Why Leica/ Leitz at all?



It's probably a good thing that I don't have the $ for a lens yet, since I'm deciding between the 21, 24, 28 or 35. Today if I was to buy one, I would likely go with the 21, 24 or 28. I like the 28 because it won't require an additional viewfinder. However, I like the 21 because it's so different from the 35 or 50. Eventually I hope to get a 90, but I will use the wider ones most of the time and the 90 not so often. I hope to have something like the 21, 50 and 90 eventually.

Anyone have experience with the tri-lens? Is it as sharp as the individual focal lengths?


Dear Cathy,

As Erwin Puts says in his review, the Tri-Elmar-M ASPH beats any but the latest Leica fixed focal length lenses.

Having said that in practical terms I cannot distinguish on a 16" x 24" print or projected 8' x 8' any difference at all.

If not shooting available light with a Summilux my preferred M lens is the Tri-Elmar-M ASPH

Best wishes,



As Erwin Puts says in his review, the Tri-Elmar-M ASPH beats any but the latest Leica fixed focal length lenses.

Having said that in practical terms I cannot distinguish on a 16" x 24" print or projected 8' x 8' any difference at all.

If not shooting available light with a Summilux my preferred M lens is the Tri-Elmar-M ASPH --------------------------------- Justin, I'll keep that in mind. When you say, "all but the latest fixed focal lenght lenses" So many choices so little money
. What I'm looking for in going to Leica, is that classic sharper than sharp Leica look. Can this be accomplished with the Tri without flash? Thanks again, Cathy



I'm currently using the 24, 50 & 90mm & I'm happy with that. I used to have 35, 50 & 90mm but the spread between 35 & 50 was too close.

Haven't used the 21mm but I've heard the current version is lovely. After using a 20-35mm Canon on an A2E a while back, I chose the 24mm for my Leica as it's distinctly wide when compared to the 50mm (the 35 & even the 28mm are a bit too close), yet I find it's a bit easier to handle than the 20mm (or 21mm).

When using a 20/21mm, I had to be very careful about holding the camera straight, otherwise my converging lines would go flying all over the place! Sometimes you want this, but most of the time it's a bit distracting. For me, the 24mm was still obviously wide, but more forgiving.


Hi Justin,

Do you have any good method to clean the surface of the lens when I didn't use the soft brush do it?



Dear Bob,

There are a number of levels of cleaning.

A 'dusty' lens: Light clean with "huff" and Kodak lens paper.

A 'finger marked' lens: Kodak lens cleaner on Kodak lens paper. After cleaning the lens, dry with another Kodak lens paper.

ProPhot followed with drying with Kodak lens paper is also very effective.

I only use the camel hair brush when the above is not available.

A shot of compressed air from a considerable distance tends to remove most dust.

Hope the above is of use.



I have heard of someone saying a black camera M7 body has a better resell value than a silver, is it true? Possibly the silver finish tends to reflect unwant light?

I am about to get one tomorrow, please advise.

I am new to film photpgraphy.


> [Samuel, I use black Leica cameras only because I prefer this finish than the silv= er one and because I work as a documentarist. Black body and black lenses ar= e, in my opininon, less showy. You can find a lot of reasons for buing a black or a chrome body, but at least it really think is ininfluent. For your choose beetween M6TTL/M7 first of all I'd have to know what kind= of photography you make. In general terms I really suggest you to buy an M6TTL. I've used an M7 for 3 months and have had a lot of problems. The camera was "eating" two batteries every two rolls and the DX coding wasn't working. Leica Italy has changed this body instead of repairing, but the new one wasn't working the same. I've been very worried about it and Leica Italy has changed also the seco= nd body with an other M6TTL (0.58) that works fine and like my "old" 0.72 ha= s never gived me problems. Consider that I work with an handheld light meter, so I really don't need the AE feature, and that very often I work in really cold situations (-20= =B0 centigrade). After all, I really prefer a mechanical camera than an AE camera develope= d on the ground of a mechanical camera. If I really need the AE I'd consider to buy a body like the Hexar RF, a camera that has been thought and built in a very different way and has a serious AE lock. But as said I really don't need AE, and the flange iusse= of the Hexar couldn't be a problem for me since I use most 50mm lenses. If you need further information please specify what kind of photography y= ou make (landscape, street photography, portaits, or others) and think about your need of AE function. Feel free to email me privately. Regards, Stefano. ]


Dear Samuel, I have this M7 and I am very happy with it. I like the half-automatic style, that gives me all informations to decide wheter to accept the exposure time or not. I used to photograph with 5x7 inch cameras in the filed a long time (with hand held lightmeter of course) and thought to myself if it was a small camera then it had to be as comfortable as possible. The M7 is. And Batteries are still going strong after many many rolls of film.


Hi Samuel

Whether to buy a black or chrome camera is more about fashion than anything else. The original black Ms had a semi gloss hard wearing paint. Leitz did not produce them in large numbers and certain models can fetch high prices in the collector market. The top plate of the early Ms was brass (same for current Models) and with long hard use the paint would gradually wear to show patches of polished brass underneath. A well worn camera was a badge of honour for photojournos in the 1960s and 70s.

The newer black finish is more attractive but is actually designed to wear down. A bit like stone washed denim jeans. This idea of the designer used look in cameras I thing was pioneered by Cannon for its fully manual 'New F1" model.

As you use a black Leica it gradually builds up a character and personality of its own. You don't sell a black M. It becomes part of your life. In my experience, the wearing down of the black finish can be a disincentive to future buyers.

I havent bought one for myself yet but the M7 is a great camera. There are advantages to electronic governed shutters, even if you have no need for AE
The VF is also noticably brighter than the M6 and it is an improvement with regards to performance. Not perfect, we have to wait for the MP for that M3 style VF perfection.

hope this helps, welcome to the wonderful world of film photography!


> I have heard of someone saying a black camera M7 body has a > better resell value than a silver, is it true? Possibly the silver finish tends to reflect unwant light? -----------------------------------------------------------------

1. The original reason for black cameras was to be less noticable. There have been so many made by now that this may no longer be valid.

2. I would suggest you think about a camera as something you will use and enjoy for many years, not for any speculative resale value. Concentrate on the challenge and satifaction of mastering the craft, as well as the personal value of the photos you take now when you look at them again over the years. Every phot is a captured moment of time and history.

3. Look at the cameras in a store and pick the one you like best. The only person you have to please is yourself.


Benjamin Wang asked how do Leica optics compare with Zeiss. And is the relative price difference for Leica lenses warrented given the reputed high quality results for each brand.

The grand old debate from the 1930s is back again. I'm not qualified make a fair comparsion as my experience with pre-war leicas is limited, though I do work with negatives made during the 1930s and 40s made on very fine prewar Zeiss glass. I know nothing of current Zeiss but have used a good range of Leitz/Leica from M3 vintage to current ROM.

My inclination is that Zeiss had the edge in the 1930s. But is it them (Zeissites) or us who rest on our respective fine histories when it ultimately comes to picture qualities such as, colour rendition, contrast and sharpness?



Well-Known Member
This is my first posting on this thread, and is the result of a rather alarming experience. As I teacher I needed to photograph the first musical performance in a new, VERY expensive school building. There were gantries up for workmen to complete the final stages, so the pianist was playing, on a black piano, with a black floor, and against the light so that the workmen's equipment wasn't in the way. Took some shots on an EOS 10D (OK, fine for the website), some on a Leica M7 (asph 35 & 90mm lenses) and three shots on a (rather noisy!) Mamiya 7II with standard lens.
I thought I loved Leicas (I must get a life!). Hate to say it, but two of the three Mamiya shots I took are infinitely better than any of the Leica pictures. It coped superbly with the contrast (detail everywhere), the exposures were better, and every brick could be seen in the wall some way behind the audience. Much more bokeh than the Leica.
Should I sell my Leica equipment? Admittedly they were quieter - though similar to the 10D. HELP!


Hi Andrew,

Leica s surely at the leading edge in 35mm, but they can not beat "physics". At the end of the day "size" matters

Almost every Medium Format equipment will outperform with the same film a 35mm system, no matter how good it is. The same counts for the digital world by the way...


New Member
> Dear Andrew.

Remember it's a much bigger Negitive. I can never understand why People buy Leica so as to shoot prints. If you want to appreciate Leica Lenses shoot Transparances or Slides then you will see why they cost so much. you will then see that magic.

Cheers Ken.


I shoot both on my Leica M cameras and Mamiya 7. Do not be too hasty selling off your Leica equipment yet or you may regret later. The colour rendition of the Leica lenses is far superior than the Mamiya though when it comes to enlargements, the larger neg wins hands down. You have to shoot transparencies to appreciate this.

I am surprised that your Mamiya is noisy as leaf shutters in their lenses are not supposed to be.



I've been in the group for over a year now but this is the first I have contributed.
I have a Contax G outfit which I love but have been using an Olympus C50. I took about 100 photos on a trip to London two weeks ago and loading them onto the computer is all I have done.
When I was in London I was thinking of a medium format camera. In one shop I saw a used M6, I hadn't seen one in the flesh before.....I was hooked.
I've just received a used M6 TTL from Ebay, the camera is mint.
I am thinking of getting a 50mm f2 lens as a good all rounder but am bidding for an M
fitting Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 in Ebay, would this be a good choice or should I stick to Leica?
Sorry about the length of the letter.