Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-04-2014, 02:08 PM   #31
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Pepe Guitarra's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,222
Why Leica? because they can...!

Well, I left Pentax for Canon, in search of the FF and AF that would allowed me to capture BIF. Got the FF and the "professional" Canons, they were great. However, one day I went though England with the 5D II and the kit lens 24-105/4 and the Sigma 35/1.4, wonderful lenses. After the trip, I had backache for several weeks. In the meantime, I saw people shooting with a small old-fashion (looked like film to me) cameras, they were LEicas. They were small and fit inside the big pocket. Then I decided to buy one, not film, but digital, the M8 ($2,200 down from $5,000), some Leica cameras depreciae quickly, but the lenses keep their price or go up. Once you shoot with Leica, there is no going back. The quality of the image and the style of photgraphy changes. Manual focusing gives you time to think about what you are going to shoot and learn to compose better. Then the lenses, they are sharp, clear, contrasty, etc wide open. Yes, there is no lens like Leica lenses. I sold my M8 and got an M9 (pre-owned) only $4,800. You can use Zeiss lenses to start, they are 1/4 of th eprice of a Leica, or Voigtlander, 1/10 of the Leica. You only need three Leica lenses, and you do not need to change the camera either. It is an experience. To finish the story, I sold (still selling) all the arsenal of Canon, and got my second camera: Pentax K3. The quality of the K3 compares to the quality of the Leicas (IMHO). Now, I came back to Pentax and my faithful Takumars, but keep my M9 as my FF camera. Not rich, sold one of my other toys (guitar) and got set.

03-04-2014, 02:35 PM   #32
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 72
The analogy with watches is probably the closest - no, there's NOTHING a $12000 Rolex (or equivalent) can do that a $100 Casio can't - in fact the Casio will keep better time! So if you just approach it from a purely *functional* perspective then nobody would ever NEED to buy a luxury watch.

One can argue that Leica M is the smallest FF rangefinder system, and arguably the smallest FF system period, you can buy today (yes Sony a7/r, but their lens are significantly bulkier for the most part). So if you absolutely need it for the size then there you go. One can argue the undoubtly fantastic quality of the lens and the workmanship of German optics/body, but at the end of the day if you still just see it as a camera (just like if you see Rolex to be nothing more than a ting to keep time) then no, it isn't worth the premium. Leica is more jewelry than anything else. Some people like such things, some people don't - no need really to explain why.

It really is a camera for rich nostalgic types though, rangefinder - even more so than SLRs - is a design that were limited to the technology available at the time. It isn't a forward thinking design or best suited for the digital age. The form factor is great and timeless, but the mechanics is anything but.
03-04-2014, 02:39 PM   #33
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 603
The Leica rangefinders are inferior to even the most basic SLR in terms of usability (forget long lenses and macro photography) but being different is in itself an artistic statement. Limiting ones self is also a conscious act of art. Sometimes it's just a statement (that can be safely ignored) for those who can't capture a decent shot. Given the chance I would probably get one but it won't be digital.
03-04-2014, 03:48 PM   #34
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 671
QuoteOriginally posted by dtmateojr Quote
The Leica rangefinders are inferior to even the most basic SLR in terms of usability (forget long lenses and macro photography) but being different is in itself an artistic statement. Limiting ones self is also a conscious act of art. Sometimes it's just a statement (that can be safely ignored) for those who can't capture a decent shot. Given the chance I would probably get one but it won't be digital.

Or you could say they are superior. Depends on your point of view. With slr you are limited by tunnel vision. You can't see outside of the frame, so you can't see see the events unfold and what will end up in the fame. You can't predict the "decisive moment". For exactly the same reason the DOF preview is limiting. Especially when you shoot at f8 or higher, you can't see your background, since it's blurred out. You have to hit DOF preview all the time and have very dark screen.

Those reasons are why Leica has been favourite with photojournalists or street photographers. It allows them to see the action unfold.

When I travel to japan I end up with lots of shots destroyed, because I end up with people running into my frame and it's impossible to see with slr. In busy places like this, Leica excels.

"My Leica is literally an extension of my eye " - Cartier-Bresson

03-04-2014, 04:51 PM   #35
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,242
QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
Or you could say they are superior. Depends on your point of view.
Exactly. I've used both SLRs and Leica rangefinders for almost 50 years - for different purposes. While I've had SLR lenses up to 500mm (Actually had a 2000mm cat once), probably 80% of my good shots use 35 to 90 mm, where the Leica works best. I mainly use an SLR (or dSLR) for macro and wildlife. All else I prefer a rangefinder.
Very wide (21 on FF) the view through an SLR is nice, but the Leica wides give better results.
I consider autofocus inferior. Much easier just to focus on what you want manually.
03-04-2014, 04:57 PM   #36
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 671
QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Exactly. I've used both SLRs and Leica rangefinders for almost 50 years - for different purposes. While I've had SLR lenses up to 500mm (Actually had a 2000mm cat once), probably 80% of my good shots use 35 to 90 mm, where the Leica works best. I mainly use an SLR (or dSLR) for macro and wildlife. All else I prefer a rangefinder.
Very wide (21 on FF) the view through an SLR is nice, but the Leica wides give better results.
I consider autofocus inferior. Much easier just to focus on what you want manually.
I don't have a rangefinder, but I'm thinking of getting a Leica M3 or Zeiss Ikon ZM for that exact reason. At the moment I have a guessfinder, Rollei 35s. It works fine great the way I have mentioned above. I can see outside of frame lines which really helps predict the action. But I would like to have the ability to be able to focus on closer subjects while wide open. That's why I'm looking at a rangefinder. But it will be a while before I get one.
03-04-2014, 05:53 PM   #37
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,242
QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
I don't have a rangefinder, but I'm thinking of getting a Leica M3 or Zeiss Ikon ZM for that exact reason.
I have both an M3 and ZM. I much prefer the Zeiss for its viewfinder (clearer and better for wide angle lenses) and TTL meter (which the M3 lacks - I use a clip-on MR meter on mine). Cost used, in good condition (meaning a CLA on the M3) may be close, but the ZM is out of production and hard to find. Lots of M3s around - but they're OLD.
03-04-2014, 06:22 PM   #38
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 671
QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I have both an M3 and ZM. I much prefer the Zeiss for its viewfinder (clearer and better for wide angle lenses) and TTL meter (which the M3 lacks - I use a clip-on MR meter on mine). Cost used, in good condition (meaning a CLA on the M3) may be close, but the ZM is out of production and hard to find. Lots of M3s around - but they're OLD.
There are lots of brand new ZMs for Japan and HK on ebay. I'm only planning to shoot it at 50mm. On my pentax my 99% used focal length is 43mm. As such, the higher magnification works better for me. As for M3, there are ones in bad condition and good condition. Lack of meter isn't an issue, I have a hasselblad. No batteries and no meter either.

03-04-2014, 06:51 PM   #39
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,242
QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
There are lots of brand new ZMs for Japan and HK on ebay. I'm only planning to shoot it at 50mm. On my pentax my 99% used focal length is 43mm. As such, the higher magnification works better for me. As for M3, there are ones in bad condition and good condition. Lack of meter isn't an issue, I have a hasselblad. No batteries and no meter either.
I use 35 more than 50, so like a wider finder than the M3. (I do have a goggled 35 Summicron for it, but it isn't ideal for viewing.)
I used to shoot my M4 without a meter for years, but got lazy. I even got a metered finder for my 501 C/M.
03-04-2014, 07:01 PM   #40
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 671
QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I use 35 more than 50, so like a wider finder than the M3. (I do have a goggled 35 Summicron for it, but it isn't ideal for viewing.)
I used to shoot my M4 without a meter for years, but got lazy. I even got a metered finder for my 501 C/M.
I'm not a fan of reflective meters, it's either incident meter or spot meter + zones. I like to get exact look I want straight on film instead of hoping for one
I use my huge and clunky seknoic l-758 as much as I can.
03-04-2014, 07:01 PM   #41
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Pepe Guitarra's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,222
I forgot to mention that Zeiss lenses are almost up there with the Leicas. I read somewhere that Zeiss manufactures the lenses used by satellites to take photos of earth.
03-04-2014, 07:15 PM - 1 Like   #42
Pentaxian
ChrisPlatt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Rockaway Beach NYC
Posts: 5,394
QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Zeiss Ikon ZM. Actually made by Cosina,
The Cosina Voigtlander rangefinder cameras and lenses are excellent.
They sell for a fraction of the price of their Leica equivalents.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
"My Leica is literally an extension of my eye " - Cartier-Bresson
That must have been quite a sight. Probably scared small children...

Chris
03-04-2014, 08:03 PM   #43
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 671
QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
That must have been quite a sight. Probably scared small children...

Chris
I guess that's explains why he made some of the most memorable photos of the 20th century.
03-04-2014, 08:15 PM   #44
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,242
QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
I forgot to mention that Zeiss lenses are almost up there with the Leicas. I read somewhere that Zeiss manufactures the lenses used by satellites to take photos of earth.
I have Zeiss ZM 50 & 35 f2 lenses, and they are optically excellent. Mechanically I still think Leica are more solid, but the newer Leica lenses use floating elements, and the added complexity makes them less desirable to me.
03-12-2014, 07:59 AM   #45
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Location: Coloroado
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 260
QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Leica has always made quality products and it's lenses are excellent. The big question is whether they really are worth the price premium. As always, are those "best images" the result of the camera or the photographer? The closest I will come to a Leica is the Panasonic LF 1 I own with a Leica branded lens. It's half the price of the same camera with a Leica brand which raises serious questions about the price premium.
although the two cameras may physically be the same, or near the same, the software that drives them - the way the images are processed - is quite different. Leica may license out their lens designs to Panasonic, but they aren't going to share their software.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
body, brand, camera, cameras, car, dollars, harley, leica, premium, price, prices, quality, responses, rest, system
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why oh why is the 15mm Limited lens not fully weather sealed? Diego Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 08-10-2013 07:20 AM
Why buy a Leica ? NickLarsson Pentax K-01 30 03-09-2013 04:38 AM
Why the wild price swings? lacro Pentax Q 2 01-16-2013 06:17 PM
Burning of the Koran ... ! Why? Why? Why? jpzk General Talk 128 09-14-2010 04:45 PM
what in the world is this, and why does it cary such a price tag? Gooshin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 10-04-2008 01:29 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:59 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top