Multi purpose leica

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by felix_the_house_cat, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. Hello all,
    I've heard and seen nothing but good things from leicas and
    so I took up a job to save to get one to see what they're all about...
    I've got $500 and am looking for one lieca good for street shots, and
    studio work, portraits and experimentals. Would you have some
    suggestions for me? Thank you all
  2. A few threads down from this one someone is selling a Leica III with a Lens for $475.
    That is a really cool camera if you want to shoot primarily with a 50mm lens.

    Read about it here:

    I wish I could come with an excuse to get it myself, but I can't :)

  3. Keep saving. Buy Wentong's M4-2 and a user 50mm 'cron. Or something like that.
  4. m_.


    That's very sweet of you, Jamie. Thanks.

    Not biased to my own Leica, but I think if you could, by all means, get a Leica M camera to start instead of earlier thread mount. It's a pain in the neck to load film on those thread mount cameras and most of them need CLAs more or less. They were great cameras back then but they are now 50 or 70 some years old. Something to think about.
  5. I have Leica III with Voigtlander 50/2.5 Color Skopar for sale if you are interested. The Leica III is in excellent user condition and was CLA by Gerry Smith of Kindermann. The rangefinder is contrast and accurate, shutter speeds are right on. The Voigtlander 50/2.5 Color Skopar is a brand new one that I bought few months ago from Photo Village. This is an excellent combination is you are interested in. The price is $475.00 plus shipping.
  6. First of all Felix, Leica is not a multi-purpose camera. Its heritage is in candid/street/photo-journalism kind of photography. Starting from $500 with both lens and body is a tight situation even with an older Leica. The chance of getting one in perfect condition is a hit & miss ordeal. Also, if you happen to get one that needs a CLA, the cost along is going eat 1/2 of your vested amount. Having said all that, I fully understand you have to start somewhere. My suggestion is to get a decent Leica lens, and then upgrade to a Leica M body later. There are plenty of decent 50mm lens out there if you do some searching, then team it with a Bessa body and that should get you started. Later one if you so desire to move up, the Bessa can either be used as a backup or selling it without incurring any substantial loss.
  7. That's an excellent point henry....

    My first "Leica" was a Bessa R2 that I got for $300. I got a 'user' Rigid Summicron 50 for
    $275. I HIGHLY recommend starting with a Leica Lens...the CV Lenses are fine (I have two)
    but the old Summicron is a classic.

  8. Meanwhile, I got an excellent Canon 50/1.4 for $190 or so.
    As for the body, if you want real quality on a budget, try the Canon P. Mine (dud flash contact, otherwise fine) cost me $170 or thereabouts. Easy to load, real Kwolity, metal curtains (ignore wrinkles unless horrendous), virtually unusable 35mm framelines. Yes, try out the finder before buying: you may love it or loathe it, and many have not aged well.
  9. If you want the rangefinder experience, you don't have to go with Leica. I just
    had up for sale on Ebay (sold), a Contax IIIa with a 50/1.5 Zeiss Sonar, and a
    Russian Jupiter-9 85/2 lens, for $325. The Contax IIIa and IIa were more like
    the screwmount Leicas in that the internal finder could only gauge for a 50mm
    lens, but their lenses were excellent by the old Leica standards. The cameras
    have a unique look which I actually like more than the Leicas.

    If I were starting out, I'd go with a Bessa R. You can then test out older Leica
    glass, or new Voigtlander glass that pretty well blows the old Leica stuff out of
    the water.

    Or, if you know that you'll definitely get an M down the road, do the financially
    prudent thing and save up for one now (that M4-2 sounds good) so you don't
    lose money when selling another rangefinder later.
  10. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Buy a real nice Canon Canonet G-III QL-17 for about $60.00 on ebay have someone do a complete CLA (clean lube and adjust) on it for about $65-80.00 and but a fridge full of film with what's left over at the end of the film you will know if you want to spend the thousands of dollars a current Leica M out will cost.

  11. You got the money. Go for Bessa R2, new or used and a Nokton 50mm/1.5

    And you will see quality of picture that is leicaesque or better. The noise is not very loud thing? It is overrated, my smooth operation M2 still make noise that is loud enough. Bessa R2 is good for the job. and you will get a light meter, too.

    Get it at cameraquest.
  12. If you are going for "street shots", get a IIIc. For studio work, get an SLR, or better MF (such as a Hassy or Bronica). Forget the jack-of-all-trades camera.

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