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ken_tanaka

A Poor Record for the M8 in the Antarctic

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Well, it doesn't look like the M8 should be your main choice for an expedition camera. Michael Reichmann recently returned from his 2007 excursion to penguin country and reports that of four M8 cameras on the trip (one his) three had problems, two of which were terminal.

 

Having just experienced my first problem (unable to power-up) this strikes a bit of a chord with me.

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It sounds like it was a poor record for most manufacturers' cameras. As weather-sealed IDSmkII's seemed to go down as M8s and those are supposed to be the toughest dSLRs on the market.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Looks like canon took a hit too

 

Three Canon 5D's died that day, with one subsequent recovery. Two Rebel XTi's lost their rear LCD's, though otherwise continued to work (which is a real hassle, because though one can keep shooting, there's no way to change any settings, or at least to know what the changes are)

 

Not a fun trip for Leica and Canon

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It sounds like it was a poor record for most manufacturers' cameras. As weather-sealed IDSmkII's seemed to go down as M8s and those are supposed to be the toughest dSLRs on the market.

 

Yes, and I was amazed the Canon’s failed. My 1Ds2 and 1D2 are regularly immersed, and I have never had a lens or camera failure - I even left a 135 f2.0 out all night in a monsoon, and it still worked like a champ.

 

 

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I have come to think of them in almost the same way I did my Nikonos - in fact, other than not using then scuba diving, I use them in situations that in the past had me reaching for the underwater Nikon.

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I shoot my Canon 1ds mark 2 in some very cold temperatures. It has never failed or even glitches. Anyway considering many Leica M8's die in just everyday use, it is no surprise that they would not work under those extreme conditions.

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Well, it doesn't look like the M8 should be your main choice for an expedition camera. Michael Reichmann recently returned from his 2007 excursion to penguin country and reports that of four M8 cameras on the trip (one his) three had problems, two of which were terminal.

 

Having just experienced my first problem (unable to power-up) this strikes a bit of a chord with me.

 

Sigh... If I were going to the Arctic (n or s) I'd AT LEAST take two film cameras as backup.

 

They were shooting in the rain, they were shooting in the cold. The design of the current cameras makes it pretty much essential that you back things up to laptops, which is something else to worry about.

 

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/endurance/

 

Frank Hurley made do without batteries, without even a ship, with little food (etc). If he had had digital cameras he wouldn't have had any of his systems last for a week. Sometimes, digital is STUPID.

 

This Luminous Landscape expedition wasn't photography, it was mass production. I'm sorry they managed to bring back anything.

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Any computerized device is more likely to fail under polar conditions than a mechanical device. That said, the cameras that failed in his report did not fail due to the weather conditions but rather because of quality control problems that would have manifested themselves anywhere. The camera that actually made it to the antarctica worked as well as any of the other cameras on the trip. "The fourth M8 user had no problems with their camera even though it was used extensively under all sorts of conditions."

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Lol,

 

Some of the Leica's did not even make it out of the airport. Talk about extreme conditions. Well so much for it being a pro camera. I actually feel sorry the poor chaps who relied on that M8, and could no even get it to work beyond Buenos Aries.

 

Regards

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Hmmm ... I was about to take mine to Alaska ... may be I should bring 4 M8's ...

I shot in the fog and nothing was wrong but I have not used it in extremely cold weather .... yet.

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Hey some cameras fail right out of the box. Just getting them to Buenos Aires means nothing at all.

 

The fact that one kept working through the rain, the rain and the cold, is pretty darned impressive, given that half the 1ds2 / 1d2s failed.

 

The happiest folks there should be the D200 users, no?

 

BTW--I wonder what the heck happened to the two 70-200 IS Ls that failed? How does a lens fail in those conditions? Stop working manually? Pretty intriguing; I wanted to know more!

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I don't think the airport would classify as extreme cold weather.

 

I would imagine that the 70-200 AF mechanism froze.

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I don't think the airport would classify as extreme cold weather.

 

So your point would be? So one failed in the airport? So? Cameras fail everywhere. One didn't fail even in the rain and cold...

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Good point,

 

The one that failed at the airport might have been just out of the box. I know that many of you have had no problems at all. But the thought of that kinda of failure does scare me. I have come to possibly forgive the IR disaster with the filters, only to now worry about the failure rate. It looks like I will never be able to buy the M8.

 

Regards

Steve

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Well, it doesn't look like the M8 should be your main choice for an expedition camera.

Ken--

Just to point up what others have already implied: I think it's too early to draw that conclusion.

 

Reichman had a problem with the WATE and filter adapter. That's a lens problem, not an M8 problem.

 

The M8s that had problems both showed the same electrical symptoms others have spoken of here--one dead in the water, one with inconsistent batteries/charger. In other words, these seem to be the same problems repeatedly mentioned on this forum, and unrelated to the Antarctic conditions.

 

And according to Reichmann, "The fourth M8 user had no problems with their camera even though it was used extensively under all sorts of conditions."

 

At the moment the camera is still in its teething stages as we know, but none of these cameras went down due the specific conditions of the expedition.

 

--HC

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Hey some cameras fail right out of the box. Just getting them to Buenos Aires means nothing at all.

 

Many years ago when I worked in photo retailing, 50 percent of the Canon AE1s we received were DOA and 50 percent of the live ones came back for repair within six months. Leica is going to need to work a lot harder to match that sort of stellar reliability.

 

Larry

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You know, I've read the account several times and I keep coming up with the same thing:

Michael Reichmann had a filter ring problem. One person had a DOA M8 at the airport. One person had an intermittent M8. So, out of the 4, 1 was completely dead, 1 limped along and 2 worked fine.

 

Maybe there's two versions of this article out there.

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You know, I've read the account several times and I keep coming up with the same thing:

Michael Reichmann had a filter ring problem. One person had a DOA M8 at the airport. One person had an intermittent M8. So, out of the 4, 1 was completely dead, 1 limped along and 2 worked fine.

 

 

That's the way I read it too .

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You know, I've read the account several times and I keep coming up with the same thing:

Michael Reichmann had a filter ring problem. One person had a DOA M8 at the airport. One person had an intermittent M8.

I agree. I think Reichmann is counting his lens problem as a camera problem. In other words, "I had an M8 and had this problem. Two people with M8's had electrical problems. And one person with an M8 didn't have any problems."

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