Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/03/31

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Subject: Green bananas Re: [Leica] M7 Purchases: Hands Up
From: Dante Stella <>
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 14:35:40 -0500 (EST)

Mehrdad is right that there is little benefit.  But the reason is not
related to price: it's the functionality.  A lot of people see an extra
$1,000 in value added to the new M7.  I personally don't because the M7
lacks three things that would have added significant value.

1 - the top shutter speed is still too low.  Leic-apologetics aside, you
can shoot 100-speed film at the magic hour, using a 105/2.5 Nikkor
wide-open (or a 90/2.8 Elmarit for that matter), if and only if you have a
1/4000 top speed.  Yes, you can do ND filters, but it is a pain.

2 - the lack of an integral motor drive is a big problem for left-eyed
shooters.  Sure, you can spend hundreds of dollars to add a new Motor-M
that will increase the weight and bulk of an M7 (time to start thinking
hard about an F100) and make the shutter button jump, but this is a
kludge.  I don't see the Rapidwinder as a complete solution either, since
you have to take your hand off the focusing ring (tab) to use it.  Not to
mention the bulk it adds.  This is not an issue with an M3, since to use
the MR4, you actually have to look at the top of the camera (at which
point you can wind).

3 - the lack of a graphic shutterspeed scale makes it harder to check
contrast range.  One of the most maligned ideas in the H-X-R is the
vertical shutter speed scale.  I think this was actually a good idea that
Leica failed to catch onto (just about every modern SLR has something
similar).  Having a graphic scale allows you to visually
(rather than mathematically) judge the exposure range by moving the camera
around the scene.  When you are in manual mode, the difference between the
set speed and the recommended speed is visible as is the number of stops
between them.  Leica could have done this with a simple bar-graph above
the arrows, but instead chose to display a segmented number.  Frankly, two
arrows tell me very little about a scene.

But this whole business about waiting for the price to come down or for
matrix metering or some other b/s is like old people's buying green
bananas.  Your life is going by and 35mm photography is not becoming more
popular.  If an M7 catches your fancy, buy it now and use it.


On Sun, 31 Mar 2002, John Straus wrote:

> on 3/31/02 10:50 AM, Mehrdad Sadat at wrote:
> > Frank, it will be interesting to see what you come up with. my guess is very
> > slow to slow adaptation of the M7 due to it's price, not a lot of benefits
> > and no .58 or .85.
> Slow yes but not a lot of benefit? AE is the whole benefit. You will
> eventually see the M6 fade out like the R6.2, it may take a few years but it
> will happen. And the other VF mags are only a few months away.
> > it is very hard for me to justify 2300 for a .58 when the hexar rf complete
> > with 50mm lens and flash sells 1100.
> I think more people looking into the M7 are either saying Leica M? or Leica
> M?...
> > when the price gets to 1500~1600, i will reevaluate again. the current
> > rebete excludes M7, with a little price drop, rebate and leica day discount,
> > i think the camera will be at 1500~1600 some time around dec 2002 or next
> > spring.
> Your joking right? Unless your talking about gray market...but even then I
> think your way off. New M6 prices may be at that mark but not M7s.
> --
> John Straus
> Chicago, IL
> ====================
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Replies: Reply from "Matthew Powell" <> (Re: Green bananas Re: [Leica] M7 Purchases: Hands Up)