Why do you favour Leica M R Digital or P&S

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Guest

Hi all,

I would be interested to know your reason for buying and using M, R, Digital or P&S. To have all systems at the same time would be of course the best solution. But if someone has to decide with which system he has to start first, what would you recommend him/her? Why did you buy your specific Leica system?

This thread should not be an in-depth discussion of specific camera models. For this we have the more detailed threads for each Leica system in this forum.

dirk
 
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Guest

I'm a fan of the M series and P&S models myself. There is too much competition (better in my opinion) from Nikon, Canon and Contax in the SLR world even if the lenses are not quite the same. The Minilux and Zoom offer real Leica lenses in bodies that, though perhaps not feature packed, are robust and beautiful. The Summarit is superb. I would love to have a digital camera with a Leica lens, but I feel, and most reviews confirm, that the Digilux is not up to the best of the competition (namely the upper-end Nikons, Sonys and Canons). So, I own an M6 and Minilux, and several other cameras from other manufacturers (also like Contax). Despite its archaic design, the M6 still gives me goosebumps and I love Leica glass. The Minilux gradually gains more and more of my attention and the photos it produces need make no apologies to anybody's lenses. So, for me, I stick to the Leicas that excite me and go for other brands when I want more technical competence from the bodies. I'll always have one of the most current AF bodies, but I'll also always have a Leica rangefinder.
 
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Guest

The R8 period. Best SLR design in the world.

The black paint Lumix LC-5. I don't have it yet but I consider it to be a digital M7... j/k. Best design idea and surprisingly better than that of the Digilux 1 which is cool but its retro and lack of handgrip doesn't help S/D photogs.

M6 is wonderful enough. And cheaper relative to the M7.
 
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Guest

Although it has long been recognized that the "M" system is Leica's forte I actually prefer the "R" system due to the type of photography I practice. Rarely do I take a shot without a tripod/monopod. Careful framing/composition, focus, exposure,DOF control etc. My M6 is relegated to rather "offhand" P&S type shooting of which I do little. Probably a carry over from my early days in large format photography. Old habits are hard to break. I like my R7s with the shorter prime lenses and the R8 with the longer lenses and zooms.
 
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The M is like the Porsche 911, and the R is like the 928. Both are excellent machines, but a diehard Porsche fan will always choose the 911 over the 928. For me the best R is the 6.2, but I'll always have an M first, a non-TTL M6.
 
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The Porsche analogy is a good one. Then there are those who want a car that does all the driving. I guess the next innovation in photography will be cameras that come with a professional photographer, who, like a chauffer, will take the picture for you while you read a magazine.
 
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Guest

Marc,
Your argument is like that of many other Leica users. I would hasten to add that cameras only do what you let them do. The excuse that modern AF bodies "do it all for you" is testimony to the bad relationship too many photographers have with their cameras. With an M6 (I am an M6 owner), you can only do so much - the camera is in fact a limitation in many areas. With my F4S or F100, the camera never limits me. I can turn everything off, or simply point and shoot. "Doing it all yourself" is a popular way of justifying technologically archaic cameras and spending thousands on the body and lenses. I own only 2 M lenses because they are too expensive for me to justify on a utility basis. Image quality? Sure it's generally technically better with the M lenses, but I have some 11x14 and even larger prints from my Nikon lenses that are superb in every way. I don't fault the user of a Leica in any way. They are beautiful, well-made works of art that take great photos. I guess one thing I object to is that this thread is called "Which Leica-System is the best for your needs?" when in fact few photographers could really justify that an M system meets their needs as well as any good SLR could. Should be "Which Leica-System is the best for your wants?". Bottom line: my cameras do what I tell them to do. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are going off-roading with your SUV, you don't want to take a Mercedes ML420 just because it's beautifully built and the engineering is great, you take your Jeep or Humvee because they are techically more proficient at getting you out of the mud. SLRs with good lenses are more efficient picture taking machines than an M could ever be. The prints in the majority of the world's magazines are taken with medium format or 35mm SLRs for a reason. The image quality is good enought that few could ever tell them apart, and the capabilities of a modern SLR greatly overshadow those of a 1950s-design rangefinder. I say enjoy Ms for what they are; beautiful machines with great optics. But don't try to say they are better in any way for taking pictures than any SLR. Else, why would Leica still build SLRs and why do none of the big makers build mechanical rangefinders?
 
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Guest

Charles,

For what I need my camera to do, the M-system does the job far better than to old Canon EOS system that I had. The non-technologially obsolete Canon was a brick in my hands that weighed down my neck and made me not want to take photos. It also looks like a camera. What I mean is, there's no hiding the fact that the 1N or 1D or the equivilent Nikon cameras (or any modern SLR) is a huge professional picture taking monster. You have a very high profile with one. This is fine if you're covering the local politician coming out of a press conference and you're one of two dozen goons taking the exact same shot, but if you want to be a bit more subtle and (I hate to sound like the old M6 brochure) elegant about what you do, the modern SLR doesn't really let you do that. I realise this only my preference and for many people the SLR suits them fine, but I thoroughly disagree with the idea that the M6 is a less efficient picture taking machine than an SLR. It has its limitations, yes, but limitations are not neccesarily hinderances to creative.

M
 
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Ah, my proofreading abilities are below par. Obviously that last line should read:

- but limitations are not neccesarily hinderances to creativity.
 
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Guest

I agree, Matt, with most of what you say. And don't misunderstand me. I LOVE Leicas, but perhaps for different reasons than some others. I love the mechanical feel, the Germanic engineering, and the "look" of the images. But, I photograph a lot of different things. I shoot ships (retired Navy officer), people, my family, landscapes, etc, etc. There are times when I am standing in a nice setting and my location allows the use of my Leica's limited lens selection (I only own the 50mm Summicron and 35mm ASP at this time) that nothing else quite feels right. But there is only so much truth in the "let your feet do the zooming, or let your feet change the focal length". With my SLRs, I can, in most situations, meter better, be more creative with optical perspective (wide, wide lenses, or long teles) and get more good frames. You can't snap off 5 frames with the M at a road race quickly, you can't take a macro shot off a caterpillar easily, and a myriad of other shots. As far as size and being inconspicuous, I own an old Nikon FM that actually weighs less and is only very slightly larger than my M6. It's all metal, probably more reliable than the M6 (no rangefinder coupling and small springs to break - twice repaired in my M6) offers a much faster top speed, and takes all of my Nikon lenses. But, yes, at the end of the day, if I had to give up all but one camera, I would keep the M6 (but I sure would like to keep the Contax T3 as well
. Guess I'm just more of an engineer than an owner of fine cameras should be. I think alot with my analytical side and perhaps not enough with the creative side. Anyway.
 
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"Ah, my proofreading abilities are below par. Obviously that last line should read:

- but limitations are not neccesarily hinderances to creativity."

Matthiew and all others,

you can edit your own comments within 30 minutes after posting it in the forum. Just click on edit on the top of your posting and make the changes in the text field at the buttom.

dirk
 
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Guest

i have a realy good leica outfit and it is really good for cycling. yes i am more like a 911 when using it - especially down hill.
 
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Guest

Charles, you misunderstood my comment. I don't think an M camera can do everything. I have and use a Nikon system with everything from a 14mm up to a 300/2.8 AFS. Up until 2 months ago I also had a Canon EOSv and all the best L lenses. I produced and got paid for shooting thousands of images with this equipment. In the end I have to use some of that gear to get certain shots, but not nearly enough to justify the inventory costs. The real judge for me
is what comes out the other end. Even my layman wife can pick out a Leica shot from all the hundreds I may do on a job using different gear.

And, it's been my experience that the Leica's are the
ones that come to the rescue when technology goes on the blink, never the other way around. I NEVER go on a job anymore without a Leica as back-up.
 
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Guest

What becomes obvious here is that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. All of these systems have their strengths and weaknesses and work well in some situations and not so well in others.
 
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[I agree with Brent. And just as a tip:I work with a Leica M6 TTL and a Nikon F100 also. To my amazament, I found out that the Nikon SC-17 cord works on the M6TTL conected to the Leica SF-20 flash, keeping the TTL funtioning as good as set in the camera. ]
 
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Guest

Hallo,
I am looking for a compromise between quality of pictures and a compact small, handy camera. Normally I use my Minolta 7XI,with a 28-110 zoom objective, but for sportive outdoor activities, that's not the right camera. I have tried a APS Canon Ixus, with a zoom of 35-70 mm, but the quality of the APS photosystem is not my kind of thing! The picture are not "sharp".
I have read some news about the new Leica C 3 and C2. Can somebody give me experiences/news of these camera's. Is the quality of the pictures made with a Leica camera real better than pictures made with a Canon APS Ixus?
I am looking for a camera with the possibility of spotmeasuring, and a flash.
Greetings
Karel Leenhouts Holland
 
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Guest

I have a Leica C1. The flash pictures upclose are washed out. Pictures far away are under exposed(dark). Outdoors the shots are terrific. I've never experenced such sharp ,colorful pictures.I love the many exposure controls. The indoor flash problem is what I don't know how to solve. Any suggestions.
 
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Guest

I adore M series Leicas which i own one. They are what Leicas are meant to be. The real thing with an unparalleled pedigree. However, I have suspicions about R series machines. I wouldn't go for one while there are great Contax gears with outstanding Carl Zeiss lenses and much better electronics. I don't appreciate Leica's partnership with outfits like Minolta and Panasonic. SLR - and perhaps digital - is not Leica's game and saved the lenses it doesn't excel there.
 
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Murat, Leica reflex cameras are not the real thing, but the Contax reflex line is. It not good for Leica to partner with Minolta and Panasonic, but it is OK for Contax to partner with Yashica. Why is one good and the other not? I have been earning my living as a photographer since 1967 and since 1968 been using Leica and Leica reflex camras for my 35mm work. I have owned the Minolta based 16mm f/2.8 Fish-Eye Elmarit-R and the original 80-200mm f/4.5 Vario-Elmar-R for years and they are top rated lenses. The R3 was a collabration with Minolta but the prism, the mirror, part of the metering system (I think)and of course the lens mount were Leica. The shutter was designed for Leica by Copal. As I understand it, from the R4 thru R7 only used a body casting from Minolta. They are all Leica design. All the Leica reflex camera with a couple of exceptions take all the R lenses. When Contax introduced its autofocus camera, they changed the lens mount, leaving their customer base out in the cold. Leica is a small company and needs to partner with someone with digital experience. Panasonic has that experience. Panasonic benefits from the Leica expertise in optics. It is a win-win situtation. Camera companies today can not survive without offering digital products. The Leica reflex line is generally as complete and veratile a any other manufacturer. Except for lacking autofocus feature, the R8 and R9 are as up to date as anything else on the market.
Happy Snaps,
 
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