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How long have you owned your Leica?

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At this point, I don't own a Leica. I sold my M-4 after about 6 years and my CL after 9 years. I presently only use a Minolta CLE and a Voigtlander Bessa-T and L. My M-4 was sold shortly after I got my first Minolta CLE, when I realized that I preferred the CLE to the M-4. The Bessa-L is strictly dedicated to use with the CV 15mm lens.


I've only owned my current CLE for for a couple of months, but I previously owned one for 12 years that got stolen. I replaced it with a CL, which I sold at around the same time that I got the current CLE. Barring another theft or unrepairable problem with the CLE, I believe that I am now set, using predominantly the CLE and Bessa-T. I just bought a second Bessa-T, strictly as a backup, now that they can be gotten for $200 new via PhotoVillage. It's a darn fine camera for $200, and it's strengths are highly complementary to the CLE's only weaknesses (mainly ease of shooting in deliberate metered manual mode, and focusing accuracy with long or fast lenses).


I certainly WOULD have been faithful to a Minolta CLE for decades, had not a thief intervened. To me, I'd certainly rather have an outfit with 2 Minolta CLEs, and 2 Voigtlander Bessa-Ts than a single M-6 or M-7 for around the same amount of money.

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<<My dad bought an M3 in 1956, at my suggestion. I was a teenager at the time. He had no photographic aptitude so he gave me the camera in 1957, so I'm going on 56 years with the M3.


-- George L. Doolittle>>


The very first "DDD" preproduction M3 from 1953 is only 49 years old, so how do you figure?

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Lots of used stuff, but the new ones are as follows:




1985-CL (50yr NOS for my 50th birthday)/


2000-AF-C1 NOS/

2003-we'll see.

Thus, a new body about every decade. But the M6 is still in it's original box, and I really don't know if I want an M7. I also have about a dozen lenses, all bought new, so you see that Leica shouldn't have any complaints about me not supporting them.

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I don't "own" my Leicas. I simply paid for the privilege of being their caretaker. (lol)


Seriously, I added my first Leica about 3 years ago, and have enjoyed the additional capabilities it has provided. I don't see it as a matter of being "faithful" to a single camera, though. If I need perspective control, or a large negative, I don't hesitate to haul out the 4x5. Or, if I need the shot in minutes, it doesn't bother me to shoot digital.


It's just a tool, not a spouse. ;-)

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My grandfather bought his M3 and 35/50/90 Summicrons in the late 1950s; some relative bought them at a PX in West Germany. I inherited everything in 1977 when he died. The M3 was traded for an M2 in the 1980s and I bought an M6 .72 "classic" in the early '90s. But I'm still using those three original Summicrons since 1977 and would never part with them (partly for sentimental reasons). I've since added a 28/2.8 Elmarit, 135/4 Tele-Elmar and 200/4 Telyt, plus a bunch of reflex gear and lenses.
Jeffrey L. T. von Gluck
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It's heartening to see how loyal people are to their Leicas - and

to see that old Leicas are still going strong after all these years.

People here certainly don't rush out to buy the newest gear.

Which is not to say at all that the old gear is better than the new .

It's just that a good product is rewarded with long-term

loyalty...long may it continue.

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