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Thread: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    Isn't it odd that by shooting the digital M8 a desire has come back to shoot B&W film in both my IIIG and a M body.

    I see the M3 as the classic Leica but others say the M4 is just as well built and I'll want the 35mm frame line of the M4.

    Since this is a matter of the heart, which has the "Leica" feel?

    Yep, I'm sick. I've got my Kinderman tank and reels back out...

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  2. #2
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    ...Since this is a matter of the heart, which has the "Leica" feel?...
    M3 of course. I remember my first M4 in the seventies and my disapointment to see plastic in some parts of it. The M3 is built like a tank but the main reason i like it so much is its .91x viewfinder. Almost as good as the 1:1 of the R-D1 but if you like shooting wides the M4 could be better for you.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    John, don't know if you saw it in the M forum, but I recently bought an MP, then the next day found a deal I couldn't pass up on a iiif, and just won an auction for a Minolta 5400 II scanner! I also scored 4 rolls of the new T-Max 400... So yeah, I get it

    AFAIC, the M4 has essentially the same feel as the M3, but the M4P feels more tinny. Probably because the M3 and 4 are all brass, while the M4P was the transition to some steel to support the added strain from the motor winder, at least I think... Ironically, the new MP feels a lot like the M3, as do most any of the newer all mechanical black paint cameras.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  4. #4
    workingcamera
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    I love my M3 had it now for coming onto 30 years (oowh that scary). Have the 35mm Summicron with eyes beautiful lens and I never minded the eyes.

    I’ve used them all over the years and found no appreciable difference in build quality and “Leica feel” between the M3 M2 M4 and M5… that intangible character changed with the M4-2 so I understand Jack’s comment about the M4P feeling “tinny” though I understand that had more to do with steel gears instead of the traditional and self lubricating brass.

    The MP is the closest it gets to the trad feel for the modern generation of models.

  5. #5
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    How do you M3 shooters frame for 35mm Lenses?

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  6. #6
    workingcamera
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    G’day John

    The 35mm field of view is a little bigger than the total M3 VF area. Not a great way to work but it can be done

    The alternatives are get a 35 lens dedicated for the M3 ie one with auxiliary goggles which optical extend the 50mm frame lines to 35… some people hate them.

    Btw in case you were not aware the 50mm frame lines on the M3 always show regardless of which lens is attached. A 35mm (non M3 dedicated) lens will bring up the 135 frame… so you see the 50 and 135 FL

    Get an M2 which as 35 50 and 90 frame lines… only the 35 frame appears

    Or an M4 (both 35 and 135 frames show) when a 35 lens is attached

  7. #7
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    35 is for wide cams (M2, M4 to M8) or lenses with goggles like this.
    Summilux 35/1.4 here; Summaron (35/2.8) and Summicron (35/2) exist also with goggles.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    I guess I could stick a TEWE on it and have everything covered.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  9. #9
    workingcamera
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    Yeah of course… or a voigtlander 35 auxiliary VF I’m sure they made one?

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    Quote Originally Posted by workingcamera View Post
    Yeah of course… or a voigtlander 35 auxiliary VF I’m sure they made one?

    They have a really nice one still in production...

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  11. #11
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    Both the M3 and the M4, if well maintained, will feel great and work well. Choose the features you want and don't worry much about the rest. Winogrand pounded the stuffing out of M4s and M4Ps and they held up.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  12. #12
    Flavio
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    Re: Leica M3 or M4 for film scanning?

    Hi John and all,
    I use a chrome M4 (with 21 Super Angulon, 50 Cron and a great Weston Master V), though sometime I wonder about adding a DS M3. If I correctly remember, they differ in the roll loading. Someone say M3 is slower, other say its just the same when you are experienced enough.
    An Italian writer who used to travel a lot in Countries where electricity may still be a problem (Tiziano Terzani) wrote in one of his book that his M3 was a great tool, especially in the fast loading film.

    Same things are not the same things for everyone.

    Ciao!

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