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Interesting blog posting: Leica M8 Pro and Con: Pro

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I think you hit the bottom line Hank. As most of you know Sean and i are friends but this has no bearing on why i respect his reviews which are from someone that works with something for awhile to get to know the product and becomes involved with everything about it and you just can't do that with 90 frames, sorry it does not work. I've been doing digital almost as long as anyone and there are very few people that actually i use as weight to make a purchase. I'm still evaluating the M8 to this day, I love it but it has to work for me or it is useless. luckily it does but i am still testing it. reason i never even glance at some of these so called reviews is it provides no REAL information for me. Seans i can actually count on.

 

Crap that sounded like a ad but it is true, now he owes me a steak dinner. ROTFLMAO

 

I signed up for Sean Reid Reviews obstensibly for his RD1 expertise and knowledge.... I had not given the M8 to much thought until I spent some time on his site. Sean is an excellent photographer/writer/reviewer, I believe likely one of the best on the net - I don't always agree with his viewpoint but he works hard at what he writes and backs it up with real life photography and to that end it has been money very well spent. He is always bang-on.

 

Best. Terry.

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I don't know Mike but I've read his blog, and I've always thought of it more as a "column" than as "journalism." What he does is editorial commentary, while Sean is more like a reporter. Not to defend some of the mistakes -- Mike thought the white balance was good, while the people on this forum are probably some of the harshest (and most knowledgable) critics of the white balance...

 

I also don't think he should have compared it to an XTi; there are just too many problems with that. I could compare an XTi to a G7 and I think the G7 would win in most ways...but it's not an interchangable lens camera, and so its a whole different thing. If you were going to take 90 photos over the course of a week, though, I suspect the G7 would hold up pretty well...

 

But with all that, the fact remains that Mike's blog is a ***commentary.*** Like the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, not the more sober front page. He really doesn't compete with Phil Askey or Sean Reid...

 

JC

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If one reads Mike's two M8 articles for entertainment, they'll likely be entertained. If one plans to make a purchase decisions based on those two articles...that's more problematic. When one reads the comments following the articles its clear that some are reading them as a real review.

 

Again, I like Mike and enjoy his site very much. He's an interesting and often perceptive writer. But, as a review, those two M8 articles aren't what they could be.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

 

... And you're implying what exactly, seems an awfully "rich" comment taking history and circumstances into account........

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... And you're implying what exactly,

 

If someone takes those two article by Mike as a review, he or she is likely to draw some incorrect conclusions about the camera. One can see that already in some of the responses on Mike's blog. I could go point by point on where I think the problems are but that's necessary on a forum where most of us know the camera quite well. Mike is a very good writer: thoughtful, entertaining, etc. He's been at this for quite awhile. As such, what he says carries some weight for many readers.

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I signed up for Sean Reid Reviews obstensibly for his RD1 expertise and knowledge.... I had not given the M8 to much thought until I spent some time on his site. Sean is an excellent photographer/writer/reviewer, I believe likely one of the best on the net - I don't always agree with his viewpoint but he works hard at what he writes and backs it up with real life photography and to that end it has been money very well spent. He is always bang-on.

 

Best. Terry.

 

Hank, Guy Terry et. al. - Thanks very much for the comments.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Hank, Guy Terry et. al. - Thanks very much for the comments.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

The contrast I was trying to make between your reviews and Mike's here is that you provide enough information and examples for me to come to a different conclusion then yours even if I don't have any experience with the product. One's own perspective is great and subjective impressions are worthwile. I certainly enjoy Mike's even when I don't agree with them. However take the time to get an M8 profile to process the files if you are going to comment on color. What would it take to download and install C1, 10 minutes? Even with subjective impressions you would like to assume the source is informed and bothered to do their homework before offering an opinion in public.

 

But there seemed here more then a knock on the camera. There was an implied judgement and stereotyping of those who have purchased the camera that went way beyond his personal impressions of the camera. Leica's recent history and Leica collectors have made Leica an easy target for this sort of comment but the M8 has brought in buyers from way outside that tiny fraternity who are attracted to the camera for reasons that have nothing to do with it's brand image or as anything other then a tool. When someone makes a comment about your tools, no big deal. When they make a comment about you as a person and your motivation, that is something else entirely. There are a lot of camera's I hate, my personal preference But I don't assume anything about the photographers that use these tools. My default assumption will be they use them because they suit their needs, not that anyone who purchases a product I don't personally like must have a character flaw.

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The contrast I was trying to make between your reviews and Mike's here is that you provide enough information and examples for me to come to a different conclussion then yours. One's own perspective is great and subjective impressions are worthwile. I certainly enjoy Mike's even when I don't agree with them.

 

But there seemed here more then a knock on the camera. There was an implied judgement and stereotyping of those who have purchased the camera that went way beyond his personal impressions of the camera. Leica's recent history and Leica collectors have made Leica an easy target for this sort of comment but the M8 has brought in buyers from way outside that tiny fraternity who are attracted to the camera for reasons that have nothing to do with it's brand image or as anything other then a tool. When someone makes a comment about your tools, no big deal. When they make a comment about you as a person and your motivation, that is something else entirely.

 

Mike doesn't review, he provides us with opinions, his own opinions to which he is entitled and shares with us by means of the Internet, I think sociologistes can attribute this sort of statements and actions as being highly democratic, the Internet is the perfect media for sharing ones opinions. You have a choice, you read them or you don't.... and as for Leica owners becoming easy targets .... well dahhhh... look how most react to a posting like this, how easy can a target be ?

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Guest guy_mancuso

Here is how i look at some of this stuff and i know folks buy gear becuase of my opinions and frankly I know many M8's and DMR's were bought because of my comments on the gear that leica makes. But Sean and i bring something to the table that some do not and that is a ongoing dialogue on the subject and a load of testing and examples. Look how much stuff we both have talked about on this forum and how much effort went into it. I think the key word here is effort and detailed information and such that gives the reader a very good idea on what you are buying. Not trying to pat myself on the back here far from it but what i am saying is you can get a good picture of what it is about and if it fits your needs good or bad. If folks are buying on a guy that shoots 90 frames and is not giving out detailed information and such well there being really dumb and going just on this guys name. not trying to pick on him but youneed much more than this to make informed decisions and when someone just throws stuff out there without the background to go with it than it makes me nervous someone out there maybe getting bad information and not making good choices. Last thing i ever want is someone calling me and saying Guy your a idiot for recommending this. Personally if that ever happens than i did a diservice to the photo industry and that is something i never want to do. hope my point is being read correctly here.

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Well said Terry , I don't own Leica because of the red dot either or status symbol. i own it because of the images i can get from it. I do have a problem with someone reviewing a camera and only shoots 90 frames. I been in digital a long time and 90 frames is certainly not enough to make a call one way or the other. This is a major reason i barely even read any reviews except Seans. let's be honest here most of us that sit on this board can do a better review than some folks out there. I'm one of them. LOL

 

Not trying to poke fun at the guy but i have to wonder where he is coming from.

 

Guy: The trouble with all digital cameras these days is that they are so complex that you have to used them for a month or two before you really know them well. This does not mesh well with the demand for instant information on the Internet.

 

I enjoy Mike's writing, and I subscribed to his paper newsletter. Mike is really into lenses, and also into the "feel" of a camera and how this influences shooting style. So in the short time he had with the M8, he went to his areas of primary interest. Nothing wrong with that. Since he told us how much/little he used the camera, we can judge what he said in that context.

 

Mike used to post on the LUG. He was practically run off the LUG by some of the zealots when he expressed some unpopular opinions about (if I remember correctly) the relative image quality of Leica lenses vs. some other of his favorites. So his comments about Leica religious fervor come from some intense personal experience.

 

Remember, just because "Mikey doesn't like it," * doesn't mean that he is singlehandedly responsible for the doom of the camera, global warming and the situation in Iraq.

 

Personally, I find the dialog about the M8 fascinating, and it's helping me in my "M8 or not M8" decision. I want to hear reasonable opinions pro or con. The cons are actually especially helpful, because I can say, "Hmm, this doesn't matter to me at all," or "Uh-oh, this will really bother me."

 

--Peter

 

* Who remembers those wonderful ads for Quaker Life cereal?

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I think Guy that everyone respects your activities with regard to the M8, I would love to have a Guy Mancuso for my 5D (so to speak) .... if ever I would buy an M8 you and your research, advice and ideas would have surely contributed to that, I mean what else can digital users want ? .... I know I would appreciated this with my 5D ..... But this is slightly beside the point, it's a matter of opinion, and although I love Leica cameras and have been using them all my photographic life and will continue to use them until the day I die, Mikes opinions make sense to me, I share his opinion; it's a great camera, it makes fabulous pictures, it#s decently sized, the quality is good .... but it's way to expensive for digital camera...... we don't need to crucify somebody over his thoughts, his opinions, his blog is not a review blog, I take his writings into highest regard, I read it every day, never have I had the feeling that he is trying to sell me something, he is just distributing his opinion... thats all, thats not all to bad now is it ....

 

Got a flight to catch, going to new York, find a place to live, look around the city for a while.... taking my 30D as well as my M4 :-)

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He says "I know some people are crazy about the lenses, but my experience so far is that digital de-emphasizes the importance of optics to the final result."

 

This indeed indicates that Mike didn't look at the files as closely as he could have. The M8 images I've seen show an astonishing amount of detail, on a par with my own scanned shots with slow slide film, or better.

 

--Peter

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Exactly. Now with LCD everyone seems to forget how pictures were taken. LOL

 

Mike Johnston has been on the photography scene for years, is a black and white expert, and writes for, yes, Black and White Photography.

 

If anyone has an idea of how photography evolve and how pictures were taken, it is he.

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Mike used to post on the LUG. He was practically run off the LUG by some of the zealots when he expressed some unpopular opinions about (if I remember correctly) the relative image quality of Leica lenses vs. some other of his favorites. So his comments about Leica religious fervor come from some intense personal experience.

 

That was about the time I joined the LUG and I felt the LUG was tame compared to some of the attacks here against his credibility..... at least the LUG was funny too!

 

Remember, just because "Mikey doesn't like it," * doesn't mean that he is singlehandedly responsible for the doom of the camera, global warming and the situation in Iraq.

 

Personally, I find the dialog about the M8 fascinating, and it's helping me in my "M8 or not M8" decision. I want to hear reasonable opinions pro or con. The cons are actually especially helpful, because I can say, "Hmm, this doesn't matter to me at all," or "Uh-oh, this will really bother me."

 

Precisely!!!!

 

well said Peter!

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Mike Johnston has been on the photography scene for years, is a black and white expert, and writes for, yes, Black and White Photography.

 

If anyone has an idea of how photography evolve and how pictures were taken, it is he.

 

I have no question about his background, David. But there's absolutely no need to stir up a storm in the teapot to be in the center of the universe again.

 

As several posters have pointed out many times, the value of his blog lies largely in entertainment.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Exactly what i am saying is you have to gather data from many sources and make well informed decisions on this stuff. Good , bad and the ugly but you need to make a good balance and understand where the data is coming from too. i just HOPE folks make these kinds of decisions based largely on there own research too and just not what is said. i don't have a issue with Mike not really what i am saying just like Erwin you do have to take what is said in context and what form it comes in. I much personally rather listen to a ongoing report were all the data points pop up, than the enternainment end of it but that is me

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75 posts! Isn't that too much honour for a loose opnion,however eminent th author?

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Discussion is interesting because it brings a lot of information and alternative evaluations of the same data.

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My take on this scenario also applies to most digital and film cameras. I don't think it comes down to the fact that there really is anything wrong with the Leica M8, owning one or using one. It is just that for a long time now, good photographers have been capable of producing good photographs with all kinds of cameras. Considering the price of an M8 with some lenses and factoring in its lack of versatility, the number of individuals who can afford it, justify it, or absolutely must have it will be limited. Isn't that part of the appeal?

 

For instance, I like the camera and can afford it, but I simply can't justify it to myself. I've felt that way about cameras and many other things in life. The Canon XTi and other inexpensive cameras are surely enough camera for a lot of people. Perhaps for Mike Johnston even. (Remember that if the XTi had come out in 1996 it would have cost more than $30,000 and everyone would have been dying to have one.)

 

So what one person might think is an important distinction, feature, or quality, may be totally irrelevant to another person. It is clear that many who buy Leicas feel there is something about it that is important to them. I was pretty happy shooting with a Minox IIIs, Nikons, Hassleblad, Rollei, various Linhofs, Canons, Leicas and many others. But the one camera that I've owned that I probably enjoyed the most was the lowly 2 megapixel Olympus 2000Z. Granted in some ways, it probably produced the lowest technical quality images of all the cameras I've every used (except the Minox) but it was great fun to use.

 

The 2000Z was my first digital camera and it re-awakened a certain joy that I had in photography that I probably lost somewhere along the way as a working pro. I guess its small size and the fact that it was simple and digital was very liberating and new to me. I carried that camera all of the time and have some very memorable images from it. I feel the same way about other compact digitals that I've owned since. Perhaps a lot of owners of the M8 are re-discovering a similar feeling in themselves. There's nothing wrong with that.

 

Some surely find the unique characteristics of the M8 very compelling. But I don't think that owning an M8 or any other specific camera would make much difference to the work produced by a lot of photographers. Yes a lot of people could get by with an XTi. I've never handled one but I probably could shoot some of my jobs with one and the basic lens. That doesn't mean I will.

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My take on this scenario also applies to most digital and film cameras. I don't think it comes down to the fact that there really is anything wrong with the Leica M8, owning one or using one. It is just that for a long time now, good photographers have been capable of producing good photographs with all kinds of cameras. Considering the price of an M8 with some lenses and factoring in its lack of versatility, the number of individuals who can afford it, justify it, or absolutely must have it will be limited. Isn't that part of the appeal?

 

For instance, I like the camera and can afford it, but I simply can't justify it to myself. I've felt that way about cameras and many other things in life. The Canon XTi and other inexpensive cameras are surely enough camera for a lot of people. Perhaps for Mike Johnston even.

 

So what one person might think is an important distinction, feature, or quality, may be totally irrelevant to another person. It is clear that many who buy Leicas feel there is something about it that is important to them. I was pretty happy shooting with a Minox IIIs, Nikons, Hassleblad, Rollei, various Linhofs, Canons, Leicas and many others. But the one camera that I've owned that I probably enjoyed the most was the lowly 2 megapixel Olympus 2000Z. Granted in some ways, it probably produced the lowest technical quality images of all the cameras I've every used (except the Minox) but it was great fun to use.

 

The 2000Z was my first digital camera and it re-awakened a certain joy that I had in photography that I probably lost somewhere along the way as a working pro. I guess its small size and the fact that it was simple and digital was very liberating and new to me. I carried that camera all of the time and have some very memorable images from it. I feel the same way about other compact digitals that I've owned since. Perhaps a lot of owners of the M8 are re-discovering a similar feeling in themselves. There's nothing wrong with that.

 

Some surely find the unique characteristics of the M8 very compelling. But I don't think that owning an M8 or any other specific camera would make much difference to the work produced by a lot of photographers. Yes a lot of people could get by with an XTi. I've never handled one but I probably could shoot some of my jobs with one and the basic lens. That doesn't mean I will.

 

This is absolutely right on. I could do 100% of my work with a dslr and I used to, but I really don't enjoy it. It's efficient, for sure, but with it I tend to make pictures that I know are going to be successful. I don't learn anything. The joy you had with the 200Z is where I am with the M8, finally a camera that can be my sidekick AND do my paying work. Am I going to miss some stuff because of it, absolutely, but I am also going to do what I want, not what some editor wants.

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