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Thread: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

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    NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    *I have wanted to buy a Leica for a long time now( I am I am Not the only one). I just want to start with a 50mm 2.0 ( Don't Need 1.8 or lower). F2.0 will work just fine for me. My dilemma is I am so used to AF that I am not sure if I will be happy with MF. I now have Sony A99 with CZ 24-70 F2.8 and might sell it to help fund for the Leica body and 1 lens. My main work is for Portraits and casual shooting. ISO I would need 1600 with very little to NO noise. Budget?? No more than
    $ 5500. USED of course. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Why do you want to buy a Leica? A99 with Zeiss lenses is very nice.

    Anyway, if you shop around you can get a used S2 + 70mm summarit-S (AF) for around $6500. Similar size as your A99.
    Or, M240 with Summicron 50 (MF) around $5500. Or, try the Leica T with native (AF) or adapted lenses. Both smaller than your A99.
    IMHO M240 is the one to get, but then you better try before buy. A used M9 may be an option too. It really depends on what your goals are, hence my question about why do you want a Leica - for pro work or just to experiment for hobby.

    In the USA, you can rent the latter two from lensrentals.com and try them out.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Hi , I have had this bug for a while and would use it for 2 purposes : 1- for taking portraits and 2- to use on weddings . I shoot some weddings( not many anymore) I am 68 and have been shooting over 40 years and feel I should treat myself to a Legendary Camera. My other camera I use is my Sony A7ll
    I was thinking about the S system but I read some reviews that showed AF and some other issues. This would be good because of AF which I am used to. I would have to rethink MF as I did this 40 years ago with my Hasselblad 500CM. Can you add anything else to my Crazzyness?

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Quote Originally Posted by rollsman44 View Post
    Hi , I have had this bug for a while and would use it for 2 purposes : 1- for taking portraits and 2- to use on weddings . I shoot some weddings( not many anymore) I am 68 and have been shooting over 40 years and feel I should treat myself to a Legendary Camera. My other camera I use is my Sony A7ll
    I was thinking about the S system but I read some reviews that showed AF and some other issues. This would be good because of AF which I am used to. I would have to rethink MF as I did this 40 years ago with my Hasselblad 500CM. Can you add anything else to my Crazzyness?
    Not crazy at all. I see no harm in giving yourself a gift and getting a Leica, provided you understand what you are getting into and that can come only with first hand experience.

    Forum member Marc may chime-in as he has used both the Sony FF DSLR and S2 in professional capacity.

    If you already have the Sony A7II then I guess your AF needs are covered with native FE lenses. I think you may like the M240, but the best thing is to try it out at a store if you can or rent it for a few days.

    Another thought: you may want to get some R or M lenses (50 Summicron will work very nicely) for your A7II and use via adapter. The results may surprise you pleasantly, not mention that MF is so easy with EVF and magnification on the A7.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    I will check with him and get his take on it. I appreciate your suggestions. Where is the best and safest place to shop for a Leica if I decide to go that route?
    Thank you very much. Any other ideas please send them to me.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Over the years I have bought many used Leica lenses from KEH.
    IMHO they describe their used lenses correctly.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    I have shopped there as well. Very reliable and Honest. I am trying to find a GOOD deal somewhere as my budget is tight. Thank you

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    The buy & sell section here at the forum comes to mind.
    Just make sure you buy from established forum members.
    Good luck.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Thank you

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    youll need an M240 to work at the ISO you mentioned. Lots for sale at good prices here on DPI, or on Rangefinder Forum or Fred Miranda. If close-up, rather than environmental, portraits are important, get a 50 (otherwise, 35 is the best starting-point). For 'classic' Leica rendering, Start with regular (pre-aspherical) Summicron. Lots of these available used, too; get one that's 6-bit coded.

    If you don't like internet purchases from individuals, try CameraWest, with ad posted at top of DPI. But offer at least 10% less than asking price - They know that used M body and lens prices have fallen in these times of model change.

    Enjoy!

    Kirk

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Here is my take:
    The M9 or ME or M type 240 with a 50 Summicron are THE classic Leica rangefinder approach. small, good IQ, unobstrusive. However one needs to get used to the rangefinder focusing and you need to accept that framing is not that accurate. However - IMO - the advantage there is very little camera between the photographer and the subject.
    If we talk about IQ the S2 with S lenses is in a different leage, specially the transition from focused area to background is very smooth and leads to a smooth 3d look. I have used the S2/S 006 and now S 007 and always found the image look stands out from all others cameras I have used / do use (and I have used many systems, Nikon/Canon/Sony/Leica M/....).
    Also the S-70mm has 2 big advantages when shooting portraits: its focal length is a little longer than the 50mm standard lens (its I think 56mm equivalent) which is nice if you get a little closer to people, and it has a very good close focusing limit.
    However with the S2 you are limited to lower ISO, better not higher than 640.
    So it is more an outside camera or a camera where you might want to use additional light.
    AF and other issues.....I don't think the S system has had more issues than other camera systems, but if there ever was an issue Leica did react very fast and solved it, at least in my case.

    From my stomach I would say try to check out a Leica M with a 50mm Summicron, if you can afford the M type 240 you get a faster camera (buffer), more flexibility in the higher ISO range and weather sealing, and it works vey well with the 50 Summicron.
    Also you have AF in your Sony, so the Leica might be a very nice contrast and addition to your Sony camera.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    We are similar in pursuits and age. We are different in that I succumbed to the "Leica M Allure" at the start of my photo trek, rather than later. I have used one ever since.

    Like you, I recently backed off doing so many weddings ... but still do them occasionally. Also do a fair amount of portrait work and some model portfolios, etc., and of course personal photography.

    I recently sold off my entire Sony A99 system except the ZA24-70/2.8 which I now use on a A7R with LAEA-4 adapter for AF work.

    I also use a Leica M Monochrome Rangefinder, and a Leica S(006) with 6 lenses.

    For your consideration:

    None of the M or S Leica's are all that great at higher ISOs in difficult light, at least not noiseless at 1600 in the way you want them to be. Your Sony A7-II is most likely better at higher ISOs, and most certainly faster at focusing unless you are extremely practiced at Rangefinder manual focusing.

    The reason to own a Leica M is for the rangefinder manner of making photos, which is a different way of seeing the world around you. Different, not necessarily better, depending on your end goals. The other reason is the Leica M lenses. The Leica Rangefinder is "legendary" because so many famous photographs were taken with one ... however, study the type of images those famous shots are ... it'll provide a hint as to more suitable rangefinder use ... and how you may employ it for certain types of work you do.

    The reason to have a Leica S is how diverse it can be. Unlike the Hasselblad V and H or Mamiya, Contax, and Pentax cameras, it has a dual shutter system that allows use of the CS lenses with leaf shutters that sync up to 1/1000 with strobes, or use of a focal plane shutter up to 1/4000 with the same lenses. This makes the S a wonderful kit for studio and location work ... with lighting, or without.

    Recommendations:

    The S lenses are second to none, but are quite expensive, so I would NOT recommend stepping into that financial quagmire just because there are some S cameras at a "reasonable" price. Commercial work paid for my S kit, otherwise I wouldn't pay that kind of money for occasional wedding or portrait work.

    Besides, Leica is not an iconic brand because of the S system ... the Rangefinder is the source of the "Legend" and would provide a new photographic approach for you to explore.

    Look into getting a Leica M9. The M9 has a cult following because it has a CCD based FF sensor that many feel has a special look and feel that has more "Leica Like POP!" than newer M digital models. This notion irritates owners of M240s, but many die-in-the-wool M users subscribe to it none-the-less. Irregardless, a M9 will offer a different experience as well as "look and feel" from the Sony cameras you use ... and more importantly, it better fits your budget.

    Keep your Sony A7-II for AF work where needed, and higher ISO stuff (certain shots at weddings and difficult light), and get a M-to-E adapter to use select M lenses on the A7-II. So you would have 2 small cameras to use M lenses on. The combined 2 camera kit with a AF FE lens, and a few smaller M lenses would be less bulky and lighter than the A99 and zoom.

    Members here can tell you which M lenses also work well on the Sony A7 series cameras (not all do) ... to start I'd ask them if a M 50/2 Summicron performs well on the A7-II. I use a M35/1.4 ASPH and a compact and excellent, yet inexpensive, M90/2.8 for portraits on my Monochrome and my A7R.

    Good luck on your new adventure!

    - Marc
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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Marc offered great advice to which I can add very little. I met Dave (Rollsman44), a great guy and a gentleman and have some idea what hes after. Knowing Dave somewhat and through our previous discussions I would suggest first try out a Leica rangefinder prior to purchase to be sure both focusing and the rangefinder way of seeing things is to your liking. Its hard to determine by simply trying out the camera for a few minutes in a store unfortunately and often takes time shooting one on an outing or two, to get to know and feel comfortable with the nuances of rangefinder focusing and shooting.

    Many Leica dealers and also some of the actual Leica stores have a rental program or even in aome circumstances will allow you to have a body and lens for a day/weekend. Its worth the investment prior to dropping $$ on such a system.

    I also agree with Marc on his suggestion of a M9 possibly over a M240 for the reasons he stated and which has been elaborated on endlessly in the forums. There are techniques and work arounds regarding higher ISO performance from the M9 vs. M240. Both very capable cameras with the M240 being much more refined in a number of ways. The M9 though stands in contrast with the Sony and this will add to the diversity of your images.

    I know Dave (Rollsman44) is always ready and willing for a photographic adventure, so good luck on this journey my friend and do have fun!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 12th January 2016 at 09:00.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Just a thought ... if you keep the small Sony for AF ... use it for color and look at the Leica Monochrom.

    Great high ISO performance and a wonderful camera to explore the Leica Gestalt ... prices at CameraWest are
    in the low 4000 range for used M Monochrom. One of my favorite portraits ... of all time ... from a Monochrom
    and the 75 Summarit M.


    Leica M Monochrom Summarit M 75







    Now if color is critical then the M9 would be my bet as Marc has stated ... but you may need to add light.

    Bob
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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    OP says "ISO I would need 1600 with very little to NO noise." So IMO recommendations for M9 are leading in the wrong direction it has to be M240 to meet his needs.

    I should add that this isn't my personal choice I use M9 instead of M240 for the several reasons mentioned above. But if I wanted low- or no-noise performance at 1600 I would certainly not rely on M9. I use Monochrom and A7rII for that.

    Kirk

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Kirk, I agree with you on your comments regarding ISO 1600 and the M9 vs. M240, but there are well know techniques (which I'm sure you are aware of) to circumvent some of this. Namely set ISO640 as the upper limit for a M9 and underexpose the image 2 stops or more if necessary and adjust in post processing. What to meter for in such an image can be explained in more detail.

    No not perfect nor ideal but a work around in many instances for using the M9 in low light situations. Noise free at this ISO even with this techniques? Not necessarily, but not all well exposed M240 images are noise free either at ISO 1600, but your suggestion of the advanatages of using the M240 at higher ISO being easier to deal with then the M9 is well taken.

    Of course M240 images often need more extensive post processing in general and a profile specific for the camera. I based my recommendations knowing Dave (rollsman44) and how he.might approach things.

    Yours and Bob's suggestion of a monochrom as an alternative path to meet his requirements is definiteltly one I look favorably on. .

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    OK. My thought is that if OP is new to Leica, he's less likely to bond with it if he must engage in arcane exposure/processing practices right from the start.

    Kirk

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonkirk View Post
    OK. My thought is that if OP is new to Leica, he's less likely to bond with it if he must engage in arcane exposure/processing practices right from the start.

    Kirk
    I certainly can understand your way of thinking on this and can't say I disagree but I weighed that vs having to so more post processing in many instances to often times get colors right with the M240.when I combine all these options with knowing Dave a bit and some of his past experiences in both photography and digital work, I opted for whats been a staple of photography since the dark ages....namely over or under exposing an image. Bringing underexposure back up in post processing can be as easy as moving one slider.

    Again, both avenues have their merrits and/or issues to address. Shooting a monochrom along side of the Sony as was suggested by yourself and others,goes a long way to easily addressing thr issue of clean high ISO shooting.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Quote Originally Posted by rollsman44 View Post
    My dilemma is I am so used to AF that I am not sure if I will be happy with MF.
    The Leica legend is upheld by a Manual Focus system, using the M240 or M9, or variants. If you had tons of money you could get a Leica S and an unbelievable AF lens. Or your could get one of the crop Leicas but these are a shadow of the full frame.

    There is the Leica Q, which is in your budget, and has great AF, but it is a 28/1.7. Frankly that might be the way to start. That camera will hold it's value well, so you could try it for a while, then sell if you want to "move".

    The real thing is a M9 or M240. The RF focus will be a terrible shock if you have been used to AF. With practice it works fine and can even be used with very fast lenses. For a 50/2 you could get the most famous on ever made for about 900USD, the v4 50 Cron.

    M9 has potential sensor issues, but they are covered even for used cameras. You would want one just back from service, which is not uncommon.
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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    First let me say Hi to Dave( great guy, very helpful and LOTS of Knowledge) Ok, I am going to can the Leica Body and look for a Leica Lens for my Sony A7ll .
    I have researched the Leica lenses and the R lens seems to work very well with an Adaptor( Suggestions on which one) A 50mm Summicron would work can be 2.0 or 2.8 I NEVER shoot lower than 2.8. My preference is usually 2.8-5.6 for portraits . If you can recommend a lens and adaptor for my Sony A7ll I would greatly appreciate it. I realize I don't need to Buy a Leica Body at this time. I would in the future consider the S-006 but not in my budget right now. Thank you all for the info.

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Dave, a big "Hi" right back at you (and thanks for thr kind word) and always good to hear from you. Although I've used the R system for a period of time, many others are far more versed with regards to its lenses and performance on both the various Leica bodies that accepted R lenses and especially for whats important for your goals today, namely R lenses used on the Sony.

    Keep us posted on your latest quest and how it goes. Thats how we all.learn and gain knowledge from one another. Again have fun!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    couple of things not mentioned:
    the S cameras and lenses are bigger and heavier than you might expect
    all leicas and lenses are heavier than other makes;
    rangefinder focus requires pretty good vision w/o astigmatism and is an acquired taste, to say the least
    S006 has a great optical viewfinder, maybe the best made
    the S100/f2 is amazing for portraits as is the M with the 75cron

    i use the monochrome and the S006(newly purchased, as they are a pretty good deal right now)

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    Re: NEW To Leica..WTB AF or MF

    Hi Dave, thank you. I am holding off right now as I might wait for the S 006 to come down in price( might be awhile) but I am no rush. I appreciate all the members that contributed to my post. Thank you

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