Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica Decision : Help
From: Christer Almqvist <>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 14:26:45 +0100

>2) What lens should I get? First I wanted to get the normal focal length
>(50mm) but then I read the archieves and found many people suggest to get
>35mm instead.  I like both 50mm and 35mm.  But 35mm seems to be better for
>what I want to use my future M6 for.

Why don't you buy just the body first, without any lens at all?  !   Try it
out for a couple of days to see what focal length you prefer. There is no
need to have a lens for that, after all a Leica M is not a SLR. If you
don't move the big lever on the front of the camera, then the large frame
is the 35 mm frame. If you put the lever in the middle position you'll get
the 50mm frame. Compare one to the other for a few days and then decide
what lens yopu want.

Don't forget that there is also the size/weight issue when deciding on what
lens to buy. Chrome lenses are sometimes 50% heavier than black ones, for
35 mm Summicrons they are 66% heavier. Funnily enough the 1.4 35 mm black
is lighter than the 2.0 black whereas the 1.4 chrome is much heavier than
the 2.0 chrome.

Used lenses can be great value. Before you buy look _through_ them against
a light box (the type used to view slides or negatives). Use a loupe (or
another camera lens, preferably longer than 50mm) to focus on the inner
lens surfaces. If those next to the aperture have small specs of dirt
(paint from the aperture) then do not buy the lens. A small scratch on the
front surface of the lens is not that important optically, it is more a
psycological thing. But these scratches are good arguments for price

- --
Christer Almqvist
D-20255 Hamburg, Germany and/or
F-50590 Regnéville-sur-Mer, France