35mm Film Cameras – Not what you might think

Here are a couple of ebay listings for two usable 35mm cameras. Aside from the value to collectors, what is the photographic difference between this vintage Leica M3

and this vintage Nikon FM

The Nikon has a motor drive, a built in light meter, a faster top shutter speed, a faster f1.8 lens, allows you to view and focus through the lens, shoots faster, and is more reliable. The Leica costs $3000, while the Nikon is about $200.

Technically, because we are talking about shooting with film, which is the limiting factor in image quality, both of these cameras when used correctly, will yield the exact same negative. And because of that fact, they will yield the exact same print in the darkroom. [or off a scan if that is how you work]

So why buy the Leica? Purely for it’s collectable value. If you are into gear, and specifically into Leica, this is enough justification. If you are wanting to shoot film, the Nikon is a more reasonable investment. This is especially true in the days of the last swan song of analog photography..