Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/06/29

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Last minute advice
From: "Howard Sanner" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 22:50:09 +0000

On Tue, 29 Jun 1999 09:02:29 -0500, Timothy J. Kamke wrote:

>I have been losing sleep over a possible (imminent?) Leica purchase


>Just wanting to; 1) refresh my photography with a more 
>system (meaning that I will be more thoughtful when making photos as opposed
>to pointing and shooting with an F5)

   To play devil's advocate, you can train yourself to be 
thoughtful with any camera, though, granted, some cameras make 
being thoughtless more difficult than others. <g>

>2) have a camera with me at ALL TIMES,
>and 3) enjoy the experience of using the Leica for what it is, and isn't.

   Well, here's a radical idea, if you really mean nos. 2 & 3.
Marc might be the only one here who won't think I belong in the
loony bin for suggesting this.

   Buy yourself a screwmount Leica with a collapsible Summitar or
Summicron (more expensive) lens. They are smaller than any of the
M series, and, especially with the collapsible lens, are a *very*
compact package that will fit in a pocket. They also have a 
certain something that even the M3 lacks, and, except for the 
IIIg, they are cheaper than any of the M cameras. Overall, this 
is true of the lenses, too. With today's print film, you can
learn to guess the exposure well enough to get something
printable most of the time.

   I guarantee that with a IIIc or IIIf you'll learn a meaning
for the phrase "thoughtful when making photos" that you never
dreamed it could have.

>Have any of you felt remorse over spending this kind of cash on 
>Leica outfit (I'm looking at $3000 U.S.)

   As they might say in Wetzlar or Solms, Man lebt nur einmal 
(you only live once). Life is too short for these kinds of 
regrets. If you want one & can afford it, I say do it.

>Should I buy it at B&H, Chatterton or where? 

   If you are buying new, I second the suggestion that you try 
your local Leica dealer. You aren't going to get a significantly 
different price anywhere. If buying used, I've been very happy 
with (note alphabetical order) KEH, Midwest Photo Exchange, and 
Tamarkin. If you don't have to have it this weekend, seriously 
consider joining the Leica Historical Society (actually, you 
should do this anyway if you're interested in Leicas), and peruse
their bimonthly Leica Catalog. I've gotten the best ratio of
price and condition that way.

**                         Howard Sanner
**                Kirsten Flagstad Discographer
**                  Ampex Mailing List Founder