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martinb

Thinking of selling my M8 and some lenses..

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I've been thinking of selling my M8 for a little while now for some reasons..
OK Martin, i have made (privately) a serious offer,

but the best way would be:

throw it away (and please, tell me in which direction) !

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Hi Martin

Being a working pro is more than having just one camera.

I shoot every day and based on the assignment I will pick and choose my tools (CAMERA & LENSES) as needed. No an M8 is not for every one, but you say that 5K for a back up is a lot. Being a working professional cost a lot. When you add in the cost of insurance (health, camera auto and libality) the cost of a camer is small.

I just returned from Kennedy Space Center from our launch of Atlantis yesterday and had 9 cases of equiptment.

My primary case with my Canon long glass, my three remote cases with 10 bodies and an assortment of 20 some odd lenses, my trigger case with 11 custon sound triggers, my M8 case with my M8 andassorted lenses (it goes on every assignment and is just great for features (some later on an additional post).

And what about the new Canon 1 D Mark III, with all of its problems, I am waiting on mine to be delivered and at $4k +, with focus tracking problems (that Canon will work out shortly) it becomes a prime body and one of my three 1D Mark II's go into remote status.

What you have around your neck does not make you a pro, but what you can do with it does.

All that said, I am sure we will be sad to loose you on the site, but you should think befoe you sell and find that you toss and turn all night long and go back out and buy another M8 after you have sold yours.

Best

Gary

Gary I. Rothstein, Photography

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Hi Martin

Being a working pro is more than having just one camera.

I shoot every day and based on the assignment I will pick and choose my tools (CAMERA & LENSES) as needed. No an M8 is not for every one, but you say that 5K for a back up is a lot. Being a working professional cost a lot. When you add in the cost of insurance (health, camera auto and libality) the cost of a camer is small.

I just returned from Kennedy Space Center from our launch of Atlantis yesterday and had 9 cases of equiptment.

My primary case with my Canon long glass, my three remote cases with 10 bodies and an assortment of 20 some odd lenses, my trigger case with 11 custon sound triggers, my M8 case with my M8 andassorted lenses (it goes on every assignment and is just great for features (some later on an additional post).

And what about the new Canon 1 D Mark III, with all of its problems, I am waiting on mine to be delivered and at $4k +, with focus tracking problems (that Canon will work out shortly) it becomes a prime body and one of my three 1D Mark II's go into remote status.

What you have around your neck does not make you a pro, but what you can do with it does.

All that said, I am sure we will be sad to loose you on the site, but you should think befoe you sell and find that you toss and turn all night long and go back out and buy another M8 after you have sold yours.

Best

Gary

Gary I. Rothstein, Photography

 

You're completely right about being a pro is not about which camera you use. I've seen great stuff being made with Holga's, disposable cams or compact digicams by pro's.

I don't really understand your point though. You're starting out by saying that being a pro costs a lot and talking about the multi thousand dollar equipment you brought to Kennedy space center, but you're also saying that being a pro is not about what you wear around your neck, which I agree about. You can't put a price tag on how much equipment should cost when being a pro. There's some pro's who only have equipment for about 1000 USD's, but there's also people with one million in equipment. Neither is the right one. My issue was with the backup. And remember that all work differentely.

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I recently spent a month on location in Mexico, in some demanding situations. I had the M8 and a Canon + zooms setup along. The Canon was intended as backup - I was really curious how much I could do with the M8 alone.

 

The DSLR was only used once, when I needed a longer telephoto reach than any rangefinder could accomplish. The M8 was rock-solid, and produced some very memorable images.

 

I second the M8 + DSLR combo as a very versatile system, with many advantages that neither camera alone has. As a pro, you MUST have backup. But that doesn't necessarily mean you'll use it...

 

As the Brits say, "Horses for courses." Much depends on what and how you like to shoot.

 

T

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I've been thinking of selling my M8 for a little while now for some reasons..

 

1. I don't like the whole 6-bit and filter issue. Having to pay for filters as soon as you get a new lens and maybe also send it away for coding or buying other expensive accessories. I know that most lenses do fine without coding, but you can't trust them without filters.

2. Second issue and maybe the biggest for me, who want to go pro is that I would need a backup. 5000 USD for a backup is a lot of money. If I want backup I don't want a film camera as backup (would require buying film and a scanner) or another DSLR. I want an identical camera and that would be the M8. However, even if I got a second M8 I would probably need a DSLR for some stuff.

3. The M8 ain't much more discreet than a small DSLR and a compact digicam is even more discreet than both.

4. Fourth issue is that it's harder to get Leica M8's serviced compared to other cameras. There's really no other way than getting it sent to Solms.

 

With that said I have to say I love the camera but I don't feel safe to depend on it.

Your views would be interesting!

 

If you're interested in a used black M8 with grip, extra battery, filters, Summicron-M 35mm ASPH and Elmarit 21mm pre-ASPH give a serious offer over PM and maybe I'll consider it. Shipping would only be within the European Union. Just to let you know, I'm not 100% sure about selling yet though.

 

Hi Martin,

 

This is very much a personal call. For what its worth, my primary cameras for pro work are the M8 and a 5D. I back up the M8 with an R-D1 and the 5D with a 30D and a 10D. There are lots of ways to slice a pie. I think the most important to look at, perhaps, is how you feel about a) working with the camera and

the results its giving you.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Thanks Ed, David and Hank! I appreciate your input. Can't answer all replies though

 

Professionally I would probably do event work, maybe architecture, stock photography, maybe wedding and god knows. But I would work outside a studio and in available light 99% of the time.

 

I shoot two of those four professionally. My experience:

 

1) For weddings, I prefer the M8 unless I need to be above ISO 1600.

 

2) For architecture, the Canon FF cameras currently offer a flexibility that is very hard to match with any other small format digital camera. I'll be discussing this in an upcoming article. In short, though, they allow one to work with shift lenses as wide as a true 24 mm. That can be a very useful asset. Shift lenses can still be very important even in the age of Photoshop, etc. Guy uses shift lenses on the M8 but I prefer either a view camera or an SLR for shifting.

 

For stock, it would depend on what you're shooting. For event work, what do you have in mind?

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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For architecture, depending on client needs, the wides available for the M8 make it a great tool. It is not going to replace what you could do with large format, but for an editorial look, it would be great imo. I have lost touch with what the mainstream of architectural work is now,

 

For interiors with small format, the popular cameras now are the 1Ds II, 5D and even 1Ds. Of course, a lot of people are still shooting 4 x 5.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I certainly wouldn't make this decision right now, with a new generation of DSLRs about to be released. I'd hang on until January or so. Or maybe buy a 5D or a D200 to get things under way, and then go to the new generation when it arrives. I suspect that the new Canons and Nikons will make MF less attractive, except for some limited high-end applications (that you won't have to worry about too much as a new pro.)

 

Guy shoots M8s professionally, but he has been around for a while and knows his niche. I confess that if I were going to pro photography, I wouldn't launch myself with an M8, because I'd want to be able to take any job offered, from macro to ultra-long stuff, and for that I'd want a high-end Canon or Nikon. M8 won't do that. And you *gotta* have a backup, and even better, two.

 

JC

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Epson R-D1?

 

With all its foibles, its still the cheapest digital body to accept M glass.

 

Thanks for the suggestion, but the R-D1 isn't an option because the resolution is a bit low and the crop factor different.

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I recently spent a month on location in Mexico, in some demanding situations. I had the M8 and a Canon + zooms setup along. The Canon was intended as backup - I was really curious how much I could do with the M8 alone.

 

The DSLR was only used once, when I needed a longer telephoto reach than any rangefinder could accomplish. The M8 was rock-solid, and produced some very memorable images.

 

I second the M8 + DSLR combo as a very versatile system, with many advantages that neither camera alone has. As a pro, you MUST have backup. But that doesn't necessarily mean you'll use it...

 

As the Brits say, "Horses for courses." Much depends on what and how you like to shoot.

 

T

 

Thanks! Starting to sound like M8/DSLR might be the best solution after all. Versatile and not too expensive..

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Thanks Sean,

Valuable opinions as always!

Thought the M8 might be a good choice for architecture because of the good resolution and the excellent wides. Sure, it doesn't offer precise framing but that's not needed if I going to tilt and shift in photoshop.

I currently don't shoot stock, but I'm planning on doing it. 10mp doesn't seem to be a problem for stock, which usually require 50mb files. Especially not the 10mp in the M8!

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I certainly wouldn't make this decision right now, with a new generation of DSLRs about to be released. I'd hang on until January or so. Or maybe buy a 5D or a D200 to get things under way, and then go to the new generation when it arrives. I suspect that the new Canons and Nikons will make MF less attractive, except for some limited high-end applications (that you won't have to worry about too much as a new pro.)

 

Guy shoots M8s professionally, but he has been around for a while and knows his niche. I confess that if I were going to pro photography, I wouldn't launch myself with an M8, because I'd want to be able to take any job offered, from macro to ultra-long stuff, and for that I'd want a high-end Canon or Nikon. M8 won't do that. And you *gotta* have a backup, and even better, two.

 

JC

 

Thanks John. Another vote for M8/DSLR combo

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Guest guy_mancuso

Well shifting can do certain things PS can never do and one is being high or low on a subject and than shift up or down as needed. Yes you can fix in PS but not always the best choice than you can easily do stitching without dealing without Nodal point issues. Shift lens can be very handy . On a M8 i do it blindly but it works fine with the LCD and the zoom feature i can get really anythig I want that a DSLR can do just have to work at it a touch harder, there is always tethered too. So really not a big deal. Now a tilt lens adds something to the mix as well. But you can only use lenses with a aperture ring , so that leaves some Canons out but Nikon you can. Right now for me the only real thing I can't do is shoot a 180 f2. I just don't look for 180 shots anymore. LOL

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Thanks for the suggestion, but the R-D1 isn't an option because the resolution is a bit low and the crop factor different.

 

Hi Martin,

 

Don't discount it too quickly. I've delivered a lot of work to clients that was made with R-D1 bodies. I think it makes for a great backup for certain kinds of work.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Thanks Sean,

Valuable opinions as always!

Thought the M8 might be a good choice for architecture because of the good resolution and the excellent wides. Sure, it doesn't offer precise framing but that's not needed if I going to tilt and shift in photoshop.

I currently don't shoot stock, but I'm planning on doing it. 10mp doesn't seem to be a problem for stock, which usually require 50mb files. Especially not the 10mp in the M8!

 

Hi Martin,

 

What you may discover is that tilting and shifting in Photoshop is really not the same as working with a tilt/shift lens. As I mentioned before, I've been writing about that very issue recently in a draft article.

 

What kind of stock and what kind of event work did you have in mind?

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Just as food for thought, some of the best photography I've ever seen has been made over the past couple of years by a friend of mine who works with an R-D1, D-Lux 2 and Canon 10D. Why not an M8? He plans to buy one when and if the R-D1 fails. Winogrand did his commercial product work with his Leicas and then had the results duped to medium format transparencies so as to please art directors (who had no idea he was doing this <G>). The camera is important but there are a lot of different cameras that will get the job done in the right hands.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Thanks Sean,

Valuable opinions as always!

Thought the M8 might be a good choice for architecture because of the good resolution and the excellent wides. Sure, it doesn't offer precise framing but that's not needed if I going to tilt and shift in photoshop.

 

Are you just thinking it would be a good choice or have you actually used an M8 for architectural photography? (And I don't mean photos that happened to have buildings or houses in them.) Do you plan to shoot interiors as well as exteriors? Do you have lights? Have you ever assisted an architectural photographer?

 

Not to pick on the M8, which I'm sure is fine for reportage and lots of other things, but I think it would be one of the worst choices for this type of photography. Besides its lack of framing accuracy, there is a real shortage of lens selections. The widest is a 15, so with the crop factor that is only equal to about a 21 on a full frame. Shift lenses will not be very wide on it and will be nearly impossible to use handheld. Stitching can work for some things but has its limitations. I'd hate to have to depend on it for even a moderate volume of work. Tip - if you want to shoot interiors by stitching two or more images shot with a shift lens, you'll have a parallax issue with near-far subjects because the lens axis moves when you shift. You'll need a geared or sliding camera mount to cancel this out.

 

Architectural photography involves photographing all kinds of materials that are likely to require you to use IR blocking filters on the M8. So you might have to deal with trying to cancel out the green corners and then stitch the images. Try it out and see how well you can make it work. And I think the lack of an AA filter will lead to seeing more moire than one would get with other cameras. (Architectural photography commonly has lots of detals and patterns that are prone to moire.)

 

And don't fool yourself into thinking you don't need long lenses for architectural work. I use my 100-400 pretty much every week. I often have to shoot architectural details, compress streetscapes, or shoot homes across lakes.

 

Now you are proposing to start out in professional photography as a generalist and that's ok, I guess. (I hope you understand yourself well and have a good plan.) With that in mind, I think you have a lot more on your plate than spending a lot of time thinking if you should sell or keep a certain camera system. Getting customers and keeping them happy should be your main concern at this point.

 

Look for the work you can do with what you have. Otherwise beg, borrow, or (don't steal) rent any other gear you need when you get the job. And when you know what you need and can afford it, buy it. Since you clearly aren't sure about it at this point. (Sorry for being so direct, but that's how I see it.) And I don't think there is any reason you need two identical cameras as long as you are backed up sufficiently on each project. When I first started using a 1Ds for architecture, I brought my 4x5 as a backup. An inexpensive consumer level DSLR with a zoom or two will not only backup your M8 but will backup your lenses too. (You might drop one.)

 

Get the work first!

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Thanks for the suggestion, but the R-D1 isn't an option because the resolution is a bit low and the crop factor different.

 

 

Don't let the R-D1s fool you...I use it all the time and now have an exhibition with many 16 x 20 prints that definately rival my Leica film prints.......it's a great camera with no serious issues to contend with........don

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Don't let the R-D1s fool you...I use it all the time and now have an exhibition with many 16 x 20 prints that definately rival my Leica film prints.......it's a great camera with no serious issues to contend with........don

 

That doesn't surprise me - I'll bet the prints look great. That said, in the interests of full accuracy, the R-D1 has its weaknesses and problems too.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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