Most photo-folk I know will likely already know about my Leica lusting. I’d purchased a couple of Russian Leica copies a few years ago and really loved the experience of using them, I loved the simplicity and small size compared to SLRs.
A digital version of a rangefinder has been my idea of the perfect digital camera for a good few years now and when I started using modern digital, non-DSLR, cameras I often got lost in the fly-by-wire focusing and scroll wheels.
When it came to actually buying a Leica there was no way I could afford a digital M (my perfect partner would be the £20K M60) or even an M6, to get a well looked after M6 I’d be looking at around £700 – £800 for the body alone. With that in mind I started to look further down the line and it didn’t take me long to reach the M2 since it had things I liked like the 35mm frame lines and fully mechanical; I managed to find one that was just affordable from Ffords-Photographic.
The lens I’m using at the moment is a Jupiter 12 35mm which is a Russian made Leica screw mount connected to the M2 through a Leica screw to M mount adapter; previously it was on my Zorki but it will now be on the Leica until I can save up enough cash to buy a ‘decent’ M mount lens.
It’s like night and day when comparing the M2s operations with either the FED 3 or Zorki 4K. The Leica is so smooth with little to no recoil when tripping the shutter and has a much shorter wind action (rewinding is super smooth too).
I’ve put about 2 rolls through it so far and not one time did I feel like I was about to rip the film out of its canister which happened quite frequently with both the Zorki and FED. The RF spot on the Leica is also a thing of beauty, see the comparison between RF spots on the FED and Zorki below it’s like night and day!
Below are some samples taken with the camera but since they’re made using a lens I’ve had for a good while now it’s hard to really illustrate the cameras quality.
The story isn’t over yet because there’s one negative point with the M2 and that’s the PC sync port. On the M2, and perhaps some other early M’s, Leica went with some sort of proprietary sync connector so in order to use 99.9% of PC port flashes you have to buy an adapter. I found one but it wasn’t as cheap as I hoped it’d be but it’s an essential since I use flash a lot.
I’ll do an update once I find a 35mm lens I can afford, something like a Voigtlander Nokton classic is closest to my price range at the moment but I will need to sell 90% of my gear asap in order to pay for all this but also to sensibly de-clutter.