Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/02/17

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Subject: [Leica] LTM versus M
From: jhnichols at (Jim Nichols)
Date: Tue Feb 17 16:13:02 2009
References: <><><><><><><584FA2308FEB4DC3B8CB62C87B4BBC61@precisionm50><> <>


I also wear glasses, trifocals for many years.  With a 35 on my IIIf, I use 
the CV metal brightline finder, with the back rim covered with a ring of 
black felt to avoid scratches on my glasses.  I use the same approach with 
the camera eyepieces.

Let us know if the light leak has been cured.

Jim Nichols
Tullahoma, TN USA
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ric Carter" <>
To: "Leica Users Group" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] LTM versus M

> Interesting that the topic should come up today. My IIIf came home  today 
> after a couple of years at camp having a light leak  investigated. They 
> really do feel wonderful in the hands, so small and  solid.
> I trotted it back out today at lunch for a little street work. Hacked 
> some leader off a roll of Fujicolor 400 and it loaded just fine (so  far 
> as I can tell).
> Afraid I REALLY do miss exposure automation. (Use an M7 most of the  time) 
> I have little feel for light changes without using a meter.  That makes 
> street work among high rises a real exposure pain. Will see  how bad in a 
> couple of days.
> My other complaint is the viewfinder. Everything is tricky with  glasses. 
> Today, I was using an old W-Nikkor 35/3.5--a really tiny  thing. 
> Viewfinder is Nikon Varifocal. Again, use with glasses is  frustrating. It 
> makes me want to try contacts. I've been told that the  little CV 28/35 
> Minifinder offers better relief.
> Ric Carter
> On Feb 17, 2009, at 3:56 PM, Marc James Small wrote:
>> There have been some unflattering comparisons of the LTM cameras to  the 
>> M bodies.  Allow me a gentle dissent.
>> First, it is an axiom of life that a warrior learns to use the  weapons 
>> available and at hand.  So, learn to use an LTM camera and  the 
>> difficulties just drop away.  Two different eyepieces, one for  the RF 
>> and the other for the VF?  Sure?  So what:  the 1.5X  magnification on 
>> the later LTM cameras makes that RF more accurate  than those on even the 
>> M3.  Clipping film to load the camera?  Yup.   So what?  I carry a Swiss 
>> Army Knife for such chores, and it takes  all of, gee, 10 seconds? 
>> Separate slow-speed dial?  Yeah.  So  what?  A warrior learns to use the 
>> weapons at hand.
>> Yes, the Contax II was a more user-friendly camera.  It had a  removable 
>> back.  It had a combined RF/VF, arguably the best in any  mass-produced 
>> RF camera, bright and huge.  The Leitz film cassette  is from nowhere 
>> when compared to the magnificent Zeiss Ikon  cassette, later thefted by 
>> Nikon and produced by them into the  1980's, while the Ukrainian rip-off 
>> is pretty good, as well.  And in  the Contax system, you can put a 
>> cassette both as the film supply  and as the take-up, a really handy 
>> function if you are too weak  after seven days of photography (har-har: 
>> seven days of photography  makes one weak -- Sorry for that one, Walt!) 
>> to rewind the film.   By 1940, most of the hard-country photojournalists 
>> had switched from  Leica to Contax but the many virtues of the system are 
>> forgotten  today.
>> There is a second side to this.  When I got my IIIc, after decades  of 
>> lust, I picked up a lot of literature and learned how to flush  the 
>> system out with doo-dads and gee-gaws and forced myself to learn  to 
>> shoot as they did in the era of the Korean War.  A IIIc with an  APDOO 
>> self-timer and a Geiss Kontakt IIIc flash synchronizer is a  delight. 
>> Avoid the Leitz Imarect, as it can only be called "lame"  by charity, but 
>> there are other auxiliar VF's including those from  Astro, Carl Zeiss, 
>> and TEWE which fill the bill admirably.  The  delight of taking the IIIc 
>> on a shoot is that the working is that of  1950.  Want a telephoto? 
>> Great!  Pick up a Visoflex I, a sports  shutter release, and a 4.5/20cm 
>> Telyt, and, my gosh, you might be  back shooting the 1936 Winter 
>> Olympics.  In realistic terms, unless  you score a 4.5/21 CZ Biogon in 
>> LTM -- one of mine, alas, was  converted to M BM, but it is my regular 
>> wide-angle for my M cameras  -- the widest you can reasonably go is a 
>> 2.8/3.5cm CZJ Biogon T or a  Jupiter-12, either of which works admirably.
>> So, when I have somewhere to go which I wish to document but where  the 
>> results are of no fiscal or societal value, I'm always split  between the 
>> IIIc and a Conax II.  But then, there is always that  Werra 3, with its 
>> 1/750" Prestor.  So little time!  So many  choices!  Best to take the 
>> Hasselblad SWC or the Rolleiflex  2.8GX .... hmm.
>> But do not sell LTM gear short.  Wonderful cameras, wonderful  system, 
>> wonderful access to some grand lenses.  Want telephoto?  I  can do 
>> 28/2600 on my Questar or 13/1000 on my Swift 831 or 4/300 on  my 
>> Pan-Tele-Kilar, not to mention 5/40cm with my Telyt.
>> The IIIc and Contax RF cameras were fully evolved systems.  Do not  sell 
>> them short.  And it is a worthy thing to learn how the great  pictures of 
>> the past were made.
>> Again, a warrior uses the weapons at hand.
>> Marc
>> Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!
>> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See for more information
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Replies: Reply from ricc at (Ric Carter) ([Leica] LTM versus M)
In reply to: Message from lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin) ([Leica] Re: Cheaper Leica)
Message from hopsternew at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Re: Cheaper Leica)
Message from mak at (Mark Kronquist) ([Leica] Re: Cheaper Leica)
Message from hopsternew at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Re: Cheaper Leica)
Message from at (Douglas Sharp) ([Leica] Re: Cheaper Leica)
Message from leica at (Bob W) ([Leica] Re: Cheaper Leica)
Message from marcsmall at (Marc James Small) ([Leica] LTM versus M)
Message from ricc at (Ric Carter) ([Leica] LTM versus M)