Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/27

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Subject: [Leica] Newbie wades in, lured by the Noctilux
From: feli2 at (feli)
Date: Wed Oct 27 23:12:32 2004
References: <>

Alex has some really good points. You may first want to first try an M 
camera on for size.
It's not everyones cup of tea and they are very expensive. There are 
people on this list who wander around with nearly $7000 hanging around 
their neck.

I came from an SLR background. The first day that I shot with my M I 
said to myself "WTF did I just spend $1800 bucks on?!?". It took me 
about a month of shooting to figure out how the thing worked and about 
a year and 200 rolls of film, for shooting with an M  to become second 
nature. Now an SLR feels clunky.

Keep in mind that the Noct may be the most demanding lens to use in the 
Leica line up.
The 1.4/75 Summilux probably runs a dead heat. DOF is non-existent at 
f1, so forget about
trying to track focus on someone who's moving and closer than 10 meters.

I don't want to discourage you, but I would hate to see you get burned 
by a setup that is
challenging to use, even for a seasoned M shooter and very expensive.

Have you thought about starting with something like a 2/50 Summicron? 
Maybe the best standard speed 50 around and easily obtained used for 
around $500 bucks? That and
a clean M body would certainly give you a feel for the system, for a 
more reasonable price.
In any case I would try to find a shop that will let you handle one and 
hopefully rent it for a week.

good luck


On Oct 27, 2004, at 10:47 PM, Alexander Glissan wrote:

> First things first.
> You should (as suggested previously) RENT the equipment, and use it 
> for at least a week.
> May cost you short term but save you long term.
> I did not know of anyone who rented Leica equipment in Sydney (where I 
> live) so I bought an M6 + 35 f2 'cron. I love it. Not all do. I have 
> friends who hate RF systems no matter who they are made by. Even 
> though you can get your cash back, can you really be ARSED to sell 
> something two months after you bought it? I can't it ends up 
> cluttering up my room(s) ie my subminiature camera phase.
> Second:
> Even a week may not be long enough. Look at your prints/negs. See if 
> you like 'em. Keep in mind that if you have been using AUTO SLR 
> systems you may have trouble changing to an RF system. The only SLR i 
> have owned has been the perrenial K1000. I had few problems in the 
> change over as it (K 1000) is manual everything like the Leica. A 
> friend of mine who is a pro and has used SL systems for years forgets 
> to do fundamental things, like focus, or expose correctly or obscures 
> the RF window etc.....
> Third:
> Leica glass is beautiful (an F*#king expensive even for old stuff, 
> contradict me I dare you), but you may hate the way YOUR stuff looks 
> when using a Noctilux. ie I love Larry Burrows' work and I do not use 
> the same lenses 'cause I just can't seem to use it the same way he 
> does. Don't get me wrong one day I may adopt similar sizes/techniques 
> whatever. But start easy else you may be dissuaded before you get a 
> chance to have real fun with it
>> From my limited experience I can tell you that a VERY shallow DOF 
>> lens ie 50
> f1 @ f1 is far more difficulty to focuss (on your subject) than others 
> which have more "Give" in em. By no means are any of my photos perfect 
> but my 50/f2 and 35/f2 at f4-f2 give me the benfit of the doubt 
> anyway. They are nice to me.
> Fourth:
> BY NO MEANS sell your other entire system. You may want it/need 
> it/prefer it.
> Fifth:
> Shoot Heaps of celluloid. Cartons of the stuff. Carry the camera, USE 
> it, at lunch at home on the way to work. See if it fits you if it 
> doesn't, who cares. Plenty of great photos have been taken with 
> cameras that cost a shit load less.
> ALex

Replies: Reply from ruben at (Ruben) ([Leica] Newbie wades in, lured by the Noctilux)
In reply to: Message from alexglissan at (Alexander Glissan) ([Leica] Newbie wades in, lured by the Noctilux)