The Golden Rule- Which Leica gear should you never sell?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by chris c, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. I posted this question in another forum but I was interested in
    hearing the stories from my fellow Leicaphiles. <P> A member of this
    forum once commented that you should never sell a Leica Lens as you
    will always end up buying it back again in the future. <P> At the
    time I read that observation I didn't realize that if I had heeded
    this advise it would prove to be the most valuable thing I took away
    from the forum. <P> But I didn't heed that advise as I suspect many
    others have failed to do as well. <P> So at the end of the day. What
    piece of Leica gear did you sell only to come to regret the decision
    and then proceed to replace it again or search endlessly for a
    comparable replacement. <P> If there is an interesting story behind
    it throw it out there. <P> Who knows yours may be the story that
    convinces someone to avoid the same fate.
  2. Well, I was particularly fond on a 35 Summicron (with eyes) that I had for my M3, back in the 70's. But the real zinger was the Canon 50/.095 in M mount, almost certainly a custom conversion. Nobody I associated with knew that at the time, and it was just a big soft clutzy lens back then. Ought to have kept that one. Ditto for the 35/2.5 W-Nikkor in LTM. That was perhaps the sharpest most contrasty lens I've ever used. <sigh>

    I do have to say however, except for the crap lens hoods on the 50 an 90, the current four Summicrons are great to use.
  3. Just sold my Tele-Elmarit I had very briefly that I figured I had no need for... During the auction I thought, ah, what the heck, I'll take it out one more time. I did, and came home thinking I had figured out a use for it after all, and suddenly began having feelings of fondness for it. I thought about stopping the auction, but since my finances needed a boost I decided not to. No big deal, I'll get another one down the road.
  4. We didn't "sell" anything. We gave my IIIc to my son-in-law, and our M6, complete with a non-ASPH 35mm, to our granddaughter. I'm reminded of the Phillipe Patek watch advertisements in the Wall Street Journal that says: "You never own a Patek - - you are just the custodians for the next ganeration."

    As long as film exists, I hope that my children and grandchildren will be using these "ancient" and "obsolete" cameras and lenses to capture reality. IWe have willed ourcameras, lenses, projectors, and slides to those whom we know will take care of them.

    It's not necessarily a Leica heritage, but our desire to keep the analog / film photographic images in the current era - - and, if necessary - - in the archives of who we are, and who we were.
  5. I traded in my grandfather's Summitar and IIIc with a Leica flash synchronization system to get an M2 and a Summilux. This was about 25 years ago. The reason I traded was that I was having a lot of trouble getting evenly exposed images in normal sunlight. In retrospect, I suspect that a combination of not having a lens hood and also using the lens at large openings in bright lighting were probably the problem. So while I've been very happy with the M2, I do regret selling the classic IIIc, which was in perfect condition and worked fine. (Many of the "problems" with these old cameras that we talk about in here never even registered on me as being problems. I used the Leica reloadable cassettes and guessed at exposures.)

    On the other hand, my grandfather took most of his pictures with other cameras: Various generic roll film systems in the 1920s-50s, and then with cameras with built-in meters in the 60s. There was really only a fairly short period after WW2 when the Leica was the best overall option for general home photography.
  6. In October I sold my 35 summicron ASPH to raise a some extra cash to
    finance a computer purchase. Although I love my new Mac, I regretted the
    decision. Last week I was able to buy my lens back--nobody purchased it.
    Although the $300 above what I sold it for was painful, I learned a valuable
    lesson. Fantastic lens, I am glad to have it back.
  7. Never sell what you are using.
    Sell anything you do not use.

  8. I sold a Rickenbacker 4001 bass to fund a 90 Elmarit, and now I regret that (selling the bass, not buying the lens). I should've waited a bit and saved my pennies, 'cause now I gotta get another Rickenbacker!
  9. At some point in the 1980's, I needed cash to escape a dead end job and pay the rent. I sold all my large format equipment and my Leica M4-P, 28mm Elmarit, 35mm Summicron and 90mm Summicron.

    Well, nearly 20 years later, I still have to go to a job every morning and, now, I have to pay a mortgage.

    You should NEVER sell anything Leica. You will regret it forever and you will eventually buy it all back at a highly inflated price.
  10. Lee

    Wellllll, I dunno 'bout not selling anything, but my only real regrets
    were about a Leicavit for my M2, an Elmarit 90mm f2.8 and TWO Trinovid
    6x24 binoculars that a Japanese "buyer" talked me out of. Grrrrr!

    I was happier than ever to get rid of all my over 90mm lenses, Viso III, Bellows and adapters. All that stuff is much better served by
    my Nikon F2A equipage. Ever hear of the expression "Horses for courses"? That applies.

  11. In the fall I sold my Elmar-C 90mm f4 and bought an Elmarit-M 90mm f2.8, seeking a sharper lens that was a little faster. I got what I sought, but looking at photos I took in Ethiopia last summer and hefting the Elmarit, I bought back another Elmar-C. I was reminded of my sale, years ago, of my III, IIIc, IIIg, and M3. Each time I sought something better and got it, but my photos are not really any better, only a little easier. And I miss my old stuff. Those cameras had become like my friends.
  12. The first camera and lens you ever bought, never, ever, sell
  13. The Leicaflex SL. Once you get it back to "works like new"
    condition you'll see why Leitz sold 33,000 of them. I sold mine in
    a fit of modernization about 10 years ago, then bought
    replacments 5 years ago.
  14. If its paid for, never sell it, you will always lament the decision later.
  15. What Godfrey said. My general rule is if I don't use it for a year, it goes. I'm
    not a collector, but am a flat broke college student, so it makes little sense for
    expensive gear to sit around unused. Besides, Leica gear would buy a lot of
    beer.... I'm kidding, of course. Leica money would be much better spent on
    Grey Goose.
  16. Don't sell Leica gear that you use/cherish in order to fund the purchase of something else. The reason: you don't want to sell the Leica; you are just going through a phase of wanting something else slightly more. It will pass. You don't need the money, or you would be selling to pay off a debt of some kind.

    Only when it has been collecting dust in the cupboard for a couple of years while you've been using a d*****l camera will you know that you have sold your soul, so selling the Leica won't make things much worse.
  17. Hmm, I like this thread. George's comment for instance, "Those cameras had become like my friends." We're bound by the same funny human attachment to man made things, in our case specifically the love of cameras. What a phenomenal invention.... The fascination continues with each new manifestation and design of the box that captures light and records life.
  18. I've sold a lot of Leica equipment and don't regret any but one. The C/V 90/3.5 is as good as the Elmarit and T-E it replaced (for a lot less money) and after keeping the 21ASPH in the cupboard for 3 yrs because of its size, and the 21/3.4 S/A because of its collector value, I'm happily using the tiny and inexpensive C/V 21. I'm happy I sold the 35/2ASPH for the 35/1.4ASPH. I don't regret either selling my current-version 50/2 as it was no improvement over my 1969 version. I certainly don't regret selling my M4-2 (nice camera but no meter) or my 2 M2's (rangefinder prisms threatening to decement), and I'm overjoyed to have gotten out of the R system while I still could. My one and only regret is selling the late-version E46 135/4, and buying the APO based strictly on Erwin's "report". A fine example of "money for nothing"--spending, that is.
  19. Neat question with interesting responses. I was about to sell a M3 body when my daughter got into photography to meet a fine arts requirement. The professor ho hummed through the students' auto SLR's and then came to the M3 with the f2.0 late 50mm Summicron on it and freaked. He'd never used one but had heard the lens was great. Shooting just black and white and learning to meter, set speed/focus and do her own developing and printing, she's better than I am on B/W. The M3 is a great learning tool, I hope her younger sister signs up for the same course, the M3 is waiting.
  20. Buy only what you NEED and use and therefore WHY would you
    entertain the idea of selling it. And therefore you could not
    possibly have to deal with the notion of buying it back later.....If I
    only followed my own good advice, oh well.
    Happy snaps,
    and good seasons to all,
  21. I have sold a IIIf (#685475; anybody know where it is?) with 50mm f/3.5 Elmar; a 50mm f/2.8 Elmar; a 50mm Summarit (or was it a Xenon) with the Taylor, Taylor and Hobson engraving, and the hood. I wish I had kept all of these. I also sold an M3, but later bought another, so I'm OK with that now. I traded a 35mm Summaron for my version I Summicron; most of the time I'm okay with that decision, too; but sometimes I want it back.

    Now I have a collapsible Summicron, a DR, a 69-79 model, a tabbed version, and a 50 Lux. I thought I would identify the one that was best for me and resell the others. BUT: the collapsible has a sentimental value, and besides, I like the glow; the DR is very sharp; I like handling the 69-79 and the Lux; and the tabbed one has the lowest flare. SO whichever ones I part with, I'm going to regret it.

    But how many motorboats can you ski behind at the same time?
  22. I've sold an M4 and a CL (both with a couple of lenses) and didn't regret it too much as I like what I have now better (IIIg with 35 F2 Asph, 50 F2 and an R3 with a couple of lenses). What I do regret getting rid of was Rolleiflex 2.8F and a 1970 Alfa Romeo GTV.
  23. I am a relative newcomer to Leica with about five years of
    experience with both the R8 and M7 systems. After gaining alot
    of experience with Nikons (30 years or so) I learned the
    folloowing rule: Try everything out first and then buy. I never sell
    unless it is an obvious upgrade and initial error on my part (eg.
    the 60mm R macro was sold and the 100mm APO Macro bought
    instead.) No other sales so far and hopefully never.
  24. Agree that you shouldn't sell any of it.
    Bought a IIIc in Kabul (and not a nice black II a dealer wouldn't bargain on...very non Afghan. Still regret not paying his price.), traded it even for a IIIg in Hong Kong, and traded that for an M2. Of course this was all between 67 and about 74. Think that IIIg was the last one I traded or sold--no, sold the CL for parts after a duck hunting trip on a cold wet day--, and you know how I feel about that IIIg now. Kept all the lens I got with the IIIc set, at least.

    Still have all the many M's I've impulsively bought since then and try to resist the impulse to enlarge the Fed and Zorki collection (lived in Moscow where they were $10 up). Oh, now have a couple of IIIc's now but still no IIIg.

    Nah, don't sell them.

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