After have tried b&w film photography, I just can't go back to shooting digital b&w. The organic look that it gives is something I found that I just could not replicate, using a digital camera. I started my 35mm film journey with the Leica M3. Mostly for the 0.95 vf, that I thought would be great to use with my Summicron 50mm f2. And it was great. A little hard sometimes seeing the entire frame using my glasses, but otherwise a really nice shooting experience. I also loved using a rangefinder for focusing. I was surprised to get more keepers than using a slr.
I have a weak spot for black Leicas but a black M3 is just out of my budget (also a black M2). I also figured that I could benefit from using another magnification. So I started looking at the M-A. Stopped when I couldn't find any used ones out there. It's just too new (and probably too good) to be found on Ebay etc.
The M6 has always seemed like a great camera and after just getting the Leica M (240), I wanted an film Leica with dials that operates more or less in the same way. The M6 TTL does that and I missed a couple of nice deals on those. But after some intensive research online (because you really can't rent cameras in Gothenburg, as in for example the US) I started reading up on the Leica M7. It has aperture priority, something I wasn't looking for in a film Leica M. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that I wanted both the internal meter and the aperture priority. I know myself and sometimes I need to nail the shot (of my kids) or sometimes I'm just lazy, not having my Sekonic light meter with me. And guess what! It works even in manual ;) I could just shoot it manually when I feel like it.
Leicas in Sweden are actually cheaper than in other countries that I have looked (online). So when an great offer came by for this beautiful M7 I just decided that I was done looking. Time to start shooting :) I'm totally fine about batteries etc. They are supposed to last 70 rolls so, no biggie. The Leica M7 can be used without batteries at 1/60th & 1/125th so I'm fine with that. That for me is indoors and in the shade.
The red Leica logo was exchanged to a black logo and I love that. I will use the M7 only with Tri-X and my silver Summicron 50mm f2. A combination that gives me good conditions to achieve the look I want. A look that I've found after reading my dear film friend Johnny Patience's thoughts on how to meter for 35mm b&w film. And also by taking up on his advise to overexpose and overdevelop the film when scanning negatives at the lab. More on this in another post.
If you haven't visited his website, do so now. Such an inspiration and sharing of wisdom seldom seen before. I also got the knowledge to get my color film looking the way I want here to. And I'm forever grateful! :)