who uses leica

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions
jay coffsky
Regular MemberPosts: 314
Like?
who uses leica
Apr 8, 2013

At times I would like to ask for help but often some of the responders love to make poop with their sarcastic remarks. I hope this will not be the case.

I would love to own 'the best' of something before i leave this earth, thus I am looking into a leica rather then replace my D300 with nikon D800. I am at retirement and can afford either fortunately (hard work for over 55 yrs not inheritance). I cant decide if owning the M9 or new  M (M10?) would be the way to go for an amateur or is that like buying a Rolls Royce instead of a porsche turbo. I read the technology is behind with the leica (Rolls Royce analogy) as compared to the Porsche (D800).

I have never seen a professional either at a banquet event (wedding) or sporting event use anything lately other then Canon or Nikon. In fact i have never seen a pro use a leica.

So am I just kidding myself into an Rolls I would not own one if you gave it to me for the same price as a Porsche and they cost over 2X as much. Is the leica thing real or a big hype disguised under the term of quality.

-- hide signature --

jay coffsky

Nikon D300 Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Cadder
Senior MemberPosts: 1,419
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

Get what you want, (and can afford), and ignore what other people do!

Cadder

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Godfrey
Forum ProPosts: 27,378
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

No single camera is ever "the best" at everything. Leica also makes a number of different cameras so I'll presume that you mean a Leica M.

Leica Ms are used by pros, in certain circumstances when inconspicuous-ness and quiet are primary needs ... It's no wonder that you rarely see them, as the hallmark of a Leica M in use is that it disappears easily and is unobtrusive in use.

The M9 is a fine camera and produces superb quality results .. The new M is also, and likewise. As is/does the Nikon D800. all are amongst the pinnacles products of their type. And their types are really quite different—SLRs are brilliant tools for what they do best (support an unmatched range of types and lengths of lenses well, and operate brilliantly in widely diverse ways and purposes). Leica Ms are more constrained in versatility, but are far nicer for lots of circumstances.

And Leicas have a well deserved reputation for very fine lenses, build quality, etc.

So .. It's really up to you to determine what you consider 'best' for your use, for your photography, and pursue that. Be ready to try something and then abandon it if it doesn't actually suit you.  Because all the cameras at this level of endeavor are really quite excellent machines, the excellence in photographs is the responsibility of the photographer .

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
starwolfy
Senior MemberPosts: 1,133Gear list
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

What you say about the fact that nobody has never seen a Pro with something else than a Nikon or a Canon is true.

It's true because a Leica camera is not the best tool when your job is taking photographs and being paid for it.

Let's face it if you are a Pro you need:

- A good sudio camera, with high lightning, strobs, multi-flash capabilities, and Leica is not.

- A fast AF with good Iso camera, for sport mostly or wedding, and a Leica is not.

- A good Macro system, mostly for some kind of product shooting, and a Leica is not.

- Weather sealing and good multi purpose bright zoom like a 24-70mm F2.8 because you need to get what you want straight, fast, and get money from this.

Let's face it, if you make a living from photography, a Leica is not what you are looking for.

What a Leica is:

- The only brand that has kept (for good and bad depending on your likes) its traditional heritage as a way of shooting (this means simplicity, manual control over your lens and camera and the rangefinder system)

- Superb optics, almost unmatched by an other brands (up to you to decide if you need such quality for your daily not Pro, obviously, shootings)

- Probably the best Full Frame and Interchangeable system if weight / size / superb optical quality matters.

- Probably one of the most well made brand around (Hold one and you will understand).

- Wonderful daylight quality and ok-so-so low light capability for a Full Frame camera.

You can basically shoot anything with a Leica too, or...just any much cheaper camera: Sports, Weddings, Action (hey, Capa did war photography wit a Leica III...) etc etc etc.

A Leica is really really expensive and you cannot justify the price because it is not justifiable.

A Leica won't make you a better photographer. A D800 won't either. It's your work in studying photography and others works, and your hours spent outside shooting which will make you grow as a photographer.

It is definitely not the best Bang for the Buck.

Is is definitely not the most featured camera around.

It is definitely not the best performance you may get from all the cameras around.

It is definitely the MOST EXPENSIVE, THE MOST LOOKED AT, THE MOST DREAMED OF camera around.

I have a Leica M3 and 50mm Summilux F1.4 ASPH. There is no way I could go out without my camera with me.

I love using it, I love to look through the viewfinder and compose, I love the sound of the clic when I press the shutter, I love to re-cock the shutter, I love to touch that heavy well made camera, I love the pictures I get from them, I love being questioned about the strange camera I have around my neck, I love my LEICA for all of these reasons, which are deeply subjective because based on my personal feelings, experience, style and requirements in photography.

A Leica is what I like to use, and no other camera around can provide me the same feeling, that pleasure when I clic the thing

Love it or hate it, but at least try it before making your own judgement.

 starwolfy's gear list:starwolfy's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

I've used Leica cameras for about 10 years now, before that Nikon SLR's and Nikon RF's. Shoot film and digital.

Leica is for enthusiasts that want to have control of the camera.

As far as owning the "best", consider the M Monochrom. It is the most unique digital camera on the market today, and capable of producing THE BEST monochrome images.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MilSooper
Senior MemberPosts: 1,869Gear list
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

I do.

 MilSooper's gear list:MilSooper's gear list
Leica M8.2 Olympus E-5 Leica M9-P Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mauro.B
Senior MemberPosts: 2,345Gear list
Like?
I do, too
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

jay coffsky wrote:

I would love to own 'the best' of something before i leave this earth, thus I am looking into a leica rather then replace my D300 with nikon D800. I am at retirement and can afford either fortunately (hard work for over 55 yrs not inheritance). I cant decide if owning the M9 or new  M (M10?) would be the way to go for an amateur or is that like buying a Rolls Royce instead of a porsche turbo. I read the technology is behind with the leica (Rolls Royce analogy) as compared to the Porsche (D800).

I own the M (240) and a D800e, having replaced M9 and D700.

While the M9 struggled in low light, the new M simply works - and quite close to the D800 wen the sun goes down.

Of course the D800 better behaves at high iso, but the M comes close to that also due to Leica M lenses optical quality, since no Nikon or third party lens I know can approach any modern M lens at full aperture.

I have never seen a professional either at a banquet event (wedding) or sporting event use anything lately other then Canon or Nikon. In fact i have never seen a pro use a leica.

In some war / post war zones I have seen pro's using M's. I was not a pro, but I was using an M.

Weddings and sports require fast autofocus and zoom or supertelephoto lenses, which are outside the Leica M framework. You can shoot a wedding wit an M and a fast lens, but you got to be very quick and effective at setting focus manually, or you will miss (or misfocus) moments.

For sports, it depends, maybe you can do with a 90mm or a 135mm and zone focusing - golf, tennis, anything that let you close to the action. That would put your job at risk, I suppose ...

So am I just kidding myself into an Rolls I would not own one if you gave it to me for the same price as a Porsche and they cost over 2X as much. Is the leica thing real or a big hype disguised under the term of quality.

Jay,

you are happily retired so are in the best position to look at life with the proper attitude.

I suggest you an experiment: buy a used M9 (recent, with some residual warranty), a used lens (possibly a Summicron, either 50mm f2 or 35mm f2, any "flavour", or similar Zeiss ZM's) and test by yourself. After the test, either you decide to upgrade to the M (240) or sell, you do not lose that much. I bet you will keep the M9 or upgrade to the M ...

Best regards,

M

 Mauro.B's gear list:Mauro.B's gear list
Sony RX100 Ricoh GR Nikon D800E Leica M Typ 240 Fujifilm X-T1
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Codik
Forum MemberPosts: 91Gear list
Like?
Try before you buy
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

If this is the purchase of a lifetime, I highly recommend that you borrow or rent both for one weekend each before you make any decision.  It's worth the investment.

 Codik's gear list:Codik's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Leica M Typ 240 Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jay coffsky
Regular MemberPosts: 314
Like?
Re: Try before you buy
In reply to Codik, Apr 8, 2013

Thanks for all suggestions. I guess it,s kind of trying to justify a Porsche 911. I am in my 13 porsche and if someone asked is it worth it . Best answer to rent or borrow and see what one thinks--
jay coffsky

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tony field
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,866
Like?
Re: Try before you buy
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

To continue your car analogy...  If you have a Rolls or Bentley you probably also have a Porsche.  You will use the Porsche to do much of your driving, however the Rolls will be used when it is the appropriate car.

In this sense, the Leica / Nikon D800 is a surprising and accurate analogy.

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MichaelToyeImages
Contributing MemberPosts: 645Gear list
Like?
Excellent and well constructed response :)
In reply to Godfrey, Apr 8, 2013

nothing to see in this box

 MichaelToyeImages's gear list:MichaelToyeImages's gear list
Leica M-Monochrom Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JeffS7444
Regular MemberPosts: 280
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

I currently have a token Leica 3F + 50 Summicron, but have previously drunk deeply of the Kool-Aide, having also owned a 3C, R4S, R4SP, CL, M3 (x3) M4, M6, M8, M9, a lot of lenses, and a set of Trinovid binoculars.

But ask a dozen different photographers what "The Best" camera is, and you'll likely get a dozen different answers. That's because "Best" in this instance tends to be a rather subjective thing, and depends on your working style and what you are trying to accomplish.

In terms of what produces the best results under controlled test conditions, you can find some answers on Dxomark.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Knuhtsen
Contributing MemberPosts: 600
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

Oh, what a question. It's just like the other thread 'what's so f***king special with a Leica'.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51230592

I would say that it is another way of photography. But it can be done with other cheaper devices too. No autofocus (to my knowledge) and most often no zoom. The new M-series is probably bringing Leica up to a quite modern level, electronically. Optics is out of question one of the very best, and this means a lot, if you are at first used to it. Now when you retire it is a good question to ask oneself. I do the same. Is there any in the family that will appreciate to take over the devices in the far future. I think that also a Rolex is a nice investment, and probably more clever than a Porsche 911.

I myself have (at the moment passing 60) decided that I cannot afford zeiss and leica lenses, not even second hand. If I pass a box on a fleemarket full of these lenses for nothing, that is something I dream of. So I have bought a nex6. To this I add classical good manual lenses. I read reviews of them and study it seriously. I have 15 now, and think it might be adequate. There are several leica and zeiss clones, sometimes produced under license. Adapters can be bought to almost any lens. Focusing is done manually. One have to have inside the head knowledge about 'depth of field', for the most appropiate stop to be set. Then adjust iso for an appropiate shutter speed, and so on. Besides the creative. That is quite funny.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
hariseldon2007
Regular MemberPosts: 117
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to John Knuhtsen, Apr 8, 2013

Well as a someone who shoots people, events and Weddings with an M9 it is used by some professionals, I do also use a Nikon D800, for the reasons you might imagine but the Leica is useful in many situations and often a shoot might have 4x as many pictures from the Nikon as the Leica, but  it is quite often some of the best shots that come from the Leica.

The Leica is a pleasure to handle, when I pick up a camera to take with me to take pictures for myself or as of recently a six week trip to the far east and Austrailia/New Zealand I left the NIkon behind.

The new M type 240 with 35 or 50 Summilux would be a superb camera to retire with.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
PSCL1
Senior MemberPosts: 2,031Gear list
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to hariseldon2007, Apr 8, 2013

To the OP:  We are uncertain what level of skill you possess.  Leica is selling mystique for obsolete technology and very few features.  That is called the 'slow, thoughtful' approach to picture-taking because you are stuck with a squinty rangefinder and manual focus and turning that into a virtue. Some folks have talked themselves into believing that the lens quality is better, which to me is questionable.  Even the camera magazines (discreetly) conclude that there are no differences, or come up with results no better than comparable FL DSLR system lenses. in testing Leica optics.   How much is having a status item worth to you?  And, if it's worth a lot, consider ordering up a Leica "a la carte" with chartreuse ostrich skin covering or something like that.

 PSCL1's gear list:PSCL1's gear list
Leica X1 Nikon D80 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Sony Alpha NEX-3N +23 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MilSooper
Senior MemberPosts: 1,869Gear list
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to PSCL1, Apr 8, 2013

PSCL1 wrote:

To the OP:  We are uncertain what level of skill you possess.  Leica is selling mystique for obsolete technology and very few features.  That is called the 'slow, thoughtful' approach to picture-taking because you are stuck with a squinty rangefinder and manual focus and turning that into a virtue. Some folks have talked themselves into believing that the lens quality is better, which to me is questionable.  Even the camera magazines (discreetly) conclude that there are no differences, or come up with results no better than comparable FL DSLR system lenses. in testing Leica optics.   How much is having a status item worth to you?  And, if it's worth a lot, consider ordering up a Leica "a la carte" with chartreuse ostrich skin covering or something like that.

For you it is all about the money. Steer clear of Leica. It'd probably break you.

 MilSooper's gear list:MilSooper's gear list
Leica M8.2 Olympus E-5 Leica M9-P Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
janlu
Senior MemberPosts: 6,412
Like?
Jay.......
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

jay coffsky wrote:

At times I would like to ask for help but often some of the responders love to make poop with their sarcastic remarks. I hope this will not be the case.

I would love to own 'the best' of something before i leave this earth, thus I am looking into a leica rather then replace my D300 with nikon D800. I am at retirement and can afford either fortunately (hard work for over 55 yrs not inheritance). I cant decide if owning the M9 or new  M (M10?) would be the way to go for an amateur or is that like buying a Rolls Royce instead of a porsche turbo. I read the technology is behind with the leica (Rolls Royce analogy) as compared to the Porsche (D800).

I have never seen a professional either at a banquet event (wedding) or sporting event use anything lately other then Canon or Nikon. In fact i have never seen a pro use a leica.

So am I just kidding myself into an Rolls I would not own one if you gave it to me for the same price as a Porsche and they cost over 2X as much. Is the leica thing real or a big hype disguised under the term of quality.

Jay.... why a lot of thoughts .... you have an easy solution to your problem !!!

You give me your Porshe and i give you my M9 with some great lenses  .... for a short time , so you have only to buy the D800 to compare !!   after that you can decide if want back your Porshe ..... in the case you will fall in love with my M9 , no problem ...i will continue my photography with my M8 , wandering in my town with your little car .... i can host only one girl with that , so for me it's really a disappointment .... but i'm a good guy , and i want to help you !!!

(In this way you could have two cameras at the price of one... very good so far !!!

Isin't this forum great to find some good and generous people ?????  

Let me know ... Gianluca

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: Try before you buy
In reply to jay coffsky, Apr 8, 2013

jay coffsky wrote:

Thanks for all suggestions. I guess it,s kind of trying to justify a Porsche 911. I am in my 13 porsche and if someone asked is it worth it . Best answer to rent or borrow and see what one thinks--
jay coffsky

I should let my Wife read the 13th Porsche comment! She stopped complaining about cameras and lenses a long time ago. 10 Leica (3 Digital) bodies and over 60 lenses for them. Twelve Nikon RF's, down from 16. Probably half of those are custom adapted to RF coupled Leica mount. My Brother worked on cars and fast boats for work and hobby. I worked with Digital imagers in the 1980s, and working on camera equipment is my hobby.

http://www.leicaplace.com/f13/1934-carl-zeiss-jena-5cm-f2-sonnar-adapted-leica-thread-mount-74/

http://www.leicaplace.com/f13/carl-zeiss-jena-5cm-f1-5-1934-converted-leica-thread-mount-75/

Two 80 year old Zeiss Contax lenses adapted to Leica RF mount. Total cost for the pair is under $200. Probably 10Hours each to disassemble, clean, and convert.

If you like working on your cars, you'll love rangefinders. Need to get the lens shimmed to 0.01mm.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
janlu
Senior MemberPosts: 6,412
Like?
Ops ... sorry .... I have thought better :)
In reply to janlu, Apr 8, 2013

janlu wrote:

jay coffsky wrote:

At times I would like to ask for help but often some of the responders love to make poop with their sarcastic remarks. I hope this will not be the case.

I would love to own 'the best' of something before i leave this earth, thus I am looking into a leica rather then replace my D300 with nikon D800. I am at retirement and can afford either fortunately (hard work for over 55 yrs not inheritance). I cant decide if owning the M9 or new  M (M10?) would be the way to go for an amateur or is that like buying a Rolls Royce instead of a porsche turbo. I read the technology is behind with the leica (Rolls Royce analogy) as compared to the Porsche (D800).

I have never seen a professional either at a banquet event (wedding) or sporting event use anything lately other then Canon or Nikon. In fact i have never seen a pro use a leica.

So am I just kidding myself into an Rolls I would not own one if you gave it to me for the same price as a Porsche and they cost over 2X as much. Is the leica thing real or a big hype disguised under the term of quality.

Jay.... why a lot of thoughts .... you have an easy solution to your problem !!!

You give me your Porshe and i give you my M9 with some great lenses  .... for a short time , so you have only to buy the D800 to compare !!   after that you can decide if want back your Porshe ..... in the case you will fall in love with my M9 , no problem ...i will continue my photography with my M8 , wandering in my town with your little car .... i can host only one girl with that , so for me it's really a disappointment .... but i'm a good guy , and i want to help you !!!

(In this way you could have two cameras at the price of one... very good so far !!!

Isin't this forum great to find some good and generous people ?????  

Let me know ... Gianluca

Don't more think about my offering..... i prefer my Van with my M9  

Maybe next time ...

Best luck with your decision !!

Gianluca

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DigitalNut
Regular MemberPosts: 151
Like?
Re: who uses leica
In reply to PSCL1, Apr 8, 2013

PSCL1 wrote:

To the OP:  We are uncertain what level of skill you possess.  Leica is selling mystique for obsolete technology and very few features.  That is called the 'slow, thoughtful' approach to picture-taking because you are stuck with a squinty rangefinder and manual focus and turning that into a virtue. Some folks have talked themselves into believing that the lens quality is better, which to me is questionable.  Even the camera magazines (discreetly) conclude that there are no differences, or come up with results no better than comparable FL DSLR system lenses. in testing Leica optics.   How much is having a status item worth to you?  And, if it's worth a lot, consider ordering up a Leica "a la carte" with chartreuse ostrich skin covering or something like that.

Hi

"Leica is selling mystique for obsolete technology ..." That my friend is the idea. Let me explain. Recently I bought a M9. Its the camera I have wanted for a very long time. Why ? Simple put it is the only digital camera that operates like cameras used to. If Nikon or Canon had made a full frame rangefinder like the M9 then I would probably have bought that. One of the best cameras I have owned in the past was a Nikon FM. A purely manual camera. Leica is the only company that make something equivalent to the FM in terms of the way it operates. You see I like manual cameras. I hate automatic cameras with their complex menu systems and 500 page manuals. With the Leica its so easy. You compose, focus, expose and shoot.

So to answer the OP question, you have to ask yourself, is a manual camera what you want. As far as IQ is concerned Leica, Nikon, Canon etc full frame are all excellent. When you buy a Leica M8/9/M you are buying into a old fashion way of shooting. I read a review of an M8 where the reviewer complained bitterly that the camera had no auto focus. Duh !!

So I bought a M9 not because I wanted some sort of status symbol but because its the only digital manual camera on the market today. That is a pity.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads