Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/08/23[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
In a message dated 8/23/99 10:44:16 AM Eastern Daylight Time, email@example.com writes: << I sold my Leica R7 and 3 R lenses in favor of a NikonFM2N (35mm 2.0, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 180mm 2.8 and 105mm macro). I need an SLR to shoot reference photos for my work as an illustrator and the R just wasn't an economic feasibility. I only did this because I purchased an M6 with 3 lenses and fell in love with the camera, the lenses, ease of use, ability to travel overseas with it etc. >> The weight and bulk of even my *lightest* Nikons ( 2 FM2n's + 6 lenses) was stifling my enjoyment of both my travels *and* photography. (An equivalent R system I calculated would have been 50% heavier. Leica glass doesn't provide any advantage over Nikon glass if it just sits in the closet!) Then I happened upon Brian Bower's Leica M book in a store and it changed everything. Before that I'd always considered the Leica a close-in people-picture camera and never considered it for travel photography. And I've been a Leica rangefinder user for 30+ years! I'd never realized that I almost never used anything longer than 135mm and rarely wanted for an extreme close-up. It has taken some getting used to, and some "tricks" to deal with the framing at longer distances (where you get more on film than the framelines show) but the results are superior to my Nikon days (partly perhaps due to the optics and definitely because I can hand-hold the Leica steadier without the mirror slap). I still use an F5 and long AF-S lenses for strictly wildlife shots, but the shorter lenses are gathering dust...one day I'll probably sell them. I own a small Hasselblad outfit and a 6x9cm rangefinder-coupled view camera (which I use for landscapes) but the M suits 99.9% of my needs. I don't own any super-speed optics other than the 75 Summilux, but I do have all the focal lengths covered. I rarely go out with more than 4 lenses, though. I recently added the 15mm Heliar to my arsenal (practically weightless). I did take a long, hard look at the Contax G2, also, but found the lack of DOF scales on the lenses crippling for scenic photography, as was the lack of a 135mm lens. On a major trip I pack a Visoflex (for macro, also) and a 400 6.8 "just in case", which also is a unique benefit of the M system.