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Advice buying a Leica lens

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:09 am
by Leo
So I have just won an ebay bid on a 50mm Summicron that's about 2 years old. No real apparent damage and the listen claims as new condition.

I just wanted to know, was I daft bidding for this? Its just so convenient that it was right in my budget for a 50mm Summarit and a almost new Summicron came up in ebay Australia (we cant buy items from overseas over $1000 because of the GST and other taxes we have which will add an extra $200 to the price of $1000 and goes up from there - including shipping)

Please honestly let me know if I did a dumb move because I know nothing about Leica other than knowing how to use one and knowing that the way it shoots is just right for me. But when it comes to knowing if something is worth it in terms of Leica prices and quality, well... if I did something stupid, feel free to say so.

Here is the link to the listing
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Leica-Summic ... _78wt_1399

Leo

Re: Advice buying a Leica lens

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:05 pm
by Bjorn van Sinttruije
If the lens is indeed in a "as new" condition, it seems to me you got a great deal! An international Leica dealer here in Holland is selling one in "as new" condition for €1190 (AUD 1714), but you'd have to pay all kinds of taxes and higher shipping charges. I can find a 50mm Summarit for €895 (AUD 1289), but you have to keep in mind that is significantly slower. I'd pick a Summicron over a Summarit any day (and then I would and have pick(ed) a Summilux over the Summicron :) ).

The thing with Leica lenses is that many of them do not go down in price much, so even used lenses are expensive. For some, you could even sell at a profit shortly after purchasing them, because buying them through a store or Leica involves (long) waiting lists.

The only problem might be that the lens is not in "as new" condition (it's impossible to tell from the pictures). A scratch on the front or rear elements, or improper alignment can force you to send it back to Germany for repair, and that's expensive I suppose. Since it's a private sale I suppose it will be impossible to return the lens if it is not as described, but then I have no experience buying photo equipment used. You can never truly know what condition a lens is in unless you visit the lister and inspect the lens before handing him/her the money.

I wouldn't worry about overpaying in this case. If the lens is indeed "as new", you got it for a good price.

- Bjorn

Re: Advice buying a Leica lens

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:50 pm
by Leo
For the same price I was offered a chrome 50mm, but non 6 bit coded and the serial number suggested it was made in 2004, the black one listed above is made in 2009/2010

Any reason why I shouldn't get the black one and choose the chrome one?

When I tested the M240 I noticed that I liked the 50 summicron in chrome as it was heavier and felt better to use in terms of weight, also as purely aesthetic choice, I think a chrome lens on a chrome 240 looks boss and makes me wanna take pictures of a set up like that than take pictures with it.

I hear that the chrome lenses are harder to find and more expensive (especially after you get Solms to 6 bit code it for you and give it a Clean Lubrication and Alignment - so I was told) So if I spend about $400 bucks ontop of the $1600 I spend on the silver, I can pretty much resell the lens for a profit (not that Im going to, so Im super keen on the silver option the same seller offered me.

And again Bjorn, your advice is Jedi like and I hold it close to the front of my mind so I can balance my fanboy-ness, my hopefulness with getting my first Leica ever! and actually getting a decent buy and not wasting my money.

Leo

Re: Advice buying a Leica lens

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:56 pm
by Bjorn van Sinttruije
The Chrome lenses Leica manufactures are indeed a little heavier (because they're made from different metals I suppose). What color camera are you getting though? If you get a black one, a silver lens will look weird. If you get a silver camera (less ideal for discrete shooting, I think), the silver might be an interesting alternative. Leica's service is quite slow though, especially with shipping back and forth between Australia and Germany. Keep in mind that you'll have to do without a lens for a long time if you buy the silver one and have it 6-bit coded.

- Bjorn

Re: Advice buying a Leica lens

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:24 am
by Leo
Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:The Chrome lenses Leica manufactures are indeed a little heavier (because they're made from different metals I suppose). What color camera are you getting though? If you get a black one, a silver lens will look weird. If you get a silver camera (less ideal for discrete shooting, I think), the silver might be an interesting alternative. Leica's service is quite slow though, especially with shipping back and forth between Australia and Germany. Keep in mind that you'll have to do without a lens for a long time if you buy the silver one and have it 6-bit coded.

- Bjorn


That's good to know Bjorn.

Im getting a silver camera with a silver lens, about the same time next year, I'll order a 35mm Summarit or Voigtlander Nokton and then send the summicron to get coded.

I was thinking of getting a black body but I figured if people knew I was taking a photo of them and they knew I had a camera in my hands, I would get a very distinct look or image or reaction. I used to shoot with my 7D on the street and got a lot of shocked looks, but when I shot with a Fuji X100s, that was silver I got people who looked at me just ignored me soon after, and I figure I wanted something a bit in between.

Again, thanks Bjorn

Re: Advice buying a Leica lens

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:35 pm
by Bjorn van Sinttruije
My pleasure Leo.

- Bjorn