Leica vs others -reliability.

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by david_crist, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Hi to all. I own a lot of Leica, and voigtlander equipment, including a new M7
    starter kit. Of them all, my 2 year old MP and 35mm summicron asph are my
    favorite. But they are not my most reliable: the MP is back in NJ at Leica
    because it's shutter button got progressively stickier when pushed...not smooth
    at all. And now my Summicron is going back because of it's focussing: it
    always had a very light damping, but on the M7 it slightly binds, making it
    impossible to focus precisely before it binds then skips the point I am trying
    to set it at(I have 12 lenses of different makers, covering 50 years, and not
    one other does that on the M7 or my M5). What is the point of all this? My
    voitlander lenses(21mm skopar, 28mm ultron) and R2a keep working perfectly...not
    a burp. It just proves that any piece of equipment can need service, and why
    there is a warranty.
  2. On the other hand, most of the Leicas you might pick up second-hand are either still working or can be made to work with comparatively little effort.
  3. Hi,

    I have used Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Contax, Leica, all of the pro SLR's from each...and yet it always seems that Leica cannot be relied upon to make cameras that keep performimg no matter what..if you want no hassle EVER from your gear, then buy a NIKON F2 and some Nikkors..

    cheers Steve.
  4. Funny thing, I`m experiencing the same on an all plastic cheap Nikkor A/M zoom, a very unpleasant feeling. I know it is more unpleasant on a Leica lens.

    Leica lenses have the best feeling I have experienced ever, althought I think they are not realiable in abolutely all conditions. In my experience, under wet or really hot conditions, that perfect feeling (even with new lenses) turns less perfect, something understandable. Other brand lenses I have were made under wider tolerances, and that feeling is moreless rude in almost all conditions after the first use.

    I agree, I like to buy new just for that warranty, specially if cost are considerable.
  5. My M3 hasn't needed service and I got it used maybe 20 years ago, my lenses are not as old as the body but still about 20 yrs old. I don't know about the new ones, there so outragously priced theres nothing that could convince me to buy one.
  6. I was told by a bloke, who ran a school photography business in the 'seventies, that Leicas lasted six months, Nikons a year and Canons two years before they needed servicing. He had around sixty operators, each putting forty to fifty rolls a day through the cameras, so he had a reasonable basis on which to draw his conclusions. Given that six months, at that rate, is five and a half thousand rolls of film, none of those cameras come out of the comparison at all badly.
  7. I use a Leica III regularly that was made in 1935 and has never been CLA'ed. I've been using Leicas for over sixty years and only had to send one in for service -- to remove film chips from the shutter (my fault for winding too fast in cold weather)! I have also used Nikons and Cannons since they were first introduced and have had more problems with them than I have with any other brand (particularly in the cold)! OTOH, I once had a Leica IIIc that went back to Leica regularly until I had the slow speeds removed -- then it worked beautifully until it was stolen. The Foth Derby I got for high school graduation still operates without problems. I also have a 'genuine' Voigtlander (Superb), made in the thirties, and has never been serviced; yet functions perfectly. Is someone trying to start a 'my camera is better than yours' war? Let's cut out the crap! They're all good, irrespective of brand -- some just work better than others at some time or another!
  8. "It just proves that any piece of equipment can need service, and why there is a warranty."

    I think that sums it up.
  9. IMHO, the Hexanon-M lenses are much the best rangefinder optics out there, especially mechanically. I believe that they are roughly equal to the Leica lenses optically, but superior mechanically. Too bad that there are only a handful of focal lengths available.
  10. jtk


    IMO "reliability" is mostly in the photographer. If the photographer's inexperienced, doesn't shoot a lot of film with the camera he wants to trust, he'll experience mechanical failure no matter what the manufacturer.

    IMO Canon F1 is the ultimate in ruggedness, far tougher than any rangefinder (except perhaps Canon P), but they're getting pretty old these days and do deserve serious CLA (which would cost more than the camera itself).
  11. The weakest link in all cameras I've owned so far over the years (even brought my incredibly
    rugged F1n briefly to its knees) is the shutter mechanism. Make sure to fire the shutter of all
    of your cameras several times a year. Otherwise they are certain to break no matter how
    rugged the remainder of the camera. That being said, nothing I've ever owned is more
    rugged than my Canon F1n, not even my long gone M3.
  12. This remeinds me of the time I left the Anaheim Sharaton Hotel at 4:30am and drove two hours to arrive on Mulholand Drive by sunrise to photograph the Angel overlooking Los Angeles. I got there just in time. Set up my R8 with 180 f2.8 APO on the tripod and BAM! the camera broke down. I have learned that when out photographing, take a Leica and a Nikon. That way, if one of them breaks down, you will still have the Nikon.
  13. <P>
    Those of us that have had cameras fail on is tend to shy away from that make and/or
    model and mistrust it, but in the absence of statistical evidence that is not a very rational
    Anecdotal evidence doesn't mean much, and there isn't much statistical information out
  14. As you may see I have a problem with a new leica lens, but I shot m4s and m-6 for years and had no complaints they were always the goto when all else failed. My professional career is now over but a leica IIIf with a 35mm collaps. sum. which I bought In j.high school at a yard sale still lives in my truck and has given me reliable service since 1980, it has never been serviced. The nikon F2as was alaways wonderful as was it's glass. The first studio I worked for had cannon f1 and yes they always worked but the viewfinder was horrible, dark and murky and hid alot of the negative area from view. And my boss also wondered why my stuff alaways looked better from my old nikon f. Cannon glass of the day was marginal on a good day. I know of what I speak here as my degree is in imaging science from RIT and my second in engineering. ps the BEST glass was Mamiya 7. And the finest portrait machine ever built was the C-330. Rember with the range finders and the TLRs you never lose sight. Shoot film, quality still!! maters and don't let the digital generation forget that the best digital really is not that great.
  15. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Rember with the range finders and the TLRs you never lose sight
    Also remember that it's true with disposables.
    don't let the digital generation forget that the best digital really is not that great.
    Yeah, photos have nothing to do with the photogrpher, solely with the medium. That's why those disposables, which never lose sight and use film, crank out the best, while all those pros and artists out there using digital crank out trash. Long live the disposable! It meets all of the Amritage criteria.
    PS, check out his photos, just amazing.
  16. >>> Shoot film, quality still!! maters and don't let the digital generation forget that the best
    digital really is not that great.

    Hey, I'm part of the digital generation, so how about showing me some of your quality film
    pix. You know, so I don't forget...
  17. I don't know about the current generation, but like several people have said, the older Leicas are bulletproof. Both my M2s are the energizer bunnies of the camera world. Probably the last man-made artifacts on the planet are going to be old Leicas and maybe old Maytag washers and dryers.
  18. "Both my M2s are the energizer bunnies of the camera world."

    My pinhole camera, not to mention my photogram setup, beats your M2s.

Share This Page