7 negs, so i have to make do with scans

    I have heard alot of very good things about the cosina voigtlander range finders, but if i was you i would wait
     
  10. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Keep your existing glass and accessories and get yourself a nikon f100
     
  11. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Exactly what I was going to say.

    If you're going to stick to 35mm format, save yourself $2100 and get an F100. It's a really awesome camera, and I use mine about as much as I use my D700.

    What you can also do if you really want higher quality prints though, is look into medium format SLR's.
     
  12. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ahhh, go ahead and get an RB67. Size really does matter with film. ;)
    (you still have to take the shot though, the camera will not be better than you are. :))
     

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