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GarethC

M8 and landscapes

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IMHO there may have been an argument against using the M Leica for serious landscape work in the past (lack of precise framing, lack of visual feedback in the finder, and of course the disadvantage of 35mm vs a larger piece of film). But all of those appear to be moot with the M8. The IQ is up there with the best, and in a slow-paced pursuit like landscape photography the LCD review supplies a check on 100% framing and other optical phenomena. View camera movements can be simulated in Photoshop. About the only concern I'd have using my M8 for landscape photography might be if mounting it on a tripod frequently would eventually cause the casting to fail where the baseplate locks on

 

Vinay

 

Your concern about the casting is the reason to put on an arca swiss plate so that on and off the tripod doesn't continually produce such stresses. And I still feel that one case of a damaged casting doesn't provide cause for much concern. The casting itself could easily have had a flaw that created the cracking. No way to tell with only one sample.

 

Woody

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EDIT--Alan--love autopano--haven't tried it with the M8 yet

 

Ok, as someone who owns both a 5d and an M8, let me just give you my opinion, FWIW....

 

First, I'm not a landscape guy particularly. Mainly because I make my money shooting people; I love landscape photography, but I do agree with Jono and Guy.

 

First, if I had all the money, time and shirpas in the world, I'd probably shoot MF for landscapes; better resolution with less diffraction for depth of field means great results.

 

Given my lack of time, my back, and resources, and sticking to 35mm systems, I have to say how surprised I was shooting the M8 against the 5d in the mountains just outside Banff Alberta a couple of weeks ago.

 

The M8 certainly held its own, even compared with the DMR work.

 

I could go on an on about IQ, the glass, and the joy of being able to trek up a mountainside with something as good as the M8 without tripods, etc...

 

But let's just summarize a few points to consider. IMO here are the tradeoffs:

 

5d things to consider:

--ok colour, nice handling, not that heavy compared with other dSLRs. A stellar performer with not much piloting necessary to get good results

--no crop factor--I like this sometimes. On the other hand, you get a wee bit more effective DOF with the 1.33 crop.

--for the record: you cannot attach Leica wide R lenses to the 5d, without cutting the lens mount or the mirror. The 28 Elmarit R is really as wide as you can go out of the box. The 15 doesn't work (and is the cost of an M8!) and the 19, while a great R lens, means you shave the mirror or work the housing.

--great (and I mean great) battery life

 

M8 Pros for landscape photography:

--fabulous IQ, almost uncannily good shadow tonality at low ISOs; better, IMO, than the 5d

--fabulous and inexpensive wide glass from CV, which, BTW does NOT fit on a 5d even with mods;)

--great colour IMO

--NO MIRROR--hence no mirror slap, hence no fiddling with CF or using a tripod. I didn't see this mentioned in the thread so far.

 

With wide angle lenses, as Jono says, you definitely should have no problems holding the RF still at under 1/60 or so. But even if you MUST use a tripod for mental or physical condition reasons, it can be a lot lighter than the one you'd need for the 5d (or--heaven help you, the 1ds2 or DMR).

 

--excellent portable metering. Really--I like the metering on the M8 more than my 5d.

--RF more inclusive than SLR for framing

 

M8 Cons for landscape photography:

--precise framing

--battery life is good but not great

--ND filters etc... a bit dodgy on the CV wides

--need to handle the cyan or not use filters (either is good for me

)

 

So--surprisingly--I really think the M8 is a great little landscape package.

 

I'm putting a picture here, but please don't take my word for any of this. Look at any of Jono's pix, or of Guy's from Yosemite. They speak worlds for the usability of the system, IMO.

 

Wish I could show you how sharp this prints at a nice large size!

 

M8 35 1.4 Lux @ 5.6 w Leica IR filter. Quick from the JPEG--RAW is better in the sky (no need for NDF)...

 

[ATTACH]39992[/ATTACH]

 

Jamie

 

I agree with all you have said. However I was not reluctant to shave the mirror on my 5D and using the Leica R 15 Elmarit with this body is uncanny. The colors from the DMR or the M8 are better in my opinion as well but having the FF for use with the super wides is rather spectacular. I also shot the R15 with the M8 using the Novoflex adapter. Couldn't use it under tungsten light but outside or with the Metz 54 flash got beautiful results. (Detection off)

 

Woody

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Nice work there. Thanks for the link.

 

Some of his work is fabulous, but some does suffer from grad and tint filter overload, IMHO. Bet it sells well though

 

 

The light in the Virginia section is, in the main, gorgeous.

 

I agree on both counts. The light in Virginia is extremely nice but would look even nicer without the ubiquitous filter overload. That overcooked 'fun with filters' look is more evident in other sections of that portfolio and IMO is reminiscent of early Cokin adverts. A cure for a problem that does not exist.

 

I thank the Powers That Be that the M8 does not lend itself easily to this sort of trickery. By and large, though superficially appealing (to me at least) this approach puts the saturation before the landscape itself, though it is still a very popular look in the AmPhot mags.

 

t

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"Gareth,

 

If you are 'Isca' over at DPreview then it was me that answered there, as I have in response to your other requests for information. Don't take this unkindly but I think the reason there was apathy otherwise is that you tend not to reply when people offer you information, so your threads over there die rather quickly. A bit of response from you and I think you'd get more in return!"

 

New guy here, doesn't know how to use the quote marks.

 

That is me Tim and a valid point made by you. Considerably later than I anticipated in getting back to this thread but I was out buying a new landscape camera

 

The only reason that I'm responding now is that the bloody orange light on the charger won't go out. I knew I should have got the car charger out of the bottom of the box before I stuck it in the trunk.............

 

Fair do's! Hope that charger light goes out soon, cos it'll be on again soon enough!

 

:-)

 

t

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Sorry I got here late...

 

Someone mentioned the SLR as having superior depth of field control. I have to disagree---groundglass evaluation of DOF is nowhere near as easy or precise as a well executed DOF scale. One of the things I really dislike about the current crop of AF lenses is the DOF scales in all but a very few cases are useless.

 

The requirement for a tripod comes from a different sort of landscape shooting. My view camera certainly needs a tripod because of slow lenses and narrow DOF (and obvious ergonomic reasons). I've mostly done away with large format, and often use a Mamiya 7 for landscape. Slow film, slow lenses, and still narrow DOF. It's always on a tripod, because depth of field usually puts me at f8-f16 for most shots, and a filter is often stealing a stop as well. The film Leicas are quite capable landscape cameras too---crisp, detailed 12x18 prints, at nearly handholdable speeds. With no way to be certain of a steady shot, however, I use the tripod to be sure.

 

With the 5D and M8, I get a stop from the higher ISO, and a stop (or more) from ditching the filters. These cameras really can be handheld in much of typical landscape lighting, and provide enough detail for 12x18 (and larger) prints. And the review screen lets me check for motion blur. Outstanding. These cameras are definitely usable for much real bread and butter landscape work without a tripod. Shooting an active landscape has its own decisive moments---why would I risk missing one for no benefit?

 

For large print landscapes, I love the Mamiya 7. For moderate prints (and an occasional large one), if you often need tilt/shift or are big into telephoto, and are willing to carry more, go with the 5D. I don't much care about these items, so for me, the M8 is the best small landscape camera made.

 

--clyde

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Jamie,

Autopano is available for Windows too.

 

Alan--then maybe I wasn't just dreaming! You can tell I do a lot of pano work

LOL!!

 

No--I use Panotools; thanks for the tip though, because I'll check out Autopano. Your transit shot posted is pretty great for a quick stitch!

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Guest guy_mancuso

Both shot with the DMR and a Olympus 24 shift lens. Now i could easily have done this with a M8 and have just look at the 35mm frame lines focus almost to infinity stop down to F8 than shifted the lens up, Take a test shot . View the LCD for exact framing make any small adjustment if needed and can even check the focus. Very easily done. No filters or anything like that. Just nice morning light. I kept this lens specifically for the M8 and use a adpter from the R to M . Orginally i had this lens converted at SK grimes to a leica R mount for the DMR but having a shift lens is very handy in a lot of commercial work also , so reason i kept that in the bag. Many times i may on a scissor lift in a factory and need to shift a lens down and keep the lines straight. so there very handy to have around. BTW if you can find one there pretty rare but there expensive too but in tests these are pretty much the best shifts you can get for 35mm. Something to keep a eye out for and for Canon shooters you can just buy a adapter from Oly to Canon. No need to convert the mount like I did

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Guest guy_mancuso

And if your really feeling lucky than maybe you will find one of these. Yes folks that is GOLD, 40 pounds of it

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Guest stnami

The Olympus produced 24mm shift lens,(the only piece of Oly equiptment I have left) is a great addition to any kit that can be adapted to it. There is also a 35mm shift lens but vigetting can be a problem if placed on full shift, not hard with the 35 ,though with the 24 one doesn't have to sit on full shift:)

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Guest guy_mancuso

Seriously it was found like that it's about 2 ft tall and it got stuck in a machine and jammed it . Actually broke the machine. It's at Ironwood wineries near Yosemite in the back country and this was discovered right on the property, value is about 8 million US green backs. Jack and i went there and tested every bottle they had. Very nice wine, next workshop it's in the plans. LOL

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Here you are a Photomerge (PS) composed by 5 pics with Cron 50mm. Obviously the format is not suitable due to the rules of this Forum, but at home I've a print 1mt long.

 

Francisco.

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4 panels shot handheld, stitched and perspective corrected in panotools, File size = 3900x7500 (29.25 megs). 24mm ASPH. Prints to 16x30 easily, and is convincingly film-like.

 

I find that the principle advantages of the M8 over the 5D are that the frame lines are very usuful in making a series of pano shots and the M8 has excellent shadow recovery. And of course excellent glass and compact form factor.

 

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M8. Handheld

 

Hey Guy

 

I totally remember this shot from when you, Jack Flesher, and Rob were in Yosemite together. This is an experience I hope to share with you guys next time you go. Promise I will bring the wine and vodka (just let me know if it is Grey Goose or whatever).

 

You are the best (and kindest)

 

Woody Spedden

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Guy,

The church is near Sedona correct? I bought my M8 specifically for landscapes. My Nikon has greart zoom lenses but trying to assume DOF is not my thing. I have taken my best landscape pictures with M's for many years. If I need a GND, I use nik color efex.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Woody , workshop October in Yosemite with steak dinner to boot. LOL

 

Bill yes that is Sedona which is about 90 miles from me. Frankly Sedona is prettier to shoot than the Grand Canyon. Beautiful Red rocks. I did do a 3 shot vertical stitich of that scene too , need to find it.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Found it a 3 shot vertical stitch of the Church with the Oly 24mm shift and the DMR , used photomerge in CS3 and worked very nicely here. I should really have this printed

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The Olympus produced 24mm shift lens,(the only piece of Oly equiptment I have left) is a great addition to any kit that can be adapted to it. There is also a 35mm shift lens but vigetting can be a problem if placed on full shift, not hard with the 35 ,though with the 24 one doesn't have to sit on full shift:)

 

I'm actually testing both of those lenses right now.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Guest guy_mancuso

Sean keep a eye on CA on the Oly 24mm , it has some in it.

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