Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/08

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Subject: Re: [Leica] New or used M6?
From: (Paul C. Brodek)
Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 10:48:31 +0900

On Tue, 8 Sep 1998 19:27:06 -0500 (EST), Michael Garmisa
<> wrote:

>I would not get the M3 unless you plan to use long lenses, its not very
>good for the wides (don't forget you only have a 50,90,135 frameline) an
>M2 or M4 would probably be better but then again a M4 in good condition =
>probably about the saem price as a M6 in good condidtion.=20


You should also keep in mind that, IMHO anyway, the M3 does not load
or rewind as easily or quickly as the M4 and later models.  The M3
(and M2) take-up spools must be removed from the body, attached to the
film leader, and then re-inserted along with the film.  There is no
rapid rewind crank, so film rewind entails twisting a small (though
well-knurled) knob.  There are "quick-load" replacements for the
take-up spool (I tried it and didn't like it), and "rewind crank"
attachments (non-Leica) for the rewind knob.  These may make loading
and rewinding more convenient, but they also increase your purchase
cost and increase the number of things that could go wrong   I had an
M3 and eventually traded it in for an M4-P because of the M4-P film
handling improvements. =20

The M3 finder\focusing is better for longer lenses.  However, if
you're willing to deal with an accessory finder in order to use wide
lenses on the M3, you can also use an accessory finder to help frame
telephotos on an M4/later. And as there are 35mm lenses available for
the M3 with "spectacles," there is also the Elmarit 135/2.8 available
with a viewfinder magnifyer.

In the US, used M4-2 and M4-P bodies in Ex/Ex+ condition range from
$900 and up.  Not much different than M3 prices.  Considering how few
were made compared to the M3/M2, they are a relative bargain!

Hopefully rather than confusing you we're helping you see that you
can't go wrong either way!  There are many "classic" M2-M3 fans out
there, and there are fusspots like me that like the idea of having an
M3 better than the reality of using one.  Find yourself a well-stocked
dealer, and play with as many M bodies as you can before you buy!

Best Regards,


Paul C. Brodek
Kobe, Japan