A new photography pageon the net, dealing largely with Leica M use, and a Question

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tom_bryant|6, Jun 14, 2000.

  1. Hi Leica fans,

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    I've just put together a new photography page, with what I hope are interesting tidbits. A 2 second shutter speed for early Ms, dealing with film, how to shoot the moon, improvising a tripod on short notice, etc. Hope that you like it, and sorry all those jpegs take so long to load. You did want to see the new 15mm Heilar in action, along with an f/1 shot with the Noctilux, didn't you?

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    http://www.wizard.net/~tbryant/photo35.html

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    Question:

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    I've just acquired an old M4 (for the price of a New M6! Well, I like the less flare prone viewfinder and self timer) and I find it's TOO good. The thing's in teriffic shape, just a hair less than what some would call mint. Now I'm squirrly about using it. When a single small scrach is worth about $300, one has pause! This is not the correct attitude for the camera! It begs to be used, with it's excellent fast loading and rewind crank, it should be giving my M3 a run for the money.

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    Now. How does one best protect an M body? Electrician's tape is an old standby, but it turns to a gooey mess if you happen to leave the camera in the sun on a hot summer's day. Gaffer's tape is also recommended, but it leaves a white residue that might damage the chrome, for all I know. A "never" ready case is just that.

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    Any ideas that you might have would be welcome.

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    TIA
     
  2. I have empathy for you. I have owned 6 leica rangefinder cameras and
    am frustrated by the implied value preventing the hard use that they
    are capable of. When I dreamed of owning a Leica, the dreams of
    being the next HCB were dashed when I realized the amount of money I
    was holding in my hand. It wasn't until I got my second, third and
    fourth M bodies that that origional M3 double stroke was religated to
    my "beeter" status and I got some great shot with it after I stopped
    worrying about hurting it. I have an almost mint M2R that never goes
    out side because of the same concerns that you have. I recomend that
    you seek out an ugly scratched up M body and use it. Keep your M4
    operable by cycleing the shutter at all speeds periodically. But if
    you act like your camera is a fine piece of fragile crystal, it is no
    longer a camera.
     
  3. My M4 was a black lacquer(?) job. Talk about being afraid to use it!
     
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Cameras are for photography, unless you are a collector. If it costs
    too much to use, there's no point in owning it. Cameras that are
    used get beat up, it's the way it is if you are taking photographs.

    <img src="http://www.spirer.com/images/flowergirl.jpg"><br>
    Flower Girl, Leica 35/2, Hexar RF, Tri-X
     
  5. Don't totally be put off the never-ready case. For years I used just
    the bottom half of the case without the flip over bit. It certainly
    really helps to protect the camera - and I found the leather nicer to
    hold. The drawback is that I put my camera on a table top tripod for
    many shots for steadying it during slower shutter speeds and it
    becomes a pain removing the case. What really did it in though was if
    you go over to a quick release system which I now have done. Still in
    my opinion nothing really protects like an ER case. I wish I could
    still use them.
     
  6. I am fond of the lenses for my Leica M system. The optics'
    ability for making images far exceeds my ability as an optics critic.
    But what makes my M camera such a great tool for me is simply the M
    ergonomics - is it "usable" and it cries out to be used. Like some
    folks (or many), I cringe when these things are placed on shelves or
    in drawers or behind glass cases. There seems to be a wide margin
    between people who collect and people who use, with very few in
    between. Your M4 was manufactured to be used, i.e. it is not one of
    those "collectable" models. A scratch or a rub mark and plenty of
    photographs are more important and more valuable than a pristine
    camera with no pictures. So use it to the max, soak in the feel of an
    original, let it become a natural extension of your eye/hand, and
    PLEASE don't use any sort of tape on it!
     
  7. Somehow, the older (shiny brown leather) Everready cases of the 50s
    and 60s seemed a little less unweildy than the modern monster case,
    which adds 3/4 inch to the height of the camera-its unnecessarily
    padded at the base.

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    Luigi Crescenzi of Leicatime,http://www.leicatime.com, who is a major
    and reputable used Leica dealer from Italy lists shiny leather half-
    cases for the M6, which fit the bottom half of the camera. A sensible
    idea, depending on the price.

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    I'm not sure I agree that the cases get in the way entirely. I've
    seen pictures of either Larry Burroughs or Robert Capa walking around
    in the jungle with E.R. cases on cameras. Wonder how they kept the
    fungus off though...
     
  8. You either collect cameras or use them. If you bought the M4 to use
    it, then that is what you should do with it. If you bought it for
    its collector's value, then put it on a shelf or sell it and by an
    already beaten up M4, pocket the difference or buy another lens for
    it. About gaffer's tape. If you are using real gaffers tape (the
    stuff that's about $20 a roll), it shouldn't leave white residue on
    the camera. I've left gaffers tape on surfaces for as long as a
    year, and it's peeled off cleanly.
     
  9. Many thanks to all who answered. I'm delighted that the photography
    page pleased so many of you!

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    The M4 has gone to it's first shoot, an occasion that cried for a 35mm
    lens, quiet operation and a hair trigger fast shutter release. It
    acquited itself very nicely, with nary a scratch.

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    The cases some of you mentioned just won't slip into my pocket, so I'm
    going to try gaffer's tape. I'll post the results of this experiment
    on my web page when I've got something worth reporting.
     
  10. I owned Leicas during the 80s, but in a moment of weakness
    (stupidity?) sold my last Leica M3 (good user) with 35 f2.8RF,50 f2,
    and 135 f3.5 (Canon) in 1991 for a total of (can you believe it?)
    about $950. Since then I've owned a nice Canon P and a Leica IIIC, but
    I've always longed (lusted, really) for another M3. Well, a few weeks
    ago I lucked up on another M3 user with a dinged top plate and a
    brassed 50mm Summicron for $675! The viewfinder is bright and clear,
    the lens has great glass, and I don't think I'm going to let this one
    go. I have to say that if I owned a near-mint or mint Leica, I would
    be afraid to use it. But with this one, I have no worries.

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    Some of my previous Leicas were nicer looking than this one, though,
    and I covered them with black masking tape. It looked good, protected
    them against everything except really hard blows, and left no residue
    when I peeled it off. I had to replace the tape every year or so
    because of normal wear and tear -- better the tape than the camera!
    I've never tried electrician's tape. I have a feeling it would make
    the camera more slippery than I would like.

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    My two cents worth -- and I just had to tell somebody about my
    acquisition!
     
  11. My M3,Ziggy has been with me these past 33 years.Sure he has dings and scratches.The chrome is worn thru and the brass glows golden.The collapsible Summicron the main angle of vision.I carry it almost everyday.I use it on assignments with SLR or alone on my photo walks.I`ve stopped worrying about the look.The box is not for sale.
    Ziggy feel proud as me about a Poster print collected yesterday.Agfa HDC and its very fine grain.Its really sharp,hand held.So enjoy your camera.It was made to really work hard.Mine has done more than 2,500 folms in sub zero to desert.All in all the M3/Ziggy is as good a shape as me.
     
  12. Try self-vulcanizing rubber tape. You can find it at electrician
    stores. A bit thick, it sticks to itself, and not to the surface you
    apply it to. So it's handy for wrapping things- like things you want
    to protect and/or make look less interesting, and yet not damage with
    adhesive.
     

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