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Old 16/02/12, 15:09   #1 (permalink)
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Default Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

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(Please note that this is not intended to be a provocative or flaming thread, nor a critique or discussion of other cameras, I’m just curious).


The answer for R lens owners is, of course, simply that since the demise of the R8/R9+DMR Leica no longer make a digital R body, so they have no choice if they want or need a new camera.

But what of M lens users? If you are one of the many that use such a set-up why do you (that’s you, no one else) do so? Is it because of the lack of a feature or features on digital M’s, do you prefer the ergonomics of your chosen body or perhaps you simply don’t like rangefinders. Or, deep down in the deepest, darkest recesses of your soul, is it really because you can’t/daren’t/won’t spend the sort of money that buying an M9 requires.

Whatever the reason, what is it?



Me?

Well, in the interests of full disclosure, I haven’t operated in that way and tend to the view that Leica lenses are best used on Leica bodies. So, putting my money where my mouth is, I’ve owned and used both M8 and M9 in the past - and if Leica eventually introduce a suitable CSC or M10 I’d probably buy one or the other in a heartbeat, funds permitting - but what about you?
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Old 16/02/12, 15:26   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

I do agree that Leica M lenses are best used on a M body. Some people however do want a backup, and can't afford or do not want to lug a second M body.

Those digital cameras that can accept M lenses (via adapters or 'natively') have 4/3 or APS-C size sensors, so there is a 'crop factor'. But a 35mm M lens on a compatible APS body can still function as a 'jury rig' to bring you into harbour, or prevent your voyage from becoming one big exercise in frustration. Also, a 90mm lens on an APS body will be the equivalent of a 135mm lens, and that may tempt some people.

And then there's the everlasting tinkering urge, of course.

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Old 16/02/12, 15:53   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

Did we not have this self-same thread the other day

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Old 16/02/12, 16:14   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

Apologies if we did but I didn't see it and a search didn't find it.

By the way Lars, your backup body reason is a good one.
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Last edited by stevelap; 16/02/12 at 16:17.
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Old 16/02/12, 16:54   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

No apology needed!

I've had a rummage.

Well, there's this one:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...es-take-m.html

...and more particularly this:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...camera-m9.html

The titles may be different, but I think it's all covering the same basic ground?

Ultimately, we all do it for different reasons. I am mostly a film M user but the GXR and M module is a great way to do some casual snapping with the quality of Leica and Zeiss glass. I use it with LTM, M and R lenses.

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Old 16/02/12, 17:00   #6 (permalink)
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Default AW: Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

I simply do not like the M8/9 ergonomics. The range finder is great, that's about it.
Whenever I see a used M9 at a reasonable price, I think about it. I could afford it if I wanted it, but spending just a bit less than €4k on a camera where I know that it's shortcomings drive me crazy seems wrong to me.

I do not care much about crop. A 25/2 would be nice, but I can live nicely with what I have, APS or not.
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Old 16/02/12, 20:06   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

Not everyone can afford an M9.
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Old 16/02/12, 21:50   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

True Steve, but M8s are becoming quite affordable and well below the M9 league. Also the crop factor is common to M8 and alternative APC compact system bodies. So far, I am more than happy with my M-bodies.
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Old 16/02/12, 22:28   #9 (permalink)
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Default AW: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

I do have a M9, still sometimes (though not too often) I use my Leica lenses on my Olympus Pen. It can do video, and its smaller sensor means I get a different angle of view.

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Old 16/02/12, 23:40   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

I happen to prefer 1:1 to 0.68x VFs, APS-C to APS-H, manual to motor cocking and analogue to digital controls so to me the R-D1 and R-D1s are unrivaled for B&W at least. I still favour my M8.2's IQ for color pics though.
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Old 17/02/12, 00:04   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

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Quote:
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M8s are becoming quite affordable and well below the M9 league.
A bit disingenuous. My used M8 cost a good deal more than any m4/3 or NEX body. I'm not complaining, but I can still remember the days when I couldn't afford a Leica but wanted very much to experience using a Leica lens.
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Old 17/02/12, 00:34   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

I have a M9 and a Ricoh GXR. I use the M9 for when I was the best image quality and the intended look of my M lenses. I use the GXR when I want a smaller camera, or don't want to take such an expensive camera with me. The GXR image quality is perfectly acceptable compared with current DSLR's, and the pixel level sharpness is super. Metering is also more DSLR-like, and I like the liveview and silent shutter options. In fact, the GXR's mechanical shutter is more quiet and discreet than the M9's.

When I shoot my M7, I prefer to use Leica lenses rather than Voigtlander or Zeiss. I feel like this gives me the complete 'Leica experience', from handling to output. A bit silly, but I feel like if I was shooting Zeiss or Voigtlander lenses I might as well be using my Ikon instead. The output isn't Leica, it's Zeiss or Voigtlander.
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Old 17/02/12, 02:39   #13 (permalink)
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Movie mode, more megapixels to get more out of my lenses for demanding landscape/product shots, exact framing and focus, low-light capability, far more FPS for action.
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Old 17/02/12, 03:21   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

Backup, movie mode, focus peaking on 90mm.
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Old 17/02/12, 10:38   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

On the other hand, I have a Fuji X100 which I use not only for a backup (not needed yet, knock on wood) but for informal use when a M9 seems like a bit of overkill. This does not take M lenses, but three out of four of my pictures are made with a 35mm lens, so the Fuji serves well. Image quality is not bad at all.

Now when I have finally dechiphered the cryptic interface ... The straightforward user interface is one of the great virtues of the M9.

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Old 17/02/12, 20:04   #16 (permalink)
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Skiing, paragliding, cycling and being in places where my M9 is a bit bulky, and a bit valuable (like taking video of my son kitesurfing, knee deep in seawater).
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Old 17/02/12, 20:06   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

How about being able to actually see through your Leica lenses; and focus while looking through the lens.
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Old 18/02/12, 13:21   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

Yes – and focusing through them. That's the problem.

Current EVFs simply are not good enough for eyeball focusing. Especially not with the lens stopped down. In the late 1950's designers came to grips with this and created the automatic aperture mechanism, where you set the desired aperture, but the lens stays open for focusing, until the shutter rolls when it stops down. With any non-native lens on a EVF camera body, you're back in the early 1950's. The finder is too dark and the d.o.f. too large for manual focusing, and even if Fuji manages to produce that sensor with a built-in phase detection function, such devices (like the split-image SLR screen) won't work for apertures smaller than c. 1:5.6 because they are really rangefinders, comparing the images from the left and the right edge of the lens, respectively. I think focus peaking will also have problems, not with dark finders, but with large d.o.f. Rough focus, yes. Precise focus, no.

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Old 18/02/12, 13:56   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lars_bergquist View Post
Yes – and focusing through them. That's the problem.

Current EVFs simply are not good enough for eyeball focusing. Especially not with the lens stopped down.
Actually, I'm here to tell you that they are, thanks to focus peaking.

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Old 18/02/12, 20:51   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: AW: Re: Leica lens on non Leica digital body - why?

+1!
I started with some leica glass temporarily on a m4/3, then finally got a M9, recently sold my M9 to replace it with a nex7 (and will add a ricoh + M module as soon as they have a built-in finder, or a leica evil if they make a good one).
The problems with the nex7 and wide lenses are not worse than the problems (colorshift) in the M9 with the same lenses!

With the M9 you never can frame exactly, so you loose some 10 or 20 % off the image anyway.
The lightmetering in the M9 is barely usable.
The color output is variable, from very nice to largely questionnable. Nice skintones and ugly reds, and rarely exact or realistic without cautionous PP.
Moiré can show up in landscapes (...!) if you process your raws with LR (which comes with your M9)
Dust is a problem, where my nex7 simply shakes it off.

The final picture quality can be marvelous, better than what i have seen in other 35 mm cameras, but rarely without lots of post processing and often you would need two shots to be sure to have the metering right.

With a Digilux 2 you miss the resolution, you miss the dynamic range (but you won't need as much , as it is very reliable in metering the light...)
The Digilux 2 nearly never misses a shot, and has marvelous colors not needing any post-processing.

I predict that eighter leica will show up with a nex7-look-alike camera with the Ricoh-M-module sensor (sony), or otherwise they will end making lenses only, and Ricoh will make the best bodies in future...

So i understand the ones that use Leica glass on non-leica cameras.

What i do not understand, is those who buy a M9 and put a non-leica lens on it...
worst of both worlds....

Even the swiss leica dealer who sold me the nex7, asked me: "you sold the M9, but you kept the glass i hope? You made the right decision"...






Quote:
Originally Posted by kanzlr View Post
I simply do not like the M8/9 ergonomics. The range finder is great, that's about it.
Whenever I see a used M9 at a reasonable price, I think about it. I could afford it if I wanted it, but spending just a bit less than €4k on a camera where I know that it's shortcomings drive me crazy seems wrong to me.

I do not care much about crop. A 25/2 would be nice, but I can live nicely with what I have, APS or not.
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