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darthpolski

New to X-series from years with Leica

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Hello,

This is my first post on this forum. I'm trying to harvest a bit of information regarding other Leica users experiences during their transition from Leica M (which I will still use) to the XPro-1 system. I'm curious about other people's experiences with transition to this technology after 20+ years with Leica M's. Part of what I've always loved about Leica (as a user, not just a collector or carrier) is that Leica seems to still be interested in keeping my M4-2 and M6 running, should they ever fail me. I recently heard that Leica has ceased repair work on M8s (true?), so it's hard for me to justify the purchase of a digital Leica that will force me to upgrade frequently, rather than settle into my tools for years and years to come knowing that obsolescence isn't breathing down my neck.

Can someone please give me their impression on the transition to focusing with the x-system? Should I be considering the newer XE-2 rather than the XPro-1?

Fuji brand lens adapter? Or Kipon? or cheaper? I've heard the Fuji one is way overpriced for what it is. I have 35, 50, and 90mm Summimcrons. What will I gain by spending the extra on the Fuji adapter?

Thanks in advance,

Darthpolski

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ranger   

to be honest you may get better advice of the sort you're looking for by swinging into the Leica Users Group. Quite a few of those guys have gone digital via Fuji, and the crossover issues are frequent topics there.

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macjim   

I can't give you any experience of moving from an M9 to an X-E2 but I did go from an M9 to an X-Pro1. It's a very different focusing system and really can't be compared easily. The Leica lenses are simple to adjust due to the thumb control of Leica lenses and the Fuji lenses are more traditional with the rotating outer ring. In many cases neither are better as, with the Leica, you rely on a tiny wee box in the centre of the viewfinder to align. The Fuji lenses may a little better due to the split screen or focus peeking. I haven't used the manual focusing on the X-Pro1 or X100s enough to really comment on as I tend to use the auto-focus but I'd like to try manual more as I'm from an Olympus OM-1n and manual 50 mm lens background. I miss the purity of the M9 and manual focusing but the mistake I made was by buying the wrong lens for it for my style of work. I'd bought a Leica 35 mm lens when I should have gone for a 50 mm then I might still have been an owner now, supplemented with the X-Pro1. In saying that, I'm glad I moved over to the X-Pro1 in the end. Now I'm feeling the urge to sell my X100s to fund an X-T1!

I can't help you with your question regarding adapters as I don't use any other makes of lenses as I'm happy with the Fujifilm primes.

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K1W1_Mk2   

I can't help you with your question regarding adapters as I don't use any other makes of lenses as I'm happy with the Fujifilm primes.

There are no electrical contacts in the adapters so realistically anything the correctly aligns the lens and sensor and is lightproof is suitable. I've never seen any complaints about Kipon adapters.

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ya know- I use both my M9, Xpro1, 100S, and Xe2 and love them all! The Leica is so solid- but so are the Fuji's- so I say- keep them all and use them all! Enjoy!!

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Niko   

I still have regularly taken pictures with Leica M6 TTL and Fuji digital (X100S, XE2), and both are rewarding. I only shoot film for fun (mostly SP), and besides arguments about hollowness feel of Fuji bodies (see Steve Huff), I consider the build of them as much as good compared to Leica M6. Of course they aren´t as robust as M6 body.

BTW, I don´t have any complain about Kipon adapter for M and M42 mount adapters.

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Leica were a great film brand, but once they had to rely on mainstream sensor suppliers in the digital era, some of their uniqueness was lost. IQ and camera quality are not the same thing, but it's hard to market the values of permanence when technological churn is so rapid. Fujis aren't built to quite the same standard as Leica, but they're constructed to outlive their likely lifespan, which is all one can realistically hope of a camera in the current climate.

To get the most out of a modern camera the lens needs to 'talk' to the body, so even Leica's peerless glass is not a transferable asset. Personally, I'd have no qualms buying a film Leica but would rather sink money into a digital Fuji.

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Leica were a great film brand, but once they had to rely on mainstream sensor suppliers in the digital era, some of their uniqueness was lost. IQ and camera quality are not the same thing, but it's hard to market the values of permanence when technological churn is so rapid. Fujis aren't built to quite the same standard as Leica, but they're constructed to outlive their likely lifespan, which is all one can realistically hope of a camera in the current climate.

To get the most out of a modern camera the lens needs to 'talk' to the body, so even Leica's peerless glass is not a transferable asset. Personally, I'd have no qualms buying a film Leica but would rather sink money into a digital Fuji.

Totally, thats why I bought an M6, love it.

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I was an industrial photographer who shot 4x5 and Hasselblad for work.

But, I love rangefinder cameras for travel and fine art. For medium format I used a Mamiya 7 and for 35, I shot with a Hasselblad XPan (made by Fuji) and a Leica M-6 with a 35 and 90mm lens. It was a pleasure to carry and the images were wonderful. Now I shoot digital (but still have my XPan film camera), I just decided to purchase the Fuji X-pro 1, as it feels closest to my XPan and Leica M-6.......but different. I purchased two X lenses, 10-24mm, and the 18-135mm, to cover almost all of my shooting. Fuji Glass is superb, and I would compare the 10-24 lens to my Hasselblad Zeiss lenses. I also purchased an adaptor to use my Nikon lenses, but am having issues focusing in manual, even with my hoodman loupe. Since I mostly shoot architectural,landscape and fine art on a tripod, I have time to critically focus. But when I try handholding (even at hi shutter speeds),and manual focusing, my images look soft. I am finding the X-pro 1, an enjoyable camera to use, and the image quality amazes me. But, I wish it had a tilting LCD screen and adjustable diopter.

I currently use a Nikon full frame for business, but might go all Fuji X in the near future. This system impresses me and I get the same rush using it, as I did with my Leica and XPan.

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PhoTom   

@thephotomaker

The Xpro has a first gen EVF. It's not great for manual focusing. I would suggest using the focus peaking feature. It allows you to see the focus plane move in and out as you turn the focus ring.

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Ive found my X-Pro EVF fine for MF WITH the focus peaking. especially with the zoom button.

Agreed - the focus box on the X-Pro1 can be too large (or sometimes too small) to hit the spot but the focus peaking zoomed-in allows you to pick the part you want sharp. Over about 135mm I sometimes find the zoomed-in view can be too shaky but with my Nikon 85mm f1.8 it's fine.

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I only have my Voigtlander 35mm and it can be a bit shaky and also was a bit of trouble in bright sunlight over the weekend but overall its pretty good.

And at wide apertures you can see the focal plane kind of shimmering over the image.

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Never even touched a Leica but for manual lenses the trick is in learning to find the tiny specks of sharpness-dust the focus peaking creates.

In certain (seriously rare) instances the focus peaking works as advertised and you see a shimmering white plane highlighting what's in focus. Unfortunately most of the time what you see is nothing at all, at least in normal non-focus-zoom mode. As Mattamber points out you can often start to feel the shimmer by focusing back and forth, which will at least cause the sharpness-dust to show on whatever elements in the shot DO have enough contrast to trigger it, but that won't help if the focus point you wan't isn't high-contrast enough, especially if you have a really shallow DoF.

When you have time and patience you need to do the focus zoom and inspect the item very carefully to see the 2-3 specks of white that show you what's in focus. It's crazy but they are there!

Another trick is to use the LCD rather than the EVF. For whatever reason the LCD on the X-PRO1/X-E1 seem to show the white specks more prominently (I've heard it speculated that it's because they are lower resolution than the EVF, and thus the smallest speck possible is bigger and thus more noticeable).

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ranger   

I shot Leicas for 40 years, but only once in the last 5; have owned something over a dozen different leica bodies and even more lenses (god, but the 0.58 MP was a wonder to use in the waning days of film). Still have the M2 I got in 1983, and keep it CLA'd and functional (just now it's out on loan to an SP colleague in NYC, who insists on shooting film)and have another M2 with custom installed 28mm framelines from an M4-P that just sits on a shelf (plus a beautiful sharkskin IIIC from 1947).

I have no interest in using Leicas anymore, film or digital; the technology has superseded them. Even if the M240 were state-of-the-art (which it isn't) I couldn't possibly justify plunking down that much $ for something that will be so utterly passé in the next product cycle.

For all their faults, The Fuji's with OVF's are by far a better alternative. Suck it up.

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I like the process of using my Leica, the clunky feel of the dials and the winding on of the film after a shot. Also that it forces delayed gratification in waiting for the files back from AG Photo.

I do like the the look of it of course, though I have a VSCO based preset for my X100 & X-Pro1 which isn't far off (in my eyes) a nice 'film look'.

I just find using the M6 more pleasurable than the X100 or X-Pro1 (though they are great). I wouldnt want an M240 tbh - the £$K they ask for it is crazy, so I can see why people are clamouring for a FF Fuji but I dont think these Leica niche will push Fuji into FF.

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If the Fuji could in someway to a digital overlay of the RF spilt focusing on their OVF that would be great imho - though being said I tend to range focus anyway.

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If the Fuji could in someway to a digital overlay of the RF spilt focusing on their OVF that would be great imho - though being said I tend to range focus anyway.

Digital cameras like the Fuji offer great automation, but overrides are much fussier than manual cameras. If you don't have full confidence in what the camera is trying to do, or you just prefer to be in control of focus, aperture and shutter speeds, the interfaces are not instinctive in the way a manual film camera is.

A lot of people live with this for the other advantages a modern digital camera provides, but it isn't like the old experience, and I think people fall in love with their cameras a little less because of it. There are other aspects, a Leica rangefinder kept in clean condition is one of the most depreciation resistant purchases imaginable, compare a Fuji X or any other modern camera and the Leica looks like a bargain. Personally I like the look of a fine print from silver technology. It doesn't blind me to the process, or the advantages of digital in some situations, but writing off film photography as a creative medium was very premature.

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Digital cameras like the Fuji offer great automation, but overrides are much fussier than manual cameras. If you don't have full confidence in what the camera is trying to do, or you just prefer to be in control of focus, aperture and shutter speeds, the interfaces are not instinctive in the way a manual film camera is.

Id say Fuji have got as close as any digital camera manufacturer so far, maybe somewhat ironically with the X100 and X-Pro1 - their first stabs at this. The X-T1 whilst great is a little over stuffed with dials and buttons for my liking.

Im just saying I find RF focusing so very simple to use and unfussy that I think it would be great if it were possible to overlay it on an OVF.

Film cameras are something you could (and can still maybe) keep for decades and even pass through generations and the sensor is effectivly upgradeable (or downgradeable) as film tech or more likely scanning tech gets better, not very likely with digital cameras so I think in that they loose much of the mystique and intangible value of film cameras.

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xproron   

I used Leicas for years including SM IIIc, M2, M3, M4(P), M6 (my favorite Leica body) and an M8 and now use the X Pro1. Leica optics are 90% of why one shoots Leica and I've used 21mm 28,35, 50, 75, 90 and 135mm lenses.

I was familiar with Fuji lenses from having used a Fujiwide to do some architectural and landscape photography and knew they were sharp and contrasty.

I enjoyed my M8 and primarily used it for IR photography turning what was considered a negative aspect of it to a strength.

Several things caused me to leave Leica the main one being the poor and lengthy service on M8's and three months to convert a lens so the camera could know what lens was on it.

I was also ready for an AF rangefinder type camera and was tired of constantly changing primes when a good zoom would do nicely for the type of photography I now do.

The X Pro1 and the lens line up was a no brainer for me and, although some complain about the price of the Fuji optics, Leica lenses are priced out of sight for the average photographer compared to Fuji.

I have no regrets selling my Leica gear and thoroughly enjoy using the Fuji system and the images it produces.

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Iestrada   

I have a Leica adapter on the XE-1. I am absolutely loving it with my Leica mount lenses. A 25mm on the XE-1 and a 28mm or 35mm on my CLE or M2. I carry two bodies. There is no need to get rid of your Leica stuff. Use it along with the fuji and enjoy the best of what both have to offer.

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I've used the Leica M system for 29 years. Always stayed with the film bodies and never went to any of their digital M offerings. My favorite M body was always the M3, followed by the M4-P, believe it or not.

The M3's rangefinder is really unbeatable - never flares out, even in oblique lighting. Buttery smooth mechanical operation with its brass internals, although not as tough as the M4-P in that sense.

The M4-P had the flaring out rangefinder patch, but had tough, steel gears that took a beating. I used them for such a long time, I was able to shoot without a meter.

I owned several M6's too, as well as the gorgeous MP (2003 version). But I never really needed their built-in meters for B&W film. And as improved as the MP rangefinder patch was over the M4-P/M6, it was still no match for my ancient M3 cameras.

In all cases, I would use supplementary bright finders for wider lenses (I wear glasses). Loved looking through them, very brilliant, simple view with no clutter.

I stopped using the entire M system about 5 years ago or so. I just wasn't shooting film anymore, and had no interest in the M8. I've been a pro photographer for over 26 years, and I think I was getting a bit jaded with photography. So I got rid of all of my M gear 5 years ago.

When I was introduced to the Fuji X-Pro1 earlier this year, I finally started having fun with photography again. I love how that particular body really echoes the M rangefinder form. I really enjoy using it on manual focus and using the digital DOF scales. And I also use it with manual exposure much of the time, just like my old M3. With an 18mm (27mm-e), I can shoot on the street at f8 zone-focused about as fast as my long-gone M cameras.

On top of that, I'm continually astonished at the Fuji X's IQ. Really outstanding, and I don't bother with FF for my personal work anymore (still use FF DSLR's for my day job).

The funny thing is, using the the Fuji X has inspired me to get a Leica film camera again. A few weeks ago, I bought a battered but functioning M3 from a friend at a very low price, and got a brand new Zeiss ZM 28mm lens for it. I was amazed at how inexpensive the Zeiss ZM lens line is compared to the current Leica M offerings. Just started shooting again with film, side by side with the fantastic Fuji X system, on the street. I'm really having fun with both systems, and have found joy in photography again.

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Although I've used film Leicas - mainly the M3 - I've never owned one. This is partly because when they were extant I couldn't easily justify owning one, partly because having "the best" would leave me no excuses for my failings, and partly because the nature of my personal photography involves sticking a camera where it isn't always welcome, and losing one would be expensive.

I have a frequent hankering for a Barnack Leica, but lenses for them are priced beyond what their age and condition reasonably represent. One of these days I shall get a II or III for fun, but I don't expect a return in image quality for the investment, just novelty value.

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