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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:24 pm 
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I have always wanted to try out the Leica feel. For some reason, I always found the pictures taken by Leica photographers having a special something to it. I can't seem to find the word to properly describe it, but the taste is there....

To keep the story short, I might be able to get a excellent condition M8.2 for affordable price, but have a few serious questions which I hope you can help out.

1) When I buy say the 50 F2 Summicron, do I need to buy a separate viewfinder for it? If so, which one and do I have to buy Leica brand (sorry, I may be trying to cheap-out here)? Is there other affordable alternatives? Similar question for the 18/3.8, 35/2.5 and 90/2.5.

2) Are any of the above lenses considered not-very-good in your opinion? Note that I don't shoot sports. I intend to use this for street photography and landscape.

3) What does "ASPH" mean?

4) What kind of Leica lens can I use? Can I only use the ones with a "-M" definition in its name?

5) Will LR2.4 open its RAW file

Thanks..........

Francis


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:48 pm 
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Once you go Leica, you never go back.
I am dumping my Canon because of Leica exactly!

francishmt wrote:
I have always wanted to try out the Leica feel. For some reason, I always found the pictures taken by Leica photographers having a special something to it. I can't seem to find the word to properly describe it, but the taste is there....

To keep the story short, I might be able to get a excellent condition M8.2 for affordable price, but have a few serious questions which I hope you can help out.

1) When I buy say the 50 F2 Summicron, do I need to buy a separate viewfinder for it? If so, which one and do I have to buy Leica brand (sorry, I may be trying to cheap-out here)? Is there other affordable alternatives? Similar question for the 18/3.8, 35/2.5 and 90/2.5.

You don't need an external viewfinder.
If the lens has 6bit coding, it will bring up the right frameline in your M8.2 viewfinder.
Even no 6bit coding, you can bring up the right frameline in the manual.
upshot, no VF needed

2) Are any of the above lenses considered not-very-good in your opinion? Note that I don't shoot sports. I intend to use this for street photography and landscape.

IMO, if you want Leica feel, you probably want avoid modern highly corrected Leica lenses.
Maybe you can look into Zeiss' ZM lenses
Biogon, Sonnar, all classic design

3) What does "ASPH" mean?

aspherical glass element
used for correction. Boosts sharpness and stuff.

There is some against-asph theory around the Leica world, in particular I am an anti asph guy.

4) What kind of Leica lens can I use? Can I only use the ones with a "-M" definition in its name?

Correct
any M lenses
but you may lose some features with some classic old lenses
like the Super Angulon, Hologon etc...

5) Will LR2.4 open its RAW file

M8.2 uses PNG raw, which is an open format.
any raw editor can up this format

Thanks..........

Francis


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:39 pm 
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1) No, you won't need a separate finder for most standard lengths (35, 50, 90) but you will need something for 18mm. Zeiss, voigtlander are both good alternatives, along with many other legacy ones like canon, minolta, etc.

2) In my opinion, there are no bad lenses.

3) you should google this one, kinda long...

4) M mount is the standard for M8.2 but you will be able to use others with adapters, most commonly the LTM lenses.

5) no idea here, i wish i had m8!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Thanks for the responses. So 35,50,90 are considered standard FLs? What about 21mm and 28? All standard FLs do not need to buy separate finder?

For the ZM lenses, I would assume they do not have the 6-bits coding. Does it mean the bright-lines wont show up automatically? If so, they can still be activated manually through the camera menu?

ZM lenses also have many designs.... Biogon, Planar, Sonnar, Tessar, Distagon... what are the differences? I have used ZF lenses before on Nikon, but do not recall they have so many derivations.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:37 pm 
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it depends on which magnification finder you're talking about, but generally speaking, 28, 35, 50, 75, 90, 135 should be covered.

as for coding, i'm not too familiar with digital Ms, but for others the frame line is built into the mount itself, not the 6bit coding. if you look at the mount of the lenses you'll notice that their grooves are bit different here and there. and i believe that the 6bit coding is for exif purpose mostly...

as for lens differences, those kind of names are just used by companies to distinguish length and/or speed of lens i think


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:58 pm 
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francishmt wrote:
Thanks for the responses. So 35,50,90 are considered standard FLs? What about 21mm and 28? All standard FLs do not need to buy separate finder?

Correct, no VF needed
21mm and 28mm are included

For the ZM lenses, I would assume they do not have the 6-bits coding. Does it mean the bright-lines wont show up automatically? If so, they can still be activated manually through the camera menu?

They don't come with 6bit coding out of factory, but you can simply get it coded later or have a coded mount put on instead.
some companies sell already coded ZM lenses like popflash photo etc..

my C biogon is coded

in case of non coded lenses, you can always bring up the right frameline in the manual.


ZM lenses also have many designs.... Biogon, Planar, Sonnar, Tessar, Distagon... what are the differences? I have used ZF lenses before on Nikon, but do not recall they have so many derivations.


wow, this is something you DEFINITELY need to look into.
on SLR some simple (not so corrected) designs aren't possible due to the extended flange distance. Like Biogon, Sonnar, Tessar (their tele version is something else). Those lenses have unique features, or one can say drawing signature. If you want to use them? you need to go away from SLR
On SLR, you typically only say Distagon (retrofocus wide angle) or Planar (symmetric standard fl)
anyway, look into it, you will be amazed....


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:13 pm 
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francishmt wrote:
ZM lenses also have many designs.... Biogon, Planar, Sonnar, Tessar, Distagon... what are the differences? I have used ZF lenses before on Nikon, but do not recall they have so many derivations.


These names refer to different lens designs.

Biogon is a non-retrofocus wide-angle. Typically moderate to slow speeds, low distortion, high resolution and from moderate to wide angles. Expect to see these designs from 35mm-18mm on RF's only.

Distagon is a retrofocus wide-angle of moderate speed. These tend to either moderate distortion, or low but complex distortion. Resolution is high. Essentially all Zeiss SLR wides are Distagons, but on RF's they'll only be seen at the ultra-wide end of the spectrum where a Biogon runs into register issues (18mm and wider).

Tessar is a classic normal design. Very simple (classically 4 elements in 3 groups), slow to moderate speed, excellent bokeh, mediocre edge performance, compact size. Rare in the RF world, the only common Tessar is the Russian 50/3.5 collapsible design (which is a clone of an old Zeiss design)

Sonnar is a classic high-speed design. Generally a normal to moderate telephoto with a very classic signature and suprb bokeh. Generally not as well corrected and fast examples often are somewhat soft wide open. maxes out at f1.5 in classic examples and f1.4 in modified examples in the rangefinder world. SLR designs are typically slow and longer than normal as the Sonnar design is less well suited to providing mirror clearance in a fast normal.

Planar is a modern high-speed design. The fastest lenses are typically the fastest available in a system (the ZM system is unusual in that the fastest Planar is only f2, slower than the equivalent Sonnar), very well corrected with excellent cross-frame performance. Bokeh is generally inferior to the Sonnars due to the better correction.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:17 pm 
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CORRECTION:


madelica is right
the framelines are brought up by the mount, not the 6bit coding
but still ZM lenses don't have this feature embedded, so you need to mill the mount to bring up the right frameline

but just like the 6bitcoding, it can be done afterwards or have the mount replaced

my C Biogon is milled to bring up the right frameline


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:20 pm 
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here is my 2 cents... if you want to get the 'true' Leica/rangefinder experience I would suggest getting a used M6 - $1200-1400 for a good-excellent condition example and a 28 or 35mm lens (if you prefer wide) or a 50mm if you see 'normal'... then shoot some film... hell, get all three since you'll be saving yourself 3-4K by not getting the M8.2

the image quality you are seeking is more a function of film and lens combo.. the M8.2 although a Leica and a rangefinder, does not offer the full experience because half the fun is learning new films, processing/development and printing and of course shooting ...

it's much cheaper to get an M6 and a lens to decide if a rangefinder is for you... you will also get a better sense of what focal length suits you best ... remember the M8.2 is 1.33X crop so a 28 is equivalent to a 35 and a 35 equivalent to a 50ish... get the M6 and bulk roll some TriX... spend the money on film and 2-3 lenses rather than one body... if you decide you like the Leica, you can always sell the M6 for pretty much what you paid, sell some of the lenses you don't like and keep the focal lengths you prefer (after using a few of them and accounting for the 1.33 crop factor if you switch to an M8.2)...

the problem with buying and experimenting with the M8.2, even used is that it's depreciating at a much higher rate than a film M body... a film Leica can be owned and used for a year without much cost since the resale market is pretty stable.. the extra money can be used on more lenses to test out which suits your eye best and the excess can also be sold off with reasonable high level of recovery of cost...

good luck whatever you decide...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:32 pm 
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Ken wrote:
here is my 2 cents... if you want to get the 'true' Leica/rangefinder experience I would suggest getting a used M6 - $1200-1400 for a good-excellent condition example and a 28 or 35mm lens (if you prefer wide) or a 50mm if you see 'normal'... then shoot some film... hell, get all three since you'll be saving yourself 3-4K by not getting the M8.2

the image quality you are seeking is more a function of film and lens combo.. the M8.2 although a Leica and a rangefinder, does not offer the full experience because half the fun is learning new films, processing/development and printing and of course shooting ...

it's much cheaper to get an M6 and a lens to decide if a rangefinder is for you... you will also get a better sense of what focal length suits you best ... remember the M8.2 is 1.33X crop so a 28 is equivalent to a 35 and a 35 equivalent to a 50ish... get the M6 and bulk roll some TriX... spend the money on film and 2-3 lenses rather than one body... if you decide you like the Leica, you can always sell the M6 for pretty much what you paid, sell some of the lenses you don't like and keep the focal lengths you prefer (after using a few of them and accounting for the 1.33 crop factor if you switch to an M8.2)...

the problem with buying and experimenting with the M8.2, even used is that it's depreciating at a much higher rate than a film M body... a film Leica can be owned and used for a year without much cost since the resale market is pretty stable.. the extra money can be used on more lenses to test out which suits your eye best and the excess can also be sold off with reasonable high level of recovery of cost...

good luck whatever you decide...


Good advice. Where do I look for an M6 with lens at that $1200-$1400 range? The ones I have seen are asking astronomical prices like $2K body only.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:38 pm 
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/

has a very good classified section that I drool over


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:56 pm 
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If you are going for the Leica look, why not try out the Leica R lenses on your 5DII first instead of switching over to the M8? Unless your intent is to try out the rangefinder.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:13 pm 
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francishmt wrote:
5) Will LR2.4 open its RAW file


Yes. http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html

It's basically an M8 and it outputs DNG directly.

As for M6's, there's a couple in the RFF classifieds, for USD$1200- and USD$1350-.

I think you have to be a registered user to see the classifieds.

ps. before you go out and lay down a few $$$$ for a rangefinder, make sure you try handling one first, how to focus, frame etc. You may either love or hate it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:28 pm 
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That's a pretty expensive leap of faith. Why not try a M3 or M4P or Voigtlander first and see if you like the Leica rangefinder feel first before going hog wild.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:19 pm 
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Agree. You can get a screwmount Bessa R with the 35/2.5 for about $500.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:45 pm 
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Definitely go film. Shooting with a rangefinder is very different -- you won't be used to it at first and you will probably feel limited with a prime lens. You should definitely get something cheap and used so you can resell without much loss if you don't find yourself liking it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:35 pm 
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heads up if looking for a M6:

http://cgi.ebay.com/LEICA-M6-RANGEFINDE ... 7C294%3A30

good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:21 pm 
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So from what I have read, the Leica lenses used on the M8 will cause red colour cast. That's why they offer IR/UV filters.

What happens when you use other brands (ie. Voigtlander, Zeiss) on M8? Do you still need the IR/UV filters to avoid colour cast??


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:23 pm 
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francishmt wrote:
So from what I have read, the Leica lenses used on the M8 will cause red colour cast. That's why they offer IR/UV filters.

What happens when you use other brands (ie. Voigtlander, Zeiss) on M8? Do you still need the IR/UV filters to avoid colour cast??


Yes, the colour cast is due to an insufficiently thick IR-cut filter on the sensor, not anything to do with the lenses themselves.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:47 pm 
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So would the IR/UV filters fit on other brand lenses?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:49 am 
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francishmt wrote:
So would the IR/UV filters fit on other brand lenses?


I don't see why not if the filter diameters are the same.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:23 am 
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francishmt wrote:
So would the IR/UV filters fit on other brand lenses?


In most cases yes, if not you can get B+W IR/UV filters which will fit the 3rd party lenses.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:37 am 
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francishmt wrote:
So would the IR/UV filters fit on other brand lenses?


Yes, but keep in mind that RF lenses tend to have smaller filter sizes like 39 or 43mm. Most SLR's start at 49mm filter sizes and go up from there.

Here's a list of Voigtlander lenses and their filter sizes, courtesy of Cameraquest.
Quote:
Filters: IF you use filters, filter size is an issue in choosing lenses. The 21/4, 21/4P, 25/4, 25/4P, 35/2.5 C, 35/2.5 P II, 28/3.5, 35/1.7, 50/2 and 90/3.5 all use Leica's most popular filter size -- 39mm -- what an amazing coincidence ! The 15/4.5, 21/4, 25/4, and 35/2.5 C share the same lens cap, the 25/4 and 35/2.5 C the same hood. The 12/5.6, 35/1.7, 75/2.5, and 90/3.5 share the same lens cap. The 12 has a special 77mm filter attachment which replaces the hood. The 15's hood is fixed, so gelatin filters are the easiest choice, but with some tape on the barrel you can also use the 12's 77mm filter adapter. The 28/1.9 and 28/2 use 46mm filters. The 35/2.5 "Pancake" I, 35/1.4, 40/1.4 and 75/2.5 share 43mm filters. The 35/1.2 and 50/1.5 use 52mm filters. The 50/3.5 uses 27mm filters. The 50/1.1 uses 58mm filters. Lens hoods must be removed to mount the filter, and then reattached, on all lenses except the 15 screw mount version - which has no provision for filters. Most lenses sandwich the filters in-between the lens and the lens hood.


Here's a good place to read up on Leica lenses and their alternatives. It's not the most up to date, but the latest lenses are also _very_ expensive.
http://www.cameraquest.com/mlenses.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:08 pm 
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There's an M8.2 demo selling on leica boutique for $5,895. Looks like to be in pristine condition. What do you guys think?

If I get a couple of Voigtlander RF lenses to begin with, do I still need IR/UV filters to avoid any colour cast? Sorry if I am being stubborn on this, as I don't have a full understanding on this topic. Also, do I NEED Leica IR/UV filter to correct the colour cast, even though I am using Voigtlander lenses?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:11 pm 
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It's the camera that's causing the colour casts, not the lenses, so yes, you do need the IR/UV filters, unless you intend to shot B&W exclusively.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:36 pm 
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francishmt wrote:
There's an M8.2 demo selling on leica boutique for $5,895. Looks like to be in pristine condition. What do you guys think?


I'd have to be pretty certain about something if I was going to spend $6K on a body and extra for new glass. If you've got a hard on for a digital rf then why not buy a used M8? They go for between $2400-$3000 USD on RFF.


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Burlap Jacket wrote:
francishmt wrote:
There's an M8.2 demo selling on leica boutique for $5,895. Looks like to be in pristine condition. What do you guys think?


I'd have to be pretty certain about something if I was going to spend $6K on a body and extra for new glass. If you've got a hard on for a digital rf then why not buy a used M8? They go for between $2400-$3000 USD on RFF.


Isn't there enough difference to justify a M8.2 vs M8? I like digital and wouldn't want to go back to film. I have my mind pretty much set on a Leica (yes, I want one), so it's a matter of finding out what is right for me.

Someone else knows the answer to my questions in my post above?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:19 pm 
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The differences don't justify the couple thousand dollars of difference
What are the upgrades again?
quieter but slower shutter
sapphire LCD glass
bright frameline
So how many thousands these worth?
Recently a refurbished Panda edition M8 with upgraded shutter and frameline(or maybe glass?) sold for $3100usd on RRF
As M9 announcement is around the corner, we should see some decent M8 price drop very soon.

If you are getting Leica because you are sold to Leica's drawing, then why are you getting an expensive digital Kodak sensor (one in M8) with cheap
Cosina made/designed Voigtlander glasses?
Since in my opinion, lenses are what define the drawing, you should pay closer attention to lenses, in other words invest more in lenses than a digital sensor(camera).

You another dRF option is Epson's R-D1 (or R-D1s or R-D1x), which in my opinion is a better camera than an M8, and this is the camera I put my Noctilux on.

To answer your previous question.
Regardless of what lenses you use, you need to put an IR cut filter to cut out the IR light causing the color cast.
Same problem exists on the R-D1, but to a much lesser degree

francishmt wrote:
Burlap Jacket wrote:
francishmt wrote:
There's an M8.2 demo selling on leica boutique for $5,895. Looks like to be in pristine condition. What do you guys think?


I'd have to be pretty certain about something if I was going to spend $6K on a body and extra for new glass. If you've got a hard on for a digital rf then why not buy a used M8? They go for between $2400-$3000 USD on RFF.


Isn't there enough difference to justify a M8.2 vs M8? I like digital and wouldn't want to go back to film. I have my mind pretty much set on a Leica (yes, I want one), so it's a matter of finding out what is right for me.

Someone else knows the answer to my questions in my post above?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:07 am 
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Get the white one, you can see through it.
Image


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:52 am 
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francishmt wrote:
I have always wanted to try out the Leica feel. For some reason, I always found the pictures taken by Leica photographers having a special something to it. I can't seem to find the word to properly describe it, but the taste is there....


francishmt wrote:
Isn't there enough difference to justify a M8.2 vs M8? I like digital and wouldn't want to go back to film. I have my mind pretty much set on a Leica (yes, I want one), so it's a matter of finding out what is right for me.


There's a whole lot more to how the "Leica photographers" work and have that special "look", than just picking up a Leica.

There's nothing wrong with wanting a Leica.. I have a 70year old IIIa and a slightly more modern 50 year old M3 - both considerably older than me :)

I'm just concerned that you're heading for a major disappointment.


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