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.
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.
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.
As I wear glasses, I can’t fully see the 50mm view in the M3 viewfinder but that’s fine.
The 50mm focal length allows for comfortable distance from people and it includes their environment.
I’m noticeable but not in their faces.
I thought the texture was nice.
I like to shoot photographers.
I looked up.
I looked ahead.
I’m the shoot shadow master. (That’s the Chinese characters for “photographer”.)