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Film body ... M mount ???

  
 
RustyBug
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Film body ... M mount ???


So, I've got my digital bodies, and my glass. Started to get an itch for some film. Probably will be mostly a blue moon kind of thing, so something budget appropriate might capture my attention (for now).


Mar 15, 2023 at 10:42 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Film body ... M mount ???


Iíve owned the Zeiss Ikon ZM, Bessa R3a, Minolta CLE, pretty much all the Leica Ms. And have kept the Ms and got rid the others.

SoÖ. 2 questions :
1. Which lenses will you be using? and
B. What is your budget?



Mar 15, 2023 at 10:53 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Film body ... M mount ???


Glass = choices of:

35 Cron
40 Cron
75/2.4
135/3.4

Budget = IDK

Looking at your list ... ummm, the Minolta CLE seems like a throwback complement to the 40 Cron. As to M's ... probably bargain / bang / buck (i.e. not collector sought after).

Future glass could play into things, but it would likely be something on the wide side.

Mostly exploring / brainstorming at this point.




Mar 15, 2023 at 11:27 PM
panos.v
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Film body ... M mount ???


But you do know what your budget is. Obviously it doesn't stretch to a new MP/MA/M6 or you wouldn't be asking!

Take your pick from most expensive to least (all used of course) :
MP/MA
M7
M6
M4/M3/M5
Zeiss ZM
Voigtlander
Leica/Minolta CL/CLE

I doubt you'll get much use of the 135. If you must have 40 framelines then you need a R3a or CL/CLE.

AE or not? If yes then M7/Zeiss or the Rxa voigtlanders.

Metered or not? If yes then you need a MP/M7/M6/Voigtlšnder/Zeiss.

All of the above? Voigtlander R3a.

If you just want to scratch an itch for no money get a pentax with a 50/55 takumar and see how you get on. If you shoot more than 5 rolls in the year then revisit this.

There is no rationale in saying bang for buck on M film cameras. They are all a lot more expensive than SLRs, the take the same film as SLRs and you're in for spending a lot more on the film&process itself.



Mar 16, 2023 at 03:43 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Film body ... M mount ???


Even the Minolta CLE is heavily overpriced at this point with risk of having the known light meter failure with this camera system similar to Leica CL.

When it comes to Leica M cameras, currently best deal - still pricey! - is IMO the M5. Prices for it went up a bit in recent years but not as rapidly as for other M models. Second best deal is likely the M4-2 made in Canada (I have it, too). Doesn't come with internal light meter but is otherwise as good as the M6. Leica M series cameras where I would currently shine away from due to their too high prices are M2, M6, M7, M-A, M-P. M3 is a mixed box, sometimes decent deals are shown online for it but with risk of failing shutter and other issues due to age of the camera and not much if any maintenance done. If predominantly shooting with 50 or 90 mm lenses, the M3 is best with its 0.91x viewfinder magnification which unfortunately never was made again by Leica in later models (no rangefinder patch flare either here!).

For accurate frame lines with 35 and 75 mm lenses, Leica M6 and higher is needed. Compromise is to use for example 50 mm frame line with attached 75 mm lens and estimate the shrunk field of view of the longer focal length. 35 mm frame lines started with the M2 and also in the M4.

Voigtlander Bessa cameras went up in price significantly also for what they are practically worth it regarding plastic built. Good cameras though but IMO not the same like feel as with Leica M cameras. One advantage here is that Voigtlander Bessa R4M has a 21 mm viewfinder window integrated which no other rangefinder has in case somebody shoots predominantly wide.

Cheaper and smallest Leica option of course is for example the III series with LTM mount. Of course an external light meter is required here, too. Problem here is that M-mount lenses don't work on LTM-mount cameras due to the smaller flange distance. But if budget is a concern or film shooting is something not often done, one cheaper third party LTM lens with a IIIc for example could do the job very well. Leica LTM lenses have often become collector items with too high price tag.

Edited on Mar 16, 2023 at 11:44 AM · View previous versions



Mar 16, 2023 at 07:48 AM
SlowDriver
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Film body ... M mount ???


Do you need a rangefinder? I looked at Leica M, Leica R and Nikon F last year and eventually went with a Leica R camera.


Mar 16, 2023 at 11:08 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Film body ... M mount ???


My experience with the M mount cameras I listed:

1. I had two absolutely perfect condition CLEs. Super vf for a 28mm lens as it seemed perfectly designed for that. No AE lock. But to make that worse - no manual metering!!! So the worst of both worlds.
But the biggest issue is on both of them the electronics just... died. And so I cannot recommend them.

2. Bessa R3a. An ok camera, but felt clunky to use, with a VF that the exposure LEDs are hard to see in daylight. I honestly don't remember much about the experience because it was just not enjoyable so I quickly sold it on. I already had Leica Ms, and all I could think was why would I want to use this when I already had an M?
And now, the Bessa is MORE expensive than many Ms! Unless you like the idea about paying more for a 'knock off' (yeah I know I am exaggerating a bit..) that is lower quality than the real thing, not a great idea IMO

3. Zeiss Ikon ZM. I had to try one because so many people said this was the bestest M ever - better than the M7 because it had a huge VF. My experience? It does have a bigger VF but because of that unless your eye is perfectly placed, the RF patch flares out. Yes, you get used to it after a bit and can adjust but what it showed me is that just because the VF is a little bigger, than does not make it better. With an M - raise to your eye and everything is perfectly placed w no need to adjust.
Other issues with the ZM? The exposure LEDs are impossible to see in bright light/daylight. The RF patch is not linked to the frame lines. So when you focus, and the frame lines move to adjust for parallax, the RF stays stationary. I flippin hated that! It meant that often the RF was not centered in the frame, and when I shoot quickly I use the RF patch as a point of reference to the entire composition. With Leicas it is always centered as it moves in sync w the frame lines, so I always know where I am.
The reason it is like this in the ZM is because it is cheaper to make. And, unfortunately worse in use.
The ZM is also built to a much lighter standard, which normally wouldn't be a huge deal, problem is the film gear advance system is all made of plastic. And on mine, it failed so it required one wind, and an extra nudge to cock the shutter. The same thing happened to my $100 Bessa L, so they did not improve the build quality of the camera, even though it was placed at a much higher price point.
Because of all that, I sold the ZM. And again, today they fetch the same price as something like an M3 or M4. So - hard pass.

Which is why 'all' I have now are my Ms for 35mm interchangeable lens RF photography!

With your lens selection I'd recommend a camera w 35mm frame lines. So M2, M4, M4-2, M4-P etc. I use 40mm lenses it brings up the 50mm frame lines, and I just give it a little more space when I compose. Basically I look at what the 35mm lines look like, and the 50, and compose in between.



Mar 16, 2023 at 12:49 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Film body ... M mount ???


Super amounts of info to digest. Thanks across the board.

Just a primer at this point, but I plan to use my M lenses, so the (good) recommendations for non-M mount offerings isn't quite what I'm looking for. I've still got my Nikon FE, so there's that, but I'm wanting to stick with the glass I've invested in with the M mount.

As to the "bang / buck" with M's ... yeah, I know ... but you guys answered that really well with differentiation for the M models (which I'd be at a loss to know which way was up with them, with your input).

As to the questions about electronics ... not interested in AE. Even exposure meter is optional. I certainly don't want a body that can die on me. The one thing I really liked about my Nikon FE was that even though it did have AE and metering ... if my battery ever died, it had a mechanical 1/90 shutter that was always available. And, I was quite well versed with an incident meter, too.

So, all mechanical is fine, meter is okay, AE is okay.

Again, lots to digest ... thanks for the insight.



Mar 16, 2023 at 05:57 PM
leolab
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Film body ... M mount ???


Just another point of reference, I LOVE my Konica Hexar RF


Mar 16, 2023 at 06:22 PM
d.s.
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Film body ... M mount ???




retrofocus:
For accurate frame lines with 35 and 75 mm lenses, Leica M6 and higher is needed.


How are the M4-P 75mm frames inaccurate? I thought the were the same as the M6.



Mar 16, 2023 at 10:14 PM
 


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Desmolicious
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Film body ... M mount ???


RustyBug wrote:
Super amounts of info to digest. Thanks across the board.

Just a primer at this point, but I plan to use my M lenses, so the (good) recommendations for non-M mount offerings isn't quite what I'm looking for. I've still got my Nikon FE, so there's that, but I'm wanting to stick with the glass I've invested in with the M mount.

As to the "bang / buck" with M's ... yeah, I know ... but you guys answered that really well with differentiation for the M models (which I'd be at a loss to know which way was up with them,
...Show more

Re AE, with the M7 if the batteries die you have 1/60 and 1/125 as mechanical speeds. Which with the full range of available apertures, will cover any exposure scenario in daylight.
I like the M7 so much I have two of themÖ

Thing is, every M Iíve used has felt great. You will save a lot of dosh getting one w/o a meter.



Mar 17, 2023 at 01:31 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Film body ... M mount ???


leolab wrote:
Just another point of reference, I LOVE my Konica Hexar RF


Iíve always wanted to try one. That is the only M mount film camera that I havenít owned/used.



Mar 17, 2023 at 01:32 AM
bluehawaii
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Film body ... M mount ???


If you can find one that has been film tested and serviced an M2 or M3 2 stroke are great with the new OVF that is available for the GRIIIX to use with 40mm.
The Bessa R3M and Rollei RF 35 (M-mount version) is ok for 40mm since the framelines use the whole of the VF (widest lens option) - it is quite poor with other focal lengths.
The M3 is actually a bit lighter than the M7. Why Leica recreated the M6 and not the M7 i'm not sure since the M7 is probably the best film camera they ever made.



Mar 17, 2023 at 03:53 AM
panos.v
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Film body ... M mount ???


bluehawaii wrote:
Why Leica recreated the M6 and not the M7 i'm not sure since the M7 is probably the best film camera they ever made.


Because hipsters (or whatever the yootoobers are nowadays) want to have battery-less dependability and "artisanship" and "craftmanship" and...basically Mecahnical Perfection. Oh wait, that was the MP. Never mind. I guess you can still get an MP which is like an M6 that doesn't scratch film!



Mar 17, 2023 at 04:57 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Film body ... M mount ???


d.s. wrote:
How are the M4-P 75mm frames inaccurate? I thought the were the same as the M6.


Correct - the M4-P has the 75 mm frame lines but not the other M4 models. Saying this, the P-model is always a higher priced later update model in M cameras - for some it might make sense for others less so regarding the price/performance ratio. Some current Leica M4-P prices get close in range with used M6 camera prices. In such case, my choice would be rather going for a M6 with internal light meter.



Mar 17, 2023 at 06:55 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Film body ... M mount ???


bluehawaii wrote:
Why Leica recreated the M6 and not the M7 i'm not sure since the M7 is probably the best film camera they ever made.


I have both the M6 (non TTL) and M7 cameras. My preference is still the M6 for the following reasons:

+ No DX-based film IR-based ISO reader as in the M7: allows shooting IR film (which I sometimes do).
+ Fully mechanical shutter (can be seen with pros or cons depending on personal usage)
+ Exposure wheel turns in the "old" way - I got used to it similar to my M4-2 and M3 models, and I don't see the later M-model turn direction change of this wheel as advantageous (even supposedly it should be in line with moving the aperture ring which I never connect with each other when making changes in exposure/aperture)
+ Not using the Av (aperture priority mode) of the M7 often
+ Weight: the M6 is a bit lighter
+ Battery: the M6 uses less battery power than the M7 (less cells required).
+ Less blinking modes in viewfinder: only the light meter arrows flash whereas there is too much going on in the M7 display.

Bought the M7 years ago for a very good deal used before prices skyrocketed and Leica stopped making the M7. Added it as camera to use in parallel with my M6 for color negative and slide film photography which I still do. But I use it much less than my M6 and my M3 (my two favorite film cameras).

I would consider the M6 as best film camera Leica made if it didn't suffer from the rangefinder patch flare which is its only major con IMO. But the M7 often suffers from the same - it was only resolved in much later M7 models which were equipped with the newer MP rangefinder.

Edited on Mar 17, 2023 at 08:05 AM · View previous versions



Mar 17, 2023 at 07:12 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Film body ... M mount ???


panos.v wrote:
Because hipsters (or whatever the yootoobers are nowadays) want to have battery-less dependability and "artisanship" and "craftmanship" and...basically Mecahnical Perfection. Oh wait, that was the MP. Never mind. I guess you can still get an MP which is like an M6 that doesn't scratch film!


If current prices aren't a holdup, I would rather go for a used M6 in decent shape or have it CLA'ed than buying the highly priced new M6 model (not only because of the film scratch issue in some production batches). MP is nice if you are okay with the old-fashioned winder button and paying also > $5K.



Mar 17, 2023 at 07:21 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Film body ... M mount ???


Kent, if it were me and I had the money and wanted a new film M body I'd get the MA.

Edited on Mar 17, 2023 at 10:23 AM · View previous versions



Mar 17, 2023 at 09:40 AM
panos.v
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Film body ... M mount ???


RustyBug wrote:
Super amounts of info to digest. Thanks across the board.

Just a primer at this point, but I plan to use my M lenses, so the (good) recommendations for non-M mount offerings isn't quite what I'm looking for. I've still got my Nikon FE, so there's that, but I'm wanting to stick with the glass I've invested in with the M mount.

As to the "bang / buck" with M's ... yeah, I know ... but you guys answered that really well with differentiation for the M models (which I'd be at a loss to know which way was up with them,
...Show more

If you're ok with meterless then look for a used M4. The M2 will be fine but it has the removable spool for reloading...if you're ok with that bit.

By the way, if you do buy an M, then learn how to load it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=152&v=Fcy86A-wj-o&feature=youtu.be



Mar 17, 2023 at 10:02 AM
bluehawaii
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Film body ... M mount ???


panos.v wrote:
Because hipsters (or whatever the yootoobers are nowadays) want to have battery-less dependability and "artisanship" and "craftmanship" and...basically Mecahnical Perfection. Oh wait, that was the MP. Never mind. I guess you can still get an MP which is like an M6 that doesn't scratch film!


I think you are right, theyíre even more fashionable at the moment which is good I think, hopefully the scratching film thing isn't part of the 'look' now

---------------------------------------------

retrofocus wrote:
I have both the M6 (non TTL) and M7 cameras...


Good info.
It still feels like luxury for me to have A mode on an M camera. So I like the M7's auto shutter, exposure comp dial on the back and the on/off switch, almost like a Leica Xpan if you will. My view is long term the M6 is probably better. Who knows how reliable the M7 will be, it was around for quite a while but spares will be running out if they didn't already.

If they bring back the CL I will buy one.



Mar 17, 2023 at 11:29 AM
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