Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/19

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica v Olympus and other...
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 16:11:58 -0800

To:   leica-users

I've been "digesting" this list for a while and would like to introduce
myself. I've been using Leica for about 10 years. I do mostly B&W "street
photography", doing my own developing and printing. My first "real" camera
was OM-4 with 21/2 (that's right F2!) and 40/2. The system was nice and
compact (OM10 is not as featured and as well built as OM-3/4), prints
looked good and sharp . Then I got M4-P with 50/2 (all Canadian) and took
both cameras on my first trip to Italy. When I came back and printed prints
from negatives from both cameras I was "hooked" (even my wife, a painter,
saw the difference) and the OM stuff was traded in on 28/2.8. And later I
got  M6 and 90/2.8.

However, to address Leica quality, the M4-P had a "'fogged" viewfinder and
the 50 had some flare problems, both of which took Leica about one and half
year to fix (!). Last fall, I bought M6 classic and 35/2 ASPH (for a price
I could not resist, both new with passport) and the "back door" on the body
was quite loose and made a "clicking" sound whenever I grabbed the body. No
problem, my dealer sent it in, lent me another body, and in two weeks I had
the body back fixed. On the other hand, my M4-P was traded in on R7 and
180/2.8 (both used) couple years ago and I never had a single problem with
them. So I guess, it just depends on your luck. But I think that Leica
should have much better quality control (that's what they boast about in
their brochures!).

Anyway, I never regretted the switch to Leica and I think the M system
helped to improve my photography. There's always something one can learn
and improve while working with the manual range finder camera, whereas with
the all auto cameras, one might tend to just wait for the improved features
of the newer and newer bodies and lenses.

Jiri Dvorak
Seattle, WA, USA

PS the best beer (at least the lager type) is Czech beer.