Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/05/31

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Subject: [Leica] nikon s3/2000
From: Anne Marie Michel <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 19:09:09 -0400

seen much sporadic bashing of nikon's new RF offering.  when i found one for
less than the cost of a LHSA M6 and 50mm Summilux i decided to plunge.  all
i can say, as a long time leica user AND an SP owner/user, is that this
camera is VERY special, and well "worth" what i paid for it (at least if you
take it as a given that an m6 & summi combo are fairly priced).  the build
quality is unlike anything i've ever experienced in cameradom.  the chrome,
as barbara would say, is like butta.  the finder is FAR brighter than my m6
(although strictly a coincident type), and the shutter is certainly quieter
than my leica.  while a rubberized cloth shutter a la leica M, it has a very
different construction.  i also did some aerial testing of the 50mm 1.4
(olympic style and dimensions) using a statndard chart.  without providing
numbers, it betters the leica summiux by a long shot in the corners at every
stop, and in the center wide open down to f4.    i think the new s3 is a
very interesting product, worthy of a full blown review.  as for the lens,
apparently is going to post some specs soon.  perhaps the nicest
thing about the camera is that there is nothing about it that says "special
edition."  just a brand spanking new s3.  like i went back in time, and
popped into olden.  finally, i am puzzled by all the second guessing of
nikon's decision to go with an s3 reissue, rather than a sp.  for all its
virtues, the sp had:  1.  a much darker finder than the s3 (at least when
the cameras were knew -- s3s tended to "tan" over time a la m2s)  2.  the s3
had an improved, quieter shutter, 3.  if you want frame lines wider than 35
and longer than 105, use accesory finders -- they work MUCH better at the
extremes (as any leica m users knows all too well) than in-camera bright
lines, and 4.  they could sell an s3/50mm 1.4 combo at roughly the cost of
the comparable leica rig (not counting rebates) -- an sp would have totally
over the top.  and by the way, no wooden box!