Leica Multiple Leicas?

Patrick G

New Member
I have a bit of an odd question considering this forum, however it has been bothering me for some time and I would appreciate some advice.

I currently own a Leica M6 TTL with a Zeiss 35mm and 50mm f/2. I love the camera which I bought last year from the original owner who took great care of his eqiupment. So it is really in mint condition (made in 2000) and works like a champ.

I began looking at the M3 camera and really like it however I have to question the logic of getting a second film Leica. I have all kinds of film cameras which I enjoy shooting with because they are different. My OM1 reminds me of my childhood, the Yashica TLR is a work of art, my Nikon F2 is amazingly versatile and the Rollei 35 is just plane old fun. But each of these is different from the other and I like playing with them for that reason.

Is there something to be gained from owning a M6 and a M3? Do they feel different or will it just mean that I shoot my M6 less? Even the lenses which I have I find that the 35mm is used 90% of the time while the 50mm is only used when I feel guilty for not using such great glass.

Is there such a thing as "too much of a good thing"? I do not "collect" cameras I shoot them and do not want to have equipment collecting dust. Film will not be around forever and these cameras need to be used!
 
The M3 viewfinder is higher magnification, and has a real advantage for Fast 50mm lenses, 90, and 135. The camera does feel different- the gears are made for manual wind only, no need to allow for an optional motor winder. With the M3- the Single Stroke has slightly better eye-relief, but the Double Stroke model is no problem with my glasses.

90mm and 135mm lenses are inexpensive compared to the wide-angle lenses and fast-fifty. With the higher magnification viewfinder, you might try one.

23245067664_36fc2e8e7b_b.jpg
sailor_elmar9cmF4
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

9cm F4 Elmar, wide-open on the Leica M3. this lens cost $100.
 

Patrick G

New Member
Brian, thanks for the answer. Do you shoot with both cameras though? The way I see it, the main advantage would be that I could use the same lenses. The draw back is that I would shoot my M6 less. How many rangefinders should a guy have?
 
Asking the wrong person about how many rangefinders someone must have!

But- I'll say Two. These are mechanical devices, and you should always have a backup. As you have the 50, you could carry both cameras with the 35 on the M6 and 50 on the M3. Prices for the M3 are down, but try to buy one that was recently CLA'd. Youxin Ye sells cameras that he has services, I bought an M2 directly from him- was very, very smooth.
 

trisberg

Veteran
Location
New Hampshire
I find that the 35mm is used 90% of the time while the 50mm is only used when I feel guilty for not using such great glass.

Since the M3 lacks the 35mm frame lines you would have to use an add-on finder or get a 35mm lens with "goggles". The M2 or M4 might be a better choice if you want to get an earlier Leica and still use your 35mm lens.

If you buy used, you can always try it out for a while and then sell the Leica that doesn't get used, or you might find that you use both.

-Thomas
 

cobbu2

Regular
Location
Rockville, MD
My first film M was a M6; I distinctly remember one day out on the Santa Monica pier, where I was constantly changing lenses and wished I had a second body to either preclude frequent lens changing or work with color and B&W simultaneously, etc. I eventually found a good deal on a M4-2 and that solved the problem. And I wasn't overburdened with two cameras due to their compact size.
 
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dante

Rookie
M3s are magic but they also can suck pretty badly - as in sucking up money. I remember having a delayed plane at Laguardia and going back into Manhattan to buy a SS M3 that I had seen earlier in the day. It was dreamy to shoot with a 50mm or 90mm lens (and the SS winding is indeed smooth), but the hangover was in the parade of vulcanite detachment, a shutter jumping the roller, watching for viewfinder separation, scratching up eyeglasses on the metal eyepiece, having the winding lever hitting and denting the shutter speed wheel, and a bunch of other things that drive compulsive people nuts.

But seriously, one thing to take into account vs the M6TTL is having to use an external meter, loading the camera differently, not having a normal X-synch socket (or hot shoe), and loading the camera in a somewhat different manner. Oh yes, and having the shutter speed dial turn in the opposite direction.

I always thought the best M camera for a 35mm lens was the Hexar RF because it loaded easily, had AE when you wanted it, had a higher synch and top shutter speed, and had a way tougher finish.

Dante
 
I own an M6 and an M7. Similar in many ways but also sufficiently different to keep me on my toes. I like having a back-up body so I can have a lens on each so I don't need to be changing lenses if speed is of the essence. In all honesty, I'd probably go for two M7s as, coming from an SLR background, I like the aperture priority, exposure lock and on/off switch. I have owned a Leica iiif RDDA and never really got on with it. It certainly looked the part but, as a strong prescription spectacles wearer, the focus / finder mechanism was a PITA and all that messing around trimming the leader before loading the thing just got too much.

I suppose what I'm saying, in a roundabout way, is that having two bodies with which you're familiar can be advantageous, dependent upon what need a second body fulfills for you.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
I own an m4 p.....which satisfied my Leica lust until I held and used an m3. Fortunately I resisted since I have a Minolta cle which has a great finder , compact,an automated everything except AF. Of course m mount. for AF I went G2. Not a Leica but pretty damn good and super cheap with excellent lenses all for less than old used 50 Summicon. If it dies buy another or better yet a Sony A7 and adapt lenses with tech art.
I might agree with Dante about hexar.....reputedly everything Leica should be. I read hard to fix......but minoltas can die too, although not out much dough. If I had a hexar I might just pick it up first for all the automation. Then what to do m4 p?

Ahhhh then there's that m3 and don't poo poo a good working CL.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
this may sound unsophisticated. However, when you have multiple film leicas , how do you keep track of exactly what film is in the camera at any one time, as there is no direct way to identify the cannister and even if you have an ISO setting, it does not necessarily identify the film?
 
The older cases for the Barnack Leica's have a pocket to put in the film box-top, or a note. The Leica M- I use mine with a case, could drop the box top in.

Of course the Digital cameras make this easier- Color/Monochrom...
 

Hap

Top Veteran
It seems to be essential to have a case, almost for this alone. I do not have one for M3.

Have to be careful box top does not get displaced from cases. I messed up the other day rating Portra 400 at 100...thought I had EKtar in the cam.
 
I just traded my M6 as part of a deal to get an M(240). I would have loved to still have multiple M film cameras. I have been known to tape film box ends to the back of bodies - to keep tabs on what's in which camera. Not very sophisticated but it works. However, I usually go through a roll fairly quickly and I tend to shoot 400 (film and colour) so the risk of getting it wrong is reduced.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
I have been experimenting with films, especially the Cinestill BW and color films....as well as XP2 and EKTAR 100. Haven't dipped into my Kodak Ultramax or Neopan Acros. Lotta Velvia sitting around from older times, in the fridge. This tends to confuse the issue of what film is in what... when I go out shooting with one of four possible M mount cameras (although do not tend to use the CLE or CL) since I acquired real M's. having too many also complicates when some cameras are electronic, like CLE. I wasted a roll or two because I forgot that it does not manual meter, only aperture AE. To use meter and manual have to start in A , and transpose to manual. For whatever reason, I'd like a Leica screwmount to round out the family.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
Not available at any of their dealers when I just checked and not direct. One of us might want to email Cinestill and ask about future availability.
 

cobbu2

Regular
Location
Rockville, MD
however I have to question the logic of getting a second film Leica.

I encountered the same question some years ago, but was easily answered the day I was out on the Santa Monica Pier with my M6 and a 50/2.8 Elmar-M and a 15/4.5 Voigtlander Super-Wide Heliar. There were so many instances of fumbling around changing lenses, many at the same scene, I finally decided it was time for a second body. So I decided on a M4-2 which solved the problem relatively economically.
 

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