Leica c.f M4/3

Ricoh

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If you had a spare $12,000, (that appears to be the going rate for an M9 plus a 35mm f1.4 summilux across the pond) would you fleabay your M4/3 kit and buy a Leica? I've been looking with interest at the sister LP forum and I'm quite impressed. The street pictures there seem to be very professional indeed, a combination of the Leica and the high standard of photography I suppose.
All I need is a lottery win and I'd be in. For now however I'll to stick with my present kit. How about you?
 

QualityBuiltIn

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Absolutely. I'd have Leica kit at the drop of a hat. I'd also drive a Maserati GranTurismo, wear Brioni and play my records on a Linn LP12.

But when it comes to value for money MU43, Fiat 500, Boss (on a good day) and Sony are all pretty good and I can afford them without turning to crime or creating massive personal debt.

Genuinely I'm saving for a Leica X1 as my first step in.
 

janneman

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No, and I loved Leica in the film days. As far as I can see, Leica has yet to come up with something excellent in the digital department (although I must admit I have not seen real work from the S2).

If the pictures are to your liking, make sure to study the ways most Leica photographers work, because that is what delivers those results (hint; it's all is about preparation and pre-visualisation of what you are about to shoot).
 

fredlong

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I'd probably spend most of it on a Clinesmith steel guitar. With the left over I'd pick up a second u43 body and a couple of lenses.

If it HAS to be spent on photo equipment, I'd probably drop it on a low end medium format kit instead of another "small" sensor kit.

Fred
 

flash

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Already did. I have an M9. Tried real hard to resist the M (type 240). Caved.

The thing with Leica is.... Image quality isn't remarkably better. An A7 has slightly better IQ and takes Leica lenses (mine works well with the ones I have, although some wides have issues). The new M is still quite functionally basic. It's heavy, expensive and lacks almost all the bells.

But if you're hooked on the rangefinder way of seing things, like me and you enjoy a camera that concentrates on the basics, the M is untouchable. The most fun in a camera, possibly ever, although the XPan gets close. The M is an absolutr joy to use and one of the few cameras whee you don't feel like your strapped to a computer with a lens.

Gordon
 

pdk42

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I couldn't imagine spending that sort of money on camera gear. I also seriously doubt it would improve my photography at all. Whilst Leica optics are probably supreme, I'm struggling to see how it would make a really well seen/planned/executed/post-processed image any better than the same one taken on quality u43 kit.

I've never used a rangefinder, but that's just about focusing technique and how often these days is that an issue for any of us?

Where I do see value is making cameras that behave like cameras, not computers. But that's really easy isn't it! - just fit an aperture ring and a couple of nice, high quality dials and with the right firmware you're there. The new Fuji gear is basically doing this. It's odd that we've had to lve through more than a decade of crap UIs driven by screens and menus only for us to return to where we started!
 

kevinparis

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I am lucky that my partner is a leica owner with her own camera budget... so I get to play with the toys without the financial pain, while i shoot mainly with micro 4/3

some of the lenses are definitely something special, and the rangefinder experience is a different way to framing and taking an image

but at the end of the day no matter what you spend on a camera it will only capture what the photographer can concieve

I would have posted some selected pics from my Flickr to show that the camera soesn't make the picture... but Flickr eem to be doing some sort of update at the moment.

cheers

K
 

bassman

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Don't think so. I love nice stuff. I really love nice gear. But I'm completely convinced that any shortcomings in my photographs are me not using the gear I already have as well as it could be used, rather than the gear holding me back.
 

tomO2013

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I've an M6. It's a fantastic camera and mated with the Summicron 35 makes for a lovely street camera. I picked it up for 800 euro or there abouts - an absolute steal in my humble opinion. There is absolutely no need whatsoever to spend 12k to dip your toes in the Leica rangefinder water without knowing first for sure if it's rangefinder style of shooting suits you - liking the results that somebody else is getting is one thing, enjoying shooting it yourself is another thing entirely and rangefinder style of shooting does not suit everybody.

My advice, pick up a second hand film Leica and see how you get on with it first and then invest in the more expensive body.

For what it's worth (and this will sound like sacrilege) but possibly the reason that people crave Leica is primarily down to two things IMHO
- 1. Glass glass glass. Leica glass typically is built (and renders) to an extremely high quality if not the bar on subjective quality. Sure an A7r+Sony-Zeiss 55 or D800E + Otus may be more optically perfect according to DXO and charts, but subjectively speaking Leica have always had a special way of rendering. If you like that rendering you used to have to pay a lot of money for it! Is an m240 + Nocitlux 13k better than an OMD and a Nocticron 42.5 ? That's a very subjective question. Personally no, I feel the OMD + Notilux gets you at least 95% of the way and certainly the limitation for me is most definitely me and not my gear. A new Leica digital would be a luxury purchase for me.

- 2. Most of us are used to seeing stunning looking street scenes taken with a Leica but I think often times we forget that a person new to a Leica probably has a LOT more experience than somebody new to a 5d, a7, D800, OMD, XT1 etc... So they are bringing all that background experience with composition and lighting with them to the new system as they learn the new focusing and composition techniques.

Of course if I won the lotto that would be another story, but given 12k, and having no cameras at all, I'd still buy into the m43 system as my first port of call + PL25 + PL42.5 Nocticron + Oly 75 as my first lenses. I'd spend the rest travelling to a really cool place like Iceland to take beautiful pictures of the volcanoes there. With the change left over, I'd buy a large Epson R3880 printer and print my images on hahnemuhle rag when I got back :)
With any change left over I'd pick up the PL15mm 1.7 and plan my next trip. For me it's all down to budget, I'm the limitation for me, not my current gear that far exceeds my capabilities :)
 

tomO2013

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BTW off topic but just wanted to say @ Kevinparis, I just checked out your flickriver a/c in your signature (again!). I love your stuff and the waiting on a Christmas miracle is an image I keep coming back to. Absolutely gorgeous and it needed to be said :)
 

zlatko-photo

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Current Leica lenses are pretty much all great and delightfully small. But the system takes some getting used to, and it's not well suited to all kinds of photography. I enjoyed my 2 years with Leica, but still found that I preferred my Canon DSLRs for wedding photography and portraits. I enjoyed the rangefinder way of seeing things, but did not get hooked on it.

Manual focus at wide apertures is not easy. I see a lot of Leica photos (especially Noctilux) online that are simply not focused well. Of course, if one stops down that problem is mostly solved. If I had lots of money to spare, I would buy a lot of Leica gear, but it would probably be to use for fun and not for work.
 

zlatko-photo

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but at the end of the day no matter what you spend on a camera it will only capture what the photographer can concieve
Well said, Kevin. That is exactly right. I found that my Leica photos were very much like my Canon photos, and now like my Olympus photos too. The reason is that it's the same photographer behind the camera. The camera does affect the photo, but the photographer directs the camera. The camera can only do what the photographer can conceive.
 

tosvus

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I agree with some of the others. I have long ago run into my limitations as a photographer. Heck, I manage to take boring & poorly executed pictures on my Nocticron.. I'm sure I will be able to take boring & poorly executed pictures with the best Leica and lenses that money can buy too. Having seen what people around here can do with m43 equipment, some of which includes kit lenses or a little step above, I'm floored.
 

kevinparis

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I've never used a rangefinder, but that's just about focusing technique and how often these days is that an issue for any of us?
the key thing about using a rangefinder isn't the focusing... thats the same as it was with pre autofocus SLR's with a split prism... you adjust focus until the image lines up

No the difference with rangefinders is that (unless you are shooting with a wide angle) that you see more through the viewfinder than your lens will capture. Depending on the lens, you see frame lines showing (roughly) what you will get when you press the shutter.

This allows you to see what is happening out of the frame... and with skill that can be useful in anticipating a shot... on the other hand at longer focal lengths your 'target area gets smaller.... there is a reason why Leica don't make an M lens longer than 90mm.

this shot was done on a M9 with a 75mm... not the perfect composition.... but because i was shooting with a 75mm I could frame where I wanted the shot, and with camera to eye see the performer arrive and react and press the shutter... I could have maybe got the same shot with anything else firing at 5/10 fps.... but that outside the frameview point made this shot happen

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinparis2007/8522062604" title="L1001133 by kevinparis, on Flickr">
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
"500" height="333" alt="L1001133"></a>


then again... this was a GH2 and 14mm

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinparis2007/7160780486" title="aaand hup!! by kevinparis, on Flickr">
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
"500" height="375" alt="aaand hup!!"></a>


in the end its not the camera



K

PS I like the GH2 pic better... the leica shot is just an example where rangefinder allowed some preplanning and reaction time
 

OzRay

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Quite some years ago, I almost convinced myself to get a Leica M9 (not that I could have afforded Leica lenses - the 135mm was something I jagged off eBay), but in a way I'm glad I didn't. The Leica simply wouldn't have suited the majority of the photography that I like to do, especially wide and tele. But having the 135mm Tele-Elmar, even though it's far from their top line lenses, certainly gave me an appreciation for the optical quality of Leica lenses and I sometimes think it's more the lenses that attract Leica users than perhaps the cameras themselves. In this digital age, I think I'd prefer something like a Sony A7r and Leica lenses, over a Leica body. The lenses will excel forever, while the bodies come and go.
 

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