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Passing GAS

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
This is a thread about battling against time-constrained GAS. This happens when someone puts their gear for sale and the deal is good. Either I give in, or somebody buys it before me. It's just a matter of riding it out, see if I can hold on...

There'll be daily updates and musings.
 

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Prelude

(Warning: contains bits and pieces from Days 1 + 2.) I was a happy shooter... I am a happy shooter. With a Leica Q and a PEN-F in their bag who wouldn't be. As it so happens a GAS attack can happen to anyone. It's not a daily occurence, and I don't even get GAS from new announcements that often. The things I want from a camera and what new features new cameras have aren't usually coinciding.

I don't browse through camera stores physically. Perhaps because there aren't any in my vicinity. The one time there was one, and having a very good week, shooting-wise, with my Fuji X100T, I happened by a store which had Leica Q on display. I held it in my hand and looked through the EVF. That was it. Had to have it. That battle wasn't particularly long or short, in about 3 weeks I walked with a Leica Q around my neck.

I'm bitten by the Leica bug (thanks to the fateful stroll around the store that time) so the biggest GAS attacks will involve good deals on Leica gear and perhaps related used gear.

This April this one seller posted his recently serviced Leica M9 for sale. Very nice condition, sensor replaced, trustworthy guy, wouldn't be a problem for me to drive to his place to conduct some F2F business. It was a tough battle, broke my spirits somewhat. I just had got the PEN-F to accompany my Q (before the Olympus, my only real camera) but I had considerable buyer's remorse because the PEN-F didn't quite deliver on all the promises, or things I made up it'd do for me. Oly was barely 2 months in and I was already going to replace it?! As said, the battle was tough. There'd be days when it was easier for me to ignore the deal and then there'd be days when I was calculating my bank balances to see how it'd play out. Then one Saturday I finally broke down, deciding I'd get the camera. But the next day, Sunday afternoon when I got home, it had just gone. What a tease.

Since then I've been pretty good. Some occasional GAS about moving back to Fuji lifestyle, but nothing serious. I have made myself plans to move the next spring, and consequently I have made myself a promise to postpone any gear acquisitions after I've moved. But now there's this...
 
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mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 1: the first 24 hours
Blasted!

I simply don't know what it is about the winter but I always get mad GAS around January. Ever since I "picked" up photography hobby in 2016. First it was the Fuji X100T on Jan 1, 2016. Then in January 2017 I just had to get a Fuji X-T1 to taste the ILC world again. Then in January 2018 it was Olympus PEN-F that I had to get (finally bought it after brutal fights in Feb '18...)

And now there's the Leica MP 240 with my name on it, playing its siren song to me. I absolutely mustn't... but should I not delay the inevitable? Certainly... argh. Lock me up and throw away the key :)

It doesn't help one bit that on Tuesday I received a hefty tax return and tomorrow it'll be the paycheck that hits my checking account...

(initially posted here: GAS: Please Share your Latest Acquisitions Big and Small)
 

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 2

From experience I know the first 24 hours aren't necessarily the hardest. But now I'm past that -- the first 24 hours since I saw the post. The post is still on. It hasn't sold, yet. Cursed. :) The good thing about GAS that relates to good deals is that you win that by doing nothing. The downside is that the weekend is before me, little to do except to read absolutely everything about the M240, twice. And that's a very bad thing. Another bad thing is that I know the seller, he'll reduce the asking price by 50 euros weekly. It won't be long until the camera goes for 2900 which is starting to be a pretty good deal.

While exercise-cycling I just so happened to navigate to M240 reviews on youtube. (As I pedal my calories away daily I watch 50-60 minutes of youtube, mostly camera and motorsport themed videos.) Pardon the perhaps vulgar metaphore but I like to edge like this, watching and reading about the camera I have so much GAS for. I scheduled myself a good 70-minute playlist for tomorrow as my daily miles were done for the day. I did watch two, the DigitalReview and TCS TV's videos. Kai sure did his best to throw cold water at anybody interested in the camera. Misfocused images, slow shutter speeds leading to blur, nasty cold WB. This did help some. What will not help me is when I'll navigate to Thorsten Overgaard's site. He describes all Leicas in the most romantic light possible. After reading a couple of thousand words of his, you start to forget everything that is bad about a manual focus camera. With Leica you can, and will.
 

christilou

Legend
Jul 13, 2010
164
Sunny Frimley
To add to your woes, I would say the M240 leans more towards warm than cold wb :hide: I have the M10 also but kept my M240 as I won't get much for it anyway. It has a really nice shutter that I prefer to the M10. I still use it from time to time so that it doesn't seize up. It would only mis focus if the rangefinder was out of alignment and a service at Leica would fix that. Otherwise, you could use the VF2 viewfinder from Olympus.

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M240 50mm 1.5 Zeiss Sonnar. It was sunny and I cooled the wb down in post. I took these yesterday.
 

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
To add to your woes, I would say the M240 leans more towards warm than cold wb :hide: I have the M10 also but kept my M240 as I won't get much for it anyway. It has a really nice shutter that I prefer to the M10. I still use it from time to time so that it doesn't seize up. It would only mis focus if the rangefinder was out of alignment and a service at Leica would fix that. Otherwise, you could use the VF2 viewfinder from Olympus.
Yep, I've read about how they altered the look of the M240 in contrast to the M9 (cooler). Nothing a quick post processing can't handle.

The quiet shutter is a big selling point for me. I suspect it won't be quiet enough for me to be entirely satisfied but I believe I wouldn't have a problem with it. I'm a sucker for quiet shutters* -- the ultra quiet X100 series triggered this need of aural stealthiness in me. The M10-P quickly rose to the top of my wishlist with its dampened shutter. The first ILC to implement a global electronic shutter gets my attention.

*I fully join Eric Kim in believing that nobody does the "decisive moment" like the myth goes. Even HCB had to work his scenes. And if you have a noisy shutter or mirror slap, the scene dynamics changes right after the first "shot". I have such a good first-hand confirmation about this -- I shot the x100t in family events without anybody ever realising. Then I one time tried out the XT1 with 35/1.4 and the first time I took a shot every pair of eyes fixated on me.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Using a camera with the Half-Case will dampen shutter noise "even more". I use a Nikon S2 in a half-case, and have been told- "that's the quietist S2 that I've ever heard". The S2 has a quiet shutter with a loud braking system.
 

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 3

So far so good, I'm happy to say. The Saturday afternoon starts to turn into night around here, I'm glad I could find something else to do than feed my obsessions. I haven't contacted the seller yet to discuss if he still has the M9 and whatever happened to it.

The M9 indeed last April was a big GAS event for me. I'm wondering why this isn't hitting me as hard. Probably two reasons: abt €2k on (a good condition) M9 is more digestable than the €3k on a MP240. Neither will lose resale value by the thousands but as an absolute lump sum to throw into a camera 3k is something. (Never mind I threw that money to Leica Q and haven't regretted it.)

The second thing is that there's no good lens deals in sight. Last April there was an abundance of great second-hand glass for sale. All the good Zeiss lenses in 21, 35, 50, CV Color-Skopars for every finger, you name it. Right now, nothing interesting really.

Then again, I could easily afford to go straight to business with a second-hand 35 FLE or 35 ASPH. But I have planned myself some financially big happenings for the spring and throwing €5.5k in a camera-lens combo right now might be stretching some margins of my budgeting a bit.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
On the M9: make SURE it has the new CCD with replacement cover glass. The owner should have the repair paperwork. If it has the old sensor, figure $1500 to replace it.
 

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
On the M9: make SURE it has the new CCD with replacement cover glass. The owner should have the repair paperwork. If it has the old sensor, figure $1500 to replace it.
Yeah no worries. That deal is long gone. :whistling:

Meanwhile I wrote relieved how there are no good lens deals right at the moment. But of course I had to go poke the ants nest. Zeiss for example is having a cashback campaign :oops:
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
I could launch an all-out flood of lenses in the Buy/Sell section here... After Christmas, don't want to wait in line at the Post Office...

Do I really need 100 lenses in Leica Mount?
 

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 4 - losing steam... already?!

Funny I should already be coming to my senses. I was certain this would be a tiresome battle. But no, I haven't really been in the mood for Leica all day. Couldn't even get my intrigue up reading Overgaard.

It all started last night when I couldn't get sleep and I would just turn around in bed. Every time I imagine myself buying a Leica M with a 35 mm lens to go with it my rational brain shouts: FUJI X100F, FRACTION OF THE COST, FRACTION OF THE WEIGHT. Especially now one should just wait for a moment, given they'll likely announce a new X100F successor within 1.5 months' time. When I had the X100T I kinda disliked the lens. When I sold it, now I remember fondly the times with the camera. Having the Leica Q complicates things further... let's not go there now.

Last night I recalled numerous situations where I had good success with the autofocus of a camera (be it X100T or Leica Q) where I'd place the focus point to the right corner and then I only had to raise the camera to position and fire away. With Leica it always tends to be more obvious because I have to center dead-on with the subject to be able to focus -- no selecting the focus points around the frame here.

But I do also remember many a city stroll when I'd be shooting a manual focus lens and collecting mighty fine shots around. Sure you can do MF with an AF camera (provided the camera provides decent aid to do so) but the lenses these days aren't designed for good MF operation. Like how SLRs started to lose their focusing screens (and probably other aids too) after AF started to be a big thing, the lenses today seem to provide focus rings just because they "must". Not that it's any particular fun to focus a fly-by-wire lens.

A sidebar on the cost issues in Fuji v Leica battles

The money question between Fuji and Leica is obvious, but if we assume that Fuji can't match Leica in microcontrast and detail while remaining in the same size class, the money shouldn't be important. (Likewise, if you need a fast 35 mm equivalent in compact form, Fuji and its 23/1.4 cannot help you there.) But then again, money is important because I don't have clients to pay for my gear and I'm not a millionaire.

The big complication, to me, comes from the fact that for the M mount you can get affordable glass within big second-hand markets whereas for Fuji X mount you're lucky if you can find the lens you want, second-hand. This brings the cost of the lenses pretty close on average...
 

mike3996

Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Why, you're still planning to unload your collection? :)

The whole "getting GAS around January" is such an obvious thing anyway. I don't have GAS when I'm out, shooting. And Dec/January are the absolute darkest months out there, cold too. Nothing to shoot, plenty of time to browse F/S offerings and little else. Wonder why. I should be playing games or something instead.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
I counted 105 lenses in Leica Mount, probably about 1/3rd of them are custom conversions that I did.

After the year- I'll be putting up some of the duplicates. I'm thinking $30 for a coated 9cm F4 Elmar with some marks in the glass, but looks great on my M Monochrom. I had fun taking it apart. Some similar to sell- probably a couple of Russian lenses set to the Leica standard. Of course I bought a 1952 J-8 and 1957 J-11 this week... Both cheap, the 1952 has German glass and the J-11 was made the same year I was.
 

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