Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/09/12

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Softies on the M5
From: "M.E.Berube - GoodPhotos" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 18:30:12 -0400

At 05:49 PM 9/12/00 -0400, wrote:
>I don't know about the rest of the group, but Dr. Blacktape has got me
>interested in the concept of actually using an M5 for photographic, as
>opposed to collector, purposes.  Would it be too much of an imposition to ask
>that you elaborate on your comparison between use of the M5 and other
>M-series bodies?  You seem to have a good practical understanding of the
>subject, based on your post.
>Many thanks,
>Joe Sobel

The following is what I sent BD offlist when he asked why some of us use an 
M5 in preference over an M6. Hope it helps..:

I've had an M5 since the last PHSNE show in Waltham this last April. I've 
shot with it just about every single day since then. I was looking for a 
user M6 but went with one of the three M5s at the show for the following 

It is the contemporary of my other Leica...a CL and evidently I am stuck 
with shooting with equipment from the early 70s. (My SLRs have always been 
minolta SRTs, XEs and XKs)

Things that I wanted in an RF that the M5 has and the M6 doesn't:
A spot meter that shows how far over or under exposed your setting are 
without blinking at you, shutter speed information in the viewfinder, an 
(admittedly ugly) shutter speed dial which is much easier to use than the 
(more aesthetically pleasing) M6 dial without taking your eye off the 
subject, X and M flash options, a self timer.

Things that the M6 has that I've decided that I don't want:
A more crowded frame set, an annoying LED meter set, TTL flash circuitry, 
more plastic parts.

If I decide to ever get another M it will be another M5.

The design grows on you. (They have very little engraving that needs 
taping. :-) I don't think I could get used to a Chrome M5 though...they are 
just too ugly and unLieca looking. The weight is not much different than 
the SLRs that I also carry for close up or long tele use. The slightly 
larger body fits my hand well. (Which is good because no one make a grip 
for it.) Unlike some folks, I don't find the vertical carry lug all that 
useful as if it is on a strap vertically you need two hands to lift it to 
shoot while if hung normally (I have the three lug) it is easy to bring it 
to your eye with one hand and a smooth motion. I've got a black Tom A 
Softie on mine and that has improved the shutter feel immensely. If I could 
get an M3 type advance lever on it and fix the RF spot which is starting to 
speckle, I'd be in heaven. It will likely go to Sherry as soon as the 
Wedding season is over to see what she can do for it.

Sherry checked mine out before I got it from Rich at Woodmere. She did 
suggest that I never buy an M5 under # 127XXX or so...they were more 
susceptible to roller problems and are very costly to fix in that respect.

Carpe Luminem,
Michael E. Berube