Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/10/02

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Learner Camera [was: Re: Exposure]
From: Jeff Moore <>
Date: Fri, 02 Oct 1998 23:06:06 -0400

At 2 Oct 1998 17:19:36 -0400, (Andrew M. Moore) wrote:

> I'm looking forward to giving my wife my Nikon FM2 with 50/1.8 on our
> first wedding anniversary next week.  She initially expressed interest
> in a point-and-shoot, but she decided she wanted to learn how to use
> what she calls a "real" camera.  It'll be fun teaching/shooting with
> her.

I ended up making a slightly different decision under similar circumstances.  
Granted, I didn't have an extra Nikon lying around, and thus had the luxury of 
choosing anything I wished to buy.  I bought my girlfriend the remarkably 
cheap Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 (a perfectly-fine entirely-manual match-LED
body, probably the same basic body OEM'd for a number of manufacturers by 
Cosina, $US150 brand new from B&H), and the Carl Zeiss 50/1.4 ($US280) to go 
on it.  Why?

  * Good glass, but affordable.  The Zeiss glass is what I'd use if I 
    couldn't satisfy my Leica jones.  A few of the lenses are undaunting in 
    price:  the 50s, a 28, and the slower 35.  Sure, this is largely a
    learning exercise, but those photos which `hit' will have nothing
    to apologize for optically.

  * The focus and aperture rings go the right way!  My personal prejudice,
    of course, but I don't want to contribute to bass-ackwards reflexes.

  * While that body may not be the last word in `feel', it seems entirely 
    competent.  The lens's controls feel great.

  * The body is quite light, helping the entire rig seem undaunting to tote 

  * The lens is fast enough to help discourage a perceived need for flash.

  * If she takes to this stuff like an albino alligator to a sewer, there're 
    always the nicer Contax-branded bodies to bolt onto the glass.

> Why not a Leica?  Like I said, one step at a time :)

  * The entire rig isn't precious enough to make me wince much at its being 
    put into normal, potentially rough use outside the range of my 
    control-freak tendrils.

  * New-camera smell!  New stuff in the boxes just seemed more appropriate as
    a gift.  Besides, it'd take a bunch of shopping to find used Leica gear 
    that cheap -- chances are, it'd be pretty battered, more expensive, and 

Cons?  I haven't yet figured out how to disable the #$%# meter: I assume the 
camera can run itself down in a bag if there's pressure on the shutter button.

BTW, on the apprenticeship:  since I don't have a proper darkroom set up, I'm 
encouraging her to shoot color slide film.  If she develops good enough habits 
to keep exposing and color-balancing that properly, other emulsions will seem 
easy.  Besides, this is New York: there are E6 labs on every streetcorner.


 -Jeff Moore <>