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Mark_L

M8 doubts

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For me the M8 is my camera for life!

 

I felt the same way, bought my M8 new last June from Harrison Cameras, Sheffield for the special price of £2,100 with two year warranty. Just sent it back to Solms this morning. The LCD screen would only display a blanket white image. Don't mean to be a bore but I never had to do anything with my M6 and M7.

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Are you saying the M8 framelines are inaccurate, or that the M8 rangefinder is inaccurate?

 

Not really so much as inaccurate but they are set for 0.7m on the M8 which is ok for near objects but you'll end up leaving in extra image at more typical longer focal points. You can get the frame lines upgraded for 2m if you prefer - for a price. When I had both M8 & M8.2 I found it worthwhile to upgrade the M8 to match the M8.2. they changed it all again with the M9

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Not really so much as inaccurate but they are set for 0.7m on the M8 which is ok for near objects but you'll end up leaving in extra image at more typical longer focal points. You can get the frame lines upgraded for 2m if you prefer - for a price. When I had both M8 & M8.2 I found it worthwhile to upgrade the M8 to match the M8.2. they changed it all again with the M9

 

Actually, I do most of my M shooting at cross-table distances, so the .7M works bettter for me.

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John, perhaps I'm being too forward, but I suggest you slow down before buying another lens. You'd be wise to get used to the M8"s crop factor & its high ISO performance first.

 

Your 50 (=67) will serve as a good portrait lens, though as folks said, it wasn't too good a choice for getting accustomed to the M8. What you've written suggests you aren't accounting very accurately for the crop factor. A 35 is often thought of as a 'normal' lens on an M8, though a poll on another website indicates that the larger percentage of users has gravitated to 28 (slightly over 35). If you have a special interest in making portraits across tables, 75 isn't a great choice – it's equivalent to 100mm & will have a constricted angle of view & quite shallow DOF at that distance (unless your table is floodlit or outdoors).

 

Since you began by asking for basic advice, I'd also suggest talking with another dealer. IMO you paid a lot for the M8. Also, a good dealer would have given fairly strong cautionary advice about starting off with a 50mm f2.5 lens on a camera body that has a 1.33 crop factor & doesn't do well at high ISOs. There's a reason why the Summarits aren't selling too well. Perhaps you got just what you wanted, but perhaps a salesperson put his hand in your pocket a little too deeply.

 

What some of us did with M8s was to buy the one focal length we were surest about, & then experiment with used or less expensive lenses while figuring out what works best for us. Unless money is no object, buying new Summarits won't be economical if/when you figure out that you want faster lenses.

 

Pointed advice, not from an 'expert' but from someone who made a couple of lens mistakes while getting used to the M8 (after being used to a full-frame 5D). Fortunately I made my mistakes with inexpensive CV lenses, or used Zeiss.

 

Anyhow, wordy Internet advice is easy to pass by!

 

Kirk

Edited by thompsonkirk

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'Scuse me, John. I meant Mark.

 

And I looked at that poll again & found that 35mm had come out ahead of 28 at the end of the race.

 

Clearly I'm not a reliable informant.

 

Kirk

Edited by thompsonkirk

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Hi Kirk,

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

I did indeed pay much for the M8, mainly because I've read about possible issues, 3 year warranty might be a good thing, although I hope never to have to use it.

 

I have never been used to digital full frame, so the 1.33 is actually better than the the 1.5 or 1.6 I once had. I understand what you're saying about the 35, which becomes 47 full frame equivalent. You don't recommend the 75 for portrait. What would you recommend then?

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Mark

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Some folks think 85mm is a good portrait lens, but M8 brackets this, with 50mm=67 & 75=100 equivalents. Your 50mm should work nicely for portraits at the distance you have in mind – unless you have an extra-long table served by a butler?

 

If 75mm is appealing, you can try out a Voigtlander for $400 or so before going up to Summarit, Summicron, or used Summilux for 4-8 times that. If nothing else, it will teach you whether the Summarit f2.5 aperture would suit you, rather than f2 'cron or f1.4 'lux. You can also decide whether or not the M8-9 75mm framelines, which are little angle-brackets, let you know to your satisfaction what's in the frame. The CV 75mm is a cheap experiment because you can recover a good part of its original cost. You might like a 1.35 or 1.4 magnifier for more accurate focusing.

 

Kirk

 

PS, perhaps nobody mentioned it above, but http://www.reidreviews.com is an indispensable guide to lens choices – well worth the modest subscription fee. He's backward re: not testing in color, which is one of the interesting differences among lenses; but in other respects his reviews are extremely helpful. Much better than my comments, for instance.

Edited by thompsonkirk

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Kirk, I second this - I loved the 50mm for quick grab portraits with shoulder to head at horizontal at distances of ~ 1m on the EPSON R-D1 (x1.54 crop) and even more so on the Leica M8.2 now.

 

Here are samples of the format, I like the most for portraits:

 

EPSON R-D1 | 50 Summilux ASPH @ f1.4

 

EPSON R-D1 | 50 Summilux ASPH @ f1.4

 

Leica M8.2 | 50 Noctilux f1 @ f1.4/f2

 

I like portraits, shot spontaneously during a discussion or a meeting, rather than stiff sittings with artificial lights. For such, I think, the horizontal format works good for my liking, as there still is a scene ongoing, albeit softened out in the background.

 

For this reason, the 50mm is quite my favorite focal length on the M8.2 - not only for portraits.

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the M8 is a great camera. the best i have ever had, hands down. it has completely sold me on the RF versus the SLR (as i'm a one camera guy). i'll use it until it stops--and then ponder another leica RF (e.g., an M9 after the M10 comes out).

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the M8 is a great camera. the best i have ever had, hands down. it has completely sold me on the RF versus the SLR (as i'm a one camera guy). i'll use it until it stops--and then ponder another leica RF (e.g., an M9 after the M10 comes out).

 

I feel very much the same, although, the camera that really sold me on the RF system has been the excellent (and still strong) EPSON R-D1.

It is strange, how awkward SLR cameras feel after using RF mainly.

A M8.2 is my daily companion - I use it for everything.

I am delighted also, how strong the camera is, dragging it with me since half a year on a daily basis on bike, car, foot, in bags, over shoulders, in hand, …

 

I have adjusted the RF once (vertical was off, when I bought it second hand and infinity + close focus didn't match my critical lenses).

It sticks since then - no readjustments needed (although, I still have the tools with me, when doing longer trips - a measurement, I am used to from the R-D1).

 

The M8.2 is a reliable and strong camera to me. Only doubt about it, I have (and am more cautious about it), is the use in rainy conditions, where I would employ my Nikons without a second thought.

 

This may well be just a prejudice - I didn't have the nerve, to test it yet, but took a film M instead in such conditions.

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