Falling out of love with my Leica M2

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by clark_roberts, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Hi all,
    I did buy a Leica M2 a few months ago, because I did have a M6 but their prices are crazy
    now so I seddled for a M2. I do like it but last week I bid on a Nikon SP with a black 50mm f1.4 lens,
    when I received it I really like it the format of the controls and the 1:1 size viewfinder. I did have a S3
    years ago but the rangefinder wasn't to good in it. So here I am with two rangefinder systems I thinking
    of letting the Leica go (I only have a Voigtlander lens for it) should I I'm just loving the SP now and I
    could get a 35mm f2.5 for heck of a lot less than a Leica lens, what do you Guys and Gals think?
  2. Phew. Tough one. The Leica has more lens choices, but the Nikon is certainly a pretty cool camera.

    But, given that used RF cameras are never cheap, I wonder if it's wise to buy anything right now. Maybe sell them both and think about buying a brand new M-A or MP down the line. Just putting it out there!
  3. Untitled 8.jpg I went through a bout of Leica Lust a few years ago. After much eBay shopping and digging into the details, I opted for the S3 2000, New Old Stock with case. I’m still happy with my choice. But the prices have gone up considerably since then. I think it’s time to run some more film through it.
    I expect a good Nikon RF will not disappoint.
  4. SCL


    Keep the Nikon and send me the M2 - I promise to give it a good home, feed it lots of film, and exercise it daily.:)
    William Kahn likes this.
  5. The Nikons seem really nice, and again so is the M2, but I do prefer a meter in the camera though I can sunny 16 semi-reasonably well. M.O. Is your lens the Nikon 50 1.4? I've heard that's a very good lens.
    clark_roberts likes this.
  6. Yes it is.
    The reputation of that lens and the availability of a 40 year younger camera won me over.
    I’ve been pretty busy but intend to put it back to work soon. I pretty much tied it to Black and White film and bathroom developing, so it is a bit of a learning curve for me having spent so many years with Pentax metered SLRs and commercial developing.
    I need to get it on the tripod to really see what I can make it do.
  7. Mr. Roberts, unless you need the cash now, what about keeping both cameras?. The best Leica prices are from dealers offering a guarantee and they will only give you 50% of the retail value. Selling privately should get you more but can be problematic. Most film cameras are not a good investment financially but these two are. I would save for a Summicron 35 or 50mm and meantime enjoy them both. People I know who have sold Leica M film cameras have later regretted it and found the prices have jumped to an unaffordable level. You have two of the finest cameras ever made, well done. Don'you regret selling the M6? All the very best for whatever you decide, Charles.
  8. I hit myself in the head when I think of all the cameras I liked and sold in the past to fund other purchases.
    Now I only sell things I don't like and keep anything I like - even if I don't use it much.
  9. After WWII when Leica's patents were invalidated, a lot of companies built copies including Nikon. I know it looks like a Contax rangefinders, but supposedly the internals were more like Leica. That said, the Nikon rangefinders kind of went away because the Leica Ms were just SO good. Given how many more lenses you can find to fit the M2 than the Nikon (which only kinda sorta takes contax RF lenses since the rangefinder focusing system was supposedly different), I'd go with the M2. That said, the Nikons are really nice looking and supposedly really well made. If you are happy with it and you can get enough lenses to satisfy you, go for it. Repairing it will probably be harder with the Nikon too but not as hard as it would with an ACTUAL contax rangefinder.
  10. A BIG +1 on keeping the M2.
    I was bound by prices limiting me to a hard choice between the two and multiple lenses for a rangefinder was not important to me.
    I like the rangefinder as a simple casual shooter.
    If I had a Leica I certainly wouldn’t let it go.

  11. I do regret selling the M6 one of the two bad camera decision's I made the first was a Rolleiflex 3.5F whiteface.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  12. AJG


    I'd keep the M 2 and the Nikon if I were you. There aren't as many lenses for the Nikon, but the usual choices for a 35 RF are out there and the prices for most of them are far below Leica prices. The quality of the Zeiss and Nikon wide angle lenses that I own and use on my Contax bodies is excellent. If you are patient and willing to buy lenses that aren't pristine, you may find Leica lenses over time and there are a lot of Voigtlander lenses for Leica M that perform quite well at more reasonable prices if you want to have two systems.
  13. Just remember that Contax RF lenses will mount to Nikon bodies but if what people have told me is true, the focusing system isn't the same so they might not focus correctly. If you try to use them anyway, I think wideangles are more likely to focus than telephotos. I have 2 Contax IIAs personally. But the Nikons are actually better, more durable cameras.
    clark_roberts likes this.
  14. AJG


    You're right that there are differences in focusing between Contax and Nikon RF, and that it becomes a big problem with telephoto lenses. I shoot with Contax, but own and use Nikon 28 f/3.5 and 35 mm f/2.5 in Nikon mount without a hitch. I also own Nikon 105 mm f/2.5 and 135 mm f/3.5 lenses that are marked with "C" on the focusing ring and they also focus accurately on Contax bodies. Nikon made many RF lenses in mounts for both Contax and Leica screw mount as well as for their own native RF mount.
    clark_roberts likes this.
  15. My understanding is the M2 was requested by, and developed for photojournalists who wanted a Leica camera designed specifically for 35mm wide angle lens use. If most of your photography is B/W and you prefer the 50 mm focal length, I can see why you prefer the SP. However my 35mm rangefinder setup is with an M4-2 which, like an M2, came with the 35mm viewfinder and I use a 35 f2.8 Summaron. As a lefty I use a base plate winder so I can shoot without taking my face away from the camera. I prefer it for low light usage due to the 35 mm focal length specific bright viewfinder.
    In addition to the Leitz and Nikon rangefinder lenses, Canon made some nice rangefinder 35 lenses that work great on M bodies with the LTM to M converters. The later Canon LTM black lenses are especially nice and not too expensive. Perhaps other forum members can comment on the inexpensive Jupiter lenses for Leica LTM and M cameras.
    clark_roberts likes this.
  16. I used a Canon 7 for a while. Good little camera but as good as it was (even had a light meter built in), I still preferred the M2.
  17. The SP is a joy to use. The Nikkor 3.5cm F2.5 is the same formula as the Summaron, has more contrast, and is much cheaper. The Nikkor 8.5cm F2 and 10.5cm F2.5 can be found in S-Mount for around $200 each. The Nikkor 13.5cm F3.5 goes for under $100. The 2.8cm F3.5 goes in the $300 range, is very sharp. I have these and the Nikkor 5cm F2 and F1.4 in both Leica Mount and S-Mount. They are first-rate lenses, much cheaper in S-Mount.

    It is easy to adapt the post-war West German 50mm Sonnars to focus correctly on the Nikon: increase the stand-off using the variable shim by ~0.4mm.
    clark_roberts likes this.
  18. I've fallen out of love with my M6 as well. These days, the way I work with 35mm, I appreciate AF and Program mode, hence my new F6. I am tempted by the M7, however....
  19. Just over half a century ago a friendly photographer let me try his M2, I was hooked. Unable to find any M2's for sale I had to settle for a couple of M4's instead. Still have both of them and will never sell. The red dot fell off my 50mm Summicron while traveling India in 1970 and it now sports a Persian turquoise.
    Look closely and you will see the safety catch I made from a piece of shim stock to insure my 21mm finder never escapes....



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