Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1994/10/07

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Subject: Re: begining user questions
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 94 17:20:14 BST

Richard Urmonas wrote:
>Recently I was lucky to borrow a leica M3 for a weekend.  I had been
>interested in one for a while (and saving for one!).  My wife on seeing
>the quality of results agreed that it was a worthwile purchase !!
>Now for the questions.  As my finances are limited I can afford something
>like a late model M3 (or M2, IIIf etc.) plus one or two lenses.
>I generally use a camera while cycle touring so take wide shots (nice
>views or interesting buildings etc.)  or telephoto (interesting details
>either far or close).  My biggest worry is the risk of damage from
>shock / vibration on the bicycle (I take all reasonable precautions
>but still worry).  I or course desire the quick handling and excellent
>results the leica offers.  My questions are:
I have taken a variety of cameras cycletouring without problems.  I am
a fast tourist and ride fast (15 to 17 mph for 60 to 120 miles daily)
along whatever roads are available.  (So much so that earlier this year
I managed to raise callouses on my palms despite wearing cycling
mitts!).  I usually carry cameras in a small unpadded handlebar bag.
Apart from the fact that their will be a few other items in their
filling the gaps (wallet, passport, spare films).  I take no particular
prcautions to avoid vibration.  Cameras that have survived this
treatment so far: 
Leica IIIf with collapsible 5 cm Summitar,
Leica M2   with collapsible 5 cm Summicron,
Pentax ME Super with 40mm F2.8/50mm F1.7/200mm F4.0
Olympus XA,
Olympus mju (yeuch this is no substitute for my stolen XA:-).
All in E.R.Cs or pouches, together with a Sekonic L??? analogue studio

The IIIf has had various other adventures such as rolling down the side of
a volcano.  The only possible vibration damage that any of these may
have had is when the cap that covers the nut that holds the film wind lever
on the Pentax came off (not that I was cycling at the time).  

All in all, I've become very blase about taking cameras cycling.  They 
all seem eminently robust.  

>1)  Recommendations on which camera.
Which Leica to take cycling?  Well, much as I love my IIIf, it needs
an additional viewfinder to make composition anything other than a pain.
Its e.r.c. doesn't allow you to leave a finder on, so I wouldn't
recommend it for fiddling about on a bicycle.  The M3 gives you
a lifesize image which is really nice.  A IIIf is a nicer size so
if that appeals, then the answer is a IIIg.  I still hanker after a IIIg
even though I'm now thinking of buying and could afford an M6 and
some additional lenses.  

P.S. nice to see some life on this list!



Replies: Reply from Gordon Banks <> (Re: begining user questions)