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03-13-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
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My LX & M50-1.4 vs Leica?

The only rangefinder I've ever tried is the Olympus XA. It made nice pix, but no better than my LX & M lens does. So what is the big deal about Leicas? $5000 for a body plus $2000 for a 50MM 1.4 lens? You can get a good LX & 50MM 1.4 lens for around $400. So are the photos that much better or is it just the prestige value, like wearing a Rolex watch instead of a Seiko? The Lieia isn't even that much smaller.

03-13-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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I bet you have never seen the price of a Grand Seiko with a Spring Drive movement!
03-13-2011, 03:35 PM   #3
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Nando,

given the list of equipment in your signature, you seem perfectly positioned to give a meaningful opinion.

I'm very new to taking photographs and sometimes don't quite "get it" relating to the apparently inflated cost of some items of kit.

I must then fall back on the only experience I have of Leica equipment - when used for surveying and setting out - I've used Leica tools costing many thousands of UK pounds for 'levelling' and also theodolites / total stations for relating polar / rectangular co-ordinates with built-in distance measuring.

So, is Leica photographic kit really that good, that well engineered and manufactured?

I suspect the answer will be 'yes'

Please give us your opinion Nando. It would paint a good picture for those uneducated (well it would for me anyway!)

Gary
03-13-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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Although I am a Pentax fan I do own a Leicaflex SL and Summicron 50mm F2 lens.This was a gift from a deceased family member and holds tremendous sentimental value as well as respect for a very well built non japanese camera.I am not here to preach of the benefits of owning one but only the facts of owning them.The glass used in these lenses do give me an image that I can pick out of my albums and say I used my Leica for that shot,and not in a bad way.Mind you I can also pick out my images taken with my Super Takumar 85mm 1.4. I appreciate the quality in both but can not possibly afford any of the other primes available for the Leica. Why the high price of this equipment?
I believe it is becoming more of a collectabilty issue than anything else at this present time.

Ray

03-13-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by garythesnail Quote
Nando,

given the list of equipment in your signature, you seem perfectly positioned to give a meaningful opinion.

I'm very new to taking photographs and sometimes don't quite "get it" relating to the apparently inflated cost of some items of kit.

I must then fall back on the only experience I have of Leica equipment - when used for surveying and setting out - I've used Leica tools costing many thousands of UK pounds for 'levelling' and also theodolites / total stations for relating polar / rectangular co-ordinates with built-in distance measuring.

So, is Leica photographic kit really that good, that well engineered and manufactured?

I suspect the answer will be 'yes'

Please give us your opinion Nando. It would paint a good picture for those uneducated (well it would for me anyway!)

Gary
If you want to quote the kinds of uses that optics are put to, don't neglect the medical uses of Pentax optics. Many optical scopes used for medical purposes are Pentax Optical branded. So why should Leica optics hold such a superior level over Pentax optics? After all the medical uses of Pentax Optics is what attracted Hoya to Pentax for acquisition.
03-13-2011, 05:16 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Leica is a religion where the true believer's faith is supported by excellence in engineering and optics. That being said, the price of Leica gear reflects, in part, the relative scarcity of both cameras and lenses. Add in the cult status of the brand and you get unreasonable prices, even for 50+ year-old kit.

As for your LX/M50 kit, a comparison to a Leica rangefinder kit is apples vs. oranges. People shoot rangefinders as a specific tool for a specific purpose. The usage style is quite different as are the results and the photographer's expectations. Check out the discussions and galleries on RFF to see what I mean (LINK). As I said, people use a 35mm rangefinder differently. Consider the following points:
  • Close focus limit for wide angle and normal lenses is 1 meter. Closeups? Macro? Get real! Possible, but not practical.
  • The practical limit for longer lenses is about 135mm. This is due to limitations in the rangefinder focus system.
  • Many rangefinder lenses are ridiculously compact resulting in incredible handling and pocketable cameras
The Leitz optics are arguably superior (sorry Pentax fans, but tested to be true), but in use, it is unlikely that one would see much difference between photos taken with either kit. (After all, when was the last time you saw anyone shooting rangefinder with a tripod?)

Now I really have a soft spot for rangefinder cameras and own 7 functional units at present (2 Yashica Lynx, an Olympus XA, a Canon P, a FED-2, a Zorki-4K, and a Kiev-4A). I like them all and am generally pleased with the photos I get with them. Will I ever succumb to the siren call from Wetzlar? Probably not. Not enough bang for the buck and too tempting a target for thieves!

Mind you, the above discussion is limited to Leica rangefinder cameras. Leitz did make a 35mm SLR, but it is seriously out of favor with Leicaphiles as are the lenses made for the camera. That is a good thing since it is possible to convert the Leica R lenses to Pentax K! Google Leitax conversion.


Steve


(...does have a recurring jones for a Bessa R3A, however...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-13-2011 at 05:36 PM.
03-13-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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Why do I care?

In answer to Nando, I'm just curious if there is really much of a difference in the photos, or in the user experience, or if it is just the joy of owning & using something extremely well made. I've never touched a Leica. Maybe I'm missing out on something I would enjoy.
03-13-2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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Just for fun:

So you want to buy a rangefinder? | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS


So you want to buy a rangefinder…Part 2! | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS


...both have been posted on this forum before, but both are still good for giggles.


Steve


("...Bessas are for pussies..." )

03-14-2011, 12:49 AM   #9
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People love to justify their irrational extravagances ... but in the end dull pictures taken with Leica are still dull pictures
03-14-2011, 05:21 AM   #10
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Thanks, Nando

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I will load up the Yashica GTN I bought a while back and see what it is all about.
03-14-2011, 05:49 AM   #11
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JimH - fair point, I've used theodolites made by Pentax too.

Nando - Great description for an uneducated bloke such as I . Unfortunately it's the non-photographic comparison below that paints the picture best for me.

QuoteQuote:
that would be akin to choosing a Land Rover for some hot-laps around a road-course, leaving a Porsche 911 at home
I believe your friend at Ford is spot on too. Thank you for going in to such detail.

Gary
03-14-2011, 02:35 PM   #12
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Provided that you are in strange love affair with Leica's no wonder you hate Samyangs... you should have some fair amount of hate for the Pentax too )))

But, finally Ok, you are an investor ))

Here's one pic, but it's not that sharp
Attached Images
 

Last edited by dreamfoto; 03-14-2011 at 02:39 PM. Reason: added the photo :)
03-14-2011, 05:31 PM   #13
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My pop has a Leica R3 Mot, with a 50mm F2, and a 90mm F2, it's a nice camera, but can't be used in AE mode. He sent it to DAG camera ( supposedly a great Leica repair shop ) He had the camera for way too long, and couldn't fix the AE mode problem, BUT, he did fix the meter for manual mode. It's a nice camera for sure, but too rich for my blood
03-14-2011, 05:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dreamfoto Quote
Provided that you are in strange love affair with Leica's no wonder you hate Samyangs... you should have some fair amount of hate for the Pentax too )))
You are the one that has sour grapes! I do not appreciate the rudeness nor being ridiculed when I was trying to be helpful.

Ziggy and Gary, I think that I've answered your questions so I've deleted my posts. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask over private messaging. I'm not going to waste any more of my time in this thread.

Last edited by Nando; 03-14-2011 at 06:23 PM.
03-14-2011, 08:40 PM   #15
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Nando, sorry for being rude - I was only trying to make it fun, but instead wounded your ego my jokes were a total failure...
You are like kid

PS. Originally with "dull pictures" I only meant the results I have been getting myself in the last few months, but you took that as an offence so I coudn't resist

One last question - I am going to The Himalayas this spring - may I borrow your 1923 Leica ))

Last edited by dreamfoto; 03-14-2011 at 08:43 PM. Reason: forgot one letter :)
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