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A Poor Record for the M8 in the Antarctic

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Guest stnami

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....the thread has disintergrated then it was floundering from the start. It was always going to end up with the other cameras do such and such, delecting problems leads to a non event. It all sounds like a lemming parade

 

 

run lemming run lemming run

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So, if a camera is "failing", it is likely "failing" under the same conditions that a lot of other similar things would fail under.

 

Like in my case, for example, going from the shelf where I set it down in working condition back into my hands, whereupon it ceased all functions.

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Like in my case, for example, going from the shelf where I set it down in working condition back into my hands, whereupon it ceased all functions.

 

Yes, that's nice. You can't condemn a whole group of whatsits based on YOUR experiences.

 

1) How long had you had it?

2) Do you have carpet or bare flooring?

3) What part of the country do you live in?

4) Is the shelf metal, wood or plastic?

5) Is the shelf in a basement or attic?

6) Do you have central air or heat?

7) Is there an air duct directly above or below the shelf?

8) Is there a (connected) motor or ham radio gear close by the shelf?

9) What had you done with the camera just before you put it up?

10) Had the camera been connected to another piece of electronics just before you put it up?

11) Do you have kids?

 

Do you see the kinds of variables now that one has to ask to determine what might have happened to the electronic whatsit?

 

Without knowing what/where/when, we have no idea if you or the environment (you actually being part of the environment) affected the camera, or if it just died because of a cold solder joint.

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Wonderful stroy and everybody jumps right onto it...

I was just wondering myself why nobody has tried the Phase1 back in the rain or some other stupidity like under water and see how soon it will fail. Taking a brand new camera to a big trip as your only camera is not very smart. Trying to kill your camera in the rain is not smart either. Drawing conclusions from one article is also not very smart. Good so many cameras failed, the economy is booming again.

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So let me understand...

 

Considering almost all but Leica photographers seem to have backup bodies:

 

Out of about 80 Canon cameras, 6 Eos-1DsII an 3 Eos-5D died (3 and 1 with subsequent recovery), hence 5 cameras actually died.

 

Out of about 4 Leica M8's, one died and one worked intermittently.

 

Out of about 10 Nikon cameras, mostly D200, none failed.

 

Statistically it doesn't mean much...

If you apply Canon failure ratio (6%) to Nikon's number of bodies, you'd get about half camera, hence zero failure.

Or, in other words, if Nikon had 9,9% failure ratio it could have come to the same zero failure...

 

BUT if you don't consider the backup bodies (because they didn't see much use apart from those few whose primary camera died) and you count also the hassle of letting the camera dry for a day (weather sealed ?!), Nikon clearly is the king of the "Antartica enduro".

 

We can infer all we want but can't conclude anything. We have no way of knowing if all the cameras were exposed to the same conditions for the same amount of time. Were they all new cameras at the start of the trip? Had some been exposed to harsh treatment previously? Who determined which were broken and which were not?

 

And in the case of the Leicas and Nikons, there aren't that many samples. You could even say, "When Leica M8s were subjected to wet and cold conditons that they weren't built to withstand, 2 of three continued functioning none the less."

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Anyway this guy was the most unlucky...

 

One person was shooting film, with a Mamiya 7 II, but since his luggage was lost on the way to Argentina he only had 3 rolls of film for the entire trip.

 

Could you image to have only 30 frames at disposal for 20 days overthere ?!?

 

If his film was in his luggage, it may have been ruined by the high powered xrays that are used for checked baggage. I used to shoot a lot of bulky medium format film (+Polaroid packs) and hated to travel for jobs because I'd have to bring all that film and the cameras on board with me.

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Look, it's a standard situation, for sports photographers: Land somewhere, take a cable car up to a mountain resort, go to press center, make pictures, get drunk in bar, make more pictures, etc. Many cameras are now used this way, and usually they don't die.

 

And in the Orient, the big problem is that you go from humid 35 C to dry25 C aircon all the time. The electronics takes it, in spite of the fact that there must be rivers of condensation inside the equipment.

 

Edmund

 

Keeping water OUT of a camera isn't the same as keeping water already in the camera from leaving the vapor state and becoming a liquid and or a solid.

Actually, in this kind of a situation, NOT having weather seals might be a better deal because water in liquid form might have a better chance of getting out of the body before it builds up, runs over and shorts something out.

 

 

Dana Curtis Kincaid

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On trips my M8 will be backed up by an M7 and a pile of tri-x. I'd do that even if nobody had ever reported an M8 failure. It sounds like those LL guys carry a lot of gear, and had M8's as "extras". I doubt they spent too much time messing with them, they just used something else---nobody should need to know the battery run-down recovery ritual anyway (hopefully it's no longer needed with the new firmware).

 

Brent's two bad cameras is really bad luck, and I certainly hope the failures had nothing to do with his shelves or flooring. I didn't get the impression that Brent was slamming all M8's. I expect the third time's the charm for him.

 

Although statistically meaningless, the LL article describes real M8 experiences, and it is those experiences that are going to determine Leica's future. My M8 experience has been outstanding so far, and I hope next similar trip all the M8s work perfectly (and that even more Canons fail

).

 

Until later,

 

Clyde Rogers

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Yes, that's nice. You can't condemn a whole group of whatsits based on YOUR experiences.

 

1) How long had you had it?

2) Do you have carpet or bare flooring?

3) What part of the country do you live in?

4) Is the shelf metal, wood or plastic?

5) Is the shelf in a basement or attic?

6) Do you have central air or heat?

7) Is there an air duct directly above or below the shelf?

8) Is there a (connected) motor or ham radio gear close by the shelf?

9) What had you done with the camera just before you put it up?

10) Had the camera been connected to another piece of electronics just before you put it up?

11) Do you have kids?

 

Do you see the kinds of variables now that one has to ask to determine what might have happened to the electronic whatsit?

 

Without knowing what/where/when, we have no idea if you or the environment (you actually being part of the environment) affected the camera, or if it just died because of a cold solder joint.

 

Just one question: How did you, in anything I wrote, infer that I had condemned the whole class of cameras based on my experience? I neither said that nor implied it. Talk about words dropping to the floor without being filtered by the brain...

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....the thread has disintergrated then it was floundering from the start. It was always going to end up with the other cameras do such and such, delecting problems leads to a non event. It all sounds like a lemming parade

 

 

run lemming run lemming run

 

 

I actually understood one of your posts!

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Ok, having actually been there, and being the owner of the 'narcoleptic' M8 described in Michael's article, I would add the following observations:

 

1. The M8 was a silly camera to take on this trip, and I readily acknowledged that before taking it. Ever try to focus a rangefinder on ice from a moving Zodiac?

I took it because I love the camera, and couldn't bear leaving my new toy at home, and it took up so little space.

 

2. Everyone had back-ups, so no one ended up without a camera. The only total failure was the film camera, since the film got lost. My poor shipmate who suffered this catastrophe had a 1DsII as a backup, and was able to carry on shooting with it.

 

3. The total failure rate was lower than calculated by some, since everyone had at least two cameras.

 

4. As I mentioned in a post of LL, most of the cameras that went down did so after being used in very, very hostile conditions. Having experienced those conditions, I think the failure rate was at or below the level I would have expected. The canon lenses faired particularly well, considering what they endured. Several got bounced around the steel deck of the ship when dropped, and none of those failed!

 

5. No one took their M8s or P40s out in the rain.

 

6. My M8 took some lovely shots, notwithstanding its broader unsuitability to the tasks at hand. I will post a piece on its performance with some pictures when I get around to it.

 

7. The electrical problem really undermined my confidence in the M8. I had taken it over the 1dsII on a couple of occasions, just because of the weight factor, but after it failed a couple of times I used it less. I do expect more from Leica.

 

8. Given the quality of the files the camera produced, I continue to be excited about it as a photographic tool.

 

9. The filter on the WATE was not "frozen", as someone idiotically suggested. It was summer in Antarctica...it's kind of like a whole other hemisphere, eh?

 

10. When I win the lottery, I will drop a $400,000 to charter an ice-class expedition vessel with an experienced crew to personally ferry me and a few select friends around the most inhospitable wilderness on earth. Until then, a trip like this is the only game in town. Yes, a lot of people got identical shots. But a lot of us also got unique shots, even when shooting shoulder-to-shoulder. If the presence of one's fellow man is such an intense turn-off that it would ruin the experience for you, I would recommend against going on any workshop or ship-based expedition of any sort. If, on the other hand, the presence of other creative people stimulates your own creativity, it's actually a very productive and pleasant way to work.

 

- N.

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It's a type of dog, apparently.

 

Its called "Riesenschnauzer" or very widely translated

into a "giant moustache" - but I guess the english

word for this dog race is "Schnauzer".

 

hope this helps :-)

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Hello Nick,

Thanks for your take on the event.

I, for one, am curious to know if the new firmware update has any effect on your strange battery behavior?

 

Thanks again,

 

Robbe Gibson

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Nick--

Thanks for your post. It answers many questions.

 

The trip sounds marvellous. That panoramic penguin picture http://homepage.mac.com/sjphotog/gold-harbor_Panorama1.html at Steven Johnson's site says a lot about the local inhabitants and their guests. I'm glad to know that one of 'us' was on the trek!

 

Where did the idea of a "frozen" hood come from? Unfortunately, from a misreading of Michael Reichmann's own common and non-technical usage of the term: "My only real problem was that the 67mm filter holder on the new 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar jammed on, freezing the aperture ring."

 

Just curious--what camera did you take alongside the M8?

 

--HC

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Ok, having actually been there, and being the owner of the 'narcoleptic' M8 described in Michael's article, I would add the following observations:

 

....

 

- N.

 

Nick,

 

Thanks for bringing some sanity and credibility to this 'discussion'.

 

I'm relieved to hear that the solo film shooter didn't have a wasted journey although I have to wonder how they managed to lose their film with their luggage unless it was perhaps in a lost piece of hand luggage. (Surely NOT checked luggage

)

 

I don't think that taking the M8 along was ill advised - you just can't expect it to be as versatile as a DSLR under the type of circumstances you described - that's not a criticism of the camera but a reflection of reality and why there are SLR's and rangefinders! Btw: focussing an M8 in a Zodiac? No, no, no - zone focussing and point & shoot! :-)

 

I'm sure we're all eager to see what you did shoot down there.

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Ok, having actually been there, and being the owner of the 'narcoleptic' M8 described in Michael's article, I would add the following observations:

 

1. The M8 was a silly camera to take on this trip, and I readily acknowledged that before taking it. Ever try to focus a rangefinder on ice from a moving Zodiac?

I took it because I love the camera, and couldn't bear leaving my new toy at home, and it took up so little space.

 

2. Everyone had back-ups, so no one ended up without a camera. The only total failure was the film camera, since the film got lost. My poor shipmate who suffered this catastrophe had a 1DsII as a backup, and was able to carry on shooting with it.

 

3. The total failure rate was lower than calculated by some, since everyone had at least two cameras.

 

4. As I mentioned in a post of LL, most of the cameras that went down did so after being used in very, very hostile conditions. Having experienced those conditions, I think the failure rate was at or below the level I would have expected. The canon lenses faired particularly well, considering what they endured. Several got bounced around the steel deck of the ship when dropped, and none of those failed!

 

5. No one took their M8s or P40s out in the rain.

 

6. My M8 took some lovely shots, notwithstanding its broader unsuitability to the tasks at hand. I will post a piece on its performance with some pictures when I get around to it.

 

7. The electrical problem really undermined my confidence in the M8. I had taken it over the 1dsII on a couple of occasions, just because of the weight factor, but after it failed a couple of times I used it less. I do expect more from Leica.

 

8. Given the quality of the files the camera produced, I continue to be excited about it as a photographic tool.

 

9. The filter on the WATE was not "frozen", as someone idiotically suggested. It was summer in Antarctica...it's kind of like a whole other hemisphere, eh?

 

10. When I win the lottery, I will drop a $400,000 to charter an ice-class expedition vessel with an experienced crew to personally ferry me and a few select friends around the most inhospitable wilderness on earth. Until then, a trip like this is the only game in town. Yes, a lot of people got identical shots. But a lot of us also got unique shots, even when shooting shoulder-to-shoulder. If the presence of one's fellow man is such an intense turn-off that it would ruin the experience for you, I would recommend against going on any workshop or ship-based expedition of any sort. If, on the other hand, the presence of other creative people stimulates your own creativity, it's actually a very productive and pleasant way to work.

 

- N.

 

I would be interested to get to know a little bit more about the extreme climate conditions you experienced there and which may have caused the camera failures.

All the people that read the Antartica article presume that the cameras died because of extremely low temperatures.

Now I read hat it rained.

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The only thing everyone should get out of this is always take a backup no matter what the camera. One has no idea what might happen. I learned my lesson on a trip (by myself) to the farthest northen point of Vietnam a few years ago. I had my Mamiya 6, three lenses, and a lot of 120/220 film. As we (I had hired a driver and guide) neared the north past Ha Giang where very few people venture my driver stopped to fix a wheel problem. I noticed people walking past us towrd a vilage down the road so I set off on my own telling them to catch up later. Fortunate for me it was the weekly market day at the village a nd was a riot of colorful dress by the various ethinic minorities. Happily shooting away, the winder on my Mamiya started to disinegrate (wouldn't cock the shutter). I sat under a tree, swearing and sweating, whilst twenty bemused locals watched the foreigner "lose it."

 

And no backup. I always bring a backup. But not this time for some reason. And that's a known problem with the 6 (alas but not by me at that time). And with only 120 along you're doubley screwed (one can at least purchase a 35 p&s almost anywhere). We ended up backtracking to Hanoi, I found a less than ideal replacment with an autofocus Fuji 645 (only 120 camera in Hanoi I could find but I knew I could sell it back in the states) and my trip was officially a bummer.

 

My question is what was the film shooter doing with film in his checked luggage? Good thing it was lost because he would have had an even worse time back home in the lobby of his lab after seeing that film. A case of more $ than sense...?

 

As much gear as these people were packing one would expect at least a Rollei tlr or similar in the bunch. Honestly a bit sad imho. If I were to pay that much $ for a trip I'd prefer to shoot film. And leave the laptop behind......but that's just me.

 

I'll be getting an M8 soon (next week?) and will certainly run it through it's paces before using it prof. on a job or trip. M8 and M7 (and/or Mamiya 7/6 or Rollei tlr) will be my ideal combo.

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What I don't understand is how a photographic holiday/cruise (involving a bunch of blokes taking innumerable snaps of penguins and icebergs) gets to be described as an expedition.

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What I don't understand is how a photographic holiday/cruise (involving a bunch of blokes taking innumerable snaps of penguins and icebergs) gets to be described as an expedition.

 

They went from North America to the Antarctic and back in three weeks, so they were...expeditious.

 

JC

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