Leica Suggestions for Leica M film body

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
I'm considering a leica M film body for B&W film only as I'm also considering a membership to a darkroom so that I can process film myself (haven't done so since college). I was looking at the M7 since it has the same sort of A mode as my M-E (which I tend to use when I'm lazy and my wife tends to use alot), just wondering what you all thought of the M7 and if there's a different M body that I should consider. my other consideration is the MP but I doubt my wife would use it since she would have to set the shutter speed. any input is greatly appreciated.
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
Thanks for the suggestions thus far, I'm going to do some research on each of those alternatives. I'm a little weary of buying used just b/c of the limited warranty from the dealers. How do these older film bodies hold up? I'm concerned about buying used and then having to spend more money than I paid to have it repaired later down the road.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
The CLE is aperture priority, but the CL is not: manual only. It has the CDS cell on the swing-out arm that is prone to failure.
 

usayit

Veteran
Sep 4, 2010
44
Stick with either the M7 or M6 TTL, in my opinion. Anything older the shutter dial turns the opposite direction from your M-E. In my mind, the adv/disadv of the two are subtle. More importantly, what viewfinder magnification will you choose?

With that said, I love shooting my M3.
 

swamiji

Regular
Jan 29, 2013
8
The only drawback to a M7 is its dependency on batteries. When traveling they can be hard to find. They don't last long either. So keep a supply on hand

Once the batteries are drained you only have 1/60 and 1/120 shutter speed.

This it's weak spot, but because its an electronically controlled shutter, it is more accurate, and does provide aperture priority.

The other concern is its DX reader. There are two types of readers, electric and optical. The optical is more reliable but then you cannot use IR film, as the reader will cloud the film. The electric type uses pins and requires contact with the metal label on the film. If you use modern/standard films you may not have a problem. However I use my own reusable film cartridge, so I set the ISO manually.

It's a great camera, if you keep a supply of batteries on hand.
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
More importantly, what viewfinder magnification will you choose?

With that said, I love shooting my M3.
I hadn't thought that far ahead but I already have the 1.25 magnifier for my M-E.

Swamiji - thanks for the heads up on the batteries, I was wondering about that.
 

usayit

Veteran
Sep 4, 2010
44
I was actually referring to the internal rangefinder magnification. Depending on what you choose influences the framelines presented as well as how you shoot. It also influences which camera to choose. For example, my M3 has a 0.91x magnification which is really close to 1:1 lifesize which presents a great shooting experience... but at the expense of having 50mm framelines as the widest. My M6 had 0.72x frameline which is supports a wide set of framelines including the 28mm one. The view is busy AND longer focal length framelines gets a bit squinty. As such, some prefer the 0.85x found on some M7s (M6 too i think) which is happy medium.
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
after doing some additional research I'm now leaning towards the M6 TTL with the .72x rangefinder magnification. Thanks to usayit, for letting me know that the there are multiple options for the M6 in terms of magnifications (I'm going with the .72 since I have the 28mm as my widest lens). The additional cost of the M7, combined with excessive need for batteries helped to eliminate that as a potential option. I really want to get the MP but I can't really justify the cost, particularly when I factor in the annual membership for the darkroom.

In terms of B&W film, is ISO 400 the highest ISO currently available? I looked online and it seems ISO 400 is the limit for fuji and kodak. I was hoping to be able to shoot film in low available light situations (i.e. in bars) but with only ISO 400 film as my upper limit and my lux 50mm wide open, I don't know if that's even possible with out extended exposure times. I'm still going to mull the idea of getting back into film and sign up for a B&W film processing classes, after the class I'll reconsider whether film is really something I want to get back into. Thanks for all of the input you guys have provided.
 

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
124
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
There's Ilford Delta 3200, which is nominally an ISO 1000 film, but is easily pushable to 3200 and beyond. You may still be able to purchase TMax P3200, but it was recently discontinued. There may be more, but these are the ones that come to mind.
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
After much consideration and welcomed input, I've placed an order for a used black M6 (TTL with x.72). I also ordered several rolls of the TMax P3200, I figure when I can't get that any more I'll switch to Ilford's 3200. I won't be able to enroll in a B&W processing class until Fall but at least I'll have several rolls of film ready to process when I do take the class. There's a couple of family functions coming up that I want to be able to capture on film (and digital with my M-E) that caused me to make my purchase sooner rather than later.

I'm real excited to get back into film, my only regret is that I wasn't able to get into a summer B&W film processing class. Thank you to all those forum members that posted suggestions on this thread.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
We look forward to seeing the results!

Have you picked up a development tank? I learned to process film when I was 12. It is not hard.
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
28
San Francisco
We look forward to seeing the results!

Have you picked up a development tank? I learned to process film when I was 12. It is not hard.
I won't need one as the darkroom that I'll be using provides everything if your a member or are taking classes. I took a B&W film processing class in college but I want to take another one before I pony up for a membership, since it's been more that a decade since I've done any film processing.
 

usayit

Veteran
Sep 4, 2010
44
I must have taken photo 101 four or five times for a nograde at a local community college just for access to their darkroom. Loads of fun... even showing up to class to chat photography with students. Professor thought I was funny....

Back when I had more time on my hands.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using LeicaPlace mobile app
 

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