Leica M3 – First Roll

So – I finally bought a 1960 Leica M3 with my wife’s blessings and paired it with a 1957 “feet only” rigid Summicron.

There’re a few places in Tsim Sha Tsui within walking distance you could go to when you’re in search of a film Leica.

There’re generally 2 price ranges. The insane one is for collectors looking for pristine shrink-wrapped Leicas with original boxes and papers. The saner, within-reach price range is for cameras with some signs of use. Let them know you’re a user and you’re sorted.

I bought a clean-looking “user” camera.

My other lens, the Voigtlander Nokton 35mm SC f1.4, now lives with the Leica M6 which I’ve been using for the past 9 years.

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Do I need a Leica M3? I don’t need it. Any camera is good enough for street photography.

The Leica M3 is a few steps backward from the M6 (and hence a step forward in terms of the skill required.)

It’s about not having a built-in meter and having to rely on my judgement.

In my writing and work and all that, I need something to push against so as to stay sharp.

Of course, all I have to do is remove the battery from the M6 to disable the meter. The M6 then becomes an M4.

You can see I had this conversation with myself many times, prior to buying the M3.

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Taking pictures without a meter is easier than expected, if I keep in mind the Sunny 16 rule.

If in doubt, overexpose by a stop and we’re still fine. From what I’ve read, you can underexpose by a stop and overexpose by 3 stops with film in general, so there’s some leeway.

The Ilford XP2 Super film is very accommodating.

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As I wear glasses, I can’t fully see the 50mm view in the M3 viewfinder but that’s fine.

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The 50mm focal length allows for comfortable distance from people and it includes their environment.

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I’m noticeable but not in their faces.

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I thought the texture was nice.

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I like to shoot photographers.

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At rest.

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I looked up.

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I looked ahead.

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I’m the shoot shadow master. (That’s the Chinese characters for “photographer”.)

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Leica M3 – First Roll

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