Leica M2 or 3 with latest Leica Lens

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jeff_kim|3, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. I was thinking about getting a Leica M2 or M3 but I want to use my latest 35 and 50 lux ASPH on it.
    Would this work? Anything I should be aware of?
    Thank you
  2. The M2 has frame lines for 35, 50 and 90....the M3 has frame lines for 50, 90 and 135 to use 35mm a separate 35mm finder is needed that slides into the cold shoe on the deck. The best is the brightline made by Leitz. It's your choice, both fine cameras, I use M1 for wide 35mm f2 Canon(last model) and sometimes 50 f2.8 Elmar and M3 for 50 DR Summicron, 90 and 135. If possible get both the M2 and M3!
  3. You should also consider that the M3 can not focus closer than 1m. The M2 may be the same, I'm not 100% sure. They can be modified to focus to 70cm, I don't think it's a big job, but will need to be done if you want to make full use of modern lenses.
  4. Do you wear glasses? If you do, get the M2, you'll have more room around the frames and will be able to see the four corners of the 50mm frame. If you don't wear glasses the whole frame will correspond to the 35 mm on the M3, you really don't need a finder... The M3 is a more refined camera, be sure you get the larger, oval-shaped eyepiece (like the M4s), serial numbers above a million (you have to check though). Be warned that M3 with bright, clean viewfinders became very rare.
  5. The Leitz 35mm RF lenses(Goggles) are the lenses made for use with the M3. With these lenses you do not have to use an external finder for composition while using the rangefinder for focus. Despite what you may read the system works quite well and although the goggles appear large, they are not an added burden. The best of the RF range is the Summicron. I used the 35mm RF Summicron for many years before purchasing a 35mm Lux ASPH which I now use mostly on my M7's. The 35mm Lux RF is noticecably softer at f1.4 than the Lux ASPH. Since you already posess ASPH lenses, you must have a Leica so why go retro? If it is to experience the so called superiority of the M2/M3, I would forget about it as both cameras will take exactly the same picture and the newer Leica's, will do it faster with internal metering. The M3/M2 system was a great camera for its time but I never use my M3 now. If you still want an early M to use with a 35mm Lux ASPH, purchase the M2-Dick
  6. I think there is still a good reason to buy an M3/M2. I prefer my M3 to both my MP and my M6 (recently sold). The feel of it is a step above, and the finder is great, especially for 50mm lenses which is my preferred focal length. I mainly shoot B&W, so a meter is not essential. Worth a try, considering they can be picked up reasonably cheaply if you're patient
  7. Thanks a lot folks.
    I mainly shoot with M9 right now but I do miss film. I wanted to as little money as I can to use my existing lens.
    Interesting thing someone told over the other night, M2 or M3 would be cheaper at initially but fixing it over time would cost more in comparison to getting a M6. For M2 or M3 owners, do you think its true?
  8. You might consider buying an M4 - this is the latest "classic" Leica, considered to be manufactured without any cost cutting in mind. Mine looks like it will work longer than I will be around.
  9. Jeff, for the street shooting you are doing with the M9, a good M2 for the 35 if that is what you use most. If you shoot predominatly with the 50, the M3 is better because of the almost 1:1 image size. It is a little easier to focus in dim light using the 50. Shooting in dim light with a 50 and no flash, your depth of field is less than with the 35, the M3 can give you a better "in focus" percentage.
    Your M2, M3 v. M6 cost comparison leans in favour of the M6 short term. Bear in mind the M6 will eventually need a CLA also. Decide which body you want, then be a very picky buyer with a right of full refund if it isn't up to what you are promised. There are still good M2 and M3's out there.
    There is another option out there. If you come across a clean M4-2 at reasonable cost, don't turn up your nose. It would work like an M2 and have a hot shoe and motor drive capability if needed. The M3 has neither feature, and only the rare and very expensive M2R has the motor drive capability.
  10. You can simply just about use the whole window for the 35 on the M3, it's close enough. But either camera's are great if you want to pop around w/o in-camera meter.
  11. The M2 close focus is configured for ,7m right the beginning of production. The M3 can be adjusted easily and inexpensively to close focus to ,7m. All M-mount lenses will work on either camera. Make sure you buy yours with a clear, bright and contrasty VF; you will have a camera that just rocks and works well.

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