Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/11/23

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Subject: Re: Tom A. / M2/M3/M4 conversion
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 21:04:44 -0500 (EST)

Marvin, The M4 is a nice camera too, as is all of them, with a small
reservation for the M5. It is just that the M2 is so simple, there are no
rewindcranks to bend ( they are somewhat prone to jamming if you shove too
many bodies in the same bag), there is no filmcounter get stuck and it only
offers those three frames that I like, the 35/50/90 and I can make a
Rapidwinder for it without having to convert and install a later drivesystem.
I think that with any tool,once you are used to it and it does what it should
do, dont change it. I once had a M1 with the rangefinder installed and only
the 35 and 50 frames in it. Pretty close to the ideal Leica, foolishly  I
traded it for something else, but one day i will make up another pair of
these, this time with only 35 frame ( M6J size) and a 50 frame (M3 size) and
shoot only with these for an extended period of time. I sometimes feel that i
am getting lazy from having all the wides and long lenses available. It is
too easy to pop on another lens and stay in place. With the limited range you
are forced to move around and often you find viewpoints that you would not
discovered otherwise. 
 The concept of zooms always intriqued me, I have tried several but I find it
too confusing, I prefer the prime lenses.
 As for reliability, I dont think there is a big difference between the M's,
the M3 has a more complex viewfinder, thus more expensive to repair, the M2
finder is pretty close to the M6 finder and still available. It is actually
rather surprising how many M's that still are kicking around, they were very
well built. Occasionally have seen old M3 and M2 where the film has worn the
pressure plate to the point that it starts splitting. One can only imagine
how many rolls that take.There are few products that are 40+ years old and
can still be used professionally today, even the older lenses are good enough
in most cases, maybe a bit lower in contrast but resolution is not a problem
and you do not have to remember what kind of battery it uses and where to
find one,
 There is a comfort in using something that fits our shooting style, it is a
little bit like really good shoes, jeans that fit the crags and crannies of
our bodies and those old leatherjackets that never wear out.
 Best regards,
 Tom A