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Interesting blog posting: Leica M8 Pro and Con: Pro

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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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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

 

Very important point! Looking at images, what a concept ;-> If one is undecided and know someone with an M8 and will give you access to images - look at them full size on the screen all the way to the corner and also large sized prints. The results will speak for themselves especially if the lens is of the ASPH variety and there was no 'user error' - such as camera shake.

 

Keep in mind also the small size of the camera, an important often understated aspect of the 'Leica concept' that rings true with the M8.

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While I generally enjoy Mike Johnston's blog and editorial in B&W, I find some things in this particular opinion-piece a little hard to stomach. He goes pretty far in the direction of indirect suggestion, with his story about his friend who bought a stereo, and so on. This is just a little slimy and is not needed at all. I also find his censoring of comments a little hypocritical.

 

But what I find especially weird is how he ends up off-handedly dismissing the M8, while raving about the K10D. Having owned a 5D, and tried almost every recent digital Canon SLR as well as several Nikons, and having a friend with the K10D, I really don't see what the big deal is. The "Limited Edition" lenses perhaps? The K10D is a totally normal DSLR with a few well-thought-out twists and some somewhat worrisome image quality issues, similar to the M8, yet he loves it? I don't get it. I find it too large and clumsy, and lacking in differentiation to the other offerings on the market. I love the M8 as much for what it is not as for what it is.

 

Anyway, the review didn't sit well with me, because by way of implication and damnation, it went beoyond simply being an opinion and into the territory of slander. Not far, but too far, IMO.

 

His comment about lenses and digital is so crazy I can hardly believe it came from him. He should know better than to publish such rubbish. I know he isn't a techno-head, but really!

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Guest guy_mancuso

As stated in another thread

 

I find the whole thing pretty #&)+) stupid just to make a few advertising dollars and ruin a reputation. I will let him quietly bury his own ass and stay out of it. This forum has proved him wrong even before he wrote the words.

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Guest stnami

....must say it is all quite amusing ................................................................elsewhere there are very different reactions

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Guest guy_mancuso

Does not really matter at the end of the day anyway. i guess i will just be a happy idiot and make a lot of money from using it.

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Does not really matter at the end of the day anyway. i guess i will just be a happy idiot and make a lot of money from using it.

 

And a lot of us has enjoyed reading these as a great pastime ... not everything has to be so serious. LOL

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T.O.P has gotten into some name calling of those of us who do not agree with his Leica report, review, whatever you might want to call it.

 

So again rather than rise above the foray - let the readers have the last say - the author proves again he is a very confident fellow who does not like to be challenged no matter how wrong or write (right) he might be. For a fellow who sells things including his opinion - I would have thought he would have chosen a different path post his Leica M8 debacle. He is entitled to his opinion be clear about that, but with that freedom comes responsibility. The camera is a tool, not religion and if T.O.P had done a similar report on the vaunted Canon 5D the response would have been far more resounding and costly. He writes about Leica owners being religious zealots - denies Sean Reid's comments that this is just a red herring and goes on to say this prove his point, it does not.

 

He speaks of us M8 supporters and owners as acolytes (cross/candle bearer/liturgical assistant) but when you take the time to read the comments he has allowed to be posted - you will clearly see that he should not be the one writing about so called Leica M8 acolytes - many Leica and Leica M8 haters have found their celebrant and clearly have become his personal acolyte/cross bearer.

 

I think what disappoints me is, the attitude that T.O.P is allowed an opinion or viewpoint - but no one dare have a dissenting viewpoint or you are outed as some sort of religious zealot, acolyte, and by T.O.P. definition willing to accept less of camera because it is a Leica.

 

(I am off to buy a better camera; the wunderplastic Rebel XTi. I will put the M8's in sealed plastic bags and hope 5 years from now they will have become collectors and I can sell them for at least what I paid for them.)

 

Best. Terry.

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Guest guy_mancuso
And a lot of us has enjoyed reading these as a great pastime ... not everything has to be so serious. LOL

 

 

Simon nothing has to be serious and i am all for fun but i am not in for inaccurate reports.

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After the dust clears..

It is all really about some combination of what tools the photographer likes to use and if the images created using those tooks please him and his clients.

Many very celebrated images have been created with blunter tools than what are now available, so it probably makes little difference as long as the photographer learns how to use the tools he likes to use.

Objective measurements have a place in all this, but the final result after all of the dodging and burning (or their digital equivalents) is done is what matters. Third party editorial has no impact on my images and won't on yours either.

So, you pays your money and you makes your choice.

-bob

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