Wondering should you buy a Leica camera? This can be a tough choice to make but this article will guide you to make the correct decision. Let’s dig right in.
So should you buy a Leica? It really boils down to if you can afford it. And even if you can’t Leica has some of the best offerings that tickle the same spot.
First things first, let’s talk money
The first thing before you even ask should you buy a Leica is can you afford it. They ain’t exactly cheap but they are worth it. So can you afford it?
Those who buy Leicas are wealthy, or they saved a chunk to purchase one so if you can’t afford it there are plenty of Leica-like alternatives. Because remember there is also upkeep. If you invested every dime you had in camera and it needs some repairs, Leica repairs match their prices and you would be in a bind.
The M cameras
What most people have in mind when they ask if they should buy a Leica is the M cameras. These are the digital rangefinders with the manual lenses. These are also some of Leica’s most expensive offerings because they are hand crafted in Wetzlar, Germany.
If what you really want is a high quality camera, there’s plenty of alternative offerings like from Fuji for example. When you get a Leica M the high price you pay is not only for the amount of camera you get but you mostly pay for the craftsmanship and experience.
Just like you do not expect a handmade bag to be the same price as a bag at Walmart that has been mass produced, a large part of the sticker price is because there just isn’t many Leica produced and since they are handmade, this requires a lot of money to produce.
But for the photographer, shooting Leica is unique because they are the only full frame digital rangefinders you can find and their absolute simplicity is what attracts a lot of photographers to the system.
So if you can afford it, the Leica Ms are some of the most unique in the world.
The body or the lens?
If you can only afford either the Leica body or the lens, which one to chose? If you are asking yourself should you buy a Leica and really want a unique feeling when shooting, go for the body and add a Voigtlander lens to it.
Voigtlander is another German brand that gives Leica a run for their money and their lenses are excellent. If you don’t really care about the camera that much then go for the lens as the lens is what stays for years and even decades and are what photographers seek to get their hands on.
Leica’s other offerings
If the M is out of reach, Leica makes the Leica Q2 (see review) that is essentially an M camera with a fixed 28mm f1.7. Has the same look and same processor. Plus because it has such a high megapixel count, you can essentially crop all the way to 50mm and still print a large image. This is Leica’s best camera if you can’t swing an M camera.
What if you want interchangeable lenses? Then the Leica CL (see review). This is nothing short of an autofocus APSC sensor mini M camera. Many M photographers gravitate towards this beautiful camera that shoots TL lenses, but can also shoot M lenses with an adapter.
Finding your price point
Should you buy a Leica? It all depends on your price point. If money is no object then the Leica Ms are wonderful, they do require some degree of getting used to because they are real rangefinders but the Leica Q2 is simple to use out of the box and cheaper. You can check what Leicas you can get for these price points, but keep in mind that some can only be found used:
The best Franken Leica
If you think the answer to should you buy a Leica is a no, let me tell you of an alternative way. One of the best cameras that give you a similar feeling to Leica and even beats it with its unique viewfinder, its Fuji. Get the Fuji Xpro 3, the M mount adapter and a Voigtlander lens and you have yourself am amazing kit.
It is not a full frame camera but the viewfinder is really where its at. You can have an optical viewfinder like a Leica M but you can flip a switch and it immediately becomes a digital viewfinder. This is the closest thing to the Leica M experience you can get short of breaking the bank.
So should you buy a Leica? It all depends on your budget. If you can swing it then by all means the M or the Q2. Even cheaper is one of Leica’s best offerings in terms of price and features, the Leica CL that comes with a 28mm lens packed in. Lastly there are always alternatives. Happy shooting.