Introduction to Leica Cameras.
Although I prefer to use 4x5 and 8x10 format equipment, there is still a daily need for 35mm, since 35mm slides are the international exchange medium for scholars. Archaeologists use these 35mm slides for their lectures. Although I prefer 2 1/4-inch format Hasselblad or Rollei projectors, most auditoriums do not have this format, not even in Europe. So 35mm color slides are a good reason still to use 35mm film well into the 21st century. Besides, Kodakchrome film in 35mm holds its original color many years longer than Ektachrome film of the larger formats.
Minolta, Pentax, and of course Nikon all make good equipment, but so far most of my time has been with Leica.
This review is based on my over 30 years experience with Leicas, from model III's, through the M-series. I still have three R-series Leicas in full use.
The most fabulous lens Leica has produced is their APO-Telyt-R f2.8/280. With the 1.4 tele-adapter this becomes an even more formidable piece of equipment. My daily workhorses are the Elmarit-R f2.8, 28mm. For serious and sustained photography a 35mm lens is not wide enough. I have never had a need of a "normal" lens, which would be 50mm in this format.What would I like to add to my Leica arsenal? I need more APO lenses. I understand Leica has a 100 mm Macro-APO. It would also be great to have a Leica 15mm lens. For wildlife photography an APO telephoto lens and a 70-210mm zoom lens would sure make it easier to capture exotic creatures on film.
Be sure to read the reviews about each and every Leica lens. Some of the lesser Leica cameras are made in Japan by the same OEM which makes cameras costing much less. A few of the lenses with the Leica name plate were (by mistake) made by offshore lens factories which were less than Leitz quality. Sigma and Tamron lenses have proved disastrous. We had two lenses of this category donated and the images fuzzed out even at 8x10 size of enlargement. Never buy a cheap lens. Cheap lenses are a total waste of money. If you have a Minolta camera buy Minolta lenses;
Where to buy your Leica camera. I get lots of equipment of this nature at Stan Tamarkan camera company. I have been a customer there for over a decade.
Design updated July 08, 2008.