Bitten by the bug

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by sk_szekiat, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. I am currently using a M2, and in all honesty, am quite settled with it. I love the cam and it
    is one with me. But of late i seem to have been bitten by the upgrade bug and i have my
    mind set on a AE camera. The R3A shutter sound was a disappointment when i checked it
    out in the shops so i am really tossing up in a M7 or a Hexar RF. Should i even bother with
    the upgrade though? Currently, using my M2, i have no fears of damaging it as i got it
    cheap and i use it in a more carefree manner. I can't imagine myself doing that with a
    Hexar let alone an M7. Sigh, someone talk me out of this?
  2. If you're not missing an internal light meter, then I say forget it. If you are, then yeah, you might as well go for one w/AE. <p>I still miss my M2, but it just gives me an excuse to get another.
  3. WM


    I am also in the same boat, bitten by the AE bug ! Also checked out the R3a in the shops and found the shutter disappointing. Can't afford an M7, but checked out the Hexar RF, and the motorized whizzing sound just totally put me off. I'd say, perhaps keep the M2 and be happy with it. If you really want AE, then there is no real substitute but save up the M7.....if the motorized whizzing sound is too much for you too.

  4. I know this is no help to you in your present circumstance but I love my M7. I got a mint demo with the non-upgraded VF for $1800 last Feb. There are deals out there and the old VF works fine. The pain from spending the money only hurts for a little while. The pleasure will last a lifetime. And life is too short not to have the exact system you want and will use.
  5. If you have a bag full of lenses, then get the M7 as a second body. If not, first get a bag full of lenses and then get the M7 as a second body.

    On the other hand, you are already using arguably the best M camera ever made and the M7 has the reversed shutter speed dial (which might frustrate you).
  6. Unless you're using your M2 on a tripod, and have time to think about which way to turn the shutter speed dial, I would not use both an M2 and an M7. If you must have AE, sell the M2 and buy the M7. But don't have both. It would drive me nuts, or, given that I'm already nuts, put me over the edge.

    And if you think about it a bit, how often would AE actually be of any benefit? If you're shooting in sunlight, you're either at "sunny 16", or opened up two stops or so for shade. If it's cloudy, you're shooting everything at the same exposure. If you're indoors, that's fairly constant, and you can take a few meter readings and pretty much know what you need to do.

    An M6 or MP with an internal meter is nice simply because you eliminate the need to carry a separate meter. Or, you free up the accessory shoe for a brightline finder if you don't have to park an MR there.

    I've never had an auto-exposure camera. And I think it's fair to say that exposure is the least of my photographic problems. I have plenty of perfectly exposed and utterly boring slides I can show you. ;-)
  7. Just try to talk you out of this and share my experience.

    1. Don't buy R3A, Hexar RF, etc. It is because M7 will continue to be the upgrade bug in any event. Me, and many other photographer I know end up buying a cheaper version of M7 for us for a period of time, but finally purchased the M7. The final investment is actually bigger but we all got our M7 later.

    2. M7 is really nice, but (i) M2 is nice too; (ii) AE is just a little convenience and I don't find the quality of my photos improve a bit just because of AE; (iii) M7 is not as reliable as M2, it has the well known battery problem (very frustrating for me), and you just often don't remember to "turn off" the camera after use, so you may have to change battery often.

    3. M7 is too expensive now because of the exchange rate and Leica's policy, try to tell yourself that the upgrading is not urgent so why not try to wait for a better exchange rate and save more $ in the meantime?

    4. Tell yourself to at least wait and see the new Zeiss rangefinder to delay the purchase. So long as you can stand the temptation NOW, it is likely that you will find that the money is actually needed in other aspects of your life.

    5. Bill's comments make sense.


  8. I don't know how cheap you got your M2 but I haven't seen any in working condition go for less than about $600 recently, which is a bit more than you'll pay for a slightly used Hexar RF, perhaps partly because some people believe it is incompatible with Leica lenses. OTOH if the thought of getting a scratch or dent on an M7 would inhibit you, then you'll end up with an expensive shelf decoration. Everybody has their own take on autoexposure. I never bothered with it.
  9. I have all the lenses i will ever need RF and am one of the few blasphemers who sold off all
    my Leica lenses and bought a set of CV lenses instead. I just find that i like them better
    when shooting color, and the b/w rendition, while not as good as leica, is very acceptable.
    So i don't need anymore lenses. I will however not be picking up a 2nd body either. If i do
    make a purchase, the M2 will be up here on discount sale. I have never believed in using 2
    bodies as i find it almost as cumbersome as changing lenses. I like to have my stuff all in
    sequence on a roll of film if you know what i mean. I can't remember who told me this, but
    a photo u missed is probably a photo not worth the taking/mentioning. I take it from the
    general trend that i should be aiming for an M7 if at all then? I sold of my old M6TTL
    because i had a problem with the shutter noise, Its prob me but i thought it was getting
    louder and louder over the years. My M2 is still silky. I guess the hexar is a no no then. M7
    anyone selling?
  10. I enjoy metered and meterless both. The AE itch can be satisfied outside the M arena with an SLR or P&S (and for a ridiculously low price in the used market). I particularly like the Contax SLR system: aim at subject, throw the AE lock, recompose, shoot freely.
  11. My first rangefinder and Leica-M is an M7. I adore it. While my 35mm kit has been an EOS 1VHS, my preferred 35mm is the M7 for all the reasons all fans of Leica-M say about any Leica-M - ease of use; quality; Leica rangefinder benefits etc etc.

    I borrowed an M6TTL for a month and got the bug so bought the M7. Now I've added an M6TTL. The M7 is significantly quicker to use due to its AE (but I love this M6 too). I needed a second body and decided to get all mechanical so the M6TTL was a closer fit than an MP due to its shutter control.

    So I can't comment on the M2, nor can I talk you out of an M7.

    First, if you have loved using the M2, you will never be happy with a substitute - simple as that. The Bessa is an extremely high quality body, but not a Leica. I suspect you'd always have negative comparisons going on in the back of your mind.

    Second, if you need the trade in value from the M2, then buying the M7 won't give you regrets other than a little bit of emotional attachment stuff. However, the more you use the M7, the quicker time will heal that wound!

    The M7 quality is just superb and in every respect a leica-M. The AE is a real bonus (and plus top quality built in metering absent on your M2). The metering is superbly accurate and the AE is very intuitive to use.

    But like the others have said - keep the M2 rather than buy the "non-Leica" options. And if at all possible keep the M2 when you buy the M7 - you never know, one day you might be wanting an all mechanical second body and then you'd really regret selling the M2!
  12. If you need to borrow money to buy the M7, then don't. If you already have the money then get the M7 but I'd never dump $~2k just for an AE when you already got the m2. How accurate do you need to meter for? How about a handheld meter? Or how about using some judgment by practicing with a cheap metered body?

    But liked i said, if you are ready to buy, then buy. Why do you need to be talked out of it?
  13. WM


    Hi SZ,

    How about a Hexar AF (not the RF) ? Nice cam, inexpensive and brilliant optics. The only downside is that it has a fixed 35/2 lens..............but what a lens it is !
  14. I guess its all moot in the end. The cash is available if i so decide to but i really wonder if i
    am wasting my money. My not keeping the M2 is simply becos i already have problems
    deciding which system to use, don't want to compound the problem by having to decide
    which body to use. Current decision scheme: Digital or Film? If film, F3, M2 or Xpan. If M2,
    50mm, 35mm, or 90mm. Too many decisions. Ok honestly, i know that if i get a M7, the
    M2 will be neglected simply becos i do believe in automation helping me. I'm a clutz and
    have ruined 2 meters from dropping them too often already as it is. I am currently using
    an el-cheapo CDS meter that works. What doesn't work is when the lighting of where i am
    and the subject is significantly different, ie shooting into a shop from the outside at night.
    There, metering is pure guess work and not always accuarte which show on my provia 400
  15. Funny. I was going to mention xpan. But before I said anything, I took a look at your pnet folder and thought to myself: Bet he's either already got an xpan or has access to one. That has aperture priority as well, doesn't it?

    Alright, then, I'll stand up and say it: Don't buy an M7.

    There. I said it.
  16. WM


    But the downside is that the fastest Xpan lens is only f4 right ?
  17. Someone during the past week or two advised another person uncertain about whether or not to purchase an item to wait two months. It seems like good advice to me. Hold off on the non-leica ae cameras; hold off on the m7 camera. In the meantime use your m2 camera. See how you feel in two months. Although you did not mention estimating exposure as an issue for you with the m2 camera, I am including a link to a helpful daylight exposure guide:
  18. IMHO, forget the Xpan - lenses are too slow; the wider angles need centre ND filters; it's awful to hold and "it's not a Leica"! Been there and tried that and for me it was a letdown (and I use Hassey 6x6 and love it). If you really enjoy Leica lens attributes, the Fujinon won't really satisfy you (although they have excellent optics).
  19. I second the Hexar AF recommendation. Carefree is its second name. Your AE bug
    won't stand a chance.
  20. I'm going the other way. Flogging my Hexar RF and buying an M4; I think I've
    found one at KEF for around the same price. <p>
    I had vertical alignment problems with the RF, but what bugged me most is
    how easily the metering is fooled, and that makes its AE capabilities limited.
    The only other AE camera I have is a Nikon FE2, which never gave me
    problems. And I don't think I've ever mis-metered anything with my CL, where I
    tend to take a reading off a patch of wall etc every few shots, and it seems to
    work fine. But my Hexar RF is easily fooled if there's a lot of sky in the frame,
    and on a couple of frames I lost good shots because it simply mis-exposed for
    reasons I can't diagnose.<p>
    To me the point about AE is that you simply don't have to think about it, and if
    you have to second-guess the RF's metering, you might as well have a
    manual camera, ie the M2. But if you're totally consumed by the need to try
    something different, you could well love the Hexar AF - it's really intuitive...
    unfortunately, 'my' example is really a Christmas present I bought my
    girlfriend... if it was really mine I don't think I'd bother with a Leica at all.
  21. The different directions and feel of the shutters is eventually learned! I have a M6TTl and an M3/M2. I seldom carry two bodies anyway.The AE feature is great. It will make faster decisions for you!
    I think people who buy a Leica do not really need AE.A photographer should make the decisions of where to frame,focus and the choice of angles.One should have pride of craftsmanship. I hated my EOS. It did everything I set it up to do. It kept wanting to do it's own thing!
    I recently started shooting slidefilm again.I chose Velvia 50. I used my old M3 with an older selenium meter on top.Out of 36 exposures, two
    were marginally under. One was a problem of brighter area in foreground and so it was a matter of contrast. No AE could have done better.The other faulty slide was the hazy sun that gave this weird almost light box look to the slide.It " looks" under but isn't!
    So should you get the M7? Yes! If you wait two months, shoot faster and expose better, in the wait period..Then rather go out and buy some lenses!
  22. Can it be that I am having the best photography time of my life without any meter readings for my M3 with 50 DR Summicron, 35 RF Summaron & 135 Elmarit. I have been using 400 B&W and color consistently, purposely overexposing a little & almost everything is super! I have been neglecting my beautiful, metered SL2 with a bag full of lenses & my AE Nikon F3 HP as well!
  23. The Hexar RF is a bit noisy and it has some shutter lag as well. It is good value for the money on the other hand. If you are lusting for an M7 and can afford it, it would probably be the better choice.

    If I were you I would enjoy the M2, as I enjoy mine. You say you can use it carefree and that is a very good thing. If I lost mine, I would simply get another one. Cameras are meant to be used and if you are afraid using it because it was expensive, then it may not be an ideal situation.

    Hold off a while and see if you still think it is such a good idea two months from now. It is a big investment and you have the M2 in the mean time.

    I find the relaxed shooting with a meterless mechanical camera like the M2 to be a very pleasing experience.

    There is also the Zeiss Ikon coming soon which can be worth waiting for, though I fear the shutter sound will be similar to the R3A.
  24. "The AE feature is great. It will make faster decisions for you! I think people who buy a Leica do not really need AE."

    Huh? So is it good or not, Im confused by this response!
  25. I like my M7 camera a lot. I use it equally in auto mode and manual mode. If I have the time--say, when I am shooting landscape--I occasionally meter several areas in a composition in auto mode to determine exposure--a habit left over from using a spot meter. It's easy to "select" an exposure, with fine variations in shutter speed and without having to adjust aperture, by using the exposure-lock feature. Other times, when lighting conditions remain constant I simply set the exposure in manual mode and shoot away. The M7 camera gives one the choice.
  26. I do NOT like that if one sets the "ISO" different from the film, there will be a constant flashing LED. I do not beleive one should delegate something important as exposure to a machine, however smart.
    If one wants AE, there are lots of better choices! The Nikon SLR system, the EOS. My Pentax ME-Super(1980's) purchased used has such a feature, but more data visible. The CanonAE-1Programme is streets ahead of the M7.Auto Exposure as given by Leica is only nice, not great.THe "start-up" time almost unbeleivable.
    My original advice, hold the M7, get more Leica lenses.
    The M2 has got to be the nicest M ever. Ask AL?

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