Help me spend my money (or talk me off this cliff)

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Jim Jones

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I wouldn't buy a new Leica film camera now, but that's partly because I'm 90 years old and that camera would outlast me by decades, and partly because digital photography is better suited to what I do these years. For a young man who protects his camera gear from abuse and theft, a new Leica is a great investment.
 

Sirius Glass

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I wouldn't buy a new Leica film camera now, but that's partly because I'm 90 years old and that camera would outlast me by decades, and partly because digital photography is better suited to what I do these years. For a young man who protects his camera gear from abuse and theft, a new Leica is a great investment.

My equipment will outlast me also. I have been at a point that I am happy with what I have and I have not seen anything else that I wish to use or purchase. Some day I may find something else to purchase but the GAS pressure has been so low for so many years, I think that it is unlikely that it will change. I will let others charge in and buy equipment while they stimulate the economy.
 
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mtnbkr

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At 49, the bigger risk for me is film and/or processing becoming unobtainable. I thought that was where we were headed in 2010, so I sold my last film camera (a beautiful Olympus OM-1 that I had CLA'd 9 years prior and an early 50/1.4) and went fully into digital.

I'm really enjoying the resurgence though.

Chris
 

VinceInMT

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The OP is interested in buying a Leica. Since that is his favorite drug he should meet that need first. Later he may seek a Hasselblad, but for now he has to take the first steps of buying his heart's desire.

So, Leica might be considered a gateway drug where the user eventually overdoses on Hasselblad.
 

Sirius Glass

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So, Leica might be considered a gateway drug where the user eventually overdoses on Hasselblad.

You post that as if that would be a bad thing. What is wrong with aspiring to the best camera equipment that one can afford?
 

4season

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I was mainly fishing for a more dispassionate and logical view of the purchase.
That is a mistake, because GAS is an emotional thing, not a logical one. GAS ends when you're ready for it to end, but you really cannot buy your way out of it, except in the sense of it consuming all spare cash, so that you are forced to stop!

Really enjoyed my Leica cameras when I had them, but Leica M did not bring my GAS to a screeching, permanent halt back then. The main reason that I've gotten some control over GAS in recent years is because of a growing sense of "been there, done that". Should you buy one? Beats me; sometimes a person just needs to try things for themself. The good news is that I think Leica M has become more of a buyer's market in recent months, though prices are still well above pre-pandemic levels.
 

mshchem

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I would put the money in retirement savings. It doesn't matter how much you have put away, you will want/need more. Gee, a bit like GAS, isn't it?

Good call. I'm spending some savings, 20 years ago I bought a black Leica M6ttl with the 50mm Summicron for $1300 USD. Virtually unused in the box. So an argument can be made to buy a nice Leica, use it and take care of it, and sell it when you're done.
 

Sirius Glass

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Good call. I'm spending some savings, 20 years ago I bought a black Leica M6ttl with the 50mm Summicron for $1300 USD. Virtually unused in the box. So an argument can be made to buy a nice Leica, use it and take care of it, and sell it when you're done.

What is this "sell it when you're done" of which you speak?
 

Paul Howell

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I would not suggest that in the long run film gear is a good investment. Current conditions are good, film is back to some degree, hard to say how long the new users will maintain an interest. As film cameras age, film becomes more expensive the market might bottom out. If cameras are unusable, perhaps view cameras suitable for alternative process will last, what will be their value as a collectable without film. My advise, buy what you like, what you can afford, enjoy as long as you can.
 

Sirius Glass

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While some camera's prices rise over time, it is much better to purchase a camera for your use than as an investment.
 
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mtnbkr

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I would not suggest that in the long run film gear is a good investment. Current conditions are good, film is back to some degree, hard to say how long the new users will maintain an interest. As film cameras age, film becomes more expensive the market might bottom out. If cameras are unusable, perhaps view cameras suitable for alternative process will last, what will be their value as a collectable without film. My advise, buy what you like, what you can afford, enjoy as long as you can.
Agree completely, though I'm not a new film user by any stretch. This is not an investment, it's a user and will ride along on my pack when I go hiking or camping as often as it is toted on photography walks or pulled out to document a family gathering. :smile:

While some camera's prices rise over time, it is much better to purchase a camera for your use than as an investment.
My other main hobby has similar patterns. I've never purchased anything in that realm as an investment, though I've made a few purchases where subsequent sales years later have netted enough profit to further support that hobby or others (as is the case with this very discussion).

Chris
 

mshchem

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What is this "sell it when you're done" of which you speak?

I sold that camera, 0.72 black chrome, and bought a 0.85x silver with a silver (brass quite heavy) 50mm Summicron. That camera is in the shop right now, it sat for close to 20 years, new in the box in Japan. The meter switch is acting up as the meter is not timing out correctly.

Nice (analog) cameras are not a bad investment, somewhat illiquid.
 

VinceInMT

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I would put the money in retirement savings. It doesn't matter how much you have put away, you will want/need more. Gee, a bit like GAS, isn't it?

I also agree with mshchem that that is a good call. However, if one starts early enough those want/need goals can be achieved. The target will tell you how much to save.
 

GregY

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Mtnbkr, assuming you're still looking.... check out irohascamera.com in Japan. I've bought a few things from him & they were in top notch condition and shipped quickly. The reason i mention him is.....I can't remember seeing a bigger selection of used M Leicas....right on up to $20k black paint M4s. ;-)
 
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VinceInMT

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My other main hobby has similar patterns. I've never purchased anything in that realm as an investment, though I've made a few purchases where subsequent sales years later have netted enough profit to further support that hobby or others (as is the case with this very discussion).

I’m lucky to break even if inflation isn’t taken into account.

When I say that one of my vintage cars was a good investment, my wife, a CPA, laughs. She points to one of them that I bought 45 years ago for $800 which is equivalent to about $3,900 today. I might, might be able to sell it for that and she shows me that had I invested the $800 in equities instead that I’d have twice what I could get for the car. Of course, this is a funny argument because it ignores the non-financial returns that this piece of equipment, like our cameras, has returned over the decades.
 
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mtnbkr

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Mtnbkr, assuming you're still looking.... check out irohascamera.com in Japan. I've bought a few things from him & they were in top notch condition and shipped quickly. The reason i mention him is.....I can't remember seeing a bigger selection of used M Leicas....right on up to $20k black paint M4s. ;-)

Thanks! I'm currently hoovering up every bit of info I can. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go for an M5. Sure, it lacks the classic good looks of the other M variants, but I really like the idea of the shutter speed dial being easily manipulated while you look through the viewfinder as well as the internal meter.

Chris
 

Paul Howell

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When I was working PJ I had a Leica IIIG and Canon 7s for my second body, I looked at the M5 and was very close to upgrading. The spot meter rather than a average meter was the deciding point against, shooting on the run I did not want to find a zone V value to meter. I could have use it like I did the IIIG and Canon, sunny 16, the Canon did have a meter, not bad, but not much better than sunny 16 when shooting black and white. Other than the spot meter I liked the M5, loading was much easier than my IIIG, almost as easy as the Canon 7s, felt good in my hands.
 
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GregY

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Thanks! I'm currently hoovering up every bit of info I can. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go for an M5. Sure, it lacks the classic good looks of the other M variants, but I really like the idea of the shutter speed dial being easily manipulated while you look through the viewfinder as well as the internal meter.

Chris

Chris, If you can, get a classic Leica M in your hands. See what the feel is like. The "idea" of the overhanging shutter speed dial is just a small part of the camera.
 
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mtnbkr

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Chris, If you can, get a classic Leica M in your hands. See what the feel is like. The "idea" of the overhanging shutter speed dial is just a small part of the camera.

I did get to fondle one (M3 IIRC) in a shop a couple months ago and it felt great (not just the ergos, but also the smoothness of action, the quiet shutter, etc). It was what crystalized my desire to own one. The overhanging shutter speed dial is attractive because I've been spoiled by "command dials" on various film and digital cameras for the last 14-odd years, something I've missed with my return to film photography (and entirely via older cameras).

Chris
 

Huss

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My experience is different. Bought mine new in 2010 and the mileage is now about 65k. The only parts mine has needed are: a thermostat, one coil pack, and the solenoid that releases the rear hatch. Including labor, the sum total I've spent on repairs is probably about $1000 (US). My total average fuel efficiency is 35.4 MPG and that includes a fair amount of agressive driving. Or as agressive as one can be with only 122 HP to play with. I've read the MINI horror stories, too, but I've noticed almost all of those with major problems have the turbo charged models. Mine is the base model (no turbo) - and it has actually proven to be very reliable and quite economical to drive.

My ex’s v1 supercharged Cooper - anything and everything that could fail, did. A friend’s v2 turbo Cooper lost compression in the engine at 25k miles. Basically the engine was worn out at 25k miles. My sister’s Clubman - which I stressed w extreme prejudice not to buy regaling her with the previous two stories - needed a new steering rack at 8k miles, after which she stopped telling me of the other things which went wrong.
 

GregY

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Thanks Chris, I hope you find a good one. I had one back-in-the-day when they were new.....the spotmeter was pretty much the only thing i liked.....turns out it's hard to change ones taste in ergonomics.
 
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