When I got back into shooting film mid 2016 after my camera bag had been stolen out of my car, I couldn't afford much, but I knew I wanted to end up with a nice camera that would be THE camera. Something that would satisfy my utilitarian thought process yet still be pleasing to the eye. That same feeling you get when you buy the right car and can't help but look back at it every time you park and walk away.
After scouring local stores and eBay auctions and buying cameras / lenses, selling cameras / lenses for profit, I worked my way from two Canon AE-1s I bought as a bundle for $50. While trading, buying, selling, and combining that with cash tip money, I worked my way from $20 cameras to $1000 cameras.
Getting to that point wasn't quick. It took about a year and half. I knew I wanted a Leica M, not because great photographers have used them. Not because they're the coveted bodies of the film camera world, but because it was what I wanted in a camera, albeit a rangefinder. I love rangefinders.
I decided on the M2, mainly because of its multiple frame line selector which goes down to 35mm as well as the fact its pretty much the same build as an M3 minus a few features. I also decided that I wanted something that wasn't in pristine condition, aesthetically. When I bought my Black Dial IIIF, I was stoked on how ridiculously clean it was. Remove one mark and the dust on it and its a museum worthy camera. That being said, I didn't want to shoot it, because of it being so nice.
The M2 I bought has its fair share of brassing and scratches. The back door was replaced at some point, and bottom plate has scratches a plenty with brassing coming through. The top is pretty nice.
The reason I bought this particular camera is because its worn on the outside, but fresh on the inside. Coming form Portugal, the PO had the camera CLA'd, which resulted in an awesome little keepsake on the inside of the bottom plate with the shop name, and the date of servicing. The camera also had all its light seals replaced, the curtains are pristine, and the vulcanite is new with all other camera functions and operations now smooth a satisfying.
After searching for hours on instagram and forums on what different lenses to buy and what looks I wanted to achieve, I settled on the Voigtlander Nokton 35mm F/1.4. This isn't a lens review, so I'll just let you take a look at what the lens produces in the shots below.
I love the feeling of holding this camera. Much more satisfying than the IIIF and thats probably just because of the M2's slightly larger size. Both cameras are solid and mildly heavy, but the M2 is more so. The single viewfinder is so bright and clear. Much larger and easier to focus than my IIIF.
It may just be on this particular body, but the film counter piece is hard to move by hand when resetting back to 1 but thats not really a big deal to me. So far, thats the only thing I've found that I haven't been to keen on.
After shooting this camera, I really look at it and feel as it is a tool rather than a capable vintage camera. I don't see it as something that I have to be careful with or try to baby. I'm trying to reduce my stash of film gear and this is the camera to do it.