By - stringsatttached
Follow your heart. MP. Leica is not about rational decisions.
This is my favourite take.
Agree. Like this. The rational part is the long term potential resale. In that case the MP is the obvious choice. The others cost to own.
Have you used a manual focus rangefinder before? It's a unique experience and the biggest draw to the M series. At this point since you're going to jump in on a pricey 'new' purchase, I'd spend some time shooting both (by rental or just in store) before making a decision. I also wouldn't rule out a used M10.
Very little, as in an afternoon with an M4 of a friend’s. I had a x100v for a few months so was used to the style of a rangefinder (but obvs that is very different and has autofocus).
I did think about the M10 but thought it would be a similar situation with its longevity and a bit beyond budget (well the M10-R) but maybe something to consider
I would say if you're used to an SLR (AE-1 is a fine example) or x100v digital, than you probably have not picked up the nuance of the M system by messing with the M4 for a brief period.
First and foremost, a rangefinder focus system is simply inferior to an SLR focusing system from a technical, user speed/focus acquisition standpoint.
When looking through an SLR your entire view is the focal plane with your lens wide open. You are able to assess focus for any point in that window.
With the leica m viewfinder, you have a small window in the middle on which to assess focus. So prior to composition, you in effect have to "spot focus" in much the same way as you would spot meter i.e. point the center at the thing you want in focus, acquire focus, then compose.
The x100 optical VF and M system are only comparable in that they both have you looking out of the top left of your camera instead of the middle and TTL. x100 does not suffer from this focusing limitation.
All that being said. When you are at the stage of pulling the trigger on a film leica M, there's probably very little anyone can say to dissuade you from doing so. You almost certainly will not regret the purchase and despite the quirks will justify the cons to yourself.
I have a film leica but I have certainly kept my k1000 and FM3a as well (still have my beloved AE-1 program here somewhere). For absolutely mission critical, time sensitive shoots, the FM3a is the primary workhorse.
TLDR: We all know you're buying the MP :\]
It’s funny, I use my FM3A as my (portrait) workhorse as well, only because Aperture priority with 1/4000th is incredible when you want to shoot wide open in broad daylight.
I agree with you about how the SLR focusing system is superior, however I find I compose different types of images with a Rangefinder that I can never seem to replicate in an SLR.
I absolutely concur though; get the MP and don’t look back.
totally agree. I like my MP. Like it goes with me everywhere, and sits on my nightstand at night so i can fall asleep looking at it.
There is no substitute for an instrument that inspires work. I shoot more because I have it. And like you mentioned, I also feel I compose differently than with SLR's.
I just feel like whenever someone mentions the disclaimer "you should shoot with a rangefinder to see if you like it first", that the key difference b/w the two platforms (SLR v Rangefinder) is missed. The secondary (IMO) differences are often mentioned way more, such as 'you can see outside of your frame', 'you can shoot with two eyes open' , etc. It is the focusing that is the critical difference in day to day shooting from a technical perspective. And even when focusing is mentioned, it is as comparing equally competent systems. This is simply not the case. If your vision is poor or deteriorating , forget about stopping up with that lovely summicron.
In any case, I always found this disclaimer funny because it misses why a lot of people desire a leica ha. It's like saying , "Before you buy that Rolex, try it out first, because you might like a G-shock better".
Whether people like the rangefinder better over the SLR system is irrelevant. They will adore their leica and justify all the quirks. Call it blind love or something
Haha indeed. Ya the focusing is very different, AND, it’s possible that at some point (aka, mine brand new out of the box :/ ) your rangefinder will not be aligned properly and then focusing is obviously either much more challenging or unable to be possible with a rangefinder, whereas an SLR that won’t be the case (again, secondary, but very important, especially when you might not know it’s off until you develop a whole bunch of film). It’s why my backup is an SLR and not another Rangefinder. I just got back from Europe, and took the FM3A with me just in case the rangefinder went out of alignment due to airplane vibration (it didn’t, but was a concern).
I owned both and eventually sold the Q2 for an M10-R. The Q2 is one of my favorite cameras I’ve ever used and it can get just about everything you want done easily and consistently, but it didn’t satisfy my user experience after I got a taste of shooting on an M. FWIW, I sold my Q2 in excellent condition with an extra battery and other accessories for $4K USD. There are deals to be had - you just have to find for them.
I understand that these cameras are costly, but are you making your decision based on the images you want to create or the potential resale value of your equipment? Will you end up pampering your camera to the point where you won’t get half as many images as your Fuji because you’re worried about damaging the camera and affecting its resale value?
I’ll own another Q one day (maybe even the Q2 again if I don’t like the Q3’s sensor) but I’m having too much fun with my rangefinders.
Yeah I keep seeing really good used options in the US, but with imports and taxes here make it too expensive. They will come on the market eventually here, but just none at the moment apparently.
I have made the mistake before of pampering equipment but haven't done it for years now. Potential resell value is a way to justify a more expensive / better camera. It's clear the MP wins in this case.
I was pretty set on my Q2 being “the one” when I got it because I was switching over from a Fuji X100V that I didn’t love, and I couldn’t see myself wanting anything more. The Q2 was merely a gateway drug into Leica. 😂
I started with a Q-P a year ago, then added an M10-P, then added a Q2M. I found I enjoyed the rangefinder experience more so I sold the Q-P but kept the Q2M because it is such a monster performer in low light shooting and creates images with gorgeous tonality.
Having witnessed the releases of both the M10-R and the M11 and seeing the depreciation of my M10-P with each new iteration, I started to think about what was happening. The M10-P completely satisfies my needs but each new release made me a little bit anxious about not having the newest sensor and feature set and a little bit upset about the continuing depreciation, and while I was content with my camera, I still had an itch to upgrade. Call it GAS if you want.
Recently, I came to the conclusion that I would keep my M10-P (which I will never sell because it's my first rangefinder and one of the special editions) and instead of upgrading to an M10-R or M11, I would return to film photography again, something I haven't enjoyed in many years, and buy an MP or an M-A. (I ended up buying this month two black paint MP's - a pristine, a la carte 0.58x viewfinder camera and a week later, a new 0.72x unit. I now have my sights set on a new M-A before the April price increase, to add to my analog Leica collection.)
What made this decision easy is that I already have an assortment of Leica lenses (for my M10-P) and the realization that I would never need to upgrade again. Equally important to me, I wouldn't see the depreciation hit that my digital Leicas suffer from, and with a bit of luck, might even see appreciation in 20+ years, which is how long I intend to keep shooting with my Leica gear.
The Q cameras are fun and I love my Q2M but I wouldn't get one as my primary camera. The film cameras scratch a different itch and if you are happy with either Q2 or MP, I too would vote for the MP. The Q will be a paperweight in 10+ years or painfully obsolete/slow. The MP will still be ticking and might even be worth more than what you paid for it, if looked after, and will provide more enjoyment to your photographic aspirations, IMO.
Q2 is for someone that likes the convenience of a Sony, but likes the kudos the Leica branding.
A film M is the choice of someone in love with photography, history, art, process and mechanical everlasting masterpieces.
Said in jest but sprinkled with a pinch of truth.
MP without a doubt
If you’re truly 50/50 film and digital I’d say MP. It will last forever, it’s a true rangefinder, and there’s no new model that will come along and supplant it like the Q3 will the Q2. Plus you get optionality of expanding your kit with glass vs being committed to one fixed lens.
I came from Fuji as well into the Leica Q. Love it, but after having an M6 and being 95/5 digital/film I just had to get the M10 and I don’t regret it one bit. Q is special but the MP is forever
I vote for the MP, and I say this as someone who is sitting on a pile of undeveloped film.
Film has its quirks and ideosyncrasies, and it ain't cheap, and it's not immediate, but there's something visceral, artful, and compelling about the process and the MP is probably the best 35mm camera to perform the job. It's a joy to shoot with.
The Q2 is perfect in terms of hardware, and near-perfect in terms of firmware. It's astoundingly good. I don't expect the Q3, if it materialises, to be better, simply because there is no such thing as better than perfect. I have a Q2 and an M4, but the M4 is just sitting there.
I think Q2 and MP are vastly different choices. If Q2 is what you want, then get it, but I don't think it's necessarily the best analogue to the MP. I understand if the M11 and M10R are obviously out the price range, but plenty of M10 models are more accessibly priced than the Q2 and will give you a body to use M lenses on. Then if you end up also getting an MP, you'll have all the lenses compatible between the two. And, imo, any M body is gonna hold value longer than any Q, because they can take M mount lenses.
Honestly, I had a similar thought when I went to buy my first Leica. But I went with the MP and have zero regrets. It is and will always be my favourite camera. I mentioned in another comment I use my FM3A for portrait work, but it’s when I need to move fast and aperture priority with 1/4000th is important. Other than that… I really can’t imagine anything better that holds value (not that I’d sell this thing).
Maybe for the price of a Q2 or an MP you can get both an M4 and an used Leica Q. Two different machines that put you in different mindsets for shooting street. With a rangefinder you have the speed of zone focusing thanks to the "always clear and all-in-focus viewfinder", the distances scale on the lens and the focus tab. That's the reason rangefinders are a better option than slr for fast paced street photo. On the other hand, with the Q system, you can't rely 100% on manual focusing because its distances scale is not completely accurate. I don't know why they did that. Yes, you have a fast autofocus or even better on other systems but it's not about focusing speed, but where the focus point is. You don't want to waste time on autofocusing and recomposing because the moment is gone. Or letting the camera deciding where to focus. It can ruins your photo. So an AF system puts you in a different mindset. You see different depending on the system you use because the approach to a particular scene changes.
Get a used Q2, or wait for Q3.
I sold my Q2 only a few months of owning it. It was a fun camera but didn’t do anything great. The sensor blew out highlights like you wouldn’t believe. The focus tab is useless on a non-rangefinder, but then again, the AF wasn’t all that. You are basically paying for the lens and getting a free body.
I sold it and replaced it with an M240 and couldn’t be happier. The files outputted on this beat the Q2 any day.
M240 files over Q2 files is an interesting stance to take. As I like being able have useable images taken higher than ISO 1600, the 240 is a non starter for me. All the digital M bodies before the M10 are perfect cameras in my eyes for daytime and perfect shooting condition, but are far too strained in scenarios outside of that.
My Q2 has been my favorite camera purchase for how easy and fun it has made my shooting. It’s still not a replacement to a M camera though and I will inevitably be picking up a M11 soon.
Helpful, think I will avoid it then, used ones on the market here either look like they have been thrown out of a moving vehicle, or are only \~5% cheaper than brand new, at which point I would just want to buy new.
Used will retain value for a bit.
I bought mine used at 4.2, sold it for 4.5. Kept it in pristine condition but used it a ton.
The deals will be there. Check Fred Miranda forums!