what's the deal w/ leica?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by syphlix, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    why do ppl love these things? what do they do that a canon or nikon can't do?

    and why do they cost so much more than normal dslr's?
     
  2. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Quality.
     
  3. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,072
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Woodstock, CT
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think it's a case of 'you get what you pay for.'

    EDIT: This comes from a total of zero first hand experience.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    A Ford, a Cadillac and a Rolls Royce call all get you to work and back. But there are certainly differences that a person can appreciate.
     
  5. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,209
    Likes Received:
    236
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    There are lots of sites that explain it, but it's hard to explain so that people that've never used a rangefinder can 'get it'. I never really understood it myself until I got a rangefinder (Canonet), then I got another (Yashica Electro). Once I got the bug, I ponied up the dough for a 20 year old film Leica and it's pretty much all I use now for my personal stuff.
     
  6. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Key West FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There's several points here:

    Brand: Leicas, other than some of their rebranded compacts, are very precise largely hand built products sold in low volume. They are no-compromise products designed and built with no cost compromises. As a rule, there are much more expensive than the mass produced products from Nikon and Canon, even the top models in the Nikon and Canon lines.

    DSLR's: The Leica S2, the only current Leica DSLR, is so expensive not only because of the build quality but also the format. It is a large sensor camera, approximately as much larger than "full frame" as"full frame" is comparted to APS-c. The price of such sensors and the necessary lenses goes up exponentially with size.

    RF (M9, ...) vs SLR: Interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras are vastly more difficult to build than an SLR. There is nothing in the focusing system that will adapt for any minor tolerance variation in the alignment of the focusing mechanism nor in the lens mount and coupling on both the body and lens. For over 75 years, every Leica RF lens will focus exactly the same and will focus accurately on the newest M-series body. The amount of time and effort in calibrating every body and every lens off the production line is significant.

    RF vs SLR: Its not something you can really understand without shooting with both for a reasonable amount of time. A written explanation can't really do the trick.

    I've shot with a reasonable range of cameras over the roughly half century since I graduated to fully adjustable cameras. I've own a vast number of cameras (over 300 at one time) though only a small percentage were ever used for more than one roll (collector syndrome). I have put a significant amount of film through 7 RF cameras and 5 SLRs, not to mention the various medium format (2) and large format (2) cameras, before drifting into digital. The RFs include four premium interchangeable lens models, 2 Leicas and 2 Nikons. I generally prefer SLRs, but for some shooting the smaller, quieter, lower vibration RFs were preferable. The RF finders were better in low light, though never as accurate.
     
  7. iamacyborg

    iamacyborg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    My only experience with a Leica is with an M4-2 which is widely considered as a bad camera as far as Leica's are concerned, and well, it's just exquisite. Really, just absolutely exquisite. The mechanical parts just run much more smoothly than any manual Nikon SLR I've ever used (including old F models, Nikkormat's and FM's, and my new F100). The lenses are absolutely perfect, as sharp as you could ever desire.

    You really can't understand it until you've handled one and shot a few rolls of film through it.
     
  8. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    wow...

    thanks so much for the explanation... they sound really interesting... mebbe some day i'll try one out :eek:
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    405
    Location:
    An American in Europe
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Rangefinder: A lot of photojournalists carried a rangefinder (most often a Leica because of its built quality) because of its quiet operation. There is no mirror getting out of the way like in an SLR when you shoot a photo. That allowed to shoot when photography was not welcomed.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,797
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Dwig's commentary is pretty much in line with my experience. I'll never forget the first Leica I ever picked up, an early M3, made around 1957, with a 50mm Dual-Range Summicron lens. I was amazed at how mechanically sound the camera was, 30 years after it had been made.

    Leica products are made to a standard unmatched by any of the Japanese-based manufacturers.

    The entire rangefinder experience is very different from the slr or d-slr experience--it's an entirely different type of camera than an slr. Lenses are also HUGELY smaller than for SLR cameras. Check out these two 35mm f/1.4 lenses, one a Canon 35mm f/1.4-L, the other an M-mount 35mm/1.4 Nokton made by Cosina in Japan. The photo is to scale.

    http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/.a/6a00df351e888f88340120a554165a970b-800wi
     
  11. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,076
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Somewhere I have a lab test that was done by a magazine to try and determine the best quality in resolution, sharpness, colour etc. by any digital camera/lens combination. The winner was a Leica lens on a Canon Mark II.

    skieur
     
  12. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    whats up with all your repeat posts?
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

what's the deal with leica