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BLeventhal

Struggling with M8 decision

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The DMR was a different situation, though, surely.

 

Only around 5,000 were ever made (number uncertain) and this was the only solution for the thousands of R users who wanted to go digital (without the inconvenience of stopping down). No more will be made and no other solution acceptable to the vast majority of R users is likely to be forthcoming. In a restricted market, with no future product, prices are bound to go up.

 

With regards to the digital Ms, new ones are being sold every day, to add to the 10s of thousands already sold. This means that if you don't buy an old M8 today, another one will be along tomorrow. That is not the case for the DMR.

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... there is apparently no foolproof way to determine actual number of actuations (or is there?)

 

Yes there is.

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all sensors have a specific lifespan.

Where did you read that?

Quote from LL: (Jesper is the VP of Phase One)

 

I asked Jesper if to his knowledge there was such a thing as a sensor chip deteriorating over time. His answer was an unequivocal no. No amount of exposure to light has any effect on a sensor. Apparently there are Phase One backs currently being used in aerial mapping that have seen well in excess of one million exposures, and which show no sign of sensor wear or deterioration.

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The DMR was a different situation, though, surely.

 

Only around 5,000 were ever made (number uncertain) and this was the only solution for the thousands of R users who wanted to go digital (without the inconvenience of stopping down). No more will be made and no other solution acceptable to the vast majority of R users is likely to be forthcoming. In a restricted market, with no future product, prices are bound to go up.

 

With regards to the digital Ms, new ones are being sold every day, to add to the 10s of thousands already sold. This means that if you don't buy an old M8 today, another one will be along tomorrow. That is not the case for the DMR.

 

perhaps, but Leica M8 owners seem to be a happy bunch. There is a constant but slow stream onto the market as folk upgrade to the M9

I haven't seen any good examples at red dot, caplan, r j lewis, stephens photo or aperture stay more then a few weeks.

 

Leica is also a platform for Leica lenses. For example, why are Nikon FE2/FM2 2x the cost of Canon A1 ? purely because Canon depreciated the FD mount. The FE, for example, can stil be used for mount the latest Nikon lenses.

 

I agree with you the price will come down, but also taking into account inflation I maintain that people who buy the M8 today and sell in a couple of years, given that they treate the camera well, will see minimal depreciation.

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I've been watching M8 prices closely for the past couple of months and prices have seemed to increase a few hundred $$$.

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I agree , they have increased a bit , every time I got close to having enough, they'd pop up another 100!!

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.....

Here's the question... How does the M8 do as a landscape camera? I realize that it is a 1.3crop body and that I would need to seek a 21mm summicron or voightlander wide optic if I want to go wide. Is this obsession/desire completely impractical given my photographic genre... I will never be a street photographer... I like long & lonely walks in the woods, grasslands, and deserts! I travel to inhospitable locations... African safaris, rainforests, & deserts.

HELP

Thanks and regards, bruce

Bruce, a 21mm Elmarit gives an equivalent 28mm on the M8 which is normally as wide as many landscapers need. That is a super lens; no need to go for the faster Summilux for landscape work.

 

On buying secondhand, choose as young an M8 as you can find. Find out about any servicing history of a target specimen. Sensible checking of normal operation should be reassuring, particularly if the dealer will allow you to use your own memory card for testing. Check the LCD monitor for so-called coffee ring effect. (Mine when back to Solms for replacement. It does not affect recorded images but can be distracting.)

 

A dealer should give you some warranty period to allow proper 'in-use' testing.

 

The M8 is a very durable high-performance camera, eclipsed only by the M9 (Much more expensive). Good luck with your decision.

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I think we may have missed a couple of points re: M8 or 9 choice - firstly, there seems to be a category of used M8 that is an extremely attractive option, those purchased by people "who just had to have a Leica" and maybe had a little more money than they really needed - of course their cameras were hardly ever used for anything more taxing than jewellry.

 

And.. if we mainly post our pictures on line rather than print big the need for FF M9 could be seriously questioned, possibly the only other reason to choose 9 over 8 is the crop factor and its effect at the wide angle end of things - too much is made of the M8's weird habits, and there is no doubting that there are a few, but when it comes to an image making bargain there's hardly a better one out there.

 

When people mention alternatives, X1, Fuji X100, micro 4/3, Nex etc the Ricoh GXR seems to get left off the list, it takes stunning pictures and is about to get an M mount option!

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Bleventhal, I just read your quandary and I must say I understand the situation you were in. I myself am presently a Canon shooter and have been for many years. Currently I shoot with a 7D and a 1DS2 along with assorted primes and zooms, some L glass some not.

 

Anyway, I was surfing Craigslist photo section and stumbled across a Leica M8 with box and accessories for $2200...in like new condition. I must say I have been intrigued with Leica gear for years so I thought, 'what if I sell my 1Ds2 and give this Leica thing a shot'. Well I decided to bite the bullet and buy the camera, I'm in the process of listing my 1DS2 on Craigslist to offset the cost.

 

My primary reason for doing this is I want the Leica to substitute for my 1DS2 for landscapes. Canon has such a poor lens collection for landscapes (17mmTSE aside). With this Leica I have access to both the wonderful (and cheaper Zeiss) lenses, plus the astropherically expensive Leica ones. For now I'm just buying a Zeiss 25mm 2.8 ZM, and then will debate on wther to buy the Zeiss 50mm 1.5 ZM, or the Leica 50 Summicron. Anyways, I'm interested to see how the camera will work for landscapes, and specifically if there is any way I will be able to use it for night photography which I do a lot of (check out my site: Zenfolio | Clint Dunn Photography).

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Clint,

 

One thing to consider for night shots is to avoid the use of uv/ir filters.

 

Unless you really need them, the reflections of concentrated light sources may be an annoying side effect which can seriously ruin images... (I was looking at your gallery and imagined all the street lighting as a potential candidate for reflections which you may not like)

 

It is better to go without uv/ir for outdoor night shots unless there is a lot of tungsten halogen lighting and people / vegetation involved. All the discharge and fluorescent light sources are just fine.

So to conclude, in my experience, for night time shots the use of uv/ir is not so recommended...

Kind regards,

Giulio

 

 

PS and BTW very nice galleries!

 

 

Zenfolio | Clint Dunn Photography[/url]).
Edited by geotrupede
as usual

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Bleventhal, Anyway, I was surfing Craigslist photo section and stumbled across a Leica M8 with box and accessories for $2200...........For now I'm just buying a Zeiss 25mm 2.8 ZM, and then will debate on wether to buy the Zeiss 50mm 1.5 ZM, or the Leica 50 Summicron.

 

BTW clive your picture is great ....

 

When I was first looking at used M8s at dealers I had good advice from one dealer. Basically if you buy a Leica camera you have to get at least one Leica lens, perhaps your first, perhaps not.

He said that some voigtlanders and zeiss are quite good, but Leica lenses are something else and its the only way I would be able to see what the camera is capable of.

 

Anyway I bought two Leica lenses. Now I must admit I don't have any non-Leica to compare them to (although I am seriously thinking about the voigtlander 75mm f1.8), but the 3D, contrast, detail and clarity of the pictures is something quite special. And this is from a Canon 5Dii shooter with L primes.

 

 

Whitecross street shopping by harold.whatever, on Flickr

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I think we may have missed a couple of points re: M8 or 9 choice - firstly, there seems to be a category of used M8 that is an extremely attractive option, those purchased by people "who just had to have a Leica" and maybe had a little more money than they really needed - of course their cameras were hardly ever used for anything more taxing than jewellry.

 

And.. if we mainly post our pictures on line rather than print big the need for FF M9 could be seriously questioned, possibly the only other reason to choose 9 over 8 is the crop factor and its effect at the wide angle end of things - too much is made of the M8's weird habits, and there is no doubting that there are a few, but when it comes to an image making bargain there's hardly a better one out there.

 

When people mention alternatives, X1, Fuji X100, micro 4/3, Nex etc the Ricoh GXR seems to get left off the list, it takes stunning pictures and is about to get an M mount option!

 

First... Clint, your work is both striking and imaginative. I particularly enjoyed the images from the northwest coast (Olympic Peninsula...). This is the type of imagery that I would be pursuing with a future Leica system.

 

I have not taken the decision to move towards or away from Leica lightly. I am attracted to both the portability and quality of the system. However, I am very hard on my gear (shoot during my winters in MN), and travel quite a bit. I am sure that either the M8 or M9 could handle the challenge, but am not sure that the M8 should be a camera to replaced my 5DII. I recently replaced my 1DmkII w/ a 7D and added a 15mm fish to my bag... had I known that there were any used Leicas in town, I'd be shooting with that today... unfortunately, I made my purchase too soon and registered the gear... as a result, I've spent the equivalent of the M8... it is for this reason that I thought I'd leverage the value of my 5DII towards the M8...

 

While this may seem like a no-brainer to a die-hard Leica shooter, it is a tough decision for someone whose photographic passions focus on the natural world. The demands of nature photography are unique, and both reliability and system diversity matters. I'd like to say that I've walked away from the M8's in town, but I have been back to visit them again... Colonel's comments inspired a return trip.

 

I currently have a body on hold... while I ponder my options.

regards,

bruce

Edited by BLeventhal

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Thanks Colonel - I should have mentioned the pic was taken at f8, my lens choice could be seen as a bit strange but these lengths suit what I do, Elmarit 90, Summicron 50, and Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.2, the cron v4 Canadian made is by far the best, magic 3D etc - 90 Ok same kind of attributes but not as pronounced - I'd call it quite a sedate, well mannered lens - the Nokton comes in very handy for anything needing a bit of speed and a gives quite a different look, its got a wild character wide open but calms down as you stop it back.

 

When I was doing my research for lenses I found that I wasn't really comparing Zeiss v Voigtlander v Leica but the very different looks each lens has, there are plenty of examples on this site, Flickr, Huff, Reid and Overgaarde etc for anyone to get an idea if they like the look of a particular lens. I consider all my lenses as modestly priced.

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I absolutely love my M8, but must admit that I am a little disappointed that I cannot take it out in inclement weather. I live in British Columbia, on the pacific coast. We get a lot of rain here, and I don't dare take my M8 on any outings where it is likely to get wet. I bought my son a used Olympus e3 for Christmas, and must say that that camera is built like a brick, and it is very well weather sealed. I am thinking of picking another one up for me, as an alternative to my M8 when I decide to head out into the elements. Oh, another thing...my M8 has literally frozen up on me in the cold and stops working when it is outside in sub-zero temperatures for more than a half hour. This same problem did not happen with my son's Olympus e3.

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I absolutely love my M8, but must admit that I am a little disappointed that I cannot take it out in inclement weather. I live in British Columbia, on the pacific coast. We get a lot of rain here, and I don't dare take my M8 on any outings where it is likely to get wet. I bought my son a used Olympus e3 for Christmas, and must say that that camera is built like a brick, and it is very well weather sealed. I am thinking of picking another one up for me, as an alternative to my M8 when I decide to head out into the elements. Oh, another thing...my M8 has literally frozen up on me in the cold and stops working when it is outside in sub-zero temperatures for more than a half hour. This same problem did not happen with my son's Olympus e3.

 

Thanks for this information...

I hate to say it, but I'm still on the fence. I live in MN... we don't get the rain you do, but we get the cold from Central Canada. I am a nature shooter and, while I whine about the cold, I do a lot of cold weather photography. I'm still considering the purchase of an M8, but I will also keep my 7D or 5DII for my wildlife/inclement weather photography.

 

regards,

bruce

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Just to add to this interesting thread...I don't shoot landscapes (much) at present, but having gone from Canons (Rebels, then 5d1, then 1D3, and finally 5d2, with a range of lenses from macro to 200) to the M8 with a single 50mm lens, I consider it very unlikely that I will go back. It was almost like when I switched from Windows to Mac and realised that for me at least, the difference was so obvious that there was no going back to Windows. If I do get another DSLR it will be as a backup.

 

I was actually quite cynical about the whole Leica "legend", but once I shot a few pictures with the M8, it was (as the saying goes) all over bar the shouting.

 

As far as I'm concerned the M8, when you get it right, has something that the Japanese DSLRs, as good as they are, just can't produce. My only photographic goal now is an M9 (and I'm not in a rush to get that, but I'd certainly like to play around with one).

 

I'd suggest that the OP at least give the M8 a go and if it doesn't suit his style, sell it and stay with what works for him.

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I have some further information, I had never seen r held a leica M until wednesday when mine arrived in the mail , of course the lens didnt show up until friday afternoon, but the camera just feels right , its hard to describe, but everything seems to gel when you pick it up and start using it.

 

I was using manual lenses already on my KX and rebel xt , but focusing and using the m8 is different , but in a cool way . Im at the beginning of another road of learning, but it looks to be a nice road to start a journey on.

 

 

No regrets whatsoever

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I absolutely love my M8, but must admit that I am a little disappointed that I cannot take it out in inclement weather. I live in British Columbia, on the pacific coast. We get a lot of rain here, and I don't dare take my M8 on any outings where it is likely to get wet. I bought my son a used Olympus e3 for Christmas, and must say that that camera is built like a brick, and it is very well weather sealed. I am thinking of picking another one up for me, as an alternative to my M8 when I decide to head out into the elements. Oh, another thing...my M8 has literally frozen up on me in the cold and stops working when it is outside in sub-zero temperatures for more than a half hour. This same problem did not happen with my son's Olympus e3.
FWIW the M8 does just fine in rain, snow etc. so long as you avoid getting it soaked (OK, Tina Manley managed to dunk hers in a river and it kept working, but I wouldn't try that yourself).

I have used mine in Wales (where rain can even come from below, as I found out), Cornwall (same sort of challenge at St. Michaels Mount) and in Finland @ -20°C. It can take a beating although the Finland environment did cause it to stop working briefly (probably condensation, temperature shock etc.) . The M8 is a tough cookie.

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